Thought Catalog
March 14, 2017

28 Men And Women Who Killed Someone Else Confess To How It Happened And The Weight They Now Carry

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1. A Simple Mistake While Climbing

Watched my friend fall almost thousand feet to his death while rock climbing. No idea why he switched ropes when he was watching me secure them. He even asked me to yell when secure. Took almost 45 minutes to get down to his body. Haven’t climbed since.


2. I Drilled It And Everything Went Black

A car ran a stop sign right in front of me one night when I was heading back from a friend’s house. I drilled it going at about 50 mph. Everything went dark and when I came to I was facing the opposite way on the other side of the road I’d been traveling down.

I kicked my door open, got out, and it was the most powerful sense of derealization/depersonalization I’ve ever felt. I was totally out of body just standing quietly in the middle of the street on a peaceful summer night. Glass everywhere. My Ford Explorer in front of me just fucking destroyed beyond belief.

I start coming to my senses and hear a car horn, I look around and realize it’s coming from the car I hit, so I start sprinting as fast as I can toward it. I get up close and see that the driver’s side is totally crushed, the window shattered.

I look inside and there’s an elderly man facedown against the steering wheel, laying on the horn, blood all over the place. To this day I can’t play GTA at all because of that particular feature.

I start shaking him like crazy and yelling “Are you ok! Are you ok!” There’s no response. So I pull his body back toward the car seat away from the wheel.

And it’s an old woman, not a man. Completely dead, face smashed up. Someone’s mother and grandmother just lifeless and maimed sitting right in front of me. Most terrible image. Just totally terrifying and numbing to see something like that.

I stumble down the street and up toward the closest house and knock on the door. This woman answers in her pajamas and I can’t even talk straight or anything, I’m just crying hysterically at this point and finally get out that there’s been a bad wreck. By this time people are pulling over and pouring into the street.

I remember the emergency responders having to use the jaws of life to get her body out of the car. And then my mom showing up and seeing my car and holding her hands on her head and yelling “Oh my god” over and over as though she couldn’t even grasp what had happened at all.

As far as aftermath, I think about it maybe once every 3-4 months now. I have a ton of repressed memories from childhood/youth and that’s another one that is buried pretty deep. I don’t feel a sense of guilt per se as I was obeying the speed limit and did everything I could, but I still tear up now and then thinking about some kid losing his or her grandmother that way. Or someone losing their mother like that. Or an old man losing his wife and best friend in such a horrible manner that late in life. I just hope she immediately passed away on impact and didn’t feel any pain, didn’t suffer at all.


3. No Brakes FLying Down A Mountainside

I was driving on a small treacherous mountain road and my brakes went out. My friend talked me through it and I was able to stop my truck by easing into the mountain side at 55 mph. The truck flipped and rolled and landed on the edge of a cliff. My friends head was crushed during the roll. He tried to breathe but his neck was broken. He died as I was trying to talk to him.


4. Wrestling Becomes Tragedy

In ’76 I was 6 years old. My grandpa was my best friend and my hero. He always wore stripped bib overhauls so I had to have matching ones. I’d sit on his lap and we’d eat Cheetos and watch Zorro. We’d also play a silly game, pulling hair out of each other’s arm.

We were wrestling around one day and I hit him in the nose with my head and it started to bleed, so badly that he ended up in the hospital. He died 2 days later. I was always told that I remembered it wrong and I had nothing to do with it. Last year I was at my uncles, another man who I greatly admired. I knew he would tell me the truth so I asked him. He pretty much said I remembered it correctly. Grandpa was taking blood thinners and the hospital never really got the bleeding stopped and he basically choked to death. Before anyone says my uncle was an asshole for telling me this, I am grateful to finally know the truth.


5. A Man With A Mini Sledgehammer

I work armed security for a campus police department. Most of the department are police with a few of my type. In my state, I’m considered a non-sworn law enforcement and to someone not in the industry have most of the same authority as a police officer. There are differences but for this it is pedantic.

