Reader Friday: Where Will You Hide the Body?

You’ve just committed the perfect murder (all that research finally pays off!), but to be successful the cops can’t find the corpse. Your DNA, a stray hair, fibers, or fingerprints might lead them back to you.

Where will you hide the body?

Hint: it’s the location of the book you’re reading. Get those creative juices flowing! Where in that location will you stash the evidence?

Are you dumping the evidence (latex gloves, murder weapon, etc.) with the body?

If no, what’s the distance between the evidence and the corpse?


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About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers") and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Mayhem Series and Grafton County Series (Tirgearr Publishing) and is the true crime/narrative nonfiction author of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs (Rowman & Littlefield Group). Sue teaches a virtual course about serial killers for EdAdvance in CT and a condensed version for her fellow Sisters In Crime. She's appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion, and three episodes of A Time to Kill on DiscoveryID (due to air in 2023). Learn more about Sue and her books at

39 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Where Will You Hide the Body?

  1. Well the timing couldn’t be better – I’m reading Richard Snow’s _Disney’s Land_, and I’m right in the middle of the then 1950’s Anaheim excavation… so many choices:
    – the berm that separates the park from the surrounding city?
    – the railroad bed?
    – the river bed of the Jungle Cruise?
    – the foundation of Cinderella’s Castle?
    On the other hand, the meticulous attention to detail everyone had (and still does), might mean a quicker discovery…

      • Think I might get the esteemed Mr. JSB to assist with some LA history research on this one? Might be a few years past his preferred time-frame, but…

        • Ha. I went to Disneyland in those early years. My favorite stop was the Main Street Cinema, where they show old Disney cartoons (including Steamboat Willie) on various screens. It’s always dark in there. You could prop the body up at one of the screens, as if it was watching.

          For a more permanent solution, one of the concrete pillars of the Monorail. Just not the one with Jimmy Hoffa in it.

  2. Boy am I in trouble. First, my fingerprints are in the system. So if they find the body and check the IRS database, I’m toast.

    To make matters worse, I’m 2/3rds thru a certain Mr. Gilstrap’s “Nathan’s Run” (which by the way I stayed up WAY too late last night—this morning—reading). At this point, I think my only option is the half-built subdivision outside Harrisburg, PA. Find a foundation about to by poured, bury it deep under that, and hope the contractors are on a tight schedule.

  3. I’m reading Black Days, Black Dust – the memoir of an African-American coal miner who lived in Fairmont, WV. (I worked underground for four years in the ’80s.)

    I’d bury the corpse behind the shield line of an active longwall mining section in the Loveridge Mine on a Sunday, when the mine is idled. Once mining resumes Monday, and the longwall advances and the roof falls behind the shields, the body and associated evidence will be buried beneath 1,000 feet of rock far out in the WV countryside. The deer will graze above like another day in the pasture.

    I’m a plotter, not a pantser, but this question is such short notice, Sue, that I haven’t determined how I’ll masquerade as a fire boss and enter said mine with said dead body on a Sunday. Can you extend the deadline for that part? Thanks, Lou.

  4. I’m reading The Cabinets of Barnaby Maybe, and it’s the 18th century, so I can leave my DNA all over the body. Unless I’m grossly careless with other physical evidence such as pieces of cloth, a whole handful of my hair, or a threatening letter from me in the victim’s pocket, I’m good. I would just drag the body to the Fleet or the Thames, strip it, and dump it in, then leave its clothes in one of the rookeries for some poor person to find and claim.

    • So true, Klwl! But I wouldn’t be too careless. Many of the toxicology tests created in the 18th century are still used today. Impressive forensics back then.

  5. This is a fun one, Sue!

    I am, however momentarily, between books. The last one that I read which involved a murder mystery was A PRIVATE CATHEDRAL by James Lee Burke and is set in Louisiana.


