Sommereleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
So here’s a little tidbit to add to my bio below—I have tenants. Or my parents have tenants to be more precise, but it still counts. And while they’re all lovely people, we’ve had our share of odd ducks over the years. For example we had a guy who was secretly breeding guinea pigs and rabbits in his apartment. Long story short there was a period of about three months after he was evicted where the little furry buggers could be seen running across the streets from one neighbour’s yard to another. Annoying yes, but thankfully none of our tenants past or present come close to being the monsters talked about in the Netflix docuseries Worst Roommate Ever.
A serial killing grandma, a romantically obsessed roommate, a country hopping conman and a serial squatter make up the four stories covered and recounted by the people who had to live through the worst moments of their lives. One of the reasons I enjoy horror movies is I know they aren’t real. But these people not only had to face their own real life monsters, they had to live with them!
While each and every one of these stories could make for their very own full length feature, the ones that bookended the docu-series were the most compelling. Episode 1 “Call Me Grandma” recounts the story of a woman called Dorothea Puente who ran a boarding house for those less fortunate. Not only does she have the most grandmotherly name ever but she also looked the part, gave to charity and was considered to be kind and generous by her neighbours. I think you know where I’m going with this. Turns out “Grandma” was a lot younger than she made herself out to be and she also had a nasty habit of poisoning her tenants, burying them in her backyard and cashing their social security checks. Puente was eventually convicted for three of the nine murders she’s believed to have committed. It goes without saying, never judge a book by its cover, or in this case a woman who insists you call her Grandma.
The last story covers our “serial squatter” and was so massive it took two episodes (three and four) to cover this man’s insanity. Jamison Bachman used his good looks and his charms to talk his way into convincing people (usually women) into taking him in as a tenant/roommate. When the time came to pay the rent though, Bachman would pull a Jekyll and Hyde. Not only would he refuse to pay but he would take their furniture as his own, eat their food and proclaim, “This is my house now”.
As someone who studied law (he never passed the bar) he knew the tenancy laws of his state and made the lives of his victims a literal nightmare because they couldn’t legally get him out. In one case he even took out a restraining order on the home’s owner and lied to the police about an alleged assault, which led to the poor woman being told to stay out of her own home! Situations such as these always escalate (this one ended in murder) and listening to these survivors talk about the lasting damage Bachman did to their lives shook me to the bone. And it made me not only appreciate the fact my parents have never had to deal with this type of monster but now I’m seriously considering showing this series to my Mom and insist she gets at least a dozen references before renting to anyone.
Worst Roommate Ever proves once again that the scariest stories tend to be the true ones and maybe a background check or two, or maybe ten is warranted when you’re considering opening your home to a virtual stranger.
Sommer’s Score: 7 out of 10
And you can check out more great Netflix docu-series content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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