People Describe The Crimes That Put Their Hometowns On The Map

It's unfortunate, but many people can recall at least one horrendous crime taking place in their towns or cities. While some offenses are more brutal than others, it's still unsettling to know that your neighborhood may not be as safe as you'd like.

Notable hometown crimes occur in just about every major city of every state, and websites like Reddit often give a glimpse into true crime around the world. People on Reddit share some truly disturbing crimes that have taken place, including the horrific murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the Beltway Snipers' attacks, and plenty more crimes from all over. 

You may not feel safe in your neighborhood ever again.

  • She Lived Down The Street From Victim Nicole Brown Simpson - Los Angeles, CA

    From Redditor /u/caseyesac:

    I'm from Brentwood. Nicole Brown Simpson lived down the street from me. I was too young to remember anything, but my parents have some crazy stories, and I still get a reaction when I tell people.

    The craziest thing to me is that the cops took forever to clean up the scene. The day after the murders, my mom walked down with infant me to put flowers on the gate. There was still a ton of blood visible, including bloody paw prints where Nicole's dog had run through the yard.

    My babysitter got subpoenaed along with a few other friends/neighbors. Only one actually got called to testify; he'd heard a voice in the alley saying, 'Hey hey hey!'

    In the years after, we couldn't take walks around the neighborhood without tourists stopping my parents to ask where Nicole's house was. Literally, school buses full of kids would stop in front of the house. They had traffic cops there to manage traffic (keep in mind this is the suburbs).

  • They Walked Past The Scene Of The Beltway Snipers' Crime - Greenbelt, MD

    From Redditor /u/DontCallMeNymphadora:

    The mass murderers the Beltway Snipers. My husband and I took our kids for a walk one evening after dinner. As we were passing the strip mall, we noticed two cop cars in front of the grocery store (Shoppers). We did the long stare as we walked by, (across the street) and more cops were rushing to the scene. If you Google map the Shoppers that those guys hit, you'll see a police station and a fire station all within sight distance to the store, so the response was quick. I thought it was an armed robbery type deal. We finished our walk and went home.

    Next day, all hell broke loose, those guys hit a gas station and another shopping center I go to. I always wondered what would have happened if we'd finished dinner earlier, or had walked across the street to grab a carton of milk or something prior to the walk.

  • She Remembers When Maddie Clifton Was Tragically Murdered - Jacksonville, FL

    From Redditor /u/jenlandia:

    An eight-year-old girl went missing, and days later she was found badly decomposed underneath her 13-year-old neighbor's water bed. I was 13 at the time, and it was difficult to hear about. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard it.

    My high school turned on the TVs in the middle of class when the girl's body was found. My mom picked me up from the bus stop crying. Maddie Clifton, poor girl.

  • His Cousin Heard The Oklahoma City Bombing - Oklahoma City, OK

    From Redditor /u/DextroSkeletal:

    I'll never forget the day of the [Murrah] bombing. I was in fourth grade and had ridden my bike to school. When school let out, my parents were parked not far from the bike rack and had me and my sister's bikes in the back of the pickup truck. They drove us home and asked if anyone told us what had happened. Then I just watched the news coverage for the rest of the day. At that point, it was reported that emergency responders who went in after the blast were pulled out because some of them saw what they thought were secondary bombs in what was left of the building.

    My cousin worked in the building next door. When they heard the blast, they thought it was one of the printing presses in their building blowing up, so everyone ran outside. He said that he saw body parts in the rubble and I could tell the one time he ever talked about it with me that it was an emotionally trying experience.

  • He Lived Across The Street From Serial Killer John Robinson - Kansas City, KS

    From Redditor /u/AustinTransmog:

    John Edward Robinson lived across the street from me. I used to play with his kids.

    J.E.R. started his criminal career as a fraudster. He ran scams and was good at it. He operated under the guise of a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He started killing younger women and cleaning out their bank accounts. His slimiest tactic, IMHO, was killing a woman, abducting her child and then "arranging" the adoption of the child to his brother.

    Yes, that's right. Her mother's murderer became her uncle.

    Eventually, Robinson got caught for fraud and spent some time in prison. When he got out, he started [...] again. That's when he got nailed for murder.

  • A Co-Worker's Cousin Dated A Mass Murderer - Grand Rapids, MI

    From Redditor /u/WhitePineBurning

    Here in Grand Rapids, MI, there have been a few, but in July 2011 we had a really horrific event. I live on the same side of town where all of this took place; one of the houses is less than a mile away from where I live.

    It started when Roderick Dantzler's wife left their abusive marriage and took their daughter with her to move back to her parents' home. Dantzler started shooting that day when he fired at a random guy in a road rage incident. The guy was wounded but lived.

    He then went to his ex-wife's parents' home and took them all out: first her mother, then her father, then their young daughter, and finally her. He apparently wanted to inflict the most horror possible on her.

    He then left that house and drove south on Plainfield Avenue to the home of an ex-girlfriend. There he shot and killed her, her sister, and her sister's daughter. Their mother wasn't home at the time.

    By this point, he'd abandoned the town car he'd been driving and carjacked an SUV from a friend. He randomly came across a female friend - just a friend - heading south towards downtown. He started following her. By this time police had learned of the murders from Dantzler's mother. He had called her to tell her he'd killed his former wife.

    Dantzler's friend had heard of the murders - everything in Grand Rapids stopped cold that afternoon - and she called the police in a panic. She kept driving south towards downtown and police headquarters, which is located exactly in the center of the city at the main intersection. She made it that far, and police were both behind and in front of Dantzler. He made a U-turn in the intersection. It was now 5:00 rush hour traffic, and he started firing. He fired at a pick-up in his way but missed the driver. He fired at the police trying to box him in. He fired at his friend, missing her son but seriously wounding her. Police rammed the SUV, and they exchanged gunfire. Dantzler managed to get around them and took off towards the freeway.

    He'd blown out a tire by the time he got on US131 north out of town. Police were in pursuit. He bailed off 131 and started eastbound on I-96. He drove off the median on bare rims and continued EASTBOUND in the WESTBOUND lanes. Fortunately, the freeway traffic was minimal, and police had blocked a lot of on-ramps. He made it less than a mile before ditching the SUV off the outside shoulder and abandoning it. He climbed the fence and broke into a nearby home on Softwater Lake and took three hostages.

    This house was less than a quarter mile from where he'd murdered his ex-wife and her family.

    By 7:00 police had surrounded everything. City, county, and state police had roads and streets blocked off in all directions. Choppers flew overhead. I could watch them from my front porch, circling.

    Dantzler demanded cocaine, cigarettes, and Gatorade. Police supplied him with the cigarettes and Gatorade.

    The standoff continued for hours. One cop managed to get to an unlocked patio door. Dantzler knew it was over and shot himself in the head. It was around 11:30. The hostages were unharmed.

    Because GR is a big, small town, nearly everyone I know had some connection to the killer or his victims. In my case, it was a co-worker. Dantzler had dated her cousin. The morning of the murders he drove up to the drive-thru at the Burger King where she worked and asked to speak with her. Fortunately she had the day off, and he drove away without leaving a message or asking where she was; instead, he went directly to where his ex-wife was.

    Scary, scary day.