Sunday, March 13, 2011

ISDP: The Drought is Over

It’s been a tough winter for our morbid fan base. Each month FirstNerve reaches deep into the darkest regions of odor space to retrieve news items beginning with the incantatory phrase “a foul odor” and ending, inevitably, with the most unsettling of discoveries. But in January and February we could offer our lugubrious readers only the slimmest of pickings. This month we are able to make amends.

We begin on the Far South Side of Chicago—yes, farther south than even the leafy precincts of Mr. Obama’s Hyde Park—where a utility worker noticed a “foul odor” and discovered a body “covered in leaves and branches.” The deceased, a man in his 40s, died of multiple gunshot wounds. The Cook County Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

We turn next to San Antonio, Texas, where a pair of teenage boys riding their bikes last Wednesday “noticed a foul smell coming from a drainage ditch.” They traced it to the badly decomposed body of a man. Teenage boys being what they are, they will no doubt bounce back from the psychological trauma and tell this story to great acclaim in bars for many years to come.

For Your Consideration

We are pleased to announce our first nominee for the 2011 Norman Bates Award. Meet 45-year-old Patrick Lara, of Merced, California.

Mr. Lara’s uncle, who was 63, broke his arm on January 22nd and died shortly thereafter, Mr. Lara having failed to call for medical assistance. Lara then used his dead uncle’s ATM card to withdraw cash, some of which he used to gamble at an Indian casino. But here’s what qualifies him for the Norman Bates Award: he lived with his deceased uncle for 30 days.

The victim’s body had begun to decay by the time it was discovered, and Lara said the smell forced him to turn on the swamp cooler. The cooler began leaking into the roof, causing it to collapse on the deceased man and coating the remains in mold.

Lara allegedly lived in the house the entire time. Relatives became suspicious when he kept forestalling their visits by making excuses.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Department has charged Lara with involuntary manslaughter pending the outcome of an autopsy.

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