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Friday, August 4, 2017

The Brutal Art of Dismemberment

To profane a dead body by cutting it to pieces has always seemed, at least to our Western eyes, an act of bestial brutality. It is one thing to do murder. It is quite another to destroy the murder victim's identity, and this is the effect of dismemberment.....

     Taking apart a fresh human body is no mean task. You will work up a sweat doing it. I have seen every tool imaginable used for this grisly purpose, from the ancient stone choppers used by early man millions of years ago...to the Rambo knives, hacksaws and chain saws of today. It is a bloody, messy, dangerous business. Saws and knives can slip and wound you while you are using them. Bone itself can be quite sharp; I have been cut by broken bones while working with remains....

    Many dismemberments are done in bathtubs--more things come out of bathtubs than bathtub gin....Most of my [dismemberment] cases seem to involve motorcycle gang members or people involved in the drug trade.

Dr. William R. Maples, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, 1994

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