June, 2003

June 7, 2003

Today's Explosive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A wedding feast turned into carnage in Pakistan's lawless tribal zone on June 22, 2002 when celebratory gun-firing by guests accidentally killed 22 people including the bridegroom. Tribal guests were "joyously" firing heavy weapons into the air in a traditional act of celebration when a mortar which had been loaded the wrong way backfired, killing the man who fired it and guests around him. The mortar had been loaded "upside-down". The dead included 14 children, women, and the 22-year-old bridegroom.


Culled from: Alf
http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/02/06/3bkk/23a1.html
Generously donated by: Alf

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Now, that's what I call going out with a bang! But why is it that when I read this story, I envision these people as the Michigan gun lovers featured in Bowling For Columbine?

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Yes, it's true - I am back from my torturous work assignment in Augusta, Georgia. And what's more, I won't be traveling (for work) for at least six months, possibly much longer. So, what that means is I'll have plenty of bored hours to spend working on the site this summer - and no more excuses for missing facts! I'd like to thank you all for sticking around through this difficult time and not losing faith in morbidity. Hopefully, I can make you forget all about my truancy... someday!

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Urban Exploration Site Du Jour!

Here's an excellent website for an apparently excellent urban exploration zine called Infiltration. I enjoyed the abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal exploration the most. What a fantastic place to explore!

http://www.infiltration.org/

(Special thanks to Oishinobi who sent me the link.)

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Morbid Tidbit Du Jour!

Okay, who can possibly resist a Six Feet Under "Wound Filler" t-shirt? Not I, my friends, not I.

http://store.hbo.com/product/TSSF20002/b.HBOSIXFEET/s.Iw9ohEeQ


June 8, 2003

Today's Calcified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

"Stone Baby" by Dr. Andrew Folley

The patient is a 37-year-old Zairian female who lives in a village of Malongo at the headwaters of the Congo River. She presented with a relatively asymptomatic large abdominal mass. Examination revealed a distended abdomen with a very irregularly contoured mass present consistent with a large fibroid uterus 28-32 weeks size. The patient was having fairly regular periods. She has had eight previous pregnancies with five living children. Recommendation made for exploratory laparotomy through a midline incision with a working diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata.

Exploration through the midline incision revealed no free fluid present in the abdomen. The uterus and ovaries felt fairly normal to palpation. A large calcified spherical mass was delivered through the incision, enveloped with omental adhesions. At this point diagnosis was thought be possibly some type of splenic or mesenteric tumor. The diagnosis was finally made when a shoulder was delivered along with this mass. Finally, after the adhesions were removed, a four pound calcified fetus was removed. This appeared to be approximately a 32-week intra-abdominal pregnancy which had died and calcified.

In further questioning the patient, she stated that she had been pregnant about three years ago and everything seemed to be going fine, but "the baby never came out."

Culled from: OBGYN.net
Link generously submitted by: Amber

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Okay, that was just a lead in for the REAL "meat" of the article: PICTURES!

http://www.obgyn.net/ENGLISH/PUBS/ARTICLES/Stone_Baby.htm

How cool is that? I want one of those on my bookshelf!! But with my horrible luck, if I became pregnant I'd actually give birth to the damned thing. Living. Curses...

Oh well, I did have a dermoid cyst once... I'll tell you all about that one day...

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Bizarre Link Du Jour!

Having just returned from many weeks spent in Augusta, Georgia, I had the opportunity to meet all sorts of Freaky Folk. However, unfortunately, none of them quite compared with this exceptional lot:

http://www.polarboy.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/freakyfolk/

Special thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

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Twisted Game Du Jour!

If you're bored (and you must be if you're reading this), then why not Feed The Nine-Mouthed Baby? Lord knows I've tried, but I'd really rather let it starve...

http://www.matazone.co.uk/feed-the-nine-mouthed-baby-game.html


June 9, 2003

Today's Amusing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

When King Louis XVI of France (1754-93) was led to the guillotine, he said to the crowd:

"May my blood cement your happiness."

Culled from: Weird Wills And Eccentric Last Wishes

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You gotta love that line. I think it's t-shirt worthy, don't you?

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Check out this brilliant Amazon.Com parody. What a labor of, um, lurve...

http://www.brains4zombies.com/

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Dahmerism Du Jour!

Okay, we can blame klugosi for this one...

What were Jeffrey Dahmer's last words?

"Eat me!"

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Morbid Trinkets Du Jour!

Here's an online store full of morbid trinkets. That casket paperweight and the chocolate caskets sure look tempting!

http://www.bluelips.com/

Special thanks to Heather for the link.


June 10, 2003

Today's Slashing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In January, 2003, a Malaysian boy died after being slashed by his father's fighting cockerel, which had curved blades strapped to its feet. The cockerel ripped open the 12-year-old boy's thigh as he watched a match in a remote rural district of Nabawan in Sabah state on Borneo island. Henrysius, son of villager Tungkaling Ratu, bled profusely and died on the way to hospital. Villagers said the special "buang pantang" (getting rid of taboos) cockfight was held to mark the seventh day after the death of a local personality. Children had been warned to keep away from the fighting ring, but once the bout began they edged closer, and the bird suddenly flew at the boy.

Culled from: AFP
Generously submitted by: katchaya

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Well, I certainly cannot be the only one who thought, "Karma, baby!" while reading this one, right?

.....


Okay, well, maybe I am... but, nevertheless, KARMA, BABY! KARMA!!

*******

You may have noticed, or you may not care... no, that's impossible, that the Asylum Eclectica is down again. I'm in the process of moving it to another host, and the old host took it down before I expected to... yes, it's all a tragedy of timing. In any event, I hope to have the site up at the new server by tomorrow night sometime. I hope you can withstand the pall hanging over your world in the meantime...

*******

And, finally, Patty has a Magazine tip for us:

"Check out this months issue of Maxim magazine with Shania Twain on the cover. They got some bizarre mental disorders, including the uncontrollable urge to cut off a limb. They detail a man's story about how he was so compelled, he put a shotgun to a certain spot on his knee where surgeons would have no choice but to amputate."

http://www.maximonline.com/grit/articles/article_5283.html

Sounds like great airplane reading material to me!


