November, 2006

November 1, 2006

Today's Physically Sickened Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Clint Malarchuk is a former Canadian ice hockey goaltender who played in the NHL between 1981 and 1992. He is probably best known for an injury sustained during one of the most horrific in-game incidents in sports history. The notable incident occurred during a game on March 22, 1989 between the visiting St. Louis Blues and Malarchuk's Buffalo Sabres. Steve Tuttle of the Blues and Uwe Krupp of the Sabres collided at the mouth of the goal, and Tuttle's skate caught Malarchuk on the throat, slicing open his outer jugular vein. With pools of blood collecting on the ice, Malarchuk somehow left the ice under his own power with the assistance of his team's trainer, Jim Pizzatelli. Many spectators were physically sickened by the sight with seven fainting and two suffering heart attacks. Local television cameras covering the game instantly cut away from the sight of Malarchuck. Malarchuk spent only one night in the hospital, and was back on the ice with his team two weeks later. After Malarchuk's injury, the NHL instituted a policy requiring all goalies to wear neck protection.

Culled from: Wikipedia
Generously suggested by: JenHas

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If you'd like to see the gruesome incident for yourself, be my guest!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT4PenDwiPo

And here's a photograph as well, for good measure:
http://ceedeerom.bizhosting.com/dek/zone/clintmalarchuk.jpg

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Wretched Recommendations!

VoodooMarie has a fascinating book recommendation for us!

Thoughts on the Death of Little Children
by Samuel Irenaeus Prime

"I found very possibly the darkest book the other day. It's entitled 'The Death of Little Children', and was written in 1856, so unless you're lucky, you probably won't be able to find a copy. If nothing else it is a dark look into a time when infant mortality was high and deaths were expected. What makes this little gem fascinating is the fact that it contains such rational for a child's death as: 'The creature so dear to you may have been taken from sad reverse of fourtune, or from the commission of some great crime, which might have endangered his salvation. To secure this, God has removed him from
temptation.' As a parent, that would be the last thing I would want to hear. The rest of the book is filled with hymns and poetry designed to reconcile the parental soul to the death of its child. The author was Samuel Irenaeus Prime, and the copy of the book I have is a fourth edition, which means that this genre had a market. I thought you might appreciate hearing about this example."

Indeed, I found this description so fascinating that I immediately went out and ordered a vintage used copy for the Library Eclectica! I was able to find used copies at Abebooks and Amazon as well. Or you could purchase the reprinted version I linked to above. In any event, it sounds like a fascinating book!

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"My Brother's Brush With Morbidity" by Tim

"[My brother] worked up here in South Daytona at 'Marcell Gardens' a few years back. He got a complaint from a bottom floor that some kind of red fluid was flowing through the roof! He went to the apartment above to ask what he was doing and the guy was panting but very cordial and he said it was photo developing fluid. So my brother went on about his work. He was very busy and is probably too trusting! The next day, the police were there and they found out it was a murder. It was 'Gugliomo' and he had murdered his wife and cut her up in pieces in order to carry her out. That was the blood that flowed through to the bottom floor. He dumped the head someone where in Georgia and the rest of the body along the way, but they did catch him and my brother had to testify at the trial. I said, David, talk about a red flag!"

Indeed! And what sort of non-morbid mind would not suspect blood in the first place? Certainly none of us would miss a clue like that.


November 2, 2006

Today's Fluid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1549 the charnel chapel in St. Paul's churchyard was pulled down, and one thousand cartloads of bones were transported and deposited on 'moorish ground' in Finsbury Field, London. The site become known as 'Bunhill Fields' (most likely a corruption of 'Bone Hill'). Burials on the site did not commence until the mid-seventeenth century, but so popular did Bunhill become that by its closure in 1853 120,000 interments had taken place.

Bunhill Fields is like no other burial ground in London. Sedate chest tombs, tightly packed headstones and the virtual absence of angels, crosses, draped urns and broken columns set Bunhill apart. One famous inscription tells of the vicissitudes of Mary Page, who died in 1728 of a failing heart which necessitated fluid being drained from her abdomen:

In 67 months she was tap'd 66 times,
Had taken away 240 gallons of water,
Without ever repining at her case,
Or ever fearing the operation.

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

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Loads of pictures of Bunhill Fields are available at UK Graves:
http://www.ukgraves.info/bunhill.asp

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Reflections From The Castle DeSpair

When I was a suicidal teenager, my favorite band was Joy Division. There was something so soothing about singing along to lyrics like, "Directionless, so plain to see / A loaded gun won't set you free / So you say" or "Existence, well what does it matter?". In fact, my entire teenage experience could be summed up by a couple of Ian Curtis verses:

"Oh, how I realized how I wanted time
Put into perspective, tried so hard to find
Just for one moment thought I'd found my way
Destiny unfolded, I watched it slip away"

"Now that I've realized how it's all gone wrong
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway
Gotta find my destiny before it gets too late"

Luckily, I was able to find my destiny... er, is that was this is?... before it got too late. Ian Curtis was not as fortunate; he hung himself on May 18, 1980. That's a date that I know from memory; Ian's suicide was a signalpost of my youth. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that it was probably not a good idea to worship a suicide, but I couldn't help myself. My doomed romanticism was at its most sharply tuned during those dark days in the 1980's and I spent my days cloistered in my room listening to Joy Division, reading Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, and writing my own gloomy (and piss-poor) poetry. It wasn't much of a life, but it was a living...

I've weathered a lot of rugged emotional terrain since those teenage years (yes, woe IS me!), and although the specific schoolyard scenarios that tormented me back in those days are now a distant memory, the painful emotions that accompanied them still ring true. However, one thing has definitely changed in my medicated mind: I'm not particularly impressed by suicide any longer. I am far more likely to feel sympathy for the loved ones left behind and forever scarred by the suicide than I am for the desperate individual who committed the act. I look back on my own nearly-successful suicide attempt with more embarrassment than pride these days, and I'm not nearly as likely to show off my abundant scars as I used to be 10 years ago. Is this what they call "maturity" ... or am I just a boring old Comtesse? Who can say?

So, it is with this changed perspective that I read "Touching From A Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division" by Ian Curtis' widow Deborah. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I thought I would get some understanding of how Curtis' family and friends could just stand by and seemingly do nothing while his obvious suicidal tendencies went fatally unchecked. The book doesn't really answer that question - except to reinforce just how isolated Curtis had become in his final days, and how estranged he was from his family. If you believe Deborah's account, Ian was almost zombie-like during his last few months, as the strain of his personal problems (a broken marriage, a doomed love affair, and increasingly uncontrollable epilepsy) became unbearable. After reading this book, I understand why Curtis killed himself, and in some ways, I can't say that I blame him.

The book also presents Curtis as a very unlikeable personality. He is cold, controlling, uncaring, and indifferent towards his wife. I have to take that presentation with a grain of salt, since a lot of it smacks of 'Embittered Ex' syndrome. Deborah doesn't seem to have the slightest understanding of her husband, and doesn't offer any explanation of his motivations or his artistry. They don't communicate, don't seem to have anything in common, and they don't really seem to like each other either. It's a pretty depressing read, but not for obvious reasons.

There is one additional thing that I cannot forgive Deborah Curtis for - and that's refusing to publish Ian's suicide note in the book. She makes reference to it as being "deeply personal" - and I suppose this is her excuse for not printing it. But she sure had no problem in exploiting her personal life with Ian when writing this book! Yes, I know I'm being voyeuristic, but I can't help myself - I want to read the note! I want to know what his last thoughts were as he approached his "last fatal hour". Instead I'm left with continued frustration.

My next read on this subject will be Mick Middles' book "Torn Apart" which presents the perspective of Curtis' girlfriend Annik Honoré. It's supposed to be much more enlightening than anything his wife could offer. I certainly hope so!

Touching From A Distance: Ian Curtis And Joy Division
by Deborah Curtis

Rating: ** (out of 5)

And there's always Anton Corbijn's movie "Control" to look forward to... It looks excellent!
http://members.aol.com/lwtua/these.htm

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

It takes a certain type of deranged genius to create a site like Dead Diseased Baby. I am jealous I didn't think of it myself!

http://www.ween.net/ddb/

Thanks to KelShubert for the link.


November 3, 2006

Today's Weighed Down Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In May 2004, fifteen Chinese workers were killed when storage shelves stacked high with garlic collapsed in central China. Some 34 workers were buried by tonnes of garlic after 10-metre (30 foot) high shelving broke at Chenzhai Cold Storage in Zhengzhou city, Henan province. A major rescue operation was launched - with 15 bodies recovered and 19 people pulled out alive and taken to hospitals. Chinese newspapers said the accident happened on Wednesday morning as the workers were stacking garlic cloves. Rescuers worked throughout the day and into the night to dig out the workers weighed down by the garlic and metal beams. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Thousands of people are killed by accidents at work in China every year.

