November, 2005

November 2, 2005

Today's Frothy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge is gruesome, and death is almost certain. People have survived the fall, but not many. You might survive if you hit the water feet first and come in at a slight angle. The impact is tremendous. The body goes from roughly 75 to 80 mph to nearly zero in a nanosecond. The physics of inertia being what they are, internal organs tend to keep going. The force of impact causes them to tear loose. Autopsy reports typically indicate that the jumpers have lacerated aortas, livers, spleens and hearts. Ribs are often broken, and the impact shoves them into the heart or lungs. Jumpers have broken sternums, clavicles, pelvises and necks. Skull fractures are common. Which means you die one of two ways, or a combination of both. One, you hit the water and the impact kills you. Sometimes the jumper is knocked unconscious. Other times, the jumper survives for a time. The person can be seen flailing about in the water, trying to stay afloat, only to succumb to the extensive internal bleeding. Death can take seconds or minutes. Two, you drown. You hit the water going fast, and your body plunges in deep. Conscious or otherwise, you breathe in saltwater and asphyxiate. You can usually tell which bridge jumpers drowned: Frothy mucus bubbles from the nose.

Culled from: SFGate.Com

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This fact is culled from a fascinating series called "Lethal Beauty" that is running in the SF Chronicle currently. Other articles in the series discuss a survivor who now advocates for a suicide barrier and the stories of many who did not survive the fall. Fascinating stuff. The articles can all be accessed here:

http://www.sfgate.com/lethalbeauty/

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Liz

"My brush with morbidity resulted in my becoming part of a gruesome story -- about the lady that died in an accident.

"I was in the car with my 4 month old daughter and (now ex) husband. My daughter was in her car seat, in the middle of the back seat, and I was sitting next to her, in the back passenger-side seat, not strapped in; my ex was strapped into his seat belt in the driver's seat. I remember leaning over to put my hand on her forehead as we turned into my grandmother's driveway, since I knew there was a bump and I didn't want her head to be flopping around, as small children's heads tend to do.

"The next thing I remember is staring up at my ex's father -- he had been visiting my grandmother -- and he and my ex were crouched over me in the back seat, calling my name. I promptly passed out again. This happened several times, and it took me quite a while to come around enough to comprehend that we'd been in an accident. A man, drunk and without his lights on in the dim, rainy daylight, had swerved off the narrow country road and plowed through the ditch,
beheading my grandmother's mailbox. My ex hadn't seen him when he looked for oncoming traffic, due to the no-lights/raining/slightly foggy day, and the drunk had t-boned us as we turned left into the driveway.

"Our car had been spun around, and had landed facing back toward the street, on the other side of the driveway. I, not being seat-belted, had been flung into the back passenger-side window and then back into the car, unconscious. My family had piled out of the house and taken my daughter, who was uninjured but screaming lustily, out of the car. When I fuzzily came around, for perhaps the third or fourth time, I looked around and saw that my daughter's car seat
was gone, and I began to shriek -- I was convinced that she'd been messily killed in the accident and they had moved the body to keep me from seeing it. My mother brought her out of the house and showed her to me, upon which I passed out again.

"This is where the rumor comes in -- every time I would attain consciousness, I would scream because I thought my daughter was dead; they would show her to me; I would stop screaming; and then I would pass out. It took nearly 15 minutes for the police and ambulance to reach the accident, since we were pretty far out in the country, so this sequence of events was replayed over and over. Shampoo; rinse; repeat.

"The story that became legend around the neighborhood was that a woman had been horribly mangled in the accident, as evidenced by her bloodcurdling screams. I heard, variously, that I had been cut in half; disemboweled; and had my face ripped off. Every telling of it seemed to embellish it more, and no matter how many times I tried to clear it up and assert that it was me, and that I had escaped with a slight concussion and some cuts from the glass, people were
stubbornly certain that a woman had died painfully and in a most grisly fashion in that particular accident."

It's not often that you can claim to being the originator of an urban legend. Well done, Liz!

