August, 2006

August 1, 2006

Today's Suffocating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1987, Border Patrol agents found 18 Mexican immigrants dead and one barely alive in a boxcar left on a rail siding in Sierra Blanca, Texas. The survivor told authorities the man who smuggled them across the border had put them aboard a boxcar in El Paso and locked the door. Temperatures in the boxcar reached 130 degrees and 18 men suffocated. The man who survived had punched a breathing hole in the floor with a railway spike.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Mark

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After today, I think I know exactly how those people must have felt. Even now (at 10 p.m.) it is literally hell on earth in Chicagoland! Oh, winter, please please envelop your icy hands around me soon!!!

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Morbid Contest Du Jour! - Deadline Extended

I've had several requests to extend the deadline for the Nick Adams Morbid Photo Contest for a few days so that you procrastinators can get your acts together and send in an entry. Since I'm a procrastinator myself (OBVIOUSLY), I sympathize with your plight, and hence I will extend the deadline until Midnight on August 10th. However, that deadline is carved in stone and planted in the DeSpair family plot, so if you have a corpse inside you dying to get out - for morbidity's sake, let it out soon!

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 by midnight on August 10th.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Old video games are cheap to pick up, and often quite delightful to play. Skye recommends this Play Station classic:

"... let me recommend 'Shadow Hearts' for the Grim Gaming section. Its love of the Macabre and Lovecraftian storyline make it an excellent choice for the Morbid gamer."

Shadow Hearts

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

The Chopping Block comic had a doozy on Friday - one of my favorites! Enjoy, sickos!

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/cb20060728.jpg

Here's the website for Chopping Block:
http://www.choppingblock.org/


August 2, 2006

Today's Karmic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In January, 2003 a man tried to beat his dog to death with a shotgun -- but wound up shooting himself to death instead. The Winchester, Virginia, man called his wife at work and told her that their dog had bitten him and he intended to kill it. Police went to the home and found Raymond Poore Junior covered with dog bites and suffering from a shotgun wound to his abdomen. He died later at Winchester Medical Center. Police say the shotgun must have gone off while Poore was using it to beat the 30-pound shar-pei. The stock of the weapon was broken and there appeared to be blood and dog hair on it. A Winchester animal control officer took custody of the dog. There's no word on how badly it was injured.

Culled from: AP
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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This is the living, breathing... er, not living, not breathing... definition of the term Poetic Justice! I live for stories like this.

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Wretched Recommendations!

jesusjack has a film recommendation for us!

"One of my all-time favorite sick & twisted films is 'The Butcher Boy.' This 1997 Irish film follows the misadventures of young Francie Brady, a schizophrenic Irish boy who can't seem to distinguish between his
visions of pigs and atomic holocaust and his real life. By the end of the film, neither can we..."

Oooh, this sounds like the perfect film for my girlfriend who believes that pigs are demon spawn!

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that this one is out on DVD yet. Here's the Amazon link to the VHS tape:

The Butcher Boy

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

StitchWitch writes to let me know about Grim Toys - an online museum dedicated to funeral car toys, model kits, and related spook stuff - brought to you by the hearse-lovers at Grim Rides. Fun, fun, fun!

http://www.geocities.com/grimtoys/


August 4, 2006

Today's Stoned Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An Iranian woman convicted of acting in pornographic films was stoned to death in May, 2001 in the prison where she had been held for eight years. The unnamed 35-year-old was buried in a pit and pelted with stones until she died in the centre of Tehran's Evin prison. The woman was sentenced to death after being convicted of adultery and "corruption on earth", a verdict which was upheld by the supreme court. Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery and corruption on earth are punishable by death. Men sentenced to stoning are buried up to their necks, and women up to their armpits, but according to Islamic tradition they are acquitted if they succeed in pulling themselves free during the stoning.

Culled from: Sapa-AFP
Generously submitted by: Dave

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"Corruption On Earth," eh? Oh, don't even get me started!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Here's another old video game that you can pick up for pennies for Sega Dreamcast. This one is recommended by John:

"Illbleed for Dreamcast is a very haunting game. I don't know how many times I jumped out of my skin playing this game. It plays like a theme park - each level with its own themes. Your character dies in several horrible ways. When the circumstances are correct you could die of a heart attack, shock or lack of blood. Check this one out - you won't be sorry."

Illbleed

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Paul has a joke for us:

Q: What's red and has a hundred holes in it?

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A: A baby on a bed of nails.


August 5, 2006

Today's Sophisticated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Scandinavian accounts describe the Viking practice of the "blood eagle", where a victim's ribs were hacked on both sides of his spine and his lungs torn out so that he resembled an eagle. This sacrifice to Odin, the one-eyed god of the warriors, was designed to inspire soldiers and terrorize victims and it demonstrates the sophisticated and systematic methods used by these warriors.

Culled from: OceansOnline.Com
Generously submitted by: dianne

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Now that's a well-executed execution!

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Wretched Recommendations!

This recommendation from Denese sounds like a good one!

The Mammoth Book Of Illustrated Crime: A Photographic History
by Colin and Damon Wilson (Carroll & Graf Publishers)

"It's a photographic history of crime, just like the title says. The authors are British, so the viewpoint on some of the crimes is a bit askew. The book starts in 1864 and ends with 9/11/01. In between are some gruesome pictures, some boring pictures, and some very interesting tidbits. Have you ever heard of Marie Tarnovska? Because this woman is my new hero. Some of the pictures are just boring headshots of famous criminals, but then you pictures of things you never wanted to see, such as John Wayne Bobbit's severed bobbit. Boy, you turn the page to that and it just leaps right off the page at you. :) There are also a lot of interesting European serial killers and heinous murders that I'd never heard of. All in all, I think you'd like this book."

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Terry

For many years I was a reserve police officer in Canada.

One night I was patrolling with a regular officer during a heavy snowfall when we received a call of a bad car accident. We arrived at the scene to find a badly injured man sprawled on the window of a car.

It was later found that he had been fighting with his girlfriend at a nearby club, and she had decided to drive away without him. He tried to stop her by jumping onto the hood. She drove with him on the hood for several blocks before she lost control in the snow and rear ended a pickup truck.

The trouble was, she had a sports car with a low sloping hood, and she rear ended a jacked up 4X4. Her hood slid under the bumper of the truck, with her boyfriend sandwiched in between. He was kind of, well, smeared up the window.

I was assigned to block traffic. The snow was falling heavily, and much of the accident scene was getting covered. Nonetheless, I wasn't prepared for an ambulance attendant to walk up to me and casually ask "have you seen a foot lying around anywhere?"

I remember thinking "Boy! I hope they find that foot before it's found by some little old lady when the snow melts!"

