July, 2006

July 9, 2006

Today's Incompetent Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1818, Robert Johnstone, a 23 year old armed robber, was brought to the gallows. The Edinburgh, Scotland crowd turned up in force to witness the day’s events at Parliament Square. Sensationally, after the drop fell at three in the afternoon, Johnstone was left still alive when the gallows equipment failed. An exceptionally tall man, Johnstone’s toes could clearly be seen still touching the half opened trap doors.The horrific spectacle swiftly turned the mood of the crowd against the authorities. The City Guard and magistrates were forced to retreat by missiles thrown by the onlookers. A man then leapt onto the platform and cut Johnstone down with a knife, whereupon the crowd rushed the gallows. While the army was being drafted in to control the mayhem, the unconscious Johnstone was being carried around by the crowd. They left with the body and tried to escape down the High Street,until they encountered a force of constables from the nearby Police Office. Dropping Johnstone to the ground, the mob turned and ran. Showing no signs of life, Johnson was taken to the Police Office, where a surgeon confirmed that he was still alive. Johnstone was transported back to the gallows by the army, where he was hung for a second time. The whole affair had taken some eight hours. The final victim was the English hangman, John Foster. Declared incompetent by the Edinburgh authorities, his services were never to be required again by the city.

Culled from: BBC
Generously submitted by: Wilf

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Yes, I have been on unexpected hiatus again due to a variety of personal issues. Hopefully, my bad luck streak will end now. Fingers crossed...

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

As we all know, only good things can come from the creative impulse taking root in the mind of the truly disturbed. sassetteopants' tins are proof:

http://community.livejournal.com/craftgrrl/6406732.html

Thanks to Christine for the link.

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Ghastly!

Now, here is PROPER news coverage of a car crash!

http://mignews.com.ua/en/articles/193518.html

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.


July 10, 2006

Today's Entertaining Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Actor and singer Nelson Eddy suffered a fatal stroke on March 6, 1967 while performing onstage at the Doral Country Club in Miami at age 65. He died in hospital the next day.

Culled from: Snopes
Generously submitted by: Bill

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Searching for the perfect game for you and your pale and forlorn friends? Why not try Goth: The Game Of Horror Trivia?

http://www.boardgames.com/gotgamofhort.html

Thanks to Anatole for the link.

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Those of you who have followed my site for awhile know that one of my more infamous features - and the one which has inspired the most hate mail - is dedicated to the Keddie Murder Cabin, where several people were slaughtered in a mountain resort community in Northern California back in 1981.

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/ca/keddie.htm

Jesse wrote to tell me about his own website dedicated to the unsolved murder case. It makes for a very interesting browse.

Cabin 28: The Keddie Murders

 


July 11, 2006

Today's Overactive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Actor Nick Adams was found dead in his West Los Angeles home by his lawyer, Evin Roder, on February 7, 1968. He was found braced against the bedroom wall with his eyes wide open. The cause of death was given as an "accidental" overdose of paraldehyde, a sedative that Nick's doctor had prescribed to calm his overactive nerves. Nick Adams had a role in Rebel Without A Cause and his death was another example of the "curse" that haunted those who worked on the film, including James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo - all of whom died young.

Culled from: The Hollywood Book Of Death

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Okay, something about the description of Nick being found "braced against the wall with his eyes wide open" really creeps me out! I get all sorts of stiff, zombie-like images in my head. The description begs so many questions: How was Nick braced against the wall? Were his eyes opened wide in terror or boredom? Why would a sedative leave him with his eyes open in the first place? It's all quite disturbing to ponder...

Which can only mean one thing: It's time for a...

Morbid Contest Du Jour!

Here's the concept: Send me an image of yourself or an acquaintance re-enacting the death of Nick Adams. Use your sick imagination to envision what a corpse looks like braced against the wall with its eyes wide open. Whoever submits the best photograph - as judged by The Comtesse - shall win a copy of The Hollywood Book Of Death.

Please send your submissions to eyeswideopen@asylumeclectica.com. Submissions must be received before August 1. All two of you... ;-)

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Heartrendingly Tragic Update Du Jour!

Oh, be still my bleeding heart! It turns out that Cabin 28 - the infamous Keddie Murder Cabin featured in the site du jour yesterday - was razed in the summer of 2004 in a senseless and brutal lack of foresight! I wish I'd known - I would have played Taps.

http://community.webshots.com/album/58994822gTDYxy/1

Thank goodness I was able to get some shots of it before the sad destruction...
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/ca/keddie.htm

Thanks to jkatj for the link.

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Melissa has a book recommendation for us:

"I wanted to share with you a book that I just got from Ebay. Quaint Epitaphs collected around 1860. It is a wonderful book, with too many to name a favorite. But [here are] two very good ones, both from Kent to share with you. (There are
epitaphs from both the States and overseas):

Listen, Mother, Aunt and me
Were killed, here we be.
We should not had time to missle
Had they blown the engine whistle.

and

Alpha White
Weight 309 lbs.
Open wide ye golden gates
That lead to the heavenly shore.
Our father suffered in passing through
And mother weighs much more."

