Worst Roommate Ever
February 21, 2018 9:32 AM   Subscribe

 
....this....is an uneasy read at a time when I am about to re-launch my own ad to seek a roommate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on February 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


...this....is an uneasy read

Could probably use a trigger warning.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:43 AM on February 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


I couldn't even finish the article. Started stressing out. I'm grateful that I am not in a position where I need a roommate. I've had some odd folks as roomies in the past but thankfully, not malicious--evil. The lesson here is don't take anyone on face value. Do your homework, pay to run a credit check, get references.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:44 AM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


Jesus Christ, that is horrifying. The part about taking the woman's cats to a kill shelter...that just took my breath away. I'm glad that piece of shit is dead.
posted by holborne at 9:45 AM on February 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


Holy fuck that just got more and more fucked up as it went along.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:07 AM on February 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


This is like a cranked-to-11 version of this Previously, though that was a whole-home tenant.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:16 AM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


It seems almost designed to destroy trust. So much for welcoming the stranger.
posted by Baeria at 10:16 AM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


This is more horrifying than most actual horror movies.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:19 AM on February 21, 2018 [28 favorites]


Oh my gosh. That went from weird to terrifying to sad to enraging to horrifying.
posted by Bob Regular at 10:23 AM on February 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


I have fortunately (knock wood) had good luck with roommate seeking thus far; a closer read is reassuring me that the dude had some red flags I'd have picked up on at the initial screen (he sounds a little intense in the first-impression stage, and I have always kind of reacted badly to that).

....but....that said, I'm gonna be careful. (Any of y'all know anyone who needs a place in Brooklyn as of April 1?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Gah, I witnessed something like this when I was much younger. And the perp even looks like the mugshot in the article so much that I'm questioning if it's the same dude. (It can't be, but... crap, what if?)

My roommate had an old friend who (surprise) was getting out of prison. Apparently they had some shared history, there, and maybe there was a debt owed or something.

My roommate was an incredibly peaceful rail thin, elfin hippy, and his friend getting out of prison was short, swarthy and definitely suffering from a number of problems. Short man syndrome, narcissism and more.

Stuff like this started happening. Furniture would be re-arranged. The kitchen would be totally re-organized in weird ways. Homeboy also fancied himself as a painter, and he started painting the inside of the apartment. In really garish, unsettling colors. In impossible to remove tempra paint pigments and acrylics, not house paint.

And, oh, stuff like lifting weights shirtless in the living room while company was over having a casual dinner party. And stomping around, slamming doors, and slowly, slowly escalating the victim blaming and slowly, slowly changing from "grateful to have a couch ex con trying to get on his feet" to "misunderstood and deeply wronged creative genius we were all lucky to have around the house doing things like painting and re-arranging the furniture, and it was his place, too, and everyone was trying to force him out and be mean to him".

These tirades were often delivered by ripping off his shirt and starting to do curls and reps, all while keeping up the emotionally manipulative patter and pacing around the whole house and trying to physically dominate the space.

This all came to a head a few months later, after way too much tiptoeing around and too many discussions of "Ok, what the fuck do we do now?"

I had a cousin and a friend visiting, and she'd brought a friend from work, and this friend was hitting it off with my roommate. This was my cousin's friend's first time at the house, too.

Well, this new friend wasn't having any of our dirtbag houseguest's bullshit and saw him for what he was immediately. At one point she's in the kitchen working on a snack or drink, and jerkface is around the corner painting the inside of the laundry room some weird pukey colored pattern.

I didn't hear what he initially said to her, but I heard her say something like "Well, that's totally unhealthy/unacceptable, and you should be nicer." and I heard his response to that just as my roommate walked into the kitchen. That response was "Shut the fuck up, you stupid bitch" in this really disturbingly insulting sort of mock-singsong childlike way.

My roommate turned white, then red, then stilt-walked out to his car and came back with a baseball bat and just started swinging while we all stood around in shock going "Oh, shiiiiit." and totally blown away by our super peaceful friend finally just losing it.

