There’s a reason for the saying, «the truth is stranger than fiction.» With that in mind, we’re excited that 2018 will see a smorgasbord of true stories coming to life on the big screen. Things kick off with a film that reveals the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War via the Pentagon Papers. Nearly a year later, we get Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) during the formation of iconic 1970s band, Queen. There are a whole bunch of great true-story movies in between!
Ed Kemper got to me. Well, technically, Cameron Britton’s creepy portrayal of Ed Kemper in Mindhunter got to me, but when I fell into my go-to true crime rabbit hole and looked up the real-life serial killer featured in the Netflix series, it might as well have been the same guy. After bingeing Mindhunter over two days, I couldn’t stop thinking about the man who viciously murdered and mutilated 10 people, including his own mother, in the 1960s and ’70s. I had trouble sleeping.
Of course, when I step back and think about it, I wonder how any of us are sleeping soundly considering the treasure trove of true crime entertainment we all seem to be devouring. There’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, My Friend Dahmer, American Crime Story, and the upcoming The Devil in the White City adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio as infamous Chicago killer H.H. Holmes, to name just a few.
There are entire channels devoted to cold-blooded crimes — and they’re some of TV’s most watched, especially among women (Investigation Discovery ranked No. 1 in average length of tune-in in 2015). It’s nearly impossible to make small talk with coworkers or friends if you’re not caught up on the latest episode of The Keepers, or The Jinx, or Serial. News networks and magazines get in on our obsession, too, using the anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre or Charles Manson‘s death to churn out new sensational specials or features. Even for true crime superfans, it’s a lot. But just how much of this stuff is too much?
«We all love playing couch detective, but in an era marked by terrorism and political tension, using these kinds of programs as a way to escape from reality — yes, even though they’re also stories based on reality — can be satisfying.»
There’s some evidence that grisly entertainment in some forms can be therapeutic, which might help explain why we keep subjecting ourselves to it. We all love playing couch detective, but in an era marked by terrorism and political tension, using these kinds of programs as a way to escape from reality — yes, even though they’re also stories based on reality — can be satisfying. Taking in accounts of human depravity in a controlled environment like your living room is exciting in a twisted way. It releases adrenaline. Criminologist Scott Bonn described the experience in Psychology Today as a sort of «guilty pleasure,» though there’s been a push in the past few years to drop the guilty part and «own» our fandom.
Take Murderinos, otherwise known as devotees of Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s popular podcast My Favorite Murder. There’s a running theme on the show and in the online communities it’s spawned that being drawn to true crime is nothing to be ashamed of, particularly if you’re a woman. Kilgariff and Hardstark take an empowering approach, emphasizing often-overlooked victims and mental health, and using humor to rob frightening killers of their power.
Hardstark described their talk-through-it style in The Atlantic as «a lot like exposure therapy, where you have to confront your fear to prove that it can’t actually hurt you.»
LA-based clinical psychologist Erin Joyce says using true crime to face your fears may be helpful for some people, but it also can create more anxiety.
«The risk in watching these shows and trying to face your fears on your own is it may have the opposite effect,» Joyce told me. «It could make you feel less safe or more concerned about your safety.»
One study showed people faced with sensationalized negative news stories about crime or war reported feeling more anxious and sad. According to Joyce, who specializes in women’s mental health issues and says she’s a true crime fan herself, with true crime content, those effects could be even worse as we usually watch for extended periods (i.e. a Forensic Files marathon).
Bingeing on serial killer shows might also be problematic if it gets to a point where you start becoming desensitized to them. «If you were to watch a horror movie, the first time you saw it would probably be the scariest,» Joyce said. «The second time would probably be pretty scary, too. But if you were to watch it like 50 times, eventually it would actually be kind of boring.» Seeking out more intense or graphic shows or podcasts might be a sign that your hobby is becoming unhealthy.
«It’s understandable that many of us may be living in varying degrees of fear that something like this could happen to us.»
Women may be more vulnerable to certain true crime-related anxieties. For one thing, women are more likely to be drawn to true crime entertainment in the first place. And while statistically they’re actually less likely to be victims of violent crime, research suggests women are more afraid of being attacked. And why wouldn’t we be? Between the current flood of stories about high-profile predatory behavior toward women and the victims of some of the most famous and gruesome murder cases being women, it’s understandable that many of us may be living in varying degrees of fear that something like this could happen to us. Victims of past trauma, Joyce said, can be particularly susceptible to these fears.
Joyce says when the stories start getting in the way of your life, it’s time to take a break, and if it’s severe, consider talking to a mental health professional: «If you’re finding that you’re spending an increasing amount of time thinking about what you see on the shows and it’s hard to get these things out of your mind, or you’re thinking about possible bad things that could happen to you . . . that’s typically a sign that it’s getting to be too much.»
