Morbid Fact Du Jour for September 2, 2014

Today’s Innovative Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Cayenne Pepper was used in London’s Pentonville Prison in 1856 to overcome a highly aggressive and dangerous convict who, refusing to come out of his cell, threatened to kill any warder who entered.  As related shortly afterwards by a warder to prison visitor Henry Mayhew:

He had made a spring at the nearest warder and would assuredly have bitten his nose off had the warder not retreated up the stairs, so that the man below was all alone, vowing and declaring that he would have the life of the first person that tried to get him up.  Well, you see, we knew we could master him directly we had him in the corridor, but as we couldn’t take his life, yet he could take ours, he was more than a match for us as things stood.

Accordingly the governor had to devise some means by which to get him upstairs without hurting him, and how d’ye think he did it, sir?  Why, he got some cayenne pepper and burnt it in a fumigating bellows, and then blew the smoke down into the corridor where the fellow was.  The man stood it for some time, but, bless you, he was soon glad to surrender for, as we sent in puff after puff, it set him coughing and sneezing and rubbing his eyes and stamping with the pain as the fumes not only got into his throat and up his nose, but under his eyelids, and made them smart, till the tears ran down his cheeks as if he had been a little child.  Then immediately afterwards we threw ourselves upon him and secured him.  Oh no, sir, he never tried the same game again, one dose of cayenne pepper was quite enough for him, I assure you.

Culled from: Rack, Rope & Red-Hot Pincers

Morbid Fact Du Jour for September 1, 2014

Today’s Once in a Lifetime Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A New York teen taking a test drive of a family friend’s Lamborghini has died after crashing the high-powered sports car into a guardrail.  Police say 18-year-old Samuel Shepard was taking the car for a spin on a county road in Mount Sinai on Long Island early Friday (August 29, 2014) when he lost control. The car’s owner, Michael Power, was a passenger in the car and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  Det. Sgt. Michael Fitzharris tells Newsday that excessive speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.  Of the test drive, Fitzharris says, “I think it was probably just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the kid, and this man chose to give him this opportunity.” Shepard’s father, Gene, tells the newspaper that Lamborghinis were his son’s favorite car.





Culled from: The Associated Press
Submitted by: Aimee

If I knew any more about Great Gatsby I’d feel more confident in saying that this is a definite West Egg kind of happening. – Aimee

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 30, 2014

Today’s Jabbing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Account of the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 by American soldier Warner Hamlett:

When we got near the top of the cliff, I talked to Sergeant England who had been injured also. He told me I was pale, and I showed him my leg that was now swelling and turning different colors. My spine was sending jabbing pains through my body. Sergeant England told me to go back to the beach and get a medic to tag me so that I could be transported back to the big ship. The two of us returned to the beach. Thousands of bodies lined it. You could walk on the bodies, as far as you could see along the beach, without touching the ground. Parts of bodies floated, heads, arms, legs – and I stepped gently. Medics walked up and down the beach tagging the wounded.  I realized now what being in the first wave was all about.

Culled from: Day of Destiny: The Photographs of D-Day

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 29, 2014

Today’s Dishonorable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 892, Sigurd the Mighty, Viking leader in the Orkney Islands off Scotland, challenged his enemy, Mael Brigte the Bucktoothed, to a battle limited to forty men on each side. The challenge was accepted and Sigurd won the battle easily, probably because he’d deceived his enemy and showed up with eighty men instead of forty.  Sigurd took Mael Brigte’s head as a trophy and rode home with it strapped to his saddle, facing him. Mael Brigte was aptly named, and his big buck teeth scraped repeatedly against Sigurd’s leg on the trip home. The teeth left a bad laceration, which became infected. Sigurd the Mighty (and dishonest) died a few weeks later.

