1. “He had a creepy vibe, but for the most part that was just due to his looks.”
I lived in Oklahoma, and there was this one guy who worked for the church I went to. He played backup guitar in the church band, and would teach music at the elementary school. His wife was also the principal. Anyway, he had a good family, his eldest son was in Yale (I think) and the school was actually about to win an award for “safest school.” His wife went to DC to accept the award, and while she was gone he was arrested for apparently fondling and fingering the little girls in his class. It made some unfortunate sense, since he was known to show a lot of movies in his class, which always seemed weird to the staff (I did tech work there as a class, and some teachers complained he did it far too often). Turns out this was when he would do it: turn the lights off, sit in the back with a couple little girls and…yeah. His son took his mother’s maiden name.
My mom knew him well, and he used to preach at her that the metal music I enjoyed at the time was going to send me to hell. It used to really piss her off. He had a creepy vibe, but for the most part that was just due to his looks: socially awkward smile, huge glasses. I always just thought he was too Christian. Nope, pedophile, apparently.
2. “My dad was a pretty violent pedophile, and also extremely charming, and was a certified genius.”
My dad was a pretty violent pedophile, and also extremely charming, and was a certified genius.
Nobody suspected him of doing anything. I myself honestly had no idea until he and my mother divorced him for unrelated reasons, and I had to visit him in his new apartment with my little brother. He had no roommates or girlfriends. We were completely alone with him. My brother wasn’t his type, but he would hurt him to get me to comply. He was very good at keeping us silent about everything. We haven’t ever even spoken to each other about what we went through, though since therapy it’s pretty easy to type it out anonymously. I still have only verbally discussed it with my wife, and one other person while hammered.
I realize looking back that a few of my friends were terrified of him even before the divorce for what I thought was no reason.
Nobody would have believed us, even with the physical evidence… he was just too good with people.
Later in therapy as an adult I realized that all of our pets disappeared within a month of bringing them home, and there was never an explanation. I have a lot of theories there, but no proof.
He was diagnosed as a true sociopath later on from what I’ve heard from my grandma (don’t know the validity of that statement because it’s second hand from a woman that isn’t entirely sound herself, but I believe it). He lives with my equally insane grandfather (grandma’s ex husband) when he isn’t locked up.
Fortunately, meth really did a number on him. He finally started looking as scary as he is, and his brain was just fried last I saw him over a decade ago. No longer smart or attractive, and he is isolated from the world. recently his dad has tried to reconnect us. That landed me back in therapy, as every day I was afraid they would find out where I was from some unwise relative.
3. “Makes you realize how vulnerable people are even at that age.”
My seventh-grade math teacher was a really flagrant creep. Had a bunch of pictures of one of the female students hung up around his room, and allegedly got mad at her when she tried to take them down…and we spent class time watching a cell phone video he had on his computer of one girl covered in mud in a riverbank at a field trip…and we spent class time watching three girls dance to Backstreet Boys in the front of the class…every one of these girls was blonde and of above-average attractiveness. So…yeah. After that year, he did not teach at our school anymore.
Ended up getting a job at an adjacent school where he apparently initiated a lot of contact outside of class with a female student who was on the track team, which he coached. Apparently he gave her a lot of gifts like new pairs of running shoes and stuff. And, I mean, I don’t know the full story, but it ended up with him groping her in his car in a parking lot. Far as I know, he’s still in jail, and whatever he gets is too good for him.
Super fucking obvious in retrospect, but the thing is that 99% of the time he wasn’t doing creepy shit; he was being the “cool teacher” who made jokes and whose class everyone looked forward to and shit, so when we spent time on things like watching girls dance or watching a video of a girl at the river, we just saw it as the teacher who was our friend letting us waste time on things that were more fun than learning math. We also wasted class time on other things that didn’t involve watching 13-year-old girls, so they didn’t stand out to a bunch of dumb kids at the time, and it’s only retrospect that all those things become really fucking creepy. Having pictures of the girl taped up around his class was something we all saw as creepy at the time, but…7th graders are fucking stupid, so we just treated it as a joke without realizing that, wait a second, this guy is actually fucking dangerous. Makes you realize how vulnerable people are even at that age.