Quaint Epitaphs


July 12, 2006

Today's Boring Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In a New York Times Magazine interview, 72-year-old longevity guru Jerome Rodale announced, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by a sugar-crazed taxi driver." A guest on the Dick Cavett Show the next day (June 5, 1971), while Cavett was discussing politics with journalist Pete Hamill, Rodale's head dropped to his chest and he was heard to let out what sounded like a snore. "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?" asked Cavett. There was no response -- Rodale was dead. The show was never broadcast.

Culled from: Snopes
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.htm
Generously submitted by: Bill

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Okay, something about the description of Nick being found "braced against the wall with his eyes wide open" really creeps me out! I get all sorts of stiff, zombie-like images in my head. The description begs so many questions: How was Nick braced against the wall? Were his eyes opened wide in terror or boredom? Why would a sedative leave him with his eyes open in the first place? It's all quite disturbing to ponder...

Which can only mean one thing: It's time for a...

Morbid Contest Du Jour!

Here's the concept: Send me an image of yourself or an acquaintance re-enacting the death of Nick Adams. Use your sick imagination to envision what a corpse looks like braced against the wall with its eyes wide open. Whoever submits the best photograph - as judged by The Comtesse - shall win a copy of The Hollywood Book Of Death.

Please send your submissions to eyeswideopen@asylumeclectica.com. Submissions must be received before August 1. All two of you... ;-)

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Morbid Sightseeing Du Jour!

Sandy has submitted a very interesting story about her visit to the Ringling Brothers Museum in Sarasota, Florida. Hope you enjoy it.

"I have some info on the Ringling Circus Fire in Hartford you might be interested in. I belong to a paranormal investigations group (also known as ghost hunters to our friends) here in St. Petersburg, Florida called the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of St. Petersburg and last summer we did an investigation down at the Ringling Musuem in Sarasota. We really hadn't been picking up any EMF or temperature readings out of the normal... no odd feelings or sensations of any type. We were really starting to feel like we had a bust for the hunt. Until one of our team members came upon Circus Wagon #5. At the rear of the wagon she felt the sensation of heat and had tears flowing down her face. She was so shook up by the sensations she recieved that she had to walk away. After making a sweep of the building we returned and she reported the same feelings of heat and the tears. We talked to a gentleman who is a security there and he said that it had been involved in a fire and afterword had been remodeled/restored to be put back in service. We asked if it was the Hartford and he said yes. We then asked if any one had died or been hurt and he said he couldn't talk about it, the circus would frown on it. They really don't like talking about those type of things. We spent days on the Net doing research to try and confirm if this Wagon was actually involved but came up with nothing.

"Anyway, the Ringling Musuem down here in Sarasota is really interesting and the Musuem of Fine Arts is also a must. They've finished remodeling/restoring Ca' Da Zan (I think I got that right) the main residence of John and Mabel Ringling and I believe it's now open to the public for tours. From what we could see from the outside last summer it's amazing inside."

Since Circuses have such a fine history of morbidity and all-around freakiness, I would think that a visit to Sarasota might be in order. Here's the website for the museum:

http://www.ringling.org/

Annette writes: "If you go to Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach is a must see! My husband is from Sarasota and he took me there and the sand on that beach is white and fine. I loved the Ringling art museum too. I thought the circus museum had a little eeriness. But maybe it was just the clowns. Clowns give me the
heebie-jeebies."

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Absolut On Ice
http://www.boners.com/grub/380891.html

Thanks to Stephen O' for the link.

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Morbid Contest Du Jour!

Here's the concept: Send me an image of yourself or an acquaintance re-enacting the death of actor Nick Adams who was discovered "braced against the wall with his eyes wide open". Use your sick imagination to envision what a corpse looks like in this position. Whoever submits the best photograph - as judged by The Comtesse - shall win a copy of The Hollywood Book Of Death.

Please send your submissions to eyeswideopen@asylumeclectica.com. Submissions must be received before August 1. All two of you... ;-)


July 15, 2006

Today's Televised Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Some people will do anything for a scoop. When a technical problem interfered with the orderly presentation of a story on her morning news show, this 30-year-old news anchor announced, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first -- attempted suicide." She then drew a revolver and shot herself in the head. Chubbuck expired 14 hours later in hospital.

Culled from: Snopes
Generously submitted by: Bill

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Surely this footage has leaked onto the internet somewhere??? Anybody have the scoop?

Amos Quito writes: "I recently did a pretty extensive search, including reading through tons of message boards, in memory of this. The consensus seems to be that the footage was grabbed by the police at the station and confiscated. And has never been released. Sick bastard that I am, I'd love to see that proved
wrong, however."

