October, 2003

October 1, 2003

I thought we'd do something a little whimsical for a change: a series of morbid rhymes, culled from The A-Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers. And, don't worry - if you're not amused, things will get grisly again soon enough!

But now, let's have a chuckle at...

Today's Choppy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

As everyone knows, little children are fascinated by violence and horror. So, it's not surprising that homicidal maniacs frequently pop up in children's verse. An anonymous axe-murderer is the subject of this cheerfully grisly nursery rhyme:

"Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head."

Culled from: The A-Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers

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Well, apparently I repeated a Brush With Morbidity yesterday so I've been told to "get myself organized". Oh, if only it were so simple. You've no idea the amount of debris that is piled up in my mind, in my computer, on my desk, in all the many boxes on my shelves! I will try to keep my gaffes in check, but I do guarantee it will happen again. Please show some mercy, after all, I did just have a birthday and another year on this withered old frame is bound to take its toll!

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Morbid Sightseeing Du Jour!

Our friend Alf has just completed another trip to Bangkok's Songran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, and he has put up a most excellent tour of the gruesome museum just for us! Now, don't be rude! Stop by to say 'Hello' to Si Quey, the official mascot for miscreants of the world!

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/misc/quey/quey3.html

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Morbid Browse Of The Month!

As promised, I've updated the Library Eclectica with Nagasaki Journey, the collection of photographs taken the day after the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, as the featured book of the month. I found a website containing images taken from the book, which saved me the trouble of having to scan them. If you're interested, here's the Morbid Read Of The Month page from the Library:

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

and here's the collection of photographs:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/nagasaki/journey/journey1.html


October 2, 2003

Here is the second in our series of morbid nursery rhymes, as culled from the A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers!

Today's Choppy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A different "chopper" - the one belonging to infamous German lust murderer and cannibal, Fritz Haarmann - is featured in this German nursery rhyme:

Just you wait 'til it's your time,
Haarmann will come after you,
With his chopper, oh so fine,
He'll make mincemeat out of you.

Culled from: The A-Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers

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Lovely little rhyme, isn't it? I tell you, we need another Jeffrey Dahmer to light a fire to the public's imagination again, so we can get some more rhymes like this one!

COMMENTARY BY BILL:
"Time to be boring:

Original:
Warte, warte nur ein Weilchen, dann kommt Haarmann auch zu dir - mit dem kleinen Hackebeilchen macht er Hackfleisch dann aus dir.

My translation:

Wait, wait just a little while,
Then Haarmann will come to you too -
with the little hatchet he'll make mincemeat out of you

Of course it doesn't scan, but I like the impression that you are waiting for him.

Here're a few pics:

http://home.snafu.de/oisau/Haarmann/haarmann.htm

*******

Well, I have been informed that the nursery rhyme used yesterday is a snippet from "Oranges and Lemons":

Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clements
You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St Martins
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
I'm sure I don't know
Says the great bell at Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head

Chop chop chop chop the last man's head!

More info is available here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/place-london/A696125

(Special thanks to Amelia, Bill and Matt.)

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

My friend Elizabeth sent me a link to the website for the artist who creates the Rasputina album covers. His name is Ryan Obermeyer and he has some very nice photographs and paintings on his beautifully designed site. Most of the images aren't particularly morbid, but a few are...

http://www.ryanobermeyer.com/

Of course, I'm most fond of the Graveyard painting, myself:

http://www.ryanobermeyer.com/graveyard.htm

Thanks, Elizabeth!


October 3, 2003

Here is the third in our series of morbid nursery rhymes, as culled from the A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers!

Today's Choppy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Everyone, of course, knows the one about Fall River's most notorious daughter:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
And when she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Lizzie's near-contemporary, the British "Queen Poisoner" Mary Ann Cotton, was also immortalized in a kiddie rhyme:

Mary Ann Cotton
She's dead and she's rotten.
She lies in her bed
With her eyes wide oppen.

Culled from: The A-Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers

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Of course, the Lizzie Borden rhyme is an absolute classic, but I think that Mary Ann Cotton one is a bit of a stretch, don't you? And did you know I've actually met a few people in my life who *don't* know the Lizzie Borden rhyme? Yes, it's a very peculiar world we live in...

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Morbid Gaming Du Jour!

Demoness has a few gaming recommendations for those Playstation players out there.

*Fatal Frame: This had the potential to be such a cheesy game, but it is really really good. It's about a little Japanese girl who goes to a mansion where her brother disappeared. You battle ghosts with an antique camera that has the power to kill them. It sounds horrible. It is a pretty scary game, especially alone at midnight. Some people have said it's better than Silent Hill, but I wouldn't go that far.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005V9NH/theasylumeclecti

*Silent Hill 2: I'm sure you've already had several people email you about this one, so I won't elaborate, but it's really good. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005ME6O/theasylumeclecti

*Resident Evil: This is a cult classic. It has zombie blasting goodness around every corner. Cheesy endlines and bad voice acting make it a classic. There are somewhere around 7 of them, but two and three are the best.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000035XUZ/theasylumeclecti (RE 1)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000034DMG/theasylumeclecti (RE 2)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000K1VA/theasylumeclecti (RE 3)

*Parasite Eve: Aya Brea, a police officer, is fused with a new kind of mitochondria. This mitochondria is sentient and has personified itself in a woman named Melissa, and now calls herself, "Eve." Eve, can infect living organisms, causing them to mutate into horrible monsters. The story is intriguing because it has roots in actual science, and it's rated M so it's a very adult story (and gory). The sequel sucks though.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000038ABO/theasylumeclecti

*Brittany's Dance Beat: Brittany Spears has her own video game. That is f*(king morbid.

