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It's sooo cold in the D...that people become blocks of ice inside elevator shafts.

MorgensternMorgenstern Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Singularity Engine++
Life goes on around body found frozen in vacant Detroit warehouse
Charlie LeDuff / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- This city has not always been a gentle place, but a series of events over the past few, frigid days causes one to wonder how cold the collective heart has grown.

It starts with a phone call made by a man who said his friend found a dead body in the elevator shaft of an abandoned building on the city's west side.

"He's encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks," the caller phoned to tell this reporter.

"Why didn't your friend call the police?"

"He was trespassing and didn't want to get in trouble," the caller replied. As it happens, the caller's friend is an urban explorer who gets thrills rummaging through and photographing the ruins of Detroit. It turns out that this explorer last week was playing hockey with a group of other explorers on the frozen waters that had collected in the basement of the building. None of the men called the police, the explorer said. They, in fact, continued their hockey game.

Before calling the police, this reporter went to check on the tip, skeptical of a hoax. Sure enough, in the well of the cargo elevator, two feet jutted out above the ice. Closer inspection revealed that the rest of the body was encased in 2-3 feet of ice, the body prostrate, suspended into the ice like a porpoising walrus.

The hem of a beige jacket could be made out, as could the cuffs of blue jeans. The socks were relatively clean and white. The left shoe was worn at the heel but carried fresh laces. Adding to the macabre and incongruous scene was a pillow that gently propped up the left foot of the corpse. It looked almost peaceful.

What happened to this person, one wonders? Murder in Motown is a definite possibility. Perhaps it was death by alcoholic stupor. Perhaps the person was crawling around in the elevator shaft trying to retrieve some metal that he could sell at a scrap yard. In any event, there the person was. Stone-cold dead.

A symbol of decay
The building is known as the Roosevelt Warehouse, once belonging to the Detroit Public Schools as a book repository. Located near 14th Street and Michigan Avenue, the warehouse burned in 1987 and caused something of a scandal as thousands of books, scissors, footballs and crayons were left to rot while Detroit schoolchildren -- some of the poorest children in the country -- went without supplies.

The building was eventually sold to Matty Moroun, the trucking and real estate mogul who is worth billions of dollars and is the largest private property owner in the state of Michigan. Among other properties, Moroun owns the decrepit Michigan Central Rail Depot that squats directly next to the warehouse. The train station has become the symbol of Detroit's decay. Like much of his property in southwestern Detroit, Moroun's warehouse and the train station are gaping sores.

The warehouse is so easily accessible, a person in a wheelchair could get in with little effort. There are holes in the fence and in the side entrance. The elevator shaft is wide open. It appears no one has ever tried to close the bay doors.

A colony of homeless men live in the warehouse. Wednesday morning a few fires were burning inside oil drums. Scott Ruben, 38, huddled under filthy blankets not 20 paces from the elevator shaft.

"Yeah, I seen him," Ruben said. The snow outside howled. The heat from the can warped the landscape of rotting buildings and razor wire.

Did he know who the dead person was?

"I don't recognize him from his shoes."

Did he call the police?

"No, I figured someone else did," he said.

"There's lots of people coming through here with cameras and cell phones. I don't got no phone. I don't got no quarter. Things is tight around here."

His shack mate, Kenneth Williams, 47, returned at that point with an armload of wood.

"Yeah, he's been down there since last month at least."

He was asked if he called the police.

"No, I thought it was a dummy myself," he said unconvincingly. Besides, Williams said, there were more pressing issues like keeping warm and finding something to eat.

"You got a couple bucks?" he asked.

Waiting for a response
There are at least 19,000 homeless people in Detroit, by some estimates. Put another way, more than 1 in 50 people here are homeless.

The human problem is so bad, and the beds so few, that some shelters in the city provide only a chair. The chair is yours as long as you sit in it. Once you leave, the chair is reassigned.

Thousands of down-on-their-luck adults do nothing more with their day than clutch onto a chair. This passes for normal in some quarters of the city.