VenusNightShadow adds: "They showed her death on the Faces of Death series of VHS tapes that I rented a while ago. Dont remember which volume, though."

Katie says: "I did read somewhere (and it might have been wikipedia) that the cameras DID continue rolling, but they cut to a blank screen for the televisions. So I believe there is footage out there somewhere. You might also find this interesting, which a like-minded person has put together on Youtube. It has footage at the very end of Budd Dwyer offing himself in front of cameras in a very Chris Chubbuck-esque momen."

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Public Service Announcement Du Jour

Having featured the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida in the last issue of the newsletter, I realize that I forgot to mention that I in no way support the Ringling Bros. Circus. I am most definitely NOT a fan of circuses (with the exception of the Jim Rose Circus), which inflict not only suffering upon animals, but the horror of clowns upon humans. And, of course, the sideshow freaks are a thing of the past. So sad...

However, circus museums? Now, that's what I call morbidly fascinating!

We now return to our regularly scheduled morbidity...

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Joey recommends an out of print morbid read:

"[You previously featured a] morbid fact... about the West couple, who raped and murdered young women, and even their own daughter and the first wife of Fred West. It reminded me of a book my mother once lent me. It´s called Out of the Shadows, and it is the biography/memoirs of Anne Marie West - the child of Fred West and his ex-wife. It describes her childhood, and the cruel way she and her siblings were treated by Fred and Rosemary. It´s a rough, but true story, and makes a truly morbid read."

This one does sound worth tracking down. Here's a description of it from Biblio.Com:

"Anne Marie West is Fred West's eldest daughter and the step daughter of Rose West who was found guilty on ten counts of murder on 22 November 1995. Her story almost defies belief: it is truly shocking. Her mother and two of her sisters were murdered and her own childhood was a catalogue of horror at the hands of an ostensibly house proud, home loving couple, who turned out to be mass murderers. And yet, Anne's story is a story of courage and hope, of a survivor's instincts against the cruellest of odds as she tells of how she survived the worst excesses of Fred and Rose's depravity and escaped to rebuild her shattered life. Out of the Shadows is a testimony to the strength of the human spirit in the face of terror, a ray of light amidst the human debris of life in the dark shadows of the two most notorious serial killers of the century."

http://www.biblio.com/books/87940118.html

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Jeffery Dahmer had his mother over for dinner and during a lull in their conversation she said to him "Jeffery, I don't think I like your friends." Jeffery replied "Then, just eat the peas, Mom!"


Thanks go to Timothy for this one.


July 16, 2006

Today's Dry Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On the way to the gallows in 1832, the sheriff told convicted murderer Guy Clark to speed up the pace. Clark replied, "Nothing will happen until I get there."

Culled from: The Book of Lists 3
Generously submitted by: Ken

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Yesterday's Morbid Fact was on Chris Chubbuck, the news anchor who shot herself on camera in the early '70's. I asked if anyone was aware of whether the footage of her suicide was ever circulated. I received several responses stating that it is believed that the cameraman saw what was going to happen and stopped filming before she pulled the trigger, so there is no footage to be found. There is also a theory that the suicide WAS filmed, but the police confiscated the footage and it has never been released. Alas...

However, Jacqui and Rowan both forwarded me a link to a fascinating article on the suicide that sheds much light on Chubbuck's personality and her reasons for doing what she did. Highly recommended.

http://www.manship2.lsu.edu/perkins/Handouts/chubbucknew.pdf

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ladyfreud has a book recommendation for us:

"I have come upon a great read (so far). A very interesting little book titled 'The Most Evil Men and Women in History' by Miranda Twiss. It's spanned out over the last 2000 years. Not enough pictures :( But still interesting. It includes:

Caligula
Nero
Attila the Hun
King John
Torquemada
Prince Vlad Dracula
Francisco Pizarro
"Bloody" Mary I
Ivan IV "the Terrible"
Elizabeth, Countess of Bathroy
Rasputin
Joseph Stalin
Adolf Hitler
Ilse Koch
Pol Pot
Idi Amin."

Nice list! Here's the Amazon URL for the book:

The Most Evil Men and Women In History

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: What did Jeffery Dahmer say to Pee Wee Herman, after he been busted for masturbating in a theater ?

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A: "Pee Wee, stop playing with your food!"

Courtesy of Timothy


July 18, 2006

Today's Elaborate Yet Truly Morbid (And Quite Possibly A) Fact!

On Vinalhaven, an Island in Penobscot Bay, cost of Maine, there are the largest natural hunks of granite without seams known. The pillars for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC were quarried there. All are in 1 piece except for the last which broke and is pieced together. Men worked carving and finishing granite all their lives (turn of the 20th century). One day they would cough up blood. That day they would quit their day job and begin to carve their gravestone. The process from first blood to death is a long one and the stones are incredibly elaborate.