Very good point, demoness!!


October 7, 2003

Here is the fourth and final in our series of morbid nursery rhymes, as culled from the A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers!

Today's Red Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the mid-1930s, a physician named Buck Ruxton murdered his wife, Isabella, and a witness to the crime, his housemaid, Mary Rogerson. Then he dismembered both corpses and dumped the remains in a ravine near Moffat, Scotland. Before long, British schoolchildren were chanting this little ditty:

Red stains on the carpet, red stains on your knife
Oh Dr. Buck Ruxton, you murdered your wife.
The nursemaid she saw you, and threatened to tell.
Oh Dr. Buck Ruxton, you killed her as well.

Culled from: The A-Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers

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COMMENTARY BY PAUL (10/07/03):
"After another excellent selection of morbid odes, I thought the following link to a virtual tour of Dr Ruxton's house might be of interest."
http://www.lancasterukonline.net/visitors/v-tour/buck_ruxton.htm

And, I'll leave the killer rhymes behind with my favorite of them all:

There once was a man named Ed
Who wouldn't take a woman to bed.
When he wanted to diddle,
He cut out the middle,
And hung the rest in a shed.

(Regarding Ed Gein, if you don't know...)

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And since we're on this whimsical topic, Decelaraptor has a recommendation:

"Your series on morbid children's rhymes puts me in mind of an old book called "The Treasury of American Folklore" by B. A. Botkin. There's a section on something called Little Willy rhymes, many of which are wonderfully gruesome, such as:

"Willy on the railroad track,
The engine gave a squeal.
Engineer just took a spade
And scraped him off the wheel."

"And it's not the only thing that might be of interest to you, as I remember many things of morbid interest in the book, including a section on hauntings. It's from the fifties, so there might be some trouble finding it, plus it's extremely far from politically correct. I think you'd enjoy it."

Amazon has a few used, if you're interested:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0517420570/theasylumeclecti

*******

And, finally, Bill provides us with another Lizzie Borden rhyme:

"My grandmother used to tell me this one:

"Shut the door and lock and latch it,
here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet."

COMMENTARY BY SCOTT:
FYI...the rhyme that Bill's grandmother quoted to him actually appears in a song from a Broadway musical called "New Faces of 52". An entire production number about Lizzie Borden!! There is a recording available on CD. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008YGW3/104-0223760-4570369?v=glance)

There's also a movie version that I "think" might be available that includes the number. The quote from Bill's grandmother may have been from an existing rhyme and then used in the song...or it may have been written especially for the song...I don't know which...but either way the song is a hoot!

The lyrics are as follows:

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 you 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!

 

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Tomorrow I'll be back with something gruesome for those of you craving such a thing!


October 8, 2003

Today's Offensive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 19th century England it was a commonly held belief that unsanitary churchyard burials caused illness and death to local inhabitants. The unluckiest, and unhealthiest, Londoners were those poor souls who lived in Clement's Lane, a narrow thoroughfare close to the Strand. Within a short distance were sited no fewer than four burial grounds (including St Clement Danes and the notorious Enon Chapel) and several slaughterhouses: '... the living here breathe on all sides an atmosphere impregnated with the odour of the dead.' The inhabitants were compelled to close their windows to keep out offensive smells, especially in summer. And walls were often seen reeking with fluids.

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

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And those immigrants in New York complained about cramped, poorly ventilated tenement houses in the summertime. Leave it to the Londoners to show them what REAL suffering is like!

*******

You may recall the rhyme featured on MFDJ a few days ago about German serial killer Fritz Haarman? Here it is again, in case you missed it:

Just you wait 'til it's your time,
Haarmann will come after you,
With his chopper, oh so fine,
He'll make mincemeat out of you.

Well, Bill writes to share some additional information:

"Time to be boring:

"Original:
Warte, warte nur ein Weilchen, dann kommt Haarmann auch zu dir - mit dem kleinen Hackebeilchen macht er Hackfleisch dann aus dir.

"My translation:

'Wait, wait just a little while,
Then Haarmann will come to you too -
with the little hatchet he'll make mincemeat out of you'

"Of course it doesn't scan, but I like the impression that you are waiting for him.

"Here're a few pics:

http://home.snafu.de/oisau/Haarmann/haarmann.htm "

Creepy looking little fiend, isn't he?


October 11, 2003

Today's Forgetful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1628, the sixty-gun Vasa, the newly constructed flagship of the Swedish navy, sank on her maiden voyage, killing 50 of the 400 man crew. Incredibly, the ship went under even before clearing Stockholm Harbor, after water poured in through gunports left open on the Vasa's port side.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History

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No wonder the Swedes have never been renowned for their military prowess...

