May, 2007

May 1, 2007

Today's Hyperthermic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 28-year-old duck hunter was killed when he was accidentally shot by a hunting dog on an inlet of the Cumberland River in west Nashville. The victim was identified as Thomas Ayer St. Charles III of Carriage Drive. The man had gotten out of the boat to pick up decoys at the end of the day, said Cape Taylor, Tennessee Wildlife Resources law enforcement supervisor for Davidson and several other counties. A hunting companion, who didn't have waders on, remained in the boat, where the other man's shotgun lay on the floor. "The dog apparently jumped back there and hit the trigger of the gun," Taylor said. The safety lock had either not been on or the dog hit the safety button — depending on the type of shotgun — and released it. The shotgun fired and blew a hole through the side of the boat, striking the man in the water in the lower abdomen. "He said, 'Call 911, I've been hit,'" Taylor said, repeating what the other hunter had told officials. The 911 call was made to Metro at about 5:50 p.m. Thursday. Emergency personnel could get to the men by driving down River Road, he said. The slough where they had been hunting is just off the west Davidson County road. The man who had been shot was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.

Culled from: Tennessean.Com
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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Good Dog!! Extra treats for you!!

Hello again. I'm finally back from my trip to Catatonia. Unfortunately, a virus made the trip back with me, so I've been bedridden for the last couple of days. So far, 2007 seems to be the Year of Living Sickly for me.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Elizabeth has a game recommendation for us:

"I wanted to recommend a game called fumeral quest. I do not know if it has been suggested on MFDJ before, so I thought I'd send it in. Players use guilt and sympathy as sales tactics to convince the bereaved to spend as much as possible on a funeral service. It's not just morbid, it's also funny. Players will sell items such as a casket cell-phone (in case of premature burial), a box of extra-strength tissues, or a casket air freshener among scores of other humorous items."

http://filesponge.net:82/ad_intro.htm

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Ghastly!

Adam stumbled across something quite vile and naturally had to share it with us!

"I stumbled across this morbid little treasure searching for information on Ed Gein. Child's hand stuck in meat grinder left me speechless..."

http://www.phreak.org/index/archive01/misc/gifs/gifs.shtml


May 2, 2007

Today's Educational Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Excerpt from a medical report:

"A 9 years old girl was admitted to Hospital USM with vaginal bleeding. She had a history of swimming in a river prior to the incident. She was pale. An aquatic leech bloated with blood detached from the vagina after 20 milliliters of normal saline flushing of the vagina. The bleeding continued after the detachment. The patient needed 1 unit (250 milliliters) of Packed Cell transfusion. The bleeding stopped 24 hours later. Professionals must be aware of the possibility of leech bites in the vagina as the differential diagnosis for abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially in places where leeches are prevalent."

Culled from: ISPUB.Com
http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijgo/vol2n2/leech.xml
Generously submitted by: Kris

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So, now you know!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Dana has a film recommendation for us:

Edmond (2005)
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/B000GRUQZQ/102-9980040-7664135

"Think Fight Club meets American Beauty staring William H. Macy and written by David Mamet. Better yet, think William H. Macy arguing with prostitutes about what percentage of his payment goes to the house..."

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

I don't know if they are real or just magnificent little photoshop creations... and I can't seem to find any evidence whatsoever that they are for sale... but in a perfect world they would be! What, you ask? The most magnificent snowglobes on the planet!

http://knuttz.net/hosted_pages/Snowglobes-20061220

Thanks to Vickie for the link.

 


May 3, 2007

Today's Educational Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A far from speedy death, the bastinado involved the victim being caned gently and rhythmically with a lightweight stick on the soles of the feet. A skilled executioner was needed to sustain the torture for many hours before the mental collapse and eventual death of the victim.

Although the method was widely used in Persia (now Iran), the specialists were the Chinese who, while not concentrating just on the soles of the feet, used thin lengths of split bamboo to torture and eventually kill their victims. The 'lictors', as they were called, were so skilled that they could flick the victim's body hundreds of times without breaking the skin, or, at the other extreme, tear the flesh off in long strips.

Culled from: The Book Of Execution

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You gotta respect those torturers for their patience. It takes real discipline to keep from going all Tootsie Pop Owl in the torture chamber. "One... Two... oh what the hell - CRACK!"

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Follow-Up Du Jour!

Yesterday I featured some morbid snowglobes and asked if anyone could find out additional information on them. Several of you were kind enough to do the research and found that the snowglobes are mixed media artwork created by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz and can be fully enjoyed at their website:

http://www.martin-munoz.com/main.html

As a man once said about a lamp, "It's indescribably beautiful!!"

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Ghastly!

If you haven't seen the images of "brain worms" before, well, prepare yourself by taking some anti-nausea medication before you click on this link:

http://www.curezone.com/image_gallery/parasites/brainworms/default.asp

Thanks to Adam for the link.

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Morbid Lyrics Du Jour!

Jeff sends the lyrics for one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, The Decemberists.

"One band your readers might want to check out (if they haven't already) is The Decemberists. Frontman, Colin Meloy, writes most (if not all) of the band's songs. While the songs are considered folk/rock, many of the songs tell stories set in centuries past, and deal outright with themes such as death, murder, revenge, desperate longing, and star-crossed lovers who meet with tragic ends.

"To give you an example, the following song is called 'Leslie Anne Levine', is from the album 'Castaways and Cutouts', and is told from the POV of a dead newborn's ghost. Great stuff!!"

Leslie Anne Levine

My name is Leslie Anne Levine
My mother birthed me down a dry ravine
My mother birthed me far too soon
Born at nine and dead at noon

Fifteen years gone now
I still wander this parapet
And shake my rattle bone
Fifteen years gone now
I still cling to the petticoat
Of the girl who died with me

On the roofs above the streets
The only love I've known's a chimney sweep
Lost and lodged inside a flue
Back in 1842

Fifteen years gone now
I still wail from these catacombs
And curse my mother's name
Fifteen years gone now
Still a wastrel mesallied
Has brought this fate on me

My name is Leslie Anne Levine
I've got no one left to mourn for me
My body lies inside its grave
In a ditch not far away

(I love this song, but the one thing that bugs me is... if the baby died 3 hours after birth, how does she know her name? Or, indeed, how to talk? And how can a chimney sweep child ghost find satisfying love with an infant? Does this bug anyone else??? - DeSpair)


May 4, 2007

Today's Unprotected Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Minneapolis city worker is worried about blood in the sewer system because he said, while he was cleaning the system, blood sprayed out of a hole and got all over him. "We could tell it was blood, I mean large amount of blood," said Minneapolis Sewer Maintenance Worker Ron Huebner. It happened in March, 2007 in Northeast Minneapolis near a lab that does medical testing and dumps blood into the sewer. It is allowed but the city is now making changes to help protect workers in the future. "Blood just all over my face, in my mouth, I could taste it. It was terrible. I had it in my mouth and I kept spitting and I couldn't get rid of it," said Huebner. Huebner said he hasn't been sleeping much. He's worried about the blood that he swallowed when he was operating a jet machine to clean out the sewer. The Met Council said it was a mix of human and animal blood used in medical testing at this nearby lab. In fact, the company, R & D Systems, does have a permit to dump blood in the sewer system. However, Huebner wasn't protected or warned about the blood because his immediate bosses didn't know about. "We have changed the procedure to ensure they're wearing goggles or a face mask while they are above that manhole," said Hamilton. The Met Council is changing the permit to say that the city has to warn the lab it's coming to clean the sewer, and the lab has to stop discharging blood until they're done. R & D told the city the blood shouldn't present any risk, but Huebner's still worried. "I'm going to hope that nothing's wrong with me, but I don't want to see this happen to anyone else in my department," said Huebner.

Culled from: WCCO.Com
http://wcco.com/topstories/local_story_088224059.html
Generously submitted by: Marco

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Okay, here's what I don't understand about this story: if your job is to clean sewers, isn't blood spraying out all over you the LEAST of your concerns??? Wouldn't you be covered head to toe in some sort of protective gear anyway?

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The Comtesse Recommends...

Under the Banner of Heaven
by Jon Krakauer

I'm ashamed to admit my naivety, but I never knew that Mormons could be so morbid! I mean, I've always thought of them as quite insane, but in a happy-happy-joy-joy wholesome Osmond holy underwear "no caffeine please" kind of way. But after reading this fascinating book, well, I've gained an entirely different perspective! Jon Krakauer exposes the grim truth behind Mormon fundamentalism, which (like most fundamentalist beliefs) basically amounts to a group of selfish men figuring out that when it comes to endulging in their darkest fantasies, there's no better scapegoat than God.

You want to kill your brother's wife?
"God told me to do it!"

You want to screw around with as many women as possible without guilt?
"God told me to do it!"

You want to slaughter people who don't share your beliefs who happen to be passing through your territory?
"God told me to do it!"

You want to impregnate your 12-year-old daughter?
"God told me to do it!"

There's literally NOTHING that you can't get away with!

And sadder still are the women who have been indoctrinated into this cruel sub-culture which teaches little girls that obedience is the supreme virtue. This naturally results in brainwashed girls like Elizabeth Smart feeling that she must willingly submit to her kidnapper "husband" without any attempt to escape, and it makes a 12-year-old girl feel that she is "sinful" if she resists her father's incestuous advances because God told him to do it. There are some truly sickening stories within these pages.

More than anything else, "Under the Banner of Heaven" is a compelling warning against the very real dangers of blind faith, regardless of what particular belief a person may ascribe too. A chilling read.

(Hate mail to the usual address, please!)

