March, 2006

March 1, 2006

Today's Shocking Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

When ECT (electroconvulsive therapy, aka "shock treatment") was first introduced, the treatment was brutal. The patient was strapped, usually unwillingly, to a cot, and a rubber dam was inserted between the teeth. Patients were fully conscious when they received the shock, which was intensely painful. The electric current induced muscular contractions severe enough to break bones. But the results were so beneficial that electroconvulsive therapy began to be used for many types of psychiatric illness. Doctors would sometimes move down a row of beds in a psychiatric ward, administering shocks to one patient after another.

Culled from: Discover Magazine, July 2004

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Since 1951 they have administered shock treatment under general anesthesia, thank goodness!

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Here's something from Golgotha Kinslayer for you role-players out there:

"I would like to share with you the book I recently wrote, Death: The Pale Horse. The full text of the book is available for free online, as I am not trying to solicit anything. The Morbid Fact Du Jour was of invaluable assistance with keeping my mind focused on the morbid subject matter.

"The book is a roleplaying game supplement, which I know does not appeal to everyone. However, I have endeavoured to keep the reading enjoyable, and have tried to keep things as forthright and real as possible. The book covers everything from suicide, to poisons, to executions, to drugs, to burial methods, to grieving, to the odds of dying, to the process of decay. The full text is available for free online and I hope that you, and the MFDJ's readers, enjoy."

Thank you very much, Golgotha!

http://lost-souls.servebeer.com/Death.htm

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Cricket sends a link to photographs from the Staten Island Ship Graveyard. Fascinating decay!

http://www.opacity.us/site55.htm


March 3, 2006

Today's Hungry Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Issei Sagawa is an average-looking guy but he's a celebrity in his native Japan. Constantly in demand to speak at seminars and on TV chat shows he's developed quite a cult following and his artwork sells for huge amounts of money in spite of the fact that art isn't really his speciality. So what exactly is he famous for? Basically he committed a horrible crime whilst living in Paris, which resulted in him being locked up in a secure mental hospital. However, when French authorities deported him back to Japan, a clerical error allowed his influential father to exploit a legal loophole and have him released back into society. Issei Sagawa still walks free. This is an excerpt from his confession:

"Today I must finish cutting up her body. I have to put it into suitcases and sink it in the lake. It will be her grave. I touch the cold body again and I wonder where I should start. I start to cut off all the meat before amputating the limbs. While I cut her calf I suddenly want to taste it. I see the beautiful red meat beneath the fat. I grasp her knee and her ankle, and tear it with my teeth. It is tender. I slowly chew and savor it. After eating most of the calf I look at myself in the mirror. There is grease all over my face. And then I start to eat at random. I bite her little toe. It still smells of her feet. I stab the knife into her arch and see the red meat deep inside. I thrust my fingers inside and dig out the meat and put it in my mouth. It tastes okay. Then I stab the knife into her armpit. Ever since I saw it under her yellow sleeveless top I wondered how it would taste this good.

"The wonderful taste cheers me up and I devour her underarm up to the elbow. Finally I cut off her private parts. When I touch the pubic hair it has a very bad smell. I bite her clit, but it won't come off, it just stretches. So I throw it in the frying pan and pop it in my mouth. I chew very carefully and swallow it. It is so sweet. After I swallow it, I feel her in my body and get hot. I turn the body over and open her buttocks, revealing her anus. I scoop it out with my knife and try to put it in my mouth. It smells too much. I put it in the frying pan and throw it in my mouth. It still smells. I spit it out. I go into the next room. It smell of fat, like I've been frying a chicken."

Culled from: Ratatak
Generously submitted by: Phil

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If that hasn't completely revolted you, then perhaps you might want to check out the crime scene photos as well? Ah, Silly Essei!

http://www.ratatak.com/sagawa.htm

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Here's a site that provides a virtual tour through the catacombs of Paris. Fun, fun, fun!

http://triggur.org/cata/

Thanks to Chaos Elle for the link.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

The next time you feel like practicing your suture closure or knee aspiration techniques, why not purchase a medical training tool from Limbs & Things?

http://www.golimbs.com/

Thanks to Shifter for the link.

March 4, 2006

Today's Unscheduled Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Stephen Peer was born in 1840 in the Stamford Township and was 19 years old when The Great Blondin performed his first tight rope walk in Niagara Falls. Peer wanted to become Niagara's first tight rope walker. In 1873, Stephen Peer signed on to become an assistant to daredevil Henry Bellini by helping Bellini string the rope across the gorge. Peer's first public appearance opened with Bellini's equipment but without Bellini's consent. Bellini tried to stop Peer by trying to cut the tight rope without success. Bellini was chased out of town. By 1887, Peer had become famous enough to begin performing under his own billing. On June 22nd 1887, Peer performed a tight rope walk on a five-eighth inch diameter wire cable stretched between the present Whirlpool Bridge and the Penn Central Bridge. Peer started his crossing on the Canadian side, successfully completing a double crossing. On June 25th 1887, Stephen Peer was found laying dead on the bank of the Niagara river directly below his wire cable. It is speculated that Peer tried an unscheduled night crossing after an evening of drinking.

Culled from: Niagara Falls Daredevils
Generously submitted by: Christopher

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Remember kids - don't drink and tightrope walk!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

The Eerie Shores Hearse Club is a fun site for those of us who treasure the thought of one day driving our very own hearse or ambulance. (I would like an ambulance, myself.) Fun, fun, fun!

http://www.eerieshores.org/

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Ghastly!

Tom sends a horrifying link:

"Here are some choice gunshot photos. Special mention must go to the close-range 30-06 blast. Ewwww....."

http://www.plusp.com/gallery/gunshotwounds

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A Horrid Moneymaking Venture by The Comtesse DeSpair!

In order to raise money to finance a new digital camera, I'm selling off my comic book collection on Ebay. Since many of the comics are quite morbid (or simply quite excellent, after all, The Comtesse has excellent taste), I figured that some of you may be interested in bidding on them, and helping me out in the process. I will mention any that I think are particularly morbid here. For a look at all of the current auctions I have going, please check this link (and of the "non-morbid" ones, I especially recommend "Marvels" by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross as works of genius):

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZstillillQQhtZ-1QQfrppZ50QQfsopZ1QQfsooZ1QQrdZ0?

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Armed & Dangerous Special

Armed & Dangerous is a great series which is highly recommended to fans of urban crime dramas like Sin City. The star of the Armed & Dangerous Special ("Kandi Kane - The Saturday Night Special") is tough-as-nails stripper Kandi Kane (pictured on the cover). Her life story is gritty and not very pretty, but she always manages to come out on top... er, sometimes quite literally.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=6610658716

This one is morbid in an urban, gritty kind of way.

March 6, 2006

Today's Suffocating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On September 7th 1901, Maude Willard and Carlisle Graham planned a combined stunt. Willard would traverse the Whirlpool Rapids in Graham's barrel and from the Whirlpool she would continue to Lewiston with Graham swimming behind the barrel. Willard entered the barrel with her pet dog for the journey through the rapids. As the barrel reached the Whirlpool it became stranding for the next six hours in the middle. When the barrel was recovered and brought to shore, Maude Willard was dead. Her pet dog jumped out of the barrel uninjured. The dog survived the ordeal by putting its nose to the only air hole the barrel had allowing the dog to breathe which resulted in Willard suffocating to death.

