Dear PoPville – Pete from Capitol Hill has Passed Away

Peter Bis

Dear PoPville,

Wanted to let you know that Pete, the homeless guy outside the Exxon on Massachusetts Ave and 2nd St NE, passed away early this morning. Us hill rats remember him telling us how many days until the weekend and then advising us not to go skinny dipping. He’s an everyday staple for some people and wanted to let you know.

Rest in Peace, Pete.

30 Comment

  • RIP Pete….he always made me laugh.

  • I’m only asking this because I’ve seen this posted around a few places today.

    If he touched that many people, why was he still homeless? It’s a bit pointless to go around telling stories about this guy after he’s dead. Where were the “hill rats” trying to help him when he was alive?

    I don’t know, maybe he wanted to be homeless. Or maybe he had some serious character flaw which stopped him from keeping a job. I don’t see the point in celebrating someone online who needed so much tangible help when he was alive.


    • Peter lived in my building on the Hill for a couple years. He was being assisted by Pathways to Housing. Unfortunately, he was one of those cases that slipped through the cracks. He was a compulsive horder and the Pathways folks never had enough resources to have a regular social worker with him to handle such a difficult issue. Ultimately, he was evicted from our building when the hording became a fire/health hazard. At that point, he was no longer even able to get into this apartment- that’s how bad the hording was. It wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of some, but dealing with hording, schizophrenia, and other problems is a huge problem when you don’t have family around to constantly supervise and demand treatment. RIP Peter.

    • He flashed his wee wee once at me. Since that incident, I always avoided walking by that gas station.

      • Exactly, he said pretty explicit things to me on several occasions and smelled like urine. I don’t wish anyone ill but I can’t say I’ll miss walking by him.

      • That’s disappointing. He was always nothing but nice and/or funny to me. Eek!

    • For a long time, he slept in the patio at Armand’s where he’d set out his stuff every night. It was no secret, so I always assumed the owners either endorsed this or simply looked the other way. Apparently, he was now sleeping inside the Exxon garage, so people did help him how they could.

  • As someone who lived across the street from him and did speak with him a handful of times – he was seriously schizophrenic with bouts of paranoia and was pretty much unable to hold down a real job. People in the area have come to his help many a times. He was homeless, he was kind, and people enjoyed speaking with him. He didn’t choose to be homelesss but seemed perfectly content in his own world and didn’t bother any one else with the exception of the occasional (sometimes inappropriate joke).

  • He was quite a character and a very kind soul. For the record, he wasn’t homeless. He for years has had an apartment on the Hill, which a nice guy who lives behind the Exxon helped him secure after many years of homelessness. I don’t know the details of his death, but I did notice that he wasn’t at the Exxon this morning when I passed on my way to work. I hope he passed peacefully in the comfort and safety of his apartment. RIP.

  • anon. gardener

    I had some nice conversations with him when I lived over that way. He liked to chat, and I also felt that he was looking out for people too. I too hope he had a peaceful passing.

  • The broken link in the post is for this blog:

    Is that really his blog? Did he post things like:

    OBAMA is the bastard son of an Egyptian somehow married into the Saudi royal family. Obviously names would be helpful, and PETER BIS is working with his foreign sources.


    Two Space Shuttles [ALLEGEDLY] launched on 26 Oct 2008, journeying 14 days to a rendezvous with Asteroid 433 EROS [approx. 08 Nov 2008] which they intend to push out of orbit [CERTAIN], so it gains speed and ultimately crashes into Earth


    I mean I guess that’s the schizophrenia, but…

    • anon. gardener

      Yep, that’s his blog. The first time I chatted with him he gave me a slip of paper with the blog address on it. So I could read all the details about Princess Diana. I love “Peter Bis is working with his foreign sources.” He had flair! And he clearly had a positive impact on many lives, judging from the comments on the internet today. It’s a nice reminder to me that you don’t need to be rich/have a big house/have a fancy title in order to be part of a community and have a worthy life. Thank you, Peter Bis!

  • My wife and I would regularly pass Pete on our morning runs, and he would always assign us “Ten miles! No cheating!” A small part of our daily lives, but we’ll remember him and miss him.

  • RIP. I couldn’t help not cracking a smile every time he looked at me when I passed.

  • I have often passed by and had him tell me how many days til the weekend, and exchanged hellos, but last Thursday for some reason I initiated the hello, and stopped and talked with him for 15 or 20 minutes. He was obviously a deeply disturbed man with a bad case of schizophrenia, but somehow still positive enough to sit out there and watch over us. He told me how he’s saved the people of the gas station from many a jam – with probably some variations on the truth in his story – and when I told him I had to leave, he thanked me for listening. I don’t think he would believe the community would miss him after his passing. Much like my grandmother, he was a racist man with a particular worldview, but he had a heart of gold in his own way. When I spoke with him last week – which I am so grateful I did before it was too late – he was in an angry, dark place. Praying he’s at peace now.

  • does anybody know what happened to “Beth” — the homeless woman in Georgetown with all the crazy signs in the 90s and 2000s? She was an institution but hasn’t been seen in a long time…

  • I was always impressed with his katamari, especially his globe.

  • I’ll miss his skinny dipping comments and other blush-worthy things he’d say to my wife and me, but mostly the time that he rode by my house and took a TV I had put out on the street and rode his bike while also carrying a TV. Impressive indeed

  • I only wish that everyone had this much tolerance in everyday life, for everyone of their fellow humans…

  • brookland_rez

    I was down there a week ago and I heard him call out to not go skinny dipping to someone. I had no idea he was a fixture, though. I just thought he was some random crazy person.

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