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Kezia has a recommendation for us:

"I don't know if you've come across this little book or not, but if you haven't you'll definitely have to check it out!! It's called Death: A User's Guide and you can find it on Amazon."

Here's the link. Thanks for the tip, Kezia!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385337051/theasylumeclecti



November 6, 2005

Today's Severe Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In his book "The History of Women" (1779), W. Alexander wrote of the Egyptians:

"The chastity of virgins was protected by a law of the severest nature; he who had committed a rape on a free woman had his privities cut off, that it might be out of his power to ever perpetrate the like crime, and that others might be terrified by so dreadful a punishment."

Culled from: A History Of Torture

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"Privities". I'll have to add that to my arcane expression collection!

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Morbid Film Du Jour!

I watched an excellent documentary the other day about America's first serial killer, the legendary H. H. Holmes. You may recall my previous discussions of Holmes, who custom-built a "murder castle" in Chicago complete with trap doors, chutes that conveniently led to a basement torture chamber, a gas chamber and an incinerator. He rented out rooms in the castle to single women during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and had a hell of a murderous time. Well, when I first heard about the documentary I was a bit skeptical because I know that the original murder castle had burned down in 1894, so it seemed that there wasn't a great deal of historical context to set the story in. However, filmmaker John Borowski did an excellent job of recreating the labyrinthical upper floors as well as the dungeon-like basement of the castle. The grainy black and white footage adds an eerie, atmospheric quality to the re-enactments, and the film does a fine job of piecing together the story of Holmes many misdeeds. Highly recommended!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002XL1NU/theasylumeclecti

For more information, please see the website:

http://www.hhholmesthefilm.com/

And for more excellent information on H. H. Holmes, I recommend the following books:

The Devil In The White City

Depraved

And it looks like we can look forward to another murderous documentary from John Borowski in the near future:

http://www.albertfishfilm.com/

Jolly good fun!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Sara shares an amusing tale:

"This isn't really morbid, but it was fairly disturbing to my friend and kind of funny...

"I'll call him 'Goat' (his nickname). Goat did an internship with a coroner's office in Kentucky when he was eighteen. The guys working there let him help out with all the body gathering and such and Goat got to do some pretty disgusting things. Anyway, The head guy was fairly strange. He would eat while doing work on the bodies, sometimes laying sandwiches down on the body while working (and sometimes forgetting where he had put it :/). He would also play practical jokes on the other guys.

"One day Goat was down in the autopsy room cleaning up a bit. A body was lying on a table across the room from him. The head guy had been acting strangely and said that he needed to take a bit of a break, so he headed out for a smoke break. Goat didn't think anything of it really, but he was a little concerned about the guy's behavior. Goat goes back to his work.

"A few minutes later the guy comes down the stairs with a really freaky look on his face, his eye muscles twitching, his hair in disarray. Suddenly the guy runs to the corpse screaming, and plummets his head into the body's open stomach! Goat's eyes widen and he just stands there. The guy lifts his head up, covered in blood and chunks of who knows what and keeps screaming, rubbing his hands over his face.... Goat leaves...quickly.

"What Goat didn't know at the time, and found out later was that there was a bowl of corn syrup and food coloring and ripped up tissue paper on the table beside the corpse. Goat was not amused."

Ah, now that's what I call a fun boss!!


