Anatomy of a Predator


The Bait

I was 11 years old.

In the summer of 1966 a man my father employed from time to time, began showing an interest in me. In his mid twenties, he drove truck for dad part time, delivering tobacco to the warehouse, or grain to the local elevators. He was a cool guy, or so I thought. He paid attention to me.

It started gradually. At first, he would linger at the house for a short visit after finishing work. After a brief period of time, he would drop in after dinner ostensibly to teach me how to play cribbage. We would sit for a couple of hours at a time at the kitchen table and play 2 to 3 games in an evening. I became quite proficient, at least insofar as an 11 year old can use strategy. That said, he was patient and supportive as I slowly became more confident in my card playing skills.

There didn’t appear to be anything amiss, as one or both of my parents were always in proximity. But why would a man in his mid twenties want to spend so much time with a child? Sometimes the most obvious is also the hardest to grasp.

Over time it became “normal” for him to pop by for a visit and a game of cribbage. A few weeks later, he asked me if I would like to go with him on a trip to Quebec City. He was driving a big rig for a company in Tillsonburg, delivering coat hangers to various places east of Ontario.

I was beyond excited. What an adventure!! Driving in a big old 18 wheeler all the way to Quebec City! I had never been out of the province before. My parents were dubious, but I begged them to allow me to go. He was harmless and a friend. We played cribbage together after all – in plain sight of my parents.

The Big Adventure

The big day came and I was packed well in advance for the 2 day trip. Excited, I could hardly wait for morning to arrive.

It would be an early start. He picked me up at the house early in the morning, around 5am. We drove to the depot in Tillsonburg where he would pick up the big blue rig. I believe the trailer read “Sylvan”, but I could be wrong. I felt like a king in that rig, so high up and overlooking everything. Climbing inside I beamed like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary. My friends would be so envious.

On the way out of town we stopped at a small roadside diner in Salford, north of Tillsonburg and just a mile from the 401. He order bacon and eggs and I had toast and jam with an orange juice. I recall him bantering with the waitress behind the counter. He had been there before. He paid for our breakfast and on the way out the door quipped “screw ya later” to the waitress.

This guy was so cool. How lucky was I too be on this trip!!

That was one of the last things I remember in the following 2 days. By the time we were in Kitchener I was asleep. For the life of me I could not keep my eyes open. I tried. I apologized for being so sleepy. After all, he asked me to come along to keep him company. As hard as I tried, I could not stay awake. I would wake briefly and soon fall back to sleep.

At some point late that day or early evening we arrived at our destination in Quebec City. I have no memory of the trip. I don’t recall stopping for lunch or dinner, though we may have. I don’t recall discussing the scenery, the landscape, the road signs, the language changes, sports, cribbage……..anything at all.

Load delivered, it would be a quick turnaround. We began the return trip.

Late that night or early morning, I vaguely recall stopping at a roadside motel. It may have been in Quebec – I suspect it was. I remember, because I had to get out of the truck to stumble into the motel room. One bed or 2? I don’t know. I was so tired, all I wanted to do was sleep.

No matter how much I slept, I wanted to sleep some more. I was embarrassed and continued to apologize. I was so sorry that I was no companionship – or was I?

In the early morning, perhaps around dawn, we got up and back into the rig. It would be another long day and I was determined to stay awake for the trip home. We stopped somewhere for breakfast – more orange juice. My eyelids continued to betray me and felt like massive curtains were being pulled over them time and again. The darkness was all consuming. Again, I have no recollection of conversation, scenery, the trip – nothing.

After a whirlwind 36 hours or so, we arrived back home late afternoon or early evening. He dropped me off at my house and I once again apologized profusely, thinking I will never have another opportunity like this again. I had let him down. What a bore I was!

Dad greeted me and asked how the trip was. I explained that I didn’t remember too much – I was asleep much of the time. I blamed it on the sun, constantly beaming through the window of the big rig. As hard as I tried I could not stay awake. I felt so badly for this man that went out of his way to take me on such a wonderful adventure.

