This article was cross-posted at Open Salon.
A few nights ago, I woke up in a sweat following a rare nightmare. I don't have bad dreams very often, but this one really hit home.
You see, back when I was 12 or 13 years old, I was almost abducted. And as you might suspect, in other circumstances I wouldn't have been here to write this now.
One day back in the early 80s, my dad and I went to the local shopping mall located in the suburbs of Montreal. When we got there, we decided that we would both do our own thing and meet again in about an hour or so right in front of the small courtyard located adjacent to the supermarket.
So I went on my way and walked to the mall's record store. Remember those? The ones with vinyl records, t-shirts and pins? Those were the cool days, I tell you.
At the time, I'd just started my lifelong journey into the realms of Heavy Metal and subsequently its harder derivatives. I was looking for the latest album from MotÃ¶rhead. It may have been 'Iron Fist', released in 1982.
In any case, while I was searching the shelves, a man who actually looked a lot like UFO enthusiast Richard Glenn, with the large mustache and all, walked up beside me, started browsing through the records (I assume starting with the letter N) and after a few minutes asked me for the time. Good soul that I am, I told him what time it was.
Richard Glenn - UFO nuts
Not able to find the album I was looking for, I decided to walk to Miracle Mart, a national chain store similar to Macy's or Dillard's, which carried vinyl records back in the day. Soon after I arrived in the music section, I was shocked and puzzled when the same mustached man showed up again beside me. He started asking me questions about my music interest and what I was looking for.
I don't recall what I answered, but I started getting a little nervous, since it didn't seem like much of a coincidence that we'd both end up in the same record section at two different stores. I decided to hightail it back to the rendezvous point previously agreed with my dad.
Now here's where I started to get scared. While I was still walking towards the Miracle Mart's exit, I checked over my shoulder. The guy was actually following me--one aisle to the right and a few steps behind. From what I could tell, he was watching my every move.
He was still following me after I left the store. When I arrived at the small courtyard, my dad was nowhere to be seen. He was probably checking out golf clubs or hockey sticks at the mall's sports store, assuming I was having a great time.
Now well and truly frightened, I decided to stay right in the middle of the courtyard, guessing that if this guy really wanted to grab me he wouldn't do it right out in the open. From the corner of my eye, I could still see him, standing half hidden behind a nearby wall as I've illustrated below. And he was still watching me.
My dad showed up about 10 minutes later, to my profound relief. Trying my best teenage acting skills, I tried to make it look like I didn't know my dad by turning my back to him. I muttered in a very low voice something like, "Don't turn around, but there's a guy who's been following me for the last half hour." I was hoping that my dad would sneak up on the guy and do something to him"catch him or beat him up or something. My dad had been in the military; I knew he could totally take the guy.
Unfortunately, like any good father, the instant I told him he whirled around to find this a**hole. My acting had probably been subpar, though, because the guy was nowhere to be seen. To tell you the truth, he probably took off as soon as my dad approached me.
It's possible that that's where the story ended, with some pedophile going home alone. Except that about a year later, several children in Montreal disappeared or were found sexually assaulted and brutally murdered. The police believed they were the victim of a serial child predator, almost unheard of in Canada, and certainly in a city like Montreal. The whole city was on edge in 1984 and 1985. Parents wouldn't even respond to government surveys, for fear of revealing the address of their children. During that time period, this murderer may have randomly abducted, sexually assaulted and killed up to five male children, varying in age from 4 to 12 years old. Like I said, some of the bodies were found, one or two have never been seen again. To this day, the child killer hasn't been caught or identified.
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