Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 22, 2014

Today’s Officially Deemed Insane Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Thomas Creech (1659–found dead 19 July 1700) was an English translator of classical works, and headmaster of Sherborne School. Creech had long decided on suicide and wrote in the margin of his translation of Lucretius, ‘NB. I must remember to hang myself when I have finished my commentary.’ He did indeed hang himself, but not for another twenty years, during which time he translated the works of Horace. (Voltaire, who believed that one was less likely to commit suicide if one had enough to do, maintained that Creech would have lived longer had he been translating Ovid.) Although he was officially deemed insane, Creech’s death had a profound effect on the way in which suicide came to be regarded by the educated as melancholic.Culled from: Death: A History of Man’s Obsessions and Fears by Robert Wilkins

Vintage Nightmare Teeth!

Bruce Townley sent me this marvelous image of a horrific old dental teaching device.  It would make such a lovely addition to my bookshelf….

Arcane Excerpts!

Here’s an excerpt from another of my beloved crazy old vintage books:  Plain Facts for Young and Old by John Harvey Kellogg (of Corn Flakes fame), 1877.  This book discusses sex and reproduction in a moral manner.  And contains some choice tidbits, like this one in the “Nursing” section:”The lacteal secretion is influenced in a very remarkable manner by the mental conditions of the mother. By sudden emotions of grief or anger, it has been known to undergo such changes as to produce in the child a fit of indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, and even convulsions and death. Any medicine taken by the mother finds its way into the milk, and often affects the delicate system of the infant more than herself. This fact should be a warning to those nursing mothers who use stimulants. Cases are not uncommon in which delicate infants are kept in a state of intoxication for weeks by the use of alcoholic drinks by the mother. The popular notion that lager-beer, ale, wine, or alcohol in any other form, is in any degree necessary or beneficial to a nursing woman is a great error which cannot be too often noticed and condemned. Not only is the mother injured instead of being benefited by such practice, but great injury, sometimes life-long in its consequences, is inflicted upon the babe at her breast who takes the intoxicating poison at second hand, and is influenced in a fourfold degree from its feebleness and great susceptibility.”

So, keep in mind, nursing mothers: your bad mood can KILL!  And… drinking alcohol is a great way to take care of a fussy baby!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 21, 2014

Today’s Barely-Hanging-On Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On December 6, 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a munitions ship (the Mont Blanc) collided with a vessel in the Narrows of the harbor, triggering a catastrophic fire and explosion that destroyed much of the city, killed over 1,600 people and injured over 9,000. Many of the injured had been staring out the window at the burning vessel when it exploded, resulting in horrifying facial injuries from broken glass. Dr. George Cox, a local eye surgeon, operated for more than three straight days. Here is an excerpt about his efforts:

At Camp Hill, Cox was still standing over the operating table. He had been at the hospital for forty-five hours, operating straight for over thirty. He was rationing the chloroform for use on the worst cases. On Saturday afternoon alone he removed twenty-five eyes and threw them into a medical surgical bucket on the floor. By mid-afternoon it was full. The medical student in charge of gathering information, who had served beside Cox since his arrival, gently put down his tags, smiled at Cox, and fainted. Cox leaned over the table and saw the young student lying in a heap on the floor, looking like the patients he had worked on since Thursday night. It seemed like weeks had passed since then. He requested a replacement.

When Jack MacKeen, a soldier, returned to the hospital Saturday morning after sleeping several hours at home, he was summoned to Cox’s side. He made his way to the “busy eye ward,” where he walked between the rows of patients with gauze over their eyes and linen tags pinned to their chests. He had heard the rumors about eyes being removed without anesthetic, which made him apprehensive. At the end of the ward, two soldiers picked up a man on a stretcher and carried him through the makeshift door. MacKeen followed them behind the screen, where he got his first look at Cox, who was standing over a patient on the table. His wavy hair, which he tried so hard to keep neatly combed and parted, had fallen into loose curls. His smooth broad face looked as haggard as soldiers returning from the front. Next to him on a chair was the man who had been carried in on the stretcher. Half of his face was chopped open. A nurse administered chloroform at the end of the table. One of the original five nurses, she also looked exhausted. Cox caught the teenager’s glance at the surgical bucket and asked him to empty it. When MacKeen returned with a clean bucket, Cox ordered him to take charge of the tags, gathering the name and address of the patient, “the type of operations, etc.,” and they continued this way until sometime after supper when the nurse put down the chloroform cone. Her eyes looked heavy, as if she were having trouble making sense of the scene before her.  She could not go on. Cox looked over to MacKeen and told him to take over.