Culled from: Unspecified Source
Generously submitted by: KPT

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I was not able to verify the fact above, but I do know that silicosis did haunt the carvers on Vinalhaven so it seems possible. Can anyone verify this story?

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Lenore has a morbid recommendation for us - "Cellar Of Horrors": "A fantastic book on Gary Heidnick."

Here's the book's synopsis from an Amazon.Com review:

"The story of Gary Heidnik is one of the more disturbing in the whole genre of true crime. Ken Englade does a commendable job of outlining Heidnik's spiral out of control in 'Cellar of Horror'.

"The facts show Heidnick imprisoned as many as five women at varying times to serve as a 'baby making machines' for him. All of the women were African American with a background of mental deficiency or prostitution. The women were starved, tortured, raped, and beaten at varying times during their captivity. Two women died in captivity. One woman's remains were cooked, causing a tremendous odor in the neighborhood, and fed to dogs mixed in with dogfood. One of the more interesting aspects of the capitivity shows the social dynamics that caused one of the prisoners to gain favor over the others and align herself with her captor.

"Ken Englade tells a riveting story in "Cellar of Horror". It is a relatively short read, but one that I had trouble putting down as I read it in two days. Because of its thoughtfulness, it is essential true crime."

I think I will have to pick this one up! Here's the Amazon.Com link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312929293/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a lovely bit of animation entitled Death's Night Out:

http://www.mrandmrswheatley.co.uk/deathsnightout.html

Thanks to Hilton for the link.


July 19, 2006

Today's Lonely Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Osaka School Massacre took place on June 8, 2001, at Ikeda Elementary School, an elite primary school affiliated with Osaka Kyoiku University in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. At 10:15 that morning, 37-year-old former janitor Mamoru Takuma entered the school armed with a kitchen knife and began stabbing numerous school children and teachers. He killed eight children, mostly between the ages of seven and eight, and seriously wounded thirteen other children and two teachers. Takuma later stated that he decided on mass murder as he wanted "companions" at the end of his life. "I hit upon mass murder as I had been thinking of having companions at the curtain-fall of my life since I was put in jail for rape charges 17 years ago," Mamoru Takuma told the Osaka District Court. Takuma was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was executed on September 14, 2004.

Culled from: Wikipedia and AFP
Generously submitted by Natalie

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I'm not quite certain how he figured that mass murder would bring him companions. A few options come to mind:

1) The dead children/teachers would haunt him for the rest of his days, and he will never be lonely.

2) The dead children/teachers would greet him in the afterlife and they would spend all eternity together.

3) Mass murderers are chick magnets in Japan.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Sarah has a book recommendation for us!

"I have found a wonderful book on women criminals that I thought you might enjoy if you haven't already. It's called Mistresses of Mayhem - The Book of Women Criminals by Francine Hornberger. It has summaries on the criminals lives of a number of women from Lizzie Borden to the Manson women to Karla Faye Tucker. Very interesting reading... if you're into that sort of thing."

Are we into that sort of thing? Are we ever!!

Mistresses of Mayhem: The Book Of Women Criminals

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: What do Pink Floyd and Dale Earnhardt have in common?

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A: Their last big hit was the Wall!

This one is courtesy of David.

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Morbid Contest Du Jour!

Here's the concept: Send me an image of yourself or an acquaintance re-enacting the death of actor Nick Adams who was discovered "braced against the wall with his eyes wide open". Use your sick imagination to envision what a corpse looks like in this position. Whoever submits the best photograph - as judged by The Comtesse - shall win a copy of The Hollywood Book Of Death.

Please send your submissions to eyeswideopen@asylumeclectica.com. Submissions must be received before August 1. All two of you... ;-)


July 20, 2006

Today's Bizarre Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 12-year-old Crofton, Maryland boy was killed in a bizarre accident on August 12, 2002 when his toy cart, being towed by his brother in a pickup truck, struck a curb at 30 mph, sending the boy head-first into a tree. Killed in the accident was Andrew Thomas Gawthrop of the 2600 block of Waltham Court. The driver of the pickup, his older brother, Mitchell Bennett Gawthrop, 16, was not harmed. About 3:30 p.m. the brothers and two friends were playing a game in which Mitchell, who was driving his father's 2001 Ford truck, used a 15-foot rope to tow Andrew, seated on a toy called "The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile," along the street. According to police, Andrew let go of the rope, then lost control of the cart, which slammed into a curb on Walden Drive near Tallwind Court. The victim, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the toy cart into a sapling. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Culled from: The Baltimore Sun
Generously donated by: KSHOhio

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Does the fact that I laugh hysterically every time I imagine what this accident must have looked like make me a horrible person?

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Is There A Screen Printer In The Asylum?

