A VERY Close Call.

"I used to work for the City of Pensacola, Florida as a computer operator. They had two mainframes, one in city hall and the other in the city hall annex across the parking lot, and I had to run backups on both machines. I should mention that I'm female and at the time I had long dark hair.

So one night I was walking across the parking lot (I worked at night) and spotted a Volkswagen beatle sitting in the parking lot with some man in it. He got out of the car, and I could see he had his arm in a cast with a sling. He looked raggedy and tired.

'Miss, could you come here for a moment? I need some help,' he said. I got the creeps from him, and told him I'd call 911 from city hall for him. He said, no, he didn't need the cops, it was just a simple thing he needed help with because his arm was in a sling.

I felt even creepier so I walked really fast (almost running, really) up to city hall and went in the back door. I turned to lock the door and was shocked to see this man LEAP up the stairs and try to push his way into the door, but I got it locked in time.

I immediately called 911 and got an officer to check out the parking lot, but the car and the driver were long gone. I asked the officer if they would mind staying around the parking lot for the rest of the night, and they got that set up. The rest of the night was uneventful, and I went home in the morning.

About 3 days later Ted Bundy was arrested about 2 miles from city hall. In a stolen VW bug, which matched my description.

I dodged Ted Bundy."

A VERY Close Call.

Shutterstock/Patramansky Oleg

"Makes My Skin Crawl."

"My brother and I had a babysitter named Darrell Keith Rich. It was 1975. I was six years old at the time, with my brother not far behind me, when Rich started babysitting for us. Three short years later, Rich would go on a summer-long murder-spree which would shake the foundation of our small community to its core.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, here...

It was actually the neighbor girl who was hired to sit for us, but he always accompanied her when she watched us. Always. Co-sitters. Darrell Rich was her boyfriend, but he was clearly the one in charge. He bossed us around and made fun of us. He enjoyed making us cry. He made me watch the Creature Features horror show on TV late at night and laughed when I cried during the gruesome, frightening parts. He'd tweak my skull with his fingers and call me a crybaby. Well, duh. I was a baby. He was very cruel.

I think either the folks didn't like him (our sleepless, nightmare-riddled nights were telling) or the neighbor girl tired of his company and broke it off with him. For whatever reason, we didn't have to put up with him for too long. His visits came to an end and we were glad of it. Good riddance. He grew up. So did we.

Years later, I read about the three women he attacked and killed, and I watched, horror-stricken, as the news reports came in of the little girl he threw off a ten-story bridge. She lived a little while, in agony, at the bottom of that lonely ravine. She was around my age at the time of her death. Disturbing. It made me dry-heave to see his photo splashed up on the screen in living color like that.

It was a strange coincidence that one of his victims happened to be my father's high school sweetheart, his first bride, whom he'd wed fresh out of high school. That marriage didn't last, though. They divorced shortly thereafter. I only met her a few brief times. I didn't know her well, but I was sorry for her. Oh so sorry.

When Rich was finally caught and convicted for his heinous crimes, he was given the death penalty, which was carried out at San Quentin prison, March 15th, 2000. I'm not certain if those were his only victims, though. Those were only the ones he confessed to. There may have been many others. There were a lot of unsolved homicides in that era in the North State.

Last year, I found some old recordings of us kids goofing around with the recorder telling stories. In one recording, my brother is very young. Maybe six. He tells a story of peering into a window at this old guy and suddenly feeling the rage build up inside him. He tells of breaking into the man's house and taking his life. Then the chilling words of a child can be heard saying, 'I kinda liked his hat, so I kept it as a souvenir. '

I don't know if Darrell Keith Rich was confessing a crime to my brother when he told him that story, or if it was fantasy. I do know that when I heard the recording, I had a cold chill run through my body and knew immediately I was hearing a voice from beyond the grave, spoken through my brother. My little brother even had the accent and idiosyncratic pauses of Rich down. He was imitating him. It made my skin crawl. Especially the part about the hat."

