“If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.”—Marilyn Monroe
Is it possible to ever truly know someone? In theory, the Internet should make it easier than ever to simply search a profile and catch someone in a lie. In practice, it’s now easier than ever to draft a fake persona and find others willing to believe it. But what of the lies uttered before the Internet? How many secret families and love children are out there, who have no idea that their existence could bring down someone else’s house?
The Internet asked people about the most scandalous double lives they’ve ever seen others live. Good news: only sometimes did it involve adultery. To no surprise, people can lead alternate lives with property, cash, and crime while being completely faithful otherwise to their partners. Peek into these 42 salacious stories about the biggest double lives ever lived by “average” people.
42. You Are Feeling Very Sleepy… in Lecture
Our psychology teacher in high school turned out to have stolen a psychology teacher’s identity in the UK and was actually really a circus hypnotist. So all those psychology tricks he did to us were really just hypnotist tricks.
41. At Least He Taught Them Something
A counselor at my college in Michigan faked his identity for over 40 years. He was a civil rights organizer in San Francisco in the 1960s and ended up in a shootout with police.
None of the police was injured but he was shot in the foot apparently. He was supposed to appear in court later, but he took off, and in the 40+ years following the shooting, he earned his master’s degree with a whole new identity, ultimately working as a guidance counselor at a community college in Michigan.
His true identity was exposed around 2010, and he went on trial for the shooting in California. He was sentenced to a year in jail and about $8,000 in fines.
He was a nice guy, you’d never expect anybody who’s seemingly normal actually being an old school fugitive on the run.
40. The GF Drops a Truth Bomb
When I was 20 we used to party with this guy, Bob. Bob was in his early 30s and was dating a girl we had went to school with. He was a really stand-up guy. We had been dealing with some jerk who was leading us on about a house rental and saying he would rent it to us while he was on deployment.
Bob quizzed the guy about his military background and concluded the guy wasn’t in the military at all and never was. Just some tool who liked to tell tall tales. This pissed Bob off because he was in the Army Reserves. When he was in town, he worked as a server. We had all taken him to the bus stop for him to do his weekends, and he had done his two weeks away. All of us were so close to Bob that a few of my friends rented a house with him.
One day Bob asks if he can talk to me privately. He explains that the hours at his serving job had been cut and he was a little short for rent. He asked if he could borrow $200, and I had no problem. He had just been accepted to a position with my friend, so I knew he had employment. After all, Bob was one of our best friends over the last year, and friends help each other out.
Fast forward a week, and my friends haven’t seen their roommate Bob, in a few days. To top it off, another friend of ours was having trouble locating his girlfriend.
It took us a lot of brainstorming, but we all eventually realized we hadn’t known Bob at all. He had asked us all for money to pay rent. After confronting his ex (the girl we went to high school with), she admitted everything to us. Bob had never been in the military, had a recurring cocaine addiction and had run off to Virginia with my boy Jim’s girlfriend.
Bob still owes me money, but he was otherwise a cool dude to chill with.
39. Two Families for the Work of Four
My sister-in-law had a second child. She was still married but separated from her husband (because she caught him cheating). The man with whom she had the baby was her father’s old protégée, who was also married with a couple of kids.
This all took place in China, while the one-child policy was in full effect.
So: to her parents, the separation and affair were secret, up until she had a baby. Once they were looped in, they helped her to maintain the lies, because “face.” From her ex-husband’s perspective, the child and the affair were secret; from the perspective of his family (with whom she remained in touch), the separation, affair, and baby were secret. This was complicated by the fact that they shared custody of their first kid (in fact, they pretended they were still living together for years). So, the older kid was warned not to mention his brother to his father, while spending plenty of time with both. It was all a secret from most, but not all of their close family (i.e. cousins, aunts, and uncles). And then there was the protégée’s family, and really the rest of the outside world, for whom there was no separation, no affair, and certainly no kid. That included the government. I’m not even sure how that worked.