"I hate that musical chair game," Ruben said. He said he'd rather live next to a corpse.

Convinced that it was indeed a body, this reporter made a discreet call to a police officer.

"Aw, just give 911 a call," the cop said. "We'll be called eventually."

A call was placed to 911. A woman answered. She was told it was a reporter calling. The operator tried to follow, but seemed confused. "Where is this building?"

She promised to contact the appropriate authorities.

Twenty minutes or so went by when 911 called the newsroom. This time it was a man.

"Where's this building?"

It was explained to him, as was the elevator shaft and the tomb of ice.

"Bring a jack-hammer," this reporter suggested.

"That's what we do," he said.

Nearly 24 hours went by. The elevator shaft was still a gaping wound. There was no crime scene tape. The homeless continued to burn their fires. City schoolchildren still do not have the necessary books to learn. The train station continues to crumble. Too many homicides still go unsolved.

After another two calls to 911 on Wednesday afternoon (one of which was disconnected), the Detroit Fire Department called and agreed to meet nearby.

Capt. Emma McDonald was on the scene.

"Every time I think I've seen it all, I see this," she said.

And with that they went about the work of recovering a person who might otherwise be waiting for the warm winds of spring.

A029-Frozen014-0109y.jpg

http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090129/METRO08/901290400


Depressing as fuck, but I don't think I'm really surprised by the response of anyone involved in the story.

Also, D:

“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” - Loren Eiseley
Morgenstern on
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Posts

  • StaleStale Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Well

    Thats what you get for being homeless

    or being an urban explorer

    or really, living in Michigan in winter.



    take your pick

    easysig2.jpg
  • MysstMysst King Monkey of Hedonism IslandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm surprised the homeless dudes didn't take his shoes and socks

    smacksigcopy-1.jpg
    Twitter Steam Playstation- Mechaphiliac
  • NuzakNuzak Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    wait wait wait

    that's solid ice, with his legs sticking out of it?

    shit, what if the things bugs bunny taught me are true

  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood sweet times Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    He probably killed himself after that debacle of a football season.

    TmJvpNr.png
    why should i be good if you're not?
  • MonkeyfeetMonkeyfeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If Encino Man taught me anything they should just defrost him and everything will be chill

    sig1.jpg
  • potatoepotatoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    oh michigan
    you so crazy

    I tried to write "but that" and my hands naturally wrote "butt hat", which is vastly superior in every way.
  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Why is this written like a creative writing assignment? I demand emotionless objective reports.

    Also, this just in: Michigan still really really cold

  • ZephyrZephyr Registered User
    edited January 2009
    detroit is a wasteland

    16kakxt.jpg
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    he's going to wake up in the future and not in fit in

    tf2sig.jpg
    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • potatoepotatoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    it's practically spring here compared to michigan

    I tried to write "but that" and my hands naturally wrote "butt hat", which is vastly superior in every way.
  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It's not even that the snow is that bad. The wind is just relentless

  • KrunkMcGrunkKrunkMcGrunk Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I can't stop wondering how this dude died, and how it led him to his current position.

    mrsatansig.png
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    oh curse you, lack of edit button

    tf2sig.jpg
    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • KrunkMcGrunkKrunkMcGrunk Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Squall wrote: »
    Why is this written like a creative writing assignment? I demand emotionless objective reports.

    Also, this just in: Michigan still really really cold

    It's called a feature.

    mrsatansig.png
  • ZephyrZephyr Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I can't stop wondering how this dude died, and how it led him to his current position.

    died in a puddle

    died in the rain

    16kakxt.jpg
  • TankHammerTankHammer Atlanta Ghostbuster Atlanta, GARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Urban Exploration is a very cool hobby and can yield a lot of interesting discoveries. Unfortunately, you also may run the risk of discovering a body. I'm not sure what I'd do in that situation either, I'm terrible when it comes to phoning the police when I see or hear anything suspicious.

