Recently, Reddit user downwiththedownvotes asked, "Do you know anyone who's ever committed murder? What's the story?" and there were some heartbreaking, disturbing, and shocking stories. Read on to hear what people had to say.
NOTE: This post contains numerous mentions of murder, sexual assault, child abuse, violence, suicide, and a mass shooting.
1."I taught alongside a woman who would walk with her son to school every morning. He would walk with her and then go on to his campus — we worked at the middle school, and he attended high school. He was a pretty good kid, it seemed; at the very least, he was always polite to me. She was found murdered that summer. It was pretty brutal. A bunch of us teachers went to her service, and her son (almost 18) gave the eulogy. We all hugged and comforted him afterward. It was announced some time later that the son had been arrested for the crime. He was convicted and is now serving life (don’t remember if there’s a chance of parole)."
2."Guy across the hall was a cool guy — super laid-back. He worked [at] a restaurant and always brought us leftover food, which was cool because we were all poor college students. We used to go over there and play retro video games and drink beers. He'd always tell us about his girlfriend who was so busy with school he hardly saw her. Never thought much about it. Turns out she dumped him a while back, and he'd been stalking her. He ended up going to her house one night and very brutally murdering her while she was on the phone with her parents. He was sentenced to life in prison."
3."One of the most intelligent men I knew, my former boss ("R"), passed away of old age last year. When he was 16, which would have been in the 1940s, his mostly-absentee, degenerate, doper father showed up, took R's younger sister in the garage, and beat her almost bloody with a belt. R arrived just in time to roll up the garage door and told the old man, 'You ever touch her again, I'll kill you.' The next day after school, he comes home to hear his sister screaming in the garage. He goes in the house, grabs his dad's shotgun, rolls up the door, tells his sister to run, and shoots and kills his father."
"R was taken to juvie until his trial. His sister was sent to live with an aunt. At the trial, the local Baptist pastor told the small town judge he and his wife would legally adopt R. Judge declared the killing justified, and R grew up safe and loved, and got a degree in psychology. He told me the adoptive parents were his 'real' parents."
4."My father killed my mother and made it look like a suicide. He admitted it to my sister after he had a stroke and lost his ability to filter his mouth. Before she died, my mother had been getting 100% disability from the Veteran’s Administration. ... Afterwards, he got nearly as much in a widower’s benefit from the VA as she was getting for disability. He was bragging the day before the funeral about how much he would be getting. Who does that? He was so greedy and sadistic that I knew he did it all along."
"He’d abuse my mother to the point that she would break down and have to be hospitalized for up to a year. She was disabled due to having contracted malaria during WWII in the Philippines and having a high fever that normally kills — but in her case, she survived with severe nervous system problems. She was very sensitive and vulnerable. He sent her to the hospital many times in the 14 years that they were married and forged his name to her savings where the VA had deposited her checks previously while she was hospitalized. He stole her money every time. And yet the police believed him when he lied and said he never abused her or anyone else. He would beat all of us when we lived with him. My grandmother hired an attorney to go talk to the investigators several months after the funeral, but they said the case was closed and refused to hear anything."
5."I worked in nonprofit in Bellingham, Washington. We offered emergency motel vouchers for homeless families. Really nice guy and his son came in to get on the waiting list. They were new to town, and things had fallen through so they needed some help getting back on their feet. I signed them up for our program and talked to the dad about his next steps, goals, etc., and he seemed really motivated. He missed his follow-up case management meeting, which I was surprised about. It happens sometimes so I just assumed he’d found something better. Turns out he and his 'son' just went to another city so he could shoot people. The 'nice guy' was the DC sniper."
6."A family member was asleep at a party and woke up to their other half trying to remove a body. He had stabbed the guy 200+ times and mutilated him. No clear reason. He forced my family member to drive the car into the city WITH THE BODY IN THE BACK to try and hide it somewhere. My family member went to their parents and convinced him to receive help. They went inside with him and got their mom to ring the cops right away — as soon as their partner had gone upstairs to change. He's now doing 30+ years for murder and has had a few holes poked in him, too, for good measure. My family member was charged with drunk driving as they were still hungover from the party. They did nothing wrong but panic and make the situation progress to the safe apprehension of a murderer."
