Gruesome as it may be many murders result in an attempt at disposing of the body. I say attempt because obviously the body is eventually discovered, how else would we know about its disposal.
Disposing of the body: methods
We all know know about the concrete shoes method of disposing of a body, but this usually occurs when the victim is alive. Water is often used for disposing of the body, either whole or in pieces. The movement of the water can result in the bodies being moved from their initial immersion location and washing up on a beach somewhere or being caught in fishermen’s nets. Advanced methods of searching water can make this method of disposal less conclusive than perhaps it once was.
Burial in various locations has been done, remote locations such as woods or moors, in an already occupied grave or even in the back garden under the patio. Often these bodies aren’t found until years later and already a skeleton. In this day and age science can identify them, age them and reconstruct their faces before linking them to previous unsolved cases.
Fire is often used in the mistaken belief that it will hide all of the evidence and completely incinerate the body. It rarely does, the fire has to reach significant temperatures to completely burn the body, and fire has ways of preserving evidence for later discovery.
Acid and alkali of various kinds have been used to break down the bodies tissues and essentially eat or dissolve the body. This method takes time and bodies can be found before the process is complete.
Eating the body has also been used, I always remember the story of the woman who fed the investigating officers with roast husband, there are obviously parts that would be preferable not to eat as with any animal. The body would need storing until it was fully disposed of and those inedible parts would need to be gotten rid of also. This type of disposal can also suggested that this was the purpose of the killing.
Other methods of disposing of the body I have come across include the use of a wood chipper, hiding the body within the walls or foundations of a building, feeding it to animals and staging it as a different kind of death.
So finally I want to look at pigs as a method of disposing of the body; and whether they could eat and digest a human body, as they are so often depicted as doing on television and in the movies.
Pigs will eat anything and in several cases have eaten humans, both alive and dead. I have found it difficult to clarify whether they can digest the bones and teeth and suspect that these parts, although crushed by the pigs large flat teeth and strong jaws, pass through the animal. If knowledge of the incident was presented early enough then the stomach contents of the pigs and their feces could provide evidence of humans having been eaten.A search of the pen or field could also provide trace evidence of the bodies having been there in the form of blood or hair that the pigs had missed.
In the stories it can work out however the writer makes it work, the investigator can find or not find anything the writer wants and the killer can get away with it or not.
Writers see the world and rewrite it to fit their imagination.
My killers have a method that is just a little bit twisted and sick, well more twisted than killing and disposing of the bodies, it doesn’t always go to plan though.
As I was going to do next weeks blog on pigs and have, in my eagerness, included it in this blog I have not decided on next weeks topic yet. Perhaps my short story “Becoming Whispers” will be ready by then and you can have a taster or perhaps I will find some other little intriguing detail from the story to write about.
Until next time…..