As long as we’re stopping to smell things…

The sewer guys are out front with the manhole cover up. As a male, I was REQUIRED to walk out and look down the hole to see if there was poo in it.

As it turns out, there was no poo, but there WAS a television camera “robot” on a cable. They’ve been filming our sewers (report at 11:00!) in an effort to update the maps the city keeps of the sewage system. This was quite cool.

They also had a tool there called a something-or-other cutter (where “something-or-other” is the name of the pipe that runs from the house to the sewer line, which name I’ve inconveniently forgotten, and which pipe often sticks so far into the sewer pipe that it blocks the camera-bot). Apparently they used it yesterday to remove a nail.

One thing I learned about the sewer while looking down that hole — do NOT dispose bodies there… not unless they’re in very small pieces. The manhole is person-sized, but the flow-pipe is only about 9 inches in diameter. The manhole is there for access only.

I now return you to my regularly scheduled silence while I finish coloring the bonus materials for Book I.

41 thoughts on “As long as we’re stopping to smell things…”

  1. *takes notes* Chop up bodies before disposal. Got it.

    Incidentally, is it still only 22 where you are? It’s still about 30 over here, when normally it should be about -10 to 0. 😀 Damn, y’all are colder than we are at the moment.

  2. What’s more disturbing,
    That you looked for poo


    One of your main thoughts was about how to dispose of a body down a sewer.


    1. Recently (in the last 12 months) there was a major sewage back-up (including raw sewage coming out of toilets and into homes) in Provo, which is just down the hill from where I live.

      The cause? Someone dropped a dead dog into the sewer.

      Looking into the sewer I could see VERY clearly why the dog had caused a problem. There was some speculation at the time that whoever dropped the dog in there was doing a “dry run” for disposing of something two-legged. So anyway, all this was fresh in my mind.

      If I ever decide to dispose of a body, rest assured, nobody will EVER find it. But the fact that I’m smart enough to pull that off also means that I’m smart enough not to commit the sort of act that requires ME to dispose of a body.


      1. Recently (in the last 12 months) there was a major sewage back-up (including raw sewage coming out of toilets and into homes) in Provo, which is just down the hill from where I live.

        So I guess it really does run down hill then…

        (Sorry it was just too good to pass up.)

      2. I believe that the body in the sewer method of disposal was used in CSI at once point too.

        Apparently there are also things like tree roots that like sewer pipes too, something about the nutrient rich environment.

        1. Wasn’t that the same episode where somebody used a wood chipper to get a body into little bits?

          Was it the same body? I can’t remember.

      1. Thanks, I like your evil swan too 🙂

        Feel free to steal the icon if you want it, or it’s brother (the one I’m wearing for this reply)

  3. Really, it seems like as long as you broke the corpse’s bones thoroughly before dropping it in, that there wouldn’t be a need to hack it up. Bacteria and vermin would take care of the flesh in a couple of weeks, and the shattered skeleton would get washed down the flow pipe, bit by bit.

    1. Break every bone in its body and it will still smell though. And have flies buzzing ’round over the manhole, I’d presume. Which is how they found a body in at least one case I can remember, although it was chucked down a well beneath a pile of old tires.

    2. Problem with this is the same problem we found with the dog in the previous sewer-dump mentioned in Howard’s post: Even though the flesh would decompose, it would clog the sewer for a time, causing all sorts of nasty backups in town. (I live in Provo and saw the story. It really was absolutely disgusting. Luckily, I didn’t have any sewer troubles myself, but yeeeeeecccccchhh!!!!)

        1. Even simpler:

          Alligators! Tchah, it’s good enough for the mob.

          Or sharks, even. All you’d need is either a drive to the Everglades or a water/air drop outside of Biscayne Bay. Use a leftover hurricane-repair tarp, and you can get rid of the trace evidence at the same time.

        1. One of the *real* criminal forensics programs covered a case where someone had used a chipper and aimed it at the bank of a stream. I forget what got the authorities attention, but they were able to recover stuff (teeth for one) and nailed the guy.

  4. It should be mentioned, however, that if you do hack up the body in little pieces, be sure to use a normal saw for the hacking. They can tell from the marks the saw leaves on the bone what kind of saw it was, what kind of teeth were on the saw, how far apart the teeth were and all different kinds of information about the whole sawing process.

    So, kids, don’t use a special kind of saw or sawblade when you’re sawing up bodies or they’ll be able to track it back to you.

    *wonders if he should put a bibliography on this comment*

      1. You still leave something on the bones, right? I’m not familiar with power tools myself, but I’d be willing to bet you leave some kind of marks that can be analyzed.

