January, 2004

January 5, 2004

Today's Artistic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Police on Friday, November 14, 2003 removed the corpse of a man believed to have hanged himself at least a year ago after builders and students at Budapest's University of Arts had initially mistaken it for a modern sculpture. The body hung for a whole day in a garden building that had been re-opened for repairs before onlookers realized what it was and called the police. The building, in campus grounds crowded with different types of sculpture, had been closed five years ago pending reconstruction work.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: BCS

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Somehow I'm reminded of a snippet from an episode of Absolutely Fabulous:

Eddy: "This is a sort of corpse in an open, oaken, oblong coffin... It's a dead body, Pats."
Patsy: "Yeah, but is it art?"
Eddy: "No Sweetie, it's my father."

*******

Okay, I'm back. For real this time. I want to thank everyone who has sent me kind words and condolences over the death of my beloved mother. It was a very difficult holiday season, but I made it through okay thanks to my family and friends. I definitely needed the time off, though, and thank you for being so patient with me.

However, it's my New Year's resolution to be a faithful Comtesse and so I shall be. I promise.

... HEY!!! Quit rolling your eyes back there! I can SEE YOU!

*******

Ghastly!

Kevin stumbled upon a somewhat grim website and had no one to share it with. Isn't that sad? Good thing we're here to have a gander! And he even sends a polite warning:

"Warning: it is graphic as it shows bomb wounds with bones blown open and good old stuff like that."

Now, I know you can't resist!

http://www.qub.ac.uk/cm/os/ortho/B/bomb/bomb.html

*******

Incredibly SICK and DISGUSTING Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Warning: This one will offend many of you. It will appall others. And it will distress the rest. So, please don't write to tell me how badly this joke has injured your moral compass. I already know.


What's better than having sex with two sixteen year olds?

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Having sex with sixteen two year olds.

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What's better than having sex with sixteen two year olds?

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Having sex with sixteen *dead* two year olds.

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What's better than having sex with sixteen dead two year olds?

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Nothing.

Groans, lawsuits, and hate mail to Avid Reader, please.


January 6, 2004

Today's Passionate Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A dog has eaten up the genitals of a one-year-old baby boy who is recovering from circumcision in Guyuk Local Government Area of Adamawa. Narrating the incident which took place this week, the baby’s father, Mr Amos Mamman, said he had got the dog from a distant village and brought it home. After he had gone to the farm, his wife laid her newly circumcised baby in the room and engaged herself with routine domestic chores until she heard the baby’s unusual cry. As she dashed to the room, she found the small dog feasting on the baby’s penis, while one of his testes was already gone. "The baby was naked on medical advice as he was newly circumcised and could not wear a nappy," the father explained. He said the dog might have been attracted by the oily medicine applied to the penis and mistook the genitals for prepared meat. The boy, who lost his manhood and has since been admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Yola,is now responding to treatment. The father appealed to the government and wealthy individuals to help save the life of his son who, he said, needed further medical attention "as he is having difficulty in urinating". The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nunguda people in Guyuk are well known for their passion for dogs.

Culled from: Vanguard
http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/headline/f103012004.html
Generously submitted by: Skye

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Oh my gosh... This one had to be quoted verbatim because it is one of the most entertaining bits of news writing I've read. I mean, from "he lost his manhood" to "mistook the genitals for prepared meat" to "well known for their passion for dogs," this one is a veritable gold mine of morbid delight! In fact, this one is so good that I'm going to open up the field for another
..................... <drum roll> ......................

Morbid Caption Contest!!

Whoever can provide the funniest commentary on this fact will win something quite morbid, and appropriate, although I can't come up with exactly what it will be right now. But rest assured, you might conceivably like it!

So, send me (comtessedespair@gmail.com) your best quips - with the Subject 'Morbid Caption Contest' - by January 13th and I'll narrow down the contestants for a final vote. (Yes, this time it will be decided via the highly endangered democratic method.)

Won't this be fun?

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Carol

"A chilling incident involved an auto accident on my way back from work after a late shift. My coworker was driving back to the city from the rurally located institution, when a car came out of nowhere, and somehow hit our car twice, spinning it completely around, then hurled off the embankment. My friend was in shock, but I was able to run down the embankment to see if I could offer any assistance to whomever was in the other car. Well, only the driver was in the car, and one look and I knew I could be of no assistance. His body was still in the driver's seat, his head on the hood, face up, blood was still spurting from the body. How lucky I had my nurse's flash light, I got a great view. <shudder> I still haven't gotten that picture out of my mind. Turns out it was the guy's birthday, and he had been drinking since early that morning, probably passed out behind the wheel. I would NEVER drink and drive!"

