Back when I used to be a hairdresser, there was a guy who would often come in and hang out at my place of work. Because I was the newest person there, many of the receptionist duties fell to me, and that guy would bring in papers which I would zerox for him on a regular basis. He had some mental issues, and he was well known around Lincoln for riding his bike everywhere. He liked to tell us about how he always won amateur strip contests at a local bar. He was not attractive, and the people were voting for him as a joke, a fact of which he was not aware.
A couple of times after work, he followed me as I walked to a nearby grocery store, and he would talk to me as I was shopping. He did creep me out a little bit, but I mostly felt sorry for him, because he was picked on by so many people, and he wasn’t even aware they were making fun of him. I always treated him with kindness, because I thought he was odd, but harmless.
About the same time that I started working at a different salon, a young woman in Lincoln was found murdered in her apartment. Sometime after that, they arrested that guy for her murder. There was a ton of circumstantial evidence against him, but he was set free after some DNA didn’t match. No one else has ever been charged with the crime. I believe that most people in Lincoln still think he did it, and that he got off on a technicality.
Every once in awhile I still see him riding his bike around town, and it’s a little unsettling. I don’t really want to believe that he did it, but there’s a good chance he did. If so, it bothers me that my intuition didn’t perceive him as a danger, and if not, he is despised by an entire community just for being different. The worst part is that the family of the victim never got any closure. I don’t know if he’s guilty or not, but I’m glad he never followed me home.