June 13, 2003

Today's Artistic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Visitors to a off-beat Berlin arts center on Thursday, December 11, 2002 thought a dead woman on the ground was a performance art act rather than a suicide. Authorities said the 24-year-old woman, who apparently leapt from a window, discussed suicide in a videotaped interview with a group of artists the day before. "A group of visitors to the center at first thought the body lying on the ground at the art center was part of an art performance," said police spokeswoman Christine Rother. "It took a while before anyone realized it was not an act but a suicide." Artists at the Tacheles art center had videotaped the woman the evening before when she told of her suicide plans. They tried to talk her out of it and drove her home, but she returned to the arts workshop later in the evening.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Dan

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Now THAT'S what I call suffering for your ART! Well done!

*******

I was flaky again for a couple of days, wasn't I? The truth is I was horribly sidetracked trying to get the Asylum up and running on the new server. It's mostly there now, though I still haven't finished working on a new Forum or restoring some of the features... but at least the bulk of the move is complete. Hurray! I'll let you know when the new forum is working - it's so much cooler than the old one. I think you'll like it. I hope so, anyway!

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/

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Ebay Find Du Jour!

For you rich folks on the list, why not purchase a cemetery logbook? I would if I could:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3527096497&category=1

(Link donated by Bruce Townley)

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Gypsy

"It was a very strange night to begin with...

"My fiancé who was currently residing at Folsom Prison was hospitalized after a particularly brutal racial stabbing earlier in the week that took out most of one lung. On my way to the hospital in Sacramento, we found ourselves about 4 car lengths behind a drunk driver. He was all over the road. We dropped back a few more car lengths, and watched the drunk spin out of control and hit a car coming the opposite direction. We stopped and I first went to the car that was hit by the drunk, while my friend ran to the other car. There were three what appeared to be teenagers in the car... there was no-one left alive to help. I managed to wrench the backseat car door open, and a head rolled across the seat at me. When I looked through the broken windshield, there was absolutely no way the people were alive. The male driver had come through the windshield and was sliced to the bone through the skull with a gaping neck wound. The girl in the front seat appeared to have her neck broken. She didn't move and her eyes were staring blindly into nothing. Her head was almost completely turned around to the back seat. It was a pretty evil crash, all in all.

"I next went to the drunk driver who was thrown through his windshield to the side of the road where his car had spun to after the accident. The drunk was the only one alive out of the 4 casualties of the accident. He was laying on his stomach and moaning. I tried to talk to him, but he was struggling to get up. He was pretty broken up. The drunk got to his knees but started screaming like a banshee in pain. The only thing I knew to do was to fall back on my days as a lifesaver at Redondo Beach. I crouched down and threw one arm under his chest and kept him in a cross carry position so that he wouldn't do any more damage in case of spinal injury. It was 20 minutes before the ambulance arrived to take him off my hands. I was covered from head to foot in blood from the 3 people that I had checked, and from this drunk. They then placed him on a back board, and the ambulance people said that it looked like his back was broken. I never knew what became of the drunk or the whole mess that night. I know that it took me a long time to get the blood off of me and my clothing. And that was one of a few brushes with Morbidity. But then, I lived in California at the time and that's morbid enough for anybody."

Hmmmm... I have to raise my eyes at that last remark, since nothing of morbid happenstance has occurred in MY Californian life. Guess I'm just not blessed...

And I must wonder how many cries of "Bullsh*t!" I'll receive regarding this brush...

*******

I just rewatched Fargo - what a brilliant film! And I laughed all the way through it because the characters in the film talk EXACTLY like my Minnesotan relatives do. It's such a kick. And, of course, that woodchipper scene has to rate as one of the great morbid moments in film lore. This one's definitely on my list of Morbid Masterpieces and it's also my Featured Film of the Month:

http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/library/film/
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0792846427/theasylumeclecti

Right now, I'm trying to wade my way through Dawn Of The Dead - what an ultra crappy flick. People wonder why I'm not much of a fan of horror films - stupid movies like this one are the perfect reason why. Can you tell me what redeemable features this film has? Please? Unless I just haven't gotten to the "good" parts yet. Yes, that's probably it...

*******

Okay, the muscle relaxants I took awhile back are kicking in now and I ... must ... go ... to ... sleep ... Guess I'll have to find out if the zombies eat the "heros" and "Heroine" in Dawn of the Dead tomorrow. Oh, the suspense is killing me! ;-)


June 14, 2003

Today's Sweaty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Sweating Sickness, also called Sudor Anglicus or 'The English Sweat,' first appeared in England in 1485 and spread quickly among the populace. Apprently healthy indiviauls were struck down and died of the disease overnight. Largely confined to England, Sweating Sickness killed thousands in epidemics that occurred in 1485, 1506, 1517, 1528, and 1551. In London alone, in 1528, 40,000 people died. Then, as quickly as it hit, the disease disappeared. The symptoms were headache and severe prostration, soon followed by a violent, drenching sweat, delirium, and then rapid pulse. Some people died after only three hours. To this day, nobody knows what Sweating Sickness really was.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History
and Learning About Epidemics

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You just gotta love those olde English diseases, huh? They came out of nowhere, struck with devastating force, and then just ... disappeared. Kind of like the Influenza epidemic in 1918 too... Very strange, but immensely fascinating... to Comtesses, anyway.

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"Morbid Flick Du Jour!"

Well, after watching a film as horrendous as Dawn Of The Dead, I'm ready for someone to recommend something truly worthwhile. And it sounds as if Musidora may have done just that!

"Has anyone recommended the films of Japanese director Miike Takashi? Because they should. Not only is he a film-making genius, but his films (he makes about six a year!) feature some of the most shocking and unexpected violence I have ever seen on screen - and I've been watching horror movies for over 30 years. The easiest one to get hold of on DVD or video is probably Audition, which starts off like a touching romance and then skews off in the final half-hour into total nightmare territory. I won't say too much because it's so off-the-wall and surprising, but be warned - it's not for the faint of heart or stomach."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000640S9/theasylumeclecti

"Miike's speciality is ultra-violent gangster movies like Dead or Alive (available on DVD in the UK) and Ichi the Killer (which has its own website). Dead or Alive fatures a first ten minutes of sheer exhilarating virtuosity (and violence) followed by scenes in which a woman drowns in a paddling pool full of excrement (yuck), someone's hand gets tempura-ed in a deep-fat frier and a showdown which ends... no I can't tell you, you have to see it with your own eyes."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008WJCJ/theasylumeclecti

"Ichi the Killer is probably the most violent movie I have EVER seen: there's some explicity nasty sexual violence against women, but since there's also lots of explicitly nasty sexual violence against men you can't really accuse the director of misogyny. Someone has called this 'the Citizen Kane of the spurting carotid artery' and they're right, but it's also pretty much the Citizen Kane of spilled entrails, people split down the middle and people suspended from hooks. There's one gangster whose face is held together by safety-pins - just to show how crazed he is, he cuts his own tongue out and immediately makes a call on his cellphone! It's the blackest humour ever, and frequently so gory that you have to watch it through your fingers, but the characters are genuinely interesting and unusual, and the film-making style - as always with Miike - is sensational. The man is a genius. But sick, sick, sick."

