fact or fiction

Is it fact or merely fiction? Fact or Fiction explores the myths and beliefs we hold about copycat killers, eyewitnesses testimony, what makes a murderer and more.

  • Tom Baker
    Published 2 months ago
    Jesse James and the Widder Woman

    Jesse James and the Widder Woman

    In all the annals of the Old West, there are few names accorded as much honor and respect as that of Jesse James. The bold, brash young outlaw, an exemplar of derring-do, had an unquenchable thirst for revenge against the system that he felt had wronged him; it lead him to become one of the most notorious outlaws in all of American history, the terror of the craggy, dry-bone, dust-choked and tumbleweed-riddled badlands, up until the point dastardly Bob Ford shot and killed him, while his back was turned and his defenses down, no less. Jesse had been innocently straightening a picture when Ford, a member of his own gang, and his cowardly brother struck, quickly fleeing the residence, running past Zerelda, Jesse's wife, as she came in the door.
  • Things I hear
    Published 2 months ago
    Stealing from relatives living abroad:

    Stealing from relatives living abroad:

    When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou.
  • Venera Lee
    Published 2 months ago
    Why we love True Crime stories?

    Why we love True Crime stories?

    Every now and then, the Internet is "wowed" with new crimes. From wildly successful book, podcast or show devoted to a crime. There's never a shortage of true crime stories and the crime documentaries genre on Netflix is very huge - such as Evil Genius, Making a Murderer, The Keepers and also series like American Vandal that took the online viewers by storm.
  • Vernillia Burgher
    Published 2 months ago
    The Lost Boy

    The Lost Boy

    I hated working the graveyard shift at my 24/7 diner. Only the lost, the wanderers and the completely desperate ever visited “Becky Jo’s Diner” at that time of the night. It didn’t help that we were located on a deserted stretch of US 50, the loneliest road through Nevada. Our closest neighbor was almost 25 miles away. We saw the occasional bikers, hitchhikers, and lonely drivers taking cross country road trips at this witching hour; so, visitors seeking a midnight meal or a cup of coffee to ward off sleep didn’t surprise me in the least. Nights were boring, but tonight was different.
  • Jack Feynman
    Published 2 months ago
    Secrets Make for Strange Friendships

    Secrets Make for Strange Friendships

    “Hey Gwen,” he shouted over the clamorous ramblings of the bar rush. “Darlin, we been 86’d on onion rings since swing shift. Can you find out what table 204 wants instead?”
  • Don Anderson II
    Published 2 months ago
    The Night Life

    The Night Life

    Chris pulls up to the parking lot at his favorite diner after dealing with a rough night with a job. It's a 24/7 diner with a 1950's aesthetic, but not a lot of people are there during the day, but at night, it becomes Chris' confessional booth in kind of a funny way. Not a lot of people can describe Chris, but if anyone could, they'd say he reminds them of a regular guy. Someone who doesn't have an ounce of an actor's likeness in him. The waitresses know him by name, and so does the manager of the place. They just hired a new waitress there, Gwen. If someone were to describe her, they'd say she looks like Alison Brie from Community and GLOW. She's a college graduate who has nothing going on for her. She lives alone, has no kids, and she doesn't have a pet to keep her company. The night may get a little interesting for these two lost individuals.
  • Jenna Malin
    Published 2 months ago
    Hilt Deep

    Hilt Deep

    Diesel pushed himself up and rolled over onto his back with a huff, sweat glistening off his forehead. He wiped it off with the back of his hand. “Was that as good for you as it was for me?” he asked between heavy breaths.
  • Ruth Elizabeth Stiff
    Published 2 months ago
    A PENNY DREADFUL

    A PENNY DREADFUL

    INTRODUCTION
  • Shanali Inchaustegui
    Published 2 months ago
    How a hashtag is harming human trafficking victims

    How a hashtag is harming human trafficking victims

    I am not writing about conspiracy theorists.
  • Elina Tafoya
    Published 2 months ago
    A Still Small Voice & A Gunshot