    4icmw.jpg TankHammer | 2zivq6q.jpg
    wBfb67T.png
  • KrunkMcGrunkKrunkMcGrunk Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, but how did his feet get propped up like that?

    It's almost like he fell face first into really fast drying concrete.

    mrsatansig.png
  • edited January 2009
    Yeah, but how did his feet get propped up like that?

    It's almost like he fell face first into really fast drying concrete.
    Wizards did it.

  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You guys don't really call it the D, do you?

    bar-cc-1.jpg
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    oh my goodness!

    on another note, we have a place like that here that i went exploring in
    and the basement was also flooded
    and also frozen:
    spooky13.jpg
    spooky17.jpg
    spooky16.jpg
    spooky15.jpg

  • potatoepotatoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    d-town represent whut whuuuuuut

    I tried to write "but that" and my hands naturally wrote "butt hat", which is vastly superior in every way.
  • MysstMysst King Monkey of Hedonism IslandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    you're as cold as ice

    smacksigcopy-1.jpg
    Twitter Steam Playstation- Mechaphiliac
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    how the fuck do we 'posed to keep peace?

  • DrZiplockDrZiplock Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    That's...damn.

    And Beav, interesting headgear.

    snap02869.jpg "zip, i dunno what it is about you, but there's something very cat-like about your face. i can't really place it. like, a puma or something. you'd make a good mountain lion." Wishlist Post
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited January 2009
    everybody chill out

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2009
    Ice to meet you Bennett

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • CristovalCristoval Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Damn Beavatron, that looks like the area from Silent Hill 2 where you first confront Pyramid Head/nerd.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DrZiplock wrote: »
    That's...damn.

    And Beav, interesting headgear.

    it's not me, it's my best friend

  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Cristoval wrote: »
    Damn Beavatron, that looks like the area from Silent Hill 2 where you first confront Pyramid Head/nerd.

    the pics get pretty spooky
    spooky8.jpg
    spooky1.jpg

    i was pretty much shitting myself the entire time.

    ghost edit!
    oooOoooooooooooooooooOoooooOOOO it's an orb!
    spooky2.jpg

  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Cristoval wrote: »
    Damn Beavatron, that looks like the area from Silent Hill 2 where you first confront Pyramid Head/nerd.

    is that the SH with the building full of mannequins? because fuck that one.

    tf2sig.jpg
    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    apparently Michigan is on Mr. Freeze's shit list.

    or God's.

  • JordynJordyn Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    One time Rank took us to a haunted dairy farm and I explained to everyone what various things were.

    thumbsupguy-1.jpg
    JordynNolz.com <- All my blogs (Shepard, Wasted, J'onn, DCAU) are here now!
  • potatoepotatoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    jordyn
    are you a ghostbuster?

    I tried to write "but that" and my hands naturally wrote "butt hat", which is vastly superior in every way.
  • JordynJordyn Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Bustin' does make me feel good.

    thumbsupguy-1.jpg
    JordynNolz.com <- All my blogs (Shepard, Wasted, J'onn, DCAU) are here now!
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    i want to make a ghost story thread
    where you guys tell me spooky stories.

  • potatoepotatoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    there's a new bug in photoshop
    that puts in lensflare
    everywhere


    oooooooooooooo

    I tried to write "but that" and my hands naturally wrote "butt hat", which is vastly superior in every way.
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    apparently the most haunted lighthouse in the country is right by where i went to college. My friends all said weird shit happened to them there. I guess the ghosts were sleeping when i went, b/c i didn't see/hear naught but the wind.

  • CristovalCristoval Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Ghosts don't sleep, they wait.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MysstMysst King Monkey of Hedonism IslandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I work in what used to be a children's hospital, and every one was trying to make me believe that it was haunted by the kids what had died there.

    I did come in one morning when nothing but the emergency lights were on, that was a touch creepy, but no ghosts

    smacksigcopy-1.jpg
    Twitter Steam Playstation- Mechaphiliac
  • MonkeyfeetMonkeyfeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It is projected that social security will be depleted within in the next decade

    o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    sig1.jpg
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