Vultures, part II

In 2010, I had the most amazing research experience when I attended the Writers Police Academy (www.writerspoliceacademy.com). Sessions were all taught by real experts who really were snipers, crime scene techs, arson investigators, etc. I got some great information for The Night She Disappeared from a member of the dive team.

I will admit that some of the photographs in various sessions were difficult to look at. One series that was nearly unbelievable - because they were photos of real human beings. The photos were taken in Mexico and involved a man who had made the cartel angry.

In the photos, a guy on a motorcycle arrived in a desolate area with a big box on the back. He opened the box. Inside the box was a man. At this point, the instructor said, “We believe the man was dead when he arrived.” If he wasn’t, he was soon was. Two men were assigned to chop him up. They did so, expressionless. Vultures began to gather in the trees. And then when the men were done, the birds descended.

Only the men weren’t done. They shooed away the vultures and went in once more and chopped and crushed what remained. The vultures came in again, and when they were done, there was nothing left of the man.

Nothing.

Not a scrap.

And these were real photos of real human beings. Although the men who did the chopping looked just as dead as the man they destroyed.

We asked the instructor where the photos came from. He said there were two theories: one was the photos were from an informant. The other was that the cartel had commissioned the photos. To show people that the cartel could make you disappear. Without a trace.



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