Good Thing He Liked You.

"I met a serial killer, he was 17 (pre serial killer) and we shared private time together and even shared a dance.

I was Mental Health Technician and he was an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. He was a patient on the adolescent unit and as I worked on the children's unit, I knew nothing of his history nor had I read his chart.

The day that I was paged to escort him out of the hospital to a Dr. appt., I was not concerned. He obviously was not a flight risk, he appeared stable and seemed to be a friendly young man. All was well until we walked from the van to the doctor's office. At this point, he says, 'You know, I could take you into that vacant lot and kill you and no one would ever know.' He then smiled and said, 'But I would never do that because I really like you.'

You would think that someone with that type of homicidal ideation would remain in the hospital for an extended amount of time. Not so in this case. He was discharged several weeks later (yes, his insurance had run out. It happens all the time).

The night before his discharge I happened to escort some of my patients to the gym. I was surprised to find his unit there for his discharge party. He insisted upon dancing with me.

Flash forward two years. A serial killer has been on the loose in our community for two years and 8 women have been murdered.

Returning home from work one night I am relieved to hear that the perpetrator has been apprehended. The next morning I awake to the picture of the former patient splashed on the front of the newspaper.

I still wonder: what would have happened that day if he had not decided that he liked me? Would he have killed me? Could those 8 lives have been spared?

Serial killer, Frank Walls, is now almost 50 and remains in a Florida prison."

Good Thing He Liked You.
A Good Reason Not To Hitchhike.

"Yes. It was scary as heck. I was a young man living in the north of England (Yorkshire).

I'd just started dating a girl from Leeds a good few miles away from me. I was pretty engrossed with this girl (she was my first) so subsequently I missed the last bus home and had to walk. Her family were dead against me spending the night. So off I set, it was around 11pm and I lived about 7 miles away so I had at least an hour walk home.

I started thumbing a lift there wasn't much traffic but I lived in hope. I'd been walking for about 20 mins when I heard a car in the distance behind me, I stuck out my thumb and prayed. The car stopped the front passenger door popped open.

I should explain I had fairly long hair back then and wore it in a pony tail. So I climb into this car and the driver just stares at me for a good 10 second. His first sentence was, 'I thought you were a girl!' He seemed to be a bit peeved a spotty teenage lad got in his car instead of a girl.

He asked where I was off to so I told him it was the next village, it was on his way and wasn't a problem. Quick 10 minute car journey. Anyway he started chatting about mundane stuff, football mainly. Then he asked if I had a girlfriend and was with her that night. With that he tried to grab my hand, laughing and asking to sniff my fingers. I was getting really freaked out at this. I was quite a naive young lad back then.

He then proceeded to tell me about his last girlfriend and how he'd performed devios acts on her because she wouldn't give him what he wanted. I tell you - all I wanted to do was get out of that car. My village was fast approaching and at my road end I asked him to stop and drop me off. Which, thankfully, is what he did. As I got out he said, 'You're a lucky lad. There's a lot of nasty bastards out there who'd of robbed ya and took you for a ride.' I mumbled my thanks and legged it home like the devil was chasing me. I was so bloody scared.

3 weeks later on the national news I saw the bloke who gave me a lift. He was charged with attacking and killing several young women around my area. His name was Peter Sutcliffe. He's still in prison and he was the reason I stopped hitchhiking."

A Good Reason Not To Hitchhike.
The New House Mate.

"I met a convicted murderer who faked his own death, fled the country (US), slipped across the northern border, lived under an assumed name and continued to commit these heinous crimes on at least 3 more women before he was caught.