D-bag ex-con was unfortunately pretty uneffected by this and started scuffling with him, half in and half out of the kitchen. At this point I realize my roommate is in over his head and if he loses the bat, stuff is going to get felonious real quick, so I dive in and tackle our d-bag houseguest, rip the bat out of both of their hands and hand it off to the new friend, who takes the stupid thing outside and hides it somewhere.

Jerkface McFuckwit at this point breaks off and realizes I'm twice his size, half his age, I clearly no longer give a fuck and he's trying to goad me into getting angry enough to swing on him, screaming obscenities at me.

I keep calm, and this just pisses him off enough that he tackles me into the wall and knocking out a section of plaster the shape and size of my head and upper back, and I'm so pumped up by adrenaline and a lot of pent up anger from the past few months I don't realize what I'm doing until I've got him pinned against the wall by his head with his feet a good foot off the ground and my arm cocked back ready put it right in his stupid face.

And in one of the most badass moments of my whole life, I manage to say "Please, please give me a reason to hit you." and meant every fucking syllable of it. I wanted to hit him so bad it scared me, and it probably showed.

He didn't. He just crumpled at that point, and realized it was over. I never had to actually hit him and he just collapsed like an old wet dishrag.

I think the only other words exchanged were my roommate saying "Get out." and d-bag saying "I'm leaving." and throwing all his crappy paintings, paints, clothes and his stupid dumbbells in a big cruddy pile in the back of his car and peeling out of there, forever, in less than 30 minutes.

Man, we had a hell of a party that night. It was like tearing off a bandaid or... crap, having shackles cut off. We could breath again.

In hindsight, we probably got off easy. That dude was sick in the head and was disturbingly, disgustingly smart and good at being unsettling, unpleasant and manipulative. He obviously got some kind of kick out of the betrayal of trust, the fear and the manipulation.

(Note to self, thank current housemates again for being kind and not insane.)
posted by loquacious at 10:30 AM on February 21, 2018 [111 favorites]


Holy fuck, I had to stop reading after the kill shelters...
posted by I-Write-Essays at 10:31 AM on February 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


God, that's terrifying. (Sounds like it would make a good movie screenplay, though.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Well, that just knocks all of my bad roommate stories into a cocked hat, including the one that I had a fistfight with.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:34 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


And people wonder why I like living alone.
posted by deezil at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2018 [21 favorites]


Fortunately the worst "ex-roommate" story I have was an ex-boyfriend, and that's a leeetle different. The worst properly-roommate ex-roommate I had was just a flake who would be late with utilities, and then moved out on me with only 2 weeks' notice, and one of those weeks I was in Rome, so I had only 1 week to find a new roommate.

Everyone else seems to end up getting offers to move in with their significant others after a year or something like that, and that's the only issue. That's why the person moving out now is leaving (although, I learned yesterday that she was rude to our super, who is hands-down one of the sweetest guys ever, so I'm not going to miss her; you do not fuck with Mr. M on my watch).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I mean, I don't even like having neighbors, tbh.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:39 AM on February 21, 2018 [31 favorites]


Could probably use a trigger warning

If only for the picture of the cat litter in the toilet, gah.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:42 AM on February 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, if I was looking for a move to Brooklyn, you'd be my first call.
posted by deezil at 10:42 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


if I was looking for a move to Brooklyn, you'd be my first call.

I'd get in-house tech support, I'd be down. ;-)

(Kidding. I would be down with that, though.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:44 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


What a horrible story! Jamison reminds me a bit of the tenant in this post, but even worse and scarier.
posted by TedW at 10:51 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


This definitely needs content warnings.
posted by Ampersand692 at 10:51 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oof. I loosely know one of the women this guy terrorized. Tenant-friendly laws designed to protect people without a lot of money or power from ruthless landlords absolutely blew up in her face. In any other circumstance I'd be all about a system where landlords aren't given the ability to evict people without a fight, but he exploited the shit out of it and made her life a living hell. I'm so saddened to see that he victimized SO MANY other people as well.
posted by marshmallow peep at 10:55 AM on February 21, 2018 [13 favorites]


Welcome to my nightmare. Come on in the water is fine.
posted by rudhraigh at 10:56 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


(Note to self, thank current housemates again for being kind and not insane.)

