Wanna read the latest from Clever Magazine?
Click here and return to the coverpage!


I Think I Live Next Door to a Serial Killer

by Doug Wren

Doug Wren, a retired educator from Atlanta, GA, has written for 
Anxiety, Stress & Coping; Educational Leadership; and other journals and magazines. His article, "My Father's Paternity: Solving a 102-Year-Old Mystery" (Your Genealogy Today, Jan/Feb 2021) tells the story of how Doug used DNA testing and genealogical sites to learn the identity of his paternal grandfather.

I think I live next door to a serial killer. No, make that I’m positive I live next door to a serial killer. How do I know this? I just do.

Even though Keith tries to act normal, I can see through his façade. Everyone on my cul-de-sac believes that Keith is a laid-back, 30-something bachelor, but deep down I know he is an impulsive, thrill-seeking kind of guy who is prone to violent outbursts I can also tell he’s a control freak with no empathy for others. During his childhood, I’m pretty sure Keith played with fire, tortured small animals, and wet the bed regularly. There’s no telling how many people this sick man has already murdered.

When I called the police to inform them that my neighbor is a serial killer, they said they needed more than just a “gut feeling” on my part before they could do anything. They wanted some kind of “evidence.” So much for our tax dollars at work.

My recent experience with the cops reminded me of what happened last year in Michigan. I was living in the house that my parents, may they rest in peace, left to me following their untimely deaths. Soon after I moved in, I discovered that a serial killer lived next door. You might think this was a coincidence. I call it fate. My destiny.

I first realized that Andrew, my neighbor in Michigan, was a serial killer the moment we met. Just like Keith, my current neighbor, Andrew pretended to be a polite, easy-going fellow. But there was a voice in my head telling me that something wasn’t right about Andrew. The voice said this man was a murderer.

Recognizing serial killers is an ability I developed following my release from the state hospital. It’s a good thing I quit taking the meds they forced on me during my extended stay. Otherwise, who else would be able to find these predators? The Mentalist? Mindhunters? Great shows—but total fiction. I am the chosen one.

Since the local police were not going to do anything about Andrew, I understood it was my job to stop him. The voice said, “Be a hero. God knows how many more innocent people this monster will kill. Save them!”

I won’t go into detail about Andrew’s death. Let’s just say he had an unfortunate mishap and drowned in his backyard pool. Andrew used to like taking a swim after he’d had a few drinks on warm summer evenings. Of course, the less-than-competent police ruled it an accidental death.

Soon there were two houses for sale on my old street in Michigan: Andrew’s and mine. The voice told me I needed to move to California, the hotbed of American serial killers. My calling is to save lives.

The voice let me know which house I was supposed to buy. I wasn’t surprised when the voice said I would be living next door to my second serial killer.

I am still trying to decide on the best way to put an end to Keith and his dirty deeds. Luckily, my neighbor has not murdered anyone in the three months since I moved in. But the clock is ticking. Before long, he will get the urge to kill again. He yearns for the excitement. He craves the thrill.

I must stop him. It is my fate. My destiny.

Home | Writers' Guidelines | About Clever Magazine | Contact Us
The Editor's Page | Recipes I Humor Archive

© No portion of Clever Magazine may be copied or reprinted without express consent of the editor.