In the fall 1997, I was attending St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was a member of a fraternity and lived in the fraternity house. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, we had a large 15 bedroom house, but many of our members were already local and continued to live at home while at school, so we would rent out the extra rooms to men who were attending university. They were not required to join the fraternity, but they were invited to if they so chose and if we felt they would be good brothers. That fall, we had a tenant named Ian Greene, who said he came from the Yukon Territory near the Alaskan border. When he would get things wrong, like saying Governor/President instead of Premier/Prime Minister, or miles instead of kilometers, he would say it was because he was homeschooled by American parents. He also claimed to be 19 while he looked to be in his mid-twenties, at least. For these and other similar reasons, we didn't trust him and he wasn't invited to join the fraternity. He was well liked, charming, and incredibly intelligent, but there was just something about him that seemed... off somehow. Not so much that we didn't socialize, he was very entertaining. He would frequently come to my room to use the internet, this being back in the days of dial-up ISPs and not everyone had home internet.

One night, in the summer of 1998, a bunch of us went downtown for drinks. Myself and a few other Sigs (members of Sigma Chi), a few girlfriends and and Ian. I overindulged a bit, and called a cab to go home at around 1 am, but a few people including Ian stayed out until 3:30 am when the bars closed. He had met a young woman and brought her home with him, sharing a cab with Mike (a Sig). Mike's room was immediately above Ian's, and about an hour after arriving home, Mike heard what sounded like yelling coming from below him. As this was the summer and classes were out, many of the bedrooms were empty, plus the house was pretty well sound proofed, since it was built for a bunch of young men. But still, Mike heard and went to check what was happening.

Upon approaching Ian's bedroom door, Mike could hear the young woman Ian brought home screaming for help. Mike banged on the door, only to have Ian yell out that everything was fine, that she had fallen and hurt herself and he was taking care of it. Mike, not believing him, woke up Troy, our house manager who had a master key. They went and opened Ian's door, and saw that the woman's clothes were ripped and she was bleeding. A lot. In their shock, Ian ran past them and out the back door. The police were called but he was long gone before they arrived. When I awoke the next morning, police officers were coming in and out of his room and still interviewing Mike and Troy. The local news had his photo and description. Three days passed before he was spotted and arrested. And this is where it gets really interesting.

His ID was fake. His fingerprints didn't match any in the database. He refused to answer any questions, and for nearly a week he was held without anyone knowing who he was. This made national news. A couple in upstate New York was watching the Canadian news, saw the story and recognized him as William Shrubsall.

William Shrubsall was apparently a gifted student with a (reportedly) overbearing and verbally abusive mother. When he came home late from a high school graduation party, she was heard yelling at him for having a girlfriend; neighbours had heard this before. However, that night he responded by taking a baseball bat and killing his mother. Because of his age and the circumstances, he served 16 months as a minor. This was in 1988. In 1996 he was charged with sexually assaulting a 17 year old woman; in 1997 while out on bail during his trial, he left a incriminating note saying he was going to jump off Niagara Falls. A few months later he moved into my home as 'Ian.'

While searching his room, the police found IDs belonging to two other assault victims (one sexually assaulted, one beaten with a baseball bat) from the Halifax area. Both women identified Shrubsall once he was in custody.

While there can't be any kind of happy ending to this kind of story, the criminal justice system in Canada not only found him guilty on all counts, giving him a life sentence, he was also declared a Dangerous Offender. A life sentence can still include parole, but a Dangerous Offender status means that he can be kept in prison for as long as he is believed to still be a threat to reoffend. The designation requires regular psychiatric reviews, and he has been found to be unrepentant and likely to reoffend every time. Plus, if he somehow ever gets out of prison in Canada, he will be immediately be handed over to the American legal system, as he was convicted of the assault in New York and will be charged with fleeing the country during his trial. With any luck, this monster will never see the outside of a prison again."

The New House Mate.
Always Pay Attention To Your Surroundings.

"I've only told three people this story before, but here goes nothing. I was a 17-year-old girl the summer before I began college (mid '80s). About two weeks before my first semester, I went in to pre-register for my classes and met some other kids that would be in some of my classes. They were international students from all over the world, and seemed surprised that I was so friendly, because most other locals just treated them like zoo exhibits (This was a Texas college and 'furreners' were unusual). I explained to them that I already knew some people from India, as my mom's best friend was from there.