Believe it or not, the guy survived but lost both his legs. Even more believe it or not...the couple later got married.


August 6, 2006

Today's Alcoholic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Philip Katz, 37, creator of the software compression utility PKZIP was found dead in a Milwaukee area motel room on April 14, 2000. Katz was a chronic alcoholic, and was holding a bottle of liquor. Five other empty liquor bottles were in the room when he was found. Katz's program must be the single most used piece of computer software in the world. It compresses computer files so they can be transmitted faster between computers. (This was very important back in the days of 2400 baud modems!) Katz was a brilliant programmer, but not brilliant at living his life. In 1997, neighbors called authorities to complain about the smell, insects, and mice in his condominium. No dead bodies were found, but there was trash, garbage, and decaying food knee deep on the floor. Katz had to pay $8,000 for exterminators, debris removal, and legal fees.

Culled from: ABC News
Generously submitted by: Chris

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Now that's a well-executed execution!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has an unlikely fiction recommendation for us:

The Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer

"Particularly check out the Prioress's Tale; if you like zombie children with their throats slit to the bone that sing Ave Marias while wallowing in fecal matter, you'll like this tale quite a bit. Other tales have their fill of murder and sexual havoc as well. Chaucer had a filthy mind. If you read it, don't purchase a translated text as many seem to be sanitized such that a lot of the filth and juice is drained out and rendered, more or less, antiseptic."

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Paul has a joke for us:

Q: What's red and silver and crawls into walls?

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A: A baby with forks in its eyes.


August 7, 2006

Today's Alcoholic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 19th century London, sometimes the water people drank was supplied by springs that tracked through graveyards. St. George's in the East had a pump which provided drinking-water to the locality until, during a cholera scare, the Reverend Harry Jones hung up a placard announcing 'Dead Men's Broth!' Charles Dickens, when he heard the pump being used to draw water, would conjure up images of the dead protesting, 'Let us lie here in peace; don't suck us up and drink us!'

Culled from: Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions and Fears
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0760700370/theasylumeclecti

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Now, *there's* a name for a beer! "Dead Men's Broth"!! I'd buy some!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has a compilation to recommend:

The Dark Descent
Edited by David G. Hartwell
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312930356/theasylumeclecti

"This is a stunning and all-encompassing compilation of short horror stories. Included in this collection is pretty much anyone who has ever written about things that go bump in the night. From Dickens to Edith Wharton to HP Lovecraft to William Faulkner to Ray Bradbury to Joyce Carol Oates to Stephen King etc etc etc. It's a pricey collection but it's extraordinarily thorough and well worth the money."

Amazon has an excellent review of this one as well:

"If you could have only one anthology of dark stories, this would be the one to have. Having observed that 'fans of horror fiction most often restrict their reading to books and stories given a horror category label, thus missing some of the finest pleasures in that fictional mode,' David G. Hartwell assembles here 56 important tales within an insightful critical framework; his purpose is to 'clear the air and broaden future considerations of horror.' Several well-known classics are included, but there are also dozens of lesser-known horror tales, including many by science fiction and literary writers. Get one copy for yourself. Get another for that friend or relative who doesn't understand why you like to read horror."

Sounds like a wonderful addition to the Library Eclectica!

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Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Andrew sent a very interesting lyric by the Chad Mitchell Trio that he thought we would all enjoy:

"Lizzie Borden"

(Sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio)

Yesterday in old Fall River, Mr. Andrew Borden died,
And they got his daughter Lizzie on a charge of homicide
Some folks say she didn't do it others say of course she did
But they all agree, Miss Lizzie B. was a problem kinda kid

'Cause you can't chop your papa up in Massachausettes
Not even if it's planned as a surprise
No, you can't chop your papa up in Massachausettes
You know how neighbors love to criticize

Well, she got him on the sofa where he'd gone to take a snooze,
And I hope he went to heaven, 'cause he wasn't wearing shoes
Lizzie kinda rearranged him with a hatchet so they say
Then she got her mother in that same old fashioned way

But you can't chop your mama up in Massachausettes
Not even if you're tired of her cuisine
No can't chop your mama up in Massachausettes
You know it's almost sure to cause a scene

Oh they really kept her hoppin on that busy afternoon
With both down and upstairs hoppin while she hummed a ragtime tune
They really made her hustle and when all was said and done
She removed her mother's bustle when she wasn't wearing one

Now can't chop your mama up in Massachausettes
And then blame all the damage on the mice
No you can't chop your mama up in Massachausettes
That sort of thing just isn't very nice.

Now it wasn't done for pleasure and it wasn't done for spite
And it wasn't done because the lady wasn't very bright
She'd always done the slightest thing that mom and papa bid
They said, "Lizzie, cut it out!" so that's exactly what she did!

But you can't chop your papa up in Massachausettes
And then get dressed and go out for a walk
No you can't chop your papa up in Massachausettes
Massachausettes is a far cry from New York

Shut the door and lock and latch it - here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet!

Such a snob I heard it said, she met her pa and cut him dead!

Jump like a fish - jump like a porpoise, all join hands and habeas corpus!


August 8, 2006

Today's Culinary Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Russian man who murdered his friend in a drunken argument and then minced and flavored his body for a meal was jailed for 12 years in January, 2003. Yevgeny Usanov stabbed his victim through the heart in the central Russian town of Saratov. He cut up the body, wrapped it in bay leaves and fed it through a mincer. "These culinary preparations were done with only one aim -- to eat the victim," prosecutor Natalya Rubanova told the court. It was not clear whether the man ate his friend before he was arrested.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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Now, *there's* a name for a beer! "Dead Men's Broth"!! I'd buy some!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has a comic book recommendation:

Hellboy by Mike Mignola
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593070942/theasylumeclecti
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593070950/theasylumeclecti
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593070918/theasylumeclecti
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593070934/theasylumeclecti
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593070926/theasylumeclecti

"A great comic currently collected in five graphic novels; a combination of international myths, Lovecraftian themes, and pulp comic books. All beautifully illustrated with an abstract yet utterly clear and creepy style."

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Paul has a joke for us:

Q: What's red and white and hangs from a tree?

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A: A baby run over by a snowblower.


August 9, 2006

Today's Scandalous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1628 Alexander Leighton, a Scottish preacher, was charged with 'framing, publishing and dispersing a scandalous book directed against his King, peers and prelates'. He had one ear cut off, and his face was branded with the letters 'SS', for 'sower of sedition'.

Culled from: The History of Torture
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312184255/theasylumeclecti

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So *that's* what 'SS' stands for! I should have known. Why, that's as intuitive as the KKK cross standing for the letter t, which stands for 'Time To Leave' (as explained in South Park).

