What is our biggest fear? Death. It's not so much the fact that death is always looming, coming ever closer as each year passes, but also that in some corner of our mind we fear that we'll die alone. That we'll have no one by our side when our times comes. It might seem illogical, especially since we really don't take anything along with us when we pass, but it provides some level of comfort knowing there'll be loved ones nearby. The people we're about to talk about had no such comfort. In fact, their situation was so bad, it'll make you wonder how something of the sort can ever possibly take place. How is it that no one figured out these 12 people had died until years later?
Pauline and Caroline Bessette were both found dead by police after they'd come to inspect their home following fears that it was about to collapse. According to neighbors, the mother, Pauline, had become a recluse following her husband's death. The daughter had not been seen in over six months either, with neighbors alarmed after flies began swarming the home in July 2013.
According to reports, the police believe that they had died sometime in the past month. Though they were unable to find any clues to how the daughter had died, they ruled out any foul play.
The body of 70-year-old Barbara Salinas-Norman, a Chicana author, activist, and teacher, was found in her Santa Fe, New Mexico home over a year after her actual death. Once a prominent children's author who wrote stories designed to help Mexican-American children identify with their culture, she had apparently fallen into some financial problems in recent years.
Her body was discovered by her brother-in-law, Louis Ponce, who had visited the home determined to “find her no matter what” because it had been over two years since he had last heard from her. A preliminary autopsy revealed that she had died from natural causes.
The skeletonized remains of Brighton man Simon Allen was found two years after he'd actually died. Supposedly a loner, his body was found lying behind his armchair in the living room of his flat in November 2012 with just a pair of socks on.
A few days earlier his landlord and some bailiffs had gone to the property to investigate as to why the rent had not been paid for several months. Though neighbors said they whiffed a musty smell coming from the apartment, they didn't think too much of it. Police say that he passed away in December 2010, when he was around 50-years-old and that there wasn't anything fishy around the circumstances surrounding his death.
This particular case is very curious. Joyce Carol Vincent was an acquaintance of many influential members of London's 1980s and 1990s pop music scene, but her dead body would only be found three whole years after she had actually passed away.
Officials from a north London housing association visited her apartment in Wood Green to repossess it but found a lot more than they bargained for. Joyce's skeleton was found and in one corner of the room, the TV was still on. There were even unopened Christmas presents that lay strewn across the floor. Due to the considerable decomposition of the body, the only means by which identification of the corpse could be achieved was through a comparison of her records with a holiday photograph of her where she is seen smiling. Police believe she died of natural causes.