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

The Clark County (Nevada) Coroner's Office has a website displaying the unidentified Las Vegas dead. Take a look - and perhaps what happens in Vegas *won't* stay in Vegas for a change!

http://www.co.clark.nv.us/coroner/unidentified/unid.htm

Thanks to feanix for the link.

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Urban Exploration!

GK sends me the link to an Abandoned Asylums webring. There are some very interesting sites linked here:

http://c.webring.com/hub?ring=abandonedasylums


May 5, 2007

Today's Ritualistic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

James Smith, executed by lethal injection (Texas, 1990) actually requested a "lump of dirt" for his final meal. Convicted of murdering an insurance agent, Smith was once a Tarot card reader in New Orleans. The lump of dirt was reported to be a vital ingredient in a voodoo ritual. Smith's request was denied, and he settled for yogurt instead.

Culled from: Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals From Death Row
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/1559502177/104-1119794-9584746

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This cracks me up. Apparently, the prison wardens actually believed that if they gave this guy a lump of dirt, he'd put a hex on them!

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Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Ana has a morbid lyric to contribute:

"The band Blind Melon, known mostly for the hit song 'No Rain', (you know with the crazy bee girl) had a wonderful song on their second album, Soup in homeage to everyone's favorite psychopathic, Ed Gein entitled, "Skinned." The upbeat psudo country lyrics are as follows:

Skinned

I'll make a shoehorn outta your skin
I'll make a lampshade of durable skin
And oh, don't you know that I'm always feelin' able
When I'm sittin' home and I'm carving out your navel

When will I realize that this skin I'm in
Hey, it isn't mine
And when will the kill be too much meat for me to hide on

Hey, I could really use a couple of hands
To complete one hell of a plant stand
Oh, and don't you know that I'm caught here in the middle
Making rib cages into coffee tables
I'm just makin' em into coffee tables

And when I realize that this skin I'm in
Hey, it isn't mine
And when will the thrill be too much meat for me to find anymore

Oh, because you know I can't hide
But oh how hard I try
But this is just the shape I'm in, oh yeah
And though you know I can't hide
But oh how hard I try
But this is just the shape I'm in.

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Patrick

"I was eleven years old or so, we lived in St. Petersburg Florida, in a suburb called Pinellas Park. Usually, after school I would walk down to a pool hall that had Asteroids (showing my age, I know) and other video games, and allowed minors in before 8:00 at night, when the hardcore players and drinkers started roaming in. The place was called Skips, and I knew the owner very well, he often let me sweep up and empty ashtrays for a buck or two. It was in a strip mall next to a Laundromat, and a slimy check cashing place, about two miles from Hubert Rutland Hospital.

"As I rounded the corner, I could hear yelling and arguing about something, I'm still not sure. There were two white guys, both wearing blue jeans and orange t-shirts, that looked like they stepped out of a redneck episode of Cops, standing toe to toe and screaming curse words at each other. They both had tans like they worked outside, the tall one had blond hair and was cleanshaven, and the shorter one had red hair and a beard. The taller one punched the other guy in the face and dropped him like a rock. He kicked him in the ribs and the face about three times, then two other guys pulled him off of him and took him back in the bar. As I stood there they helped the other guy to his feet, and he looked like a train wreck, his face was all bloody and his lips were smashed and swollen. Apparently, he was going to his truck and leave, or so we all thought.

"The other guy came out of the bar with his friends in tow and headed back towards the other guy, I suppose to finish the job or something. I was standing about eight to ten feet behind the guy coming out of the bar and as I watched, guy number two stepped out of his truck carrying a single barrel shotgun cradled in his arms. Before anyone could even react, he pointed the gun directly at the other guy and pulled the trigger. I don't know what kind of shot was in the gun, or how big it was, but it took the top of his head above the eyes right off, and splattered me and two other guys with brains and blood. I stood there in shock, not moving, as the guy hopped in his truck and sped off. The first guys name was Barry or Larry, cause that's what this girl was screaming over and over. I stood there watching this huge pool of blood from underneath this guy form, and within seconds the cops showed up, they must have been caIled before the shooting during the fight.

"I never really got the full story of why it happened, cause I was just a kid and the cops just asked me a few questions, called my parents and stuck me in a squad car until my parents arrived, then I was sent home to get cleaned up. I never had nightmares about it, nor was it talked about at the bar, cause I didn't know anyone there that day, but I told every one I knew that story a hundred times, how the hot blood splattered my face, and the bits of brain tissue were pink and white on my chest, and how it dried brown and yellow on my shirt and pants. I begged my mom to leave the stains in and let me wear them to school, but to no avail. Ah well, such is the life of a minor in the city!"

Now, that's more than just a BRUSH with morbidity - that's a SPLATTER!


May 6, 2007

Today's Painful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A rock-climber who had been trapped under the weight of a 360-kilogram boulder for five days described how he managed to amputate his right arm to free himself -- first he twisted it until the bones snapped, then he sawed through the skin and muscle with an inexpensive multi-tool knife. Aron Ralston, 27, recovering in a Grand Junction, Colo., hospital after being rescued from Utah's Canyonlands National Park on May 1, 2003, told reporters that after three days with his arm wedged between the huge rock and a cliff face, he decided he had to sever the limb to save his life. He had thrown his body against the boulder and chipped away at it with an assortment of tools. "At no point was I ever able to get the boulder to budge even microscopically," Mr. Ralston said. So on April 30, the former engineer tried cutting his arm with a pocketknife, but found the blade was too dull to remove even the hairs on his arm. Two days later, with his strength draining and out of food and water, Mr. Ralston considered his options. "It occurred to me I could break my bones," he said. The outdoor enthusiast set out his "operating table," using bicycle shorts as padding for a tourniquet. He leaned against the trapped arm and twisted, breaking the radius just above his wrist, and kept twisting until the ulna broke. "I felt pain and I coped with it," Mr. Ralston said yesterday. "I moved on." He applied the tourniquet to staunch the bleeding, then used the serrated blade of the multi-tool to saw his arm off below the elbow. The entire process took about an hour, he said. After freeing himself, Mr. Ralston crawled through a winding canyon, rappelled down a 20-metre-high cliff and walked about 10 kilometres before he encountered some hikers who summoned a helicopter.

Culled from: National Post
Generously submitted by: Paradox

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As you probably know, Aron ended up writing a book (called, obviously, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place") about his ordeal. I can't imagine it would be a very good topic for a book - I mean, isn't the most interesting part explained in one paragraph? Still, I may be wrong... it's happened on occasion.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/074349282X/102-5015749-6314522

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Ghastly!

Ubin forwards a link to some horrid bomb blast injury images from the University of Belfast website. Definitely not for the squeamish!

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

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Vickie stumbled across "an intriguing livejournal chronicling human birth defects (everything from cleft palates to conjoined twins to the more mundane). Some posts (such as the one I've linked below) include graphic photos; very interesting stuff."

http://community.livejournal.com/teratogens/8757.html

We need more livejournals like this one, don't you think?


May 7, 2007

Today's Acquitted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Before Maurine Watkins, playwright, wrote Chicago, she had been a police reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Watkins didn't so much invent the character "Velma" as transpose what she'd reported about the arrest, trial, and acquittal of a middle-aged, former cabaret singer named Belva Gaertner. Chicago's "Roxie Hart" had the same newsprint lineage: the beautiful Beulah Annan had shot her boyfriend in the back less than a month after Belva Gaertner had shot her lover during an alcoholic blackout. The murders both women committed - and the acquittals they enjoyed - were part of a pattern of crime and criminal justice dating back nearly fifty years.

The number of murders committed by women in Chicago between 1875 and 1920 increased by 420 percent. Men did most of the killing in the city: murders committed by women accounted for only 6.6 percent of the total. But very, very few of the women who killed their husbands during that time ever went to jail. "Every white woman who killed her husband between August, 1905 and October, 1918, was exonerated or acquitted, totaling 35 consecutive cases." These acquittals were carried out by entirely male juries who believed two things: 1) Women - especially white women - were innocent and not responsible, by reason of their gender. 2) Men, white or black, rich or poor, native born or immigrant, were, by their very nature, brutes. The jurors were usually right about the men.

Culled from: Murder City by Michael Lesy
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/0393060306/104-1119794-9584746

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Chicago - My Kind Of Town!

The Comtesse Recommends...

Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties
by Michael Lesy
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/0393060306/104-1119794-9584746

The above fact came from the latest book by Michael Lesy (author of my all-time favorite book Wisconsin Death Trip). Murder City is a collection of true crime stories from Chicago in the 1920's and nearly ever tale is a fascinating read. Besides the murderous women who inspired the play Chicago, there are tales involving a transvestite, a man who murdered for a new car then went catatonic before he could be executed, lots of organized crime killings, and various other tales of desperate measures taken by desperate souls. Accompanying the articles are excellent courtroom photographs of the suspects. Another stellar work by Lesy!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

The next time you're feeling too giddy and want to bring yourself crashing back down to earth, why not read some suicide notes? It always works for me!

http://www.well.com/%7Eart/suicidenotes.html

Thanks to Jon for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Hilton writes to tell us about a wonderful comic strip:

"I have just come across the most wonderfully dark website. Not all of the cartoons are dedicated to death, although many are, and I would have to say that it comes with one of the highest recommendations going - episodic cartoon websites usually only hold my attention for a few frames, but I got through the first 100 before thinking that perhaps I should do some work."

Cyanide and Happiness
http://www.explosm.net/comics/775/

I second that opinion - it's well-worth checking out!


