Dead Man Talking

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Category Archives: Follow Up on the Shadow

Follow-up on The Shadow (May, 2000) by Crad Kilodney

Follow-up on The Shadow (May, 2000) by Crad Kilodney

August 2001 Extra

Last May I reported on the remarkable case of The Shadow, whose junk-filled apartment I photographed for posterity. Carl, as he is properly known, had been renting two apartments — one to live in and one to store junk — and had decided to move into the junk apartment after it was cleaned out, sometime in the Fall of 1999. He gave up the second apartment, as I learned later.

Around the beginning of July, 2001, one of the tenants on Carl’s floor complained of a foul smell that seemed to be coming from Carl’s apartment. When the landlords investigated, they found Carl unconscious in an apartment that had once again been turned into a hell-hole of filth. (“It was even worse this time!” my landlady swears.) His leg was gangrenous, and he was in a diabetic coma. The bathroom was stuffed with garbage bags full of empty pop cans — all sugar-sweetened, no less. Predictably, the apartment was crawling with roaches.

He was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital, where his leg was amputated. To everyone’s surprise, he lived. What’s more, he insisted he could move back into his apartment once he got an artificial leg. However, the landlords had reached the end of their rope with Carl and were not going to go through such a horror again. They obtained a court order to evict him. He will end up in a nursing home, where he will get the supervision he needs.

In the recycling bins, I found a lot of packages addressed to Carl (he used to order all sorts of merchandise that he never used). I found a brand-new wallet and decided to take it. It was conveniently monogrammed with a gold “C.” I’m sure glad Carl didn’t die, because I’d feel uneasy about carrying the wallet of a dead man.





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