Saturday, May 15, 2010

ISDP: Better Late Than Never


The thirteenth of the month has come and gone with no I Smell Dead People update. The horror! Legions of ghoulish weirdos enthusiastic fans have been calling the ISDP help line wanting to know—why?

Why? Because we were busy with our collection of rodent skulls and time just got away from us, that’s why.

To make up for this unconscionable lapse we present an extra pungent round-up of the latest month and two days worth of macabre incidents in which a proverbial “foul odor” leads to the discovery of human remains. We’ve culled them from hometown newspapers, global wire services, and police blotters of the most obscure jurisdictions, and present them here for your disturbed delectation.

Our first item comes via Lance Griffin, a reporter for the Dothan Eagle. That would be Dothan as in Dothan, Alabama, the Peanut Capital of the World. (ISDP—bringing you information that helps you win bets in bars.) Seems a U.S. Census worker knocked on a door in Geneva County, just above the Florida state line. He got no response but did, however, detect “a foul odor.” He alerted neighbors and soon police discovered the body of the home’s resident, a 60 year-old man, who had been dead “for quite some time.” No word as to whether the deceased was White, Black/African American/Negro, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian Indian, Japanese, Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Korean, Guamanian or Chamorro, Filipino, Vietnamese, Samoan, or Other Pacific Islander.

Three days earlier, near Westbury, Long Island, police were called to a steel supply company to investigate a plastic bag which “was emanating [sic] a foul odor.” The bag turned out to contain the remains of a Hicksville woman who had been missing since July. Her husband, who worked at the steel company, is also missing.

Last month a police officer in East St. Louis, Illinois, made a traffic stop. When the driver fled on foot the cop gave chase. He lost him, but “noticed a foul odor” which turned out to be that of a male corpse lying among some weeds.

Two weeks ago in San Marcos, California, “someone reported a foul odor” emanating from an SUV in the parking lot of a grocery store. Inside was a 28 year-old male who had been reported missing at least three days earlier.  

We now have an overseas nominee for this year’s Norman Bates Award™. Alan Derrick is in his seventies and lives in Bristol, England. He’s a retired “binman” who lived in a “council flat”. (That’s Britspeak for “garbage man” and “public housing”.) When his male roommate died in 1998, Mr. Derrick panicked; roommates were not allowed in the council flats. So he hid the guy’s body beneath an overturned sofa and ignored it . . . for the next ten years.

Alan Derrick is obv obliv to foul odors. He also has several screws loose. Remarkably, several public housing busybodies who visited Mr. Derrick over the course of the decade misinterpreted the scent and failed to find the DB.

[The English Norman Bates.]

We’ve run the occasional story of about a suspicious foul odor that had everyone expecting the worse and which turned out to be a false alarm. This week James Hart posted on a Kansas City crime blog what appears to be another example (“Was it murder? Or pork chops?”). An amusing case of mistaken ISDP—or is it something more sinister? Remember that Cincinnati serial killer suspect Anthony Sowell successfully convinced people the smell of his decomposing victims was really an odor coming from the Ray’s Sausage company next door. Either way, be sure to check out the great story by commenter cripjak, the mortician’s nephew.

[Tip of the hat and a free night at the Bates Motel to reader Mike Tordoff.]

UPDATE May 18, 2010

The Westbury, Long Island incident just took a darker turn: “The Long Island man whose wife disappeared and was found dead in a bag last week had a girlfriend who is also missing,” says 1010WINS. The guy in question, 29-year-old Riza Cosa, has apparently fled to Turkey.

UPDATE May 29, 2010

On May 20, Turkish police reported that the suspect, Riza Cosa, killed himself by jumping off a building there.

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