7."My wife’s mother was abused by her second husband. She had him arrested for abusing their son, but in a small town, he was able to sweet talk his way out without posting bail, and got home before she had finished packing. He walked in, already armed, and shot her in the neck from across the room before she could even stand up to look at him (she was bent over packing so it went through her neck sideways and lodged in the other side. It’s still there, it's a gnarly scar, too). He then walked across the room to stand over her and saw that she was still alive, so he dropped the gun and bent over and beat her for a while. After a few blows, he heard their 13-year-old son cry from the other side of the room. He had been watching the whole thing."
"The man stood up from his wife’s battered bleeding husk, and started across the room to beat his son as revenge, presumably blaming him for his arrest.
Before he’d got all the way across the room, my mother-in-law, god bless her soul, picked that gun up, steadied her hand, and fired one shot through the back of his head before losing consciousness.
With brains and blood splattered all over him, the boy, my wife’s [considerably] older brother, dialed 911 and cried through the phone that 'daddy shot mama' and 'mama killed daddy' and 'mama's still alive so hurry.'
She’s now in her mid-70s, he’s in his early 60s, and they are the hardest fucking people I’ve ever known. He also ended up killing a man (pushed him off a bridge during a meth-fueled fist fight), but was let off because it was self-defense.
I do not fuck with my wife’s family, LOL."
8."I was newly pregnant and meeting the rest of my in-laws during a holiday gathering. I met the aunt, who used to be a rising star in LA as a model featured in magazines. If I recall correctly, she spent 17 years in prison because she was a drug mule transporting drugs during her modeling gigs. Anyway, I also met her boyfriend. He was charming, and my 6-year-old son loved him — heck, even I was swooned by his charisma. When I left the family dinner, I was informed he was recently out of prison because he murdered two men and placed them into barrels before dumping them into the sea. 👀 Maybe he’s a changed man? Err…a year later, I realized I haven’t heard about this man in a while."
"When I asked the in-laws, there was a sudden silence. That’s when I found out he murdered another man and tried dumping the body with the same method. You’d think he would have learned his lesson by now. :/ Awkward part is, he left behind a barrel in the house that I’m staying at. It took me two years before I pried it open out of curiosity. It was camping gear, thank you baby Jesus."
9."Working as a courtesan back in 2005, I was hired by a couple to be their human sex toy. They were both heavy drinkers. He was an absolute narcissist, and she could never do enough to make him happy. I would stay overnight."
"This went on for a few months, but his treatment of his wife was too much for me to continue seeing them. About six months later, I had a call from him requesting an overnight because his wife had died. My first thought was wondering how he had killed her. I agreed to go out for dinner with him just so I could look into his eyes and see the truth.
She had died from cyanide poisoning. His story didn't make sense to me, but I wasn't sure how to approach the police with my suspicions. It turned out I didn't need to — a detective reached out to me after he found my details on his computer during the investigation.
I met the detective for coffee — we were both convinced he had killed his wife. I was asked if I would continue to see him in the hope he would confess to me. He didn't. But he did end up dying from pancreatic cancer so that was a good thing.
I often think back now and wonder what on earth the police were thinking having me in such a position.
A short piece for 60 Minutes or 20/20 was made about the case called 'Tainted Love.' I appeared in it with my voice changed and my face blurred. I didn't want to do any of this but felt compelled to try and get justice for her."
10."A complete and total piece of shit, absolute scum of the earth named Jeremiah Rael came into my place of work to verbally abuse his then girlfriend Brandi Davis, who was my coworker. I told him to leave, and he told me to fuck off. He shot her in the head a couple of weeks later. The trial is still in progress. I hope he gets life without parole."
"He was so jealous and controlling. One time a man came in and seemed fond of Brandi and gave her some gifts. She gave all of the gifts away to coworkers because she couldn’t take them home, saying her boyfriend 'wouldn’t be okay with it,' which I thought was absurd. It was so clearly not her fault that she got some cool stuff that day. I still have the vinyl record that she gave me.
She always had bruises. She left work early crying once because Jeremiah Rael stole her wallet. She was very kind, and she was concerned for his son, and I believe that’s why she stayed. The whole thing makes me sick."
11."I knew a man years ago who killed a man in a bar fight. He hit the person in the head with a pool ball. He was tried and convicted of negligent homicide and served 18 months in prison. I knew him 15 years later, and he had never been arrested for anything since and freely admitted he was wrong. It was a heat of the moment thing. He said he never thought it would have killed someone."
