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November 16, 2005

Posted by Teresa at 10:37 PM * 135 comments

Oh, holy shit.

You see, there’s been this smell. We’ve only smelled it in the front entryway, not terribly strong but somehow obtrusive. And somehow, impossible to ignore.

I thought it was kitchen gas. No, some kind of gas coming off the pipe stack. Or out of the front storm drain? No, something else.

Patrick thought it was garbage overdue to be taken out. Or mildewing laundry. Or something else.

Mike Fitzgerald, our landlord, was sure it was a dead mouse. I bowed to his greater expertise. I haven’t had nearly as much experience with dead mice. Still, it was odd. It was mostly in the front entryway, a tightly constructed area. No place there for a mouse.

All of us were wrong. It’s the next door neighbor, the guy in the basement who’s younger than I am and plays loud music, the one who knows (knew) all the neighbors who’ve been here for decades.

About half an hour ago, Patrick came in and told me that for mysterious reasons, we had three ambulances out front, all with their lights flashing. I went out and stood at the top of our stoop. There were a dozen or more EMTs in the forecourt of the building next door, and a couple of police cars arriving. The first-floor next-door tenants were standing at the top of their own stoop, stiff and unblinking, talking to the EMTs.

My hearing isn’t all that hot, but I’m good at reading body language, and after watching for a little while I knew what had happened.

Oh. Oh my goodness.

I eventually (no idea how long) went over and spoke to the neighbors on their stoop. They said they’d been smelling something for days, same as we had. They said he was sitting in his chair, like he’d been watching TV or something.

(I’d wondered why he’d left his garden lights on continuously for the last several days.)

I told them that someone who looks like that had an easy death. That people who know something’s wrong don’t sit peacefully in their easy chairs.

They’re thinking maybe they’ll find some other place to stay tonight, now that they know what that smell is.

I’m back in my own apartment now. I want a big, big electrical fan. I want to prop the front door open and blow all the air out, until the house doesn’t smell like dead neighbor any more.

Addendum: Okay, now that was interesting. The NYPD is still out front. Last night started with EMTs, then changed to police officers. This morning it’s more detectives than I’ve ever seen before in one place, plus two or three uniformed officers.

One of the detectives came looking for me, buzzed at my door. We had a long conversation. I must remember to ask the landlord whether those loud thumps and bangs I heard some days ago were (as I thought at the time) heavy furniture being moved, or possibly something being built. Because if that wasn’t what was going on, the detective wants to know about it.

Comments on C4H12N2:
#1 ::: claire ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:19 PM:

Sorry doesn't begin to cover it.



#2 ::: TheSquire ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:26 PM:

It's sad that no one looked in on him for that long. To start smelling like that takes a bit, and it sounds like he'd been there for a while.

#3 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:28 PM:

Good Lord.

May he rest in peace.

There's a blessing we take for granted: that there are people who would notice if we died.

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:30 PM:

He kept an irregular schedule.

#5 ::: michael weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:47 PM:

Ah. Well. I looked up the chemical formula and discovered that -- should you ever care to -- you may purchase Putrescine(tm) from MP Biomedicals, Inc. of Aurora, Ohio.

For all your Scratch & Sniff Crime Fiction needs, I guess.

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:54 PM:

Jim Macdonald says you always recognize it after you've smelled it.

#7 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:55 PM:

Oh, wow. I'm sorry.

We have a smell in our hallway too, and I have pondered that thought several times, that it might be a neighbour. We all lead odd hours and sometimes don't see each other for days. (I'm pretty certain ours is dead mouse though--I know what dead mouse smells like, since my dad was a herpetologist and kept snakes, and snakes have to eat...and you see where this is going, right??)

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2005, 11:57 PM:

Don't know why I'm shaking like this. Seems silly of me.

#9 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:01 AM:

I'm disturbed and amused to realize that my first reaction to C4H12N2 was an ironic laugh.

No - you never do forget what it smells like - and your first encounter with a human cause is ... disconcerting. I'm not surprised that you're shaking, tnh - it's shock.

Hot cocca and a blanket, and a decompression process (perhaps like this)

#10 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:03 AM:

Perhaps of slightly more use - I've found that oil of rosemary is one of the things that can cut the smell.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:05 AM:

Disconcerting. That's it exactly. I wish I could have hot cocoa, but I'm off dairy, so I'm sitting here eating jello, which is stereotypical but comforting.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:08 AM:

Xeger, tell me again what you do for a living?

#13 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:24 AM:

Consider lacing that cocoa with some rum. And get some rest (probably easier said than done).

#14 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:27 AM:

Teresa, I used to make hot cocoa with water. Double the amount of cocoa per cup, and increase the sugar by half. (Or other sweetener if you're not doing sugar currently.) You do have to stir it more often, but it's yummy.

Alternatively, you could make it with soy milk. I haven't tried that, though.

I think the fact that you're upset by the death of someone you knew, even if he had an easy death and you weren't that close, speaks well for you. Homo sum: humani nil me alienum puto, right?

#15 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:36 AM:

OMFG. If it gets to be too much, go to a pharmacy and buy Vicks rub (or whatever it comes in a blue plastic bottle and has the texture of petrolem jelly and the menthol scent that cuts just about everything. (Coroners, etc. swear by it...)) The scent of the suff truly blocks most organic odors, and makes it worth it's weight in gold.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:38 AM:

Like that, yes.