November 14, 2005

Today's Burning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Given the large number of steamboats operating out of New York harbor in the 19th century, the city saw its share of steamboat calamities. One of the worst involved the steamboat Henry Clay in 1852. Just minutes after getting under way on a trip up the Hudson River, a fire broke out in the boiler room. What happened next was described in excruciating detail by a local minister in a sermon delivered shortly after the tragedy: "We take a position on the eastern shore of the Hudson," began Rev. D. M. Seward, "... on a bland and beautiful day in summer. A steamer passes along..." Aboard one could see crowds of jolly passengers enjoying the trip, "none of them dreaming that this hour of sunshine and gladness brings with it the last moments of their early life." But suddenly there is dense smoke pouring from the steamer, which turns toward the shore at full speed. "The burning steamer rushes onward with feaful momentum and thrusts her prow, fast and deep into the sand! Oh, what a scene of dismay, of distress, of inexpressible agony succeeds. Score and scores are imprisoned by the flames; between them and the shore intervene, here the raging fire, and there a depth of water, which it requires a swimmer's skill to pass. Helpless women, trembling between two deaths, draw back from the water with a shudder, and cling to the burning vessel, until the unpitying flames, marching up to their last refuge, cruelly force them off. Timid, lovely children left protectorless, in the wild dismay of the moment, strive to clamber over the deck, and cry piteously for help, until the fierce flame wraps them about as a winding sheet, and their stifled sobs are hushed in death. Many leap overboard at once in frantic desperation, and in their wild and violent struggles force one another down to an instant grave." In all, sixty people perished that afternoon aboard the Henry Clay.

Culled from: Ship Ablaze by Edward T. O'Donnell

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"Ship Ablaze" is an excellent book that I read on the plane during my last work excursion in September. It details the extraordinarily tragic fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum that killed over 1,000 people in 1904, the worst tragedy in New York City history until 9/11. I'll be providing a few more excerpts from this well-written and captivating book in the next few days.

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

With Festivus just around the corner, why not keep these delightful Teddy Scares in mind for your conservative sister's kids? It will add some liveliness to an otherwise dreary holiday!

http://www.teddyscares.com/

Thanks to Tracy for the link.

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Diana sends a link to a fun-filled site:

"I came across this site and it's so addictive. It's 911 feeds. You can click on a city and location and read about the latest reports. Occasionally you'll come across something particularly juicy. Enjoy."

Unfortunately, neither my current city nor my previous hamlet are on the site just yet, but I'm hoping they will be one day. Check it out - you might be luckier than me!

http://www.incidentlog.com/

 



November 16, 2005

Today's Burning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Given the large number of steamboats operating out of New York harbor in the 19th century, the city saw its share of steamboat calamities. One of the worst involved the steamboat Henry Clay in 1852. Just minutes after getting under way on a trip up the Hudson River, a fire broke out in the boiler room. What happened next was described in excruciating detail by a local minister in a sermon delivered shortly after the tragedy: "We take a position on the eastern shore of the Hudson," began Rev. D. M. Seward, "... on a bland and beautiful day in summer. A steamer passes along..." Aboard one could see crowds of jolly passengers enjoying the trip, "none of them dreaming that this hour of sunshine and gladness brings with it the last moments of their early life." But suddenly there is dense smoke pouring from the steamer, which turns toward the shore at full speed. "The burning steamer rushes onward with feaful momentum and thrusts her prow, fast and deep into the sand! Oh, what a scene of dismay, of distress, of inexpressible agony succeeds. Score and scores are imprisoned by the flames; between them and the shore intervene, here the raging fire, and there a depth of water, which it requires a swimmer's skill to pass. Helpless women, trembling between two deaths, draw back from the water with a shudder, and cling to the burning vessel, until the unpitying flames, marching up to their last refuge, cruelly force them off. Timid, lovely children left protectorless, in the wild dismay of the moment, strive to clamber over the deck, and cry piteously for help, until the fierce flame wraps them about as a winding sheet, and their stifled sobs are hushed in death. Many leap overboard at once in frantic desperation, and in their wild and violent struggles force one another down to an instant grave." In all, sixty people perished that afternoon aboard the Henry Clay.

Culled from: Ship Ablaze by Edward T. O'Donnell

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"Ship Ablaze" is an excellent book that I read on the plane during my last work excursion in September. It details the extraordinarily tragic fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum that killed over 1,000 people in 1904, the worst tragedy in New York City history until 9/11. I'll be providing a few more excerpts from this well-written and captivating book in the next few days.