I had a guy walk into the area where I was eating my dinner with a cut down the side of his face. So, naturally, I shift into help mode and am all about getting this guy first aid. He told me someone had just stolen his car and cut his face. So I called for a police officer to handle the felony report and medics for this guys face. Then comes that awkward moment of waiting while this guy bleeds all over himself and the two of us just staring at each other…and I hate awkward moments. My patrol car had trauma kit for an active shooter situation. We’re only supposed to use it on fellow officers but fuck that this guy is bleeding all down his shirt. So I offered him that kit with the caveat that I’m not an EMT and he accepted. So I hopped up and went to the door that my car was parked at. Right when I got to the door, this guy was lagging behind me and I don’t like people behind me so I stopped and tried to get him to sit down and wait for me to get the kit. That’s when he said, “Officer, I have a problem”. I don’t remember hearing anything after that so I guess my auditory memory shut off.

Right after he said that he conjured up a mini sledgehammer. I have absolutely no idea where it came from it was just there in his hand and he was raising it up high. I dropped what felt like a slow breathy “ooohhh fuck me” and I started backing up and drawing my pistol. The situation took a pretty big spiral downward after that because by backing up I tripped over some furniture and fell down between an ottoman and a fireplace grate with my weapon side down to the ground. He was charging through with that hammer up so I couldn’t stand up or I’d be in range so I just dove away…into a corner. He plowed through the furniture and I was still on the ground.

Right then I cracked. Nowhere to go, no distance to create, the guy I was going to help was going to kill me. All I wanted to do was curl into a ball, cry, and beg for my life. Once that flash of pathetic whimpyness hit, I became pissed. Absolutely livid. I was mad at myself for giving up. Mad at this asshole who thought he could kill me. I’ve never, ever felt that kind of rage before. I got into a kneeling position and then bum rushed him. I grabbed the wrist with the hammer and shook the shit out of it and he dropped the hammer. Then, in my rage, all I wanted to do was rip his scraggy beard off his fucking face. My memory blanks out right about there and kicks back in with me leaning waaaayyy back against a high desk and this guy over top of me.

To shorten it up, after that he pawed at my holster, tried to grab my neck with both hands, eventually pulled a picture-perfect takedown and got full mount. Eventually, I was on my feet, grappling out in the open with no furniture or anything blocking me and I knew I was too gassed to keep going. There was no hammer anymore but I couldn’t keep fighting the grapple fest that we were doing. I shoved him hard, drew my gun, pulled the trigger, CLICK…misfire. Hands down the biggest what the fuck moment I’ve ever had. I managed to shove him again, wrack the slide, then fired two rounds. My auditory memory kicked back in and he said, “Alright, I’m done, I’m done.” He kind of fell to the floor and was flopping around trying to get back up. I got my radio up and running since the fight knocked it off me and called for backup.

He had a hand down at his waistline and I could see blood up on his shoulder. I just kept my gun on him and waited for backup just trying to breathe and not puke up the food I was just eating. My backup arrived, told me to go outside…where I immediately puked up spaghetti and Lemmon pepper chicken.

The guy died before the medics could stabilize him in the room. From the time I called for police and medics to the time I called in shots fired, it was three minutes. Take away the awkward staring, me going for a first aid kit, and the radio pick up the whole fight was probably just under two minutes.


6. Black Ice

I was the driver in a car crash. Slid on some black ice on the freeway. Spun a few times before getting T-boned by an SUV going full speed. Friend in the passenger seat busted up his head in the windshield, my brother behind me fractured his skull, and my best friend in the passenger side back seat died. My friends, at the time, used humor to get through things. I have a dark sense of humor but they consistently went too far and I ended up leaving all my close friends. For years after I had to go to court because of other cars that were affected by the crash and my friend’s mom was trying to see me for more money than the 100k my insurance already paid out. I used to scream out in my sleep. I dropped out of college shortly after and attempted suicide. Much better now, but 5 years later and I still get anxiety when it snows.


