Not Music Related – Dan, Meet Murderer … Murderer, Meet Dan

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Non-Music, Storytime
Tags: , , , ,

In 1987, I was 16 and took a job at a potato chip factory in Salem, NH called Granite State Potato Chips. It was a pretty cool job – I was making minimum wage ($4/hr) but I was able to eat all the potato chips I wanted for free. What more could a 16 year old want? And you haven’t had potato chips until you’ve had them straight out of the oil. Nothing like it!

Most of my time was spent running the front counter – beyond being a factory, they had a retail store. One day I was just working as usual, and a couple of teenagers walked in. One of them asked if we were hiring. I said I thought we might be and went to get him an application. While he was filling it out, we had some light conversation, and I noticed the car he had pulled up in. It was an older Corolla, and the paint was so shiny that I commented on it. He said he had just had it painted. I thought to myself “terrible paint job – looks like they used spray paint” and then mentally moved on. I saw that his name was Eric Anderson. Sandy, one of my co-workers who always worked behind the scenes, had peeked around to see who was applying, and she said “If that’s Eric Anderson, do NOT hire him. He’s trouble.” I thought OK – I wasn’t the one making the decision, but I’ll let Buddy (the owner) know.

And that’s pretty much the last I heard about it.

Until I found out in the news that Eric, just prior to coming to the chip shop, had murdered school teacher Denise Balfour in her home. He and his friend then stole her car, painted it, and apparently the first thing on his mind was to become gainfully employed. So that afternoon, I was having a conversation with a freshly minted murderer, and based on his demeanor, you’d never know that anything like that had just transpired. He showed no signs of being nervous or anything out of place. Just another day at the potato chip factory.

I have no idea what happened to Eric, other than the fact that he was tried as an adult at 17. I do know that he didn’t get the job. And maybe it was a good thing, since we *did* have a box stapling machine that might have been used to hurt someone. I guess Sandy won the fight that day.

Strange days, indeed.


  1. Ruth Ann Gazaille says:

    Denise was a friend of mine. I was wondering if Eric Anderson got out of prison yet.

    • Epiphora says:

      Hi Ruth. I’m sorry to hear that. I now live on the west coast and don’t keep up with local news. Hopefully he’s doing the full amount of time for what he did.

  2. Ruth Ann Gazaille says:

    Thanks for your response

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