Culled from: BBC
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito

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Wretched Recommendations!

Sam Mori has a book recommendation for us - sounds like a winner to me!

Plagues and Peoples
by William H. McNeill

"I had to read this my freshman year of college and could not put it down. It details the spread of disease and infection through the course of human history. I think it provides an interesting perspective on disease epidemics of the past - it doesn't romanticize the situations one way or the other. For once."

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a useful site which contains links to haunted places in all 50 states. So you can be disappointed at not seeing ghosts everywhere you go!! (Sorry, that's my bitterness creeping in again...)

http://theshadowlands.net/places/

Thanks to Dahveed for the link.


November 4, 2006

Today's Drunken Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Massachusetts woman died from injuries suffered in a fall from an escalator at the Providence Place mall on May 2, 2004. Jennifer Canelli, 23, of Norfolk, died on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 of cardiorespiratory failure due to skull fractures and brain injury. Witnesses told police Canelli fell backward after she jumped to sit on the escalator's handrail. She was leaving a friend's birthday party at Dave & Buster's, a bar and game establishment. Canelli fell an estimated 40 feet to the floor.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Katie

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Her family really should sue that mall for putting a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages on an upstairs level like that. I mean, this was an accident just *begging* to happen!!

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Wretched Recommendations!

beth p has a movie recommendation:

"You should know that the movie Sin City is highly morbid and gory. I saw it this past weekend, and I think anyone on your mailing list would thank themselves for checking it out!"

I rented this one previously and I was very impressed. I thought it was easily one of the greatest comic book adaptations ever made, and the black and white high contrast photography impressively mimicked the Frank Miller comic books. Definitely a must see for any fans of film noir.

Sin City (2005)

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"My Brush With Morbidity" by EvilPresly

"My boss used to be a coroner and was taking the search and rescue team to the morgue for a field trip and asked if I wanted to tag along. YES! So we go in and it is one of the oldest buildings in Oakland, right near Jack London Square, used to be a courthouse and the hanging tree was right out front. We go in, get a basic tour of the admin. rooms, etc, and get to ask a lot of questions about corpse protocol and heard a lot of gruesome and awesome and weird stories about picking up bodies and that kind of stuff.

"Then we get to the autopsy room antechamber, which has rows of freezers marked things like 'livers, 1998-2000.' And two drying chambers for bloody clothing and evidence. Here our guides tells us that coroners used to wear plain clothes, but now it's a shirt and a blazer with a tie, 'which is a shame because when you lean down, its inevitably- oops, in the mouth.' Did I mention that our guide is deadpan (pun VERY intended) and hilarious? He cracks jokes like that the whole time. Then we get to go to the autopsy room.

"To my dismay there are no bodies anywhere, no blood or traces of it, and the floor had been mopped. But there are 6 stainless steel tables with vacuum hoses and foot pedals around them and microphones suspended over each one. The doctors have to speak every last thing as they are doing it, to record the autopsy. We are told that sometimes every table is in use at once. Ooh, I can only imagine what that is like. 6 simultaneous autopsies! To get at the brain, the scalp is peeled back over the face and the skull incision is made in the back, so you can stretch the skin back over once the skull has been replaced and you can hardly tell the corpse just had a face lift. 'I was surprised at how easily it can be done!' He says.

Someone asks about the tools they use. Scalpel? 'The scalpel is there, but this is more of butcher's work- using regular kitchen knives and saws and things. And to open up the chest cavity we use your ordianry average garden shears.' At which point my boss went over and demonstrated the use of the shears. As the organs are removed and dissected, they get placed in a bucket on the floor, which at the end the contents of which are placed into a bag and sealed in the chest cavity-including the brain. As for the odds and ends, our guide told us that there is a garbage disposal at each autopsy table. "It drains right into the bay! Just kidding. I don't know where it goes. I don't want to find out." Someone of course made a wendy's chili joke. We are told that they keep a piece of each body- a section of bone, or piece of tissue for storage indefinitely. And they do occasionally have to exhume bodies, though not often.

"At this point I am beginning to think I will never see a corpse. And then we are herded toward the big door. No more personal corpse drawers for Oakland- it's even better- an enormous walk in refirgerator. Butcher's work indeed. The door opens and out comes a rotten, earthy smell and we are invited to walk into the human meat locker. I am surrounded by feet sticking out from under sheets. Yellow toe tags are homocides, the black body bags are to keep the decomposition cases in as close to one piece as possible. There is a fly zapper just outside, because 'nothing stops maggots' and I imagine them working away even in the 36-39 degree refrigerator as I pass between the two rows of bodies on gurneys.

At the end of the row the bodies are only haphazardly covered- allowing a look at the legs, and one foot stuck out which was covered in a pink powderiness, and had an immense lesion on the ankle surrounded by a green fungus and the whole thing had started to decay, and two bodies down an older man, who would have been wrinkled if it were not for the intense bloating that had stretched his belly and skin into a youthful tautness once more, transparent slightly with the stereotypical blue veins snaking beneath lay next to another body who had no idea it was covered in adipocere. 'Everyone's body reacts uniquely to death. It's quite amazing.'

"Hope you enjoyed, I know I did."

Indeed!! Thank you for sharing your good morbid fortune with the rest of us!


November 5, 2006

Today's Unlikely Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On May 8, 1936, Ralph Neves' life was cut tragically short at Bay Meadows Racecourse, near San Francisco, California. The 19-year-old jockey was coming into the final stretch of the third race of the day when his horse, Fannikins, tripped. She and her rider crashed through the wooden fence. Fannikins was unharmed, but Neves, who had not only broken his own mount's fall, but had also been trampled by four other horses, was dead. The track physician, assisted by two doctors who had come down from the stands when they saw Neves fall, loaded the body into an ambulance, and the race announcer called for a moment of silence. But the shocked, grieving spectators had underestimated Neves.

Doctors at the hospital did everything they could think of to revive Neves, but to no avail. By the time his friend Dr. Horace Stevens arrived, he had already been toe-tagged and sent to the morgue. Stevens, though, was not quite ready to give up. He administered a shot of adrenaline directly into Neves' heart. It had no effect. Sadly, he replaced the white sheet that covered his friend's lifeless body, and left him there. Had he waited just a few more minutes, he would have witnessed a miracle. The dead jockey arose from the chilly slab, shirtless, bloodied, shrouded in the morgue sheet and wearing a single boot. He staggered out of the hospital and hailed a cab to take him back to the racetrack.

Pandemonium broke out as Neves sprinted past the grandstand at Bay Meadows, half-dressed and still trailing his toe tag. "At one point," he said later, "I think everyone on the damn track was chasing me." He fought his way through the crowd and burst into the jockeys' room, where his colleagues were conducting a collection for his widow. She fainted at the sight of her newly resurrected husband, standing in the doorway demanding to be allowed to ride. He insisted that he didn't feel dead, but the stewards still refused to let him compete again that day. The following day, though, he rode five winners and claimed the meet's top prize--a $500 watch donated by Bing Crosby.

Neves' dramatic recovery was typical of Neves at Santa Anita "The Portuguese Pepperpot," a man whom fellow jockey Charlie Whittington once described as "wilder than a peach orchard boar." Neves rode for 28 more years, racking up nearly 4,000 wins on more than 25,000 horses. In 1960, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. He died in his sleep in 1995, at the age of 79. He did not rise again.

Culled from: News of the Odd
Generously submitted by: Ladyfreud

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I love this crazy story. My favorite part? When he sprinted past the grandstand "half-dressed and still trailing his toe tag". What a classic image that is!

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Morbid Gaming Du Jour!

KelShubert writes:

"I don't know if you have heard of the games The Sims and The Sims 2 for PC. If you haven't, I have been playing it for a few years now and love it. You can make people and control their lives in this game. You can make them fight, slap each other, make them argue, kill them, etc. I have downloads from sites though that make the game more interesting. I made a serial killer who killed people (even children) by luring them into his "castle" and then taking the door away from them. They starved, drowned, and was scared "to death" by ghosts. It was quite fun. I just thought you could be interested. Here are a few morbid sites for downloads:

GRIM SIMS (Halloween/Goth objects-beds, etc.)