Culled from: Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader (Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader)
Submitted by: Aimee

That bites, doesn’t it? – Aimee

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 26, 2014

Today’s Off-Balance Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Park visitors since the earliest days have been curious about the water temperatures in thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park.  Even today they can often be seen bending down to touch the water.  The temptation to touch is almost irresistible.  That temptation proved to be the undoing of George H. Brown, 52, of Lampasas, Texas, on the afternoon of August 24, 1928.

Brown and his party approached a hot spring “immediately east of Excelsior Geyser” at Midway Geyser Basin, probably present Indigo Spring. While bending over to stick his hand into the water, he lost his balance and toppled into the spring which today measures around 200° F.  Brown was entirely submerged in the boiling water.  His two frantic sons managed to extricate him, scalding their arms in the process.  The unfortunate man was rushed toward the Mammoth hospital, but death occurred before he arrived there.  Brown was conscious for the four hours prior to his death.  He left a wife and nine children, and his funeral back in Lampasas was a major event.

Culled from: Death In Yellowstone

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 25, 2014

Today’s Tactless Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Cliff Hangers is one of the most popular games on the long-running American TV game show “The Price Is Right.” In this game, contestants try to guess the price of different products, and incorrect guesses cause a mountain climber to move higher on a fake mountain, to the accompaniment of silly yodelling music. If the guesses are too far off, the climbing figure falls off the top of the mountain. The little mountaineer has no official name, though the current host, Drew Carey, sometimes calls him Hans or the Yodelly Guy.

In 1977, Dennis James was substituting for regular host Bob Barker (one of only four shows Barker ever missed) and referred to the climber as Fritz. When a contestant’s wrong answers caused the climber to fall from the mountain, James yelled “There goes Fritz!” At this point, Janice Pennington, one of “Barker’s Beauties,” the models who helped display prizes, fled backstage where she cried for the rest of the taping.  James didn’t realize that Pennington’s husband, Fritz Stammberger, had recently disappeared while mountain climbing. Stammberger was never found and he is presumed dead.

Culled From: Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader (Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader)
Submitted by: Aimee

I don’t know who I feel sorriest for, Janice who was so tactlessly reminded of her husband’s fate, or Dennis, who obviously had no idea of the faux pas he was committing. – Aimee

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 24, 2014

Today’s Unimaginable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

It was an unimaginable crime. An adoptive mother accused of smothering her two daughters to death and storing their bodies in a freezer, and the only surviving child, just 7-years-old, who managed to escape her home after years of abuse.

The case began on September 26, 2008, when Lusby, Maryland, residents called 911 after finding a 7-year-old girl wandering the street, looking disheveled and wearing only a nightgown.

Court documents reveal that a medical examination at Calvert Memorial Hospital uncovered the 7-year-old girl had suffered severe child abuse, including “infected sores, open legions [sic], fresh and old injuries to her head, arms, and legs”. During an interview with detectives, the girl told authorities her adoptive mother, Renee Bowman, would beat her with a “blood soaked” shoe.

The girl told police Bowman locked her in her room on the night of September 26, 2008. Fearing her mother was going to kill her, she escaped by jumping out of her bedroom window. After surviving the jump, the girl said she went door-to-door in an attempt to find aid. At that time, she was only wearing a long T-shirt, which was soaked in blood and human feces.

After learning investigators had picked up her daughter, Bowman arrived at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and agreed to speak with them. During the interview, Bowman confessed to them that she had beaten her daughter with a hard-heeled shoe on several occasions.

Despite noticing her daughter’s wounds, Bowman told police she was afraid to take the girl to receive medical treatment because “she knew what she did was wrong and did not want to get in trouble,” according to court documents. Police said when they asked Bowman why these beatings occurred, she told them that she was angry over her daughter’s “mental capacity and that she was stressed out.” Investigators said Bowman told them that she “was out of control and needed help.”

The case, which was already disturbing enough, took an unexpected and shocking turn the following day when authorities executed a search warrant at Bowman’s residence looking for evidence of child abuse.