7. Wrong Beach On The Wrong Day

When I was 14 my friends and I wanted to go to the beach so I suggested the one near my house. It was notorious for bad rips but I just figured that we would spot them and stay away. It was about 6:00 pm when we got there and the lifeguards had gone home. We were in knee deep water when we felt the pull of a rip. Me and one other friend made it out but the two that were less then a meter further out then me couldn’t. For the first five minutes we thought that they would be fine and that they could catch a wave in. After that we knew that there was a problem. We started looking for someone and finally found an off-duty lifeguard 10 minutes after they were swept out. The lifeguard got aboard and was able to save one of my friends. He couldn’t find the other. Her body was found later that night. If I hadn’t suggested that beach if I had been quicker to find a lifeguard, if I had spotted the riptide, my best friend would still be alive.


8. He Died, But I Don’t Feel Bad About It

1995, was living with my druggy mother and sister who was 4 years older than me. My mom worked at a bar and as a 7-year-old kid lived half my time in that bar. We did have a “house” that more of a shed on a lot that was converted into a house. Well, my mom got close with one of the patrons who also drank a lot and did drugs. Well one day she broke up with him I guess and he kept coming over threatening her.

A few day later, she gets a call from him, not sure what was said but she tries to hurry us into the back room where we kept our clothes. She attempts to hide us all under the clothes but I start freaking out and tried to leave the house. As I get to the front door a truck a pulls in. I stop and hear him get out, screaming for my mother. He tries to get in the door at first and fails, I’m about 3 feet to the side of the front door. He shoots at the door. I freak and jump on the top of the couch that is right next to the door while also grabbing my tee ball bat. He kicks and kicks at the door and it finally opens, he walks in and I plowed him right in the forehead. He instantly goes out. I scream and my mom finally comes out with my sister and we both leave then call the police at the bar. That same night I went to go live with my father permanently as my mother had arrest warrants.

I didn’t know until I was about 16 that he had ended up dying in the hospital between my concussion and alcohol poisoning. I don’t feel bad about it though.


9. They Drove Right Into Us, Head On

When I was a truck driver – in training actually – I had the misfortune to be the tool someone else used to commit suicide.

We were driving late at night on US 277 between Piedras Negras and Del Rio. It’s kind of the armpit of Texas – flat, straight, boring, right near the border. I was at the wheel, my driver mentor was in his bunk, but awake chatting with me. I saw headlights ahead, a long way off. Didn’t think anything of it. After awhile, they got close, and it looked like they went to turn left, only there wasn’t a road there. Then they straightened out and drove right into us head on.

I had just enough time to see that it was a Tacoma, and the driver was male. All I could do was let go of the steering wheel and hit the brakes.

We were busted up pretty badly, but we cut that pickup in two. I had a broken wrist, my mentor had a bunch of broken ribs and a bruised liver. We got out to see the damage and when we walked to the rear I saw a work boot sitting on the double yellow line, with about 6 inches of leg sticking out. I still get an odd feeling in my stomach when I think about it.

Obviously, I didn’t plan to kill the guy. And there wasn’t much I could do without foreknowledge – semis aren’t exactly nimble. But it still takes a bit to tell yourself you couldn’t have done something else. He had a young wife and two little girls.


10. Rushing Doctor Costs A Life

When I was a medical student on my surgery rotation, I was in the OR with only the attending surgeon. The residents on service were otherwise busy, so the attending surgeon (somewhat impatiently) decides, “Fine, I’ll do it with just the med student.” It’s a relatively straightforward case, placing a gastric tube for a patient who couldn’t eat. The institution I now work at frequently does these under laparoscopic visualization, which is seen as overly cautious by some. Not me.

The attending puts a scope down the patient’s esophagus and I have a big needle to push toward the scope. His scope had bright light which he shines towards the skin when he’s entered the stomach and I press on the skin and see it dent in on the screen, showing we’re in the right place. I thought I took that exact same position and angle, and introduced the needle. Except it didn’t show up on screen. So I pulled back. Pressed again and tried again and didn’t see it. The attending grows frustrated and tells me to push the needle in deeper then. I had a twinge of concern, but eventually hubbed the needle, which was several inches long. Never see it on the screen. Eventually, the resident shows up and tries as well. He introduces the needle but never can visualize it. Eventually, he switched places with the attending, and after another try, got the needle into the stomach and we finished placing the tube.