May 8, 2007

Today's Melted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

"Madame Tussaud claimed to be part of a distinguished Swiss family, though in reality she was descended from a long line of executioners (perhaps offering a genetic explanation for her penchant for horror). Papa had absconded and Marie's eighteen-year-old mother took the infant to Berne, entering domestic service for Dr. Curtius, a maker of wax anatomical models with a profitable sideline in erotic wax tableaux. Curtius soon spotted little Marie's precocious talent and enlisted her to help with the waxworks ...The menage moved to Paris and when the opportunistic Curtius became a prominent Jacobin, his dinner party circuit expanded to include the revolutionaries Marat and Danton; Marie would be reacquainted with them during the Terror when she modelled their corpses. [Soon she] was playing a starring role in the Terror. Stoically picking her way through the newly stormed Bastille with Robespierre as a guide (she soon would soon be casting his decapitated remains), stepping through the gore in the Tuileries, fainting away as Marie Antoinette climbed the scaffold, but reviving in time to collect the royal head, Tussaud seems to have been present at every important occasion. Crossing the Channel [with her wax models to] Georgian England ... the new middle classes flocked to the exhibition, which offered them history, news and celebrity gossip not just about monarchs, statesmen and military figures, but also notorious criminals and fashionable actresses. Tussaud's medium was perfectly suited to the era's new culture of impermanence. As fashions came and went, those no longer in the public eye were removed and melted down."

Culled from: Sarah Howard, "Chambers of Horror", The Times Literary Supplement,
October 27, 2006, p. 36.
Generously submitted by: Liz

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Such a pity that they melted down some of those old heads! Lack of foresight!!!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Joe sends a link to a fascinating crime scene investigation:

"You probably heard about the recent arrest of a UPenn professor in the murder of his wife. Pretty wild in that a friend of mine lives down the street from him (she went out for a walk and the guy started following her (also going out for a walk, but it still creeped her out)) and another friend's wife worked two doors down the hall from him at Penn. I have never been so few degrees of separation from a real murderer. :)

"Anyway, here is the DA's report, which includes some slightly grisly details of the crime scene."

http://www.montcopa.org/da/pressreleases/Robb_pc.htm

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Urban Exploration Link Du Jour!

Nadja forwarded me an excellent Belgian urban exploration website. Loads of lovely pictures here!

http://www.deonderwereld.com/


May 9, 2007

Today's Consecrated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Sir Joshua Danvers, who died in 1753, lies in a chest tomb in the churchyard at Swithland, Leicestershire, England - or, to be more accurate, half of Sir Joshua lies within the churchyard and half without, since the church wall bisects his tomb. The explanation is quintessentially English: Sir Joshua wanted to be buried close to his beloved dog, and since dogs were not allowed to be interred in consecrated ground, a compromise was struck, whereby the hound was buried at his master's feet but safely outside the churchyard.

Culled from: Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions and Fears

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Robert forwards a fascinating site that details chemical accidents:

"This is the site of a company that tries to reconstruct chemical accidents in product liability cases. Sounds boring? Try this:

"'In this second incident, the Concrete Sealer drum was not being cut open. However, it was standing next to another drum that was being cut open when a spark flew from one drum into the other. The drum exploded and the laborer died within 24 hours. He suffered third degree burns over 80% of his body.'

"Just go to this page, and pick yer poison, so to speak:

Areas of Expertise
http://www.chemaxx.com/services.html

"It's mostly text, but there is at least one picture -- a guy, in a full-body cast (look under "Aerosols" [update: it's "Spray Paint Fire #2"]):

"'The gentleman went into his workshop and gathered up sanding tools, sand paper and the can of paint. As he was walking toward the door of his workshop he began shaking the can of paint. As he walked past a wood-burning stove, the can exploded and he was engulfed in a ball of fire.'"

I was also able to find a repulsive (though a bit blurred-out) photograph of a child who was struck by a sulfuric acid-based drain cleaner:

http://www.chemaxx.com/acid1.htm

I tell you, after looking at this site, I am afraid to ever use any aerosol can again!!!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Lady Morgana sends me some Amazingly Simple Home Remedies:

1. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

2. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

3. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

4. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.

5. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

6. Have a bad headache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the headache.

Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:
You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape.
If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40.
If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.


May 10, 2007

Today's Shocked Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An 18-year-old girl, declared clinically dead in 1992, regained consciousness while being raped on a slab by a necrophiliac mortuary attendant in Bucharest. Police arrested the shocked rapist, but the parents refused to press charges because their daughter "owed her life to him."

Culled from: Back from the Dead
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito

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If this guy were only into live ones, he'd have the perfect pick-up line...

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

They know how to do coffins right in Ghana! We could learn a lot from them.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/photo.day.php?ID=52081

Thanks to IsisIris for the link.

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Ghastly!

You've probably seen this before, but if not, here's the infamous footage of Daniel Jones, the man dying of AIDS who killed himself (and his dog) on a Los Angeles freeway, in full view of the copter cameras. Personally, I think the guy's a total arsehole for taking his dog with him.

http://www.flurl.com/item/LA_Suicide_u_207881

And here's an article about the footage:

http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc47.2005/tobias/index.html

Thanks to David for the link.


May 11, 2007

Today's Explosive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The volcano Unsen dominated a small island off the coast of Japan until April 1, 1793, when the volcano exploded and the remnants of the island sank beneath the sea. About 53,000 people on the island were killed.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History
http://astore.amazon.com/theasylumeclecti/detail/006095745X/104-1119794-9584746

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Ghastly!

You may have seen this pictures already, but they're worth another look anyway. They've been floating around under the title "How Not To Unload A New CAT from a Flatbed". Pretty gruesome!

http://www.snopes.com/photos/gruesome/catdozer.asp

Thanks to David for the pics.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Sunny has a morbid sightseeing tip that I wish I'd known about when I stayed in the St. Louis area back in 2001:

"I spent the weekend in St. Louis, and my husband and I went to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park one afternoon. That is one MORBID museum! I mean, I love the macabre as much as the next girl and there were some things that even made me sit back and go, 'eww'. Like the death mask of the child who died during the cholera epidemic in 1849, complete with a tiny coffin. (With a picture of the child from when she was alive with her mom!) Or the collection of pictures of dead people taken by their grieving families as momentos. Or the slavers' chains you can actually PUT ON around your ankles. Or (and this was my favorite) the collection of coroner's notes from autopsies done on the bodies of people killed during the Camp Jackson Affair of 1861. WAAAY less sanitized than the Smithsonian, lemme tell ya. An engaging way to spend an icy afternoon in St. Louis."

http://www.mohistory.org/content/HomePage/HomePage.aspx


May 12, 2007

Today's Decomposing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For years, the neighbors have been complaining that Thomas H. Stone, 67, was feeding rats at his suburban Seattle home. They apparently won't have to worry about that anymore. But the sheriff's deputy who checked on the last complaint may have a hard time getting the image he found out of his head. Authorities said the deputy found a dead body, believed to be Stone, on the second floor in a house full of rodents, feces and garbage -- with rats feeding on the decomposing corpse. One neighbor said they'd been warning officials for about five years about the rats. And county health workers told Stone to stop feeding them. "I wanted to get him help," neighbor Tom Ellis told the Seattle Times. "And I wanted the rats to go away." Investigators even imposed fines, got a lien on the house, and won a judgment that's now more than $200,000. Ellis said he and his family watched as Stone threw peanuts to the rats and squirrels sitting on his balcony. "In the end, he wouldn't even take out the garbage," Ellis said. "It looks like he never took down the Christmas decorations from when his mother died in 1999. It was all very Edgar Allan Poe-ish." The man lived in the home with his mother and became the owner upon her
1999 death.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously donated by: Nina

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Does anyone out there have the Antique Olive Nord font for Windows? If so, can you send it my way? I need it for a project I am working on. Thank you!

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Dustbunny44

"I've been holding off sharing this one for fear of offending others involved in what must have been a private hell. However, if I keep the specifics to minimum I think I can talk about it. And it helps to talk about it since it's so disturbing. And actually, I don't know the names of anyone involved, but it still feels like an intrusion to talk about it.

"I was driving back to my residence in Texas after backpacking in the Rockies, driving through the vastness of the Southwest. I had left in the night and it was daybreak on a 2-lane highway when I drove up on a car pulled up across the middle of the road, and a van turned over near it. 2 people were lying in the road, and 2 others were standing, an adult male and a boy of about 14. The father asked if I could get some help, they just had an accident and did not know where to get help. Since I had just driven by a rest area I said "of course", turned around, and headed back fast.

"Digression:
I had been backpacking with no moleskin and had developed a huge open blister a couple days before, and since it was painful I was driving with one boot and one bare foot. I pulled into the rest area. There were many semi trucks and I could find no phone despite frantic searching. So spying the CB antennas on the rigs, I got out of the car, boosted myself up the side of a cab, and knocked on the window. I woke up the driver, begged him to call police or an ambulance on his radio for the disaster a mile up the road, but he said his radio was broken. I hobbled over to another truck, knocked, asked, and got the same answer - radio broken. By the third truck and third rejection I realized that my ragged appearance, limping gait, one shoe, and the 5 am time had me pegged as some kind of lunatic to be avoided. I was wondering what to do when I noticed for the first time someone walking from a building I had missed before lost in the trees, a building that had overhead lines headed to it. I explained the situation the man - he appeared to be some kind of custodian of the area - who said that he would promptly call authorities. So I got back in the car and sped off to the scene to see if I could help.