She wasn’t living another life. She was living fractals of lives within lives. Just try to imagine the logistics of getting your nonexistent kid to school (under a false identity?) in time to pick up your older kid, who was waiting with your secret lover, so that he could get back to his real family, and you and your kid could meet up with your cheating ex-husband, so that you could all drive together to lunch with family from both sides, doing your best impression of a perfect platonic family who had come straight from a shared, loving home (while being careful that neither you nor your older boy mention to anyone that you have to pick up your other son from school soon).
Now I’ve got a headache.
38. Opened After the Fact
My uncle runs a business hooking up internet in hotels. He travels all over the West Coast for it. Recently, he asked my aunt to have an open relationship. Turns out most of his “business trips” were actually trips to go meet with his business partner, with whom he has been having an affair for the last year or two. This business partner has even had two pregnancies with my uncle. Both were miscarriages, but both were also INTENTIONAL.
My aunt and uncle have been married for 12 years and have a five-year-old son. My aunt also has terminal cancer. He’s been introducing their son to his mistress as their son’s new Mommy without my aunt’s knowledge.
Needless to say, that open relationship isn’t happening. They’re getting divorced.
37. The Double Life That Never Was
It’s not so much as a double life reveal but the opposite.
I was a pretty nerdy teen who really wanted to chill and play games with my mates from school. I was the only Asian kid in school so had loads of white guy mates, who were just as nerdy. So I’d hang about with them and we’d just play games all the time.
Uni came and the internet was in its infancy. Chat rooms became a thing and when I wasn’t at lectures I was chatting away online as I wasn’t the most sociable of talkers. A couple of my housemates were, and they used to drag me out to go clubbing etc. university was pretty boring in that sense.
However, when I would come back home for the holidays etc. I would pretend I had this kick-ass life. Drink, party, and sex, that was my apparent life at uni. I mean who would find the truth. So I developed a reputation for being the ladies man, even though the only numbers I had of girls were my fellow geeks.
Years later, I got married and my wife began to ask me certain questions about uni etc., which I thought was odd. About girls and what not. Needless to says, I was telling her the truth that I was this geek who used to spend loads of time in the library or the computer room. She began to argue and didn’t believe me.
Then she goes what about that girl you got pregnant?? Then it hit me. Someone had told her about my alleged badassness. In the end, I took her to meet an old uni mate who basically confirmed what a big geek I was and was too shy to ever ask a girl out.
36. A Longer Lineage Than You Thought
A friend of mine lives in San Diego and was recently telling me the story of her grandfather who has an entire family in Mexico that he kept hidden for decades. I’m talking he has kids that have kids, and one of his secret granddaughters has ANOTHER kid. Dude is a great-grandfather, and nobody knew. Her grandfather is nearly 90, so its unbelievable how much a quiet old man can keep from people.
35. The Guy Next Door
So when I first left home in my late teens I shared a big house (I think 6+ bedrooms) with a close friend, his brother and some other randoms. Think frat house, except for no college/university. Splitting the expenses worked out pretty well.
So one of the guys worked at a port in customs or something. He had a uniform and ID etc. Left for work at the same time every morning and hung out with us after work. He was always down for attending social events with us and most of us liked him. Fast forward about a year, and he starts telling us about how he can get us discounted TVs and other merchandise from the port. Unclaimed/seized property that apparently no one sweats about if just a few items go astray. Everyone gave it a pass as it seemed sketchy.
Then one day we come home to one of our housemates in shock and bawling like a baby. Turns out not only did he give the guy his life savings he also gave him money borrowed from his dad. The customs guy had said he could get him a new car cheap!
The long, long con. Turns out the guy doesn’t work at the port, the name he gave us doesn’t exist, and we have no idea how he spent his days or came up with his share of the rent/bills. Still creeps me out a little knowing I lived with a stranger for so long.
34. Can’t Blame You
My ex-stepfather was a well-off pilot for a local med-flight helicopter. He had three daughters who adored him and was always very nice to me and my sister. He was one of the nicest and most soft-spoken men I’ve ever met. He worshipped the ground my mom walked on.
He also had blackout rage issues. After a year of marriage, he gave my mother a concussion and broke her leg in three spots. I was told she slipped and fell. It wasn’t until a couple years after they split that I was told the whole story. My mom was smart enough to get out while she could and even smarter for not telling me. I was and still am significantly larger than he is and have a lot less to lose.
