Sometimes, we don’t know who the people close to us really are.
In 2000, my dad, Aquiles, was working as an orthodontist in Chiapas, Mexico with my aunt Lucy. She wanted to improve her English, so she took weekly classes from an American guy named Charlie, or at least that’s what they thought his name was.
As time went by, my dad and Charlie became very close.Charlie was charismatic and the two shared similar ways of seeing life. “Everyone liked him, he was a very good English teacher and tennis coach, and he had an athletic body.” My dad says. They also shared interests in things not many people talk about like Mayan culture, aliens, and life after death.
Even after being friends for a while, Aquiles never noticed anything weird about him, with the exception of Charlie’s obsession with finding a cure for mortality, which according to Charlie, could be found in gold. Since my father was working in Mexico as a dentist, he had gold in his clinic which was used for making tooth crowns, so Charlie asked my father multiple questions about the metal. My father found it a little odd, but other than that, Charlie seemed to him like a completely normal person just like you and me.
Even though they had a nice friendship and continued to talk about everything, my dad started feeling like Charlie was maybe too passionate about things. “He had a very strong personality, and at some point, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I won’t go deeper into things with him,” said my father.
“I will always remember him as a friend. He gave me something positive in my life.”
Aquiles said that he could tell Charlie loved his kids very much, especially his daughter. Charlie was also married to Laura Padilla, who authorities later thought had been kidnapped by him and suffered from Stockholm syndrome after nine years of being together. Her family was afraid that she was in danger since Charlie’s previous partner disappeared mysteriously after wanting to break up with him. Three years later her remains were found on a roadside in Alaska. “After killing his previous partner, Charlie moved to another city in the U.S., and then came to Guadalajara, Mexico, and killed another woman.” My father says. “People say he was very jealous, that he wanted to keep his wife at home away from society.”
Sadly, on Oct. 18, 2006, Charlie’s neighbours complained about a bad smell coming from his house. When the police showed up, they found the dead bodies of his two children and wife who had been dead for several days murdered by Charlie. A few days later, the police found Charlie’s dead body in a hotel in Guatemala, near the Mexican border, as he had killed himself. My father says, “The FBI later found out Charlie’s real name was ‘John Addis,’ but he changed his name several times when he moved to different places.” Even though the FBI confirmed the body belonged to him, there are still some people that think he faked his death, changed his identity again, and moved to Guatemala.
“I have told this story multiple times, but I remember him with a good feeling. Besides the whole story, I still have very nice memories with him and I remember him with love,” my father says. “When I remember what happened, it doesn’t freak me out, or gives me trust issues when meeting new people. Even though I can’t believe what happened, I still love my friend.”
Photo from Paulette Brinidis