8. A Foiled Hijacking
In South Africa, we have a lot of hijackings, and for a while the favoured method to stop a car was to play dead in the road. Of course it doesn’t take long for people to figure out that stopping to help people on the road is a bad idea and that is where my friend of a friend joins the story.
On his way home from work one night (he lived on a small-holding), he sees a body in the road about 1km from his house. He quickly realised what was up and decided to just drive up onto the pavement (kerb for the Yanks I think), and go around the body without stopping. He got home about 2 minutes later, ran inside and called the police. When he saw them coming down the road, he returned to where he had seen the body to tell them where to start their search. Obviously there was no body, but what they did find was quite surprising. Three dead hijackers hiding in the long grass on kerb, as it turns out, when he had driven up on the kerb to avoid the “dead” guy, he had crushed all of the accomplices.
The “dead guy” was never found as far as I know.
9. A Missed Stop
This is a true story, told to me by a man who had been working as a murder investigator for over 30 years at the time. I was told this story after asking what the creepiest case he’d ever been involved in was.
This happened in northern Scandinavia in the late ’80s, in a part of the country that is mostly covered in dense pine forest. On the highway between cities in this part of the country, you do come across the occasional villages and secluded houses, but there are stretches that seem to go on forever with only pine trees as far as you can see. A young girl, in her early twenties, was taking a motor coach home after being on a trip down south, presumably visiting friends or relatives. This happened just as winter was approaching, and it was freezing outside after nightfall. This girl lived in one of these really small communities that you pass along the highway, but during the bus trip she fell asleep and missed her stop. Looking at her watch, she realized that they’d passed it only recently, and that if she were to get off she would be able to walk back in approximately three hours. Either that, or get off in the next city where she didn’t know anyone or had any place to stay. She explained all this to the bus driver, who pulled off at the next parking space and let her off. That was the last time anyone saw her.
Almost fifteen years later, long after the search for her has been given up, she is stumbled upon by a hiker. Her dead body was found tied to a tree, well over an hours walk from the road into the dense, almost impassible forest. The autopsy showed no signs of physical violence of any kind. Someone had just left her there, alive.