Man at Boston College sneaking into off-campus houses to tickle sleeping students

Sterling Beard
Director of Journalism Training

  • The Tickler has never stolen any property despite having access to students' valuables.
  • Many students living off-campus reportedly do not lock their doors.
  • He may be remarkably less lethal than the Boston Strangler, but a new criminal who invades the off-campus homes of Boston College (BC) students to tickle them or watch them slumber has authorities warning students to lock their doors.

    Police have confirmed that the figure, who has been sporadically reported over the last two years, has been sighted at least ten times. Three students report seeing him on the night of April 7.

    “You don’t know what this guy is going to do or if he has a weapon. You need to lock your doors. It’s not as safe as you think.”   

    The tickler, who is reportedly a five-foot, eight-inch tall black male, usually operates by breaking into students’ off-campus homes and tickling their feet while they sleep. He’s able to gain access because students living off-campus often leave their doors unlocked, according to Boston P.D. Sergeant Michael O’Hara, a community service officer whose district covers the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods near BC.

    “You don’t know what this guy is going to do or if he has a weapon. You need to lock your doors. It’s not as safe as you think,” O’Hara said.

    Despite gaining access to students’ valuables, he has apparently never stolen anything. Some students have reported that he will watch them through their windows as he commits a sexual act.

    According to O’Hara, students need to report when they encounter the tickler. He operates in an otherwise low-crime area, and the Boston P.D. patrols neighborhoods based on their crime rate.

    Boston College did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

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    Sterling Beard

    Sterling Beard

    Director of Journalism Training
    Sterling Beard is Campus Reform's Director of Journalism Training. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he spent time as an editorial associate for National Review Online and as a staff writer at The Hill, where he served as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Lyn Nofziger Fellow and regularly appeared across the country on Fox News Radio to provide analysis of current events. In 2017, Sterling was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's Influence List, one of nine people who "affected federal policy, campus culture, and the national conversation about education in 2017 — and who are likely to remain influential in the year ahead."
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