That Time a Serial Killer Confessed to Me

Once upon a time, an ordinary conversation slipped into a killer admitting horrific crimes. I’m sharing this story to talk about the nature of evil and also because…
on Aug 1, 2019 · 38 comments

Those things we’ve experienced ourselves inevitably shape what we write about. I’ve had many experiences that are uncommon–which I’d say is a mixed blessing, because while many of those events were horrible, all of them give me interesting things to write about. And one personal story relates to a serial killer, which I’m about to share here.

When I graduated with a BA in “Modern Foreign Language” from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1995 (I studied Spanish, French, and German), I felt I had enough of living in Colorado. Though for me, “Colorado” was actually the Denver metropolitan area, the specific place in “the Rocky Mountain state” where I lived. I’d had enough of traffic, enough smog, enough bad driving in Denver the first serious snowfall of every winter, enough crime, etc. Etc.

I was eager to get back to my home state, Montana, which I was to a degree seeing through rose-colored glasses after 6 ½ years in CO. I mean, after all, it was a lack of a job in MT due to a generally poor economy there that had been one of my prime motivations for moving to Colorado in the first place.

In a combination of that rose-colored view along with some Evangelical idealism, I decided I would start a Christian school in Montana. Not that I’d ever taught full-time. Or even been certified as a teacher. Or had been an administrator. But I had energy, plans, and a lot of optimism (and an innate risk-taking personality).

Note that my plans included a lot on curricula and what to teach and how, but not a lot on how to pay the bills to make ends meet. So, after 2 years, the school I began in Dillon, Montana—picking that town not because I had ever lived there before, but because my brother-in-law was a pastor there—closed down due to a lack of funds. Sad for me, but true.

So, paying the bills for my family after that time meant working what jobs were available. Since I’d been trained as a medic in the Army, my best paying opportunity in Dillon was to work in a nursing home as a CNA, Certified Nurse Assistant, a.k.a. an orderly, a.k.a. a professional bottom-wiper. ?

My last comment reveals some of my humor about what I did—I actually did hate it at first, in part because of a sense of pride in how supposedly bright I am with so many big ideas, and there I was doing that. While failing at the school taught me some of the humility I was lacking (some, because I can always use some more humility), working at the nursing home eventually had an even stronger positive effect on me.

I learned how to really love people in a way I’d never experienced before. To show kindness. To extend mercy.

The nursing home industry (and the nursing profession in general) was and still is dominated by women. I was one of the few men to work as a CNA in Dillon, Montana. And the one clear advantage I had over every woman I ever worked with as a Nurse Aid was I could lift more weight with less strain. Very handy when dealing with heavy patients.

So after working there for three years or so (I spent five years total working in a nursing home and as a home health aid in Dillon), I sometimes was put on a shift for the sole purpose of giving baths. I could get nursing home residents in and out of the tub quicker, with less risk to me and less risk to the resident than pretty much anyone else who worked there.

Bathing residents was a different experience that working the nursing home floor–there, we CNAs were usually in pairs and most of the rooms had multiple people in them. It was not all that often that I was truly alone with a patient. But in the room I bathed patients, we were there by ourselves, the resident and I, with a type of bath that had jacuzzi jets. Nobody outside heard anything we said in there.

One of the residents in the nursing home had the exact same name as an entertainer who had been famous in the early part of the 20th Century (and he’s still a household name). He of course joked about his name often. For the sake of telling this (true) story, let me call him “Jimmy”–which wasn’t his actual name, but was close enough.

I was giving Jimmy a bath and he’d mentioned to me previously that he was a veteran of World War II. And since I had learned to engage the people I worked for in conversation and to get to know them as people (and also was curious about the Second World War), I was asking Jimmy questions about his war experience, where he had been, what it had been like, things like that.

Jimmy wasn’t extremely talkative with me in general, but after a bit on that particular evening, he opened up and spoke about his time in France, including shortly after the Germans were defeated there. I don’t in fact remember his exact words, but I’m going to recreate something he eventually said as best as I can recall it:

“So you know that after the war, we realized that a lot of those French girls had been with the Germans.” He said all this in a gruff, raspy voice shaped by decades of smoking (the consequences of which eventually killed him).