Especially not after seeing that sight, eh Carol?

*******

Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

You can blame this one on Andrew!

How do you count 5 drowning Mexicans?

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Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Sinkooooooo


January 7, 2004

Today's Crushingly Stupid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man was crushed to death when he dove under a slow-moving semi-trailer to retrieve his baseball cap. High winds had blown the hat off the man's head as he got out of his white convertible in the parking lot of a farm supply store on Tuesday. The wind carried the well-worn hat underneath a loaded semi-trailer just as it started to move. "The truck was rolling forward and he dove under to grab the hat. He tried to grab it and wiggle out quickly," said witness Josh Emard. Emard said he wondered at first if what he was seeing might be a stunt. "It was just unbelievable that someone would go under a moving semi for a hat." Derek Keenan, 44, of Lethbridge, died at the scene after the truck's rear wheels rolled over his upper body. The truck came to a stop with Keenan underneath the flatbed trailer loaded with precast concrete drainage pipe. The 40-year-old truck driver, looking visibly shaken, was helped into an ambulance and taken to hospital. Lethbridge police Sgt. Tom Ascroft said no charges will be laid. "A very odd set of circumstances led to a very tragic accident," he said.

Culled from: Canoe - The Edmonton News
http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonNews/es.es-11-20-0058.html (it's expired now though)
Generously submitted by: Joseph

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Okay, okay... where do we begin in analyzing this one? Okay, obviously the guy's a bit of a redneck if he values a well-worn baseball cap enough to dive under a truck for it. Secondly, the way he disregards the possibility that he could be killed tells me he's rather on the arrogant side. He's probably a couch potato too since he couldn't move fast enough to avoid a slow-moving trailer. And finally, he doesn't have much of a brain or he could have deduced that the winds would probably move the cap over to the other side of the truck, and he could simply pick it up there. So, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say: MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FAN.

Also, I'm sure, a Darwin Award nominee...

Hate mail to the usual address, please.

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Ghastly!

This one was sent to me by way of Sandy, by way of the MFDJ Discussion Group, by way of Rotten.Com, by way of the Pakistan Tribune. It's a photo of a suicide bomber whose face has literally been blown off. And I ask you, could you ever possibly hope for a better Halloween costume? Put a few stitches in that puppy, and you'll be winning every contest in town! In a perfect world, anyway...

http://paktribune.com/speakout/index.php?id=37&PHPSESSID=eed4739ffd5e091b020063d74ea37b80

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Morbid Caption Contest!

Well, the captions/quips for yesterday's MFDJ are rolling in, so if something tacky comes to mind after reading that priceless little tidbit, why not submit it my way? I'll select the top 5 in my ever-so-subjective manner, and we'll put them to a vote next week. The deadline is January 13th, so don't dilly-dally!


January 8, 2004

Today's Philosophical Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In early times, Grecian states were ruled by 'tyrants' - wealthy men who seized power unconstitutionally. Many centuries later, the Roman writer Valerius Maximus related a number of anecdotes that he had collected concerning the use of torture by these rulers. According to Valerius, the philosopher Zeno of Elea had been involved in a plot to overthrow the tyrant Niarchos, and was tortured to name his accomplices. However, when the pain became too much to bear, Zeno told his tormentors that he would only reveal his secrets to Niarchos in private; and when the tyrant bent down low to hear Zeno's whisper, the philosopher bit off his ear.

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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Way to go, Zeno!! ... The book doesn't say what happened to him after this, however. I'm wondering if Niarchos returned the favor with a ... different ... body part. Ah, that'll be a future Google search, I'm sure...

But in the meantime, there is merchandise to discuss!

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Morbid Trinkets Du Jour!

Dee pointed out a couple of nifty Gashlycrumb Tinies collectibles at the Pyramid Collection website - a poster and a lunchbox.

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/aspfiles/itemdy00.asp?category=&UID=2004010811302336&T1=P29457

But - guess what???? They're cheaper at Gorey Details (and I like these guys better too!), so why not purchase from the "Little Guy"?

Poster: http://www.goreydetails.net/show.php?alpha=1504
Lunchbox: http://www.goreydetails.net/show.php?alpha=2117

By the way - for the cynical curious - I don't have any affiliation with Gorey Details (or any other shop I feature on this newsletter with the exception of Amazon.Com), I just purchase stuff from them frequently so I know they're reliable. In fact, just the other day, I decided that I had to have a discontinued "Books. Cats. Life is Good." long-sleeved shirt (even though I already have it in short-sleeved version) since some dummy has now decided to start making them with the far less Goreyesque "Books. Cats. Life is Sweet." statement, and in tedious white. Now, you tell me - would Gorey ever use the expression "Life is SWEET"? Nothing is "SWEET" in a Gorey World! And heather grey is far more appropriate than white. I just can't understand why someone always has to mess everything up?