They promptly invited me to a mixer for international students. So I went to this party, and enjoyed myself so much that I stayed behind to help them clean up. Some girls offered to walk me to my car or call campus security, but I didn't want to make that much fuss (Later I would be glad these two girls did not come with me). I didn't realize how late and dark it was getting until I walked outside. I wasn't concerned because there were lights in the parking lot.

My car was parked about halfway in the center of the parking lot, but as soon as I stepped into the wide street, I became aware of how quiet it was. I had thought/hoped there would be at least a few other people around besides me. I casually looked around and noticed a shadow moving back near the student union building. It seemed to separate from the building for a second, then re-merged with the building as I glanced at it. My spidey sense was tingling, because it looked like someone was skulking in the shadows. I also thought I saw another shadow moving a hundred yards off to my left. I tried to keep on moving, humming, as if I'd not seen these things. I added giggling and tossing/dropping my keys hoping these skulkers would assume I was a bit oblivious, and be slow to move when I made a break for it. Most importantly, I muttered, 'Where's my car?' while leaning far, far aside as if my car was much farther away than it was. At last I was close enough to make a dash for it, so I faked dropping my keys, ducked down and darted to my door. I unlocked it, slid in, and slammed the lock shut with a surge of triumph.

It was short-lived, because in the same moment that I locked the door, a man's face appeared there. He was furious, and scared me so much I blindly jabbed my key in and started my car up. I pulled out so fast, but my pulse shot even higher when I realized that the 2nd skulker was already in front of my car! I hadn't even seen him approach! I had a moment of awful doubt when I recalled that scary movie, 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown,' where the killer opened the hood of his victim's car as she was trying to drive away and yanked out the distributor cables. My car was an old model that you could open the hood from outside, so this was a real likely problem. I knew that I had to get rolling asap or else! I backed out so fast that I didn't look behind me until a shape in my rear view mirror moved. Instead of slowing down for it, I sped up, which turned out to be the best thing, because a third man was standing behind my car. If I had slowed down, it would have given them a chance to break a window and get me! I heard a thump of protest from him as I drove, shifting gears, but it was on the roof of the trunk, not the bumper, so I knew I hadn't struck him.

I drove away to safety, but I was shaking so hard, I stopped at a drive-through restaurant and got a soft drink and a taco, and inhaled it, because I was so hungry, my blood sugar had dropped sharply after the burst of adrenaline was gone. I was sure to park where I was well lit and visible to the restaurant's diners, because I was still quite scared. I drove home when my hands stopped shaking, and didn't tell my parents a thing. They would have wrapped me in bubble wrap, and tried to make college into a study-at-home experience in a belated effort to keep me safe if I'd told them.

I did not tell the police because, besides the fact my parents would learn of it, I honestly couldn't remember their faces, even moments after it happened. All I could recall was that they were three skinny Hispanic looking men, two of average height and one tall like a string bean. So what use could anyone make of that? I watched the news a few weeks later and heard that they'd found a woman inside her car on a dusty backroad in the countryside around my college town. The authorities already believed it was two or more male perpetrators behind these murders. It was similar to several other cases the news referred to in earlier reports. I quit watching for more victims, because what could I do? But I got someone to walk me to my car as often as possible after that."

Always Pay Attention To Your Surroundings.

Shutterstock/Travel_Master

A Brush With Death.

"We were living in a small town that was going through a lot of changes due to the downturn of operations of the chemical plants.

My father wanted to come live with me because he was tired of living by himself after my mother's passing. He brought his male dog with him. I had a female dog. While we waited for my house to sell, the two dogs unbeknownst to me or my dad, decided to become parents to 5 puppies.

I always filled up my car with gas from the same station all the time and when I went down there, the fellow working and I started to talk about these puppies. He decided he wanted one for his wife. I said I would bring one by on my way out of town since they would be weaned by then.

