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Behind Closed Doors

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Behind Closed Doors

"Friend committed suicide. After his death, I found out be was beyond abusive to his wife, to the extent of holding a loaded automatic to her and their kid's heads. I knew he was bipolar and had a drinking problem, but I had NO idea how bad this was.

It's making me feel conflicted about whether to miss him or not. I feel like I miss him because he was my friend for a decade, but I hate him for being abusive."

She Lied About This Her Entire Life
She Lied About This Her Entire Life

"My great, great-grandmother met my great, great-grandfather on Ellis Island when immigrating to the U.S. She was 16 and he was 17, or so everyone believed.

When she died just after her alleged 97th birthday, my family discovered from immigration logs she was actually 100, and had lied about her age because it wouldn't have been acceptable in society to a) be single at 19 and b) marry a younger man."

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"It Was Shocking And A Little Disturbing"

"My grandfather left my mom's family when she was still really little, but as he was dying, she and her brothers went to visit him and sort out his will and all that fun stuff.

As they were looking through his stuff, they found a letter from some man claiming that he was the son of my grandfather. Wouldn't you know it, my grandfather had cheated with the babysitter before leaving my grandma, and had a child that was about the same age as my mother.

They called him and said if he wants to see his dad he has to come NOW because he's dying. So his whole family packed up and came to visit.

And now we have an uncle, aunt, and three wonderful cousins that feel as if they have been a part of our family forever. Even though they are not blood-related to my grandmother, she accepted them as her children without hesitation.

It was shocking, a little disturbing, but turned out for the best. We are so glad that we finally met them."

They Couldn't Believe What He Had Done

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They Couldn't Believe What He Had Done

"My grandma was killed by my uncle (not my real uncle, second cousin I think?) when I was around 11 years old. The adults in the family tried to shield a bit of the details but the story made the news so I heard enough about it anyway.

My great grandma had died about five years prior to this. She had been stabbed to death but no killer had ever been convicted. Anyway, after my grandma was killed, new evidence came to light, and we found out it was my uncle who was responsible for her death as well. We didn't know he was responsible for the first murder until after the second one. He did it for money, I think. He was an addict, I know that much."

Dark Motives

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Dark Motives

"In India, January 2013, both of my grandparents died just hours apart. At the time, my mother and I were told that my grandfather died of a brain hemorrhage and my grandmother died in her sleep. My aunt and uncle flew from England (where they reside) to India when they heard my grandfather was in a coma from the hemorrhage.

This year, my mother began talking to a man in India who was one of my grandfather's best friends. This man was with my aunt and uncle during the time of their death.

According to this man, my aunt and uncle woke up and found my grandmother dead in her bed and just left her there. They didn't do anything about her dead body for hours -- they just left it in her bed. While my grandmother's corpse was still in her bed, my aunt and uncle went to the hospital to see my grandfather. The doctor said my grandfather would come out of the coma soon and would be fine, but my aunt and uncle decided to pull the plug on him anyways.

They went back to the house, and one of the housemaids showed my aunt that my grandmother's dead body was foaming at the mouth. My aunt took her scarf, wiped away the foam and kept the scarf there to prevent anyone from seeing the foaming. My mother is a doctor. She explained to me that foaming of the mouth after death is a sign that the deceased was poisoned/medication overdose/etc. My aunt was in charge of distributing my grandmother's medications.

So basically my aunt and uncle killed my grandparents. We also found out at the same time that my aunt and uncle forged their will. They put new text over an old document, and it's also visible that the signatures are not aligned where they should be. My aunt and uncle wrote me out of my grandparents' will so that I would get nothing and they and their kids would get everything.

We're in the process of filing a suit against them. It's difficult because they live in England, my family lives in the US but it deals with Indian law. Also, these are my father's parents and my father is dead, but it's apparently some sort of Indian law that the child of the deceased parents gets everything. So really, 50 percent should go to my uncle and 50 percent should go to me (me because my father is deceased/next of kin type thing)."

A Family Separation

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A Family Separation

"The day my mother died suddenly, I found out that both she and my dad had been married before. On top of this, the 'cousin' that used to come visit us when I was a child was actually my half-sister by my father. She had stopped coming around, but I always liked her and wished she would come back. Sad part is, even my father had lost track of his own daughter (long story involving a marriage and subsequent move and then divorce) and he hadn't able to locate her for years.

But it has a happy ending -- 18 years after my mom's death, my sister contacts me out of the blue, we meet up for a tearful reunion, and shortly afterward, father and daughter were reunited at last. We all love each other dearly and love to get together."

They Never Suspected This
They Never Suspected This

"My Great Uncle Ray and Great Aunt Ann lived in a little house on the outer edge of town. Never had children or pets. Their house was always in some disarray; the roof needed to be repaired or the siding was falling off, etc. When Uncle Ray's truck broke down, he didn't get it fixed, he just rode a bicycle around town. He always wore Levi's blue jeans and a white cotton T-shirt. He would mow lawns for some extra money, and he was a car salesman back in the day.