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has a comic book recommendation:

Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura

"Another excellent comic collected currently in 11 graphic novels. Incredibly well-written if somewhat sprawling: If Dickens wrote Samurai epics, this would be it. And it's immensely gory. Heads being bisected every which way, people with their limbs sawed off. And giant splash pages of people being carved into decorative bits."

Here's a link to the first volume of the series:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1569712395/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Poetry Du Jour!

This one was composed by Riley back at the time of O.J. Simpson's arrest and trial:

"Celebrity Chef"

OJ Simpson took a knife,
Juice-a-Matic'ed his ex wife.
When the juice began to run,
He carved up Ronny, just for fun!


August 10, 2006

Today's Infamous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Alexander Pearce ate his way to infamy in Tasmania in the 1800s. For Pearce was not only a convict, but a cannibal. In the early 1820s in Van Diemen's Land, he was the last man standing after he and seven fellow convicts escaped from jail at Sarah Island, on the west coast, and fled inland. Starvation and exhaustion forced two to return to jail, and led the others to pick off the weakest and eat them. The tortuous travails that Pearce endured to make it to a settlement after crossing some of the most difficult terrain in the world came to nought. He was recaptured and sent back to Sarah Island, where he escaped again, this time with just one fellow convict. The accomplice, who must have known of Pearce's reputation, did not last long. Pearce killed him, too, and ate him, or parts of him.

The first episodes of cannibalism may be excused as the desperate measures of a desperate man. The second episode surely was gluttony. When Pearce was captured, a piece of Thomas Cox's arm was found in his pocket. After the second course of cannibalism, Pearce was sentenced to be hanged in Hobart. The Chief Justice of Van Diemen's Land, John Lewes Pedder, ordered that Pearce's body be dissected. The body went to the Colonial Surgeon, James Scott, who gave the task to his assistant, Henry Crockett. Phrenology, the belief that a person's skull is an indicator of mental faculties and character, was in vogue at the time, and Crockett, sensing money to be made, sold Pearce's skull to an agent for Dr Samuel George Morton, an American phrenologist. Morton wrote of Pearce, "He succeeded repeatedly in persuading his fellow prisoners to escape with him, for the sole purpose of killing them and devouring their flesh."

Collins writes that in 1853 Morton handed over his collection to the Academy of Natural Science in Philadelphia. In 1968, Pearce's skull, and others from the collection, were moved to the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. It is still there to this day.

Culled from: The Age
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/18/1042520819172.html
Generously submitted by: Olivia

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has a fiction recommendation for us:

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0679728759/theasylumeclecti

"Surreal brutality. McCarthy's first western-set novel follows a slew of scalphunters across the midwestern and western fringes of the American continents during the mid 19th century. It's based loosely off historical events. Here's a memorable (and well-written imo) passage:

"'(The Indians were) stripping the clothes from the dead and seizing them up by the hair and passing their blades about the skulls of the living and the dead alike and snatching aloft the bloody wigs and hacking and chopping at the naked bodies, ripping off limbs, heads, gutting the strange white torsos and holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals, some of the savages so slathered up with gore they might have rolled in it like dogs and some fell upon the dying and sodomized them with loud cries to their fellows.'

"So yeah, read it with the family."

Sounds like a winner!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Joe has a morbid site to recommend:

"I was looking over the http://www.deathndementia.com/ links page. Most of the links are gross depictions of dead people, (which I used to like, but am finding that I am not into as much), but the one link that I found that was totally fascinating was the one for Wyoming Funeral Director's Association. It details funeral history, customs, embalming, etc. It even gives details of how a body is embalmed."

http://www.wyfda.org/basics.html


August 11, 2006

Today's Flooded Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In December, 2001 three family members drowned while stuck in an elevator flooded by a torrential storm in Quito, Ecuador. A 40-year-old man, his 39-year-old wife and their 17-year-old son died on Wednesday night, December 12, 2001 after the elevator lost power and got stuck in the basement of an apartment building in an upscale northern suburb. Minutes later, the rain that had been pouring for more than two hours flooded the building's basement, quickly filling the elevator.

Culled from: AP
Generously submitted by: Anonymous

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Drowning in a dark, flooded elevator in a basement. Talk about your aqualygoclaustroelevatophobic's worst nightmare!

I guess I forgot to change my comment on the last couple of MFDJ newsletters. I am really not surprised, considering how senile I have become, but I will try to pay closer attention to where I am and what I am doing from now on.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Margie has a good one for us!

"I wanted to offer a recommendation to my fellow MFDJ'ers: 'Corpse,' by Jessica Snyder Sachs. Its subtitle tells it all: 'Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death.' Sachs doesn't fall into the usual trap with this type of topic of thinking that she has to embellish the material like she's writing a gothic novel. She keeps it dignified and to the point. There's enough anecdotal and scientific information to allow the material to speak for itself."

Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death
by Jessica Snyder Sachs

This one's going on my wish list.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Paul has a joke for us (one of my faves):

Q: What's red and crawls up your leg?

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A: A homesick abortion.


August 12, 2006

Today's Clever Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated in London in 1978 when a man approached and jabbed him with an umbrella modified to fire a pellet with ricin, an deadly toxin.

Culled from: National Geographic, May 2005

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Don't you love when real life resembles a James Bond movie?

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ryan Joe has a movie recommendation:

Dog Soldiers (2002)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000DJZ9V/theasylumeclecti

"Werewolves, very bloody, lots of viscera."

That's all you need to know, I guess!

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Riley suggested a trip to visit the Mary Rose - "Henry the Eighth's overblown, top heavy ship (perhaps modelled on himself) which sank soon after launch and has since been raised". (In all fairness, the Mary Rose sank 34 years after launch, which isn't that soon.)

The morbid aspect of the ship is that when it sank in 1545 it took several hundred of its crew with it. And lots of fascinating artifacts have been recovered from it, including syringes and bleeding bowls and other morbid little tidbits.

Besides that, it's just really cool to see a ship that sunk in 1545. So the next time you're passing through the city of Portsmouth, in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, why not stop by and say hello?

http://www.maryrose.org/


August 13, 2006

Today's Matrimonial Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man shot and killed his new wife on Saturday, April 26, 2003 shortly after their wedding reception, then turned the gun on himself. Frank W. Shope II, 34, married Lori Ann Spangler, 35, on Friday afternoon, but they began to argue during a small reception in a bar. The dispute escalated after they returned home. About 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Shope shot his new wife. He then shot himself in the head. State troopers arrived minutes later. Shope and Spangler were pronounced dead at the scene. The two started dating about five weeks ago after he ended a 16-year relationship with another woman, according to friends and neighbors.

