Phrogging is as much an Urban Legend horror story as it is true. For that reason, I found it hard to go forward on my investigation into the realms of Urban Legends without reporting on a couple of other Phrogging true-life cases, such as The Honolulu Horror.
The Honolulu Horror
In 2019, an Honolulu couple, taking a week-long vacay to visit family, returned home and found someone living in their home. Police arrested the intruder, Ezequiel Zayas, and charged him with burglary.
The couple found their home trashed. Bodily fluids soaked furnishings. Zayas had filled the kitchen with strange potions. Their possessions littered the house—destroyed and unredeemable.
But the Honolulu Horror wasn’t over. Police found ramblings the intruder had scribbled detailing his plans to surgical operate on the couple. He’d laid knives out on their bed to prepare for the surgeries.
In addition, investigators also found diary entries describing the surgeries he’d perform on the couple. He’d been watching them for some time, they concluded.
When police informed the couple of the findings, they recalled strange happenings months before the invasion. Such as webcams turning on in the middle of the night and doors they’d locked, unlocked. They found pictures and other possessions in different locations.
While in jail awaiting sentencing, Zayas killed another inmate, and the police charged him with second-degree murder.
My first: Dorm Horror
To my knowledge, I’ve had two Phrogging experiences. My first was as a freshman at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX. Lovely, small campus. And my dad had been a student there before going into the service. This was the only college he’d consider for his favorite daughter. At least for my first two years.
Being a private church school in the olden times, there were absolutely no co-ed dorms. We freshman girls felt free to dart around the halls, to the laundry room, and snack machines in whatever we felt comfortable. Which was often panties and a t-shirt or skimpy baby doll nighties.
Understand, if a repairman needed access, the intercom came on and the desk shouted, “Man in the halls. Man in the halls.” Additionally, once the men arrived to the floor, they too yelled the four alarm words repeatedly.
And we girls went screaming and giggling to the protection of our rooms.
Except for Snookie. Tall. Long, blond hair. Model thin. Who didn’t mind showing off her natural beauty. She’d lean on the doorsill with a smile and wearing whatever. “Hi, men,” she’d say. “Thank you for your service.” The Upper West Baldus dorm was always a priority on the repairmen’s list.
Don’t get me wrong. Snookie was one of my best friends. Truly a good person who loved everyone and never left out any of us Upper West girls on her fun ways.
We girls had nothing to worry about. Free as the breeze and loving it. We thought. Until that summer, our dear wonderful Dorm Mom, Miss Bogisch, who’d been the same Dorm Mom when my dad attended, got a gut feeling something wasn’t right.
Things, for her, weren’t the way they should be. She smelled food cooking late at night when she was sure all her girls were in bed. Curfew was at 10:00 pm. Except for date nights. We could stay out until 1:00 am. And Miss Bogisch—having been there for yearsssss—if anyone knew something didn’t smell right, she did.
After she set traps and put all the girls on high alert, a phrogger’s living/spying quarters were located in the laundry room. It was a large room. With numerous washer and dryers, and a caged area where girls could leave their bikes over the summer or store their suitcases.
I Smell a Smell
Late one night, Miss Bogisch heard, smelled, and sensed the strangeness. She tracked the smell of microwave popcorn and found a raggedy sleeping bag and supplies in the cage. But not the phrogger.
She activated the intercom and told all the girls to get to their rooms and lock their doors. She quickly called the police from the phone in her living quarters. While she waited, the perp came out of her closet with a gun. He held it to her head and told her not to move or say a word.
He backed out of her room, hoping for a speedy getaway, but the police were waiting at all the exits for him. Caught. He told his story. He’d accessed the dorm over Christmas break. And lived there until August, when Miss Bogisch discovered him.
He’d enter girls’ rooms at night, when he was sure all were asleep, and watch them. He had favorites he frequented. Other times, he’d peer from the safety of his cage, and watch the girls when they came to do laundry or get snacks.
Each floor had a small kitchen. He’d raid the pantries and refrigerators for food. And often used the microwave to cook a meal, which helped to spark Miss Bogisch’s suspicions. Sometimes he’d find a room where both girls had gone home or were sleeping over somewhere. He’d shower and sleep until early morning.
I smell a smell. And it’s not a right smell. Not flowers. Or girls after showers. But the smell of something foul and rotten to the core. —Rio Rae
If It Fits…
Of course, back then, it wasn’t called Phrogging. But in today’s time it fits. I searched the Seguin Gazette for the incident, but what I found didn’t go back that far. And there didn’t appear to be archives on their website.
There was, however, a twenty-one-year-old TLU exchange student, someone mysteriously murdered in 2005. Strangled. Body burned. The murderer is still at large and the case tops the cold case files. I wonder if there’s a connection.
My accounting is word of mouth. The reason I wanted to double check my facts. I was home for the summer when Miss Bogisch located the perp. But I was there from January to June. Sure hope my roommate, Nancy, and I were not among his favorites.
Paradox though it may seem – and paradoxes are always dangerous things – it is none the less true that Life imitates art far more than Art imitates life. ―