KILLERSIMS SHOPPING CENTER

KILLERSIMS graveyard

NightTime Sims

7 Deadly Sims

Heavy Red Sims (This site is maintained by the same owner of http://www.livingdeaddolls.com)

"Some of this stuff is just fun to look at."

The Sims

The Sims 2

Thanks for the suggestion. It's always good to hear from someone who truly understands what games like The Sims are really all about!

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Morbid Sightseeing Link Du Jour!

Here's a great site which explores the neglected remains of London:

Derelict London


November 6, 2006

Today's Gruesome Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The California Highway Patrol arrested a 24-year-old Vallejo man who they said fled the scene of a gruesome drunken-driving accident on the Bay Bridge that killed his front-seat passenger. Maurice Talton of Vallejo was arrested around 3 p.m. after he showed up at Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo with abrasions and complaining of pain. Talton faces charges of felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. His arrest came nearly 12 hours after he fled the scene of an early morning accident that killed the front-seat passenger in a Chevrolet Blazer he was driving. Even before the accident, at about 3:25 a.m. Sunday, June 27, 2004, the CHP began receiving calls from witnesses reporting a reckless driver, speeding eastbound across the bridge and moving from lane to lane. "He was using all the lanes, speeding, whipping in and out of traffic," CHP Officer Herman Quan said. The Chevy crashed into a Saab in the second lane from the right near the end of the Bay Bridge. The cars spun out of control onto a dirt shoulder at the end of the bridge, then Talton's vehicle ran up against the cyclone fence on the south side of the road. The speeding vehicle's front passenger window broke, exposing the passenger's head as the vehicle rubbed against the fence for about 100 feet. The passenger -- identified by the Alameda County Coroner's office as Shaun Roberts, 24, of Vallejo -- was decapitated. The Chevy's rear-seat passenger, Jason Maynard, 24, of Vallejo, suffered minor injuries. When the vehicle came to a stop in the eastbound lanes near the toll plaza, Talton fled, leaving behind the dead and injured passengers. The driver of the Saab, Anthony Fraiser, 43, of Antioch suffered minor injuries.

Culled from: SFGate.Com
Generously submitted by: Dave

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This is why I try to never sleep with my head resting against a car window. You just never know!

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The Comtesse Reviews...

Witches
by Erica Jong

This is a heavily illustrated, very light primer on the history of witchcraft. Jong touches on most of the important items of discussion, such as the political, sociological, and religious reasons for the ruthless persecution and execution of alleged witches in the olden tymes, and the goddess worship inherent in pagan religions. It makes for an interesting, thought-provoking read for the uninitiated, but for those of us who have already studied the topic, it's a bit lightweight and under-researched for my liking. It's also filled with pretty mediocre poetry, which was another minus for me. However, the gorgeous illustrations are well worth the price of admission. On the whole, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the history of witches and pagan religions, but if you've already studied those topics to any extent, you'll want to pass this one by.

Rating: 3/5 skulls

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a site that explores the history of the death penalty in Ohio. Very interesting!

http://www.ohiodeathrow.com/

Thanks to Jeff for the link.

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Ghastly!

Here's a slideshow of the world's first jaw re-attachment surgery:
http://www.news24.com/News24/Gallery/Home/0,,galleries-1-304,00.html

And here's the story of the accident that necessitated the surgery:

Jaw operation was world first
02/05/2005 08:05 - (SA)

Pretoria - An operation just over a week ago during which the lower jaw of a 12-year-old boy was re-attached after it had been torn from his mouth in a quadbike accident, is probably a medical first. Dr Ashraf Mohamed, a maxillafacial surgeon at Unitas Hospital, said on Sunday he searched the literature for a similar case after the operation, but couldn's find anything.

Standing at his patient's bedside, Mohamed explained in great detail the seven-hour pioneering operation that was performed on CJ Richards from Steelpoort in Mpumalanga. Mohamed said that when CJ was initially transferred from a hospital in Middelburg to Unitas, the impression was that he had suffered a normal fracture of the jawbone. On his arrival at the trauma unit, CJ was first stabilised and placed on a ventilator, because it was feared that he also had neck injuries.

According to Mohamed, it was a great shock to find on a preliminary examination that there was a huge gap in CJ's lower jaw. "I thought the piece was lodged somewhere among the mouth tissue, but X-rays showed the entire lower jaw was missing." A hunt for the lower jaw at the scene of the accident, where CJ and his friend were injured, followed.

Riding along on the quadbike, the boys had collided with a wire fence. Mohamed says it was a stroke of luck that the piece of jaw, complete with the teeth, was found quickly and brought to Pretoria. The jawbone was full of soil and ants and was placed in a special antibiotic solution to clean it, after which the tissue was removed prior to the refitting of the jaw. A steel plate and screws were used to affix the jaw and holes were drilled in it to restore its blood supply.

Mohamed explained that if the original piece of jaw had not been found, it would have been necessary to take a section of bone from CJ's leg to reconstruct it. He explained how tissue scrapings from the inside of CJ's mouth and tongue were used to fill the gaps that were created at the time of the re-implantation.

At present, CJ is in the Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria where he is undergoing hyperbaric oxygenation. This treatment involves heightened oxygen intake, which aids tissue repair and prevents infection. Before being discharged in a week's time, CJ's upper and lower jaws will be joined together temporarily to prevent unnecessary movement during healing.

The jaws have not been joined yet due to the hyperbaric oxygenation treatment, which, in some patients, can cause seizures. Mohamed said it was a risk to replace the piece of torn-out jaw. It was fortunate that it was found so quickly. "It can't be described as anything but a miracle," Anne-Marie
Richards, CJ's mother, said on Sunday.

Thanks to René for the link.


November 7, 2006

Today's World-Famous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC has become a world-famous event. There is a strong possibility that on the descent towards Italy he lost thousands of men and animals through avalanches. The Roman poet Silius Italicus wrote that: 'Hannibal pierced the ice with his lance. Detached snow dragged his men into the abyss and the living squadrons were engulfed.' It is known that on the crossing Hannibal lost 18,000 men and 2,000 horses, as well as several of his famous elephants, so this could be one of the worst avalanche disasters of all-time.

Culled from: Catastrophes And Disasters

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

One of the sites that I most want to visit when I go to Europe (if that day ever comes around, that is) is the Capuchin's Catacombs of Palermo. The Travel Channel website has an excellent summary of what makes this site a morbid must-see:

In 1599, Capuchin monks made a shocking discovery while exhuming bodies from the catacombs of their monastery — many of the bodies had been naturally mummified. Following this discovery, the monks decided to mummify one of their own, and the Palermo townspeople soon joined in. Deceased members from all social classes were mummified and placed in these catacombs until the 1880s, when the practice of mummification was banned. But that didn't stop the curious townspeople, as the last mummy was laid to rest here in 1920. As a result of this "mummification trend," the catacombs of the Capuchin Monastery have become one of the largest, and most eerie, collections of mummified bodies in the world.

Cynthia Karalla took an amazing series of photographs of the mummies and has posted them on her website - so you can see what the fuss is all about:

http://www.karalla.com/Gallery5a/index.htm

Thanks to Carolyn for the link.

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Wretched Recommendations!

Carolyn has a film recommendation:

Darkness (2004)

The plot synopsis at Amazon:

"There's something in this house... Something ancient and dark that remains still, hidden and silent. It can only wait, having been concealed in the shadows for years. In fact, its milieu is darkness. Only in it can it show itself and move. It even takes its name: DARKNESS. It's lived here since someone tried to call it, more than forty years ago. Because this house hides a secret, a terrible past, an inconceivably evil act... Seven children, faceless people, a circle that must be completed. And blood, lots of blood..."

Carolyn has this to say about it:
"While there is no real gore to speak of except for a scene or two at the end it is a very disturbing story and it does a wonderful job of making you jump by just using the lighting. The ending was certainly not what I was expecting either and makes me wonder if there will be a sequel. At any rate it's worth a watch."


