Dead Detroiter found in block of ice. Read all about it.


By now I’m sure the story about the frozen guy found in a block of  ice in a Detroit warehouse has probably made the rounds all around the world. If it’s sick, twisted, violent and or perverse and it happened in Detroit? You can best believe it will make screaming headlines on every so-called news station in the country. We’re good at providing the kind of stories that can make the rest of the country say, “Shit, at least I don’t live in Detroit.”

The problem with this – and I know I am far from the first Detroit resident/defender/whatever to say this – is that there are some other stories out here too that never quite seem to make it onto the global news rating circuit. If a guy is found dead in a block of ice in a warehouse, folks love it. If two guys rescue 14 people from a burning house on Detroit’s west side, which happened last December, then for some strange reason that story doesn’t seem to have the stamina to run from headline to headline.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit that Detroit can be a cold city. And I also confess that this particular story definitely sent a chill through me, and not because of the relentless freezing temperatures out here. And not because a dead man was found, and not even because he was found in a block of ice. What was so spooky about the story, which was very well-written (must give props where they’re deserved) was the description of the folks who were playing urban ice hockey in that same abandoned warehouse on a frozen stretch of water not that far from where the dead man’s foot was sticking out of the ice. They apparently knew the body was there, but why interrupt a good game of ice hockey? And why bother calling the police? Shit, the guy’s dead anyway so it’s not like it’s an urgent situation, right? Besides, if he’s dead in that place, chances are don’t nobody give much of a fuck about him anyway, otherwise how’d he manage to be in there long enough to freeze to death? What’s he doin’ there, anyway?

This is not a common Sighting. Honest. --DETROIT NEWS PHOTO by Max Ortiz

This is not a common Detroit sighting. Honest. --DETROIT NEWS PHOTO by Max Ortiz

Yeah, that kinda logic is a bit much to take, especially on an empty stomach. But folks should probably know that even as desperate as things are in this city? This isn’t your typical Detroit situation. We’ve got a lot of ice and a lot of abandoned buildings, but trust me when I say that our ice isn’t clogged with dead bodies and body parts. And most Detroiters really do know to call the police when they find a dead body. We have our issues, it’s true, but I mean damn.

So am saying the guy shouldn’t have written the story? Naw. Not saying that. I worked in the business for more than 20 years so I know how it works. And like I said, the piece was well-written. But I will also say that being out of the business for awhile has also made me a tad more sympathetic to those who plead for a more complete picture of this city. It’s not always easy to do, but if we could just try a little harder I do believe it would pay dividends. Hell it would pay major dividends just in the way we look at and feel about ourselves if nothing else, and doesn’t that count for something?

Yeah. I think it does.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blogs@ The “D” Spot Redeux and BlackLiberalBoomer.


~ by Keith A. Owens on February 2, 2009.

8 Responses to “Dead Detroiter found in block of ice. Read all about it.”

  1. Ok I understand what your saying but………DAMN MAN DUDE WAS FROZEN IN A BLOCK OF ICE!!!!!

    Is that the real pic of it too?

    I dont know about you but we dont get news like this everyday.

    I think it warrents special attention.

    And than the dudes still played hockey after they saw it.

    Come on man, I wont say it’s a Detroit thing but damn thats cold.

    No pun intended.

    • Hey Mike.

      Believe me I know. Hey, I live here, so you ain’t gotta tell me how cold this is. And yeah, that really is the real picture. It’s no joke. All I’m saying is that folks need to realize this one incident does not adequately describe our city. I just don’t want folks looking at this and saying, “See? I told you Detroit was f—–up. ” This is a part of us, but it damned sure ain’t all of us.

  2. HA! That is great, a bumsicle. Our homeless here in Canada are give free housing if neded. Someone needs to give them a kick in the ass and tell them to get off the drugs/alcohol/solvents/etc and get a job.

  3. The media have choices and one reason were look at with indifference is because the coverage by the local media;the coverage of this story begin with the lack of demolition of abandon buildings 30 to 40 years ago.

  4. Hey, Keith – I wonder if the guys playing “urban ice hockey” (and ignoring the dead body) were Detroiters, or if they were “Metro Detroiters”? Not trying to be funny, but I’ve lived here all my life, and I don’t know anyone within the city proper who actualy plays hockey.

  5. Tootsie,

    I think you hit the nail right on the head. There’s much more here to this story than the sensational of the heart tug angle.


    MOre than likely you’re probably right. In the story it said something about “Urban adventurers”, which pretty much says right off that more than likely they were from outide the city boundaries. Why be an “urban adventurer” in your own urban?

  6. Wow. I hadn’t heard of this story. It’s definitely disturbing because in addition to the lack of concern of the hockey players, what about the police??? They were called and told the caller to dial 911 because they’ll “eventually be called anyway.” Why escalate the problem when you can use a middle man right? And even then after the call was made they took 20 more minutes to get it from 911 to the police!? THEN the body still sat for over 24 hours after that?!? Come on… they are definitely giving off the impression that I need to stay far far away from Detroit. 😦

  7. @shae-shae: trust me – it’s really not that bad here. Consider that the warehouse was owned by a well-known suburban businessman, and was obviously not boarded up. Add to that the fact that Black folks (I’m generalizing) don’t really play hockey. This is a case of visitors-from-the-burbs-gone-wrong, I think. They can’t pin this one on us.

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