A few weeks later, we loaded several of them in a box and drove down there to gas up and give him his pup. He wasn't there at the time and wouldn't be back until the next day and we would be on the road then so I asked if someone was there that would take the pup for him and keep it until he came back. The owner's 17-year-old younger brother came out to my car and said he would take one but he wanted to look at them first. I felt very uneasy around the fellow but showed him the puppies. You know the feeling you get from someone who is a little off but you don't know exactly what it is. He quickly picked out one and then looked at my 12-year-old daughter in the front seat with me. He grinned real big and said, 'She is a beautiful girl.' He looked at her and said, 'What's your name?' She quickly said her name and looked at me with a face of fear like saying get me out of here.

He had told another guy to bring him a box from the back and while we waited, he stroked her arm up and down and said several times, 'Man, you're pretty.' He started closing his hand around her arm and I said to stop, we need to go. He laughed and said if she was a little older he would ask her for a date. I said, 'Look, take the puppy for your brother because we need to go,' and I started rolling up the window. He just laughed and said ok.

We went on with our move and it would take 5 years before a close friend called me and said, 'Well, they finally got the SOB who killed all those girls.' During the years that I still lived back in the small town, there were seven girls aged 12-18 that disappeared from my town and other small towns surrounding ours. He said, 'Remember the gas station owner's brother that you met and gave the puppy to?' Well, he was the killer of about 9 girls all together.

There was an area about 10-15 miles up north of my old town that was just brush, sand and weeds like an abandoned beach area. He had buried his victims there. While my friend was telling me this news he said the young man was convicted of all the crimes and sentenced to death which he just laughed at when the verdict was handed down. I was stunned at the news and started to cry. I remember him touching my daughter's arm and I realized he had already killed several girls by then and my daughter was that close to him. I felt hot and then ice cold when I realized how close we had been to a serial killer."

A Brush With Death.
There Were No Red Flags.

"While a freshman at the University of Utah, I met and had lunch with Ted Bundy on several occasions while he was a first year law student at the same school. My getting to know him was for just a few weeks prior to his becoming a suspect in the murders of young women in Utah.

My impression of him was that he was very interested in women, which would send up no flags. I mean all of us at that time were obsessed with one thing. But, that being said, there were certain things he would do that bothered me, and in retrospect, they were small clues. He was a handsome law student, so young women were always talking to him. But if they had to leave, like to go to class, he would grab them by the arm and hold them there. If one was to do that today, one would be kicked in the crotch by most women I know.

He would stare at women in an intense, almost creepy way. But he would never tell anyone what he was thinking. Today, I keep wondering if he was imagining killing them. It horrifies me even today. I wish I could tell you I saw one or more signs of his experiences being a sociopath. But back in the late '70s, I don't think I ever heard of the word. At best, I thought he was a narcissist, but even that was based on a Psychology 101 understanding of personality disorders. But it was the '70s, and it was really cool to hang around with a guy that had all the girls chasing him.

He gave me a ride once in his VW, which he used to prey on women, and which ultimately lead to his capture. I keep thinking about that car, and all I remember was that it was neat, and the passenger front seat seemed loose. I even commented about it. Later I found out that he would remove the front seat to hide women he had abducted. That freaked me out years later.

When I learned that he was executed in Florida in 1989, I was happy. I'm opposed to capital punishment, but for me, Bundy was an exception. He had no place in the rolls of humanity, and the world is a tiny bit better off without him."

There Were No Red Flags.
When It's Your Relative…

"When I was about 8 my aunt, uncle and cousin John came to visit from Australia. They had emigrated in the '60s and built a life there. They came over for X-mas to show their young son the snow he had never seen and to meet his grandmother and extended family.

I remember it clearly. It was boxing day and we all met at my grandmother's house. I was the same age as my cousin, we were both 8, and I remember distinctly playing with him. Just 2 kids having fun. He seemed a nice enough kid and I remember play wrestling in the garden and playing board games with him, just ordinary family stuff at Christmas. After a few weeks, they went back to Australia and I never met or heard from them again.