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"My Brush With MOrbidity" by LeAnn

"When I was really small, somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7 I would guess, we went out for pizza on the Fourth of July. I was with my parents and some friends of theirs. After we ate, we got in the car to go home and I laid down in the back seat. The fireworks were beginning as we were leaving. Suddenly, I realized that our car wasn't moving so I sat up. There were alot of police cars with their lights flashing and at first we thought it was because of the fireworks crowd. Then we noticed the ambulance and the rescue personnel. Apparently, a young man, probably a teenager, had been paying too much attention to the fireworks and not enough attention to the cars driving by. He was laying on the ground still staring up at the fireworks that were lighting up the night sky but he wasn't moving. To this day, I can't watch fireworks without thinking about him."

I had a similar experience when I was a kid, only I was the dummy laying on the road staring at the tiny pinpoints of fireworks many miles away across the canyon. (Yes, that's how pathetic my Fourth of July's were as a kid.) Luckily (I suppose), I was quick enough to get out of the path of the oncoming vehicle. Ah, the follies of youth...

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Tidings Of Discomfort and Gloom!

I figured that with the holiday season fast approaching, it might be fun to begin featuring some gift ideas for the morbidites in your midst. We start today with something that is perfect for the morbid role playing geek (and I KNOW you're out there!). Daniel tells us about it:

"Here's another little morbid game that you can feature. It's called All Fall Down, and it's a storytelling game where the players are children in a village in the grips of the Black Death. Every day the kids can choose to stay indoor and perhaps die of despair, or go outside and play and die to the plague. It's very simple, and cheap ($2.00 for a PDF download), and very much up the Morbid Fact alley."

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=4731&src=HMPMorbidFact

Thanks for the suggestion, Daniel!

 


November 17, 2005

Today's Infamous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

By the end of the 1960s, Black Panther Party deputy chairman Fred Hampton had helped the party become influential in Chicago. In 1967, the civil-rights leader's quiet demeanor and measured speaking style enabled him to broker a nonaggression pact between the city's most powerful street gangs, and inspired a "rainbow coalition" alliance between the BPP, Students for a Democratic Society, the Young Lords and the Young Patriots. Fearing a black radical uprising, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover opened a file on Hampton. Then in 1969, numerous raids occurred at the Panther headquarters at 2337 West Monroe. On December 4, a heavily armed police team - under the directive of the government's infamous COINTELPRO program - allegedly used an illegal weapons warrant to raid the house and executed Hampton with a shot to the head, also killing BPP defense captain Mark Clark. Hampton was just 21 years old. Known as the Massacre on Monroe, the incident is still remembered at the site every December 4, which is "Fred Hampton Day" in Chicago.

Culled from: Time Out Chicago

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Oops, seems I used the same fact two days in a row. I apologize for the creeping senility. It is worse than I feared.

~Wendy~ adds the following info: "I forwarded your fact 'o the day to my History Instructor. He specializes in the 60's civil rights movement and all that jazz. I asked him if that is really went down with Hampton, and here's his answer...

'On Hampton, that is essentially what happened, although the police did not shoot him execution style in the head. They did raid the apartment and fired something like 700 rounds of ammunition into the apartment (the Panthers are known to have fired either one or two shots). Hampton was killed in his bed; he probably never even woke up during the raid and was killed before he could do anything. But I don't think anyone walked up to him and put a bullet in his head. Still, definitely an execution in terms of the result. Another Panther was also killed, and several others wounded. We will talk about the panthers and probably about this raid--Hampton was one of 24 or 25 Panthers killed by the police."

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

For all of you "real" vampires out there, here's a support page just for you:

http://www.sanguinarius.org/

Thanks to Remo for the link.

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Tidings Of Discomfort and Gloom!

Here's the perfect gift for your morbid model car enthusiast! "A highly detailed 1/18th scale die-cast metal 1938 Packard Cadillac Hearse with opening door, detailed interior, rubber tires, high gloss black paint, removable woodgrain casket with chrome plated handles, separate Church truck for setting removable casket on, opening rear door for removing casket, custom flocked drapes and windows, and much more."

