For reference, my story takes place in the 1990s.

When I was in college, I had a job working at a jewelry store.  I worked for this chain for about two years. The first store where I worked was located in a shopping center in a nearby town outside of Savannah. It was a small town that was kind of blue collar but our store did very well and it always made money. Even though it was kind of out in boonies, I liked working there because of its relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere and the fact that the other employees were very good to me. That store also had great hours. We opened at 10 AM every morning and closed at 6:00 sharp every evening. And we were closed on Sundays. That wasn't too bad for a retail job.

I was in my early 20s at the time and I had just gotten out of a toxic relationship. I had my fair share of men of all ages who would approach me and ask me to go out on dates with them, but despite this I was very shy and I lacked self-confidence. And unfortunately for me, very few men who approached me fit the criteria of what I was looking for. The men that I considered to be the most desirable always seemed to be taken. So I would sometimes accept invitations to go out with men that I wasn’t really attracted to. I thought that I would give them a chance to see if they had anything else to offer besides just physical attractiveness…like a good personality and integrity. I know this probably sounds incredibly shallow to many of you, but I WAS very young at the time, and I know a lot of young people think exactly the same way I did.

Of course I had a few men who hit on me when I working at the store in the shopping center. Most of them were harmless and nice, but there were two men who stood out from the rest — and this wasn’t because of their physical attractiveness or sense of humor. It was because they were both creeps. One of the creeps looked like a rough country bumpkin. He wasn’t physically attractive and he was kind of heavyset. I always tried to be nice and polite to people, and I remember talking to him on one occasion and noticing that he had kind of bad teeth and that his clothes looked a little worn and outdated. I would estimate his age to have been mid to late 30s at the time. He didn’t ask me out, but he was a little too friendly. Nothing else out of the ordinary happened during that encounter and I didn’t think much about it until much later when we would cross paths again in an unexpected way.

When I was still employed at the jewelry store in the shopping center, I had a strange encounter with a man who would change the way that I viewed the world and who would shake my trust in people. This was definitely a wakeup call for me. I went to work one cool autumn day when my classes were over — just as I normally did. Not long after beginning my shift, a rather short, thin, dark-haired man who looked to be in his mid 30s came into the store and started looking at some merchandise. Other than being clean cut in appearance, there was nothing else that stood out about him. His features were nondescript. He was not especially handsome, but he wasn’t ugly either.

It was my job to greet customers and ask them if they needed any assistance, so I asked him if he needed any help finding anything. He started talking to me about the merchandise but our conversation quickly shifted towards me. He made the comment that he had noticed that I had started my shift late that day and he asked me if I was taking college classes anywhere. I told him that I was. He started to tell me that he owned his own business and that he was always on the lookout for new employees to come and work for him. I asked him what kind of business he had, but he would not elaborate. He just said that he was in the business of making something, and he then asked me if I might like to work for him. He started saying that I would make much more money working for him than I did in retail. He seemed to know that my job only payed minimum wage. I have to admit that I thought it was very strange that he wouldn’t tell me the name of his business or what kind of business it was, but he had a good rap and for a few minutes he sounded pretty convincing. At that time in my life, I was very young and naive, and I didn’t know much about running a business.

The man then asked me to meet with him after work so that we could discuss this job opportunity that he had for me. I hesitated for a moment and then he told me that I could meet him at a nearby Arby’s fast food place so that we could talk. I thought about it for a few more seconds and then I reluctantly agreed to meet him. He suggested that we meet at 6:30. Even though our store closed at 6:00, we employees still had to put away a good bit of the merchandise (including locking the most valuable pieces in a safe) and we had to do a few other things before leaving.