Culled from: Niagara Falls Daredevils
Generously submitted by: Christopher

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Poetic justice for putting her poor dog through such a stupid ordeal!

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

KitKa writes to tell me about an excellent dark design website:

"I have been watching the artist Chad Savage for awhile now and have been lucky enough to collect some of his absolutely wonderful work. But now I hear he also does site designs, dolls, clothes and a lot more. I think he's my personal savior to be honest and I wanted you guys to get a glimpse of this modern genius' work and maybe while you're there, support him a lil. ~^,^~ In Any case you MUST check out this site."

I have to agree that his artwork and design is excellent - truly an inspiration for underperformers like myself!

http://www.sinistervisions.com/

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

Pants sends a link to artwork by the wonderfully morbid artist Grant Fuhst:

http://www.epilogue.net/cgi/database/art/list.pl?gallery=3184

I'm especially fond of "L'Homme Qui Rit" myself:

http://www.epilogue.net/cgi/database/art/view.pl?id=83009

March 7, 2006

Today's Suicidal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The All-America Bridge, more commonly known as the Y-Bridge, is a massive 3,400-foot snake of concrete that slithers over the lush Little Cuyahoga Valley and splits into a Y as it approaches downtown Akron, Ohio. Its arched steel frame sits 150 feet in the air, bleeding rust onto the thick concrete limbs that rise above the surrounding greenery. Its nickname is the "Suicide Bridge". Since its construction in 1981, the Y-Bridge has served as the launch site for 43 suicides and countless more attempts. But unlike most bridges that seduce jumpers, the bodies here don't fall into rivers, lakes, or forests. They fall onto buildings and houses, and into backyards, like some weird, ominous plague. Sandra Babcock has lived below the bridge for more than 23 years. She's a resident of the Elizabeth Park housing project. Its rows of brick apartments sit just beneath the split in the bridge's Y, where bodies have fallen within feet of a children's playground set. Sitting in the sun, waiting for her ride, Babcock recounts the story of one Thanksgiving. As she placed the turkey on the dinner table, she heard the sirens. Before she could stop him, her teenage son, Larry, ran outside to find the body. When he returned, he refused to eat. "The guy's head was splattered all over the place," she says. "It was a younger fella that had jumped off the bridge. It shook us all up -- someone that young. He was only 20 or 21." Ever since, Babcock refuses to look out her window when she hears the thuds and sirens, though the thought of jumpers never leaves her mind. Larry Parker, who owns an office building on East North Street, doesn't seem bothered by the bodies. They break up the monotony of life. "There's never a dull moment down here," he says. People have fallen through his roof; they've landed in his parking lot. He's watched as their guts were washed off the street with fire hoses. But to Parker, that's just life in the valley of death.

Culled from: CleveScene.Com
Generously submitted by: Sister Lily

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I highly recommend reading the entire article linked above - it's really quite fascinating. All I can say regarding the people who live there is, some people have all the luck!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Of course, I'm sure it comes as no great surprise to you that I am a staunch supporter of The Church of Euthanasia. I mean, really, who WOULDN'T be???

http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/

Thanks to Liz for the link.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're meandering through Deutschland, TandoMando highly recommends you stop by Rothenburg:

"If anyone gets to the medieval walled town of Rotenburg ob der Tauber, in the Rhine valley, I highly recommend the museum of torture and death! It's located at the far end of the entrance to the city. They have all the standard medieval torture devices like iron maidens, stretching racks, large metal hoods worn for various transgressions, for all manner of punishment meted out way back in the day. Some were positively bizarre, including one that was basically a table to which the victim was tied, and had a spike that went in the anus, forced into the body so far it resulted in death."

Sounds like our cup o' tea!

http://www.kriminalmuseum.rothenburg.de/Englisch/page1.html

March 8, 2006

Today's Videotaped Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Jessie W. Sharp was a 28 year old bachelor from Ocoee, Tennessee when he came to Niagara Falls to challenge the Niagara River. Sharp was an unemployed at the time and was an experienced kayaker. On June 5th 1990, Sharp attempted to ride over the Horseshoe Falls in a twelve foot long, thirty-six pound polyethylene kayak. Jessie Sharp had planned this trip for three years. He brought with him a crew of three persons to video tape his journey into the darkness of the river. Sharp's motive for trying this stunt was to further his career in stunting. Jessie Sharp did not wear any protective helmet so it would not cover his face for the video. He also did not wear a life-preserver because he thought it would hamper his escape if he was caught under the Falls. After going over the Falls, Sharp planned on kayaking through the Great Gorge Rapids through the Whirlpool to the docks at Queenston. Here he had made supper reservations at the Queenston Park Restaurant. Jessie Sharp was filmed going over the Falls in his Kayak. Sharp was never seen again nor his body ever been recovered. Another stunt of suicidal proportions.

Culled from: Niagara Falls Daredevils
Generously submitted by: Christopher

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I did some searching and couldn't locate the video, unfortunately. If anyone has better luck, let me know.

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by LSD

"This is the story that cemented my unwillingness to do 'xtreme' rollerblading, skateboarding or what have you, despite how much 'fun' my friends make it look.

"Myself I can skate decently enough. I can get from point A to point B or play hockey but I don't like to do jumps in fear of falling on my face. Anyhow, one day it was decided that we were going to have a great game road hockey. We managed to assemble a dozen or so players and the game was on. Mostly everyone was wearing the equipment they should, (kneepads, helmet, wristpads and the like) so nobody was afraid to get a little rowdy during play. This one fellow that I hadn't met had just scored a goal and so was doing little victory skate around our 'arena', resting his stick on his shoulders and resting his arms on his stick (hopefully you can picture what I'm describing). He was skating fairly fast when someone decided to give him a little bump. While not what I would call a hard hit, he fell forward and with his arms where they were he had nothing with which to brace his fall except for his face. He slid from maybe 'the blue line' to a few feet away from the net where I was the goalie, his face rubbing on the ground a long stretch of the way. It was a very weird thing to see a trail of red blood followed by a trail of white as his chin had scratched away and it was now his jaw bone scraping against the ashphalt. We were even recording the game on film (to include in a video of tricks and jumps we were planning on making) but it was agreed that nobody wants to see someone take that bad of a dive and it was taped over.

"Only someone truly morbid would have kept that footage :P"

Of course, it comes as no surprise that my first thought was, "WHO ON EARTH WOULD HAVE TAPED OVER THAT FOOTAGE!!!"

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

"The Black Angel" is a very nice gothic shop from Luxembourg. Why not check them out? (I myself am especially fond of the "Made In Hell" hoodie.)

http://www.the-black-angel.com/

March 9, 2006

Today's Drunken Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Maxwell Bodenheim (May 26, 1891 – February 6, 1954) was an American poet and novelist. Known as the King of Greenwich Village Bohemians, his writing brought him international fame during the Jazz Age of the 1920s. For many years a leading figure of the Bohemian scene in New York's Greenwich Village, Bodenheim deteriorated rapidly after his success in the '20s and '30s. Before he married his second wife, Grace, he had become a panhandler. They spent part of their marriage in the Catskills. After she died of cancer, he became a Village drunkard and was not so well thought of. He was arrested and hospitalized several times for vagrancy and drunkenness.His third wife, Ruth, was 28 years his junior. She lived with him in his derelict lifestyle. They were homeless and slept on park benches. He would carry a sign that read, "I Am Blind," to panhandle, even though he was not blind; and he would jot down short poems for money or drinks. Ruth slept with other men and Bodenheim seemed not to mind. Bodenheim and Ruth were murdered by a 25 year old sociopathic dishwasher, Harold "Charlie" Weinberg, who they befriended on the streets of the Village. He offered to let them spend the night in his room, which was a few blocks from the Bowery. He was sexually attracted to Ruth, and the two of them became active on the floor near the cot where the 62 year old drunken Bodenheim was supposedly sleeping. Bodenheim got up and challenged Weinberg. They began fighting, then Weinberg shot Bodenheim twice in the chest. Ruth was beaten and stabbed four times in the back. When he was captured, Weinberg confessed to the double homicide. He was judged insane and sent to a mental institution.