The nurse showed him how to place a metal-framed cone strung with ribbed-cotton gauze over the patient’s nose and mouth and then slowly drip the sweet-smelling chloroform onto the fabric until the patient slipped into unconsciousness. She monitored the patient’s pulse and his eyes carefully. Administering chloroform was no simple matter. Only trained doctors were supposed to administer it, and in America they were already switching to ether which was easier to control. The nurse left the teenage MacKeen and the soldiers lifted the man with a severely lacerated face onto the table. His nose hung upside down over his mouth and chin. Cox looked at him with curiosity. “Remarkable… the face had been cloven down slantwise from the bridge of the nose as if with a hatchet, going through the nasal cavities and antra, and the whole flap hanging forward.” He examined it from every angle, perplexed. What was left of the nose was swollen and inflated. The wound itself was clean. He picked up the flap and fit it perfectly onto the wound, but the man gasped for air. Cox pulled it back, fascinated. He had never seen anything like it, but he had an idea how to fix it.  Cox fed a tube through each nostril into the cavity and sewed the whole nose back onto the face. It was the only thing that he could think would work.  When he checked the patient several days later, he was pleased to find that it was healing.  “As if nothing had happened.” The man could breathe.

Culled from: Curse of the Narrows

I highly recommend this book, by the way. It’s fascinating and ghastly from start to finish!

Fifty Cents Of Death!

Jack sent me some photographs from the “good old days” before we knew that asbestos was bad for us! I’ll let Jack tell the story himself:

Death Before Duct Tape

One cannot watch late night cable TV without seeing the attorneys hocking their services to anyone who has come into contact with asbestos through their work or other activities.

Well, “back in the day” powdered asbestos was a common item at any hardware store. Before we had duct tape, asbestos was used to seal the ducts of home heating systems as well as other pipes that carried heated air.

You simply mixed your raw asbestos dust with a little water to create a paste, applied the paste to the joint you wished to seal and heated the paste until it hardened.

Imagine a mixing bowl of the dust, a large spoon and some water.

Who knew back then?

Note on the label the other toxic goodies this company sold AND the price. Only fifty cents for a whole container of death.

Just add water!

Let me guess that their former factory is now a major EPA clean-up site?

Death for Sale… only fifty cents!

Yay!  Powder to play with!

Joel-Peter Witkin: An Objective Eye

When I featured “The Kiss” by Joel-Peter Witkin the other day, I meant to mention that there is a documentary about Witkin that was released in 2013. I haven’t seen it yet, but plan to do so soon.  I did watch the trailer and it looks like an interesting view into the mind and spirit of one our greatest photographers.

Joel-Peter Witkin: An Objective Eye

Thanks to Katchaya for the reminder!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 20, 2014

So Charlie Manson is getting married…  which leads me to this embarrassing realization:

And it also leads me to reflect on the crimes that got Charlie locked up in the first place.  So let’s look back on the first of those crimes, the murder of Gary Hinman, with…

Today’s Blood-Stained Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On July 27, 1969, Gary Hinman, a 34-year-old music teacher, became the first victim of the Mansion Family.  Three Family members, Bobby Beusoleil, Mary Brunner and Sadie Mae Glutz, had been sent round to his house to collect some money that was owed.  They knew he had it – he ran a very profitable illegal drugs operation and the rumor was that he had just inherited $20,000 and had hidden it in his house on the Old Topanga Canyon Road, Los Angeles.

