Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Psycho Next Door


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

One day I was perusing the onscreen guide on TV, and the blurb for this movie stood out:
Three teens blackmail a serial killer into helping them deal with a violent bully.
(The movie: Acolytes.)

I didn't turn on the movie. It's not my sort of thing. But it's a fascinating premise...

What if you suspected your neighbor was a serial killer, but you had no way to prove it? How would you make sure you weren't his next victim?

22 comments:

  1. I guess blackmail. Like that one short story by Stephen King where the boy finds out the older man next door is an escaped Nazi and to keep his secret, the boy demands he teach him how to kill.

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  2. Great question! Probably move, LOL :) (if that was an option). I think I would be curious what the serial killer picked for their victims, if there was a consistent theme and I was in that group they might pick, I think I would go back to my first thought with moving. Of course shouldn't we want to turn them in?

    betty

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    1. Of course we want to turn them in, but we don't have enough evidence. If you can find a cop who would believe you, you'd be good, but what if all the police you told didn't believe you?

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  3. I am such a skeptic! I probably wouldn't believe it!

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    1. Ah! That's a possibility. You could discount that what you're seeing is true. That takes the situation to a whole new place.

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  4. I'd probably notify the police and have them get some detectives on the case. Then I'd move.

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    1. But what if the police didn't believe you?

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  5. That's assuming that I'm not the one he should be worried about, which is just silly.

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  6. I'd check with the Life Lock alert messages to see if it showed him as a recently released offender. Then I would talk with police about my concerns. Then I would install up-to-date security hardware in and around my house. Then I would buy and gun or two, and become proficient at using them. Then I would set up traps all over my property (Home Alone style). Get a few guard dogs. Etc. I've thought this out, I guess.

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    1. I'd ask if you ever had to implement that plan, but I'd better not.

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    2. No, but I have a good imagination, and could if needed. I wish I had become proficient in martial arts during my young years. Then I would be set.

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  7. I'd confide my concerns to as many people as I thought would take me seriously and keep a close eye on the neighbor, maybe consider arming myself if I felt threatened.

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  8. I would be scared silly. I'd probably have to move. I think my neighbours are pretty normal though. We're the weird neighbours in our street.

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    1. Being the weird family is probably a bonus.

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  9. Wow...that sounds like some hardcore stuff. Do they not realize the serial killer could kill THEM? It would take a lot of work, if I were writing that story, to try to show just how scared the teens were to approach him. And, like your question insinuates--if you knew someone was a serial killer, why wouldn't you turn him in? Having him kill a bully is a little extreme!

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    1. It was an interesting blurb, which is what drew me to it in the first place. I'm kind of curious how the movie turned out, but not curious enough to turn it on.

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  10. This is really, really lame, but I'd call in an anonymous tip--even if it was made up, so the police would check the guy out.

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  11. Ahhhh wouldn't that be a thing. No idea if it's true but there was a thing going around on how we cross paths with like 37 murderers in our lifetimes. Gah but that can give ya the willies.

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  12. If he were a serial killer, I would find out what kind of person he was killing-men, women, hair colour to make sure he is not looking at me in that way. I would inform the cops so at least there is something like that on file. I would look into moving-actually I would do that first before tipping off the cops so he would not suspect me. If I fit the profile, i would take a self defense class, dye my hair and carry a knife and learn how to use it from the neighbourhood gang

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  13. Interesting question. Move most likely. If that weren’t an option, and I thought I fit the alleged serial killer’s victim profile, I would put all my non-conclusive evidence in a safety deposit box along along with a letter outlining my suspicions. Then I would confide to everyone I trust, including other neighbors who might also be in danger. Then I would subtly (not exactly sure how I’d accomplish this), alert the the alleged serial killer that if something happened to me, s/he would be suspect #1.

    VR Barkowski

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  14. Boy, what a question! I guess I'd be concerned but skeptical. But in reality, I have an officer who lives next door to me, but he is weird and so is his family. But say it was a serial killer instead and not the police officer, I'd probably do some of the things already thought of here. Turning him in would be number one on my list, but as you say, what if the police don't believe you, or there isn't enough evidence? I guess that would be some rumor if there was no evidence to start this gossip in the first place. I would be curious if it was true and who his victims were.

    I would probably contact a guy I know who used to live here and is a former officer and let him persuade the officers here to check into the guy. He's still friends with some of them and they'd believe him. Then I'd put it all in writing and into a safe place, and then proceed with some of the other things mentioned earlier.

    That would make an interesting book if the police officer next door ended up being the serial killer. Hmmm...

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Of course, if you have a personal relationship with the police, then they'd be more apt to believe you.

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