Then one day about ten years ago, I got a call from my sister telling me to put the TV on. It was a news report about a particularly grisly series of murders known as 'The Snowtown murders.' A group of people had murdered a bunch of people and stashed their bodies in barrels of acid inside a disused bank vault in the town of Snowtown. They began by murdering those they labelled as pedophiles but quickly degenerated into murdering people for their welfare cheques.

Several people had been arrested including the ring leader, a guy called John Bunting. Yes, you have guessed it, he was my cousin. That little boy I played with as a kid grew up into a vicious murdering serial killer. He was convicted alongside several of his gang and, rightly, he will die in prison.

I was shocked at the news of course but I didn't really know him. I only met him on that one occasion over Xmas when we were children but still, he is my cousin and my blood and that still makes my skin crawl.

Read the case, it was really disturbing. I hate him for what he did to those poor people he killed and also for what he did to my uncle and aunt. They have disowned him not surprisingly and have moved home and changed their names but their lives are ruined too. How do you live with the fact that your son is a notorious serial killer?"

When It's Your Relative…
A Little Too Intimate.

"Technically not a serial killer, but I was casually sleeping with someone who, 3 weeks after she broke it off, was involved in the murder of a 14-year-old boy.

I met this girl in a nightclub, took her home, gave her a treat, took her home in the morning. Didn't bother exchanging numbers, we both knew the score. Then the next weekend we bumped into each other again, went back to her place, had some more fun. Decided at this point to swap numbers and just keep it casual.

So for the next 4 weeks or so, we met up a few times, had a good time. During the course of these 4 weeks, i noticed something about her seemed deeply troubled, but I didn't press the issue as it wasn't really any of my business.

I dodged a bullet about 2 weeks in, we arranged for me to go round to hers, but when I arrived she said I should go home as a couple of lads had come round and were high and would, 'Rip me to shreds.' Ok, no problem, off home I went. I learned from her a couple of days later that these lads had decided to beat a disabled guy to a pulp in the street outside her flat on that evening she sent me home.

Alarm bells started ringing and I considered blowing it off there and then, but instead I decided I would try and help her get away from these people. She initially responded well, but after another couple of weeks she broke it off, saying I'm too nice a guy to be dragged down with her, she's a bad person and I'm better off forgetting about her.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I was at work that had a canal run down it's rear perimeter fence. Suddenly, several police cars all appeared. I was later to learn a dog walker had discovered an arm in a bag. Gruesome. Stuff like that doesn't happen in our small town. So I get home from work and turn the local news on. It's made the headlines, another dog walkers pet had dragged a bin bag out of a bush, the boy's legs were in it.

A week or so later, the victim was identified on the news. He was a boy my brothers age, was in the same class as him at their previous school. Then they showed the pictures of those that had been arrested. 3 males and 1 female. The text messages started arriving. 'That's her you were sleeping with a few weeks ago isn't it?' Yes. Yes it was. And 2 of the males were the ones who were round her flat that night she sent me home.

The story was that the boy knew one of the males, and went around the house they were all at. I guess they were doing some pretty heavy partying. When the boy declared he wanted to go home, they wouldn't let him. When he threatened to tell the police, the ringleader, who got life in prison, proceeded to tie him to a chair and beat him while encouraging threatening to others to join in.

So yeah, not technically a serial killer, but I dodged 3 killers on 2 separate occasions."

A Little Too Intimate.
Never Would Have Known.

"Yes, His name is Stacy Jones. IF YOU MET HIM, YOU WOULD THINK HE WAS A VERY FUN AND FRIENDLY GUY. I worked closely with him. He was convicted of strangling at least two women and then doing some grotesque things to their bodies afterward, and was strongly linked to other such killings.

