Netflix's new true crime documentary, Worst Roommate Ever, tells the disturbing tale of Jamison Bachman, but what details does the series leave out?By Bailey FensomPublishedShareTweetEmail
Netflix's new true crime series, Worst Roommate Ever, details multiple disturbing stories of living situations gone wrong, but what does the documentary leave out about Jamison Bachman? Produced by Blumhouse Television, Worst Roommate Ever is a true crime docuseries based on an Intelligencer article of the same name. The series recounts four separate true stories of terrifying roommates, ranging from con artists to murderers.
The two-part finale of Worst Roommate Ever, "Roommate Wanted," takes up the subject of the original article: Jamison Bachman. Bachman was a serial squatter who terrorized dozens of roommates across multiple decades. He used his law degree and charming demeanor to insert himself into people's lives, quickly gaining their trust, only to eventually reveal his darker side. Bachman took advantage of certain tenancy laws in order to avoid eviction from these properties. However, he eventually met with a tragic end, as Bachman hanged himself in jail after murdering his own brother.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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Despite dedicating two full episodes to Jamison Bachman's story, Worst Roommate Ever does leave out some interesting details and anecdotes pertaining to Bachman's crimes. The show focuses on three victims of Bachman's serial squatting: Alex Miller, Arleen Hairabedian, and Sonia Acevedo. However, there were multiple other roommates who experienced troubles with Bachmann, and much more to be learned about his past and the intricate details of his relationships with his many traumatized roommates.
What Worst Roommate Ever Leaves Out About Jamison Bachman's Past
One of the most stunning aspects of Jamison Bachman's past, which is recounted in Worst Roommate Ever by one of Bachman's childhood friends, is his traumatic experience witnessing the murder of his close friend, Ken Gutzeit, during his time at university. This is a separate true crime story nested within the true crime story. While the documentary provides a cursory explanation of how this event may have shaped Bachman's personality and lead him down a dark path, the show doesn't go into the details of what actually happened and why Gutzeit was killed. The murder took place at the Sigma Chi fraternity house in New Orleans, back in 1976. Ken Gutzeit was a high school friend of Bachman's, and the two were eating dinner together at the fraternity house. The 25-year-old, Randell Vidrine, suddenly entered the house and violently stabbed Gutzeit. Apparently, Vidrine worked as an assistant at the Tulane University library, and had confronted Ken Gutzeit about eating food in the library months prior. Vidrine asked him to leave but he refused, prompting Vidrine to call campus police in order to have him removed. The murder occurred after Gutzeit returned to the library eating food for a second time. That evening, Vidrine walked past the fraternity house and once again got into a fight with Gutzeit; he later returned with a knife in order to kill Ken Gutzeit.
Another extremely important part of Jamison Bachman's story is his legal training. The documentary leaves out many of the details of Bachman's legal background. Bachman spent years abroad and only began his legal training later in life, obtaining his law degree at the age of 45. It's interesting to note that Bachman seemingly had a very positive reputation, his instructors at University of Miami and Georgetown described him as a "remarkable" student with "extraordinary talents." One particular professor even went so far as to state "In 20 years of university teaching, I have encountered very few people of his caliber." However, Bachman would later fail the bar exam in 2003, and never tried again. Therefore, he could never really put his legal skills to professional use. That being said, as is discussed in the Worst Roommate Ever documentary, Bachman would often use his legal knowledge in order to avoid paying rent and putting off eviction for as long as possible.
However, the full extent of Bachman's wielding of legal jargon is not explored in the series. When arguing with Alex Miller, Bachman accused her of breaking "the covenant of quiet enjoyment," and when he found a cigarette in the toilet bowl one day, he texted Miller telling her he would not be paying next month's rent because of the "warranty of habitability." It's clear that, over the years, Bachman had honed his knowledge of legal minutiae in order to get take advantage of those around him. When sued by a woman for a repayment of $36,000 in debts, Bachman alleged the two had slept together and that she had given him herpes; he proceeded to countersue her for "tortious transmission of an incurable venereal disease." In another situation, when confronted about clogging his roommate's toilet with cat litter, Bachman arrogantly stated: "Correct me if I’m wrong, as I only have two graduate degrees, but my understanding was that the proper place for sh*t is in a toilet."