“Ah, yeah, I suppose they were…you know, doing what it takes to make it in the world. But how did you know for sure?”

“Well, I slept with one of them French girls. And afterwards I saw she had a whole bunch of jewels. And those French people were so poor then, I knew she had to have been with one of them Germans. They gave her the jewels.”

“So then what happened?”

Not what “Jimmy” looked like, but close enough. (Russian serial killer Mikhail Popkov, image credit,

“I killed her! Strangled her. And then I took the jewels.”

I didn’t know what to say. Though I imagine my mouth was open.

“Yeah, she had it coming, helping those damn Jerries! But then I found other girls the same as her. Those that had no jewels I knew were good, but the rich ones I knew had been collaborating with the Germans. So I killed them. And took their jewels. But they deserved it!”

I still had no words.

Public sentiment against women who had consorted with Germans ran high in France in 1944. The typical response though was to forcibly shave their heads, so they’d be known in public. Image credit:

“When I come home, I had a whole duffel bag full of jewelry. And when my folks saw it, they wondered where I got all those jewels. When I told ’em I killed French girls to get them, they looked at me, eyes all wide.” He demonstrated a shocked expression. “But then I told them what them girls had done. And they said, ‘Well all right then–if they were sleeping with Germans, then it was okay. You did good.'”

Then he looked at me. Stared at me. I think he was waiting for me to tell him I thought it was all right, too.

Some part of my mind was wondering if he was really telling a true story. But there was absolutely no reason for him not to tell me the truth. Nothing to gain from this kind of lie. But if I were to offer him understanding as a military man myself (at that point I was already a veteran of the Gulf War and had mentioned that to him), then, well then the conversation had a purpose, a reason. Only if it were true.

I’ve been rather confrontational in my life, speaking truth when it isn’t pleasant, often enough to have had a reputation for it. But I became that way moreso after this particular encounter than I was beforehand. At that particular moment, I said something like (with a dry mouth):

“Well, Jimmy, it’s time to get you out of that tub.” And that’s what I did, got him out of there. And I toweled him off and dressed him and took him back to his room, him for a change speaking more than me, I having fallen silent.

But then I thought about what he told me. Should I tell someone? But who would I tell and how? And was there even a purpose in telling? Jimmy was only a few years from his death (which yes, was pretty evident at the time).

So in the end I did nothing. I didn’t even tell anyone in the nursing home about it. I’m not even really telling them now, even if one of them should read this, because there were two male residents in that place and during that time who had the exact same name as a famous entertainer of the past.

I’m not sure even now why I’m not saying his actual name. It might be because of his family–his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Should they actually know? But couldn’t they just say they didn’t believe me if they heard?

How many more crimes have been covered up by simple inaction? People not knowing what to say or do. Even people who are normally bold risk-takers like me.

And how common is this sort of thing? How many other ordinary-seeming people have in fact committed horrific crimes? More than most people suspect, I think. Because even most people who do evil know it’s evil and cover it up–or seek to justify it. (Though in fact it’s almost always easier for people to do wrong when they have something to personally gain from evil–in Jimmy’s case, easier to kill and take the jewels than simply kill. And it’s also easier to do evil against people the public looks down upon.)

Note I’m not against portraying evil–I think some of my remarks two weeks ago about the way evil can affect people when portrayed, when normalized, seem to have been mistaken for me saying I am against ever portraying evil. No, I’m fine with showing evil as it is–just not with pretending evil is not evil, for the sake of justifying ourselves (as even Jimmy did). For what it’s worth, I hope my slice-of-life true account benefits someone. At least those of you who sit down to write fictional stories which may include serial killers.

But benefiting others honestly isn’t the only reason I’ve written this. Because like “Jimmy” himself, I’ve been holding onto that story for a while now…

Travis Perry is a hard-core Bible user, history, science, and foreign language geek, hard science fiction and epic fantasy fan, publishes multiple genres of speculative fiction at Bear Publications, is an Army Reserve officer with five combat zone deployments. He also once cosplayed as dark matter.
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  1. Travis Perry says:

    As I think back over what I wrote for today’s post, I realize part of the reason I never did anything was it was actually easier to believe he must have been lying, even if that made no sense.