Culled from: Wikipedia

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Here's a lovely poem of Bodenheim's:

Death

by Maxwell Bodenheim

I shall walk down the road;

I shall turn and feel upon my

feet

The kisses of death, like

scented rain.

For death is a black slave

with little silver birds

Perched in a sleeping wreath

upon his head.

He will tell me, his voice like

jewels,

Dropped in a satin bag,

How he has tiptoed after me

down the road.

His heart made a dark whirl-

pool with longing for me.

Then he will graze me with

his hands,

And I will be one of the sleep-

ing silver birds

Between the cold waves of his

hair, as he tiptoes on.


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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Char recommends the out-of-print book "The Shoemaker: The Anatomy of a Psychotic" by Flora Rheta Schreiber. Here's a review from Amazon.Com:

"THE SHOEMAKER is a rarity amongst books that deal with killers, in that it's not tabloidish or sensational. Additionally, Flora Schreiber does what no genre book has done, truly get behind the mind of her subject. The psychotic killer, Joe Kallinger, is the subject that Schreiber (who penned SYBIL..that many know of from the Sissy Spacek movie) so thoroughly and convincingly covers. At points you feel as if you're reading an autobiography; so in depth this book is. The portrayals of Kallinger's 'visions,' his lapses into the surreal and unreal, are so vivid, so real, that the reader themselves will feel as if they were in a trance or on a mind-altering narcotic. While Schreiber certainly feels for her subject, she doesn't lose sight of the fact that this man, despite his mental shortcoming that were bred from an odd childhood, did take the lives of others, including that of his own seed. Tough to find, you can't go wrong with seeking it out."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671226525/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Many of you may remember when I featured that fantastic knife block that looks like a person getting stabbed. At the time, it was a prototype and was not available for purchase. Well, it's now available! It's expensive, but somehow I think it just might be worth it.

http://www.csbcommodities.com/?AdID=RStone

Thanks to ear for the link.

March 10, 2006

Today's Unsatisfactory Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Minutes before his 1995 execution in Oklahoma, convicted murderer Thomas Grasso had an important message to convey. "I did not get my SpaghettiOs. I got spaghetti," Grasso wrote to reporters in his final statement. "I want the press to know this." Actually, Grasso got canned spaghetti and meatballs.

Culled from: Dead Man Eating
Generously donated by: Runefaer

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I don't blame him for being pissed. SpaghettiOs have that special chemical flavor that you can't get with plain spaghetti. Seems like it would not have been that hard to run down to the store and pick up a can for the guy. Sheesh...

I often think about what my final meal will be when I finally snap and do the "unthinkable". It definitely will contain ice cream or frozen yogurt. Lots of ice cream. In fact, maybe that's all I'll want. Just tons of ice cream. Yes, I think that would do it. But they had BETTER get me my Cherry Garcia FROZEN YOGURT, not Ice Cream, or I'll be give them a speech to put Thomas' to shame!

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Da' Gallo's has a recommendation for us:

"[This is] a visually breathtaking and romantic movie... also a vivid depiction of World War One.

A Very Long Engagement (2004)
Un long dimanche de fiancailles - It's a French film with English subtitles

"Five desperate men shoot themselves in order to be relieved from the horrifying frontline at the Somme, in WWI. A court-martial decides to punish them by leaving them alone between the trenches in no-man's land, to be killed in the crossfire. Then all hell breaks loose and they all die. Or not? One of these men's fiancée, a young girl, receives information that makes her suspect his boyfriend might have gotten away alive. So she embarks on a painful, long and often frustrating ordeal to find out the truth."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007Z0NYQ/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: Why do you put a baby in the blender feet first?

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A: To see the expression on its face.

Blame nohemi for that one!

March 11, 2006

Today's Unplanned Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Robert Overacker, a 39 year old man from Camarillo, California challenged the Niagara River and the mighty Horseshoe Falls at 12:35 p.m. on October 1st 1995. Riding on a single jet ski, Overacker launched himself into the Niagara River upstream of the Falls from the area of the Canadian Niagara Power Plant. Robert Overacker rode his jet ski directly at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. At the brink of the Falls, Overacker ignited a rocket propelled parachute that was strapped to his back. His plan was that the rocket would quickly deploy the parachute allowing him to safely land in the river below the Horseshoe Falls where he could be rescued. Overacker did ignite the rocket which deployed the parachute as planned. Unfortunately as the parachute deployed it fell away from Overacker to the ground below. Unknown to Overacker the parachute was not tethered to his body. The parachute was not packed by Overacker prior to the stunt and he was unaware of this fatal error. His step-brother and a friend witnessed this unfolding tragedy as Overacker fell to his death to the water below the Falls. Robert Overacker was married and had no children. Overacker became the fifteenth person since 1901 to challenge the Falls. Robert Overacker challenged the Niagara River and paid with his life. His body was recovered by staff at the Maid of the Mist.

Culled from: Niagara Falls Daredevils
Generously submitted by: Christopher

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Doesn't this one remind you of a Roadrunner cartoon? I can see Wile E. Coyote getting the ACME rocket and parachute kit and optimistically hooking it up, pausing in mid-air as the parachute falls away, pulling out a "HELP ME!" sign, and then falling to the floor far below, with a splash.

At least he went out with some flair, eh?

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: What sits in the kitchen and gets smaller and smaller?

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A: A baby combing its hair with a potato peeler.

Thanks to nohemi for the joke.

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

The 1947 Project is my kind of blog! Here's how Ben describes it:

"A blog in a 'this day in history' format revisiting crimes in 1947 Los Angeles. The author of the blog describes the purpose of the blog:

"'Los Angeles in 1947 was a social powderkeg. War-damaged returning soldiers were threatened by a new kind of independent female, who in turn found her freedoms disappearing as male workers returned to the factories. These conflicts worked themselves out in dark ways. The Black Dahlia is the most famous victim of 1947's sex wars, but hardly the only one. The 1947project seeks to document this pivotal year in L.A., through period reporting and visits to the scenes as they are today."

Bravo!!! A most fascinating site, indeed!!

http://1947project.blogspot.com/

March 12, 2006

Today's Festive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A circus performer working without a net died on May 22, 2004 after falling about 35 feet during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show, while hundreds of children and parents watched in horror. A statement from Ringling Brothers said Dessi Espana, 32, was pronounced dead seven hours after the fall at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. "Despite all the efforts of the staff at Regions Hospital, her injuries were too great," the statement said. Witness Eric Neel told KSTP-TV she was twirling from a chiffon scarf when something went wrong. "She's about 35 feet in the air and all of a sudden it gave way from the ceiling and she fell down on her head on the concrete," he said.

