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The most horrible sites on the web.

Morbid Fact Du Jour for December 17, 2014

Today’s Frightful Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Excerpt from The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union by Avraham Shifrin (1980):

PSYCHIATRIC PRISONS IN LENINGRAD

Psychiatric Hospital No. 6
Twenty-five people are confined to a single room in this psychiatric prison, and walks are not permitted. “Patients” are subjected to beatings by the hospital attendants. Lev Konin, one of the inmates here (1978), has informed us that, as a means of punishment, the prisoners are bound in a wet straight jacket and then tied to a bed. When the straight jacket dries, it compresses the body with frightful force. Two sadistic physicians here are named Tsvetkov and Bobrova.

Culled from:  The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union by Avraham Shifrin

We have a similar punishment here in America: it’s called a drunk guy in tight Levi’s falling asleep in a tub.

 

Boredom Killer Du Jour!

Bored and blue with nothing to do?  Then why not read the New South Wales coroner reports? They are quite interesting, indeed!  Detailed accounts of everything from childhood morbid obesity to struck by bus, to self-inflicted gunshot, to “violent and unnatural death” of a homeless person.  A morbid thanks to Angela for sending them my way!

Coronial Findings

 

Fetography!

So last week a friend who had never been to Chicago visited and I made it my duty to show her the town. Of course, that meant going to some of the “touristy” places like theMuseum of Science and Industry. Since Body Worlds wasn’t in town (the only reason I’d ever gone there before), I wasn’t expecting to see anything particularly morbid, so I was delighted to find a huge collection of fetuses on display.  The ranged in development from blastocyst to full-term and they were collected in the 1930s (supposedly from “natural causes”).  I only had my iPhone with me, but I still tried to capture some of the glory of these little suspended animations.  I thought I’d share my favorites over the course of the next few newsletters.

Look – twins!!!  What shall we name them?

Morbid Fact Du Jour for December 9, 2014

Today’s Sad, Sordid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Joan Harrison was 26 years old but heavy drinking and hard living had made
her old before her time. In 1975 she was working at a homeless shelter in
Preston, England, and staying with her boyfriend, David, who wanted to marry
her. She hoped, in the vague way of the hard-core alcoholic, to be able to
regain custody of her children, who had been placed in the care of others.
On November 20, 1975, Joan Harrison slept off a bender at her workplace and
then headed for David’s apartment, where she asked him for more drinking
money. David refused and she left in a snit, heading to visit her friend
Pauline Storey. Joan was not a habitual prostitute, but she wasn’t one to
turn down a chance to earn a few pounds, so when she was approached by a man
in the street, she readily agreed to go with him to a disused garage, where
they transacted their business, and then her customer turned violent,
beating and kicking her to death.

Joan Harrison’s body was found a few days later, and for many years she was
believed to be a victim of the infamous Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.
It was only recently that DNA evidence pointed the finger at another man,
Christopher Smith.

Joan’s death led directly to another murder. When Pauline Storey was told
about her friend’s body being discovered, and learned that Joan had been on
the way to visit her, she was understandably upset. She gave the police as
much information as she could, and this in turn upset her own boyfriend,
James Plunkett. In the sad and sordid subculture inhabited by Joan and her
friends, cooperating with the police was not admired. Plunkett was further
angered when Pauline told him she planned to purchase a memorial ad in the
local newspaper; he considered Joan a worthless drunk and didn’t want any
money spent memorializing her. The couple argued, and it ended with the
eight-months-pregnant Pauline stabbing James Plunkett to death. She was
acquitted, however.

Culled From: Deliver Us From Evil by David Yallop
Submitted by: Aimee

An unexpected twist on the “violence begets more violence” theme, no? – Aimee

Here’s sad Joan Harrison:

And here’s wretched Christopher Smith:

 

 

Morbid Link Du Jour!

Kim sent me an excellent article about Caleb Wilde of Confessions of a Funeral Directorfame.  Well worth a read!

Death Becomes Him

 

Wretched Recommendation!

Lissa has a book recommendation for us:

“I recommend the book Never Suck a Dead Man’s Hand by former CSI Dana Kollmann. I just finished reading it and I am happy to report that it is, by far, the most graphic and frank book about what is really encountered at crime scene. For instance, the first case she worked independently was that of a man who had blown his own head off with a shotgun. The ceiling fan was on and Dana had to cover herself with anything she could find because of all the randomly flying brain bombs the fan was randomly depositing around the room. Before she left, the responding officers recommended she peek under the couch where a bright blue eyeball stared back at her.”

Sounds delightful, Lissa!  I’ll add it to my wish list.

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 28, 2014

Today’s Frozen Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Let’s talk some more about despicable Sigmund Rascher (12 February 1909 – 26 April 1945), a German SS doctor. His deadly experiments on humans, which were carried out in the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, were judged inhumane and criminal during the Nuremberg Trials.

To determine the most effective means for treating German pilots who had become severely chilled from ejecting into the ocean, or German soldiers who suffered extreme exposure on the Russian front, Rascher and others conducted freezing experiments at Dachau. For up to five hours at a time, they placed victims into vats of icy water, either in aviator suits or naked; they took others outside in the freezing cold and strapped them down naked. As the victims writhed in pain, foamed at the mouth, and lost consciousness, the doctors measured changes in the patients’ heart rate, body temperature, muscle reflexes, and other factors. When a prisoner’s internal body temperature fell to 79.7°F, the doctors tried rewarming him using hot sleeping bags, scalding baths, even naked women forced to copulate with the victim. Some 80 to 100 patients perished during these experiments.