The police are still here in quantity. I wandered out. They're taking statements and constructing a timeline. Sounds like the guy's been dead for about a week. The usual thing: didn't show up for work, eventually someone went to see what happened.

Funny thing. His front door's been open this whole time. Only the screen door was shut. He must have gone fast and easy, if he hadn't even locked the door.

I'm going to bed now.

#17 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:40 AM:

I would think soymilk would work for hot cocoa. Hot tea with sugar and maybe a bit of rum is an alternative. Hot and sour soup.

Never had this sort of shock but my experience with other sorts is that something to warm your innards is called for.

#18 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:41 AM:

I've been there from the street side (medic), "courage" sounds like good advice (so does the fan).

...and a prayer for peace for you all.

#19 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:54 AM:

Sounds like peace is the best prayer of all.

#20 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:01 AM:

TNH asked:

Xeger, tell me again what you do for a living?

Computer security work - but I seem to be a designated coper with peculiar circumstances, some more peculiar than others.

#21 ::: Madeleine Reardon Dimond ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:27 AM:

sympathies to you, Patrick, and the neighbors and peace to all.

#22 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:27 AM:

That is shocking and sad news, no matter how easy the death. I am awfully glad it wasn't your neighbors with the jaunty purple step, though, which was my first thought.

#23 ::: Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:42 AM:

I'm sorry.

I've never smelled it from a human source, but I've had it with a pet. It's... it's indecent, the smell.

Soy milk does work in cocoa, but, as with coffee, you need to add a good quantity, not just a little splash. If you should add just a little splash then it'll still taste OK, but the texture will be funny, and you'll get an insight into one of the ways tofu is made.

#24 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:49 AM:

Oh, lord. Poor all of you--neighbors, Patrick, you yourself, and the chap next door. What a shock, peaceful and easy or not. I'm so sorry...

#25 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:57 AM:

Ick. That's a rude smell... and a ruder awakening, I suppose - who'd notice first if you disappeared for a week and all that. I'm sorry on both accounts.

(I've never experienced it in person-sized quantities either, but I lived in a high-rise in DC where something got ripped a new one by the automatic garage door; it crawled off to die and subsequently decompose in a more-or-less inaccessible location in the garage. It's truly a gawdawful smell.)

#26 ::: Anna ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:57 AM:

*delurk* Erk, how awful. :( That would have freaked me out something fierce... and I feel sorry for the poor gent that his passing went unnoticed, but I am glad that at least it seemed to be peaceful.

Sympathies and condolences to you and your neighbors!

#27 ::: Maure ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:00 AM:

*blink* yarghh . . . how horrible, and shocking.

I lived in an old, shoddy building in Queens once, and we frequently had rats (we assumed) dying in the walls. The stench was exactly as you put it -- faint, but obtrusive -- at first. I don't know why I'm telling you this, especially as the first time I've ever responded here, except that the very vivid scent-memory of our main stairway just bloomed when I read this, and you have my empathy (and sympathy).

#28 ::: elizabeth bear ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:03 AM:

Oh dear. Teresa, Patrick, I am very sorry, for you and your neighbors.

Shock and adrenaline trembles seem to me like a perfectly rational reaction.

#29 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:04 AM:

I've just got in from an evening out... 11pm here in California. I sincerely hope that you are not still awake to read this tonight. My sympathies to all of you. That's a terrible shock, even if you have the comfort that it was a quiet, easy death.

#30 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:05 AM:

Earlier this year in New Zealand there was a case of someone being found dead in their home (in fact a whole bunch were reported if memeory serves...).

Now, being in apartments puts you in close vicinity but this was pretty close. They shared a driveway with a new family and no one knew they were dead until a good six months after the fact.

I find it just seems to give a depressing impression of community...

#31 ::: Elise Matthesen ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:10 AM:

In the midst of life. Yep.

Hug your dear ones, and you two give each other an extra hug from me, OK?

#32 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:20 AM:

From a regular reader, otherwise unknown to our hosts -

What a terrible shock. I'm not surprised that you've reacted the way you have. For what it's worth, I think you also conveyed wise things to the neighbors, about how his life ended. I hope he does rest in peace, and that you and your other neighbors can recover, in comfort and being good to one another.

On the topic of non-dairy cocoa, I've had some good luck using a finely ground corn meal as a way to give a cocoa-water-sweetener mix a bit of presence. If you can do corn, that is - if you can, just a tablespoon per mug would do for thickening and making sturdy.

If I knew you better, I'd offer a hug. Well, I still do, but will understand if it's not accepted, on the basis that one doesn't need the extra stress of close interations with unknown people after an event like this.

Crazy(and grateful to your web presence, for many things, including - is this odd of me? this as well)Soph

#33 ::: KarenB ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:42 AM:

Oh...and ewww :(

Sympathies to you and Patrick. Hope you were able to get some rest.

#34 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:05 AM:

Many sympathies (and unfortunately empathies) to you both. If that is 'the first' you've experienced it will be a few days before your mind will let that scent go. Air out the apartment, get the fan, light scented candles... and leave as often as it takes. It does go away, give it time.

#35 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:11 AM:

Much sympathy.

We haven't had quite that experience, but a couple of years ago an upstairs neighbour fell down the communal staircase and smashed his skull next to the side door about three feet from where I was working. It's unpleasantly disturbing when somebody you live so close to (but not close in a personal sense) dies suddenly, even without the funny smell.

If you can arrange it, a weekend break away from home might help you get some emotional distance from it. (Not to mention allowing some time for the smell to dissipate.)

