“I used to pick up hitchhikers in the 80s & early 90s. I was into Jesus and wanted to do good deeds.
One day I saw two women who looked rough hitchhiking on the side of I-295 in Jacksonville, FL. Based on their appearance, I thought they were leaving an abusive situation or something. I pulled over to pick them up.
As they walked up to my van, they exchanged creepy looks – sort of a “are we gonna do this?” expression. I got bad vibes and drove off right as they were reaching for my door. I felt bad later and beat myself up for it. What if they really needed help?
A few days later, I saw sketches of them on the news. It was Aileen Wuornos (the serial killer from the movie Monster) and her girlfriend. The guy who picked them up after I drove off was murdered and dumped in a swamp.
Trust your gut!”
“When I was 19 I was walking home at midnight from a tram stop and I got the feeling I should pretend I was on the phone. A minute after doing so a car pulls up next to me on the empty road.
It’s four guys all leering at me, the one in the passenger side starts saying things like, ‘how about we take you for a good time’ and his tone is predatory.
I try to keep it cool because I didn’t want to look frightened to encourage them that I am prey and start telling my ‘friend’ there’s a group of guys in a car harassing me and describing the car. I hear the driver say to his mate something about my conversation on the phone and then they take off. I ran home with my phone ready should they change their mind and come back.
A couple of months later I hear on the news that in my area there was a group picking up girls and gang raping them. The description matched the car and the guys in it that followed me that night.
I had the sense after my encounter to tell my work what happened and refuse to do night shift any more unless they paid for my taxi home. I shudder to think what may have happened if I hadn’t pretended to be on the phone that night.”