Where We Would Put the Body

From now until the middle of October, we’re running our annual photography contest: Where Would You Put the Body? And to join in the fun, even though members of the blog group can’t enter and win prizes, we thought we’d share a few photos of the places that we might pick.

Kate Flora: I have two favorites. One is a garden in a boat I often see on my walks to the end of the island. The other is one I spotted while going down to the dock one day.

John Clark, like Kate, I have two possibilities. as the darker, more gory sibling, one of my options requires cutting the victim into pieces. The first option was inspired by a story published several years ago in a Level Best Anthology I called All Set. In it a down and out lobsterman uses a variety of the ‘Nigerian Oil’ scam to sucker a rich and greedy fellow to Washington County. Once he’s sure the fellow brought cash, he clocks him with a shovel and then dismembers him to make lobster bait. Summer folk claimed lobsters never tasted so good.

The other requires a wooded area with a large tree that has tipped sideways thanks to weakened roots. Once you’ve removed enough dirt to make a spot for the body. you use a come-along to winch the tree back to an upright position. You might need to set a couple iron posts in quick setting cement to help the tree stay upright, but the body should feed the tree nicely.

Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson: I’m cheating a bit because I don’t have a photo of the actual scarecrow we saw while driving in rural Maine some years ago. This one is courtesy of Wayfair (you can buy it for just under $80!).

As we drove past, I actually said “what a great place to hide the body!” and then did so in my third Diana Spaudling 1888 mystery, No Mortal Reason.

Kait Carson: Where better to hide a body than in a 50-gallon drum in the middle of the woods? No one would ever know…except the wildlife!

Maggie Robinson: We told the kids it was just too darned expensive to run the hot tub all year round; our electric bill was gargantuan. In fact, we had another, somewhat more nefarious reason to shut it down. After we carefully applied each leaf one by one, they’ll never suspect what’s really under there, will they? YIMBY not NIMBY



Brenda Buchanan:  If you read my posts, you know I spent a lot of time outdoors at marshes and uncrowded beaches, so those are the sort of places that pop to mind when I’m ruminating about where to hide a (fictional) body. The three sites below have much to recommend them:

A marsh holds its secrets

And the natural scent of decay provides good cover

But there’s something to be said for the power of an outgoing tide.

Maureen Milliken: I knew the second I saw it that the antique horse-drawn hearse in the annex of the Belfast Historical Society & Museum would be a perfect spot to hid a body. Despite its glass windows (one cracked during a particuarly eerie moment that you’ll have to go to the museum and read about yourself), it’s unlikely anyone would look in there and notice the body for a while. It’s dark and the windows are high.

And how can you resist the irony?

If the body were dressed up to look like a Victorian corpse, even better. Anyone who just looked in would just think it was part of the exhibit.

By the way, even if you aren’t stashing a body, the museum is a great place to visit. The annex has a crime in Belfast exhibit (in an old jail cell!), and the museum itself is full of exhibits and information about the very interesting history of this Midcoast city and its people. Be sure to bring $5 to donate (less for kids, but I can’t remember since I didn’t have one with me that day) if you do visit. 🙂

I came upon the museum while I was researching a Belfast crime scene (not at the museum!) for the Crime & Stuff podcast I do with my sister.






Matt Cost: What better spot to hide a body than in the shed in my backyard? It seems to be the perfect place that nobody would bother with–perhaps in a vat of lye, which takes about three hours to dissolve a human body. The drug cartels have been doing this for a long time. The process is known colloquially as making pozole, in reference to a traditional Mexican stew. In Mainely Wicked, the baddies follow this recipe (not using lye!), and hide the human bodies in their bellies. Not sure I could do that.

It’s Maine Crime Writers “Where Would You Put the Body?” contest – late summer/early fall edition. How do you enter? Send a photograph of your chosen spot to: WritingAboutCrime@gmail.com with “Where Would You Put the Body?” in the subject line. There will be prizes for First, Second, and Third place–books of course and other Maine goodies. You may enter no more than three photographs, each one entered separately. They must be of Maine places and you must identify the place in your submission. Photos must be the submitter’s original work. Contest will run through the middle of October.


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1 Response to Where We Would Put the Body

  1. Julianne Spreng says:

    Love Kate’s boat, John’s lobster traps, and Brenda’s bog. Very easy and wouldn’t smell. John’s storm tipped tree is interesting but would probably attract attention.

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