50 People On ‘The One Story That Gives Me The Chills To This Day’



When I was a boy scout, I got the filmmaking merit badge while at winter camp one year. In order to earn it, you have to complete a short film (no matter how terrible). It’s luck of the draw (naturally) when it comes to who is in your merit badge class, but since we were all in the woods, we decided a slasher flick would be a lot of fun. We wrote a script where a masked killer goes around stabbing people at a boy scout camp (we weren’t, you know, creative geniuses or anything).

There was a kid named Paul in the group who was pretty cool, got along great with everyone. He was one of those guy’s who is just naturally likable, but we unanimously voted to make him play the killer because he had this really creepy Peter Lorre eye thing going on. He did great, fake-stabbing a bunch of victims and being menacing enough for a movie produced by 12 and 13 year olds.

We edited the thing (buckets of fake blood, bad acting and all), and I forgot about it completely until 6 years later when I was a freshman at college and recognized Paul walking between buildings. I jogged over, we made small talk about each other’s Spring Break plans (since it was a week away), and that was that. Not like we’d kept in touch or anything.

Fast-forward a week, and I’m back home watching the news when I see a report about a young man who’s killed his mother, father and two family dogs and then lit their house on fire over the break. The police already had a suspect in custody, so the newscast flashed his picture and sure enough, it’s Paul.


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