MFDJ FOLLOW-UP
1/12/04 FROM ALLTATTOOED:

"During (and around) the time of the Thirty Years War there was a fair amount of Swedish mercenaries in Europe, and whereas any other enemy soldier caught by the Inquisition would be tortured to be converted before they were killed, it was agreed that Swedes only understood their own language and would be spared the torture. Thus it became quite popular among captive soldiers to pretend to be Swedish, and it still survives in the phrase 'Hacer un Sueco', that is to pretend not to understand. We Swedes are famous not only for our military prowess, but also for stupidity! The great thing is, it still works! One day when I was staying in Barcelona the meter man from the electrical company called, and since I knew my hosts had done some creative wiring in order to bypass the meter I could not let him enter. My Spanish wasn't up to inventing an excuse so I used the old practice of hacer un Sueco. No matter how he tried, I couldn't be made to understand. After ten minutes he left, shaking his head in disgust over my stupidity; I could feel the wing-beats of History... 'Til next time, Meter Man!"

Another Follow-up from Bruce:

"It was even worse than that. Think that the ship sank, more or less, right in front of the royal reviewing stand, crowded with the king and all of his cronies and foreign dignitaries he wanted to impress. Well, I guess they *were* impressed but not quite in the way intended. Part or most of it has since been raised and it's actually quite interesting, archeologically speaking. Of course, I'm pretty sure that those who were trapped on board would agree."

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Living In Style!

Take a look at this house from Budget Living magazine and try to tell me that you wouldn't kill for a place like this! I suddenly have a rampant desire to go yard sale-ing... but really what would be the point when I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment anyway. Sigh...

http://www.budgetlivingmedia.com/feature200310.php?issue=200310&page=3&max=3#

Special thanks to Miss SueLyn Jukes for the link.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Gena sends me a great link to a website of links entitled Death And Dementia. This webmaster does a much better job than I can of keeping up on the latest dark & gruesome links, so you'd do well to check it out... if you're a dark & gruesome sort of person, that is.

Hmmmmm... after checking this out, I think I might just get rid of my links page... I mean, really, what's the point?

http://www.deathndementia.com/category/death.html

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Clarification Du Jour!

I had sent out a link to a Fritz Haarman (German Murder Monster Extraordinaire) website written entirely in German and I received some questions about whether that is really his head in the jar. Why, yes it is! And Bill was kind enough to translate the paragraph next to it:

http://home.snafu.de/oisau/Haarmann/haarmann.htm

"Fritz Haarman was beheaded at 6am on 25th April, 1925, in the prison of the Hannover state lawcourts. A Guillotine separated his head from the body. His head was retained for research purposes. Today, his embalmed head is still to be found in Göttingen."

What a great idea. Why don't we do that with OUR killers? Wouldn't that be cool!! A Museum Of Killers with the heads of Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, etc. on display? Alas, I just don't think we'll ever be so clever...


October 13, 2003

Today's Cruel Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The lengths to which a torturer could go are exemplified in a speech made by Edmund Burke during the trial of Warren Hastings, who was charged in 1788 with violation of the trust reposed in him as Governor-General of India. One of Hasting's minions was a tax collector named Devi Sing:

"Those who could not raise the money were most cruelly tortured: cords were drawn tight round their fingers, till the flesh of the four on each hand was actually incorporated, and became one solid mass: the fingers were then separated again by wedges of iron and wood driven between them. Others were tied two and two by the feet, and thrown across a wooden bar, upon which they hung, with their feet uppermost; they were then beat on the soles of the feet, till their toenails droped off. They were afterwards beat about the head till the blood gushed out at the mouth, nose and ear; they were also flogged upon the naked body with bamboo canes, and prickly bushes, and, above all, with some poisonous weeds, which were of a most caustic nature, and burnt at every touch."

Culled from: The History Of Torture

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I just love that name "Devi Sing". That would be a good name for a band. Of course, people would probably just think you're separating out the word "devising" and shake their heads at the high lameness factor of that. Damn. Always a catch.

*******

Well, well, well. It seems I struck a nerve with the usually passive Swedes and non-Swedes alike in the last MFDJ when I stated, incorrectly, "No wonder the Swedes have never been renowned for their military prowess..." regarding the sinking of the warship Vasa. Here are a few typical comments:

"... at one time, under Gustavus Adolphus (the Lion of the North), Sweden's army was the scourge of Europe during the Thirty Year's War . . . and under Charles XII, Sweden was a major military power."

"Au contraire, for about a century Sweden was the most powerful nation in Europe. I say this briefly on behalf of the Swedes who will surely take issue with your statement."

"Au contraire, us Swedes actually had our days of power, although Vasa certainly was not one of them. However, this page (http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/scandinavia/swe16111654.html)
tells a little about our age of conquest. Click back and forth to see the start and end of it all."

"I cannot let your cute little naive comment about the Swedish military go 'unpunished'. Historically, if there are a savage people, other than Jehovah's Witnesses I mean, it is the Scandinavian people, especially the Swedes. If it wasn't for that little misunderstanding with Germany in the early 1940's, they would still hold first place. That is probably the reason that Queen Christina, inflicted as yourself by lesbiosity, abdicated her throne in favor of her butch cousin, King Carl Something-or-other."

"As you by now probably has been noted, by a lot of righteous Swedes, Vasa was the error that confirmed the rule that during most of the 17th century Sweden was actually the second biggest military power in Europe after Spain. The Swedish king Gustav II Adolf and his general was considered "The Lion of the North" and a scourge of the catholic church. It was Sweden that guaranteed that the protestant church survived in the religious wars of that time. After that they had succeeded with that and carved out a small empire to boot they continued a beligerent tradition for another 100 years under kings like Karl X, XI and XII until finally completely broke at the time of the death of King Karl XII the country withdrew from all forms of warfare until the 1950's when they sent troops under UN flag to Congo."