Unfortunately, I can't find "Ichi the Killer" on DVD. But I've added the other two to my "Must-See" list... How many of you will have the moxie to see it yourselves?

***********

And I must allow The Zen Gardener to try to explain the appeal of Dawn Of The Dead, since I obviously just don't "get it":

"Ah my dear friend, it is unfortunate that I am late for work at the moment and cannot explain to you the wonder of zombies... but in brief... as with Dawn of the Dead... it is not the movie or the make up or the acting or the plot... it is the IDEA of the dead coming back to life and eating the living (let alone the fact that one cannot ever truly come close to getting DAWN if you have not spent an evening in the dark in front of it's fore running black and white classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD...and even DAY OF THE DEAD has more to offer than DAWN). Zombies are the BEST, man. They EAT you. And you are ALIVE when they eat you. And you probably stay alive for a long time before you die from something like that. Yep, it probably takes a long fucking time to get eaten to death by a zombie. And what if it's someone you KNOW?
That's pretty morbid, eh?
Damn! I have not done this subject justice but must go..."

I see your point my friend - but the film still stunk!


June 16, 2003

Today's Weepy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Glasgow doctor, who died at the turn of the 19th century, had been deserted by his wife, and left his estate to his sisters. In his will, however, he asked his sister Elizabeth to provide his erring spouse with "a gift of ten shillings sterling, to buy her a pocket handkerchief to weep after my decease."

Culled from: Weird Wills & Eccentric Last Wishes by Michelle Lovric

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For you Forum-goers, I am diligently working on setting up the Forum and should have it up and running early this week. I do apologize for the delay.

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Neil Langdon Inglis offers some additional details on English Sweating Sickness:

"What especially vexed the Anglos was the fact that the sweat struck with no particular pattern. Strapping young men might be felled by the sweat... girls and delicate young ladies might survive. Many historians mock Henry VIII for leaving Anne Boleyn's side during an outbreak of the sweat, but it is likely that they had some kind of pact that they should not both die together of the dread disease."

Ah, yes - true love! :)

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Guess what? Conneisseurs of the Disturbing can take heart in the fact that the Japanese gorefest Ichi The Killer is available on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3332616151&category=41521
(and there are tons more where that one came from! - thanks to J.W. for checking that out)

It's also available from Play.Com - but be sure that you have a DVD player that can play European DVDs first. (Thanks to Paul for that lead.)

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And the Dawn of the Dead debate rages on. (Remember that I thought it was horrid.) I never realized I would be opening up such an intense philosophical discussion!

First, Amos Quito supports my position:

"Dawn of the Dead IS crap! I've always hated it, and I've watched it 2 or 3 times. Fans of it try to point out its 'redeemable' qualities such as its supposedly metaphorical examination of American over-consumption (consumerism) just because most of the action takes place in a mall! B.S., I say! Its just super-low budget '80's horror and it sucks. Although, I have to admit that the decapitation-by-helicopter blade near the beginning is fairly frightful, especially when you consider this: I subscribed to Fangoria magazine back when this film was made and they had an article about the effects and, yeah, the stuntman who performed that actually did stand up into a whirling helicopter blade so the prosthetic top-half of his head was chopped off! Yow!"

(Oh yes - that was the one good moment in the film, I thought - despair)

Then, Amber represents the opposing viewpoint:

"I am sorry to say that you got a pretty non-helpful response there about the Day of the Dead; of course he was right; zombies are fantastic, and it's cool and gory, but that is not the reason that these films have value.
"Romero has a theme in his movies (no, I am not talking about kill the brain, kill the zombie,
although that is one of the rules of zombie movies that any zombie movie worth anything follows,) which is that they are actually a commentary on society. Notice in the film how the mall is filled with mannequins that are often mistakable for zombies, notice how the one thing trained into those zombies that they can't seem to stop doing is to wander around in a mall; just like humans these days are completely obsessed with consumerism. A nice metaphor if ever; I'd say. This allows for the nice point to be addressed; the human characters get the chance to have all the material wealth that they ever could have dreamed of in the post-zombie world; but that doesn't make their lives perfect... It's nice that Romero chose not to rub that in too much; certainly they are happy, but to have all of that stuff, there is quite a cost... Holing oneself up with a barricade of material goods is just a postponement, a mental barricade against the inevitable reality of death.
"Another thing that makes that movie great is the way that Romero plays with the roles given to stereotypes; it is almost always in his films a black man who is able to keep his cool under pressure and think of the logical solutions, but often there are characters so over excited or egotisical that they won't work together with the team or respect his ideas over their own.
"Romero also addresses the place of women in a post-apocalyptic world; the women in his films are usually able to step up to the physical and mental challenges of the zombie invasion, but they are constantly being undervalued in their opinions and abilities by people who want them to remain in their place in some fashion, or who want to use them for sex or who overprotect them; this inevitably does not help the women, who can and are willing to take the challenge, but it usually results in unecessary deathy-death for other members of the team.
"So there is my hurried explaination of the film; hopefully this will reignite your interest; actually good horror movies are not just good bloody glee, but have the ability to subtextually express statements about reality."

Yes... I do see your point... but a low-budget badly acted dully plotted rose by any other name...

Larry sends the following info:
"That mall where they filmed Dawn of the Dead is about 10 miles from where I'm sitting. The Monroeville Mall in East Pittsburgh. So I kinda like the thing for no other reason than that. The original film, Night of the Living Dead had my neighbor in a lead part. He was the guy that got blown up after they put the gas in the truck. And they ate his innerds. Ronnie Hartman was his real name. But his stage name was Keith Wayne. He went on to be a chiropractor. I think he's dead now in real life. Died early around 50 in either North or South Carolina. Just something interesting I thought I'd share."

June 17, 2003

Today's Lingering Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The lingering torture of death by burning was practiced in ancient Rome, particularly by the fourth-century emperor Maximus, a persistent persecutor of Christians. In his "History of the Martyrs in Palestine", Eusebius describes the execution of Apphianus:

"The martyr was hung up at a great height, in order that ... he might strike terror into all those who were looking on, while at the same time they tore his side and ribs with combs, until he became one mass of swelling all over, and the appearance of his countenance was completely changed. And for a long time his feet were burning in a sharp fire, so that the flesh of his feet, as it was consumed, dropped like melted wax, and the fire burst into his very bones like dry reeds."

