Monday, December 4, 2023

In which I lived across the street from a serial killer

 Okay, so as I write out these stories of things I've weirdly experienced in my life I find that they're not really that exciting beyond the initial shock value of them. 

TW: serial murder, SA, robbery, arson

So far, we've learned about how I found a dead body, was in two drug raids/busts, and today I'm talking about living across the street from a serial killer. 

Growing up I lived for 2.5 ish years on a street where there were about 5 or 6 houses and we all knew one another. In four of the houses there were all kids in the same age range, so we all played together and hung out basically all of the time. I'm still friends with two of these women. 

I'm not going to use any of their names, but I am going to link an article about the serial killer at the bottom of this blog if you want to read it. 

I remember hanging out at my friend's house all the time. They had an in ground swimming pool with a slide, so of course all the neighborhood kids would go over there and swim. Her mom started dating this man and eventually he moved in. I honestly remember him being super nice. I don't think I ever heard him yell or get angry a single time. 

This man would play with the kids in the pool, play tag, whatever we asked. And then at night he would go to "work" which meant he raped, robbed, and killed elderly people. The first confirmed time was in 1991 which is when we still lived across the street from him. Then after the first federal drug raid we moved since my stepfather went to federal prison. 

Then the killings seemed to ramp up. 

He worked as a handyman which gave him access to their home, then he would later come back and commit these heinous crimes. He was sentenced to death, but he was killed in a prison riot before the sentence could be carried out. 

I did not know him much more than the boyfriend of a friend's mom who was around when we were at their home. But from what I remember he wasn't someone I would have immediately assumed "that guy is a psycho killer". 

I do think about the families of the victims and how awful these crimes were. I also think about the fact that he was arrested a few times in different jurisdictions, but because of a lack of interagency cooperation and intel sharing it took him committing multiple homicides before he was caught. It's one of the things I wrote about extensively in both my Law & Criminology degree and my Intel Studies degree. 

Maybe this case was the opening for my interest in that particular topic. But that's my story of my encounter with a serial killer. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Folklore Friday: Florida Folklore Locations


In Florida, there are multiple locations with varying reputations of hauntedness or just overall weird vibes. These are super fun places to visit and see what the attraction to them is all about. 

All of these places center around Urban Legends, which as you remember from the introduction to Folklore Friday posts is a type of modern folklore where stories circulate as true and the basis is that a "friend of a friend" experienced this. 

I'm going to share a few of my favorites here! And if you're ever way down South in the swamps, you should definitely check them out!

The Devil's Chair

In the psychic capital of the world, Cassadaga, there is a Devil's Chair. This is a brick bench that legend claims was built by the devil himself. The spectacular thing is that if you leave a can of unopened beer on the bench and return in the morning it will be completely empty without being opened! Because the devil loves themselves a good canned beer. 

Captain Tony's Saloon
(formerly Sloppy Joe's)

In Key West, there is a bar built around a tree! Over the years this building has been many things including a cigar making factory, a telegraph station...and a morgue. Rumor has it that the morgue was built around the tree where pirates were often hanged. It's also rumored to be built on top of a pond of holy water. In the 1980's when the floor was replaced workers found over a dozen skeletons beneath the floor. If you visit here be sure to listen for ghostly voices, and watch for doors opening and closing and locking on their own.

Sunshine Skyway Ghost

This is a bridge that terrifies me! I'm scared of bridges that go over water anyway, but this one is extra tall and extra scary as it's fallen once and over 300 people have jumped to their death on this bridge. Some people claim to have seen a blonde woman on the bridge, and when they pick up this ghostly hitchhiker she begins to cry as the car approaches the highest point of the bridge then disappears.

The Fairchild Oak

Besides being just an absolute wonder of nature, this huge oak tree which is decorated with Spanish Moss is rumored to be the site of two completed suicides. People say when you stand under the grand lush oak you feel an intense sadness, almost as though the spirits of the ghosts are plaguing the area. Some also say you can see their apparitions on the right time and on the right night.

I hope y'all enjoyed this week's Folklore Friday! Remember to follow along on social media and on the blog so you don't miss a thing! 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Not one, but TWO federal raids in my lifetime


It's weird that a person would experience one federal raid in their life, right? 

I mean, unless that person were a federal law enforcement officer, which I am not and never have been. 

Yet, I've been in two federal drug raids. And I'm going to tell y'all all about them. 


The first one was when I had just turned 11. I was sleeping. It was like 0300 on some random weekday because that's like a super good time to raid drug dealers homes since they're probably asleep. The element of surprise is not just something they aim for in movies and procedural crime dramas (which I loooove). 

Also let me just tell you that I am so glad the first raid happened because I was about to eliminate my stepfather myself (more on that in another blog) if you know what I mean. 

It seemed like there was about eleventy billion officers in tactical gear that entered our house at once telling everyone to not move while putting my stepfather in handcuffs. An officer stayed with me in my room. She was super nice, although I think she misunderstood my questions when I asked who they were there for and thought I was sad that he was going. I was not. 

Then I just went back to sleep, got up a few hours later, then went to school for a day of fun fifth grade learning. 


Equally not as exciting really, but when I was 18 I worked at a bar in Ybor City, Florida. They got raided for selling drugs in the bar. 

After just looking this one up it was only state and local agencies that did the raid. 

Essentially we were just working and they came in to execute the warrant. We all had to sit outside and give statements and have our stuff searched. It was super uneventful for those of us not selling drugs in the club. 

It's just weird that I've been in TWO drug raids in my lifetime. Side note: I have done tons of drugs, but never been arrested for them. And it's all been pure circumstantial luck that it never happened. Stay tuned for more stories about that.