Certain show formats or elements may be more triggering for certain people. Maybe seeing crime scene photos on TV is more upsetting to you than listening to a podcast that talks about them. The sense that looking to real-life stories of human suffering for «entertainment» is callous or disrespectful might also contribute to an overall sense of viewer unease. Recognizing the way something may be personally affecting you is key.
Instead of further freaking yourself out, Joyce recommends turning off anything that’s getting to you and spending time with friends, or exercising outside. Mindfulness meditation where you focus on your surroundings and reinforce feelings of safety can help, too. If you use true crime as a way to work through underlying fears, try taking a self-defense class or attending an educational seminar on the topic.
And maybe stretch out your Mindhunter season two binge over more than two days.
The Room‘s Tommy Wiseau, left, and Greg Sestero with Hollywood producer Katherine Kramer in 2004.
In 2003, a true contender for the greatest bad movie of all time premiered in Los Angeles. That movie was The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau, a man with a thick Eastern European accent who insists he’s from New Orleans on the rare occasions he’s willing to talk about his life. He’s also the man who wrote, produced, and starred in the masterpiece of awfulness. The making of The Room is a story that’s almost as bizarre as the movie itself, but it’s one that inspired James Franco to immortalize the film in his new movie The Disaster Artist, based on the book of the same name by Wiseau’s friend and The Room costar Greg Sestero.
There’s no better place to begin than with the film’s plot, even though explaining it is almost impossible. It all boils down to a love triangle between Johnny (Wiseau); his girlfriend, Lisa (Juliette Danielle); and his best friend, Mark (Sestero). Just know that there’s much, much more going on, and very little of it makes sense. Perhaps that’s because the film reportedly began life as a 600-page novel that Wiseau hoped to turn into a play before he decided that not enough Americans watched plays anymore. At that point, Wiseau realized that The Room needed to be a movie, and he enlisted his friend and former acting classmate, Sestero, to help him make it happen.
Sestero would not only be Wiseau’s costar, but he was also perhaps the only person on the set who could talk to Wiseau as the auteur began his journey toward making his infamous masterpiece. Wiseau funded The Room himself, but the answer as to where he got $ 6 million for his pet project remains a mystery. In a 2008 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wiseau said the money came from his Korean leather jacket export business. His claim has never been verified.
However he came about the money, Wiseau had more than enough to pour into The Room. In Sestero’s book, the actor writes that Wiseau was determined to film the movie with two different cameras — one a 35mm and the other HD. Sestero writes:
Probably the most wasteful and pointless aspect of The Room’s production was Tommy’s decision to simultaneously shoot his movie with both a 35mm film camera and a high-definition (HD) camera. In 2002, an HD and 35mm film camera cost around $ 250,000 combined; the lenses ran from $ 20,000 to $ 40,000 apiece. And, of course, you had to hire an entirely different crew to operate this stuff. Tommy had a mount constructed that was able to accommodate both the 35mm camera and HD camera at the same time, meaning Tommy needed two different crews and two different lighting systems on set at all times.
This was only the beginning of Wiseau’s eccentricities. The Disaster Artist goes on to detail the director’s many pet peeves, which included anyone daring to speak any language other than English, farting on set, and people leaving the set while shooting. In fact, Wiseau wanted all of the actors to be on set even when they weren’t shooting their scenes in case he decided to add them into the background at the last minute. Even the film’s long and uncomfortable sex scene was filmed in front of everyone, foregoing the Hollywood tradition of having a closed set for intimate scenes.
Now that the film has gained a cult following, Wiseau seems to have embraced The Room‘s description as a dark comedy, but according to the cast, he was always serious about it being a drama. In 2008, Wiseau told Entertainment Weekly that two of his biggest inspirations are Tennessee Williams and Orson Welles, and the movie reflects his claims in the most hilarious way possible. He went into each one of his scenes with a seriousness that the cast didn’t always share.
Sestero admits in his book that he phoned in much of his performance, and Danielle claims that during the filming of a scene where Wiseau’s Tommy says «In a few minutes, b*tch,» no one on set could contain their laughter. Wiseau wasn’t amused and demanded to know what was so funny. To get around Wiseau’s rule, the director of photography reportedly had an outdoor tent that he would use when he had no choice but to laugh at the increasingly strange film.
Ultimately, it took six months to shoot The Room, and during that time, the production cycled through two crews. Famously, Kyle Vogt, one of the film’s actors, had to leave before the film was finished due to a prior acting commitment, and Wiseau simply included an entirely new, never-before-seen character in the final scene of the movie and gave him all of the lines intended for Vogt’s character, Peter, with no explanation.
Still, as hard as it is to believe, The Room could have been much worse. Much of the script was unusable. A script supervisor cut multiple monologues and lines of dialogue that were too nonsensical to make it into the final film even by The Room‘s standards. It’s also rumored that Wiseau wanted to include a subplot that revealed Johnny was a vampire, but the budget couldn’t be stretched to include the technology needed to give the character a flying car.