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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Hmmm... For some completely inexplicable reason, I just had a lawyer-like advertisement run through my head...

Maximus: Maximum torture at minimum cost.

Hmmmm... Perhaps it's t-shirt time?

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

I just went back to the beloved Adipocere website and enjoyed another trip through its many fascinating images and stories. If you're interested in the soap-like substance that your body just might have the fortune of turning into after you die, why not pay a visit? The images are a must-see!

http://adipocere.homestead.com/


June 18, 2003

Today's Hatching Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 13-year-old Indian boy has begun producing winged beetles in his urine after hatching the eggs in his body. Doctor Chittaranjan Maity, Medical Education Director of West Bengal state where the boy is from, said doctors found the beetles while examining him for pain in the groin area. "Doctors were really surprised to see the beetles. There are eggs of the beetle in a fistula in his body and he is getting medical treatment to try to kill the eggs," Maity said. The boy had been taken to hospital Sunday after complaining of pain while urinating. The beetles -- more than half a centimeter in length -- belong to the Staphylinidae rove beetle family of insects. Most types are predators but some feed on fungi, algae and decaying plant matter. An expert in urology, Doctor N. Subramanian, said that in theory it was possible for insects to hatch in the body and come out in urine but said he had not heard of such a case.

Culled from: Reuters
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030617/od_nm/india_boy_dc
Generously donated by: Elizabeth

*******

Okay, I admit that I'm still having trouble believing this one. A human body just doesn't seem like the right environment for these beetles to hatch into, you know? Sounds like an urban legend... smells like an urban legend... yet... it appears not to be. Apparently, real life continues to occasionally be stranger than fiction...

Somehow, this story reminds me of a Robyn Hitchcock lyric:

"You've been laying eggs under my skin
Now they're hatching out under my chin
Now there's tiny insects showing through
And all those tiny insects look like you!"
- "Kingdom Of Love," The Soft Boys

... but I digress...

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I Want My Morbid TV!

The Irreverend Christopher has a television recommendation that sounds delightful!

"I wasn't sure if you had mentioned National Geographic's "The Mummy Road Show". If you haven't heard tell of this fine show, I can't recommend it enough. Two garroulous, decidely morbid forensic experts drive around in a converted bread truck "unraveling" mummy mysteries here in the Homeland. The first episode was a return trip for partner Jerry Conlogue to the Mutter Musuem to see the Soap Lady, whom he had examined many years before. The CT scan performed on the spot added an even deeper level of delectable despair.

"Alas, the site ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel/mummy/ ) doesn't seem to have reference to past shows, but here are two articles from the Web concerning this episode (appropriately the premier):

here: http://www.100megsfree4.com/farshores/nsoap.htm

and here:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sfl-928mummy.story?coll=sfla-news-fringe

Thank you very much for the heads up! For those of us who have missed out on the episodes that have already aired, it looks like they are re-running a couple of episodes starting at 1 p.m. daily (except Saturdays). Of course, that's not much comfort to those of us who work... and I must be blind because I couldn't find where this show actually ran during primetime on a weekly basis. It must have been around for awhile and I just missed it! Typical...


June 19, 2003

Today's Frightening Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man was found dead in his seat at a cinema in the Indian capital after the late-night screening of a horror film which the director has warned could pose a health risk to those of a nervous disposition. The theater's cleaning staff found the man -- aged around 50 -- slumped in his seat early on Tuesday morning after the end of the showing of an Indian horror movie, "Bhoot," or "Ghost." Police said they had found no identification papers on the man or external injuries on his body. "Nobody has come forward to claim his body. Maybe he got frightened, I don't know," said the police official. "Bhoot" is a spooky thriller about a possessed housewife and is set in a high-rise Bombay apartment. It is running to packed houses in many parts of the country. Before the movie starts, a message from the director appears on the screen warning people with heart problems or pregnant women that they view the film at their own risk.

Culled from: Reuters
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030618/od_nm/india_death_dc
Link generously provided by: Ladyfreud

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Ooooh, I'll have to keep my eyes open for this one playing at the Indian theaters in the Bay Area! Although I *am* of a slightly nervous disposition, I am not afraid, because if I survived "Dawn Of The Dead," I can survive *anything*!!! ;)

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A Well-Morbid New Release!

I know some of you are counting the seconds until you get that tragic new Harry Potter tome in your hand, but the other 99% of us will have to satisfy ourselves with a new non-fiction release (well, if you consider April new... but I've been away) that sounds absolutely luvly:

Stiff: The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers
By Mary Roach

Wendigo has provided a link to an excellent review:

http://www.wwnorton.com/catalog/spring03/005093.htm

And if you must have this book (like me), and if you'd care to support The Comtesse's morbid endeavors (like me), why not consider purchasing it through Amazon.Com (like me)? If not for me, then do it for the CHILDREN! ;)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393050939/theasylumeclecti


June 20, 2003

Today's Munchy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Guatemalan prison gang may have cooked and eaten as many as four inmates over the Christmas holidays. The report describes human bone fragments found at the Pavoncito Correction Facility, 25km east of the capital, where four prisoners went missing after a December 23 riot. "They appear to be the fragments of two individuals, though the pieces are small, they are definitely human," Samuel Suasanavar, technical director of the Foundation of Forensic Anthropology of Guatemala, said. Seven inmates were killed during the riot, but four others simply vanished. Stories circulated that the gang quartered the remains, cooked the flesh and served it to their cellmates. Suasanavar said 60 bone fragments had been recovered, among them pieces of skull, vertebrae and femur. "The remains reveal that they wanted to erase the evidence ... given the small size of the fragments and the fact that they were found in a drainage ditch," the investigators said in a report. Security forces resumed control of the facility only in April. They relocated some 800 prisoners, clearing the area for the investigation.

Culled from: news.com.au
Generously submitted by: Paul

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I hope the prisoners aren't punished because, after all, they were only doing their Christian duty by celebrating the Feast Of Steven... and Rick... and Trevor... and Kevin...

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

Leslie wrote me yesterday to provide some more information for fans of Mary Roach - the Salon correspondent who has written the newly-released morbid book "Stiff" that was discussed in yesterday's morbid fact:

Dear Comtesse,

You or your readers may be interested in listening to Mary Roach's investigation of the high cost of movie theatre popcorn; while it is decidedly less morbid than her book, it make for an interesting insight into the morbid mind. The audio archive can be found on NPR's website at:

http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=1301687

I think I shall have to check it out this weekend. For now, I must be on my way to (heavy sigh) work...