12."My school friend when he was 17. He was dating a girl from school for a few years. She broke up with him because she was interested in 'someone else.' Turns out 'someone else' was his best friend, and the day after the breakup, he saw them both holding hands walking down the main street in our suburb. He ran over and punched his best friend in the nose. His best friend was knocked out, fell backwards, and hit his head on the concrete. He died before paramedics arrived."
13."I met a lady one time who told me her husband had abused her for years before she got away from him. She had a restraining order and kept a weapon on her due to being scared of not being in a position to defend herself. One day she was at the gas station, and he pulled up to the pump right on the other side of her. He came at her, and she bent down and pulled the knife out of the holster. When she came up, she stabbed him in the heart from under his ribs. He died, and she walked free."
14."My best friend in high school had a boyfriend who creeped me the fuck out. I had been slowly removing myself from our friendship because of his influence when I got a call from her telling me that he was on his way to pick her up and that he’d murdered his parents. I told her to hang up and call 911."
"(His mom survived multiple gunshot wounds. Sadly, his dad did not.) My friend did call 911; they intercepted him about half a mile away from her house. I can actually remember seeing his car on the news that night. Thankfully they didn’t live closer to each other (maybe 20 minutes apart). She wasn’t physically hurt. I think his intention was likely to kill her mom and run away with her. ... He had the loaded gun on his passenger seat, and her mom had tried to break them up."
15."He was an asshole in school. Never gave a shit about doing the right thing, always purposely pissing the teachers off. But his older brother was the opposite. He was loved by everyone. He was an all-around goofy person, and worked with little kids in his free time and after graduation. The younger brother went into his older brother’s room (the nice one), held a gun to his head, asked 'are you feeling lucky?' and pulled the trigger. It was a huge loss to our community and school district. I believe the younger brother was released early from prison due to the downsizing during COVID. No idea where he is now."
16."My friend’s partner...was a drug dealer and collected swords. One morning his flat got broken into by someone with a balaclava and gun, demanding they hand over all their cash. My friend and her partner handed it over, but the home invader grabbed my friend’s purse on the way out. The purse contained belongings that were owned by her late family member. She chased him out of the flat and tackled him to retrieve her purse. Her partner followed with a sword, swinging and hitting the home invader on the top of the head. The home invader walked around 10 meters and collapsed, dying in the middle of the street."
17."When one of my patients was a minor, they had a mental break and killed their entire household — save for two younger siblings — in retaliation for sexual assault. They had been institutionalized for their entire life thereafter. But when I knew them much later in their life, they were a heck of a nice person — especially when I was brand new. They would tell me where supplies and whatnot were kept. They would also look out for other patients on the unit and would give me a heads up if one was out of sorts."
18."My late mother's boyfriend at the time...randomly attacked and killed a woman walking her dog with his bare hands. He was caught inside of a couple days, but what really stuck with me was how he came home with his hands beat up saying that he fell while on a hike. Obviously, it was right after the murder, but we could not have known that at the time. He was completely chill in every respect while my mom helped clean him up. In retrospect, it was a bit of a stretch to say it was from a hiking accident, but he sold it well, and I was young and my mom would not have any reason to expect murder, of all things."
"I was getting ready for school later, and a couple cops showed up to the house asking about my mom's boyfriend. He did not come home the night prior, and as this was back before the days of cellphones, she was concerned. I went to school but was pulled out early by my uncle. ... I got to my aunt's house, and she told me what happened. My mom was devastated. We saw the story on the news that night, and they showed his prior convictions — he had been arrested several times for sexual assault and violent crimes. We had no idea. We'd even met his extended family, and they had never said a word about his past. I don’t know that we were ever in danger, but he and my mom dated for three years, lived together for two years. He thankfully was caught, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison."
19."My friend's brother did a mass shooting. It was 2007, and I remember I was home sick from school watching it live on CNN. His suicide note was published online, and it specifically mentioned my friend. Felt very surreal."
20."Hung out a bunch of times with my friend and his coworker who lived in a pretty sketchy neighborhood. At some point, it came up that several years before, the coworker was walking home and a guy tried to rob him at knifepoint. It turned into a scuffle, and the coworker turned the knife and drove it into the robber with what turned out to be a fatal stab wound. The cops obviously got involved. The coworker had never been arrested while the robber had a long criminal history, including violent acts, and so there were never any charges. He didn't like to talk about it, though — it kinda fucked him up for a good while, even though he was in the right."
