One way of disposing of a body is by dissolving it with a strong acid or base.


Suitable chemicals:

(1) strong base such as lye (caustic soda, sodium hydroxide)

(2) strong acid


Use of a strong base to dissolve a body is termed alkaline hydrolysis.


Potential pitfalls:

(1) need a suitable container or site

(2) need sufficient chemical

(3) need sufficient time for chemical action

(4) need to dispose of a strong acid or base

(5) paper trail related to chemical purchases

(6) hazards of handling or breathing a caustic chemical

(7) need to dispose of empty chemical containers

(8) need to dispose of clothing


Mistakes made by criminals in the past:

(1) handling the chemical incorrectly (Dr HH Crippen used quicklime to dissolve his wife. When the quicklime became wet it saponified the body fat and preserved the body.)

(2) leaving evidence not dissolved by the chemical (gallstones, dentures, etc).


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