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This is a question I witnessed a crime

Freddy Woo writes, "A group of us once staggered home so insensible with drink that we failed to notice someone being killed and buried in a shallow grave not more than 50 yards away. A crime unsolved to this day."

Have you witnessed a crime and done bugger all about it? Or are you a have-a-go hero?
Whatever. Tell us about it...

(, Thu 14 Feb 2008, 11:53)
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Alright then...
...as I've said, I've seen a fair bit, and no small slice of it from my own family. Fancy a bit of length? Okay then.

An auntie of mine, passed away now, hooked up with a very nasty man named Johnny some decades ago. An ice-cold and more than fairly sociopathic petty criminal with anything-goes attitudes to offensive weapons, human rights, lawful conduct and general morality. She and her daughter endured him for a number of years until she let him know it was time to leave by sweetening a cup of tea made for him with slug pellets. She ended up telling him before he drank it - he made his displeasure visibly clear on her, but he left.

Of course, he was a pariah amongst the family for ever after, and turned up here and there mostly to terrorise younger members of the family. He never bothered any of the blokes though because most of them were big lads, and a number of them either squaddies or ex-squaddies. All that stopped at least for one cousin, who had suffered Johnny's attentions pretty much throughout his adolescence. He was mostly grown up when playing pool in a local pub one time when Johnny walks in and spots him. Of course he starts up with the grief, which this time ends with Johnny on his back on the pool table taking repeated blows from a pool cue with fondest regards from my cousin. He made his exit at his soonest opportunity but came in again about half-an-hour later offering my cousin 'outside', but he wasn't an idiot and he had had the misfortune to come to know this bloke well. 'What, have you got your knife now? Look, I'm a lot bigger now and you can't beat me with your hands anymore which says it all so just fuck off'. And with a curt 'This isn't over mate', Johhny did exactly that. That family member didn't personally have any more trouble with him, so in addition to everything else he was full of shit too.

The next time I heard of him, and the first time I got a close look at him was when my brother had hooked and shacked up with this quite frankly appalling smackhead witch from down south, moved up here because of trouble for her and hers down there. She's another story in herself, but her bad judgment is a factor here as one time my brother arrived back to find Johnny sat in the living room skinning up some hash he'd just bought. My brother was naturally WTF but didn't dare ask the mean bastard to leave. It went pear-shaped thanks to a mate of my brother's, who stole Johnny's weed off the table when he went for a piss. Johnny looked to my brother to explain it, and this being Johnny, my brother chose to avoid what would be a very painful inquisition by escaping out of the window. This only strengthened Johnny's resolve, and so my brother came home to us, completely shit-scared. I've mentioned this time before briefly in another post, but it's at this point my mum got involved. {MUM-RECAP; career mother until we grew up, has taught karate locally with my stepdad for decades, has a respectable Dan grade herself and working as a high school teacher now} Johnny and my mum stood there in front of this daft bint's house just out of reach but squared off all the same whilst my mum tried to talk some sense into him - they both knew perfectly well who one another was, and so I think neither wanted it to really come to blows. My mum could probably have handled him, but even if she had, he would still have run into my stepdad by no accident not long after and probably never been the same. My stepdad didn't break much bread with the family at large and thought my brother was a waste-of-space, but anyone who even tried to hurt my mum would be dealt with most efficiently. I was stood off to the side the entire time, more than a little anxious but ready to jump on the fucker's back if he went for my mum - I was only about 14 at this time, and a bit of a softarse. But my mum, my amazing mum managed to convince this psycho that my brother didn't do it, and set him on his way peacefully for what was possibly the first time ever. The freakiest part of that part is that from then on, my mum became the only human being in our knowledge that he regarded with any respect. She said he told her 'You're the only person that's ever talked straight with me'. Strange how some things turn out.

Unfortunately, he was no less of an aggravation to the rest of the family. A couple of years later another aunt, a well-loved and regarded matriarch in the family passed away. After the memorial service we had arranged to take the lounge room at a local - the very same local and very same room where my cousin had vindicated himself some years before. We were all catching up with one another as you do at funerals, when one of the girls piped up to say that the lads (referring to the squaddie contingent of the family, who'd been taking a quiet pint at the bar) had spotted Johnny in the other side of the pub, he'd spotted them and been observed asking about them of the bar staff. Minutes later, he came into the lounge side and took up next to the lads at the bar, offering them a drink. They refused, he persisted, they explained the situation and indicated that the family would like some space. His response? 'Yeah, I heard.' Not a flicker of sympathy or sorrow. Then he started to insult our recently departed. Well, he tried, but he didn't finish the first attempt before one of the lads, in from out-of-town to pay his respects reached over and smacked him, telling him to get the fuck out. Again, he left with a 'This isn't over mate.' and this time we locked the door after him. Sadly though this time he meant it.