Note to self: stop obsessing, OBSESSING over your bad roommates from 20 years ago, when all they did was stiff you on the rent.
posted by Melismata at 11:18 AM on February 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


Prospective roommate: "Do you share food?"
Me: "Sometimes, but not usually."
PR: "Well, I like to cook, and when I put food in the fridge, I get very, very angry if people don't eat it."
Me: "Wait, don't eat it?"
PR: "Yes, I feel unappreciated."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:21 AM on February 21, 2018 [38 favorites]


For anyone who couldn't make it through the article (I'M ABOUT TO SHARE THE END OF THE ARTICLE, STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT AND PLAN TO): Bachman ultimately wound up murdering his brother, getting arrested, and then killing himself the day before his first hearing.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:22 AM on February 21, 2018 [17 favorites]


This would make an excellent horror story, a fratricide with a very long lead-in, just like a tarantino joke. Except it's far from funny. Makes one wish for a social credit system, which could weed out at least these worst assholes.
posted by Laotic at 11:29 AM on February 21, 2018


What a garbage person. I'll be living alone in my 2000 sq ft home for the rest of my life - California's tenant laws are way too lax to take this kind of risk.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:31 AM on February 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


holy fuck
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:43 AM on February 21, 2018


My worst roommate situation was a guy who drank too much too often and would invariably get naked and play along to Lynyrd Skynyrd using his penis as an air guitar. And his dogs would shit everywhere too. So I've been lucky.

The worst worst roommate story I've heard was from a friend of mine who moved away to another city and moved in with a guy she found on roommates.com. This was when text messaging was new, so it unfolded like a serial microblog; she'd text almost daily about the new strange thing that happened. It was something between a detective story and a train wreck, with her trying to document what was happening and reason out why her roommate could possibly be acting that way.

It culminated in him texting her at 2am to confess his eternal and undying love towards her. It wasn't a surprise, we had guessed this was coming so she was prepared and turned him down hard and set some boundaries via text. He texted her again an hour later to say "I have to go to the hospital, don't go in the bathroom". He had performed some unknown act of self harm and there was blood EVERYWHERE. She packed her car and moved out then.
posted by peeedro at 11:44 AM on February 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


Wow.

What really stuck out for me was the lady at the end who basically was second-guessing herself and feeling badly -- yet another indication of the way women are conditioned to smooth things over when a man behaves terribly. And in this case psychopathically.
posted by knownassociate at 11:52 AM on February 21, 2018 [41 favorites]


the only funny thing about this story was that his law school professors said he was the most brilliant student they'd ever seen.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:05 PM on February 21, 2018 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I'm sure it was just a coincidence that (aside from family and the childhood friend) all of the people he stayed with were women.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 12:05 PM on February 21, 2018 [28 favorites]


What really stuck out for me was the lady at the end who basically was second-guessing herself and feeling badly -- yet another indication of the way women are conditioned to smooth things over when a man behaves terribly. And in this case psychopathically.

Nope. It's a "special" gift all narcissist have regardless of gender. It's important to point this out or else a renter might let down their guard if the applicant is a woman.

I agree with the trigger warnings, BTW. The article seems designed to undermine trust more than anything else.
posted by Beholder at 12:24 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


All of this is mind-boggling but nestled in the middle is a mention that the local BBQ chain that used to be my neighborhood go-to was founded by Lee Atwater and I was not prepared to learn that.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:33 PM on February 21, 2018 [24 favorites]


For those who were suggesting this could be a movie or whatnot, I point you to the 1990 Michael Keaton vehicle Pacific Heights, featuring Keaton as the tenant and Melanie Griffith & Matthew Modine as the homeowners.
posted by uberchet at 12:34 PM on February 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


