AskReddit posed this question to their audience: Have you ever survived an attempted murder? And what was the story?
Read these 17 harrowing true stories of everyday people escaping death by their skin of their teeth. Scary stuff!
1. Impatient, Much?
“I was at my friend’s wedding and when it was over, my friends and I decided to go have a couple drinks at the bar in the hotel. A couple that was in their late 30s, who were family friends of the bride and groom, asked to tag along. Well I’m standing outside of the hotel with my wife, my best friend’s wife, that couple, and the woman’s 26 year old brother and we’re waiting for my best friend to come out of the bathroom. The guy starts saying he wants to leave now but I say we’re waiting for my friend to which he starts mouthing off saying my brother (who recently died) would be disappointed in me and such.
I knew he was drunk so I took no offense to it which made him more mad. Mad enough to start pushing me, so I push him off of me and he stumbles into his wife and knocks her down. Then the 26 year old hits me in the face with a glass mug from the wedding and knocks me out and the three then proceed to stomp me out and jump me. The man then picks up a huge planter pot and smashes it on my head. Luckily he was so drunk that he stumbled when he picked it up and the pot missed my head by about 2 inches and I walked away with only a big gash on my forehead from the mug. Both guys are on trial for attempted murder now.”
2. Nature vs. Nurture
“Had a cousin of mine, who my aunt and uncle adopted from drug addicts, chase me around his house with a kitchen knife trying to slit my throat. His dad tackled and subdued him. I was around 12 or 13 at the time and I guess he was 16 or so. I just remember hyperventilating and the absolute panic I felt while my aunt drove me home.
He later that year beat and strangled to death an 8-year-old in a construction site. He ended up confessing sometime later after the guilt got to him. He got out of prison this year and sent me a Facebook friend request…gonna pass on that, thanks.”
3. Terrified To Ever Sleep Again
“When I was eight, my father shot me in my sleep, shot and killed my brother in his sleep, and committed suicide. I lost all of my sight, my left eye, and my sense of smell. I survived the shot because the bullet entered from my right temple and exited out my left, instead of enter from the back of my head or my forehead. The bullet lodged into my left hand because my head was resting on my hand when I was sleeping.”
4. Innocent Baby
“I was 8 months old. Dude killed my biological mother after raping her while she was 7-8 months pregnant. On his way out he smashed me in the head. Dunno why he did try to go after my brother or sister, they must have been hiding. Dude ended up in federal, transferred down to Texas where he hung himself in his cell after 10 years in.”
5. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
“I lived in this duplex years ago with one of my coworkers. Our place of employment hired this new guy who clearly had some issues, but seemed like he was really trying. The new guy, Shawn, had been in and out of rehab and halfway houses for drug charges, but he was living in his brother’s garage and picking up as many shifts at work as he could to try and earn enough money to get his own place.
Winter came around, and Shawn was living in this unheated, uninsulated garage. My coworker/roommate talked about it and decided to invite him to stay on our couch under the condition that he stay clean and he keep saving for a new place. Shawn gratefully accepted, moved in, and things went well for several months.
But then Shawn started slipping, missing shifts at work, disappearing for days on end, all while becoming much more aggressive. Our suspicions were confirmed when one day my roommate walked in on Shawn smoking meth on the living room floor. We promptly told Shawn to gather his things and move out.
A few weeks later, at about 1 am I awake to someone pounding on the front door. I groggily get up and go answer it, and there is Shawn, high as a kite and screaming. I quickly latched the outside wooden screen door, and tried to talk Shawn into leaving before I called the cops. After a few minutes without making any headway, I tell Shawn I am going to call the police, and start shutting the inside door. Shawn bursts through the wooden screen door like it isn’t even there, which knocks me backwards over the arm of the couch. I land on the seating portion of the couch on my back, and Shawn is on top of me, with both hands around my throat.
I swung and hit him in the head and face as hard as I could, but he was a big guy and was so high that it didn’t faze him. If anything, it tightened his grip around my throat. I quickly realized that I couldn’t get him off me, so I kind of quit struggling and resigned myself to my fate. My vision started to get blurry around the edges and sounds started getting muffled. At first I felt sad that I wouldn’t get to see my family again, but then I just started to feel at peace as I began slipping away. Finally I closed my eyes for what I thought would be the last time in my life.