November 8, 2006

Today's Driver-less Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Just a day earlier, this rubble-strewn area on Indonesia's Java island was the scene of a wedding. But what should have been a joyous celebration turned to grief on Sunday, July 13, 2004 when a driver-less truck loaded with cement rolled backward into the party, killing 17 guests and injuring 12 others. The driver was repairing the truck when it overran wooden chocks placed behind its wheels and slid 20m down a slight hill into the reception, which was being held in a house close to the road in the central Javanese town of Ambarawa, some 400km east of Jakarta. One of the 17 victims was a five-year-old girl. Trucks are poorly maintained in Indonesia and traffic accidents are common on its crowded highways.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Bruce

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Urban Exploration!

dollymixture sent me a link to an article about the fascinating abandoned Japanese island of Hashima:

"Off the coast of the Japanese city of Nagasaki lies a terrifying symbol of shortsighted development. Out of the dark blue East China Sea rises a dead island covered with dilapidated concrete buildings. Forms of life are absent. No people, no animals. However, in the not so distant past more than five thousand inhabitants lived here. The voices of children echoed from the houses, laughter sounded in the streets. Now only dead concrete is left. This is the island Hashima, once the most densely populated place in the world."

http://www.ikjeld.com/japannews/00000010.php

To say I'm DYING to go there is an understatement!! Can you imagine the hours of bliss I could have exploring those buildings? Of course, visiting the island is strictly prohibited, but luckily for us some brave souls have made the trip and taken their cameras with them:

http://www.uer.ca/locations/show.asp?locid=21151

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Ghastly!

Gisela sends some pictures: "My boyfriend's friend sent pix of his friend (how friendly) in a fatal motorcrash." Well, I certainly hope my friends are friendly enough to photograph me in my half-naked death pose and send it out for mass consumption! A Comtesse can only dream...

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/harley/harley4.jpg
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/harley/harley5.jpg
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/harley/harley6.jpg
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/harley/harley7.jpg
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/harley/harley8.jpg


November 9, 2006

Today's Terrifying Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Neighbors awakened by the car crash reported a terrifying scene: A man and woman staggered from the burning wreck, both in flames. Then the man started shooting at her. She ran into a pasture, screaming. Their three babies were in the back seat. Lisa Hansen, who lives nearby, heard the crash at 1 a.m. Wednesday, July 9, 2004, saw the flames and called 911. She and a friend of her sons rushed toward the scene with a blanket and a bottle of water, hoping to help. By the time they found 18-year-old Antigone Monique Allen standing in the field, the shooting had stopped; the shooter's hands were burned too badly for him to fire the gun. He was dead soon after.

"I heard a voice in a field saying, 'Help, help, help me please,'" Hansen said. "It was the woman standing there with her shirt burned off screaming in pain, saying, 'He did it! He did this on purpose! My three babies are in the car. Help me, please."' Hansen, 42, couldn't get to the woman because an electrified horse fence stood between them. But as they waited for an ambulance, Allen began relaying bits of a story she would tell over and over again - to investigators and to her older sister, Laveda Allen - before she died at Harborview Medical Center nearly eight hours later.

She had gone out the previous evening with her estranged boyfriend, a 24-year-old construction worker identified as Genario Garcia. They had dated off-and-on for 3 1/2 years, with some rough patches: She and her family had called police a few times to report that Garcia had hit her. Garcia snorted cocaine while they were out Tuesday night - something Antigone had never seen him do before - and the two began arguing. Antigone - "Mona" to her family and friends - demanded that he take her home.

They stopped at a gas station, and, because she had been dozing, she didn't notice right away that he had filled a container with gasoline and placed it in the back seat. They drove along backroads near Bonney Lake in Pierce County, east of Tacoma. Garcia pulled a gun and pointed it at her head. He grabbed the container and splashed gasoline on the children - ages 6 months, 18 months and 2½ years - Antigone and himself.

He flicked a lighter, and the car erupted. It left the road near the intersection of 256th Avenue and Washington 410, and flipped over. The two stumbled from the wreck, and Garcia, who had two guns with him, began shooting. Neighbors said he fired four or five shots; Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said an autopsy would be needed to determine whether any of the bullets hit her.

Firefighters doused the car and found the three children burned to death in the back. Ambulances took Garcia and Allen to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Garcia was dead on arrival. Laveda said doctors told her sister had burns over 85 percent of her body. "She waited until she could say her goodbyes to everyone, and once she did that, in an hour she was gone," said Leveda, 23. "She said she wanted to be with her babies. She wasn't angry. She know she was going to die, and she was willing to go, but she wanted to say bye."

Culled from: Komo TV
Generously submitted by: Desmodus

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I guess maybe I'm a lesser person than Mona because I think that if I were about to die like that, I'd be a little bit pissed!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

And speaking of horrible deaths, here's a fun little quiz:

What Horrible Edward Gorey Death Will You Die?

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here is a breathtakingly beautiful and immense collection of post-mortem photographs. For those among us who aren't particularly sentimental, I must warn you to abstain from reading the comments added below each photograph. There are only so many, "Sleep Peacefully Beautiful Angel" comments I can take before the gag reflex kicks in. As I said, I am a lesser person than most.

http://www.boatswain.nl/pm01/pmtexteng.html

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.


November 10, 2006

Today's Promising Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Frank Middleton, Jr. was executed by lethal injection in Columbia, South Carolina on November 22, 1996. He was convicted of raping and murdering two women after escaping from a prison road crew. His last meal consisted of fried chicken, french fries, corn on the cob and a Coke. His final words? "What are you people looking at? I'm going to the Promised Land! Ha ha ha!!"

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

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When I read this, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons, where one dog is sitting in a car and telling another dog through the window, "Ha ha, Biff! *I'm* going to the vet to get tutored!!"

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's an excellent site about the history and current state of the death penalty in the U.S. The most interesting aspect is the interactive U.S. map, where you can look at a variety of statistics on a state-by-state basis. Pure statistical morbid fascination!

http://deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu/

Thanks to Neil for the link.

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Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Cathy sends us the lyrics to a song called "Timothy" written by Rupert Holmes (yes, THE Rupert Holmes of "Pina Colada Song" fame). This song is claimed to be "the only song in recorded history about cannibalism" but I somehow doubt that to be true. I'm sure there are plenty of death metal songs that touch upon the subject.

But without further ado:

TIMOTHY
Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Were Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell no food to eat
And Joe said that he would sell his soul
For just a piece of meat
Water enough to drink for two
And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig
And then there's some for you."

Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just around then
'Cause the very next thing that I could see
Was the light of the day again
My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy
Timothy...


November 11, 2006

Today's Undignified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For nearly 30 years, septic services contractor Kermit Dale Lancaster earned good money going places most people dread. A former Marine, Lancaster, 67, joked about his gritty job but never complained about the work that supported his wife and three sons. The Thonotosassa man died at Tampa General Hospital at 9:20 p.m. Monday after becoming trapped in an underground tank at Acorn Trace Apartments, 11115 N. Nebraska Ave., slipping neck-deep into sewage. "It's pretty hard to deal with," his son, Troy Lancaster, 29, a St. Petersburg computer engineer, said Tuesday through sobs. "You kind of hope for dignity at the end."

Tampa Fire Rescue officials said Lancaster was wearing rubber boots about 1:15 p.m. when he entered the tank, which is about 4 feet wide and 12 feet deep and pumps sewage to the city's sewer lines. He had retired about a year ago but went to work with his youngest son, Travis, 27, who was taking over the business, Dale Lancaster Inc. "I don't think he realized his limits had changed," Troy Lancaster said.

He became disoriented and yelled for help possibly because of the heat in the sweltering tank and methane, which deprives the heart and brain of oxygen. "My father had always warned me about methane," he said. "He used to say, 'If you get to where you're feeling lightheaded, get out.'"

A co-worker passed the man a ladder and tried to grab his hands, but they were slippery and he slid farther into the sewage, Troy Lancaster said. At some point, he inhaled and ingested the material, he said. Firefighters gave him oxygen and pulled him from the tank, Capt. Tracy Walker said. The rescue took about 25 minutes.

Culled from: TBO.Com News
http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBMR7FYMWD.html
Generously submitted by: Stickysnake

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The son's line about hoping for some dignity in the end really made me sad. Poor guy. People with jobs like this are the ones who should be making millions, not lawyers and CEO's!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Jennifer has a book recommendation for us:

Cannibal Killers: The History of Impossible Murders
by Moira Martingale
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312956045/theasylumeclecti

"... a deliciously morbid book. The author gets a little preachy about gun control sometimes, but it's worth it."

Here's the Amazon synopsis:

"It is a crime that shocks and stuns more than any other. It is the ultimate in criminal depravity. It runs like a blood-red thread through novels like The Silence of the Lambs. Now, take a grim and terrifying journey into the world of the cannibal killer.... Ed Gein the twisted trophy hunter and role model for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, who liked to keep his victim's lips in a small bowl. Issei Sagawa a real natural-born killer, celebrated in song by the Rolling Stones and toasted by the Japanese art world afer he killed and ate a Dutch co-ed. Jeffrey Dahmer the Milwaukee Murderer who kept souvenirs from most of his 17 victims, including three human heads in his refrigerator. Andrei Chikatilo history's worst cannibal killer who delighted in boiling and eating sawn-off body parts of his victims, often not bothering to kill them before the mutilation began. A chilling look at history's most repugnant criminals, Cannibal Killers is a horrifying story too shocking to believe -- except that it's true."