#36 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:54 AM:

My sympathies, both for your neighbour and for you.

Smellwise, I am reminded of the Mythbusters episode where they put two pigs in a car and let them decompose for a month or two. The result was unpleasant.

This has happened a few times in my country recently, with much shock and horror in the media. It started me thinking though.

I assume he was an introvert, which accounts for it taking so long before his death was discovered. The lack of a social network and/or significant others that visit, live with or are visited on a regular basis would tend to lead to lonely deaths (and unhappiness of other kinds).

(I realised some time ago that as I discourage visits and friendships, if I don't die in a public place, logically I too shall do such a disservice to my neighbours. My apologies in advance.)

#37 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 05:36 AM:

Teresa --

Almond milk (if you like it) makes pretty good cocoa; you have to stir the whole while, though.

I think the smell goes straight to the hind brain and whispers "unsafe"; citrus -- chop up a lemon and boil the pieces -- will cut the smell pretty well, though I think the fan is a good idea, too.

Little help it is like to be to you, but I've got my dad's voice in my head saying "when you're called, you're called" now. Sometimes death does come gentle, and quiet, and absent harbingers.

#38 ::: laura mixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:00 AM:

Everyone has already said whatever there is to say, but I just wanted to extend my sympathies to all concerned, as well.

#39 ::: m ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:02 AM:

Soya works well with coca. I've had it before due to vegan friend.

At least you knew your neighbour. I only discoverd mine was dead 'due to suspicious circumstances' when the policeman came to my door last week asking if I'd heard anything.

#40 ::: Jodi Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:13 AM:

Wow, that's awful. I'm so sorry to hear that! But like Bear said, I think your reaction is normal--shakes and all. Get a blanket, something to block out the smell... It'll get better.

*hugs to everyone*

#41 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:34 AM:

Oh, I'm sorry! What a shock.

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:42 AM:

Sorry for you. Sorry for him that he died alone.

#43 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:50 AM:

What a terrible, heart-shaking thing, though good that he went so swiftly and so easily (I hope). I am so sorry for the man, and for you and his other neighbors.

#44 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:52 AM:

Am still shaking at your description. I was on a train from London to Edinburgh and a man three seats in front of me fell over and died. EMTs and nurses and two doctors who were on the train worked on him as we shocked passengers watched. I worried about who would want to know, who was waiting and at which station.

I think it's a good human thing that we are shocked and wounded by a stranger's death.

By the way, I am off dairy and use Lactaid "milk" in my cocoa.


#45 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:09 AM:

Yikes. I used to have an aromatherapy burner. In your situation, I'd probably buy about 3 or 4, and some good scented oils. If not rosemary, then cedar or clove.

#46 ::: Connie ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:37 AM:

I hope you had a peaceful sleep, and the smell is gone this morning!

#47 ::: windypoint ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:39 AM:

I feel sorry for your landlord too. I'm a landlord myself and if I had to deal with both the practical and emotional consequences of something like that happening in my rental property I would feel dreadful.

#48 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:50 AM:

wow. I'm so sorry.

#49 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:17 AM:

I'm so sorry. What a horrible shock for you, and for your first-floor neighbors as well.

I'll pray for the peace of his soul, and comfort for all those who knew him -- especially you and Patrick.

Speaking of comfort, I recommend chocolate Silk soymilk as a reasonable replacement for cocoa.

#50 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:47 AM:

Back about fifteen years ago, while delivering mail, I would have been the first person to discover a dead body if I'd gotten onto the street five minutes sooner.

The circumstances were somewhat like your neighbor, except that my customer had been sitting on the front porch when he died. The neighbor across the street noticed him slumped over in his chair, and went to investigate.

I've thought of that customer a number of times this year, when it seems like an ungodly number of friends and acquaintances have died slow, painful cancer deaths. To die suddenly, quickly, and (one hopes) fairly painlessly... my, that seems like a good way to go, if you have to go at all.

(The flip side of that argument is that, with a long terminal illness, one has time to "put your affairs in order." I'm moderately well-organized, but if I dropped dead after hitting the POST button... well, it would still take an unenviable amount of work to settle the estate. I should probably try to set up a file folder, with a checklist and such, for any such circumstance.)

#51 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:57 AM:

I'm sorry--this is a horrible thing to go through, and I have to say I'm in the group that doesn't automatically associate "sudden death" and "under 50"--if I didn't see someone in that age group around for several days, I'd be inclined to assume a family emergency, extra hours at work, or maybe just a bad cold keeping them in.

These things always seem so obvious in hindsight, but we don't always make the connection, because at the time it isn't always so obvious.

I'm sorry you all are having to go through this, and I know it will take time for everyone to get over the shock and the horror.

#52 ::: Pronoia ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:19 AM:

Teresa, I'm very sorry for your experience. How unsettling.

But Stephan? It's entirely possible to be an introvert and have a vibrant social network who would miss you quickly if you went.

#53 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:25 AM:

A very New York experience and a total bummer. Anyone who has lived in a neighborhood full of junkies also learns that smell.

#54 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:41 AM:

This past summer, there was a local newspaper article about an elderly landlord whose regular postal carrier was apparently the only person to notice his slide into dementia; shortly after he decided to tape over the slot in his door, his mail started to pile up on the front step, so she notified the (other) authorities.