Culled from: CNN
Generously Submitted by: Marco

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Alas, the most frightening thing I ever saw at the circus when I was a kid was the clowns. <shudder>

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Garretdom Updates!

You'll never believe it, but I've started doing some updates to the sadly neglected Garretdom section of the website. For those of you who've never investigated this section, it's devoted to marvelous 19th century morbid news clippings. Here are the latest updates:

"Suicide At Pottersville" - A despondent young man offs himself with a hammer and knife.

"Decapitated After Birth" - A Dog Finds A Most Unpleasant Plaything (Courtesy of Alf)

"Rough On Rats Again Condemned" - An elderly woman takes rat poison with suicidal intent.

"Rooster Attacks A Boy" - "The ferocious rooster flew upon his back and began to sink his beak into the lad's neck ..." (Courtesy of Alf)

"She Tried To Drown Herself" - A despondent woman is stopped before she has a chance to dunk herself into the Delaware.

"A 'Color' Doctor Dead At 140" - Story of an eccentric "doctor" who allegedly lived to be 140 and had a peculiar aversion to water. (Courtesy of Alf)

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Now, here's a website I can thoroughly support! Oh, and be sure to check out the song, "Eat the Baby" as well.

http://www.eatbabies.com/

Thanks to James for the link.

March 13, 2006

Today's Drunken Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Catholic priest shot to death the mayor of a town in western Mexico early on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 after the pair got drunk and began punching each other during a religious festival. After exchanging blows, the priest whipped out a 9mm pistol and fired four bullets into Lorenzo Ruiz, mayor of Chalpatlahuac, an indigenous town nestled in mountains 138 miles west of the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo. "It seems they were arguing, these two men. They were at a get-together, they had words and the priest shot the mayor. They were apparently both in a state of drunkenness," said Guerrero state spokesman Jesus Nava. Local newspapers said the priest, whom they identified as Lorenzo Cuellar, was arrested after he also shot the mayor's son, injuring him. The priest was in Chalpatlahuac to celebrate a local religious festival which started on Tuesday evening and lasted into Wednesday morning. Guerrero is one of the poorest and most violent states in Mexico.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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"A priest and a mayor walk into a bar..."

By the way, fans of the Blair Witch Project may want to check out the comics I have for auction on Ebay currently - see below...

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Garretdom Updates!

You'll never believe it, but I've started doing some updates to the sadly neglected Garretdom section of the website. For those of you who've never investigated this section, it's devoted to marvelous 19th century morbid news clippings. Here are the latest updates:

"Is There A Meaner Man Alive?" - Fairhaven, VA lays claim to the meanest man alive.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: What's better than driving over a dead baby?

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A: Skidding.

Thanks to nohemi for the joke.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Should you find yourself travelling through Lynchburg, Virginia, Shonagh has some morbid sightseeing advice:

"If anyone is heading toward Lynchburg, Virginia, there is a great cemetery to visit. It has a huge civil war section, not to mention one German soldier from World War Two. Also right in the cemetery are two small museums. One is a pest house and medical musuem from the Civil War. It is really interesting to see how medicine advanced. then then other is simply a museum chronicling how people were buried in the 19th Century. There are two great things in this museum: a horse-drawn hearse all clad in black. It is open. We have a picture of my mom laying in the back. The second is a wicker casket. That fascinated me, seeing as that anything left outside for a day in Lynchburg instantly rots. I am guessing that wicker caskets weren't popular. Anyway, it is one of the best cemeteries I have ever been to."

Old City Cemetery definitely looks like a great place to visit!

http://www.gravegarden.org/

Also, I must mention: what a cool Mom!!

March 14, 2006

Today's Well-Attended Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the Olde Days, executions at the Tyburn Tree were seen as tourist attractions as this excerpt from "The Foreigner's Guide to London" of 1740 shows: "The rope being put about his neck, he is fastened to the fatal tree when a proper time being allowed for prayer and singing a hymn, the cart is withdrawn and the penitent criminal is turned with a cap over his eyes and left hanging half an hour". The Guide warned: "These executions are always well attended with so great mobbing and impertinences that you ought to be on your guard when curiosity leads you there." Wednesday the 18th of March, 1741 was to see one of the largest multiple hangings at Tyburn for many years, it was not until the 1780s this many persons were hanged in London at one time. The prisoners had been convicted at the December 1740, January 1741 and February 1741 Sessions and had not been recommended for clemency to the King and Privy Council in the Recorder's Report at the end of the Sessions. Typically most of those executed would either be second time offenders or guilty of several offences. First time offenders were often reprieved for the sort of crimes listed below. In all 16 men and 4 women were to suffer that day. These being...

Convicted at the December 1740 Sessions:
Joseph Hoddle - highway robbery.
Richard Quail - highway robbery
Thomas Nash - housebreaking
Robert Legros - housebreaking

Convicted at the January 1741 Sessions:
John Sheriff - horse stealing
George Stacey - robbery in dwelling house
Elizabeth Fox - robbed brothel
John Cat - returning from transportation
Priscilla Mahon - robbed brothel
Jenny (Mary Young) - highway robbery
John Elver - robbed brothel

Convicted at the February 1741 Sessions:
Richard Brabant - forgery
John Davis - highway robbery
Philip Lipscombe - burglary
Thomas Birch - highway robbery
John Cassody - highway robbery
James Timms - highway robbery
Robert Hunt - highway robbery
Dorothy Middleton - burglary
Robert Parsonson - robbery in dwelling house

It should be noted that highway robbery was the official designation for crimes such as pick-pocketing and mugging on the public highway as well as for the crimes that we would normally associate with highwaymen.

Culled from: Capital Punishment U.K.
Generously submitted by: Dave

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It seems that brothel robbing was quite popular back in the day.

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Although this site doesn't appear to be updated any longer, the archives make for a fascinating read!

Autopsy Report: "Log of experiences as a medical examiner intern." Need I say more?

http://www.autopsyreport.netfirms.com/

Thanks to Jen for the link!

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Morbid Medical Condition Du Jour!

MyPetBug wrote to tell me of a rather odd ... er... "condition" that befell a friend:

"My ordeal, or should I say my close friend's ordeal, started out on a regular summer Sunday in early august. Since we had been traveling, my friend and I were quite jet lagged, and had decided to stay indoors this fine summer day.

"After closing all the blinds, it was quite dark in the house. Turning to me, my friend had said, 'My butt feels like a rock from sitting on the plane all night!' He looked at me, with an exhausted look.

"Laughing at him while petting his head, I thought nothing of it and slammed my own butt down on the couch, while turning on the television for a little background noise.

"'I'm telling you, there is something wrong with my butt!' My friend stated, this time a tint of worry was laced in with his words. Being the medical student that I am, I told him to tell me the 'symptoms' of his so called, 'butt trauma.'

"'Well, it feels like a rock. Like you know how you can tighten and untighten the muscles, I can't!'

"Looking at him with an exasperated stare, 'Drop your pants,' I stated, in a very serious tone.

"Giving me a skeptical look, he proceeded to do what he was told. I had never seen anything like this 'thing' before! It was a putrid rash like patch, running up from his rear to about mid back. It was a sickly green-purple with flecks of freshly irritated bloody red skin.

