#1 Detroit: Too broke to bury their dead
10-01-2009, 12:16 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Money to bury Detroit's poor has dried up, forcing struggling families to abandon their loved ones in the morgue freezer.
-- At 1300 E. Warren St., you can smell the plight of Detroit.
Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses. So they stack up inside the freezer.
Albert Samuels, chief investigator for the morgue, said he has never seen anything like it during his 13 years on the job. "Some people don't come forward even though they know the people are here," said the former Detroit cop. "They don't have the money."
Lifelong Detroit residents Darrell and Cheryl Vickers understand this firsthand. On a chilly September morning they had to visit the freezer to identify the body of Darrell's aunt, Nancy Graham -- and say their goodbyes.
The couple, already financially strained, don't have the $695 needed to cremate her. Other family members, mostly in Florida, don't have the means to contribute, either. In fact, when Darrell's grandmother passed recently, his father paid for the cremation on a credit card -- at 21% interest.
10-01-2009, 12:20 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- In my own private Alamo on The Mountain in Georgia
The Lions are not dead. :mad::D
Sorry, I will take any opportunity to rejoice in that win. :)Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
10-01-2009, 12:49 PM
What about the energy costs involved in keeping the stiffs stiff?
At some point soon, that's got to exceed $635.
rm -rf obama*
10-01-2009, 01:58 PM
They must have filled up United Gardens out in Plymouth, where the city usually buries the indigent.
I have a bad feeling about Devil's night this year-they might want to clear out the morgue in advance.
1. A new mayor
2. Lots of fires in recent weeks
3. Devil's night is on a Friday this year.
4. Totally deminished police and FD presence in a cash-strapped city.
All this adds up to a nightmare for those in the city and it's immediate suburbs. Dave Bing needs to put in a Homeland Security request for funds so he can hire some off-duty suburban cops and firefighters to back up the Detroit forces for the weekend. I haven't been seeing a big media push for volunteers like in previous years. Ironically, the only new mayor so far who planned for his first Devil's night appropriately was Kwame. Go and figure.
I remember my first Devil's night in the city, in 1989. It was a bad one, as was 1993, when Archer first took office. Back in the 80s, pyros from all over the world would descend upon Detroit with police radios, and go from fire to fire, watching the action.
10-01-2009, 03:31 PM
Devil Night? What kind of crazy thing is this? I heard about this a few years ago and it seemed completely insane to me. A bunch of criminals torch their own neighborhoods for.....what?
10-01-2009, 03:55 PM
It's been quiet for the last few years.
In the 80s and early 90s, the night before Halloween in Detroit was known for the arson. You could sit at the top of a downtown skyscraper and watch the city burn. People would come from all over to watch Detroit burn-I think a city in New Jersey had the same problem in the 80s. The scene in 8 Mile where Eminen and his friends burn down a crack house is sort of reminiscent of those days, because if you and your neighbors wanted to get rid of a crack house, this was the night to do it and get away with it.
There are so many abandoned buildings in Detroit. Some are burned-out remains, some have ignitable roofs. I hope it rains that night.
Mayor Archer, in the 90s, tried to stamp it out, after a bad night his first year in office. He tried renaming in Angel's night, and took the previous mayor's plans for a volunteer force for the 3 day Halloween period to new heights. The cable company usually turns on all the premium channels to all boxes in the city for free for the night, to try to keep the kids inside. The last 10 years have been pretty quiet.
This year, there have been a lot of fires in recent weeks in Detroit. I've seen the smoke plumes from the bridge over the railroad tracks that I cross on my way home, or from the parking lot at work. One big fire was an industrial accident, but the rest have been abandoned or occupied homes, and someone keeps trying to burn down the ruins of an auto plant at I-94 and Mt. Elliot. I have every confidence that the Warren police, where I live, are ready for this. I am very worried for my friends and neighbors south of 8 Mile RD, where the DPD has cut back so far that there are very few cops around outside of the downtown stadium and casino areas.
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