(My reaction to this entry's header, actually, was "*All* of the isomeric butanediamines?" I think I worked with pure putrescine in lab once; iirc/imho, it smelled somehow... mousey. This was several years before a mouse or squirrel died inside our bedroom wall, so I'm not sure why I thought of it that way.)

But yes, sympathies and condolences. It's a definitely a shock when something like this happens. This past spring, I noticed some reddish stains on the sidewalk near the front step of the neighbor one door over; they gradually darkened to brown over the next few weeks, and then a sticker appeared on his front door: a seal by the district attorney. As far as I could reconstruct things, he suffered a diabetes-related foor injury at home, then died in the hospital a week or two later during followup surgery. The bloodstains remained on the sidewalk until last month, when his unit started to undergo cleanup for the probate sale. I wish I knew what happened to his cat.

#55 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:44 AM:

Somewhere on another plane of existence, there's a book recording all the sentences that should never have to be written in this one. "...until the house doesn’t smell like dead neighbor any more" is #12.

Our sympathies to everyone involved. And here's hoping that your home soon enough stops reminding you of the awful circumstances. Although as this thread is proving, there are some events -- horrid as they are -- that do force us to stop and reflect, and that in itself isn't a bad thing.

#56 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:46 AM:

oy. sympathies.

#57 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:56 AM:

My sympathies too. I'd be a total wreck after that experience. Suggested comfort food for a fellow lactose-intolerant: coffee yogurt (Dannon's does a nice one). If you've managed to get sufficient sleep despite the nerves, take with strong coffee; otherwise, go decaf and try to get more rest!

#58 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:12 AM:

(Sending more good and comforting thoughts your way.)

#59 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:30 AM:

Oh dear. Hugs and best wishes for all concerned.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:38 AM:

That sucks. You have my sympathies.

I can think of all sorts of things to say, none of them really worth the effort of passing along.

With luck, you'll never smell it again; as Jim says once known, it's something you'll always recognize.

The shock of it, of course (and the sense that one ought have known; a sort of survivor's guilt, that you didn't do something) that he was dead for a week before anyone knew, that makes it linger more.

I don't know what else to say, just, "I'm sorry."

#61 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:47 AM:

I'm sorry. Yeah, get away from that for a while. Visit people. You know you're welcome, lots of places. Call people. Call us. Whoever.

And Bruce is right -- my life is far too disorderly right now too. Jeez. Time to face some things, maybe.

#62 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:09 AM:

I think it's a good human thing that we are shocked and wounded by a stranger's death.

This is what I was trying to say, only you said it better.

And now that I look it doesn't appear that I actually expressed my sympathies. You have them, of course...I'll hold you all in my heart in the coming days and weeks.

Bright blessings and swift healing.

#63 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:13 AM:

Could have been C5H14N2 (cadaverine) as well...

#64 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:38 AM:

Oof. My sympathies to you and your neighbors.

#65 ::: Dan Guy ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:39 AM:

Peppermint neutralizes the smell of death and bodily decay.

When you do your apartment hunting by the obituaries you come across strongly peppermint-scented doorways from time to time where realtors have over-done it.

#66 ::: cicada ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:48 AM:

Everyone's already said it better than I could, but I'll add my sympathies as well. I know you've been travelling heavily for the last few months and are probably not eager to hare off again for other places, but getting a change of scene (even if just for a little while) will probably do you enormous amounts of good.

If you do head out and find yourself heading north towards western Mass, I am led to believe there's a wonderful organic chocolate shop that's just opened in Northampton that makes fabulous hot cocoa, and I'd be happy to buy you a mug's worth or two.

-Suzanne (from VP)

#67 ::: Patrick Weekes ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:51 AM:

Everyone else has already said what needs saying, but I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope that hot cocoa (I just tend to add extra to soy milk if necessary, often with a little straight suger to boost if the consistency doesn't seem right) and a strong fan work well in combination.

#68 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:12 PM:

Wow. My sympathies. Please don't think your reaction is somehow "silly". Be good to yourselves -- pamper yourselves for a while.

#69 ::: LP ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:46 PM:

Maybe I'm the only one, but upon reading TNH's description of the number of officers outside the building, I heard the "Dun-dun" of television's "Law and Order". Foul play?

#70 ::: Darice Moore ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:51 PM:

Oh, my. How scary and disturbing and horrible. I'm with the others here sending you my sympathies.

As for his not being discovered, sometimes it's just a conflation of weird occurrences. When my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law was on a research vessel near Iceland. The only contact information the hospital had was the house (but no one was home) and a local cousin who happened to be off visiting family in another country. It took a few days for people to realize he wasn't showing up at his usual places and call us (on the other side of the state), so that we could call the police and have them go to the house and find out what happened.

#71 ::: Beth Meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 12:58 PM:

I hope you're both feeling more steady today. Your reaction was perfectly normal.

Making chocolatl with cocoa, water, ground chiles and finely ground maize for thickening is the traditional method, and produces a drink said to be sacred to the Gods. It might be helpful, depending of course on whether you wish to invoke the Mayan gods.

And if the detectives are on to something interesting with the hammering and all, I hope you'll keep us posted.

#72 ::: Meredith ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:29 PM:

Late to the dance as usual ... but my sympathies. Those of us who live in apartment buildings do, I suppose, have to keep such possibilities in mind.

When I was in high school, a mouse died in the walls of the girls' dormitory. I thought someone had ordered an extra-onion pizza and left it out too long, until the situation was explained to me. (To this day I can't really handle the smell of cooked onions.) I figure I'll always recognize that smell going forward, for better or worse.