About 40mins later another one of the lads, an uncle who had retired from the army to live nearby a couple of years previous, got a call on the pub phone from his hysterical daughter at their home. A few of the kids were too young for the pub so this daughter had been selected to babysit them at their house for a couple of hours. She was 13 or so at the time I think, but a level-headed girl. Not so much so at this moment though as she screamed at her dad to please come home, which he did very quickly with a few others to find the front window and door window smashed with broken glass and screaming children being very much the motif. My cousin had heard a knock at the door so had gone to answer it with the youngest of her charges in one arm. A 'mean looking' man at the door asked if this was the house where {her dad's name} lived. She didn't know him as up to now she'd spent most of her life on one army base or another abroad with her mum and dad, so she confirmed it. At this, he picked up an empty milk bottle from the step and drew his arm back to throw it right at her. My cousin screamed, slammed the door and ran down the hall with the baby in both her arms now, but she wasn't halfway before the milk bottle came through the door window, smashing both. He broke the other window with another bottle and chucked one more through that before he ran off, with my cousin and four little kids terrified on the inside. The police were called once we’d calmed the kids down, but we knew they'd find him by accident if at all. So we made enquiries of our own.

This actually did make the last time that Johnny bothered us because of another uncle, in the family by marriage to the same aunt who had endured this guy as a partner almost 20 years earlier. This uncle was a very quiet man, mostly an unknown quantity but making an honest living and good as gold to my aunt and her daughter, when to be honest both could try the patience of a saint at times lol. He found out where Johnny was hiding the evening of that same day, but instead of alerting the rest of us he got a tyre iron out of his car and went the short walk to where he was. He knew the people who lived at the place where Johnny was and they knew why my uncle had paid them a visit - everyone knew we were looking for him. They asked my uncle to take it easy and let him in. He walked in and came upon Johnny sat on the kitchen table laughing with a spliff in his mouth. My uncle pulled the tyre iron out and whacked him in the head with it, smacking him on his back on the table and near-knocking him cold. He was still awake though as my uncle used the tyre iron to break one of his arms and both of his kneecaps, pointing out as he lay there on the table screaming that it's not as easy to terrorise someone who isn't a 13-year-old-girl, but if that didn't do it, then he'd soon find something more final to solve the problem. He paused only to apologise to the couple there for the trouble before walking back home. The hospital involved the police, but they found that not one soul would tell them who did it - not even Johnny. Given our own recent complaint against him, they easily put two-and-two together I'd expect (if probably not guessed exactly who it was because it surprised the hell out of all of us), but I’d say the police no doubt thought of it as a problem they no longer had to solve and were secretly grateful. This man really was a piece of work, and this here has barely scratched the surface of even his unsavoury endeavours, so they were aware of him with some clarity and detail. I'll admit, they were aware of some of us too for a number of reasons but none of us were ever like him.

And like I say, after that he never troubled any of us again. He died of Meningitis a few years later, so that's a factor more recently I suppose. No-one I know has missed him. Once.

But do you see? I've not only witnessed crimes more often than I can actually recall, I've witnessed crime storylines, and some that span decades.
(, Sat 16 Feb 2008, 13:33, 8 replies)
Brilliant story, well told.
(, Sat 16 Feb 2008, 15:07, closed)
A veritable epic
With style and a happy ending. *click*
(, Sat 16 Feb 2008, 15:32, closed)
Your story
is full of prime win.

And you get a clicky.
(, Sat 16 Feb 2008, 23:03, closed)
Around the point
that the tyre-iron came out, I felt a flicker of sympathy for him. Then I was reminded exactly what he'd done and just felt sad that your uncle was as lenient as he was.

Click - not just for you and your great storytelling, but also for your uncle, and for the fact that Johnny got just what he deserved. Bravo.
(, Sat 16 Feb 2008, 23:26, closed)
You have
Some legendary family members. Your uncle deserves a medal.
(, Sun 17 Feb 2008, 0:56, closed)
People like that...
deserve every broken bone they'll ever get

*super click*
(, Mon 18 Feb 2008, 13:04, closed)
Johnny some decades ago? That's a funny name.
(, Mon 18 Feb 2008, 15:40, closed)
Holy crap...
...this has shot to the top of my best-of. I'd consider selling it to OK magazine if only I was Kerry 'Sell my nips for another 15 minutes of fame' Katona. All the same though, glad I'm not ;)
(, Mon 18 Feb 2008, 19:45, closed)

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