WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A month before he killed a couple and their unborn child and beheaded the boyfriend, Brady Oestrike told a friend he wished he could kill somebody with his bare hands.
“I don’t want to say Brady was the kind of guy that just wanted to kill people, but at the same time, I think he just kind of wanted to kill people,” said 23-year-old Brittany Zemaitis.
Zemaitis said she regularly hung out with Oestrike, 31, even signed her name on a wall in his basement — illuminated by a black light — next to the names of other friends who had visited.
The wall also includes “God,” and “Jesus.”
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Oestrike’s basement on Taft Avenue SW has been described as a dungeon, where he held 18-year-old Brooke Slocum captive for five days before strangling her — killing her and her unborn baby. He also killed Slocum’s boyfriend, Charles Oppenneer, 25, before beheading him.
“It’s not the hellish environment everyone’s making it out to be,” Zemaitis said of the basement. “It bugged me so much.”
“The way I described his house was like a naughty drawer,” Zemaitis said. “Everyone has a naughty drawer.”
He had lots of restraints, handcuffs, sex toys, she said.
“But his whole house was like that. One corner of the house you’d have that, the other corner you had guns, the other corner you have knives, the other corner you’d have nerdy stuff.”
She said Oestrike used Craigslist to find others interested in bondage and sexual dominance.
“He was into tying people up and that kind of stuff, the punishing,” she said.
Zemaitis said she met Oestrike through a mutual friend nearly three years ago. He was working as an electrical lineman, worked a lot of hours and didn’t have as much time for his hobbies — including Dungeons and Dragons (he was the dungeon master) and medieval renaissance fairs, she said.
But, whenever he could, he would hang out with Zemaitis in his basement, she said, watching movies and playing video games. She said she did not participate in bondage and dominance.
“He was one of the most generous friends I’ve had,” she said. “Every time we hung out, he would always pay for dinner, actually in fact he gave me $1,000 dollars for my birthday.”
But, she said, he had grown depressed since breaking up about a year ago with his fiancee.
“After that, he was never the same, really upset all the time, didn’t smile as much,” she said.
He told her he was seeing a therapist and taking medication to help.
“He was really upset and just talking about how he doesn’t feel he belongs here, how he doesn’t want to be around anymore, and how he thinks he’s a dangerous person. He was completely aware of his problems.”
She said she last spent time with him about a month ago — at a Grand Rapids bar — and he was at his darkest.
“He said he wished he could go back in time to an era in time where he could just kill people with his bare hands,” she said. “He mentioned going back to the Viking periods.”
He also talked about killing himself.
“I was surprised he didn’t kill himself a while ago because after I met with him, he said, ‘I’m going to kill myself tomorrow at this time.’ He was very specific and straightforward about it.”
She called him the next day, but he didn’t answer.
“I was like, well, I guess he killed himself,” she said.