Or even better, Single White Female from 1992 with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
posted by Melismata at 12:36 PM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Even ordinary roommates are scary. I had several; one was in the process of handing her mother's inheritance over to Scientology, another borrowed all my clothes, and a third was the kind of cheery, hearty person who made me want to go to another city. Oh, and there was the one who painted the walls black and painted psychedelic pictures on the wall in day-glo colors.
When the last one moved out, I advertised for a roommate in the local free paper in the 1970s and a guy called asking me what kind of underwear I was wearing; the person who eventually moved in packed the third floor with his belongings, never slept in the house, and moved out two months later.
posted by Peach at 12:41 PM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I am so grateful for my roommate right now you have no idea.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:47 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm sure it was just a coincidence that (aside from family and the childhood friend) all of the people he stayed with were women.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:05 PM on February 21


It struck me that simply giving the false name Jed Creek would probably be enough to get any court to allow an immediate eviction, and that for all of his supposed legal brilliance he was really mainly just leaning on being a sadistic, bullying psychopath.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:50 PM on February 21, 2018


I need to know if the cats end up okay in the end before I can read this. Please advise, thanks.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:51 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]



Yeah, I'm sure it was just a coincidence that (aside from family and the childhood friend) all of the people he stayed with were women.

Not true. At least three men were named as former roommates in the article, though the focus is absolutely on the women. I wondered about that too, as women seem like logical victims for him, but he does seem to have picked people to exploit regardless of gender.

Jacqueline: the fate of the cats is unclear. Sorry.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:55 PM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Jacqueline: I don’t think so, but the bit you’ve already come across is the only mention of that incident.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:57 PM on February 21, 2018


When I read this earlier this morning, I immediately thought of the recent HuffPo story on Paul Nehlen's campaign advisor, Josh Smith:
"The Monterey Bay Fish Grotto tried to accommodate Nusbaum’s impairments with a special policy that allowed him to “scarf down” food he brought during eight-minute breaks — two per shift — throughout which he stood in a corner of the kitchen, eating while the restaurant staff watched him. But these sessions did not sate him. He was taking meth twice a day and wanted to snack on some of the restaurant’s food for free. Diners lodged a formal complaint about his jittery behavior. Nusbaum continued to flounder and filed for bankruptcy, having amassed over $130,000 in debt from unpaid college loans and years of bills he’d ignored. In January 2007, the fish restaurant canned him.

A few months later, Nusbaum sued the restaurant in federal court, claiming that the business had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to address his eating requirements. He represented himself and filed angsty motions that described the “megalomanic [sic] nature” of his boss. He skipped his own deposition.

The case dragged on, and Nusbaum moved into the home of a boyfriend he’d met online. The man owned a local business and shared an interest in bondage and sadomasochism. “I was the submissive one,” Nusbaum later told another court in a different proceeding. Living rent-free in his lover’s house, Nusbaum focused on lashing a settlement out of the restaurant.

Over the course of the next year, however, Nusbaum’s romantic relationship deteriorated, and he began to harass and threaten his boyfriend, who on one occasion had to barricade himself inside his room, according to court records. Nusbaum raged explosively. His boyfriend took to sleeping in his office at work, afraid that Nusbaum would attack him at home. When the man broke off the relationship in November 2008, Nusbaum refused to move out. That month, he also legally changed his name to Joshua Smith."
Both of them were raised in relatively privileged families; both erratic law students who used their talents in sociopathic ways. Only differences being that Smith hasn't killed anyone yet and Bachman doesn't appear to have been overtly white-supremacist.

I haven't had many roommates in my life and I've been fortunate to have never lived with anyone I didn't like. The closest I ever came was when I once gave refuge to a friend who for reasons wasn't up to living life at the moment. After a month of slow-burning chaos, a friend of a friend (a big ex-army woman) offered to "scrape that fungus off your couch." I assured her that I was perfectly capable of cleaning my own sofas and shortly after that my friend left.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:59 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


I choose to believe that the reason she knows her cats were dropped off at shelters is that she found them and retrieved them.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:59 PM on February 21, 2018 [49 favorites]


Worst roommate I ever had was the one who moved into a shared flat I was in and came with several cases of malt liquor. It went about as well as you would think.
posted by runcibleshaw at 1:00 PM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Okay since people keep requesting it here but nothing has been done, I'm going to ask the mods for content-related warning about violence and death against both animals and people, because WHAT THE FUCK. If I ever posted anything like this without warnings, I would fully expect to be banned from MetaFilter by the first-ever "member stays or goes" elections.