The three visitors argued with Hinman for two hours. Finally, Bobby Beausoleil lost patience, and pulled a gun – a 9mm Radom pistol. He handed it over to Sadie while he went to search the house. At that moment, Gary tried to escape and began struggling with Sadie. The gun went off, and the bullet ricocheted through the kitchen, embedding itself under the sink. Bobby ran back into the room, grabbed the gun, and hit Gary around the head with it.

They telephoned Charles Manson who came to the house himself, with Bruce Davis. Manson took a sword, which he used to cut Hinman’s ear, leaving a 5 in wound.  [5 inches? I think Charlie assaulted Dumbo! – DeSpair] He told Beausoleil to find out where the money was and then bring Hinman out to the ranch. He instructed the two girls to clean up his wounds.

Bobby, Mary and Sadie Mae tied Gary up and left him on the hearth rug while they ransacked the house. Mary Brunner then stitched up Hinman’s cuts with dental floss, wrapped his wounds in bandages and gave him something to drink. All they got out of him were the pink slips signing his two cars over to them.

At dawn, Gary Hinman ran for the window and began to scream for help., Bobby Beausoleil panicked and, seizing a knife, stabbed Hinman twice through the chest, leaving him to bleed to death. The three wiped away all their fingerprints (except one) and bundled up incriminating blood-stained clothes and bandages. Somebody stuck a finger in Gary Hinman’s blood and scrawled the words “Political Piggy” on the wall above his head, another daubed a crude version of a cat’s paw, the sign of the militant Black Panthers.

They had locked all the doors and were on their way out via the side window when they decided to climb back in and smother Hinman.

Hot-wiring Hinman’s VW minibus, they all drove home to Spahn Ranch, stopping off on the way at the Topanga Kitchen for coffee and cherry cake.

Culled from: Crimes and Punishment: The Illustrated Crime Encyclopedia, Volume 3

“Coffee and Cherry Cake.” Working title of “Helter Skelter”.  ;)

Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Well, it sold before I could get my hands on it…  but I couldn’t afford it anyway, so it’s not like it matters.  But still…  wouldn’t it be nifty to own an Original Victorian Era Cased Vampire Defense Set of Dr. W.M. Ramsey, St. John’s College Oxford – Circa 1886?   I think so too!  (Thanks to Woods Monkey for the link.)

International Military Antiques

Morbid Art!

Let’s reflect on the genius of Joel-Peter Witkin for a moment.

“The Kiss” – 1982

Who else would take a severed head, cut it in half, turn it so that it appeared to be kissing itself, photograph it and call it art? Well, I probably would, if I had a severed head handy. But those things aren’t readily available. At least not without getting in “trouble”. And come to think of it… he ruined a perfectly good severed head for art!  And a really creepy one at that. This is a morbid dilemma.  But… hey, cool pic, huh?

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 19, 2014

Today’s Redeemed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

He was among the most notorious criminals of his time, and certainly one of the most brutal. Henri Pranzini – tall, charming, and charismatic – was a life-long petty thief who took advantage of vulnerable women in nineteenth century France, a vice that eventually destroyed him.On the morning of March 17, 1887, the bodies of Marie Regnault, a prominent Parisian woman, her servant, Annette Gremeret, and the servant’s daughter, Marie, were all found lifeless in an apartment. The New York Times described the terrible scene:

Regnault . . . was found on the floor of her chamber dead, her throat cut and her body terribly mutilated. Lying near the door leading from the chamber to the drawing room was the dead body of Annette, whose throat had also been cut, and in her bed in another apartment was little Marie . . . her head almost severed from her body by the murderer’s knife. It was obvious that Annette had gone to the rescue . . . and had been struck down by the assassin, and that the little girl had been murdered to put out of the way the only other witness of the terrible crime.

The motive was robbery – in this case, lucrative jewelry. When he was caught several days later, Pranzini indignantly protested his innocence, but signs of his guilt were everywhere, and the evidence mounted. In July, a jury took only two hours to convict him of the triple-murder, and he was condemned to die in August.