"A mile away back at the accident, I pulled over and got out. The father was wailing at the sky 'Why didn't I stop us to sleep?'. Apparently his wife and a child were in the van, fell asleep, lost control and flipped. The boy walking with him was shaking, saying 'she's gone'. I think I tried to tell the father and boy that it wasn't his fault, or their fault, not to talk that way. I knelt by her in the road, not knowing what to do. She was cold, unresponsive, her mouth appeared full of something from inside her, she was not moving, not breathing. I felt she was gone; I didn't think of clearing her airway - it seemed like an intrusion - I didn't think there was anything I could do. The boy lying on the ground was moaning and moving his head; nothing was moving below his chest level. I thought it was odd that the other 2 were not around him, or her, trying to help - perhaps they had already given up. I remember finding a blanket amid the refuse on the road and covering him up to the waist to keep him warm. I was afraid to move him, fearing I might make it worse. And then traffic came, and I began helping divert it around the scene. The gentleman from the rest area arrived and helped too. In about 10 minutes a state police car arrived, and later an ambulance. I stayed for about a couple hours helping to slow traffic and divert it around the scene and clean up. When most of it had been cleared I spoke with the first police officer to arrive who said the mom had not made it and the boy was not hopeful.

"Then I drove away home."

Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine the horror that the father must have been feeling at that time.

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Morbid Images Du Jour!

These aren't exactly "ghastly" - but they are very interesting. A group of Pearl Harbor photographs have been making the rounds via e-mail and I thought I would share them with you. Thanks to Lady Morgana for sending them my way.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/pearl


May 13, 2007

Today's Decomposing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1544 the lawyer J. Damhouder described a typical torture by a crude means of racking, employed in Bruges, in the Spanish Netherlands, during the Spanish Inquisition:

"The victim is stripped naked and laid on a straight bench, his hands tied behind his back, his belly in the air. His genitals are covered with a linen cloth. He is tied down to the bench, under his armpits and round his diaphragm, to prevent his falling off. His two big toes are tied to a cord, which stretches his body by means of a wheel, a stick, or similar instrument. Afterward, another cord may be tied above the knee round his thighs, which can be tightened, more or less, at the discretion of the judge... Sometimes a loop made of knotted rope is tied around the head and forehead, tightened with two sticks or bones, according to the judge's discretion. Then the executioner may place a clean cloth over the sufferer's eyes and, forcing his nostrils closed with it, pours a jar over his diaphragm, calves, toes, and elsewhere, and then, forcing open his mouth with a small bridle, pours in cold water, until he swells up to the point where the judge and his council consider he can no longer endure it without the greatest peril."

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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Some generous soul sent me the font I was looking for - thank you very much!! Stay tuned for new merchandise in the near future!

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Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Sebbo sends a tip on a morbid band:

"I'd like to point you at a British band called "Gorerotted", a decidedly morbid outfit that loves silly rhymes, puns and serial killers. Here's some examples of songtitles they came up
with:
- Hacked in the back and dumped in a sack
- Masticated by the Spasticated
- Cut, Gut, Beaten, Eaten
- Fuck your Arse with Broken Glass
- Her Gash I Did Slash
- Zombie Graveyard Rape Bonanza

But that's quite ordinary stuff, to be truthful. What REALLY sets this
band apart is one particular song from their second album... Can you guess all four unnamed serial killers?

"To Catch a Killer" by Gorerotted

My name is John and I dress as a clown,
thirty one bodies I've buried underground
A construction worker I like building flats
and pulling rabbits out of hats
But under my make-up I'm a mischievous man
Killing as many boys as I can

Do they know who I am? I don't think they do
Then I'll send them a liver to give them a clue
I'll send them a letter and write it in blood
and tell them about the things I've done

Brings them back, they drink beer, a deadly brew
Eating his boys, has their flesh for his food
Gave them money to pose, put a drill in their head
Didn't want them to leave tried to get them into bed

My name's Ted Bundy and I kill for fun,
nobody knows how many I've done
They tried to lock me up but I escaped from that place
And when they killed me I had a smile on my face

Killed my kids and the people that we had round to stay
Put them under the patio so they couldn't get away

John George Haigh, you can't catch me
One fatal error and guilty is my only plea
Thirty gallons of acid, down in the cellar
Thirty gallons of acid, false teeth of an unkown dweller
Come on Mrs D have a dance with me, it's going to be your last
Sulphuric acid a major key
Four more before, it's a perfect plan
Four more again
Kill as many as I can

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Okay, it's not actually for sale, but it was in 2002 ... and it sold for £35,000. What is it? The skeleton clock from Rocky Horror! I never realized it housed a real skeleton... with a fascinating story.

http://www.timewarp.org.uk/clocksale.htm

Thanks to Bloodnight for the link.


May 14, 2007

Today's Chewing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A three-year-old boy was eaten alive by a herd of pigs in a village on the outskirts of New Delhi after family members did not notice him wander outside his home. Ajay, 3, was clutching a piece of bread when he was attacked by the pigs. "We were all having lunch inside the house and did not realise that Ajay had walked out," Lal Bahadur, Ajay's uncle, was quoted as saying. "A few minutes later, his mother noticed a few pigs chewing something." She began screaming and throwing stones at the pigs after recognising her son's clothes. "I shudder to think how much pain and agony my child must have endured," Ajay's father Ashok, a labourer, said. Only the boy's limbs were recovered. Police said they booked the owner of the pigs for causing death by negligence.

Culled from: News.Com.Au
Generously submitted by: Axollot

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The Comtesse Reviews...

Almost Home: My Life Story Vol. 1
by Damien Echols

Damien Echols, as you may be aware, is one of the West Memphis Three - the trio of teenagers who were convicted of murdering three boys in West Memphis in 1993 despite the absence of any physical evidence linking them to the crime. Damien was considered the "ringleader" of the murders and has been spending the last 13 years on death row. The story of this great travesty of justice (which is nothing more than a modern day witch hunt) has been well-explored in the documentaries Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2, but this autobiography presents the story from the perspective of Damien himself. It's a fascinating read.

I was surprised to find that the part of the book I found most interesting wasn't his early life or his trial, but rather the years behind bars. The way in which Damien has managed to keep himself sane and actually improve himself, both physically and intellectually, while on death row is amazing to me. He realized early on that his anger would end up destroying him and turned to Buddhist meditation as a way to control his negative emotions. He has spent his years reading voraciously on a wide variety of subjects. He has carried on numerous friendships via letter writing, even falling in love and marrying one of his supporters. And despite his situation, he still somehow manages to convey sympathy towards the ignorant, uneducated jurists who allowed their superstitions about people who wear all black and listen to heavy metal music being "satan worshippers" to convince them that three clearly innocent young men were guilty.

After reading "Almost Home," I want Damien Echols to be my friend. But more than that, I want him to be free. DNA testing may just allow him that opportunity. (See details at WM3.Org.)

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Now, this is what I call a PROPER pen holder! I must get one!

http://www.perpetualkid.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1868

Thanks to Raj for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales For Troubled Children is a treasury of twisted tales written and drawn by Angus Oblong. It's recommended for fans of droll, dark humor in the Edward Gorey vein (ie. every intelligent person on this Earth, IMHO).

Creepy Susie: And 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children
By Angus Oblong

Luckily for we poor folk, Random House has a great little preview for us - "The Debbies". Enjoy!

http://www.randomhouse.com/rhpg/promos/creepysusie/index.html

Thanks to Wendi for the link.


May 16, 2007

Today's Confused Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 57-year-old man was dead on a hospital toilet for one and a half days before being discovered by staff. The man had been admitted to Södersjukhuset's casualty department in Stockholm on October 26, 2006 suffering from pains in the chest and abdomen. Doctors took samples from him, and decided to keep him in overnight. But when a nurse came to his bed at 7:30pm to give him his test results, his bed was empty and the patient had disappeared. Staff searched for the man in the immediate vicinity of the ward, but did not find him. Nurses assumed that the man had left the hospital, so they discharged him. It was only nearly two days later that the man was found in a toilet in the adjacent x-ray department. He appeared to have gone there on his own, locked himself in the toilet and died. "He had been there for one and a half days," said hospital spokeswoman Ulrica Franzén to The Local. Franzén said she could not reveal whether doctors had considered the man's condition to be life-threatening, but she did say that he had not been confused. "If someone is in a confused state then we keep an eye on them, but that was not judged to be the case here." She said that a more thorough search of the hospital for the man had not been judged necessary. "We are a very big hospital, and it's not unusual for people to just leave. We didn't look for him because he was not confused." The hospital has reported the incident to the National Board for Social Welfare and to the police.

Culled from: The Local
http://www.thelocal.se/5464/20061110/
Generously submitted by: Alan

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Isn't the toilet the most obvious place to look for a missing person who was suffering from abdominal pain? Jeez... remind me not to go to Södersjukhuset the next time I find myself ill in Stockholm!

I didn't get a fact out yesterday because I was attending a Morrissey concert, which turned out to be a rather depressing experience. Ah, Mozzer, we've grown so old together. Let's face it, soon we will be dead...

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Did you know that Autopsy Babies are now available on t-shirts? Phobia is particularly compelling!

http://www.cafepress.com/autopsybabies

And of course, there are always the Autopsy Babies themselves:

http://www.autopsybabies.com/main.html

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Ghastly!