Sounds fun to me!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a game for those of you who, like Sheryl, are very fond of pointy things!

http://freetheflash.com/games/bowman.htm

Thanks to Sheryl for the link.


November 12, 2006

Today's Mute Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1854 Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, England, was consecrated. Sir Richard Broun and Mr. Richard Sprye came up with the idea of transporting both the dead and the bereaved to the necropolis by railway. The idea did not win universal approval, and the Bishop of London found the proposal to have the dead from widely different social backgrounds, all traveling in the same train 'offensive'. Finally the idea gained acceptance. The Necropolis Railway ran from Waterloo in London to the North Station at Brookwood - for Roman Catholics, Jews, Parsees and the Dissenting sects - and thence to the South Station, where the Anglican dead were unloaded. The railway continued to operate until the destruction of the London terminal in the Second World War. Today both the cemetery stations are long gone, only the platforms remaining as a mute reminder of a once flourishing trade.

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

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A photograph of the surviving station can be found here:

http://www.citynoise.org/article/1769

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Wretched Recommendations!

Onyx has a book recommendation for us:

Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook
Text by Katherine Dunn
Edited by Sean Tejaratchi

"Great book, excellent photos. I fell in love with it in Borders last week and alas, had no cash so I was dragged out of Borders, bookless, by an impatient friend after I made him wait around while I read the entire thing. Definitely a book worth owning."

I second that emotion - this is one of my all-time favorite morbid books, a five-skull masterpiece. Here's my review of it from The Library Eclectica:

This is probably the most captivating gore book ever published. Jack Huddleston was an LAPD officer from 1921 to the early 1950's who kept a scrapbook of hundreds of black and white photos showing all variety of horrible: accidents, suicides, murders, illness, execution, and other oddities that must have captivated his fevered imagination. Many of the images are disturbingly graphic - and all the more disturbing when accompanied by Huddleston's plain, "just the facts, ma'am" captions. Addresses are included with many of the images - which makes me wonder how shocking it would be to be looking through the book and see that your kitchen was the site of a grisly baby beheading in 1943. Yes, these are the sort of things that I ponder while falling asleep at night...

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Ghastly!

Here's an occupational injury you should strive to avoid:

http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/story/0,2789,656368,00.html

Thanks to Sandy for the link.


November 13, 2006

Today's Tasty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man and his two sons have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a neighbor and then eating parts of his body after he tripped over a woman relative at a dance. The three men are suspected of stabbing neighbor Benjie Ganoy to death last month in a remote village in the southwestern island of Palawan, Philippines. They ate his ears, tongue and arms after roasting the body over a fire, provincial police chief Michael Garraez said. "They stabbed him repeatedly, cut off the man's ears, pulled out his tongue and ate it," Garraez said. He was quoting a sworn statement by a witness, who said he had been forced to eat some flesh taken from the victim's arms. Garraez said there was no tradition of cannibalism in the area. He said the father had apparently been angry after Ganoy accidentally tripped over his daughter during a dance party. Police said the victim disappeared after the dance party on July 17, 2004. The witness led them to the burned body almost a week later.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Ladyfreud

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Is it me, or does it seem like there has been an increase in the stories of cannibalism lately? You know how if rats are overcrowded, they'll start attacking and eating each other? I think that's what's happening to us. Just a hypothesis, of course...

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

The ever-wonderful Archie McPhee has outdone themselves with this nifty set of sideshow action figures:

Bearded Lady
Tallest & Smallest Man
Strong Man

And my personal favorite (and yours too, I'm sure):
Frog Girl & Lobster Boy!

Well done. I'm looking forward to further entries such as Jo-Jo the Dog Faced Boy, Siamese Twins, and many many more!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Andrew sends us a link:

"You may have seen this one already, but Wonderbaby is an interesting recollection of one person's long-awaited visit to the T.D. Mütter collection, and includes links to sketches made by the author: a rare treat for the curious, as photography there is not permitted. Enjoy!"

http://www.onigami.net/lafcursiax/mirabilis/

Since I can't draw, I was forced - FORCED, I tell you!!! - to sneak some shots when I went to the museum a few years ago. My travelogue is available here:

http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/pa/mutter.htm


November 14, 2006

Today's Tasty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In March 1898 the British started building a railway bridge over the Tsavo (SAH-vo) River in East Africa. Over the next nine months, two large male lions killed and ate nearly 140 railway workers. Crews tried to scare off the lions and built campfires and thorn fences for protection, but to no avail. Hundreds of workers fled Tsavo, halting construction on the bridge.

Before work could resume, chief engineer Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson (1865-1947) had to eliminate the lions and their threat. After many near misses, he finally shot the first lion on December 9, 1898, and three weeks later brought down the second. The first lion killed measured nine feet, eight inches (3 m) from nose to tip of tail. It took eight men to carry the carcass back to camp. The construction crew returned and completed the bridge in February 1899.

Culled from: The Field Museum
http://www.fieldmuseum.org/exhibits/exhibit_sites/tsavo/maneaters.html

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Talk about a pair of cool cats! The lions are on display at the Field Museum here in Chicago, and of course the movie The Ghost and the Darkness was made about them.

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Tragedy Strikes The Comtesse DeSpair

The most horrendous thing happened to me today. My Thunderbird inbox became corrupted! (I know - for such a pious Comtesse, I found it quite astonishing as well!) And, of course, I hadn't performed a recent back-up, so I've essentially lost all of my pending e-mails. This is, of course, immensely distressing to me... but I've tried everything I can do to restore the file and nothing works - it appears to be hopelessly corrupted. (As Thunderbird support says, "If none of these procedures work, count your losses" - gee, thanks!) Of course, I'm smacking myself on the forehead until bloody (much like the latest Peaches video - see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l764zyytkkY for more info) for being so stupid as to not perform a regular back-up of my inbox, but what can I do? Suffice to say, I will be much more diligent in the future.

I was up to about mid-September in replying to my e-mails, so if you have contributed anything in the last few months and you haven't heard back from me, please feel free to send your submission to me again. The saddest thing about losing the inbox is missing out on all those wonderful links, trinkets, brushes with morbidity, morbid sightseeing suggestions, and the like that I receive from you every day.

I am playing TAPS for those lost missives as I type.

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Wretched Recommendations!

zale has a book recommendation for us:

"The Thames Torso Murders of Victorian London by R. Michael Gordon details some wonderfully gruesome murders that have unfortunately been overshadowed by Jack the Ripper and his crimes, though the book does try to link them together."

The Thames Torso Murders of Victorian London
by R. Michael Gordon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786413484/theasylumeclecti

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Now, here's a PROPER way to remodel a kitchen: Coffin It Up!

http://www.coffinitup.com/kitchen/kitchen.htm

Thanks to dusty for the link.


November 15, 2006

Today's Schizophrenic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 28-year-old man accused of decapitating his mother and displaying her head on the front porch of their home because he believed she was Satan was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity. Judge John Scotillo ruled Tuesday, August 24, 2004 that Karl Sneider of Palatine, IL suffered from mental illness and "lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality" of killing his 49-year-old mother, Kathryn Sneider. During four days of testimony, four doctors said Sneider was schizophrenic and suffered from delusions and hallucinations.

According to court testimony, Sneider told police he was Jesus Christ, his mother was Satan and that her death in January 2003 signaled the triumph of good over evil. The two got into a fight after she told him he should be committed to a mental hospital. He then stabbed her, cut off her head with a kitchen knife and put her head on the front porch.

Culled from: Associated Press
Generously submitted by: lefttwist

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That'll learn her, dern her!!

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Wretched Recommendations!

zale has a book recommendation for us:

Torso: The Evelyn Dick Case
by Marjorie Campbell

"This is a favourite of mine, not only because it is local (and involves dead babies inside suitcases encased in cement) but because the body was found by children. Children who were friends with my father, who had asked him to go with them on that fateful day - unfortunately Dad didn't go."

It's always fun to have a connection to an infamous case of morbidity!

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Morbid Art Du Jour!

Here's a brilliantly simple - and effective - concept: take monster pictures drawn by children and "flesh them out" so that they are painted in an adult style. The results are truly beautiful!

http://www.themonsterengine.com/art.html

Thanks to Grim747 for the link.