Shocking as it was, Pranzini’s crime would have likely been forgotten, had it not been for an extraordinary French teenager. Therese Martin – later to become St. Therese of Lisieux, and made a Doctor of the Church – was just 14 at the time, but she felt compelled to intervene. As she recounts in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, she stormed Heaven for a man many thought beyond redemption:

Everything led to the belief that he would die impenitent. I wanted at all costs to keep him from falling into hell, and to succeed I employed all means imaginable, feeling that of myself I could do nothing. I offered to God all the infinite merits of Our Lord.

As Pranzini’s fate approached, Therese increased her prayers until he was brought before the guillotine on August 31. The next day, Therese read what happened in the paper and recorded how when he was about to put his head into the device, “he turned, took hold of the crucifix the priest was holding out to him, and kissed the sacred wounds three times! Then his soul went to receive the merciful sentence of him who declares that in heaven there will be more joy over one sinner who does penance than over ninety-nine who have no need of repentance!”

Therese was convinced her prayers had helped save the forsaken Pranzini from damnation. He became for her “mon premier enfant” – “my first child” – and the experience strengthened her conviction to become a Carmelite nun, and intercede for others in desperate need of God’s love.

Culled from: First Things

Anyone else find Therese annoying? These are the bodies of Annette Gremeret (the maid – top) and her daughter Marie (bottom). This is what Henri Pranzini did to them. Does anybody seriously think someone like this deserves “redemption”?

(Photo culled from the book Crime Album Stories.)


Undertaker Humor courtesy Monty Python (and Neil R. who sent me the link).

Monty Python: Undertaker’s Film


If you’re feeling bored and blue with nothing to do, why not head over to Ride Accidents?  At least it will make you feel better that you didn’t get thrown from the Airmaxx 360!  (Thanks to Chris for the link.)
The Dreaded Airmaxx 360: Avoid At All Costs!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 18, 2014

Today’s Chilling Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Built on the banks of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York in 1825, Sing Sing Prison already had become internationally famous by the time Alexis de Tocqueville visited it in 1831.  Much of the institution’s early success was due to brutal slavery, which helped make it profitable for a short time. By the late nineteenth century hundreds of convicts had perished, with causes of death ranging from consumption to starvation, suicide, and physical abuse, including water torture in the infamous shower bath, a non-electric and, usually, nonfatal precursor of the electric chair (and waterboarding) in which chilled water was released over the prisoner, who was strapped into a semi-seated position.  Legal executions at Sing Sing did not begin until 1891, using the new method of electrocution that recently had been tested at Sing Sing and first was used at another New York prison, Auburn, in 1890. During the first four decades of executions at Sing Sing, the death house consisted of a section of the prison that was appropriated as the Condemned Cells. But a rash of daring escapes, including the violent breakout of condemned murderer Oreste Shillitoni, who killed a prison guard and seriously wounded another before he was quickly recaptured and executed in 1916, prompted the construction of a special state-of-the-art prison within a prison: the Sing Sing “Death House”.Culled from: Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House

Here’s a photo of the infamous “shower bath”.

Water torture: an American tradition since 1825! 

Morbid Sightseeing!

It may not surprise you that back in 2003 when I went to New York for the first (and so far only) time, I had to stop by Sing Sing.  I was hoping I’d get a view of the original cell block but it’s hidden behind the walls.  I did get a few photos in before I got yelled at and turned my attention to the little Sing Sing Museum instead.  If you’re interested, here’s my cheap holiday in other people’s misery!

Sing Sing Your Life!


Another slice of gruesomeness guaranteed to ruin your day!  This time a poor fellow I believe in Malaysia has a most unfortunate meeting with a train while attempting (and failing) at suicide. And judging by the reaction of the onlookers, remind me to never injure myself in Malaysia.  (Thanks to Katchaya for the link.)Oh Gawd, The Humanity!!!!!!!!!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 17, 2014


Today’s Brutal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On November 13, 1982, thousands of boxing fans gathered at a ring outside Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and millions more tuned in on CBS, to watch the much-publicized match between two up-and-coming young lightweight (maximum weight, 135 pounds) champions. Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was to face off against South Korean Kim Duk-Koo.  [I always thought his name was Duk Koo Kim?  If Mark Kozelek says so, how can it be wrong? – Comtesse]

Both had impressive credentials, but a lot was riding on this match, and both took it very seriously. Mancini likened it to a war, and Kim was quoted as saying “Either he dies or I do.” He also wrote “Live or die” (mistranslated in the press later as “Kill or be killed.”)