*******

Well, color me embarrassed! Little did I know of the might of the Swedes - but now I have been properly educated. I also learned from JC that there is some additional detail to the story of the sinking of the Vasa that makes it much more interesting:

"I am sure some others have already pointed out that the gun ports on naval ships, like the Vasa, were designed to be above the water line, ordinance fired below the water line was not successful until after US Civil War. What the Swedes failed to consider was the weight of said guns, which forced the gun ports below the water line immediately upon launching. The fact that there were at least 4 decks of guns above the water line thereby causing a balance issue (making the ship very top heavy) that would have caused the ship to flip and sink if it had not just sunk."

And, finally, I learned that the Vasa has been risen and placed in a museum in Stockholm! Here's Paul's explanation and the link to Alf's website:

"If you're ever in Stockholm, you MUST stop in at the Vasa Museum! After the ship sank, it lodged in the mud at the bottom of the harbor... and the mud somehow preserved it for hundreds of years. It's been dug up now, and it is simply breathtaking. I don't really know how to describe it, or why it's so awesome, but it might very well be the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

"A few photos from when I was there with our friend Alf a few years ago:

http://www.corkscrew-balloon.com/00/09/3norway/0876.html "

Thank you, everyone, for enlightening me!


October 14, 2003

Today's Meaty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1921, police were called to a flat in Berlin after neighbours heard sounds of a struggle; on the bed they found the trussed-up carcass of a recently killed girl, ready for butchering. Georg Grossmann, a sadist and child molester, had been killing girls through out the war and selling their bodies as meat.

Culled from: The Mammoth Book Of The History Of Murder

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Damn... I think I've already used just about every comment I can think of for these types of facts... I think I'll leave it up to you to come up with your own quips this time!

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I Want My Morbid TV!

Great news! (Courtesy Barbara.) The HBO show Autopsy is back on the air with some brand new episodes, including one where Michael Baden performs an actual autopsy. Definitely check out the schedule so you don't miss any of the episodes (which air regularly on Saturdays at 10 p.m.). The first episode has already aired, but it is being re-run at incredibly inconvenient times. Search the schedule to find a time suitably inconvenient for you!

http://www.hbo.com/apps/schedule/ScheduleServlet

And here's the homepage for the show, which has lots of interactive stuff for those of you unfortunate enough to not have HBO:

http://www.hbo.com/autopsy/

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Urban Exploration Link Du Jour!

For fans of old asylums like moi, here's an excellent site that features photographs of many of the finest of these magnificent old structures.

http://www.abandonedasylum.com/

Thanks to Joseph for the link.


October 15, 2003

Today's Mummified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The expertise with which some of the Egyptian pharoahs were embalmed has resulted in their preservation for thousands of years. Rameses II (1298-35 BC) died in his ninety-sixth year, having reigned for sixty-five years, married 200 women and sired ninety-six sons and sixty daughters. Today, at Cairo Museum, he can be seen in such a good state of preservation that it is even possible to identify the blackheads on his face. Hatchepsut (1520-84 BC) retains her royal dignity more than three millennia after her death. She can be seen with her left hand folded over her breast as if holding a sceptre, and her long brown hair falling about her shoulders. (This extraordinary woman proclaimed herself pharoah and insisted on dressing as a man and having herself depicted in portraits with a beard.)

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

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Wow, that Rameses really but the 'oah' in pharoah, didn't he? I can't imagine how he survived 96 years under those kinds of conditions, but you've really got to commend the guy for it.

And how 'bout Hatchepsut? She was a feminist of the ancients! I am duly impressed. Maybe I should start reading about these Egyptians, eh?

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Now here's a nifty idea! "Crash Bonsai" It's pretty much what you'd expect from that term: bonsai trees with crunched toy cars smashed into them. How cool! I think this guy should start marketing CELEBRITY Crash Bonsais - with James Dean's car, Jayne Mansfield's car, Princess Grace's car, Princess Diana's car, etc.

http://www.crashbonsai.com/

Thanks to Skeletoncrew for the link.

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

A man wasn't feeling well so he went to his doctor for a complete checkup. After a long wait for the results, the doctor finally came back out.

"I'm afraid I have some very bad news," the doctor said. "You're dying, and you don't have much time left."

"Oh no! I can't believe it!" says the man. "How long do I have?"

"Ten," the doctor says sadly.

"Ten?" the man asks. "What do you mean by that? Ten what? Months? Weeks? What?!"

"Nine..."

(You can blame Stephen O for this one!)