Suddenly I was able to draw a huge breath, and the weight of Shawn’s body was no longer pinning me down. I rolled off the couch gasping for air, and when I gained enough breath, I looked up to see my roommate, I shit you not, beating Shawn around the head and face with a frying pan. She had heard the commotion and ran into the living room to see Shawn choking me the death, so she grabbed a frying pan off the drying rack in the kitchen and started to hit him as hard as she could.
We were eventually able to push Shawn outside, where he sat on a bench on my porch crying until the police arrived.”
6. Bad Ass Big Sis
“When I was a kid, my neighbors were this sweet old couple, and occasionally their grandkids – five boys – would come to visit. The oldest, Liam, was my age and had severe behavioral problems. All his younger brothers were terrified of him, and I hated his guts, but I still had to hang out with him. One time, we were playing in an inflatable pool in my backyard, Liam, my sister and I being the oldest ones there – no adults were around. Well, Liam wouldn’t stop picking on his poor brothers, so I pantsed him. Everyone laughed. He did not take it well.
When I turned around, he ran up behind me and shoved my head underwater and held me under for about two minutes while I struggled. I could see his brothers’ legs around me but none of them moved, that’s how petrified they were of him. I thought it was over. I was starting to black out when I began to hear a SWOOOSH SWOOSH SWOOSH noise and then suddenly I was free, flat on my back and coughing up water. My sister had waded over as fast as she could and punched him in the face so hard she broke his nose :)”
7. Mental Illness Is Very Real And Very Scary
“When I was 15 my dad was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. By the time I was 25, he was doing mostly well. He would have maybe one episode a year, usually because he was also a recovering alcoholic and when he would relapse the alcohol would render his meds ineffective. When he was sober, he was the same wonderful father I grew up with.
I was living with my parents while finishing my Master’s. This night my mom was away on business so it was just dad and me. Dad and I talked late into the night and he said something that made me really uncomfortable. He said there was a personality with him lately that thinks horrible evil things, things he could never say to anyone. I’m just thinking…I don’t want to know and make a mental note to tell mom later. It’s not good if all his personalities aren’t integrated, worse if one is evil.
I go through the bedtime routine at this stage. When I came out of the shower all the lights were out so I thought dad had gone to bed. I sat down at my desk to shut down my computer when suddenly my desk chair was pushed from behind and rolled forward fast , pinning me between the chair and desk. It was my dad, I could hear him breathing but he wasn’t saying anything. I yelled at him to get off, that it really hurts. I’m 5’5 and was only 120 lbs at the time, so there was no pushing him off me.
I guess my yelling got through to my real dad for a second because he said “huh?” and I heard him drop something heavy onto the floor. Then he stopped putting pressure on the chair and said my name like a question. I somehow got out of the chair and bolted past him. There was a huge knife on the floor behind him. I jumped over it and just ran out the door and into the street where I called 911.
We only lived 3 blocks from the police so it was not even 2 minutes later and they were with me. They said they found dad in his bedroom with an X-acto knife trying to cut at his wrists.
The last thing he remembers is from that morning.”
8. Lucky Break
“I was stabbed in the stomach during a bar fight and I passed out from blood loss. When I came to I was in the hospital, the surgeon who patched me up let me know that had I not been stabbed I could have died from my appendix bursting.
Apparently without realizing it, my appendix was perforated (and not related to the stab wound). What I thought was just some cramps was actually a life threatening time bomb, and thanks to being almost stabbed to death I got to live.”
9. Road Rage
“Driving through rural Oregon with a couple of buddies on Spring Break, on a stretch of highway with one lane in each direction, we were stuck in a line of cars behind a woman who was driving a little slowly. We hit a stretch where passing was allowed so I moved over and sped up so I could get around her.
She sped up too.
I was driving a Civic with three big guys in the car so I couldn’t beat her. OK, I thought, be that way. I slowed back down to get back behind her.
She slowed down too. She wasn’t going to let me back in.
The passing lane was coming to an end and I was starting to get a little nervous. I tried to catch her eye to indicate that she had to let me in and realized she was staring at me, smiling. I looked forward and realized a semi was coming straight towards me. I jerked left, onto the shoulder of the oncoming lane, and missed the semi by a few feet. The cars behind the psycho had seen the whole thing and let me in between them, and she exited shortly after trying to kill me.
