Most of us have stayed in hotel rooms at least once in our lifetime. It can sometimes be a pleasant experience, like for instance a planned vacation to an exotic locale and staying in a posh five-star resort with clean sheets. Or it can be an unplanned stop over during a long road trip at a flea bag dump with unspeakably stained carpet. Wherever you stay, it wouldn’t hurt to give a little look-see under the mattress especially if your olfactory senses detect something foul. You never know if the previous guest unintentionally decided to extend their stay. So here’s a little something to occupy your brain the next time play a round of “find the smell” on your next vacation- a shocking amount of corpses have ended up in hotel room mattresses! Check out some of the true stories below.
In July of 2003, at a downtown Kansas City motel, a gentlemen checked into his room only to be blown back by the sudden gust of foul odor emanating from the room. He repeatedly complained to the management, but each time he was told nothing could be done about the smell. After three nights, the smell was so unbearable that he had to check out and find other accommodations. When the staff went to clean the room, the maid lifted the mattress to find a badly decomposed body underneath. Although the body was not identified, the hotel in question had been closed several times in the past for several violations and was also a popular spot for drug deals.
Back in 1999, two German tourist were staying in a $38 dollar a night Atlantic City, NJ hotel. The first night, they complained to the manager that their room smelled awful. Just as with the Kansas City case, the management told them they couldn’t do anything about it. They stayed in the room for two more days before demanding a new room. Under the mattress, they found 64 year-old New York resident Saul Hernandez’s decomposing body. Saul had checked out of his room only to return hours later and demand his key back, explaining that he still had the room until noon. The front desk gave him back his room key. He was never seen alive again, police said he was stabbed to death, and later a 17-year-old Brooklyn girl was charged
Before that, back in 1996, Hawaiian tourist was staying at the Travelodge in Pasadena, CA when she jokingly told her brother to look under the bed for a dead body after noticing a peculiar odor. Her brother didn’t check then, but after two nights they both decided that the smell was unbearable. Under the mattress, they discovered the body of an unknown dead woman that had been there for days.
One of the most interesting cases of a corpse found in a mattress dates back to 1982 and was linked to notable serial killer Richard Kuklinski, better known as the “Iceman”. Known now for racking up hundreds of victims he either killed for money or for fun, at the time Kuklinski was part of a three-man car-theft ring. His partners, Daniel Deppner and Gary Smith, had worn out their usefulness and needed to be disposed of. While staying at a hotel in North Bergen, NJ, Kuklinski laced Smith’s hamburger with cyanide. Kuklinski and Deppner watched as Smith slowly died. Bored with waiting, Deppner finished Smith off with a lamp cord then stuffed the body in to the mattress. Deppner’s body was eventually found some time later in a wooded area of West Milford, NJ. His body was too badly decomposed to determine the cause of death. The case lead to Kuklinski’s long career as a contract/ serial killer, as he bragged to undercover agents about Smith’s murder while attempting to buy more cyanide. Needless to say, Kuklinski was not someone you wanted become business partners with.
There a lot more cases of corpses stuffed into hotel mattress, but I figured this was enough to make your mind spin next time you smell something a bit out of the ordinary in a hotel room. It might night be just the smell of those drapes, you know, the ones that haven’t been laundered since 1977. Or you may find yourself slumbering over a guest who never checked out.