by The Unsliced
Very tongue-in-cheek comedy in same vein as A Modest Proposal Do not take seriously!
A Practical Treatise on the Dismemberment of the Human Body With
(This is the full title, it will not fit in the item box)
Do not attempt any of this! It is for entertainment only!
This treatise is intended for the purist machete dismemberer and dismemberee. To the undiscerning dismemberer it may not seem particularly practical to rely on the machete exclusively in such a diverse cutting task. Multiple tools such as the scalpel, cleaver, filet knife, and axe used in conjunction with the machete would allow the maximum efficiency but no single other tool listed here could on its own easily accomplish all of the tasks completed by the machete. By using only a machete for dismembering a message of devotion to true classical dimemberance and insanity is conveyed. This will also lend some credence to a plea of insanity.
The Three Schools
Before getting to the “meat” of this matter it is important to note the three schools of dismemberment. Each school is based in motive and as a rule all deliberate and some not-entirely-intentional dismemberments fall into one of the three classes at their outset.(The purpose of the dismemberment may appear to change after the initial act, for instance the vengeance dismemberment often eventually shifts to appear as though the intention was concealment when it is in fact merely a convenient after-thought).
The three schools in order of ascending emotional involvement are:
1) The Concealment Dismemberment: Dismemberment utilized as a means of body disposal/concealment such as stuffing into a sewer or fitting into a small container. Typically not the means of killing the victim and the act has no particular significance to the dismemberer.
2) The Anger Dismemberment: Dismemberment is an expression of anger toward the victim or the victim’s symbolic importance and is used as a means of venting anger still remaining after the initial slaying.
3) The Vengeance Dismemberment: Dismemberment is again used as a means of venting anger as with Anger Dismemberment but takes it to the extent of performing the dismemberment while the corpse is not yet a corpse (alive).
One more aspect of minor importance in these classifications is cannibalism. It may occur in any of the three schools but is most common in the latter two.
Note: Any dismemberer with the intention of consuming the body would be well advised to consult a butcher’s manual in conjunction with this treatise to learn the finer points of the various cuts, their location within the body, and proper handling of fresh meat.
The human body can be divided into 15 principle segments: hands, feet, lower legs, thighs, forearms, upper arms, lower torso, upper torso, and, of course, the head. As a rule all of the primary 15 segments are divided at a major joint such as the knee, elbow, or neck. Secondary segments may or may not be divided at a joint.
In the process of dismembering the pieces must be removed from the whole at finished size as it becomes extremely to complete such cuts as dividing the halves of the feet without using the hands to manipulate it and the goal is to dismember the body; not yourself.
Not all machetes are created equal, so one must be discerning in tool selection. Ideal blade length is 18”-24” with a handle no shorter than 4”. The closer to 24” the better but anything beyond this tends to become unwieldy, especially in the hands of a novice. The blade at its widest point should be a minimum of 2” but it is best to acquire a blade wider than this. The wider the blade the heavier it is and the weight driving the cutting edge combined with the high velocities achieved in a swing is what gives the machete its amazing cutting ability. Another factor which is often overlooked is carbon content. The ideal blade contains between .3% and .6% carbon with content closer to .6% being preferable. Having a blade with too little carbon does not hold an edge well and tends to expend much of its force through blade flex and consequent vibration therefore it is preferable to use a blade with a high carbon content. However, too much carbon will cause brittleness that can lead to a broken blade if a wayward swing contacts the skull or a nearby hard object.
The blade can be divided into thirds in its application. The outermost third, near the tip, is the hacking edge. It is the widest and heaviest part of the blade which travels at the highest velocity and thus has the most cutting force when thick or hard tissues are encountered. The middle third is the slicing section and should never be used for hacking in order to preserve its sharp edge. The bottom third is also used to some extent in slicing but it is the only section that is to be used for prying.
Preparation is key. More time should be spent on preparation than the act of dismembering in order for the dismemberment to run smoothly. A surgeon never enters the operating room without first studying his case and planning the course of events. Read this treatise thoroughly multiple times to insure a successful operation. One must also keep in mind purpose; is the body to fit in a specific trunk? A storm drain? Must it be divided to a specific size in order to permit consumption by a particular animal? With this in mind some steps may be skipped, such as the secondary division of the limbs.
Note: Concerning animals; the only North American animal that will readily consume entire skeletons along with flesh is the alligator. No matter what animal consumes the pieces it is necessary to either destroy the skull or hide it elsewhere to prevent dental record identification.
Some common maximum consumption sizes: Alligator-full limbs, Dogs-half limbs (the same applies to coyotes), and vultures/other small scavengers-no maximum size (animals will simply pull off small bits for consumption as opposed to carrying away entire chunks).
Dismemberment is messy; proper arrangements for the work area are crucial. An out-of-doors location is ideal but for the sake of privacy is often not possible. In lieu of an outside locale, a basement or garage with non-absorbent surroundings are serviceable. Inside one should surround a circular area of not less than 12’ in diameter 360 degrees with plastic sheeting along with the floor and, yes, the ceiling as well. It is also important to have coverings for the body as well. Use disposable shoes, a painter’s jumpsuit with hood, and full facemask.