I only drive fast cars now and when I pass people I try to do it before they notice I’m doing it.”
10. Not All Sibling Rivalry Is Harmless
“My older brother abused me for pretty much my entire life. Broken bones, chemical burns from supergluing my eyes shut while I was sleeping, regular burns, strangling, etc. The one instance that sticks out to me the most is when we were roughly 13 and 15, he was pissed because I was watching a show and didn’t want to give up the TV for him. He started punching me anywhere his fists could land. I tried to escape into our room and he slammed into the door until it cracked and he could get in. Chased me through the house, managed to grab me by the hair and throw me over the banister (we had a half wall separating the stairwell from the upstairs) and I fell an entire level downstairs. When I stood back up, he was standing at the top with a chef’s knife in his hand.
At that point I freaked out and tried to escape through the French doors in my sisters room but he made it outside just as I opened the door. So I ran back upstairs with him right behind me, made it to the kitchen. We had one of those counters that wrap around and then stick out in one spot, like an attached island. That was separating us while I tried to call my mom but he sliced the cord. I threw the receiver at his face as hard as I could and ran past him while he was holding his head. I made it down the street before I noticed he wasn’t following me anymore. When I threw the phone, I shattered his front teeth and apparently that shit’s excruciating when your nerves are dangling and exposed.
I called my mom and told her what happened. She told me to go back home and she’d talk to him when she got home from work. Lol, fat chance. I walked to my friend’s house across the highway and stayed there till my dad dragged me home.”
11. High Risk Job
“I delivered a pizza to a house just outside of the city. On the way back, I stopped to help a car that pulled over in front of me with their hazard lights on. I pulled up beside them and thought it was weird that nobody rolled down a window or made any kind of contact with me for around 15 seconds. The passenger then jumped out of his side of the car yelling that they needed help as he made his way toward my car. I thought something was weird about this. As I started to pull away before he could get to my passenger door, he began shooting at me. I ducked my head after the first shot entered through the back window and embedded in my passenger seat headrest. Another shot entered through the rear window, while the other 3 only hit the outside metal parts of my car, he missed altogether with another shot.
Turns out it was a plot to rob me, the pizza was ordered and the guys were stationed down the road to intercept me. They knew who I was and they knew that I would be able to recognize them, as I had delivered a few orders to them before. The guy wasn’t wearing anything to cover his identity, which leads me to believe that he would have shot and killed me if he would have made it inside my car.
By the next morning, the police had arrested all of them. The shooter was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. He later appealed that sentencing because there was a word wrong in the jury instructions, he won the appeal and ended up being sentenced to 10 years, and was released November of 2010 after 5 years. The remaining 5 years were to be served as parole/probation. He was arrested twice for parole/probation violation when he was only a couple months away from total freedom. I laughed.”
12. Real Life Nightmare
“I was 16, and asleep in my bed when I just abruptly “felt” something wrong. I rolled over, and saw a person by my bed. He was wearing a hoodie, and my father used to wear a long ponytail and in the dark, these things looked pretty similar.
I said, “Dad?”
The person jumped on the bed and shoved his hand into my panties, and into me.
There was a really long terrifying moment where I thought it was my father doing this to me, incidentally. He told me, “Shut up, bitch!” and started choking me, hard.
I realized finally it wasn’t my father, and started fighting with him, my brain finally kicked in and shook me out of the shock I was in. I started struggling with him, and eventually managed to get my knee into his groin, which I don’t think hurt him so much as it just dislodged him enough he lost his balance.
His hands fell away from my throat, and I screamed like I have never screamed before in my whole life. I hope never to scream like that again.
He paused, unsure of whether or not to stay and renew his efforts on raping me, or to leave. He decided to leave, and dove out my window.
I was so incensed I chased to the window after him and kept screaming after him.
We called the police, who took pictures of the handprints on my throat, and took things as evidence, like my underwear, and a phonebook they thought he might’ve touched.
Hours later, I braved going back into my room to get something, I noticed an extension cord was out of place, the one that plugged into my radio–only part of the end of it was visible, and the plug portion was cut off for some reason. I was baffled. I pulled it out from around the corner of my bed, and the end had been fashioned into a noose, big enough to fit around my head.
So it was then, finally, that 16-year-old me realized this man who broke in had intended to actually strangle me to death, and for whatever reason, I had woken up in time to catch him before he got that far.
