This is based on a true story. Some names have been changed, and some events slightly altered. Best read while listening to this.
“What time do we start?” I asked.
“She said around 1 o'clock this afternoon,” Kenny answered, “We better start out after lunch.”
Kenny (A.K.A – The Wealthy Stealthy Teenager) was a friend of mine in high school, and he was always coming up with ways to make money on the weekends. This time it was a painting job out in Gordon Head; a popular neighborhood in Victoria B.C.
We were hired to paint Mrs. Williams' house. Kenny was offered the job with a positive referral from another job he had done in the same area of town. All the supplies were on site already, so all we had to do was get there and get to work.
We rode our bicycles all the way down Mckenzie, turned left at Gordon Head road, and made our way up to Mrs. Williams' beautiful split-level on Greenlands Road. We had never met our new client, so we didn't know what to expect when we arrived.
As usual, Kenny confidently took the lead, strutted up to the front door, and rang the bell.
“Come in! It's open!” we heard a woman's voice from inside.
Kenny eased open the door, and we stepped in.
“Right on time boys!” Mrs. Williams said, with a tone of voice that let us know she was impressed with our punctuality.
And we were impressed too. Mrs. Williams was breathtakingly gorgeous!
At our tender age of 15 years, she was definitely THE most beautiful woman we had ever met in person. Beyond stunning, she stood about 5'10, with long brunette hair, and a figure we only dreamed of in our wildest teenage fantasies. She was obviously a businesswoman, as she wore a high-waisted skirt, with a skinny belt, and high heels. To finish off her outfit, she wore a loose-fitting, purple silk blouse, in a failed attempt to conceal her over-sized chest; high-riding breasts that must have been both a curse and blessing for her.
To make matters even more awkward, her facial features were so attractive I had trouble looking her straight in the eye; for fear of giving a way the fact I had instantly fallen in
love lust with her. The best way to describe Mrs. Williams, in modern-day terms, would be a more buxom Megan Fox, around 30 years old, with barely any makeup, and zero pretence.
I could tell Kenny was taken aback by her beauty too.
“Uh…my name is K-Kenny, and this is…uh…Brent…nice to…to meet you”, he stuttered pathetically, with a full-on red-faced blush.
Mrs. Williams grinned a-matter-of-factly, like she had seen this play out a thousands times before. She thrust out her hand, “Nice to meet you too boys – I'm Carly.”
She shook Kenny's hand, and then mine.
“Come out to the garage, and I'll show you all the supplies I have – hope I got everything you asked for on the phone,” she said, as she opened the inside entrance door to the garage.
We followed her as she went through all the supplies. After that, she showed us the outside of the house on all four sides. She told us she had an open house to go to, and that she would be back in a few hours.
Kenny and I started masking, and preparing for paint. As we worked we couldn't help but talk about our gorgeous client. It was a major distraction, but we got on with our work best we could. A big accomplishment for two young men in the throes of raging puberty. I remember masking and painting that day, and all I could think about was Mrs. Williams – her stunning figure, outfit, and the smell of her perfume.
After a few hours we were painting, and had made a lot of progress. We had most of the back side of the house done, and were getting ready to prep the east side of her house.
I went to the garage to get more supplies, and was startled by the garage door all of a sudden opening. It was Mrs. Williams.
She parked her new Mercedes in the garage, on the opposite side of our paint supplies, and got out. The garage was instantly filled with the sublte scent of her perfume, and she gave me a big smile, “Hi Brent! How is the painting going?” she asked, as she was pulling some For Sale signs out of her trunk.
“Pretty good. We have most of the back done, and we're getting ready to prep the side,” I answered, while trying to divert my eyes, and not blush. In that moment, I felt like the character Hermie, from the old movie Summer of '42 – just another helpless virgin, in a state of desperate rapture.
As she walked toward the house entrance door, I remembered the man who was working in her kitchen while she was gone.
“Your husband was here for awhile working on the kitchen renovation,” I said, in an effort to absorb a little more attention.
“Oh that's just Harry!” she laughed, “He's doing some work for me as well – I've been divorced for years.”
“Oh…Ok…sorry about that, I just assumed he-”
“That's OK,” smiling broadly, “Did he leave a message for me? Did he leave a bill for his work?”
“Yeah, he said he would be back first thing tomorrow morning to finish of the back-splash. Nothing about a bill though.”
“Great, I'm going to get out of these work clothes – thanks for your work today Brent.”
She walked in the house, and we didn't see her until we were ready to go home. When we were cleaning up for the day, she met us again in the garage. This time she had her hair up, and was wearing sweatpants, no makeup, and a baggy t-shirt. Thank God! Both Kenny and I could give our hormones a well-deserved rest.
She thanked us again, and we told her we would be back first thing in the morning.
Harry The Handyman
When we arrived the next morning, we ran into Harry in the garage. He was carrying some boxes of back-splash tile into the kitchen. He was a gruff man. Short, at 5'4′ (ish) in height, with a pug-like face, and a really bad comb-over. He didn't say a thing to us, and gave us the feeling we weren't welcome. Kenny tried striking up a conversation with him, but all he got was one word answers in the form of grunts, and no eye contact.