(I am now fucking ruined for the day because of the cats, as one of mine is currently sick, so thanks a lot.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:02 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Mod note: Added a warning.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:09 PM on February 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


This is really a pretty horrible story, so thanks for adding the warning, LobsterMitten. I wasn't expecting that level of deliberate psychological cruelty, just absolute total unhygiene and foul personal habits with a side-helping of grossness, like this.
posted by ambrosen at 1:41 PM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


What a nightmare. For some reason I imagined the guy making his legalese threats in Jordan Peterson's voice, but that might just be me.

I had a tenant for a while who was an unemployed lawyer. He was fine for a while but then he started sending very long threatening legal letters demanding massive rent reductions on utterly spurious grounds. After few months it went to a tribunal hearing. My wife- a high school teacher- destroyed him. We later found out that his legal practice had gone broke and he had been embezzling from his clients. He always paid his rent on time though.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:53 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Interesting thing to note: William Brennan and NYMag were on this story last Summer, before the murder ever occurred.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


the local BBQ chain that used to be my neighborhood go-to was founded by Lee Atwater and I was not prepared to learn that.

Their 'Southern Spices Strategy' should have probably been a warning sign.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:00 PM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


For those who were suggesting this could be a movie or whatnot, I point you to the 1990 Michael Keaton vehicle Pacific Heights, featuring Keaton as the tenant and Melanie Griffith & Matthew Modine as the homeowners.

Or even better, Single White Female from 1992 with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh.


It's funny that these are both about unhinged female roommates - is there a prominent example of this in fiction with a male roommate?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:01 PM on February 21, 2018


It's funny that these are both about unhinged female roommates

I am pretty sure Michael Keaton is male. (He is the unhinged tenant in Pacific Heights)
posted by thefoxgod at 2:04 PM on February 21, 2018 [15 favorites]


Augh I misread and thought it was Diane Keaton, sorry!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:09 PM on February 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


Ambrosen, that is one hell of a story.
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 2:22 PM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've always been appalled at what people will put up with as far as roommates go. I once had a friend who complained out of the blue that his roommate would throw darts at his head when they wanted him to go somewhere that wasn't their apartment. "You mean, like, real darts? At your head?" "Yeah - she never hits me but it's kind of annoying and sometimes they stick in the wall really close... Look - you can see the holes here..." "DUDE WTF? CALL THE POLICE!" "No ... I wouldn't want to do that. It's just kind of annoying."
posted by lagomorphius at 2:26 PM on February 21, 2018 [17 favorites]


As to the cats: my reading was that that most likely turned out fine, since they were only ever dropped off at kill shelters. If they were euthanized, that would undoubtedly have been mentioned as another consequence of his behavior.

For all of his horribleness, I still felt a pang for him when they did not allow his pets to be placed back with him, especially since by all accounts he did take good care of them (permanently taking pets from people because they go to jail is a precedent I feel...uncomfortable about).
posted by mosst at 2:38 PM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Wow. That was a completely engrossing read that did not go the way I expected. Holy shit.

I've only ever had one psycho roommate - my first one, in college - which involved some underhanded stuff like her cutting our phoneline with a knife, sprinkling baby powder all over another roommate's bed and (for some odd reason) smooshing apricots into the carpet. And a lot of other drama. But wow. This is just so far outside the 'normal' bad roommate behavior that I read the whole second half with my mouth hanging open.
posted by widdershins at 2:47 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Seconding that this would be horrid to be or encounter, but would make an excellent screenplay.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:48 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