Culled from: AP
Generously submitted by: glia

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Do you suppose this sets a record for the shortest marriage ending in a murder-suicide? If it does, at least their death won't be without meaning!

J adds: "I especially appreciate the irony-laced writing- 'Shope and Spangler were pronounced dead at the scene.' They could have just been "found" but nope, they were "pronounced" dead, just as they were pronounced man & wife earlier"

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Wretched Recommendations!

Brando Commando has a film recommendation for us:

"There is a French film recently released called 'Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups)' and it is an incredibly stunning film. I'm not sure how morbidity will rank, but there is a great scene where a woman's entrails are being pecked at by crows after having a huge bite taken out of her side by a wolf-like creature. Witchcraft, the occult, a love story, a lust story, and action are all packed into this movie. Even if it is not morbid, it is a very good movie to watch."

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2002)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006ADEM/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Now, here's something that we all need! A "Have you hugged your funeral director today?" wall clock!

http://www.undergroundhumor.com/home/wallclock_standardhuggedfd.htm


August 14, 2006

Today's Drunken Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In April 2003 a Russian animal trainer, who left the door to the lion cage open when he was drunk, was attacked and killed by the animals. The lion tamer had left the latch to the cage door open, and only realised the lions had escaped when he went to his trailer to get another bottle of vodka. Dimitri Pavlov, 41, then raised the alarm and tried to round the animals up, but he was killed when they turned on him. His assistant, who had also been drinking, called emergency services but as a result of a misunderstanding, police sent armed officers to the Moscow Central Zoo instead of the sports stadium in the Sergiyev-Possad district, 35 miles north east of the capital where the lions were performing as part of a travelling circus. When they finally arrived on the scene, police opened fire on a lion as it devoured the dead trainer. A second lion, nearby, was also shot and killed.

Culled from: The Scotsman
http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=482562003
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Surely you've heard of Pavlov's lions? They were trained to associate dinner with the scent of alcohol. Who would have thought it would go so horribly wrong?

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Wretched Recommendations!

Lizz has the uncommonly good taste to recommend one of The Comtesse's favorite books!

"I just got a book that screams Asylum Eclectica. I'm pretty sure it's not already on your site [alas, it is], but I've been known for my oversights. Anyway, the book is called "The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!" by Otto L. Bettmann. Not only is it brimming with wonderful drawings and photos from the 19th century but the oh so morbid narrative of daily life in that era is enough to make you get on your knees and thank Buddha we didn't live back then. Here is a snippet:

"'Children's Food: Beer and sardines for the babies - Pickles for the boys! Many children developed a strange hunger for pickles, generated, Robert Spargo (who the F is that?) believed, by chronic underfeeding that caused a nervous craving for some stimulant - much like the craving of an alcoholic for liquor. But the deterioration went further. "It is a horrible fact that many children whose diet is so unwholesome cannot eat decent food even when they are hungry." Slum children at times refused to touch passable food offered them during outings arranged by charitable groups. Some of them had to be
taught to eat: it took days before they could be induced to touch eggs and drink milk and give up their pickles.'

"'Milk: A water shortage would put the milkman out of business! - It was common knowledge to New Yorkers that their milk was diluted. And the dealers were neither subtle nor timid about it; all they required was a water pump to boost two quarts of milk to a gallon. Nor was that the end of the mischief: to improve the color of milk from diseased cattle they frequently added molasses, chalk or plaster of Paris.'

"This book is great! It talks about every aspect of life in the 19th century. A must have for lovers of Victorian angst! It's available on Amazon.com."

Indeed, I highly recommend it as well!

The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!
by Otto L. Bettmann
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0394709411/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Poetry Du Jour!

Paulette submits a delightful poem of her own making for our consideration:

Alice, did you mean the words you sang to me?
They echo in my brain at night, and haunt my memory--
“I love the dead, before they’re cold,
Their bluing flesh for me to hold..”
Each word evokes a shiver of sheer delight in me
And sets my hidden demons free.

Each sought to leave me all alone
In early morning light be gone,
But now, though lacking living light
They are beside me day and night.
All my loves, my dearest friends
Together with me till the dream ends.

From their bones I build a shrine
Upon their tender flesh I dine
And keep my lovers safely hid
For who would understand that which I did?
The joy of having them to hold
Though bodies grow so stiff and cold.

NYC Rocker comments on Paulette's influence: "'I love the dead, before they're cold, Their bluing flesh for me to hold.' This was actually written by Alice Cooper. ("I Love The Dead", awesome song, if you are not already familiar with it.)"

August 15, 2006

Today's Cortisone-based Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An Italian mother stuffed her 14-year-old son with so many unnecessary medicines that he ballooned to 310 pounds, could not walk and eventually had to be taken to a hospital in May 2003. The housewife from Pavia, a northern Italian town near Milan, kept her only child away from school for more than a year, plying him with pills and potions to protect him from all of the illnesses she imagined could claim him. Police visited his home after teachers raised the alarm when she tried to keep him out of school for a second year. "The boy was in a wretched condition, swollen beyond belief, incapable of moving. It was foul, we called an ambulance immediately," one policeman told Corriere della Sera newspaper. Doctors found cortisone-based drugs in his blood. Used to treat a variety of illnesses, they can cause swelling and imbalances in metabolism in large doses. After a few months in hospital, doctors were surprised at the still-dangerously-high chemical levels in the boy's blood. They then discovered the mother, while pretending to deliver home-cooked food to her son, had actually been sneaking in more medicine and was slowly killing him. Doctors said the woman was suffering from Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, where sufferers fabricate symptoms for other people and then try to cure them. A local court has severed the mother's parental rights.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Elisa

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Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy! That's brilliant!! I am getting an inspiration for a t-shirt as I type!!

DJ adds: "I'd LOVE a T-Shirt, but first to clarify: The Munchausen sufferer isn't trying to cure the 'sick' dependent, he/she needs the attention and sympathy for the 'worried parent'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome "

Tony remarks: "MHSBP is very well known in the UK after the exploits of one Beverley Allett who was convicted in 1993 of the murder of 4 babies in her care who did not make it through to the recovery phase of her ministrations as a children's nurse. There is another infamous case that eludes me at the moment but Miss
Allett is certainly the most well known in the UK."

Molly adds: "Munchausen Syndrome by proxy is actually more common than one would like to hear. I've seen kids who's parents like to take them to the hospital and get exploritory surgery done-- These parents like the attention they get from everyone. It's really sick, isn't it?"

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Wretched Recommendations!

Jools has a film recommendation for us:

"I don't know if you've seen Ghost Ship, but it is a definite must. The first 10 minutes alone are worth the price of the rental, but the rest of the movie is great, too."

