Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Harrison Graham: The Corpse Collector

Grim Discovery

It wasn't that unusual to find homeless people crawling into these places, or even the elderly, who had no one to care for them, finally just giving up the ghost and hoping that someone would take care of their remains.  Still, within the filth and trash, roaches and fleas, syringes and spoons, and glass jars filled with yellow liquid, it seemed as though there had to be more to this overpowering stench than a dead body.  Old newspapers and magazines were piled up, along with mattresses and smelly blankets, and there was moldy dog feces in many places.  Flies alighted everywhere, on peeling walls, warped ceilings, and pieces of rotting garbage. 

No one was eager to look, but that was their job in that gruesome place.  Then, at around 3:45 p.m., they turned up yet a third set of remains, wrapped in two sheets and buried under rags and other debris that had been beneath the second body.  What they had this time was nearly skeletal, but the remains had shreds of clothing that might assist in identification.  As they made room for this one to be photographed and removed, they started to toss broken pieces of furniture and piles of clothing through the window to the lawn outside. Less than two hours later, the searchers turned up a fourth set of mummified remains, also wrapped in sheets and stuffed under a pile of trash.  Detective Hansen said to reporters that "this could be the first time, to my knowledge, that we've found four bodies of suspicious death in the same house." 

Higher-ranking officers were called.  This was obviously going to be a long night.


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