October 16, 2003

Today's Lonely Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Dennis Nilsen was the British counterpart of Jeffrey Dahmer. He was an alcoholic homosexual civil servant who could not come to grips with life in the closet and resorted to murder and necrophilia. He would lure young homeless men to his apartment, render them unconscious with alcohol and strangle them to death. He would stash their bodies under the floorboards and in cupboards. Occasionally he would take one out, wash and dress it, and pretend to have a date. He would lay the corpse next to him in bed and masturbate. He also acted our twisted little scenes of domesticity - bathing the bodies, snuggling with them, propping them up in front of the TV, or seating them at the dinner table. Afterwards, he would return the body to the floorboards. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, he killed out of loneliness. He kept an assortment of body parts around the house as company and sometimes even left them in plain view when he went out to work. Nilsen killed 12 or 13 men over 4 years, and destroyed their bodies in a series of large bonfires in his garden. However, when he was forced to move to a new apartment with no garden he had to improvise new ways to dispose of "his friends." In 1983 he was discovered when he tried to flush human remains down the toilet, and clogged the plumbing. The neighbours complained about the blocked drains, and caught him trying to clear them at midnight. After a plumber had been called, and discovered what he believed to be pieces of chicken in the drains, the police were called. When the Police searched his top floor apartment, they discovered body parts of 3 men, whom Nilsen had dismembered using his army butchery skills. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Culled from: Murder In The U.K.

and

The A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

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You just gotta feel sorry for the guy... Or at least, I do. Incidentally, there is a book about Dennis, which I think I'll have to pick up one of these days:

Killing For Company

COMMENTARY BY NEIL (10/16/03):
"I'm pretty sure this guy's childhood name was Donald Nappy -- nappy being the English word for diaper."

COMMENTARY BY WILF (10/17/03):
"Dear Comtesse, as we tend to have less fruiters in the UK than you are "blessed" (?) with in the US, these cases do tend to stick in the mind a little more. If I remember correctly, Neilson was also famous for plastering bodies behind his walls. It caused quite a stir at the time, mostly, I think, because he was a civil servant (not that civil, obviously)."

COMMENTARY BY MICHELLE (10/17/03):
"My friend in London, Amos, worked with this guy in a work placement office (where he apparently met some of his victims). Amos' sister works at Madam Tussauds and
she let us in free while I was there. We wandered down in to the terrific dungeon and as we were peering through the bars Amos pointed Dennis out. He then went on to tell me that for one of their work pot lucks, Dennis brought a huge pot of curry- later when the crimes were discovered, news photos showed that same pot on Dennis' stove with a human head poking out of it!! THEN years later Madam Tussauds recieved a bunch of Dennis' things to display, including that pot. Amos' sister was dying clothes one day and someone pointed out that she, not realizing it was a display item, was using Dennis' pot.
"

COMMENTARY BY ALLYSON (10/17/03):
"Nilsen stole my heart too. I read that when the police came to his door he told them everything and showed them every body he had stashed in the house. Of all the tales i have read his was the most heartbreaking. Definite soft spot for ol' Dennis. Thanks for the mention of the book, have to check that on my next break."

COMMENTARY BY PAUL (10/27/03):
"Cher Comtesse, There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, that Dennis Nilsen boiled some of his victim's heads in a very large soup pot. Nilsen was also a member of his local Labour Party and, one Christmas, when his fellow 'comrades' where in need of a large pot to 'cook up' some Xmas punch, dear Mr. Nilsen lent them his very large soup pot to make the punch in. How kind...... Mr. Nilsen has kept a journal of his time in prison and has allegedly written about the murders. Mr Nilsen is currently hopes to have these journals published. Part of these documents was serialised in the U.K.'s 'Sunday Times Magazine' last month."

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

I just stumbled across this Salon.Com article recently and it cracks me up. If you're an insensitive jerk like me, I'm sure you'll enjoy it too!

"Forbidden Thoughts About 9/11"

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2002/09/11/forbidden_letters/


October 19, 2003

Today's Gripping Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An enraged Ethiopian mother of five will be tried for the murder of her husband who died after she crushed his testicles in a fight. The man was so embarrassed after the incident that he declined to seek treatment for the injury, and died days later. "Following a disagreement over the husband's spending habits, his wife refused to give him his dinner and also decided to sleep alone," police in the western region of Wellega said. "The husband was so angered by this affront by his wife that he tried to beat her. In the melee that followed, the wife grabbed and twisted his testicles causing serious damage." Police said the unnamed woman, a resident of Wayu-Tuka district in Wellega, had had several arguments with her husband about the amount of money he spent on booze.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: GJ

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This seems to be becoming an epidemic... which I don't see as a bad thing. Obviously, the men had it coming to 'em, and putting fear into the testicles of abusive men just can't be bad. In a movie, I could imagine the wife walking away from the drunkard husband saying, "Let's see if you can drink away THAT pain!" It's just a shame she's being tried for murder...

Which reminds me... I saw Kill Bill yesterday and, to coin a highly un-Comtesse-like vulgar expression, I must say it was "kick-ass"! My sadness is only that they cut it into two parts instead of leaving it as one movie. I certainly was not bored for a second. Uma Thurman is amazing as "Black Mamba" (aka "The Bride"), and the fight choreography is incredible. Of course, this movie is almost entirely fighting, so if you're a bit sensitive about the sight of fake blood, you'll probably want to avoid it. However, I kind of doubt you're on this list if you get too upset by the sight of blood.

Definitely highly recommended!

*******

SKULLS, ANYONE?

Karin writes to tell me about a cool exhibit currently going on at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco -

"I'm not sure if you have heard about the Skulls exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. It's an amazing exhibit from elephant skulls to little tiny fruit bat and vampire bat skulls. There's a display of 860 seal skulls collected from the Bay Area on the wall.

"They also have artwork depicting skulls and my favorite part of the exhibit is a human skull, age between 5 to 8 years old, with 2 rows of teeth showing. Also, real life flesh eating beetles are eating away cleaning seal skulls. I thought you'd be interested and would really love it.