November 16, 2006

Today's Curious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

India's first execution in 13 years has claimed an additional toll of at least two children dead in mishaps as they re-enacted the highly publicized hanging of a man convicted of raping and murdering a schoolgirl.

In August, 2004, 41-year-old Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in the eastern city of Calcutta after 13 years on death row. Two weeks after the execution, 14-year-old Prem Gaekwad died when he tied one end of a rope around his neck and swung the other end on a ceiling fan in his Bombay home, in an apparent re-enactment. "The boy's father told us Prem was a very bright but curious kid and kept asking questions about how Dhananjoy would be hanged," said assistant police inspector Dilip Suryawanshi. "Dhananjoy was the top news on all TV channels for so many days and Prem would watch very closely."

The previous week, a 12-year-old girl died in the eastern state of West Bengal, when she tried to demonstrate for her younger brother how Chatterjee was executed. And a 10-year-old boy in the same state almost died when he and his friends acted out the execution, taking the roles of Chatterjee, the hangman, a doctor and the prison warden. "Children have a natural curiosity about anything out of the ordinary," psychiatrist Anjali Chhabria told Reuters. "Also, several newspapers and TV channels had given detailed sketches of execution by hanging, making it easier for kids to imitate."

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Ladyfreud

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Okay, this is just a guess, but I'm betting they don't show much in the way of violent imagery on television in India, so these kids didn't have a lot to choose from to satiate their primitive desire for imitation. This is why it's so important to bombard children with a multitude of violent images every day. They will make wiser choices - and imitate a shooting or a stabbing instead of a hanging. It's far safer bet!

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Wretched Recommendations!

Becky has a film recommendation (this was actually submitted last year, and the film is now out on DVD):

"I am a big Kevin Gage fan and recently read on an unofficial fan site that the movie CHAOS is finally being released to a limited number of theaters in August. Here is a synopsis of the film from http://www.kevingage.net :

'Kevin Gage plays the title role in this graphically violent exploitation film. "It's based on true events about two girls who try to score the drug ecstasy at a rave party from some people they don't know," explains director David DeFalco, "which basically puts them in a world of hell. They are exposed to the most evil, sadistic, brutal people on the planet, and they are basically obliterated by this one monster of a human being, nicknamed 'Chaos.' The end of the movie has the parents confronting the killers."'

"DeFalco makes some effort to justify the film as a warning to young people. The official Chaos web site states that each year, 100 youth are abducted and murdered by strangers. In an interview on the site, he claims that 'We had a female DA at the Cineramadome screening of CHAOS who, after seeing the movie, said it should be shown in all schools.'

"More from DeFalco: 'The most common question I get asked regarding CHAOS from people is "What's the purpose of making a movie like this?" My answer to that question is because it is a very real and unfortunate part of life that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.'

"The working title for Chaos was The House in the Middle of Nowhere.

"If you wish to delve deeper into the movie, check out the it's official website http://www.onlyamovie.com. The TESTIMONIALS section is especially interesting."

Chaos (2005)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GB5M92/theasylumeclecti

Suzy writes: "I went to the website you suggested but didn't find any real content--then I found this site which was her opinion but detailed: http://www.pollystaffle.com/exploitation/chaosdirectorscut.shtml "

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Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Keith shares some morbid lyrics: "My kids like this song by the Arrogant Worms. They have good taste. The album should be available on Amazon.com"

Rippy the Gator
by the Arrogant Worms

Hi kids! welcome to the uncle BoBo show! are you ready to sing? come on, let’s go!
Billy and his family
Went on a holiday
They went down to Florida
To laugh and dance and play
Bill went in for a swim
He didn’t see the harm
But when he came back out again
He was short an arm!

’cause Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp

Billy and his father
Went out to play some catch
But Billy missed the pass
Because his arm was unattached
The ball flew past his shoulder
And it rolled into the swamp
When he went wading after it
His leg became a stump!

’cause Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp…

Billy and his father
Joined a three-legged race
They were tearing up the field
No one could keep the pace
But Billy tripped and did a flip
And landed in the muck
He was running out of limbs
And also out of luck!

’cause Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp

Billy was all dirty
He really had to wash
But he couldn’t use a towel
’cause his limbs had been gnawed off
He went into the water
To get all clean and bright
But when he was finished
He was only half his height

’cause Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp

Billy’s father rolled his wheelchair
Up upon a hill
He wanted to take bill
Where he would not get killed
But he left him on a slope
And into a swamp he rolled
They dragged out his head
But there was nothing down below!

’cause Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the Gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp
(down in the swamp)

This song is available on:
The Best Of The Arrogant Worms


November 17, 2006

Today's Suffocating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Following the capture of British-held Calcutta by native rebels on June 20, 1756, some sixty-four British prisoners were locked up for the night in a small prison cell, measuring just eighteen feet by fifteen feet, with only two small windows for air. The crowding and oppressive heat proved more than the men could stand, and they soon began to suffer from lack of air, as well as dehydration. One by one they began to drop, and by morning all but twenty-one had suffocated to death in the cramped prison cell. The incident gained widespread attention at a time when British colonial rule was expanding in India. Originally the number of men crowded into the cell had been put at 146, but that figure was later found to be exaggerated.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006095745X/theasylumeclecti

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Ghastly!

Now here's a stunt that even the Jackass boys won't try. A determinedly suicidal man stuck an M100 firecracker (which packs a punch equivalent to 1/4 of a stick of dynamite) into his mouth and lit the fuse. Only those with an iron stomach should bother clicking these links:

http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-1.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-2.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-3.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-4.jpg

Thanks to Ericka for the pics.

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Wretched Recommendations!

marilyndale has a fiction recommendation for us:

"Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter -- sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlining 'Writers' Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months,' and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of 'real life' that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But 'here' turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world -- and where heat and power and, most important, food are in increasingly short supply. And the most desperate the circumstances become, the more extreme the stories they tell -- and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/nonfiction blockbuster that will surely be made from their plight."

"Chuck Palahniuk's six previous novels are Fight Club, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Choke, Lullaby, and Diary. He is also the author of a profile of Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. I have read Fight Club, Choke, and Lullaby, and would highly reccomend his work to anyone."

Thanks, marilyndale. By the way, I am familiar with this book only because it's cover struck me as one of the most beautiful covers in the history of novels. If you CAN, in fact, judge a book by its cover, then Haunted is a true masterpiece.

Haunted
by Chuck Palahniuk
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400032822/theasylumeclecti


November 18, 2006

Today's Naked Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Early in the day on August 30, 2004 a man was seen playing with a brown, pit bull-boxer mix near an elementary school in Alburquerque, New Mexico. About 1:20 p.m., police were called to the scene when workers from a mowing service found the man unconscious, naked and bleeding on a yard near the school. He was missing his genitals, which had apparently been bitten off by the dog. "The lawn crew hit the dog with a pipe, causing it to yelp and run away," Detective Jeff Arbogast said. "When police arrived, the man woke up and started running away from the officers. They had to take him into custody so he could get treatment." Arbogast added he had no idea why the man was naked or why the dog bit him, but added, "I think there's a little more to this whole thing than we know."

Culled from: Tribune
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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Sounds to me like the guy got what he deserved!! He won't be raping any more dogs! Of course, the article went on to say that they were looking for the "dangerous dog". I hope they never found her...

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Follow-Up Du Jour!

The other day, I featured some photographs that were purported to be of an individual who put an M100 rocket into his mouth and lit the fuse, with devastating results.

http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-1.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-2.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-3.jpg
http://www.asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/m100/m100-4.jpg

Evonne is not so sure:

"While very well done, are indeed FAKE! I say this from my armchair forensic learning. There is no blood on the man's shirt, and there should be. The positioning of the blood is wrong. It shouldn't be underneath him like that. No scorch marks, just tissue. However, that IS some GREAT make-up effects."

I don't know... they still look pretty real to me. Does anyone have any definitive proof?

Stephen W. writes: "They're real... ...look at the milky-white clouds inside the pupils. That's kind of hard to fake. It's most likely vitreous fluid (clear) mixing with blood and whitish brain (and spinal) fluid "blow-back", from the trauma of the initial concussion. Although I'm not an M.E., I read all about that stuff in my spare time, and the feds have a whole library on tell-tale signs of death / body trauma at the academy. If it's a fake, it's the best one I've ever seen!"

Evonne disagrees: "While very well done, are indeed FAKE! I say this from my armchair forensic learning. There is no blood on the man's shirt, and there should
be. The positioning of the blood is wrong. It shouldn't be underneath him like that. No scorch marks, just tissue. However, that IS some GREAT make-up effects.".