    I actually wrote this more out of a kind of writer’s block for today’s post–I have to put up an article every week and I wanted to do something interesting and this came to mind. I’m actually acting as if this never really happened. But it did.

    Maybe in the WWII chaos in France a lot of young women died and nobody is trying to solve the mystery. But maybe someone is after all–I have no way of knowing.

    So I think I’ll contact French authorities and at least ask.

    • Reaching out to French authorities is a good idea, just in case. Regret for inaction is one of those things that can haunt you. I once felt compelled to pray desperately for someone I didn’t know – a public figure I only knew about through magazines and television. I also felt I should write to the person but I did not – why would they care if I was praying for them daily? Would they even get the letter? Then a year later that person took their own life. And now I’ll never know if my letter could have made a difference. But I’m more inclined to obey the Spirit’s leading.

  2. You know, I’ve often been annoyed at how movies will portray a person who has done horrible crimes as though they didn’t have a care in the world. They’ve killed people, and they are off having a great time. I don’t feel that’s possible, it seems that it would eat at you from inside and grow harder and harder to be happy. I guess I’m asking if having heard this man’s confession, it surprised you, or if you could see that he was living with the guilt?

    • Travis Perry says:

      He was not a happy man. He lived a life of hard drinking and smoking and his cigarette addition was seriously affecting every aspect of his life by that point (he couldn’t walk across a room by himself). Though he did return to the USA after WWII and have a family and live more or less a “normal” life in the decades following what he told me he did and he had children and grandchildren and even more descendants (as far as I know). But none of them ever came to see him that I know of.

      And it was clear he wanted me to absolve him of having done wrong so many years ago.

      I had an opportunity perhaps to share the gospel with him then and offer him a chance at actual forgiveness. But I didn’t. I really didn’t know what to say.

      Though I did talk about Christ with a number of people at that nursing home and believe I did with him at some point. But my memory on that is vague. If I did talk to him, he wasn’t receptive.

  3. Sarah Witenhafer says:

    Such admissions are stunning. We don’t know how to process the information and especially given the circumstances of age. I wouldn’t have known what to say either. And while I can hope that I would have gone back to Jimmy to confront him and share the gospel, I probably wouldn’t have.

    I had someone admit something to me so casually, in passing. Like throwing a bomb and never putting down your knitting needles. I couldn’t respond.

    This is only one small reason we have a debt we cannot pay. Only God is good.

    With regard to portraying evil, Heather Ledger is great, tragic lesson in researching and representing such things. It ate his soul.

  4. Travis C says:

    Thanks for sharing Travis. Talk about a life of interesting experiences! Shoo…. I just finished watching Band of Brothers and was reminded, in the portrayal, of how many women were treated as the Allied forces recovered geography previously taken by the Nazi forces. It brings to mind a reality of the topic that brought us together, warfare, and how even after the war is done, it’s not done. And there are far more casualties, of all kinds, outside of the battlefield and the soldiers fighting than we recognize.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Yeah and for a certain group of young women at that time, if they turned up missing, it could be thought that: 1. They were killed in some kind of cross fire or artillery fire, what today is called “collateral damage.” 2. Germans killed them. 3. French partisans killed them. 4. American GIs killed them.

      So I suspect these sorts of deaths are not high priorities for French authorities. But I can’t be sure about that–I haven’t even checked. And I need to.

  5. That must have been so bizarre and upsetting to hear. Maybe it was good for him in a sense. Like, your reaction might have forced him to rethink his actions and realize how wrong they were before he died.

    Stories like this are partially why I get irritated at people for angry ‘justice oriented’ speech and behavior. If they have that mindset during normal situations, it could influence them to do bad things in a more serious situation. No one can keep justice oriented speech and behavior out of their lives completely, and now and then that’s a good thing, but most people aren’t as self aware about that stuff as they should be.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I wish in retrospect though I’d been direct with the guy about my disapproval at the very least. But that was going on 20 years ago now.