It all seemed so innocent. Perhaps it was. Given that I don’t have irrefutable proof, I will not divulge his name. Though I have wondered hundreds of times throughout my life if I had been molested. Other kids my age from the area may recognize the pattern. I know there were others that went on trips with him, but I don’t know if they had the same experience I did.

The modus operandi of gaining trust of a minor is a well documented pattern of predatory behavior.

Several years later, this same man was accused of sexual assault of a minor.

Coincidence? Or something more nefarious?

I can’t say that I have ever suffered trauma, physical, emotional or otherwise. But I have always wondered about that sleepy trip to Quebec City.

Maybe some things are better unknown.


10 responses to “Anatomy of a Predator”

  1. I should probably think some before replying, but screw it.. As you well know Kent, we gave discussed this person before. I almost think we should name him, but you chose not to, and I won’t either. What happened on your trip, we would only ever know if he were to come clean. However, I am certain there was nothing innocent about it. He abused generations of children, and, as you noted, eventually did time for it. I know, because I was one of them. I also was invited along on and went on one of his trips. My experience was quite different than yours, no sleepiness or drugs involved. I feel that I got away fairly lightly, but I was definitely sexually abused and remember every second. I think the only reason I “got away fairly light”, whatever that means, and may have been true physically, but not psychologically, was because he was grooming me for the future, which I made sure never happened. I doubt few will admit to it, and I completely understand, but I believe most of the young boys in our little town had similar experiences with this long term predator. It takes courage to tell your story, and I’m glad you did. I don’t know this person’s current status, but I’m glad he finally did time, he still should be.

    • Hey Wynne,

      I suspected you may have gone for the “ride” as well and perhaps had a different experience than me. I am sorry you went through this. Someday we will talk.

      George is still alive. He tried to friend me on facebook a while ago. I checked his profile and he has a ton of young friends on social media. Mostly eastern european it appears. Maybe connected through a porn site…..who knows.

      K

  2. Gee Kent so sorry you went through this. Did Rudy know about this?
    This probably would have been years later but Joey said that he was raped by someone in Vienna, I thought he said the guy had red hair…..keeping in mind that Joey had a lot of issues.
    I thought Rudy once told me that he knew who the person might have been that did this to Joey.

    • Hi Charlene,

      Yes Rudy knew. Don’t think he ever went for the “ride” though. The guy did have red hair. So it was likely him that raped Joey – and possibly caused lots of his later issues!!

      K

  3. That’s pretty sad and sick that he would have the gall to contact you, and that he’s still interacting with young boys. Scary to think of how many lives he impacted over a lifetime.

    • He was a sick bastard. I was tempted to blast him when he reached out, but I chose to ignore. He would be in his early 80s now. Still a predator likely, though maybe online only now.

      Charlene reached out to say that Rudy’s brother Joey was raped by a guy in Vienna….a red head….she didn’t know his name. Joey had a lifetime of issues – perhaps as a result. Rudy never told me that. I wonder if that’s where the assault charges stemmed from?

      K

  4. Thanks to you and Wynne for having the courage to put this out there. You never know who you might help by telling your story. I spent a lot of time in Vienna visiting relatives as a child and have a good recollection of the person that I suspect you are writing about.

    • Thanks Carolyn,

      If I had courage, I would name him, but I don’t have proof for me due to the circumstances – or maybe I have simply blocked it from my memory. Seems like there are others out there that do have proof. I know he is still alive.

      Kent

  5. Hi Kent
    Joeys rape was not prosecuted. It breaks my heart to think that someone got away with it.

    • Hi Kathleen,

      I was shocked to hear about that rape. Rudy never mentioned it to me all the years we were friends. Maybe I was on the east coast when it happened and had lost touch.

      It sounds like the same guy, given Charlene’s brief description. How many predators could there have been in a little village like Vienna??

      I hope you are well.

      Kent

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