June, 2005

June 10, 2005

Today's Explosive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Raymond Martin (50 yrs) of Walkerton had finished his work as a crane operator for Canadian Crane on May 13, 2005 and was preparing to leave when he noticed two of his colleagues working on a tire they were placing on a crane. He decided to go over, offering assistance with putting on the tire. Suddenly when he was a short distance away from the tire it exploded. A ring on the tire flew off and struck the man in the head instantly causing his death. The two men on both sides of the tire were not injured in the explosion.

Culled from: Morris-Turnberry News
Generously submitted by: the Dickeys

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As the Dickeys says, "That blows!"

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

I have received an anonymous recommendation of a film entitled "Black Robe":

"It's about jesuit missionaries and features scenes of torture. It's an eerie film and worth watching just for the incredible lonely scenery: trees and trees and trees."

Here's the Amazon link to the DVD, which sounds quite interesting:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005BKZS/theasylumeclecti

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Asylum Update!

Speaking of The Library Eclectica, I've done a bit of an upgrade (I hope) to the site, especially the homepage, so please feel free to check it out and hate it immensely.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/library/

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Morbid Sightseeing Update!

Well, isn't this just nauseating. In continuing one of my least-favorite trends, the historic Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio is being taken over by one of those horrible, snobby private clubs:

http://franklincastleclub.com/

Yes, you too can pay exorbitant sums of money to get exclusive access to one of the coolest (and allegedly haunted) historic buildings in the midwest! A generous person would have turned it into a bed and breakfast or a restaurant so that the "little people" could enjoy it too, but not this elitist bastard.

But I'm not bitter...

Thanks to MilsapsPro for the link.


June 11, 2005

Today's Cracking Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Fernand Meyssonnier, like his father, was an executioner. For 21 years, from 1947, he helped to guillotine the heads off more than 200 people - the vast majority of them Arabs - in French Algeria. During the war there he was taking off five or six a month. He knows what it is like to hold a human head. He has seen the gore. "The blood spurts like two glasses of red wine chucked three metres," he says with a quick double-flick of the wrist. He has never spoken publicly about his experiences before. But at 72 he is ill with cancer, and this month he is bringing out a book - An Executioner's Tale - in which he answers all the questions. Fernand started off as a junior assistant, with the task of tying the convict's ankles and thighs with fishing-wire. Then his hands were handcuffed behind his back and his elbows trussed together. "This has the effect of making the head stick out, which was what we wanted," he says. Later he was promoted to first assistant, whose job it was to stand at the top-end and pull the convict's head through the wooden hole known as the "demi-lunette," or half-lens, and then hold it as the blade came down. Because he was looking at the convict through the demi-lunette, the first assistant was also known as the "photographer." "You must never give the guy time to think. Because if you do he starts moving his head around, and that's when you have the mess-ups. The blade comes through his jaw, and you have to use a butcher's knife to finish it off. So I would say 'Go, father!' and - crack! - the head is in my hands, and I put it in the bucket."

Culled from: BBC News
Generously submitted by: Steve O'

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For most of us, "helping Dad" entailed nothing more glamorous that holding the hubcap while he changed the tire. Some people...

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Morbid Trinkets Du Jour!

Check out this amazing collection of vintage monster toys!

http://thegalleryofmonstertoys.com/

Thanks to zale for the link.

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"My [Grandpa's Wartime] Brush With Morbidity" by Kainlane

"My grandfather was an airplane mechanic on one of the tiny islands in the South Pacific during WWII. The normal sights they would deal with were grisly enough, seeing all the shot-up planes and what-not, but there were a couple especially grisly events. First I will give you some background on the mechanics of one of the planes. I am sorry that I can't recall the name but it was a type of bomber that had rotating .50 caliber turrets in various places. Well, the way they work is they can hold down the trigger and fire at a plane that is flying around them and the guns automatically stop firing as the turret would come in line with its own airplane body. That way they could hold down the trigger and keep following the enemy plane as it went on the other side. Well, with one particular plane that came in the stopping mechanism broke and the turret continued firing into its own belly completely demolishing anything and anyone inside. When the plane came into the base my grandpa was part of the volunteer clean-up crew that took care of the mess of blood and body parts. He mentioned that there was absolutely nothing left of them. Another instance that he saw was a fighter plane that was shot up pretty badly (this time by enemy fire) and nearly made it to the runway. Well, of course, that didn't happen: just before it made it the plane nose dived right into the ground. When they went to look at the wreckage the pilot was so messed up one of his arms was found in front of the firewall by the engine. They never could figure out how it got in front."