I'm off to sigh myself to sleep now...

Oh, before I go, here's the shirt I got. Better get it while it's still fashionably subtle!

http://www.goreydetails.net/show.php?alpha=2061

*******

Well... I'm sheepish about saying this... but I'm going to be away for the next three days so there will be another hiatus in facts. I'm taking a trip to the seaside with my siblings to scatter some of Mom's ashes at the shore. It should be a very interesting trip, to say the least. I just hope they don't catch me carefully sifting through the ashes looking for any bone fragments that may not have gotten properly crushed...

Is that really as horrible as my friends say? I've always taken a keen interest in my mother... why would I stop after death?

Oh well, once a Morbid Freak, always a Morbid Freak.

Ciao!


January 12, 2004

Here's another entry in our ongoing "Poor Poor Pitiful Penis" series. This time, instead of a hungry dog, our penis ripper is a doctor late for tee time...

Today's Malpractical Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A mechanic who claimed two doctors removed his penis without his consent after mistakenly believing he had cancer reached an out-of-court settlement during his civil trial in August, 2003. Hurshell Ralls, 67, sued Dr. John Dryden, Dr. Farid Khoury and the Clinics of North Texas, where he had surgery in November 1999 after Dryden told him a biopsy showed he had bladder cancer. Dryden and Khoury, who assisted in the surgery, never mentioned that the cancer could be spreading and that they might have to remove other organs. The suit alleged that doctors did not test a tissue sample to determine if he had penile cancer -- a procedure that could have been done at the clinic in 30 minutes to an hour. Another doctor looking at cell slides later found that Ralls did not have penile cancer.

Culled from: DallasNews.Com
http://www.dallasnews.com/latestnews/stories/082803dntexamputation.4e26e0bf.html
Generously submitted by: Kimberly

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Things That Make You Say Oops, #242349. And that's a mighty big oops!

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So, guess what? I journeyed with my siblings all the way over to the Northern California Coast to spread our Mother's ashes at one of her favorite vistas... but my brothers didn't bring any ashes! Why, I ask? "We thought it was too creepy to open the urn." Sigh... What was a thinking? This was obviously a job for The Comtesse! Ah well, we had a nice visit with the Redwoods, Sea Lions, and stormy shore anyway.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Patty was thoughtful enough to send the Celebrity Morgue link my way, for the benefit of those of you who haven't seen it. It's a Rotten.Com site that includes post-mortem photos of loads of celebrities from Stalin to Tupac to Jumbo (the saddest of them all, sniffle). Definitely a fun-filled browse.

http://celebritymorgue.com/

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Brace yourself for this one (courtesy Bill):

The inmates amputated Jeffrey Dahmner's nose after he died.

They cut it in little pieces and spread it on pizza.

They called it Dahmer-Nose Pizza.

[For those MFDJ patrons outside of the states, this is a pun on a horrible delivery pizza place called Domino's Pizza that is strewn all across the country... You may groan now. - despair]


January 14, 2004

Today's Thirsty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Charles Frederick Peace was a notorious 19th century British thief and multiple murderer who was hanged Feb. 25, 1879, at Armley Jail in Leeds. For his last meal, Peace ate a hearty breakfast of eggs and a huge amount of bacon, but he complained bitterly about the quality of the latter. Apparently the bacon was so salty that when the hood was placed over his head, the thirsty murderer demanded a last glass of water. His request was ignored.

Culled from: The Book Of Lists 3 by Amy Wallace, David Wallechinsky, and Irving Wallace
Generously submitted by: Ken

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How sad to die thirsty. He should have requested a Coke with free refills with his breakfast, the dummy!

*******

I didn't send out a fact last night because I went up to my Dad's place to a goodbye party for my Australian brother who flew home today. My brother mentioned that he wanted to take some of my mother's ashes home with him so he could have a ceremony with his wife and kids at the tree that Mom purchased for him years ago. So, obviously, this was a job for The Comtesse. I grabbed a screwdriver and unscrewed the urn and saw that, contrary to my expectations, the cremains were actually little bits of bone rather than the pulverised "ash-like" material that I was expecting. (I had never seen cremains before, and nobody in my family had either. My previous knowledge of them came from movies and television shows.)

