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Dan_DeColumna's avatar

(NSFW) Hypothetically, what would be the best way to dispose of a body on the sly (would be useful for a story)

Asked by Dan_DeColumna (2425 points ) February 15th, 2010

I’m always looking for creative ways to remove characters from my stories, so any input would be appreciated.

There are so many methods:

Feeding it to pigs
Incinerating it
Burying it
Dumping weighted into a body of water
Sealing it in concrete
Etc.

What are the pros and cons? Which method would you choose for your story and why?

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42 Answers

tragiclikebowie's avatar

….......Ummm…..is there something you’re not telling us?

chyna's avatar

Tree chipper. Shoot the pieces into the woods and the animals will eat them and there should be no evidence left. Clean said tree chipper thoroughly.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Get about 5,000 helium balloons and float it to a distant land. Problem solved.

Watch out for planes and migrating birds.

Shae's avatar

I’d go with the pigs. or an acid solution.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@tragiclikebowie That’s for me to know and you to wonder. :-D

poisonedantidote's avatar

probably just dump the body where it lands, handle it less and leave less evidence. bury em in the desert would be my option maybe.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Can you say… Cannibalism?

DeanV's avatar

Invite some friends over for dinner and… surprise them.

dpworkin's avatar

I just leave the nurses in my basement. That way, I can visit them.

Trillian's avatar

Oooooo I know. Bury it in the basement so when the demons are resurrected they’ll have a host body to inhabit!

syz's avatar

Oddly enough, I’ve answered this question twice before on Fluther. Find the nearest hyena enclosure. Hyenas are the last of the great bone crushers – they can crack even the largest bones in the body (femurs, skull) and their incredibly efficient digestive system breaks it all down and poops it out. The only thing that I have been unable to confirm is whether or not they can digest the teeth.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@johnpowell That pretty much covers everything I was going to say. Awkward.

I would also suggest looking in to the persons daily routine. Who would miss them? Who would know they were with you? Would you be a suspect in an investigation? You probably would need to find a way to deflect suspicion from yourself.

ragingloli's avatar

The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that the most effective way to dispose of a body is to vaporise it with a phaser. Of course, you will have to invent it first.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

In all seriousness, (And I can’t believe that I’m being serious here, but…) find a grave that has already been dug, perhaps in advance for a funeral. Dig down another 3 or so feet, and bury the body, carefully covering it up to look as it was before. Then when the funeral occurs, they will bury the casket just above the other body, and seal it up for good.

Symbeline's avatar

Unless you can make it literally disappear, there’s always gonna be some hint lift, and disposing of a body can probably get pretty complicated.
Forensics and the authoritative figures are very good at deducing and finding a lead from merely one small charred bone fragment, for example. Unless I watch too much CSI Miami.

I’d say, in order to get away with murder, what’s important is who you kill, rather than how you dispose of their body after. I mean nobody is really going to look into the death of some poor homeless bastard as much as they might on some rich dude who owns a condom company.

But yeah that’s not the point but I wanted to say it because it leads me to this; if I could, I would probably submerge it into fresh cement so it dries over it. But that’s pretty complicated as you would have to make sure that nobody looks at said chunk of concrete twice. You’d have to get lucky and conveniently find drying concrete, and then have enough time, skill and some bit of luck to put the body in there and revert the process to what it was like before you got there.
Although it may happen, I hardly see some murder carefully work fresh cement on some construction site at three in the morn…(If they did though, by the time the body would be found, you’d probably be long passed away by then anyways.)

So, my point is, if any literal methods of disappearance are unavailable to me, which would prolly be the case unless this was a murder I was planning for months, I’d choose a method of destruction which would make it extremely hard for forensics to determine much of anything from.
(Besides knowing who the victim was, and that more based on them being on missing persons for months rather than what they find about the corpse.)

My first thought was to tie a weight to it and plunge it in the river. However, eventually some appendages may detach themselves with the rotting process, and one floating arm, head or leg or whatever is a very decent path for detectives and forensic teams. Of course, you could put the body in a bag, like a big plastic bag, a bodybag, anything solid enough to withstand the ravages of water for years.
The problem with that is, if they have any idea where the body might be, and do a search and actually find it, there will be plenty of hints to trace, such as methods of murder and all. So we have to opt for a quicker and more efficient means of destruction, unless you’re totally sure nobody’s ever gonna look where you stash it.

