Summers are always the busy season in police-work. It was about noon in late August in Los Angeles and probably about a hundred degrees of dry heat outside. No humidity here.
I received a, "Possible Death Investigation." It was 'possible' because the neighbors described a foul odor eminating from the house next door and had not seen their neighbor for a couple of weeks. As we pulled up to the neighborhood, a collection of very small, single level detached one bedroom apartments, we could already smell it and we were a block away. Not a 'possible' anymore, this was certain. As we walked up to the apartment in question, the smell got exponentially worse as we got closer.
Since I was the junior man, I looked through the windows to see if there was any sign of foul play. It was extremely dark inside, no doubt, due to the power being shut off. I could barely make out the shape of a man sitting on his couch. I also saw two very excited dogs running around in the house. I called out to the man, "Hello? Sir? HELLO!?!" No answer, of course.
All doors and windows were locked and the dogs pretty much prevented us from kicking in the front door. We called Animal Control and when they arrived an hour later we devised a plan to get the dogs first. I kicked in the front door and the Animal Control officer captured one dog at a time with her lasso/noose on-a-stick. This was a great success.
After shooing away the 10 or so neighborhood kids who had collected around the outside of the apartment, we went inside. Inside, there were piles of dog feces evenly spaced everywhere like landmines. The apartment smelled like a collection of rotten flesh and feces. I turned to the livingroom and saw him, or what was left of him. He was a white man, but mostly black now from rotting for the past few weeks in 100 degree weather. He was almost putrified and he was sitting on his couch, left arm extended outward as if pointing to something. His ears and nose were missing and so were most of his fingers. His bodily fluids had stained his clothes and his eyeglasses had slid halfway down his face. He had been rotting there for about three weeks in the heat, yet he still appeared human.
The animal control officer told us that the dogs had to be put down since they most-likely were the cuplrits in the missing body parts. She explained to us that when an owner dies, their dog(s) eventually go hungry and start to eat their owner. That made sense. And then, since the dogs 'tasted human flesh', they had to be destroyed. Poor dogs, it wasn't their fault. Still, you'll never see that one on, "When Animals Attack."
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