I come back after my day off to find out that that patient died from internal bleeding. One of the multiple needle pokes – or possibly a cumulative effect – had injured arteries in the abdomen, leading to them bleeding out overnight.

Now, I know not to ignore that twinge, and I know that even “low-risk” procedures have a risk of catastrophe and always take care to mention that when consenting patients for surgery. “Low-risk” not “no risk”.

I harbored guilt over it throughout medical school and still had hesitation the first time I did that procedure as a resident.


11. Becoming A Family Under The Worst Circumstances

I was working out of town, which is pretty common in my line of work, touring with bands. We had just started a new tour with an artist, but as a crew, a bunch of us had been working for several artists over the last few years. When you work these long hours, sometimes under ridiculous pressure and circumstances, and live on a tour bus, sleeping a few feet away from 11 other grown adults, one of two things happen:

  • You just get in with it, drink away any sadness you have from being so exhausted and missing your family and friends because you haven’t seen them in months
  • Or you become incredibly close, like a family. You’re together through everything, long incredibly hard days, or experiencing the joy of something or somewhere new.

On this particular tour, it was going to be a smaller group of us than the last tour. No need for a video technician. But we really liked the video technician. We had done a year or two together, and he was a really great kid. Always saw the bright side of everything. You could always count on him to have a smile on his face, no matter how many hours we had been working.

Lucky for the tour, more video equipment was added, and so he came out to join us right as we were going into rehearsals for the tour.

We went through a week of rehearsals, then took a ferry to Victoria from Vancouver, to start the tour. First show done, we all had such a great time, a really easy first day; load in (the install) went quickly, the show went off without a hitch, and we finished a few hours earlier than we expected.

We went to back to the hotel to get some food and have a drink. Our rooms were next to each other. It was a nice spring night, we sat outside on our adjoining balconies. He was a wine expert, he loved red wine. I had an unopened bottle of red in my room, and he had an unopened bottle of white in his room, which he knew I liked. He leaned over his railing to pass me a bottle, which I easily grabbed from him, the balconies were so close together. So I passed him the bottle of red from my room.

But he slipped, on the wet balcony.

After this point, I have no memory of any sounds. But everyone on the tour staying on that side of the hotel, heard me screaming.

I saw him go over the railing. I saw him hit the side of the hotel. And I saw him land, 50′ below me.

I ran to the elevator, yelled at the front desk to call 911 on my way past. But it was too late. It wouldn’t have mattered.

I got to him and looked into his eyes and they were lifeless. A large piece of the back of his head was a few feet from us. I held his hand and sobbed that I was sorry until a security guard pulled me off.

From that day, we were a tour family, connected by the worst bond imaginable.


12. Was In The Military But This Still Stands Out

When I was 5 years old my family was living on a small street of an army base. My best friend lived two houses down and we would forever pick on our sisters. (Mine was 4 and his was 3) One day we thought it would be fun to climb onto the carport and yell for them to try and find us, and when they did we would splash them with water from up high. Mine came and it went as planned, his sister however ran into the street and was crushed by a moving truck driving by. He just screamed, I jumped off trying to get her to wake up. Everyone in the family came outside to see what was going on, only to see me trying to shake awake this bloody mess of a little girl. My family dragged me away and the ambulance showed up to take away the body. My friend moved away within weeks, and I didn’t play outside until we moved from that house less than a year later. Years after I would drive by there just to cry. I still think about it sporadically, but I have never sought professional help for it. I was responsible for others during my time in the military, but none have ever had the same impact.


