Monday, August 1, 2016
MY NIGHT WITH A CORPSE
You want to hear a real horror story?
It happened to me many years ago when I was in my early 20's but I still get chills when I think of it. I'm going to drastically condense it, because the whole story is far too long and complex for a blog post. I plan to include the complete version in my memoir.
Southern California. I'm 22 years old, working nights as a security officer. I've worked at numerous places. On some jobs I was armed. At this particular place (in Orange County) I was unarmed.
I worked the graveyard shift, from midnight until 7:00 a.m. It was a well-known company with a large facility. Out front was the main store. A huge building in the back housed a factory on the first floor and offices on the second and third floors. There was also a sprawling fenced yard which was used for shipping and storage, with lots of loading docks and out-buildings.
On the day shift there were hundreds of employees and three security guards.
On the graveyard shift the place was completely empty - with only me.
I had to patrol the entire facility every hour and it was so large that it usually took 45 minutes for one patrol (if I went quickly). Even though I was generally fearless back then, it was admittedly unnervingly creepy.
The only person I ever saw at night was the "janitor", who would arrive after midnight to return all the keys to me and to punch his time card before leaving.
The janitor actually supervised the cleaning of the half a dozen branch stores in Orange County. When he was done, he'd return to the main facility (where I was) to give me the keys and punch out.
Eventually, after punching out, he would linger talking to me. At first it was only for a few minutes. Soon, however, he'd stay half an hour. Or an hour. I didn't like it. It slowed me down and cramped my style.
The entire essence of the janitor puzzled me. He was in his early 50's, very good looking with piercing blue eyes and silver hair. He was always smartly dressed and well groomed. He drove Cadillacs and Lincolns.
Most surprisingly of all, he was intelligent. We discussed music, opera, literature, art, movies. I liked the conversations.
What I didn't like was the fact that he occasionally lingered long enough to accompany me on one or two of my hourly rounds. He insisted on taking the long routes - and taking the elevator to the third floor instead of the stairs.
Eventually, his conversations turned to sex - and he began telling me about some of the daytime male employees he thought were cute. Then he admitted that he thought I was especially cute. One night when we were sitting in my office, his hand dropped onto my leg and quickly wandered up to feel my crotch. I backed off and told him I wasn't interested.
I was no prude, and certainly wasn't innocent - but I would never have sex on a job and I had no desire whatsoever to get involved with him.
It was shortly after I spurned his advances that his conversations began to change. He told me that his wife had died mysteriously, and that he was glad because he inherited lots of money. He said he didn't need the janitorial job but simply did it for fun.
He soon started telling me outrageous stories about how he was able to procure lots of drugs ..... how he drugged several security guards and young men to have sex with them....and how he knew what combinaton of drugs would be lethal.
Afterwards, he'd go into a "humorous" mode and say he was only joking.
His tales got so bizarre that I didn't know what to believe. Sometimes his blue eyes looked glazed and would pierce me with a chilling stare. I always managed to humor him and keep him laughing. At the time, I wasn't exactly afraid of him but I was extremely annoyed - to the point where I considered either reporting him or quitting.
I'll try to speed this up.
One day, the guard on the shift before mine got sick and I was called in early. I went in at 9:00 p.m. for a ten hour shift. There was chaos at the facility that night. Several main outside gates had been carelessly left open and office doors were unlocked. I quickly went around the grounds, making sure everything was secured. It turned out to be an odd and uneasy night.
I got an office call from the janitor, telling me that he wouldn't be in. He was going to Nevada for a few days. I was greatly relieved.
At around 3:00 a.m. I became extremely tired and did something that I'd never done on a job before - I fell asleep for about half an hour. When I awoke I had an incredibly uneasy feeling, as though I was being watched. I managed to complete all of my hourly rounds, but the creepy feeling that I had was extraordinary.
The dock workers began arriving at 6:00 a.m. They were mostly Mexican men who hardly spoke English. Shortly after their arrival there was commotion outside and one of them burst into my office screaming to call the police. In the trash compactor - right outside my office window - was the mangled body of a young man.
The body had been placed there during the night, on my shift, only a few feet away from my office. As if this wasn't horrifying enough, the murdered man was an employee of the company where I worked. He was exactly my age...and his name was John.
And, I was told by several workers and the police that the murdered man looked exactly like me! They said we could have been twins.
The day after the murder I got a call at my home from the janitor. This shocked me because I never gave him my number. He insisted I that I had. I told him about the murder at work and -
he changed the subject! He didn't want to hear about it!
There was a list of the security guards home phone numbers in my desk at work. That's undoubtedly where the janitor got it. There was absolutely no doubt that he was the murderer - and I also strongly suspected that he had murdered his wife and very possibly other people.
And there is no doubt that I was on his murder list. Leaving the body near my office must have been a warning.....
I was interviewed by homicide detectives. I quit my job shortly afterwards solely because I didn't feel safe. The janitor was the prime suspect in the murder and was wanted for questioning but he disappeared, never to be seen again.
I still get the chills thinking about all those nights I had spent with a murderer...and how very close I had come to being murdered myself.
There's much more to this story that I didn't reveal.
It continually haunts me.
One more thing that I just remembered. The night after the murder, while I was doing my outside security rounds, a cat jumped out of the trash compactor right where the body had been and literally scared the hell out of me - and the compactor turned on by itself!