After he was gone, I kept having these nagging doubts about him. During the time that we talked to each other in the store, he never once gave me any indication that he was interested in me romantically or that he just wanted to have sex with me. He seemed to be all business. But I had this nagging thought that perhaps he really wanted more from me and that this was a setup. On the other hand, I also thought that he might be telling the truth and that I might be missing out on an opportunity if I didn’t at least talk to him. I finally decided to drive over to Arby’s to meet him. The women I worked with in the store were always very nice to me and somewhat protective because most of them were older than I was, but on this particular day none of them had payed any attention to this clean cut-looking man who had been talking to me and none of them knew of my plans to meet him. I deliberately tarried around the store for as long as I could because I was just so unsure about what to do. I finally decided to go ahead and meet him. I figured that we would be meeting in a public place and that I would be safe.

So I drove out of the shopping center parking lot and I headed over to Arby’s which was literally right next door.  Because I had procrastinated for so long, I was late for our meeting. His car was leaving the parking lot just as mine was turning into it. I guess he was tired of waiting for me and he had decided to leave. We both made eye contact with each other. This was undeniable because his eyes met mine. Because I thought he was serious about his job offer, I expected him to roll down his window and say something like “sorry, you’re too late” or to point at his wristwatch and shake his head, but he didn’t do any of those things. Instead he quickly took off like a scared rabbit. I will never forget the look he had on his face. He looked nervous and very scared as if he had been caught with his pants down. That told me everything I needed to know right there. He obviously didn’t have good intentions and this was all a setup. I don’t know exactly what his plans were, but I felt as if I had just dodged bullet. I was also ashamed of myself for being so gullible and agreeing to meet with him. I quickly forgot about this incident and continued on with my life. I didn’t think I would see this man again. I figured that he was probably married and maybe even had kids, and the last thing that he would want his wife to know was that he had been planning to cheat on her with another woman. I thought that he wouldn’t dare show his face around my place of employment as long as I was still working there. I was wrong. 

So about six months later, I was still working for the same chain, but I transferred to another location, and I was not happy with its long hours and constantly being asked to stay later and to work on my only day off.

I was working at the mall location one Saturday afternoon when a small, thin, dark-haired man came into the store and immediately started chatting with me. Now, I must point out the fact that I did NOT immediately recognize this person as being the same man that I had met at my previous place of employment. I hadn’t given the man I met about 4 or 5 months earlier a second thought. 

So this man that approached me in the mall that day seemed friendly at first. He was especially good-looking but he wasn’t ugly either. I couldn’t help but notice that he was fairly small in stature. I am 5’6” and he was about the same height as me. Let’s just say that there was nothing physically imposing about him AT ALL. The only thing that stood out about him was his eyes. They had a glint to them…a shininess.

The man talked to me for several minutes. He mentioned that he had seen me working at the other location (the store in the shopping center), but I told him that I didn’t remember him — which was true. I had a lot going on in my life with trying to balance work and college, and I had almost forgotten about the creepy guy who wanted to give me a job. He also told him that one of my co-workers had told him that I transferred to the mall, so apparently he already knew my first name. I innocently continued speaking to him. At some point he began to ask me some questions which seemed a little too personal but I didn’t think much of it at the time. I was very young and naive back then, and I answered his questions honestly. He gave me his first name which was “Glenn” and then he told me his last name. He then asked me for my last name which I thought was kind of strange, but I told him. He also asked me what my age was and if I was single.  Those questions were pretty typical, so I told him my age and that I didn’t have a serious boyfriend. He then asked me if I might like to go out with him some time in the future. I wasn’t completely sure if I was interested in him or not because I had just met him, but I thought there was no harm in giving him my phone number. I mean what’s the worst thing that could happen?

During the time that I was speaking to Glenn, I noticed that the store manager kept watching us and that he had a very serious look on his face. I thought he was watching me because I was talking to Glenn too much and not working. Glenn finally left the store and I went back to work. I was taking some of the less expensive merchandise that was locked away below our cases and putting it out on display. As I was doing this, I noticed that a creepy-looking man was watching me through one of the our display windows at the entrance of the store. I could only see his face and not the rest of his body. I was wearing a short, sheath dress that day which had a back vent, and I suddenly became aware of the fact that he was watching me as I was bending over. I had been previously warned on a couple occasions by some other employees about bending over while wearing that dress. One older lady that I worked with told me that she could see "everything" whenever I bent over in that particular dress. I became very embarrassed when I realized what was happening but I tried to pretend that I didn’t see the man watching me and I stopped bending over at that point. The one thing that I remember most about the man at the window was the way that he looked at me. The only way that I can describe this look that he gave me was that it was a look of both lust and hatred, and it was very frightening.

