I lived in a small town in Illinois until I was 10-years-old.
The population was about 5,000 people and, even as a kid, I felt like everyone knew everyone’s business.
And we all know how fast news spreads in a place like that.
What was the biggest scandal in your small town?
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
“Was outside on my driveway playing basketball and multiple helicopters flew overhead.
My friend in another neighborhood over texted me saying they evacuated all of the houses on her road and there were FBI or bomb squad agents or something there.
Later found out some guy on the street tried to taint the town’s water supply with blowfish venom and k**l everyone.”
2. Burn it down.
“My home county had a few historic covered bridges. They were quite the pride and joy of the area. Somebody burned one down.
Somebody else saw three young men do the deed. Now we all knew it was a trio of kids on my class. Like most schools we had cliques, two of which were the “preps” and the “burnouts”. The bridge burners were preps. One’s dad was the county judge. One’s mom was the primary real estate agent in town. This posed a dilemma.
So the parents of the preps, including the judge, hatched a little plan. They gave three burnouts in my class $10,000 each (mid 1980s) and the promise of a light sentence of 6 months probation if they would plead guilty and take the fall.
The burnouts agreed and took their money. The judge figured if the burnouts didn’t hold up their end he would make sure they found guilty anyway. So they showed up in court in front of the prep’s judge dad. They not only didn’t plead guilty, they had a speeding ticket dated the same day and time as the time the bridge burned. But the speeding ticket was for 70 miles away. And since all three were minors, all three were named in the ticket report.
The judge had no choice but to dismiss the case. And the parents of the preps weren’t even mad because that was enough of an excuse to effectively end the whole investigation. Nobody got in trouble for it. It all just went away. The bridge was rebuilt, the placard was changed to say “replica of a historic bridge”, and for $10k those precious little boys didn’t get a black mark in their records.”
3. What’s that smell?
“A local chemical manufacturer’s mixing plant blew up and gassed the whole town.
Everything was fine (just horrendously stinky), but it drew up a lot of controversy over their safety protocols.
The company never rebuilt the plant, instead selling it to the city which I’m pretty sure became a fireman training site so all good in the end.”
“A young girl (and amputee) was murdered either directly or through neglect by her abusive parents.
They burned their car and attempted to pass if off as a kidnapping by “finding” a ransom note. They chopped the body up and attempted to hide it in multiple places. The prosthetic leg was found in the next county over.
The mother is in jail for second degree murder and apparently drug charges, and there is a memorial playground named after the girl, Zahra Baker.”
5. Sad story.
“High school kid caught drinking and driving.
Local cop pulled him over, told him “go home” so he did. Got some more beer from the fridge and went back to drinking and driving. Hit a disabled (wheelchair bound) neighbor, who later d**d of his injuries.
Kid was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Parents bailed him out of jail to await trial. Kid committed s**cide.”
“I live in a small Russian city named Nalchik.
In 2005, we were attacked by terrorists. Mobile groups of terrorists of 5-6 people, with a total number of about 200 people, armed with various small arms, including RPG-7 and RPD, enter Nalchik in cars from two directions. There are the first shootings between police officers and militants on the outskirts of the city.
14 civilians and 35 police officers and law enforcement agencies were k**led. More than 240 people were injured, including 129 law enforcement officers.I was 5 months old then and the stories of my parents are very surprising because now our city is very quiet and almost nothing happens.”
7. Nothing happens here…
“This was only last year but I live in a pretty nice suburb of Columbus, OH where literally nothing happens (you usually get pulled over for a traffic violation with 3 cop cars because they’re so bored).
But a fairly well-known resident went missing. Husband said she went on a walk and never came back. Left her phone and keys. There were fliers with her picture everywhere. At my gym, local restaurants, giant signs near main streets in the area she could be, etc. Everyone knew her name.
Months later, her body was found off a walking trail near one of the busiest streets in town. She had been tied up in a tree and the rope had come undone, finally exposing her. She was badly decayed so she had more than likely been there the entire time.
Husband was found guilty of her m**der just recently. It was super sad even for the people that didn’t know her personally because it felt like everyone in town was trying to help look for her.”
8. Still out there.
“A group of zebras escaped a local, legal habitat and have been roaming the suburbs.
It’s been weeks and they still haven’t been caught.”
“Five high-school football players were suspended for a hazing incident involving using icy hot on private parts of a freshman in the locker room.”
10. Stuffing the ballot box.
“In the 1990s, a very unpopular, nerd girl won homecoming queen and the popular girl, who thought she should win, did not win.
The popular girl could not fathom how this could have happened to her, so she began a smear campaign against the nerd girl. She maintained that the only way the nerd girl could have won was if she stuffed the ballot box. The popular girl then questioned all the students at this school to see who they voted for.
This was so scandalous, that this was talked about for a literal year among adults at the coffee shop, church, gatherings etc. Luckily, the nerd girl graduated and went to college and lived a very normal life. The popular peaked in high school.”
“I’m from a very weird small town, so this for sure isn’t the biggest just a really funny one I remember from years ago.
My friend was a senior in high school and had a long-time girlfriend who was also a senior. While she was on vacation with her family, he had s** with another girl in his girlfriend’s bed. His girlfriend didn’t know about it until it came out that the other girl was pregnant with his kid. He admitted to hooking up in her house while she was gone.
His girlfriend ends up forgiving him and gets pregnant about three months later. So my 18-year-old friend has gotten a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old pregnant within a couple of months of each other.
A few months later, before either child is born, he gets arrested for possession of marijuana. The arresting officer was the 17-year-old’s dad. He ended up losing a college sports scholarship because of it. He still lives in that small town and is not with either of his baby mamas, and his kids are in the same class.
The town only has a few thousand people, so it was pretty scandalous.”
“A visitor shot the town’s unofficial mascot, a tame buck, from his motel room. He couldn’t believe his luck.
He didn’t even have to leave the comfort of his motel to hunt. The quarry came to him! Kind of a moron.”
13. Don’t see that much over there.
“When a couple of guys robbed a candy store with a gun.
I live in Sweden, it was just confusing not very scary.
I’m not sure why they picked a candy store.”
How about you?
What scandals rocked your town?
Talk to us in the comments and let us know!