It’s the roommate horror story thousands of people are sharing not because it’s relatable, but because it’s the craziest kind of tale not even fiction could concoct.
Published in New York Magazine last month and titled Worst Roommate Ever, the story begins with a woman called Alex Miller. Alex is looking for a roommate, so she posts an ad on Craigslist. (You know where this is going, don’t you?)
Two weeks after listing the room, a man who said his name was Jed Creek arrived. He was a lawyer, he said. He was articulate, wanted to move in, had already penned a check for $800 and, as Alex was desperate for help on the rent, she agreed. The check did not have his name on it, but it cleared, so Alex thought little of it.
As per William Brennan of New York Magazine:
Strange things began to happen. One evening, Miller came home to find the living-room lights wouldn’t turn on — Creek had taken the bulbs and screwed them into lamps in his bedroom. A few days later, the six chairs at the kitchen table disappeared. Miller knocked on Creek’s door, and when he opened it she saw he’d fashioned them into a desk. Miller had assumed Creek spent his days in court, but neighbours said they saw him loitering on the property throughout the afternoon.
After a few red flags began to appear, Alex and her mother began doing their research. Jed Creek wasn’t Jed Creek at all, but Jamison Bachman and Bachman had form. He had dozens of former roommates in his wake, all with similar stories of early troubles.
When Brennan found these former roommates, he found bunches of common thread. Bachman was “a serial squatter operating on a virtuosic scale, driving roommate after roommate into court and often from their home”. He wouldn’t just make their lives difficult, he would try – using complex legal jargon – to take control of the houses they live in.