Resurrection 26

This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.

Dumping a Body

When Tab had arrived in Corbin Monday, he checked into The Wayside then immediately began preparing his work for the week.

If you think you might need to dispose of a body, that there is even a remote chance, then you need to figure out how you are going to do that before the kill. Spending a few hours digging a grave when there is a body in the trunk is a good way to get life in prison.

Tab was not familiar with Corbin or Silerville or the surrounding area, so he had given himself a full day and a half to prepare before his first “job.” He did know the Daniel Boone National Forest surrounded all the towns in Eastern Kentucky and that in places there have been hikers and campers lost for days.

Tab first headed to Cumberland Falls National Park, just south of Corbin on 25W.

Cumberland Falls is a picturesque waterfall, carved over the millennia by the Cumberland river. It’s history goes back 10,000 years to the time when primitive natives made their homes in the shallow caves lining the river. Its first written record is from 1750 when Dr. Thomas Walker described it as he was exploring Kentucky. The first recorded owners of the falls date from 1800, when Matthew Walton and Adam Shepard were granted deed to the falls and 200 surrounding acres. It was next owned by Louis and Mary H. Renfro, who in 1850 purchased the falls along with 400 acres.

Following this there were a succession of owners who built homes, then two hotels near the falls. Then in November 1927 Kentucky native T. Coleman DuPont offered to buy the falls and the surrounding acreage and give it to the commonwealth for a state park. This was done in order to prevent the Cumberland River Corporation from building a dam above the falls.

As Tab drove to the park, the beauty around him eluded him. He wasn’t sight seeing, he was collecting data. He noted exactly where he lost cell reception and exactly where it picked up again. He noted side roads. He took note of the homes and sightlines.

As he got closer to the park, he noticed there was significant congestion around the main road. He passed camping areas, cabins, the DuPont Lodge, a ranger’s station. Since this main road was the only way in or out, and there were likely many people near the road, dumping a body this direction was too much of a risk. Even if he found a remote place, people would certainly see him coming and going.

He got back on 25W and headed south a bit more. The woods cleared out and the grassy hills were dotted with homes. When he got to the Bee Creek Road, he pulled off into the parking lot of an abandoned store and pulled out his laptop, tethering it to his cell.

He noted there was a small dam just down Bee Creek. He started the car again, and headed down the road. When he found it just a few miles away, he thought it looked a promising spot. He parked in the lot next to the pavilion and got out to survey his options.

On the north side of the road it was a short 20 feet to the rough beach and the lake created by the dam. It was too cold for swimming and was deserted and would certainly be so at night.

On the south side there were steeply sloped, wooded riverbanks, dropping rapidly to the spillway 100 feet below. The road ran along the top of the dam and the only thing between the road and the drop was a six-foot shoulder and low concrete rail.

“This would do,” said  Tab aloud. In the 20 minutes he’d spent surveying the site, not one car had passed. At night, a car would be even less likely.

Getting back into his car, he opened the laptop again. One spot was never enough. It might be blocked or there might be witnesses there, or in some cases you may need more than one. He’d made that mistake in Tulsa.

Tab opened the map again, he was looking for two things: Logging roads and cell towers.

Taking a remote logging road and dumping a body is often a good plan. They tend to be rarely travelled and remote. A body could stay there for months without being discovered, and the animals would do most of the disposal work for you. There may not even be a body left to be found.

But logging roads also had a problem and needed to be explored before you choose. Logging roads tend to be just rough dirt roads with no pavement or gravel. They also tend to go uphill. What that means is every time there is rain, they can be left with deep erosion and would be impassible for his Buick.

Cell towers are another good bet. Typically a cell tower is at the top of a high hill with a well maintained access road. They are by nature remote. A body dumped there would likely not be discovered until routine maintenance showed up. It could be a day, but it would likely be weeks or even months.

He looked at his digital map and set GPS pins at the locations he would check out tomorrow, he was beginning to lose light tonight. Tab pointed the Buick north again, toward Corbin and decided to look for a place to eat.


4 Comments on “Resurrection 26”

  1. ron877 says:

    “Cumberland Falls is a picturesque waterfall, carved over the millennia by the Cumberland river. Its history goes back 10,000 years to the time when primitive natives made their homes in the shallow caves lining the river. It …”

    Again, I am impressed by the research that went into these couple of paragraphs (even if some of it was made up).

    After all, that is why they call it historical fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. That’s all true. Usually on something like this I can just go to Wikipedia, but the Wiki on Cumberland Falls is surprisingly sparse. I depended on Google for the details.

      All of the places mentioned outside of the ficticious “Silerville” are real. The Wayfair isn’t the real name of the seedy hotel, but there is one in Corbin. Dino’s where Polly is going to meet “John Marcus” is a real place.

      Kentucky provides many colorful places and people to write about. I want it to seem real to natives. I loved the series “Justified,” but some of the inconsistencies with reality bothered me. For example: They had the main character doing something in Lexington, leaving mid-morning to go to Harlan, then back to Lexington, then back to Harlan before 5pm.

      Lexington to Harlan is a 3 hour trip.

      That was probably more information that you cared to know. Thank you for patiently listening…

      Liked by 1 person

      • ron877 says:

        I like the additional information. Although I am an expat living in Southeast Asia, I “grew up” (high school) in Indiana, graduated (drafted) to Ft. Knox, KY. When I am in the US I visit the midwest and remain fascinated by the underlying cultural riches that go ignored by residents of the urbanized East and West coasts.

        A writer that you remind me of in using rich detail for historical fiction is Carol Ervin. Her Mountain Women series may put off people who would never read feminist literature. Book 1 of the 4 book series is absolutely amazing in scene setting and character development. It might be restful … in December.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I grew up in Indiana as well. Terre Haute.

        I might check out Ervin…in December.

        Liked by 1 person

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