RUTHERFORDTON — On a dirt road, between two pastures in a picturesque corner of the county, five widows say they are being terrorized by a man they know only as "The Knocker."
He sneaks up to their houses at night, they said, and knocks. On the outside walls. On their windows. Sometimes, on their front doors. He might come after dusk, around midnight, before dawn, or in between. Once in a night, or several times. Every night for weeks at a time, then sometimes not for days.
He always knocks three times at one woman's house. Five times, at another. The same person, they believe, telephones some nights and hangs up after one ring.
Each woman thought at first that she was the only one. Then a couple of years ago they discovered other women nearby had had the same experience. They turned for help to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department.
A sheriff's captain said the department bought cameras, set them up and an officer hid in the woods. They never caught anyone. Never saw anyone. And now, Sheriff Jack Conner says, he's not sure there is anyone.
But the knocking, the women told the Observer, has become more frequent in recent weeks, more brazen, and they're scared.
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