Acid Bath

I was scrolling through the channels on my TV and came across the 1949 movie Obsession. It is about a guy who unfortunately has a wife who cheats on him. From what I can see of the plot it sounds like the guy is a jerk, but that is neither here nor there. Anyway, he takes his wife’s boyfriend prisoner, locks him in a room, then plans to put the poor boyfriend in a vat of acid to get rid of the body. Yuck.

Vats of acid are frequently used in movies and television as a way to get rid of bodies.

Let’s talk about this for a bit. Where would anyone get a vat of acid? Seriously. Where would you even get that much acid? What would you put it in? Who has a hole or tub that big? Also, what kind of damage would the acid do to your pipes when you drained your death tub? What would it do to the local water treatment plant? What kind of safety equipment would you need?

I need more coffee right now so this isn’t going to win any literary awards, but you know, sometimes I think about these things.

Hydrofluoric acid (HF) can dissolve the bodies as it has the properties to destroy tissue and decalcify bone

So where do you get the stuff? In the television series Breaking Bad Walter White just steals it. That is easy for Walter because he is a high school teacher who is in the drug business and he has the resources and the knowledge. 

For the average killer finding hydrofluoric acid is more difficult, but it is available from chemical companies. Hydrofluoric acid has many proposed for laboratory use and things other than getting rid of bodies. 

Hydrogen fluoride is used to make refrigerants, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, high-octane gasoline, aluminum, plastics, electrical components, and fluorescent light bulbs. Sixty percent of the hydrogen fluoride used in manufacturing is for processes to make refrigerants. Hydrogen fluoride is also used for etching glass and metal. It isn’t just for the disposal of bodies. 

Hydrogen fluoride used to be stored in wax bottles but now, in our modern world, polyethylene or Teflon (PTFE) bottles are used. 

Now what? You have a big vat of acid and you need to get rid of your wife’s boyfriend. As a mom I always stress safety to my kids. That said, Hydrogen fluoride eats through most types of gloves and can easily penetrate skin and fat tissue. Once it is in the bloodstream it will quickly act as a poison. The fumes from even small amounts of the chemical are deadly. A single lungful would cause so much fluid in the lungs that one would literally drown. 

Maybe, if you’re a ghoul who needs to hide a body there are easier ways to do it. 

If you look it up you’ll find all kinds of real-life cases where people used, or attempted to use, acid to get rid of bodies, or at least hide the identity of the victim. We know about this because these criminals were caught in the act, or at least after the fact. 

Please do not try this at home. This article is for entertainment purposes only. I was just curious. Stay safe. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Hug your kids. Talk to your kids. Check in on those who might need extra help – especially in this summer heat. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

2 comments

  1. You know, even if one had the connection to get a sufficient amount of acid. There’s still no guarantee for anything. I read about a true case! A murderer dissolved the body of his victim in a barrel of acid. Instead of emptying it down the drain, he decided to pour it outside behind his garage on a natural ground and let the dirt cover the acid… he later added some dirt and covered the spot widely with gravel. The investigators had the forensics team search the entire property. Among the gravel, the team found two tiny ‘forms’ that weren’t gravel nor rocks. They were kidney stones! Apparently, that fact convicted the suspect….

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