We worked together at a new Whole Foods grocery store. Several months after the the store opened, a female employee in accounting was murdered in her apartment. Some employees were interviewed by police as "persons of interest" and rumors and innuendos swirled around the store. STACY JONES WAS NOT AT ALL ON MY RADAR AS A POSSIBLE MURDER SUSPECT. After awhile we had a store ceremony for the victim. We planted a tree and dedicated a small park and slowly life got back to normal.

My job at the store was Dairy Buyer and each morning at 6am I would take the freight elevator down to the loading dock to bring up the dairy delivery. Eventually I started chatting with Stacy Jones, whose job was Store Receiver. He was a kind of bodybuilder guy and he was outgoing and seemed charismatic, as in, women seemed to like him. He seemed very laid back, he smiled and joked a lot. He was what you might call a social butterfly, friendly with everyone or you could say he had a high social intelligence. Since we were part of the 6am skeleton crew, we ended up talking a lot. Then one day during a storewide meeting, when a certain female employee was speaking, he leaned over to me and said something quite derogatory and negative about her. She was very attractive and nice and I just thought why would he say such an offensive thing.' so I filed that away as a mark against his character. Then I began to sense that this guys smiles and charms everyone but in actuality he has contempt for them, like he thinks he is superior. One day we ended up hanging out at my apartment after work and he said he was looking for a place to live. It happened that the unit next to me was vacant and I caught myself before speaking up and decided I didn't like the guy that much to want him living next door.

Well good thing I hesitated because a short time later I was watching the midday news on my off day when his face suddenly pops up on the TV! The news anchor then announces that police have Stacy Jones in the murder of the store employee. WTF! I was floored to say the least. They ended up tying him to another murdered women in North Carolina and several other possible murders and thankfully he got a life sentence.

Amongst the things he told me, one thing that stuck out was that, with women, he never had to take no for an answer because he was very persistent. He also said he had traveled in Australia and met lots of women there. I also got the creeps thinking about all the times it was just me and him on the loading dock at 6am hanging out in the predawn darkness and that one of those mornings was likely shortly after he had committed a grizzly murder or the fact he could have moved in right next to me. This all seems surreal to me now."

Never Would Have Known.
Pay Attention To Your Gut Feeling.

"Yes, I have. I had just moved back home from Kansas City. MO to South Seattle and my parents were in the midst of a divorce. Since the house was up for sale I needed to find a job quickly and move out on my own. I found one at a bar in White Center. I was twenty one at the time .

Soon after starting I met a man named Gary, who seemed pretty nice. After work we would talk and have a beer or two. Eventually, he invited me to nearby cocktail lounge for a Mai Tai, insisting that I had to have one. So, we talked and drank our Mai Tai's. He showed me pictures of his then infant son and talked a lot about himself. He was boring, but nice. However, I began to have this growing feeling of repulsion. It became so strong that all I could think about was getting away. I told him to just drop me off at the tavern, because I couldn't stand for him to drive me home. It would have been a long car drive.

The next day he came in the tavern and asked me if I wanted to go out after I got off work. I shook my head and said, 'No.' He became angry, slapped the counter and left. I didn't see him again until many years later. I was watching breaking news on a local news station. They showed a picture of an older man who I didn't recognize. Then they showed a much younger photo. It was Gary Ridgway. Also known as the Green River killer. He was convicted of murdering forty-eight women in the Seattle area, but the actual numbers are believed to be closer to 100.

From then on I started paying much more attention to my gut feeling."

Pay Attention To Your Gut Feeling.
"I'm Very Lucky."

"I had a technique that I used when hitchhiking and it may well have saved me from a nasty end.

I was hitching along the Welsh borders one afternoon back in the early '80s. A dirty, battered van pulled up. The driver leant over and opened the passenger door and told me to hop in. He was grinning and it was not a pretty sight, he was an ugly you-know-what.