      The reality is there are certain events that are very much real that seem as if they are not–and some things that seem real that aren’t. Most people like to downplay our own evil and also imagine other people are not as bad (or worse) than us. So it can be a real surprise to find out things people actually do.

      • Hm…If he was looking for you to absolve him of guilt/tell him he did the right thing, your reaction would have spoken volumes. Sometimes even silence speaks louder than words and can be more effective. So much of human communication isn’t even verbal. It’s very understandable for you to wish you’d said something from your side of it, though. Feeling frozen in inaction when we want to have done something isn’t anywhere near pleasant.

        And yeah. I guess that’s why it’s frustrating when people assume they could NEVER do anything bad under any circumstances just because they think they’re good, caring people.

  6. notleia says:

    What gets me most is that it seems more like he was looking for an excuse to kill women he thought were unclean. They don’t get any leeway for trying to survive the best way they could, they were supposedly deliberately aiding and abetting the enemy so they have to die. Did he kill restaurateurs or merchants who sold them food? No, he killed women, who had even fewer choices for survival.

    Just…why the fuck is sex and violence so closely intertwined with men? What kind of lame-ass Freudian shit is this?

    • Another thing to consider is that a sexual situation is where he discovered this issue/saw it first hand. In that situation, he was alone with these women and therefore a lot more able to kill and get away with it. And maybe restaurateurs and merchants weren’t paid nearly as much. I do think he was looking for excuses, though. Like, excuses to vent anger toward his enemies and steal/become rich. Sex would have only been one component to this situation.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Well, one thing is he had them alone, because of the intimate environment. It would be a lot harder to get a shopkeeper alone.

      And maybe also being intimate with them gave him a sense of possession and then a sense of personal betrayal that they had also slept with men who had tried to kill him and his buddies. That of course justifies nothing that he did. But obviously if he had been a strict monogamist, those women would be in less danger. Sex and violence DO overlap each other, and not just with men killing women, though that’s usually the way it works.

      Another one of my true stories that I may share another time is when I worked as a security guard in an apartment complex in Aurora, Colorado (prior to moving back to Montana, actually) and in an apartment with two women lovers, one murdered the other. I was the last person to see the victim alive and also saw her dead. I was the key witness at the murder trial (the killer got life without parole).

      • notleia says:

        Is it all that natural for sex and violence to be so intertwined? I guess it would be if sex and possession are combined, but I think it’s more a cultural thing than a “natural” thing.

        Sometimes it’s just all too easy to see that marriage laws and customs are based on ideas of property laws rather than partnership.

        • Travis Perry says:

          Culture can influence people a lot but I think it influences starting from an innate baseline that applies to most (but not all) people. I think people who are physically intimate with one another naturally tend to feel they own one another. I believe that’s the baseline human behavior–no one has to teach it and almost everyone feels that way (women every bit as much as men, if not more).

          You have to get used to sex with multiple people via practice in order to not feel jealousy with sexual intimacy. Of course some cultures do and have practiced this idea that sex is just a sort of fun, momentary giveaway that doesn’t mean much. But I think that deviates from the normal human baseline.

          I also think that being jealous of one another is natural and not necessarily unhealthy. Though I also believe that the ideal expression of sexuality is in marriage and marriage in its ideal form is lifelong monogamy. Jealousy is healthy in my view if it keeps you faithful.

          Yeah, this man I’m referencing grew up in a culture that praised the idea of monogamy. But he clearly did not practice that ideal himself.

          • notleia says:

            Seems like an ack-bassward way arrange things. Maybe people should learn to deal with their own petty jealousies and insecurities BEFORE they get to have a partner. Why would you want to inflict that crap on someone you’re supposed to love?

            • Travis Perry says:

              Yeah, it’s not so surprising that we disagree given we’ve openly stated different views on religion and many other things.

              But here’s the point you should think about–people are possessive of things like the chair they normally sit in at a restaurant or church. People pick favorite cars and sports teams and favorites for millions of other things.

              Being territorial is normal human stuff. Why would you think humans do not naturally tend to bond with one another and be jealous of one another? (Are you perhaps living in some imaginary fantasy land inspired by feminist visions that presupposes things about human beings that are not in fact true?)

