The Swift Ruins: Dead Meat

2/6/05: I originally wrote up this entry in an email, and it relates a story second-hand.  As such, I cannot be sure that all of the details are accurate, but are reported to the best of my recollection.
Twice now, Dani and I visited the ruins of the Swift meat packing plant.  One of the main buildings is the actual slaughterhouse that was on the premises.  The first visit to that building was without flashlights, but in the basement there was enough light to see that there was a pentagram painted on the wall.  It was probably nothing, but it's a scary experience in a very oddly-shaped building.

The second time we visited the complex, we were again in that building when we happened to hear someone approaching.  You may have already read the account of that event, but it turned out that a vagrant who lived in another building was heading in our direction.  However, he probably hadn't even noticed us and was just on his way to fill up some water bottles in the FW stockyards on the adjacent property.  Regardless, we didn't take any chances and split before he arrived.  Unfortunately, that meant we high-tailed it before we had a chance to check out the bottom of the slaughterhouse again.

Well, one of the guys named Ben who I go exploring with happened to grow up here in Fort Worth.  When he was in high school back in the early 1990s, he and a friend and the friend's girlfriend checked out the complex of buildings one afternoon.  I don't know what all they saw of the place, but when they got to the slaughterhouse, they noticed that it smelled really bad, even though the plant hadn't been in business for many years.  They noticed this pile of clothes sitting on the floor in a large, open area at the far end of the building, so the went over to it.  And guess what it was.  Yes, you got it: A dead body.

Naturally, they were freaked out, but they kept their wits about them and looked it over without touching the thing.  Apparently this guy had been dead for quite a while as, obviously, it wasn't immediately apparent that this was a human being.  They decided to make themselves scarce, but they couldn't keep this to themselves.  Instead of just calling the cops though, they told friends back at school... who inevitably told other friends about it, and by lunchtime the principal had them in his office with the police.  They told the cops the story, of course, and nothing was done to them regarding trespassing charges or anything.

I don't know if they ever identified the body, but Ben believes that the cops assumed that this was a bum who got sick and died.  However, as I think about it right now, his description doesn't really follow that scenario.  Rather than crawling into someplace comfortable, this guy was in the largest area of the largest building on the property.  I don't know that I would go so far as to propose that there was anything ritualistic about it, but that thought did just cross my mind.  Still, it seems strange even that a body would be "dumped" right there or anywhere like that for that matter.

Ben called the newspaper at my insistence, but no one there could track down an article on the story.  Ben couldn't put a good date to it himself, so that made things difficult without expending a lot of research hours for what was likely a cold case.  I haven't pursued it any further, but if anyone has any information about this, I would be very interested to hear/read more.  If you have anything to add to this, please feel free to email me.


Copyright 2005 Alexplorer.
Back to the Journal Index