Amos Quito sent me a link to an excellent blog displaying some ghastly photos from the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fascinating!

http://tinyurl.com/2gq8lv


May 17, 2007

Today's Edgar Allan Poe-ish Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For years, the neighbors have been complaining that Thomas H. Stone, 67, was feeding rats at his suburban Seattle home. They apparently won't have to worry about that anymore. But the sheriff's deputy who checked on the last complaint may have a hard time getting the image he found out of his head. Authorities said the deputy found a dead body, believed to be Stone, on the second floor in a house full of rodents, feces and garbage -- with rats feeding on the decomposing corpse. One neighbor said they'd been warning officials for about five years about the rats. And county health workers told Stone to stop feeding them. "I wanted to get him help," neighbor Tom Ellis told the Seattle Times. "And I wanted the rats to go away." Investigators even imposed fines, got a lien on the house, and won a judgment that's now more than $200,000. Ellis said he and his family watched as Stone threw peanuts to the rats and squirrels sitting on his balcony. "In the end, he wouldn't even take out the garbage," Ellis said. "It looks like he never took down the Christmas decorations from when his mother died in 1999. It was all very Edgar Allan Poe-ish." The man lived in the home with his mother and became the owner upon her
1999 death.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously donated by: Nina

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Wretched Recommendations!

Bill has a recommendation for the morbid kid in your life:

"I was looking over your newsletter about the bog body and was looking for some more pics and I ran across this book."

Bodies from the Bog
James M. Deem

"Lots of pics from from bogs. I don't own it but here is what caught my eye. It is written for 9-12 year olds. A good gift for the morbid kid... :)"

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

Bobby Neel Adams is a fascinating photographer who photographs mine victims and cemetery angels, and creates fascinating age maps where he morphs two photographs of the same person, one young and one old, into a single portrait. It really makes you think about "the passing of time and all of its crimes".

http://www.bobbyneeladams.com/

Thanks to Cathy for the link.


May 18, 2007

Today's Gradual Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The following is a description by a visitor to a Nazi medical institution meeting at Eglfing-Haar in the fall of 1939, where the director, Dr. Hermann Pfannmuller, discussed his policy of starving children "unfit for life" (ie. mentally ill and handicapped) to death rather than wasting medication on them:

"I remember the gist of the following general remarks by Pfannmuller: These creatures (he meant the children) naturally represent for me as a National Socialist only a burden for the healthy body of our Volk. We do not kill with poison, injections, etc.; then the foreign press and certain gentlemen in Switzerland would only have new inflammatory material. No, our method is much simpler and more natural, as you see. With these words, he pulled, with the help of a nurse, a child from its little bed. While he then exhibited the child like a dead rabbit, he asserted with a knowing expression and a cynical grin: For this one it will take two to three more days. The picture of this fat, grinning man, in his fleshy hand the whimpering skeleton, surrounded by other starving children, is still vivid in my mind. The murderer explained further then that sudden withdrawal of food was not employed, rather gradual decrease of the rations. A lady who was also part of the tour asked - her outrage suppressed with difficulty - whether a quicker death with injections, etc., would not at least be more merciful. Pfannmuller then praised his methods again as more practical in view of the foreign press. Pfannmuller also did not hide the fact that among the children to be murdered were also children who were not mentally ill, namely children of Jewish parents."

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Joseph stumbled upon a website entitled "The Sociology Of Death":

"[It's] all about different kinds of death and things related to death. It even has a 'Death Clock' to determine the day you will probably die. It also has links to other interesting sites on it."

http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/death.html

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

For those of you who need a little help with your decision-making skills, be sure to print out a copy of The Premeditated Murder Flowchart and have it handy at all times!

http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/features/premed.htm

Thanks to Amy for the link.


May 19, 2007

Today's No Longer Insane Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

California State University - Fullerton, Fullerton, California

Monday, July 12, 1976

Custodian Edward Charles Allaway called his estranged wife today telling her this was his "last day to live." After hanging up with her, he drove to the university where he worked, parked near the campus library, entered the seldom used west doors and walked downstairs to the basement. It was about 8:30 in the morning and students were arriving for summer classes. The LA Rams were practicing on one of the football fields, a typical summer day in southern California. In the 37-year-old's hands was a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle that he had purchased on Saturday. In a small anteroom of the secretary's office in the media center, Edward started the deadliest massacre in Orange County history. He first aimed his rifle at the secretary, but shifted his aim and shot and killed Paul Hertzberg, an IMC photographer. Edward then engaged Bruce Jacobson, an IMC equipment technician, before killing him as well. The rampage quickly continued in the maze of offices in the basement as Edward entered a large production room decorated with Frank Teplansky's caricatures of media personal. Inside the room were Professor Emeritus Seth Fessenden and Frank. The professor was sitting closer to the door and Edward killed him before shooting Frank three times in the back of his head and neck. It took two hours for Frank to die. By now, several other employees had heard the shots and stepped into the hallway. Edward paid them no heed and headed toward Deborah Paulsen and Donald Karges. Donald noticed Edward heading his way and began fleeing toward the front lobby. Edward fire a shot, and missed. He pursed his two targets, passing a clerical assistant at her desk and finally caught up to Deborah and Donald. Several shots later, Deborah and Donald were dead. With his clip empty, Edward stepped into a stairway to reload. Upon reloading, he moved into a large work area, confronted and shot Maynard Hoffman, his boss, in an elevator and Donald Keran as he sat his desk, wounding both. Edward fired again, striking down Steve Becker, who had managed to push open a side door to the outside, but Edward shot him in the back eliminating all hope of escape. Although wounded in the shoulder, Donald Keran began wrestling with Edward. Donald managed to dislodge the ammunition clip during the struggle and Edward was subdued shortly thereafter. Steve Becker was the assistant librarian whose father was the director of the university placement center at the time. Professor Fessenden retired in 1973 and was doing research at Cal State Fullerton today. Donald Karges and Deborah Paulsen were custodians, like Edward. Donald Keran was a library assistant. When Edward could find no one else to shoot, he got into his car and drove to the Hilton Inn in Anaheim where his wife worked. He told her he had done "something terrible." He borrowed a dime from her, called the Fullerton police, then handed her six $20 bills before being surrounded by law enforcement officers. Over a year later, in August of 1977, Edward was found guilty of seven counts of first degree murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The jury then deliberated for another four days but could not reach a verdict on the issue of his sanity at the time of the shootings. Judge Robert P. Kneeland ruled in November of 1977 that Edward Charles Allaway was insane and removed the criminal penalties, finding him "not guilty by reason of insanity." Since 1987, Edward Allaway has been trying to be released from Atascadero State Hospital, and allowed back into society, saying he is no longer an insane man. However, the review boards continue to reject his claim.

Culled from: Columbine-Angels.Com
Generously submitted by: Kathleen

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So I just caught the last half of the "Last Days Of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes" documentary on VH1. Although I have absolutely NO interest in her as a performer or a celebrity, I found the film fascinating. She was filming a documentary during her last month, and I was astonished to see that her death, from a car crash in the Honduras in 2002, was actually caught on film by the front passenger. Why didn't I know this before??? Unfortunately, you don't get to see the full crash footage because the pesky family - as usual - rained on our morbid parade and wouldn't allow the entire scene to be shown. However, you do get to see the last few moments of Lopes' life as the car veers off the road (due to reckless driving when she tried to pass in unsafe conditions) and her passengers (all nine of them) begin to scream. Pretty crazy!

She was also involved in another crash earlier in the month when a young boy ran in front of a car in which she was a passenger and was killed, and Lopes talks frequently about feeling like she is haunted and that she was supposed to have been the one who died, not the little boy. It's quite fascinating. I recommend keeping your eyes open for a re-run of this one on VH1.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Chickenhead presents the Absolute Bottom 50 Eulogies:

http://chickenhead.com/bottom50/eulogies.asp

Thanks to Kelli for the link.

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Morbid Expression Du Jour!

Anne forwarded an edition of the World Wide Words newsletter that she thought might be of morbid interest:

Weird Words: Egyptian days
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Days of ill-omen or evil.

As far back as the historical record can be traced, we know that certain days have been thought to be unlucky. In medieval times they were often listed in calendars as the "dies Aegyptiaci", the Egyptian days, since they were supposed to have been identified by Egyptian astrologers, considered to be authorities on such matters. Some said they were days on which calamitous events had occurred in ancient Egypt, such as the plagues described in the Bible. Medieval calendars precisely identified the days that were to be considered inauspicious, on which no project or enterprise should be begun: 1 and 25 January; 4 and 26 February; 1 and 28 March; 10 and 20 April; 3 and 25 May; 10 and 16 June; 13 and 22 July; 1 and 30 August; 3 and 21 September; 3 and 22 October; 5 and 28 November; and 7 and 22 December. It was considered especially important that doctors should not let blood on these days.

Another Latin term for them was "dies mali", the unlucky, evil, or unpropitious days. By the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Latin phrase had been Anglicised into "dismal", at first in direct reference to the evil days, but later to any event that brought misfortune and disaster. By the seventeenth century the word had weakened to our modern sense of something that merely causes gloom or depression. When in 1849 Carlyle described economics as "the dismal science", he meant merely that it was cheerless.

World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2007. All rights reserved. The Words Web site is at http://www.worldwidewords.org .

May I note that I once dreamt I would die on May 3rd (but didn't catch the year), which happens to be one of those Egyptian Days. Coincidence??? Hmmmm...


May 20, 2007

Today's Upright Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is remembered for more than his poetry. Tradition relates that he asked King Charles I to grant him a favor concerning his burial. "Give me eighteen inches of square ground." "Where?" asked the king. "In Westminster Abbey." And so it was. Jonson was buried upright in the north aisle of the abbey. Cynical doubts about the accuracy of the story were dispelled in 1849, when a grave was being dug to receive Sir Robert Wilson. The loose earth of Jonson's grave "rippled in like quicksand" and a clerk saw "the two leg bones fixed bolt upright in the sand."

