Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Something wicked this way comes …


There’s a website that will find anybody you want to find, but, unlike most of the ones that do that, this one doesn’t make you pay for the information. It’s all there, and it’s free. The outfit claims to exist to help people fill in their family trees, but you can think of all kinds of ways to abuse it.

Here’s a link where you can opt out of it so nobody can look you up. I did, and my name disappeared within 24 hours.

Sometimes I indulge in checking up on different people, such as old friends and distant family members (oh, and various Nostalgia Girls too …), but I also looked myself up on this database and learned that they had pretty much every address I’ve ever lived at, not to mention other names associated with mine. Like my ex-wife’s. There was an amusing smear of my name and my current wife’s name, a hybrid chap who sometimes gets mail at our house.

But the entry that really made the hair stand up on the back of my neck was that of a person I will not name. This is a person who has loomed like Cruella DeVil in my life, and for many a year now I’ve been content to understand that he/she has been exiled to a distant place, unable to darken my door or stumble across my path as I wheel a wobbly cart down the aisle of, say, a local Target store. I had cast this person away from me as an act of emancipation and payback, a better way of saying, “You suck!” An act of defiance and self-reclamation. The last time I ever spoke to him/her, it was all I could do not to tear him/her a new one.

What do you suppose the database told me?

Yes. It told me that he/she — my Moriarty — now lives within twenty miles of me!

Via a snaking trail of residences over the past ten years, slithering through at least four different states, this person has homed in on my little sanctuary and is edging ever closer. In fact, before I even knew this, I thought I saw him/her on the street in a nearby town, but I told myself, “No. Couldn’t be. He/she is exiled in a cold, distant place. In fact, he/she is probably dead by now!”

No such luck. The creature lives.

Ignorance is bliss, my friends. Take my advice and steer clear of ancestry databases and free lookups. Opt out of this one before it’s too late.

And be sure to watch your back because the past is never far behind, and it’s gaining on you!

16 comments on “Something wicked this way comes …

  1. kingmidget
    January 17, 2017

    Yeah. I think we read the same article in the Bee, so I checked the website out. Interestingly, almost all of the people it listed who might be connected to me were not and it didn’t list any of my siblings or my parents and neither of my kids. But, yes, it had all of my addresses since I moved out of the family home, except for one.

    The thing that concerns me is that because of my job I have to send letters to prisoners telling them we’ve got nothing to do with their confinement, sentencing, etc. One of those prisoners sued me. I’ve now started just signing the letters “Legal Office” but still, it’s not difficult to figure out who I am if they wanted to … and with this website, they have my home address. Just not good. Not good at all.

    Sorry to hear your Moriarty is so near. I have a psycho ex-girlfriend who I hope to never, ever see again. If I knew she was so nearby … ugh.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 17, 2017

      I hope you opted out! Yes, the Bee article did talk about a prosecutor with a similar problem, so be careful.

      It’s true that all that info is out there, for a relatively small price, but I guess the danger here is that it’s so easy to grab.

      Tough keeping those psycho exes at bay!

      • kingmidget
        January 17, 2017

        Looked up the psycho ex. She lives about 20 minutes from my sister. Guess I won’t be visiting that sister again.

      • Kevin Brennan
        January 17, 2017

        Oh jeez … 😐

      • kingmidget
        January 17, 2017

        By the way, that prisoner who sued me? I googled him at one point and determined that whatever it is that he did resulted in him receiving a sentence that guaranteed he would never (NEVER) get out of prison. As in a life term or two. But, you know, he has friends and family out there. Doesn’t matter if he never gets out of prison.

        The availability of this information is just so distressing.

  2. pinklightsabre
    January 17, 2017

    I have to be in the mood to acknowledge this level of reality, but I should put myself there. Sorry to hear your Moriarty is within 20 miles of you though, that sucks: but now you know, there’s a lot to that. Bill

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 17, 2017

      Now I’ll never know if it’s better to remain in the dark. Unless there’s something else bearing down on me I can’t detect yet … Scary stuff!

  3. The Opening Sentence
    January 17, 2017

    Phew, it’s a US site so us Brits are safe for now. But give it time…

  4. islandeditions
    January 17, 2017

    Now that right there is the perfect premise for a novel!

  5. Carrie Rubin
    January 17, 2017

    Good info. Thanks so much for passing it on.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 17, 2017

      Just another service we provide here at What The Hell! 😉

  6. S.K. Nicholls
    January 17, 2017

    Yikes! I find it harder to look up past women in my history than men. So many name changes. And so many were wards of the state…lol

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 17, 2017

      Tricky business. I wish I’d never found that site!

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