Originally Posted by Ginger
Wood treated with chromated copper arsenate has that familiar pale green colour to it. While CCA is green, copper oxide is reddish brown or black, depending on the oxidation state. (The green or blue copper isn't the result of oxidation, but rather the result of salt formation, usually a carbonate or chloride salt, but in this case, an arsenate salt).
The real question here is whether CCA would react in such a way as to form red-brown cuprous oxide if left in contact with human skin. I can't say that it wouldn't.
The red flag for me is that copper's an easy metal to do a qualitative test for, and I'd expect a police chemist to have caught it if the body had been drenched in a copper compound.
Is this the bucket or was there more than one?
"the bodies of two white men, both beheaded, lying in the weeds; both bodies were naked except that one of them had socks on. After an extensive search the heads of both men were found buried in separate places, one about 20 feet away from one of the bodies and the other head was buried about 75 feet away from the other body. Both men's penises had been severed from their bodies and were found near one of the heads. We also found an old blue coat; light cap and a blood stained union suit. Nearby was a metal bucket containing a small quantity of oil and a torch.
"It was apparent that oil, acid or some chemical was poured over one of the bodies as it was burnt to quite an extent; it was also evident that both bodies had been there several days as they had started to decompose."
Coroner Arthur J. Pearse described the one man eventually referred to Victim One, as "decapitated with one testicle missing. Skin tanned and leathery as from an acid. Dead from 7-10 days. Homicide by person or persons at present unknown. Death by decapitation, hemorrhage, and shock." He was estimated to be between 40 and 45 years old, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. His hair was dark brown.
Laboratory analysis of the skin of Victim One came back with the following results: "The skin of this victim had a reddish yellow color and was tough (hard) not unlike bacon rind. The skin was carefully washed in benzol, dried, and examined under the microscope. Nothing of importance, other than the hair follicles minus the hair, was noted. It appeared as though the hair had either been shaved or burned off. The skin itself was hard and tough, and very resistant to both acids and alkalis. Warm or hot water however caused it to swell and curl although no difference in texture resulted. It was finally decided that scorching would produce such a condition. This however on dead tissue only.
"Examination of the contents of the bucket disclosed evidence of crankcase drainings (oil), partially decomposed human blood, and considerable black straight hair (probably human). http://watchingrobertpickton88015.yu...s#.WKlEeYWcFPY