Despite the many, many obstacles standing in the way of The Room becoming a hit, the film attracted a cult audience after Wiseau insisted on keeping it in a theater for two weeks during its initial run. His hope was that the Oscars would take notice, but instead, a generation of fans who loved the so-bad-it’s-almost-good movie found it instead. In a strange but fitting turn of events, Wiseau may finally get an invite to the Academy Awards now that The Disaster Artist is gaining critical acclaim, proving that American dreams do come true.
You know that friend you have who is always watching Investigation Discovery, fascinated by cults and serial killers, and generally obsessed with all things true crime? I know her, because she’s me. And as creepy and weird as you might think that person is, they still deserve a holiday gift. Scroll through to shop my expert picks now.
This Is Us wrapped up its trilogy about the Big Three on Tuesday night, and it was nothing short of emotional. During the Randall-centric episode, we learn more about No. 3’s teens years leading up to his father’s death. While Jack really wants his son to go to Harvard, Randall takes a liking to Howard, a historically black university in Washington, D.C. Even though it’s not entirely clear which school he ends up choosing, fans have a pretty good guess based on the season two Fall finale.
After the father-son duo make a road trip to the college, Randall winds up leaving his father behind to meet up with an old friend on campus. As Randall walks off with a group of students to check out the dorms, Jack continues with their previously scheduled tour solo. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, if we know anything about This Is Us, it’s that no detail is too small. As one Reddit user points out, there’s a good chance Beth, aka Randall’s future wife, is in the group of students touring the school.
Not only would this be a great plot twist, but it would also mean Beth got to meet Randall’s dad before he dies. As previously revealed, Jack dies right before the Big Three’s high school graduation. Since we know that Randall and Beth meet in college, it wouldn’t be too far fetched for the show to bring everything full circle. Perhaps when they do start dating, Randall shows her a picture of Jack and everything clicks.
If you needed more convincing, in the crowd of students touring the school, there is a girl with long braids talking with two other girls. While we know that Beth actually has dreadlocks when she first meets Randall, the girl’s hairstyle is similar to the one Beth is doing in Deja’s hair earlier this season to cover up her alopecia. Remember when she says that one of her sisters also suffers from alopecia? What if the two girls the student with long braids is talking to are actually Beth’s sisters? So not only would Jack have met Randall’s future wife, but also his in-laws.
Christina Aguilera performed a heartfelt tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the American Music Awards on Sunday night, and during her rendition of the classic «I Will Always Love You,» the camera panned to fellow singer Pink, whose facial expression could be taken a handful of different ways. Was she impressed? Was she wincing? Was she perplexed? As Christina moved on to Whitney’s «I Have Nothing,» Pink was once again shown reacting in her front-row seat — this time, the «Beautiful Trauma» songstress could be seen smiling and applauding. Shade? You be the judge.
For what it’s worth, the two singers had a well-known feud during the early 2000s, during which they collaborated on a cover of «Lady Marmalade.» Recently, Pink revealed that Christina actually «swung on» her at a club but that they’ve since patched things up. «She’s so talented. And deep down — I’ve had bad days too — she’s a really sweet person. I hadn’t seen her in years and years and years. We became moms and we grew up and we hugged it out. It’s that simple. I feel so good about that.»
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill‘s relationship was love at first sight, at least for Tim. During an appearance on The Tonight Show on Thursday, the iconic country music couple told host Jimmy Fallon about the moment they first met. While Faith began to talk about how they interacted on tour, her husband quickly chimed in, adding that they actually met during a New Faces Show in 1994. Even though their interaction backstage was brief, Tim said he was immediately smitten. Aww! Aside from talking about their romance, the singer, who shares three gorgeous daughters with Faith, also told a hilarious story about meeting his eldest daughter’s first date. Hear the full story above.
You probably recognize names like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Dennis Rader — some of the most notorious serial killers from the past few decades — but does H.H. Holmes ring a bell? Before the term «serial killer» was even a thing, H.H. Holmes, or Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, started the chilling trend in the 1890s.
Erik Larson wrote the bestselling novel The Devil in the White City about Holmes’s terrifying killing spree in Chicago that coincided with the exciting 1893 World’s Fair. A movie based on the book is reportedly in the works, with Martin Scorsese set to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio set to star as Holmes. But before we see the terrifying tale come to the big screen, here’s what you need to know about the man who designed and built his own «Murder Castle.»
Holmes, who was born Herman Webster Mudgett but changed his name in honor of Sherlock Holmes, was a doctor from New Hampshire who had already had a reputation for fraud and murder when he fled to Chicago in the late 1880s. Holmes abandoned his wife and child to set up shop in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, where he began working at a corner drugstore. He stole money from the owners to buy property across the street, where he eventually started construction on a three-story building.
Holmes’s vision for his new building included a new drugstore, apartments, retail space, and a partial hotel, but he also added things like windowless rooms, secret passageways, false floors, trapdoors, chutes that led to the basement, a crematorium, and a vault. He never paid the companies that were working to build the property, and he frequently fired workers so that nobody would catch on to his plan.