So my trick is to either set the body ablaze, gather the charred bits and remains and huck em in the winds over a lake, or, dismember the person into as many pieces as possible. Then cut those pieces into even smaller ones. Ever seen Fantasia? You get the point right. Cut it up, crush it, grind it whatever. THEN huck alla that into a river. (Or any body of water with strong current.Make sure to thoroughly clean the location in which you prepared the body, too. Don’t leave blood stains, skin or bones or anything. It has to be impeccable. Hell just set the place on fire afterward if you must, although that in itself might be quite suspicious.)
This way, all the small pieces will stray away from one another very quickly, and the water and current will have no problem to “erode” or ruin such small pieces even more. It might serve as a food source for fish and other river critters.
It should be next to impossible to ever retrieve anything about this poor corpse, and by the time someone did, there’s really nothing they could tell about it aside from the amount of time it’s been in the water and what it has done to it. So, harder to trace it back to the murderer.
I’m thinking about bone pieces though, those themselves might very well betray the whole plan.

So I’m just posting alla dat as I type, wasn’t meant to be that long, but it remains hypothetical.

And I don’t think I need to state this, if only because if any actual forensics or representative of the law read this, they would probably laugh on how little I actually know of such issues, methods and reasoning.

Right?

Dr_C's avatar

Piranhas. Nuff said.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

What about covering it up with a disaster? I mean, hypothetically speaking, if someone working in the Twin Towers knew the attack was going to happen, couldn’t they have killed someone, stuffed them in a broom closet, and walked out, no one the wiser? Or what if you had known the dikes were going to fail in Katrina? Couldn’t you have murdered someone in New Orleans and had their body fall to the wayside with thousands of other rotting corpses floating among the ruins?

Is it possible to cover up a murder by causing a mass casualty incident afterward? Is it practical to cause a major disaster to cover up one murder? Even if they suspected murder, would they investigate it so earnestly in the ensuing chaos?

Just a thought.

Symbeline's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna Sure it would be possible but the chances of finding a convenient disaster to compliment your crime are probably about as high as Harry Potter escaping from Gringotts by dragon twice in the same day.
I mean as you say, first you would have to know ahead of time about an incoming disaster.
Granted though, you could possibly use the aftermath of a disaster to stash a dead body in, of course, depending on the disaster itself. But you’d have to be careful not to be caught by rescue teams, police and military. Usually, disasters don’t go unattended, people go to help and clear shit up as soon as they can. Most bodies, the ones that which are found anyways, are usually inspected thoroughly as well, usually to determine the victims, so you’d also have to consider the method of murder used. If you shot him in the head, someone might notice the bullet hole. :/

Also I forgot to mention in the first post-your body pieces need to be carried in a safe container after gathering them. I assume it’s safe to huck the container (Bag or box whatev.) in the river after dumping the body remains, since the water will erase fingerprints. You can always set he container on fire though, if it feels safer.

TheJoker's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna Covering up a murder by causing a disaster is a possibility. However, it is far simpler to conceal it within a series of unrelated murders. Either by using the m.o. of an existing serial killer, or by faking one.
Another option is the accident method…. Just check out the number of accident related deaths every year. & some of them are wild so the murder could be equally, inventive.

Cruiser's avatar

I have always like the idea of cement shoes and sleeping with the fishes. It seems so right especially the whole process of tying up your victim and having that last drawn out conversation while the cement hardens. All sorts of opportunity for high drama right down to the last bubbles rising to the surface as you then go to start the boat engine.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna Hey, the best example that comes to my mind, would be Jimmy Hoffa! Many say he was buried under a new construction site and he was covered with concrete and a blgd.

Snarp's avatar

Well, it’s been done in a mystery novel before, but crabs are incredibly effective at disposing of any sort of flesh.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Thermite. An 8:3 mixture (by weight) of iron oxide and aluminum powders. Use a magnesium flare to ignite the mixture. The temperature is hot enough to melt steel. I’ll leave it to your imagination how to use it; use enough and a body will be effectively vaporized.

A very large plasma arc would have the same effect on organic material.

@Symbeline Excellent coloosal-suid bait! I can tell what your tastes in reading are. :^)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I knew it was time for me to separate from my wife when I found myself watching Law & Order… and taking notes.

Val123's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Too much of a chance of getting caught that way, I’d think….I can’t believe I’m even answering anything in this Q!

