When I was a little girl, I was told a story about a horrible crime someone had committed outside a little town not very far from where we lived.
It seems two boys went out fishing one day and never went home again. Their bodies were found mutilated and tied to a tree. Their killers were never found.
The story always came with the spoken (or unspoken) reminder: And this is why we don't talk to strangers.
The rumor was never confirmed, but I grew up knowing it as truth. Researching it now, I wonder if there was any fact behind the rumor, or if someone had picked up the story of the Oakland County Child Killer, and morphed it into something more grisly and dramatic and local. (As rumors and myths will often morph - especially in the days before internet.)
I know it sounds awful to tell a little girl a story like that, but honestly, I wasn't scarred by it. Unless you count my fascination with true crime stories and fictional suspense. ;o)
Have you ever had someone tell you a story about the area where you live that you think might not be true? Have you ever tried to research it online?
(BTW, my parents weren't the ones who told me this story. I'll have to ask my mother if she remembers ever hearing it and who might've told it to me. Probably one of my older siblings trying to scare me into being more careful about who I talked to. Lord knows, I talked to everyone when I was a kid.)
Updated: I talked to Mom and she confirmed that this did happen, gave me a last name of one of the victims, and I found a write up of it online. The killer(s) were, in fact, caught and they all pointed the finger at the one 'slow' kid in their midst, so he was the one tried for it. (Although how one teenager did all those things to those two boys is beyond me. Methinks justice wasn't quite served in this case.) And although it happened around the same time as the Oakland County Child Killings, and it happened just north of Oakland County, this crime was unrelated to those.