I’ve seen him once since then. He tried to be nice. I told him I knew everything and if we weren’t at the hospital that my girlfriend worked at, I would most likely have tried to end him.
We don’t talk anymore.
33. The Prince in Plainclothes
In one of my previous jobs a few years ago, we hired this guy who turned out to be a really good partner, worked hard, never complained. After about a year and a half of working with him, I get called into the office, he’s there with the manager, assistant manager and two beefy guys in normal clothes with the exception of ear pieces.
He wanted to say goodbye to the bosses and I, and explain why he had to leave the company. Turned out he was the son of some leader in his country and they had to relocate him, an opposing faction found out he was in our state and would have kidnapped him for leverage.
32. Daddy Bad Dealings
Earlier this year I learned my Dad has been addicted to heroin and stolen many expensive things from various members of my family.
I knew that people had been getting things stolen from them but never even began to think it was my Dad. He did get help and is now five months clean, but still working and building up my family’s trust again.
31. Mr. Universe’s Small World
I worked with this guy once who was known for his stories. No matter how loose the connection was, he’d find a way to turn anything into a personal anecdote of a thing he’d seen or done before. All of them were interesting the first time (he’d lived an interesting life—grown up in America, moved to Australia in his early 20s, worked in a lot of really cool places over the years), but it wasn’t long before he started repeating the same stories over and over again. I worked with him for just over three years, so it got pretty ridiculous. We knew how he’d met his wife, all the obscure things he owned, his pets, his kids—we knew every detail of his life.
It became a bit of an in-joke within the office about how the guy never shut up.
Then one day, he didn’t come in. He’d died of a heart attack. The whole office was at a loss, especially our little department (which had about eight people in it, including him). When it came to his funeral, our little group took the afternoon off and attended. And that’s how we found out, none of his stories were true.
He’d grown up locally, his family wasn’t at all who we thought they were, none of his old jobs had happened… Everything we’d known about him had just been made up.
The most interesting thing for me was that at one point, our boss needed someone to head to China to double check something in person at one of our company’s factories. When the usual choices couldn’t do it, he was picked. It seemed like a no-brainer, since he was regularly going to and from America to visit family and had traveled a lot on his other jobs. We now think that may have been his first time overseas.
30. Another Us
My (the Netherlands) great-grandfather’s family had an inkling that no amount of prosperity was worth risking what Hitler was spreading. He took his wife and four sons on a boat, settled in Illinois/Wisconsin border to just fine middle classism as skilled carpenters and other building tradesmen.
The family didn’t realize till nearly 1970 that the house they just left without selling in Holland, the Jewish family of six who lived next door moved in without asking, called themselves my family name (first and last), the local Protestant church had them every Sunday, they survived the Holocaust. Has any greater accidental zero effort hero ever happened?
29. Give It to Me Straight
My grandfather was in a romantic relationship with another man across the country for a few decades. My entire family knew about it, so it was no big deal… or so we thought.
Just last October, my grandfather died. We went to call his partner, and he was very surprised to learn that my grandfather had children. It’s amazing how he hid an entire family for decades.
28. The Secret Southern Prologue of the Grandpa Chronicles
My grandmother passed away a couple years ago. While going through her house, my family found a box with my grandfather’s name on it in his handwriting. My grandfather died before I was born. It was taped closed and the dust on it suggested it hadn’t ever been opened.
Inside, my family found newspaper clippings and other documents.
Turns out that in the early 1900s, my grandfather took a road trip with friends to see the ocean. During their time at the beach, their car was stolen. They decided to stay awhile; being in their late teens and out of school, they decided to earn some money and have a good time.
My grandfather met a Mexican girl and married her within the course of a month. There was an article on the vehicle theft, as well as another on the marriage and a marriage certificate.
We could never find information on what happened next. We don’t even rightly know if they married for love, to get her citizenship, if they had kids, or even if he was legally divorced when he married my grandmother in the 1930s. We don’t think my grandmother knew.
We did find out his first wife returned to Mexico. She did have children (who say they don’t think their mom had kids before she remarried). We sent them copies of the documents we found, and they were as flabbergasted as we were.