WWII veterans are known for their stoic reluctance to discuss disturbing details from the war with their families, so bravo for Kainlane's grandpa for spilling the goods!

Stephen contributes the following:
"The brush with morbidity in today's MFDJ (a reader's grandfather's memories of his WWII airplane maintenance and cleaning duties) reminded me of 'The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner' by Randal Jarrell:

"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."


June 12, 2005

Today's Horrific Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A mother, her son and his friend murdered three men during a night of "savage violence" in a Glasgow flat. Edith McAlinden, 34, son John, 17, and Jamie Gray, 16, each pleaded guilty to one of the murders at the High Court in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday (May 26, 2005). There was so much blood in the flat after the killings that it was impossible to be precise about the details of the deaths or the sequence of events. The violence erupted after an argument fuelled by Buckfast, cider and beer at the flat in Dixon Avenue, Crosshill, owned by Ian Mitchell, 67, who was one of the victims. The others who died were David Gillespie, 42, who was Edith McAlinden's boyfriend, and Anthony Coyle, 71, who also lived in the flat. Mr Coyle, a retired labourer, was the last to be slaughtered. Described as a decent, quiet man, he locked himself in his bedroom as the killers tried to batter down the door. An electric drill was used to drill out the three locks and Mr Coyle was beaten up in his room before running into the living room where Gray smashed his skull in with a golf club. By that time, the others were already dead. Edith McAlinden murdered Mr Gillespie, like her, a homeless drifter, by twice plunging a knife into his thigh. Both blows sliced through his femoral vein and he died quickly. Mr Mitchell received multiple stab wounds, including one to his neck, and he was kicked so violently in the head that his brain began to bleed. Afterwards, boiling water was poured over Mr Gillespie's and Mr Mitchell's heads to see if they were still alive. A witness who lived in the flat below had described hearing a "noise like thunder" and told how the ceiling shook hours before the three men were found dead. During the trial, the jury was shown a video of the carnage. On a settee on one side of the living room, which was littered with knives, a baseball bat, golf clubs, an electric drill, bottles and broken furniture, lay the sprawled body of Mr Mitchell. On the other side, also sprawled on a settee, was Mr Coyle. Mr Gillespie was lying in front of the fireplace. The bodies, walls, floor and ceiling were covered in blood. The video was so horrific that one juror asked to be excused from the rest of the trial after watching it.

Culled from: Scotsman.Com
Generously submitted by: Neil Langdon Inglis

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You know what is unfair? The fact that this juror was given such an AMAZING case to hear, and couldn't hack it. Now, you just KNOW that if any of us morbid types were put on a jury we'd be hearing some boring embezzlement or drug trial. Some people just can't appreciate a good thing when it's on video right in front of their face...

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Wilf sends the following recommendation:

"You might like to check out the books by Bernhardt J Hurwood whose 'Vampires' is an excellent overview of the history of vampirism, its origins, film history and modern vampires. His 'Erotica' isn't bad either."

Thanks for the heads-up. For those interested, here's the link to Vampires:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0825632021/theasylumeclecti

And for you pervs, here's the link to his Golden Age Of Erotica as well:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007E269M/theasylumeclecti

Speaking of erotica, one of my favorite books is a collection of vintage erotic pictures entitled "The Rotenberg Collection: Forbidden Erotica". This one is definitely worth its weight in mirth!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/3822864137/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Rhyme Du Jour!

In the spirit of the "Little Willie" poems that I featured awhile back, here are some lovely song lyrics by Tom Lehrer that Bonnie thinks we all should be exposed to!

The Irish Ballad (Rickety-Tickety-Tin)

About a maid I'll sing a song,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
About a maid I'll sing a song
Who didn't have her family long.
Not only did she do them wrong,
She did ev'ryone of them in, them in,
She did ev'ryone of them in.

