Good Night… for Raiders

Usually they were coming during the night, but late (or very early) around 3 or 4 in the morning. They would not coming in silence, always with shooting, cursing and yelling, sometimes they would just throw couple of hand grenades in front of the house, to kinda shock you. Even some tough and good prepared guys would just run away if they had a chance.

SHTF Raiders

It takes some guts and serious weapon to stand up to 10,15 or 20 armed guys, mostly drunk, or high. Sometimes if people did not resist everything ends with few punches, broken rib, or similar. They could just took what is interesting for them and leave, on the other hand they could rape,kill,torture. If you choose to resist, be sure that you can resist to them, or just be sure to kill yourself before they get you alive. People just were not sure what to do, to resist and take chance or to surrender and take chance.

One incident I can remember

I will call him Dan, because his security. His father was goldsmith, quite famous in town. Two of them just waited in the city and looked how everything going to hell with first months of chaos. Father could not survive all changes, lack of medical care and every day uncertainty just finished him and his already sick heart.

Dan buried him with 2 neighbors one night in near graveyard, while city was in flames and battles raged over the reasons that nobody actually cared as soon as TV and TV news were gone with propaganda stories. They had some amount of gold in house, pretty much gold.

They came for Dan at 3 in the morning, did not ask anything, they just search the house in details, beat him and took him to their prison. They ruled in that part of town, prison was not like real prison, it was a basement in local mall.

After 5 th day of regular beating their leader came and said to him: you will take us to the gold.

And he took them, he and two gang members spent 2 hours on rain in the middle of the night, while Dan was trying to remember where he is buried his father s gold in graveyard close to house.

After 2 hours he just use the moment and hit the gang member with shovel in the head, other one was sleeping in house, he took him too, and run away.

I do not know what ways and connections he used then, but after 2 months in Croatia, he ends up in Germany. War ended, I did not hear too much about him, except that he is in Germany, and not doing so good, and that he is keep telling that he is never coming back here.

One day I heard that he is back.

I met him in one cafee close to his old house, we had some coffee, he did not want to speak too much about old times. I ask him why did you come back here? His answer was: I remember where I buried my father s gold.

He also told me :

“Right after my father s death i took all his gold, put it in jars and buried in graveyard. I did not use any map or anything like that, but I was perfectly aware where I was buried that, I memorize it very good.

After they put me in that prison, after they beat me, humiliate me, they took me to graveyard because I told them I was buried gold there. Standing in that graveyard, in night, with two of them with their rifles just erase everything from my head, I was desperately trying to remember where I was buried those jars, but nothing; my head was empty, blank page. I knew they going to shot me if I do not find it, and maybe even if I find it they shot me.

So I was digging like crazy, and suddenly i decide to hit him with shovel, I think it was not voluntary at all, something just woke up in me, like it was not me hitting him.

After I get to Germany I still could not remember where I buried that jars, so after few years I just stop thinking on that. And then few days ago I dreamed everything, like in fast forward motion, my father s death, killings, all atrocities, my prison, beatings, and I also dream about correct place of my jars, so I came here again

You know I think I was lucky because when they came in my house in 3 in morning they did not ask me anything, they just beat me and took me to prison, if they asked me the about gold, I am sure that I would tell them, I was scared to death, and if I told them then maybe after the took it they would kill me at the place.”

He did not want to talk any more, so I leave. I heard later that he suddenly “got rich” somewhere, and that he is doing fine now.

At that night when Dan was digging trough graveyard while two gang members were watching him, he was 17 years old.

31 responses to “Good Night… for Raiders”

  1. Andy says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I, and I know a few of my friends, have been following your blog regularly and wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work!

  2. Susan says:

    Wow Selco. . . I think your wonderful Selco-English makes your stories even more fabulous, I can hear your accent and it makes it all more real – and how you manage to write so movingly is amazing. These are very scary stories that we need to hear, because they are possibly in our future here in US. You show us how thin that veil of civilization really is.

    Really really, kill yourself rather than fall into their hands? I guess I will use all but my last bullet on the bad guys then. . . not going without a fight.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Some of my friends know that I’m a prepper and that I have a stash of silver but I let them know that I sent it all to my family’s home in a different state. This is only half true, I still have quite a bit for SHTF. I don’t know if just one of those friends will turn on me so I make it clear I don’t have any on me.