Culled from: Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions and Fears

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Joan's Mad Monarchs Series is a fun series of biographies of history's mad royals. Fun, fun, fun!

http://www.xs4all.nl/~kvenjb/madmonarchs/madmon.htm

Thanks to bella for the link.

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Urban Exploration Link Du Jour!

Abandoned is a collection of mostly black and white images of stark industrial ruins in the old Soviet Union. Occasionally the author goes a bit overboard with self-portraits but otherwise, the photos are quite lovely. I want to go!!!

http://www.abandoned.ru/index.php

Thanks to Remo for the link.


May 21, 2007

Today's Waterlogged Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication. Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner. "She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad," said Laura Rios, one of Strange's co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. "She was crying, and that was the last that anyone had heard from her." It was not immediately known how much water Strange consumed. A preliminary investigation found evidence "consistent with a water intoxication death," said assistant Coroner Ed Smith. John Geary, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Sacramento, the station's owner, said station personnel were stunned when they heard of Strange's death. "We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred," he said. Initially, contestants were handed 8-ounce bottles of water to drink every 15 minutes. "They were small little half-pint bottles, so we thought it was going to be easy," said fellow contestant James Ybarra of Woodland. "They told us if you don't feel like you can do this, don't put your health at risk." Ybarra said he quit after drinking five bottles. "My bladder couldn't handle it anymore," he added. After he quit, he said, the remaining contestants, including Strange, were given even bigger bottles to drink. "I was talking to her and she was a nice lady," Ybarra said. "She was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for her kids."

Culled from: Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito

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"We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred"? Gee, let me think - you fed off the American appetite to do anything for a giveaway by making them do something which physically endangered each and every entrant. And one of them died. Sniff, sniff... Is that a lawsuit I smell???

Andrew writes: "It was indeed! Here's ONE link on the very thing: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0125073wii1.html . I remembered hearing about this some months back, and wondered, when I read your post, whether the same thing really happened twice. Nope! Thank (deity of your choice), human stupidity didn't quite reach that height THIS time. "

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a video clip that should be mandatory viewing for mental assessments. The louder the laughter, the sicker the soul!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GYGhmJD9LKc

Thanks to HAPPY Squirrel for the clip.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Gimpyd.Com claims to bring you the gutter of the internet. While I'm not sure if this site is really scraping the bottom of the gutter, it certainly is laying somewhere within its fetid realm. Pursue at your own risk!

http://www.gimpyd.com/


May 22, 2007

Today's Messy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

As Nazis began their policy of "euthanasia" of "life unfit for life" (ie. the mentally ill, disabled, and, of course, Jewish), they struggled to find the best technology for mass murder. Initially, shooting was the favored method but this resulted in psychological trauma to the troops and was dropped. Explosives were tried -- as in Russia, in September 1941, when mental patients were blown up. This method proved ineffective in that too much cleaning up was required and more than one charge was sometimes necessary. Carbon monoxide gas was increasingly resorted to - first in canisters (which became ever more expensive to bring from Germany as the troops moved east), and then, after further technological innovation, from the exhaust of vans. During two weeks in May and June of 1940, 1,558 mental patients from East Prussia were gassed in vans at a transit camp in Soldau. In October 1941, they decided to use these vans for Jews in general who were "incapable of working." Three were installed at the first pure extermination camp at Chelmno/Kulmhof, where they killed mainly Jews, but also Gypsies, typhus victims, Soviet POWs, and the insane. Victims were told they would shower while their clothing was being disinfected and followed a "To the Bath" sign up a ramp and into the van. When no more noise was audible from the van, it was driven to the woods nearby where Jewish Kommandos unloaded the corpses into mass graves. Because of noxious gases, a crematorium was later installed.

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors

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I love that they actually tried explosives as a method of extermination. Does anyone else get the image of the exploding whale in their head when they think of this?

http://www.perp.com/whale/

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Wretched Recommendations!

Sandy has a film recommendation:

Rashomon (1951)

"Although it might seem like an odd starting point, the first time I heard of Kurosawa's Rashomon was when I read Iris Chang's Rape of Nanking for the first time a few years ago. Within this book she alluded to the film because of the various stories detailing the atrocities committed in Nanking differed greatly depending on the source of information. Anyway, a couple of years after that I read Akutagawa Ryuunosuke's short story 'Rashomon' and noticed that it really did not fit Chang's brief description of the movie and it was not until I read a later short story in the collection, 'In the Grove,' did I find the actual short story the film was based on. This movie is older, but set with an amazing Japanese style."

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Now, this is fascinating: an audio recording from Jonestown made while the followers drank the Kool Aid! Listening to Jim Jones talking people into killing themselves is voyeuristic morbid nirvana! (The rest of the site is great fun to browse as well.)

Archive.Org

Thanks to dhubhain for the link.


May 23, 2007

Today's Ghostly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Chinese police have arrested three men for killing two young women to sell their corpses as "ghost brides" for dead single men, a Chinese newspaper reported, warning the dark custom might have claimed many other victims. Yang Donghai, a 35-year-old farmer in western China's Shaanxi province, confessed to killing a woman bought from a poor family for 12,000 yuan ($1,545) last year. She thought she was being sold into an arranged marriage, but Yang killed her in a gully and sold her corpse for 16,000 yuan, the Legal Daily reported Thursday. He and two accomplices then killed a prostitute and sold her for 8,000 yuan before police caught them. "I did it for the money; it was a quick buck," Yang said, according to the paper. "If I hadn't slipped up early, I planned to do a few more." The women were victims of an old belief, still alive in the yellow-earth highlands of western China, that young men who die unmarried should go to their graves accompanied by deceased women who will be their wives in the afterlife. Often these women die natural deaths. Police in Yanan, the poor and dusty corner of Shaanxi where Chairman Mao Zedong nurtured his Communist revolution, said the dark trade went beyond these cases. "The actual number is far from just these," the paper said. Yang and two helpers sold the bodies to Li Longsheng, an undertaker who police said specialized in buying and selling the dead women for "ghost weddings." It was unclear what happened to Li.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Loriah

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As a card-carrying feminist, I feel it is my duty to point out the obvious: How much do you want to bet that young women who die unmarried do not get a ghost husband buried with them? As a card-carrying homosexual, I feel it is my duty to point out the obvious again: Maybe there was a REASON why they never got married in the first place?

Nora writes: "I heard the reason ghost brides are so popular in the rural areas of China because of the one child policy had left a skewed number of males and not enough females. So naturally some men never have the chance to get married or have kids, so many parents want their sons to have the joy of marriage if not in during their lifetime at least during their death (kind of like the conjugal chests for martyrs in Iran). The reason why that caught my attention is because to make money out of selling ghost brides, some people were robbing morgues and graves for female bodies, including from the people who just bought the corpses for their dead sons and families with recently deceased female members would have to guard their graves against profiteers. Fun."

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Wretched Recommendations!

Stephen has a film recommendation for us:

"My latest recommendation to you is ALSO by Tokyo Shock studios: 'Death Trance' -- a mysterious man kills all the monks in a monastery, so he can steal a coffin he believes will grant him his greatest wish. He doesn't realize it's a Pandora's Box of sorts. 'Coffin Man' is being followed by a child who (among other things!) laughs when Coffin Man kills people... ...and, OH, does he kill people! It's a little hokey, at times, but that comes with fantasy martial arts films. But, the carnage makes it worth the $6 for a used one on Amazon.com... If you ever watch it, take a good look at the handles of the swords used by the main characters; they are reminiscent of certain body parts. ;)"

Death Trance (2005)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EWBNYQ/theasylumeclecti

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by John

"When I was in the 8th grade, a thin sickly looking little boy, my hearing began to fail me. It happened so gradually that I neither I nor my parents noticed. I would find out later that an infection had started in my throat and spread to my left inner ear via the eustachian tube. My throat healed within a week, but the tube remained blocked, and over the course of 15 months my ear began to slowly fill with liquid. I was freshman in highschool when the fever started, lasting for almost a week and fluctuating between 101 and 102 F. On day 6, at around 2 pm, my ear began to hurt and I could feel it throbbing with my pulse. I tried to sleep it off, but the pain only worsened and developed from throbbing into a single wave of pain unlike anything I had felt before. As I made my way to the kitchen to call my parents, I realized that I had absolutely no sense of balance. I made it safely to the phone, but I put it to my left ear out of habit. The pain caused by the sound of the dial tone brought me to my knees. I dropped the reciever and layed down on the linoleum floor, now overwheled by the pain. As I slowly reached the point where my eardrum would rupture, I began writhing in agony and screaming out to my empty house. It went on that way for about an hour until eventually everything faded to black. My parents came home to find me lying in a small puddle of blood and saline water on the kitchen floor, and of course brought me to a hospital. One of my last thoughts before losing consciousness was 'is this what death feels like.' And I'm having difficulty finding the answer."

Talk about wince-inducing!!

My Brush With Morbidity Archives


May 24, 2007

Today's Moaning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On Sept. 2, 1983 Jimmy Lee Gray was executed in a Mississippi gas chamber. Officials had to clear the room eight minutes after the gas was released when Gray's desperate gasps for air repulsed witnesses. His attorney, Dennis Balske of Montgomery, Alabama, criticized state officials for clearing the room when the inmate was still alive. Said noted death penalty defense attorney David Bruck, "Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while the reporters counted his moans (eleven, according to the Associated Press)." Later it was revealed that the executioner, Barry Bruce, was drunk.

Culled from: Death Penalty Information Center
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=8&did=478
Generously submitted by: Candle

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A drunken executioner and a head-banging victim: that's rock 'n' roll!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

I think I may have featured this one previously, but it's a fun little game, so why not revisit it?