A short time later the store manager said that he wanted to speak to me. I walked over to where he was standing thinking that I was in trouble for talking too much to a customer but that wasn’t it. My manager’s name was “Mitch” and he told me “I think you better be careful with that guy. I think he’s a little strange.” I knew he was referring to Glenn.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Mitch hesitated for a moment and then said that he had watched the man talk to me and something about him gave off a bad vibe. But that wasn’t the only thing. He said that once the man left the store, he noticed that he was looking at me through our display window at the store’s entrance, and he was watching me each time that I bent over. Now Mitch was a handsome family man with a pretty wife and two young children and he had always behaved very professionally towards me and other females employees, so I never once thought that he was hitting on me or flirting with me. He was in his early 30s at the time and he was always very pleasant to work with. But he was now talking to me in a very serious and fatherly tone. He seemed to be genuinely concerned and I knew he wasn’t joking.  He said that he was a man who looked at girls just like most other normal men do, but he said that he’d never looked at a girl the way he saw that man looking at me. He said it was very creepy. And he said that he also noticed that the man’s eyes were red and glassy as if he had been drinking or was under the influence of drugs. I thought to myself “he’s right. They were red and glassy.” I knew there was something a little strange about them, but I could not put my finger on it at the time. And I also hadn’t realized that the same man that I had been talking to in the store earlier was also the same one who had been watching me through our display window. I now felt very foolish for being too trusting and for telling him my full name and giving him my phone number.

Mitch told me to be careful about going to the parking lot after work — especially at night, and when he found out that I’d parked farther away from where most of the store’s employees parked, he offered to drive me to my car. I accepted his ride and he warned me again about being careful with Glenn. I had decided that Mitch was right and that I would just brush Glenn off if he ever called me. I would just give him some excuse about not being able to go out with him. I thought that he would eventually get tired of being given the run-around and he would give up. I thought that was how this would play out. I had no idea about just how determined Glenn was.

Now because this happened many years ago, my memory is a little foggy about the exact sequence of events that transpired next. I believe that the next thing that happened was that Glenn attempted to call me a few times. This happened back in the 1990s and my roommate and I didn’t have caller ID on our phone. Everyone had landlines back then. Our phone number was listed under my name, so he could have easily looked up my name and found my address that way. I believe I gave Glenn some excuse that I couldn’t talk the first time that he called. I distinctly remember him calling another time and my roommate answering. I had told her about him beforehand, and she already knew that I didn’t want to talk to him, so she silently mouthed the words “it’s Glenn” while on the phone with him and I shook my head "no" indicating that I did not want to speak to him. So she told him that I wasn’t at home. He then called another time and I firmly told him that I was not interested in going out with him. I didn’t know what else to say but I was hoping to get rid of him. He didn’t blow up on the phone but I could tell by his voice that he was not happy and that he was a bit surprised. He asked me why I had given him my phone number if I didn’t want to go out with him. I told him that I had made a mistake — hoping that he would understand and leave me alone. I didn’t know what else to say at this point but there was no way that I was going to go out with him. I said goodbye to him and hung up the phone — hoping that this was the last time that I’d ever hear from him. It wasn’t.