Holmes then began (or resumed) his killing spree, targeting women who came to Chicago to find work and who would stay at his «hotel.» While many of his presumed victims can’t be confirmed (he confessed to 27 murders, but some believe it was more than 200), he would reportedly seduce them, even getting engaged to some, before they mysteriously disappeared. Holmes would torture and murder his victims in his building, which was appropriately nicknamed the «Murder Castle,» before putting their bodies in the chute to the basement, where he would then burn them or dispose of them in other ways.
Holmes fled Chicago after the World’s Fair after committing too many scams. He struck again when he killed his business partner Benjamin Pitezel, with whom he was planning a life insurance scheme. He was finally caught in November 1984 and was hanged in Philadelphia in May 1896 for the murder of Pitezel. During his time in jail, he wrote about his murderous ways, saying, «I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.»
I was going to title this, “Louis C.K. Comes Clean,” but it’s Friday, and nobody deserves that pun.
Because I’m SLYCIC, I heard you beg, “Oh, Dlisted writers, please post yet another skin-crawling story about a famous creep, ” so here’s yet another post about a famous creep. I have a feeling that another drought will soon be upon us from everyone taking boiling hot showers and scrubbing their skin down with Bar Keepers Best Friend after reading all these type of posts.
When The New York Times did a story (that Gawker did years ago) about Louis C.K. having a thing for jacking off in front of women who never had “Watch Louis C.K. Jack Off” on the list of things they want to see, his manager only said that he “never threatened anyone.” It was very different than the other denials we’ve been hearing from accused gropers, molesters, harassers and/or rapists of Hollywood. It had a touch of admission of guilt to me, and it turns out, it did. Louis gave a statement to everyone today, admitting that his five accusers weren’t lying. Everyone who said that those women are lying since they took so long to tell their stories must be so confused to live in a world where accusations can turn out to be true. What a world!
Louis’ statement starts off with him addressing the five women who all told a similar story: he asked them if he could jack off in front of them, and then he did it even as they sat there looking uncomfortable and grossed out. All the women said that they didn’t immediately speak out about it because he’s Louis C.K. and in some instances, was their boss. He says that he now hears those women and understands. Louis knows he had power over those women and wrongly wielded that power. Another unfortunate pun.
As far as statements go, Louis’ PR team didn’t do a bad job, but he never apologizes to the women and if they wanted to keep it real, they should’ve wrote: “The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt your bank accounts.”
And if you feel like playing a drinking game while reading Louis’ statement, take a shot every time he says how much he’s admired. You’ll be plastered by paragraph three.
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.
The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.
I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy.
I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.
Louis C.K. doesn’t say in his statement that he’s going the Weinstein and Spacey route by checking into rehab, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does. Promises Malibu should consider renaming themselves PromisesToNotBeACreep Malibu and tweak their program to cater to the newly outed creeps of Hollywood.
Reddit Asks the Question: ‘When Did Your «Something is Very Wrong Here» Feeling Turn Out To Be True?’
When your Spidey sense tingles, sometimes it’s good to listen.
Not all the time, obviously. Sometimes it might just be tingling because you need to poop.
But there are times when that shit is really looking out for you. You can see quite a few gripping examples of that when Reddit asked the question: When Did Your «Something is Very Wrong Here» Feeling Turn Out To Be True?
You can check out the full thread here, but below are some highlights:
Got off the subway at night, there was one other person about half a block behind me on my route home. This is a totally normal thing, has happened thousands of times. Totally normal-looking dude, not even following me closely. I had a bad feeling.
Such a bad feeling that, when I turned the corner on my way home, I broke into a dead sprint and hid behind a dumpster in the shadows partway down the street. By the time he came around the corner, I was well hidden, and could see him from my hiding place. As soon as I saw his reaction to the fact that I wasn’t there, I knew I had been right to hide. He started LOOKING FOR ME, muttering to himself, he went up and down the street, looked around corners, I hid and held my breath until he was gone. It was terrifying. I am so glad I had that sudden, inexplicable impulse to hide, and listened to it.
I posted this to a Ask Reddit before but thought it appropriate again.
We had a serial killer in SC a couple years ago. No one knew what he looked like yet but he had already killed 3 people at this point. Well, my granny has lived alone since my pawpaw passed about 15 years ago. She lives at the end of a long dirt road with about 10 other families but the closest one was about a 1/4 mile up the road. One afternoon some random guy comes knocking on the front door of her house. My granny is a practical woman, she has never been to school because she grew up on a farm and was expectef to pull her weight, but she is a smart woman. She goes to the door but doesn’t open it (glass door). The 40ish year old man is there asking if he can use the phone since his car broke down, granny doesn’t like the look of this guy. If he doesn’t live here there is no reason for him to be on this road and if he was visiting someone their house or anyone else’s house would have been closer since she lives on a dead end. Anyways, she tells him that no he can’t use the phone and needs to leave. She backs up and picks up my pawpaw’s 410 as she goes. Once he sees the shotgun he hightails it out of there. About a week later the cops finally catch the serial killer and low and behold if it isn’t the same damn man.
