Worst Roommate Ever
I recently read the story of the Worst Roommate ever. Bad roommates are late on rent. They don’t flush the toilet. They make noise and fight over the thermostat setting. But this roommate takes conflict to a whole new level. Here’s the story:
Back in 2017, Alex Miller posted an add for a roommate on Craig’s List. She had a spare bedroom and needed some extra money. She received an offer from a man who identified himself as Jed Creek, a lawyer from New York moving there to take care of a sick brother and aging mother.
He explained how he made a living “doing litigation” and tutoring students online; he required nothing more than a quiet room and a fast internet connection. They met and he charmed her into letting him rent the room on the spot. He wrote her an $800 check and it cleared the next day.
Initially, she was impressed. He was clean, well-dressed, well-mannered, and respectable. He seemed well-educated, thoughtful, and responsible. He showed up that evening and they hit it off—for exactly 11 days. When Miller showed him the utility bill and asked him to pay half, $140. He refused. Things went downhill from there.
One evening, Alex returned home to find her 6 chairs missing from the kitchen table. She knocked on Creek’s door and when he opened it, she saw that he had fashioned them into a makeshift work desk. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he said. “You don’t need all 6.”
She explained his odd behavior to her mother, who got to work on Google searching him out. Turns out, Jed Creek was actually Jamison Bachman, a serial squatter. And this wasn’t his first rodeo. But it would be his last...He messed with the wrong people.
Jamison had a rap sheet a mile long when it came to upsetting roommates and taking over their homes. He would manipulate his way in by giving a false identity, then elicit pity by claiming some family emergency or life-crisis had put him on the streets. He would capitalize on people’s pity, gain their trust, then set the hook
Jamison graduated from Miami with a law degree. He specialized in real estate and rental laws. He knew the game and played it well. He knew that, once you received mail at an address with your name on it, you had rights. You could stay unhindered. And Jamison Bachman had—at several residents.
Time and again, Bachman’s roommates were informed that some minor discomfort they’d inflicted upon him (a dirty living room, a dish left in the sink) had voided their lease—and that he wouldn’t be paying his rent. He used legal sounding words to threaten and intimidate them.
But free rent was not his end game. He seemed to relish the anguish of those who had taken him in. He enjoyed terrifying them in their home and watching them agonize as he displaced them. Previous roommates agreed: what Bachman craved was a fight. He appeared to function at all times as if he were “at war.”
He would grow aggressive. Sinister. Menacing. He physically assaulted a few previous homeowners who tried to kick him out.
One roommate tearfully tried to negotiate a peaceful exit, even offering his money back and promising to help him find a new place to stay. Bachman laughed, then pretended to comfort her, saying, ‘You’ve got your whole life in front of you. You’re pretty. You’re talented, and you’ve got this house — well, you don’t have this house anymore. This house is mine now.’
Jamison life came to a tragic ending. He ended up assaulting Alex with a knife after she threw a send-off party for him. She invited 12 of her friends over—including her mother. They played loud rap music, blew smoke under his door, and disrupted his on-line evening tutoring session, giving him a taste of his own medicine.
Alex went all out for this party. She printed pictures of previous renters he’d terrorized and hung their faces on the bathroom mirror they shared. She called him by his real name out loud. She wanted him to know that she was on to him. She knew who he was, what he was like, and what he was doing. She was taking her house back.
After the assault, Bachman was arrested. From there is gets complicated, but ultimately, after several failed attempts at manipulation Jamison took his own life in jail.
Sound like the worst roommate ever? If you’re a Christian, you actually have a worse roommate than Alex: a serial squatter named sin. But he’s not planning to go away. The Apostle Paul tells us all about this perplexing, deceptive roommate in Romans 7.
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? —Romans 7:15–24
Have you felt this roommates presence? Have you experienced sin’s manipulation, deception, and torment? Perhaps the biggest question of all is this: what are you going to do about it? Paul presents the need for three things in this passage.
The need for wisdom, the need for watchfulness, and the need for warfare. We’ll take a look at that next time.