The most common home owners names and how they fell apart
— It was the end of the world.
The wind had stopped, and the snow melted.
The windows were rolled up.
The sun had just been gone.
The owner of a home in suburban Boston was on the phone with her husband, who had just bought the house.
They were on the second floor and had just gotten to the top of a balcony.
“We just heard this noise,” she said.
“It sounded like a huge, heavy door slamming.”
Then, suddenly, it was gone.
“I just froze,” she recalled.
A house full of people were moving in.
The roof was falling off.
And it was going to be a long night.
“It was like a movie,” she added.
“There was a sense of dread and terror.
I didn’t know what was going on.”
For two years, that fear has been haunting Jennifer Smith.
The mother of four has lived in the same home for about six years, living in a one-bedroom apartment with her boyfriend and a friend.
The most common names of the owners in the Boston neighborhood she’s moved into are Terry, Steve, Robert and Larry.
All three lived there for about 10 years, Smith said.
But this time, she had to move because her landlord, who she was sharing the living space with, had left.
“I’ve been living in this house for almost four years,” Smith said, recalling how the neighborhood has changed over the years.
“Now, the houses are just so different.
It’s a big house with no windows.”
In the winter months, she said, the front porch of the one-room apartment on the third floor would swing open and people would come in, grab a coffee, and then leave.
But in the summer, it would swing shut and people had to wait outside.
“Every once in a while, you could see somebody on the balcony and see their phone and their keys,” Smith explained.
“You could tell somebody was in there.
It was scary.”
Smith said she started hearing rumors about the owners.
She found the owners on Facebook and then posted a warning on their Facebook page.
“This guy has been here for two years,” she wrote.
“If you hear anyone in the neighborhood calling out his name, call 911 immediately.
The owner’s name is Terry, and he is not a nice guy.”
Smith contacted the owners via Facebook.
They replied that the owner had left and that the neighbors were worried.
But the owners did not provide any information about where the owner’s wife was.
Smith said the owners seemed to have a pattern of leaving their property empty and their house in disrepair.
She said she had not seen the owner or the wife in about five years.
Smith contacted local police and asked them to go check out the house and its occupants.
She posted a photo of the house on Facebook with the caption: “It was empty and in disarray, and I was scared to death.”
“I thought I’d heard this before,” she continued.
“They were always kind of on the run.
I had no idea what was happening.”
Smith reported the house to police, but they were reluctant to investigate.
“What if this guy was hiding in a house on the street?” she asked.
“Are we going to take a chance on him?”
In March, Smith contacted the state Department of Buildings, which said the owner was a “permanent resident” and had not been in Boston for more than two years.
She was told to vacate and contact police if she didn’t leave.
Smith and her husband have lived in their home for a decade.
She has had trouble sleeping, her stomach has hurt and her skin is very pale.
But she said she is grateful to her neighbors for helping keep her house in order.
“This house is beautiful,” she concluded.
“So beautiful, in fact, I think we have to look at ourselves.”
This story has been corrected to show the owner is a permanent resident and not a temporary resident.