One night in 1966, when 18 year old Susan was babysitting two youngsters and an infant, she drifted off to sleep on the couch while waiting for the mom to return. She awoke with a start and the feeling someone was watching her. As she opened her eyes she saw a man standing in the glow from the TV. Not wanting to frighten the children, she stifled a scream.
“Who are you and what do you want?” She kept her voice low.
“I’m Tommy’s Dad. I just want to see him. I promise I won’t wake him.”
Susan almost felt sorry for him but she was also afraid for herself and the children. What would he do to her or them if she said no?
“All right, but only if I am in there with you. You can look at him and then you have to leave.”
She had no idea how she was going to enforce those restrictions and there was no phone to call the police if he created any problems. Together, they entered the infant’s bedroom. True to his word, he looked at the baby who was supposedly his son and then left the room without touching him.
“I’ll give you $20 if you let me hide in the living room closet until Kathy gets back home. I want to surprise her.”
Again Susan wondered what he would do if she refused. She decided that it would be safer if she knew where he was than if he was wandering the apartment freely, so she agreed.
About fifteen minutes later her boyfriend, Bill came to pick her up. Kathy was due home any minute. Susan decided not to tell Bill about the man in the closet yet. As she made small talk with Bill, she hid her nervousness. It’s only for a few more moments she kept reminding herself.
She heard Kathy on the stairs.
“I’ll be right back. I need to talk to Kathy a minute. Wait here.”
She met Kathy in the hall and quietly told her about the man in her closet. Kathy turned ashen but kept her composure.
“Will you stay while I go downstairs to use their phone to call the police?”
Susan went back into the apartment and sat down next to Bill. “Kathy will be right back.”
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing, she’ll just be a minute.”
When Kathy returned, Susan quickly introduced Bill to her and made small talk to buy some time until the cops arrived.
Within a few minutes there was a knock on the door and two burly cops entered.
“Where is he?” one asked.
Susan pointed to the living room closet.
When the three of them walked out of the apartment, the smallest guy was in cuffs.
Bill was shocked. “What was THAT all about?”
“Keep your voice down; the children are still asleep.”
After Susan filled Kathy and Bill in on all of the details and made sure Kathy was alright, she and Bill said goodnight to Kathy.
As Bill drove Susan home, it was obvious that he was upset.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!”
“What would you have done?”
“Dragged his butt out of that closet.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.”
“I could have taken him. He was a skinny, scrawny, sleazebag.”
“What if he had had a knife or a gun?”
“I guess you handled it the right way.”
Susan laughed. “Yeah, too bad I won’t be getting that $20, though.”