You may have seen a vague mention of this on the news a few years ago, or stumbled upon rumors of this on the internet like I did. I searched for a copy of Lacey Stroh's final post, but I couldn't find the post anywhere. Facebook took it down within a few days, so I've been told. Most people don't believe this really happened, and the family members and friends who received this post aren't speaking.
Well, most of them aren't anyways. After contacting many of the 172 people who were Facebook friends with Lacey, I finally found someone who saved the post, and was willing to share it with me. Call me a sick bastard if you want, but I feel people should read this. There's a lesson in this sad tale, and that's why I'm sharing it. The following are the final words of Lacey Stroh. Believe it or don't. I leave it for you to decide.
You never really know what you're capable of until you are in the thick of it. Whether or not to rush into a burning building, step in front of a bullet, or even take on an armed assailant isn't something you decide to do. No, you just do it or you don't. There often isn't time to weigh the pros and cons. Public opinion will decide whether it's brave or stupid based on the outcome.
I prefer to believe that most people are cowards, or to put it a better way, realistic. Self preservation is deeply embedded in our instincts, is it not? I feel this way, because I am a coward, the worst kind. I deceived another person so that I could survive. Hold your judgment until the end of my story. Not that I care what you or anyone for that matter thinks. No, I'm not telling my story to gain sympathy, or to alleviate my guilt. I'm just tired of holding it in. I'm fatigued by all the people who think I'm so strong. I'm just so sick of everyone thinking I was the lucky one for surviving.
I'm not the lucky one, those who perished are. This isn't a story about cannibalism in some sort of survival situation. God, if only it had gone down like that. I think I could live with that. People looking at me, knowing that I had consumed human flesh. Yes, I could almost certainly handle that. It's so much better than what I did to my best friend. Most of you know Cindy and I have been inseparable since a very young age.
We were as close as sisters. We did everything together. Hell, we married brothers, so we were going to be by each other's side for our entire lives. That was until Jerry bought that stupid boat. If we'd just stayed on land and had barbecues, camped out, gone to concerts, or done a million other things with our free time Cindy, Mike, and Jerry would still be alive. I wouldn't be sitting in my room with a noose hanging from my ceiling.
Oh, don't bother calling 911, or try to reach me on the phone. It will be too late. When my story is done, I'm going to press enter, and then do the old gag and dangle. You know, it's kind of funny. You all think I'm some sort of hero. I'm a survivor, right? I faced insurmountable odds, and I persevered. It's time you all knew the truth. I'm a murderer, and my weapon of choice was deception.
There Cindy and I were adrift at sea. We had both just lost our husbands, and we were both almost certainly going to die as well. We only had a few days worth of food, a flare gun with only one shot, and a desalinator. Looking back on it all, I think I decided almost immediately that she had to go. My plan was formulated during our first night in the life raft, and once the initial shock had worn off I put it into action.
Our food wasn't going to last long, and I didn't know how much water the desalinator could clean in a day. I just knew it would go a lot further if she was gone. Well, you know she was found with me on the life raft when I was rescued, so how did I kill her? Maybe I wouldn't be so racked with guilt if I had just whacked her with an oar, and let her drown. That's awful enough, but what I did was far worse. What I did was evil.
We were both so distraught with grief. Jerry, and Mike went under when the boat did, and never resurfaced. Jerry deployed the life raft, and Mike gathered what supplies he could grab, but neither of them made it off the boat. Mike went down in the hold for more supplies, and never returned. Jerry went to see what was taking him so long, and then suddenly the sea just swallowed the boat. It was there one moment, and the next all that was left was some debris, and a bubbling froth where the boat had been.
Some of you might say that it just doesn't work like that, but that's what happened. It was there, and then it wasn't. I'll admit I had my hands full keeping Cindy calm. She had been slicing a lime for our drinks when we hit something, I guess. It happened so fast that I don't really know what stopped the boat, but it was made immediately clear that the boat was sinking. Jerry inflated the life raft and ushered us onto it. Mike went back into the hold, and Cindy just lost it. She somehow still had the knife in her hand. She was struggling to get back onto the boat, and I was so worried she'd puncture our only chance at survival. If only I had just used the knife on her then, she wouldn't have had to suffer like she did.
We screamed, and yelled; we hoped, and we waited for them to resurface, but they never did. Cindy was inconsolable. We clung to one another all through the night, and I'll admit that her show of weakness sickened me. It was then that I decided she had to go. Cindy wasn't a survivor. She didn't have what it takes, and I wasn't going to let her pull me down with her. I decided then and there that her ignorance, and blind trust was how I was going to get rid of her.
I supported Jerry when he first talked about learning to sail, and I was there for all the research, and classes. The two of us became pretty competent sailors, but we just didn't have the experience. I researched online and learned about desalination. Jerry thought it was a waste of money, but one of my stipulations for allowing him to get a sailboat in the first place was that we had the latest and best in survival equipment.
Cindy didn't know how to use the desalinator, so it was up to me, and that was how I did it. Oh, she complained about the water tasting so salty, but I assured her that the salt had been drawn out of it. I pretended that my ration tasted awful as well. She never once considered that I, her best friend, would give her straight sea water. You see, most people know not to drink seawater, but how many of you really understand why you shouldn't?
I knew it dehydrated you faster, but I didn't think about all the side effects. God, maybe if I had known; no, I probably would have done it anyway. The sooner she was gone, the better chance I had of being rescued. What haunts me the most is that I had plenty of ways to do away with her, but I chose to watch her slowly fade away, languishing in delirium and pain rather than let her know I wanted her dead. I forgot how allowing shame to influence one's actions only brings about a much greater shame.
I love Cindy with all my heart, but it seems I love myself more. Go ahead, tell me I wasn't in my right mind. Tell me I shouldn't blame myself for wanting to survive, and doing whatever was necessary to do so. Tell me you would have done the same thing. You can fool yourself, but you can't fool me. Besides, none of you really believe any of that. I am evil, and if I had it to do over again I know I would. I'd feed her poison day after day, and console her with overwhelmingly positive stories of people who survived much worse scenarios than ours.
I even told her on her last day alive that I saw a ship in the distance, and we were saved. I don't know why I lied, but she was too far gone to understand what I said or to even care. Her last words were garbled and incomprehensible. I'm so sorry, Cindy. I love you, you're my sister. I never put much thought in the afterlife, but it has to be real. I have to find you. I need to tell you how much I love you, and I will never leave your side again.
You have to be out there somewhere, you just have to. I'm coming for you, Cindy. I'm so sorry. I'm so very sorry.
Lacey Stroh's final words haunt me. We may be social animals, but our minds are solitary creatures armed with razor sharp instincts that only care about the preservation of self. Ask yourself what you would have done in her position. If you're really honest with yourself then maybe I won't be the only one that doesn't sleep well anymore.
Written by Kolpik