Real Name: William Louis "Bill" and Dorothy Jean Wacker
Date: 1984 to November 1993
Location: Stark County, Ohio
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: Bill and Dorothy Wacker live in a small town in Stark County, Ohio in the same house they have lived in for most of their 48 years of marriage. Despite being quiet, unassuming people, they've been subject to a campaign of harassment which began in 1984. On January 16, 1985, their home was ransacked. Though this had happened twice before, Bill informed the sheriff this time.
In July, Dorothy was home alone, recovering from heart surgery, when she heard a knock on the door. She didn't recognize the visitor but allowed him in to use her phone, as he told her that his car broke down somewhere down the road where she couldn't see it. After making the call and saying goodbye, she believed he had left. However, he was actually still in the house and managed to sneak up behind her and knock her out with a blow to the head. She woke up bound and gagged on the kitchen floor. She managed to crawl to an open window and alert her neighbors, who called emergency services.
Dorothy was not seriously injured from the ordeal, but Bill returned home to find some possessions stolen: a .22 caliber revolver, an antique watch, a video camera, and a radio scanner. In the dining room, the message "cheaper, but will do" was scrawled in crayon on the wall. About four months after the assault, Bill found the revolver on the front porch, wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. Over time, the other three objects were quietly returned as well.
The harasser began calling the Wackers, sometimes threatening them with violence and sometimes simply breathing deeply. Changing their phone number several times failed to make the calls stop. The harassment began to escalate. Occasionally after dark, they would hear a series of banging on the side of their house, though they never saw or heard anything unusual when they'd check outside.
Eventually, the Wackers put up a security light but later found a note on their front porch saying, "Your lights are a laugh." Periodically, notes began appearing on the front porch, threatening and mocking them. Police noted that the uneven, jagged style of the writing appeared to be due to someone using their non dominant hand to write, as if to conceal their handwriting style. No fingerprints have ever been found on the notes.
On the night of October 27, 1993, another attack on Dorothy sent her to the hospital with skull lacerations. Police searched the neighborhood and questioned residences but failed to find any clues or witnesses.
In November 1993, the Wackers staked out their own home, splitting into three groups and keeping in touch with two-way radios. Bill hid in a trailer on the driveway, two of their sons-in-law watched from a van across the street, and Dorothy and her daughter, Cathy, stayed in the house. After four hours of waiting, they decided to call it off at around 10:30pm. However, they then heard thumping sounds on the porch, where they found nothing but a note saying, "get the message." The intruder had somehow found a blind spot in the stakeout.
Suspects: The harasser has never been seen and the police have no leads on who he or she may be, though it's possible a neighbor, "friend," or family member is the cause, given the degree of knowledge of the Wackers that they have. The man who first assaulted Dorothy and stole the objects from their house has never been caught or identified. In 1985, he was in his mid-20's, was about 5' 9" tall, and had blond hair and blue eyes.
After the second attack on Dorothy, police began to suspect Bill for the harassment, but they both denied this as a possibility.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 25, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, Bill died in 1999 at age 79. It is not known if the harassment continued after his death. Dorothy died on July 22, 2010 at age 83.
- An Elderly Couple was Harassed for Years by a Mysterious Man
- Sitcoms Online Discussion on the Wackers
- Dorothy Wacker's obituary
- Bill and Dorothy Wacker on Find a Grave