same experience here... minus the death.

There's a community group here called FREECYCLE... basically it's people offering up things they'll likely throw away/ put on the street for trash. 80% of it is crap, but every now and then you find gems. They also allow you to place Wanteds and wouldn't you know... a guy came up with a full darkroom with 2 4x5 enlargers, trays, chemistry, etc etc etc