31 People Share Their ‘Close Calls’ With Evil Men

“In the summer of 1980 I was working in a tourist town in a line of gift shops along the river. All of us working there were high school/college kids with the exception of a couple of people in their mid to late 20’s.

One afternoon in August, Herb (one of the older workers) came into my shop to buy a pop and sandwich. There were no customers at that point so we chatted while I rang him up. Herb asked me if I wanted to go and get a beer with him after work.

All the other workers liked Herb, but there was something about him I didn’t like. He seemed OK, but something was off about him. I declined, using my BF as an excuse.

The next afternoon, several people asked me if I’d seen Sandra that day. Sandra hadn’t shown for work. Sandra would never show for work and they found her in a shallow grave 9 days later. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Herb was arrested and convicted in 1981. He was sentenced to 20 years.” — GoodPumpkin5

“My next door neighbor was arrested for the murders of over a dozen women. He’s currently on death row. I walked my dog alone in the abandoned fields behind his house where he would be out digging everyday for years, stopped and chatted with him etc.

When I was in middle school (I was 11) I was running late one morning. I was always late because of inconsistent bus schedules. This day I decided to skip the bus connection and just walk thinking it would be faster but it really wasnt. I was alone, frustrated and hoofing it when a nice car pulled up and asked if I needed a ride. I got in the car with an older man. As he started driving he asked if I “liked to party” and put his hand on my knee. I tried to tell him where the school was but he said he knew a better way and started driving in the opposite direction. At the next stop light I opened the door and got out. He started yelling and telling me I couldn’t leave and calling me a little bitch. I ran down a residential street and hid in some bushes for hours. I didn’t go to school that day because I was afraid he would find me since I had told him where I went to school. I ended up getting in trouble for skipping school and my teachers were all really disappointed in me because I was a “good kid” who didn’t do things like this. I never told anyone what happened because I was afraid and embarrassed.” — TheMapesHotel

“My mom’s ex mother-in-law was driving and came upon someone sprawled out in the middle of the road. She stopped and opened her car door and a man came out of nowhere with a knife and told her to get out of the car. Person (it’s a woman) gets up from the road and starts to walk towards them. Fortunately, ex MIL had her concealed carry license. She pulled a gun out on him and told him to “get the f*ck out of my face”.

Closed the door and sped off. Ever since that story I will never stop for anyone, I call the cops and report it and hopefully they don’t get hurt or it’s not a real scenario, but there are some bad people out there.” — ashlynnk

“I was about nine or ten years old. After school, I was out in the front yard, riding my bike around. The house directly across the street from ours, I was at the top of its driveway when a white car pulled up. The window rolled down and the driver, he asked me to get in his car for a ride. I knew better but when I refused he begins to look around and unbuckle his seatbelt. I’m frozen with fear. He begins to step out of his car when my fathers car pulls up to our house. I scream for my dad and the man drives away quickly. I remember running to my dad screaming and crying. Even though I was so young, I knew something wasn’t right. The scariest thing is, when a question like this is asked, just how many people have experienced a scenario identical to mine.” — ktinarae1929

“I was on my way home from my grandparents’ house and it was rather early in the day on a Sunday. I had slept at my grandparents’ house because my cousins and I all wanted to just spend a night together. I was about 12-13. Anyway. I left my grandparent’s house and I only had to walk between 7-10 minutes to mine. After a little while I realised a man was following me. There was literally nobody in the street besides us two. He followed me and when I kept turning around to see him, he would smile and bite his lips. I started running and rang the bell of an old couple that were friends with my grandparents. I cried for them to let me in and they finally opened the door. I was hysterical. My grandparents’ friend, the husband, decided to check on the front door from the balcony and the man was fucking waiting there. He told him if he didnt leave, he would call the police. He left and they called my parents to come and picked me up. I still remember the way I felt when he was following me.” — [deleted]