Quite naturally, I started peering at the bits of bone carefully through the plastic bag, even noticing a bit of a tooth, when my sister walked in on me and said in dismay, "Quit it! You're creeping me out!!" So, I just gathered some of Mom up for my brother and closed the urn back up again. (My brother took the vial of remains from me and asked, "Did you get some of the heart?" - at least I'm not the only one in the family with a morbid sense of humor.) Anyway, I'll have to make another trip up there sometime when nobody is around to tell me how creepy I am, and have another look.

It's just so bizarre to think that those bits of bone are all that's left of my beautiful, endlessly kind, and loving mother. (At least, I hope it's her... I've been a morbid factster long enough to know that you can never be certain unless you supervise the cremation yourself.) I really don't want to scatter them anymore - they seem precious to me. But I guess we have to... I'll just have to get myself an urn to preserve some of her for myself before we go scattering them around her favorite places.

And speaking of death...

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

How's this for a great idea: stick a cam inside a coffin and watch the corpse rot.

http://www.seemerot.com/

Of course, this seems to good to be true, so I'm thinking it might be a hoax, but I couldn't figure that out on the net. If anyone has any info on this site's legitimacy, please let me know so I can pass the information on to everyone.

Thanks to M3M3S3 for the link.

Oh, and stay tuned for "Colon Cam". Yeah, I know... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww...


January 17, 2004

Today's Heavyset Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A toddler lost her fight for life after a heavyset neighbor fell backward on top of the child during a Christmas party in Washington Heights. "I'm very sorry about what happened," said Novella Williams, who crushed the 21-month-old girl in the accident. India (Nini) Bryan died at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center on Sunday, December 14, 2003 after suffering internal bleeding and brain trauma. The dancing tyke had been the life of a tenants association party inside a vacant apartment at her W. 160th St. building the night before. The festivities were winding down with a slow song by R. Kelly when Nini had fallen behind Williams. "When I bent down to pick up the baby, I fell," said Williams, 46, who lives across from the child's fifth-floor apartment. Someone yelled, "Watch out!" as her 190-pound, 5-foot-6 frame tumbled back. "Oh my God!" Williams recalled crying out. She disputed that she landed on the girl, and was unsure how the child was hurt. "I have seven grandchildren of my own. I would never hurt anyone's child. I love kids," said Williams, a data entry clerk. The child's mom, Laquisha Bryan, 19, had prayed for a miracle at her daughter's bedside in the intensive care unit. Williams, who wasn't facing charges, mourned the loss. "I'm crying. I'm hurting," she said. "I don't know what to do."

Culled from: The Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/146478p-129306c.html
Generously submitted by: Michael

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I bet this kid was like the one in front of me at the post office today who kept running around, stumbling into people, dancing, screaming, falling down, rolling around on the ground, facing near annihilation from adult feet at any second. At least, that's how I envision this happening. In any event, can you imagine the guilt that poor woman feels? She'll certainly never be able to show her face at another Association Party.

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I've been suffering from e-mail woes thanks to a spam-filter problem with my ISP so I haven't been able to send out a fact the last couple of days. Of course, ISP spam filters always bring great concern to me since so often they block legitimate e-mail, so if you would be so kind as to let me know if anything you send me comes back to you with a "SPAM" designation, I would be very appreciative.

And I hope I can still get the facts sent out too... I hope this message gets to someone!!

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Well, it turns out that the Morbid Link Du Jour featured the other day (http://www.seemerot.com/) is, as I thought, a hoax. The image is just an animated gif. Damn. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe we might live in a world cool enough to have something like that. Alas, another shattered dream...

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Morbid Contribution Du Jour!

But this is the "Real McCoy"! Johnny From Idaho kindly sent me the following e-mail (Uh, back in August in case you're debating the fact that National Night Out Against Crime doesn't occur in January... yes, I am behind in e-mail, as you know...) and image. It's really quite fascinating - trust me.

"Okay, so Tuesday was National Night Out Against Crime (since every other night is the opposite) and I'm stuck with some city police officers at the local Applebee's schmoozing with the public. At some point I pick up this pamphlet on seatbelts and start to read. Bingo! Back page! Is it just me...or does that windshield look like it has the imprint of a FACE?! YESSS!!! My favorite part is the "shocked" look it has..."

Indeed, it appears that Johnny is correct. Check it out for yourself:

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/windshie.jpg

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GHASTLY!

I was just trying to find an old link I'd sent out long ago for a MFDJ patron, when I stumbled upon this particularly EXCRUTIATING image on the Body Modification E-Zine website. Guys, take a deep breath:

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/nailing.jpg

This one looks a bit painful as well:

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/ballout.jpg

Isn't it brilliant that people like this exist in this world?