One morning in a fit of pique,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One morning in a fit of pique,
She drowned her father in the creek.
The water tasted bad for a week,
And we had to make do with gin, with gin,
We had to make do with gin.

Her mother she could never stand,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
Her mother she cold never stand,
And so a cyanide soup she planned.
The mother died with a spoon in her hand,
And her face in a hideous grin, a grin,
Her face in a hideous grin.

She set her sister's hair on fire,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
She set her sister's hair on fire,
And as the smoke and flame rose high'r,
Danced around the funeral pyre,
Playin' a violin, -olin,
Playin' a violin.

She weighted her brother down with stones,
Rickety-tickety-tin,
She weighted her brother down with stones,
And sent him off to Davy Jones.
All they ever found were some bones,
And occasional pieces of skin, of skin,
Occasional pieces of skin.

One day when she had nothing to do,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One day when she had nothing to do,
She cut her baby brother in two,
And served him up as an Irish stew,
And invited the neighbors in, -bors in,
Invited the neighbors in.

And when at last the police came by,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
And when at last the police came by,
Her little pranks she did not deny,
To do so she would have had to lie,
And lying, she knew, was a sin, a sin,
Lying, she knew, was a sin.

My tragic tale, I won't prolong,
Rickety-tickety-tin,
My tragic tale I won't prolong,
And if you do not enjoy the song,
You've yourselves to blame if it's too long,
You should never have let me begin, begin,
You should never have let me begin.


June 13, 2005

Today's Freakish Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The little girl's body was placed in a container of formalin, from where it is still gazing at the world with the only one big blue eye. The weird baby looked at the world with its only eye, took a breath of air with the trunk that was growing on its forehead, and died. Doctors of one of St.Petersburg hospitals said that it was an absolutely normal woman that gave birth to the incredible mutant-baby, which could be compared to a Cyclops. The female creature was covered with thick hair; it had only one eye in the center of its forehead and a small trunk that was growing on the head above the eye. The middle-aged mother of the unusual child had a preterm delivery. Doctors would not have time to take her to the maternity hospital. The woman gave birth to the baby girl at home. Doctors' hair stood on end when they saw the seven-month-old fetus. Thick hair was growing on the girl's shoulders and back. Locks of hair were growing on the baby's head too. The little girl has a big blue eye on the forehead. The child had no nose: there was something strange growing on the head right above the eye. Doctors believed at first that it was a penis, although they determined later that it was a small trunk, through which the baby could breathe. The mutant child died almost instantly. The doctors tried to take life-saving efforts, but they brought no result. It is hard to imagine what kind of shock the child's parents had to survive. They were dreaming about a baby for long, but their dream ended with a nightmare. The deceased infant was sent to a morgue, where professional experts of forensic medicine thoroughly examined the little body. The hairy, one-eyed girl had a number of other physical defects, which would not let her live even for several days.

Culled from: Pravda
Generously submitted by: Allen

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You have to check out the photograph of the cyclops baby. Truly, a freak for the ages! Send this specimen to the Mütter Museum!

Layna adds:
"Would you believe she was a perfectly normal cyclopean baby?
I've been reading this great book, Mutants by Armand Leroi, on how various mutations happen - how chemicals in the body, messed-up DNA, screwy genes, etc. create very specific kinds of mutations. Apparently, cyclopean babies practically ALWAYS have their (often trunk-like) nose above their eye! It's part of the syndrome, along with various other features that sadly are not compatible with life. That baby fit the
description perfectly.
When I saw the story was from St Petersburg, I got all excited thinking it was yet another Florida story! Oh well, I guess the *other* St Pete should have its share of freaks, too. The slightly off English adds immensely to the charm."

Additional info from Andrew:
"This one looked so freakishly out there that I just had to find some corroboration. Did I ever find it! Here's a sweet little picture for you, at http://freaks.monstrous.com/cyclopia.htm . This rather long URL leads to an article which also mentions this condition, called cyclopia:
http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/2005/02/16/eyes_part_two_fleas_fish_and_the_careful_art_of_deconstruction.php

"Particularly interesting is the explanation of a protein called Hedgehog. According to the article, the cells that will eventually become a pair of eyes begin as a single cluster. Hedgehog is produced by cells in the midline of the embryo, and somehow suppresses the development of cells in the middle of the cluster, leaving only those at the far sides to continue development and become two separate eyes. Mutations which interfere with the production of Hedgehog "can cause a
gruesome birth defect in humans called cyclopia, in which a single cyclops-like eye develops.

