Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back When Nothing Was Lurking In The Shadows.



In the quaint quiet New England town of my childhood, the town library was a mile or so from my house.

Once a week, Mom would put me on the bus with a note telling the driver that it was OK to drop my sister and me off at the library on the way home.

My sister and I would spend an hour there and walk ourselves home. Because 25 years ago it was safe for two elementary school children to do so.

Sometimes we'd stop at the drugstore and load up on candy, from the little nickle bins.

Sometimes we'd cross the street and run around the graveyard. It was hilly and shady and very pretty. A little pond there with a bench. We'd play hide and seek. We'd read the head stones, trying to find the oldest one. We'd try to scare the shit out of each other.

One afternoon, about halfway home, about halfway up the big hill, at the end of a dead end road, there was a car parked. A circa early 80's sedan. I think it was brown. Just sitting. With a man, just sitting. We slowed as we approached. My sister froze;

"He has his thing out of his pants."

We ran like the wind up the hill, cut through a neighbor's yard to get to our house that much faster.

Eight years later, a 13 year old girl went missing. Behind her house was that same graveyard that I'd played in as a child. The last time she was seen, she'd gone out to visit her father's grave; he'd died only a year before.

For eleven days our little town held its breath. Dozens and dozens of people out searching. Just about every tree bore a pink ribbon for the lost girl.

After eleven days the police got a call from a woman who suspected her husband, she told the police;

"Bring shovels."

The girl had been killed in his garage and buried in the basement.

By her neighbor.

He'd plucked her from her father's grave site.

Her funeral was held just a few doors down from where the girl lived, and where she died. On a street littered with churches. The Baptist and the Unitarian crisp white, the Catholic and the Greek Orthodox red brick. And a few others. Also a funeral home, set back a bit, amongst the churches.

A lovely street, tree lined, big Colonial homes, sidewalks, sidestreets.

Her murderer attempted a plea at insanity but was sentenced to around 150 years. The judge wanted him hanged in the center of town,

For killing this girl. And raping another. And possibly killing another.

And for following school buses and sitting in his car masturbating while he watched little children run past.

28 comments:

  1. All of that was so surreal. I remember getting the inside scoop from the police officers perspective. It sucked.

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  2. *shudder*

    I feel awful for that little girls' family. I also am so glad it wasn't you and your sister.

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  3. there are so many more like him too. children are defenseless against adults, physically and mentally.

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  4. I did have some heebies with my jeebies, thank you. What a scary scary story.

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  5. Some people are so fucked up. This kind of shit makes me want to lock my kid up and never let her out of my sight. Moms of kids like mine worry even more because they can't talk so well, can't scream out for help, can't defend themselves. Fuck, now I feel even worse. ugh.

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  6. that happened to me when I was in the 3rd grade while out selling girl scout cookies. there was a man with long red hair in a silver camero at the corner. I saw one of my neighbor friends get off the bus and approach the car, suddenly she sprinted up the street to her house. The man motioned to me to come closer saying he needed directions. I could barely hear him so I was walking up to the car. Suddenly the neighbor that ran turned around and yelled "RUN SUSAN!" so without thinking I just took off after her. Turns out he was wanted for questioning in the disappearance of a couple young girls. As far as I know they never found him.

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  7. Oh yeah. He didn't have pants on either...

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  8. that is so scary. and sad. I hate, too, that now we have to worry so much about our kids. maybe our parents should have been just as cautious or is it there are more effed up people in the world now? I wonder some time which it is.

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  9. The same thing happened to me when I was in sixth grade walking home in the morning from a sleepover-van with covered windows and no plates- guy asks ME for directions- I kept walking- he drove slowly and kept asking waving a map- I ended up crossing the street and running- police showed up to take my 'report' my parents were so freaked out! Few years later big case in southern Ontario broke- I think it was the same guy- he had three cars one was a blue van- convicted of torturing and murdering two girls-

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  10. Oh sweet Jesus, I HATE this part of our world.

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  11. People always say things were safer when we were younger. Not sure that they were. I think we were all just more naive. It makes me so sick with worry to think of people like that out there.

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  12. i seriously never want to let my kids out of my sight-ever! it is sad how unsafe our children are even in their own yards.