Airline pilot here! (warning, do not continue reading if flying makes you uneasy).
One day we loaded up passengers and cargo and everything and we were ready to taxi. I noticed that the nose of the airplane seemed to be higher up than usual while we were sitting on the ground.
I told my first officer about it and he agreed. We double checked the weight and balance and everything seemed to be right.
I decided to just taxi out towards the runway and see if the wheel struts would go back to their normal positions during taxi. They didn’t. Still felt weird to me. Something wasn’t right.
I told ground control we needed to go back to the gate. Called ops and told them we’re headed back because I think something isn’t right with the weight and balance.
After we get back, I ask them to check how much ballast we have in the aircraft. It’s verified on my sheet as 500lb, but I have a feeling…
Turns out, yep, they forgot to put it in the plane. So had we taken off, the center of gravity would have been out of whack — waaay past limits. It could have resulted in an airplane that was impossible to control. Just like that 747 that took off and had the load slide to the back.
That was a day that I was really pleased that I had so much experience flying to give me that feeling & that feeling could very well have saved my life along with others.
Edit: A lot of people are asking how 500lb could be an issue on a large aircraft. Not all airliners are that big. The incident I’m talking about in particular was on equipment with less than 40 passenger seats.
Edit 2: Evidently that 747 crash was due to the load shifting and breaking the elevator control mechanism (not the actual load shift itself as I previously thought.)
Edit 3: Here is a link to a good weight and balance lesson for small aircraft that explains why aircraft need to be within the weight and balance limits. It might also help some understand why 500lb can make a big difference when it is placed in a particular spot on an aircraft.
When I was a little kid, I stepped outside to walk home from my neighbors two doors over. I smelled what I knew was a bear, which are common where I live. If you’ve ever smelled a black bear, it’s not that different from a skunk, which is what my friend’s mom told me it probably was when I asked her to drive me home even though my house was literally right around the corner. The thing is, a skunk’s smell is strong, but doesn’t, like, travel. A bear’s smell is more…permeating? Begrudgingly, she drove me, only to see the bear sitting on my back steps outside the door I would’ve tried to enter my house with. Black bears aren’t that vicious, but my friends mom apologized immediately about not believe me: could’ve walked straight into that thing at the age of 12.
Adding TLDR: gut instinct felt something was off when I saw two men ‘helping’ another man — turns out he was dead and they were just ditching his body.
A few years ago, about 1am Sunday morning, I had to take my dog out before bed. I live in a rough neighbourhood and I am a female so I usually have my guard up regardless of the time. Before I left the apt building my gut told me something was up. The street was completely void of traffic and people except for a van parked out to the side of the road. Outside of it were three people whom I quickly identified as male. Right away my reaction is to keep my head low, put my jacket hood up and not bring attention to myself. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see they were struggling; on closer inspection I see two of the men are holding up the other man between them. I make the assumption that they are headed home after a night of heavy partying and they are just helping their friend get sick or something. I am telling myself this to ease my fears. Then they notice me and they stop everything and freeze. I thought that was odd and no good so I drag my dog straight back to my building (I don’t even know if he got the chance to pee that night!) I go to bed and thinking nothing more of it… until it’s time to take the dog out again in the morning. There was a notice in the elevator asking for witnesses as to exactly what I saw that evening because a dead body had been found. So… this wasn’t a friend of theirs after all…. they were ditching a body. Still upsets me today and I will never ignore my intuition again.
When I was in university I was walking home from the bars in the Byward Market in Ottawa with my roommate at the time. It was about 230am and we were looking forward to getting home and ordering some pizza when we came across two guys and a very drunk girl. Initially we didn’t think anything about it because it was a pretty common sight on a Friday, but as we walked behind them for a few minutes we noticed how out of it she was. One of the guys was essentially carrying her, and her clutch was loosely dangling from her limp wrist. Our street came up, but instead of turning down it we decided to see what was going on. The guys explained that she was one of their girlfriends and had too much to drink so they were taking her home. We asked them a few more questions: what bar they were at, where she lived, if she was an Ottawa U student etc… They gave pretty convincing answers but all the same seemed really uncomfortable and wanted us to go away. During the conversation the guy holding his «girlfriend» shifted her position to get a better grip, which caused her arm to dangle down and drop her clutch. Before they could move, my roommate grabbed the clutch and took out her ID. My roommate then asked if they knew her first and last name along with her birthday. This is where things changed. The other guy got really aggressive and confrontational while the other went silent. They didn’t know her name OR birthday. I then pulled out my phone and called police. The guy dropped her and they took off running. We waited with her for about ten minutes until the police and EMS got there. We gave a statement but did not have much to go on other than their descriptions. Police told us they suspected she had been dosed, and that she was lucky we happened to be walking behind her. Pretty scary stuff.
