Dead mafia guys cemented into bridges

Have there been recorded instances of people who wrong the mafia ending up as part of highway bridge supports, etc? If so, are these people still in there? What bridges are they in? What effect if any does this have on the structural integrity of the bridge? Could I pay to be put into a bridge after death?

I could tell you, but then . . .


According to one account, Jimmy Hoffa is a permanent fixture in the end zone at the Meadowlands. :eek:

I heard and read over the years, that the Mafia, not caring much about anyone but themselves, disposed of bodies in assorted ways.

In New York City, a lot of those huge skyscrapers built in the time the Mafia was real active are supposed to have some bodies in the heavy cement linings of the basements. The night guards were easily bought off or not even there so a body could be dropped, suitably wrapped, down into the open forms with a little dirt scattered over it to keep it from being easily seen. Then, the next day, Mafia owned foremen did not investigate the forms real well and Mafia influenced cement haulers dumped hundreds of tons of concrete onto the body.

The cops, no matter how influential, would never get permission to blast open a cement and steel support wall in a subbasement to check for a corpse.

I’ve also heard that bodies have vanished when run through commercial meat grinding machines, like those used to process bulk meat and bone ground into pet and livestock food. Even some grinders used to mince meat for canned foods.

There have been stories floating around for years about the Mafia chopping up bodies, with meat going into hamburger, chunks of bone being sold as stew bones or dumped into processors to be ground into bone meal for fertilizer.

Does your hamburger taste different lately? I’ve been in some meat shops in low income areas where they sell stuff most people probably would not eat and make their own hamburger. The owners did not look like people who would be above dumping in dirty meat, tossing in some horsemeat, freshly killed raccoon or chunks of Fast Carl, who did not pay his debts.

It requires a little more effort than just dumping a body somewhere, but a lot of people who irritated organized crime years ago were just never found.

Who knows what mafiosos might have done when no one was looking, but an engineer would have a shitfit if he knew a body had been cast into a concrete foundation or support. The dimensions of such structural members are calculated to support the immense load of the structure in terms of load per square foot (or meter or whatever) of the cross-section. I’ve not seen any figures regarding the load-bearing capacity of the human body, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s more than a tad lower than that of concrete. A body encased in a concrete pier would essentially represent a sizable structural void that could seriously compromise the integrity of the structure, due to the potential for collapsing in on itself.

On the other hand, structures are are typically designed with a conservative safety factor, so it’s possible that such an entombment could have taken place without causing any collapses.

My physics teacher once went into a rant as to how structural integrity of a bridge or what have you makes putting a body in a bridge very dangerous.

Occasionally a construction worker will be killed by falling into wet concrete and being buried. It’s more or less instantaneous death. I believe they have to be dug out… eep.

OK, say we drop a dead (or living) body into wet cement. Cement is a liquid, and it’s got a density substantially higher than that of water. Wouldn’t the body float to the surface? Not only would it be a lousy way to build a bridge, it’d also be a lousy way to dispose of a body.

C’mon. Everybody knows you tie 'em to the rebar.

We had a case home in fairytale Denmark where a guy crossed a biker gang (I am sorry, he crossed members of a biker gang, because biker gangs aren’t criminal organizations, of course…) and ended up in concrete.

To be exact, said bikers burned the body, smashed the bones and embedded the remains in the concrete floor of a garage. Not only did the police recover the remains (probably got a tip, but even Danish cops can keep mum when there’s a chance of locking up a hard-core biker or two - no love lost between those groups), they ID’d the remains and locked two bikers up for accessory to murder.

Presumably, said bikers had watched too many movies. I believe I could think of three or four ways to dispose of a body that would be both easier and less traceable.

S. Norman

I’ve never really got the knack of thinking like a scientist, but something deep in my gut tells me that no matter what the density of quick-drying cement, the flailing limbs of dying mafiosos would drag them to the bottom. You don’t see drowning people calmly floating on their backs till rescue, do you? So I’d respectfully submit that the only ones with any chance of floating to the surface are those who are already dead. Anyway mightn’t it have an effect more similar to that of quicksand than water?

…most structural engineers would have fits if they knew a body was dumped in a major building. A garage floor is probably no big deal but the load bearing structures of a bridge or skyscraper are.

When watching Modern Marvels on TLC I caught a show on the building of the Hoover Dam. In the show they debunked the rumor that some of the workers who built the dam were buried in it. Not because the management had any great concern for its workers (during the depression workers were a dime a dozen and OSHA laws didn’t exist yet) but because the structural integrity of the dam would be seriously compromised. Basically the engineers would go nuts and do whatever it took to remove the dead body from the concrete.

Think of a human sized hole in the foundation of one of the support beams in a skyscraper. How comfortable you’d feel about that?

All of that said a mafia type may not be so thoughtful about the long term consequences of dumping a body in a concrete foundation and consiser it quite a good way to dispose of evidence. Colibri mentioned that Jimmy Hoffa is a permanent fixture of the Meadowlands. I thought it was Shea Stadium. Either way police asked to excavate in the suspect area and predictably the owners of the stadium told them what they thought of that idea.

If you can manage to dispose of a body in this fashion it seems it would work pretty well assuming the structure didn’t collapse in which case you’ll have a LOT of people looking for you.

End zone! With the connections he had Hoffa would have been buried at the 50-yard line!

You’ve never worked with cement. Once poured it isn’t fluid like hollywood style quicksand (neither is real quicksand but that’s another thread). It would have to be far too watery for a body to be able to sink into it even with weights.

(slight hijack, but tangentially related to the subject matter in, er, a concrete manner)

A few years ago, during on of Austin’s rare ice storms, a cement truck slid sideways into a convertible car. The boom (or whate’er it’s called- it’s the thingy the liquid concrete slides down) swung around and punched a hole through the top of the car, and the concrete started pouring into it. Before the flow could be stopped, the female driver was buried to her chest in concrete. The doors were both jammed shut, since the cement truck had slammed her car into the guardrail of the overpass they were both traversing.

She lived, I understand, but she was trapped in the concrete for quite a while- forty minutes or so, I understand.

This all happened about 2 minutes after I passed over the same overpass… and I had slid quite a bit on that ice, as well.


Let’s define our terms properly.

We’re talking about CONCRETE here, not cement.

Cement is a component of concrete, along with sand and pulverized rock and (possibly) chemical admixtures added to hasten the setting, to protect against cold, whatever.

– Hardhat Uke, whistlin’ at the pretty girls walking by

An initial search got 97 hits on “Jimmy Hoffa” and “Meadowlands.” Whether it’s true or not, it’s part of the folklore of Giants Stadium.

Here’s one of the more interesting links: Where’s Jimmy?

And Jeff_42, Shea Stadium was built long before Hoffa disappeared.