Slander Kills And Rumor Mills

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here.

When I was somewhere in the ballpark of 18 years old, I applied for a job with C&D Security, also known as Cheap and Dirty to just about everyone.

I not only had to study, take a class and pay a fee for a security license to work there, but prove I had a car that I actually owned.

While I had a bit saved, That was quite a bit for an unlearned youngster from “The Tracks,” also known as “B. Street.”

I made it happen in a broken down 1970 Beetle “auto stick.”

I was assigned to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs where I worked as what is known as outhouse security.

What this meant is that the hospital itself had security and the would subcontract some of the work out to wet behind the ears youngsters such as myself. This meant that nearly everyone that was in house security could treat me however they pleased.

Fortunately, I was well liked by the in house security because I could iron my clothing,tuck my shirt in, shave, and show up for work on a regular basis.

The graveyard shift was 11AM to 7 AM and I had the unique ability to stay vigilant most of the time. I will not lie and say I had a perfect track record, but I was pretty alert.

All was smooth sailing until David came around. Yes, that is his real name; no punches pulled here and with reason.

I felt like David had it in for me some days. When I would volunteer for a 16 hour day, the man would schedule it all in a patrol truck.

Other days he would have me write down all the license plates in the parking lot which created a lot of tense conversations with the patients and family.

Every lunch time, Dave would call on me to do something in between. He frequently called me to his office and had me complete the worst tasks like check toe tags on the deceased.

Dave singled me out on a regular basis and had me on perpetual rounds even though others perpetually watched movies in empty hospital beds and he knew it.

Let’s be real, I despised Dave. He would even leave his lunch in my patrol truck and deliver it to him when he was ready.

Time progressed, and I found that everyone hated Dave, but I found my self feeling just the opposite. In six months, I knew just about everyone that worked in the hospital, every area, and all job assignments. When high profile patients came in, I was assigned to watch the door. Dave was a mentor, and little did I know I would become a Correctional Professional down the road. All the discipline he taught me would come in handy, but that is another story.

But why did everyone else despise Dave? He ignored them for the most part and did his own thing. No one would tell me because I was “Dave’s boy,” whatever that meant.

Dave went on to other work or another shift. I can’t remember. The point is, I never saw Dave again after a while. Over time, people started talking about Dave.

He was apparently a suspect in a murder that occured in the Hospital in 1999 and everyone knew it was him. The timelines matched, he had asked her out and she refused. According to staff, Dave worked the day of the murder and had access to the restricted area where her body lay.

That is why no one liked Dave. He was a killer and everyone was afraid of him. That is likely why I kept his lunch in my patrol truck as well. Someone may have tried to spit in it or something and he trusted me.

I had a lot of questions as I had spent a lot of time with this guy and he taught me about a security mindset. I was kind of on his side, that is until I found out he refused to take a DNA test and was uncooperative with the police investigation.

One might wonder how I might discover this, being a contract security and all. Well, ole Dave had taught me to listen to everything whether I was being spoken to or not. While working in the emergency room, the local police said it right in front of me to an inhouse security member.

That sealed the deal for me. Dave was the killer. Guilty as sin. It was only a matter of time.

I moved on from Cheap and Dirty and found new employment. In the back of my mind, I would wonder about that case. Numerous times throughout the years I Googled his name, waiting for his arrest.

On one occasion, a decade after I worked there, I was eating at the same restaurant as a few hospital security and they remembered me. We caught up on a few things and the parting words were, “Watch out for Dave, he is still roaming the streets.”

Even as recently as 2020, I have looked the man up online and I was unable to find anything about him. Dave was trying to avoid detection.

That is until December 9th, 2020 when I saw the headline,

Colorado Springs Police use DNA technology to solve 1999 cold case

So there it was. I didn’t even read the article and scrolled down to see Dave’s face, only it wasn’t. Someone else had committed the murder.

For 21 or so years, Dave has been under a dark cloud of suspicion. I imagine even now, those that have read the article shake their head and think, “it’s bait to get Dave to come out of hiding. Dave still did it.”

I have done a little more homework; and while Dave isn’t prevalent online, he lives somewhere. Dave has had a car payment. Dave has DNA that is pretty easy to aquire.

Dave didn’t do it but everyone says he did. For two decades, this slander has very likely ruined parts of his life and that is disturbing to me.

Can you imagine being Dave’s child and whispers going around that his daddy killed a woman that rejected him 21 years ago? I wouldn’t go online either.

I will close this by saying that I learned a lot working for Cheap and Dirty Security that I have taken to a correctional environment; staying alert, completing my rounds, and paying attention to detail, but more importantly, to stay out of the rumor mill, and withhold judgement.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

50 thoughts on “Slander Kills And Rumor Mills”

  1. For seventeen years I did parking in a small university police office. I worked under a chief of police named Dave. He wasn’t a murder suspect, but he was a creep.