#73 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:30 PM:

As has been said repeatedly in the comments: my sympathy to you, your landlord, your neighbors, and everyone else. As Beth said, I hope you've been able to be less on-edge today. May you be well.

#74 ::: Diana Rowland ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:43 PM:

Yes, dead human is a very different smell than dead other-type-of-creature. Ick. Ew.

OMFG. If it gets to be too much, go to a pharmacy and buy Vicks rub (or whatever it comes in a blue plastic bottle and has the texture of petrolem jelly and the menthol scent that cuts just about everything. (Coroners, etc. swear by it...)) The scent of the suff truly blocks most organic odors, and makes it worth it's weight in gold.

Respectfully and strongly disagree with the above. That used to be the normal method of operation around stinkers, but it has since been realized that Vicks opens up nasal passages, and while it does temporarily mask the scent, the molecules of the stink get further up into your nose and your respiration and you will smell it for much longer afterwards.

One of our crime scene techs duct tapes her nose shut on stinky scenes.

#75 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 01:45 PM:

Nothing new or original to add; just--my sympathies.

#76 ::: alsafi ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:24 PM:

Oh, how sad--I'm so sorry. No wonder you're a bit shocky; powerful reminders of mortality always do that to me, and so I assume to others as well.

(Vanilla Silk soymilk makes perfectly good hot chocolate, by the by, just as though it were the real deal.)

#77 ::: Brooke C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 02:53 PM:

Good Lord. How terrible. I'm very sorry.

#78 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:01 PM:

I'll agree with the almond milk. You can also make the's not hard, and it's very, very traditional. *grins*

What do you use on Fast days when dairy consumption is frowned upon?

#79 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:09 PM:

I'm so sorry. Take care of yourselves.

#80 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:21 PM:


What everyone else said. I have no sensible advice, I'm afraid, nor any wisdom, other than the oft-voiced "be good to yourselves."

I do hope the death was as peaceful as you surmise, Teresa.

Also, soy cocoa is pretty good stuff. I tend to use the over-sweetened vanilla soy milk, dutch cocoa, and no water at all.

#81 ::: Pamela ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 03:48 PM:

I second the warning about Vicks - not only does it open nasal passages, it's also bad for people with sensitive skin. I had a student appear once with a red welt all along her upper lip, where she'd put Vicks to block the smell of cadavers.

I'm sorry - it sucks when your sense of peaceful refuge is distroyed.

#82 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:29 PM:

I was wrong. As far as I know, the story's still that the door was unlocked and he was sitting in his chair, but it wasn't peaceful. The detectives have now talked to me four times.

Nobody in novels ever mentions how much useless, unwanted adrenaline can accompany being a very minor info source. I can't see any reason for it. I think my internal Rift Valley primate just doesn't like hanging around situations where another primate got killed.

#83 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:35 PM:

So maybe the thumps and bangs were...what bangs usually are on TV?

#84 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:41 PM:

Patrick can tell you that my basic reaction was




for several minutes. Both to the original news and to the update.

Before I became a mom, I had an arrangement with another (single) friend. We called each other every 2 or 3 days. And if you didn't speak to the person with 36 hours (unless you knew they were traveling), you would take steps. We had keys to each other's places as well. Luckily, we never had to take steps, but it was good to know we had the option.

Nowadays, if dd and I don't show up places, people notice. Some places, if I show up without her, people notice.

But it won't always be that way, and I'll have to have another fail-safe then.

Ick ick ick.

A bunch of years ago there was a nasty bloody murder in the lobby of my mom's building. Spooked everyone--"it's not that kind of neighborhood"--for months. Prompted new security. Turned out to be the Russian mob.

The spooking is perfectly normal.

Expect odd echoes of it at surprising times in the future.

#85 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:50 PM:

Making chocolatl with cocoa, water, ground chiles and finely ground maize for thickening is the traditional method, and produces a drink said to be sacred to the Gods. It might be helpful, depending of course on whether you wish to invoke the Mayan gods.

Finely ground maize, that's what I've been missing. Sources seem to disagree over whether the originating Nahuatl word is chocolatl or xocolatl. The Aztecs sometimes gave it to slaves "to comfort them" before they were sacrificed.

The Classic Maya wouldn't have used the Nahuatl word, of course, but they did have something similar. What's believed to be a version of this drink can be seen on the Princeton Vase, being poured from a height in order to froth it up. (Towards the right of the image.)

I remember Neal Stephenson's description of putrescine in Zodiac. I hope you manage to get rid of the smell, Teresa.

#86 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 04:51 PM:

Oh, fck. That's just craptastic.
Nearly 10 years ago, a friend of ours was killed by his roommate, and his body was at the morgue, unidentified*, for a week. We had the joy of being the ones to connect his worried girlfriend's complaint of "But he always calls me! His roommate says he's out whenever I call." and the unidentified body mentioned in passing on the news. Besides the grief and worry "If I'd put the pieces together sooner--if I'd paid more attention--if--if" there's that frisson of danger too close, too close, too close.

Sympathies, and keep the doors locked.

*No ID left on body.

#87 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 05:08 PM:

Homo sum. Nihil humanum mihi alienum puto. (Echoing Xopher's sentiment, with pedantry as a pretext.)

#88 ::: michael weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 05:46 PM:

Nobody in novels ever mentions how much useless, unwanted adrenaline can accompany being a very minor info source. I can't see any reason for it. I think my internal Rift Valley primate just doesn't like hanging around situations where another primate got killed.