"It's not a very big room but it will take you a while to see it. Bring a jacket as it was pretty cool in the room. I'm not sure when it ends and hope you find time to see it."

I took a look at the website and it appears this will continue through the end of the year, so if you're planning a trip to The City or if you live in the vicinity, you may want to check this out.

http://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/skulls/

Hint: Click on the skulls on the opening page and you'll be able to run through a large variety of animal skulls, beautifully photographed. My personal fave is the Green Sea Turtle.


October 20, 2003

Today's Brain-Eating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In June, 1983, a young mother watched helplessly as a baboon snatched and ripped open the skull of her only child and ate his brain. She believes the rare incident must be related to witchcraft. According to Lettie Goitsimang Tukane, 34, the baboon sank its powerful canines into the skull of her three-month-old son, removed the brain, climbed up a telephone pole and ate the brain before fleeing into nearby bushes. The bizarre and tragic incident occurred at a cattle post in the remote North West village of Madipelesa outside Pampierstad, South Africa, where Tukane and fiancé Oupa Goeiman live. Tukane said her son Neo was sleeping in a bed in one of the rooms while she was busy washing dishes in another room when she heard his screams. She said when she rushed outside she saw a huge baboon carrying Neo under one of its arms. She tried to scare it off, but the baboon was aggressive and it wanted to attack her too. "It happened so quickly that by the time neighbours came and threw stones and set dogs on it, it had already eaten the brain and scuttled into the bush. I could not believe my eyes when I picked up Neo. "He was still breathing and his skull was opened and he was bleeding profusely," said Tukane. She said Neo was her only child and she hoped he would live because her other children died of natural causes before they reached one year.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Michael

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Oh, no! Neo is dead!! How will we escape the Matrix now???

(I suspect I'll probably get hate mail for that reference too...)

By the way, thank you, everyone, for your kind words of support regarding the clarification for yesterday's fact. It's apparent to me that the majority of you do understand where I'm coming from, and that I should not feel the need to clarify my commentary again. The purpose of the clarification was to stem a flow of e-mail to my inbox, but it seems that the clarification itself stirred more of you to write me than the comment did in the first place. But it was all good, so I didn't mind at all. I just won't have the time to write each of you back individually, unfortunately.

Incidentally, my favorite e-mail came from Gus: "Bah we all know you are an angry lesbian :P"

It's nice to realize that you know me so well. ;-)

*******

Morbid Trinket Du Jour

Now, here's an idea that you know someone had to think up eventually:

http://www.plaguedomes.com/

"Specializing in Biblical Plague Snowdomes... and other fine spiritual disasters." Yes, you too could own a Swarm Of Locusts dome! Shake it up, and the locusts descend upon the hapless food bearer. The website also shows the Days of Darkness dome as well, though it isn't for sale yet. I might have to get that one when it comes out... It sums my day-to-day life up so perfectly!


October 21, 2003

Today's Dysfunctional Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In October, 2002, a Belgian man died of a gunshot wound after setting booby-traps throughout his house using hunting rifles and explosives. The 80-year-old former chemical engineer had apparently set the traps to prevent his children from entering the house after a family dispute in the town of Aiseau-Presles near Charleroi, south of Brussels. Police, who had worked from before dawn searching and dismantling the traps, had yet to determine whether the man died from self-inflicted wounds or one of his own traps. "(The traps are in) the whole house," a police officer told the RTBF televisio. "It's very, very dangerous." They were set to go off with the opening of a door or some other makeshift trigger.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

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Talk about a dysfunctional family, eh? And I can't help wondering how many cops were killed before they figured out the place was booby trapped? ;-)

*******

Morbid Link Du Jour!

This site makes for an interesting browse. It's highly educational too. I mean, before I read this, I never knew that I stand a 1/99,446 chance of dying from a "foreign body entering through skin or natural orifice". I really should be more careful!

For more shocking insights visit:

What Are The Odds Of Dying?
http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm

(Before you write, I know that technically the 1/99,446 only applies in a lifetime if I was born in 2000... I took a little artistic liberty with it, as a Comtesse is wont to do...)

Thanks to Tim for the link!

*******

Geiner Du Jour!

What did Ed Gein say when he was accused of defacing the prom queen?

"It's no skin off my nose."

<dum-duh-da-duh... CRASH!!>

You can blame this one on Elizabeth.


October 22, 2003

Today's Playful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In April, 2003 police in Honduras arrested three teenagers who were playing football with a human skull. They had painted the skull black and written lyrics from a pop song on it. Police in Tegucigalpa believe the trio stole the skull from a grave after attending a funeral at the local cemetery. A police spokesman said: "They had no shame in using it to play football." The youths, two 15-year-olds and an 18-year-old, face charges for desecrating a tomb.

Culled from: Ananova
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_775377.html?menu=news.weirdworld.badtaste
Generously submitted by: Bash EmAll

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Hey, didn't the Aztecs do this and wasn't it considered an honorable thing to take part in? So these kids emulate the noble Aztecs and suddenly THEY'RE the bad guys? Funny little world, isn't it?

*******

Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Here's something we all need in our collections (or at least I do) - a Vlad The Impaler action figure! "Vlad comes with a spear, sword w/ scabbard, mace and a cup of blood." Who can resist this???

http://www.sideshowtoy.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=vlad

It hasn't been released yet but if you pre-order it, you even get a severed head!!!!