"Closely associated with cyclopia is rhinencephaly, the trunk-like nose mentioned in the Pravda piece. I'm not a physician, but I would suspect that this, too, is a result of the missing Hedgehog. On the other hand, the cause of this and similar conditions (yes, there appear to be several) may be a bit more general. A couple more links should give you enough to read for a couple of days:

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15530
http://www.icomm.ca/geneinfo/cephaly.htm

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Urban Exploration Link Du Jour!

You know how I love those urban ruins - and so do the fine folks at Dark Passage. Enjoy their "urban post-mortems" here:

http://www.darkpassage.com/

Thanks to Pam for the link.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

I've been looking for one of these wonderful "Black Death European Tour" t-shirts for several years, since I saw someone wearing one. Imagine my delight when Jennifer sent me a heads-up!

http://www.northernsun.com/cgi-bin/ns/1618.html

Though I do think white or red lettering would look better than orange...


June 14, 2005

Today's Shocking Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Hospital officials in Romania are investigating after a doctor was punched by a 'corpse' in the morgue. The doctor had to be treated for shock after he was punched by teenager Bogdan Georgescu. It happened after the doctor thought he saw Mr Georgescu move and bent over to investigate. The youngster, 16, had been taken to the morgue at Brasov County Hospital in Brasov, after collapsing and showing no signs of life. He was declared dead on arrival and his body moved to the morgue. He said: "I woke up and had no idea where I was, I looked to the left and to the right and saw a dead woman on either side of me, and then I saw this man coming towards me in a white coat. I just panicked. I thought he was going to kill me." The youngster, from Fagaras, is now being treated in the neurological ward to find out the cause of his collapse. He said: "The last thing I remember is drinking coffee with my brother, and then I woke up in the morgue." The doctor was allowed to take time off work after being treated for shock.

Culled from: Ananova
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito

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Sure, the doctor is in "shock". The guy's a mortician! Surely he realized that he was likely to stumble across a live one eventually? Sounds like he just saw a convenient excuse for a vacation.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

My buddy Bergie sends this oldie but moldie:

A man with no arms and no legs is out lying on the beach one day, enjoying his chance to get some sun.

All of a sudden, a beautiful woman walks by and stops. "You poor man," she says. "I bet you've never been kissed have you?"

The man has to admit, no, he never has, so she bends down and plants a good one right on the mouth.

A few minutes later, another gorgeous babe walks up. "You look like you need a hug," she says.

He agrees that would be nice, she gives him a great one, and walks away.

A few minutes later, a drop-dead gorgeous girl walks by. She stops, a sultry smile on her face and looks down at him.

"Mister", she says, "Have you ever been F*cked?"

"No", he says with a hopeful grin.

"Well, you are now. The tide's coming in."

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

The oppressive, rotting stench of summer is sadly upon us again so if you're one of those strange sorts who choose to go outside instead of spending your days in mournful isolation (preferably in front of an air conditioner), pining for the return of fall, you just might find yourself at the beach one of these days. And if you DO find yourself at the beach, you can hold onto some shred of dignity by taking this nifty LA County Department of Coroner towel with you! Not only will you look cool, but you may find it has the added benefit of frightening mommies away!

http://lacstores.co.la.ca.us/ProductFrame.cfm?DID=10&CATID=1&ObjectGroup_ID=8&Product_ID=41&From=list


June 15, 2005

Today's Oozing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1958, Albert Herrlich of the University of Munich described a severe outbreak of smallpox in Bombay, where the majority of the patients had "confluent" smallpox, with pustules clustered so densely that they ran together so that no normal skin was visible, turning the patient's face into a hideous, oozing mask. "The head was usually covered by what appeared to be a single pustule; the nose and lips were glued together," Herrlich wrote. "When the tightly filled vesicles burst, the pus soaked through the bedsheet, became smeared on the blanket, and formed thick, yellowish scabs and crusts on the skin.... Swallowing was so painful that the patients refused all nourishment and, in spite of agonizing thirst, often also refused all fluids... Wails and groans filled the rooms... The patients were conscious to their last breath. Some... just lay there, dull and unresponsive. They no longer shook off the flies that sat on purulent eyelids, on the openings of mouth and nose, and in swarms on the inflamed areas of skin. But they were still alive, and with touching gestures they lifted their hands and begged for help."

