There are not many things more sure in life than death and the need for extra storage! Sadly, the two occasionally overlap. But are you surprised? Everyone will die, and everyone will, at some point, also have the need to move or declutter. From time to time, the news features stories of death or the occasional discovery of a corpse in a storage unit, but people die everywhere - the need for self storage just increases the chances of dying in (or having your dead body stuffed into) a unit instead of at home, in a car, or any other variety of absurd place that people have been known to bite the dust.
Since it’s All Hallow’s Eve, let’s explore the topic of death’s occasional link to self storage. If you’re not faint of heart, read on and learn more about times that human remains have been found inside self storage units.
1. What would you do with cremated remains? Put them in an urn, like a normal person, probably… but people are weird, so whatever. Pope Dickson and Son Funeral Home must have forgotten about the unclaimed remains they had stored away in their Jonesboro, GA storage unit, because a friend found them after the business had closed in 2012. There were cremains of about 50 people in the unit, some of which dated back to as early as 1967!
2. No one wants to find a dead body anywhere, but wouldn’t it be a bit less unnerving if it was just the bones? (No, not really…) In Calhoun, GA, facility owners found the skeletal remains of a tenant who they think may have been living in his unit. The police are investigating, but they don’t suspect foul play. As if we need another reminder why living in a storage unit is a bad idea… knowing that these were skeletal remains shows that they’d been there for a while before being discovered.
3. When their unit was nearly auctioned in 2010, the Fancher family revealed a secret: there was a body inside, and they had known for 17 years. 17 YEARS! This is a sad story, folks - this family of hoarders just couldn’t bear to let go of the blue custom coffin with grandma inside, so they left it in a storage unit for years until they nearly lost it in a storage auction. Had they continued to pay their bill, who knows how long it would have remained in that hot Florida unit. Let’s hope they had temperature control...
4. When Frank Julian died at the age of 80, his family had the task of going through the contents of his storage unit, which he had been renting for 19 years. Among the heaps of boxes was an old freezer. They weren’t prepared for what they’d find inside, but I’m sure you can guess. Autopsy results confirmed that the human remains belonged to a former girlfriend of Julian’s, Kitty Wardwell, who had been missing since 1983. Given that he rented the unit in 1991, it’s strange to think of where he could have had the remains hidden up until then.
5. When Darlene Bourk defaulted on her storage unit payments in 1999, her unit was auctioned. The auction winner found champagne glasses and the wedding cake knife from her wedding, along with wedding photos. Among the wedding regalia, a large box was found, which contained the body of Dennis Bourk, the groom, who had been missing for three years. Obviously, she killed him. I guess she didn’t want the stigma of divorce.
I’m sure you’d be horrified to find human remains in your facility, but you never really know what’s hiding behind those unit doors. What’s the creepiest thing you’ve found in your facility?