I am, of course, deliriously excited about the removable casket!!

http://www.goreydetails.net/show.php?alpha=4255



November 17, 2005

Today's Freaky Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On July 13, 2005 the body of a Louisiana man strapped to a gurney fell from the back of a pickup truck Tuesday onto a south Dallas highway and into the path of oncoming traffic. "I didn't think it was possible for that to happen," said Mary Ellen Douglas, who was driving to work when she saw what she initially thought was a package that had fallen from a truck. "I wanted to get out of there. It was too freaky for me," she said. Authorities said the driver was carrying the body to a Shreveport, La., funeral home after the man died Monday at a Mesquite hospital. "The driver of the truck was not aware that he had lost the body," Dallas police Lt. Rick Andrews said. "He saw the open door. He stopped and looked. He turned around, went back and retraced his steps and found the body." Drivers swerved to avoid the corpse and gurney. Dallas police Senior Cpl. Max Geron said no charges are expected to be filed.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: ~JR~

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Why doesn't this sort of thing ever happen to those of us who WOULDN'T find it too "freaky"??? Life is so unfair...

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Lenny

"When I was a fireman I heard the call for a car accident on a backroad in town. I wasn't a member of the rescue company, so it wasn't my job to respond. But since it was just a few blocks away, I decided to help out anyway. The road is one of those long, winding ones where the speed limit is 30 MPH but everyone goes 40 (or faster, if you're familiar with the twists and turns.) Well, the accident occured at the sharpest turn in the road. You really do have to slow down to make that turn safely.

"It was a head-on collision. A late-model Mercedes vs. a 1980 (give or take a couple of years) Honda Civic. No contest there - those old Civics were the size of matchbox cars! Both cars were badly damaged. It was obvious the Civic had taken the turn at too high a speed and had crossed the double-yellow line. The Mercedes had deployed its airbags, so the elderly couple who owned it were bruised but ended up OK. When I got there they were laying on the sidewalk, moaning, but under medical care. I went over to the Civic, which was much more mangled, and saw a solitary driver, no passengers. He must have been in his early 20's. Muscular, good-looking guy. But his body was wrapped around the steering column. His arms and legs were twisted at weird angles, and bones stuck out here and there. Surprisingly, there wasn't much blood though. There was also a case of beer next to him, and several empty cans as well. I had never seen a dead body in person up to that point, and I was so shaken (I was only 19 at the time) that I backed away from the car and spent the rest of the time there stringing up the yellow tape and exercising crowd control. I never even looked back at the body - and that was the LAST time I responded to a car accident. Like I said, my job wasn't in rescue. I ran in to numerous burning buildings over my career as a fireman, but I never ever was as shaken as when I saw that body."

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Tidings of Discomfort and Gloom!

A t-shirt from Gravestone Artwear is always an excellent morbid shopping option. (I have several of them myself.) I'm particularly fond of this design:

http://www.gravestoneartwear.com/t9.html

But they are all quite lovely. Why not have a browse?


November 21, 2005

Today's Dreadful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Ishii Shiro, M.D., Ph.D. and his team of Japanese physician-researchers, carried out a gruesome, state-sanctioned killing of tens of thousands of people in the name of science. Here is an excerpt from the book "Demon Doctors" regarding some of his "experiments" in infamous Unit 731:

Manchuria, 1941: Lin Minga and Tamara Kazursky shrank back in fear, petrified by the sight before them. They stood at the entrance to an operating room with two tables, wearing only flimsy gowns. But neither of them needed an operation. Petite, 17-year-old Lin Minga had been living with her parents and working in the local factory when the dreaded kenpeitai, the Japanese military police, had taken her to their headquarters for interrogation. Her brother was in the communist-led anti-Japanese resistance, but she did not know anything about it. Yet, after three days of torture, she was bound hand and foot to another woman, put in the back of a closed van, and driven to a prison. A virgin, she had been forced to have sex with numerous men, all of whom, she later discovered, had venereal diseases. Not surprisingly, she became pregnant. During her pregnancy, the Japanese doctors repeatedly examined her and took blood, urine, and vaginal tests. She had given birth to a beautiful son two days ago. Now she had been dragged to this death laboratory. Nineteen-year-old Tamara Kazursky, a beautiful White Russian girl whose family had lived in Harbin for more than 20 years, worked at her parents' bakery and was engaged to be married. She had been walking home when she was caught in a "sweep" by the local militia. The soldiers had been told to get subjects for experiments, and she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quickly bundled into a tight "package," she was thrown onto a sealed boxcar and taken to this chamber of horrors. She, too, had been forced to have sex with numerous men, contracting a venereal disease that was causing her severe lower abdominal pain. The Japanese doctors seemed to take a special interest in her once the pain developed. "Get up on the table and take off your gowns," said the Japanese nurse in broken Chinese. "This is a medical procedure, and won't hurt a bit." Orderlies and doctors quickly stripped the young women and pushed them onto the tables, securing their arms, legs, and torsos. As the two women stared up in horror, eight men in white clustered around the table. One doctor, seemingly in charge, said "No anesthesia; it might compromise our findings." At each table, a doctor took a scalpel and quickly cut open the women's abdomens. The girls let out nightmarish screams as their bellies were ripped open and their entrails exposed. Lin Minga had enough composure to yell, "Kill me, but not my baby," before she lapsed into unconsciousness. Tamara's body continued to twitch as her uterus and ovaries were removed and blood sprayed the ceiling. Unnoticed by the doctors, their hearts eventually stopped and their agony ended. The doctors had the samples they wanted. Their bodies were dragged to the incinerators and their identities lost forever. None of the doctors felt any guilt. They had done this numerous times and anyway, these were only worthless maruta [logs].

Culled from: Demon Doctors: Physicians As Serial Killers
Generously suggested by: Gary

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Horrendous! Although, I wonder if the details above are entirely fictionalized since, if their identities were lost forever, how would he know the names? But still, I'm sure that the deeds are accurate.

I just watched an infamous 1989 Chinese film entitled "Men Behind The Sun" that is about Unit 731. It was a very good film, although there were parts that weren't explained particularly well. I think it would do you well to do some research on Unit 731 before watching the film. However, some of the depictions of cruelty displayed in the movie are truly horrifying. Oh, and if you abhor animal cruelty, as I do, you might find the scene with the cat and the rats more horrifying than anything else in the film. Still, it was definitely worth watching.

Men Behind The Sun

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Tidings of Discomfort and Gloom!

What could be more soothing over Yule than a hot toddy sipped from one of these ever-so-charming Black Dahlia mugs?

http://www.satanssideshow.com/presentation/newstuff/NS_MUG_Dahlia.cfm

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by Narkitten

"I deliver meals to homebound elderly. I was making a delivery after a Memorial Day weekend. Because of the condition of most of my clients, I have a habit of knocking on the door and entering, announcing myself. I took one look and knew this guy was gone. He had been sitting there long enough that the blood had drained from his upper body into his legs and lower belly. What made it worse was that this gentleman had a breathing problem and used oxygen assistance. The machine was still running, giving the illusion that the body still breathed. The only phone was right by the body. So I tried to use it to call for assistance. It was broken and missing several numbers. I had the creeps so bad by now I went to the nearest business to call. Didn't even stop at a neighbor's. The post office was within walking distance, so ended up there. After the EMTs arrived it occurred to me that the full case of beer sitting by this guy's chair was looking awfully good. I couldn't wait to get out of there."




November 22, 2005

Today's Clumsy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Truckee, California resident Ron Hunt was using a drill over his head when his ladder started to wobble. He dropped the 18-inch long drill -- with a 1.5-inch bit -- on the floor and then fell head first onto the drill, the Nevada City Union reports. The drill went through his right eye and out his skull. Hunt had surgery to remove the drill. He lost his eye but does not seem to have suffered any brain damage from the impaling. Hunt says the most difficult part of the whole episode was not being insured -- he was a subcontractor -- but family and friends have been holding fundraisers.