Dr_C's avatar

Another creative way to do it (hypothetically of course) would be to apply heat to the finger-tips to remove prints and then find a way to sneak the person into the county morgue or coroner’s office. That’s the last place they’d look. and if you can remove any distinguishing marks or features (I’m assuming if you’re writing a story you can come up with something entertaining) then you’d be set as far as ID.

wundayatta's avatar

You could postulate some kind of bacteria or nano-bug that would enter the body and scramble all the DNA. Then file off finger and toe prints (or maybe both hands and feet), and destroy the face and all the teeth. Then you could drop it anywhere around town, not caring who found it.

Val123's avatar

@wundayatta Great idea! And also, infuse it with someone else’s DNA so they can’t track it that way neither!

filmfann's avatar

A friend of mine named Jimmy was hanging out with another of his friends, and they decided to drive up into the Oakland hills to take some acid. While they were up there, parked over a large unimproved area, Jimmy smelled something awful. They climbed down the hill a bit, to find out what it was, and found a dead body dumped there.
They told a passing motorist, who called the police. Soon the news crews came, and they later interviewed Jimmy at home.
So Jimmy was on TV, with the newswoman commenting on how obviously upset this fine young man was at finding a dead body. What was really bothering Jimmy was that he was on acid, looking at a bowl of potato chips that seemed to be breathing.

Val123's avatar

@filmfann Don’t quit your day job!

Symbeline's avatar

@filmfann Damn them evil chips.

Just_Justine's avatar

I would make a broth quite quickly and freeze it, then feed it to various stray cats as recycling is always good so is being humanitarian. The bones I would give to some dogs after of course they had been boiled a bit so the doggy could digest it.

I would put them in mincer then at midnight find some road works and mix the mince into their tar recipe so I could walk all over them when I am cross ( I hated them right?).

I could make furniture out of them. You know like bone chairs painted nicely and pretend it was a new thing in chair construction. Use their skulls as ashtrays covered in shells, their feet as door stops, dips their eyeballs in glitter and make xmas tree decorations.

I could boil away their flesh, bang and chip their teeth a bit and hang them up in a science class?

Oh I have so many ideas.. scary really.

Coloma's avatar

Alligator infested swamp, maybe create the geographic setting in the Florida Keys.

Or, Hyenas and wild dogs, maybe the murder takes place on an African vacation.

In a wrecking yard, stash the corpse in a car about to be crushed.

Quicksand. Easy self burial, no evidence, gone. Glug, gurgle, wop. lol

Nullo's avatar

The best way would be for the body to dispose of itself. Substance abuse lends itself well to this end.

meagan's avatar

Sweeney Todd, anyone?
Grind them up and sell sandwiches! (Or meat pies…)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Many of those other usual ways have great flaws. If you can sneak a body into a construction zone where they are about to lay many tons of concrete as say a foundation for a high rise or a freeway and there is no chance of it being unearth before the pouring, that is probably the best.

Pigs? They can always miss something or they won’t totally digest everything and end up pooping out a finger nail or bone fragment, or if the feds get the big before that they can find evidence of the vic inside the pig.

Acid is good but very hard to do, you have to have somewhere that you can put a vat like container and enough time unbothered for the acid to work. Then the main trouble, getting that much acid with out a paper trail, or anything leading back to you. What about a noxious smell that might tip off someone unintended?

Wood chipper? No matter how hard you try to clean it it has gears and lots of internal moving parts, unless you care to dismantle every last cog as the feds will do better skip that, all they have to do is find DNA tucked in the back of one rod, screw, bolt, etc and you are toast.

If you are down South a better way would be to take the body out on a boat at night with night vision goggles, tie it with ham and toss it to the gators. If there is enough to wash up and it gets lucky enough to be found before it completely decays it would be harder to determine hoe death occurred, with the water, worms and gator feasting.

If you were not down South but on either coast take the body 5 miles off shore, chum the water and when the sharks came drag the body to get the sharks in hunt and feed mode then allow them to ”catch” it. Then when they are in a frenzy cut it loose. If it is discovered it was the sharks that done him in.

About the best way is of you had access to a crematorium and just reduce the body to ash and thoroughly cleaned the chamber of any ash when you are done then you can scatter the remains almost anywhere and they will never be found.

6rant6's avatar

I always find the pigs are more trouble to get rid of than the body was.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fried Green Tomatoes.

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