13. Seven Stairs

Fourteen years old. Spent the night at my best friend’s house after our hometown 4th of July celebration. Woke up in the morning to find that her mother had left us to babysit her 8-month-old old sister while she (the mom) ran errands. We are painting our nails on the floor of the kitchen, while the infant cruises around in her walker, and hear a crash. We forgot to put the gate up and the baby fell down the stairs in her walker. Seven. Fucking. Stairs. She hit her head on the railing and died in the hospital after 3 days in the ICU. About 4 years of PTSD, for me. But no one really knew I was there, my best friend was branded a baby killer. High school is tough.


14. A Man Breaks Into The Wrong House

At the time I was a single mother. A man broke into my house in the middle of the night. I shot him on my tile entry. Hit him in the eye, died on contact. Bled out all over my floor. 2 yr old didn’t even wake up. He had a full abduction kit in his trunk. Had 2 guns and a machete on him. DA declined to press charges, and the state cleared me of any wrongdoing. I refused the TV circuit, talking about it. honestly, I would like it if my son did not learn about it until he was at least a teen

All I know, middle of the night and someone broke in….in Texas. He played a game he wasn’t going to win


15. At Boarding School

To start off, I was in boarding school in India for grades 4-6, so three years. It was a good place, the boys and girls had separate dorms, and everyone was really religious/good. None of the older kids were bullies, more like older brothers. The closest town of Bidadi was maybe some 5 kilometers away, and on Sundays my friends and I ( we were 10-12) decided to go into town. You usually had to take a kid older than 15 with you and had to be back before 8. So my friends and I disregarded this rule and took a rickshaw into town to go eat food and just walk around. Night came, and we could not find a rickshaw willing to drive us back to school for a low price. So we decided to wander around and go into the poorer part of town.

The 3 of us walked up to a rickshaw driver smoking a beedi, or pan (nicotine rolled up in a beetle leaf) as we used to call it, to ask for a ride. I was a bit scared because sketchy part of town, some guy smoking, no one around and there aren’t really streets, more like muddy roads. Anyways, driver reaches into his rickshaw for something, and I turned around and saw a man sort of hustling a girl of my age around the corner. It didn’t look well, I told my friends and we went to look. The guy was slapping her and telling her she could either earn more money for him, or he would kill her. (All conversing in Hindi/broken Kanada)

One of my friends goes to get the driver, and me and my other friend walk up and say something like “are you okay friend, what’s going on” Dude pulls a knife tells us to mind our own business. Friend takes a step forward, he plunges the knife into my friend, girl hits him on the head with a rock as he’s trying to get the knife out of my friend. Guy with knife slaps girl, I take knife and stab him like in the back of his neck, and he fell and I kept stabbing him around there in tears and yelling of course. Driver comes, sees the scene, and we carry my friend to the rickshaw and eventually go to the hospital.

He lived and he has a scar to the left part of his abdomen. Never saw the girl again, but driver said he left her at the police station.

I’m still in touch with my two friends from then even though I came to US for middle/High school.


16. Defending Mom

I was 12 when it happened and as much as it was a pure accident my life was better afterward.

My mum and I were living with her boyfriend at the time (this man was a drunk and an abuser) I came home one day from school to find him beating my mum down in the kitchen. I had never even thought about standing up to this guy, he was above 6’3 and very broad but that day I came home from school made me summon all the courage I had to save my Mum. As I ran over to them I grabbed a fork off the table and stabbed him just below his shoulder on the back, it scared him so much that he had a heart attack and died on the floor.


17. “She Let Go Of My Hand…”

She was turning 13, I was 13 turning 14. It was her birthday and a group of us went to an old power plant to explore. I had asked her to ‘go out’ with me earlier that day. It was hilariously awkward and now it’s bittersweet.

Our friends stayed on the ground floor and she and I crawled up to the third floor to ‘make out’ but, we were just going to tell everyone we did. I was too advanced and she was a good girl, from the nice part of town.

After 10 minutes of edging along the wall, she let go of my hand and tried to crawl over to a window to look out.