27. Chickened Out
There was one dad in our mother’s group that lost his high-flying big city financial job due to a market crash. To pay the bills, and because there were no jobs in finance at the time, he took the first job he could get—in a chicken abattoir. Bit of a change from a desk job to slaughtering chickens, but when you have a newborn baby and bills to pay, you step up.
(I know that sounds crazy—it’s a group of new mums that meet weekly to swap war stories about newborns, and occasionally there would be a BBQ or something that the dads would come to as well.)
Every time I ran into him I was always impressed with how much he was up to speed on current events and world news. We would talk about the latest political, financial and scientific news; there was not much discussion about chicken butchering.
Turns out he was fired on his first day. Every day after that—for months—he would leave home in the morning, go to the pub, read newspapers all day, and then go home in the evening.
She eventually found out. They are divorced now.
26. The Papa You Know
I’ll save the backstory.
A good friend’s father was found out to be huge in the cocaine trade. Not like a dealer on the streets but smuggling into the country and helping distribute in California. The dad was a real normal dude, and very family oriented/present. He’s in prison now.
Blew my mind.
25. The Soldier with a Secret Second Shift
I served in the Navy from 1985 to 2005. While in my first squadron, from 1985-1989, we were away from home often, either on short detachments of 2-5 weeks or 6-month deployments. During one period when we were at home for awhile, I was on watch in the duty office after hours. Me and another guy just had to man the office, answer the phone, and monitor the guys on watch down in the hangar bay.
Shortly after our watch started we got a phone call from a wife of someone in our squadron. She was asking us when the squadron would be back from detachment. I asked the other guy if he knew about anybody out on det, and he just looked at me funny. I told her we didn’t currently have anyone one on det. We’ve all been back home for a couple months. She insisted her husband had been out on det for three weeks and needed to know when he was coming home. I assured her nobody was on det and told her I had seen her husband earlier that day at work. She just hung up after that.
Turns out, the guy was telling his wife he was out on det and shacking up with his girlfriend for a few weeks. She called the Commanding Officer to find out when her husband had been part of a detachment and found out he’d done it many times over the previous couple years. Infidelity is officially against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It didn’t turn out well for him.
24. The Two-Timing Terrier
Turns out my parents’ dog would go to the neighbors house every day from around 7am to 3pm on weekdays—just to chill, play with their dog, eat their dog food, dog stuff. We had no idea until our neighbor told us like two years into his little day trips. I still don’t know how he knew weekday vs. weekend.
23. Double Date
Fellow grad student has two young kids; one that is struggling to walk and communicate and is in the process of being diagnosed. She is pulling 10 to 16-hour days (between interning and classes) plus being a mom and wife.
She gets a call from a friend that expresses how excited she is to see her at the husband’s work party. What?! She didn’t RSVP, and her husband said he would pop over for less than an hour than come home to be with her for a quiet dinner.
Turns out he was bringing a date that wasn’t her. They had been seeing each other for about six months and even had taken a trip together under the pretence of a business trip. Anytime he had been late or gone we assume he was with her. Friend did her a solid and took a couple pics for the divorce lawyer.
22. Secret Addition
Not exactly a double life, but my cousin was a secret for four years.
When my uncle was 21, he and his girlfriend had a baby with out telling anyone in our large, very nosy family. No one suspected a thing and they went on dating.
When I was eight and their daughter was four, her adoptive parents were killed in a fire and left in their will that they wanted her to go back to her bio parents.
My uncle and his girlfriend sincerely regretted giving their daughter up and so they were thrilled.
Everyone just went with the fact that they were essentially keeping a secret child for four years and were pretty much ok with it.
My cousin is 14 now, and she has two full siblings, and my aunt and uncle are great parents. Every now and again someone brings up the situation, but it’s pretty much just laughed off. I do find it a little odd though.
21. Breaking Bad: For Her
A well-respected family of two teachers with two cute kids—the husband at the high school and the wife at the elementary school in the fairly high-income town they lived in.
Turns out the wife was dealing drugs without husband knowing, got busted at school (cops showed up to elementary and high school), lost her job and they got divorced/she moved away.