Oh, and the Forum will be open later this evening. I'm putting the finishing touches on it right after work. I'll send a note out when it's complete...


June 21, 2003

From our Poetic Justice files, comes...

Today's Deserving Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On Thursday, January 23, 2003, a man trying to beat his dog to death with a gun was fatally wounded when it apparently went off accidentally. Raymond Poore Jr., 43, called his wife at work Thursday and told her that their dog had bitten him and he intended to kill the animal. The wife came home about 6 p.m. and found her husband unconscious, with a number of dog bites and scratches. Emergency medical personnel discovered that Poore had been shot. He was pronounced dead at Winchester Medical Center. Poore must have beaten the 30-pound shar-pei with the gun that went off since the stock of the weapon, a combination rifle and shotgun, was broken and there appeared to be blood and dog hair on it. The dog was in the custody of an animal control officer. No details were available on how badly it was injured.

Culled from: AP
Generously submitted by: Nancy

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Write this date down because the unthinkable has occurred:

For once I'm on the *dog's* side!

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Grim Games Du Jour!

MrSkull has a pair of video game recommendations for us:

Hunter: The Reckoning

"the game is great. you pick one of four 'hunters' and take to the streets, cathedrals, cemeteries, etc. hacking and slicing up zombies, vampires and gargoyles. good stuff. blood everywhere. thought you'd enjoy this one."

another good game:

Clive Barker's Undying

"this one's cool as all hell, too. like playing a horror movie. big guns, lotsa cool spells, and some ugly as all hell bad guys to smear on the walls."

Thanks, MrSkull!

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The Morbid Forum Du Jour is finally open!

I used a program entitled Invision Power Board for this version of the forum, which has lots of features I found engrossing but you might find annoying. Time will only tell. There is a bit more clicking about to get to the posts, but I think that's the only disadvantage. Here are some of the new items with this forum that I hope you will enjoy:

* Emoticons can now be used in posts, which could quite possibly be amusing.

* Personal messages to be sent easily to other forum members, which could quite possibly result in stalking, which is always fun.

* The skin is (IMHO) quite pretty - it's a gravestone image that I took in Augusta, GA and the other olde gravestone in the header is one I took in Savannah, GA. This is the first of several skins I'll be creating - with other themes such as 'Asylum,' 'Prison,' 'Abandoned,' etc. - and eventually you'll be able to choose your own. I'll even put a 'boring old thing' skin in there for those of you who like to K.I.S.S. I hope that you like the skins because everything I do, I do it for you. ;)

* This forum contains a calendar which I thought we could use to highlight any important morbid events on the horizon. I went ahead and added quite a few television entries for June and July, but I did not get all of them (I gave up halfway through Discovery Channel). I simply don't have the time or energy to keep a calendar like that updated... so I'm looking for a volunteer to go through the television listings each month and make the appropriate updates. Please contact me if you're interested. Currently the calendar is updateable by everyone, and I'll leave it that way as long as no one abuses it and puts silly wedding anniversaries or birthdays and the like in there... but once the abuse starts, I'll have to limit who can make the updates. So... for now, please feel free to add any appropriate entries... but rest assured, I'm keeping my eyes on you!

* There are only three forum categories right now - 'Miscellaneous Morbid Musings' (the kind of general discussion found in the old forum), Morbid Media (discussions surrounding TV, film, books, etc.), and 'Upsetting Updates' - where I will put all of the latest Asylum Eclectica site updates and is only updateable by yours truly. I want to keep it basic so people don't have to page through a zillion forums everyday, but if you can think of any other categories you think would be worthwhile, please let me know and I'll ponder adding the new forum.

The forum hasn't been tested out very well, so please let me know if you encounter any problems along the way. I wouldn't be surprised if I've forgotten to set some things up, so don't be shy.

Oh yeah - here it is:
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/forum


June 22, 2003

Today's Adventurous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

During the Great Westward Expansion of the 1840's and 1850's, many emigrants lost their lives. By one estimate 20,000 people died on the California Trail between 1841 and 1859 - an average of ten graves for every mile. What probably put down most of the unlucky ones or made them susceptible to accidents and disease was a combination of contaminated water, inadequate food, and exhaustion from the constant toil. Scurvy, smallpox, tick-borne fever, and especially cholera were the primary illnesses. From the class of 1850 cholera felled at least 2,000 people before they could even reach Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Drownings took a heavy toll at the river crossings, especially on the Platte and on the Green, which swallowed 37 travelers that year. There was also occasional death by accidental gunshot, inasmuch as the emigrants tended to be as richly endowed with firearms as they were inept in the proper handling of them. McBride wrote of a man near Scotts Bluff, Nebraska whose "jaw was shot away when a loaded pistol fired from his breast pocket." And of the travelers in John Bidwell's 1841 company the only one to perish on the trail was a young man named Shotwell, who, in the act of drawing a rifle muzzle-first from his wagon, managed to trip its hammer. The eponymous Shotwell "lived about an hour," Bidwell noted, then "died in the full possession of his senses."

Culled from: National Geographic (September, 2000)

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Yeah, he was Shot Well, all right! (I had to beat you to it. HAD to!)

Incidentally, this topic reminds me of another of my favorite morbid books, but one which I had somehow inexplicably left off the Library Eclectica! The book is called "Ordeal By Hunger" by George R. Stewart and it details the tragic plight of the Donner Party, who foolishly tried taking a shortcut to California ("Hasting's Cutoff") that ended up requiring tremendous effort to traverse and resulted in them not quite making it over the Sierra Nevada before a devastating snowstorm hit. They ended up suffering through the winter and those who died were devoured by the living. The book is absolutely compelling. They really need to make this into a (good) feature film!

Anyway, here's the link. By the way, I'm planning a trip to the Donner Party camp sometime this summer and I'll be sharing the images I take in a morbid travelogue afterwards.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395611598/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're in Springfield, IL (which could quite possibly be next Thursday, you never know), why not stop by...

The Museum Of Funeral Customs

It looks like a nice place to take in all variety of mourning memorabilia, from Victorian mourning dresses, to funeral buggies, to old embalming equipment. In other words, a lovely browse.