Brandon is confused: "I tend to agree that at least the blood on the ground is suspect. With as much as there is he would have had to have been alive for a little bit after the blow for his heart to pump that much out of him. By the looks, though, he was knocked out by the shock wave so didn't have to feel that while he bled out. Otherwise, I think his hands would have blood on them from trying to find his face but it otherwise looks similar to other fire cracker injuries Ihave seen."

Amy did some research: "I'm replying in regard to the M100 pictures. My husband says he saw those pictures on ogrish.com. The story with them said it was a blasting cap. He says the pictures were disputed there as well. I asked him to locate the link on ogrish, but since the ogrish buy out the site's changed and he can't find anything on it. we may never know."

"I found this clip in a web search:

NOMINEE No.10 [Associated Press, Kincaid] Blasting Cap Explodes in Man's Mouth at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth, and tougue state police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during a party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D.Payne. Another man had it in an aquarium hooked to a battery, and was trying to explode it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this guy said, 'I'II show you how to set it off."

Lou also writes: "The photos of the M 100 accident are compelling but I too doubted them. In 1988 I had a M 80 explode in my hand while trying to light it and when it went off it not only made my hand look like chop meat but it instantly cauterized the flesh. I know a head is a much larger piece of meat but at least the immediate wound area should have been burned. Also I was splattered head to toe as well as everything around me (including my friend) in a 10 foot radius with drops of blood BUT, the M 80 was far away from my body in my hand. Everything facing the blast had been burned including part of my beard, eyelashes, hair on head arms & chest. I was also black with gunpowder .The blood underneath could have come from the explosion blowing out the back of the neck at the top of the throat where there would be very little meat for an explosion to rip through and now the head has turned into a funnel, draining out the smaller hole underneath him but, it would have probably taken his head clean off. I think this picture may be real wounds but not from an explosion. I also see what appears to be a tongue which surely would have been blown off if he did indeed light it in his mouth. The lighter clinched in his hand is turned the wrong way unless he was spinning it around waiting for the M 100 to go off. It could have very well been a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The right caliber/gun would leave an exit wound like what we see. People also don't get blown 10 feet from where they are shot, and just "drop" so he could have easily fallen back onto the entrance hole where the blood is draining from. There is blood splatter on the underside of his hand and arm which suggests to me he could have been lighting a cigarette but again, it is in the wrong direction. He could have lit a cigarette and was just holding the lighter. If there's blood on one arm, it would have to be on his shirt too which I cannot see. Personally I think if it were an M 100, there would be nothing left of his head to look at, just a bloody stump. Explosions go outward in all directions, this appears to have come from behind. I'm going with the gunshot but we really need to see more of the scene.To many unanswered questions. It could have very well been a much smaller explosive and when contained in his mouth caused it to do damage in one direction. Again, not enough info from these pics.This would be way to elaborate of a makeup job and costly to do just for fun."

Meg agrees with Evonne: "Regarding the pics of the supposed firecracker-in-the-face, I have to agree with Evonne. Not only is there no blood on the shirt, but in close ups of the blood, it looks suspiciously like ketchup. The eyes don't look exactly real either."

Sandy adds: "Far from being a professional as you know ;) I am going to add my analysis anyway. There is blood spatter and tissue on this mans shirt, as well as all around him. There quite possibly could be black powder marks we cannot see simply from the photos as they are not close enough and some of the tissue may need to be pulled back to view. The m100 looks to have blown backwards and outwards, leaving the viewer with the result that there is not so much blood on the front of him as there is seen coming from behind him. If we were able to roll him over, I am quite sure there is a nasty hole in the back of his skull. Having viewed many gun shot wounds to the head via suicide, many of them do not have as much blood and tissue in the front as they do have blown backwards. Following the flow of blood spatter would help with the final analysis, however we are not able to get up close and personal and only have these pics to view. And, finally, the eyes have a very dead look to them, they do not look alive. There is a sparkle to alive eyes that to me are a 'dead' give-away on death photos I have seen. Snopes possibly has something on these or can find out. They are good at that sort of thing."

The Mourner says: "Those photos of the guy with his head blown off look awful fake. Blood just isn't that red."

Email4DJ writes: "1 - how do you know the dog was a 'her'? [Good point - how sexist of me! - DeSpair] 2 - my brother is a fireman, he sees dead bodies several times a week, he has no doubt that the pictures are real."

Skypacer adds: I took those four photos of the man that had committed suicide by putting a lit M-100 in his mouth and posted it to the Urban Legend Reference Page forum to get some thoughts on them. Most people believe them to be real and one posted a site of a man who suffered a similar fate by trying to crimp a blasting cap with his teeth—and survived! Here is the address to that image, which is half way down the page: http://www.thegunzone.com/darwins.html

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's Pulp Fiction in 30 seconds as re-enacted by bunnies:

http://www.angryalien.com/0605/pulpfictionbuns.asp

Thanks to Mrs. Nowak for the link.

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

B sent me a link to an article in Outside magazine about "an Australian diver named Dave Shaw [who] finds a dead body at the bottom of one of the deepest diving holes in the world. He can't bring the body up right away, but he knows it is the body of another (20 year-old) diver who went missing about 10 years before, and he tells the parents of the deceased that he will go back down there and retrieve the body. He does just that and it's interesting seeing how the whole story plays out."

The article is, indeed, an excellent read - well worth the 11 pages in length.

http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200508/dave-shaw-1.html


November 19, 2006

Today's Stinging Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Earl Wells, 75, a retired zoo director, died in September, 2004 after he was stung about 1,000 times by European yellow jackets when he fell onto their nest from a ladder while cleaning windows at his home. European yellow jackets swarmed Wells when the stepladder he was standing on to wash windows collapsed onto their underground nest. He was unconscious when paramedics arrived. He suffered cardiac arrest in the attack and remained in a coma after being resuscitated before finally succumbing to his injuries ten days later.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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I never knew that yellow jackets had underground lairs! See, MFDJ is educational as well as horrid!

kevo295 replies: "Yes! They will dig holes like ants..though not as deep and complex. Skunks will find the nests, and have them (bee's, nest and all) for dinner. ...it's the only beneficial thing I've found to the existence of a skunk! Dig around the internet, you'll find plenty of stories of people who were using gasoline or kerosene to kill an in-ground nest, kill themselves...or end up in a burn unit!"

clearfield adds: "I had yellow jackets build a nest under the deck. They also had tunnels in the garden. I lit a highway flare and held it near the tunnel entrance. They swarmed out and flew right into the lit flare like on a suicide mission. The flame knocked them down and it wasn't until I put the flame on top of them did I manage to kill them. I knocked down the nest and then set it on fire in the yard. The yellow jackets were coming into the house and the situation was getting out of hand otherwise I would have just left them alone."

Bruce concurs: "They indeed do. I once ran over one in the front lawn of my family's house when I was doing the mowing. They got kind of mad. It was the
fastest I'd run in a while."

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Morbid Sightseeing!

John has an excellent morbid sightseeing tip for the next time you find yourself stuck a few days in Florence, Italy. (Who knows? It could happen tomorrow!)

"The Specola museum in Florence, Italy is a most fascinating museum. It is a natural history museum and is laid out starting with insects and mollusks, then birds, fish, mammals (all stuffed, sometimes very weirdly) and ending with the most stunning wax anatomical models of humans and their parts. There is a book published by Taschen called: Encyclopaedia Anatomica. If you ever find yourself in Florence, I strongly advise you go there. It's near the Pitti Palace."

Indeed, I love those old wax models, so I'm sure I would have a most enjoyable time here!

Museo La Specola

Encyclopaedia Anatomica

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

What's a serial killer's favorite pick up line?

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Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

Thanks to Jill for the joke.


November 20, 2006

Today's Horrifying Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenager told of the horrifying moment he saw his motherkilled by a sand yacht on a crowded beach. Steffan Cruz was holding his mother Carole's hand when Adrian Warren careered into her at 45mph, severing her legs and breaking her back. The boy managed to jump out of the way and ran to his mother, whose first words were: 'I'm a cripple, I want to die.' Steffan, 14, who was 12 at the time, said: 'I just froze. It just felt like a nightmare. I felt really lightheaded. You just can't believe seeing your mum like that. A part of me knew she was dying. I just tried to make her feel better, just to make her feel that she wasn't alone, I was there with her. I know I couldn't, but I have got this feeling I could have moved her out of the way. It was impossible but I have got that sinking feeling inside me that I could have done something. They're the worst things because they haunt you. She was being brave because she probably knew she was going to die.'

