Hey Lady, You Dropped This! Or did you?
Date Added: March 4, 2003
What kind of world do we live in where you can't trust a stranger trying to return money you dropped? This letter is ripped from the headlines and may well be true. Unfortunately, it has more in common with an urban legend than a news report.
Subject: Women, Be Alert!
A message I received from a friend this morning........good advice!
Hi friends and family. I know that with all the psychos out there, we still think that something couldn't really happen to us, right? Wrong! As most of you know, I live in Alexandria, but I work in Lafayette where I stay with friends when I'm there.
As you know from America's Most Wanted TV program as well as the news media, there is a serial killer in the Lafayette area. I just want to let you know about an "incident" that happened to me a few weeks ago that could have been deadly.
At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story.
It was approximately 5:15 am in Opelousas, La. I had stayed with a friend there and I was on my way to work. I stopped at the Exxon/Blimpie station to get gas. I got $10 gas and a Diet Coke...I took into the store two $5 bills and one $1 bill. (just enough to get my stuff)
As I pulled away from the store, a man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit area). He was an "approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven, dressed well, etc.) He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid and "always looking for the rapist or killer", I didn't open the window....I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and said "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with a certain amount of money....I knew I didn't drop it. When I told him it wasn't mine......he began hitting the window and door and screaming at me to open my door and that I had dropped the money! At that point, I drove away as fast as I could.
After talking to the Internal Affairs department and describing the man I saw and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and volatile....it was determined that I could have possibly encountered the serial killer myself. At this point, it is unclear as to how he gains access to his victims since there has been no evidence of forced entry into homes, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in the daytime when women are less likely to have their guard up...and what gesture is nicer than returning money to someone that dropped it????? How many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get your money and say thank you....because if the person is kind enough to return something to you...then he can't really be a threat.... can he????
Please be cautious! This might not have been the serial killer...it probably wasn't...but anyone that gets that angry over someone not accepting money from them, can't have honorable intentions.
Forward this to everyone you know....maybe they can be as fortunate as I was!
Officials believe a serial killer has been operating in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area since September, 2001. In November 2002, a fourth victim was attributed to this killer. A similar chain letter began circulating then, alleging that the killer was using recordings of a crying baby to lure victims out of their homes. That chain failed to stand up to scrutiny.
This one appears to be cut from the same cloth, though it seems slightly more believable because of the relatively large amount of detail it contains and the alleged credentials of the author. It could be true, but its similarities to urban legend make it difficult to believe:
The Baton Rouge serial killer has been particularly baffling to police because of his rather unconventional behavior. Serial killers typically follow a pattern in choosing and trapping victims. The four Baton Rouge victims seem to have nothing in common, so police have been unable to establish any kind of pattern.
Is it possible that the "helpful stranger" in this tale is the real Baton Rouge killer? Yes, but its just as likely that the man's ill intent is the creation of the author and nothing more. Should you heed the advice and steer clear of helpful strangers? Probably. Should you forward this unreliable and unverifiable chain letter? Definitely not. Break this chain.
References: CNN.com, The Advocate