My roommate and I didn’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment so we had to use a laundromat. Even though I had a car, it wasn’t unusual for me to walk instead of drive, and I often walked to the laundromat carrying my laundry in a basket. I didn’t mind walking because parking was scarce in the downtown area where I lived and I liked to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. So one day while I was leaving the laundry mat I saw a car that was stopped on a little side road and I heard a man calling out to me in a friendly voice as if he knew me. I knew many people from college and from the place where I worked, so I figured that it must be someone that I knew and I walked right up to the window on the passenger’s side. Imagine my shock when I saw GLENN sitting there in the driver’s seat. I tried to be nice to him. We both said “hi” to each other and then he asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was doing my laundry. As I was talking to him I looked at the interior of his car and it was very off-putting to me. It looked very messy and he had some old bags from fast food places like Taco Bell that he hadn’t bothered to throw away. I also noticed that it was an older car, and this immediately indicated to me that he probably didn’t have much money. His eyes were red and glassy like they had been before, and he still had that same look in his eyes…that look of lust and hate. I think he saw that I had noticed that his car was both old and messy, and in some strange way this hurt his feelings a little. It seemed as if he KNEW that I thought he was a loser.

Glenn then surprised me even more by boldly asking me if he could COME OVER TO MY PLACE. I was stunned by this question. Had he not gotten the message the first time? Hadn’t I made myself clear to him? I just politely told him "no" and that I was too busy and I walked off. I purposely went back into the laundromat and waited for several minutes. I was hoping that he would leave. After I thought enough time had passed, I walked back home and didn’t see him again for a while. I thought I had finally gotten rid of him.

Then one day when I was at the shopping mall, I stopped by the jewelry store where I had previously worked (I had recently quit working there so that I could take another job that was closer to where I lived). I just wanted to say “hello” to my former co-workers and I wanted to tell my former boss that he had been right about Glenn. I filled him in on the details. As I was leaving the store, I glanced down the hallway and who do you think I saw? It was Glenn. He was walking towards the jewelry store. Apparently he didn’t see me at first because I saw that he was looking around and he seemed to be muttering to himself. He also looked very angry. Now I was really and truly frightened by him and I started walking very FAST in the opposite direction — hoping that he wouldn’t see me. I wanted to get to my car as quickly as I could. Unfortunately for me he DID see me. My car was parked in the same spot where I usually parked it. Something in my mind told me that he KNEW where I usually parked my car, and that if I went to it now he would follow me and there would be some kind of confrontation in the parking lot. Besides, I didn’t want to talk to him and I was tired of making excuses. I just wanted him to leave me alone. I decided to duck inside a large department store. Luckily I was well ahead of him. I went straight to the women’s department and grabbed some clothing and then went into the women’s dressing rooms. I figured that this was the perfect place to hide and that there was no way he would find me there. I tried on several articles of clothing so that I wouldn’t make the store employees suspicious of me, and when I thought that enough time had passed, I left the store. As I was walking to my car, I saw Glenn standing on the sidewalk watching me. He didn’t say anything and I got into my car and drove away.

I had recently broken up with an old boyfriend when I first met Glenn, so I was single and eager to meet someone new. I did end up meeting someone that I really liked shortly after that episode in the mall with Glenn and we started dating. We spent a lot of time at each other’s apartment. Unfortunately, this new boyfriend only had about a year of college left and then he would be graduating and moving back home. We did maintain a long-distance relationship for about a year after he moved, but we eventually broke up.

Rollerblades were extremely popular back in the 1990s, and of course my new boyfriend and I both had a pair. One day we were rollerblading outside of my apartment. We were about two or three months into this new relationship. As I was skating I noticed a car driving slowly around my apartment. It was a tiny apartment building  with maybe only 4 units on the first floor and four on the second floor. There were TWO men inside of that car — and one of them was GLENN. I immediately recognized the other man in the car as being the same heavyset country bumpkin that I had encountered once in the shopping center. Both men seemed to be looking for something. Then I noticed one of them pointing at my unit and both of them smiling at each other — as if they knew they had found the right apartment. I don’t believe either of them ever noticed that I was nearby, and I quickly ducked out of sight.

I can’t recall if I ever told my boyfriend that I had once seen Glenn near my apartment, but I definitely remember telling him that this creepy guy named ‘Glenn’ who had been stalking me. He just told me not to worry and that I was safe with him. And for about a year I didn’t see Glenn and I REALLY THOUGHT that I was safe and that Glenn had given up and moved on.