Culled from: Nova

Rascher, on the right, during one of his freezing experiments:

My Brush With Morbidity by David Baker

“I grew up in Northern Vermont in a river valley that was sparsely populated.   There is a small cemetery a mile or so from my childhood home where a lot of local folks who are unaffiliated with any specific church choose to be buried.   It was adjacent to a small stable where a local man kept an old Morgan horse.  The kids in the neighborhood,  (All 4 of us on a five mile stretch of road.),  would occasionally meet by the old grave marker at the corner of the cemetery, feed the old horse sugar cubes, and plot our days activities.

“One spring morning I arrived early to feed the horse and wait for my friends and discovered a backhoe was parked next to road near the entrance to the cemetery.   I quickly scanned the graves and found an open grave had been dug and prepped for a funeral.  This sounds highly unlikely to anybody who understands liability and the dangers of leaving a six foot hole in the ground, but this was a rural, sparsely populated area, and the fellow from the septic company who owned the backhoe would return later in time for the funeral to wrap up.   It had always been this way.

“Shortly, my friends arrived and we all became entranced by the deep hole in the ground and pondered, in the ways children can anyway, our own mortalities.   As we stood there my friends dog, Max, began sniffing too closely to the edge which gave away enough for him to fall to the bottom.  Being young and constantly disciplined for our juvenile antics, we were keen to get Max out of the hole, and on our way home without anybody knowing.   One of us ran home to get a step ladder.  Meanwhile, Max was becoming increasingly irritated at being stuck in a hole in the ground and was trying to claw his way up the sides of the grave.

“This is how the adjacent casket was knocked loose.  Max, attempting to dig his way up the side of the grave collapsed the rotted side of the casket of “loving husband” who had been in the ground nearby hidden by only a couple inches of clay.   He had been in the ground long enough to cause three young boys and a german shepherd-yellow lab mix sudden heart attacks.   I remember seeing his grey suit, a waxy yellow head shaped object with no hair, a mud covered pillow, and one arm was wearing a silver wrist watch. The upper half of him drifted on it’s back on a mess of filthy water and slurched into the dirt of the open hole.  The bottom half of his body must have been caught on something as he only fell part way into the grave.  At this point one of us grabbed the ankles of the youngest boy who grabbed Max by his collar and nearly strangled him pulling him out.  Soon we were running thru the woods toward the brook gagging at the smell that had seemed to saturate everything.

“We spent the next three days in a terror that we were going to get caught. Not that we had done anything wrong, exactly.   But nothing ever came of it other than Austin’s father wondering ‘What road kill Max had gotten into this time’. The boy who had run for the ladder was convinced we were spooking him, but the stink on the dog was proof enough and prevented him from going back.  I can only guess that the fellow with the backhoe had decided it was an accident on his part and had ‘taken care of it’ somehow before the funeral.  Nothing was ever mentioned in the local paper, sewing circles, or other rumor mills. The three of us who had seen the body only mentioned it to each other in hushed tones in the privacy of late night campfires or sleepovers. Mustering the courage to visit a few years later I noticed that the date of the grave was from the late 1960s, which was odd considering there was no concrete vault for the casket and that it smelled so foul 20 years later in the age of embalming.

“Not that I’m a forensic expert, by any stretch.”

Some kids have all the luck! – DeSpair

Death and the Maiden

Z Constantine recommends a blog entitled “Death and the Maiden” which is all about…  you guessed it!

Death and the Maiden

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.)

MORBID MIRTH DU JOUR!

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

Monty Python: Undertaker’s Film

RIDE ACCIDENTS!

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 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)http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=theasylumeclecti&l=as2&o=1&a=0942363477

Ghastly!

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:

REDUCE YOUR RISKS OF ACCIDENTS.
TO BE HAPPY IN LIFE, REFUSE ANY IDEA
WHICH CONTAINS RISKS. BE VERY WATCHFUL !!

(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!

Last Words Of Airplane Crashes

Elizabeth sent me a fascinating list of the last words heard on cockpit voice recorders.  My top 10 favorite (in chronological order):

  1. We’re finished!
  2. Actually, these conditions don’t look very good at all, do they?
  3. Oh  #### this can’t be!
  4. Goodnight, Goodbye, We Perish!
  5. That’s it – I’m dead.
  6. Uh.. where are we?
  7. Mountains!!!
  8. What shit have they done?
  9. Damn it, we’re going to crash… This can’t be happening!
  10. F*ckkkkkk

Read them all yourself at PlaneCrashInfo.Com.

Small Town Noir

Mike Marano sent me a link to a fabulously entertaining small-town true crime website:  Small Town Noir.  This site presents mugshots from between the 1930’s and 1960’s that were rescued from a New Castle, Pennsylvania garbage can when the police department threw them away. (The fact that things like this happen fills my heart with despair.)   Thankfully, they were found before they were lost forever and are presented here for our entertainment, along with summaries of the crimes committed by their stars.  Thank GOODNESS!

Small Town Noir