Barb-Jump
http://www.gameelephant.com/games/488/barb-jump.html

Thanks to Shifter for the link.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Here are some nice (and inexpensive) coffin backpacks!

Thanks to Sandy for the link.


May 25, 2007

Today's Agonal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the "agonal phase," from the Greek word agon, or contest.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry

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I'm thinking this is a very general statement. For example, being blown to bits in an explosion will definitely result in the body receiving a lack of oxygen, but not quite in the same way I think they mean here. Still, it's an interesting way to look at death.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Awhile back I featured a morbid sightseeing suggestion of the Eureka Springs Hotel in Arkansas, recommended by Katie:

"I'm amazed no one's mentioned this place yet. I live in Arkansas and have visited the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs -- it's supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the States. They have regular ghost-hunting tours and suchlike. There's also a lovely morgue in the basement from its days as a hospital that killed its patients -- rip away the plaster in the walls and you can see bones. Unfortunately, I was only in the hotel for a few minutes, so I didn't get the chance to see much. It's also, sadly, very difficult to get into the basement to see the morgue and asylum (some of the hospital's patients also went insane; the quack doctor's cures affected their brains, so he basically tied them down until they flailed themselves to death). Hospital with a crazy doctor, haunted hotel, insane asylum, and morgue, all in one building? Morbidophile's dream!"

http://www.crescent-hotel.com/

James has another recommendation related to this hotel:

http://www.eureka-springs-ghost.com

"This website is for the company that provide the ghost tours of the Crescent Hotel, and tell you all of the story behind it. I went on the tour last year and was going to take some photos, but my camera batteries died (very quickly, and they were meant to last a lot longer) . Luckily I just went back the next day and took some in the publicly accessible parts of the hotel, and most of them have 'orbs' in them! The tour takes you all over the hotel and into the basement and morgue, where they even still have one of the autopsy tables being used to hold the coffee maker! I hope to go back there again and actually stay in the hotel in one of the many rooms that have reported strange phenomenon!"

Sounds like great fun!

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Morbid Gaming!

Vickie writes to tell us about a new morbid game:

"This looks like it could be cool - I haven't tried it out yet, but I love the concept!

"'[Pandemic is] an interesting, morbid little strategy game where you are an infectious disease with the ability to mutate over time. If you're too lethal, mankind takes extraordinary measures to stop you. If you're not lethal enough, they find a cure before you take everyone out.'"

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/360724


May 26, 2007

Today's Very Disappointing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

China executed a farmer on Thursday, January 18, 2007 for killing 10 people in a temple, including the abbot who he believed had flirted with his wife. Qiu Xinghua, 47, went on his killing spree in July at the remote mountain temple in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. State media said Qiu had cut out the abbot's eyes, heart and lungs and fried them in a wok. He had used the victims' blood to write "Deserved to die" on the temple wall. Qiu was convicted of slaying 10 staff and pilgrims at the temple and of robbing and killing another while on the run. The Shaanxi Provincial Higher People's Court authorized his execution by shooting. Chinese psychiatrists and legal scholars had urged a full psychiatric examination, suspecting that Qiu committed the crimes during a spell of mental illness. But the appeals court was convinced that Qiu had been sane throughout, said the Ankang court, which heard Qiu's first trial and handed down the death sentence. He Weifang, a law professor at Peking University, said the execution did not surprise him but it was "very disappointing". "We have the same result despite these strong academic appeals," He told Reuters by telephone. "Without the most basic procedure, important questions remain unanswered." He added that Chinese judicial departments tended to mete out swift and harsh punishments in major criminal cases to try to pacify the public. The execution came just days before the Supreme People's Court takes back its power to approve death penalties, devolved to provincial higher courts during a crackdown on crime in the early 1980s.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: cray

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Jeez, you'd think this guy had been tried in Texas under George W. Bush instead of China!

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Morbid Fashion!

I never thought I'd see the day when a runway show incorporated blood-soaked clothing and zombie models. Nifty!

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/collections/S2006CTR/complete/thumb/CDIOR?trend=&page=1

Thanks to Vickie for the link.

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Morbid Celluloid!

Looks like we have a Robert Pickton movie to look forward to:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2007/02/05/pickton-film.html

Thanks to Carolyn for the link.


May 27, 2007

Today's Starving Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Nazis saw starvation, as a method of killing the mentally ill, as a logical extension of the frequent imagery of mental patients as "useless eaters". In many places, mentally ill patients had already been fed insufficiently; and the idea of not nourishing them was "in the air". On November 17, 1942, the Bavarian Interior Ministry held a conference with directors from mental hospitals throughout that area. The state commissioner for health, Walter Schultze, asked the directors to provide a "special diet" for hopelessly ill patients. Dr. Valentin Faltlhauser passed around a "totally fat-free" menu that he had used as director of the child euthanasia program at Kaufbeuren Asylum. It consisted of potatoes, yellow turnips and cabbage cooked in water. "The effect," he claimed, "should be a slow death, which should ensue in about three months."

When another doctor, Dr. Schmidt, took over the directorship at the Eglfing-Haar asylum at the end of the war, he encountered a total of 94 survivors on the two wards and a scene he would never forget: "Huge, dark halls... silent. No noise. Nothing... The People showed no sign of life. A few stood. They said nothing. Like half-corpses." Doctors treating these surviving patients found that they experienced hallucinations of ghosts coming at night and eating their food; feeling of guilt over having done something bad for which they were now being punished; and dreams and fantasies of food of every kind in limitless amounts. The slow starvation method led many patients to believe they were getting the same wartime rations as everyone else, and few if any seemed to understand they had been singled out for starvation. It was estimated that 444 Eglfing patients had died directly or indirectly from malnutrition.

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors

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And as I'm reading this to my girlfriend she stops me and says, "Wait - we could lose weight by just eating potatoes, turnips, and cabbage?" There's an American for ya.

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The Comtesse Recommends...

It's been a long time since I actually sat down and watched a movie, so I was quite pleased with myself that I managed to watch TWO this weekend. And, much to my delight, they were both worth my very valuable time and attention!

The first was a film that I'm sure you've probably all seen:

The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorcese won an Oscar for best director (finally!) for this little chestnut, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. With a cast like that - and a director like Scorcese - it would be hard to go wrong, but this film is great even by Scorcese's high standards. The gore factor isn't very high, but the plot is compelling and the performances are, naturally, all grade A. And the ending strikes a realistic balance between happy and depressing. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

The other film that I saw is one that I'm sure most of you have never seen...

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

This is a South Korean film that is based on an old Korean fairy tale in which two sisters live with their do-nothing father and their unstable stepmother in a creepy house where nothing is as it seems. It's both a creepy Asian horror film (in the tradition of Ringu) and a psychological thriller (in the tradition of films like Memento). Personally, I found the plot hard to follow (but then I often do), so I cheated and looked up an explanation of the movie before finishing it, but I'd suggest you try to figure it out yourself instead of ruining the surprise ending like I did. Once you understand the plot, then you can watch the movie again and see all the pieces fall into place.

The performances in the film are excellent, especially the two girls, and the film is thought-provoking and eerie. Highly recommended!

See The Library Eclectica's for more excellent Morbid films!
The Drama Aisle
The Foreign Film Aisle

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Malady of the Month!!

You'll undoubtedly never believe it but... I have actually updated Malady of the Month! I think the last time I got around to updating it was sometime in the mid-70's, so this is quite an occasion. Please stop by for a visit to learn all about the horrors of Acne Inversa.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/malady/malady.htm

And if you haven't visited in awhile, why not get reacquainted with all your old friends, like Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Yaws, Rabies, and everyone's favorite, Harlequin Fetus.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/malady/archives/

Who knows? Maybe I'll actually make this a monthly event again?

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Ghastly!

Charles forwarded me some images that were going around with the following (probably quite bogus) description:

WHY COPS SHOOT GUYS WITH KNIVES

The photos are of an officer trained in hand-to-hand combat.

The officer figured, due to his size and fighting skills, he could disarm a knife wielding aggressor.

Here is why I am forwarding these on.

To all the idiots out there who always say, "Why did the cops have to shoot him?? He only had a (insert your choice of weapons here, i..e. knife, bat, club. whatever).? He didn't have to be shot.

To that, I respond, "tough crap ... shoot'em". If an officer tells you to drop your weapon, just drop it. If you're a retard, stupid, on crack, mental or just "scared" . too bad.?

No one deserves what this cop got for just doing his job.? If you've got a knife, then you should die ... period.

This is vivid proof of how deadly people who are "only armed with a knife" can be.? Some of the public think that officers should try to disarm someone armed with a knife but anyone who has had training in knife fighting will tell you - even if you win you are going to get cut.

Keep this in the back of your mind when confronting someone armed with an edged weapon.


I have no idea what the real story is behind the photographs (probably a gang-related stabbing or something), but the photographs are pretty impressive in any event:

http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/knife/knife1.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/knife/knife2.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/knife/knife3.jpg

If it ends up on Snopes, or if anyone knows the real story, I'll post an update.

Lo and behold, as Carrie pointed out to me, Snopes does have some information on this one, but not a lot:
http://www.snopes.com/photos/gruesome/kunsan.asp

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Now, here is a brilliant idea whose time is due: A Skull Toaster!

http://www.tomwet.de/shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=620

Thanks to Anna for the link.


