Remember that time an alleged murderer was stopped by Mattapoisett Police after they noticed he was wandering along the side of Route 6, in a sweatshirt covered in red and brown stains?  First time you're hearing this, you say?  Well, let's take a trip back to 2005...

It's hard to remember a world when people didn't get their news — fact-checked or otherwise — from social media. In fact, even the most bizarre of stories (like this one) had only five minutes of fame on the nightly local news.

When asked, no one could recall this story at all, whatsoever. Yet had this wild story happened today, not only would every person on the SouthCoast know about it, but everyone would have already identified all of the people he hitched a ride with, who at Customs let him pass, and every single one of his family members. He would have instantly become Facebook Famous.

Here's the short version of this story, based on information put out by the Associated Press on June 7, 2005:

April 25th: Gregorgy Despres, age 22, hitchhiked to the U.S.-Canadian border carrying weapons, including a hatchet, knife, brass knuckles, a homemade sword and a chain saw stained with "what appeared to be" blood. U.S Customs Agents confiscated said weapons, fingerprinted him and then let him continue into the U.S.

April 26th:  Despres' neighbors (in Minto, New Brunswick) were discovered murdered in their home; the wife stabbed to death in a bedroom and the husband decapitated. His head in a pillow case under the table. Due to a violent history with his neighbors, Despres became an instant suspect.

April 27th:  Mattapoisett Police saw a man "wandering" down a portion of Route 6. Wearing a sweatshirt stained with red and brown spots, Despres was detained on an outstanding warrant stemming from a 2004 incident. Despres said he was on his way to a Marine Corps base in Kansas at the time he was picked up in Mattapoisett.

The rest of this bizarre story is history. If you're wondering why a man with a bag full of weapons was still allowed into the United States and free to roam around our sleepy little town, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection noted, “Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up. ... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations.”

Hmm...wonder what other strange news you missed in the days before Facebook?

Maybe it's better that we don't know.

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