Okay, after years of false starts and idle threats, I am finally going to make good on my promise to provide high quality - and considerably charming - morbid wear for the "masses". (All 12 of you!) I have some designs in mind and I was originally thinking I would use Café Press since it's easy and I am lazy, but I have found out that the "good people" at Café Press do a considerable amount of policing against "copyright infringement" - which means that my Serial Killer series of shirts would be pulled by the bastards.

So, as always, I turn to you and ask - does anyone know a good (and, hopefully, high quality and low-priced) t-shirt printing service that is a bit on the underground side? I'm looking into some local shops (in Chicago), but I am open to suggestions! Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Michael has a book recommendation for us:

"'Buried Dreams' by Tim Cahill and Russ Ewing is an excellent, if chilling, book that frighteningly recounts the life and grisly deeds of John Wayne Gacy. If you have not read it, it's well worth looking for."

Buried Dreams

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Now here's a useful site: "The Dead People Server is a database of interesting celebrities who are long dead or newly dead." You can solve many an argument with this one!

http://www.dpsinfo.com/dps/index.html

Thanks to Katie for the link.


July 21, 2006

Today's Bizarre Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was a British gentleman, political activist, legal scholar, social philosopher, and linguist who is best known as the founder of British "utilitarianism" or "philosophical radicalism". Bentham's most bizarre coup came after his death in 1832. As stipulated in his will, Bentham's embalmed body was dressed and placed on display in a glass cabinet in the hallways of University College London. His body is still there today and, apparently, it is still wheeled in to preside over the annual meeting of university administrators.

Culled from: The History Of Economic Thought Website
Generously suggested by: Sylvia

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Here's a good photograph of ol' Jeremy. Unfortunately, his head has been replaced with a wax likeness. More's the pity...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/Jbentham.600px.jpg

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The Comtesse Recommends!

I have to share with you my enthusiasm for my new heroine: Sarah Silverman. I watched her DVD Jesus Is Magic the other day, and I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. This was coming after watching her star-making turn in The Aristocrats the previous day. If you're not familiar with Sarah Silverman, here's a brief summary of what she's like: pretty Jewish girl with a sweet voice who says the foulest things with an innocent smile on her face.

The reason why she is my personal heroine? Her bravery. She isn't afraid to take on any topic, regardless of how "taboo" it may be. Rape, incest, racism, Jesus, Martin Luther King, abortion - all sacred cows get her irreverent treatment.

And the jokes are so great too! In Jesus Is Magic there is a brilliant segment where Sarah - looking as sweet and innocent as can be in pigtails and a plaid skirt - performs a song to a group of elderly inhabitants of a nursing home. "You're gonna die soon, you're gonna die soon," sings Sarah, with a huge smile on her face. "It's not cold in here, you're just dying!" Another example of her brazen humor: "I hope the Jews *did* kill Christ. I'd do it again. I'd f***ing do it again - in a second!"

"I want to get an abortion," says Sarah, "but my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving." How can you not LOVE this woman??

Here are some YouTube clips for your enjoyment:

Her amazing version of the "Aristocrats" joke - the one telling of the joke from the movie The Aristocrats that actually accomplished what the joke sets out to do - shock!

You're Gonna Die Soon

Give The Jew Girl Toys

And here's the link to Jesus Is Magic - check it out!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Jim has a film recommendation for us:

"One of my all-time favorite movies is 'Motel Hell.' I highly recommend it. It's morbid but the plot is so ridiculous that it's funny."

This film is available in a "Midnite Movies" two-fer along with the Ed Gein-inspired "Deranged":

"A double bill of rural schlock, with both entries gruesome but somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Deranged was inspired by the unsavory saga of Ed Gein, whose isolated madness oiled the gears of both Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is a low-rent production all the way, but its shabby locations have a certain eerie authenticity, and it benefits greatly from the casting of the reliable character actor Roberts Blossom--a scarecrow in the American Gothic mold--in the lead role. Now and again a somber but vaguely amusing narrator wanders into the frame to remind us that we are watching the tale of 'a necromaniac, a defiler of the dead,' as though we could forget. Serial-killer completists should check it out.

"Motel Hell is slicker but less effective. Former Western star Rory Calhoun plays Farmer Vincent, a country hotel keeper (free samples of jerky at the front desk) whose line of smoked meats turns his customers into unwitting cannibals. The movie's got some genuinely creeped-out ideas (a backyard garden of victims, buried up to their necks?), but the execution is pedestrian and the humor pretty square. Onetime cultural icon Wolfman Jack has a few scenes as a TV preacher, for no apparent reason."

Deranged/Motel Hell

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Need an triple-wide casket? Goliath Casket's got 'em!!

http://www.oversizecasket.com/

Thanks to Bruce for the link.


July 22, 2006

Today's Uncooked Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Juan Ruiz was stabbed through the heart with uncooked spaghetti strands when 150 mph winds hit his restaurant in Mexico City.