"I told him not to turn around. Being the bright guy he is, he looked. After chasing him and regaining control, I bustled him to the hospital to find out what was wrong.

"'Umm, we are not quite, umm, sure exactly what it is, or why it is there, but we can give you some penicillin and ointment for it,' the doctor said, giving my friend's hind quarters a 'WTF?!' look.

"After about a month of smearing cream and getting shots, the rash started to heal, leaving us with bloody, puss filled bandages to dispose of.

"A morbid rash indeed."

I'm so disappointed! I want to know what the rash was!!

Andrew writes:
"I'm not a doctor, and this is just a guess, but this reminded me of something I vaguely recalled hearing a few years back, about a condition suffered by airplane passengers who've sat long hours in cramped seats. Officially called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), it's also known as "economy class syndrome." Victims develop blood clots in the deep veins of their legs, which can travel to other parts of the body, including the lungs, where they may cause severe organ damage, and even death. You can find an article about it here:

http://www.economyclasssyndrome.net/avoid.htm

"The severe condition MyPetBug describes does not sound like the same thing, but if they'd just finished a long flight home, it MIGHT have had similar cause. Just my wild guess."

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A Horrid Moneymaking Venture by The Comtesse DeSpair!

In order to raise money to finance a new digital camera, I'm selling off my comic book collection on Ebay. Since many of the comics are quite morbid (or simply quite excellent, after all, The Comtesse has excellent taste), I figured that some of you may be interested in bidding on them, and helping me out in the process. I will mention any that I think are particularly morbid here. For a look at all of the current auctions I have going, please check this link (and of the "non-morbid" ones, I especially recommend "Astro City" by Kurt Busiek as a work of genius):

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZstillillQQhtZ-1QQfrppZ50QQfsopZ1QQfsooZ1QQrdZ0?

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Blood and Shadows

This is a four-issue miniseries by acclaimed horror writer Joe R. Lansdale which is described as follows: "For small-time gumshoe Chet Daly, the world is East Texas of the 1940s; dusty, dreary and dull... but real. The missing person case started out as a favor for his girlfriend and seemed cut and dried - easy. Before long, however, Chet finds himself on the trail of a grisly serial killer, uncovers a collection of horrifying trophies... and learns the terrible secrets of an ancient, blasphemous book. In Chet Daly's world, the eons-old monstrosity known as the God of the Razor can't really exist - yet how else can he explain the abhorrent events that haunt him and threaten to destroy everything he believes in and loves? Teetering on the edge of madness, Chet is drawn ever further into a relentless swirling abyss that will sweep him across time and space, ultimately bringing him face to face with an unkillable monster."

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=6613612556

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The Blair Witch Project/Blair Which?

Just after the movie The Blair Witch Project was released, Haxan films contacted Oni Press to do a one-shot tie-in comic for the movie. What emerged was a black and white comic entitled "The Blair Witch Project" written by Jen Van Meter and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards which retells some of the key stories that were used as background in the movie - such as the Coffin Rock and Rustin Parr killings, as well as the origin of the Blair Witch herself. It's excellent reading for fans of the movie.

From an entirely different perspective comes comics legend Sergio Aragones' Blair Which? - a one-shot parody of the movie done in that inimitable Aragones style. This black and white comic is written by Mark Evanier.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=6613402925

March 14, 2006

Today's Salty 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. 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
Generously submitted by: Ken

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Seems quite sad to die thirsty, don't you think?

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: What sits in the kitchen and gets smaller and smaller?

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A: A baby combing its hair with a potato peeler.

Thanks to nohemi for the joke.

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Freddy

"It was the summer of 1979 and I was on my way back to a 3 floor, crazy musician's party with my dear friend. After we dropped off our respective ladies, we decided to head back for more noise and frolic. It was around 2:00 am on the Belt Parkway in Queens NY. I had been drinking and tokin' but the driver had not.

"I was laughing with him about some jive, I don't remember what, when I suddenly looked up just in time to brace my head with my hands, elbows out in front of me. A car had jumped the meridian going about 50 (we were also doing the limit). It smashed us in the left front fender and my elbows hit the windshield, other windows broke, raining glass on us. Then all I saw was headlights taillights headlights taillights as we did 2 1/2 circles across the dirt and grass highway divider. At one point during these interminable circles I remember screaming in panic: "Frank what's goin' on?" because it felt like the car would never stop spinning. He was just slack jawed and staring. We finally stopped on the other side of the meridian in an opposite facing lane, facing the wrong way.

"We sat stupidly for a minute. I smelled gas and revived Frank who had a huge goose egg on his forehead and he couldn't walk all that well. We climbed from the car and got away as fast as we could. The car that hit us was a twisted wreck, askew in the highway. It was full of about 4 teenage kids and empty beer cans now strewn haphazardly across the highway. Onlookers were stopping and ogling.

"I will always distinctly remember the kids spread like heaps of wet rags with sparkles in what was left of their faces, which was shards of their window glass. A woman was shrieking: "He's dead, He's dead!", speaking of one of the youths in the road. Not one of them was moving.

"When the ambulances and police arrived a short time later we actually heard the police ask the EMT people "Where are the bodies from that car"...our car! I swear I actually ran over and said, "Officer we're the bodies, we're the bodies." They shook their heads, then took our statements and took us to the hospital.

Aside from a bruised head and hip, Frank was fine. All I had to show was a few layers of skin missing from my elbows. I still believe someone was watching out for us. It was not pretty."

Here's a photo of the car they were driving in:
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/lucky.jpg

Lucky, indeed!

March 16, 2006

Today's Vicious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

His name was Jesse Washington, a 17-year-old black youth who was born in rural Texas in 1897. He worked on a farm outside Waco which belonged to George and Lucy Fryer. In May, 1916, Washington was convicted in City Court of murdering Lucy Fryer. During the proceedings, he apologized and confessed to the crime. At the end of the trial, Washington was sentenced to death by hanging. Residents, however, were already in an uproar over the crime. A black man who attacked a white woman in any way whatsoever during that era in the South evoked little sympathy from the public. Within five minutes of the sentencing, dozens of court spectators jumped the railing, fought with officials and seized the terrified defendant. He was immediately set upon by a vicious gang using clubs, shovels and bricks. He was stripped naked and dragged kicking and screaming to the lawn directly in front of City Hall. Townspeople had already built a giant bonfire underneath a large tree. The crowd was later estimated to be as large as 15,000 people. Included in the cheering multitude was the Police Chief and the Mayor of Waco. Other police officers also stood by during the sickening ordeal which played out in the symbolic shadow of City Hall (Dallas Morning News, June 2, 1998). Washington was immersed in coal oil, hoisted up onto the tree and slowly lowered into the fire. Some of the spectators cut off fingers and toes from the corpse as souvenirs. His remains were dumped into a burlap bag and hung from a pole while many in the crowd cheered.

Culled from: Crime Library
Generously submitted by: BasketLady420

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Sickening, indeed!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Patricia Waller has AMAZING knitting skills!!! I usually hate knitted objects, but I'd buy these in a second!

http://www.patriciawaller.com/images.html

Thanks to Paula for the link.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Now, THIS sounds like our kind of museum!!! Shan sends me the following:

"I found the following snippet at http://www.museum-security.org/00/110.html#2 and thought I'd share. Wouldn't you like to go to this museum?"