A man murders another man for eating a cheese sandwich in the library stacks. A grand jury declines to indict. WTH! - I note this depiction of events is different from the NYM story and may point towards the lack of indictment.
posted by unliteral at 4:11 PM on February 21, 2018 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I went looking for more info on that, too. Frankly still sounds like the guy was planning to murder the dude, but I guess I'm not surprised that in that particular southern milieu that he was able to skate on 'self-defense'.
posted by tavella at 4:33 PM on February 21, 2018


I once had a roommate with a cat, which had been his ex’s. She was very sweet. Eventually, we were moving to a new place and insisted that his ex take the cat back. I later found her (the cat) pregnant in the alley. I never figured out which of them dumped her, but I told him “you do not get to have anything more to do with this cat” and took her to a no-kill shelter, paid her fees, and I’m told she was adopted by a nice family. I’m still a little worked up about this nearly 30 years later.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:06 PM on February 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


I'm about to show a potential roommate our house tonight and I think reading this article gave me hives. And when I have a roommate: they fill out a written application, I get copies of their ID, run a background check, run a credit check, call the last landlord/roommate they had, and I get verification of employment & copies of bank statements. But STILL I feel like I have hives now. Jesus Christ.
posted by zdravo at 5:28 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


I have never had a bad roommate, which logically means I am the bad roommate.

I also had to bail on the article after the stuff with the pets. I disagree that he cared about his own pets, I think he just used them as accessories and emotional leverage. People like that don’t deserve the companionship of animals.
posted by um at 5:39 PM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


One time I lived with this guy who would eat all my Kellog's Raisin Bran and replace it with generic store-brand.
*shudder*
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:04 PM on February 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


Looking at Bachman's picture, I can't imagine how anybody considering renting to him would have said, "Him. He will stay here."
posted by emelenjr at 6:26 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


The photo of Jamison Bachman that accompanies the FPP is his mugshot from his arrest for (TW) killing his brother. So I assume that he looked more presentable when he went looking for a place to share with a roommate.
posted by virago at 6:51 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


The thing that struck me was how *nice* all these people seemed. The poor brother bailed him out of jail twice. The poor ex was still sad for him. I guess that's a big reason why this was able to happen, but gosh.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:56 PM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


A man murders another man for eating a cheese sandwich in the library stacks. A grand jury declines to indict

Should’ve been a ham sandwich.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:59 PM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


One time I lived with this guy who would eat all my Kellog's Raisin Bran and replace it with generic store-brand.
*shudder*


I had a roommate once who fried canned oysters and then pretended he hadn't.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:36 PM on February 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Everyone else seems to end up getting offers to move in with their significant others after a year or something like that

Back when I had roommates, that seemed to be the unofficial "thing" you had to do if you were with a guy long enough when lease signing time came around. At that point your roommates are probably getting annoyed at sharing the house with you and your SO so it seemed like some kind of obligation that you'd have to shack up then.

Back to this story: jeebus, I didn't expect it to get to the point of murder suicide. And yeah, I think women are acculturated to feel bad about something like this even though it's not their fault a total asshole murdered and killed himself.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's kind of interesting that he learned to do this in NL, because there is a class of crime there which I *thought* could only happen there because the laws are so strongly pro-tenant. It's virtually impossible to get tenants out, regardless of what they do. Until very recently, it wasn't even possible to contractually limit the length of lease-- a lease could specify a minimum term and not an enforceable maximum term. Everyone in Amsterdam knew horror stories about someone who was riding the tenant protection laws in a crazy and abusive way from apartment to apartment. Not like this guy, naturally, but not far off either.

I'm remembering graduating in the 1990s during a recession and living in a big group house in West Philly with a strange succession of roommates. I had a roommate who accused me of killing her birds using voodoo (she left the window open during the winter), another roommmate who refused to pay utility bills because she was an artist and the rest of us were teachers or secretaries (she used to leave flat globs of wax stuck to the walls as part of her art) and a third who used to sleep in my bed when she was sick because she got bored with her room.

Good times.
posted by frumiousb at 9:27 PM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


I had a roommate once who fried canned oysters and then pretended he hadn't.