It’s taken me years to get past that moment and think clearly about what happened. I heard a yelp and a crack that still makes me nauseous today. I can’t watch videos of a skater falling, or hostel or saw. I crawled down to her and all of our friends ran off to get help. I remember being pissed that no one was helping, I was trying to do CPR or something to save her life. The cops found us and I was covered in blood.

I’ve been told it’s not my fault, her parents still blame me. We went to court for a few times and my saint of a public defender was able to argue out of manslaughter charges.


18. Chasing A Hit

Back when I was using heroin and meth heavily (4 years clean now!), my friend and I, Taylor, ran off and got a hit from a dope man who he owed money to.

Nothing out of the ordinary, we ran around getting every dope boy to front us at every opportunity. This time we went to the same man who he had screwed over a few days earlier.

Took the guy 6 hours to get there, we had my car, and only enough cash for either a hit or gas to drive to him. So we waited in my dead ass car fiending. Talked about all sorts of things, music, life, all the wonderful things we were going to do.

Our guy showed up, we got the dope, nothing seemed off. Even gave it to us in a fresh rig!

Taylor took the hit. 50/50 shot that hit was mine had things gone differently, and he would be here, I dead. The guy gave him a hot shot, basically as I understood it at the time it was battery acid that Taylor shot directly into his veins.

He gasped. He shook. He looked at me with a look I will never forget.

He convulsed and vomited. I can only imagine the pain he felt. I know that fear of powerlessness in that moment, no matter what I did he was dead, I still remember his eyes staring up at me while I freaked out.

And then, just like that, he was gone. It was so fucking sudden. Like one second here is all essence of this life right in front of me and then the next it is so clear that it is gone. The muscles holding the expression on his face relaxed, the fucking sigh as gravity pushes the breath out.

I will never forget.


19. And Innocent Boy Makes A Tragic Mistake

I was around age 8. I accidentally jumped on my Mom’s stomach when she was pregnant, not realizing that it could hurt the unborn child. It died.

She hasn’t ever brought it up, and I’m a senior in high school. It still gets to me time to time. For the most part, I try to forget it, but man, when I do get to thinking about it, it hurts.


20. Backpacking With His Brother

I was 13 years old living in Norway. Growing up I loved climbing trees, so me and my friends would climb the tallest ones we could find. (our town in Norway was quite small and quite high in elevation so the best trees were down towards the river) We decided to get together one Friday and head down to the river to do some climbing. We always took a backpack with lunch and snacks and water with us so we could hang out in our tree until dark. It was my friends younger brother (11) who was carrying the backpack full of snacks, and I was carrying the backpack full of drinks. My friends younger brother was not as used to climbing trees as we were, but like any little brother he wasn’t about to let that stand in his way and prevent him from hanging out with his big brother and his best friend, as it was a rare occurrence we’d let him hang out with us. We were almost to the part of the tree where there was a spot for us to all be able to sit, I got there first and I hung my backpack up on a tree branch. I then told my friend’s little brother to pass me his backpack so I could hang it on the branch and make it easier for him to get to where I was. While he was passing me his backpack, his foot slipped off the branch and he didn’t have the upper arm strength to carry his own weight yet. He fell the whole way down the tree, landed in the river onto jagged rocks and was killed instantly. My friend and I were out of that tree faster than I even thought it was possible, and what we saw that day changed us forever.

All he wanted to do was hang out with his big brother and do what the “big kids” were doing. I feel like if I never told him to pass me his backpack, we’d all be in a tree right now drinking a beer thinking back on all our ventures. But instead, my best childhood friend can no longer be in the same room as me, I have not heard from him or his family in over 10 years and every single day of my life they pop into my mind and I remember what I did. Everyone tells me it wasn’t my fault and it could have happened to anyone, but that doesn’t erase the guilt I feel about asking for that stupid backpack. If anyone has a chance to read this and if you are going to get anything from my story, it’s that… anything can happen, anywhere at anytime. And tell those you love, that you love them because you never know when someone will ask for their backpack.


21. Driver’s Education

Drivers Ed I hit someone who ran a red light. I was going about 30 and they were going 45 and I hit the front end of their car and they went offroad into a metal light pole hard enough to bend it and knock it over.

