30 People On ‘That Time I Knew A Murderer’

Dark stories from 30 people I found on Reddit.



When I was fifteen or so, I did a theatre production about 45 minutes away from my home.

My mom was not supportive, and would not give me a ride. Luckily the cast was amazing, and one guy in particular went out of his way to pick me up every day so that I could stay in the show. He was a very jovial, friendly fellow. Not creepy in the slightest.

We lost touch after the show, but about seven years later I ran into him at a bar. We were all giddy and catching up. I’d given up acting and become a yuppie, while he was still trying to make ends meet doing theatre locally. He was engaged and seemed very happy.
About a week later, my friend texted me “was that guy you ran into last week named Dan Wozniak.” I replied “um, ya…why?”

This is why.

He was apparently in grave financial trouble. He murdered his neighbor and stole his credit cards. Then he used his neighbor’s cell phone to lure over a female friend. He then killed her and arranged the scene so that it looked as though the neighbor had raped and killed the friend, and then fled.

Then he chopped the neighbor up and hid his body throughout a local park. They arrested him at his bachelor party after finding a local kid Dan had paid $20 to take money out of the hacked-up neighbor’s bank account.

He’s probably getting executed. He tried to hang himself in jail. Seemed like a totally normal, nice guy. Fucking crazy to think I spent hours alone in the car with a killer.



this is not right before the murder but someone I had grown up with. When I was in highschool my best friend and I made a list of who we thought was most likely to shoot up the school. We were bored. Two out of the four on our list have been convicted of murder. One of them killed a 3 year old.



Not me, but a friend’s dad roger.

Roger was a hippie in southern California during the late 60’s. He played in some unsuccessful bands, did live sound to pay the bills (and continues to do it for a living), knew a lot of people in that scene.

One night he’s out at a party in topanga with no ride back into Los Angeles. A folk musician offers him a ride back down the hill, they hit it off. Roger says he’s one of the nicest guys he’s ever met. They say their goodbyes when the guy drops roger off.

The next week roger sees his friend on the news. It’s Charles Manson.



I have a female friend with a similar story about being picked up by some people in a station wagon who refused to drop her where she wanted to go. She ended up having to be in a sleeping bag with a guy on the floor in some house. She slipped away when he was sleeping and walked all night to get out of there. She later learned the man in the sleeping bag was Tex Watson.



When my mom was 16 or 17, she was home alone one afternoon when she heard someone pounding on the front door frantically. She opened it to find her neighbor covered in blood. Her neighbor’s husband had shot her in the leg. I can’t remember if her neighbor survived or not, but her husband was arrested. He had a full beard, and to this day my mom is still afraid of people with beards.



I met a murderer right after he killed someone. I was getting off of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey on a freezing cold night in December six years ago when I saw him walking up the exit ramp. I thought he was just some unfortunate guy who needed help, so I pulled over and asked him if he needed a ride. He looked at me but didn’t answer, so I went on my way. He was on the front cover of the Asbury Park Press the next morning. He had kidnapped a mother and her two kids. He killed the kids, but the mother got away so he fled on foot and was caught later that night.



I have a couple stories.

One’s from my dad, who buys and sells houses for a living. This guy calls up my dad and asks if he can come over to look at his house. My dad takes a look around, says he wants to buy the house, and they start talking about a price. At this point it comes out that the guy is separated but still married. In this particular state, it doesn’t matter if her name was on the house or not; the sale of property requires signatures from both spouses. Turns out the wife won’t sign the contract, so he’s out of luck.

A couple weeks later my dad sees the guy on the news for having killed his wife, dumping her in the river as a copycat killer of some guy who had been doing that to prostitutes. He calls my dad a few days later from the jail and says, “Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about that signature anymore.” My dad ended up meeting the dude’s lawyer at the house, but when my dad walked in and saw that pieces of carpet had been removed for evidence (and thus realized that the murder had actually taken place in the house), he said, “Fuck this,” and got out of there.

There used to be this crazy guy who would always cause trouble at our local city council meetings. Again, since my dad was a realtor, I often was at these meetings because my dad would need to be there for some zoning shit or something. This guy slowly lost it over the course of a few years, and near the end he was just constantly talking about the “plantation mentality” of the city council and how they were all just a bunch of racists against him. One time he brought in a bunch of bananas and handed one out to each city councilman and the mayor, all the while calling them monkeys. He stopped coming to the meetings for a while, but then one day he showed up at city hall with a gun. He shot a cop outside who just happened to be grabbing his dinner, then went inside and killed the cop on guard at the council meeting, two council members, and the public works director. He also shot a reporter (who ended up fine) and the mayor (in the head, twice), who actually survived but died a few months later.

As soon as I heard the news, I knew exactly who did it. There was just always something disturbing in that guy’s fervor and zeal.