Special thanks to Heather for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Okay, this one is absolutely classic and I must beseech you that if you've never seen Happy Tree Friends before and you have even a semi-morbid personality (and you wouldn't be here if you didn't), then you MUST go visit this site at once. You can't possibly regret it! (Well, you could possibly... but you won't probably...)

http://www.happytreefriends.com/

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Submitted by Heather Rank:

"I've just finished reading 'Blood Stain' by Peter Lalor - a true crime account of of a really gruesome murder here in Australia. I'm not sure if you ever posted the details of Katherine Knight - the devoted Aussie grandmother who murdered her de-facto husband by stabbing him forty times. The gross bit is what she did afterwards - skinned him then boiled his head and served it up for two of his children (I think with potatoes and carrots - hee!). The best bits of the book is the descriptions of the crime scene given by the poor country town coppers who had to go in there - things like 'the skinned body glistened on the floor,' 'the skin was hung up on a hook, looking like a grotesque wetsuit,' and 'when he looked into the pot on the stove, one boiled eye stared blankly back at him'.

"Absolutely fascinating stuff. The book delves into her horrid childhood and just how much of a lunatic she really was! Anyway, it is readily available from www.dymocks.com.au and is cheap as chips once you covert it into US dollars. Check it out!"

http://www.dymocks.com.au/ContentDynamic/Full_Details.asp?ISBN=1865088781

I think I will!


June 23, 2003

Today's Excrutiating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Choctaw (a Native American people of Alabama) were reputed to be particularly ingenius in their torture of captives. Their victims were stripped naked and their arms tied. Then a strong grapevine was looped around their throats, with its other end fastened to the top of a tall pole. In this way a prisoner was free to run around the pole, but remained tethered, like a baited bear. In his "Curiosities of Savage Life" (1863), James Greenwood described what happened next: "The women make a furious onset with their burning torches; his pain is soon so excruciating that he runs from the pole with the fury of the most savage beast of prey, lashes them with the trailing vine-rope, bites and kicks and tramples on all he can catch. The circle immediately fills again either with the same or fresh persons; they attack him on every side - now he runs to the pole for shelter, but the flames pursue him ... Should he sink or flag under the torture, they pour over him a quantity of cold water till his spirits recover, and so the like cruelties are renewed until he falls down and happily becomes insensible to pain."

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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I want to know what happens then? Do they stop playing because if he's insensible to pain, he's no fun anymore - kind of like a "normal" cat with a listless mouse will eventually lose interest? Or do they keep on playing until it's well and truly dead, like a sadistic cat? Oh, I hate it when my curiosities go unsatiated!

Mechelle offers perspective: "I'm part Choctow and part of the 'tribal spirituality' is that it is not 'torture' to punish an enemy. Someone who has harmed you deserves to be harmed as much in return. But after the punishment you send their soul to the spirit world without the proper rituals so that they will wander
the spirit world unsettled! Which of course is another form of punishment-rotfl. But it is also a possible mercy because an unsettled spirit can return to this world and make amends for the wrongs that they committed and thereby become a restful spirit and get all the good stuff the spirit world has to offer. (Actually from what I have heard it doesn't sound very great-abundant hunting and free food is the best part-lol)"

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

Kathy sent me a link to Warren Criswell's website (http://www.warrencriswell.com/), and I immediately fell in love with his work. There's a very creepy aura of darkness surrounding his watercolors. My favorites are the watercolors of empty roads at night - very creepy.

http://www.warrencriswell.com/darkroadvi791w.jpg
http://www.warrencriswell.com/christmasmorning779w.JPG

And doesn't this picture give you that serial killer vibe?

http://www.warrencriswell.com/path777w.jpg

And this one too - it's got a "modern Ed Gein" sort of feel to it. It's almost as if you can barely make out Eddie dancing in the moonlight in his breast suit...

http://www.warrencriswell.com/driveway2-808w.JPG

And check out his latest works "What's That In The Road?" and "Driveway III":

http://www.warrencriswell.com/studio-fs.html

Yes, this man is definitely a genius... and I want some of his work! My birthday is coming up in September, so start saving now. ;-)

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"My Brush(es) With Morbidity" by Greg

"I have been a police officer in Maumee, Ohio http://www.maumee.org/residential/police.htm) for about 4 years. There are 3 cases I've worked on that just really seemed to grab me. The first was a trucker had been struck by a drunk driver. This was my first fatal I had to handle. He was off the side of the road after his truck was worked on. He was just squaring up the bill with the workman who had just fueled up his disabled truck when as the workman stated 'The cab filled up with light, the guy looked over his shoulder and said "Oh, Sh|t!"'. The victim who was about 27 years old was struck with such force the car ripped the lug nuts off of the workman's truck. He was dragged over 150 feet. I responded with a Sgt to the scene. What was weird was as I rode up code 3 I see this medic walking back to his ambulance with a leg that was severed from the thigh down and all I though was 'This can't be promising'. The guy was still alive when I got there but I was hoping he could't feel anything. His other leg was just a flap of skin. I helped load him up and reached over and nonchalantly put the shredded leg on the cart. They man died just a few minutes later after getting to the hospital. We caught the guy that did it and he is serving 8 years in Ohio. (search here : http://www.drc.state.oh.us/search2.htm for KARL EICKMANN)

"The next one was a 14 year old who stole a car in Toledo. I was on the force about 2 years and was going home at 11 pm after my shift. As I was about to cross the bridge, this car comes racing by and this young kid is in the driver's seat and I swear to God he was smiling and laughing! An then two TPD crews come following. He ends up striking a van and then hits a pole snapping his neck like a twig. I head back to help at the scene. And ask the Sgt. "Can I go look?" He gives me a strange look and goes "Go ahead" So I look in and see this little kid. It looks like he's sleeping except his neck is all wrong and he had cerebral fluid coming out his ears.

"The last one just happened. This 28 yr old who was having marrage, work and personal problem got in trouble at work. She bought 2 knives and some rope. She goes missing and they found a suicide note in her locker at work and one on the shore that says 'The funny thing is I really don't want to die'. They then find some bloody rope, the knives and 3 pill bottles. She was on all kinds of anti-depressants (didn't work too well, huh). They have 4 officers, 4 detectives, 4 background investigators, the brass, Maumee Fire and Rescue with boats, Perryburg PD (who we share the river with) and Toledo's AIR One helecopter all looking for her. No luck. The next day they have a remains dog (cadaver dog) that had did time at the Twin Towers in NYC out looking and no luck. So then finally a Maumee Detective goes and sits on the bridge with some binos and finds her! What happened was the tide kept covering her up and it was just shallow enough to keep the boats out of that area. So the coroner get there and his guys and we examine her. We guessed she took about 70 pills before getting started. She then cuts both wrists, ties a rope around herslef and a rock and walked out into the water and just lays down. She had a whole lot of skin slippage from being in the water but looked very peaceful. Just a weird day."

