Small towns can be very strange…
I lived in a small town about 40 minutes from Chicago until I was 10-years-old.
The population was around 5,000 people and, even as a kid, I felt like everyone knew everyone’s business.
And we all know how fast news spreads in places like that…
What was the biggest scandal in your small town?
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
“Two guys drove home extremely dr**k from a bar in a pick-up truck. The driver woke up the next morning in blood spattered clothes.
He had driven off the road and hit a wire holding up a telephone pole de**pitating his friend who had his head out the window.
He didn’t realize he had done it until he saw his friend’s body (sans head) in the passenger seat the next morning.”
2. Mr. Mayor!
“Our mayor was arrested last week because he stole money for COVID treatment.
The money was sent from federal government to treat people with COVID.
The craziest part? He’s a doctor as well.”
3. An epidemic.
“I grew up in a town of about 1,000 people, and we had a string of teenage s**cides. Like 4 in a year.
One girl happened to be dating two of the boys who committed s**cide.”
4. Bad teacher.
“A teacher at my high school divorced his first wife who he had two kids with so he could marry an 18 year old who had just graduated high school.
He had groomed her for her junior and senior year.
To make matters even worse, she had a s**ual relationship with his eldest son before the teacher started grooming her.”
5. All about the cheese.
“I love in a Canadian border town.
This police officer, nice as hell, that my grandmother cleaned for would gift her things, and seemed to have a lot more money than your average cop. She would get wine, cheese, and other things. The most gifted item however, was cheese.
Now, at the same time, there was a pizza place down the street from my house. The owners lived a couple doors down, and I was friends with their son, and the parents were pretty cool as far as neighbours go.
They also had a lot of money, for owning a pizza place in decline. After a bit, things got serious. I would see undercover police sitting at the end of my street in my way home from school nearly every day. They weren’t very incognito, but neither were the pizza place owners.
Eventually though, things came crashing down. A whole bunch of cops and restaurant owners were taken to jail in the largest cheese bust the town has ever known.
That’s right. Cheese.
The price of cheese in Canada is ridiculous, so a few members of the police department decided to use their abilities to smuggle it across the border.
They would go across, buy all the cheap, good quality stuff they could get, then use their badge to get back across, as the border patrol and cops all know each other, so the chance of them paying duty was 0%.
Anyways, that was the big scandal in the town. You can probably look it up if you search for cheese smugglers, or cheese scandal.”
6. True crime.
“Probably the Brown’s Chicken Massacre, where 7 people were m**dered at the restaurant over a robbery.
Case was cold for 9 years until the girlfriend on one of the m**derers went to the police that he had confessed to her.
He and his friend were eventually convicted through DNA and a confession.”
“In my small cow town, there was a missing little girl that was found in a suitcase that was floating in a water canal.
The culprit turned out to be her neighbor who also had a daughter the little girl would play with.
The entire city was shocked as it hit really really close to home.”
8. Got any grass?
“A guy brought a baggie of grass to the police department, saying he had bought it off of the teens hanging around at the downtown park.
He wanted them to shut down the drug dealing.
The police politely informed him that it was grass. As in lawn clippings.
Such was the big scandal in our small town.”
9. That’s a lot.
“Back in the 1980s, a guy in my high school class got four girls pregnant in a month long period.
None of the girls were his girlfriend.
The guy and his family left town during the middle of the night soon after that.”
“The disappearance of Joe Pichler
Joe was a child star when he was a kid. He did some of the Beethoven movies and most notably was James Vanderbeeks little brother in Varsity Blues among some other things.
Puberty wasn’t especially kind to him so when the offers dried up from Hollywood, he moved back home to where he and I are from.
We ended up becoming friends after a coworker of mine who was a good friend of Joe’s invited me to one of Joe’s parties that he was semi-famous for throwing. Really nice dude. Loaded as f**k especially for a teenager.
Anyway, one day he just disappeared off the face of the earth. I think they found his car somewhere, but no body or any indication of foul play. Just gone. There have been a lot of theories but its just people guessing. His parents put up fliers for 10 years around town. Pretty sad.
I hope he faked his d**th and is drinking Pina coladas somewhere in South America.”
11. In Belgium.
“A woman got r**ed and m**dered when she left a local party with him because he was dropping her off (he was in her friend group). When she didn’t show up the next morning, her family called the police. They only found her and the m**derer because the m**derer confessed.
His poor twin left to Poland because everyone thought he was like that too. They even said they were shocked that it was the other twin because he was the troublemaker.
Happened in Belgium around 10-15 years ago I think.”
“A teenage girl was m**dered and they never found the k**ler.
Tons of rumors.
She was missing for months and months and then finally found the body in a swamp.”
“Was outside on my driveway playing basketball and multiple helicopters flew overhead.
My friend in another neighborhood over texted me saying they evacuated all of the houses on her road and there were FBI or bomb squad agents or something there.
Later found out some guy on the street tried to taint the town’s water supply with blowfish venom and k**l everyone.”
14. Burn it down.
“My home county had a few historic covered bridges. They were quite the pride and joy of the area. Somebody burned one down.
Somebody else saw three young men do the deed. Now we all knew it was a trio of kids on my class. Like most schools we had cliques, two of which were the “preps” and the “burnouts”. The bridge burners were preps. One’s dad was the county judge. One’s mom was the primary real estate agent in town. This posed a dilemma.
