People who've known murderers are sharing all the red flags they missed...and their stories are creepy AF.
Here's what people had to say:
1. "When my mom was in high school, there was a guy who was infatuated with her and became very pissed off when she rejected him. She was a waitress, and he came in and sat in her section. He left her half a penny as a tip. The dude went through the effort of cutting a penny in half just for that moment. He later went on to murder a girlfriend of his."
2. "A guy I knew from high school stalked an ex-girlfriend, ran through her sliding glass door, shot and killed her, then killed himself. He had evidently been stalker-ish with some other exes as well. He hid it very well. I knew he had some substance abuse issues, but he had stopped drinking and started going to church. Turns out even that was BS — he was going to the church his ex went to, so he could talk to her."
3. "It wasn’t specifically a red flag, but the guy was 'off.' He swore up and down he was an all-star level NBA player’s uncle, and was just odd in general. He ended up being caught kidnapping, raping, and killing a sex worker...and the DNA was also matched with DNA from another sex worker who’d had the same fate, like, 10 years prior."
4. "There were no clues. He was my friend's younger brother. Seemed like a little bit of an underachieving stoner, but no warning signs of what he was capable of. He and one of his friends broke into the home of an elderly couple, slit their throats, and burned their house down to try to cover it up. All to steal their safe because they thought it had a bunch of cash in it."
5. "Dude was very possessive of his girlfriend and kind of a dick. He ended up strangling her, tossing her body in the trunk of her car, driving to a busy grocery store, and parking it."
6. "Girl I knew in high school is in jail currently for murder. Killed a guy over some drug dispute. Biggest red flag I can think of is that she once pulled a knife on a friend of mine who walked into the bathroom as she (the murderer) was about to beat up some girl in the bathroom."
7. "Had a substitute teacher in middle school who committed a murder/suicide of his wife when she was diagnosed with cancer. Looking back, he seemed massively depressed every time I saw him, but was otherwise very kind. Totally out of left field."
8. "It was attempted murder, as she somehow miraculously survived. A guy I knew growing up. I used to sleep over at his house, as his sister was a friend. He was always off. Very aggressive and violent when picking on his sister. I remember his mom got short with me once when I asked about an injury she had. My friend later told me her brother had stabbed their mom with a pencil during an argument. Many years later, he gets frustrated with his mom while they’re in a car and attacks her. Stabbed her in the face repeatedly with a knife he had on him, and put her in critical condition. He was smiling in his mugshot."
9. "My cousin's husband. When they first got married, he was a decent guy. I thought it was weird that she had a kid that wasn't living with them, but I was young and brushed it off. Over a decade later, I find out he was abusive and she was divorcing him. He shot her outside her workplace. It was on the news. Thankfully he was caught not long after."
10. "I worked with Edward Paul Morris right up until he murdered his pregnant wife and their children. On the surface he seemed like a polite, friendly guy, if a little awkward. He would make small talk with me in the break room, almost always complaining about his wife and stress at home. He treated it like chitchat, but it was clear he couldn't stop thinking about it. When a mutual coworker and I moved into a rental house together, he offered to come mow the lawn. We didn't have curtains up yet, and I was in my new bedroom putting clothes away when I realized he was outside, lawn mower running, but just standing there and staring at me through the window. Creeped me right the fuck out."
11. "I knew a guy who shot an acquaintance of mine. He liked to play a 'prank' where he pointed guns at people to see their reactions. However, it was more of a power trip than anything, and I think he got a sick enjoyment out of it."
12. "Back in the mid-'90s, I had upstairs neighbors who used to play loud music, like, all the time. One time I got so annoyed that I grabbed a broom and started jabbing the ceiling and they stopped. A few months pass, and one day the apartment is just filled with police. It turns out that the neighbors were gang members, murdered someone in a home break-in, and were on the run from police. I never broomed another neighbor ever again."
13. "He asked if I wanted to hang out sometime. He immediately rode his bike eight miles to my house at 4 a.m. We were in seventh grade. He went on to strangle a girl in Central Park a few years later."
14. "I was an elementary counselor in a small town for two years. I knew these two boys, good friends, when they were third and fourth graders. A few years ago, when they were both 16, one murdered the other, buried him on his property, and it was quickly discovered after the boy was reported missing. It wrecked this town. I only knew the boys as 10-year-olds, but am still completely shocked years later."
15. "A person I knew attempted to murder someone, and something I noticed about them was their tendency to stare at people they didn't like. They had done it a bunch in school, and it was always really weird when you would catch them staring at you. They always pretended it never happened."
16. "My childhood friend killed his parents. His dad was my dad’s best friend. Red flags? Drinking at an extremely young age, like 9. Pornography also at that age. He never had a sense of right and wrong. Cruelty to animals. Sexually assaulted other kids in the neighborhood. It reads like a profile of a future murderer. Heavy drug use did the rest of the work, and he killed both of them for oxy."
17. "He was someone who hung out with the same group of friends I did, but people in the group would pick on him. Seemed like a normal guy somewhat, other than a little socially awkward. He got into an argument with someone and ended up cutting the guy's head off with a machete."
18. "He didn’t murder her, but he sure tried. Stabbed 31 times. He was unable to sleep. He was constantly talking about his medication and anxiety and his inability to sleep. He was trying to get a medical leave when his wife left him. He snapped a few weeks later. We didn’t really miss the red flags; we just didn’t expect him to do it since he had never laid a hand on her."
19. "My sister’s fiancé murdered her. Red flags? Well, none really, except he was suddenly into many things that my sister was into. Like 1000000% became his persona. He wasn’t his own person, as he was super clingy and needy. Found out a few weeks before he killed her he was suddenly into guns. She wasn’t. Tried to leave. Murder-suicide."
20. "It’s not that I didn’t notice the red flags, but all the adults seemed to think it would go away if they ignored it. He was creepy AF, carving Nazi and anarchy symbols into desks, walls, and once, the back of his hand. Talked a bunch about death and stuff. You could tell he really liked freaking people out. 15 years later, he kills a guy, and all the parents are so shocked. His parents were so nice. Who could have seen it coming?"
21. "So I worked with a guy, and one day he seemed upset. He got married young, and he feared his wife, who separated from him, was starting to date his ex-best friend. He got this intense look and told me he’d kill them. It seemed like a 'blowing off steam' kind of comment, but I was surprised at the intensity. He was normally an extremely laid-back guy. However, I felt it strange enough that I wanted to walk away. Six months later, he went to his old apartment at 6 a.m., and the two were in bed. He entered their bedroom, put them on their knees, and shot each in the head. He then put the gun to his head and ended it. The girl flinched at the shot, and survived. The new boyfriend died."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US and UK from the Crisis Text Line.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.