When the police found Mary Reeser in 1951, her whole body was mostly burnt to ashes. The puzzling thing is that all the furniture in the apartment is almost completely intact. This mysterious case for 70 years has not found a convincing answer.
The case of Mary Reeser, also known as the "Ashes of the Woman" case , remains a mystery yet to be solved with the American police. On July 2, 1951, the owner of Reeser Pansy Carpenter visited her apartment at 1200 Cherry Street (St Petersburg City, Florida, USA) to give a telegram. Carpenter called the door but no one answered. Placing his hand on the door handle and seeing an abnormal heat, Carpenter decided to call the police.
Police immediately went to the apartment and found Mary Reeser (67) mysteriously dead. According to reports, her body was melted by a white flame - the color displayed a temperature of 1,300-1,500 ° C - equivalent to the temperature in a crematorium.
Her body almost completely turned ash, leaving only the left foot with the original slipper but no sign of burning coal. Part of the spine and a piece of skull (described as being shrunken) are also found at the scene.
The portrait of Mary Reeser (67) has not been destroyed by the mysterious fire.
The apartment was still warm when the police arrived but most of the furniture was intact. The plastic household items near the Reeser chair were all soft and distorted. The carpet has a burn. Seats, lamps and an electric clock are only 4:20 am with the plug destroyed. In addition, the rest of the room does not seem to be affected by the mysterious fire that burned Mary Reeser.
To cremate a completed body, it takes about 3-4 hours at 1,650 ° C, so Mary Reeser's case makes the authorities really confused. What could burn Ms. Reeser so fiercely without affecting the surrounding objects?
According to the investigation, on July 1, 1951, the day before the incident, her son stopped by to visit his mother and a neighbor who came to play. At that time, Mary Reeser wore an artificial silk pajamas, put on a robe and wore slippers in the bedroom. When the son and the neighbor left, everything in the apartment was normal.
Police investigating the mysterious fire scene.
The mystery of the case leads to suspicion that Reeser is a victim of spontaneous combustion (SHC) , which means that humans burn themselves out due to chemical reactions in their bodies without any impact or source. heat from outside. Although there have been many cases proving this phenomenon true since 1663, many scientists are still not convinced.
Cass Burgess - the police investigated the Reeser case when he told the reporter: "This fire is weird". Burgess and the investigation team sent the remaining material containers in the apartment to the FBI laboratory in Washington, DC for chemical analysis. Some of the materials that were sent included a piece of floor coverings, brick scraps and parts of the seats that Reeser sat when he died of fire.
Mary Reeser's left foot was still intact even though almost her entire body was ash.
Not only did they hurt investigators, the Mary Reeser case also drew public opinion because of its thrillingness. Investigator Ed Silk said at least 15 amateur detectives had called him to state their hypothesis.
The investigation team later claimed that the Mary Reeser case was "an unintentional death due to a fire that did not indicate a source of ignition". Burgess explained that did not mean they ended the investigation, they were just giving a notice so that their family members could carry out the burial.
Although the FBI determined that Reeser's death was not the result of a self-igniting phenomenon , they could not confirm the true cause. The FBI believes that Mary Reeser may have lit cigarettes and fell asleep causing fire to her body and fat in her body to become a fuel source for the fire. She caught fire and "her body was completely destroyed by the fat tissue itself" nourishing "the fire". This was later called the "wick effect" , which occurred when a small fire originated from the victim's clothes (the last time someone saw Mrs. Reeser was when she was smoking), then this fire Continuing to burn fat in their bodies, the victim's clothes now act as wicks of a candle.
It is true that human adipose tissue is very flammable, especially in obese people. Mrs. Reeser is a rather slim woman, weighing 77kg. This explanation is also consistent with the fact that Reeser's entire body was melted and she was unable to find a way to escape or call for help. The explanation of the FBI has a certain logic but still cannot answer all the questions. For example, why is the newspaper husband beside Mrs. Reeser's chair still without a scorch?
Dr. Wilton M. Krogman - a professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and an experienced fire researcher - disagreed with the FBI's conclusion. Krogman said, of all the fire deaths he had investigated, he "could not imagine a person being completely cremated like that, but the apartment was unharmed." Interpretations are given in turn, lightning strikes, explosives are all considered. However, there was no lightning at St. On that night, the St. Petersburg test specimen also showed no signs of gasoline or any flammable substance. After an investigation did not go anywhere, the police finally concluded the cause was "a forgotten cigarette". So it has been nearly 70 years since Mary Reeser died, but her death is still a mystery that challenges investigators and public opinion.