Here's the synopsis - it certainly does sound fun!

"After discovering a passenger ship missing since 1962 floating adrift on the Bering Sea, salvagers claim the vessel as their own. Once they begin towing the ghost ship towards harbor, a series of bizarre ocurrences happen and the group becomes trapped inside the ship, which they soon learn is inhabited by a demonic creature."

Here's the Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JLK1/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Riley suggested a trip to visit the Mary Rose - "Henry the Eighth's overblown, top heavy ship (perhaps modelled on himself) which sank soon after launch and has since been raised". (In all fairness, the Mary Rose sank 34 years after launch, which isn't that soon.)

The morbid aspect of the ship is that when it sank in 1545 it took several hundred of its crew with it. And lots of fascinating artifacts have been recovered from it, including syringes and bleeding bowls and other morbid little tidbits.

Besides that, it's just really cool to see a ship that sunk in 1545. So the next time you're passing through the city of Portsmouth, in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, why not stop by and say hello?

http://www.maryrose.org/


August 18, 2006

Today's Caffeinated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A university student in Wales committed suicide in 2002 when he deliberately swallowed caffeine pills equivalent to 100 cups of coffee.

Culled from: National Geographic, January 2005

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He jittered himself to death! Doesn't sound particularly pleasant to me...

I've been away for a couple of days due to my horrid workload getting in the way of my fun. That's also the reason why I haven't announced the winner of the Eyes Wide Open photo contest. I will try to get that together within the next couple of days. I know you are rapt with anticipation, which is really a rather confining way to be!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Here's one that Candy advises us to look at for at our local used bookstores:

The Face Of Disaster
by Donald Robinson
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007DLPTK/theasylumeclecti

"Have you ever seen the book 'The Face of Disaster' by Donald Robinson, published 1959 by Doubleday & Co.? It is a small book, 240 pages in hardcover, about 35 of those pages photos. I have no idea whether it was ever issued in paperback but I doubt it.

"It covers a great deal of flooding in the Nederlands, tornados in the Midwest, fires, explosions and other natural and man-made disasters. The chapter headings are indicative of content:

Disaster Strikes
They Won't Listen
The Shock is Too Much
The Brave & The Damned
In The Line of Duty
The Problems That Can Arise
Picking Up the Pieces
If H-Bombs Fall
etc...

"And it also features a lively bibliography, with listings and descriptions for many other old out of print tragedy and disaster books.

"The chapter on H-Bombs is ironically hysterical, with warnings that New York could suffer as many as 2 million casualties, along with assurances that Air-Raid shelters could take care of most of the population, if they know where to report.

"From the prologue:

"'A Maryland munitions factory explodes in a sheet of flame. Charred bodies are strewn about the streets. A shipload of nitrates blows up and smashes a Texas port to shreds. A tornado devastates a Midwestern town, leaving hundreds in hospitals and morgues. A tidal wave is unleashed on the naked Louisiana coast. "We have too many dead here to count," authorities report. The North Sea shatters Holland's dikes and drowns hundreds of sleeping Dutch villages. Bombs fall on London. On Berlin. And on Hiroshima.'

"Gosh, why don't they write like this anymore?

"Anyway, I thought I would give you the heads up to look out for this book. I found it in a box of books that our thrift shop was - get this - throwing away!"

"Just a warning though, being published in 1959, it is kind of racist in some of the accounts, of Negroes poisoned by bad alcohol and the like, but take the good and leave the bad, and it is overall an enjoyable read."

Sounds quite entertaining! I am a huge fan of old morbid books, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for this one.

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My Brush With Morbidity by Doug

"I work for a search and rescue outfit in northern Canada and while most of our work is for actual lost people, on occasion we assist the coroner. And if knowing a coroner wasn't cool enough already, we get to help him do body recoveries from plane crashes, tranporting of said bodies, or sometimes forensic evidence protection.

"The story from the coroner says this homeless guy was apparently walking 'home' in the middle of January got turned around and fell off this tiny little cliff (tiny as in 6 feet). Besides being fairly intoxicated, he must have struck his head or something, because that was where he was found 6 months(!) later by some hikers.

"According to the coroner, when they got there to extract the body they picked him up and his head kind of flopped backwards and came off. So they get it and stick it in the bag with the rest of him and off they go.

"Being stuck in a ditch for six months through snow, melting of the snow, rain, and a couple of months of 20 degree weather doesn't make for a good body. So to make absolutely sure it wasn't some sort of homicide this dude needs an autopsy... in a city 1500km's away... on a weekend.

"Stage right, enter us. Our mission, make sure nothing gets close to the black stain this guy left just in case that it was a murder. We set up the tent and take 8 hour shifts sitting around smelling the remains of this guy, making sure noone comes around. About halfway during the second day I realized that this was utterly pointless since in the last 6 months only 2 people have actually been to this spot of the world. And one of them was dead. Finally, the results are in... not a murder.

"A job well done, we're patting each other on the back and taking down the barrier tape, I get an urge to get a 'close-up' of this black stain. On initial observation it looked like your typical black mark, but on a 'hands and knees' close-up I saw something buried in the middle of it. So I get a stick and dig it out. 3 vertebrae and a finger bone, covered in maggots of course. I guess my first thought was how they managed to do an autospy and not notice they were missing some bits.

"Whatever.

"So my boss says 'Clean off those fucking maggots and put them in a bag, we'll deal with this when we get home.' So I break off a pine tree branch and start bottle brushing these little bastards off the bones and threw them in the baggie.

"The coroner was hilarious though when we told him, 'Oh yeah, 4 bones? Wow. Say can you hang on to them for the weekend, yeah we don't need them right away.'

"I suppose this whole experience would have been fairly somber had one of the receptionists not found the bones in the work fridge."

Great story, Doug!


August 19, 2006

Today's Decomposing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Coffin birth is the expulsion of a fetus from the decomposing uterus of its dead mother as a result of the buildup of gases in the parent's decaying body. This kind of postmortem delivery has been known to occur only rarely in humans throughout recorded history. Modern embalming techniques have made occurrences nearly unheard of, and therefore this term is not usually part of the modern medical lexicon. A coffin birth could occur when the mother's body is not discovered for some time. In the widely publicized Laci Peterson case, some medical professionals theorized that a coffin birth may have been the reason that the fetus was discovered separate from the mother's body.

Culled from: Wikipedia
Generously suggested by: Michael

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See, even after death a woman's body is trying desperately to get rid of the little parasite! And yet... and yet... some women continue to inflict pregnancy upon their poor bodies. Some things I will never understand...