Practice makes perfect. There are only three techniques used in machete dismemberment. As mentioned briefly before they are: the hack, the slice, and prying. Once one has obtained a proper machete, practice may begin.
The hack is the primary and often most important capability of the machete. However, it is also the most difficult to master. It is easy for even the amateur to achieve maximum force or good accuracy and precision but never both simultaneously. The mark of an experienced wielder of the machete is good accuracy along with the force necessary to sever limbs. The hack is one skill that is never perfected by even a machete master. To learn this skill one must practice religiously, once force is achieved there is little margin for error in sliding the blade between closely mated bones such as the knee. First obtain a 2” square by 14” piece of pine lumber then tightly wrap it in roughly ½” of news paper to mimic the feel of flesh and bone. Proceed by drawing two parallel lines across the mock-up ¼” apart with a black marker. Place the practice limb on a surface roughly 10” above the ground on a block of wood. Practice the hack from several angles and positions until the machete can be reliably driven accurately at least 1/3 of the way through the practice limb. An extension of the hack is the shatter hack; it is used in the breaking of limb bones prior to attempting the final severance. It is identical to the hack but utilizes the dull edge of the machete to shatter bones as opposed to cutting them. It is practiced by bridging a 3” gap between two wood blocks in a fashion similar to the hack set-up with a broom stick and breaking it. Again, practice until it can be broken reliably on the first swing.
The slice is a much easier skill to master. It is simply a deliberate sawing motion used to sever any remaining flesh or fibrous tissue after the initial hack using the center and occasionally rear third of the blade as discussed earlier. If one finds it necessary to hone this skill simply carve any large piece of meat or melon with the machete.
The pry (or twist as it may more accurately be called) is the least utilized skill in dismemberment but is of absolutely unparalleled utility when it is called upon. To pry, the bottom third of the blade is simply inserted into the existing cut at a joint to loose stubborn tendons and cartilage in order to allow the slice to sever the offending joint. To practice the pry insert the lower third of the blade into a cantaloupe or other small melon and twist to split the melon. The exercise clarifies the technique and provides a good feel for how joints will behave in a real life situation.
Safety is pertinent. A machete is sharp! Wear leather gloves and steel toed boots along with goggles. A stray chip of bone can destroy an eye and is exceedingly difficult to explain to an inquisitive doctor. These three safety measures should not be compromised under any circumstances. After all, we don’t want anybody getting hurt. Right?
Other useful items include floor dry, a granulated clay used for soaking up spilled oil that can also clean up any stray blood spills, large blocks of wood roughly 6” square by 16” long that are used to position body parts for removal, and a black permanent marker to provide a visual target on body.
1) The Feet: The first step is splitting the feet. Position the foot heel down, vertically between two wood blocks. Straddling the thigh use a swift hack to split the foot vertically just right of the middle toe as far as possible. Next place the ankle sideways, outside of foot down on a wood block, and hack just below protruding ankle bone parallel to the top of the foot. At this point it may become necessary to slice, pry, or use some combination of the two to remove the foot. After the foot is removed firmly grasp the two halves of the vertically split foot and divide into two pieces.
Note: At this point and at the end of all subsequent steps it is a good idea to check for any stray blood puddles that may run off of the plastic. If there are any, proceed by soaking up the blood with a generous application of floor-dry. Keep in mind that in most basements and some garages the floor slopes on all sides toward a central drain, so it may be easiest to place the plastic sheeting over this drain.
2) The Lower Legs: The first cut that must be made is through bone. Though cutting the bone with the standard hack is possible it will quickly ruin a machete so one must first employ the shatter hack. Mark a point halfway between the ankle nub and knee on the shin and place the leg on a block. Using the back (not sharp) edge of the machete bring an overhead swing sharply down onto the shin. An audible satisfying crunch should be heard. This is the larger of the two lower leg bones (tibia) breaking. Bring another blow onto the same point as mentioned above to break the smaller bone (fibula). This will again produce a sound, but not quite as loud as the tibia breaking. Once these two bones have been fully broken the slicing can proceed. Continue with the slicing until the lower leg half is severed.
The knee is one of the more difficult joints to contend with as the patella (knee cap) shields the joint from the front. The body must be placed face down with the knee resting on a wood block. Draw a line across the crease in the knee and hack as forcefully as possible on this point down to the patella. Next make a light hack just below the knee cap to the front of the tibia. Work the blade under the knee cap and slice along underside of patella until the initial hack is reached thereby severing the remainder of the lower leg from the thigh.
