From serial killers to con men, doc reveals worst roommates ever



And you thought your roommate was bad.

The new Netflix docuseries “Worst Roommate Ever,” out Tuesday, March 1, covers much more than just bad roomies who blast loud music at odd hours or neglect their share of the household chores. From a granny-type who is actually a serial killer to a violent alleged con man who attacked his housemate and left her for dead wrapped in a tarp on a construction site, the show’s dark, disturbing stories will give you a greater appreciation for roomies who commit no greater crime than being sloppy. Have a look.

The serial-killer granny

In 1988, when Judy, a now-retired social worker, was helping Alvaro “Bert” Gonzales Montoya, a man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, find a home in Sacramento, California, she came upon a boarding house run by Dorothea Puente. 

Dorothea Puente, who died in 2011, was a serial killer who looked like a grandmother and was a pillar of her community in 1988. Sacramento Bee“She seemed so sweet. She had a box of kittens, and she had little bottles of milk that she was feeding them,” Judy says in the documentary. “We were impressed, we were thinking, ‘She is nice.’ ” Puente told Judy that she was independently wealthy and simply liked helping people. 

Puente’s boarding house came well-recommended, and it seemed as if Bert would be in good hands. The landlord had a reputation for taking in boarders with mental disabilities or alcoholism and giving them a safe place to stay while they paid her rent out of Social Security checks.

“Dorothea Puente was loved by her community, and loved by local politicians,” Detective John Cabrera of the Sacramento Police Department says in the documentary. “She would donate to local charities and give them bags of clothing. She was taking in all these people, treating her neighbors well. She was giving free food away to the community. “

Homicide detective John Cabrera, left, with Dorothea Puente in 1988.Sacramento BeeJudy became alarmed when she checked on Bert a few months later, and Puente told her an improbable-sounding story that he had traveled to Mexico. When Judy followed up and checked in with John Sharp, another boarder in the house, and asked if something was wrong there, Judy recalled, “He said, ‘Yeah, something is wrong here . . . she’s been digging a lot of holes.’ ”

Puente, who died in 2011 at age 82, turned out to be a serial killer. After Judy contacted the police about Bert’s disappearance, they found disturbed soil on her property and uncovered seven bodies. She was charged with nine murders, including Bert’s, and it was discovered that she drugged her victims. It also emerged that she had a past record of prostitution, fraud, drugging and theft, and impersonating a doctor, but in the 1980s, records were not what they are today. “Nobody was keeping an eye on her until 1988,” said Cabrera.

“When you first look at her, you think, ‘This could be my grandmother.’ “

The obsessed murderer 

When 36-year-old college student and army vet Maribel Ramos was looking for a roommate in Orange, California, she found Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy, then 55, from a Craigslist ad. “I am a Korean single professional male,” he wrote in his response to her post. “I have a 10 lb dog. Yorkie… I like to keep things clean. I am easy going and get along with most people.” 

Roommate killer Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy initially seemed like a nice older man with a Yorkie, Maribel Ramos’ sister said. MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty ImagesDespite their age difference, Ramos and Joy struck up an amicable roommate relationship while Ramos studied criminal justice at California State University, Fullerton. 

“He looked like a nice older man,” Ramos’ sister, Lucero “Lucy” Gonzalez, 30, said in the documentary. “He told me that he doesn’t have any family, has never had a wife, has never had children . . . she can work and do her school, and not worry about the things that you worry about when you have a younger roommate. It seemed like it would be a good fit.” 

After a few months went by, Gonzalez started getting uneasy about her sister’s living situation when Joy called her and confessed that he was in love with Ramos. 

“He starts telling me, ‘I know your sister wants to get married and have kids. I want to be the man that she’s looking for.’ I was in shock,” she said. “I told him, ‘You guys are not a match. You’re older, she’s young. The type of partner that she needs is not you. I’m sorry, but my sister will never like you like that.’ ”

Maribel Ramos, remembered after her murder at age 36 in the photo at her graduation ceremony in 2013. MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty ImagesGonzalez implored Ramos to rethink living with him. “I said, ‘If this is the case, then he can’t live with you anymore.’ He’s in her house, those things can go terribly wrong.” 

Ramos assured Gonzalez not to worry about it, but after that, his behavior became erratic. For example, when Ramos commented that he would look good with a tattoo, he came home with a giant tiger inked onto his arm. He also spent more than $10,000 on plastic surgery to look younger, Orange County Police Department Detective Shawn Hayden says in the documentary. “This weird behavior snowballed, and K.C.’s feelings towards Maribel were not reciprocated . . . I believe that put him over the edge. I think he snapped,” Hayden said. 

