When I was in high school, one of my friends murdered his family kind of out of nowhere.
The day it happened, it started to get around to my friends that something went down at his house. This was before most people had cell phones, and texting wasn’t a thing at all, so throughout the day, more and more people were contacted and headed over to the guy’s (whose name is Louis) best friend’s house. The first officers on scene got his name and his brother’s name mixed up, and we were all told that his brother had snapped and shot their parents and then him, then called the police and gave himself up with no struggle. So we all got together, mourned as a group or whatever, then got up and went to school the next day.
Shortly into the first hour of classes, everyone who was a known friend of Louis’ was pulled out of class and called into the office. Once we were all there, the principal told us that Louis was alive, and that he had actually been the one who committed the murders. Everyone was pretty shocked, this dude was a totally harmless stoner who never even really seemed to disagree with anyone, much less have violent tendencies.
I personally went into my standard compartmentalization/disassociation mode and just dealt with it by going kind of numb to it. The funeral was really rough, they had an open casket viewing even though his parents were both shot in the face. Louis claims to have no memory of doing it, and what they’ve pieced together is that he for whatever reason went into his dad’s gun locker, pulled out a rifle and shot his parents in their kitchen. It didn’t look like there was any kind of struggle.
His brother came up from their basement and he shot him at the top of the stairs. He then called the police and told the dispatcher that his parents were dead, and when she asked who killed them he said he had. He went outside and stood on the lawn waiting for the police to come. Once they got there, he went into a full on panic asking about his brother, he had no idea that he’d shot him.
He got 18 years for each murder, I think, and was sent to prison. I wrote to him here and there in the beginning, but his replies just felt really strange to me. I feel a little bit guilty now about fading out of his life, but it was honestly really, really hard to reconcile the person I was friends with with the person I was writing to, the person who killed his family. He sounded very stiff and hollow in the replies. I guess that makes some sense.
I keep up with the details now through a friend who still keeps in touch with him. He tried to escape a few years ago, the guy he was trying to escape with was killed in the process and his sentence was upped to life. I check his profile on the Michigan offenders search page sometimes, but it makes me pretty sad to see him. He’s gone all white power, I’m sure to save his ass, which is bizarre considering how 100% anti racism he was prior to all this. I don’t know how it’s affected me really other than my senior year in high school was a little fucked up because of it. There was a weird thing where a lot of people who didn’t know him or weren’t friends with him got really into the whole mourning thing, and maybe they took advantage, but they went to this group therapy thing that the school administrators had going for awhile. I had to have mandatory counseling, along with a few other friends, but I wasn’t really into it and I had nothing to talk about.
Not exactly the same as a serial killer, but it was all pretty fucked up. I’m 30 now, and whenever it comes up (which is rare) I feel very disconnected to it.
Imagine almost crossing paths with death.