Monday, August 02, 2004
This weekend saw a definite change in tone of the investigation, as Salt Lake City police confirmed their belief that Mark Hacking had indeed murdered his wife, wrapped her body in a portion of their mattress, and disposed of the bundle in a garbage dumpster.
This creates a particular problem in one sense. After trash is emptied from a dumpster into a garbage truck, it is compacted greatly. When the trucks are emptied, one of two things happen: either the trash is compacted further in a huge hydraulic press, or the trash is spread and "walked down" in the landfill by bulldozers and other heavy equipment. Either way, a human body put through those processes would be crushed severely, and the findings from an autopsy regarding cause of death could be speculative.
The defense of Mark Hacking will probably not take that route, however, as I stand by my earlier prediction that he will angle towards an insanity defense. Still, the lead-up to the initial hearings will be quite interesting, as the arrest was made with the charge of aggravated murder--a death-penalty eligible offense in Utah.
As the case now stands, on Wednesday cadaver dogs will resume their search of the landfill for Lori's body. Meanwhile, the volunteer search effort in the nearby mountains and countryside will be halted.