No jury would convict.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:06 AM on February 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Glad I read the comments first.
posted by filtergik at 3:57 AM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Overall I'm strongly in favor of pro-tenant laws--the number of abusive landlords is inevitably going to outweigh the number of horror story tenants. But goddamn, when you get the horror stories that expose the opportunities for abuse of those laws, well, they are horror stories.
posted by schroedinger at 4:51 AM on February 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


.....holy shit, my mom just posted this article on FB, and she went to school with the guy. "I don't think anybody would have pegged him back then as a sociopath. But he definitely had a petulant kid-brother chip on his shoulder even at age 11. He dressed and talked like he was too cool for you, and yet he was physically soft and mentally not too bright."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:57 AM on February 22, 2018 [15 favorites]


(tw: mistreatment of animals/animal-on-animal violence)

I had a roommate almost this bad, except I was staying in her home. When she let the facade slide, she'd only communicate in passive-aggressive notes she left on the counter. She was terrible to her pets, constantly leaving her dog locked up for a whole weekend (no, I didn't let this happen). She constantly threatened to kick me out, even though by that point I'd already be leaving on the first. Every day I was getting manic, confusing, threats and passive aggressive moves. It broke the day she came home from work around 4am (she was a dancer), and started slamming the cabinets and her door (which was right next to mine) repeatedly. I tried to sweat it out for about 12 minutes, but finally came out of the room and asked her to stop. She tried to force me back into my room, and then punched me in the face. I called the cops, which apparently they were familiar with her house, and told her if these things didn't stop they'd have to "take measures". She packed a few bags and left for her mom's house in the next state, it was only a few days before I was moving out. She left her cat behind (for about 3 days), and i took care of him in that time.

I moved in there in a hurry, because the house I was at before that was almost as bad. I'd met the owner, seen the property. He was an EMT training to become a fireman. Owned his own house, which was in great condition. He said he was looking for new roommates because the old ones partied too much, and as a new firefighter he'd have a more stringent schedule and responsibilities. That was either a lie, or he's got terrible self control. He'd have parties at least once a week. Another roommate, who we were told was moving 2 weeks after we came, never left. He was an alcoholic looking for work. I'd sometimes come out of my room to see him passed out on the stairs. More than once he quit cold turkey and went through withdrawal in the house. He had 2 dogs, both were out of control. One night in particular, just to give you an idea on how bad it was, he had friends over well past 3am. We (my then partner and i) were awoken to screaming, and loud thumps. We were sure there was a fight going on, it wasn't the first time. We came downstairs, to see his dogs (two pitbulls, one a very large beefy male, another a smaller but still muscular female) locked on each other, the male biting the female's head, the female on his leg. Two men were trying to pull the dogs off each other, while the owner was using a wrench to try and pry the male's jaws open, another person was screaming just to kill the male, there was blood all over the livingroom floor. After the dogs we separated, all of the partiers went outside to keep drinking. I helped the owner clean the female's head wounds, it was pretty bad. My partner cleaned all the blood off the floor. The owner had gotten bit in the process, he had a deep puncture wound on his forearm. He tried to super glue it shut. Then all of the drunk people returned, and convinced him to try and cauterize it with the clothes iron. At that point I just went back upstairs.


Having a stable home now, it's crazy to look back on all that and see how traumatizing it was.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:13 AM on February 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


Upsetting story. It made me think of Dirty John and how it's so hard to legally pin down abusive, manipulative men.
posted by SarahElizaP at 3:36 PM on February 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


Jesus the worst I ever dealt with was the friend-of-a-friend who moved in (and somehow ended up sharing a room with me, while my friend who had invited him there got his own room?). Guy initially tried to pay his share of the rent in weed (sure, with my name the only one on the lease? No way was I letting him bring a football-sized bundle of pot into the apartment). Then it got even more fun, when he invited his girlfriend to move in with us. Aside from the fact that she was a klepto, she was a 14-year-old runaway from multiple states away. Which I found out only after she appeared on our doorstep with her bags. God, looking back on it, it's hard to believe that it was only a 4 month experience. Shit roommates are the worst. That semester sucked.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:42 AM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


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