Culled from: Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox

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Considerably worse than the common cold, don't you think? Actually, I read this book on the plane to and from Topeka, and I was really hoping that it would focus more on the "Once" rather than the "Future", but I was sadly disappointed. Although there were a few choice morsels detailing the suffering that smallpox has caused to poor souls in the past, and the history of inocculation was also quite interesting, most of the book discussed the long (and rather boring) history of the global eradication of the disease, and the current dilemma with smallpox virus samples being stored in various locations around the world. I mean, it's not like those topics aren't interesting... but they cannot compare with what I quoted above. So, I'd have to give this book a 2 1/2 skull rating on the 5-skull morbid scale.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Great news! Thanks to Hufu - the Healthy Human Flesh Alternative - we vegetarian cannibals need no longer feel left out! And they have some lovely t-shirts and aprons as well. I think I shall be getting the "Hungry Cannibal" one, myself.

http://www.eathufu.com/home.asp

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Well, this isn't really morbid, but it's pretty nifty if you happen to live in Chicago. You can look up the number and type of crimes occurring in any block in the city on this helpful website. I was bored to see that no crimes at all have occurred at either block I've lived in. It's actually typical - I repel excitement. I really should hire myself out to keep air passengers safe from crashes...

Anyway, here's the site for any of you who might be interested:

http://www.chicagocrime.org/

Thanks to Sage for the link.


June 16, 2005

Today's Paralyzed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Anne Gottsdanker was a chipper 5-year-old Santa Barbara girl 50 years ago, when her family doctor gave her one of the first of the newly approved Salk polio shots. Manufactured by Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, the vaccine came from two batches later found to be contaminated with live polio virus. Gottsdanker came down with a flu-like illness during a family vacation to Calexico, on the Mexican border. She has been paralyzed ever since. The first cases of polio in children who received the tainted vaccine were reported to regulators on April 25, 1955 - two weeks after the nation began a drive to vaccinate millions of schoolchildren. Before it was over, 164 people would suffer permanent paralysis from the Cutter vaccine or from the outbreak of polio triggered by it. Ten others died. For a brief period, the “Cutter Incident” shut down the ambitious vaccination program and threatened to scuttle the effort that ultimately eliminated polio from the United States. The accidental paralysis of those healthy children is now all but forgotten, but University of Pennsylvania pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit called it “one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in U.S. history.”

Culled from: The San Francisco Chronicle

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I'm glad they had this whole immunization thing ironed out by the time I was born!

Elizabeth reminds me:
"Hi, Comptesse... they still don't have the immunization thing ironed out, kids have reactions all the time...you can't culture vaccines from animal organs and not expect some kids to react to "foreign proteins" in their systems...and didn't AIDS get passed into the human population from a syphilis vaccine they cultured
from green monkey kidneys? Not to mention Gulf War Syndrome being the possible result of a huge cocktail of vaccines administered to soldiers right before they debarked! I was born in the early 60s and reacted to a vaccine by developing a 106 degree temperature, all my hair fell out, and developed autistic symptoms (repetitive rocking, etc.)! I may still be autistic, but I'm probably not in touch enough with my feelings to know. :D"

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

For those of you who actually carry purses (I find them far too burdensome, myself), you may find Alchemy Gothic's bone-casket handbag to your liking.

