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The new Netflix series “Worse Roommate Ever” features the case of Jamison Bachman in the final two episodes. Bachman, a smart would-be-lawyer, conned people into allowing him to live with them and then he would refuse to leave, using his knowledge of tenancy law to make their lives miserable. So what exactly led him down a path of violence and tormenting others?
As a young man, Bachman witnessed a particularly violent murder, and some believe the trauma affected him for the rest of his life.
The Shreveport Times reported at the time that, on a Saturday evening in January 1976 in New Orleans, several members of the Sigma Chi fraternity were eating dinner in their dining room on Tulane’s fraternity row.
Bachman, a student at the time, was at the frat house eating dinner with one of his high school friends, Ken Gutzeit, when a man suddenly came in and violently stabbed Gutzeit in front of everyone, leaving a bloody scene.
The Shreveport Times reported that 25 students had gathered at the house, where Gutzeit was stabbed by Randell Vidrine, 25, leaving Gutzeit staggering on the porch where his fraternity brothers attempted to stop the blood. The local coroner confirmed that Gutzeit was stabbed in the side of his neck, severing his carotid artery.
The fight began over rules regarding eating in the Tulane Library — where Vidrine, a part-time student, worked as an assistant.
The long-standing feud between the two had started when Gutzeit entered the Tulane library, just a few months prior, eating a back of cheese snacks when Vidrine asked him to either stop eating or leave the building. When Gutzeit came in eating for the second time, he refused to leave and Vidrine called the campus police to remove Gutzeit.
That evening in January, as Vidrine was heading back to his apartment, he passed the frat house where he saw Gutzeit — Gutzeit noticed Vidrine and tried to provoke a fight, according to The Times article. Vidrine arrived at his apartment and grabbed a jackknife that he put in his pocket. En route to the library, he passed the frat house again where he then attacked Gutzeit and left him bleeding to death on the house porch.
According to Bachman’s childhood friend, Bob F who appears in "The Worst Roommate Ever", Bachman had a seemingly bright future of him in his early adult life. “He was smart. He was charming. He was good-looking,” he recalls. But after being at Tulane for a brief time, Bachman's attitude soured.
Bachman, who embellished parts of the story when he recalled witnessing the incident, said to Bob F. that someone had come out of the kitchen with a meat cleaver that night. Bachman specifically mentioned that his friend was “decapitated.” Bob F. attributed this life-changing event to Bachman’s transformation into a dark and paranoid individual, but he admits in the series that this trauma did not justify Bachman’s behavior.
Bachman went on to be a serial squatter, tormenting roommates for years, conning them, and not paying bills. Being well versed in the legal protections of tenants, he found ways to stay, refusing to leave and terrorizing people in their own homes. He became violent with his roommates and eventually murdered his own brother.
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