Another live-in was Larry. Larry was a nice enough guy. Older man, dressed nicely, would bring me tiramisu some days. I used to sit and drink coffee with him at the end of my shifts, when he was just getting up for the day.

Larry was a veteran (he was always making a big deal of showing off his purple hearts, military ID, discharge papers, etc. To just about anyone. Odd, but harmless). He drove a nice late model Ford pickup, and was always bringing his grandkids by. Nice kids. A boy and girl, aged seven and nine. I’d give them free snacks out of the breakroom vending machine (I had the key), and, with Larry, they’d come down and watch Disney movies on the DVD player in the office.

Twice a week, Larry would buy up tons of steak, and fire up the grill in the courtyard, inviting anyone who cared to to come down for an impromptu party. The grandkids would chase each other through the sprinklers, and Larry would watch, laughing and grinning proudly, in his kindly, grandfatherly way.

Then, one day, Larry was gone. His truck remained outside in its usual space. We held on to Larry’s belongings for the legally-required 30 days, before tossing some, and donating the rest to Goodwill.

Months passed. Larry’s truck remained untouched, but Larry and the grandkids never came back.

One day, I was returning from the library, when I saw a woman in a pantsuit and two uniformed police officers examining the truck. I ran up, and asked what was going on, and if something had happened to Larry.

The officers exchanged glances, and told me the situation.

The woman was from a rental car company. The truck had been rented by a man named Larry three years prior, at one of their branches in Arizona. Three weeks later, Larry had been found dead in a parking lot, stabbed multiple times. They held up a photo of an elderly black man, who they identified as Larry.

The Larry I had known was white.

They then showed me two more photos. Larry’s grandkids. They said they didn’t know who they were, but that they had linked them to “Larry” through a series of videos they had come into posession of when they busted some people who downloaded kiddie porn. They asked to see the room Larry had stayed in. One look told them enough. Many of the videos had been filmed in that room.

“Larry” had killed a man for his truck, stolen his medals, adopted his identity, and was using both to hop from state to state, hotel to hotel, filming child pornography.

I never found out what happened to the kids. They’d be grown by now. I hope they’re okay.

After that, I stopped making friends with the guests.