20. Mother Malfeasance
My ex-wife got fired from two jobs in nine months’ time. She finally got a job at Hank’s Furniture. After a couple of months, she told me that she had to go for three days a week to work at one of their locations about two hours away. That became five days a week quickly. She told me in this role she didn’t get paid until after delivery of the furniture, so it takes some time. She started staying the night there with her boss, a woman. I felt like it was fishy, so I looked up the woman and she is a real person and is the store manager at this location, so I moved on from that thought. The money was not coming. I had two kids and a full-time job.
I had to constantly borrow money from in-laws and my parents to make ends meet and my ex-wife was never around. Made it very hard at the time. I stupidly a long time before had put her in charge of most of our finances, so I did not see her max out our credit card. Finally, though, when I saw she hadn’t been paid after a month of this, I told her she had to quit and come home and find a job here. She was extremely upset with me. She told me she knew she was getting paid tomorrow. Sure enough, $3,600 went into the account the next day.
After a few more weeks, I again told her to come home. This time she unhappily obliged. While at home I want to add that she took my daughter up to that store one Saturday to collect something she’d left behind. She took a picture of her and my then five-year-old at the Hanks store there. She went back one more time to collect a paycheck in person and say bye to her old boss.
She deposited $2,450 or so.
Then, randomly, I checked out recent bank expenses and saw a very expensive lunch at a Houlihan’s. Over $50. I decided I was ticked about this, so I called up to the store there, and asked for the woman manager she had been staying with and working for. I got her on the phone, and I said this:
“Hi, this is (name) the husband of (name). Did you have lunch with her on Monday?”
The response: “who?”
“(Name), she worked for you and stayed with you for the last few months.”
“I don’t know that person and she never worked for me or stayed with me…”
A huge pit in my stomach developed. I was distraught and furious. I had to know for sure. I went to the Hank’s in my town. She had been fired a couple months ago, and they did not transfer her to the other location.
At this point I was in a panic. I went and got a lawyer and settled on divorce. I discovered then the credit card that was maxed out. I then looked closely in to my finances, because I was an idiot and did not sooner. The two large “paychecks” were traced back to one of those same day loan places. You know, extremely high interest type deals. I served her, and she trashed my house in a fit of rage. She had been going to stay with her ex-boyfriend from high school, for presumably sex and drugs. She went to extreme lengths to draw out the time she could spend on those bad habits and made me feel like a complete fool.
The good news? She didn’t show up for the hearing. I got full custody. After a year of visitation set up at my discretion, she took me to court to get more, scheduled visitation. However, she had not even been consistent about showing up to what I gave her.
She didn’t show up to that court date either. Cost me a grand. Finally, I got remarried to the love of my life. After a year, we tried to let her adopt my older two. I had documentation that was 58 slides long of evidence showing she didn’t pay child support and never really showed up for visitation. We won, and the judge said all the mean things I’ve always wanted to say to her to her in that court room.
Closure is nice, and my kids aren’t suffering from a deadbeat mom never showing up anymore.
19. Small Town Dad Living in a Big World
Guy I used to work with. He lived in a small country town with his wife and tree kids. When he was fired from his job (where I worked) he could only find something at his level in the big city two hours away.
So he would go to work in the city Monday to Friday, and home to his wife and kids on the weekends. This went on for years. It came out about five years into the arrangement that he wasn’t living in the small crappy city apartment as he said, he was living with his girlfriend, and their two kids!
So he had a wife and three kids, and a girlfriend with two kids (all his). Apparently, the girlfriend knew about the wife, but the wife had no idea about the girlfriend. And his three country kids had two younger siblings that they knew nothing about.
It of course blew up spectacularly, the wife kicked him out and he went to live with the girlfriend. Six months later she was sick of him and kicked him to the curb too. So now he pays child support for five kids to two different women and is actually living in that small crappy apartment!
18. Speak Up, Silly
We had a guy in high school who faked a deep voice for the 8-7 years. We’ve known him and senior year he revealed that it wasn’t his real voice.