Sure. I mean, dying is one thing, being killed is another. Well, not so different if you're the one who's "passed" once you've "passed", I guess. But certainly different for the primates who remain behind.

It isn't just a generalized "we all have to die". It's more of a specific (and I'm not referring to the case at bar, here, since I don't know the facts) "there's a Creature on the loose". Let's take to our caves! Who's in charge of keeping the fire burning all night? Don't be shy about screeching if you sense something moving out there in the dark!

We got where we are today (for whatever that's worth) by having brains that shiver whenever there's something on the loose in the neighborhood. I'd be shaky and creeped out myself if I'd been through what you've been through. It's only natural.

#89 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 05:48 PM:

Oh, I'm so sorry, Teresa. For you and Patrick, for your other neighbours, and for the poor man himself.

Take care of yourself. Shock and adrenaline overdose are going to be as hard on you as the thoughts of the cause itself. Go out if you need to, and find a place to rest easy a while.

#90 ::: Mrs_TD ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 05:57 PM:

My word, Teresa (and Patrick), that's awful. First, that sense that comes from being close to an unexpected death--of having the skin of reality ripped off somehow. And then the possibility that there was some non-natural cause for it? We know you have tons of friends around, but if there is anything you need, we are right close by in Cobble Hill (with car) and there are of course extra beds here, if, for any reason, you would want a place to decompress. . .we might even have some very fine marmalade.

#91 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 06:37 PM:

My sympathies; I know what this feels like, and it's not nice. When a death happened near me (long story) the effect was a feeling of *contingency*; that above all death is just a state change, and it can happen anyway, to anyone, at any time, for no reason at all; `none of us are safe'.

It shook me, certainly; I'd say I got a little more fatalistic on that day.

Oh, and my stereo is being telepathic and/or precognitive again:

And the days of his life are but grains of sand
As they fall from your open hand
And vanish upon the land

#92 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:46 PM:

With the tension of police interviews (to which you have already contributed what you could) it might be an even better idea to take a quick weekend away.

Any police interaction is a guaranteed blood-pressure-raiser. I remember when I reported my car stolen and the two cops who came to take my statement started to case my friend's parent's house (where the car had been) until we herded them into the kitchen and told them to stop poking in what wasn't their business.

Cocoa, good. Rosemary oil (as Xeger suggested) calming, regardless of it's masking effects. Change of scenery, also good.

Do take care - both of you.

#93 ::: triticale ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 07:56 PM:

Nothing to add on the human topic, but on the Mayan chocolate tangent I would suggest that the sacred drink probably also contained certain mushrooms whose effect is in fact enhanced by combination with chocolate.

#94 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:00 PM:

Oh dear Lord.

I am so sorry, both of you. It's one thing when it's an early but natural death. It hurts, but you can accept it. But when someone had a hand in it, when it might have been malicious... that's different.

Get out of there for a bit if that's what it takes to find peace to sleep tonight. And don't be surprised if it takes a while for that Rift Valley primate to go back to sleep.

#95 ::: Karin K ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:44 PM:

Not much to add that hasn't been said, except that I'm terribly sorry this happened so near to you. The story was disturbing enough in the first place, but the further police involvement... Anyway, good luck, and take care.

On the smell front, this is a recipe I got from a friend for a kind of homemade simmered potpourri. Get some apple cider vinegar and pour two cups into an inexpensive saucepan. Toss in several slices of lemon, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and some cloves. Allspice berries are nice as well. Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to low and just leave it going at a gentle simmer whenever you happen to be in the house. Top up with water when it reduces, or a bit more cider vinegar if you've had it going a while. It's a spicy, slightly pungent smell, but I find it pleasant, myself.

#96 ::: Pamela Dean ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:45 PM:

Oh my God, how completely unsettling on every possible level. You guys deserve a huge great sympathy card, half precisely right and half bad verse to laugh at, but I doubt that Hallmark can rise to the occasion.

I will add to the chorus that says you can make cocoa with soy milk; you can also use rice milk. Depending on the flavoring of the milk, you may need to reduce the amount of sugar. If you don't want your cocoa to feel as if it were made with two percent milk, get some of the Silk PLAIN soymilk creamer and mix it with regular soy or rice milk until satisfied.

Dinking around with comfort foods is sometimes satisfying, not. I'll hope for the satisfying.


#97 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:48 PM:

My word, what an unfortunate circumstance.

Best wishes...

#98 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 08:49 PM:

As has been said: sorry, sorry.

Your reactions, physiological, emotional, etc. are entirely natural; stoicism never really caught on for a good reason.

Take care.

#99 ::: Beth Meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:06 PM:

Oh dear, it's really murder? I am sorry.

#100 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:21 PM:

I think my internal Rift Valley primate just doesn't like hanging around situations where another primate got killed.

As michael weholt noted, that's an entirely reasonable reaction -- especially if the police were in their usual -"Don't tell the witness anything, it might bias their testimony"- mode; that just gives you more uncertainty to fret about, regardless of how depressingly ordinary the story may turn out to be. (I've never had to cope with anything like outcome; the one time I came home to squad cars in front of my building, I figured the rumored ~brothel had been busted.)

There's a potluck Thanksgiving up here if you want to have a festive day without shadows.