http://www.darkemporium.com/acatalog/Bone_Casket_Handbag.html

Thanks to Zubrovka for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Andrew graciously submits this link to a particularly enticing episode of the comic strip Roughies:

http://www.roughies.com/d/20050421.html


June 17, 2005

Today's Smelly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A New Jersey couple is accused of forcing a 13-year-old foster child to repeatedly feed the corpse of an elderly relative who died in the house months previous. Authorities don't have a clear motive in the case, but say the couple from Clark, New Jersey simply did something most of us would consider unbelievable. The family living in the house had a disgusting secret. A decaying body was inside an upstairs bedroom, and one of the couple's foster children was required each night to take food to the dead man. Ted Romankow, Union County Prosecutor, stated, "She didn't want to, I think, object to her responsibility or her role -- that is, to feed grandpa -- because she was concerned that she might not remain there." Apparently the 13-year-old foster girl had to deal with the stench, and swirled the food around in the plate to make it look like her 82 year old step-grandfather had been eating. "She certainly wanted to show her mom and dad down stairs that she was doing what she was asked to do," said Romankow. Neighbors said that during the past summer they smelled a strong odor emanating from that house. And police tell us that at one point in time before his death, the grandfather was found walking on the sidewalk right in front of his house but he was lost. The first floor of the home was well kept, but the upstairs has been described as deplorable. Cops removed the body from the home last August (2003), and say there is no doubt the couple knew that the elderly man had died.

Culled from: ABC News
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Okay, so how is this abuse? These parents are just teaching their child to show respect for the dead. It's a win-win situation! The kid gets desensitized to corpses, and the grandfather gets to pig out in the afterlife. Anyway, I guess the "authorities" didn't see it that way, seeing as they sentenced the parents to 360 days in jail. Oh well...

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"My [Brother's] Brush With Morbidity" by Rene

"My brother left a party one evening with his wife and 3 kids (about half an hour after I did, which means I missed everything), and on the highway he slowed down because he noticed an accident scene up front. The police got there about the same time as they did, so they hadn't closed any parts of the highway yet. My brother was looking at the police cars, and not the road directly in front of him when he drove over a body (or rather, hopefully it was a body, and not somebody that was still alive). The next morning his wife got up, and was standing outside when she noticed the dog was chewing something. It was the jaw of the person they drove over. In some way the jaw got stuck on the car. They were too grossed out to touch it, so they just left the dog to finish eating it."

Hmmmmm... call me cynical, but I'm finding this one just a little too good to be true. But if it is true, that's a *literal* brush with morbidity!

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Well, this seems like a perfectly reasonable hobby to me. Manus Hand has spent his free time visiting the gravesites of America's dead presidents. If you'd like to see pictures of him in front of the graves and hear his stories, then this is the site for you:

http://starship.python.net/crew/manus/Presidents/

Thanks to kelshubert for the link.


June 18, 2005

Today's Penny-pinching Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Bath School Disaster was an incident on May 18, 1927, in which a dynamite blast rocked the Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, about 10 miles northeast of Lansing, Michigan. The bombings killed 45 people and injured 58, making it the worst school violence in U.S. history. The blast destroyed the south wing of the building and killed 38 children and teachers. Subsequent investigation determined that the dynamite had been planted in the basement of the school by an embittered school-board member, Andrew Kehoe, who was resentful of the higher taxes that resulted from the school's construction in 1922 and which he blamed for the impending foreclosure on his farm. There was an additional 500 pounds of dynamite in the rest of the school that failed to detonate. Soon afterwards, Kehoe took his own life and the lives of four bystanders, including the school superintendent Emory Huyck, by detonating dynamite in his truck as he sat parked in front of the school while rescue workers searched through the rubble. The next morning, Kehoe's wife was found dead at their farm, apparently killed by Kehoe on the day of the blast. He had also rigged explosives which burned down his house and other buildings on the farm before the school blast. Apparently, Kehoe had spent much of that spring stringing wires and hiding dynamite in the basement of the 300-student school. Kehoe did not arouse any suspicion because he was known as a penny-pincher on the school board, and people assumed he was doing work himself to save the cost of hiring an electrician. The Bath School Disaster remained the worst bombing incident in the United States until Timothy McVeigh set off a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995.

Culled from: Wikipedia
Generously submitted by: David K

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See? It pays to be a penny pincher!

I must take a drive out to the Bath Disaster Memorial one of these days. You know I live for things like this.

Dr. Wolf offers a link: Crimelibrary.com did an awesome piece on this story.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Are you looking for that certain "je ne sais quois" for the prominent wall in your foyer? Well, look no further! Cool X-rays sells copies of ... cool x-rays! I mean, REALLY cool x-rays, such as:

A neck broken/dislocated after a hanging!