21."My uncle had a mental break and stabbed my aunt to death, drugged his two young children, then forced them to jump off a cliff with him. He was totally normal — though a bit paranoid — before that."
22."My daughter shot and killed her abusive ex-boyfriend in front of me. She had come to stay with us to get safe from him. Every day we caught him in the yard. Every day we called the cops. Every day they did nothing. When he showed up and tried to force his way into the house, my daughter grabbed a gun and told the cops she had a gun. The cops were two miles away, but they never showed. Twenty minutes later, her ex got sick of waiting on her to give up and charged her. She shot him at close range. I told the police that she had shot him and he was on the ground. Fifteen minutes later, one lone patrolman showed up, saw him on the ground and said, 'What's the matter with him?' No ambulance ever showed up, even though he was alive for a while after he was shot."
"She had a restraining order on him, we had called daily for a week, and they STILL arrested her for killing him. You know how a grand jury meets once a month to decide if they will proceed with prosecution? They didn't decide for TWO YEARS. Then they let her go. ... They could have told us that before we spent $20,000 on a defense attorney — and no, we didn't get the money back even though he never had to defend her."
23."Amandeep Atwal. Y'all can search it up — her dad stabbed her 11 times for dating a white dude. ... The community was stunned, but not surprised. The dad was always a bit weird, but harsh. He was ingrained in family culture and self-image. How did I know her? She was my babysitter, and even if I was 5, my first crush."
"Her dad offered to drive her back to Prince George, because she had moved out, and she had spent time with her family in Vancouver. ...
He then proceeded to stab her 11 times, and claim it was her committing suicide. She was barely entering her adult years, and he took her life to preserve his family image.
He was granted day parole a few years back and was denied full parole because he hasn't shown that he has changed."
24."I had a cousin I knew years back. He was a decent kid growing up, but went through a bit of abuse as a child. When he hit 16/17, he started dabbling in some drugs which ended up triggering epilepsy in him. He almost died one night from one of these seizures. It was a scary thing to witness. Once he came out of his bad seizure in the hospital, he just wasn’t himself anymore. He took off from the hospital and broke into a bank to sleep in during the dead of winter — not to steal."
"Months passed, and he was sent to jail over this incident. When he got out, he was doing good for himself and even had a beautiful girlfriend. But once again, his mental health deteriorated.
A couple years back, he went and got on to Facebook Live freaking out. He was at his girlfriend’s house with her grandfather. My cousin shot and killed her grandfather as well as his girlfriend — all on Facebook Live. His reasoning was that he believed she was having guys come gang rape him in his sleep.
It was a sad situation because his family had cried for help from the state to get him institutionalized for his mental health, but they never listened. In the end it destroyed a beautiful family as well as ruined my cousin’s family tremendously."
25."He was [a] dick. He was the kind of bully that liked to stir up drama so he could instigate a fight. When a kid (Mikey) from our neighborhood was killed in a house party, he seized his opportunity. He riled up a few dumb wanna gangsters from our neighborhood and went to go shoot the guy that did it. They got in a car and shot into a house. It turned out they had the wrong house. They killed an old vet who was just watching TV. His poor wife found him slumped over on the couch."
"He wasn't even friends with Mikey. He was a dick to him. I think he just wanted to kill somebody."
26."I worked with one of the Irish scissor sisters. They got drunk and high one night with their mom and her boyfriend. The boyfriend came on to one of them, so with encouragement from the mom, they killed him, then chopped his body up in the bathroom with a bread knife."
27."My old barber murdered someone when he was 17 and served somewhere around 12–13 years. I was pretty young when he did it, but we knew each other back then. We got really cool when he started cutting my hair after he got out, but he definitely had a negative 'tick' to him. You could tell when he was having a bad day. We talked about anything that was going on around us, but I never asked or mentioned anything about what he did...he never talked about it at all."
28."I know a guy who ran over his girlfriend's head with his car, twice, because he thought she was cheating on him. He's serving a life sentence now."
"While in prison, a much, much older woman who worked in the kitchen fell in love with him, and they married. She doesn't work there anymore. He then converted to Islam, and now whenever she visits, she has to be fully covered from head to toe."
