Sunday, April 12, 2015

ISDP: Georgia on My Mind

Bright spring sunshine is slicing through gaps in the shingles here at FirstNerve Manor and illuminating the thick dust beneath the White Castle boxes scattered on the floor. We’re going to have to do something about that. Maybe plug the holes with wads of Dubble Bubble.

In the meantime, this fresh April edition of FN’s most popular recurring feature is rather light on classic ISDP incidents, i.e., ones in which the wretched, unforgettable stench of decay leads to the discover of a deceased person. The sole offering comes from Albany, Georgia, where police found a dead body in vacant home on West Tift Avenue after they responded to neighbors’ complaints of a foul odor.

By way of consolation to dedicated fans, we are able to present two new nominees for the Norman Bates Award™. Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is 58-year-old Barbara Ann Helton who is charged with violating her parole under some unusual circumstances:
a Fort Wayne Community Correctional officer was on a home visit for a woman, and while talking to her and another man, he noticed a foul odor. Questioning led the officer to go into the upstairs bedroom where he found an adult body in the closet . . .
Always Trust Your Nose!™

The coroner’s office has yet to positively ID the body, but it may be that of the home owner. According to neighbors, he hadn’t been seen in weeks and the couple told people he “was having surgery”. Police had been to the home “several times”. Hmmm . . .

Nominee number two is “Carolyn” from San Francisco, who may have been living with the mummified remains of her elderly mother in a house in the Richmond District. Neighbors say the mother has not been seen in years and that Carolyn hasn’t been seen outdoors much for about a year. The house was stuffed with junk in classic hoarder style. Here’s an odd additional bit from Carolyne Zinko’s story at
a man living in an in-law unit at the house was informed on Tuesday that the property was in foreclosure
Dude! Was he anosmic or just being politely disattentive?

Finally, here’s a story that doesn’t meet our famously rigorous criteria for an ISDP incident, but in which the smell of decomposition turns up twice as valuable forensic evidence. It involves the body of a missing 18-year-old Colorado woman found in a discarded suitcase. Hotel employees reported that a room rented by two persons of interest in the case had a foul odor. Also, a police cadaver dog alerted to a smell in the suspects’ car.

As Marcel Proust used to say, À la prochainet!

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