life, thoughts

The Shocking Goodbye to Life in Florida

prov lake 2 wmMy old neighborhood back in Florida

Remember the blogs about my bizarre neighbors? Well, those stories were nothing compared to the grand finale send off that my neighborhood gave me just four days before I moved away.

Have you ever seen those people on TV being interviewed by the news media after a crime happened next door to them? They say, “This is such a nice, quiet neighborhood. Nothing like that ever happens here.”

That was me!

Well, not exactly, but almost. When the media came to our door, we refused to go on camera. They were pushy too, but we remained steadfast.

dog-window2 (533x800) wmOkay, I’ll let you in on the finale of my 27 years in Florida. On a Thursday evening, we kept hearing a helicopter flying low overhead. When it wouldn’t cease, we looked out our front window. Flashing lights were flickering down at the corner of our street.

Neighbors sprinkled out of their homes fluttering toward the commotion like moths to a flame. My husband, Gary, and I jumped into the flow. I got halfway there and jumped out again, but Gary kept going. From the position where I stopped, I could see yellow crime tape surrounding two houses on the cross street to mine. One ambulance and several police cars with their flashing lights blocked off the road. A low helicopter buzzed overhead.

What if some armed people were running around our neighborhood? I thought about going home to make sure our gun was handy, and then remembered, we’d packed it for the move! I wanted to call out for Gary to come back and hide inside, but he was too far ahead. Thankfully, he didn’t stay there long, and he told me which specific house the police were focusing on.

It seems that a hoarder, a lunatic and a ghost are trivial compared to what we learned happened in that house a few doors down.

Some time ago, probably more than a year, I met the young man who lived there. At least I thought he lived there at the time, now that’s questionable. He was twenty-four years old and lived with his girlfriend. I say “was,” because he was murdered … butchered from what I understand.

I can’t get over that something of this nature happened so close to my home.

A few days later when we left for our long awaited move, they still hadn’t caught the murderers. Yes, there was more than one. Apparently, that young man who spoke respectfully to me about our dogs one day, was into some shady dealings. That’s all I’ll say about that.

yellowtape (1024x575)See if you can find the clues in the photo to the shady dealings (click to make larger).

There you have it … the grand finale to my life in Florida.

Have you ever wondered if you’d be the one on the news talking about your nice quiet neighborhood? Have you ever been shocked by learning about something that went on behind close doors? Have you ever felt like the safety of your home has been threatened?
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30 thoughts on “The Shocking Goodbye to Life in Florida”

  1. Sounds like you got out just in time! What a scary situation!

    We’ve never had something quite so crazy happen in our neighborhood. We did have a neighbor who died unexpectedly. He was single, so no one discovered his death for a few days. His family came to check on him and that’s when we learned he was a hoarder. Nice guy though. It was sad to see him go.

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    1. Very sad what happened to that guy in your neighborhood. Otherwise, sounds like a really pleasant place to live. But, umm, as far as the bugs, I think I made it as far north as I can handle for now. 😉 Thanks for checking out my posts, Terri.

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  2. I hope life back in Illinois won’t hold quite the same adventures for you! There was an event in my neighborhood when I was growing up, but luckily it didn’t end in tragedy.

    I’d have a hard enough time going on camera for a happy reason—I sure couldn’t imagine it for a criminal event!

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    1. Hi JM. Parts of the city (as people know) have a very high crime rate (murder). I’m hoping we live far enough away in the suburbs, but I thought I lived in a good area before, too. Who can tell. So far, so good. Thanks for reading about it and commenting.

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    1. So far, nothing dangerous in the new area, but the construction noise right outside my window is far from quiet. Hopefully, once that is done by the end of this week, we’ll have a bit of peace. Good to see you, Andrea.

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    1. I know, it was scary to have that happen 3 doors down from us. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting Cecilia.