29."My brother-in-law is in prison for life for killing his ex-friend-with-benefits who was married. It was really hard on the family, but he had a history of being unstable and stalking women. For whatever reason, a local police department still hired him. When he got hired, I called the chief of police in the area who was a personal friend, told him about the stalking and erratic behavior, and said that he could not be trusted with a gun. No lie, three months later, right before Christmas, same guy calls to tell us that my brother-in-law had just confessed to murder. I haven’t spoken to that friend since. He could have literally prevented this from happening, but he did nothing. Still makes me so sick to think about."
30."Richard Allen. The Delphi, Indiana murders. I don’t want to use the word 'know.' But I will say I have interacted with him numerous times while working at an amusement park and at a Walmart. It’s honestly disgusting to think about."
31."I knew a really nice foreign guy who ran a local restaurant. He was well-known and liked in the town. I found out years later he strangled his two kids and killed his wife before killing himself. Still can't make sense of it to this day."
32."I graduated high school in 2001. A guy in the class of 1998 was a wrestler and overall a popular guy. He was huge and even in 2019 still held the school deadlift record for his weight class. We will call him Frank. Well, I was working as a corrections officer in 2004, and one day, in the early evening, Frank was brought into booking by the Sheriff's Dept. The charge was second degree murder. He claimed that he got into a fight with an undocumented immigrant and shot him in self defense."
"However, the evidence showed the victim was hit three times with a blunt object and shot in the back of the head, apparently from the kneeling position. This all taking place in an abandoned farmhouse that neither had any association with. Frank being much bigger and stronger than the victim, his story didn't convince a jury, and he was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. I was also working that day, and they had to carry him back to the jail. He was sobbing uncontrollably.
Normally, an inmate sentenced to state prison is transported within a week. They took Frank three hours later, I guess due to his prolific case or maybe because of his size and suicidal risk.
I saw a lot of people I knew pass through that jail during the five years I worked there, but I will never forget Frank."
33."My great-great grandmother murdered my great-great grandfather. My great grandmother, Gigi, told me the story. When Gigi was 16, she was about to get married. On the fateful day, her father came in from the field for lunch and calmly told her mother he was bringing another woman home for dinner and that she was to be served dinner before he would take her upstairs to 'do the thing.' When dinner came, he brought a 12-year-old girl to the table. Gigi's mother served the girl, let her husband take her upstairs, and followed a few minutes later with a loaded shotgun. When she opened the door, he had just dropped his pants, so she shot at his groin. She sat and watched him bleed to death as the young girl said 'thanks' and left."
34."My next door neighbor shot and killed his father when I was maybe 10 years old. I think he was a junior or senior in high school at the time and always getting into trouble, and I mean always. It was a school day, and before school he got into an argument with his father and didn’t want to go to school. They kept arguing, then he went and got his father’s gun and shot him. He then ran across the street to our other neighbor's house where my mother just happened to be, talking to her friend. He was out of breath and told them, 'I’ve done something terrible, I just shot my father.' My mother and her friend called the police and ran over there to find the father laying on his back with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. My mother had some medical training so she tried to help him the best she could."
"An ambulance and at least 10 cop cars showed up and took over. The son didn’t run off and was arrested on the spot.
I don’t remember how many years he got, but I never saw him again. His mother continued to live in the house for a few years but couldn’t take the memories anymore and moved to live with her family."
35."There was a dude from Mesa back in the '80s who did time and was charged as an adult. The asshat brought a pistol loaded with blanks to school and pointed it at a teacher and pulled the trigger. The teacher had a heart attack and died. The dude was an absolute dick. After he got out, he would bully teenagers. I'm pretty sure he didn't fare well when he was locked up, so he took it out on other people after he got out. I never kept up with him, but I'm pretty sure he got in more trouble."
36."Something like 40 years ago, my grandfather on my mother’s side killed two people and got away with it. My aunt had been raped by two men — a father and son duo. When she came home and told my grandpa, he grabbed a gun and went out hunting. He was never caught. He passed away 20ish years ago. He was a really cool guy. Very nice and surprisingly tolerant and open-minded for his age, into new age spiritual stuff."
37.And finally... "Kevin. We used to work together at a fast food chain when I was in high school; he was in his late 20s or early 30s. A little different, but nobody that I would think would do what he did. He lured a little girl into his apartment, killed her, raped her, and then attempted to eat her. He was caught almost immediately. One of our conversations I distinctly remember was him telling me that both 'cactuses' and 'cacti' are both grammatically correct."
Have you ever known someone who admitted to, or was later convicted of, murder? Tell us your story in the comments or via this anonymous form.
Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.