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Wretched Recommendations!

Ali has a film recommendation for those of us who like ultra-violence. And who among us does not?

"If you're into ultra violence you must see the film 'Man Bites Dog.' This film is a pseudo-documentary that follows a serial killer as he hunts and kills his victims. It was made in Belgium, so there is none of that Hollywood glitz that ruins most serial killer films. It is a definite must see. It is very graphic and extremely disturbing, and wonderful."

Man Bites Dog

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

John recommends a website on the infamous Black Dahlia Murder. "It has some really cool autopsy and crime scene photos."

http://www.bethshort.com/


August 20, 2006

Today's Extreme Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 30-year-old man forced his eyes out their sockets to protest his arrest at Athens International Airport in May, 2003. Remi Tsolakis was taken to a hospital and received surgery to try and restore his eyesight. Tsolakis was arrested late Monday after flying to Athens from the island of Rhodes. Airport authorities discovered he had an outstanding three-month jail sentence for a minor offence. He told police he did not have enough money to pay a fine in lieu of the sentence and would have to go to jail. Police gave no details of the offense.

Culled from: Yahoo News
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Talk about an extreme temper tantrum!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Jothan has a film recommendation:

"Battle Royale is an excellent movie, from director Kinji Fukasaku. While this director is more known for his violent yakuza gangster movies than anything horror per se, Battle Royale is pretty conceptually freaky. I don't want to give too much away, but the premise is that every year Japan takes a class of school children, puts them on a deserted island, gives them a random assortment of weapons, and tells them the last person left standing is the only one who will be able to leave the island. It was a huge hit overseas when it first came out, but I think it was just too much for the censors to handle state side."

Dale seconds this recommendation:

"Might I highly reccomend Battle Royale? It's about a group of 9th-grade students who are sent to an island with the purpose of killing each other. Very interesting, and gruesome as well."

Battle Royale (2002)

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Lynn

"In the early 1990s, my fiancé and I were lived in a tiny, third floor apartment in Pittsburgh. Our apartment was at the back of the building, while a second third-floor apartment was at the front.

"One Sunday morning, we slept in because we'd been up late the night before. We were awakened by a timid knocking at our apartment door; we didn't know anybody else in the building, so we were a little leery about what they wanted at 10 am on a Sunday morning?

"That's when our neighbor said something I'll never forget, because it made no sense at the time: 'Excuse me, but there's a van on your car.' We didn't really believe him, but we got dressed and went outside, because we had no windows that faced the street where our car was parked. As we approached the giant wood and glass front door of our building, we realized something major was going on, and we'd missed every bit of it: outside our door were three police cars, two ambulances, and a huge fire truck, all with lights blazing. There were people everywhere, and yes indeed, there was a minivan balanced upside down on top of my car.

"As we walked out the door, I whispered to my fiancé, 'He died.' There was no blood spattered around, no bodies carefully covered with a sheet, but there was a sad feeling of death, and you could just *feel* that a man had died. A homicide detective saw us, and asked us a few questions, and sure enough the driver of the van, a very young guy, had been killed. Turns out he had run a red light, hit a lady's car, rolled several times, and ended up on my car.

"We actually had to drive the car for a couple more days, until we could get a new one, complete with smashed windshield and destroyed front seats. The saddest part for me was finding things from the van inside my car -- a hairbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, all from the overnight bag he probably expected to unpack when he got home. The only good part was that the car was on its last legs anyway, and the paltry insurance settlement helped us get a new one."

What a way to look at bright side of death, as Monty Python might recommend!


August 21, 2006

Today's Rigorous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A gas station booth was rammed by a car with a dead man at the wheel; the man had shot himself to death hours before with the engine idling, and rigor mortis caused his foot finally to either fall off the brake or hit the accelerator.

Culled from: Boston Globe, 5-28-03
Generously submitted by: Carol

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You gotta love a city where nobody notices a car idling for hours with a dead man at the wheel!

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Wretched Recommendations!

B has a documentary recommendation for us:

"Richard Kuklinski was a hit man for the mob. One of the most prolific, claiming to have killed over 200 people in a variety of different ways. Some he killed for no apparent reason. Some he tied up and watched then be killed and eaten by rats as he filmed the whole thing. There is truly a bone chilling moment in the documentary after he tells of shooting to death a number of guys in Georgia that he thought were trying to run him off the road. I don't want to give away too many details. But [if you rent this programme] I promise you won't be disappointed."

I'm convinced!

The Iceman Interviews

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

David sends a link to a site that contains an overview of industrial accidents from all over the world. How handy!

Safetynews


August 23, 2006

Today's Culinary Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A furniture dealer murdered his drinking partner and then baked his arm in an oven in May, 2003. Richard Markham dumped Tristian Lovelock's severed head and other body parts across parkland in Basingstoke, Hampshire. He then fled to the United States after leaving messages on friends' answering machines boasting of the killing. Police were led to his home by a trail of blood on May 31, 2003. They found Mr Lovelock's partially cooked arm in a roasting tin next to a plate with a knife and fork in the kitchen, the court heard. In the sitting room was his decapitated body with a World War I bayonet embedded in its back. The body had been cut almost in half and a hacksaw, saw, sword and a knife littered the blood-spattered room. Other body parts were found strewn near Mr Markham's home in South Ham. The victim's head was found in bushes in a playing field and an arm and a leg were found in two different gardens. Mr Markham said in a statement that he stuffed the body parts into a plastic bag and decided to bury them in a nearby park. "Pieces kept falling out of the bag. I got to the park with the head in the bag and a leg under each arm. I realised there was no way I could realistically dispose of him," he said in the statement. On his way back to the house Markham realised he had dropped an arm, which he then threw into some bushes. This was found by a man who had been cutting his hedge. When he returned home he said the oven was on because he had intended to cook chicken burger sandwiches. His statement said: "I fell asleep for a while and when I woke up I could smell burning and then I realised what I had done. I took the arm out of the oven." Markham was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Culled from: BBC News
Generously submitted by: Bill

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The real reason I wanted to use this as a fact is to share the greatest headline ever:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/dorset/3020790.stm

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Wretched Recommendations!

Wayne has a suggestion:

"I'm curious about the exclusion of the Novel AND movie 'The Exorcist' from your lists. Are they too much of an obvious pick or do you not consider these works as landmarks in the genre? Personally, I prefer the book - it still freaks the piss out of me, and I've been reading it since the late 70's."

Actually, I remember being impressed by the movie years ago when I saw it, but it has been too long for me to write an accurate review. So, perhaps, I need to rent it again? And I have never read the book. You know, I don't go for much fiction. Too much incredible non-fiction out there to absorb!