"...Scientists are baffled by the disappearance of Mata Hari's head from a collection of the remains of notorious criminals. The loss came to light this month after a threat by the Government to close the Museum of Anatomy in Paris, which houses the mummified heads of about 100 victims of the firing squad and guillotine. The items are among 5,802 dissected and conserved body parts used by 19th and early 20th-century medical professors as teaching aids. The loss emerged when Le Figaro included her in a list of the celebrity skulls when it reported on the Education Ministry's plan to shut down the museum. But Paul de Saint-Maur, a Parisian professor of medicine, drew attention to the disappearance of what should be the museum's most eye-catching exhibit - the sensuous and enigmatic Mata Hari. ... On October 15, 1917, she was executed in Vincennes forest outside Paris. Like other criminals, her head was severed from her body and taken to the Museum of Anatomy. Professor de Saint-Maur, 63, said: "I can remember as a medical student seeing the head of a red-haired woman that everyone said was the Mata Hari." His memory has proved to be accurate. Roger Saban, curator of the museum, found a written record of the arrival of Mata Hari's remains in 1918. That, too, has disappeared since the Second World War. "They are certainly not in the museum now and no one knows where they could be," Professor Saban said. There is speculation that her head was stolen by an admirer when the museum moved to its present site in the Rue des Saint-Pères in 1954. Professor Saban fears that if the Education Ministry proceeds with its threat to close the museum, other exhibits in the macabre collection could vanish as well. "We have the history of medicine here, a range of techniques that were used to dissect and preserve bodies in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is of enormous intellectual and scientific interest," he said. The collection is also of interest to historians of criminology, since the only bodies available to doctors in the 18th century were those of vagrants and criminals. Among the notorious people included in the collection is the skull of Joseph Fieschi, who killed 18 people but missed his target during an attempt to assassinate King Louis-Philippe in 1835; and the remains of Pierre-François Lacenaire, a well-known dandy who became part of French folklore in 1832 when he murdered a bank clerk in Paris. The exhibits have been preserved by the use of wax masks, mercury and other chemicals. Some of the faces are serene in death while others express the horror of their execution. The skin of one unknown criminal was peeled off the face and dried; it remains intact almost 200 years later. "But this extraordinary history would be lost for ever if the Education Ministry throws us out of this building," Professor Saban said. The museum, thought to be the only one of its kind left in the world, is hidden away on the eighth floor of a Paris university building and can be visited only by appointment.

The museum is located at 45 Rue des Saint-Pères, 6th Arrondissement,
Paris. Telephone: 00 331 42 86 20 47"

I certainly HOPE they haven't closed it!!

Dave sends the following link:
Here's the only link I could find to the museum that included photos:
http://www.mummytombs.com/museums/france.paris.orfila.htm

March 19, 2006

Today's Toxic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Karen Wetterhahn (1949-1997) was a well-known professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College specializing in toxic metal exposure. On August 14, 1996 while working with an organic mercury compound called dimethylmercury, she spilled a drop or two on her latex glove. Several months later, she noticed some neurologic symptoms such as loss of balance and slurred speech. She was admitted to the hospital, where it was discovered that the single exposure to dimethylmercury had raised her blood mercury level to 80 times the lethal dose. Despite aggressive chelation therapy, she fell into a coma and died a few months later, less than a year after her initial exposure. Her death, despite use of gloves, a fume hood, and standard safety procedures, shocked her chemistry department. They tested various safety gloves against dimethylmercury, apparently for the first time ever, and found that most of them were penetrated in seconds. Dimethylmercury was in fairly wide use as a standard for calibrating diagnostic instruments. The discovery of its extreme toxicity and danger is directly due to Karen Wetterhahn's unfortunate accident. OSHA recommendations and MSDSes were changed in consequence and use of dimethylmercury has been highly discouraged. The irony of her death, from the very agents that she specialized in, makes her death particularly poignant.

Culled from: wikipedia
Generously submitted by: Niall

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We broke a thermometer the other day and, thanks to reading stories like this, I was totally freaked out about picking up the mercury. We didn't get any on our skin, and I found out later that the type of mercury in thermometers isn't particularly dangerous anyway. I guess that means I won't end up mad as a hatter! Well, not any madder than I already am, anyway...

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Morbid Forum Du Jour Update

The Morbid Forum Du Jour, which had been attacked by a virus yesterday, has now been restored to the March 12th backup. (That was the most recent backup I had that was not infected.) I also installed the latest version of the board so that the hack should not recur. So, please feel free to access the forum again. I apologize for any inconvenience the virus may have caused anyone. Damned idiots.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/forum/

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

With Easter fast approaching, why not indulge in some morbid Jesus humor, courtesy Rebecca?

Q: What's the difference between Jesus Christ and an oil painting?

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A: You only need one nail to hold up a picture.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

You'll look ever-so-stylish at your cousin's wedding flaunting your coffin handbag. Don't you think?

http://www.stupid.com/stat/COFN.html

Thanks to Tracy for the link.

March 20, 2006

Today's Buddhist Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A German farmer confessed to feeding the corpse of an elderly family friend to his pigs and then stealing from his bank account. Police ruled out murder, and the 29-year-old farmer has been charged with improper burial and fraud. The elderly friend died in the farmer's yard in February 2005 and the farmer, through his mother, had power-of-attorney giving him access to the dead man's bank account and pension. The farmer initially put the corpse in a deep freezer, police in the German town of Frizlar-Haddamar said, and told curious locals the old man was in a nursing home. "From lectures about various religions the 29-year-old knew that Buddhists either burn the dead or allow wild animals to eat them. That was how he decided to feed the corpse to his pigs," the police statement said. He let the corpse thaw, dismembered it and fed it to his pigs. He put the parts the pigs did not eat into a sack and buried it. The farmer told police "it was a great act of stupidity" and said "the only explanation was his difficult financial situation at the time."

Culled from: MSNBC
Generously submitted by: Bruce

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Jeez, try to give a friend a respectful Buddhist burial, and look what thanks you get!! Of course, my girlfriend would tell you that pigs are the spawn of the devil and if you are eaten by one you will be carried to the deepest, darkest recess of Hell in the pit of its fetid guts! But that's just her...

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

With Easter fast approaching, why not indulge in some morbid Jesus humor, courtesy Rebecca?

Jesus Christ walks into a hotel. He hands the inkeeper three nails and asks...

"Can you put me up for the night?"

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Here's a website that definitely puts the FUN back in funeral!

Taphophilia - A repository of morbid curiosities

http://www.taphophilia.com/index.php

Thanks to Bill for the link.

