In Search of the Cadaver in My Garden

uglyflower (2)What you are about to read is a true account of an actual event.  The names have not been changed because no one will care.

First, let me start at the beginning, and don’t worry it won’t take long.  I moved to the country a few years ago.  It’s lovely with wide-open spaces, room to breathe, tons of trees, and wildlife.  Many times when I wake up in the morning I think that I’m at a vacation house instead of my own home.  Also, I can jump in my car and drive ten to fifteen minutes and I’m on the beach.  It’s the best of both worlds.  It’s a perfect place for a writer to work.

My academic and consulting background is in forensics and criminology.  Basically, I study crime and criminals.  I love to blog about all kinds of things pertaining to these fields.  I don’t know about you, but I seem to gravitate toward any new information about thrillers, crime, criminals, and serial killers.  I hope you are enjoying my blog.

I would like to think of myself as being aware of what’s going on around me.  I pay attention to who is near me either at home or out in the community.  I’m a detail oriented person who has a lot of curiosity thrown in for good measure.  So you can imagine my surprise when I was taking a break from writing one afternoon from writing and I smelled… well… something dead.  There was absolutely NO mistaking that smell.  Unlike what was reported from murder trials – you know the smell of death. You might think since I live out in the country it’s most likely a dead animal, like a pack rat, squirrel, or even (heaven forbid) a neighbor’s cat.



Or should I say dead wrong.

I smelled this dreadful “odor” for a couple of days.  I looked around in my flowerbeds and around some potted plants, to no avail.  I decided to ask my husband if he’d smelled the “dead” smell.  Maybe he had some insight?

“Honey”, I said.  “It smells like something’s dead in the front yard.”

He agreed with me.  “I smelled it too.  You mean you haven’t found it yet?”  He said with a cynical smile, knowing how much it irked me not being able to find its source.

I told him that I was going to hunt it down no matter what.  The temperature was rising and it was going to soon ratchet up to all time stinkfest.

I began at my front door and used my nose.  I wasn’t going to quit until I found the source of the smell.  I felt like I was Emily Stone in one of my novels hunting down a serial killer.

I was on a mission.

The stink kept getting stronger and stronger.  I knew I was close… So I followed my nose so to speak…

The smell was the strongest at a particular area.  I searched, but there was nothing there.

It was very curious indeed.

I just had to know where that horrific smell was coming from.  Now it was personal.  I was going to stay outside until I found the little decomposing critter.

Then it hit me…

I turned and looked under a large bottlebrush bush and there it was!  It was… one of the most striking and amazing looking lily I had ever seen.  The plant was three feet tall with a deep magenta bloom, which was at least twelve inches long.

I remembered something a gardening neighbor told me about this plant.  It actually SMELLS just like ROTTING FLESH!  Yes, you read correctly – rotting and decomposing flesh.  I cannot imagine anyone planting this plant in their garden or even near their house.  It is called appropriately by many street names: stink lily, voodoo lily, cadaver lily, dragon lily and so on.  Its official name is Dracunculus vulgaris.  The photo posted above is the actual culprit or victim in my garden.

I finally found the cadaver in my garden.

Case solved!


You can follow a real serial killer hunter searching for the victim.  If you have not checked out this live-action 5 minute thriller yet, you might want to…


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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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1 Response to In Search of the Cadaver in My Garden

  1. Sue Coletta says:

    Wow. I’ve heard about these kinds of lilies, but I’ve never seen one. Now I know what NEVER to buy. Thanks for the heads up. 🙂 They are pretty, though. What a shame.


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