Ray and Ann passed away three hours apart, in different facilities. Ann first; then Ray.

Since Ray was the last one living, they contacted his next of kin, which was my mom. She got a call from a lawyer and was scared to call him back because she thought they were going to make her pay for the funerals. Lawyer says no, no, you just need to come in and talk to me. Stacks and stacks of CDs and bonds, a laundry basket filled with cash (covered in clothes), cash rolled up under the kitchen sink, some here, some there - multiple bank accounts - ended up being close to $2 million.

The only bill my mom had to pay in Ray's name after he passed was his electric bill for $37."

Intertwining Secrets

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Intertwining Secrets

"My grandfather died when I was a toddler, he had been married three times and had three sets of three children. Approximately 25 years after his death, another child comes forward -- she was put up for adoption. Neither my mother nor the other 8 of her siblings and half-siblings knew anything about her before she found them.

Also, my grandmother (the aforementioned grandfather's wife) had a secret child herself as a teen. Apparently, it was a secret teen pregnancy and she was sent away to have the baby and for it to be put up for adoption. They were in contact, though; there are pictures of them together right up until my grandmother died. Apparently, my grandmother thought the family would never understand.

Also to add to the confusion, my grandfather and grandmother were actually never married -- he did marry the other two women he had children with, but my grandmother just took his name and lived like his wife."

"I Wish I Could Thank Her"

"I grew up thinking my family was well off. I always had brand name clothes and nice holiday presents and my mom drove me to lots of out of town school events without being concerned about gas.

When she died, I learned she had left behind a great deal of credit card debt. We actually weren't doing that great financially, but she wanted so badly for me to fit in, so she gave me everything other kids had, even if she couldn't afford it. I found one of her last journals that said how badly she wanted for me to be accepted. I still wasn't, but I appreciate her effort. I wish I could thank her for trying."

It's Just Tragic
It's Just Tragic

"My maternal great uncle committed suicide while he was still in the army. He had been stationed in Germany for some number of years after fighting in World War II and fought his transfer back to the U.S. really hard. No one ever really knew why. The moment he got back to the States, he put a bullet in his head.

So many, many years later, my mom is conducting some genealogy research and finds a photograph in a big stack of stuff that belonged to him. In the photograph, he is standing with a woman affectionately (arm around the shoulder, smiling) and in front of them is a baby in a carriage.

My great uncle fathered a child with a German woman, and we have no clue who she is. Since he killed himself, we have no correspondence or information other than this singular photograph. It bums me out."

A Dark Past Paid Off
A Dark Past Paid Off

"A couple years ago, my great uncle passed away. When he died, in addition to a mansion in Chicago, he left $15 million for his children to split up ($3 million each).

As it turns out, he used to be only two steps below kingpin of a large Chicago mob. He took some money and left for good after getting shot and realizing that he didn't want his children to grow up without a father."

It's Still A Mystery

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It's Still A Mystery

"My grandpa was like THE MAN in our town. Everyone knew him; he was really well liked and incredibly respected. I think he was actually a baker, but people jokingly called him 'the mayor' because he was just that well connected. Like, if anything went down in town, they called him.

He married my grandma when they were young (late teens/early twenties), and they were the couple everyone loved and wanted to be. Basically, my mom's nuclear family was like 'Leave it to Beaver' or something of that caliber of cheesiness.

Then he died suddenly at 45 of a heart attack. Just dropped dead one August day. The town went into mourning. It was the biggest funeral my mom and grandma had ever seen, and have seen since. It was like a royal affair.

Then when my mom was coming back in the limo from the funeral, she saw some guy run out of their apartment and down the block. My mom was freaked out, partially from burying her father but mainly because of the robber. So she stayed in the limo with my aunt while my grandma checked in on the house. Suddenly, they heard my grandma scream and ran inside.

Apparently, someone broke into their house and tore EVERYTHING apart looking for something. And I mean everything. Like, all the couch cushions were slashed, drawers were pulled open, every box of papers was thrown around and everything turned inside out. Nothing expensive was taken, like no money or jewelry, but the whole apartment was a complete disaster.

Apparently, the only thing stolen was a box my grandpa kept hidden in the kitchen that my mom was told to NEVER open. And I don't think my grandma ever opened it either, or if she did she took that secret to the grave with her. I don't know what was in the box, all I know was it was really important and really secret.

I've never met my grandpa's side of the family. After he died, they cut off all ties with my grandma and left her to raise my mom and aunt all alone. The town stopped caring about them, and my grandma retreated from social life so much that I never would have guessed she was like the First Lady of our town back in the day.

My mom swears that it was my great-uncle (grandpa's brother) who she saw running out of their apartment. My grandma denied that it was him when I asked her about it, but I just think it's weird that they cut off all ties with them after being so cordial for years RIGHT after my grandpa died and someone broke into their apartment.