March 21, 2006

Today's Massive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A surfer was bitten in half after losing a desperate fight for his life with two Great White sharks in December, 2004. Brad Smith, 29, was surfing off the Western Australian coast when a huge shark 'as wide as a car' lunged out of the water and snapped his board in half. Mr Smith's friends could only watch in horror as he fell into the sea and another of the enormous creatures moved in on him. Experts said it was almost as if they had ambushed him. The surfer lashed out with his fists to try to keep the sharks at bay as they came at him repeatedly. But after just 45 seconds he disappeared beneath the surface - and the water turned red. When his body floated back up, his friends risked their own lives to go out and drag it back to shore. Yesterday they were too upset to describe his injuries, but another surfer at Left Handers Beach near the resort of Gracetown said he had been warned: 'Don't go in there, someone's been bitten in half by a shark.' Another surfer Cameron Rowe, 17, said: 'There was nothing we could do to help him. At first I saw one shark and thought it was one of the usual ones you see swimming-around, reef sharks, which don't cause you any trouble. 'But these things were massive. When the first one came up a bit I could see its fin and it was almost a yard high. When it came out of the water with Brad still fighting it, I could see its body was about the width of a car and its open jaws were as wide as a man's arm. What happened then just ended up in a terrible feeding frenzy. It was awful.' One of Mr Smith's friends, Mitch Campbell, said: 'It was the worst thing I have seen. There was so much confusion out there it was impossible to tell which shark was attacking, but they kept coming at him time and time again. You could see Brad trying to whack at them to keep them away. We were shouting out, "Swim for your life, mate! Swim for your life!" But he obviously didn't have a chance. They were massive. He put up such a brave fight. He was punching away and there was water and blood everywhere.'

Culled from: This Is London
Generously submitted by: Dragonbiche

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This reminds me of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons, where a bespectacled woman is talking to a police officer on the beach next to a shark-shaped indentation in the sand, saying something like, "He just jumped up on the beach, grabbed Harold, and went back in. I mean, the poor thing must have been half-starved!"

Erin writes:
"Sadly, this smacks of urban legend. Firstly, I'm an Aussie, and I heard nothing of this. Believe me, I would have. Secondly, the language is a give-away. Nobody here describes distances in 'yards', especially not the young. Miles, feet and inches, sure, but not yards.
Pity :-("

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

With Easter fast approaching, why not indulge in some morbid Jesus humor, courtesy Rebecca?

Q: Why can't Jesus eat M&M's?

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A: They keep falling through his hands.

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Morbid Sightseeing Update!

Recently, you may have read about the sad forthcoming closing of the historic Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (which will, no doubt, be converted to condos by this time next year!). Of course, when I heard of this, I immediately thought, "What will become of the National Museum of Health and Medicine??" You may recall that I visited said museum and did a travelogue on it back in 2001:

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/dc/nmhm.htm

Well, apparently, I'm not the only one wondering... Skye sends the following article:


By BRIAN WESTLEY
AP
WASHINGTON (Feb. 26) - On one shelf rests a giant hair ball that filled the stomach of a 12-year-old girl who compulsively chewed her hair. Floating in a nearby glass container is a young man's leg that ballooned in size because of elephantiasis.

This isn't a carnival freak show. The specimens are among thousands of medical oddities - many ghoulish - collected by the National Museum of Health and Medicine, which is dedicated to tracing the history and practice of medicine over the centuries.

But the museum, located on the 113-acre campus of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, likely will have to find a new home. Last summer, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close the hospital and move many of its medical services to suburban Bethesda, Md., by 2011.

The commission does not indicate what will happen to the museum, other than to say it will not be "disestablished." Museum officials are also uncertain, though it's expected to move with the hospital to Bethesda.

It would be the museum's 10th move since its founding in 1862 as the Army Medical Museum. The surgeon general originally wanted medical officers to collect specimens from dead and wounded soldiers on Civil War battlefields so that their diseases and injuries could be studied.

One of the museum's most popular objects from that era belongs to Union Gen. Daniel E. Sickles. His right leg was mangled by a Confederate cannonball in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863, and had to be sawed off just above the knee.

The general decided to send the amputated leg to the museum in a miniature coffin. It came with a card that read: "With the compliments of Major General D.E.S."

Sickles recovered from the wound, and became fond of visiting his leg on the anniversary of the amputation. Today, the shattered bones are mounted by metal prongs to a polished wooden base.

A few steps away, the bullet that killed President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre also is displayed, as are bone fragments and hair from the president's skull and the bloodstained shirt of a doctor who assisted in the autopsy.

Up to 60,000 people visit the museum each year, and many others participate in outreach programs and log on to its Web site, spokesman Steven Solomon said. Before moving to Walter Reed in 1971 - about five miles from downtown - the museum was on the National Mall where it drew 765,000 people in its final year.

The casual tourists are now gone, but scholars, military service members, doctors, Civil War buffs and school groups are among those who still seek out the museum. "This is definitely a destination attraction," Solomon said.

Officials wouldn't comment on how another move might affect the museum's visibility. It receives funding from the Defense Department and through private grants and donations.

Altogether, the museum has nearly 2,000 specimens from the Civil War era. And museum curators still occasionally hear from families who believe their relatives' remains are part of the collection.

"In the nine years I've been here, families have never been wrong," said Lenore Barbian, the museum's assistant curator for anatomical collections. "They're thrilled that they have a family member that's part of a museum."

The collection doesn't end in the mid-19th century. The exhibit "Battlefield Surgery 101: From the Civil War to Vietnam" details the evolution of military surgery with artifacts and photographs from the nation's major wars.

And there are exhibits that show - sometimes in gruesome detail - how the body functions in sickness and health. Besides gawking at the giant hair ball and swollen leg, visitors can see deformed fetuses, including a pair of conjoined twins floating in a small jar. There's also a skeleton, sitting in a rocking chair, of a man who had such severe arthritis that all his bones fused together.

"I was like, ewww!" said Kisses Martinez, a pathology student who visited the museum. "It opens up your eyes to a lot of things."

Only 1 percent of the museum's approximately 25 million artifacts are on display at any one time, Solomon said. In the past, many specimens were laid out for all to see - often with little explanation. Now, however, the museum strives to provide context with story-driven exhibits.

Among the many treasures stashed behind the scenes is the skeleton of Able, the first monkey to fly in space. In a blue cabinet across the room, the spinal cord of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, rests alongside a jar that contains President Dwight Eisenhower's gallstones.

The collection also includes a piece of President Garfield's vertebrae, which was pierced by an assassin's bullet in 1881 (though historians say doctors ultimately caused Garfield's death three months later, when they used unsterilized tools to probe his wound).

In the very next locker are two drawers filled with bones that belong to the crazed lawyer that shot him, Charles Julius Guiteau. There's even a jar that contains Guiteau's brain.

March 22, 2006

Today's Biting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The cartoon image of wildlife may have prompted a 49-year-old South African woman in October, 2005 to try to help a seal which she believed was stranded, allowing her 1-year-old grandchild to stroke the creature in the process. The seal responded by biting off the woman's nose.

Culled from: Boston.Com
Generously submitted by: Dorisaurus

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I wanted to say a quick Thank You to those of you who have bid on some of my Ebay comic book auctions. I am getting closer to my goal of financing a new digital camera, but I still have quite a way to go. I wanted to mention that I have a couple of my favorite comics out for auction right now: The Eaters and Amy Racecar. They are both irreverently morbid, and are described at the bottom of this newsletter. I highly recommend them!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

I always thought that Curious George had the heart of a criminal, and now Grelnok sends proof:

"Check out the Furious George game at:

http://www.furious-george.net

"You play as Furious George crosses the country committing atrocities and running from the cops. Quite amusing."

