Once upon a time, I used to do a great deal of shopping at our local Best Buy…back in the days before I realized just how much money I was wasting buying things there instead of doing so online. There was a sales representative there who frequently struck up conversations with me and we seemed to have fairly similar areas of interest. Admittedly, being not the most social person, I did find this individual a little bit annoying…but he seemed to just be sort of lonely or socially awkward (like I have room to talk), so I didn’t go out of my way to avoid him and the ensuing conversations when I saw that he was working.
In addition to those encounters at Best Buy, I began running into him while standing in line for Midnight releases of video games from GameStop. Yes, I was one of those people for quite some time. We chatted when we saw each other there was well, which wasn’t infrequent since we both appear to have wanted a lot of the same video games on release night. Again, refer back to my comment about he and I having similar tastes.
A couple of years later, after not running into him at all, a girl I was dating at the time invited me to join her at a friend’s house. This friend happened to be dating the individual in question. Naturally, we recognized one another and chatted a bit more. I wasn’t comfortable there, and I chalked that up to my normal discomfort in other people’s homes. It turned out, as I discovered later, this guy was abusive toward his girlfriend and the household was indeed filled with a good deal of tension. They broke up a short while later and I didn’t see him again. I was not unhappy about that.
Another couple of years pass.
The next time I see this man is in a photo of him attached to a news story about how a friend of his had hired him and another mutual friend of theirs to murder his girlfriend. They picked her up in their car ostensibly to give her a ride somewhere, and after they were away from civilization, the guy I’d chatted with so many times stabbed his friend’s girlfriend and killed her while the other man held her down. He and the other fellow drove her body out into the Black Hills and buried her before returning to their lives for the following year or so until the story broke.
There’s a whole lot more to that story, including the fact that the boyfriend who’d hired the killer(s) then convinced a couple more friends to dig her up and bury her body somewhere more remote, thus making it impossible for the killer(s) to lead authorities to the body if they were so inclined (after he didn’t pay them).
I’m not going to delve into it any further than this, it’s been reported in great detail in various South Dakota newspapers and on television news programs. I just thought it was interesting to know that you or I could, at any point, during any interaction, be talking to a person capable of cold-blooded murder.
The idea to write this blog post came from the fact that a friend of mine who works in local television had recently written a story for the station, providing updates on the court case in question.