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Body in a Dump

My first thought on this issue was agreement with Tam, and a chuckle over her characterization of the issue of the former DoD guy found dead in a landfill. But now it seems like some are saying this may not be a homicide after all:

William Fleisher, an ex-cop who co-founded Philadelphia’s murder-solving Vidocq Society, said that the discovery of eyewitnesses and surveillance video of a disoriented Wheeler before he died suggests that the 66-year-old man had suffered a head or brain injury.

And that apparent disorientation, Fleisher speculated, could have caused Wheeler to voluntarily crawl into a trash Dumpster – either seeking shelter, as happens sometimes among the homeless, or perhaps looking for his reportedly lost papers.

“He may have crawled into the Dumpster looking for his briefcase, or simply to get warm,” said Fleisher, who runs a Center City investigations firm, Keystone Intelligence Network.

Fleisher also agreed with increasing speculation that Wheeler – who was filmed Dec. 29, two days before his body was found, in a downtown office with no overcoat and holding a shoe – was the victim of a traumatic event such as a mugging, or a stroke.

Apparently homeless people sometimes shelter in dumpsters to keep warm, as sad as that is. So this kind of thing is not apparently unheard of. Still, my first thought of a body showing up in a landfill that doesn’t have a bottle of hooch clutched in its hands would generally be murder.

Even if this was a mugging, the mugger, in this case, could be charged with murder if his disorientation was caused by a blow to the head. You could make a pretty good police/legal drama with a story like this.

5 Responses to “Body in a Dump”

  1. Might be true, but the garbage truck his body was found in came from Newark while the disoriented videos are from Wilmington. They’re ten to fifteen miles apart and not really connected by anything except highways. Why end up on the other side of the county? Maybe he thought he was walking home to Newcastle, but got lost because of the disorientation?

  2. Harry Schell says:

    The short clip of video I saw, FWIW, didn’t show any external sign of trauma from violence, but a stroke or small aneurism, who knows. Should show up in a good autopsy.

    A guy I knew ended up in a vacant lot one night. No violence, not even clear that it was part of his problem drinking. Wallet intact.

    I am sorry for the man and his family. Sounds like he had a lot on the ball and to live for, and it is sad for anyone to die alone like this.

  3. Jake says:

    The short clip of video I saw, FWIW, didn’t show any external sign of trauma from violence, but a stroke or small aneurism, who knows.

    Even if it was trauma from violence, it may not show up – it takes surprisingly little force to cause a brain bleed, and even after seeing it many times in EMS I’ve frequently been surprised when I find out later that a patient had a serious bleed.

    But, as you say, a good autopsy should show that.

  4. Clint1911 says:

    I good number of homeless men are guys with memory problems who one day – forgot to take their meds. The result being the poor guy can’t remember how to get home. In Short, they don’t understand what they did ten seconds earlier, and planning is not so hot either. Can’t say if that is the case, but it can’t be ruled out …yet.

    Question, why do we gunbloggers, who criticize are opponents about correlation and causation, so quickly jump to conclusions are say any and every odd correlation is caused by the obvious?

  5. Cardinal Richlieu says:

    I know why we jump to conclusions:

    Vince Foster, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and all the other abuses of power that we have seen from Democrat Administrations. Jamie Gorelick sitting on the 9-11 commission instead of in front of it. Climategate, and all the other media-complicit cover-ups.

    It is hard to be cynical enough to keep up with reality.

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