Culled from: People Magazine, August 28, 1994, as conveyed in the book Strange Deaths

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Death by Pasta. Who'd-a thunk?

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The Comtesse Warns!

I watched a movie the other day that is so ghastly, I highly recommend that you all stay as far away from this foul thing as possible. The film is the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. This is one of those movies that is so stupid that it has a character summarize the entire plot for us 2/3 of the way through, even though the entire plot has already been explained to us through obvious references every step of the way. Absolutely insulting to anyone with an IQ higher than Paris Hilton. I think I need to go watch Memento again to recharge my brain cells after this one...

On a scale of 1-5, I'd have to give this one a fistful of anthrax to the face.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

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Wretched Recommendations!

Chris highly recommends a Chinese movie called The Eye. This looks like a good one! Here's the Amazon synopsis:

"A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she would be able to see again. However, she got more than what she bargained for when she realised she could even see ghosts. And some of these ghosts are down right unfriendly. So she embarks on a journey to find the origins of her cornea and to reveal the history of the previous dead owner..."

The Eye

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(Not Really All That) Ghastly!

Elizabeth sent me a link to an article about a lawsuit for a botched phalloplasty. If ever a picture is worth a thousand words!

http://tinyurl.com/khws4


July 24, 2006

Today's Suicidal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 30-year-old woman in central India killed herself and her three small daughters in September 2002 by jumping into a well to escape harassment from her in-laws for failing to provide a fan and television promised as dowry. Mamta Mali was physically assaulted by her mother-in-law before she killed herself and her daughters, ages 1 through 5. The fan and television were promised by Mali's parents as dowry to her husband's family at the time of their wedding six years ago. "The victim was tortured mentally and sometimes even assaulted physically," police officer Anil Maheshwari said. "Yesterday, she was attacked by her mother-in-law. When the eldest daughter returned from school, Mamta took all the three children and was seen crying profusely."

Police recovered the bodies from the well in Dhaman village, 100 miles south of Bhopal, and were collecting evidence to charge Mali's husband and mother-in-law with dowry deaths and abetting suicide, Maheshwari said. If convicted, the two could both be imprisoned for seven years. Indian law prohibits giving or receiving dowry, but the social custom persists. Each year, thousands of young Indian women are doused with gasoline and burned to death because the groom or his family felt the dowry was inadequate. A dowry can range from furniture, land, cash, and consumer goods to paying the husband's college fees or migration costs. In India, nearly 25,000 women report being victims of dowry-related violence every year.

Culled from: NewsDay.Com
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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I wasn't able to find out if the husband and mother-in-law were convicted, but I somehow doubt it. Grrrrr...

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The Comtesse Warns!

Okay, you guys, I'm a little annoyed. I just watched the film Grizzly Man - which detailed the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, the obviously insane individual who lived with grizzly bears for years and harrassed them in the name of "conservation," only to be eaten by one of them. (Stephen Colbert could have warned him about that!). After sitting through the entire film, I find that they never play the "death tape" - the audio recording made by Treadwell's camera (which unfortunately had its lens cap on) of the attack and demise of both Treadwell and his girlfriend who was also killed. Apparently, the filmmaker Werner Herzog thought it would be a "snuff" film if he shared the recording, so he decided to only show footage of him listening to the tape and going, "Oh my god, this is horrible..." Gee, thanks a lot, Werner! I'm glad YOU got to listen to it and *spare* the rest of us from the overwhelmingly emotional experience of listening to someone screaming in their death throes. I'm certain I never would have recovered from something like that... <rolls eyes>

Apart from this annoyance, the movie itself was very interesting, as Treadwell was obviously quite deranged. At one point, he waxes rhapsodical on the amazing beauty and warmth of bear dung ("It came out of her body..."), and at other time he rants and raves about his own self-importance to his camera. The guy was obviously driven increasingly insane through his own self-imposed isolation, which of course makes for compelling viewing!

So, although the morbid content is severely disappointing, I'd still give this one 4/5 skulls for the fascinating footage of a man slipping further into madness and closer to the grizzly abyss.

Grizzly Man

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Morbid Recipe Du Jour!

Kinkypiluv sends a rare morbid recipe!

"I am reading a book entitled 'Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial' by Penny Colman. On page 134 is a recipe for funeral pie obtained from the director of the Center for Thanatology. Apparently, this was a popular dish people would bring to grieving families who had just lost a loved one, thus its name. I suppose it is kind of like that green bean casserole that modern folks bring in abundance to potlucks. Anyway, here is the recipe:

FUNERAL PIE
Pastry for two-crust nine-inch pie
2 cups raisins
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
3/4 cup plus one tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 beaten egg

"Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line pie pan with half the pastry. Combine raisins, orange juice, and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for five minutes. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and allspice and stir into the raisin mixture. Cook, stirring until thickened, about one minute. Stir in nuts and lemon juice. Pour filling into the prepared pie pan. Cover with the top crust and flute the edges. Brush the top of the pie with a little beaten egg. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Put pie in oven and bake twenty to twenty-five minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

"The book doesn't mention when this pie was popular. I haven't made it yet, but it sounds awfully yummy and cheerful!"

