Esprit de Corpse

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While McNamara tries to figure out how he'll disguise himself as the elephantine teen's cadaver, he idly scrolls through a lengthy computer file of grisly true-crime stories gleaned from the Internet.

* 12-year-old boy beats and kicks his female teacher to death in China after she told his parents he was misbehaving

* Florida 14-year-old boy shoots sister because she was hogging the phone
* Carpenter uses chisel to slaughter four on bus in Philippines
And, seemingly everywhere, teen mothers are abandoning stillborn babies at proms, in fast-food Dumpsters and even in their own bedroom closets.

McNamara shrugs. "There have been so many 'dead baby' stories lately, even I can't keep them straight," he explains. "They're all sort of running together in my mind, just like this recent rash of high school shootings.

"What I might do is coalesce all these hideous stories into one piece," he says with a grin. "Maybe something like: 'Teen mom kills fetus at high school for spending too much time on phone.'

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Dewey Webb