This wasn’t a murder, but it might actually be more fucked up. In about 2002, this kid was kidnapped in the next county over. It was all over the news for a few weeks, but eventually it sort of faded into the background as no news of him ever came out. Fast forward to 2007, and another kid is kidnapped. This time there was a good lead, and a kid was able to give a description of the truck that kidnapped this new kid. They traced it back to this one dude, and the police went and knocked on his door. Turns out he had not only the recently kidnapped kid, but also the other kid, who had basically been his sex slave for the past five years.

The fucked up thing was that this kid had Stockholm syndrome so bad that he eventually had free reign. I worked at the most popular teenage hangout spot in town (a snowcone stand), and I would serve this kid snowcones regularly. And I would also buy pizza from the kidnapper/molester himself, who was the manager of the pizza place that my friends and I frequented.



This one is from my dad, is so I’ll retell it to the best of my abilities.
My dad went to UCLA and lived on their Greek row. One day he was walking back to his fraternity house when a car starts speeding down the 20MPH street and almost hits my dad. My dad yells at the guy “watch it asshole.”

The car stops.

Out of the car comes this very tall and big black man. He gets out of his car, stands up, stares my dad down and says “Boy, don’t you dare call me asshole.”

A couple weeks later, my dad found out that the driver was a D-end on UCLA’s football team who had been arrested and convicted of murder.

EDIT: The player’s name is Billy Don Jackson.



Not a first meeting, but talked with a guy I grew up with hours before he shot and killed one of our friends. I knew both guys from the time we started school. It’s a very small town, graduating class had less than 60 students. Anyway, “G” was a high strung kid who was teased a little throughout school. “B” was the classic stoner, easy going guy. They stop by my house one Saturday to see if I want to hang out at another friends house. His dad was always gone, so we would often hang out there, drink beer, play games, etc. I couldn’t go because I had to work that night. I go to work as usual, get home late, go to bed. The next morning my mom wakes me up to tell me G shot B in the head, killing him. He didn’t die immediately, but early that morning. Apparently they were playing penny poker & G was losing….the guys were teasing him about losing. He said he was going to his car for more money. He walked in with a hand gun, pointed it at B’s head & fired. According to witnesses he didn’t say a word. Shot him then just went & sat down on the floor while everyone went crazy. He only did 7 years, somehow the charge was reduced to manslaughter.



Not me, but my dad’s college friend use to go to the same church as the BTK killer and had him over for dinner a few times. He and his wife did not believe he was the real killer until he confessed, they thought he was a great intelligent guy.



Went to lunch with my mom and her co-worker once. Found out later that she tortured a pregnant mentally disabled woman to death. She had her two young children help her do it and they got charged as well.
relevant news article: http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/02/michelle_riley_shot_tortured_a.php



growing up in the ghetto, several childhood friends got involved in gangs and killed people.

i find out when i see their name, mugshot, and crime on the news.



My friend asked me to go to lunch with her and her estranged father (we were 14) because she was uncomfortable going alone since she didn’t know him well. He had recently got a job painting some lady’s house and took us for fries. A week later the front page of the paper said he was wanted for the lady’s murder. He broke into her house in the middle of the night beat her, lit her on fire and stole a few things.



I was in high school with a person who was involved in one. Hes still in Jail to this day, but not sure what his sentence was.

Here is the story:

The kid, named Brian, was walking down the sidewalk with 4 other friends outside of a Popeyes. His friends thought it was funny to mess with a stranger who was walking towards them. One of the kids had a knife and actually ended up stabbing and killing the man. They all were arrested and put in jail. I never found out their sentences though.



I talked to a kid from my school that got caught planning to bomb us during an assembly. It’s sad because he was a nice and smart kid. To think that he hated most of us so bad to do that scares the hell outta me It was Josh from the Roy High Bomb Threat.



My neighbor. Nice guy. Few years later he murdered his wife and shot himself dead, I lived two houses away.



My foster sister was pregnant and living with this guy. We used to hang out all the time. One morning, a bunch of school kids found a dead body behind their school. A couple months later, my sister’s boyfriend was arrested for the murder. Apparently, he and a friend of his were stoned on crack when they ran into a guy who had “snitched” on him when he was previously incarcerated. They sliced the guy’s throat and left him to bleed out. Aside from the fact that he was a murderer, he was a really nice guy. I knew he’d been in prison before for stealing cars, but, I never would have thought he’d do something like that.



Wile I was in high school, I dated a guy once or twice and we mutually decided to just be friends. He lived near me and was a year younger, so he caught rides to and from school with me. There were a few off details about him. He immediately started dating my best friend and made a few attempts to drive a wedge between she and I. It didn’t really work. Once I went to pick him up to go out on a Friday night and saw that he kept photographs of women neatly tacked along one wall beside his bed. He told me he had slept with each of these young women. He also had a collection of things in jars of formaldehyde. There was a deer eye, some kittens, and other things. One winter night, we were both at a friend’s house and we were making silly movies together. He kept trying to get me to leave alone with him and go drive around to smoke a joint. I didn’t want to. There was another guy there I wanted to be with, and I knew it would happen, so I didn’t leave. The guy was pissed, but I didn’t care. About a week later he shot and killed both of his grandparents and stole their car. He made it to Mexico before deciding to turn himself in. He is in a state pen in TX still. That happened in 1987.