    The body would go into the swamp off of the south side of I-10 between La Place and Sorrento in three different places. I would use contractor bags to transport the remains but would not leave the bags (see below). The insects and wildlife found on the southern edge of I-10 would effectively dispose of the bodies.

    The murder weapon, victims’ clothes, and latex gloves would go into several different garbage cans, dumpsters, etc. over a radius of ten miles in a city located in the county/parish contiguous to the site of the murder.

    I would drop the contractor bags off in the woods off of Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge. There are a couple of homeless camps near there and the bags would be repurposed by the residents. Waste not, want not.

    • Sounds like you’ve thought about this before, Joe. 😀 Louisiana waterways scream perfect body dump location. Impressed that you optioned for dismemberment. I’m in!

  6. I’m almost halfway through Romeo’s Stand, my James Scott Bell. Romeo has just entered Las Vegas.

    I would feed the strangled body, cut into easily-digestible parts, to white lions in the Secret Garden at the Mirage Hotel. To gain access to the lion, I’d make myself the zookeeper.

    After hiding the corpse, I’d bag up my laundered outfit, the victim’s laundered outfit, and the cleaned body-cutting implement into three separate parcels and deposit them outside three different Goodwill donation centers in Arizona, California, and Oregon.

    • A second TKZ reader to opt for dismemberment. Love the way you think, Truant! Great idea about your outfit, too. Remind me never to piss you off. 😉

  7. I’m reading Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin.

    The body is hidden in a 26,000 acre area, called the Zuta, near the SE Georgia coastline city of Brunswick. I scattered the evidence in the Buffalo, a swamp that runs in the middle of the Zuta.

    You’ve got 26,000 acres to poke around in…good luck to ya… 🙂

  8. Well, I just finished reading a short story about a pig (more or less) so I’d feed the body to the pigs (sorry guys, but you got a job to do), and burn the rope I garroted my guy with. Less mess. I was going to poison him, but I can’t hurt the pigs that way. I’m a considerate killer…in theory.
    (I’m on a gov’t watchlist now, you know)

  9. Pig farm minus clothes and head. Head goes in a fresh cement pour at high rise construction site. Clothes etc in acid tank.

    • Sounds good to me, D! You could also add the head (and feet and hands) to the acid bath, heat to 500 degrees, then watch your victim’s identity melt away. Don’t forget to grind those leftover teeth into fine powder, though! 😀

  10. My pre-order of the newest Angie Fox “Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery” is coming today, and the series is filled with old Southern mansions, underground speakeasies, and tunnels. So, so many lovely choices. Unfortunately, some ghost would probably rat me out, eventually.

    A clever and fun series with tight mysteries and interesting history. I highly recommend it.

    Real world speaking, I’m small with a bad back so I’m more of an alibi and big idea specalist for anyone considering the act than a killer.

  11. I’d weigh the body down in a vacationing neighbor’s pool and throw extra chlorine in there to destroy DNA evidence. Hmm, would that work?

    I’d bake the latex gloves and garrote in a chocolate cake (in case I was stopped) and drive it over state lines to visit a family member, take a back road, and throw the cake out the window when crossing a bridge over a turbulent river.

  12. No need to hide the body as long as I don’t use a gun or an energy weapon that leaves a signature when I kill my victim. I’ll just leave the corpse in the open where the human-sized carnivorous locust-like swarms of the planet Cricket will leave just enough blood behind for DNA identification. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

  13. Late to the party, Sue, as usual. Got a true crime, body-hiding story here. Act I – Mrs. Wolfgang Mufellner went missing and suspicion fell on her husband, Wolfie. Act II – Cops do a psychological trip on Wolfie and he slips up. Act III – Wolfie confesses that he killed his wife and burned her body in the garden – only to have the fire department show up and hose the pyre down. Wolfie then roto-tilled his wife’s semi-cremated remains into the ground.

  14. I live in Nevada with many old abandoned mines. I have been intrigued by hiding the body in a mine shaft. Since my current WIP is a historical mystery all the mines are not abandoned yet, so this will have to wait for a later story.

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