A few months after my boyfriend moved back home, I was still living in the same apartment. The roommate that I previously had moved out so that she could live with her boyfriend, and I was now all alone. On a cold December night during the wee hours of the morning, I woke up because I needed to use the bathroom and couldn’t hold it any longer. I was very sleepy and groggy. I walked into my bathroom which was inside my bedroom and I used the toilet. I was wearing these short pajamas which really resembled a bodysuit or a kind of "onesie" for adults. It had several buttons that buttoned all the way up to the neckline. I was too tired to button all of them up and I wanted to get back into bed immediately. So I took my bodysuit off and crawled back into my bed with just my panties on. As I was walking from the toilet back to my bed in just my panties I suddenly felt very self-conscious — despite the fact that there was no one else in my apartment. I felt as if someone was watching me, but I tried to dismiss this thought because it was dark in my apartment — except for the light coming from my bathroom and the light coming from the street lamps outside. I didn’t think anyone would be able to see inside. I only had blinds in my windows and there were no curtains — except for one window which was right next to my bed. It wasn’t really a curtain…it was a quilt that I had hung up to keep the light from the streetlamp from keeping my awake. For a time I thought that the blinds provided enough privacy but now I don’t believe they do. It is possible to see through the cracks in the blinds. Anyway, I don’t know why I felt as if someone were watching but I just did. It gave me the creeps. I had not seen Glenn in over a year, and I hadn’t thought about him for a long time, so at the time I wasn’t thinking that Glenn could have been standing outside watching me through my windows. I just felt as if someone was…I didn’t know who. Truth be told, there may not have been anyone there but for some reason I just felt as if someone was out there.

Then a few weeks later…probably in January…something woke me up during the middle of the night. I heard voices coming from outside. The voices were not next to my bedroom, but they seemed to be coming from the area outside of my kitchen. At first I thought I was dreaming, but it quickly became apparent that these were real voices coming from two different men, though I could not make out what they were saying. It wasn’t unusual to hear voices outside of my window at night. I did have neighbors and sometimes I could hear them socializing with their friends, so I assumed that it must be some neighbors or some people passing by. But I did catch one thing that was said…one of the men said something like “I want to get to get that bitch”. I didn’t think that sounded nice, but I didn’t think that person was talking about me. I just assumed that two men were standing near my apartment and were having a conversation about some woman who had pissed one of them off — and I thought nothing more about it.

There were a couple of times when I was sleeping that I would wake up to a loud scraping noise coming from outside. It sounded as if someone were scraping paint. Both times this occurred during the wee hours of the morning…before dawn. I remember thinking to myself that someone must be doing some kind of work outside that involved scraping paint. It never occurred that someone might be scraping away the paint on one of my windows. I did think it was strange that someone would be working that early in the morning before sunrise, but it never once occurred to me that there was something much more sinister going on.

Then in February - a few days before Valentine’s Day - I had a nightmare about someone trying to break into my apartment. I don’t remember that dream in its entirety. I just remember waking up from it and feeling very frightened but also relieved that it was only a dream. This happened early one Saturday morning and I didn’t think about it after that. I had no way of knowing this dream would prove to be an omen of sorts. 

A couple of days later — just before Valentine's Day - I was up one night watching television and getting a few cards ready to mail to some family members. I finished my task, turned off the television, and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed. I had the door closed. The only light that was on was in the bathroom. I heard a noise that sounded as if it were coming from my bedroom window and I opened the bathroom door and saw the silhouette of a man standing right outside my window. I froze. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A man was brazenly trying to break into my apartment — while I was still awake. He hadn’t even waited for me to turn off the bathroom light, get into bed, and fall asleep. I could see the man’s silhouette on my very thin, light-colored quilt as plain as day. He had a knife in his hand and he had somehow inserted the knife in-between the wood and glass and was trying to turn the latch on the window so that he could unlock it. If he had succeeded in doing that, then all he would have to do was raise the window and he would have been able to come inside. There were no screens or bars on the windows. 