“When I was in grade 6 I had a back injury, but still stood on the sidelines in uniforms during my team’s football games. My pops took me to Burger King afterwards and I’m in line. This really unhealthy looking old man says “good job out there, congrats on the win”. I was no longer wearing my uniform and said, “thank you but I didn’t play”. He goes “I know, I saw”. Something was wrong, I told my dad and he had me point the guy out. My dad went white as a ghost and we went home. They told me to run and tell an adult if I ever saw him again. They had looked him up and he was a convicted pedophile and lived pseudo nearby. We lived in such a nice, perfect little suburban town. It can happen anywhere.” — TantalusBalbanes

“I was out in the front yard practicing with my baton, and my Grandfather was home just inside. And this guy in a sedan pulls in my driveway. He asks me “how to get to so and place” and pulls out a map (80s) and asks to point out where we are on the map. Now, even though its the early 80s, I know I have no clue how to read a map and this dude was giving me a creepy vibe. So I never went close to the car, and instead yelled at him I would get my Grandfather and he would take care of it. I ran inside and got him, and in the minute or two that took dude was gone.

Now I was still in elementary school at the time, and it was on my same street just down the road a tiny bit. A few days later, they shut the school down just before we were supposed to leave because there were reports of a guy in a sedan trying to get kids into the car. It was the same color car.

Im now 46 and have kids of my own. I dont know if this guy just wanted to kidnap and rape me or if he had planned much worse. Back then there wasnt much visibility to me about that stuff, and it had never been discussed. Even when my Grandfather saw no one was there when we came out he never called the police. He probably didnt want to believe it and shook it off as a mistake.” — ImYesILeffHisAss2398

“It was 1981. I was 11. I was clueless. I weighed maybe 90 pounds. I was playing outside with my sister (age 7) during the middle of the day and a man drove down the alley behind our (very nice, upscale neighborhood in DC) house in a battered white Volvo sedan. His window was open. He said hey little girl where’s the park? I pointed in the direction. He said I can’t find it on this map! Can you help me? Of course, like an idiot, I went over to the car and looked in. No map. No pants. Erect (Small) penis. I remember backing away in silent horror and he drove away. I was too mortified to even tell my parents, but my loudmouth sister did, and they called police. To this day I (1) feel extremely lucky that he didn’t pull me into the vehicle, and (2) wonder whether he escalated and eventually kidnapped and raped some poor little girl. So now I am a freak with my own kids and work in the true crime world.” — Jbetty567

“I was around 11 too I think. I’m 22 now. He asked me how to get to church and I remember being really confused because you could see it from where the car was. And I didn’t understand what I was seeing, WHY would someone be touching themselves in a car while talking to a girl, it just didn’t click in my mind. I left really quickly because of how uncomfortable I was feeling. Never told anyone. But I read on my city fb group that there were incidents like that last year too.” — Ettiasaurus

“I was older, maybe 20, when this happened to me, about 1978. Middle of the day, in an apartment complex, and I was walking home. Car stopped and guy asked directions so I went to the passenger side only to see him beating off, with a cast on that arm! What was worse was there was a toddler standing in the front seat! I yelled “Jesus fuck!” and he laughed and drove off. No I didn’t report it or even tell anybody about it until now.” — Fuzzarelly

“Happened to me and a friend. We walked home from school everyday and this car would drive real slow behind us. We changed route he changed route. We wrote dwn his plate once when he drove past us.

This went on for about 2 weeks. I finally walked over to his car. I know dumb. And this man is sitting there no pants beating his meat.

We run home as he drives off. Only I called 911. Latch key kid for years. Gave them the info and plate number.

