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Vehicle-Roof Body Disposal

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One method of getting rid of a body is to place it on top of a large vehicle (truck, train, etc.); either by accident or design. The vehicle carries the corpse away, until it is either discovered or falls off. The authorities then have the additional mystery of determining where the body came from and where the murder was originally committed, before they can solve the crime. It can involve Jurisdiction Friction if the body has crossed boundaries during its journey.

A Sub-Trope of Disposing of a Body.

Compare What a Drag if the body is dragged by the vehicle. See also Off Bridge, onto Vehicle.



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    Comic Books 
  • Goes comically awry in Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys #2. Harlem Quinn and some guys from her neighbourhood attempt to get rid of the unconscious assassin Sandy by dumping him off an an overpass on to a stopped train. However, he wakes, falls off the roof of the train and gets hit by a train going in the opposite direction.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A subversion occurs in Fury, when the Sherman crew puts a dead German soldier onto their disabled tank and set the corpse on fire. When the SS troops arrive shortly after, they approach the tank carelessly to investigate the odd situation, and the crew opens up with everything they still have at point-blank range, with devastating results.
  • In The Ladykillers (1955), it becomes a Running Gag, as every time a character dies he gets thrown off a bridge and into a passing freight train. The 2004 remake uses a garbage barge instead.
  • No Man of Her Own: This is how Bill and Helen get rid of Stephan's body: they throw him on a slow moving train that's heading out of town.
  • Stripped to Kill uses a variant. After murdering Cinnamon, the killer ties her body to the underside of a semitrailer which drives off.

  • The Ur-Example and Trope Maker is the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans". The killer deposited the corpse on top of an Underground train that was stopped in an open air section below the window of the flat where the murder was committed. The body later fell off as the train passed over a junction.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Bottom episode "Gas," Richie and Eddie believe they've managed to kill the Gas inspector when they knocked him out with a frying pan (and hit him a few more times after he hit the floor for good measure). They decide to add an extra entry to his diary ("Left in high spirits, to indulge in my hobby of bus surfing.") and push his body out of the window onto the roof of a double-decker bus. However just when about to push him out he wakes up.
  • A variation in the CSI episode "XX." The killer ties the body to the underside of a prison bus. The body gets chewed up, and the CSI crew initially think they are dealing with a prisoner who was killed while attempting an Underside Ride escape.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "American Dreamers," a skeleton is placed on the open upper deck of a double-decker tour bus. This was really more of a practical joke, but as the skeleton came from an undiscovered murder, it still fits.
    • In "Hush," Mac and Stella investigate when half of a crushed body is found on top of a shipping container on a truck. The other half is eventually located in the shipping yard. It turns out that after the murder, the person who helped the murderer clean up placed the body on top of a shipping container, hoping it would be crushed and look like an accident.
    • In "Happily Never After," the killer drops the Body of the Week out of a window on to the top of a school bus. The body isn't found till the driver slams on the brakes and the body slides off the roof.
  • Elementary:
    • Played straight in "Blood is Thicker." A delivery driver hears a loud bang while delivering a parcel but fails to notice it's from a body hitting the roof of his vehicle. The woman, who had been stabbed and thrown off her balcony, isn't discovered until much later on his route. Holmes is able to work out where she came from based on the interior of the vehicle and backtracks to her apartment.
    • A variant of the accidental version occurs in "Rip Off." The body of the Victim of the Week is shoved under an illegally parked car. The body gets snagged on the undercarriage of the car and is dragged away when the car is towed.
  • Motive: In "Fallen," the Victim of the Week is shoved off an overpass where he is struck by the top of a container truck passing underneath. He would have wound up on top of the truck if he had not been tied to the bridge.
  • Sherlock: In "The Great Game," Andrew West's killer places his body on top of a train to get it as far away as possible. The body falls off when the train jolts over switch points in a rail yard. This segment of the story was based on "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" discussed above in Literature.
  • Vera: The accidental version happens in "A Certain Samaritan." After being stabbed, the Victim of the Week staggers against the railing of the overpass. The killer pushes him over and he lands on top of a passing long-distance lorry, where he breaks his spine. The lorry carries him all the way across the country (from Newcastle to Portsmouth).