Hmmmm... A weird day for me is one where I don't get any phone calls. Sigh... my life is so dull...

Oh, incidentally, "Oh Sh|t!" is also the most commonly heard last words on black boxes as well. They do sum the situation up perfectly, with minimal syllables, for when you're feeling high on stress but low on time. (I should be an advertising exec, I know...)


June 24, 2003

Today's Celebratory Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Kings Charles I of England was beheaded on January 30, 1649 and the day became a religious festival. For many years, or at least since 1693, the Republican Calves' Head Club commemorated the execution by throwing a calf's head into a bonfire and brandishing napkins soaked in red wine in memory of the royal beheading.

Culled from: The Fortean Times
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito

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While I certainly appreciate the sentiment of the ceremony, I can't help but wonder what crimes of high treason the calf committed?

Kevin comments:
"Because of... OLIVER CROMWELL, Lord Protector of England (and his warts)... Born in 1599 and died in 1658 (September) :)
Ah, the joys of Monty Python. But as they put it, "The most interesting thing about King Charles I is that he was 5'6" tall at the start of his reign, but only 4'8" tall at the end of it.""

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Urban Exploration Sites Du Jour!

KSHOhio sends a link to an excellent Ohio urban exploration website:

(Oh, and please, if your reaction is - "So? It's just a bunch of abandoned buildings" then you just don't *understand*... but since some people do, here are a bunch of breathtaking abandoned buildings!)

Ohio Trespassers - http://www.ohiotrespassers.com/

and before long, I'm stumbling across other fantastic Ohio pages:

Forgotten Ohio - http://www.forgottenohio.com

Illicit Ohio - http://illicitohio.illicitohio.com/

Ohio Valley Abandoned - http://www.cahaltech.com/~abandon/page.php3?page=indexset

Standing But Not Operational (amusement parks) - http://sbno.illicitohio.com/

and who can resist the ever-creepy:

Dead Ohio - http://www.deadohio.com/

Who would ever have guessed?

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!
Donated by Thorn

The Milwaukee School of Culinary Arts Presents:
Cooking with Jeffrey Dahmer

On sale for a limited time only. Just 19.95 plus shipping and handling.

This is the latest work from the author whose other credits inclide: "A Farewell to Arms", "How to get a head in refrigeration", "Shortcuts to becoming a Head Chef", "How to cook with Heart and Soul".

Now you can make the finest in old-fashioned "Milwaukee Style" cuisine in your own home! Among Jeff's favorites are these
timeless mouth watering classics...

Andy Bars......................Apairaguts
ART's Choked Heart.............Aunt Jemima Pancakes
BABY Back Ribs.................Baked Alaskan
Beans and Frank................Bill On The Grill
Biscuits and Gary..............Bob's B-B-Q Ribs
Brownknees.....................Chicken a la King
Chicken With Pen|s Sauce.......CHUCK's Roast
Elbow Macaroni.................Eyesburg Lettuce
Eyescream......................Fillet O'FRED
Finger Sandwiches..............Fruit Compote
Ham and Ben Soup...............Handburger
Head Lettuce...................Heartichokes
Icebox Surprise Pie............Irish Stew
Johnson-Bill Brats.............Kidney Pie
Leg O'Sam......................Manwich
Mixed Nuts.....................Moo Goo Guy-In-A-Pan
Oscar Meyer's Wiener...........Penis Butter Sandwich
Peteloaf.......................PETER Bread
Pork Lo Men....................Rice-a-Ronnie
Roast Of Chuck.................Rump Roast
Sam'N Cheese sandwich..........Samburgers
Sauerkraut & His Sausage.......Screamin' SAMMY Sausage
Shish-K-Bob....................Sloppy Joe's
Spaghetti and Pete's Balls.....Sum-Yun-Guy
Terry-Aki......................Tex and Mex Chili
Tom, Turkey, and Dressing......Tongue Sandwich
Uncle Ben on Rice..............VINCE Meat Pie
Yankee Pot Roast...............Scrambled Legs

Plus MANY MANY More!

This is the book to have when you have a friend for dinner.
Expect some delays in shipment as Dalhmer is under investigation for
shipping ARMS to Iraq.

To order your copy, call 1-800-HACK-SAW 24 hours a day!


June 26, 2003

Today's Cruel Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The original Dracula was a great Wallachian warrior whose terrible perversions earned him the name of Vlad the Impaler. His title - Voivode Dracul or Count Dracula - was derived from the Romanian word "dracoul," meaning devil, and there was no doubt that he was a sadistic psychopath. Dracula had seen his own father murdered and his favorite brother buried alive. So when he acceded to power, he acted with brutal decisiveness. His enemies among the noblemen were murdered, and their families systematically exterminated, in case someone contemplated revenge. The Saxon merchants were seized and impaled en masse. When Turkish ambassadors faied to show him the respect he demanded, he had their turbans and clothes nailed to their bodies - making sure the nails were short, so death would be slow. All this may sound like the typical savagery of an uncivilized warrior. But there is definite evidence that he was a pervert who derived sexual satisfaction from torture. On one occasion, he invited all the poor and sick people of the area to dine in the palace at Tagoviste, then had it boarded up and set on fire, so they were all burned alive.

Culled from: Crimes And Punishment: The Illustrated Crime Encyclopedia, Volume 26

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And of course what home would be complete without this amazingly cool Vlad The Impaler clock? I plan on buying it sometime soon. I simply cannot resist the minute and second hands - which are impaled victims of the Count. Of course, for some reason, Satan's Sideshow does not display a purchase link for this right now, but I suppose if you write them they'll make your purchasing dream come true - and I *have* bought items from them before, so I think they're trustworthy enough. But anyway... check out this cool clock!!

http://www.satanssideshow.com/CT_KT-MK_VladTepes.htm

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Ulf Rosvall sends the Amazon link to what sounds a perfectly disturbing book:

The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553013920/theasylumeclecti

Here's a snippet of the review on Amazon.Com:

"This book, written by a former inmate, describes no fewer than 1,976 concentration camps in the Soviet Union, as of early 1980. In the post-Stalin era alone, at least 1.6 million people died in these camps, and at the time of writing, inmates numbered in the millions...

"The author describes a world of watchtowers manned by guards bearing machine guns, and electrically charged barbed-wire fences; he portrays prisoners in columns or transport vehicles, prisoners attacked by dogs, prisoners in camp uniforms with numbers across their chests, women prisoners, child and teenage prisoners...