(And no, I'm not being a "penis-hater" again, as I have been accused lately... these were just the images that happened to be there. If there had been a bloody clit picture, I would have sent that one too. Sheesh...)

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Auction Alert!

Another Autopsy Stable Baby is up for auction. They're nifty!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2980472360


January 20, 2004

Today's Highly Amusing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Damnoen Saen-um, 52, laughed for about two minutes on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 and then stopped breathing. Damnoen's wife tried to wake him up but he kept laughing. An autopsy suggested that he might have had a heart attack. "I have never seen a case like this. But it is possible that a person could have heart seizure while laughing or crying too hard in their sleep," said Dr. Somchai Chakrabhand, deputy director-general of the Mental Health Department.

Culled from: Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Kimba D'Michi

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That always creeps me out when people die laughing because I wonder... what was so funny? I have the feeling he heard the punchline to this grand elaborate joke called life. Damn, that's the problem with the dead. They are always keeping things from us!

Ken has a comment:

Well, Comtesse, here's 4 that'll answer your Question-

1. Zeuxis (Greek painter; 5th Century B.C.)
It is said that Zeuxis was laughing at a Painting of an old Woman that he had just completed when his Breathing Failed and he choked to death.

2. Philemon (Greek Poet; 361? - 263? B.C.)
This writer of Comedies became so engulfed in laughter at a jest he had made, that he died Laughing.

3. Chrysippus (Greek Philosopher: 3rd Century B.C.)
He is said to have died of a fit of laughter upon Seein a Donkey Eat some Figs.

4. Pietro Aretino (Italian Author 1402 - 1506)
Aretino was laughing at a bawdy story told to him by his sister, when He fell backward in his chair and died of Apoplexy

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

From the "I never knew I needed this until I saw it!" category comes the unbelievable...

Grim Reaper Dildo!

And isn't it fantastic looking? (Scroll halfway down the page...)

http://www.blowfish.com/catalog/toys/divine_dildos.html

(Thanks to Elizabeth for sending this one my way.)

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I'm taking another vacation (yeah, I know, I am truly dreary) to visit my Wonderful Woman in Chicago on Thursday and I will not return until next Wednesday, the 28th. Please stay morbid in my absence!


January 27, 2004

Today's Unnoticeable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Rarely do they come together as in the case of the Finnish taxman who died at his desk and went unnoticed for two days. The 60-year-old auditor died on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 but it took his colleagues until Thursday to notice that he wasn't just silently poring over tax returns. Officials declined to comment on the cause of death or confirm the age of the man, saying they would only comment on how it was possible that he could be dead for two days at work without anybody noticing. "The reason for this was caused by many coincidences," Anita Wickstroem, director at the Helsinki tax office, said. "He was very much working alone and often visiting companies, while his friends and colleagues who used to have lunch or coffee with him were busy in meetings or outside the office at the time," she noted. There are some 30 workers in the auditing department where he worked, and a total of 100 on the same floor.

Culled from: News.Com.Au
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,8431149^13762,00.html
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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I'm back from my latest Chicago vacation. The weather was absolutely beautiful - cold and snowy - and we were able to visit a couple of wonderful old cemeteries over the weekend. I took a handful of photos and I'll post them as soon as I get the chance. Nothing quite like visiting a cemetery in the snow. It's a rare treat for me. Now that I'm back in dull Catatonia cloud cover, I'm longing to go back again! (Of course, that couldn't possibly have anything to do with the lovely woman I was visiting there, could it?)

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

While on the plane, I read the latest book in my ongoing fascination with fatal fires. This one, entitled Chicago Death Trip, detailed the tragic fire which took over 600 lives (mostly women and children) that occurred in Chicago's Iroquois Theater on December 30, 1903. This is an excellent account of the fire and its aftermath, and is the perfect example of how greed and an unbelievably callous disregard for public safety can combine to absolutely devastating effect. (The Theater management broke almost every single fire safety regulation in the books, from not connecting the ventilation system so the deadly fumes and heat could not be directed up out of the theater, to locking the exits and covering the with curtains to make the theater look prettier, to erecting padlocked accordian gates on the aisles leading to the more expensive lower seats to prevent anyone from sneaking down there during the show (and, tragically, from anyone escaping during the fire).

The only disappointing thing for me was learning that the original Iroquois Theater is no longer standing. It was not destroyed by the fire and was reopened under a different name a few years later, and continued operating into the '20s when it was torn down and replaced by another theater. Oh, Chicago - why must you break my heart again and again by neglecting your morbid history? It's enough to make a Comtesse break down and cry...

Anyway, I digress... The book is an excellent read and I recommend it for anyone else with an interest in Incendiary Tragedy.