This guy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/steve-nunn-murder-charge-_n_286884.html

His family (mainly his ex-wife and daughters) are good family friends. They all had to go into protective custody while this whole thing was going on. He was always pretty scummy but I never would’ve expected him to murder anyone… he was basically “high society” in KY. Somehow my family ended up getting his pool table; I guess they didn’t know what to do with all his stuff.



I dated a guy in high school who turned out to be a murderer. He beat 2 guys to death with a hammer a few years after we graduated. It shocked the hell out of me, because I knew him as a pretty laid back, easy going kid, a little moody, but what teenager isn’t?



A popular guy at my high school heard that one of his girlfriends wanted to break up with him. He asked his best friend if he could borrow his leather gloves because he was going to kill her, the friend assumed he was joking and gave him the gloves. The crazy guy took her to a lake and drowned her and was arrested a few days later. He claimed insanity at his trial, but I always remembered him as just some arrogant prick with a huge ego.



I talked to one of my neighbors about a minute before he walked into his house and blew his brains out. Not taking him off the ledge stuff, either. I didn’t really know anything was wrong with him. Just saw him getting out of his car and made polite chit-chat for a minute. Then I went inside, fired up Mario Kart with my roommate and heard a bang.

Knowing I was probably the last person on earth he had a conversation with really weirds me out.



Anyone going to Northern Illinois University, or from the area around here should be familiar with the Toni Keller killing. Before this happened, I actually delivered food to the man charged with the killing a few times from the restaurant I work at here in town. He was kind of rude, and tipped just the cents to the next dollar.



Kind of but not really. I was going through a rough time in high school, I was super down, my depression was really messing me up, and I finally decided to kill myself. That night, I checked my fb before I took any action, and a friend of mines older brother had sent me a message. He had seen the ridicule I was going through, told me to keep my head up, and really helped me get through it. He was a few years older then me so it hit me harder then a normal person. He was just a nice guy doing a nice thing.

That night he killed himself. I never found out specifically why, but his family and his brother said that he had been struggling through school and life as well.

I can’t say I wouldn’t have chickened out by myself, but I like to think he contributed to stopping me from making the attempt. I knew him for all of 15-30 minutes and he had a huge impact on my life.



I worked with a guy in Reno who ended up murdering another girl we worked with. I don’t remember the whole story but he killed her, wrapped her in a blanket, dumped her body in a dumpster at a construction site and tried to burn it. I guess he left the receipt for the stuff he bought at a wal-mart at the scene, which is how the cops caught him.

I never knew him that well, but we talked about movies a couple times. Seemed like a perfectly normal guy. Weird. He’s serving a life sentence if I remember correctly.



My two flatmates (at the time) met a terrorist in a bar once, does that count? I wasn’t there, but from what I can remember of what they said, he had been drunk and bragging. They thought he was kidding/faking. He was on the news a couple of weeks later. n.b. this was just over a decade ago, while I was a student. The particular flavour of terrorism in question was the Basque separatist kind.



I hugged Alec Kreider the day after he killed a classmate and that classmates mother and father. He was in my gym class and I knew they were friends so I gave him a hug. Little did I know hours earlier he killed a whole family.



I actually used to work at my father’s coffee shop so I met quite a few colorful individuals. We had this guy who he regularly came in and ordered a medium cappuccino every day, but he really never said a word to anyone. He would always stare off into one of the corners of the room.

I come to find out one of the days in which my father and I were working, he had killed someone with multiple stab wounds. He was in the coffee shop earlier that day – and according to the police he told them he had planned on killing us as well. Personally, it still creeps me the fuck out that I saw this man almost EVERY SINGLE DAY and he just sat there with his coffee plotting my demise.



My sister met Breivik in his police outfit in Oslo before the bomb went off. She doesn’t like to bring it up because of “guilt”. I don’t see how it was her fault though



A kid I went to high school with was always a little slow, but never worse than a lot of other kids. Saw him at a football game with his girlfriend (who was pretty hot, more than I’d expected to be with him, but hey, I’m happy for the guy), and then after the game they ate at a restaurant in town at the table next to us. Then, they drove up on a mountain road, and he got out and shot her in the head while she was in his truck, then shot himself in the arm and then ran 4 miles to ditch the gun so he could tell the cops someone else was there and shot them both. He’s in jail for murder now, he got 40 years. Also saw another guy I went to school with right before he went home and killed his grandparents so he could look for drug money and take their car. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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