The fight quickly turned brutal. Kim laid open Mancini’s ear and gave him a black eye that would swell completely shut by the time it was all over. Mancini, for his part, punched at Kim hard enough to cause his own hand to swell up to twice its normal size. At the beginning of the thirteenth round, Mancini charged at Kim with a furious burst of 39 punches, sending him staggering.

As the match entered the 14th round, Mancini landed a right, a left, and as Kim reeled back, another right that sent Kim flying into the ropes. He fell and struck his head hard on the canvas. Incredibly, Kim made a great effort to pull himself up to his feet, but referee Richard Green finally stopped the fight and Mancini was declared the winner by TKO as Kim slipped into a coma.

Kim was rushed from the arena to a nearby hospital, where it was determined that he had a massive hematoma on his brain. Emergency brain surgery was performed, but Kim died without regaining consciousness four days later. His mother rushed from South Korea to be with him when he died, and three months later she would take her own life by swallowing a bottle of pesticide. Referee Richard Green was also devastated by the death that had occurred on his watch, and less than a year later he too would commit suicide. Ray Mancini, according to friends, was never the same again, though he did return to boxing for a time.

The death of Kim Duk-Koo led to changes in pro boxing matches, such as limiting them to twelve rounds and adding an extra rope to keep fighters from being knocked out of the ring. Since Kim’s fatal fight had been carried live on network TV, many viewers were extremely upset at how bloody it became, and this is a major reason why the networks stopped carrying live matches.

Culled from: Wikipedia
Submitted by: Aimee

And the final, fatal round of the Mancini/Kim fight is here if you want to see it.  – Aimee

Of course, there have been other fatalities in the ring before and after Duk-Koo Kim.  I just watched video of a kickfighting tragedy that occurred in Milwaukee in March of this year, and it’s truly amazing that the doctor, the ref, and the coach of the fighter didn’t stop the fight earlier.  It might have saved this kid’s life.  You can watch it here.  – Comtesse


One of my favorite books is Car Crashes and Other Sad Stories by Anaheim photographer Mell Kilpatrick. It’s a collection of car crash photos from the 40’s and 50’s, often with corpses still strewn across the enormous interior (or out of it, since there were no seat belts in those days). It combines my love of old cars with my love of morbidity and is the perfect ambulance chaser book! Anyway, I thought I’d start sharing images from the book occasionally. This one is simply entitled “Rt 101 and Crystal Grove”.

Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

It’s not always mirthful – sometimes it’s deadly serious – but Rea recommends the brilliant photographic comic strip A Softer World:

“If you are not familiar with the webcomic, A Softer World, I highly recommend it. Not all are so morbid as the one linked [below] (and some even verge on, dare I say, optimistic?), but most have a bit of delightful cynicism characteristic of MFDJ.”

And Speaking of Suicide Notes…

My brilliant cyberfriend Jack Mord – who runs the exquisite Thanatos Archive of post-mortem and funeral photography – has a recent addition to his collection:  a 19th century suicide note.  It fascinates me both for the sad content and the beautiful penmanship.  Hey, penmanship matters, you net-hounds!  Here’s an image of the note, along with the transcription for those who never learned how to read cursive (net-hounds).

“This night I am a’going to leave this world and in hopes to find a better world than this. For my trouble is more than I can bear – may the Lord have mercy on my Soul. Good Bye.”

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 16, 2014

Today’s Dislodged Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man delivering drywall to a construction site in Jersey City was killed when a one-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him. The tape measure had become dislodged from construction worker’s belt, Carly Baldwin, a spokeswoman for Jersey City Public Safety said. The victim, Gary Anderson of Somerdale, N.J., was an independent contractor for a New York trucking company, George Hildebrandt Inc. He was at the site, where two 50-story residential towers are under construction in downtown Jersey City, to make a delivery of National Gypsum drywall. The tape measure bounced off construction equipment before hitting Anderson in the head. Police said he was not wearing a hard hat at the time. Upon preliminary investigation, it appears to be a very tragic accident, Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said. Work at the site was halted after the accident. Anderson was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center at 10 a.m. on November 3, 2014.