Chicago Death Trap by Nat Brandt
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809324903/theasylumeclecti

Other fascinating books about fire tragedies that I have read:

To Sleep With The Angels
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/156663217X/theasylumeclecti
Another Chicago fire tragedy, this one set in a Catholic school where 92 pupils and 3 nuns died in 1958. This is one of my two favorites of the fire death books that I have read so far. Absolutely captivating.

The Circus Fire
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385496850/theasylumeclecti
And this is my other favorite. This one might edge out To Sleep With The Angels, if only because of the added interest of the fire occurring within a circus tent. The disaster, occurring in Hartford, Connecticut in 1944, left 167 dead and 487 injured.

The Triangle Fire
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801487145/theasylumeclecti
And this is a classic account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, where 146

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Ghastly!

MrMezzie sends the following link to the Clark County Coroner's Office Las Vegas Unidentified Body page. I think I may have posted this before, but it's so damned interesting I think a repeat is warranted.

http://www.co.clark.nv.us/CORONER/unidentified/photos/unid_photo.htm


January 28, 2004

Today's Horribly Depraved Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An Australian man was jailed for life on January 21, 2004 for killing his teenage neighbour and having sex with her body in a crime described by a judge as horrible and depraved. Colin John Richardson, 36, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to murder and indecently interfering with a corpse between October 20 and 28, 2001. His victim, Claire Franklin, was an 18-year-old from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast who had moved into a block of units at inner city South Brisbane so she could be close to TAFE to complete a hospitality course. A few weeks before the killing, Ms Franklin was plagued by a series of bizarre incidents including her radio inexplicably being on when she woke up, lit candles appearing in her flat, and finding her things had been moved every time she came home. The court was told she had the locks changed, but shortly afterwards she was killed. When police went to interview Richardson about Ms Franklin's disappearance, they found her partially clothed body decomposing on his bed with a gag in her mouth and a ligature around her neck. Richardson's story to a psychiatrist was that he accidentally ran over her cat and that he had told her he had strangled it to put it out of its misery. He said Ms Franklin reacted by becoming hysterical, and to silence her screaming he strangled her to death, then hours later had sex with her cold, stiff body. Justice James Douglas in sentencing Richardson to mandatory life imprisonment, described the killing as one full of horror. "You have pleaded guilty to murder in circumstances that suggest depravity and horror of the worst that can be imagined by the family of Claire Franklin who had everything before her," he said. "It is something that will rest very heavily on your soul." Defense barrister Denis Lynch said Richardson wished to express his "deep sorrow" at what had happened. Outside court, Claire's mother Sandy Franklin called for increased funding for the John Tonge Centre which is the state's forensic testing laboratory. "It took eight months for the forensics to come through. If she had died in Bali it would have taken 24 hours ­ they just don't have the resources," she said.

Culled from: South Australian Advertiser
Generously submitted by: Andrew

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This isn't the strongest of morbid facts, but I am completely in love with the colorful language used by this Australian reporter.

"Indecently interfering with a corpse"???? That's brilliant! One of you should start a band called Indecent Interference immediately, if I don't first...

And what, preytell, is a "hospitality course"??? It sounds like she was training to work in a brothel. (I looked up TAFE. It stands for "Technical and Further Education" - basically job training classes. See http://www.tafe.net/ if you're interested, but seriously, how could you be?)

How about "had sex with her cold, stiff body" - that's telling it like it is! I love it. And the judge's comments are great too: "depravity and horror," indeed!

And what about his excuse? "I had to kill her, man! She went crazy on me cuz I strangled her cat!" Come on, John - that sort of excuse only works if you're rich.

Oh, and that last bit about how "if she had died in Bali" is a bit strange too, isn't it?

Oh, I can see sooooooooooooooooo many t-shirts coming out of this one. You just gotta love those Aussies - keepin' it real, 19th century style! If only our newspapers were this entertaining...

Comment from fiona (1/29/04):

"I thought I would explain to you TAFE and HOSPITALITY being from Australia. TAFE is like going to University, it ranges from getting degrees to just training courses to get you into the area of the work force that you choose. Hospitality is the term they use that is training and becoming qualified to work in the service of food and beverages, learning to work in resturants and cafes, responisible service of alcohol, how to set 5 star dinning tables properly, how to hold 50 thousand plates at once! Just teaches how to do it all properly to a standard expected of a higher class establishment. So a bit different from being taught to be a hooker!!!!! :-)"

Comment from MWH (1/30/04):

"Hey, your thing on the Brisbane killing was great but you need to be clued in on a few Australian things. Firstly a hospitality course is a course in hotel/restaurant management. TAFE is actually pretty good - it's sort of an alternative to college so that people who don't do (or pass) finals can get jobs that don't involve mops, toilets or fast food, and the Bali reference was to the bombing in the Bali nightclubs. About 80 Australians died in the bombing and quite a few got blown to little bitty pieces by the bomb, thus forensics people were called in to find out who they were and stuff, so the woman's mother said "if she was in Bali..." to highlight that Queensland is light on for forensics.