17. Full House in the Big House
A guy I knew was a tattooist so worked late hours at night. He had a family with four kids in one neighbourhood that was about an hour away from his shop. Then he had another girlfriend with a kid about 20 minutes away. The two didn’t know about each other, he lived out of both of his girlfriends’ houses and when he wasn’t at one of the houses, the girlfriend would think he was at his parents due to working late. Anyway, it all unfolded on him when he got arrested and ended up in prison and both girlfriends, all the kids, and another side girlfriend that he was “seeing” all rocked up to visit him one the same day…
16. Secrets Come in Twos
Found out my dad’s gay.
Found out my girlfriend’s married.
I got the double double!
15. Sick in Every Way but One
I know a guy who faked cancer, but when he traveled to a town an hour or so away for his “chemo” he was really molesting children.
He worked for a car rental company and got them to comp him rentals to go for his “treatments.”
Oh, and he had a few of us almost convinced that his landlord was a child molester and the actual reason their home had that very phrase spray-painted on it by parties unknown.
14. Do as I Say, Not Whom I Do
A local pastor in Florida gave me private marriage counseling many years ago. He was pious and godly, and I respected him very much. He insisted that the sanctity of marriage demanded that I make sacrifices of some of my desires, and that God would reward me later (in this life and marriage) for those sacrifices.
About a month after the counseling concluded, he was forced to resign from his church. Turns out he got caught sleeping with his assistant pastor’s wife.
13. Family Fatalities
My cousin. He played it super cool around me and the rest of the family. I even admired him for it. However, he was a huge meth-head, and became increasingly paranoid and combative. He started stuff with the wrong people and ended up getting gunned down in a drive-by. I was a pallbearer at his funeral.
12. He Took YOLO Too Far
My friend is a divorce attorney, and has a client right now who is a wealthy guy in his 40s or 50s. He was told he was terminally ill, so he went and started a relationship with a stripper and got her pregnant. He ended up recovering, and the stripper had the kid. He’s been supporting the stripper and the kid without his family knowing for years. The older guy and his wife are now divorcing and this stripper issue (which the wife still has yet to know about) is making things complicated.
11. One Double Life with a Happy Ending
Friend close to me, who worked with me, had always talked about her boyfriend (let’s call him Dave). She would talk about her evening plans with him, holidays they went on and so on.
Other friends tried to Google him, and search for him on Facebook (out of a morbid curiosity to see what he looked like), but never came up with anything.
Then, one Christmas party she took me outside and told me she was engaged! But that wasn’t the full story. She was actually engaged to Danielle, a woman, and had spent the last few years covering up the fact she was gay by completely fabricating Dave.
He had never existed, and all stories and anecdotes were actually about Danielle.
I remembered being so pleased she was engaged, but just had an overwhelming feeling of sadness for her that she had had to hide her true life at work.
I met Danielle later on and she introduced herself as “Dave.”
10. A Steal of a Man
One of my older brother’s ex-gf’s dated a guy for two years then out the blue he got arrested. When the charges came out it turns out this guy had been a bank robber. She told us he would go on business trips and come back and be off for a month or two at a time. She just thought he had a good job that was super flexible. She was wrapped up in her own career and I’m sure her attention to detail was lacking. The guy didn’t flash money around, didn’t do anything that let anyone suspect he was a criminal.
He got popped because his brother who was a cop recognized him in a video of on of his bank jobs.
9. Even Angels Pay Taxes
When I did my clinical at a hospital laboratory the lab manager (who had been there for a year or so) was like this SUPER Christian dude—I mean you’d walk by his office and he’d literally be on his knees praying and stuff.
Anyway, one day federal agents show up to the lab and arrest him.
Turns out he had basically fled from Tennessee because he was wanted for committing major tax fraud to the tune of like $400k.
IIRC, what he did is file one of those forms that say you don’t have to pay federal income taxes if you are a citizen of another country, except he put on there that he was a citizen of “the kingdom of heaven.”
Somehow, they hired this guy without even a basic background check.
The hospital already had a shaky reputation because a year or so before they had killed a woman by giving her the wrong blood type. This didn’t help.
8. Justice with a Side of Fries
A manager at a Jimmy John’s I worked at in Cincinnati. He was quiet, kept to himself, and was always on time and did a good job. I was in school, so I wasn’t there all the time but when we worked together he was reliable. He was taking online courses at UC (we were literally right across from it) for business, I don’t really remember.
