Where Have All The Bodies Gone? Is Herkimer’s Coroner Doing The Job?

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Murder victims missing in Herkimer
Unreported murders in Herkimer? A speculation.

Are there unreported murders in Herkimer? Regional statistics create some questions. According to reports based on FBI crime statistics, Herkimer and Syracuse NY have similar crime rates. Both are in the top 6% of least safe areas to live in the United States. Herkimer is in the top 3 percent!  However, reports indicate zero murders per year in Herkimer.

Given similarity to Syracuse’s crime stats, Herkimer may have missed some murders

Syracuse, with a population of approximately 145,000, has an annual violent crime rate of 8.21 per 1000 and 20 murders. Herkimer, population 7,600, shows a violent crime rate of 7.64 per 1000 with -0- murders. In fact, no murders have been reported in Herkimer over the last 10 years with the exception of 2013, when Kurt Meyers shot and killed four men, two of them in Herkimer. Given Syracuse’s murder rate—0.14 per thousand—Herkimer could be expected to have a single murder per year. Deducting the Meyer’s mass shooting victims, there are still 8 bodies missing over the past ten years. The lack of reported murders in crime-ridden Herkimer’s a statistical aberration and a red flag. Where did Herkimer’s bodies go?

Bodies usually end up at the undertaker’s. Herkimer’s coroner is also its largest undertaker. Its family members having served consecutively as Herkimer Coroner for years, generally running unopposed, or against another family member. The position might as well be hereditary. Not to impugn the integrity of Herkimer’s undertaker-coroner, but the system is rife for exploitation. It doesn’t require the imagination of a novelist to envision an arrangement in which people are quietly killed and the coroner sees nothing. Poison would be the best, a silent killer that doesn’t attract the attention of a knife or bullet. It’s a cause of death easily missed and easily explained away if later detected. The hills here abound with the makings of natural poisons such belladonna. Some of Herkimer’s multi-generational crime families undoubtedly have herbalists’ skills, possibly dating back to at least the Nine Mile Swamp’s Loomis Gang.

What’s In Your Fridge?

Troublesome people in Herkimer need only pass away, as we might have: In April of 2015, our house was burgled. Though things were trashed and our dog beaten, nothing was taken, which seemed odd. Foolishly though, we didn’t dispose of open containers. Before bed, I had a sip of milk and was soon dizzy and my blood pressure soaring. Knowing our depraved neighbors, I quickly took an emetic and recovered, then dumped the contents of all open containers. As a self-confessed troublemaker, had I had a large of glass of milk, I might have “passed away,” another victim of an undetected murder. If that’s the traditional Herkimer murder method, it’s a very slick one.

A writer’s fantasy? Maybe. But where are the bodies?

Written by Herkimer Post Crime Editor, author Stephen Ames Berry. Berry is a former officer of Harvard University and a veteran of the National Security Agency’s US Army Security Agency.





Author: herkimerblog

This blog is my perspective on dwelling in our small village nestled among beautiful forests, farms and open landscapes. Educated in Israel and the US, I have an MS in Computer Science. My viewpoint has been shaped by world travel, friends and benefactors both strangers and people I know. Linda Kaidan