Kenny and I looked at each other, as if to so say, “What's his problem!”
An hour or so later, Harry came up behind us as we were painting the house. “You're not putting that paint on thick enough!” he barked.
“We're doing two coats,” Kenny replied calmly.
“You're kidding me right? How long is this going to take you guys? I told her I could have painted the house in the half the time, and much better!”
“Uh…sorry Harry,” I answered with a sarcastic tone, “I didn't know this was your work we were doing.”
“Well, I told her I was going to do it, but I guess she thinks she knows bet-”
“Is there a problem here guys?” Mrs. Williams said, suddenly appearing from the side door, surprising all three of us.
“Oh, Carly!” Harry said, now smiling, and with a completely different tone of voice.
“I was just giving the boys a few painting tips – I think they're on the right track now!”
Kenny's eyes widened, then squinted, like they always did when he was perturbed.
Harry spent the next few minutes gushing over Mrs. Williams. He offered to carry her groceries in from her car, made comments about how wonderful she looked, and offered to do an addition to her house when he was done with the kitchen renovation.
She politely turned down his offers, asked us if we wanted anything to drink, and went back inside.
The rest of day Kenny and I tried to avoid Harry. His demeanor was dark, and his gaze toward us was menacing. Kenny and I figured Harry didn't like us because we were diverting some of Mrs. Williams' attention away from him, and we were responsible for him having less time near her.
Kenny and I called him the “Creepy Pug-Man” behind is back, and started ignoring anything he said to us. You could tell his distaste for us was growing with every stroke of our paint brushes. At the end of our second day, we had most of the house painted, and planned to have the job completed by the end the day three.
Mrs. Williams told us she was getting all the work done to her house so she could sell it. She was saving money by getting us to paint her house, and getting random handymen like Harry to do the other work. Smart move, we thought, and everyone who met her would bend over backward to take their time and do the very best job possible. The more time they spent, the longer they could be in her presence; it was a reality that I think she knew full well.
Why not. She could get an army of handymen willing to work for free! It's a pathetic reality for insecure young men, and driveling old hopefuls, dreaming of just one night in her bed. Of course, this was all just the speculation of my adolescent mind.
Just as Kenny and I were getting on our bicycles to head home, Mrs. Williams came running out of the house.
“Here boys! This is for your work so far!” as she handed Kenny an envelope of cash.
“Oh thanks!” said Kenny, “But we don't accept money until the job is done. We'll be done tomorrow night.”
“OK guys. You're doing a great job! I'll be giving you a bonus!”
“Well, thanks, Carly. We've enjoyed the work, and you've been very kind to us these past two days. See you tomorrow!” Kenny finished, as we kicked into our pedals to start riding our bikes home.
“Oh! I almost forgot,” Mrs. Williams added, before we rode away, “Did Harry leave his bill for me yet?”
“No he didn't,” Kenny answered.
“Ok boys, thanks again – see you tomorrow morning.”
We started riding home below a clear blue sky, and a fading sun.
As we rode, we talked about how nice our client was. She brought us coffee, pop, cookies, and sandwiches on our breaks, and she took the time to talk with us as we worked. Our initial feelings (of pure teenage lust) had faded, and were replaced with a warm feeling; like you would have for a good friend, or a supportive big sister. It's so true, that when you get past a person's appearance, their true beauty is a result of something coming from deep inside them – and Mrs. Williams had a lot of it.
Day Three On The Job
It was another perfect blue-sky day in Victoria as we rode our bikes up to Mrs. Williams' house. The sun was warm on our backs, as we rode past all the dew-covered lawns in her neighborhood. I remember thinking to myself how peaceful and tranquil her street was. Kenny's and my parents could never afford to live in such a paradise, I thought.
We rode our bikes up to the garage door, and Kenny went around to the side door to press the garage door button. Mrs. Williams left it open for us each morning so we could get access to the house and garage.
But this morning was different.
“Brent! Come here!” yelled Kenny.
I ran around the side of the house and into the garage. Kenny's face was pale. He was standing stiff and still; looking down at the concrete floor.
When I looked down my heart started to race; like it was going to beat out of my chest.
There was blood all over the place. A lot of blood! There were pools of it, and it was smeared all over the floor leading to the house entrance door. For a moment we said nothing – we just kept staring at the horrific scene.
Without saying anything, Kenny ran to the house entrance door and I followed. I remember my mouth got really dry, and I started coughing. It was like all the saliva in my mouth had vanished in a split second.
Inside the house, it got worse. There was blood smeared and trailed all over the kitchen floor, and down the hallway.
“Call 911!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
But Kenny was already on it. As he was talking to the 911 operator, I ran through the house looking for Mrs. Williams.
She wasn't there.
Only minutes later, we heard sirens, and we ran back out to the driveway to where our bicycles were. Just then, two police cars came speeding down the street toward us. I was never happier to see the police in my life. We were both so scared.
But that sense of relief soon vanished when the police officers immediately separated us. They put each of us into a police car and started asking questions. It took a minute or two before I realized WE were likely suspects!