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  3. Oh my! That is definitely a good bye. LOL. I know the feeling of shock about “too close to home”. When I was a senior in high school, there were two sisters who lived across the street from me that went to the same school. One was a year younger, one was two. They were nice, not friend friends to me, but friends. We rode in horse shows together and hung out occasionally. One night, while my parents were watching the news, they showed the bumper end of a black Chevy Blazer while they were reporting about a body found at a park near the high school. My first thought was that looked like Ally’s Blazer, but I didn’t think much of it. Later, I found out it was hers. Another student and her had gone to this park, and for whatever reason, he attacked her. She fled to the park bathrooms, but they were locked and as she tried to run back to her car, he caught her. He ended up stabbing her over 80 times as well as nearly dismembered her entire body. Another neighbor, who was a sheriff was the first on the scene and identified her. I still talk her to sister and mother through Facebook. She is greatly missed by so many.

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    1. OMG, that is such a tragic story, Angela. Did you know the student who attacked her? I hope he is still in jail. I’m curious how it affected you at that time, as a teenager. I had a crush (from afar) on a kid in my high school, and right after graduation there was a freak accident. He was hit by a car (as a pedestrian). I was deeply affected, not only because I had a crush on him, but because it made me realize that just because I was young didn’t mean I couldn’t die too. I thought of my own mortality. That’s why I wonder how her murder affected you. I mean, not only was she a young friend, but who could feel safe? Who could you trust? My God, how tragic. Thanks for sharing what you experienced.

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      1. Yes, he was a student as well–same year as her. He was sentenced to 2 life without parole, although, for the state he left her body in, he should have gotten the death penalty. I think the biggest thing was it made me more aware. I never went anywhere at night by myself. Her mom, sister, and her were very close (divorced parents). And, I remember we all had to watch her mom for a long time. She didn’t sleep much and was on suicide watch for several months. Her sister is now grown, owns a salon, and has a 10 year old daughter. They are all still into horses and although don’t live across from my parents anymore (which is weird in itself because soon after the Hubs and I got serious in dating, the guy who purchased the home from the mom put it up for rent and we rented it for two years), they still talk to my mom because she works for a local tack and feed store. It’s been 18 years since the murder. Ally was 3 days shy of her 18th birthday, so she would have been 36 years old this year.

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        1. Thanks for sharing more, Angela. My heart breaks for them. I’m sure their lives have moved on, but that hole will always remain.

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  4. Talk about getting out in the nick of time! I feel badly for your neighbors, but happy for you that you are “home.”

    When I left Washington (D.C.) to move back “home” to upstate NY, something kind of similar happen to me. We learned that there was a drug-related murder just down the hall from us in our condo building! YIKES! My son was only 3 years old. I knew I’d made the right decision to leave…

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    1. Whoa, that’s scary to find out about a murder down the hall, but it solidified your decision. Looks like we both made it out in the nick of time. Whew! Thanks for sharing, Lorna.

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  5. How rude of the reporters to intrude on your property and privacy, I think that’s almost as horrible as actual crime. And yes, I’ve had stuff happen in my neighbourhood and to people I knew. It’s possible anywhere, everywhere and even with good neighbours and people. All you can do sometimes to try to keep yourself safe.

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    1. Hi EllaDee. Yes, the media needs to sensationalize everything. They said they couldn’t get anyone to go on camera for them, and I’m glad no one did. I’m shocked that it happened near me, and that it’s happened near you, too. This is very new to me. Good to see you and glad you made it through your neighborhood experience safely.

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  6. Wow, what a send-off and how tragic for that man and your neighbors. I don’t blame you for not wanting to talk to the media. I wouldn’t want to be on camera either, knowing I might show up on the eleven o’clock news.

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    1. Hi Carrie. When the news reporter I saw on the local FOX many times came to my door, he said he couldn’t find any neighbors to go on camera. He was begging us to do it, but we stood our ground. It was really scary. There is actually more to the story, but I didn’t feel comfortable writing it all online. Good to see you.

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  7. Hi my friend!!!! So good to hear from you. How exciting!!!! And scary!. Good thing you moved to somewhere safe like Chicago. Wonder what happened? I know I for one have never had our family sit for a family portrait because they always seem to be shown on those crime shows and they kind of freak me out. Isn’t that weird? It seems nothing is at appears from the outside looking in!!!!

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    1. Haha. Yes, somewhere safe like Chicago. Such a safe city. LOL. We’re in the burbs. I hear from family & friends here that this is a good neighborhood where we landed, but I thought it was a good one when we first landed in Florida too. I think over time it got worse there. Good to see you, SD. And, stay away from those family portraits. 😉

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