The Exorcist (1971)
by William Peter Blatty
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061007226/theasylumeclecti

The Exorcist (1973)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000524CY/theasylumeclecti

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Ghastly!

Alf sends a collection of ghastly Bangkok tabloid photographs, where the white glove helpfully points out the "problem" areas.

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/04/02/1bkk/01a.html


August 24, 2006

Today's Untruthful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In December 1836, James Greenacre, a 44-year-old cabinet maker from Lambath, England was betrothed to Hannah Brown, a widowed, fortyish washerwoman. The wedding was announced for Christmas Day. In anticipation of their nuptials, Hannah moved out of her residence on the day before and into Greenacre's digs, where they celebrated with tea spiked with rum. Presently, James brought up the subject that was his real reason for marrying - Hannah's money. On several occasions she'd assured him that should he take her as his bride he would be rewarded with three or four hundred pounds. For his part, James had led her to believe that he had property. Both were liars.

Pressed to produce the dowry, Hannah laughed. With a sneer, she told him there was no money and, noting that he'd deceived her concerning his property, she cackled, "You're just as bad as I am." Not amused, James grabbed a rolling pin. Although she was struck so hard that an eye was knocked out, Hannah struggled for several agonizing minutes before collapsing. She seemed to be dead, but James made certain by slitting her throat.

Greenacre cut up her body and disposed of it in several parcels spread around town. Unfortunately for him, they were found and reassembled, and Greenacre was convicted of murder. He was hung on Mary 2, 1837, in what the press described as one of the most popular hangings in the history of Newgate Prison.

Culled from: Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard

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Greenacre inspired a lovely little children's rhyme as well:

Oh! Jimmy Greenacre!
You shouldn't have done it, Greenacre;
You knocked her head with a rolling pin,
You wicked Jimmy Greenacre.

A series of jokes also came into vogue. The most popular told of Greenacre boarding the bus with Hannah's neatly wrapped head under his arm, asking "What's the fare?" and nearly fainting as the conductor replied, "Six pence a head."

Comtesse Review

Although the fact above is a rollicking story, I just finished reading the book it was culled from - Bloody Business by H. Paul Jeffers - and I must say I was not terribly impressed. The Edward Gorey cover is fantastic and there are a few interesting stories, but not nearly enough to hold my interest. If you are interested in learning about the history of Scotland Yard - such as how the police department was originally set-up and who led it over the years, then you might find it very satisfying, but I was hoping for a bit more blood and a bit less business. Hence, on the morbid scale, I'd have to rate this one two skulls out of five.

Bloody Business
by H. Paul Jeffers
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0425140547/theasylumeclecti

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Wretched Recommendations!

Bryan has a film recommendation for us:

28 Days Later (2003)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JMA8/theasylumeclecti

"It scared the bejibbers out of me. I had thought that the zombie horror genre was as tired and overworked as an old shoe, but this movie really breathes new life into it. A must see!"

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Ghastly!

brooha submits a link to the Punjab, India police department's official unidentified dead bodies page:

"Clark county.. pah. If you want the GORE effect, add this to you next MFDJ."

Oh, it's got the gore, all right...

http://www.punjabpolice.org/uniden/index.html

(Come on, go ahead and sing it - you know you want to... )

"We got the gore, we got the gore, we got the gore, yeaaaaaah, WE GOT THE GORE!"


August 25, 2006

Today's Acrobatic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Great Wallendas - a family of acrobats - were headliners with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus during much of the 1930s and 1940s. Their crowning achievement was the seven-person chair pyramid. Four men stood on a wire 35 feet in the air, two pairs yoked together by shoulder bars. On top of them on the second level stood two more men, again yoked together with a shoulder bar. At the pinnacle of this pyramid was a woman sitting and then standing on a chair!

On January 30, 1962, while performing at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit, the front man on the wire faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Three men fell to the ground, the rear anchorman alone remained standing on the wire. Karl and his brother Herman fell to the wire from the second level. The girl at the top level landed on Karl as he miraculously held her until a makeshift net could be held beneath her. Two of the three men who fell to the earth died that night The third, Karl's son Mario, survived, though he was paralyzed from the waist down. The girl suffered a concussion. Karl's injuries included a cracked pelvis and a double hernia.

In the years following the catastrophic fall in Detroit, Karl continued performing as the feature performer with a smaller troupe and became increasingly popular doing "Sky Walks," walking between buildings and across stadiums, including Busch, Veterans, JFK, 3 Rivers Stadiums and the Astrodome, among others. It was during a promotional walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in March, 1978, that the patriarch of the Great Wallendas fell to his death at age 73. Not because of his age or capabilities, not because of the wind, but because of several misconnected guy ropes along the wire.

Culled from: A Circus Legacy

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It takes a Great Performer to go out in such fine style!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Don recommends one of my all-time favorite books!

"My manager showed me this book and I quickly bought it. It's titled Car Crashes & and Other Sad Stories by Jennifer Dumas. It has a short introduction and then the rest of the book is photographs by Mell Kilpatrick of car wrecks and such in Southern California during the 40s and 50s. Some of the photos are pretty graphic but it does a good job of showing the truth instead of filtering it. I particularly like the photo with the caption, 'Dog Killed.' It shows a police officer crouching over a dead dog, while in the background there is a vehicle across the median turned on its side. That's the only sort of humorous photo, humorous in a morbid way of course, but the rest are pretty real. I personally enjoyed this book and thought you might enjoy it also."

Brian agrees:

"Just thought that we should inform you of a fantastic book published by the fine folks over at Taschen. It is simply titled Car Crashes and Other Sad Stories, and it is just that, 165 pages of photos of grisly car crashes, murders, and suicides. There is very little text, the photos speak for themselves, all taken in the 40's and 50's by a man named Mel Kilpatrick. Quite possibly the best coffee table book that I have seen in years. Oh, and the fact that it was only $2.99 at Borders just makes it that much better. Definitely find this one, it is fantastic."

I ADORE this book! Here's my review of it from the Library Eclectica:

This is the perfect book for the ambulance chaser in all of us: a collection of car crash photos from the 40's and 50's. There's something deeply tragic about these stark black and white images of destruction. It's fascinating to try and piece together these shattered lives from the scant clues available - the letters strewn beside a well-dressed corpse, the cans of beer strewn from an overturned and demolished car - or, if you're morbid like moi, you might try and figure out exactly how the bodies came to lie in those odd positions. Of course, in these days prior to seat belts, bodies flew every which way, so the variations are really quite amazing.

I give this one five/five skulls!

