5 People Who Learned Awful, Specific Stuff (From TV)
The main benefit of watching TV is seeing the plight of sad bastards who aren't you. You see a news story about some poor schlub whose house fell into a sinkhole while he was on the toilet, and you feel a little better about your day. That's why it's such a nasty surprise to be watching the news, see helicopter footage of a notorious address, and then realize, "Wait a second, that's my house!" And yet it happens all the time ...
A Woman Found Out From A Documentary That Her Home Was A Serial Killer's Lair
Catrina McGhaw was renting a house in Missouri in 2014, when a friend called her up and recommended a TV show to her. It was about serial killers -- specifically, it was an episode about the one who had lived in, and murdered in, the house Catrina had just rented. That murderer had been charged with killing two people, though upwards of 20 had gone missing in the area and he had bragged to the media about killing 17 (he hung himself in custody before any further details could come out).
At the very least, the two victims he'd been charged for had been kept in the basement of Catrina's new home, and tortured there. They'd been tied to a beam that was now right in the middle of where Catrina had arranged a TV and some comfy chairs. I get that technically there's nothing wrong with the house unless you believe that evil is a force that lingers in a place, but you have to admit it's the kind of thing you'd prefer to know in advance.
The law actually disagrees with me. Missouri is one of those states that doesn't require you to disclose the shady history of a house. So McGhaw didn't technically get duped into hunkering down in the aftermath of a human tragedy. On the other hand, her landlord tossed in a free dining room table with the rental ... which was the same table the killer had owned, and was visible in crime scene photos. This is because the landlord was, in fact, the killer's mother. She was renting out her own son's murder house, complete with murder furniture, and not telling anyone about it. Suddenly the guy whose ass crack hangs out when he fixes your kitchen sink doesn't seem so bad anymore.
She was going to hold McGhaw to the terms of the lease, insisting that she'd mentioned the murders during the signing (it was her contention McGhaw had just forgotten). McGhaw was eventually able to get out of her lease after the St. Louis Housing Authority intervened, and she moved to a home that has hopefully never been lovingly described in a true crime podcast.
Related: 6 Famous Houses From Movies (That Ruined The Owner's Lives)
A Woman Saw Her Husband On TV ... With His Other Wife
There's a variety show in the UK called Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. If you're not familiar with British English, that means "Anthony And Declan Just Stole An Hour Of Your Weekend." There are games and skits, and people have even been married on the show. One person who appeared on an episode was too married, in fact.
In 2016, a woman named Helen wrote on the show's Facebook page that she'd seen her husband Daniel with another woman on the show, and was not amused. People were quick to shit on her, claiming she was a bitter ex, but that was only partially true. They'd split up, but were not divorced. But this wasn't a matter of the guy being unfaithful; Helen soon found out the woman he was with on TV was, in fact, his new, second wife. Side note: This guy is probably not someone you should trust with a secret.
Helen had believed her husband was in Dubai, saying they'd been trying to reconcile for the last year. Eventually, the husband was investigated, and yep, he was married to both Helen and the woman he appeared with. That resulted in him getting six months in prisonfor bigamy, because you can't just marry everyone all the time. We live in a civilized society, and that means you need to marry people in order. You wouldn't eat two corn dogs at the same time, would you? Heck no! First one, then the other.
Related: 5 Bizarre Ways Movies And TV Shows Have Ruined Actual Lives
A Man Found Out His Wife's "Death" Was Just A Grotesque Mistake
A fellow by the name of Abragh Mohamed from Morocco suffered a terrible tragedy in 2014. His wife had been in a car accident and was rushed to the hospital. While she was being taken care of, Mohamed returned to his home to get some things and came back, which was a four-hour journey. In that time, he was informed his wife passed away. Her body was already wrapped up, and so Mohamed had a funeral. Case closed.
Two years later, Abragh heard from friends and family who'd just watched a local Unsolved Mysteries-style TV show. It featured Mohamed's wife, very much alive, saying she was trying to find her husband who she'd lost touch with, in what amounts to one of the greatest understatements of all time.
They were reunited, so that's good news, obviously. But there is no explanation of how this could actually happen that isn't horrifying. Remember, the last time he saw her, she was in the care of a hospital. Did his wife have memory loss? Was it an intentional scam on somebody's part? Whose?
The Independent ended its recapof events by suggesting that medical and/or administrative incompetence is to blame for the mix-up. None of that accounts for two missing years, of course. Or what exactly prevented her from just, you know, going home. Also, this guy literally buried a human body! Who the hell was that? Is their family looking for them? How was a TV show, two years later, the easiest way for the wife (who I'm not naming because she wasn't named in the story) to find Abragh? There are no answers here, only a series of increasingly alarming questions.
Related: 15 Reality TV Shows That Ruined People's Real Lives
A Guy Watched A TV Police Chase That Showed Up At His House
A guy named Jason Lee was watching California's official state sport, the high-speed car chase, when he was motivated to film what he was watching. He had a good reason for this: The chase was in his neighborhood. And then, as you can see, it was even closer.
That's video Lee recorded of his TV as the chase was approaching his street. He turns away from the TV only when the chase is literally in front of his house, the target vehicle happening to turn down his street at that exact moment. He was then able to capture it live, as opposed to that second-rate chopper coverage from the peacock network. It was like TVception. He was in the story. There's a moment when it looks like the turning car is going to crash through his fence and then his living room (it didn't):
Normally you might assume this kind of "too perfect" scenario was just a joke video someone had arranged, but we know the chase really happened. NBC News covered the whole story up until the end of things, when they used a spike strip to stop the car and arrested the driver, who turned out to be " a boy." I'm going to assume the driver didn't go joyriding just so his friend could make a viral video, but I guess nothing is impossible these days.
Related: 6 Insanely Reckless Media Accusations That Ruined LIves
A Guy Discovered He Was A Missing Kid
Steve Carter was watching a storyon CNN about a woman named Carlina White. White had gone to a website and found her own baby picture, then subsequently learned she'd been kidnapped as a baby. This interested Carter, since he'd been adopted at age four (30 years earlier) and knew nothing of his origins. You see where this is going, right? And not just because you read the entry heading above?
Carter went to the exact same website White had gone to, the site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He scrolled through a few pages, and then bang, there he was. Not just himself, but an age-progressed image of what he might look like based on the baby photo that the site had. It was him.
Carter discovered his real name was Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes (the most knockoff James Bond villain name in history). His birth mother had claimed she was taking him to the grocery store one day when he was a baby, and then she never returned. She'd been found squatting in someone else's home, and was committed to a psychiatric facility after providing false names for herself and the baby. Carter became a ward of the state, and was adopted out of an orphanage to the family that would raise him for the rest of his life.
So what happened to his birth family? His dad only reported him missing after three weeks, because the dude was apparently super patient waiting for his wife to come home. By that time, she was already institutionalized and the baby was in state care but under a different name, so no one connected them.
In 2012, Carter's story came out and he had made contact with his biological father, as well as a sister. They were planning to meet in person sometime, but CNN didn't bother to follow up with that, so here's hoping the reunion was a happy one at least, and that Carter gets double presents every Christmas now.
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