WARNING: This post contains rather disturbing subject matter and if you have some psychological or emotional triggers this might be the kind of post that you just want to skip. You have been warned... and... I'm sorry, in advance.
I received some news that I'm having some real issues understanding, it starts on an unremarkable Monday on some cold November afternoon. An individual I've worked with for three years didn't show up for work, we have flexitime and he's not usually in until later in the afternoon anyway, but it was still considerably late in the afternoon, even for him. He doesn't show up.
No big deal, maybe he's sick, it happens, it's customary for one to send an email to the office to explain the absence, but whatever, it's above my pay grade.
He's a no show the next day, and the next.
The company I work for has had two suicides prior to me beginning there, we were understandably concerned for our work mate.
He's not there the next week, or the next. The month ends and he's not been seen or heard from. He had previously threatened to quit and we were beginning to wonder if he'd gone through with it, but his desk had not been cleared and looked like he had every intention of coming back. Half finished bottles of soda, reading glasses and personal effects still left on the desk as they had been the Friday night he was last here.
The next month comes and goes, he's off the grid, his Twitter account went silent, he's not responding to texts or emails. It was sad, kinda, this guy inspired me to learn new technologies and to think in new ways. I felt like I owed him a debt of thanks for helping me and for helping me develop the skill set that I enjoy using even today.
Someone at work managed to contact his brother and we were politely but firmly told that his is "alive", it was... Rather blunt.
It just seemed like he'd walked out and abandoned everyone and everything, it... I took it hard, I really looked up to him and he just vanished.
If only I knew.
Four days ago, on another random Monday afternoon, I'm quietly told to Google his name followed by the name of a newspaper local to his city. I wasn't prepared for what it was I read. It was indicated that it was a bit not good, but I really wasn't ready for it.
There's no real way delicate way to put this, and I've not really in any real way put it down, so I'm just gonna write this down and... It's really not nice, so here goes.
He had turned himself in to the police and admitted to five counts of sexual assault and one count of serious sexual assault upon a child under the age of thirteen years old.
So, yeah, that's really messed up.
I really did look up to him, I sought his help frequently, I would not be the programmer I am doing were it not for his help and advice.
I feel weird. I wander around and pause and try to figure it out, maybe understand why.
I feel a whole bunch of things, most seem entirely irrational if I'm honest. I feel confused, kinda betrayed, weird, definitely feel weird about the whole thing. I take a small comfort in the fact that others in my work place seem to feel the same way. We stop, look at the desk he used to work and take down some art work, or disconnect more of the equipment. Slowly beginning to move on. At least it's nice to know that I'm not the only one just trying to make sense of it.
You know how people say they just wouldn't have suspected, that he just seemed so normal and you think that it must have been impossible? That someone MUST have suspected something? Yeah... He just seemed so normal...
I don't really have much else I can say at this point, it's a situation I'm still kinda in disbelief about and it's kinda shaken me up a little bit.
Don't know what else I can say really, not sure I've fully processed the fact that someone I worked with for three years was capable of such things.
So... Yeah... Til next time, I suppose.