              Note, I agree culture or personal experience or even to a degree personal preference can to an extent cause people to behave in a way that’s atypical. But what’s normal for humans is wanting to find one to bond with, bonding, and feeling some jealousy if that bond is threatened.

              The solution to the problems that can come from people bonding with someone they never should have spent a nanosecond with or from jealousy that can lead to rage are not to be solved by becoming so callous towards others than you don’t give a damn if they come or go–an attitude that lets you use their body as long as you both agree that’s OK and then says “no biggie” if they decide to pick up and leave. Again, that’s not being secure in my view, that’s being callous.

              That kind of stuff can kind of sort of work for many people, but the joy of really loving someone deeply, bonding deeply, which may include some jealousy, is a much deeper and more rewarding situation than modern-sex-on-demand. That sort of bonding is best expressed in marriage and remaining faithful to that marriage once it’s established. In my observation and opinion, of course.

              Though what people are normally like has nothing to do with my opinion. It’s pretty evident–just look around. Feel free to read literature from other languages and cultures if you wish. You’ll see what I mean if you’re willing to objectively look–emotional bonding in a sexual relationship is normal. Sex without bonding is abnormal. (And yes, the reverse side of bonding is jealousy. That’s also normal.)

              • notleia says:

                The subject at hand was jealousy to the point of violence and killing, not feeling out of pattern because someone took your preferred chair and now you have to actually think about where to sit. Spouses shouldn’t be pacifiers. It’s unfair and also unsustainable.

                Also my focus is on the violence and killing, not the mere existence of jealousy. And this is totally a gendered issue. Most female murder victims are killed by their male partners or former partners. You’d think the stats would be more balanced by men killed by their female partners, but no.

                (Spoilers, my answer would be a long essay about toxic masculinity and long, long centuries of cultural misogyny that normalized male violence on female targets as “natural.”)

              • Travis Perry says:

                And your answer I would probably judge to be about 75% things that are not justified by history or science and 25% some actual good points. I don’t begrudge you your good points, even when I feel compelled to point out you (and not just you, because your point of view is a direct reflection of a lot of Feminist thought) are not really understanding what human beings are actually like. Mostly not. Even though, again, you’re occasionally right.

                I was trying to explain how violence would be a lot less against women if–oh let’s call it “Monogamous Patriarchy” for fun–were actually practiced the way it’s supposed to be in religious (PATRIARCHAL) books like the Bible. But it isn’t and never has been as an overall cultural thing. Far too many people (especially men) were cheating on those old rules–and still are. (Direct application: If Jimmy hadn’t been sleeping with French women as the rules of the Bible command, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do violence to them.)

                And women do, by the way, kill men sometimes. And women kill women lovers too, sometimes. And men kill men lovers, and men kill men they don’t even know…and in fact the majority of all killers are men and have been in every culture in the history of the world that I’ve ever heard of. And science does show a link between testosterone and aggression and men have more testosterone. So that would seem to mostly account for it.

                That’s not me writing a blank check for men to go out and commit violence. by the way. On the contrary–I think one of the reasons men need faith in Jesus is to learn to be humble and compassionate and less aggressive.

                But it IS me mentioning that while I can actually agree that specific cultures and sub-cultures reflect what we can label “toxic masculinity,” that does not really explain why men kill more often very well. Men kill more often no matter what–and in many cases, like war, are also killed more often.

                In short, the feminist assertion that the only difference between men and women is the difference assigned by culture is wrong. While there’s a great deal more flexibility in that relationship than Conservatives generally acknowledge, there are also limits. For example, there has never been a society, not even one, where all the women were warriors and none of the men were. But there have been plenty the other way around. Why would that be?

              • notleia says:

                There is a school of thought that thinks gender is purely performance, but I’m not entirely of that persuasion. Otherwise, why are there people who object so much to the performance they are expected to do?
                I think biology/genetics influences where on the spectrum you land. I think biology influences factors like impulsiveness and risk-taking. But what effing advantage is there in men so aggressive they harm their own spouses and communities? Natural selection should weed that crap right out.

