Living in a society is great, except for all the people who come along with it. But the general presence of other humans can be helpful sometimes. Like, say, if your toilet is clogged and you need to borrow a plunger, or if your plunger broke off in your clogged toilet and you need to borrow some quick cash to start a new life. But that's assuming you have decent neighbors who understand a "new life dump" situation, and not walking horror shows like these.
There are people who hold grudges, and then there are people who take grudges and mold them into their very bones, like an old tree growing over a bicycle. Kim Hoffman's nightmare started when her daughter invited a neighbor girl, Lori Christensen, over to her house to play. The Christensen girl responded by pouring nail polish in young Hoffman's hair.
Listen, kids are weird and sucky. This kind of thing happens.
When Hoffman confronted the girl's mother over this little snafu, Christensen reacted by initiating a five-year harassment campaign against her family. Christensen particularly enjoyed taunting Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic who had recently suffered a life-threatening overdose, with suggestions that she should "drink more Scotch" because she "should have died." Just an overall lovely person.
The Hoffmans reported the incidents to police, but it wasn't until they caught Christensen on tape crashing their son's 12th birthday party with a remote-controlled car while yelling "Drunk driver, drunk driver!" that they were granted a restraining order. This did little to curtail Christensen's antics. Instead, she opted to harass the Hoffmans from a distance, putting up signs in her yard that read "Fat people disgust me" and "I saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer." She also started flashing and making "masturbatory gestures" at the Hoffmans and their children, arguably upping her crimes from felony harassment to sexual assault.
The Hoffmans settled for charging her with violating the restraining order. Christensen defended herself by claiming she thought the order only applied to the people, and not their property, and that it was her right under the First Amendment to put up the signs (you know her Twitter feed is just unbearable). She was sentenced to 90 days in jail and several years of probation, during which she's not allowed to be within one mile of the Hoffmans' home -- a radius which includes her own. Oh, she also lost her job in the process. It was one of the rare occasions in which someone managed to pure asshole themselves right onto the street.
Tanya Saylor lived in Pennsylvania with her terminally ill husband and five children, including a 17-year-old with cancer. You could say she had her hands full. She certainly didn't have time to deal with her neighbor's fucking drama. We mean that quite literally.
You see, Saylor's teenage daughters slept in a room that shared a wall with that of their neighbor, Amanda Warfel, who really liked sex. Last we checked, that describes most post-pubescent humans, but most of those accept that apartment living demands keeping the audio to a minimum. It seems Warfel never learned this lesson, and the noises frequently kept the girls awake at night. After noise-blocking headphones proved futile, Saylor went next door and asked Warfel if perhaps she could tone it down a notch or two so that Saylor's cancer-stricken daughter might get some sleep.
Not only did Warfel have even louder sex in response, but she also started getting creative. Her dirty talk began including racial epithets directed at the girls next door, as well as vivid descriptions of the sex acts taking place, which must have been hella weird for whoever was assisting with said acts. This went on for two years, often into the wee hours of the morning. Saylor stated that she didn't even really care about the derogatory language -- she was more fed up with her daughters being late for school due to lack of sleep. The state police actually had to write notes on two occasions to excuse her tardiness. Eventually, Warfel was sentenced to 45-90 days in York County Prison for excessive bangin'.
For whatever reason, Jason Clark had spent a fortune turning his house into a kind of spy fortress, complete with a bright orange fence, motion-activated spotlights, and security cameras. Inside he kept an arsenal of rifles, pistols, and 40,000 rounds of ammunition.
He mowed his lawn dressed in black and wearing a hockey mask. If he had stopped there, his neighbors may have written him off as merely terrifying, but he would also shout at pedestrians, shine spotlights onto passing drivers, and into people's homes. That upgrades him from terrifying to nuisance.
One of Clark's favorite targets was neighbor Joe Gross. For reasons that aren't terribly clear, Clark poisoned Gross' lawn, which would be a hilariously suburban prank if it hadn't resulted in the death of Gross' dog. Things got so bad that Gross tried to sell his house, but Clark wouldn't let that happen either, scaring the realtors away with his harassment. It seems he didn't want to let his plaything go. Gross ended up giving his house away to his church, but the neighbors who couldn't afford to donate themselves into homelessness continued to suffer. Like Tony Calhoun, who lived a few blocks away and was just visiting someone in the neighborhood when Clark up and ran over him.
Shockingly, Clark had previously been convicted for harassing neighbors in another part of town, and all those guns he was stockpiling were a huge violation of the protective order he was under. As of 2016, he was facing up to 20 years in prison. It should be noted that he was found competent to stand trial, because the legitimately mentally ill are nowhere near this jerky.
Barry Ardolf kissed a four-year-old on the lips, allegedly. There's ... no good way of saying that. The child's parents, Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, reported the incident to the police, which was a crime that Ardolf considered far worse than molesting a child. To get even, Ardolf spent two weeks hacking the Kostolniks' WEP-encrypted WiFi network. Once he was in, he enacted a meticulous campaign of electronic terrorism which mostly involved attempting to frame Matt Kostolnik for possession of child pornography.
He began by creating a fake MySpace page for Matt which contained child porn. Fortunately for Kostolnik, the last person who looked at a MySpace page died in 2007. Ardolf then used Kostolnik's work email to send child porn to a co-worker, as well as suggestive messages to Kostolnik's female colleagues. Kostolnik, of course, denied being the one responsible for the emails, and thankfully his superiors gave him the benefit of the doubt. They hired a firm that specializes in this kind of thing, which is apparently common enough that entire firms exist to specialize in it. They installed a packet sniffer on the Kostolnik's network, whereupon they discovered what Ardolf was doing. The Secret Service also got involved, because Ardolf emailed death threats to Joe Biden. The man is truly heartless.
The FBI also got involved, and uncovered evidence that Ardolf had staged a similar harassment campaign against a couple in Brooklyn. What did that couple do to incur Ardolf's wrath? Supposedly, the personal care attendants who looked after their disabled twin daughters parked their car in front of Ardolf's house. Ardolf was sentenced to 18 years for having really weird ideas of what constitutes a slight. Also, cyberterrorism.
In 2001, David and Joan Gallant bought a house that sat next to the Murrays' property. For reasons unknown, the Gallants soon found their new home under smelly siege by the Murrays. Over the course of a year, the Murrays dumped hundreds of loads of cow manure along the border of their property. David would sometimes wake up at 4 a.m. to the sound of a loader beeping as it delivered fresh piles of wet cow shit right beyond his property line. The piles got so high that they were visible on Google Earth.
A judge eventually put a stop to all this and awarded the Gallants $15,000 in damages. After which he officially ordered the Murrays to -- wait for it -- keep their shit to themselves.
For more stories involving piles of shit, check out John's novel Scourge Ship.
Use these hypoallergenic silicone earplugs to drown out the most common neighbor annoyance: noise. The other insane stuff...we can't really help with that.
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