I have legit no idea what was in that box or what that final secret was but whatever it was, it had to have been something monumental.

I don't think my mom has ever fully come to terms with this whole fiasco. I know she used to idolize her dad growing up, but now she never talks about him. Like, I've only heard stories about him from my grandma/aunt, never from her. She's only told me this story once, and anytime I ask her about it to find out more, she changes the topic instantly.

I'm named after my grandpa, and I still have no idea who or what he did or even what kind of person he was. This story has always been one of the most unsettling family secrets, because I'm either named after the unofficial king of our town or some kind of monster, or maybe both."

He Was Obviously Important
He Was Obviously Important

"After my husband's grandmother passed away in January, they found a photo from the 1940s of a handsome man in uniform amongst her things: the back read something along the lines of, 'With my deepest love and devotion, Terry.' But it wasn't her husband (who she was married to during the war) and no one had ever heard her mention him before. He must've meant something to her, to hold on to that photo for 70-plus years."

A Surprising, And Strange, Lie
A Surprising, And Strange, Lie

"My grandfather was a great guy, who was also kind of crotchety. He died on December 30th. For as long as I knew him, his birthday was December 31st. We all wished he lived one day longer to see his next birthday, or at least die on his birthday like Shakespeare (because that's poetic).

When we were cleaning out his stuff we found his birth certificate. Low and behold he was born on December 30th. He hated parties so much that he always lied about when his birthday was so that he only had to celebrate one. My mom even thought his birthday was December 31st. He lied to his own children. But at least he died on his birthday, like Shakespeare."

He Didn't Know His Friend At All

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He Didn't Know His Friend At All

"My brother's best friend was his business partner. His friend died in his sleep, most likely related to illegal substances. My brother was the one to clean up his stuff and help out the family.

My brother found out the friend was embezzling company funds for his addiction and that he was going to use company opportunities to sell. On company hardware, he left evidence that he was a sadist and was plotting to do a lot of harm with any measurable success the company had. There were videos of him abusing corner workers and texts of how he intended to screw over everyone in his path, including my brother. I brought home some testing hardware that was no longer going to be used and it turned out to have lots of sensitive, explicit pictures.

My brother helped with the memorial and press, never letting on what he learned. Of course, he never would, but knowing what he learned and seeing him move past this was commendable."

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"He Was A Tortured Soul"

"My ex-boyfriend (we stayed very much in touch) passed away less than a year after we broke up. He was going through a divorce and had two children when we dated. I connected with some of his lifelong friends after his passing and learned quite a few things about him.

From patchy comments and stories he would never fully elaborate on, we pieced together a history of terrible abuse by his father from a very young age.

I also learned that he was essentially entrapped by his wife. He had been friends with her as a teenager (he was 40 when he passed) and she was obsessed with him. She got pregnant with their first child because she stopped taking her birth control, and she convinced him to marry her. From what his best friends say, he never really loved her.

But when we dated, he told his friends all about me. Throughout him begging me to go out with him, through our on-again, off-again relationship, he was totally smitten with me. Even at his memorial service, his wife said he would have done anything to be with me. His father introduced me as his true love. He always told me 'you don't understand.' I've never felt as completely loved by anyone before or since him.

But honestly, I hope he gets some peace now. He was truly a tortured soul and did any kind of substance to dull the pain. Even though his two wonderful children are without their father, they have an amazing mother to love and support them, and they don't have to go through the constant tumult of his life. Still, I miss him."

What They Found Shocked Them

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What They Found Shocked Them

"My grandmother died rather quickly. She got sick with pneumonia between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she passed away just before Valentines Day. It was very tough on my grandfather especially as they'd been married for over 40 years and both of them had led exciting lives together. It was several years before my grandfather packed her clothes and belongings away, and naturally, he asked for his kids (my mom and uncles) to help because it was so tough.

When they checked her coat for anything that may need to be packed separately, they found dozens of horse racing betting slips. In fact, it was hundreds of dollars worth of bets, all of them relatively recent to her death. Her purse also contained as many, if not more, betting slips. What was even more interesting was that she was REALLY good at it. As in, she was going to the track and coming back hundreds of dollars richer.

My grandfather said he knew she liked to go to the horse races and knew she occasionally gambled but had no idea that she was as good at it as she was. We all laughed about it because, frankly, it was just one facet of a very amazing and accomplished woman."

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"They Were Surprised I Didn't Know"

"Shortly after my mom passed away, I overheard my older sisters talking about how my oldest brother (the oldest sibling) was not my dad's son. It turns out that my dad had married my mom when she was pregnant by someone else. No one knows who the someone else was.

My sisters were talking about it more openly since my dad had passed years earlier and my brother is MIA from the Vietnam War. When I expressed my shock to them, they were actually surprised I didn't know."

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