"Perhaps the most distressing part of this work is the very first section, which lists 119 prisons and concentration camps built specifically for women and children... these camps were characterised by extreme violence and sadistic cruelty: thus in Novosibirsk, club-carrying guards 'subject the young prisoners (aged 10 to 18) to merciless beatings' while children are sent to hard labour projects...

"Then there is the short section entitled 'Extermination Camps,' listing camps where prisoners, 'forced to work under dangerously unhealthy conditions for the Soviet war machine, face a virtually certain death'. The author identifies three categories: (1) camps where almost no-one ever comes out alive (the prisoners work in uranium mines and uranium enrichment plants); (2) camps where the prisoners are used for dangerous work in the arms industry (the prisoners perform high-risk duties in military nuclear plants); (3) camps where prisoners are used for dangerous work causing disability and fatal illness (the prisoners operate machines without ventilation).

"Next the author documents the existence of 85 psychiatric prisons, where mentally healthy human beings are administered heavy doses of neuroleptic drugs; where inmates are bound so that the victim's body becomes compressed as if in a vice; and where prisoners are beaten by criminals and subjected to electric shocks at the slightest provocation..."

Sounds like jolly good bedtime reading to me! And you?


June 28, 2003

Today's Fiery Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Exercise Tiger was a live ammunition D-Day rehearsal held in April 1944 (six weeks before D-Day) on Slapton Sands in England that involved some 300 ships and 30,000 men. Around 2 a.m. on April 28, nine German Schnellboote - fast, elusive torpedo boats - pounced on a line of eight U.S. tank-landing ships, or LSTs. They were churning down the English coast toward Slapton Sands, fully loaded with vehicles and men who were to land in Exercise Tiger. German torpedoes struck three LSTs at the end of the line. LST-531 capsized and sank within minutes, taking hundreds of men down with her. Gasoline aboard LST-507 exploded and set the ship afire. Eugene Eckstam, a medical officer on the 507, raced for the tank decks, which was filled with men and vehicles. "I saw only fire - a huge, roaring blast furnace," he later wrote. "Trucks were burning; gasoline was burning; and small-arms ammunition was exploding. Worst of all were the agonizing screams for help from the men trapped inside... But I knew there was no way I - or anyone else - could help them. I knew also that smoke inhalation would soon end their misery, so I closed the hatches into the tank deck and dogged them tightly shut." Many of the men who managed to escape into the water were found floating head down, feet up, with their life belts inflated. No one had told them that the life belts were to be worn under the armpits, not around the waist, which resulted in their drowning. In all 749 allied troops died during the exercise.

Culled from: National Geographic (June 2002)

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In my never-ending quest to watch all the horror movies all you sickos are recommending to me, I watched The Evil Dead for the first time tonight. And I must say, that movie was at least 5 times better than Dawn of the Dead, if not more. Quite entertaining and very funny. I would have to give it a thumbs-up!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Everyone loves dead baby jokes, right?
So, why not this one (courtesy Elisa):

How many babies does it take to paint a house?
Depends how hard you throw them.

<buh-duh-buh-duh... crash!>

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Morbid (Retro) Trinket Du Jour!

I can't remember if I shared this delightful link (courtesy Kate S.) before, but what the heck? It's nostalgia anyway!

How would you like one of these in your collection?

http://www.retrocrush.com/archive/monsterscenes/


June 30, 2003

Today's Extraordinarily Pathetic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man on a riding lawn mower drowned after he drove too close to the slanted edge of a lake and rolled into the water. Poinciano Rodriguez, who was unable to swim, died Monday, March 10, 2003. Rodriguez, who worked for Smallwood Landscape, was mowing the lawn behind some condominiums when he slid into the lake. Rodriguez, 25, came to the surface once and went under. Jones said the mower will be examined to see if a mechanical problem caused the accident. Ali MacDermott, who lives in the condo closest to where Rodriguez was mowing, said: "I heard the mower stop and that was him going in the water. He never came to."

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Okay... come on! The guy fell into a lake at a condominium. How far could he have gone from the shore? I mean, I was always a hopeless swimmer, but even I could manage to struggle my way out of that situation! Whaddaya say? Darwin Awards nominee?

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Do you remember the Morbid Fact Du Jour about Cleveland's unidentified Torso Killer? You may remember the delightful rhyme that schoolkids of the time used to sing?

"Floating down the river, chunk by chunk by chunk
Arms and legs and torsos, hunk by hunk by hunk"

If not, check the April 12, 2003 MFDJ:
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/morb0403.htm

In any event, did you know that there is a graphic novel inspired by this true tale of gruesome gore? Mattsochocki did, and he sent me notification of the existence of Torso, which sounds positively fascinating based on this Amazon.Com blurb:

"Cleveland. 1935. Eliot Ness, fresh from his legendary Chicago triumph over Al Capone and associates, sets his sights on Cleveland. He went on a crusade that matched, and sometimes even surpassed, his past accomplishments. But dismembered body parts started washing up in a concentrated area of Lake Erie Sound. Headless torsos that left no clues to their identity or reason for death. Eliot Ness and his colorful gang of THE UNKNOWNS chased this killer through the underbelly of Cleveland for years. As far as the public was concerned, he was never captured. But what really happened is even more shocking. This award winning series is finally collected into this handsome edition. Also included is material never seen before and a photo essay of the actual murders."

Oooh!! I must stop by the local comic store tomorrow to see if they have this gem!

For those of you searching for a more remote route, why not show support for The Comtesse and purchase it via Amazon.Com? All funds raised are used to support the morbid habits of the Comtesse, after all.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1582401748/theasylumeclecti

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And while we're discussing the Torso Killer, Julia has some good and bad news to share. First the bad:

"About two years ago, the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland had an exhibit on crimes/police. As part of that, they had pictures (blown up) and some artifacts from some notorious crimes around Cleveland over the years. Included in this was the Torso Murders. It's unfortunate that I wasn't on this list back then because I'm sure everyone would have appreciated the graphic photos they had for several of the crimes. They even had an electric chair that was decommissioned."

Drat, we missed it. Now, the good news:

"Apparently there is a museum is part of the Justice League on Ontario St. you can go to see some of this stuff still: http://www.clevelandpolicemuseum.org/"

I found some lovely death masks of the victims of the Torso Killer at the website:

http://www.clevelandpolicemuseum.org/exdeath.htm

Hurray - another bit of morbid sightseeing in Ohio! That just MIGHT prove handy someday.




Vulgarities...