They find and arrest him. Come to find out he was a convicted child molester who freaking lived with his backyard up to the elementary playground.” — everyonesmom2

“Happened to me too in the 80’s near our junior high school in the Bronx (Riverdale) – map and all. In the 90’s, in Albany, NY there was a guy who liked to “hang out” behind bushes in the park I walked home from work through. One July 4th a friend and I were walking home from fireworks at the state capitol and a guy followed us masturbating – on a public street in front of residential homes! The cop shop was a couple of blocks away so we called the police, the cop was speechless.” — Analyze2Death

“I remember playing in the front yard with my younger brother…..I was probably 8 and he was 5ish. An old man in a van pulled up and asked us if we could help him find his puppy. I remember grabbing my little brothers hand and just shaking my head no before running inside. When I told my mom she was so pissed and wanted to call the cops, but I couldn’t remember enough details. We weren’t allowed to play in the front yard after that :(” — spilanthes

“When I was a kid, around 10-11, I rode my bike a lot because I hated dealing with my stepfather. On at least three occasions, I had grown-ass adults pull up with their cars and start commenting to me that some girl in the backseat “had a crush on me” or “liked me” or something like that.

I’m an extremely private person, and even then, I considered that sort of behavior intrusive. (So much so that I once asked my mom to change my barber because he asked me playfully if I had a girlfriend yet. I was around 8.) I just said, “Thanks!” and left.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I can’t help but wonder if that was some attempt at luring me or grooming me. Granted, I’m not a kid person, so maybe people make these sorts of comments to kids, but it still strikes me as weird. But, as we’ve moved into the information age and I’ve dug into crime maps that show the number of registered sex offenders there are out there, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone making an attempt.” — optigon

“I was travelling in Asia with my friend. We were out at a bar and she hooked up with a guy and left with him whilst I was in the loo. I had to find my way back to our hostel in the dark in a city I’d arrived at that day as single obviously foreign young woman.

I took a wrong turn (pre google maps days) and ended up surrounded by 3 guys who were offering me a lift in a car, in a city where most people didn’t have cars. When I turned it down one of the guys started pulling on my arm towards the car and I just legged it.

Thankfully I was only a street or two away from the hostel but I have never been more terrified in my life. Pretty sure I avoided being a nasty statistic that night and my friend didn’t understand why I was so angry at her.” — AnneLister

“When my HS boyfriend and I split when I was 21, after spending a few months coping with it on my own I figured I was sound enough to start dating again. Started a profile on POF, ended up meeting a new-to-the-area tattoo artist who lived a town over.

He was attractive, seemed well put together. Said he was 28. I met him in a very public cafe for our first date, and we hit it off really well. Started spending my afternoons when I’d get off work at his shop.

I was young, dumb, and naive. I got too comfortable around him. We went out to a bar for drinks, probably mid-January. There was snow on the ground, I remember that. I had on a sweater, black cami and a knee-length pencil skirt. He got more and more controlling and aggressive the more he drank. Trying to pick fights with anyone who so much as glanced over me. At one point I went to the restroom, and he sent a random girl in looking for me less than a minute later. She told me to run.

He had had too much to drink, and with a little girl that he had split custody of, I didn’t want him driving home and risking getting a DUI and getting her taken away. I offered to drive him home if he would get me a cab back to my car.

When we got back to his place, he refused. “Just stay here tonight, I’ll take you to your car tomorrow.” No. I don’t sleep over. This upset him. He went back to his bedroom, and I pulled out my phone to look up cab companies in this town. He came out with a .45 pistol and racked one into the chamber. I took off like a bat out of hell. Left my shoes, which I had kicked off at the door out of habit.

I ran like my life depended on it. I didn’t know if he was drunk enough to chase me down. When I saw headlights pulling up behind me, I turned and screamed “leave me the fuck alone!” loud enough to wake the devil. Glass shattering. It was a woman in a Subaru. Not quite my mom’s age, but close. She looked as terrified as I felt. Told me to get in, and took me to my car.

No, I didn’t press charges. Because young, dumb and naive me didn’t think it was that big of a deal. “It’s not like he pointed it at you. It’s not like he raped you.” Because I didn’t give him the chance? I don’t know.

