Bringing the Text to Life
Gordon Stewart, 74, was a retired cabinetmaker and ponytailed loner who was often seen pedaling his bike around the streets of Broughton, in the U.K., picking up cardboard boxes and bags full of rubbish.
One day, when neighbors hadn’t seen Stewart emerge from his home for several days, they called police. Officers broke in, only to find a house so full of trash that the only way to get around was through an elaborate series of tunnels running through the filth. The stench was so bad that a police dive team using breathing apparatus was called in to search for Stewart, who was found deep inside the unholy labyrinth. Police believe Stewart became disoriented in the mountains of collected stuff and died of dehydration. “Human mole dies of thirst … lost in his own tunnels of trash,” read the headline in The Sun.
Stewart suffered from Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome, a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes people to acquire and hold on to stuff that’s useless or of limited value —...