1. Charming, had lots of friends. I remember sitting on the school bus thinking I should try to be more like him. He was always smiling, and girls would flirt with him. About 8-10 years after that, he was arrested along with another guy his age for the burglary, rape, and murder of a very old woman and her dog.
2. Does a mass murderer count? He was a jerk. His wife was my friend, and she started slowly telling me a few things about him. They came to our home for some gatherings we held, and he was simply “off” and very controlling of her social life. When several of us reached out to her, she happily accepted our help to get her out of the marriage and into safety. Soon after, he showed up at my door one day demanding money, which I did not give him. He left, angry. A few months later, he was evicted from his rental in the next town over, and came back into our town, hell bent on killing everyone who helped her and who was associated with the rental situation and another circumstance that he was mad about. I was not home that night, thankfully. He hunted down and killed five people, one of whom was a friend of mine. He committed suicide when the police had him cornered. That was nearly 30 years ago.
3. He was like a big, goofy, brother. I loved him to bits but fell out of contact with him when I split with my ex. Last year his ex (we were friends through him) sent me an article via FB Messenger detailing how he murdered his new wife and her three young kids then set the trailer they were all living in on fire. The pictures of him in the article chilled me to the bone, the guy I knew back then wasn’t there. There was just a cold blooded emptiness in his eyes. He’s still waiting to be put on trial.
4. He was fairly normal. My ex girlfriend’s brother. Nobody had a clue until the police gave their theory and then the whole family pretty much agreed it was him.
5. Played D&D with a guy on deployment for a few months while I was in the Navy. We hung out in the same group of people. I stopped playing because he kept trying to rape all the female NPCs/player characters. When we got back from deployment the FBI and NCIS were pier side waiting for him. Him and some other guys had raped and killed a woman whose husband was on deployment. Also had some friends who tied up an old man who they suspected of molesting one’s younger brother when we were teenagers. They tortured him for hours, then killed him and tried to burn the body. Two got life, the other turned evidence and only served a few years. Had another guy I was pretty good friends with get arrested by ATF for trying to blow up the car of our local ADA. He bought fake C4 from and undercover agent, they swarmed him while he was pushing the switch. As I write this, I realize I’ve been close to some really messed up people. Maybe I’m the one who isn’t right…
6. I went to school with the guy that murdered Chris Kyle (American Sniper) and Chad Littlefield. He was a pretty normal kid, kinda funny, had ADHD I believe and was in some of the academic assistance programs if I can remember right. Class clown type for the most part, don’t remember him getting into a bunch of fights or anything.
Nothing specific really stands out. His mom was one of our teachers in elementary. He left school early and joined the military. Did a couple tours, including the Haitian disaster relief in the early 2010s. Apparently fishing bodies out of wreckage is what messed him up really bad. After that he had horrible PTSD and developed some bad mental health issues.
Horrible story and outcome from someone who was once pretty normal. I knew him from 3rd grade or so until senior year. Not great friends or anything but he seemed like a decent guy. We’d been out of school for about 10 years or so when it happened so a lot changed over that time I’m sure.
7. I grew up around him and his family, they were poor but were usually able to make ends meet. He was known to have previous drug addictions, and was overall a very weird guy. He was the type of guy that sent alarms off in your head when you’re around him, I always tried to avoid him. He and his wife had two kids together, but they always had a very rocky marriage. She left him numerous times, but they always got back together. She ended up moving out of state to take care of an ill family member and left him. He showed up at their door insisting on talking to her, and she eventually let him in. They got into a very heated argument and he turned a gun on her and shot her, right in front of their young two kids. He tried to turn it on himself but I believe the oldest wrestled it from him and held it until the cops showed up. It was an incredibly sad and sickening story, no one could believe he would do such a thing.
8. My mom used to work with Dana Sue Gray and was friends with her. (My mom didn’t know her middle name was Sue until the murders, btw) my mom really liked her but she was very materialistic. Whenever I saw her she was very friendly and would talk to me about Ren and Stimpy as I was 9 and obsessed the cartoon at the time. What was really weird was that we lived in a decent sized city, but one of her victims that lived and later helped ID her, Dorinda Hawkins, was our next door neighbor. There was no other connection she had to Dorinda and she strangled her in a storefront downtown.
9. Not me but my old boss used to babysit Karla Homolka for several years before she was old enough to not need a babysitter, but she would still come over to her house and hang out with her kids all the time. She said she was a sweet girl, and that her kids were very close friends with her. She also knew Paul Bernardo because of Karla but she never mentioned him much other than she believed he brainwashed her into aiding him with all the murders.
10. The Dark Knight killer who shot up the theater in Colorado grew up right behind my aunt’s house in San Diego. She would frequently babysit the kids in her neighborhood, this was mid 90s to early 2000s. I’d come over a lot to visit my cousins, there were always lots of kids over playing, usually older than me and he was one of them. He went to high school and college with my cousins as well but I personally only ever met him as a very young child and I can’t personally remember any interactions. My one cousin however did know him as a normal, extremely intelligent person, very interested in the brain and science. Come college he was so invested in his studies they grew apart and eventually moved away cutting all contact. Wish I knew more or had more to say, all I remember is being in the backyard playing with the dogs by the pool being rambunctious little ones never thinking one day down the road that kid would dye his hair orange and be a murderer.
11. He was so sweet, he was basically my childhood friend. Then one day I stopped hearing from him, 1 or 2 years later he called me and asked me out. I said yes and was so happy. I really did love him. On the way to the restaurant someone hit my car and I wasn’t able to go. A week later, the day before I was supposed to meet him, he got arrested for having 3 bodies of prostitutes that had recently went missing, stored in his basement. all of them severely damaged and beaten.