A one-legged "mermaid" baby!

Siamese twin babies!

A skull with multiple arrows in the head!

A child with a steak knife in the head!

And other fun stuff. Wouldn't these look awesome in a lightbox? One of these days...

http://www.coolxrays.com/

Thanks to Damon for the link!

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Jen has a classic morbid gaming recommendation for us:

These are pretty old games, so I'm not sure if they are still available or playable for a lot of people any more, but what about Sierra's Phantasmagoria series? The first has a haunted mansion and a demented husband, the second some bondage scenes and general mind disturbance. They were quite controversial when they first came out, and I still find them pretty shiver-inducing. These were two of my favorite games.

A link to a fan site with synopsis of both games:

http://anthonylarme.tripod.com/phantas/phantas.html

And here's an Amazon.Com link to the boxed set that collects both games:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00001LDC2/theasylumeclecti


June 19, 2005

Today's Grave Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Twenty Zimbabweans, who hitched a lift on the back of a truck in December, 2004, found themselves forced to dig up a grave at gunpoint at a well-known Harare cemetary. The passengers were picked up by a truck supposedly on its way to Harare's satellite town of Chitungwiza, around 20km south of Harare, but instead made for Harare's Granville cemetary. When the truck stopped, three men jumped out of the cab and ordered the passengers off. "The men ordered everyone off the vehicle at gunpoint and some men were ordered to carry shovels and picks that were in the vehicle," a council official said. The passengers were force-marched to a grave, which they were ordered to dig up. "They took turns to dig the grave until they reached the coffin - a casket - which they were told to carefully unearth," the official said. He said the passengers were told to empty out the coffin and load it onto the truck. The 20 were then left stranded at the graveyard. In Zimbabwe there is believed to be a brisk trade in stolen coffins, which are expensive and highly sought after.

Culled from: IOL
Generously submitted by: Greg

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*Forced* to dig up a grave. Talk about a morbid hitchhiker's dream come true!!!

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

For those of you who just can't get enough of on-screen fatality, Cinemorgue is the website for you! Click on the name of your favorite thespian (far more actresses than actors, which makes me think the guy who runs it is fulfilling a little fantasy of his own), and receive a list of their onscreen demises.

http://www.cinemorgue.com/index.html

Thanks to Gena for the link.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Okay, maybe the starting bid was a little steep (ahem), but wouldn't it be nifty to have one of THESE in your garage?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=12&item=7313736727&rd=1

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.


June 20, 2005

Today's Posthumous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A unique heart memorial was contrived for Johannes Wepfer. When this great anatomist died, his friends decided to honour the man, who was the first to describe the link between damage to the cerebral blood vessels and strokes, by bringing out a posthumous edition of his works in 1727. The book began with an illustrated account of the author's autopsy, and in a drawing captioned "Memoria Wepferiana," the cause of Wepfer's death is plain to see, since the dissected heart and blood vessels show gross hardening of the arteries.

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

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Rather touching, don't you think? I'd love a copy of this book.

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Morbid Sightseer Update!

I've added a travelogue to The Morbid Sightseer of my trip to Saint Louis Cemetery Number One in New Orleans back in 2002. (Yeah, I know, took me long enough!)

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/la/stlouis1.htm

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

jess recommends the fiction book "Sleep No More" by Greg Iles:

"Very weird, morbid, disturbing, etc."

The description sounds pretty interesting:

"Eve Sumner has an uncanny resemblance to a long-dead woman with whom John Waters was once obsessively in love. The successful Mississippi oilman's college affair with Mallory Candler ended long before she was killed, but the mysterious Eve knows things about that affair that only Mallory could have known. That's more than a coincidence, since Eve is actually Mallory's reincarnation—or, at least, she's the corporeal body into which Mallory's restless soul seems to have migrated. Long before the bizarre denouement of this supernatural thriller--a departure for Iles, whose previous thrillers have been much more straightforward--the reader's sympathies have been engaged by Waters, a decent man whose best friend may be his worst enemy and whose past may destroy his future."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451208765/theasylumeclecti