        Granted, there is only one specialist in cut bone typography that I know of … so your best bet would be to kill him first …

        1. Yes, you’ll leave some abrasive behind.

          Then again, why make it difficult for the guy? Leave the remnants of the last cutoff wheel (they do wear out, fairly quickly) with the body.

          Of course, Dremels are so common that knowing the corpse was cut up with one doesn’t do anything toward tying it to the killer.

          1. It’s only really useful when they use something special. I believe in one case, the type of blade used was something … vaguely boat-builderly in type … and was then tied to the actual killer. It was something special that actually helped.

            Hehe. The expert wrote his treatise based on actual experimental data…

    1. Also…

      Since most every tool has some defect or imperfection in it’s surfacing that come from manufacture, it is a good idea to purchace a a new item at a place far from home (I own a small collection of bats and small power tools bought with cash while on vacation) and when done dunking the whole thing in bleach/amonia to soak for an hour or so, and then disposing of it in a place far, far from your home…

      For example, tossing that cheap circular saw (that’s been dunked in some liquid that renders DNA testing impossible) in a sack with trash, and dumping said trash in a dumpster two towns over…

      Be sure you wear gloves! 🙂

      *re-reads his post* Wow… I’m pretty morbid, ain’t I?

      1. Re: Also…

        Wow… I’m pretty morbid, ain’t I?

        The word is “paranoid”. Though the techniques described are workable and accurate, yes. Personally, I’d probably work the blade over with a blowtorch for a while before dunking it, but it’s probably unnecessary; a strong solution of either bleach or ammonia would do the job adequately. (I just like playing with blowtorches. Plus it’s hard to trace fingerprints when the surface has been completely melted away…)

        1. Re: Also…

          Hell, assuyming you’ve got the time and transportation for this sort of thing, why bother cutting it up?

          Haul the body out to the high desert, dig a deep hole in an area with lots of rocks to block site lines, then in *daylight* bury it under 40 or 50 pounds of homemade thermite (components for which can be obtained at a paint store)

          Touch that off and the body will be part of a puddle of white hot iron in short order.

          You ignite during the day, because thermite is as bright as a magnesium flare.

  5. One thing I learned about the sewer while looking down that hole — do NOT dispose bodies there… not unless they’re in very small pieces. The manhole is person-sized, but the flow-pipe is only about 9 inches in diameter.

    *learned that from CSI*

  6. I live right next to a cemetery. I used to point this out to my daughters’ dates (with a twelve inch kitchen knife, which I would always sharpen at strategic moments) and mention that I could probably tuck quite a few extras in there without anyone noticing.

    1. “Boy, let me tell you something. I have no trouble going back to prison.”

      One of the blue collar comedy guys, talking to his daughter’s date.

  7. sewer inspection

    I expect that the use of the camera was more for inspection of the lines, rather than explicitly mapping, as the manholes are a better indicator of mainline runs.

    Though it’s possible they are checking for non-recorded house taps into the lines…

      1. Re: sewer inspection

        happens out here (eastern US)

        Cost of a new sewer hook up runs into the thousands, plus the monthly fee for use of the system. (Plus water fees, if you are not on a well…) Plus permits. plus inspections.

    1. Re: sewer inspection

      The guy said “mapping.” He said they had paper maps, but they wanted a computerized map as well, complete with archived video, or some such.

      1. Re: sewer inspection

        Interesting. They must have upgraded the inspection cameras with either inertials or something to report position and distance from the base station [in the manhole].

        I expect this is were the DigSafe! databases come from, as well…

  8. You men! Power tools and cutting up bodies. Good heavens!

    Have you never heard of lime? Cheap, available at any hardware store, totally untracable in farming country and it does bones and all in very short order. About a week, if you’re interested.

    Or is that just a southern thing?

    1. Sometimes you absolutely must have the body gone inside of 24 hours. Such as when you’re hosting a dinner party the next day and don’t want anyone to stumble over a corpse stuffed in a barrel.

    2. Not lime – which is birdshit, but quicklime, which is burned marble/limestone.

      Dig a hole. pour some quicklime in the bottom of the hole. (yes, do it at LEAST four feet deep). Drop in the body. Pour quicklime on it. Pour in a few gallons of water (stand back) shovel in dirt until you have a few inches over it. Pour more quicklime in, don’t bother with water. Shovel the dirt on top of it.

      Spread out the extra dirt. As long as you picked an area that should be unobserved for at least three weeks, they’ll never find the body.


      1. Avoid extra shoveling —

        dump it down the nearest outhouse hole. All the best ones use quicklime to keep the odor down and decompose the biomass…

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