A peculiarly ghastly experiment in furtherance of the ends of justice has been performed in Paris.
A chemist named Kel is charged with having murdered his female servant, who mysteriously disappeared some months ago and disposed of her body by burning it in a stove. He says that the stove in question is much too small to be put to such a purpose.
To prove that it is not so, the prosecution, having had a fac-simile made of the stove, asked for and obtained an order from a Juge d’Instruction, which was sanctioned by the Prefect of Police, for a dead body from one of the hospitals.
In possession of this corpse, they proceeded to cut it up into pieces, and fed the stove, which they had lighted, with the fragments. The result, so far as it went, was in confirmation of the theory of the prosecution. In a surprisingly short time the whole body was consumed, and nothing remained but a few ashes.
It is obvious, however, that the proof thus afforded of the possibility of the disposal of a body in the manner alleged by the prosecution can only be material if the positivb links in the chain of circumstantial evidence against the prisoner are all of thoroughly strong.