(And if you imagine me doing a little happy dance and giggling maniacally as I say that, you would be absolutely correct.)

Thanks to Joe for notifying me of this one!


October 25, 2003

Today's Smelly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Egyptian Pharoah Sequenenre (who ruled at the end of the 17th dynasty) suffered one of the more lacklustre royal embalming jobs, probably because he died a violent death. Whether he died in battle or was assassinated is uncertain. What is obvious for all to see are the wounds which brought about his end. Sequenenre's brain was not removed prior to embalming, and his body had already begun to decompose. Even today people comment on the revolting smell given off by his mummy. The head shows multiple fractures of the forehead, eye socket and cheekbone, probably caused by an axe. A javelin penetrated below the left ear and embedded itself in the top of his spine.

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

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Now, there's a novel idea: preserving decomposition for eternity! "Appall Your Ancestors! Freak Out Forensicians! Putrify Patrons! Yes, all this can be yours with our Late-Stage Embalming Plan which includes our patented Stench-Intensifier treatment at no extra cost! Money back if not completely satisfied."

*******

MFDJ Follow-up:

You may remember the sad and lonely Dennis Nilsen, who murdered for company? If you need a refresher, please check the October 16, 2003 morbid fact at the archives: http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/morb1003.htm. Well, Wednesday Alice provided some additional information that I just have to share with you all (I hope you don't mind, Alice!):

"Des was not overly fond of masturbating over the corpses all the time; he mostly just wanted people around. He would pick up the guys at a pub nearby, (you can get his old addresses where he murdered out of the book; they are in N. London) and they seemed to be also youngish/insecure-about being gay sort of men. He liked to listen to "Tommy" with them (dead or alive) and just have them around. He only once tried to have sex with a corpse, and it didn't work too well. He was, as you say, Comptesse, a lonely guy, and kinda sweet-seeming. He got his skills for cutting up bodies from being a chef in the army.

"Here's my favorite dirty fact:

"While he was in the army, long before he started killing, he got into the habit of stroking himself while looking into the mirror, but he would position the mirror so that he couldn't see his own head, and the thing that really got him hot was that he would lie as still as possible while he was doing it; it was, I think, more of a psychological version of seeing his own self as being dead that gripped him in a deep fashion than seeing someone else dead. He just felt that killing someone was the only way that he could keep them from leaving him, and that he felt that a dead body was sympathetic to his own feeling of being. The book is fabulous (I am not normally into non-fiction), and he was in fact interviewed intensively for it. He describes how he committed each murder, what he did with each guy, and even draws pictures (which are in the book). The book is Awesome; he seemed to have come to the point of caring less about getting caught when it came, and I think he approached the interview with a sense of confession; it's so intimate. Much better than Helter Skelter.

"I read Killing For Company cover to cover for a huge project I did on the dance group "DV8 Physical Theatre"'s AMAZING piece of dance/theatre based on their own reactions/interpretations of that book. It's called "Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men" and they Filmed it separately from their live shows, so you still get all of the zoom-in intimacy and intensity of a live show. I can't even begin to express the amazingness of this piece. It's the best dance piece of modern work I have ever seen; visceral, intense, athletically absorbing; monstrous, spider-like, beautiful, tender and sexual, and it speaks not only of Des' experience, but of the loneliness and experience of gay men in general, and by proxy, all human interaction."

Thanks for the great commentary, Alice. "Dead Dreams For Monochrome Men" sounds wonderful, but it seems to be a bit obscure. I don't have time to search for it online, so if anyone out there finds it for sale somewhere, please let me know and I'll post the URL.

However, the book is readily available:

"Killing For Company"

Culled from: The History Of Torture


October 27, 2003

Today's Curious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In October 25, 2002, Auckland police rushed to the scene of a suspected homicide only to discover a severed leg swinging from a back door was being cured as an amputee's souvenir. A woman called police to say she could see a severed human leg hanging from a neighbor's back door. Police spokesman Jed Oskam said her belief that this was a real leg was supported by the presence of a large number of flies "which were showing an inordinate interest in the object". Officers raced to the scene to find a severed human leg, from knee to foot, hanging in the back yard of a residential address. While police were asking an occupant of the house who the leg belonged to and what their condition was, a man limped in. "Police could not help noticing that he had only one leg. This immediately aroused their interest." The man explained to the stunned police that his leg had been amputated two months earlier. A week ago he asked the hospital to return his leg and it obliged. "The man said that he was salting and hanging the leg in order to preserve it as a memento," Mr. Oskam said. Police had no reason to disbelieve his story as the leg appeared to form a matching pair with the one on which he was standing. The police asked the man to "cure" the leg away from public view to avoid attracting more
attention.

Culled from: The Dominion Post (New Zealand Newspaper)
Generously donated by: Ron

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Isn't that a great idea? That's exactly what I'd want to do with my leg... but somehow I'm doubting that they'd let you have the leg here in the U.S. But that's just not right... It belongs to you, it's a part of you, if you want to keep it as a curio, you should be able to. Anyone want to do some legal research and see if you can get away with something like this here? If not, there's yet ANOTHER reason to move to New Zealand...