I’ve never slept soundly since. I am almost 40. I am always afraid someone is in my house.”
13. What’s Your Damage, Drunk Dude?
“I was riding my bike home one night and was stopped at a light in the bike lane. BAM! A pickup truck hits me from the back side; he’d swerved into the bike lane while slowing for the light. Luckily he wasn’t going very fast and only knocked me over.
I started yelling at him through his open windows but he pretended to ignore me, so I leaned in through the window to get his attention. He tried to punch me but I pulled back. Then he started to get out of the car to come fight me but changed his mind.
At that point I decided to get his license plate number so I walked out into the crosswalk to get a look. When he saw me he gunned the truck and swerved to try to run me over. Then he continued on through the red light.
Cops found him near his home, got him for drunk driving and assault with a deadly weapon. He just got sentenced to 7 years in state prison.”
14. Killer Dish Washer
“I was 14 working at a restaurant through work study. I was polishing silverware when the dishwasher came up behind me and bashed my head into the shelf in front of me about 5 times. Never spoken a word to this guy before, he was new. I somehow got away, stood about 15 feet away from him. He grabs a steak knife and says in the most terrifyingly raspy voice possible, “come here.” Thinking about his voice gives me chills almost 20 years later. I ran.
He went back to washing dishes. I stood in the dining room in the middle of dinner shaking and dripping blood until one of the waiters saw me. Pretty sure if I hadn’t gotten away from him when I did I would be dead. When the police asked him why he did it he said he didn’t know. Fucking weird.”
15. All That Over A Cell Phone
“Not me but my cousin…he was waiting for a train in a not very nice area. Young kid about 16-17 walks up to him and asks if he can use my cousins phone quick to call his mom. Cousin says sure and hands him the phone. After about 3 seconds it was obvious the kid didn’t need it to call his mother. He then says “this is mine now” and starts to walk away.
Cousin attacked the kid and started to fight for the phone. Cousin tackles the kid and they start rolling around fighting. My cousin told me he remembered thinking “holy shit this kid hits hard.” Turns out the kid was stabbing him as they were wrestling. 9 stabs wounds to the head, neck, upper back area later my cousin almost bleeds out on the train platform. Someone calls 911, ambulance comes and saves him.”
16. Slight Overreaction
“One night I got in an argument with my girlfriend back in college. Apparently it was never resolved to her liking because I woke up the next morning and she wasn’t in bed or in the apartment. I noticed a smell almost immediately and found all four burners of the stove turned on but not lit. Noped the fuck out of the apartment and called 911. Fire dept, police dept, etc. came out. They killed the gas lines and evacuated the whole goddamn building. It was obvious that she did it (to me anyway), but long story short, she never had to face the music. I later took all of her stuff from my apartment and burned it in a garbage can in front of her car.”
17. Blinded By Love
“When I was 17, I had a 22-year-old boyfriend who I dated near the time I finished my secondary school education. He was genuinely amazing and I thought he was perfect as every naive young girl does, my friends warned me, saying he was manipulative and abusive but I brushed it off assuming they were jealous. But I started noticing things, and I wouldn’t give him his way, we started fighting more and more.
One night we were relaxing and watching my favorite movie in my room (Robots I think it was called), anyway my boyfriend starts trying to pressure me into giving him oral. I tried pulling away but he was holding my head down into his lap, that’s when I started shouting and screaming. He grabbed my neck and threw me to the floor and began kicking me, at this point I was completely dazed and in shock so I couldn’t defend myself. After what seemed like ages I finally screamed stop, he grabbed my hair and dragged me to my balcony where he tried shoving me over the guard rail. I was fighting but I’m really small so I don’t have much strength. Suddenly something grabs me and at the same time I see my boyfriend fly headfirst over the rails. Turns out my neighbor got home early and noticed the situation unfold, he ran broke through the front door and upstairs to my room, then tossed my boyfriend over the rails and grabbed me stop me falling.
Police and ambulance were called, boyfriend was taken to hospital and charged with assault and attempted grievous bodily harm. Luckily my family has cameras on the balconies and porch to catch thieves, so they caught almost everything that occurred. My neighbor didn’t get charged as he acted in my defense. That was about 3 years ago, neighbor and I are close friends, and boyfriend is still in prison. I realize I really should call him my ex but it seems odd in the story.”