American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Same Story, Different Details

Posted by Matt Cipriano | 4 Comments

This is kind of a sad one (2).

The remains of Hedviga Golik were found last month in her apartment in Croatia. According to reports she had made herself a cup of tea, sat down in her armchair to watch some tv, and must have passed away.

Having been born in 1924, there is nothign too surprising about all of this. In fact it isn’t much of a story until you start to get into the details. Golik was reported missing and was last seen by a neighbor… back in 1966. Although officially reported missing, apparently either no one ever did anything to try and locate her, or in their search for her the police did not enter her apartment.

Fast forward 42 years to May 2008 and the police and some bailiffs are busting down her door to try and help figure out who owns the apartment only to find Golik in her armchair dead now for as long as she had lived.

Besides a few cobwebs, her apartment appeared just as it had been in 1966, a virtual time capsule, with her cup of tea still on the table in front of her.

According to the authorities: “So far, we have no idea how it is possible that someone officially reported missing so long ago was not found before in the same apartment she used to live in.”

Okay, I thought I was done with this, until I did a search for a picture and found the CNN article, which isn’t exactly the same story.

The CNN version of this story paints a bit more gruesome of a picture. According to their report, Golik was last seen in 1973 and was never reported missing. The police did not break in to find out who the owner of the apartment was, but rather her neighbors broke in “after deciding that the apartment should belong to them, and not to her.”

Rather then sitting in front of the television with a cup of tea, her mummified remains were found in bed and then police were called in. Also they bring to light that it is unclear who, if anyone was still paying her bills. And as is typical in todays housing market her “neighbors now argue the apartment should be divided among the remaining tenants.”

This was my favorite part of this one though: “The discovery of Golik’s body on Tuesday prompted media debates on how it is possible for a woman to die so long ago without anyone noticing. One local journalist said it showed people were becoming more alienated.”

Does some one want to point out to this journalist that she died 35 years ago? This doesn’t exactly support a trend a people becoming more alienated or an argument that we are more alienated now then we were 35 years ago.

There are some pretty drastic differences in these two articles, especially with CNN (or Associated Press) saying that she was never reported missing and the UK papers having quotes from police spokespeople that it is unclear how the police never checked her apartment since she had been reported missing. Very odd.skeleton in chair


4 Responses to “Same Story, Different Details”

  1. Matt F
    June 26th, 2008 @

    Did someone place a fog machine behind the chair or are those cobwebs? =P

  2. Joel L. Friedlander
    June 26th, 2008 @

    Bizarre, (If you want to get a shiver down your spine, and didn’t read it the first time it was assigned, see, Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.”)

    When I first lived in an apartment in Forest Hills with my wife we knew most of the people on the floor. When we moved to an apartment in Woodbury we only knew the gay couple that lived on another floor in our unit. Later still we moved to a condo and there we knew everyone around us, but gradually people began to withdraw into themselves. This was in the 1980’s. Finally, we moved to a single family neighborhood and no one even speaks with anyone else. The only fellow I ever spoke to lived next door and he was bought out. Now there is no one to speak with. Neighbor just don’t seem to care in many places. Or, perhaps it is a function of age.

    We had a neighbor in that condo area who I was friendly with and one day he didn’t meet me for lunch. When I suggested to another neighbor that there might be some problem, he said, “Nah, leave it alone.” A day later the police broke in and found him dead under a barbell he had been lifting in the basement.

  3. Jack
    June 26th, 2008 @

    35 years ago what is now Croatia was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was a communist country, so there probably weren’t any bill collectors coming around for the basic utilities.

    I know that I don’t pay attention to the comings and goings of the 20 people on my floor. Someone could easily die in their apartment and I’d never know as long as the stench wasn’t too bad.

  4. Josh Friedlander
    June 30th, 2008 @

    Some guys will do anything to get out of a lunch obligation.

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