Culled from: Bizarre News
Generously submitted by: Mojo

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I must sadly inform you that Morbid Fact Du Jour will be on hiatus until Monday, November 28th while The Comtesse is off visiting relatives in Catatonia. Enjoy your holidays!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Two friends are walking in the jungle. Suddenly a tiger appears in the distance running toward them. One friend pulls a pair of Nikes out of his bag and quickly puts them on. With a surprised look, the other friend says, "You don't really think you can outrun that tiger with those?" "I don't need to out run the tiger", his friend replies, "I just need to run faster than you".

Thanks to Betty for this chestnut!

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Tidings Of Discomfort and Gloom!

For a romantic gift, why not look to the folks at Alchemy Gothic? You can purchase their wonderful jewelry at Gorey Details. I'm particularly fond of this creepy memorial photo locket:

http://www.goreydetails.net/show.php?alpha=3995


November 28, 2005

Today's Deliberate Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A new study indicates that 11 of 26 Norwegian traffic accidents involving front to front collisions between cars and large freight trucks are suicides. Truck drivers believe the real numbers are even higher and Norway's Minister of Transport and Communication has called an emergency meeting. "Now we must take these accidents seriously. Not least because this is also serious for the professional truck drivers who are affected," Transport and Communication Minister Torild Skogsholm said. Skogsholm will be meeting representatives of the truckers union, the Public Roads Administration and other business groups to discuss the situation. The SINTEF (The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology) study claimed that 11 out of 26 front to front collisions involved conscious attempts at suicide, with the car seeking the truck. Professional truckers said the collisions often leave drivers with psychological problems, with many haunted by the incidents. "For truckers it is a macabre sight when suicidal types wave and smile as they drive into the front of a rig," said Alf Ragnar Karlsen of the Norwegian Transport Worker Union.

Culled from: Aftenposten Norway
Generously submitted by: ~JR~

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Well, would they prefer that the suicidal types scream, cry, or make hysterical faces as they drive in front of the rig? There's just no pleasing some people!

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Morbid Recommendations Du Jour!

Hagondes is most displeased with the Comtesse!

"I'm surprised that in your section on killers you left out both 'Killer Fiction' by Sandra London and Gerard Schaefer and the cornerstone of any serial killer compendium, 'Final Truth,' by Donald Pee Wee Gaskins. I'm sure that I'm not the first person to recomend it but I'll vouch for the fact that it is by far the most disturbing thing you will ever read in terms of serial homocide, because it's an autobiography, written in the whole redneck dialect of Gaskins. As well as the fact that he stands out as one of the most insanely sadistic monster created by the prison systems of South Carolina."

Killer Fiction

Final Truth

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Tidings Of Discomfort and Gloom!

For the candle-lovers in your life, why not the marvelous Dark Lord Candleholder?

Or, if you're more attuned to Dark Angels?

 



