How to hide a body. Whether it’s stuffing a body in a vat of acid or forcing a snitch to dig his own shallow grave, almost every movie with a body in it has its own way of getting rid of the corpse. Hollywood has expanded more creativity on finding ways to hide a body than writing a good script. But would any of it really work?
4 Easy Ways to Hide a Body
As part of our ongoing effort to see how much we can put into our Google search histories before the FBI breaks down our doors.
We’ve investigated all the most iconic ways to dispose of a body and found out exactly what would happen if somebody tried these methods in real life. How to hide a body.
1. Dissolving a Body in a Vat of Acid
Breaking Bad makes getting rid of a body look easy. According to Walter White, all you have to do is throw a body in a vat and fill it with hydrofluoric acid. Soon, all that will be left will be a murky goo that was once your friend Gale.
In reality, though, it doesn’t quite work out that well. As far as acids go, hydrofluoric acid is actually a weak acid and is especially ineffective at breaking down bodies. That’s a lesson that some people have learned firsthand.
When three killers in France tried Walter White’s approach, they quickly found out that all the acid really did was make their victim’s body stink to high heaven. It called more attention to what they’d done, and the body didn’t even break down.
When the police found the victim, she’d been in a vat of acid for 10 days and her body was still intact.
A team of German chemists wrote a paper on White’s theory and suggested that you could get better results with different chemicals. But anyone who tried it would still be looking at a horrible smell and an awfully long wait. How to hide a body.
2. Pulling a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s
Believe it or not, somebody’s tried acting out the weekend at Bernie’s in real life. The movie is an ‘80s comedy where two men take their dead boss’s body out for a weekend of partying.
When Robert Young and Mark Rubinson found their friend dead in his home, they decided to take him out for one last night on the town at his expense.
They threw their friend in the back seat of their car, took his dead body barhopping through three separate venues, and closed off the night by blowing $400 of their dead friend’s money at a strip club.
Unlike in the movie, they didn’t actually drag their friend’s body into the club. They left him in the back seat of the car throughout the whole fiasco. So it’s not entirely clear why they bothered dragging his corpse around at all.
When the night was over, they called the cops to report that their friend was dead. But since real life isn’t a raunchy ‘80s comedy movie, the police didn’t just laugh it off. The pair ended up in jail on a pile of charges, including abusing a corpse. How to hide a body.
3. Stuffing a Body into a Wood Chipper
The most memorable moment in Fargo has to be when Steve Buscemi’s killer is caught stuffing him into a wood chipper. Believe it or not, that wasn’t just a scene from the Coen brothers’ imaginations.
It was based on Richard Crafts, the man who killed his wife and tried to get rid of her body, just like in the movie. Wood chippers really are strong enough to pulverize human body parts, including bones, and Crafts’s plan actually worked out fairly well.
He was able to get rid of enough evidence so that most of his wife’s body still hadn’t been found. His approach left quite a mess behind, though.
Even if they never found her whole body, crime scene investigators found fragments of hair, fingernails, teeth, and bones scattered around the crime scene.
Blood had also soaked into the carpet and the furniture. It wasn’t particularly subtle, either. His neighbors definitely noticed when he rolled in a massive wood chipper and started running it without bothering to gather any wood.
All that noise ended up being a big part of how the police knew to check his property in the first place. How to hide a body.
4. Making Them Dig Their Own Graves
The Wild West classic is to hold your victim at gunpoint and make him dig his own grave. It’s a fine way to avoid a little backbreaking labor.
But if you’re going to make someone bury himself, you’d better leave a few days open in your schedule. In some ways, this works better than you’d think.
It would seem that most people, when armed with a shovel and staring their own death in the eye, would fight for their lives rather than dig. But, in practice, that doesn’t really happen.
In most real-life accounts, the victims appear to be resigned to their fates and dig. It takes an awful lot of time, though. Professional gravediggers need an hour to dig a grave with a backhoe and the better part of a day to do it with a shovel.
And that’s in ideal conditions. If the soil’s hard and the person digging has every reason to take his time doing it, digging a 1.8-meter (6 ft) grave could take days. How to hide a body.
The best you’ll get is a shallow grave, and the police are experts at finding them. They have “cadaver dogs” that are specially trained to sniff out buried bodies, and they know how to spot the subtle variations on the surface that give away where a grave is hiding. So a body in a shallow grave probably won’t stay hidden long.
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