"Oh, and all our judges talk like that, you should look for some more stuff if his manner appeals to you."

Comment from Geoff S. (1/29/04):
"Comtesse...a little enlightenment from Down Under regarding today's Brisbane Fact!

"Many people in Oz take Degree courses in Hospitality and Catering to have a career in Hotel or Restaurant Management, tourism operations and such like. I suppose a Degree or Certificate in a hospitality course may be useful in the operation of a brothel, just unlikely! TAFE is the name of what used to be called Technical Colleges... b
etween University and High School.

"The reference to Bali is concerning the Bali bombing (9 Dec 02) with the deaths of many Australians there and is as significant to us as 9/11 is to Americans. The point is that the forensic investigations in Bali, supported by Australian Government funding and staff, led to a very quick identification of the perpetrators... and their subsequent trials and sentences (within 12 months, I think), while it has taken nearly 2+ years to get a resolution in this case, the delay apparently caused by inadequate funding for the forensics investigation!

"Call me a 'know-it-all' but I hope this clears things up for you!"

Comment from Ben:
"Someone doing a hospitality course learns things like attending bars, food preparation, waitressing - anything to do with the service industry The reference to Bali was because of the recent bombing of a nightclub in Bali in which quite a few Australians died. Australia sent a forensic team to Bali to help the local police identify bodies and gather evidence."

Comment from White Noise:
"A hospitality course, in Australia at least, is a course where you learn Bar work, How to run/work in a Bistro, Silver service, Kind of like a professional waitress with a certificate to prove it.

"Indecently interfereing with a corpse would be the legal term for what he did.

"What can I say? Our legal system's screwed.

"And the bit about 'if she had died in Bali' refers to the way most Aussies (not including myself) won't let go of what happened at the Sari nightclub in Bali, due to the HUGE forensic resources sent to Bali, DNA indentification of victims was completed in hours, not months."

Comment from Rutybear:
"Hey! I went to TAFE thank you very much! Hmph! :) Gotta say I don't disagree though!

"...And the Bali comment is because of the aftermath of the bombing there - all forensics labs in Oz that had the correct facilities were 'grabbed' to help out with the 100+ bodies and bits, so every other case was put on the back burner and they STILL have a backlog for some kinds of tests! Remember that the Bali bombing for us is the equivalent to your WTC bombings so perhaps be a little careful when treading on that subject.

"Anyway, you may have already got hate mail on that score.."

Comment from David:
"I would agree that the news in Australia is a bit more colourful than say Los Angeles or London. It isn't because Murdoch mainly controls the press here but Australian's aren't as easily offended as American's. If that article had run in the Los Angeles Times, there would be outrage.

"'TAFE'like you said is like job training but takes on more like a junior college/community college flair. At the end of Year 10 (Sophomore year of high school) all students take an exam for a certificate. At this point you either carry on with high school for two years and sit the HSC and ultimately University, go tot TAFE which trains you for a job or apprenticeship for 1-2 years or go out on the streets of Brisbane or the like and have your way with various corpses and a kangaroo. It also isn't uncommon once kids sit the HSC, depending on their score (like the SAT) they will go to TAFE also. A "hospitality" course is a set of classes that I gather that revolve around customer service, working with the public, the business of hotels, responsible service of alcohol, food prep, and stuff
like that. It seems to be popular though."

*******

Several of you questioned yesterday's fact about the Finnish taxman who died in the office and went unnoticed for two days, noting that it sounded much too similar to the well-known urban legend about the man who was dead for five days before his co-workers noticed: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/fivedays.htm

However, I did verify that yesterday's story was reported by such seemingly reliable sources as the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/20/international/europe/20BRIE3.html?ex=1075438800&en=624279c3c80530da&ei=5070) as well as several foreign news sources. Additionally, Mogadeet asked a Finnish friend about whether this made the papers over there:

"You can bet! The yellow papers once again got something on which to gape. Headlines included 'Taxman lay dead two days on his desk, nobody did care!' and 'Is this where our society is going: Die, nobody cares!?!'

"In a bit more neutral papers his colleagues told that the person in question got very irritated if somebody did come to his office when he had the red-light on (like it has been reported to have been on this case). It would appear that the person in question wasn't one of the most socially skilled people around...

