It’s Friday the 13th, the moon is full, and so is our ISDP docket. The cases range from the lugubrious to the appalling; in each, a scent of decay leads to the inevitable discovery of decomposing remains. So, without further ado . . .
The medical examiner in Honolulu released a pair of reports that brought to light ISDP incidents we had missed. The first involved a 39-year-old man who hanged himself.
Police said the body was found about 8 a.m. on a hillside above a construction zone near Prospect and Pele streets after workers noticed a foul odor and investigated.The other involved a 48-year-old man who apparently died of natural causes near the top of Wilhelmina Rise back in February.
Authorities said a man flying a radio-controlled helicopter in his back yard at Kawelolani Place smelled an odor on Feb. 26. He found the body when he went to retrieve his aircraft.KWTX in Waco provides a succinct headline: “Texas Woman Kills Relative, 2 Dogs, Then Herself.” They also give the details:
Officers sent to check on a report of a foul odor coming from a home in the small West Texas of Anson found the bodies of two people and two dogs who police say died in a murder suicide.Sweet home Alabama: “Bad smell, worse discovery: Huntsville police find dead man in vacated apartment.” Local police were “responding to a neighbor’s call about a bad odor from an apartment that was supposed to be vacant” when they discovered the man’s body.
In Lenoir, North Carolina, the body of a 36-year-old man was found in an abandoned house “by a female passerby who noticed a foul odor coming from the residence.” The circumstances suggest that the man killed himself.
In the Inglewood area of Los Angeles, someone noticed a foul odor coming from a car that had been parked for some days in a shopping mall near West Century and Crenshaw. They called police who discovered a dead body in the car.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, 44-year-old Terry Cunningham was living in a house with his two daughters, wheel-chair bound son, and his older brother. According to neighbors and KOAT-TV, living conditions in the now-condemned house were “grotesque” and we agree. Among the grotesque elements of the case was that police found the remains of Mr. Cunningham’s older brother in a bedroom; he had been dead for several days. This makes Mr. Cunningham the first nominee for the 2014 Norman Bates Award™.
Also earning a Norman Bates Award nomination (Road Trip Division) is 62-year-old Ray Tomlinson of Clinton Township, Michigan. He drove from Michigan to Glendale, Arizona in a van with his 92-year-old wheelchair-bound mother. They picked up a 31-year-old woman with whom Mr. Tomlinson had a relationship and started back to Michigan. The woman took some pills and died shortly after they hit the road, but Mr. Tomlinson kept on driving under the impression (from the internet!) that he had 48 hours to turn in the body. Meanwhile, the van’s AC failed and his mother was not able to use a restroom. Police met the van when it returned to Michigan. A neighbor gives her impressions of the homecoming:
“If you’ve ever smelled a dead body before - you never get that out of your head. . . . As soon as the police opened the door, thank God there was a good breeze going because you would just get a whiff of it once in a while.”See you next month!