3) The Thighs: The thighs are virtually impossible to divide at any point other than a joint as they are they contain the strongest bone in the human body, therefore we must continue to the hip joint. Being a ball joint, the flat blade cannot be made to slide between the ball and socket. It is possible to break the ball segment of the femur (upper leg bone). This is one of the most complicated of the dismembering operations. With the body positioned on its side slice directly down along the pelvis until the femur is reached. One may find it necessary with the exceptionally large dismemberee to make another cut 3” closer to the position previously occupied by the knee extending down toward the pelvis. This allows greater access to the femur ball. Using the shatter hack split the ball from the femur. Slice through any remaining tissue to completely sever the thigh.
Note: for the legs and all other parts that have a duplicate on the opposite side of the body the steps in their removal must be done twice.
1) The Hands: Removal of the hands is a simple operation but should not be taken lightly. Every operation should be approached with the same deliberate concentration; the hands are no exception. Begin by finding the ends of the two forearm bones (radius on the thumb side and ulna on the pinky side) by feeling for the two soft spots just before the hand and connecting these two notches with the marker. With the body face up, place the hand, palm up, on a wood block. Using the hack on the line previously drawn should easily sever the hand. 2) The Forearms: With what remains of the body situated in the position of the last procedure, draw a line across the forearm approximately half way up its length. With this marked area on a wood block apply the shatter hack as used for the tibia/fibula to break the two arm bones. Complete the cut by slicing. The elbow, like the knee, is a joint between three bones: the radius, the ulna, and the humerus (upper arm bone) the only difference being the lack of an “elbow cap”. With the elbow resting outermost side up on a wood block, flex the remaining half of the forearm to ninety degrees. Draw a line from the crease in the elbow to a place just opposite the forearm side of the prominent lump on the end of the elbow. Hack the joint and use the pry if necessary to permit the final slicing. 3) The Upper Arm: With the forearm removed the upper arm can now be broken. The best means of going about this is to make a circular slice to the bone that encompasses the entire circumference of the upper arm near its center and placing the shoulder on one block, face up, and the elbow end of the upper arm on another, then employing the shatter hack on the exposed bone to provide a clean break of the humerus.
The shoulder is the final procedure in removing the arm. It is a ball and socket joint like the hip/femur joint and is dealt with in a similar manner. The humerus ball protrudes from the side of the main bone at an angle just over ninety degrees so its point of insertion can be found by lifting the remainder of the upper arm nearly parallel to the neck and marking the point where a large lump of tissue protrudes from the straight contour of the shoulder. With the body face up, return the arm to a position parallel to the torso and place the shoulder on a block and continue the line drawn before to the top of the arm pit. Slice as far down as possible on this line then use the shatter hack to separate the humerus and humerus ball. Some prying may be necessary considering the ample amount of cartilage found in the shoulder before slicing the upper arm from the torso.
1) The Upper and Lower Torso: The torso requires but one cut, the separation of the upper and lower halves. Choose a point along the spinal column about half way between the base of the neck and the pelvis and curl the torso into the fetal position. This will allow the location of the gap between two vertebrae. Feel for the small notch near the previously selected dividing point and mark this line. Roll the torso onto its belly and hack the spine in half. Once there is a definite gap between the vertebrae pry them apart and slice through the remaining soft tissues with the body on its side. The Head
1) The Head: Like the torso it requires only one cut. At this point the end is near so one may disregard the preservation of a sharp cutting edge. Thus, the hack is the only utilized technique. Place the upper torso/head segment face up with the neck resting on a wood block. Hack until the head is severed. Make no attempt at slicing as progress will be prevented by the cartilage of the trachea and numerous tendons.
The dismembering procedure should have created quite a large mess and must be cleaned up. Dispose of all previously mentioned equipment. What is done with the body, now conveniently cut into manageable pieces, can be taken care of as the dismemberer sees fit. One must keep in mind that the skull poses an especially severe threat in the insurance that a body cannot be identified. In order to prevent dental identification and facial reconstruction the teeth should be removed and broken along with the facial bones with, what else?, the machete. It is also a good idea to dispose of the head in a location separate from the rest of the body.
A Brief Word on Burning
Disposal by burning can be one of the most effective methods of body disposal when done correctly, done incorrectly the results can be disastrous. Smaller pieces are obviously going to be easier to burn as they have a larger surface area to volume ratio and by this point the corpse is already in manageable pieces so that step can be skipped. The most important factor in keeping a cremation private is either preventing the awful odor produced by burning flesh or performing the cremation away from other people.
The best location is outside of city limits under a dense canopy of trees. This will keep the smoke from rolling out of the woods and causing someone to call in the fire department (like doctors they can be rather nosy). Gather a large pile of 8” diameter logs about 8’ in diameter by 3’ high and about 5 gallons of gas mixed with an equal amount of diesel fuel. Spread the severed parts over the pile of logs and douse with the gas/diesel mixture, ignite the pile, and within 18-24 hours the pile will be reduced to ashes. Sift through the ashes and recover as many bones as possible. They will still be in their original shape but will have a brittle chalk-like consistency; pound the bones into small fragments and dump into the ashes. The cremation is completed.