- New York Magazine published a story that's being billed one of the worst roommate horror stories ever.
- The story centres on Jamison Bachman, a serial squatter who duped several people into letting him in and lost their homes as a result.
- The story quickly went viral.
If you've ever lived in an apartment or a college dorm, you probably have at least one roommate horror story.
But it's likely that none of them top the one published by New York Magazine on Wednesday.
The report, now going viral, starts innocently enough: A 31-year-old woman named Alex Miller was desperate for a roommate to help her afford her house in a wealthy Philadelphia neighbourhood. An older man named Jed Creek comes over to see the place, they hit it off, and Creek agrees to move in on the spot.
Of course, things quickly go south. Because as it turns out, Creek is not actually Jed Creek, but Jamison Bachman, a serial squatter who, according to the New York Mag report, duped a dozen tenants into letting him live with them, only to force them out of their homes on arcane legal technicalities.
The accounts from Bachman's previous victims are harrowing. According to New York, Bachman would steal belongings from his victims, fill their toilets with cat litter, and knock down doors, all the while keeping himself in the clear legally. It wasn't about the free rent, New York Mag reported - it seemed Bachman took pleasure in watching his victims suffer through his misbehavior and lose the will to fight for their homes.
"Nothing they did could satisfy or appease him, because the objective was not material gain but, seemingly, the sadistic pleasure of watching them squirm as he displaced them," the report says.
The story doesn't end there. It's worth reading the New York Mag piece in its entirety, but suffice to say it takes a tragic, grisly turn as the author discovers more and more details about Bachman's past.
Soon after the story was published Wednesday morning, it began making the rounds on the internet.
Several people noted on social media that, yes, this was the worst roommate story they'd ever heard.
Others simply were left speechless:
The story holds a sobering lesson to anyone in search of a roommate: Protect yourself from the start, no matter your situation.
It's impossible to predict every outcome, and you can't fault Bachman's victims for not anticipating how their situation turned out.
But at the very least, there are a few steps you can take before inviting a stranger into your home. Do some research on your prospective roommate - even a quick Google search can shed a lot of light - and make sure you have firm rules established in writing before they move in. Nolo.com provides a template for a roommate agreement, as well as information on evicting a roommate who isn't on the lease.
There are plenty of Craigslist roommates out there who are presumably decent, respectful roommates and people ... but after reading this story, you'll want to think twice.