There was a teacher and other students in the car. Being 15 it was weird because I expected there to be more talk around someone’s death. Didn’t even make the news. Obituary was in the paper but that was about it. When I was driving I did notice the guy but I was always paranoid about people but just thought he will probably stop but I sort of had a gut feeling he wasn’t going to.

Fucked me up for a bit driving and still super paranoid about other drivers. All that happened was they asked me if I wanted to talk to the counselor and I was like nah. Then we went to hospital to get looked over and I got the rest of the day off school excused. Then I went to school that Monday expecting to go to school all day but a classmate was like “I’d act traumatized to stay home. So I milked it for a bit and acted like it affected me more than it did so I could stay home from school excused but they caught on after the following 2 days of that and said I needed to come back.

I suppose it is supposed to make me feel bad for killing him but it really doesn’t cross my mind. That light was green for over 5 seconds before I even got up to it. I don’t know why he ran it but feel he was at fault so don’t really think about it.

Now if it happened now I would probably feel guilty as hell by looking up relatives on Facebook and seeing who he was but this was 1999 all I knew what the paper said and they didn’t even put a pic of him in there. I didn’t even see the dude in the accident. They came and took us away before they got him out and we sat in the car the whole time.


22. A BBQ Kills A Guest

Undercooked food at a barbecue. Woman got food poisoning, complications arose because of pre-existing conditions, she got septic and died. She had just recently had a baby, so that was left without a mother. Go me, double bubble with that fuck up.

So don’t cook while drunk kids, because you might kill someone.


23. Dad Literally Fights Al-Qa’ida

Not me personally but my dad and the rest of our village had to fight back against an al-Qaeda suicide bomber and 3 gunmen in the middle of the night.

My dad is known as a liberal in our country (although in the US he would be considered more conservative). Being a liberal is usually dangerous in our country especially when you are fighting for obvious things like women and children’s rights. In our city my dad is quite famous for his businesses in the US and in Arab countries. What started the trouble was his history of speaking out against domestic violence.

Things like this apparently don’t sit well with fundamental religious people. What set them off was my dad creating high schools for females on our lands and encouraging them to have an education and not to resort to being a child bride.

Soon an al-Qaeda member caught word of all this. So, Late last summer, four people came to our village at around 11 pm hoping to bomb my dad and his friends in our guest house.

One of the villagers spotted the four odd strangers walking out of the main road and asked them where they were going. When they wouldn’t respond the villager called for help and kept them on the street at gunpoint (everyone has an AK47 or two in the rural villages if not more).

It is essential to understand that the village is made up of mountains and our houses are built on the mountain to overlook the crops and the valley. When the villagers, my dad included, came (armed with each his gun as is custom) to see what the fuss was about, three of the four members backed off and hid behind rocks then pulled their weapons and started shooting while the suicide bomber made his trek upwards towards my dad. No one shot them while they hid because we didn’t want to be the first to shoot.

Anyways, this was at night and the advantage of high-ground and knowing the terrain was for the villagers. Two shooters died in the gunfire and the other was fatally wounded and died in the mountains to be found some time later. On his way up suicide bomber tripped on some loose mountain rocks and triggering the bomb. He was also carrying pouches of rusted nails on his person to act as additional shrapnel. The bomb’s blaze went up in an inferno definitely enough to kill a large room full of people, but the natural rocky barrier of the mountain kept us safe from the shrapnel.

Because of the premature detonation, all our villagers were safe, but having fatally wounded four al Qaeda members everyone feared their lives.

After that, those who were young and had passports were sent off to other countries until my dad and the village elders could negotiate a cease-fire. We used to go every summer but I still haven’t been back since. My dad, on the other hand goes back and makes sure the schools are running smooth and no one is his harassing his property in his absence.


24. A Simple Cycling Accident

I had a close friend in my Physics program around 5 years ago.

During summer break, we would chat every day or so about our lives, what we were doing, and what our plans were coming back to school.