It sounds very interesting! By the way, I've read this book, and it's not very well-researched or well-written, but it does have some interesting information in it. I wouldn't recommend it by a long-shot, but here's the Amazon link if you're interested in checking it out:

Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History Of Burial


July 27, 2006

Today's Crushing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenage worker was crushed to death by a ton of frozen chicken in September 2002. Horrified pals yelled a warning to Paul Langford as a huge pallet toppled off a forklift. But the 17-year-old English warehouseman was unable to dive out of the way in time. He was crushed beneath the shrink-wrapped chicken pieces - equivalent to hundreds of birds. Paul was rushed to hospital, but died on the way from multiple injuries. His father Andrew, who also worked at QK Cold Stores in Marston, Lincs, was at his side. Paul, from Woodlands, South Yorks, was working with forklift driver Gary Sumner when the load slipped, sending chicken pieces raining down. Mr Sumner said he noticed the load falling as he began to move back. He told the inquest: "I called out to Paul - but it was too late. All the stuff was coming down. It was all around him. I jumped down to help him." Mr Sumner said the pallet looked OK and it did not occur to him that Paul was in a dangerous position.

Culled from: The Sun
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2002431339,00.htm
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Okay, I've heard of flipping the bird, but isn't this a little EXTREME???

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Wretched Recommendations!

Heather has a wonderful recommendation for us. This one is DEFINITELY going on my wish list immediately!!

"I have a brilliant recommendation. 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!). I've included an article about the book so you can see the details if you haven't read all about it already. 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!

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Be the envy of all your friends at your next (Donner) party with this fantastic serving set! Unfortunately, it's very spendy and very out of stock, but we can dream, can't we?

http://tinyurl.com/pzhk5

Thanks to Helena for the link.


July 29, 2006

Today's Unsettling Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Fernand Meyssonnier has me by the head. With four meaty fingers behind each of my ears, he is tugging me forward out of my seat. It doesn't exactly hurt, but the effect is certainly unsettling. "That's the way to do it. You've got to make sure you don't hold the guy too near the neck, or you could have an accident. It happened. There were people who lost two or three fingers," he says. Mr Meyssonnier is - or was - an executioner. In 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 is - in Europe at least - a last link with an ancient, almost mythological, profession: the people's killer.

Culled from: BBC
Generously donated by: Bruce Townley

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I highly suggest you read the rest of the article - it's a doozy!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Lenore (quite possibly the comic book character) recommends we check out the comic books about her friend Johnny, The Homicidal Maniac.

"My suggested reading is a wee bit different from what you usually provide. The books you feature are generally about murder or historical places and hauntings and such. [All excellent topics - but you forgot the best one of them all: TRAGEDY! - DeSpair] But there is a comic book that I've recently discovered called Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. It focuses on the very insane Johnny who kills people in his neighborhood in order to supply blood to the monster in his wall. It makes murder very funny, yet at the same time you can see the insanity of his mind grow and waver depending on his mood. Perhaps it doesn't have a place among the true-crime or horror-fiction that you provide, but I think you yourself would appreciate this."

Indeed! Somehow, I've never found the time to check out Johnny, although I am rather ashamed to admit it. Here's the Amazon link to the Director's Cut which collects the first seven issues of this classic comic:

Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: The Director's Cut

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

The space shuttle Columbia walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, why do you look so down?" The shuttle says, "Oh, I just broke up with my crew."

Thanks to Elisa for that one!


July 30, 2006

Today's Stunning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In a stunning display of inhumanity, Cochise County deputies in Arizona carried out the final act of humiliation for a Mexican woman who died of exposure while crossing into the U.S. The officers strapped Janet Mata Mendez’s decomposing body to the hood of a sheriff’s vehicle and drove into the town of Bisbee. They said they didn’t have room for Ms. Mendez inside the vehicle.

Culled from: High Country News
Generously donated by: EGJC

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Why do I immediately get the image of Ned and Uncle Jimbo from South Park when I read this one? "Well, if it's good enough for a deer... ???"

Dad writes: "I live in AZ and I an NOT sticking up for these guys. However, things get REALLY ripe out here REALLY fast due to the heat. Remember the scene in 'Goodfellas' where they had to dig up that one guy after 6 months ?? Ray Liotta starts dry-heaving at the site. The next day -- he is hosing down his trunk and Marisa Tomei says -- 'oh my god what's that smell ??' Would you like that in your car ?? I wouldn't -- of course they don't offer that particular 'aroma' at our local carwash !! I actually would've thought they would have put it in/on the BACK of the car. Since I live 'in the valley' -- I don't get the 'www.hcn.org/servletsh' news as HCN stand for 'High Country News'. It wasn't in the 'major' papers here."