November 30, 2005

Today's Olden Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the 19th century, Charles Kennedy, a big, husky full-bearded man, owned a traveler's rest on the road between Elizabethtown and Taos, New Mexico. After travelers would register at the rest stop, some would disappear never to be heard from again. These traveling strangers were rarely missed in the highly transient settlement. Evidently, when travelers stopped for a bed and a meal, Charles killed them, stole their valuables and either burned or buried their bodies. These events might never have been known, except for his wife's confession, when she fled from him in terror in the fall of 1870. The bleeding Ute Indian woman burst into John Pearson's saloon, where Clay Allison, Davy Crockett (a nephew of the American frontiersman) and others were whiling away the hours. Helping her to a chair, she told the story of how her husband had killed a traveler and their young son. Hysterical, she continued the shocking story telling of how her husband had been luring travelers, perhaps as many as 14, into their cabin and then murdering them. On the day that she fled, she had witnessed another traveler who her husband had enticed inside by offering supper. During the meal, the passerby asked his hosts if there were many Indians around. Her unfortunate son made the fatal mistake of responding, "Can't you smell the one Papa put under the floor?" At this, Kennedy went into a fury, shot his guest and bashed his son's head against the fireplace. He then threw both bodies into the cellar, locked his wife in the house and drank himself into a stupor. Terrified, the woman waited until her husband passed out, then climbed up through the chimney and escaped to tell her story. Clay Allison, a local rancher, who was known for his gun-fighting skills, and almost always around when anything violent happened, led a group in search of Kennedy, while others were sent to search the house for evidence to support the woman's story. The search provided a number of partially charred human bones still burning in the fire, and two skeletons beneath the house. Later, another skull was found nearby and a witness to one of the murders came forth. Kennedy, still drunk, was quickly found and taken into custody. He was given a pre-trial on October 3, 1870, where the witness appeared, testifying that he had seen Kennedy shoot one of the travelers. The court ordered that Kennedy be held for action by the grand jury, but rumors began circulating that Kennedy's lawyer was going to buy his freedom. Three days later, Allison and his companions snatched Kennedy from the jail, threw a rope around his neck and dragged him by a horse up and down Main Street until long after he was dead. His body was not allowed by the townspeople to be buried in the Catholic cemetery and was interred outside the cemetery boundaries.

Culled from: Legends Of America
Generously suggested by: Robert

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Hmmm, methinks that H.H. Holmes does not have such a firm claim to the "America's First Serial Killer" title after all...

Joe adds the following info: "I was reading Clay's bio on the same site and they added a bit more color to the end of the story:

"'In the fall of 1870, Clay Allison showed the citizens of Elizabethtown how mean and violent his temper was. Charles Kennedy, who was suspected of killing and
robbing overnight guests in his isolated cabin on Palo Fletchado Pass, was being held at the Elizabethtown jail. Clay, along with several others, broke into the
jail, threw a rope around his neck and dragged him by a horse up and down Main Street until long after he was dead. Allison then decapitated Kennedy, carrying
his head in a sack twenty-nine miles to Cimarron and demanded that it be staked on a fence at the front of Lambert's Inn (later the St. James Hotel.)'

"Now that is what I call "getting a head". (Sorry, you knew it was coming). ;)

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/HC-ClayAllison2.html

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by mizp

"In the early 1980's, I was attending college at a branch of the University of Virginia, in southwest Virginia. One day, a young man, foolishly riding his motorcycle without a helmet, ran head on into the front of a large dump truck hauling coal on the road that ran by the campus. I was on my way to a nearby shop to pick up lunch for the secretaries of the office I was working part-time in, when I passed the crash site. Emergency workers waved my car by quickly, so I only caught sight of a draped figure on a still upright cycle at the front grill of the truck. The next day, the local paper featured a front page photograph of the accident--showing the cyclist, still astride the upright bike, with his head completely buried in the front grill work of the truck. All I could think of was how horrified his family members must have felt to open their papers that morning and see their loved one in such a horrific pose of death."

All I can think of is... Why don't they show pictures like that on the front page of any of the newspapers I read????

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Tidings Of Discomfort and Gloom!

For the morbid horticulturist on your list, why not purchase the Graveyard Gothic Garden?

"If you have a purple thumb, here’s the garden for you! The Graveyard Gothic Garden™ grows black dragon coleus, moonflowers, dragon tree dracaena, aloe, and a mysterious climbing plant that actually moves when it’s touched. They sprout in about five days in their domed plastic terrarium and only need watering every two months. Kit has everything you’ll need: seeds, planting soil, blood rock (don’t ask!), tombstone plant stakes, terrarium decals, and an assortment of spooky skulls and spiders. (Feeding tips, too!)"

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.asp?c=h&T1=P22690&GEN1=All+Home&SKW=house&PageNo=1

 




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