    A Still Small Voice & A Gunshot

    On Wednesday November 14th I was babysitting for a friend in East Nashville, and as I was getting into my car to drive home a man opened the passenger door, got inside, and held me hostage in my car for about an hour. I remember the first thought I had in my mind was “I must have forgotten something in the house and my friend Janna is running out to to stop me from leaving,” until I realized quickly that the person sitting in my passenger seat was a man dressed in black clothing with a gun pointed at my body. (Just a quick side note I’m with family in Colorado now writing this out now. I’ve been anxious to write about it because writing is how I process things. I’ve always journaled and written to process my thoughts, so I guess that’s exactly what this is because I can’t quite put this all into words any other way. Bear with me in case I overshare :)) The man took my phone out of my hands and told me to drive with both hands on the wheel. I pulled out of the neighborhood as he told me to go to the nearest ATM. I wasn’t familiar with the area so he pulled up a GPS on his phone and started telling me where to turn. Unlocking my phone, he asked me for my Apple ID password and (of course) I couldn’t remember it. (You’d think that with a gun pointed at you you’d remember every password you’ve ever had but yeah…nope.) After telling him I couldn’t remember it, the man got very angry. The next thing I know, he put the gun to my head saying “maybe with force, you’ll remember it. If you don’t do what I say I will pull this trigger, I’ve killed before so ending your life would be easy for me”. I was in complete shock. I started praying but the only thing that was repeating over and over and over and over again in my head was “Jesus, help me.” At this point, it was about 3:30pm - we were right in the middle of downtown and traffic was getting heavy. As we pulled up to the West End area, there was a Wells Fargo on the right where he told me to pull in. He pulled his ski mask over his face and got low in the car with the silver gun at my stomach. There were 2 police cars parked in the parking lot of the gas station a few hundred feet away, and this must have spooked him because as I pulled up to the ATM he told me not to stop and to keep driving through it and back onto the main road. At that point he kept saying over and over that he was “on a mission” and needed $900 by 4pm and if I didn’t have it in time, he’d shoot me. He was angry again and threatened to hit me if I didn’t hurry up so I kept driving. As we stopped beside other cars he told me to pretend I was on my phone so nobody would get suspicious. We were at a red light when he put the gun down and started looking through my car and my laptop for valuables. All I could think about was that if I ran in that moment, I wouldn’t get out in time before he reached for his gun. He started asking personal questions like “how old are you? Are you a student? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you do drugs?” Every now and then he’d ask me “Are you ok?…Ok, good”. We drove for a few more blocks and pulled into the drive through ATM of the First Tennessee bank on 30th and West End. Something in me told me to pull up far enough from the machine so that I could step out of my car completely just to reach it. I did, I opened the door but only half of my body was out of the car. He gripped my hoodie with one hand reaching over the seat, and the other hand was holding the gun at my side. I started pressing buttons on the ATM terrified out of my mind praying for wisdom. Praying for a still small voice. Scenarios of things that could happen if I got back into my car started running through my head. What felt like the shortest but longest few seconds standing at the ATM made the man angry so he told me to get back into the car and continue driving. I did. I didn’t take the money out, and somehow as we were driving away I convinced him to let me turn around and try again. It was almost 4pm and the gun was pointed at my head again as I pulled into the bank for the second time. This time there WAS a still small voice telling me to park even further so that when I pulled up I could open the door and get my entire body out of the car to reach for the machine. I don’t know what happened then. I really don’t. I wish I could explain every little thought in my brain exactly how it happened but I can’t. It’s like for a second I was not in control of my body. I pulled away and he pulled the trigger. I couldn’t hear anything except a loud ringing in my brain, I smelled a fired gun and my body felt absolutely nothing except for the man’s hand still gripped on my hoodie for what felt like the longest few seconds ever. I started taking the hoodie off, but I felt him let go and I ran around the building inside the bank. There was nobody in the bank except for a few female tellers behind the desk. I ran to the back of the bank asking for a phone to call my brother Ruslan. Long story short, after some blood and my first time in an ambulance and getting needles in my body, I got to the hospital. This next part is for all my fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans:
  • Rexford Cahill
    Published 2 months ago
    You can only trust yourself

    You can only trust yourself

    It was a normal day, hot as always on Alii Dr. I was 22 and living with my 19 year old girlfriend and her mother and sister. We were also using heroin, Xanax when it was around, sometimes Meth as well. Our friend had just gotten arrested we cashed checks for him without questioning where they were from or why he could not do it himself. We however all agreed should shit go south non of us knew anything about each other, 'yeah, right. Bitch if I get arrested I'm ratting you motherfuckers out'.
  • ROAR x
    Published 2 months ago
    Betrayal

    Betrayal

    Betrayal