Update: Thanks for all the kind words and my first ever gold. It was a pretty surreal experience, but I would like to think that most people would have acted the same way.
This happened almost 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time and had been at the store buying candy for the weekend with the girl from next door, she was one year younger than me. A car stopped and the man inside opened the passenger door and asked me and my friend to get in the car. He was picking us up for our parents, he told us.
I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong and remember thinking «this is what my parents were talking about!». I grabbed my friends hand, said that we lived in that house «right over there» and pulled my friend with me. Went to their door, rang the bell, went straight in and told the people living there what had happened.
Turned out I was right, we were about to be kidnapped.
Several years ago on Thanksgiving my mom was becoming extremely overwhelmed. The holidays have never been a great success in my family and my parents had issues communicating which led to a lot of stressful and tense dinners, and if it wasn’t them it was someone else starting a fire. Well this year was bad. My mom had been cooking for hours to get ready to head over to my cousin’s house. My dad was yelling about how we spend too much money on the holidays. It got to a point where my mom told me and my brothers to leave for the party ahead of them. We didn’t get far from the house until a really bad feeling started sinking in my stomach. I knew my brothers felt something too. I said «Can we go back?» And my older brother turned around immediately. When we got there my father was gone, he had left out of anger and my mom yelled at him to leave. My mother was in her bed, laying still with an empty bottle of sleeping pills beside her. She was still conscious when we came in but started shaking and was falling asleep. We called 911. I later learned that the pills she had taken would have only put her to sleep for a long time, not actually kill her but clearly it was her intent. She has/had severe depression and after this she got some real help.
Went for a weekend away with a group from my local Scouting area, back in the 80’s. I didn’t know them all, went to make up the numbers and get some climbing / canoeing / caving done.
We stayed in a rented house in the Peak District (UK). One evening, a few guys went out to try «bouldering» — climbing boulders 10-15 metres high. I got there, took one look and said no, we have no climbing gear, that’s high enough to die falling from.
I got the mickey taken, «chicken», etc, so I left them to it and walked back. An hour later one guy fell 10 metres and split his skull open on the rocks below, killed instantly.
Edit: Well I didn’t expect this to get so much attention. For those that asked, I can’t remember exactly where it was now. It was over 30 years ago and I remember at the time it was difficult to find the house, especially in the days before satnav & mobile phones. It was down several windy country roads and then up a farm track.
It was many years before I visited the area again and couldn’t find the place at all, not even sure I was on the right road. I seem to remember it was near Castleton, as I think that was the town I walked down to after returning back to the house.
And again for those who asked — apart from one guy who I saw a few times over the years, I didn’t see any of the others again. I wasn’t called to the inquest and the group were outside of my normal group of mates.
Registered nurse here. They pretty much tell us straight off the bat in nursing school to trust our guts. We’re allowed to call a rapid response team (people who come when something very bad is happening to a patient) if the patient «just doesn’t look right» to us.
I got my job right out of nursing school in a department that deals with mothers and babies right after delivery. I was 22 years old, had no children of my own, and my only experience with newborns was my last six months on the job.
I had this patient and her baby who both seemed to be doing well. The baby’s weight, vital signs, and intake and output were all normal, but I felt like something wasn’t right. For one thing, I had never heard this baby cry. Anyone who has ever been anywhere around newborns know that they can pretty much cry at the drop of a hat, for anything, at any time. This baby didn’t cry when I put her on the scale to weigh her (They usually cry like you’re actively trying to kill them), or when I pricked her heel for a blood sugar. I felt like a total idiot because I had almost no experience with newborns, but I decided to talk to someone anyway.
I brought the baby to the nursery nurse, who has had over 20 years experience in the department, and told her that I thought something was up. The baby looked fine. Her vitals, including her blood sugar, were perfectly normal. However, the baby was floppy (not a technical term, but used to describe a baby when its arms and legs aren’t curled up tightly next to the body like they’re supposed to be. This baby’s arms and legs were limp and stretched out). She had a poor grasp (she didn’t tighten her fingers around our fingers like newborns are supposed to do) and when we could get her to cry (we barely could), her cry was weak.
The nursery nurse agreed that something was wrong and called the neonatologist (newborn baby doctor) who was on call that night. She spent about 20 minutes on the phone just trying to tell him that something wasn’t right, even though everything was technically normal. Luckily, the neonatologist trusted her judgement and had us send the baby to the NICU.
That baby ended up staying in NICU for about a month, being tube fed because she stopped eating well. They did genetic testing on her and discovered that she had been born with a pretty rare (only 30,000 cases diagnosed annually in the US) genetic disorder that usually isn’t diagnosed until the baby is unable to sit up on their own at about 6 months of age. The disorder has no cure, but doctors were able to start treatments on her in order to manage some of the symptoms almost immediately.
Not me, but my mum (and I am doing my best to recall the story she mentioned to me a few months ago).
