The next time you check into a hotel, there’s something very important you should do before you unpack your clothes or call for room service: Check under your bed.
Over the last 30 years, there has been a disturbing number of hotels and motels finding dead bodies either under hotel mattresses or in the box springs of their beds. To point out how this happens more often than you’d think, here is a collection of some notable cases dating back to the 1980s.
–In 1982, a man who was involved in a car-theft ring was murdered by his cohorts in their hotel room. After poisoning their victim with a cyanide-laced hamburger and then strangling him, the murderers hid his body under the mattress and checked out of the North Bergan, N.J. motel room. The victim wasn’t found until four days later. But during those four days, four different families stayed in the room. Each complained of a foul smell, but no one checked under the bed.
–In 1988, a woman’s remains were found in the box spring of a Mineola, N.Y. motel room nearly a week after she had died. There were numerous complaints about the smell and at least two other guests had inhabited the room (and slept on the bed) with the body before she was discovered.
–In 1994, a body was found under a bed at a Traveler’s Hotel near the Miami International Airport. How long the body was there is unclear, but it was found only after a German tourist complained about a disgusting odor in his room.
–In August of 1994, another German tourist complained of a foul smell coming from his room, this time in Fort Lauderdale. After further inspection, the staff discovered the rotting remains of a body under the room’s platform bed. Adding to the insanity, the staff themselves had noticed the smell days earlier, but didn’t fully inspect the room until the guest had complained.
–In July of 1996, a woman’s body was found under a mattress a full 10 days after she had died in a Pasadena, Calif. Travelodge. Guests had complained for several days about the smell, but the motel staff was unable to locate the source of the odor for over a week.
–In June of 1999, a German couple slept above the remains of a rapidly decomposing body in the Burgundy Motor Inn in Atlantic City. Maybe it’s time to ask the Germans about all these bodies they keep finding.
–In July of 2003, a man checked into the Capri Hotel near Kansas City, Mo. He immediately complained about a terrible smell in his room, but was told by the staff that nothing could be done about it. So he stayed in the room and slept on the bed for the next three days, at which point the cleaning staff came in to make up the room and discovered a decomposed body under the bed.
–In January of 2010, the worst-case body-under-the-bed scenario of all took place in Memphis, Tenn. Sony Millbrook disappeared, leaving no trace of her whereabouts. The Budget Inn, where she had been living, rented her room out after he disappeared for 47 days before anything was done. In March, investigators were called to the hotel after a foul smell had been reported. They found Millbrook’s very decomposed body in the bed frame seven weeks after she disappeared.