                You put a lot of stock in the warrior class, but what if they’re not actually that important in the broader scheme of things? The warrior class was developed to deal with outside threats, yes? What if there are no more meaningful outside threats? What if more testosterone is not the best adaptation for the environment? Humans aren’t the dominant species because we are the strongest or the most testosterone-ish. Gorillas are stronger, horses are stronger. The source of our intelligence seems to be because we organize ourselves in complicated groups with complicated relationships, and we needed complicated brains in order to process that. The whole seems to be greater than the sum of its parts.

                But to backtrack a bit, for as much as you like the idea of this rose-colored monogamous patriarchy (or even if I liked the idea), it’s pretty well moot if it has never actually functioned in real life. There is valid criticism in the functionality of feminist ideas because they’ve never really existed to be tested, but we’ve had many, many years of many crap flavors of patriarchy — polygamous, monogamous, what have you — and guess what, they all suck in practice. What are we supposed to do in the real world?

            • There’s different levels of jealousy, though. Like, if two people care about each other and agree to be exclusive, you can’t expect them to be happy if their SO cheats or constantly looks at other people. Being jealous in that respect can help someone have decent self respect(if a deal is made, it shouldn’t be broken, and constantly allowing it to break without saying or doing anything means the person is constantly letting their boundaries be broken) It also shows that two people care about each other. If there is no possibility for jealousy to exist in a relationship, then one person in the relationship could feel like they don’t matter to their SO.

              That’s a reasonable level of jealousy. HOWEVER, if one of those people is jealous in a paranoid possessive sense, like to the point where their partner pretty much can’t do anything without being accused of cheating, that’s bad. Obviously, it’s also bad if jealousy gets to the point where people react to that feeling with violence.

              Jealousy is a normal emotion, it just needs to be tamed and used right, just like anything else. Engaging in it in a healthy way means expecting one’s partner to be faithful and maybe even getting a little upset when they truly aren’t, but at that point it’s important to handle it reasonably. Is there a way to salvage that relationship? If not(like if the cheating partner refuses to stay) then they should be allowed to leave, more than likely with no strings attached.

              • notleia says:

                Perfectly reasonable. That’s why I don’t think monogamy is really a “solution” to jealousy, because there are abusers who use jealousy as an excuse to isolate and control their target no matter what the target has actually done.

              • Interestingly enough, I have several species in my stories that mate for life as both a moral and biological thing. Throughout the years of developing those species, exploring the effects of how that would function and all that, there does seem to be a lot of obvious ups and downs, so I think exploring the healthy and unhealthy dynamics of jealousy is important.

                I believe monogamy is better in a lot of ways, but I agree that it isn’t a direct solution to jealousy in a lot of cases. Sheesh, polygamy isn’t, either. Jealousy and a person’s relationship style are, in many cases, two separate things. What’s important(in terms of how well people treat each other) is self awareness and self improvement and being caring and considerate toward others.

              • Travis Perry says:

                I think though that trying to make everyone polyamorous in hopes we will abandon jealousy (which is not something you came out and said you are in favor of, but I think you actually are, at least a little), first of all, DOESN’T always eliminate jealousy. And second, it does other kinds of harm that I think are worse than jealousy.

              • notleia says:

                Dude, I’m monogamous by both practice AND inclination. I do NOT recommend that anyone just waltzes casually into polyamory. It seems like an effing lot of work and trouble for a payoff that I’m not even sure is worth it, but it’s not my circus and not my monkeys.
                But the practices of attempted ethical polyamory — communication, consent, considering compatibilities, consent, more communication — are ALSO good practices for monogamous peeps. Like, if one person is polyamorous-curious and the other is not, that is an incompatibility that already makes this a nonstarter. If a couple disagrees about the importance of virginity, that’s already a trash fire in the making.

