Hydrofluoric acid was used on a handful of occasions to cover up murders that Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were involved in during the events of Breaking Bad. The pair, played by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, respectively, often found themselves in difficult situations while building their meth empire. Thanks to Walt’s scientific knowledge, he was able to come up with solutions to keep them (mostly) out of trouble.
Hydrofluoric acid, or “HF,” is a dangerously corrosive acid known to dissolve substances such as metals, plastics, and the human body. Serving as a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water, hydrofluoric acid was easy to acquire. Walt and Jesse obtained a supply at the high school science lab at Walt’s place of work. Though the first use didn’t go as planned, the pair took better precautions as the bodies piled up.
While there could have been more characters doused in hydrofluoric acid for cover-up purposes, Breaking Bad focused on a select handful. When Walt and Jesse received more permanent lab equipment, the solution was kept nearby. They also received assistance from other characters like Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) in the disposal process. Over five seasons, here are all the characters who disappeared with the help of hydrofluoric acid.
Emilio Koyama (John Koyama) only appeared in two episodes of Breaking Bad, but the events following his death set the tone for the series. After Emilio was arrested, he and his cousin, Krazy-8, went after Walt and Jesse to learn their meth formula. While in the meth cook RV, Walt set off an explosion, killing Emilio with phosphine gas. Walt suggested using hydrofluoric acid to get rid of their “problem.” Unfortunately Jesse tried to use the acid in his bathtub, liquefying Emilio’s body but also melting right through the bottom of the bathtub and the floor beneath, resulting in a grisly mess landing in the hall below.
Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) served as Gus Fring’s henchman for multiple seasons of Breaking Bad. Despite being an intimidating ally of Gus, he wasn’t immune to punishment. Following Gale Boetticher’s murder, Victor was seen at the scene of the crime. The mishap led to Gus killing Victor with a boxcutter to send a message to Walt and Jesse. To clean up any connection to Victor, the pair used hydrofluoric acid to dispose of the body, as well as the boxcutter and the weapon used to kill Gale.
Drew Sharp (Samuel Webb) was one of the youngest victims in Breaking Bad, and his death was surely one of the most tragic. After Drew accidentally witnessed the train heist carried out by Walt, Jesse, and Todd Alquist in season 5, Todd made the rash decision to kill the young boy. After he died, the trio had no choice but to get rid of the body, since the authorities were actively looking for Drew. Hydrofluoric acid was used to carry out the disposal, which didn’t seem to affect Todd on an emotional level in any way.
Other Possible Victims Of Hydrofluoric Acid In Breaking Bad
Though Krazy-8 (Maximino Arciniega) wasn’t killed in the poisonous gas explosion that took the life of his cousin, he eventually met a similar fate. Krazy-8 was taken to Jesse’s residence and held hostage in the basement. After attempting to kill Walt to escape, Krazy-8 was strangled to death. While it’s unclear how Walt got rid of the body, it was implied that the disposal was in the same fashion as Emilio.
In Breaking Bad season 4, a member of the rival cartel ended up shooting another one of Gus’ henchmen. Mike and Jesse brought the body of the unnamed man to the superlab under the laundry facility. It was there that the pair were met by Walt, who mentioned grabbing an empty barrel. Though the action wasn’t directly shown, it was presumed that the group used acid to get rid of the body before the barrel was loaded onto a truck full of other hazardous materials.