I was frozen with fear and stood there watching him in disbelief for about a minute. It was clear that he had no intention of giving up and he was very determined to open that window. At the time, I did not know who the man was. The thought that it could have been Glen never entered my mind once. I had not seen him in over a year and I no longer believed him to be a threat. I ran to my phone and called 911. I told the female operator that a man was at my window with a knife and that he was trying to get inside. I also told her that he was behind my blinds and a quilt that I had hanging up, so I could not see his face. She asked me to pull back the quilt and blinds so that I could see him, but I refused. I was too terrified to look at him. I did not want to look into the face of evil.

The police came in matter of minutes. The man at the window must have seen the police car in enough time to get away from the window; however, the police did catch up with him and they spoke to him about what he was doing there. I would find out a short time later whenever the police came to my door that the man had told them that he used to have a girlfriend who lived in my apartment building and that he was looking for her. He told the police that he didn’t have a car that night and that his boss had dropped him off. The police told me that the man appeared to be not only drunk but perhaps he was under the influence of drugs as well. They told me that because they hadn’t caught him at the window trying to open it and because I had refused the 911 operator’s request to pull back the blinds and get a look at him, they could not arrest him for trying to break into my apartment. They did say that they were taking him in for something else, but I don’t remember what exactly. I just remember them telling me that they probably wouldn’t be able to hold him for too long. As I was talking to the police at my door, I glanced over at the police car and saw the man sitting in the back seat. He was watching me. Though I did not know him personally and I did not know his name, I recognized his face instantly. It was the same creep I had seen with Glenn that day when they were riding around looking for my apartment. And he was the same country bumpkin that I had talked to once at the jewelry store in the shopping center. I didn’t see Glenn anywhere and it didn’t immediately occur to me that he may have somehow been involved in this attempted break-in.

I don’t know how I slept that night but I finally managed to fall asleep. I woke up the next day and went to work and to my classes just like any ordinary day — only this time I was very much alert and cautious. I walked to my classes like I often did, and as I was walking later that afternoon I saw a man in a car who looked as if he were trying to get my attention by waving at me. It was Glenn. A chill went up my spine. I vigorously shook my head “no” indicating that I did not want to speak to him and I took off running in the opposite direction. I glanced back over my shoulder as I was running away and I saw him looking at me in his rearview window. That was last time that I recall seeing Glenn. 

What was the likelihood of me seeing Glenn with the same man who tried to break into my apartment and then seeing Glenn driving by the very next day and waving at me? I don’t know what Glenn had in mind, but now that I think about it, I guess he was hoping that he could persuade me to get into his car or meet him somewhere and that he was going to do whatever had had originally planned to do to me and then kill me. Even though I only saw one silhouette on my window that night, I am sure that Glenn was in on that attempted break-in and that he was lurking somewhere nearby and was waiting for his accomplice to get the window open so that they could both come in. He must have evaded detection by the police whenever they responded to the 911 call.

I have never understood why Glenn was so intent on hurting me. At first I assumed he was angry about my rejection of him. I thought that he probably had very low self-esteem and that maybe he thought that I thought he wasn’t good enough. His obsession with getting revenge seemed to eat away at him for a long time. And it seems as if he had found himself a willing partner in crime…that country bumpkin. I rarely think about Glenn anymore but sometimes I do. Even though he was never able to physically harm me, I still get terrified when I think about what COULD have happened. 

Now when I look back, I think Glenn wasn’t just mad about my rejection of him. I think he was a sadist and that he was looking for a victim. I also believe he could have been a serial killer in the making — if he wasn’t one already.

I would also like to mention the fact that in January of 1994, a 17-year-old girl was murdered in our town. She had been bound and stabbed to death. She was also run over with a vehicle. A lot of details about her murder have not every been made public and this crime remains unsolved. I have heard speculation that two people may have been involved in her murder, and I personally believe that this could be true. I sometimes wonder if encountered a pair of serial killers.

Just like my mother, I had a daughter later in life, and she is still a minor. It terrifies me to think about all the creeps who are out there. Trust me when I say that I will always remind her to not be too trusting and to never let her guard down or underestimate anyone.
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