I was really into cycling at the time, and I was encouraging her to get a mountain bike or something similar to we could go riding when she got back into town.

I encouraged her enough that she told me the next day she was going to go riding.

That was the last thing I ever said to her.

That next day, while she was riding with her father, her tire hit her father’s and she lost control and swerved into the road just as a large truck was passing. They had to have a closed-casket funeral.

I know people are going to tell me that it isn’t my fault, but I’m always haunted by the belief that if I hadn’t encouraged her to go riding, she never would have, and she would still be here today. Her parents wouldn’t have lost their only daughter.


25. One Death Creates A Domino Effect

My grandmother who adopted and raised me (she is who I call mom) because of my parents dying….She means everything to me. She drove a school bus for almost forty years and When I was like four she ran over a child with the bus. It was a spot where several kids got off at once and she watched the two walk in front of the bus to their doors and when she turned around she saw what appeared to be the storm door closing of the boy that didn’t have to cross the road. It turned out it was his 2-year-old brother hitting the door from the inside waiting for his brother to come home. Kid had dropped a pencil and crawled under the bus to get it. Well she ran over the kid and killed him. She is now 82 and scared of driving and blames this curse of killing the kid as reason for five of her 8 biological kids having died. 2 drownings 1 motorcycle wreck 1 cancer 1 drugs. She still drove a bus for 20 more years after this but it weighs heavy on her daily and is really worried about going to hell as the gets closer to death herself.

On a side note…… I was young and the accident was kept from me but I grew up very athletic and strong and tall compared to my family and really most other people….. I was a d1 basketball player in college and very protective of her in general.

One day (I was 18) she ran into the father in public and since it was kept from me all I saw was a 5’7″ man yelling and cursing my mom and my mom crying so I come flying in and beat this man to a bloody pulp before I can be pulled off him. So I grab her and put her in the car and quickly leave and this is where I learned about who he was and why he was angry at her.

He committed suicide like two months later after I beat him up……. The mother committed suicide like 2 years after the accident and the younger brother OD’ed on drugs like 6 months after the dad suicide.

So yeah pretty fucked all the way around!


26. Standing Up To The Bully

When I was young I used to get bullied a lot, I was in the 9th grade and I had this one person, a senior, that would harass me (and sometimes hit me) constantly. I always tried to just ignore it but I had to walk outside to get to one of my classes and he knew about it. Not a lot of people were around us. We were on the sidewalk, walking down a hill towards the AG Barn. He pushed me and I fell down the hill a little but caught myself, I got angry. Angrier than I normally get. I got so angry that for the first time, I pushed him back. Instead of falling to the side (or not falling at all) like I thought he would, he fell right off the sidewalk, onto the road (for student parking and buses) and fell in front of a bus. There were a few people watching and I called the police afterwards. I know he was bullying me… but I have nightmares about what I did still. Because of what the people who saw said (and the camera outside the building) luckily I never suffered any consequences. But I almost wish I had.


27. Death On The Tracks

I am a locomotive engineer (I drive trains).

Thirteen time19-year 19 year career (so far). Someone ended up in front of my train that didn’t surrvive.

Suicide, poor judgment or no sense of situational awareness combined with a vehicle that takes a mile or more to stop = death about 50% of the time in my experience.

The nightmares of various incidents awaken me regularly. Pretty sure that I suffer PTSD, but, if I do something about it, I will lose my job (medically disqualified). I cannot let that happen at the moment as financial ruin would result.

Please, stay out of the path of my freight train.


28. Mercy Nurse

People say euthanizing is illegal for humans in the U.S. but… as a nurse, when I have palliative orders, they are to give narcotics and benzos every 5 minutes as needed. You bet your ass they’re given every 5 minutes. I have killed people. They were about to die, and I hope that I took their pain away in the process, but the drugs I have given take that pain away and contribute to their death at the same time.

That being said, I have never done this without an order from a physician or without family consent. Throwaway anyway just in case someone decides to pick a bone.

—anon TC mark

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