One day, he didn’t show up for work. No one could get a hold of him and no one really knew where he lived (his address was checked, no one answered). While we were worried, we figured he just bailed and went on with our lives.
Well, one night when the shop was closed (we closed at 3 am) a man knocked on the store door, wanting in. My coworkers weren’t having it and tried ignoring and mouthing “we’re closed.” She figured it was a drunk student and figured he’d lose interest and leave. Until he held up his badge for Homeland Security.
Apparently, our “missing” manager was a cyber criminal who was using our job and his online courses as a cover to steal money from old folks. Who knew.
7. Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke
My dad was secretly a smoker and my mom didn’t find out until they’d been married 21 years.
6. I’m Off the Clock, Dad
I was in a line for coffee in Oakland. A father was with his son around my age (19) in the line. This random scruffy man comes up to the son, addresses him by name, and asks for drugs…
The dad looked at the son completely dumbfounded.
5. One Bump Can Wreck Your Love Life
Used to work the desk in an ER. One day, we had a fellow brought in via EMS after a car wreck. After a while, a lady came to the desk and said, “My husband is here, he’s just been in a car accident.” I checked with the unit, they said he could have visitors, so I let her go back. I went on with my day.
About 20 minutes later, a different woman came to the desk and said, “My husband is here, he’s been in a car accident.” I knew damned good and well that we only had one MVA back there, but I asked her for the patient’s name, figuring maybe she’d come to the wrong hospital. But she had not.
Now, it’s not my place to judge other people’s lifestyles. I myself am polyamorous and know a number of people who all refer to one another as husband and wife, though there are more than a regulation number of players on the field.
So, I do my job. I called back and said, “There’s a visitor here for room X, may she come back?” The unit clerk gave the ok, so I opened the door and let her back.
This man was not polyamorous. Instead, he was leading a double life of Bruce Wayne proportions. He wasn’t just sleeping with two different women. He had two sets of children. He had convinced both that he was legally married to them. And neither had any idea the other existed.
There was, how you say, a mild kerfuffle.
In the end, the women joined forces against him and walked out planning their respective divorces.
It was just amazing to me that this guy’s whole life was blown up by a minor fender bender that wasn’t even his fault. Dude looked just haunted when he walked out.
42. Lord of Lies
Might be a bit long and confusing, but worth it.
My partner and I were working one night, and we were dispatched to a check the welfare / missing persons case. A woman had reported that her husband was missing, and she was unable to reach him by phone or email. She believed he was on a business trip. The wife had traced the location of the car with the assistance of OnStar.
The wife provided our dispatch with a general location for the car, a description of the car, her husband’s name and descriptors. Let’s call him Hugh for now. We located the car in the drive way of a nice home out in the rural part of our beat.
Knocked on the door and an older gentleman answered the door. I should note this is about four in the morning as well. We asked the person who opened the door who he was and if he knew who the car in the driveway belonged to. He identified himself as the owner of the home and said the car belonged to his new son in law, Lord Bottomtooth, who was in the back house with his daughter.
Asked the old guy to describe Lord Bottomtooth and he nailed the description to a T, even that the guy had a British accent, but the names didn’t match.
We went to the back house to contact Hugh / Lord Bottomtooth, knock on that door and a surprisingly attractive younger woman answers the door. Ask her to speak with Lord Bottomtooth. He comes to the door and my partner calls him Hugh and he responds and then proceeds to push us out the door.
I should note my partner is a bit crass and doesn’t like liars. He explained to Hugh/Tooth in a loud voice that his wife called him in missing and she and his children were very worried. Hugh/Tooth plays dumb, but after a bit of prodding says he wanted to start a new life with Wife #2 and hand created a fake name and life to live and planned to just up and bail on Wife #1. Wife #1 is then called on speaker phone to confirm his wellbeing.
