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Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Life Balance.

TimonThis week, a four month search for a missing woman ended.

Her husband found her inside their home, buried under the mountain of junk that filled her “rabbit hole” from floor to ceiling.

More details:

The collected clothes, trash and knickknacks in Billie Jean James’s house was so vast that sniffer dogs had searched the home without finding her corpse, The Associated Press reported.

Billie Jean was a compulsive hoarder, with a passion for shopping for trinkets and clothes. One friend said that Billie Jean referred to the room where she was found as “her rabbit hole.”

Cassell told the AP that the house had only small amounts of clear space so that people could get around, and that the home was filled with strong odors from animals, garbage and food.

Billie Jean is not the first person whose hoarding instincts proved fatal. In May, an aging Chicago couple was trapped for two weeks after being buried in their belongings. When they were rescued, they were found to have rat bites on their bodies.

To read the full story:  Las Vegas Hoarder Found Dead Among Possessions

For tips on Decluttering your own rabbit hole(s):  Declutter 101

Related posts:    Simplify Your Life * Give Your Stuff Away Day * Between The Wish & The Thing You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude)


1. tsuchigari - August 31, 2010

I watched a Lifetime show about hoarders and was amazed at the sheer amount of garbage they surrounded themselves with. It was like their cocoon. You can’t organize clutter!

nrhatch - August 31, 2010

Not when the moguls turn into mountains, that’s for sure.

Our possessions can come to possess us.

2. Paula - August 31, 2010

Time to watch George Carlin’s rant on “Stuff” again!

This syndrome is such a sad thing. I am embarrassed to say that I live among far too much stuff, but not because I don’t want to get rid of it! We were somehow dubbed the “keepers of our families’ archives and collections!” We have decided we are going to gather some of it together to auction it for a cause dear to my heart, and what we can’t give away, we will burn or recycle in some fashion or other! It’s a sad thing indeed when two people feel cramped in a 2000 s.f. home!

nrhatch - August 31, 2010

Sounds like an excellent plan, Paula.

Auction it off
Donate it
Give it away

Regain clarity and serenity . . . plus SPACE!

3. booksphotographsandartwork - August 31, 2010

Ha thats so funny after watching Hoarders the other night I was going to write something about it also. Everytime I watch I have get up and clean/clear out clutter. It’s a very good motivator. I tend to want to keep everything too. But not like those people and certainly trash! It’s the trash part that I can’t undertand.

I felt really sorry for the man who I saw on the last episode, he had had a brain anyuerisum and couldn’t remember getting stuff! It was a sad case. Very sad.

nrhatch - August 31, 2010

Staying ahead of clutter definitely pays dividends.

I haven’t seen Hoarders yet. I’ll have to check it out.

Paula - September 1, 2010

If you haven’t seen hoarders, then come over to our house this fall – we have some squirrels who do amazing things with hazelnuts!

4. cindy - September 1, 2010

Yikes 😦

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Yikes and double yikes!

5. Naomi - September 1, 2010

OMG, how scary!!

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Can you imagine? Being dead in her own house for FOUR months before being discovered by her husband!


6. alelell - September 1, 2010

I think that is the most horrible thing. And they need to call in HazMat. Yuck. How sad the husband hadn’t thought to have that room cleaned out sooner.

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Good point. The article makes it sound like SHE (not HE) was the sole cause of the excess clutter.

If that was the case, I can’t imagine him not tossing stuff sooner. Then, again, he may have been hoping she would return to her “rabbit hole” someday.

7. mizzezmellymel - September 1, 2010

I watch Hoarders on A&E and can’t take my eyes away from it when it’s on. I think it’s always hard to wrap your brain around something that you can’t understand. It’s easy for me to say “eww”, “yuck”, and “gross”, but these people truly have a sickness.

It’s a shame that she died because of her inability to recognize that she had a problem.

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

I expect that my reaction to Hoarders would be the same ~ horrified fascination.

She may have died of natural causes, and pulled the pile down on top of her as she fell. But she would have been found sooner if she hadn’t lived as she did.

8. misswhiplash - July 20, 2011

Wow! Is this really true? What an end to your life ,buried in a pile of rubbish..

nrhatch - July 20, 2011

It’s true . . . and eye-popping. Absolutely amazing that it took four months to find her INSIDE her own home. Egads!

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