I Lived With a Serial Killer for 10 Years and Didn’t Know it

Recounting the scariest part of my childhood

J.J. Pryor
5 min readJun 24, 2021


Blood streaking down a window
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

He preferred to be called T. He’d get immediately soured if you referred to him by anything else. But we all loved him nonetheless.

T loved listening to 90s grunge music, binge eating on Friday nights, and having long conversations with friends who didn’t always listen to what he’d have to say. His friends called him a ‘chill cat’ and loved partying with him.

But some people ignored him on the regular, much to T’s disappointed chagrin. He still loved them nonetheless.

Roommates With a Serial Killer

T was just one of my many roommates while I was flexing out my angsty teenage years. Our house always had these interesting fellows. They’d come and go. Some would move in or out depending on the time of year or season.

You’d be forgiven for thinking my parents let these strangers stay with us for money, but I don’t think that was possible. A few years later I went on to train in the exciting field of accounting — and I did the math.

These roommates, in reality, were very likely costing my parents financially rather than rewarding them.

So why on earth would they let them stay? Or even allow new ones on the odd years to enter into our lovely sacred home and abode?

A small part of me cringes and thinks it was love — a kind of love that my siblings and I weren’t able to provide my parents. But I know this to not be true.

Another part of me suspects it was a different kind of love. No, not the dirty threesome-love that would plague my dreams for a lifetime — Kinship. Camaraderie. Companionship. That kind of love.

No matter how much my parents fawned over my roommates, I knew they loved me and my siblings. And we loved them nonetheless.


My parents were both workaholics who didn’t have the time of day to hang out with each other often. Their varied work schedules — one was on night shifts and the other a manager of an overworked office — didn’t align with each other.



J.J. Pryor

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