Meanwhile, I’m talking to wife #2. She states she just married Toothy and she had known him for little over a year. Wife #2 says Toothy travels a lot (that’s when he is with family #1) but he was going to quit his job and move to Florida to the home her parents just bought them as a wedding gift. I quickly but politely explain that Toothy is actually Hugh, with two kids, a wife, a mortgage and a whole different life. Wife #2 is a bit upset.
My partner is talking to Wife #1, she is extremely pissed. Is screaming on the phone that Hugh is not welcome home and he should drop dead.
Wife #2 has similar reaction and sics her father on Toothy.
Hugh / Toothy gathers his belongings and gets in car to leave, his two lives quickly destroyed.
Bonus points—My partner was very pissed off at Hugh / Toothy, but we believed we had no legal recourse against him. Further scouring of our penal code book, we discover that bigamy is actually a crime in our state and file on him which would potentially risk his residency status.
TLDR; wife calls in husband missing. Find husband in bed with new wife leading second life. Call out husband on speaker phone.
40. Rock and Not Enrolled
There was this kid at our church who started attending the youth group when he was about 15. Everyone loved him, but he was always a little standoffish. Fast forward three years to graduation time. Everyone kept asking him what he planned to do after high school and if he was looking forward to it, but he always changed the subject. Finally, he revealed to one of the adults that he wasn’t graduating because he hasn’t been to school since he was eight years old. His dad removed him from school and never let him return.
A whole bunch of stuff went down after that, but the church members helped him do a fast-track high school degree in three years and have now paid for him to attend a four-year university.
37. Graduating Without Honors
Well, this is a salient question to stumble on today.
Nutshell background: about seven years ago, my brother was struggling with addiction, using almost any and everything though alcohol was the DOC. We have a really long family history of alcohol use disorders. He dropped out of school and spent a few years bouncing around treatment centers and sober living houses.
Three years ago, he decided to move back (about 2 hours away from my parents’ house) and get back into school. At this point he’s a lot older than the kids in his classes and socializing is hard so he would come up to see the parents every Friday, Saturday, Sunday. He decided to go for a chemistry degree—every semester talking about his specific classes, the content of them, etc. He knew the class times, professors, talked about teaching styles, and like clockwork brought his dog to my parents for finals week twice a year so he could study without distraction.
My entire family came from all across the country for his graduation ceremony on Friday. We were all bursting with pride and excitement because my brother had just done what we all thought was impossible and graduated. Pre-ceremony none of us could find his name in the book. Then we couldn’t find him walking among the students. About 30 minutes into the ceremony I got a call from him. He was drunk.
Turns out he never enrolled back into school. He just moved back, conned my parents into paying rent and utilities for three years and spent four days a week boozing, gaming, and sleeping. No one knew this was going on. He invested so much into this double life that he had his whole family and all his friends fooled.
We’re not sure what the next steps are, my husband and I are going to help my parents pack up his place tomorrow. It’s hard to find hope with the level of deceit that went into his latest stint. He’s hurt so many people on this path but he’s my brother and I love him nonetheless. Here’s to a brighter tomorrow, thanks for letting me word vomit and process this a bit more.
34. Making the Grade and the Green Card
My family hosted a number of exchange students while we were growing up. We hosted about seven high school students over the course of my childhood; each stayed for a year in our house, attended high school in our town etc.
One girl, Irina, from Russia, came to us no differently than any of the other students had—through the AFS program. To be a student through AFS meant you had to fill out an application, be 17-18 years old, be attending high school in your home country, whatever. So Irina arrives as our exchange student. She goes to high school in our small hometown on Cape Cod Massachusetts. But at Christmas time she says she has to go home to Russia because her mother was extremely sick.
Going home during the exchange year is really unusual, really rare. So OK fine she’s going to Russia for the Christmas break, nbd, she’ll be back in January. Except she never comes back. AFS can’t find her, we don’t know where she is, if she made it to Russia, if she’s hurt, nothing. And we’re terrified because we’re her host family during this year and we always took the students in like family. Anyways she’s gone. Maybe three months later my mom is driving through our tiny town (again, middle of nowhere Cape Cod) and she sees Irina, with what looks like her mom, and some other kids. Turns out Irinia has graduated high school in Russia already, was like 25 with children and had posed as an exchange student so she could “case” the place before bringing the rest of her family.