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Dana lives in Savannah, Georgia and has accumulated a wonderful collection of photos from Bonaventure Cemetery (one of my favorite cemeteries). Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackaliss/sets/1735054/

March 22, 2006

Today's Binding Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Brown University's library boasts an anatomy book that combines form and function in macabre fashion. Its cover - tanned and polished to a smooth golden brown, like fine leather - is made of human skin. In fact, a number of the nation's finest libraries, including Harvard's, have such books in their collections. The practice of binding books in human skin was not uncommon in centuries past, even if it was not always discussed in polite society. At the time, the best libraries belonged to private collectors. Some were doctors who had access to skin from amputated parts and patients whose bodies had gone unclaimed. In other cases, wealthy bibliophiles acquired skin from executed criminals, medical school cadavers and people who died in the poor house. Brown's John Hay Library has three books bound in human skin - the 1568 anatomy text by the Belgian surgeon Andreas Vesalius, and two 19th-century editions of "The Dance of Death," a medieval morality tale. One copy of "The Dance of Death" was rebound in 1893 by Joseph Zaehnsdorf, a master binder in London. A note to his client reports that he did not have enough skin and had to split it. The front cover, bound in the outer layer of skin, has a slightly bumpy texture, like soft sandpaper. The spine and back cover, made from the inner layer, feel like suede.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Bruce

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Ah, the good old days!

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Blake has a fiction recommendation for us:

"I wanted to drop a suggestion to you for a truly bizarre story of family and freaks. I read this and I could not put it down. When you think she can't get worse, she surprises you with another hook.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Annotation
A carnival family saves its traveling "Carnival Fabulon" from bankruptcy by giving birth to freaks--in a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" world. A National Book Award nominee.


From the Publisher
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out-with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes-to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino
hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family's most precious-and dangerous-asset. As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375713344/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Check out the very srange but eerily beautiful organic artwork at Morbid Tendencies:

http://www.morbidtendencies.com/

The cat on the front page is my personal fave. Reminds me of a mummified cat my Dad found under the house when I was a wee Comtesse. Aw, such a shame to think that he threw that perfectly wonderful carcass away. Such a waste.

Thanks to Tasha for the link!

March 24, 2006

Today's Impressive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Lions mauled a South African teen-ager in March who came too close to their enclosure while trying to impress his girlfriend. The 16-year-old, his girlfriend and his mother were having lunch with the lion keeper when he ignored advice and went off with his girlfriend to see the lions in the breeding section of the park just north of Johannesburg. The boy went into an area off-limits to the public and touched a lion through the mesh fence. The lion quickly sank its teeth into his arm and dragged him under the fence before the curator came, drove the four adult lions in the enclosure away and rescued the teen-ager. "It just shows a total disregard and disrespect for wild animals," said Cameron. The boy was luckier than a couple from Taiwan in 1993, who got out of their car to photograph lions up close at a South African game park -- and who were quickly savaged to death by the beasts.

Culled from: Boston.Com
Generously submitted by: Dorisaurus

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Way to make an impression, kiddo!

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Admit it - you've always wanted a fetus magnet. Well, thanks to the good folks at Catalyst Studios, you now have your chance!

http://tinyurl.com/zg72t

Thanks to Tasha for the link!

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"My (Sister's) Brush With Morbidity" by Dark Candles

"My sister is a police officer. She has told me a ton of morbid stories and she looks a bit pained when she recalls them, but this one tops them all. There was a fiery car accident on the highway and one car contained 4 passengers, two in the front and two in the backseat. The people inside the car were unable to escape once the car burst into flames. All of the people in the car died, burned to death, becoming one with the seat, having melted into the fabric. There was a young man in the backseat who seemed to be swaying his head back and forth as the firehose was spraying water on the car, as though he were trying to avoid getting water in his mouth and nose. He was burnt to a crisp, no eyelids left, and his fate was sealed, because there was nothing at this point that could even be done to save him. All of a sudden, he creepily turned his head towards my sister and looked right into her eyes, she yelled to the medics, "He's still alive, do something!" "He's dead, we already called it," the medics responded. She insisted over and over that he was still alive, what if he was in pain, and begged the medics to do SOMEthing, give him morphine to hurry it up for him - anything. They said he was probably just twitching, and his muscles were constricting during the death process, and even if he was alive he wouldn't feel any pain since his nerve endings were most likely all destroyed by the fire. They didn't do anything to ease his comfort, whether he was alive or dead, my sister doesn't really know, but she swears that his eyes locked with hers as he looked right at her as if to say, "Help me," and the medics did nothing. She filed a complaint on the medics later on because of this incident. Can you imagine what was going through that guy's mind? How long he sat there, still conscious before he died? Morbid!"

I'll say!! I just hope that when my time comes I don't get one of these slackers!

March 29, 2006

Today's Impressive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The body of a Louisiana man strapped to a gurney fell from the back of a pickup truck Tuesday, July 12, 2005 onto a south Dallas highway and into the path of oncoming traffic. "I didn't think it was possible for that to happen," said Mary Ellen Douglas, who was driving to work when she saw what she initially thought was a package that had fallen from a truck. "I wanted to get out of there. It was too freaky for me," she said. Authorities said the driver was carrying the body to a Shreveport, La., funeral home after the man died Monday at a Mesquite hospital. "The driver of the truck was not aware that he had lost the body," Dallas police Lt. Rick Andrews said. "He saw the open door. He stopped and looked. He turned around, went back and retraced his steps and found the body." Drivers swerved to avoid the corpse and gurney. Dallas police Senior Cpl. Max Geron said no charges are expected to be filed.

Culled from: Boston.com
Generously submitted by: Remo

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Having driven those Dallas highways previously, I am not at all surprised that charges are not going to be filed. After all, dodging bodies is the least of your concerns there. It's the LIVING people that you need to watch out for!

I apologize for the hiatus in facts over the last few days. I had to be away for a few days unexpectedly. And I also apologize for Asylum Eclectica running out of bandwidth AGAIN! I had ordered extra bandwidth so that wouldn't happen again for awhile, but apparently something went wrong with the order. I've initiated a ticket with the host, so hopefully by the time you read this it will be up again.

Such are the trials and tribulations of someone without a life!

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Here's what the world's been waiting for: The Diablo Sandwich Maker!

http://www.laprimashops.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=555

Thanks to Catherine for the link.

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Taboo has a film recommendation for us:

"The first would be the Italian art-horror film by Dario Agento, 'Suspiria.' Between the perspective of the scenery, the wallpapers that seem to blend the rooms into little more than a confusion of lines and space, and the ever-changing lighting that colours the rooms and sets the stage for a number of eerie happenings, the entire thing seems like one bad acid trip. Pair this with a soundtrack by Goblin (which seems to be a synth, a drumset, and a few people
whispering and screaming in the background) and what Entertainment Weekly called 'the most vicious murder scene ever flimed,' and you have something more haunting than any American flick you've ever rented. The tale tells of a young woman moving to Germany in pursuit of her career in dance when she is accepted to a prestigious academy. The night she arrives, another young student bursts from the doors in a frenzy of terror only to meet her death elsewhere at the hands of a brutal killer (who stabs her countlessly, carves out her heart, and drops her through a stained-glass mural to hang by her neck...a marvellously-done scene). All the new student has to solve this mystery is the girl's hysterical babbling (the words "secret" and "iris"), and her paranoid friend and her psychiatrist. Where do the teachers go every night at
9:30 and what's behind the string of grisly murders (and the rain of maggots in the dorms)? ...and perhaps more importantly, can she cheat a horrific death? --this was a wonderfully done film, and I'd highly recommend it."

This one sounds like a must-see! I can't believe I've never heard of it before... So much morbidity, so little time...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005ASOI/theasylumeclecti



Vulgarities...