Culled From: UPI
Submitted by: Aimee

Supposedly it isn’t true that a penny dropped from the Empire State Building will kill you if it hits you on the head, but after this story, does anybody really want to test it? – Aimee

Morbid Must-Have!

The ever-marvelous Jack Mord of the Thanatos Archive of post-mortem and mourning photography has the best news I’ve heard in a long time:  they’re releasing a book!  And it’s cheap too!!!  Get out there and pre-order you copy before it’s gone!!!  I’ve already ordered mine.  Supplies are limited!  (In the interest of full disclosure: the Amazon links that I share with you are tied to my associates ID and the funds that I earn go towards purchasing books used for the newsletter.)

Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem & Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive

My Phone: 100% More Evil!

This is my cat.  His name is Evil.  Can you see why?  The irony is that, appearances aside, he is the sweetest cat I have ever known.

Morbid Sightseeing!

In addition to the aforementioned Victorian mourning exhibit Death Becomes Her in New York (which runs through February 1, 2015), there’s another exhibit currently underway at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto (running through June 30, 2016) that sounds most enticing!  Hyperallergic has a great preview of the exhibit.

Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 15, 2014

Today’s Belated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Excerpt from the Report of the Mine Inspector of Houghton County, Michigan, For the Year Ending September 30, 1898.  (Josiah Hall, Mine Inspector.)Accident No. 25. – At the Atlantic mine, September 28th, Sacris Niskonen, a Finish trammer, was fatally injured.  Niskonen was working at the 20th level north of No. 3 shaft, when a piece of hanging rock fell from under the stull timber, striking him upon the back while he was leaning over the ear.  The force of the blow inflicted internal injuries from which he died about 12 hours later.  At the time of the accident it was not considered serious as there were no external signs of serious injury. 

Culled from: Some fatal accidents in the Atlantic, Baltic, Champion, Trimountain, and Winona copper mines (A local history series)


A teenage boy attempts to jump over a cement and metal fishing pier into the water.  He misses and his face connects with the edge of the pier.  And the injury he receives is one of the most ghastly things I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, if you are remotely squeamish, do not watch this video!The rest of you sickos, enjoy.  And remember, as the video warns:


(Hmmmm… that might make a nice t-shirt…  )

Face Split Diving Accident Video

a.k.a. Owie, Owie, Ow, Ow, OWWWWW!!!

Thanks to Kyle for the link.

The Human Marvels!

Who doesn’t love freaks, geeks, and human oddities?  And at The Human Marvels you can learn all about the sideshow heroes of the past!  And considering we do everything we can these days to make our freaks “normal” (separating conjoined twins, removing extra appendages, etc.), these unique individuals are even more treasured today!

The Human Marvels

Thanks to Robert for the link!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 14, 2014

Today’s Severely Lashed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Here is another little tale of Christian Martyrdom from the classic of the genre, Fox’s Book of Martyrs (1848).  These acts allegedly occurred during the Fifth Persecution, under Severus, A. D. 192:Perpetua, a married lady, of about twenty-two years. Those who suffered with her were, Felicitas, a married lady, big with child at the time of her being apprehended; and Revocatus, catechumen of Carthage, and a slave. The names of the other prisoners, destined to suffer upon this occasion, were Saturninus, Secundulus and Satur. On the day appointed for their execution, they were led to the amphitheatre. Satur, Saturninus, and Revocatus, were ordered to run the gauntlet between the hunters, or such as had the care of the wild beasts. The hunters being drawn up in two ranks, they ran between, and were severely lashed as they passed. Felicitas and Perpetua were stripped, in order to be thrown to a mad bull, which made his first attack upon Perpetua, and stunned her; he then darted at Felicitas, and gored her dreadfully; but not killing them, the executioner did that office with a sword. Revocatus and Satur were destroyed by wild beasts; Saturninus was beheaded; and Secundulus died in prison. These executions were in the year 205, on the 8th day of March.Culled from: Fox’s Book of Martyrs
Generously suggested by: Louise