So the parents of the preps, including the judge, hatched a little plan. They gave three burnouts in my class $10,000 each (mid 1980s) and the promise of a light sentence of 6 months probation if they would plead guilty and take the fall.
The burnouts agreed and took their money. The judge figured if the burnouts didn’t hold up their end he would make sure they found guilty anyway. So they showed up in court in front of the prep’s judge dad. They not only didn’t plead guilty, they had a speeding ticket dated the same day and time as the time the bridge burned. But the speeding ticket was for 70 miles away. And since all three were minors, all three were named in the ticket report.
The judge had no choice but to dismiss the case. And the parents of the preps weren’t even mad because that was enough of an excuse to effectively end the whole investigation. Nobody got in trouble for it. It all just went away. The bridge was rebuilt, the placard was changed to say “replica of a historic bridge”, and for $10k those precious little boys didn’t get a black mark in their records.”
15. What’s that smell?
“A local chemical manufacturer’s mixing plant blew up and gassed the whole town.
Everything was fine (just horrendously stinky), but it drew up a lot of controversy over their safety protocols.
The company never rebuilt the plant, instead selling it to the city which I’m pretty sure became a fireman training site so all good in the end.”
“A young girl (and amputee) was murdered either directly or through neglect by her abusive parents.
They burned their car and attempted to pass if off as a kidnapping by “finding” a ransom note. They chopped the body up and attempted to hide it in multiple places. The prosthetic leg was found in the next county over.
The mother is in jail for second degree murder and apparently drug charges, and there is a memorial playground named after the girl, Zahra Baker.”
17. Sad story.
“High school kid caught drinking and driving.
Local cop pulled him over, told him “go home” so he did. Got some more beer from the fridge and went back to drinking and driving. Hit a disabled (wheelchair bound) neighbor, who later d**d of his injuries.
Kid was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Parents bailed him out of jail to await trial. Kid committed s**cide.”
“I live in a small Russian city named Nalchik.
In 2005, we were attacked by terrorists. Mobile groups of terrorists of 5-6 people, with a total number of about 200 people, armed with various small arms, including RPG-7 and RPD, enter Nalchik in cars from two directions. There are the first shootings between police officers and militants on the outskirts of the city.
14 civilians and 35 police officers and law enforcement agencies were k**led. More than 240 people were injured, including 129 law enforcement officers.I was 5 months old then and the stories of my parents are very surprising because now our city is very quiet and almost nothing happens.”
19. Nothing happens here…
“This was only last year but I live in a pretty nice suburb of Columbus, OH where literally nothing happens (you usually get pulled over for a traffic violation with 3 cop cars because they’re so bored).
But a fairly well-known resident went missing. Husband said she went on a walk and never came back. Left her phone and keys. There were fliers with her picture everywhere. At my gym, local restaurants, giant signs near main streets in the area she could be, etc. Everyone knew her name.
Months later, her body was found off a walking trail near one of the busiest streets in town. She had been tied up in a tree and the rope had come undone, finally exposing her. She was badly decayed so she had more than likely been there the entire time.
Husband was found guilty of her m**der just recently. It was super sad even for the people that didn’t know her personally because it felt like everyone in town was trying to help look for her.”
20. Still out there.
“A group of zebras escaped a local, legal habitat and have been roaming the suburbs.
It’s been weeks and they still haven’t been caught.”
“Five high-school football players were suspended for a hazing incident involving using icy hot on private parts of a freshman in the locker room.”
22. Stuffing the ballot box.
“In the 1990s, a very unpopular, nerd girl won homecoming queen and the popular girl, who thought she should win, did not win.
The popular girl could not fathom how this could have happened to her, so she began a smear campaign against the nerd girl. She maintained that the only way the nerd girl could have won was if she stuffed the ballot box. The popular girl then questioned all the students at this school to see who they voted for.
This was so scandalous, that this was talked about for a literal year among adults at the coffee shop, church, gatherings etc. Luckily, the nerd girl graduated and went to college and lived a very normal life. The popular peaked in high school.”
“I’m from a very weird small town, so this for sure isn’t the biggest just a really funny one I remember from years ago.
My friend was a senior in high school and had a long-time girlfriend who was also a senior. While she was on vacation with her family, he had s** with another girl in his girlfriend’s bed. His girlfriend didn’t know about it until it came out that the other girl was pregnant with his kid. He admitted to hooking up in her house while she was gone.
His girlfriend ends up forgiving him and gets pregnant about three months later. So my 18-year-old friend has gotten a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old pregnant within a couple of months of each other.
A few months later, before either child is born, he gets arrested for possession of marijuana. The arresting officer was the 17-year-old’s dad. He ended up losing a college sports scholarship because of it. He still lives in that small town and is not with either of his baby mamas, and his kids are in the same class.
The town only has a few thousand people, so it was pretty scandalous.”
“A visitor shot the town’s unofficial mascot, a tame buck, from his motel room. He couldn’t believe his luck.
He didn’t even have to leave the comfort of his motel to hunt. The quarry came to him! Kind of a moron.”
25. Don’t see that much over there.
“When a couple of guys robbed a candy store with a gun.
I live in Sweden, it was just confusing not very scary.
I’m not sure why they picked a candy store.”
How about you?
What scandals rocked your town?
Talk to us in the comments and let us know!