This is where the technique comes in. Whenever someone stopped to pick me up I did two things with one piece of preparation beforehand. First thing was, if the door had been opened, I'd step into a position where I would be on the wrong side of it to be pulled in. Also, I ALWAYS knew my route really well. I'd study the map as if I was going to drive it myself. I would ask the driver where he was going, even if he asked me first. That gave me the chance to say no thanks I'm going somewhere else which would involve a fairly major detour to wherever he had said.

As he leant across the passenger seat grinning, he kind of looked down and I saw what was there - 5 or 6 pretty nasty looking adult mags open on the passenger seat. I can't remember where he said he was going but clearly I wasn't going there. I pretended not to see the mags and just said thanks and started to head off. Fortunately he pulled away a bit sharpish.

It was a very quiet place, I'd scarcely seen another car but at that moment a brightly painted van sporting a sign for a hippy sort of clown act, festival entertainer, that sort of thing - came round the corner. I hadn't put my thumb out yet but the guy immediately pulled over and asked me if I was OK, who was that guy? I don't really know what prompted him to do it, it seemed to be an instinct, but he was plainly trustworthy and asked me if he could take me where I needed to go - he was worried and insistent. He was lovely and took me back to the place I was staying, lecturing me most of the way about hitching on my own.

The village was Much Marcle, a name many Brits will recognise from some of the ugliest news reports we have ever read. The man in the van was, without doubt, Fred West. I'm very lucky."

Her Lucky Day.

"I was 17 and living in Seattle in 1974 and my boyfriend and I went to Lake Sammamish on one of the first beautiful days of the season. I was sunbathing on a towel near the building that housed the restrooms. My boyfriend, not a fan of just laying in the sun, was 50 yards away or so, leaning on his parked car, chatting up some other guys.

I noticed a man kept walking by me to use the drinking fountain. Each time he passed he would stare a bit. I thought he was attractive enough but in a real dweeb kind of way. Finally he approached me and we started a conversation. He asked me if I wanted to go out in his canoe. I said no probably not, that I was here with my boyfriend. He then asked if I would help him launch it into the water, that it was tucked behind some trees across the parking lot. I said that I was not strong enough to help him with a canoe, but that my boyfriend could surely lend a hand. I got up and starting walking toward where my boyfriend was leaning against the car. He followed me. At just about the same time that he said, 'No no no you can do it,' I called out to my bf and said, 'Hey this guy wants some help with his canoe.'

My bf immediately felt the chill, and he told him, in the rudest way I had ever heard him speak to anyone, (which he has said had to do with his primal revulsion to the guy) to, 'Get the hell away from her and from us.' He said, directly to me - and this is iciest piece that stays with me most - 'this is your lucky day.' Of course I didn't understand that for a long time. That man was Ted Bundy.

That day he murdered two women that he picked up at the lake. Two. Both resembled me in stature, the way they wore their hair, etc."

Her Lucky Day.

Shutterstock/Master1305

Not Ever His Wife Suspected…

"I knew a gentleman that is now sitting on Death Row in San Quentin convicted of murdering 12 women (working girls). The exact number of actual victims is more but he was not tried on a few cases.

This man was friendly, lived in apartments behind my mothers beauty salon, he was known as Uncle Bill and frequently babysat for many of the kids that lived in the apartments. He worked for a family owned repair shop in town, he was well liked, personable and loved to enter chili cook-off's.

He married a girl that attended my high school and they had a child together.

After he was arrested we would come to learn that he was a disgusting, cruel, sadistic man who killed not only strange women but his own children.

He was somehow released from prison in Texas after serving 10 years for the murder of his child. He came back to S. California where he had a clean slate, he abused the daughter that he had with my classmates and she is on life support now.

One of the women he killed was another of our classmates' mother (substance abuse problem).

After learning about him it was almost like how did we not know? Everything he did and said was textbook behavior. It is disturbing because you always think you would be able to spot them out of a crowd but you don't. His wife did not even know or suspect.

His name is William Suff."

Not Ever His Wife Suspected…

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