Anyway, I paid to do a background check on him when I got home that night. He used a different last name, but I had seen his given last name on his tattooing license at the shop. He was 10 years older than he told me and had 2 violent felonies in another state. I was the crazy girl that gave the heads up on all dates after that that I would be running a background check on them.” — [deleted]

“I had a professor in college who is currently a psychologist at a federal prison (that people like John Gotti have died in) and she always said she wasn’t afraid of being around the very large “scary” looking inmates because most of them just use their size as an intimidation tactic and won’t actually do much in terms of trying to hurt her. She knew what to expect from them. But she feels very uneasy and unsafe around small inmates (like your ex) because they don’t have their size playing to their advantage and are so unpredictable… scary stuff!” — MrsMcCoin

“Not really a close call for me but for a girl that I had briefly been friends with when I was quite young. She lived down the street from me and her parents and my parents got along well enough and we played together a handful of times when we were 4-5 years old. Fast forward to when we are 14/15. It’s late on a Saturday night; my mom and I are watching TV when we hear furious knocking on our side door (we don’t use the front and people who know our fam are familiar with this). We run over to the door and it’s my old friend with another 2 girls. They’re frantic and begging us to let them in. We bring them inside and lock the door because they’re obviously scared of something outside. Well turns out they took a late night walk to the nearby 7-11 to get some snacks and whatever and this guy started following them. They tried to run and lose him through the suburbs but he clearly knew the streets well because he stayed following them. My mom peeks out the front blinds and lo and behold there’s a guy on the sidewalk out side our house just like waiting. She goes and wakes my dad up, who gets his gun, and runs outside to chase the guy. We called the cops and it ended up being this girls neighbor…. and he was a registered sex offender and although my parents never told me all the terrifying details following this occurrence, he was arrested and confessed to having not so pure intentions by following my friend and her friends. It was terrifying because it was a hot minute before he was fully moved out of the neighborhood too; my sister and I weren’t allowed outside by ourselves. I’m just so thankful that my friend remembered which house was mine and had enough sense to come pounding on the door. I can only imagine what would have happened to them had we not been home/answered the door/etc.” — DareintheFRANXX

“In the late ‘80s my mom took my brother (3) and I (5, girl) up to Jacksonville, Fl to visit my dad who was in the military at the time. It was the off-season and we were the only ones at the beach by the hotel.

When we went back inside, a hotel staff member told my mom to take us to our room and lock the door. While we were on the beach, a man had been stalking us and slowly crept closer in.

The hotel called the police who came and arrested the man. He was a wanted child rapist from the area. They said he was likely waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Gives me chills to think about it.” — AgentDaleBCooper

“I was running in a cemetery and a white truck stopped right beside me. I ran across to another road and by the time I went around the corner the truck was gone (about 5 minutes later). I’m looking around because I have a bad gut feeling and I see the truck waiting on a hill…just sitting there. I call my mom and tell her what’s going on. All of a sudden the truck must have spot me and starts driving really slow towards me. I’m kind of standing behind a tree when it drives past me and the guy just has this creepy grin and is staring at me. I read my mom the license plate number and he sped off. I had the worst feeling about it and haven’t been able to run in our cemetery again.” — lanebanethrowaway

“I went to a large state university in the country part of the state. One day on my way to class this middle aged man, clean cut guy looked like your average professor or dad, approached me but his eyes just looked crazy to me. He said he needed to teach a class but was stuck with his kids for the day because the sitter fell through and did I have a break between classes to help him out by watching them and he would give me $50. Red flag #1. Then he said they were in the car in a parking lot on campus, major red flag #2, and no way this guy had kids. I said no I was headed to class and he grabbed my arm and I shoved him and said don’t fucking touch me and walked off. Later that night on news campus police arrested him for bringing a girl to his car, he was trying to force her in but she got away. When they found him his car had rope, handcuffs, duct tape and other general items for an attack or what have you. Days when I’m thankful for growing up in a city with street smarts to recognize crazy and danger. I would have never gone with him because generally I’m skeptical of all people until I’ve known you for a while. But there are plenty of people who want to just help or think someone is good because they don’t look a certain way. Major missed call.” — msslissa