    I may be a bit overprotective but when a "friend" let my just turned 7yr old and her 7yr old go to a playground in her neighborhood alone, a playground that can be seen from a main road and can not been seen from her house, I freaked the fuck out. I didn't say anything but he is never aloud at this ladies house again! She says she lets him go cause he has a phone, hello an adult can take a phone from a child and prevent them from calling anyone!!

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  13. Trying to prevent rape/murder/kidnap/molestation by teaching the potential victim pool how to avoid becoming a victim is like trying to prevent drunk driving deaths by telling sober people to not drive so they can't get killed. Really, what the fuck?

    I vividly remember that case, and I get the creeps every time I drive by the guy's former residence where the body was found. I never knew how close your were to it, physically and emotionally.

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  14. That's some scary shit. Some people really should be torn apart by savage dogs in the town square. Or something.

    Just to lighten the mood, when
    I was in high-school, about 16, I was walking back to school after spending the day wagging with my best friend, who was 17. We came across a flasher in the underpass tunnel and, yup, he opened his coat and was pantless. My brash, bold, beautiful friend simply turned to me and said "Oh, look, they make minature ones now!" Then we laughed and ran like hell.

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  15. Saw you on SITS and was intrigued by this title.

    It's never been safe. I remember back in the 60s when it was thought to be safe. My 9 year old friend was left alone at home because she was sick. They didn't find her body for 6 months. I lived in a town so small the general store was also the post office. Mayberry RFD in New England.

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  16. OMG. I'm SO CREEPED out at this story and thinking about locking my daughter to me side until she's 30.

    When I was about 9 we had a stranger come into our home and sleep on the sofa. We didn't lock our doors back then. That night I chose to go out and sleep in front of the fan and the guy tickled my foot, asking if I remembered him. I swore I thought I dreamt it until I heard my mom talking about the guy they kicked out of the house in the middle of the night.

    Shudder!

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  17. well this is absolutely horrendous. i like to think that most folks are good, and then i hear a story like this. shudder. just awful.

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  18. What an awful thing. Thanks to this post, I just had an updated talk with my 8-year-old daughter about what to do if a strange (or not so strange) man tries to lure you to his car, or touch you in any way. Or what to do if he tries to take you away. I'm sure she'll have nightmares, but better that then . . .

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  19. That shit terrifies me. To the core of my being. And now that we know what lurks in the shadow, you'd think we'd be better equipped but we're not. Kids still disappear. In a heartbeat. Those poor girls.

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  20. I think even more disturbing than the post itself is the number of readers who chose to comment about their own similar experiences. I always say I refuse to live in fear and fearmongers want us to believe that there is danger around every corner.

    Looks like I've been living with my head up my ass. It was nice up there for a while.

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  21. jaysus effing christ, there are sicko's in the world. I, too, used to frolic and play like the world was MINE. How many times did I narrowly escape the crazies? I'll never know. And it's one of my biggest fears now as a parent.

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  22. Chills and Anger. So glad you ran like hell... so sorry she could not.
    Bastard

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  23. definite goosebumps!!! eeek! love the category-- have some heebies with your jeebies, ha!!

    on a lighter note, i can't hear any stories about flashers without thinking of the dude in observe and report.

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  24. Gah. Thanks for the heebies AND the jeebies. I shall now go lock my child in the basement until he's 30, thanks.

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  25. Holy shit. That freaks me out.

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  26. How scary - for you guys AND for all the ones that commented here. Some people are just fucked up, and it ruins it for everyone else. Fuckers. And thanks - I got heebies, jeebies AND goosebumps..

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  27. As about an 8-year-old, I watched some stupid Oprah special on kids being kidnapped out of their houses when they were home alone, or when their parents were sleeping. Cue anxiety about being home alone for, um, the rest of my life. And my parents have always made fun of me for it, even as a young kid. At least -someone- was aware of the crazies. Geez.

    I was totally allowed to go to my neighborhood park by myself starting at about age 7. I remember my parents being amused by other more protective parents. Thankfully I never encountered any flashers or murderers. I did get a creepy call on our 2nd line once when I was home alone though. The guy claimed I had called him and he was returning my call (obviously a lie). Then he started trying to wheedle personal information out of me. I hung up after he said, "I bet you're pretty. You sound pretty." [shudders]

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