Car Crashes & Other Sad Stories
by Jennifer Dumas and Mell Kilpatrick

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

While definitely very low on the good taste scale, Something Awful's Rejected Condom Brands gallery had me guffawing - especially the Serial Killer brand.

http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=3363

Thanks to brooha for the link.


August 26, 2006

Today's Vital Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

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

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

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I can't believe they denied the guy his lump of dirt! Jeez, he's about to be executed - let him have his last little voodoo ritual. What, were they actually afraid that the voodoo was going to work? And you'd think they could at least have given him ice cream instead of yogurt. Poor guy...

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Wretched Recommendations!

For those of you heading to Hollywood, this sounds like an excellent resource!

Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites
by E.J. Fleming

Thanks to Teri for the heads-up!

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Lauren recommends Ireland for creepy sightseeing, especially the National Museum Of Ireland for its natural history collection:

"Ireland is a pretty creepy place in general. Everyplace you go there has some freaky historical fact behind it. I think that that the Museum of Natural History in Dublin was pretty creepy. All of the animals are on display in old fashion Victorian style. They all have a waxy appearance and I swear they were watching me! I enclosed some pictures of the exhibits there."

Scary Monkey Case

Hippo!


August 27, 2006

Today's Sharp Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Just before Sir Walter Raleigh was executed in 1618, he felt the edge of the ax soon to be used on him and said, "'Tis a sharp remedy but a sure one for all ills."

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

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Okay, that's another inspiration for a t-shirt! And yes, I am coming out with a line of morbid shirts as soon as I can afford the initial start-up costs. (Hopefully, very soon!) I just hope that I can sell some of them!

Sorry it's taken me awhile to get the photo contest results out. I have been sidetracked with a heavy workload again. I will to my best to get the results out tomorrow or Tuesday. Thank you for your patience.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Cassandra has a book recommendation for us:

"I recently had to a read a book for school called 'In My Hands' by Irene Gut Opdyke. [What a great name - Comtesse] It's the story of a Polish girl living through WW II and it details what she sees and her actions due to it. At first I dreaded having to read another Holocaust book but this one really kept me interested. It detailed soldiers throwing a baby into the air like a flying bird and having it shot down dead to the ground. It's very interesting and since it's a true story, it makes it all that much better! Enjoy :)"

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
by Irene Gut Opdyke and Jennifer Armstrong

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

John forwarded me an interesting link from the Sound Portraits.Org website which features both the audio recording of a botched execution and a few last statements recorded by condemned inmates immediately before their executions.

http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/execution_tapes/botched_execution.php3


August 28, 2006

Today's Toxic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Six people drowned in a cesspit in northern Egypt in a tragic series of events which began when a housewife sought to unblock her domestic sewage pipe. Mona Ibrahim, 40, drowned after slipping into the pit on Monday, June 30, 2003 while attempting to unblock the pipe leading to her home in Abu Tig, 360km south of Cairo. Her 45-year-old brother Refaat suffered the same fate when he sought to save her. Alerted by their cries, neighbours rushed to scene and sought ways to save the pair. The edge of the cesspit gave way under the weight of those gathered and five men fell in as well. Only one of them managed to scramble to safety and was rushed to hospital suffering from inhalation of toxic gases.

Culled from: News.Com.Au
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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What a stinky way to die! <boo!! hiss!!!>

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Wretched Recommendations!

Carolyn has a good film and book recommendation for us:

"I have a morbid read/movie for ya! The book and the movie is called Citizen X. It is about the worst Russian serial killer in history (killing, raping and mutilating over 70 people over a 30 year span.) The book has many morbid details and Donald Sutherland does a fine job in the movie. Worth checking out!"

Citizen X (1995)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0783116934/theasylumeclecti

Citizen X
by Robert Cullen
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0804111642/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Sightseeing!

The ever-wonderful Alf has a travelogue up on his site for the Thailand Corrections Museum in Bangkok - a 'by appointment only' museum of Thailand's prison history. Some of the torture techniques showcased in the museum are just TOO good! As my Dad would say, "Clever people, those Thais!" Check it out for yourself:

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/misc/prison/index.html


August 31, 2006

Today's Hallucinatory Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In July, 2003, a Malaysian man sliced off his own penis, then fried and ate it after taking hallucinatory pills that caused him to hear voices urging him to mutilate himself. The 34-year-old man claimed he only realised what he had done when he saw blood oozing from his crotch. The man had taken hallucinatory pills before sleeping on Friday and awoke hearing voices telling him to chop off his penis and devour it. He was hospitalised in stable condition. The man had recently been released from a drug rehabilitation centre.

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

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Of course, the real question on my mind is, what sort of seasonings did he use? And did he fry it in olive or canola oil?

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Morbid Photo Contest Results!

At long last, I am ready to announce the results of the Nick Adams Eyes Wide Open Photo Contest. I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry. The response far exceeded my expectations, and I had a great time sifting through the photos. Hopefully, you will find them as entertaining as I did. And now, without further adieu...

Nick Adams Photo Contest

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Wretched Recommendations!

Mommy's Little Monster has a rare poetry recommendation for us:

"I would like to submit for your approval a book entitled 'This Cape Is Red Because I've Been Bleeding' By Tom Piccirilli. I myself have not read it as of yet as I just learned about it not too long ago. But I figured with a title like that how can one go wrong? The author is a renowned horror author though he does not get much publicity. I for one am dying to read it."

It gets a good review on Amazon too:

This Cape Is Red Because I've Been Bleeding
by Tom Piccirilli

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Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're in Dallas, Mitch suggests a visit to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza:

"Dealey Plaza's cool! It's all right there, just like on the Zapruder tape (and why wouldn't it be?)! They've got a museum set up in that book depository, too, and you can look out of the same window that Oswald shot from (if you believe the predominant theory of who shot JFK). And of course, the picket fence where that cop saw smoke coming from (the 'grassy knoll') is still up...you can just go stand right there.

"That whole incident is such a huge piece of American History, it just seems incredible that you can just go tromping all over the scene. Heck, if the traffic's light, you can walk right out and stand on the spot Kennedy was at when the first bullet hit. But again...it's a business district; there's no reason they should cordon off the whole area...

"However, my cousin used to work in one of the buildings, and he said there was one time when they did cordon it off... when Oliver Stone was filming his movie there! He was working while they were shooting... literally! He and his coworkers would be slaving away, and every so often there'd be rifle shots outside as they re-enacted the scene! And if they looked outside (which they weren't supposed to do, lest they ruin a take), there was 'Kennedy,' Jackie holding his head together as they raced off to the hospital! Pretty cool, huh?"

VERY cool! They re-enact Civil War battles all the time, why not assassinations?

Here's a link to the museum website:

http://www.jfk.org/



Vulgarities...