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Wretched Recommendations!

jesusjack has a film recommendation that I have yet to see. It's on my Netflix queue though!

"I highly recommend 'Cemetery Man,' a French-Italian dark comedy. This movie has been in my collection for years, and I've enjoyed it many times."

The description of it makes it sound a bit like the wonderful Shaun of the Dead:

"Rupert Everett stars as an oddly unflappable cemetery watchman fighting off zombies in this droll send-up of 1950s drive-in horror flicks. With the dead on the rise, Francesco Dellamorte (Everett) and his half-wit sidekick (Francois Hadji-Lazaro) must be always at the ready to crack the corpses' skulls and send them back under. Featuring a pack of undead Boy Scouts and a severed-head love interest, Cemetery Man provides both chills and chuckles."

Here's the Amazon link:

Cemetery Man

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Paul has a joke for us:

Q: What's small, screams, and can't turn corners?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

A: A baby with a spear through it.


July 31, 2006

Today's Suicidal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Sandra "Sam" Demarest told neighbors that she would be in Orlando while her house was tented for termites. Her car was gone, and her cat was at the vet. On Friday, Demarest's body was found in a bathtub inside her home. Gulfport detectives said she committed suicide by hiding or slipping back into the house full of poison gas. The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy. "We've got a tragedy," said police Chief Curt Willocks, who responded to the scene. Demarest, 55, left behind a note and detailed instructions on how friends could be reached and where they could find her cat and Toyota Matrix, which was parked a block away. Pest control workers are required to check each room before releasing the gas, said Eric Hobelmann of Dow AgroSciences, which provided the chemicals in Demarest's fumigation.

Culled from: St. Petersburg Times
Generously submitted by: KSHOhio

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Update Du Jour!

Okay, yesterday's MFDJ was about a purported incident in which deputies in Arizona strapped a decomposing body of a Mexican woman who had died of exposure while trying to cross the border onto the hood of their car to drive her into town. Ken cries foul:

"My Dear Comtesse. I LIVE in Cochise County-In fact I am a Minuteman, who's group (all 8 of us) have saved the lives of over 150 Illegals this summer so far, by getting them to the Authorities and Aid stations, as the Desert sun here can kill you in a matter of a few hours. I live in Sierra Vista, which is about 35 miles from Bisbee, 25 from Tombstone, and 50 from Nogales. I can tell you that story is a complete fabrication. It never happened.

"First of all when a person is found in the desert, the Coroners office is called, THEY determine Cause/Time of death, if foul play is involved, Border patrol scouts the area for the possibility of survivors or additional victims-Sheriffs Dept has other duties to attend to, and the "Meat Wagon", the Coroners Vehicle(s) transport the Bodies to the county Morgue. Sheriffs Patrols would never touch a body like that, if they did, they'd be flipping burgers at McDonalds in no time flat. Second of all it's supposedly from 2002, Hmmmmm....been here since 1996...There would have been more protests than you could believe had this happened."

He does make excellent points, and I had thought it seemed a bit odd, but it *is* Arizona, after all, and you know they don't follow the normal rulebook there. ;-)

I did some additional research and could only find a PDF file that lists migrant deaths and does list Janet Mata Mendez as having died of exposure near Naco, Arizona on September 12, 2002. So, I guess I just don't know if the story is legit or not. Ah, the trials and tribulations of a morbid factster...

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Ghastly!

Great news on the morbid front! The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia has seen it in their heart to post all of the evidence from the Zacarias Moussaoui 9/11 terrorist trial! Although I haven't downloaded any of the video footage yet (the files are huge), I did make sure to take a look at all of the photos with a 'Viewer discretion is advised' warning and I wasn't disappointed. There are a few photos of body parts lying in streets in New York City and the like, but the best images are of victims of the inferno at the Pentagon. These are the best of the grim lot:

Photograph taken on September 11, 2001, of a human body part located at the intersection of Albany and West Streets in Manhattan
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200011.jpg

Photographs of bodies found inside the Pentagon after Flight 77 crashed into the building
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200042.jpg
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200045.jpg
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200047.jpg
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200048.jpg

All of the images can be found here:
http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/

If anyone manages to download any of the video footage, let me know if it's worth it.

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Wretched Recommendations!

jesusjack has a film recommendation for us!

"I was surprised to see that you have listed 'Night of the Living Dead' and 'Dawn of the Dead,' but not Mr. Romero's greatest film, "Day of the Dead." The characters in this last episode of Romero's Living Dead series are so real, they rise from the screen 'and bite off your ass!'"

Hmmmmm... I could use a few chunks of my ass bitten off, so I'll have to give it a look!

Here's the Amazon link:

Day Of The Dead

 



Vulgarities...