It seems like every time we turn around the 13th of the month has crept up on us again, announcing itself with a slight, yet disturbing odor that soon becomes unavoidable. So welcome back to ISDP, the monthly digest of foul smells that invariably lead to the darkest of discoveries. As they say on cable television, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Here at ISDP the common impulse is to feel sorry for the victims. But not always.
Sex offender’s body found in trunk of car at Flagstaff airportThe discovery was made when “an off-duty police officer smelled a foul odor coming from a car.” The deceased had apparently taken his own life.
Three weeks later the same reporter, Alicia E. Barrón, filed another report of bad smell leading to the discovery of a body in a car trunk. (This makes Barrón the leading candidate for this year’s Peeuuwlitzer Prize in ISDP journalism.) The second incident happened in Glendale, Arizona. A maroon Mitsubishi with Illinois plates was abandoned in front of a foreclosed home.
Richard Ozenbaugh, one neighbor, tells 3TV, “What tipped us off . . . something leaking . . . went over, pretty rank and I said ‘No this isn’t good’.” He called police who also noticed the smell, opened the trunk, and found a body inside.You can say that again, brother.
Sgt. Brent Coombs, with Glendale police, says, “As you can imagine with time and heat, things aren’t the way they would like them to be.”
Residents of an apartment complex in southwest Houston, Texas called the cops about “a foul odor” coming from one of the units. Inside the officers found the bodies of a 43-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man, both dead of gunshot wounds. Police suspect a murder-suicide.
In Memphis, Tennessee, cops respond to tenant complaints of a “foul smell” and are led by the nose to an eighth floor apartment where they find the bodies of a couple who had lived there for about two years. Neighbors heard them arguing recently.
Neighbor Wanda Stewart said, “I thought it was an animal stuck in a vent turned out it was my neighbors.”Chalk up another one for Florida. Sheriff’s deputies found a decomposing body in a “small white house” in Orlando on May 31 after residents complained about “a strong smell” coming from the place.
And then there is this from the town that gave rise to urban non-legend of the “body in the bed,”
A body was found today at a Las Vegas motel by a construction worker who noticed a foul smell coming from one of the rooms, police said.Smells emanating from the Medical Examiner’s office in Cobb County, Georgia (one of only four counties in the state that have an ME’s office) prompted a grand jury investigation. The problem seems to an outdated ventilation system. The ME’s operations manager points out that such smells “are not dangerous and they are not always present. Nor are they unusual for their line of work.”
“I don’t think [the grand jurors] fully understand that the odors described are as a result of decomposition,” Gerhard said. “You can’t keep it under control. All you can do is vent it.”Sage career advice from a guy who ought to know.
“When it comes to dealing with what we do on a daily basis, if sights and smells bother you, this is not the profession for you,” Gerhard said.