12. Really great dad. When I was little I wished he was *my* dad. Dirt poor, but always took time – took us sledding when it snowed. Backyard barbecues. Took us fishing at the river once and we found these big old turtles. Beautiful. Probably ancient. And we ran to tell him. He came over with a machete and chopped their heads off. Made a game of it. With his 6 year old boys helping pull the head out and laughing. I was pretty traumatized by that incident.
But other than that, he was just a guy. Liked drinking. And fireworks. Getting high. He was a little bit drug addled. There was a murder and not long after they picked him up for it. And while he was in jail, awaiting trial, he confessed to a bunch of other stuff. Other murders, dozens of rapes. I’m not convinced he did them all. He definitely did the last one – but the rest – I sometimes wonder if they didn’t get him to confess because he just wasn’t very smart, and was probably easy to manipulate. It was national news. His family had a hard time shaking the stigma, so I don’t want to be too detailed. I feel like I owe it to them to let that time in our lives be forgotten.
13. I went to high school with not 1, but 2 murderers. This was a suburban Atlanta high school. The biggest things, beside murdering a couple of people, they had in common is that they both had nuclear tempers and ran with the redneck crowd.
14. Very high energy. Emotional. Bit of a problem kid. But he was funny and had friends. When his GF broke up with him, he snapped. He’d always had trouble with his emotions. Just too happy, too sad, too angry. Extremes in every directions. And he shot her at her bus stop, then killed himself.
15. This classmate did murder two men in one night with a fireman’s axe, apparently it was a dispute over drugs in exchange for sexual favors. The kid was pretty normal, kind of ADHD when we were in school, but an overall okay, yet troubled kid. He once got busted for stealing a credit card at our town’s local grocery store. He came from a large family that was notorious for having their kids resent the parents, many of them dropping out of school to move away, and they often turned to drugs/crime. It’s honestly really sad how those people neglected their kids (they adopted like 22 children over the years), and at the same time, no surprise that their children developed such issues.
16. Honestly, she was like any other person with seemingly normal mental health issues. I knew she had depression, but a lot of people do and don’t kill people. She was a high achiever in school and her extra curriculars. She had loving parents and a fluffy dog. She was goofy and had a naiveté about her. The freaky thing is that I sat next to her in psych class, learning about all these abnormal disorders and I thought that I’d never meet anyone who had them, and it turned out she was a future murderer. She later got diagnosed with a number of psychological disorders.
17. He was one of those people that I looked forward to seeing everyday, one of them that I would be excited to be paired up with during a project. Then he got roped into drug dealing, and I saw less and less of him everyday. When I did see him, he would be more grumpy, as if he had given up on life. One day I was watching a TV show, with not a care in the world, until I saw some commotion going on outside. Opening the curtains slightly, and was aghast to see him being tackled to the ground by the police.
Apparently, he had stabbed 2 people in the eye and when I saw him being tackled to the ground, that was just when he had come back from hitting a child over the head with a sledgehammer.
18. My father was next door neighbor to the infamous Pee Wee Gaskins, my dad and his family thought he was pretty normal and had him over a few times, he was going to sell his car to my dad thank god he didn’t it was used in the murders, after he was arrested they moved upstate because they were close to him even if civil at best, they were invited to the execution by Pee Wee but they all declined.
19. A relative. He lied, a lot, but they were always dumb little innocent lies. He babysat us from time to time. He was a “gentle giant.” He was sent to prison before we even knew he had committed a crime (he committed murder in another country). He called on Christmas and we all passed the phone around to talk to him, with only his mom knowing he was calling from prison. We all figured it out when we read it in the towns newspaper. I found out that his mom had sent him pictures of the family, including my toddler daughter. I absolutely lost my shit. I want nothing to do with him.
20. I have a friend that worked with Mark David Chapman. He is the man who killed John Lennon. My friend said that Mark David Chapman was a really nice guy when she worked with him. I guess you never really know someone.
21. I worked with a guy who killed his wife and her new boyfriend (they were separated) and then himself. He broke into his wife’s apartment (she called cops but they didn’t get there in time) and lined them up along a wall, including their kids. Didn’t shoot the kids thankfully but they witnessed this all, and were part of the lineup probably thinking they were next.
He was the world’s nicest, most easy-going guy. Never had an unkind word for anyone. Hard to believe he could do something like that. I think he bottled it up inside until he just snapped. I think losing your temper and spouting off at people who deserve it, once in a while, is probably good for you. Don’t always pretend to be happy if you’re not. Someday it might be too much for you.
22. It wasn’t a friend, my Aunt was Aileen Wuornos. She was executed a few years before I found out. When the movie Monster came out my parents took me and my brother to see it and afterwards they gave us the whole story and let us know she was VERY close in the family.
23. A guy I was in high school with was a multiple murderer, but not quite a serial killer. I didn’t really have much direct contact with him in school, but at a class reunion after he was executed, his prom date said he was one of the nicest guys she dated in HS.
24. Pretty cool janitor at our middle school. Would sometimes play Magic: The Gathering with us when his lunch and our recess lined up. Was kinda surreal when they found several dead prostitutes in his attic a few years later.
25. One of my professors “Mr. Anderson” sat near Ted Bundy in a college course due to the proximity of their last names in alphabetical order. My grandmother in law had a store next to a serial killer from Montana (can’t remember his name now) but in both cases the people said they were just nice as could be. No suspicion of being a killer at all.
That’s what scares me the most, they aren’t the weird quiet kid. They’re the charming funny guys.