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Morbid Link Du Jour

Okay, this one's kind of silly but it's so well-done I just have to share it. My friend is into Bryer horses (you know, those little plastic horses that people collect?), and she has taught me quite a bit about the whole Bryer sub-culture (where they enter their horses in competitions, and take photographs of their horses, etc.) She sends me any links she finds that are remotely morbid and today she sent this one. I just have to laugh because the girls who did this did such an excellent job with the hand gestures, props, etc. Bravo!

http://www.milagrocreations.com/horsethief.htm

*******

Dahmerism Du Jour

Why didn't Jeffrey Dahmer need a job?

He lived on tips.

(Blame this one on Richard!)


October 28, 2003

Today's Electrifying Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Convicted murderer Matthew Clydesdale was executed in Glasgow on November 4, 1818. The public hanging brought out a larger than usual crowd, for a few reasons. Firstly, because it was two for the price of one; a certain Simon Ross also met his end on the same day for the heinous crime of robbery. Secondly, there hadn't been a hanging for murder in Glasgow for almost ten years, and thirdly, because Clydesdale had been sentenced to be hung and anatomised. So, those for whom a double hanging was not enough, could troop off to Glasgow University after the first entertainment of the day and watch the unfortunate Clydesdale being dissected and experimented upon. One of the anatomists for the day was Dr Andrew Ure, an ambitious researcher who had a special interest in the possibility of bringing people back from the dead. The other anatomist was Professor James Jeffray. Their specialist subject for the day was "galvanisation", or, the animation of dead bodies through the application of electricity. You can imagine the attraction for the crowd: to see a man die and afterwards watch him twitching about as researchers applied belts of electricity to various parts of the corpse must have been fun for the entire family. And this was a particularly fun galvanisation. Quite what made Clydesdale such a receptive receptacle is not clear. But Ure and Jeffray had a wonderful time. They made the corpse display "most horrible grimaces ... rage, horror, despair, anguish and ghastly smiles". It was so successful that "several gentlemen were forced to leave from terror or sickness and one gentleman fainted".

Culled from: FirstFoot.Com

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Here's a full description from Dr. Ure himself, if you'd like details:

http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/ymboa/galvreanim.html

(Thanks to William Thirteen for the Link.)

And if you thought to yourself, "Wow... that sounds a lot like Frankenstein" (and I'm sure that you did - just admit it), you would be absolutely correct! Mary Shelley was highly influenced by the galvanisation experiments that were happening at the same time she was writing Frankenstein. (The book was completed the same year that the above experiments took place.) Now there's a fact to impress your friends with on Halloween!

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MFDJ Follow-Up

Regarding yesterday's fact - the New Zealand man who hung his amputated leg out to cure - fellow New Zealander Chris has some additional interesting information:

"That wasn't the first time an incident like this has happened. It's pretty typical for an amputee of the local native population (the Maori) to request the return of a limb after its removal for religious reasons. After an operation like this there's a ceremony to be performed by a tribal elder and the amputee, in order to lift a tapu (sacred prohibition). Only afterwards can the limb be disposed of appropriately.

"A number of years back (more than a decade, if I'm remembering it correctly) one amputee decided that 'appropriate' disposal meant abandoning her leg on a river bank for some local kids to find! The leg wasn't preserved in any way, so by that point it was decidedly less than fresh. It was investigated as a possible murder until the owner of the appendage read about it in the newspapers and stepped forward to reassure the police she was still alive.

"Improper disposal of a body is a crime in this country. I like to imagine a police sergeant struggling to keep a straight face while informing the woman that she was being charged with improper disposal of her OWN body, although I'm not certain she was actually charged with anything."

Wow, what a great country! =)

*******

Ghastly Link Du Jour!

This is what happens when a motorcycle is rudely introduced to a truck... Look closely at the truck's grill - what an impact THAT must have been!

http://www.themustangsource.com/motocrash/


October 29, 2003

Today's Mangled Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A British woman died and two other people were seriously injured on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 when part of an escalator in a train station in Rome collapsed and they fell into the cogwheels beneath. The 63-year-old woman was mangled in the wheels when she lost her footing. Two plates of the rolling escalator were missing. Two men walking behind the woman were injured when they fell in after her. The first, who tried to save her, may lose a leg. The second injured his hand and is in shock.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Bill Paxton

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Now, that's one of your primal fears, isn't it? And now you'll think about taking that elevator instead, won't you? But at the elevator you'll think about the MFDJ about the doctor who was decapitated when the elevator malfunctioned. So, you'll have to take the stairs. Well, the stairs are good for you, so I'm actually helping you get healthy. Hey, whatever it takes - you know I'm here for you. :-)

*******

Truly Morbid Link Du Jour

A Homosexual Necrophiliac Mallard? Seeing is believing:

http://www.nmr.nl/deins815.htm

Thanks to bkwyrm for stumbling upon this rather... er... interesting... link.

*******

Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Lorena Bobbitt's sister, Luella, was arrested yesterday for an alleged attempt to perform the same act on her husband as her famous sister had done several years ago. Sources reveal the sister was not as accurate as Lorena. She allegedly missed the target and stabbed her husband in the upper thigh causing severe muscle and tendon damage. The husband is reported to be in serious but stable condition. At arraignment, Luella has been charged with a Misdewiener.

<boo, hisssssss!!!!>

Blame this one on my buddy Bergie.

 



Vulgarities...