"So all you who have an office-room for yourself, think twice before turning that red-light on."

Really, as I think of it, there are more than a few managers where I work that wouldn't be noticed if they went missing for a week or two in their office! It's not so far-fetched when you think about it...

*******

Morbid Poetry Du Jour!

This one's from the "Really Quite Atrocious" category.

"Vomit on Me Darling Please"

Vomit on Me
Darling Please.
So I know you are still alive
I
Never really knew
Just how really, really true
You
Were
To
Me
I
Never really knew
Just how really, really true
You
Were
To
Me
As I hold you in my arms
Hold you in my arms
It's pain to see
That the love that exists
Existed
Between me & you
Is beauty and art
Please
Don't leave me
Please
Don't leave me
I've tried to repair
The damage that I done
I tried so hard.
Stay with me
Lift up your head
Lovely one
Don't you dare
No
Don't you dare
Go - I won't have it
Hmmm
Then lie down my love
Let the bugs and sweet insects
Consume what I cannot have
Here beside our favourite tree
Overlooking
The cemetery

E.G.

Culled from Ghost Tours (http://www.ghost-tours.com.au/poetry.htm).
Link submitted by Andy


January 29, 2004

Today's Obscure Yet Horrifying Morbid Fact!

Anyone who thinks that serial murder is strictly a modern-day phenomenon will be quickly disabused of that notion by a glance at Psychopathia Sexualis, the classic 19th century text on sexual deviation. [And one of my favorite books - DeSpair] It's author was Dr. Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902), a distinguished German physician who was regarded as the most important neuropsychiatrist of his day. One obscure but horrifying case recorded by Krafft-Ebing is that of "a certain Gruyo, aged forty-one, with a blameless past life, [who] strangled six women in the course of ten years. They were almost all public prostitutes and quite old. After the strangling, he tore out their intestines and kidneys through the vagina. Some of the victims he violated before killing, others, on account of the occurrence of impotence, he did not. He set about his horrible deeds with such care that he remained undetected for years."

Culled from: The A to Z Encylopedia of Serial Killers

**********************************************************************

And this link is proof that "the more things stay the same":

http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/01/28/a5.int.canmissing2.0128.html

And everyone is talking about the The Taiwanese Exploding Whale! I don't generally use animals for morbid facts, but I couldn't resist including the link for your perusal:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4096586/

Which of course brings me back to Oregon's Infamous Exploding Whale, one of humanity's least thoughtful moments. And it's captured on film much to the embarrassment of all Oregonians!

http://perp.com/whale/

*******

Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Okay, I have stumbled across the coolest portraits EVER! Haunted Memories portraits are those cool images that change as you walk by them. Only, these ones are sheer morbid bliss! Check out the website to see clips of the images in action (unfortunately a few of the more intriguing photos have incorrect images linked to them, but you get the jist):

http://www.hauntedmemories.com

Personally, I think I'm left with little option but to purchase a copy of Little Ned's charming portrait:

http://www.hauntedmemories.com/little_ned.htm

How ultimately creepy!

Although I haven't seen them firsthand, these images look to be high quality. They are also sold at Gorey Details for $130.00 apiece:
http://www.goreydetails.net/search.php?category=39&PHPSESSID=25578b263f23fe11b0b2377c42e1727f

However, I have contacted Eddie, the creator of these little masterpieces, and he kindly has offered all Morbid Fact patrons the following exclusive deal:

They are available to Morbid Fact Du Jour members for $99.99 each (unframed) plus $18.00 shipping for the first portrait. Additional purchased portraits will add an extra $5.00 in shipping to cover the extra insurance costs. There are no bulk discounts. This special offer is not good after 02/05/04 [THAT'S NEXT THURSDAY! - despair] and is payable by check or money order. (If paying by Paypal, they are $105.00 each and I accept PayPal payments at neatmun@yahoo.com)

All you have to do to get this sale price is tell Eddie that the Comtesse sent you. Or, if that's too embarrassing, tell them that you're a member of the Morbid Fact Du Jour mailing list.

And no, you cynical people - I'm not getting any kickback from saying all this. I just can't contain my enthusiasm about these portraits! And I will definitely be buying one soon...

*******

Morbid Caption Contest Update

I haven't forgotten about the Morbid Caption Contest (see MFDJ, 01/06/04, http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/morb0104.htm) and I will soon be narrowing down the finalists. I will try to get that done by Saturday. And then we'll have a vote and see who wins the as-yet-unnamed grand prize! Bet you can't wait, huh?

 



Vulgarities...