01 Feb My Friend Kept Finding Teeth in his Apartment
To be honest, “Paul” (not his name) is more of a friend-of-a-friend. I met him at a birthday party; we were introduced by our mutual friend Jacob, and I don’t remember how the topic came up, but Jacob – who had been drinking a little- told me that Paul had the “craziest story ever” and insisted that Paul had to share it with me. So Paul did. I later asked Paul if I could share his story, and he agreed so long as I didn’t use his name or tell what city and state he lived in at the time.
Paul was working as an insurance claims guy, and occasionally had to work late. One night Paul comes home to his apartment, opens the door, and there it is: a tooth laying right in the middle of the floor. No blood – just a molar sitting on the tile.
It’s got a crack down the side; he isn’t sure if it’s human, because it could be a pig’s tooth since they can look similar and there are pig farms in the state. Paul knows his neighbor has a cat, so he asks her if the cat could have gotten into his apartment and left a present. The neighbor says maybe, though she doesn’t think the cat has done anything like that before. Paul can’t figure out a better explanation, so he throws the tooth away and shrugs it off as a weird story to tell his friends.
A week later, Paul comes home from work. He walks in, and there on the counter is another tooth – but this one is an incisor, and it’s bloody. Freshly bloody.
There is no way this tooth isn’t human, so Paul calls the cops. They show up, look at the tooth, and ask questions; they start suspecting Paul, but after they confirm his alibi they quit bugging him, take the tooth, and leave. (Evidently the cat had an alibi this time, too.)
It looks like someone has broken into his apartment, so Paul goes and stays with his parents for a few nights. The cops eventually call; they’ve tested the DNA from the tooth, but it doesn’t match anything on file so they can’t ID who the tooth is from. It’s been a few days, so they tell Paul it should be safe to go back to his apartment – they’ll even drive by a few times during the night. Paul agrees, but before returning he goes out and buys an alarm system, a bunch of security cameras, and a gun.
Paul spends the entire day getting the alarm system and cameras up and running (and researching how to use a gun) before passing out. Next morning, he wakes up and realizes he’s pretty stinky – so, he goes to the bathroom and starts the shower. He gets in, grabs the bar of soap to wash his body –
and there it is. A tooth sticking out of the soap, a thin trail of blood dripping onto the shower floor.
Paul is understandably freaked out. He calls the cops over – the alarm hasn’t been tripped, and they all watch the footage from the security cameras, but there’s nothing. They ask if Paul set everything up correctly, and he shows them that he has. The cops don’t know what to tell him – one of them even jokes that it looks like the Tooth Fairy has a new hobby.
The cops agree to stake out his apartment that night. In the meantime, Paul takes the cameras to a shop to see if they’ve been messed with – they’ve got to be, right? – but the lady at the shop can’t find any evidence of tampering. She tells him the cameras are working perfectly.
Paul doesn’t sleep a wink that night – he told me he never left the gun out of his sight. It’s an anxious night, but the cops are outside. Nothing happens.
Next morning, an exhausted Paul finally gives up on trying to sleep and gets out of bed. He puts on a robe, heads to the kitchen, and starts pouring himself a bowl of Cheerios.
He looks down; sure enough, staring back at him from the middle of a pile of cereal is an unmistakably human tooth with a copper filling – and it’s much bloodier than the first two. Even some of the Cheerios have stained flecks of dark red.
Paul about has a nervous breakdown right there. He’s just holding this bowl in his shaking hands, and his mind is racing – he’s installed the cameras, he’s got an alarm system, the cops are outside – how the hell is someone getting these teeth into his apartment?
And as he looks down at this tooth in his cereal bowl, that’s when it hits Paul.
No one has been sneaking in during the last few days. The blood on the tooth and cereal is too dry.
The teeth have been in his apartment since before he installed the cameras.
Paul has been living with human teeth hidden around him for days.
He immediately calls the cops over and tells them his theory (adding that the blood from the soap was probably dried too, but the shower had re-wetted it.) So, he and the cops all start combing through the apartment looking for human teeth like some sort of sick Easter-egg hunt.
They found twenty-three in total.
They were hidden in some pretty obscure places – Paul says the ones he remembers most were one hidden in a pair of socks, one in a jar of salsa, one taped to the top-side of the blade of the fan in his room, and one jammed into the opening of a tube of toothpaste he hadn’t opened yet. The most disconcerting part was when they found five particularly bloody teeth stuck into the wall behind his dresser like tacks, with a lop-sided, pen-drawn pentagram connecting them all. They even found the first tooth (the cracked one that Paul had thrown away) hidden in a chess set – whoever had broken in had gone through Paul’s garbage and retrieved it.
So, since Paul’s apartment is now a crime scene, he has to go back to staying with his folks for what will probably be the foreseeable future. He’s with them a week, and nothing happens.
One night, while still staying with his folks, Paul goes to take out the garbage. He’s just closed the lid when – out of the corner of his eye, Paul thinks he sees movement towards the end of the yard. So, he turns his head to look.
There’s a figure standing right next to the shed.
It’s too dark to tell who it is, but Paul can see their silhouette.
“Who’s there?” Paul calls out.
And the figure starts booking it straight towards Paul.
Unfortunately for this figure, Paul is a bit more than cautious after finding a total of twenty-six teeth planted in his apartment. For the last week, in every spare moment – even when taking out the garbage – Paul has been carrying the gun he bought. And Paul has been practicing.
So Paul shoots the figure.
The figure cries out and drops to the ground – Paul’s folks hear the gunshot and turn on the outside lights before rushing out. There’s a guy on the ground, moaning and clutching his arm where Paul nailed him.
Paul gets closer, gun drawn – and next to the guy on the ground, Paul sees that the guy has dropped something he had been holding.
It’s a pair of pliers.
Paul doesn’t have a whole lot of time to think about that, though, because after a moment, Paul realizes that he knows the guy. It’s a guy that Paul’s company insures.
Remember how I mentioned that Paul works in insurance? Evidently the guy had gotten into a wreck and then went to the office Paul worked at, demanding a check. There was a dash-cam showing that this guy had been completely at fault – Paul described it as reckless driving – but the guy kept insisting, denying any responsibility. “He was lying through his teeth,” Paul said. So Paul – who had been the case manager – denied the claim. Paul says that the guy hadn’t been very happy about that.
So the cops come and arrest the guy. As Paul later finds out, he’d been arrested in 2011 for the disappearance of a woman, but he denied it and was released when there wasn’t enough evidence. He was arrested again in 2013 for the disappearance of his girlfriend, but he again denied it and was again released due to lack of evidence. Neither woman has been seen since.
The guy was charged and went to trial for assault – only assault.
Nobody could prove that he had been the one to break in and hide all the teeth in Paul’s apartment. The guy denied it – when asked about the pliers, he said he was going to use them to break into Paul’s parents’ house. Now I don’t know much about breaking into places, but I’m not sure how much pliers would help. The guy even tried to press charges against Paul for unlawful force – he said Paul belonged in jail for shooting him. Thankfully the judge threw that out pretty quickly.
All the courts could could get him for was assault and attempted burglary – he served his time, and after a year and a half he was released on parole. A month later, he failed to report into his parole officer – the authorities are still looking for him.
Paul moved to another state and changed his name.
When they later tested the twenty-six teeth found in Paul’s apartment, they discovered that they were not from one person – evidently, they had come from at least nine different individuals.