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What Worst Roommate Ever Leaves Out About Arleen, Sonia, & Alex
While Worst Roommate Ever focuses on interviews with three of Bachman's victims: Alex Miller, Arleen Hairabedian, and Sonia Acevedo, there are still some interesting details left out of their accounts. For example, Alex and Jamison's relationship actually got off to a pretty good start. The two would spend their night together, drinking and watching The Rachel Maddow Show, which was apparently one of Bachman's favorites. One time, when one of Miller's hookups refused to leave the apartment, Bachman actually intervened, telling the man "Buddy, I’m living here too. She’s asked you to go, I’m asking you to go. I’ll ask you one more time, or I’ll remove you myself."
Sonia also recounts how perfect the first three months of Bachman's tenancy were. The two of them would eat breakfast together as the sun rose, talking about a variety of topics. Acevedo almost believed the two were becoming friends, and once she grew comfortable enough with him, Sonia even invited Bachman to join her at Jacob Riis Park, where she often sunbathed topless. "He was very respectful," Sonia said. Bachman also comforted Acevedo when one of her cats died. He hugged her and said "I'm so, so sorry," with tears in his eyes. These details, which were left out of Netflix's Worst Roommate Ever, paint a clearer picture of just how manipulative and two-faced Jamison Bachman could be, which explains why these victims were so trusting of him at first. This could explain why Arleen was so conflicted upon hearing of Jamison's death. According to William Brennan (the author of the Intelligencer article), Hairabedian burst into tears when told that Bachman had hanged himself. She even said "What if he just wanted somewhere to stay and he showed up and his brother said he didn’t want him there and it escalated? What if he was desperate? Here I am, making excuses."
Jamison Bachman's Other Victims That Worst Roommate Ever Leaves Out
Worst Roommate Ever also leaves out a number of other victims. One notable example is Melissa Frost. Jamison Bachman moved in with Frost in 2012, claiming to have lost his home in Hurricane Sandy. Over the course of months, Bachman gradually took over the space. Melissa Frost says that the "effort he put into doing this was life-consuming." She goes on to explain that "when things got bad between us, he stopped leaving the house, because he thought I might change the locks." During one incident where Melissa returned Bachman's microwave to his room because he wasn't supposed to keep his things in the common areas of the apartment, he apparently shouted that she had "no right to touch his things" and used the microwave to push Frost back until she was standing on the edge of the stairs. Frost subsequently called the police. When one of Bachman's cats disappeared, Bachman wrote to Frost: "YOU ARE THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF MY CAT’S DISAPPEARANCE AND PRESUMED DEATH … DO NOT COMMUNICATE WITH ME AGAIN UNLESS IT IS THROUGH YOUR ATTORNEY."
Despite Bachman's behavior, Frost still attempted to negotiate a peaceful exit for Jamison, even going so far as to offer to return the money he'd paid in November and help him find a new apartment to rent. However, Bachman simply reacted with laughter, which caused Frost to burst into tears. Bachman then proceeded to comfort her, saying "You've got your whole life in front of you. You're pretty, and you're talented, and you've got this house," but he added "well, you don't have this house anymore. This is my house." According to Frost, "it was like something out of a movie." Speaking to a reporter in 2013, Bachman addressed the situation, stating: "I’m happy to have her file an eviction notice. She files the filing fee, and then I piggyback on the filing fee and hit her with the counterclaim. That’s just tactics." When Bachman finally stepped before Judge Marvin Williams in Philadelphia, the judge told him "I find you to be totally incredible. I don’t believe a word you say — and, frankly, you’re frightening."
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Other bizarre encounters include Michael Oberhauser, a 31-year-old composer living in northwest D.C. Bachman moved in with Oberhauser in 2016 and conflicts between the two men emerged almost immediately. Oberhauser recalls one particular occurrence where Bachman would move the red bath mat in the bathroom. When asked about why he kept throwing the bath mat away, Bachman simply replied that he "was going to clean it." But every time Oberhauser put the mat back in place, Bachman would throw it away again. Another incident occurred when Bachman moved into an apartment with Mark Gainer, a former oboist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Apparently, Jamison would walk around with a baseball bat over his shoulder. In January of 2017, Bachman moved into the home of 40-year-old, Neville Henry. According to Henry, Bachman attacked him with the broken leg of a coffee table a week after moving him. Bachman later left the house and attempted to sue Henry. It's understandable why the Worst Roommate Ever documentary series chose to leave out some of these other stories, but many of these anecdotes demonstrate the true extent of Bachman's bizarre and aggressive behavior.
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Bailey is a freelance writer for Screen Rant, working on TV/film articles. In 2019, Bailey graduated from Bournemouth University with a BA in Scriptwriting for Film & Television, and also currently runs the YouTube channel "JumpTheShark" producing media analysis and video essays on film & television.