May 28, 2007

Today's Horribly Injured Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On the afternoon of 3 November 2004, in the town of Methuen, MA, 10-year-old Natalie Gravel and 8-year-old Merrideth Reed were playing in a pile of leaves left in the street outside their apartment building. Just before the accident, neighbors saw the girls laughing and shoveling leaves at each other with plastic trash-can lids. At about 5 p.m., Natalie's father drove his full-size 1997 GMC 1500 pickup over that pile of leaves as he rolled to his accustomed parking spot on the street. James Gravel never saw the two girls playing amidst the fallen autumn foliage, perhaps because they deliberately ducked out of sight in an effort to surprise him and Natalie's two siblings, who were in the truck with him.

The 36-year-old contractor had no idea anything was amiss until he got out of the truck. It was then he discovered the horribly injured girls, his own daughter and the daughter of the woman he lived with, both of whom had been crushed under his front and rear tires. Natalie died a half-hour later at Holy Family Hospital of massive chest trauma. The last thing her father heard her say as she was loaded into the ambulance was "I can't breathe." Merrideth survived her injuries.

Culled from: Snopes.Com
Generously submitted by: Matt

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Wretched Recommendations!

Louise noticed a glaring omission from the film page of the Library Eclectica!

"I must be looking in the wrong place because I don't see Harold and Maude on your movie list. (It should be in Comedy but I checked Drama too.) OK, so there isn't a single drop of gore, and only one person actually dies -- you can't count all the strangers whose funerals Harold goes to -- but really now, it's one of those movies like Casablanca or Citizen Kane that everyone should see once. Besides, how can you not love a movie whose main character's first spoken line is 'I go to funerals'?"

Indeed, Harold and Maude is one of the all-time classics and I am ashamed that I forgot to include it on the page. Thanks for reminding me!

Harold and Maude (1971)

Here are some more morbid comedies from the Library Eclectica:
The Comedy Film Aisle

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Oh, be still my morbid heart!! The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, from 1674 to 1834 are online! "A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court." As you can imagine, I can waste hours here!

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

Here's a splendid example of what you can find - a case of infanticide from 1757:

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/html_units/1750s/t17570526-22.html

Thanks to Agnes for the link.


May 29, 2007

Today's Secretive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The courts of the Spanish Inquisition were specifically built and were often magnificent palaces. In Portugal, for example, the house of the Inquisition contained four imposing courtrooms, a spacious set of apartments for the Inquisitor General, and suites of rooms surrounding a central courtyard, which were occupied by members of the royal court and other personages when they wished to view the executions that took place.

The Inquisition's proceedings were held in secret, and the accused were denied representation by counsel, or the right to confront hostile witnesses. (Hmmmmm... sound familiar? - DeSpair) When they were condemned, their property was confiscated, and shared between the Inquisition, the Crown, and their accusers. The threat of the underground torture chamber, where the executioner waited, clothed from head to toe in black, and with his face concealed in a black cowl, with only two holes for his eyes.

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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Wretched Recommendations!

Christina has a movie recommendation for us:

Final Destination 3 (2006)

"As it was with the first two, the acting is sub-par and you don't care much about the characters or their lame dilemmas. HOWEVER, the death scenes are fantastic and make you scream in horror and delight everytime one of the actors gets whacked! If you can sit through the boring dialogue in between, the movie is fantastic! The special effects make every death realistic and absolutely as gruesome as only special effects can do. I have watched many 'Faces of Death' films and still had my hand over my mouth yelling 'OH MY GAWD!!' as one girl gets a nail gun to the head! AWESOME!"

Here are some more morbid horror films from the Library Eclectica:
The Horror Film Aisle

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Anna forwards an interesting article about Serial killer movies:

http://movies.msn.com/movies/serialkillers


May 30, 2007

Today's Grisly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Italians were aghast when it emerged that a grisly murder that has gripped the country was perpetrated by an unremarkable middle-aged couple, who confessed to slaughtering four neighbours over a noise dispute. Olindo Romano and his wife Rosa Bazzi seemed to share the sense of national shock when they were interviewed on TV before Christmas about the murder of their upstairs neighbours. They echoed the suspicion of many Italians that their neighbour, Raffaella Castagna, 30, her two-year-old son, her mother, and a third woman had their throats cut on December 11 by Castagna's drug-dealing Tunisian husband. But now, in a twist that has gripped Italy and monopolised front pages, the couple have confessed to the crime after blood traces were found in their car, telling magistrates that they were angry about the noise made by Castagna and husband, Azouz Marzouk.

"We just could not stand them anymore," Bazzi, a petite housemaid obsessed with cleanliness, told investigators as she confessed to killing the two-year-old with a knife. "He was always screaming, my head was exploding," she said. In a well-prepared murder, apparently planned over months by Bazzi, the pair rang Castagna's doorbell at 8pm, wearing gloves and armed with knives. Castagna was stabbed in the face by Romano, 43, as she opened the door. In all, she was stabbed 12 times. Romano then stabbed Castagna's mother, Paola Galli, while Bazzi moved to silence two-year-old Youssef. In her full and detailed confession she told investigators that she cut the boy's throat.

The couple's well-laid plans then went awry. As they set fire to the apartment to destroy the evidence a neighbour, Valeria Cherubini, arrived in the hall outside the front door, where she was also stabbed to death. Coming to her aid, Cherubini's husband, Mario Frigerio, was stabbed and left for dead, but survived and was able to describe some of the mayhem to police. But the key evidence that trapped the couple was the trace of Mr Frigerio's blood, left in Romano's car as he and his wife drove rapidly from the scene of the crime to a nearby McDonald's, to get a receipt they hoped would provide an alibi.

According to investigators who had bugged their home after the murders, Romano and Bazzi were heard to say to each other: "See how peaceful it is now? We can finally sleep well." Prosecutors in the nearby town of Como said that they would seek to try the couple for premeditated murder, while the couple's lawyer said a psychiatric examination would be carried out. Bazzi, 43, was unable to have children, which Italian media have suggested as a possible cause of her anger with the sound of the child's crying.

Culled from: The Guardian
Generously submitted by: Liz

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I find that last sentence VERY offensive! I can't stand noisy children either, and I also will never breed, but I don't hate noisy children *because* I will never breed: I will never breed because I hate noisy children! As Liz said, why is it everyone thinks that all women want to do is breed???? Personally, I think this murder is justifiable homicide. DO YOU HEAR THAT UPSTAIRS NEIGHBORS??????????? TAKE A HINT!!!!!!!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Xhanatos has a book recommendation for us:

"I would like to suggest Gris Grimly's 'Wicked Nursery Rhymes,' surprisingly found in the children's poetry section of Borders & other major book sellers. Grimly spices up old, dull nursery rhymes with his own twisted endings, and ghoulish art work. Within, you can enjoy his own delightful perversions of 'Jack and Jill' in which Jack is revealed for the homicidal being that he is, as well as the carnivorous 'Little Bo Peep,' and many others."

Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

"The Tragic Artist" is a poignant little film, of sorts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdwmrkUMJE

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.


May 31, 2007

Today's Pathetic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Not only was convicted child rapist and murderer Arthur Goode disliked by the families of his victims and the community as a whole, but he couldn't even scrounge up an ounce of respect from his fellow inmates while in prison. His was the first Florida execution that wasn't protested by the other men on death row, and it's even been rumored that Ted Bundy once stole his cookies!

Goode was a life-long pedophile who would endlessly rant about having sex with young boys to anyone who would listen. He sent maniacal letters from prison to the parents of his victims, which included graphic retellings of the crimes, and he smugly announced to reporters that he would carry a picture of child actor Ricky Schroeder with him to the electric chair.

On the day of his execution, April 5, 1984, Goode finally began to lose his composure. His obsession for kiddie sex was replaced with incoherent worries such as whether or not he should eat his ice cream or his peanut butter cups first, and who would scratch his nose for him if it started to itch once he was strapped down in the electric chair. Eyewitness reports claim that Goode finally broke down minutes prior to the execution and claimed remorse for his crimes, then died while sobbing pathetically -- without the aforementioned Ricky Schroeder picture.

Culled from: Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row

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I'm generally quite staunchly anti-death penalty (see WM3.Org for a good reason why), but this guy? Oh, to have been a fly on the wall...

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Wretched Recommendations!

Alastair writes to let us know about a fun-sounding bathroom reader:

5 People Who Died During Sex, and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists
by Karl Shaw

Here's the description from Amazon:

Prepare to be amazed, appalled, disgusted, and hugely entertained by this compendium of indelicate oddities. Nothing is too inane, too insane, too bizarre, or too distasteful for this incredible, seemingly impossible, but absolutely true collection of facts from across the ages and around the world.

Did you know…

…that Pope Benedict XII was such a hardened boozer that he inspired the expression “drunk as a pope”? (From “10 Historic Drunks”)

…that as a special honeymoon treat, Prince Charles read Princess Diana passages from the works of Carl Jung and Laurens van der Post? (From “History’s 10 Least Romantic Honeymoons”)

…that the best-dressed gentlemen in medieval England exposed their genitals below a short-fitting tunic? (From “History’s 10 Greatest Fashion Mistakes”)

…that Alfred Hitchcock suffered from ovophobia—fear of eggs? (From “10 Phobias of the Famous”)

…that King Louis XIV only took three baths in his lifetime, each of them under protest?
(From “10 Great Unwashed”)

…that in 1930, Sears customers became enraged when the catalog was first printed on glossy, non-absorbent paper?
(From “12 Magical Moments in Toilet Paper History”)

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

You've heard of Tickle-Me Elmo - now there's Tickle-Me Emo! Complete with razor blades!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAt329otj6Y&NR

Thanks to Paradox for the link.



Vulgarities...