#101 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:23 PM:

Beth, I don't know what it is, but the questions they were asking weren't the "Had he been looking depressed?" sort -- especially the one about whether I'd heard anything that sounded like a person playing with a toy cap gun. Also, I don't think the NYPD normally lavishes that kind of manpower on minor cases. We had detectives and uniformed officers out front all day today.

#102 ::: Didi Chanoch ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:34 PM:

Oh, gods.

As many have said, I am terribly sorry for you both, for your neighbors, for your late neighbor.

As many have also said, your reactions have been perfectly normal.

I hope the whole thing is resolved soon.

#103 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:37 PM:

Okay, here's a question I could use some help with: when did NYC have a cold snap? I think it was roughly a week ago, maybe longer, but I can't remember exactly.

#104 ::: Diana Rowland ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 09:54 PM:

I... honestly had not realized how jaded I have become when it comes to unexpected and/or violent death until reading the comments on this thread. I spent the morning looking at autopsy photos for a recent homicide, and then the afternoon using an alternate light source to look for fibers/hairs/fluids on her clothing.

Probably good for me to remember that the average, normal person gets appropriately freaked out about unexpected death.

#105 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:00 PM:

*snugs* Sympathies to both of you Teresa and Patrick. Not an easy thing to go through.

This week, We found out that the building across the street from us here at work had the largest meth lab in New England to date in it's basement - which was found after the second floor tenant who had an illegal apartment in his loft space died Sunday of a heart attack during fetish/bondage sex after ingesting recreational drugs.

They called in a unit from NYC to help dismantle the lab.

#106 ::: claire ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:17 PM:

As I said to Patrick this afternoon I have a full-sized futon and I'm not afraid to use it. Feel free to come into Manhattan, folks. I mean it.

I really am sorry about this. Prayers and hugs in abundance.


#107 ::: michael weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 10:50 PM:

Okay, here's a question I could use some help with: when did NYC have a cold snap? I think it was roughly a week ago, maybe longer, but I can't remember exactly.

Well, according to this, the hi/lo for Friday November 11 was 47/40.

That links shows the whole month of November. You can go back a page and find other dates.

#108 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:06 PM:

fyi, in most markets hereabouts, it's pretty easy to find hazelnut or almond milk, and they both make amazing hot cocoa.

#109 ::: Paula Kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:11 PM:

I flew in on 10/31 and everyone was talking about how cold the week before was.

Looks like the coldest day of the coldsnap was 10/27 (high of 48 in Central Park).

(Data from NWS click "Observed weather")

#110 ::: Paula Kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2005, 11:16 PM:

Michael Weholt, your link is better than mine. Touché

#111 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 01:59 AM:

I just want to add my (slightly belated...sorry) sympathies.

#112 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 05:48 AM:

That is a smell I hope to never personally become acquainted with, and I am very sorry that is no longer the case for you.

I can add nothing to other suggestions, but I hope you are taking care of yourself as best as possible, and I can add my sympathies, of course.

#113 ::: Fernmonkey ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 06:33 AM:

I'm so sorry.

By the way, a bit of coconut milk in the cocoa is really good if you can't have dairy milk.

#114 ::: Sara Rosenbaum ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 10:03 AM:

You might want to consider a few spirit-laying and house-cleaning charms as well, to get the bad mojo out of the air. Burn some sage, sprinkle some salt...

#115 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 10:33 AM:

I'm sorry to hear. I hope you find out what happened soon; the primate side of things is never calm with danger, but MORE calm when it can identify the threat.

#116 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 12:47 PM:

Sorry for this fellow, whoever he may be. " tolls for thee," etc.

The best thing I've found, back when there was a dead rat in the wall, was incense. That's what it's made for...

#117 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2005, 01:26 PM:


From the Alan Parsons Project's "Pyramid"? I've forgotten the name of the song but I can still sing it.

#118 ::: Bernita ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 12:54 PM:

One of the best cures for an adrenaline rush is to do aomething very physical, a run, a work-out, scrub floors.
The smell is distinctive. There are companies who clean up for estates after body found incidents.
The problem with masking scents is that one tends to associate them with the incident ever after, best to choose something less favorite.

This sort of situation is shocking. It's also interesting. And no, I'm not a cold bitch, I'm just older.

#119 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 01:14 PM:

You might want to consider a few spirit-laying and house-cleaning charms as well, to get the bad mojo out of the air. Burn some sage, sprinkle some salt...

Wiccan priests are good for this sort of thing. And you happen to know one (hint). One who'd be more than happy to help out (hint hint).

#120 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 01:17 PM:

And Lila, yes, it's The Eagle Will Rise Again. And in the Google search I did, Nix's post was the THIRD entry, which I thought was interesting.

#121 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 02:24 PM:

Is this the Irving Matos case? If so, there are small items in yesterday's and today's ("Bouncer Slay Twist," p. 12) New York Post and presumably on their website as well. Most unfortunate...

#122 ::: bentley ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 02:32 PM:

You don't know me, but I've been reading Making Light for quite a while. I'm very sorry about what happened.

A woman came to the reference desk a couple of weeks ago and asked to look at old newspapers. She said there was a smell in her new house and the neighbors had said something vague about two people lying dead in that house for a few days (murder or murder-suicide, maybe) some years ago, so she was trying to find out more about it.

#124 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 05:05 PM:

Oh my. Teresa, Patrick, add my sympathies and well-wishes to the basket. If I were any nearer you than I am, I'd also add my offer of a place to crash away from the smells and the emotional freight, but I fear that Boulder, CO would be a bit of a drive.