I could see Kenny's face in the other squad car, and he so helpless. He too was in a deep state of shock. Everything was happening in slow motion. I remember the police being so nonchalant, and that made things feel even more surreal.
I answered everything the police asked me, and after what seemed forever, we drove away. I remember seeing all the neighbors out of their houses watching the scene unfold as Kenny and I were driven away like criminals. I remember watching the police officers putting our bikes in a van, and feeling relieved, knowing we would get them back.
In the police station they took us to separate rooms, and then different officers asked us the same questions we were asked in the police cars. They asked what we were doing at the house, how long we had been working there, what hours of each day, what schools we were in, our parents' full names, and the last time we saw Mrs. Williams.
Then they asked if we saw any other people around the house the last few days. We told them about Harry the Handyman, and that started another long line of questioning. I told them everything Kenny and I knew of Harry; his demeanor, and every word I could remember coming out of his mouth.
After about an hour or so, Kenny's father, and my mother showed up. I could see them talking to the police through the window of my holding room, and my mom looked petrified. I wanted her to come into the room with me, but she didn't. She gave me a weak smile, as if to reassure me, and was soon out of my view.
Then I waited. Minutes went by painfully slow. Then an hour. Then two hours. Then three hours. It was the worst feeling I've ever experienced in my life. I told the policewoman in the room that I was going to be sick, and she gave me a plastic bag just in case.
Finally, I saw my mother appear again, and this time my father was with her. They opened my holding room door, and walked in.
“It's Ok Brent,” my mother said calmly, “We can go home now.”
She hugged me, and repeated, “It's going to be OK – it's going to be OK – it's going to be OK.”
Again, everything was surreal, and I felt numb. They drove me home, and I didn't talk to Kenny until the following day.
I hardly slept that night. I couldn't relax enough. All I could think about was all that blood, the look on Kenny's face, and the police. In the morning my parents explained what had happened to us.
The police separated Kenny and me right away, and started asking questions to see if our stories matched. Then they repeated all the same questions again in the police station to see if our stories still matched. Then the detectives asked us a ton of questions, and they analyzed our answers again. Then they repeated the whole process. The detectives were just making sure our stories were consistent, and that they could be corroborated with all the other statements, and the facts surrounding the case.
Our stories matched, and everything we said matched statements from people in the neighborhood, our parents, and anyone who saw us on Mrs. Williams' property. I learned something through the whole ordeal – there are A LOT OF EYEBALLS around us, and we are noticed a lot more than we think we are.
That night, on the evening news, they reported that Harry Plintskin was arrested for the murder of Mrs. Carly Williams. Apparently, mine and Kenny's statements were instrumental in catching him so fast. He had her body wrapped in a tarp in the bottom of his boat, and was planning to dump her in the ocean.
He made a full confession to the killing of Mrs. Williams, and admitted moving her body in his work van. At first, he claimed to have killed her over an argument regarding his payment for work, but he later came out with the truth. He was infatuated with Mrs. Williams, and had made sexual advances towards her in the past.
He never charged her for renovating her two bathrooms and kitchen, in hopes that she would consent to sex instead. He had been stalking her when she was going to open houses, and he had been stealing her underwear and shoes. In short, he was a pathetic sicko.
The night before Kenny and I arrived for our third day of painting, he raped her repeatedly and stabbed her 26 times throughout her struggle to survive. She got away from him at one point, but she didn't manage to escape. This is why there was blood all over the house.
When Harry the sicko went on trial, Kenny and I had to relive that horrible day, and the days leading up to our horrid discovery. We testified via video in a Victoria City Police Station, with the feed being viewed in a Vancouver courtroom. It was really hard to do, and I remember feeling sick to my stomach the entire time; knowing there was a whole courtroom of people watching my every move, but I couldn't see them.
Weird & Creepy Timing
The morning I was finishing up this story, I got a text from Kenny. It sent shivers up my spine. Kenny was just asking about which cellular provider I use, and what our rates were for traveling in the USA. He and his wife were going to New York soon for a holiday, and they wanted the best deal for data roaming and calling minutes.
I hadn't communicated with Kenny for a couple years. A weird and creepy coincidence. I told Kenny what I was writing, and he asked me why I would ever want to write about that horrible memory. I told him I was initially writing a story about a frugal person who uses non-professional workers (handymen and kids) to save money when getting their house ready for sale – and then I remembered that fateful summer.
Since that day Kenny and I discovered the gruesome scene, I avoided going anywhere near that part of Victoria, and once in a while I still have nightmares about what we found that day. Also, since then, I haven't listened to the English rock band Sweet. When we were riding our bikes to and from Mrs. Williams house, we had Sweet's album Desolation Boulevard cranked up on a boom-box bungee strapped to the back tire rat-trap on Kenny's bike.
And since then I've never liked seeing women live alone. I encouraged my step-daughter to always live with roommates until she found “Mr. Right” and moved in together. My wife and I pounded into our daughter's mind how she needs to watch out for any warning signs, and never let yourself be alone with a stranger, or in any position of vulnerability. No matter how “normal” the man seems to be.
Actual Killer died in 2015 in a Manitoba jail. The victim, Marion Mackay, was the actual woman who was so kind to Kenny and I. See report here.
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.