While investigative teams were searching Bowman’s home, police discovered two frozen bodies inside a freezer located in the basement. The freezer and its contents were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for further examination.

When authorities confronted Bowman about the freezer, police said she confessed to them that the remains encased inside were those of her two older adoptive daughters. Bowman stated to detectives that the bodies had been in the freezer since she moved from Rockville to Lusby in February 2008.

Court documents stated an examination of the remains by Assistant Medical Examiner Donna Vincenti positively identified the bodies as Bowman’s 9-year-old daughter, Minnet Cecilia Bowman, and her 7-year-old daughter, Jasmine Nicole Bowman.

An autopsy revealed the 9-year-old girl “suffered broken bones on the arms and hand prior to her death”. The 7-year-old victim suffered lacerations to her scalp. A medical examiner determined both girls died as a result of asphyxiation.

Police said Bowman’s live-in boyfriend, Joe Cephus Dickerson, told them that Bowman’s older daughter went missing from her Rockville, Maryland home just after Mother’s Day in 2006, and the younger girl disappeared about a month later. When he would ask Bowman where the girls were, he said Bowman told him they were living in another state with a friend.

Bowman’s surviving daughter told authorities that while they were living at their Rockville home, she and her sisters were locked in their room and not allowed to come out. The girls were forced to use a bucket in the bedroom to go to the bathroom. The 7-year-old told police that Bowman “beat and choked her sisters,” and they were already gone by the time they moved to Lusby.

According to a police press release, the investigation also revealed Bowman adopted all three of the girls and continued to collect over $152,000 in remittances from a District of Columbia agency, even after she killed the two older girls.

On January 8, 2010, Bowman was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree child abuse for the crimes against her surviving daughter in Calvert County.

Testifying at Bowman’s 2010 murder trial for the death of her two sisters, the surviving daughter repeatedly referred to Bowman as her “ex-mother,” The Washington Post reported. When prosecutors asked the girl how many times her mother choked her, she replied, “I can’t remember, because she did it so often that I couldn’t keep track.”

During the trial, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy played for jurors an audio tape of Bowman’s interview with Calvert police. “The first one, the oldest one, was wrapped in a blanket, with ice thrown on top,” Bowman told the detectives in the recording, obtained by The Washington Post. The second child “was probably wrapped up in a trash bag, a green trash bag,” Bowman said.

The Washington Post reported that Bowman’s defense attorney, Alan Drew, acknowledged during the trial that Bowman abused her children, but he suggested that at least one of the girls died from natural causes and that his client didn’t kill them.

In February 2010, a Montgomery County jury convicted Bowman of two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse in the first-degree for the murders of her two older daughters. She was sentenced to a total of two life sentences plus 75 years, without the possibility of parole.

“Renee Bowman’s crime was brutal almost beyond human comprehension,” McCarthy said in a press release. “Given the opportunity as an adoptive parent to change the lives of three children, she violated that trust in unimaginable ways,” he said.

Renee Bowman is currently serving her sentence at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, Maryland.

Culled from: HLN TV
Generously suggested by: Evonne

Morbid Fact Du Jour for August 23, 2014

Today’s Hesitant Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Yukitoshi Masuda, 13 years old, was doing fire prevention work under the Japanese student mobilization order, 400 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion in Nagasaki on August 10, 1945.  That morning, for the first time, he hesitated to go to work.  His mother soothed him and sent him out.  She regrets that to this day, wondering why he hesitated.  His body was never found.

Culled from: Nagasaki Journey: The Photographs of Yosuke Yamahata August 10, 1945


Morbid Automatons

Dave sends me an interesting link to a company that creates marvelous morbid automatons and props.  Well worth an explore, although most items are priced well out of the budget of the 99%.

Here’s an example of one of the amazing automatons called “Fusion”


There are trinkets that are semi-affordable too, on the Figures page.  Go have a morbid browse.  You owe it to yourself!