    Was silver worth anything in your situation Selco? What could you get with it? Did people use it on the black market as a currency? Obviously gold was worth enough to kill over.

    • Selco says:

      First i do not trust in letting anyone else know that i am prepper, unless they are preppers too, unless i am going to be together with them when SHTF. When SHTF people get different priorities, maybe friendship is not going to be high on their list of priorities, if you understand me.

      About gold and silver in SHTF, in my situation, you could find someone to buy something if you had gold, but it was not like substitute for money, it was worth less then in normal times, people who could really use and wanted gold and silver from you very bad were people who had connections to the black market, who owned black market, but again that was not good thing.

      It was hard to “trade” with those kind of people, mostly they just took things instead of trading.

      It was easier to trade with people if you had for example whole bunch of cigarettes, or candles, then a lot of gold. In most of the situation normal people just did not know what to do with gold. All the same for silver.

      • Joe says:

        Your gold and silver is only a means to preserve your wealth. It is of no good during SHTF. But it is of great value after.

        • Jay says:

          I agree but see it from this perspective Joe… if your life depends on it you probably trade a few cans of food that will let yourself and your family survive for a few more weeks for all the gold you have….

          Keep in mind in many serious SHTF events like in Selco’s case there is no end in sight. So gold becomes pretty much worthless when you are completely drained off all other resources.

          • Joe says:

            I disagree. If your life depends on it then you let no one know that you have anything of wealth. I was in Rwanda in 1994 when everything came crashing down. Spent 5 months trying to hide from everyone. I didnt get out of there until close to christmas. Being a foreigner meant there was a price on my head. Everyone I know who tried to use gold or jewlery to buy something eventually had a visit from someone who wanted more gold or jewlery and assumed if you had one piece you had more. Even the hint that you had something of wealth would attract someone who would kill you for it. Rarely was anyone left alive after a visit by these theives.

            Most of what Selco says is right on.

        • Peter says:

          Which is a good reason to trade your goods for gold if you believe there’s an end in sight. You could come out the other end with some serious wealth.

          • Faith says:

            Peter, you think gold is wealth. Listen to what these people are saying: it could mean your death.

            If you want a precious metal for these scenarios, think brass/lead (ammo), tin (canned foods), aluminum (beverages), lithium (batteries), etc. The concept of money exits during these situations. Read “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” by Fernando ‘Ferfal’ Aguirre which is his account of living through the economic collapse in Argentina in 2001.

            A good American man once said, “He who has the wheat has the gold” when he spoke food storage in the 1840’s.

        • Selco says:

          Joe but if you have only your gold left and no resources. You end up giving your gold away if it can prevent dying.

          • Joe says:

            If that is the case you are already dead.
            But if you must, go far away where no one knows you to trade it.

            Like I said before. Everyone I knw who traded their gold or jewlery for food had a late night visit from theives. They all died.

            The guy you traded the gold to will have no problem telling the theives who are robbing or tortureing him about you and your gold.

  4. StreamWalker says:


    That was the first phrase out of my mouth, almost whispered…

    Your not just providing details of the struggles endured by you and your friends but, valuable life lessons during SHTF.

    This particular story, to me at least, shows the will to live endures even after 5 days of what must have been hellish despair. The thought of certain death never leaving the mind.

    I find this story very informative so that I may know, if a captive in a similar situation, that I must endure until the chance to escape comes. Despair, I imagine, comes easily with capture.

    I find all your stories provide along this same theme. And I, like so many others, thank you deeply for sharing them.

  5. Ranch says:

    I enjoy reading your stories very much. Thank you. I believe it was the spirit of his father in the graveyard who used the shovel against the captors, ensuring that his son would escape. Glad he came back and got the gold. Please keep writing. Thank you.

  6. curlyjoe99 says:


    glad that you are able to help all of us out here with your thoughts and wisdom of what people can go through in a true SHTF situation. keep them coming and feel free to ask for any information you wish from this end

  7. GardenSERF says:

    I appreciated reading this story. Similar symbolism to what happened to every nation of the FRY. I’ve studied the 1990s wars in the Balkans and wrote about the demise of Yugoslavia on my blog, but never had a chance to visit. My boots on the ground SHTF time was in Iraq instead.

  8. HABCAN says:

    Thank You Sir!! At last, some solid factual information from someone who has BTDT. Happily, it confirms my own theoretical plans and ideas. Please, keep this going??????????