                It’s a separate matter that my opinion is that people who make a big whopping deal about virginity are compatible with precisely NO real persons and would be better off dying alone rather than inflicting their crap on someone else. Or that men who think of patriarchy as viable are compatible with no real women. Mere coincidence, really. 😛

              • notleia says:

                I guess I backhandedly insulted you in the last paragraph, but I give some leeway for your behavior to not match your praxis, however rose-colored and unrealistic I think it is. I imagine part of the reason your wife married you and not some Latino dude is because a mild-mannered white guy is a lot more tolerable than a machismo-infected donkus.

              • Or maybe she just likes Travis.

              • notleia says:

                Plausible hypothesis, but I might have to see some statistics on that. 😛

              • Well, stats might mean that something is more likely to occur, but they aren’t the deciding factor in what an individual chooses to do. It’s hard to know whether you’re talking to the magical unicorn of an outlier or not. And even if someone is factoring in race the way you described earlier, that doesn’t mean that’s The Reason they chose someone. People need WAY more than that to fall for someone.

                Personally, the things you mentioned didn’t factor into me being with my ex. I had no reason to think about machismo infected vs mild mannered, and I had no reason to associate it with race because I never saw that one race acted any differently than the other in that respect. (Usually, if someone was unkind, they seemed to just have a cruddy personality, or be an alcoholic, or something…but none of that seemed to be consistent with race at all.) So my brain pretty much just goes ‘that person’s a jerk, that other one’s not’. Me choosing my ex was all about me liking his personality and my experience with him and stuff. I didn’t think ‘oh, he’s white, so he’ll automatically behave like this’.

              • notleia says:

                Welp, since you seem to be taking my joke seriously, I guess I have to clarify my stances.

                I mean, duh, his wife likes him.

                Machismo I think is something influences more by nurture (culture) rather than nature (race is a cultural construct anyway, on a genetic level it’s pure poop). It’s still effing annoying. White boys are just annoying in a slightly different flavor.

                Why do I like men again? Plenty of ’em are okay as individuals, but as a cultural conception they kinda suck. But then, the cultural conception of women kinda sucks, too.

          • Depends on the form of jealousy.

            A man I almost married told me I would have to quit working or volunteering. Why? He said he didn’t want other men looking at me.

            I was flattered he thought I was that beautiful. But his lack of trust bothered me.

            Haven’t heard from him in 4 years now. Good riddance.

  7. L.A. Smith says:

    Amazing what you learn if you just start up a conversation. I’m not surprised you didn’t say anything, I doubt that most of us would. As you say, your first assumption would be that he was lying. Which he could have been, for shock value, I suppose. People do all sorts of things to get attention, after all.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Yeah, it’s possible he was lying. Though when he stopped and in effect waited for me to tell him what he had done was okay under the circumstances, I think he revealed a real motive for talking to me that was based on the truth. (One does not ordinarily seek forgiveness for made up tales.)

  8. Steve Taylor says:

    The elderly man was confessing his sins to you and wanted an answer. He wanted to know God and forgiveness before he breathed his last breath. He was frightened but would never admit it. You were there to answer his unasked questions.

    Romans 10:14-15
    How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

    • Travis Perry says:

      And at that moment the fact is I failed to say what I should have said. Though I think I had already talked to him about the gospel (“think” instead of know because my memory of exactly who I shared the gospel with there isn’t completely clear).

      My failure came more than anything from failing to understand why it was someone would confess to me–that only became clear as I reflected later. Perhaps someone else reading my story will know what they should do if something similar should ever happen to him or her.

      And as you said, that right thing to do would be to talk about how to really find meaningful forgiveness through Christ.

  9. Sounds like he had a severe mental illness. Actually sounds a good bit like bipolar mood disorder. Paranoid, risky behavior, driven to substance abuse, slipping into potential hallucinations and delusions. There was obviously more at play here, and I understand why you questioned whether it was true (though it probably WAS true).

    • Guilt can do that.

      And killing probably came more easily to him as a war veteran. PTSD may have played a role. But the choice was his. Most veterans do not act that way.

      But I too wonder if he imagined it. May have been in the early stages of dementia.

  10. According to the Sermon on the Mount we are murderers if we have ever hated another human being.

    Perhaps this man was “losing it” and only fantasized about murdering these French women. Then, late in life, he remembered what only happened in his heart.

What do you think?