    1. I wouldn’t hang out with they guy on the street, but he was slandered for a long long time undeserving.

      Having been the victim of slander, I can resonate with the Dave I speak of.

      I am sorry you had to deal with a creepy guy that long. It sounds stressful.

  2. It’s almost sad to read of incidents like this. Sometimes people don’t even defend themselves when they are accused of something even if they didn’t do it. Society can be really imposing at times.
    Thank you for sharing! Maybe we can learn to judge people better or stop judging at all.

          1. The protests are still going in the capital. They rejected the government’s draft of the amended laws and said they’ll continue their protesting till the laws are repealed.

  3. It’s a double edged sword, particularly when it comes to violence against women, because there’s a lot of victim blaming and denial going around those cases. On the one hand poor Dave didn’t deserve this if he didn’t do it, but there are two guilty Daves out there avoiding detection and consequences for every innocent Dave if you ask me. It’s a shame we don’t have some kind of magical truth potion

    1. I think there is a lot of substance in what you have said, and I would not have Dave over for dinner.
      (Sorry Dave, if you are reading this. You weren’t exactly fun to be around.)

      However, the not guilty Dave has paid for it in social death and twenty years of gossip has turned his life into chaos.

      Slander was definitely not the recipe for the truth potion in this case. I am glad they found the killer.

      Thank you for stopping by Petra! It is cold and wet and the Campfire warm!

      1. I agree, slander is never the way to go, but while it’s super unfair and sad, it’s statistically better to be wary of someone with so much circumstantial evidence, which is exactly what’s wrong with the world in the first place.

  4. Unfortunately the mindset you describe of those convinced of David’s guilt; is the mindset of the average person asked to serve on jury duty.

    Prosecutors are very aware of this and play on this mindset to acheive convictions in order to advance their careers.

    Very few prosecutors and unfortunately law enforcement officers are not interested or invested in the concept:

    “Innocent until proven guilty!”

    Once their minds are made up.

    This is the primary reason the innocent are so often railroaded into a jail cell while criminals are left free to continue committing the most heinous of crimes.

    When i was in the 7th and 8th grades i wanted to be poluce officer until after read the true life story of a NYC detective named Serpico and The Super Cops another true life story about a pair of NYC cops.

    The corruption they faced within the ranks of the NYC police department (which serves as a microcosm of law enforcement agencies all over the United States) and the fact that Serpico was forced to flee the US because of the many death threats he received after blowing the lid on the corruption of NYC’s finest.

    I fully realized that if i became a law enforcement officer i would i either have to sacrifice my personal integrity.

    Of face the very possibility of winding shot in the back by one of fellow law enforcement officers.

    Hence i quickly gave up the idea of ever becoming a law enforcement officer.

      1. Your welcome Brother.

        My brother who served in the Navy also served for a time as a Sheriff’s Deputy where he lived in Tennessee. He related to me some of things he saw and experienced during that time.

        Once during a visit he offered to take my VHS Player back with him in order to get an inmate in the jail to repair it. I never got it back because it was stolen out of the property room to which the deputies only had access.

        My youngest brother’s (from my mother’s 2ed marriage) wife worked at the county jail. During their seperation as they were working towards reconciling one of her fellow female deputies.

        Called all of the spouses of her fellow deputies to inform them their spouses were having an affair with another fellow deputy.

        This threw my brother for a loop. And the day after Thanksgiving of 2003 my mother called me and asked to step outside the Mexican restaurant where my wife and i had just ordered lunch.

        To inform me that my brother had taken a fatal overdose after taking that call. We only learned about that call several days later when one of the officers involved in the investigation informed us in a meeting.

        Its been 18 yrs since his death yet the pain resulting from what happened still has me in tears as i write this.

        This of course is no reflection upon yourself nor any other law enforcement officer; who takes their oath to serve and protect seriously and honestly doing so faithfully.

  5. The most valuable lesson anyone can learn is to be alert to the worst case scenario but still withhold judgement for the situation. You are not in another person’s shoes no matter how much you think you understand.

  6. Seems Dave is in witness protection. He witnessed his heart being slandered, from the rumours that killed… One of the reasons I absolutely refuse, to listen to hearsay! Nice share!

  7. Wow. This is beyond profound. What an amazing lesson this is. God. My heart breaks for him and I’m grateful for this reminder to not draw conclusions……no matter what is being said. That’s huge. Thank You. 💕

      1. If it were me… yes there would be a sense of relief there … but he did know that all along, because obviously he didn’t do it…

        And they say when you go through hard times – that is when you find out who your true friends are.

        It was probably a learning experience for him in every way. As well as for those around him.

        That’s a tough situation.

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