4. “Nobody saw that coming.”
I worked for a guy, who became a best friend—he was a very skilled carpenter, licensed contractor, husband, and father—for about 8 years, who was a great guy but often kinda creepy. Like “Hey, I know where there’s an 18 yr old hooker who’ll suck your dick for 20$. I’ll buy” kinda creepy. I was always “no thanks,” but never thought anything real bad about it since it would have been consensual. Until he was arrested for 36 counts of child molestation on another really good friend’s daughter from the time she was 8 until 16. Nobody saw that coming. He got 36 years but won an appeal claiming the acts occurred before the mandatory minimums and got 16. He will be out in 5.
5. “…a very nice, happily married, church going, perfectly ‘normal’ man…”
Our community had a very nice, happily married, church going, perfectly “normal” man who admitted to “experimenting” with a ~10-14 year old boy. I say “normal” because there was always something a little off and I could never quite place it until it came out publicly.
6. “My parents didn’t mind him; he seemed harmless enough.”
My parents once lived on an old beach house that had been split up into 4 units, two upstairs two downstairs (and a shack out the back). They lived upstairs and one of the downstairs units was rented to a single guy. He went to the same school as me but was two grades ahead of me. This was back in the early 80s in a somewhat sleepy seaside town.
He was gay and would often surround himself with young surfer dudes, apparently he would supply them with pot and they would…well, to be honest I would just be guessing. I’m sure some of them would sleep with him but like I said, it’s just a guess.
My parents didn’t mind him; he seemed harmless enough. I knew something else about him though that I never told them, mainly because I was young (like 9) when I found out the darker side but this was something like 15 years later so I guess I just figured he was harmless and what happened when I was younger was just kids being kids. He was only three years older than me, after all.
Anyway, turns out it wasn’t all that harmless, he had been playing around with surfers that were way too young to be doing what he wanted them to do, so he got a visit from the local police. They suggested it might be an extremely good idea if he was to pack up his stuff and move to a new town, preferably in another state, otherwise there was a good chance that his comfortable life would become decidedly less comfortable.
I guess he decided that this would be what his life would be like from now on, or maybe he felt guilty, or maybe he was just tired of it all.
So a couple days later he went for a walk into the surrounding bushland with a gun and put an end to the whole sorry mess.
My folks didn’t really understand why he did it, I don’t think they knew what it was he was doing. I knew though, and I guess a part of me felt a bit sorry for him. These sorts of things are not choices people make, no one chooses to be straight or gay, or attracted to kids, it’s just what happens and you deal with the hand you’re dealt. I should point out that I think it’s wrong for pedophiles to act out on their attraction to kids, but it must be hell knowing that you’re like that.
Anyway, there was no big news story, there was no investigative journalist trying to get to the bottom of it, it was just a quiet tragedy in a sleepy little town that few people knew had happened and even fewer knew why it happened.
7. “He was always an odd guy, but usually very nice and helpful.”
My girlfriend’s, at the time, brother-in-law, got arrested for possession of and distribution of child pornography. I’d known him for approximately 5 years before it happened. He was always an odd guy, but usually very nice and helpful. Some of the oddness was that he was a pack rat. He hated to throw anything away. He kept old boxes and had hundreds of them throughout his place.
He started to get weirder, though, in the year before he was arrested. He’d stopped shaving completely and almost never left his place. He was often sickly looking. I was told that he’d developed a short temper as well, although I was never subjected to it personally. He was also fiercely territorial over his computer equipment.
I wasn’t surprised when I heard that he was raided and in jail for child pornography, but I didn’t suspect it at the time. A lot of it clicked afterwards, though.