  9. Britesea says:

    What you are writing will save many, many lives in the future. Thank you for these stories.

  10. John West’s book FRY THE BRAIN, a history of urban sniping, has much information on the problems in Sarajevo while it was under siege. More emphasis on sniping than on survival per se, but still worhtwhile.

  11. Bueller says:

    Selco, Did you ever post guards outside of your house?
    I think it would be wise to Have someone posted on the outside (hidden) so raiders get a bit of a surprise before they even have a chance to kick in your door.

    • Selco says:

      Hello my friend
      Yes, usually we had one of us outside in the street,close to house, watching,scouting on any signs of trouble or any signs of anything or anybody,sometimes even looking for a some information.

  12. dennis says:

    Selco: thank you for sharing your experiences and, more importantly, your insights. Definite food for thought in your posts. I will send your link to many of my friends.

    In the late 90’s, we sold our home to a couple who had fled the conflict in Yugoslavia. Over dinner, we heard many stories of deprivation, pain, and hardship. Probably too close to the event for wisdom.

    Your posts come at an opportune time, as we are starting to see signs of a pending collapse of society. It validates some of my suppositions and clearly demonstrates where my thoughts are incorrect. I am rethinking some of my ideas and will begin acting on those new thoughts immediately.

    Thank you. I don’t believe I am overstating when I say you may have saved my life. You certainly have made me aware of potential actions that would have endangered my health. Keep up the good work. I promise you that you have done a great service for many.

  13. Laurent says:

    Please, keep telling these stories and advices.

    Thank you from Paris

  14. blacktulip says:

    Hi Selco,

    Both sets of my grandparents survived invasion and occupation during WWII. Your stories are very familiar.

    My good friend also survived the Balkan war, but he never talk about it, the only thing I knew was that he walked to Germany to escape the war. I never ask him what happened for fear that it will bring back bad memories so thank you very much for sharing. Please keep writing.

    • Selco says:

      Many people are like that. Even in my group some people can not talk about it. Lot of problems with mental disorders here now.

  15. bruce kasper says:

    Was the outside guy any help during the “raider times”? Or did it just seem like a good idea at first? How did he communicate with you if at all during “crunch time”? And THANK YOU!

  16. Selco says:

    Thank you all for your kind words. Glad if this is interesting and can help.

  17. Wills says:

    Gold, silver, precious metal is of value during SHTF, eventually. If you survive the initial few months.

    What is of value to survival so that you will eventually get to barter your gold and silver is, lead, land and food.
    Lead to defend yourself, land to insulate and hide yourself and food to feed yourself.
    How you go about acquiring those things during SHTF is the key. If you wait until SHTF then you have already
    lost the game unless you are planning to just join a rogue gang or are already an expert on living in the woods
    alone and scavenging for food.

    Last but not least is mental attitude and a well developed “will to survive”.
    In survival situations positive outlook and will, often seperates those who survive and those who do not.
    It gets awfully lonely when you do not know who your friends are or where your next meal will come from
    and some people just give up after a few days, while others keep going and trying to do the best they can
    with what they have.
    Selco’s story is a testament to that fact. I can give you many other real-world stories where people survived
    improbable odds mainly due to will and perseverance.
    Doing “whatever” it takes sounds good until you try to put that concept into practice and see just where it takes
    you. It is much better to start developing your mind and resources now and not wait until you are forced to.

  18. Jean Gauthier says:


    I was just reading, for the first time, this site:
    Turns out they have a running contest on real-life survival type short stories! Seems cut out just for you. They also offer a fairly large variety of gifts to the winners. Not sure if they could be sent to you, but it may be worth looking into it regardless.
    On a different topic, have you been following the current economical woes of the European Union? Seems it may also bring some most difficult times again. Your opinion?
    Keep your down! :o)

    • Selco says:

      I think it is clearly that this with Union is not working,one thing will lead to another,at the end yes ,probably we will have hard times.

  19. shinnosuke says:

    Where do you live now? (for Opsec, just the name of the country is sufficient) Have you visited the United States? Have you thought of giving speeches in the US? You could get paid for sharing your knowledge here via consulting.

    • Selco says:

      Thank you for comment but I do not want to give speeches. I still live in same region and want to stay as anonymous as possible.

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