Movie "Sicario": why dead bodies in walls of house?

In the opening sequence of the 2015 movie Sicario, federal agents raid a house in Arizona and discover numerous dead bodies entombed in the walls behind drywall.

Yes, I know this is just a Hollywood movie. But presumably there is some sort of connection, even a tenuous one, to reality? Why might a drug cartel stash dozens of bodies in the walls of a house like that?

I thought it was to keep them hidden from anyone who might find them. Similar to a season of The Wire, when the new drug dealer’s lieutenants hid all the bodies in abandoned houses around Baltimore.

I haven’t seen the film, but, where would you hide a number of dead bodies you killed with the minimum of effort and with reasonable concealability? (This question occupies an unreasonable amount of time in my brain) In The Wire, the Baltimore drug dealers just killed people in deserted homes and nailed the doors up. So, depending on circumstances it might have been the best option in a matrix of safety and ease.
oooooooh Wire sniped!

If the houses are truly abandoned, I guess that’s one thing. But ISTR from the movie that the house was owned by someone connected to the drug cartel that was responsible for hiding all the bodies. And in fact at the time of the raid, the house was occupied by a couple of armed cartel members. This didn’t make sense to me. Am I remembering that part wrong?

I have received several reports on this to move it to Cafe Society. But the question is not about the movie itself, but about the plausibility of something seen in it, so it’s appropriate for General Questions.

General Questions Moderator

That is correct. I just think it was a cartel body stashing/safe house type of thing.

Such a house would be unlivable due to smell for quite some time. How long? 6 months?

I suppose it is a natural next step from that razor blade thing.

Chevy Chase said it best.

Which might not have been as funny as we thought.

They make good insulation.

In a standard wall there’s 3.5 inches of empty space. Were these dead bodies hobbits or something?

I suppose it’s one place the police can’t search without a warrant?

I think we’re talking about a false wall built in front of the original wall to creating a gap.

IIRC, isn’t that what John Wayne Gacy did with the some of the bodies of his victims – hide them behimd the walls of his house or something like that?

Interesting point. In the movie, a serendipitous shotgun blast from one of the cartel guys opened a hole in the drywall, revealing one body and giving the federal agents cause to tear out the rest of the drywall and find the rest of the bodies.

Gacy buried his victims in the crawlspace under his house, which I must say, sounds a lot easier than building a new wall in your house every time you kill someone.

I thought he buried them under the house in the crawlspace. Probably a bit less odor than walls, and more private - nobody’s going to think “why does the back yard have those six-foot humps in it?”

I recall some movie where the bodies were wrapped in plastic in the walls - thus reducing the smell.

Yes, same movie.

He used lime to preserve the bodies. The police came to his house once and didn’t smell a thing. A second time, Gacy had his heater on and the brought more air from the crawlspace in, somehow, and they were able to smell the bodies.

So the lime was not perfect, but it did seem to function relatively well.

It was done because it visually looked cool. Roger Deakins, after all. Not because it’s anything that the cartel has been known to do, as depraved as many of their actions have been. Bodies are usually dumped in public (, on property the cartel owns/controls in the middle of nowhere or burned in barrels on same (, or are often literally liquidated ( Killing people in houses hasn’t been a problem (see, the House of Death:árez_house_of_death), but living and working around the stiffs? I can’t see it.

I’m surprised the audio recordings the DEA had of the Juarez house, made often while the cartel people were torturing and killing hapless people who’d offended the cartel, haven’t leaked.

The house was in the US, so dumping in public would be more problematic.