The case of the murderous good samaritan with a knife, rope, and duct tape in the trunk of his car - a new variant of a classic shopping mall horror story.
Description: Forwarded email / Urban Legend
Circulating since: July 1998 (this version)
Email text contributed by a reader, July 1998:
I received this email from a friend and since I care about all of you I wanted to share it. It is just a reminder to be aware when you are out and about. There are a lot of creepy people in this world, I am sad to say.
A woman was shopping at the Tuttle Mall in Columbus. She came out to her car and saw she had a flat. She got her jack, spare out of the trunk. A man in a business suit came up and started to help her. When the tire had been replaced, he asked for a ride to his car on the opposite side of the Mall.
Feeling uncomfortable about doing this, she stalled for awhile, but he kept pressing her. She finally asked why he was on this side of the Mall if his car was on the other. He had been talking to friends, he claimed. Still uncomfortable, she told him that she had just remembered something she had forgotten to pick up at the mall and she left him and went back inside the mall. She reported the incident to the mall security and they went out to her car.
The man was nowhere in sight. Opening her trunk, she discovered a brief case the man had set inside her trunk while helping her with the tire. Inside was rope and a butcher knife! When she took the tire to be fixed, the mechanic informed her that there was nothing wrong with her tire, that it was flat because the air had been let out of it!
The moral of this story...learn to change your own tire, call someone you know and trust to help you or call mall security in the first place to assist you.
Please Be Safe....and not sorry. Although this happened in Columbus, it could happen anywhere there are NUTS around. Just a warning to always be alert.
Pass this along to every woman you have access too. Never let your guard down. Good story for women to know about -- although with the NUTS in today's world, everyone needs to be careful (not just women).
For weeks after the above story began circulating on the Internet in 1998, however, security personnel at Tuttle Crossing Mall in Columbus, Ohio fielded call after call after call from panicked patrons and scoop-hungry media types, nearly all of whom seemd to assume the story was at least based on a real-life event. It wasn't.
"It's not true!" was the constant refrain at the mall switchboard during that time. The security office issued a statement saying no such incident had ever been reported. Columbus police investigated and said they found no evidence to substantiate the story.
"It was nothing but a false, stupid, ridiculous, sick rumor," an on-duty security guard told me when I called the mall to verify the story in July 1998. He was relieved when the rumor seemed to be dying down in April, he said, then became audibly perturbed when I told him it was back with a vengeance and had dozens of forwarded emails to prove it.