Our concrete driveway developed a few cracks after a lousy winter of plummeting temperatures and icy conditions. The breaks kept getting wider and holes started opening up, a disaster waiting to happen. Patching the worst of the areas with the ready mix stuff didn’t work anymore. When my neighbor tripped and staggered against my truck one day, barely avoiding a full-out fall, common sense told me that it was time to call the experts.
A local contractor had done a really good job of laying sidewalks for us a few years before, so we called him again. He gave us an estimate (ouch) and started work the next week. The jackhammers and sledge hammers pounded away all day, workers carried away truck loads of the broken concrete slabs, sink holes were filled, and the ground underneath was readied for the pouring of the new driveway.
A huge truck arrived early the next morning with 20 tons (can that be right?) of cement spinning in that enormous rotating drum. All for us. Sheila and I were amazed that we would need that much of the stuff for our normal-sized driveway.
As the guys got to work pouring the mix and spreading it around, I had a chance to look at their feet. The crew was wearing rubber boots and at times, they had trouble moving in the muck. ‘Cement shoes’ came to my crime-oriented mind.
Every once in a while in movies or TV shows from the 70s and 80s, we heard the term ‘cement shoes’ mentioned in connection with mob hits. It referred in part to a method whereby ‘enforcers’ got rid of bodies. The victims would be tied to a concrete weight and tossed into a nearby lake or river. Sometimes, the victim’s feet would be encased in concrete. The longer the body stayed underwater, the less likely identification would be possible, and the more likely that the murderer could get away with the crime.
In real life, crimes (and even accidents) including concrete, can also involve active construction sites.
There is a persistent Hoover Dam myth that will not go away, despite steadfast, repeated denial from experts and the Hoover Dam authorities since the 1930s. Workers are supposed to have been buried while the concrete was being poured. No evidence has ever been produced to support that theory, yet tour guides still fend off questions from curious vacationers about the supposed bodies beneath their feet.
But, in December, 2012, a concrete worker was found buried in recently poured concrete in California. The victim had been killed with a shotgun, then stuffed in a hole before being covered with several inches of the cement. The chief suspect lived and worked at the site where the body was found.
Then there was the Georgia case. In October, 2012, a body placed in a plastic storage bin, then encased in concrete, was found buried in a backyard. The suspects first told their father that they put a dog they didn’t like, in that spot. It turned out that the dog in question belonged to the body entombed in the concrete.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have access to that amount of concrete. But, my contractor does. I wonder what lies beneath his piles of old slabs in the driveway graveyard? Glad I paid the bill in full.
*Photos by Patti Phillips