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!




 

34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah...like a white, gay, combo Bill Cosby/OJ Simpson or something...

      :-)

      -Andy

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    2. Andy summed it up perfectly!

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  2. Oooooh, it is so dark out right now. That is scary. Why did you not tell the police?

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    1. I did tell the police - I was interviewed by the police. He was the #1 suspect in the murder - and he disappeared. They never apprehended him.

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  3. I hope he didn't have a bumper sticker on his car that read " Don't laugh, You're Next" - Glad you moved on and he faded from the picture.

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    1. I wonder if he had any bodies stashed in the trunk of his car....

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  4. Jon,

    I may have been gone the next day with that kind of thing. It's amazing who crosses our path.

    Larry

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    1. I quit that job within a week. I had a very strong feeling that I was next on his list.

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  5. Sometimes a person will get bad vibes from another; mostly woman say this it is the guy just gave them the creeps. It is best to follow your instinct.

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    1. Initially I didn't pick up on the bad vibes....but after awhile the bad vibes started screaming....

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  6. Oh that is really scary and creepy!! Glad you quit the job because he knew you were there alone at night. Icky guy!! I think your angels were looking out for you. :)

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    1. I still get the chills thinking that I was totally alone with him in that huge isolated place. I must have had a guardian angel.

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  7. This gave me the shivers since it reminded me of a close brush with a serial killer as a teenager. I escaped. Thank gawd you quit that job since that psycho had you targeted. I can only hope he was caught before he took another life ..... or died a miserable death.

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    1. Wow! I would like to hear your story of the serial killer. In retrospect, I am positive that this guy was a serial killer, too. And from the things he reveled, I believe that he killed his wife.
      So far as I know he was never caught, but there's no doubt that he must be dead by now.

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    2. Jon ... google "Highway of Tears." On Wikipedia there's a link to Bobby Jack Fowler ... an American criminal and alleged serial killer who made his way to Canada. I will tell you my story if you wish to share your email with me. It would be too long for a comment on your blog.

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    3. I did Google him and there's a lot of information. Very scary. If you feel like emailing me (please don't feel compelled) here's my address:

      JayveeRhapsody@aol.com

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  8. That's too horrid, Jon! I'm stunned he seemed to have gotten away with those crimes.
    ... then again, real life isn't as simple as a 60-minute episode of CSI.

    I hope you can glean some comfort knowing he's most likely deceased.

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    1. I've had a lot of harrowing experiences in my life, but this was by far the most frightening. I am positive that I was one of his intended victims.
      So far as I know he was never caught, but he certainly must be dead by now.

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  9. For a minute, I thought you were going to tell me you got locked in a room with a stiff one! In which my reply would be haven't we all!!!! Very spooky indeed Jon! Did they ever arrest him do you know??? Can you come stay here for a time and just regale me stories???? Unlimited gin, beer and dinners!

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    1. I definitely have a LOT of stories to tell, but this is by far the most creepy. The last I heard he completely vanished and was never caught. I often wonder just how many people he killed......
      .....and I shudder to think that I was almost one of his victims. It's a good thing that I had a sense of humor and was able to humor him.

      My charms work...even on the criminally insane..... (*smile*)

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    2. Yes you are most certainly lucky!!!! I good friend of mine from high school moved out west. I remember my mother telling me on her local news a local girl had been found murdered who had moved out west in Phoenix. To everybody's horror, she was beheaded. I was in total shock. For a while they suspected her boyfriend, but he cleared. It took 22 years but they finally found the killer. So you never know when they may finally catch a killer. But she was ahead of me in high school, but did she make school fun, she was so funny! If you google Angela Brosso murder various stories come up.

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  10. Excellent story, Jon. Apparently I've missed a lot in my lack of different occupations.
    You should do more of these, the episodes that you haven't told us.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. I truly do have a lot of interesting stories to tell. In retrospect I was much more courageous in my youth than I am now. I would never want to be a security officer again. This was by far my most frightening experience.

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  11. Definitely creepy. I was stalked as a young woman. So I understand your horror that there was a murder. And that you were also a target. Good thing he disappeared. On the other hand he could have surfaced at any time. You must have felt uneasy forever and a day.

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    1. It must be terrifying to be stalked. I was extremely apprehensive after the murder - because the janitor had discovered my home address and private phone number. There was no way I could have stayed at that job because he knew my routine - I would have been a very easy target for him.

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  12. Sometimes it's best to go with your gut instinct about some people. We are constantly processing gestures and micro-expressions of others without much conscious attendance. Then suddenly it all makes sense --maybe a new friend, maybe a stalking murderer. Fortunately we've been able to tell the difference so far. Good thing too!

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    1. I am admittedly paranoid now in my "old" age. When I was young, I was a lot more trusting. At first I thought the janitor was harmless. As time went on, his conversations and behavior became more and more alarming - and irrational. Gut instincts are very important and not to be ignored.

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    2. Jon, I'm glad you lived to tell the tale! Your story reminds me of Ann Rule's book THE STRANGER BESIDE ME. She met Ted Bundy while she was doing volunteer work (the night shift) for a suicide hotline in Seattle. After her shift was over, he always walked her to her car to make sure nobody tried to harm her. Talk about irony!

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    3. Dylan, I had completely forgotten about that! I never read the book but I heard about it. That is really chilling. I'm still extremely haunted by the graveyard shift time that I spent alone with the janitor.

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  13. Omg.. that story gave me the creeps!!!!! Glad you survived.

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    1. That STILL gives me the creeps, after all these years.

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  14. Always, always always listen to your instincts! I have a feeling you had bad vibes from that guy from the get-go, but you were too nice to listen to them. I'm glad you got out of that with nothing more than a scary story to tell.

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    1. You're absolutely right about instincts. And I did have bad "vibes" about him from the very beginning - - but I didn't realize he was dangerous until he started telling me all those weird, bizarre things.
      I'm only glad that I had a great personality back then and was able to constantly humor him. But I doubt if my ploy would have worked for very long.....

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