Tuesday, April 06, 2010

That wasn't a dead body, was it?

Had the strangest experience on the way home from work today. I was driving Henrietta along one of the back roads not far from the airport when I noticed this blue, first-generation Honda Fit parked somewhat oddly alongside the road. It was at a spot approaching the bridge that crosses one of the smaller branches of the Thames River, and I'll charitably call this place desolate. Aside from a mysterious-looking, dust-covered, industrial-ish company nearby, there's nothing here. It's not the kind of place where you want to get stuck.

I felt a little bad for the guy as he leaned into the hatch. I thought he was going to fetch a repair kit. Or a tire jack. Or a flare gun. So imagine my surprise when he shlepped out a rather large, quite full garbage bag. Then I noticed what I thought was a shoe sticking out of a hole in the bag. My blood must have chilled by a few degrees as I figuratively - or was it literally? - shook my head and asked myself silently - or was it out loud? - if I had just seen what I thought I saw.

I slowed down because...well I'm not entirely sure why. If he was indeed dumping a body in this forgotten place beside a steep riverbank, logic dictated I should simply keep going. But the journalist in me was too curious. And I could always run the dork over if he came at me.

So I stopped on the shoulder and watched him. He saw me, and kept looking over his shoulder as he continued into the bush, obviously weighed down by the bag-I-hoped-didn't-hold-a-body. I didn't want to antagonize him by shooting him with my DSLR (carry it everywhere, folks) so I satisfied myself with this hastily taken shot from my BlackBerry. I figured the time stamp would come in handy if I ever got called into court to testify.

In the end, it could simply be my overactive imagination. But just in case, I'll be watching the local news feeds - including my handy Twitter list of Londoners - especially closely for the next few days. If anything remotely like a missing person or a found body comes up, I guess I have a call to make. And if not, I think I may have freaked out a guy whose biggest crime may have been dumping garbage in the bush.

Either way, another zing in this adventure called life.

Your turn: Have you ever witnessed a crime? Do tell.


Breeze said...

and then you posted it on your blog. So much for the witness protection program Carmi! I've witnessed someone stealing a wheelchair from the hospital...some students as a prank...and it wasn't me, oh no sireebob...what is the statute of limitations on university pranks anyway?..not that it applies here.

This wasn't anywhere near Tavistock right? right?

Will you blog under an alias from the WPP? Perhaps you could be imrac? Nobody would ever guess it was you!


Cloudia said...


Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

From Tracie said...

That is just too freaky! I absolutely would have thought that was a dead body too.

I haven't had any crime sightings. I'm very okay with that =)

Mark said...

Even "just" littering is a crime. It's funny how you might shout something at an idiot who litters, but as soon as murder might be involved, the mood changes.

Um, nice job outing the person with that license plate number, too.

lissa said...

You might want to follow the not-so-local news feeds too...after all, if the guy was committing a crime, he would have to be smart enough to travel away from home to do it....and the first town to notice a disappearance would be the home town of the victim...

Yikes, we're spinning quite the tale...!

Aunt Snow said...

I've had my eye on a Honda Fit for my new car. They are pretty cool, because the seats fold up or down in all kinds of combinations - great for carrying dogs and bass fiddles around. I guess I should add BODIES to that list!


Could it have been a bag of shoes? A dummy?

Anonymous said...


Carmi Levy: undercover photog!!

I saw some people stealing from a hotel gift shop. I'm such a prude that I informed the shop attendant WHILE THE PEOPLE WERE STEALING! They saw me telling her.

I'm a goody-two-shoes.

David said...

i did witness a terrible assault once, actually may have been attempted murder. OF a dozen witnesses, I was the only person who had the nerve to step in and stop it. the perp got 2 1/2 years in prison... I blogged about it LONG ago

SJ said...

Hello, Carmi. I haven't checked in for quite a while, but I always like coming back for an interesting picture or thought-provoking story. This post was particularly entertaining. However, in light of honesty, I had to share my thoughts; I'm not familiar with the law in Ontario, but the only thing I could think, as I read your post, was that I would have called the police just to let them know what I "thought" I saw, explaining it as you did in your post. If they chose not to investigate it, I would probably have done nothing more, but I would have felt it my duty to just report what I saw and let them decide, based on their experience, whether or not there might be a need to investigate further. It seems like something sketchy was going on. The question, really, is what. No?

rashbre said...

I once saw a brand new un-registered BMW 5 Series deserted and missing its front bumper. It happened I was on the way to a garage about 10 miles away.

Whilst I was there a policeman showed up, so I told him what I'd seen. He was somewhat amazed because he'd just been called to the garage to investigate the theft of a brand new 5 Series.