Everyone remembers the story about the two young hikers who went on a midnight hike up Provo Canyon and accidentally stumbled onto something soft in the dark. They had a bad feeling going anyway, so they turned around and left. Years later Ted Bundy revealed that he had just killed a girl on the trail. He heard people coming and hid in the trees just in time, only to watch some guy walk right into the body, and for some reason, turn around and walk away.
My true story isn't quite like that one, but it relates. A
Seattle-based friend of mine has worked in Washington forests since the
late '60s. He was working a lot around Taylor Mountain during the period
that a serial killer was suspected in the area. For several days he and
a colleague worked in one area that, though it was in the great
outdoors, reeked overwhelmingly of body decomposition. "A heavy sweet
but repulsive odor you can never forget." My friend had been on two
tours of Vietnam and knew very well what a dead body smelled like.
would have gone to the police to report his suspicion -- except he knew
that if he made a report, he would have become a suspect himself in the
serial killings that were occurring in the area. He is a tad paranoid of
the law and wanted nothing to do with cops, so he never turned in a tip
about a possible dead body in that part of Taylor Mountain. The guys
he worked with declined to tip off the cops as well.
In 1975, the remains of four Bundy victims were found near Taylor
Mountain in Washington -- right in the area where my friend had been
working on trees.