My mum has been a Psych nurse for over 30 years at a private hospital. One of the patients she was looking after was a very boisterous person in her 40s and she had been in the hospital for over a week. One night mum noticed this lady was very lethargic, saying that she was just feeling tired and was going to have an early night and to get her meds early (this isn’t going where you expect). Mum thinks this is very odd for this lady, but everyone has off days and so she gives this lady her medication and she goes off to bed. about 5 min passes and mum still has a knot in her gut about this lady, and thinks she will just check her stats, so she goes to her room, where the lady is just about to lay down and checks her blood pressure, pulse and Oxygen saturation. This is pretty rarely done in a psych hospital unless people have other health concerns needing monitoring. This lady’s Oxygen saturation was down to around 80% I believe (doing the best to recall), to put it in perspective if it falls below 92% your cells can’t absorbe oxygen and this can cause permanent damage. Mum in her over 40 years of nursing (wasn’t always a psych nurse) has never seen someone with such a low level. She checks again and the same result. Mum calls an ambulance and gets this lady on oxygen. Later that night mum gets a call from the hospital the patient was sent to, from the doctor who lets mum know that the lady is fine. She had a blood clot. If she had been left for another 15 minutes the doctor is certain she would have died. The lady made a full recovery and gave mum a beautiful scarf the next time she saw her.
Edit: i just checked and i was very wrong with the 80%. It had dropped to 33% https://imgur.com/a7gGVX7
Edit 2: my first gold! Thank you. You are a legend and people of your desired gender find you smart and attractive.
My oldest daughter (30-something) stopped by my work one day and introduced her new boyfriend. He seemed a little off to me, but I decided it was just «guy dating my daughter» and let it go. Later, he met my wife and I and she told me later that he seemed off to her, too. She has pretty good instincts about people, so we decided to investigate him a bit.
Typing his whole name into Google, the first result was a mug shot from a couple of years ago. The third was an active warrant. More searching resulted in finding three warrants from different counties, an extensive record (check deception, theft, driving while suspended, driving after a lifetime suspension, and driving while a habitual traffic offender), and a brand-new marriage license for him and my daughter. They were going to get married later that week.
We, of course, told her about him, but she insisted that he’d already told her about all of that and had «taken care of it.» We emailed links to her roommate, who showed her, but she didn’t have any luck talking her out of the relationship. They were in love, and everything would work out OK in the end.
We sent in an anonymous tip, and he was arrested the next day at her apartment. My daughter then found out that he’d been lying to her about pretty much everything. He had entangled her in a business he was trying to start that mostly involved her financing things for him, because his credit was trash due to records for bounced checks and theft. She’s still working to untangle herself from that.
He is still in jail, and, according to her lawyer, will be for at least two years depending on what happens in two other counties.
I used to be a lifeguard in a very small gated community with a lot of wealthy people. I also used to sing at the local church services. I met the pastor in that context and something about him just seemed…off. It wasn’t anything I’d be able to articulate. I just didn’t like him. He just made my gut drop.
Later, I noticed that the local pastor was spending a lot of time at the pool watching the little kids swim — one little boy in particular. He would have a towel ready for him, he’d have the kid sit on his lap to dry off. As far as I knew, he wasn’t babysitting him….he was just there, watching and touching. It made my hackles rise.
I told his parents that the way the pastor was interacting with their son made me uncomfortable. They investigated and it turns out the pastor was going to their home when they weren’t there and «spending time» with that little boy in his bedroom. They didn’t give me any more details than that but it was implied that something sexual had been going on.
I don’t know what happened to him after that but he was obviously removed as pastor from the church. It’s so important to trust your gut on these things.
I heard a strange noise when i woke up.
I looked outside my bedroom window to see if anything there made that noise and saw my oldest cat sitting on the windowsill outside of the other bedroom. She was staring into the room as if there was something in there that she did not like at all but could not look away.
At that moment i knew there was something, or someone in the other room.
Then i heard the noise again, it was like a soft squeaking, like someone shifting his weight from one foot to another on a wooden floor. (i don’t have wooden floors)
I told myself there could not be an intruder in that room, it makes no sense that someone could get in there without waking me up and i gathered my courage and went to check it out.
When i got to the doorway i saw 2 of my other cats in the hallway staring into the other room, very agitated.
I peeked around the corner and heard the squeaky noise again. It was one of my neighbours cats. Very afraid and being trapped on my desk by my cats.
At a research institute I walked into a mouse procedure/surgery room for a quick moment to grab something and leave. After walking out I felt, well to be honest, like I was a little high. There were 3 other people in that room, including 2 undergraduates so I got worried and went back inside to check things out.
