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Old Aug 30, 2004, 08:57 PM   #1
iLikeMyiMac
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Mummified Man Goes Unnoticed for Two Years

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A reclusive Canadian man, who neighbors thought may have gone traveling, was found mummified in his bed, almost two years after he died, Manitoba's chief medical examiner says.
Winnipeg police found the body of 52-year-old Jim Sulkers preserved in his tidy apartment after a relative phoned police to ask them to check on him.
Sulkers, who had multiple sclerosis, preferred to be left alone. His bill payments and pension deposits were handled automatically.
"It was a very well-kept second floor condominium, neat and clean, with everything in its place, and there was a body of a man on the bed, covered in a sheet, like he was sleeping, except that the body was mummified," said Thambirajah Balachandra, who investigates deaths in the province.
A newspaper dated Nov. 21, 2002, was in the apartment in an upscale Winnipeg neighborhood. Balachandra said the man died of natural causes. link
How sad is it that no body notices that you are dead for two years?
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:19 AM   #2
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Oh goodness, 2 years? And how was he "mummified"? Isn't that a process of preserving the body? Does that mean that someone had to mummify him?
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 02:11 AM   #3
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that really is quite depressing thaat no one noticed hee was dead for 2 whole years...
According to the article the dryness and heat kept him preserved, instead of him decomposing. This kind of confuses me though, because what area of Canada has a nearly year round dry heat? And also wouldn't his apartment be fairly moist, which would allow him to decompose...?
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 06:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comictimes
that really is quite depressing thaat no one noticed hee was dead for 2 whole years...
According to the article the dryness and heat kept him preserved, instead of him decomposing. This kind of confuses me though, because what area of Canada has a nearly year round dry heat? And also wouldn't his apartment be fairly moist, which would allow him to decompose...?
It was November when he died. I don't think the apartment would have been that moist as the only real sources of moisture would have been him and the toilet. If he had the heat cranked it would have kept the place a nice and toasty temperature. I could see it happening.

As a note mummification refers to the drying out of tissues not the wrapping in bandages.

I once found a mummified bat in my box fan at the end of a summer, can't imagine how he got in he seemed to big to fit.

One of my goals in life or well, the afterlife is to manage such a feat. I would love to be able to slide away unnoticed. Now all I have to do is write a posting bot...
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 09:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MongoTheGeek
One of my goals in life or well, the afterlife is to manage such a feat. I would love to be able to slide away unnoticed. Now all I have to do is write a posting bot...
Just have the bot post once weekly, Powerbook G5 due next week.
You should go unnoticed for a couple years.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 09:55 AM   #6
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Well its the internal fluids that normally have to be drained. Even if it wasn't moist in his apartment, he'd still decompose unless it was hot enough. Cold would slow down decomposition, but when summer hits, he'd smell bad. A supply of heat speeds up evaporation and "drying out". Cold air wouldn't speed that up at all, and if Winnipeg is anything in the winter, it's cold.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:23 AM   #7
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Of course it would be cold

which would mean probably gas heat. Ever walk across a carpet in the winter of a gas heated apartment and then touch a door knob. Sparks, because the humidity is so low. This would have definitely aided in the dehydrating process. Besides its the same idea as dehydrating, a warm dry heat.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:40 PM   #8
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It goes to show that if you have an automatic life like his, you can go virtually unnoticed. Quite a sad case. It's sad that his family would have waited 2 years, definitely not a close family. If the story is true, then all the conditions were just at the perfect dryness and temperature. I would still think there would have been a smell in the beginning. Must have been a very well sealed apartment, although I guess in Canada that would be more mandatory.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:45 PM   #9
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It reminds me of the movie Se7en
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:49 PM   #10
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Dumb question, but when it says he was 52 years old, does that mean when he was discovered, or when he died? I'm presuming he was born 54 years ago.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:59 PM   #11
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I wonder if any bugs were around the body. Like insects or worm that would aid in the decaying process.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 08:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsw
Dumb question, but when it says he was 52 years old, does that mean when he was discovered, or when he died? I'm presuming he was born 54 years ago.
You're right. That is a dumb question.

You have to be alive to get older. He was 52 when he died, and was found two years later.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 08:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by iLikeMyiMac
I wonder if any bugs were around the body. Like insects or worm that would aid in the decaying process.
There could have been organisms in his mattress (motes and such). Really the idea his body actually mummified naturally (especaily in only two years, unaided) is what facinates me.

Also, it said in the artcle he had MS, I'd think he would have more frequent visitors than normal from being in his condition and probably restricted in mobility .

The idea his financial life was so completely automated is impressive, if not a little creepy. Kinda like in Aliens where almost everyone dies while still in hibernation and the ship just keeeps chugging along to its destination with almost the entire crew dead. No, wait. The ship was adrift at the start of the movie, that's how the marines found it. Anyway, you know what I mean.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 04:00 AM   #14
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Mummification happens. I've seen a rat that died in an (unused) chimney and mummified naturally--quite an impressive sight.

I wouldn't be surprised if this guy smelled a bit early on and nobody noticed it, but if the conditions were correct (and a cold winter with the heat left on would certainly provide dry heat in the extreme) natural mummification is certainly possible. Sad for him, but sitll, impressive.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 01:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaFox
You're right. That is a dumb question.

You have to be alive to get older. He was 52 when he died, and was found two years later.
You should have been polite and not made the first comment. He did say that the man was born 54 years ago.
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