“Back in the 70s my mom and her hippy friends hitchhiked all the time. There was a serial killer hunting in the area (I can’t remember if this was when my mother lived in Madison, WI or Michigan). She is certain she was picked up by him one night. He drove past where she told him to let her out and wouldn’t say anything. She booked it out of his vehicle at a stop sign. One of her good friends, a hippy chick who wore her hair in a braid down to her butt went missing. I don’t remember how long after that it was but investigators found skeletonized remains with a very long braid. They were able to determine the skeleton was that of my mom’s friend. I do know the killer was eventually caught, mom pointed him out on TV, ‘That’s him, that’s who picked me up.'” — Ellamaehem

“I was driving down a country road one night when I clipped a deer with my car – it limped off into the undergrowth, so I pulled over to see if I could find it and maybe call out my local wildlife hospital. I was tramping along the verge in the dark peering into the bushes when a car pulled over with two men in the front seat.

They wind their window down and look up at me and I just sort of word vomit at them about looking for a deer, etc, etc. Neither of them say anything. The silence becomes…unnerving. They share a veeeeeery long look between them and I suddenly become aware that as a single, unarmed young female in the middle of bloody nowhere, I might be a little bit fucked here.

And then headlights appear round the corner just down the road and this car screeches off suddenly. I never found the poor deer, but I think I might have avoided an equally unpleasant ending for myself.” — dame_sansmerci

“When I was 24, I was walking back to my car in a mall parking lot with my mom. There was a big van parked next to my car and as I rounded it I saw a guy standing a the front of my car. My mom was a few steps back and he couldn’t see her around the car. He asks me where the grocery store is and I tell him that there’s none for miles. He insists and tells me his friends told him to meet him right around here at a grocery store. I tell him again there’s no grocery store. I’m still being dense at this point and don’t get that anything is wrong. He asks if I could just show him where the closest one is and do I step towards him in between the two cars. As I do this, two things happen: two of his buddies step into my view from around from the front of the van and my mom steps into view around the back. We all pause and they look from my mom to me a couple of times before the first guy says nevermind and they leave. My mom was so pissed. She said they were going to push me in that van and no one would ever see me again.” — ginger_genie

“I live in a city with a high amount of human trafficking. Anyways my car was in the shop and I had 3 hours to kill, so I walked across the road to go to Sephora. As I was walking across the road and parking lot, I could hear a car slowly approach from behind me so I veered off into the grass. Luckily my instincts were right about the creepy car and the guy rolls his window down and starts trying to woo me to his car. After I ignored his advances his sped up. By this point I was like fuck Sephora, I’m just walking to the closest store. I barely made it across a median when he pulled up behind me to get out of his car. By this point he was yelling at me to come close. Btw At this point I was an underweight 20 year old who barely registered 5’3”. No way in hell was I gonna fight this man. Luckily I put ran his car (only because he couldn’t drive over a concrete median). I made it into the store safely, but that shit still creeps me out. Especially every time a man rolls his window down to cat call – it bring up this memory.” — radams713

“When I was in 3rd grade, a man stalked me on my walk to the bus stop for a solid month, trying to get me to get in his car. He claimed he knew my parents and started off by asking me how they were. He’d say, “How’s your dad? How’s your mom? I went to school with them, yadda yadda yadda.” Eventually he started asking me if I wanted a ride to school and I was always very shy so I would say no and shuffle to the bus stop. Every day he would slow down and roll down his window, say hi, ask me about my parents, and then ask me if I wanted a ride and then he’d turn down a street before my bus stop. It bothered me but I wasn’t aware of just how dangerous the situation was. I was too young and he didn’t seem threatening… just annoying.