Another Forlorn Halloween

As per usual, I didn’t do anything on Halloween.  Except watch the storm outside.  In any event, I had created my own burlap Depression-Era Creepy Chic costume, so I thought at the very least I’d share it with you guys.  Who knows?  Maybe some year I’ll actually have something to do on Halloween that doesn’t involve sitting around at home in the dark staring out the window at windblown trees or watching wax hands melt on the coffee table (though both are highly underrated activities) – and I can use it to frighten more than just my cats?

Grim Apps!

Okay, morbid anatomy lovers (and iPhone users): here’s the perfect app for you!  It’s a pocket cadaver (i.e. a virtual dissection app) on your phone!  Imagine the morbid mirth you can have on the train or on the plane, as you peel away the layers of skin and muscle, all the time making sure that the people sitting next to you can see what you’re doing and are suitably appalled!  It’s a bit spendy ($9.99) so I haven’t purchased a copy yet (next payday), but it gets rave reviews on the Apple Store.Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent for Android.  Sorry…
Anatomy Lab AppsThank you to Nadja via the marvelous website Street Anatomy for the link!

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 13, 2014

Today’s Looted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Lauda Air company, based in Austria, was set up by the former world motor racing champion Niki Lauda.  It operated regular services to the Far East, and on Sunday, May 26, 1991 one of its Boeing 767s took off from Hong Kong bound for Vienna.  The aircraft made a routine stop in Bangkok, the Thai capital, and took to the air again carrying 213 passengers and ten crew.The 767, Flight NG004, headed northwest but when it had gone only about 120 miles, about 15 minutes after take-off, all contact with it was lost.  There was no emergency call or other indication of trouble from the aircraft.  Shortly afterwards reports were received of a blazing aircraft crashing into an area of bamboo jungle 1500 feet up on a hillside.

All on board were killed.  The passengers were of mixed nationality, and included 74 Austrians, 52 Hong Kong Chinese and 39 Thais.  Also on board was Don McIntosh, a 43-year-old British drug control agent working for the United Nations.  He was based in Bangkok, working on the eradication of heroin trafficking in the area, and it was suggested that he might have been the target for a bomb attack.

Debris from the crash was spread over a large area, and police and rescue services reported that their efforts were hampered by large numbers of people who went to the crash site to loot the wreckage for clothing, valuables, and anything else they could find.  The search for bodies was also made difficult by the terrain.  The fact that debris was so widespread is further indication that an explosion occurred, and that the aircraft was crippled instantly.   However flight data recorder evidence revealed that the thrust reverser was deployed during the flight, which resulted in the plane taking an immediate left diving turn.  The unsuspecting flight crew were unable to compensate, and the plane went into a diving speed of .99 mach, which may have broken the sound barrier, and which caused the plane to break-up during its descent.

This was the worst disaster recorded in Thai air space and the worst loss of life for a 767.

Culled from: Catastrophes and Disasters

The transcript of the last moments of the doomed flight can be read at the CVR Database.

Dreams and Hallucinations

I have some exciting news to share with you all!  For the first time, the Comtesse has had a photograph accepted into a juried show!  The show is entitled Dreams and Hallucinations and will be held at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont from December 4-28, 2014.  I won’t be able to attend, but if you live nearby perhaps you can stop in?  The photo was submitted under the nom de mundane “Angela Larson” but pay that no mind!Here’s the image – it’s entitled “Running for Shelter”.  (Note: I am thinking of selling limited edition, signed prints of this image to help fund the running of the newsletter.  I’ll keep you posted.)

Check out the other submissions – they’re all pretty awesome.
Dreams and Hallucinations

Morbid Art Du Jour!

Okay, this is actually an old link, and there are more recent examples of Altered Barbies, but I still think these 2009 examples are among the best entries of the Altered Barbie exhibit I’ve yet seen.  Barbiturate Barbie just seems so right.
7th Annual Altered Barbie Competition

Thanks to Robert for the link!