When I got back inside I asked if they were feeling ok, one of the undergrads turned to me and said she was fine, but was flushed and looked a little out of it. So I went around to all the isofluorine chambers (odorless volatile liquid that KOs mammals at low doses and kills them at higher) looking for leaks. Sure enough the gasket at the bottom of one of the chambers had failed and it was leaking out and immediately boiling into a gas, and filling the room. I told them their isofluorine was leaking, and the post doc told me they were fine and that he uses that machine all the time. He also pointed out that the isofluorine was in a air curtained biosafety cabinet and so even with the leak they were protected. I called him an idiot, because a biosafety cabinet recirculates air and doesn’t evacuate it like a fume hood (which is what he should have been using).
So I ignored him, propped open the door, and ordered the undergrads to get out of the room. I then went to their lab manager and told her what I had found. Their lab manager came down like the wrath of God =).
Tldr: Recreational drug usage taught me to recognize anesthesia leaks.
My grandparents were driving up a steep mountain road behind a logging truck, when my grandmother started having a mild panic attack.
She just kept saying «somethings not right, pull over. We need to pull over» so my grandpa did and settled her down.
After a few minutes she was fine and they kept driving.
A mile or two up the road the load of trees had come loose and spilled off the truck.
The following is reposted from an earlier thread, but it’s even more relevant here.
A former co-worker, Jason, told me this story. Jason was working at a dock in China that looked something like this, and unloaded shipping containers from huge international cargo ships. A typhoon had just passed, and many of the inbound ships had been delayed for days due to the extreme weather. Once the weather cleared, there was a backlog of ships waiting to be docked and unloaded. To make matters worse, a tropical depression had just been upgraded to a tropical storm, and was expected to make landfall within 48 hours.
It was organized chaos as the dock workers frantically tried to unload three times the volume of shipping containers in half the time. Jason was a Senior Cargo Agent, and his job was to verify that the information on the offloaded shipping containers matched the information on the manifest, and to visually inspect shipping containers for damage. A cargo agent had to sign off on all cargo before an unloaded ship could disembark. As there were a limited number of spaces for ships to dock, it was crucial that the cargo agents verify the unloaded shipments as quickly as possible so that another ship could dock immediately.
Everyone at the dock had walkie talkieies (hand-held portable two-way radios), and Jason heard Dock Manager 1 going absolutely apeshit because an unloaded ship had been waiting in the dock for nearly two hours, and no cargo agent had verified their delivery. Jason radioed Cargo Agent 1 assigned to that area, but there was no answer. He then radioed Cargo Agent 2, and still received no response. He then radioed the next closest Senior Cargo Agent 1 and asked him to drop everything and verify the cargo immediately.
After thirty minutes, Dock Manager 2 radioed that the ship was STILL docked. Jason then radioed Senior Cargo Agent 1 who he had sent over there, and did not receive a response. He then radioed Dock Manager 1 who had been screaming into the radio, and again received no response. Jason was now the only Senior Cargo Agent in the area, and it now fell to him to verify the unloaded shipment and get the delayed ship out of port ASAP. As he got into his truck to drive over, a nagging feeling of dread kept telling him not to go. He ignored the feeling and drove there anyway, all the while trying and failing to radio anyone else in the area. When he arrived at the unloading zone, he couldn’t bring himself to get out of the truck, and later said that it felt as if he was being physically pushed back into his seat.
Jason then picked up his radio with a shaking hand and broadcast, «Unknown threat near unloading section four. All workers evacuate immediately. This is not a drill.» And just like that, a multi-billion dollar port was shut down.
A HazMat team was soon dispatched, and found that a shipping container damaged in transit had been carrying heavier than air inert gas. The gas leaked and displaced the air, then became trapped between several rows of closely stacked shipping containers. Every person that approached immediately lost consciousness. Five people were found dead near the damaged container, and Jason was later fired because he did not actually have the authority to shut down the port.
Jason filed the Chinese equivalent of a wrongful termination lawsuit, but was strongly encouraged to settle, or else the Chinese government might find him partially responsible for the workers’ deaths. As a white foreigner in China, this was a very real possibility, and he ended up settling for a modest amount. Jason still blames himself for the death of Senior Cargo Agent 1, and gave the settlement amount to the man’s widow.
The one I best remember was about ten years back. I was a groomsman at a friend’s wedding. Partway through the reception I was suddenly struck with a feeling of impending doom.
THEY ARE GOING TO PLAY THE CHICKEN DANCE NEXT!
Frantically I started searching for someone, crying, «Let’s go smoke! Who wants to go smoke?» I don’t even smoke, but it wasn’t hard to get a group together.
When I came back, sure enough, The Chicken Dance had been danced, and I was the only member of the wedding party to escape its embarrassing talons.
EDIT: When I said ‘wedding party’ I meant the bridesmaids and groomsmen (of which I was one). None of them made it out. Just me and a few dudes who’d sat in pews.
Not mine but my grandma’s.
We went camping at this one spot in the woods by a small creek every summer. One summer she gets this bad feeling and make a us pack up and we leave. Couple days later they end up finding a dead body right near our then campsite
Your grandma killed someone but the body was too heavy to drag away.