Tales From The Crypt
The Aiken County Coroner's Office responded to the residence of a country gentleman to discover
him hanging from the waist through his front door. He lived alone and had apparently lost his key
to his house as he returned home in an intoxicated state. He broke out a panel in his front door
and attempted to crawl through, catching his hips in the narrow space. He died from positional
asphyxia, and what I refer to as a left brain death. Obviously, this is an alcohol related death.
Had he been in his right mind, he would have known he was too big for the narrow opening.
-Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend
I was notified by the State Law Enforcement Division that an informant had made a statement
that he had rented a backhoe and buried someone on some property he had rented for growing
flowering dogwood trees. Upon arriving on scene, the informant showed us where he had buried
this person and the backhoe began breaking ground and soon thereafter the body was found. It
had been in the ground for nine and one-half months. As we later found out, he was killed
because of a gigantic drug deal gone sour. In a matter of days it was concluded that the
informant was the guilty party and that the informant had actually killed and buried the man
himself. Between the informant and the deceased they handled over $240,000,000 in drug related
deals over a period of several years. He was later sentenced to life in prison and shortly
after being jailed, took his own life by hanging himself from a bed-sheet in his cell.
-Chester County Coroner E. Watson Wright
One of the most unusual cases that we have worked was a single vehicle collision
(vehicle vs. tree). When the investigating coroner arrived on the scene he was advised that
the car had left the roadway, traveled approximately 100 yards and centered a tree. The driver
of the vehicle was restrained and had blood coming from the head area. To all agencies involved
this appeared to be a traffic accident. The deputy coroner working the case had just completed
a Blood Spatter seminar in Dade County, Florida, and noticed very unusual blood spatter on the
dash of the vehicle. He began to suspect that this may have been more than a traffic accident
and had the entire scene secured and sealed with crime tape. Nothing was moved until a complete
homicide investigation was conducted. After the scene investigation was completed, the body
was removed from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital for further examination and
x-rays. It was determined that the victim had multiple small caliber gunshot wounds to the head.
Due to the manner in which the scene was preserved and the precautions taken with handling the
body, no valuable evidence was lost in what turned out to be a homicide.
-Greenville County Coroner B. Parks Evans, Jr.
Co-workers reported that a man said, 'I killed someone,' to the Sheriff's Department.
When police arrived at his workplace to question him, he ran. He fled into the woods behind
his workplace. In the woods we found a small shack made of pallets and cardboard where this
man lived and where there was an open grave with a body that had been dug up and mutilated
into 13 parts. The suspect revealed that he buried the person about a year ago and got scared,
so he dug him up and cut up the body, scattering the pieces over a wooded area. The victim was
identified by dental records from out of state.
-Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nesbit