On April 21, 2013, 12 days before Ramos disappeared, she called the police, alleging that when she talked to Joy about moving out because he stopped paying rent, she felt “threatened.” 

Murdering roommate Joy “snapped” and killed his roommate Maribel Ramos, who he was obsessed with, in 2013. Bruce Chambers“We had a conversation today that kind of freaked me out,” she said during the call. “I’m not feeling comfortable around him anymore . . . He sounded like he would hurt me. I’m calling to let you guys know that if something happens, I did it because I was trying to defend myself.” 

Ramos went missing on May 2, 2013. The following day, Joy sent a message to Gonzalez that he was “worried” about Ramos, and he called the police because she hadn’t come home that night. 

During their investigation, police spoke to Joy’s sister in Tennessee, who described him as a “monster” with a frightening temper and had a restraining order against him. 

Joy was charged with the murder on May 17, 2013, after Ramos’ body was found in a remote canyon that police found through monitoring his computer activity at the local library. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on July 29, 2014. He’s currently incarcerated at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. 

“I just knew that he did something to her,” Gonzalez says in the docuseries. “I pointed the finger at him immediately.” 

The charismatic “con man” 

In April 2011, Texas-born Callie Quinn, then 23, was living in Santiago, Chile, teaching English and living in a hostel-like house with several international roommates. Among them was Youssef Khater, a Palestinian-Danish athlete who traveled around the world running in marathons. 

“He was much older than all of us, we were all in our mid 20s, and he was like, 32,” Quinn says in the documentary.

Youssef Khater, a violent alleged con man, attacked his roommate and left her for dead in 2011. He liked holding court and regaling his housemates with implausible-seeming stories of heroic deeds that he had done while he was in the Danish special forces, said Quinn. She was dubious, and that’s when their relationship began to sour. 

“I thought he was a bulls – – tter and let him know . . . he picked up on me not really liking him much. And that really upset him, because he’s used to people liking him.”

Unbeknownst to Quinn, Khater was an alleged con man who swindled people out of money for various endeavors, including sponsoring his marathons. The documentary explains that he’d fled Denmark rather than stand trial for fraud and arson, because he had allegedly cheated people out of money in a scam for a trip to Dubai. He had promised to book tickets with their money, but his apartment burned down with the money in it, according to authorities. 

In 2011, Quinn wasn’t a huge fan of his, but she had no idea that anything more sinister was going on. Their shared house didn’t have adequate heat for the winter, and when Quinn complained about it with her friend and fellow American housemate, Molly, Khater mentioned that he’d purchased condos with better accommodations and would rent them to the girls. They gave him one month’s rent and a security deposit around $1,000, but Khater kept putting off their move with excuses for why the apartments weren’t ready yet. 

Callie Quinn was a 23-year-old American living in Chile when she was house mates with violent “con man” Khater. On July 20, 2011, Quinn went out with Khater to get the key for the apartment she’d be renting from him, and they got drinks to celebrate. He drank a lot, and it came out that he owed money to various people. Afterwards, he lured her to a construction site where he hit her on the head, jumped on top of her, and strangled her. 

“I can’t do anything, it’s total helplessness,” she recounts on-screen. “In my mind, I was like, ‘This is how I die.’ ” 

She didn’t know how long she was unconscious for, but when she woke up, she was wrapped in tarp and covered in dirt and ash that he had thrown on top of her. He’d buried her alive, but “not deep enough, I guess,” she said. “He wanted to make sure nobody could find me. Had I died, nobody would have known where I was. Had someone found my body, there would be no way to identify who I was,” she said, since he also took her identification.

When she made her way back to the house, covered in ash, disoriented from her head injury, with a hoarse voice from being strangled, he was the first person she saw. He feigned concern and said, “Thank God, you’re here, we were so worried.” 

When Quinn told her house mates what happened, her friend Molly said on-screen, “We noticed he was more upset that she was accusing him than that she was hurt.”

Quinn was able to find a lawyer and, according to Texas Monthly, Youssef was sentenced to 541 days for the murder attempt and 61 days for fraud in 2012. Today, he’s a free man.

“It’s not over yet,” Quinn said. “It’s still happening somewhere, we just don’t know where.” 

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