June 21, 2005

Today's Appealing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On March 16th, 1946 a human torso was found by the Hamilton escarpment (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada). The body was later identified as John Dick (ironically, because he was missing a testicle). Later, his wife - a well known sex kitten - Evelyn Dick was arrested for murder. Also among the accused were Bill Bohozuk (her lover), and Donald MacLean (her father). During her first trial, Evelyn was found guilty, and sentenced to death by hanging. She appealed the case, and was found not guilty. However, she was found guilty of manslaughter for the death of her baby (who was found in a suitcase in the attic). She was paroled in 1958, and her current whereabouts is unknown. Donald MacLean was sentenced to five years, as an accessory, and Bill Bohozuk walked. Nobody knows, to this day, who murdered John Dick.

Synopsis generously submitted by: Dwayne

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Yeah, sure. We don't know who murdered John Dick just like we don't know who murdered Nicole Simpson.

Dwayne also points out that this infamous case has inspired both a book and a movie.

The book:
'The Torso Murder: The Untold Story of Evelyn Dick'


The film:
'Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story'

I'll definitely have to check these out!

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Morbid Book Du Jour!

Bergie writes to let us know about a reissue of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" (timed to coincide with the release of the Tom Cruise flick) with illustrations by the late, much lamented, Edward Gorey:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/popcandy/2005-06-14-pop-candy_x.htm

Here's the Amazon.Com link to the book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590171586/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Poetry Du Jour!

A few days ago, I featured a grandfather's brush with morbidity, when he had to clean-out the remains of soldiers from planes as a maintenance man in World War II. Stephen sends a follow-up.

"The brush with morbidity in today's MFDJ (a reader's grandfather's memories of his WWII airplane maintenance and cleaning duties) reminded me of "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randal Jarrell:

"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."


June 30, 2005

Today's Rough Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Castle of Konigstein in Saxony, Germany incorporated a dungeon hundreds of feet down in the rock foundations, a grim tomb in which was found a skeleton lying on a rough bed.

Culled from: Rack, Rope, and Red Hot Pincers by Geoffrey Abbott

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I must admit that this is what I'm always looking for whenever I enter a deserted building. Alas, I've discovered no skeletons, as of yet. Incidentally, here is a wonderful picture of the castle. I must visit someday!

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Germany/photo87471.htm

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I apologize for disappearing for a few days without proper warning. I was off in Catatonia visiting my father on the occasion of his 80th birthday. While there, I finished reading the most fascinating book entitled "The Devil in the White City". I suspect many of you have heard of it? It's about the World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893 which was held in Chicago, and was one of the greatest artistic, engineering, and architectural achievements in American history. And it's about our old friend H. H. Holmes, widely-regarded as America's first serial killer, who built a hotel to lure young fair-goers, of the female variety, to a most grim fate.

Strangely enough, it wasn't the chapters of the book that discuss Holmes that I found most interesting. Rather, it was the work of Daniel Burnham and Frederick Olmsted, as the construction supervisor and landscape architect of the fair, that I found fascinating. The fact that they were able to pull off the fair and turn the desolate, muddy wild that was Jackson Park into the glorious, sparkling White City in such a short period of time is truly amazing. Especially when you learn of all the things that went wrong during the construction!

And the World's Columbian Exposition itself is such a subject of fascination for a nostalgic soul like myself. So many things that we take for granted today originated or were popularized during this fair: Cracker Jacks, the Ferris Wheel, the carnival midway, shredded wheat, AC electricity, even that exotic little snake-charmer melody that goes, "There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance..." It's a fascinating chronicle and I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in history.

"The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson


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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Since the Texas Department of (in)Justice decided to take down their "Last Meals" website, there has been a hole in my morbid heart. Thank goodness Dead Man Eating has come along to suture up that wound! Yes, at this simple website you can still read the final meals of death row prisoners, along with a synopsis of their (alleged) crimes and their final words. And ever since I saw the documentary "The Thin Blue Line" I've tended to believe the ones that say they are innocent...

http://www.deadmaneating.com/

Thanks to Karen for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

I'm sure you've heard the shocking news by now, but in case you haven't seen the footage, behold the gruesome power of Scientology!

http://tcruiseko.ytmnd.com

Thanks to Kayle for the link.




Vulgarities...