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How to Train a Cadaver Dog

Posted April 7, 2011 by headhopper and filed under news

There's a story in the news right now about a bunch of bodies being found around a Long Island beach. Most of the bodies were 'escorts' who advertised their services on some third-rate web site.

The authorities are hunting for more bodies using cadaver dogs. These are dogs specially trained to detect human remains.

In the Shield, the best series EVER to air on television and unlikely to be surpassed until at least the year 2500, there was an episode which had a scene where a German shepherd K9 sniffed around an area under a highway, and then started barking all of a sudden. "Body!" the handler yells. The protagonist is glad the body they were looking for was found, and exchanges smiles with the handler.

Then the dog sniffs some more and starts barking again. "Body!" the handler yells again. Everybody is like, "Huh?" Then the dog barks again at a different spot, and the handler yells "Body!" yet again. It turns out there were about nine bodies buried in the area, all trafficked migrants who were put to work in a meth lab and then died from inhaling the fumes. Now you know why The Shield is so awesome.

Anyway, you may be wondering (a) how cadaver dogs are trained, and (b) why anyone would whack a bunch of escorts.

Let's tackle (a) first.

It's pretty easy to train a drug sniffing dog. You get some dope from the corner dealer, hide some of it somewhere in the house, and if your doggie finds it, you slobber all over it: "Good girl! Good girl! You did it! What a smart doggie!"

But how do you train a cadaver dog? You can't go to a grocery store and ask for a human cadaver.

The answer is simple, and it also explains who is behind these terrible murders on the East Coast.

Traditionally, you have a guy with a hunchback called Igor who goes to the cemetery at night and digs up a freshly buried corpse. These days, cadaver dog trainers may have a hard time finding a hunchback named Igor, so they will go for a hunchback called Ivan, or some Mexican dude who doesn't even have hunchback and has to stoop over at all times pretending to have a hunch. Your Igor (or Ivan or Miguel or whatever) will then re-bury the corpse somewhere in the backyard, and if Scampie finds it, she gets a treat.

But as people have become wealthier, it's getting harder and harder to get corpses from the cemetery at night. First of all, the grave will be cemented up, with a marble-top covering, and the coffins are often made of steel. Your Igor will need a jackhammer to get at the body, which is not ideal. Second, even if Igor successfully retrieves a corpse, it will weigh about 250 pounds on average, posing considerable risk to the structural integrity of his wheelbarrow.

What now? Igor can't come back to you, the dog trainer, corpseless, as you would justifiably scream at him: "It's not my problem, you cretin! Get me a corpse ASAP! I don't care how you do it, I need that corpse in my yard, buried, by 08:00 tomorrow!"

If Igor lived in the neighborhood of Compton, LA, there would be no problems. Here he could just go over to a cousin's house - the one driving the late-model Lexus SUV - and ask permission to dig in the backyard. Bingo, as many bodies as he needs.

On the East Coast, Igor will have a harder time. The gangs are more organized, and their corpse disposal methods involve cement, chains, and boats. So Igor will need to whack someone. But who? You can't just whack anybody without getting into legal trouble.

What about a bunch of homeless people? Indeed. Nobody will miss them, to be sure. But there's a hitch: they have an odor problem. These people don't shower for months. Their stench is so strong you don't even need a dog to find their corpse after it's been buried. And no, cleaning them up, either while still on the hoof or after having been turned into a cadaver, isn't an option. Much too complicated and not part of the job description.

The answer? Get a hooker from craigslist. Problem solved. Nobody will miss her, and there's an unlimited supply. It's like calling out for pizza. Every time you need a fresh corpse, send out an email, and bingo, 3 hours later the corpse-to-be shows up. Whack, bury, then rinse and repeat as needed.

So now you know who is behind these gruesome murders. It's just a local cadaver dog handler's assistant called Igor, or possibly Miguel. Right now his boss' dogs are searching for the cadavers while reporters and TV crews look on. Kinda explains why the dogs are having such an easy time digging up body after body.

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