Less than a week after the last time I saw him, he kidnapped a girl a few years younger than me from my school’s parking lot. She escaped but was sexually assaulted. He attempted this with a few other girls in my town as well. He was caught and went to prison.

Unfortunately, he is out of prison and is not on any sex offender registry due to Megan’s Law coming into effect 4 years after everything happened.” — CocaChola

“Had my mom not come out of the convenience store just in the nick of time, my brother or I, could have been kidnapped. About 6 and 8 years old, we were sitting in the car waiting for her to grab whatever it was she was getting when this guy comes out of nowhere and flings the car door open on my brother’s side. In that same moment my mom comes out of the store and sees the guy. He took off running fast towards a dingy-looking apartment complex. This was around 96′ in Tacoma, WA in a very seedy area.” — [deleted]

“In the early 70s, my dad was a teenager always looking for work and hitchiking around Houston Heights and staying on couches. He has told me for 30 years, and never changed his story, that one day in ’72 his motorcycle broke down, and some nerdy little kid in glasses stopped and told him he had the same bike at his house and would sell him the parts. My dad tagged along, but when he was brought to the bike behind the house, it was a shitty moped, nothing like his motorcycle. He turned around to tell the kid he was leaving and that the kid was a jackass, but then he saw a much older man in only dirty tighty whities come around the corner with something big in his hand, a wrench or hammer or something. My dad took off running and ran until he couldn’t, then hitchiked back home.” — ProfJemBadger

“Was hanging out in my kitchen with two girl friends after school. We’re 15 at the time. I think I see movement at the back patio door, and go to look—it’s a 30-something man with his hand on the doorknob. Seeing us, he immediately turns and books it out of the backyard. He has to pass two more windows in close vicinity to get to the front of the house, so we’re all watching in shocked silence like wtf. We shift to a front window to see him sprinting down the street until he turns a corner on a much busier street and is out of sight.

I immediately call my mom and she’s like “Huh, that’s strange.” And that’s it. Doesn’t tell me to call the cops or anything, and I’m too dumb to think of it.

Now? Now I think that man knew our house, knew we usually left the back door unlocked, and knew when I got home from school. I think the only reason I’m not telling a different story is because I invited two friends over on a whim and he was not expecting to see three of us. But that’s my Murderino brain talking.” — [deleted]

“Lived in a relatively nice neighborhood growing up, everybody knew everybody else. I was maybe 9 or 10, home alone by myself after school while my parents were still working. There was a knock on our front door and I went to answer it, thinking it was probably one of the neighbors. At our front door was a 20-something man, really sweaty and out of breath. Told me he was training for a race, been running through our neighborhood, and was wondering if I could get him a cup of water real quick. I thought it was an odd request but nothing else really weirded me out about this guy. He handed me his own cup, I filled it at the sink, gave it back to him, and he left.

Of course when I told my parents a strange man had been on our doorstep asking for water they flipped out and we had the stranger danger discussion. They told me never to open the door for a stranger again.

I’ve always wondered if he was a thief seeing if anyone was home? Maybe part of a group canvassing the neighborhood? Potential kidnapper? Who knows.” — inglorious_beats

“Not me, but my deaf aunt once accepted a ride home from the grocery store from a man who turned out to be Clifford Olson. The only reason she is still alive is because my mom, who had just started dating my dad at the time, worked at said grocery store, so my dad often came to visit during her lunch breaks. He saw his sister getting in the vehicle and had a bad feeling about it, so he followed the vehicle onto the highway and ran it off the road. He grabbed his sister and threatened to kill the driver if he ever saw him again.

His sister was upset with him for it, she was embarrassed that her brother was too paranoid to let her accept rides from seemingly charming, and handsome young men. My dad maintained that he had done the right thing and that he just had a feeling. She stopped being upset at him a few weeks later, when the face of that “handsome and charming” man that had picked her up was plastered all over the news, having confessed for 11 different murders, and being hailed as ‘The Beast of British Columbia.'” — Luna-and-I