When I was in college in Seattle, I came back from a visit home to the sight of police going in and out my boarding house front door and up and down the stairs. I didn't think much of it beyond "Keep out of everyone's way." Hauled self and luggage through living room and kitchen and into my room. Noticed a sign on the fridge that said, "WHERE IS MY STEREO?" Referred to a housemate's boombox which he'd left in the kitchen for general purposes. I remembered, just before I left, a particularly unpleasant upstairs tenant saying he was going to borrow it for just a bit. So I wrote on the note, "TALK TO [WHAT'SHISNAME]".

Then one of the police officers pulled me aside for questioning, and it became rapidly apparent that they'd discovered WHAT'SHISNAME dead on his bed just hours before my arrival. He'd evidently been like that about half a week.

So I went back to the note and added another inscription: "OOPS! NEVERMIND!" Then I got the hell out of the house for the rest of the day.

(Turns out that the deceased had probably pawned the boombox. It was entirely gone. My housemate was kind of annoyed about it, but got a few giggles out of my reaction to his note.)

I was lucky in that I never caught a whiff of the smell that alerted the upstairs tenants and prompted them to call the police--I think he hadn't been there long enough for it to spread. And the consensus appears to be that he'd been sick. Coughing a lot, I remember that much. No foul play. A friend took over the room and never did complain about odors, though I think the bed was replaced.

Anyway, more sympathies and hugs as needed. Be good to you.

#125 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 01:21 AM:

Sympathies and best wishes for things to be sorted out and dealt with soon.

For what it's worth, one of my library co-workers, a few years back, noticed an unpleasant smell from the apartment next to his. Getting no answer, he climbed across from the balcony and yes, the neighbour was dead. He phoned the police. The piece of useful information he got from this is that what the police did about the smell was to put an iron frying pan on the stove, empty, and turn the burner on high. The smell of burnt skillet apparently dampens or cancels the smell of dead person.
It's the sort of thing that sticks in one's mind, I suppose.

#126 ::: Tae ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:25 AM:

Actually, if the FD arrived before the PD, they'd be a little smarter about it and dump coffee grounds, cinnamon, and a little water into the pan and let it burn. I could always tell I was going to a code 99 by the smell of burnt coffee and cinnamon as I walked up the stairs.

#127 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:29 AM:

Am I losing my mind, has the matrix got me, or was there an entry about the news article on makinglight earlier today... ?

#128 ::: Tae ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:34 AM:

#129 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 04:03 AM:

Yep, read it myself there. Wanted to add this to that thread, but it says it doesn't exist:

Well, the character of the strip club ("sleazy" vs. "nice") may have some bearing on the actual legal case, if just because folk in sleazy businesses are generally thought to shoot each other more often than people in nice ones do, or at least people act less surprised when it happens. Especially if drugs and/or prostitution are involved.

#130 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 04:25 AM:

Personally, I'd wanted to add that considering that Karol (and "Miz" of the fake domain) kept thinking that our hosts were also strippers, so much for praising the driveby posters' reading comprehension, unless we could expect to see additional headlines approximating "Flatiron Dinosaur Brothel Bust".

(Then again, I suppose it depends on how widely one defines the adult entertainment industry, since their industry probably does provide entertainment for many adults....)

#131 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 05:38 AM:

It rather sounds as if the strip club goes beyond "Sleazy" and into "criminal".

I reckon the police, with the outstanding case against the owner, will be wondering if a witness has been removed. They'd be fools not to wonder that, and fools to ignore other possible motives.

Anyhow, there are those young women, boasting in a blog about where they dared go, and then the place gets into the headlines.

If they'd kept their mouths shut, and paid cash, nobody would have known.

These days it's getting hard to hide your unnatural and perverted lusts on the Internet; so many sites expect you to use a credit card, which leaves a much more permanent trace than showing a bartender or bouncer a photo-ID.

#132 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:45 AM:

Dave Bell wrote;

These days it's getting hard to hide your unnatural and perverted lusts on the Internet; so many sites expect you to use a credit card, which leaves a much more permanent trace than showing a bartender or bouncer a photo-ID.

Worse yet, the number of obscenity charges are going up dramatically - and while the current sites may not be considered a loss by most, it's the tip of a slippery slope.

#133 ::: Dominic Matos ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2006, 11:27 PM:

Well, I see you all have comments as far as," aww im sorry", " I'm so sorry for the neighbors" You think they are saddened by Irving Matos' death. Not Quite. Imagine the way his two daughters and son must feel, knowing that their father had been murdered and were not able to do anything about it, and if you have been thinking it already, yes I am his son. My name Is Dominic Matos. Irving matos is (was) my father. Thousands of miles away I had to come home from work to find out that my father had been murdered and there was nothing you could do or even attempt to do about it. So when your feeling sorry, think about this post. And if you have any information E-mail me at Thank You... God Bless.

#134 ::: CHRISTINA MATOS ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2006, 12:44 PM:


#135 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2006, 08:38 AM:

Dominic, Christina, I'm so sorry that you had to find out that way.

I'd give you more information if I had it. What I knew, I told to the police detectives. Mostly what I knew about your father was backyard gardening, and talking about neighborhood history.

The other tenants next door told me that the landlord of that building was your father's brother. I would have thought that he or the police would have gotten the word out to you.

My own father died very suddenly when he was 57. I can only imagine how grievous it would have been if I hadn't heard about it before his funeral. You have my sympathy.

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