Mrs Cruz, 38, was dragged 100 yards along the beach by the sand yacht. When Steffan reached her, he grabbed her hand to comfort her. He recalled: 'First of all she said, "I'm a cripple, I want to die", and then we heard her groaning. I told her it would be OK and everyone loved her. Then she said she believed me and we said it was going to be OK and then I kissed her and then she started wheezing. I thought she was just having a little bit of a problem breathing, but it turned out her lungs were collapsing. Her eyes just looked straight forward and I thought she was actually focusing on something. She didn't blink or anything and then her stomach was going up and down really rapidly but there didn't seem to be any air coming out of her mouth.'

Mrs Cruz was pronounced dead in hospital about an hour later. Just before the tragedy, she and her son had been discussing how dangerous the yachts were. In police interviews played to the court, Steffan said: 'It must have been a couple of minutes before she got hit that she said that the sand yachts could go really fast. So I turned round and said that somebody's going to get hit by one of them one of these days. She agreed with me. Then a sand yacht came back down towards us and I saw it first. I don't think she saw it and I told her to watch out. I jumped a few metres away from it and then it hit her. It came up behind her and she got hit right on the back of her legs. I don't think she even saw it coming. She came hurtling into the air and then, as if her legs went numb, she dropped straight to her knees. It was moving, so it took her underneath it, like a dummy or something.'

Warren admitted being preoccupied with his race when he hit Mrs Cruz at St Anne's, near Blackpool. Witnesses said the yachts were 'dodging' beachgoers, and one spoke of 'an accident waiting to happen'. Warren, a 49-year- old married lorry driver, was racing 12 others when Mrs Cruz was struck by the wooden offside rear axle of the yacht - which weighed 37-stone with the pilot in it. Both her legs were 'virtually amputated' above her ankles. Her back was broken after being lashed by the securing wire which runs from the mast of the yacht to the offside axle.

Culled from: Daily Mail
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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I must sadly inform you that Morbid Fact Du Jour will be on hiatus until November 28th while The Comtesse is away visiting her family in Catatonia. Please stay morbid in her stead!

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Horrific Hollywood!

David has a morbid heads-up from the latest James Bond movie:

"I don't know if you're a 007 fan or not, but there is a scene in Casion Royale that involves an exhibit of Gunther von Hagen's Body Worlds. In addition to being a good movie, it's fun to see some good morbidity thrown in."

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Cavity juice is a strong formalin (formaldahyde) used in embalming. Here's a joke for all you would-be morticians out there:


Q: What do maggots do when you pour cavity fluid on them?

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A: The backstroke.


You can thank Jamie for that one!


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"My Brush With Morbidity" by number 9

"I was driving down I-75 with a friend of mine near Cincinnati, not paying too much attention, when traffic came to a screeching halt. I saw a woman standing in the middle lane (of three) frantically waving me to the left. I pulled off to the left shoulder to drive by the accident. A few feet past the woman I saw a man lying face down in the left lane. As I got closer I saw that the back of his head was missing. My friend who was sitting in the passenger seat let out an 'oh my god' gasp, looking down on the body from the window. I found out later that he had been thrown from a car by a collision and then
smacked by a semi, knocking him out of his shoes (and skull). What I'll never forget is when driving by, I drove through a pool of blood leaking from his head. Everytime I pass through a puddle, I hear the sound of blood splashing into my wheel wells."

Blood in the tracks, quite literally!


November 29, 2006

Today's Arresting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Hillsboro, Oregon father was sentenced to three years in prison for repeatedly siccing his dog on his two children as a form of punishment. David Hoskins, and his wife, Joyce, were arrested in May, 2004 when police say the couple's eight-year-old son had a chunk of his left ear bitten off by the pit bull-Doberman mix. "Those kids mean more to me than anything in this world," Hoskins said in court. "I just, I thank God they're okay and they didn't get hurt worse than they did."

Their seven-year-old daughter needed stitches to close multiple puncture wounds on her arms, legs and back from dog bites. The children were placed in foster care after a neighbor called police when she heard the girl screaming. The dog, who weighed at least 90 pounds, has since been euthanized.

Culled from: KATU News
Generously submitted by: Katchaya

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The best thing about this story? I finally have "official" confirmation on how to spell the word "siccing".

The worst thing about this story? They euthanized the dog for following his owner's commands, but they didn't euthanize the owner for training his dog to attack his kids. There's something wrong with this world...

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Wretched Recommendations!

FJCancel has a film recommendation:

"I saw The Last House on the Left in the 70's at a drive in and it scared me good and I have never forgotten it."

The Last House on the Left (1972)

Here's the Amazon.Com review:

"Future Nightmare creator and Scream weaver Wes Craven's film debut is a primitive little production that rises above its cut-rate production values and hazy, grainy patina via its grimly affecting portrait of human evil infiltrating a middle-class household. The story is adapted from Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, but the film has more in common with Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs as it charts the descent of a harmless married couple into methodical killers. A quartet of criminals--a distorted version of the nuclear family--kidnaps a pair of teenage girls and proceeds to ravage, rape, torture, and finally brutally murder them in the woods, unwittingly within walking distance of their rural home. The killers take refuge in the girls' own home, but when the parents discover just who they are and what they've done, they plot violent retribution.

"Along with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Craven helped redefine American horror with this debut--all three movies portray modern society crumbling into madness and horror. But, unlike his fellow directors, Craven gives his film an uncomfortable verisimilitude, setting it squarely in the heartland of modern America. While at times it's awkward and inconsistent, with distracting comic interludes, his handling of the brutal horror scenes is unsettling, and the death of the daughter is an unexpectedly quiet and lyrical moment."

I saw this movie recently and was distinctly unimpressed, but maybe it was a bit different to watch it in the '70's. I still think that I Spit On Your Grave is the same basic story told much, much better!

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Have you all seen the viral advertisement for Volkswagon that features a suicide bomber? I think it's brilliant, but of course the No Fun people at Volkswagen are threatening legal action against the film's creators because they would never, ever even THINK of releasing a film so horrible and so disrespectful to human life, yada yada yada. No sense of humor, I tell ya!

http://www.snopes.com/photos/advertisements/vwpolo.asp

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.


November 30, 2006

Today's Obedient Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Edwin B. Baxter, 33, of Oregon, was convicted in December, 2004 of attempting to circumcise his 8-year-old son. The fundamentalist Christian, who sat with a bible in the courtroom, decided to circumcise his son on Sept. 3 after reading the Old Testament: "I had no reason to think I would be in violation of any of God's laws. I felt it was an act of obedience." He put his son in a dirty bathtub on some towels and used a hunting knife, then called 911 when his son began bleeding profusely. His wife was pregnant with their 10th child. The boy recovered.

Culled from: The Columbian
Generously submitted by: Desmodus

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Yet more proof, as if we need it, that religion is hazardous to your health!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Now, here's a website that's not nearly as cool as it could have been - The Kill Everyone Project:

http://homokaasu.org/killeveryone/

Here's the set-up:

"The world is overpopulated. The people that overpopulate it are stupid. They should be killed.

"Please help us achieve this noble goal virtually by participating in the Kill Everyone Project. The task is difficult, though. The population of the Earth is currently 6 489 333 770 people and it increases with an ever growing pace!

"Our body count in 1973 days is only 6 125 099 578. With current rate, the extinction will occur in 1735 days. There are 75 051 participants involved in the project, who by average have killed 81 612 people each."

So basically you click your mouse like crazy to kill people. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

Here's how I would do this site:

You add people that you know - by name - to the site, select a method of death, and kill them. When other people register and sign-in, they do a search to see if the person they want to kill is already listed. If they're not listed, then they add them and kill them. If they are listed, darn, they go search for another person to kill.

Wouldn't that be MUCH more interesting? You could even have methods of body disposals! Fun, fun, fun!!! Of course, some boring person out there would probably try to have me arrested if I dared to start up such a site. People are just No Fun. But, then again, that's why we need to kill them all!

Thanks to kelshubert for the link.

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Shocking Soundbytes!

Robert forwarded me an .MP3 file which captured the roar of the deadly December, 2004 tsunami that were picked up by underwater microphones designed to listen for nuclear explosions. MSNBC describes the file thusly: "The audio recording of the quake starts out silent. A low hiss begins and the intensity builds gradually to a rumbling crescendo. Then it tails off but, frighteningly, builds again in waves as Earth continues to tremble. The audio file is sped up 10 times to make it easier to hear. As it was recorded, the sound was at the lower threshold of human hearing, but it could have been noted by someone paying attention."

It makes for a rather creepy listen with headphones on.
http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/morbid/archives/tsun_eq.mp3




Vulgarities...