Category Archives: Photography

Morbid Fact Du Jour for January 27, 2016

Today’s Royal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

King Faisal ascended to the throne of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1964, and became a controversial but popular leader. He was well-educated and well-traveled, a prudent financial manager and an effective diplomat. He instituted many progressive reforms within his country, abolishing slavery, creating welfare programs and providing for female education. He was astute enough to couch his more liberal policies in a religious context to satisfy the most conservative Islamic authorities in the kingdom.

There were widespread protests when Saudi Arabia’s first television network began broadcasting in 1965, with conservatives believing that television was in direct opposition to the Koranic ban of human images. In 1967, Prince Khalid Bin Musa-Id, the king’s nephew, stormed Saudi TV headquarters and was shot and killed by security guards.

Khalid’s brother Faisal Bin Musaid spent several years studying in the United States, where he was known as a likable young man who was a poor student and dabbled in drugs. He returned to Saudi Aarabia and supposedly told his mother of his plan to assassinate his uncle, the king, blaming him for his brother’s death. She in turn told the king of the plot and he replied that if such a thing happened, it would be Allah’s will.

On March 25, 1975, King Faisal was holding a majlis, meaning he made himself available in his palace to hear petitions from his subjects. Prince Faisal approached the king, who recognized him and leaned down to kiss him in greeting. Prince Faisal pulled a gun from his robe and fired three shots, two of them hitting the king in the head and one missing. A bodyguard struck the prince with his golden sword, still in its sheath, and the oil minister, also present, cried out several times not to kill the prince. King Faisal was rushed to the hospital, where he was given a heart massage and blood transfusions. He reportedly asked that his nephew not be executed, and then died.

Prince Faisal was at first declared insane but a team of doctors who examined him found him competent. He was convicted of the regicide and just three months after the murder, he was publicly beheaded in Riyadh. His execution, like the killing of the king, was carried live on Saudi TV. There is a widespread belief in Saudi Arabia and much of the Arab world that Prince Faisal acted not to avenge his brother, but rather was a pawn of a Western conspiracy involving the CIA, over oil boycotts, but nothing has been definitively proven on that score.

Kids these days, eh?

Culled From: Wikipedia
Submitted by: Aimee

I don’t imagine the good king would have been happy to know that his dying request that his nephew’s life be spared was ignored. – Aimee


Holocaust Revisited

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I thought I’d share my travelogue to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany.

Nineteen Thirty-Sick

Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 7, 2015

Today’s Candied Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The last meal of Walter Stewart, who was convicted of fatally shooting two men in a 1980 Berwyn jewelry store robbery, and executed on November 19, 1997 in Illinois by lethal injection:

Fried pork chops with Tabasco sauce, candied yams, string beans, black-eyed peas, fried corn bread, peach cobbler and papaya-orange juice.

Walter Stewart, dead at 42

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


Forlorn Photography: Farmhouse Edition

I’ve updated my Forlorn Photography website with a new collection of photos taken in an abandoned farmhouse.  Enjoy!

Lois’ House

Morbid Fact Du Jour for July 30, 2015

Today’s Deceptive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Al Capone, a brutally raw man in his twenties, became crime overlord of Chicago during the 1920s. His power was disputed by the Irish gangs of Chicago’s North side. Their leader, Dion O’Banion, a florist, had been shot on Capone’s orders in his shop in 1924. What remained of his gang had passed under the control, in 1929, of George ‘Bugs’ Moran.

On February 14, 1929, a snowy St. Valentine’s Day, six of Moran’s men were in the garage of the SMC Cartage Company at 2122 North Clark Street awaiting what they thought was a consignment of hijacked Canadian whiskey. Also present was Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer, an optometrist, who appears to have been a ‘groupie’ of the gangsters. Moran was expected, but he had overslept and was late.

When men dressed as policemen entered, the Moran men thought it was a police raid and allowed themselves to be lined up with their faces to the wall. More men, carrying machine guns, then entered and mowed them down. The killers left with the suspects they had “arrested” still believing their captors to be policemen.

One of the Moran men, Frank Gusenberg, was alive when found by real policemen, but died later in the hospital. In traditional gangland style he refused to name his killers. They were never identified, but there is no doubt they were henchmen of Capone. He himself was in Miami, ostentatiously keeping an appointment with an official, when the massacre happened. However, as Moran said, ‘Only Capone kills like that.’  Moran had arrived at the garage, seen the murderer’s car outside the garage, and promptly departed. He died in prison in 1957.

Culled from: Crimes and Punishment: The Illustrated Crime Encyclopedia, Volume 22

So I decided to pay an impromptu visit to the site of the SMC Cartage Company warehouse.  Of course, in the grand Chicago tradition of ruining every interesting morbid thing, the warehouse was demolished in 1967.  The bullet-marked portion of wall where the massacre occurred was removed, and was reinstalled in the men’s room of a Canadian restaurant for awhile (how sexist!), and eventually most of the bricks were sold to the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Suffice to say, there isn’t a lot of interest left where the warehouse once stood… but I was pleased to see that the building adjacent to the warehouse still stands so you can vividly imagine where it was.  Here are a couple shots of the warehouse building at the time of the massacre:

And here’s what the site looks like today – no plaque even!  Chicago, you disappoint me so…  It’s almost like you’re embarrassed by your ghastly history!

See, there’s the building with the pillars from the pics… but there’s nothing left of the precious warehouse.  Oh, my poor sad heart…

The patch of grass where the warehouse once stood.  Sniffle.

Of course, I could have just settled for the Google Maps street view of the scene – it turned out better than my lousy phone pics… but I had to experience the atmosphere myself, being a morbid sightseer and all.  And it reeks of joggers, Starbucks-sipping stroller pushers, and labradoodles wearing boutique collars.  Like all of this neighborhood.

And here’s the better Google Maps shot, complete with someone sitting on the stoop touching her phone, completely unaware (I would imagine) that six men were slaughtered only feet away from her! Well, I guess that’s not very unusual in Chicago, come to think of it…


Forlorn Photography: Fragrant Factory Edition

And speaking of pointless photography, I put up a collection of photos I took at an abandoned factory in Illinois three years ago on my Forlorn Photography website. Please have a look if you’re interested in that sort of thing!

The Fragrant Factory

Morbid Fact Du Jour for April 16, 2015

Today’s Brief and Brutal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Prior to the implementation of nitrogen production plants, Germany relied on shipments of nitrate from South America for fertilizer and for weapon production. This led to one of the stranger moments of World War I when, on November 1, 1914, the first major sea battle of the war began – halfway around the world from Germany and France, off the coast of Chile. It was brief and brutal. In heavy seas, with darkness falling, a squadron of Germany’s most modern warships led by Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee engaged and sank several older, badly outgunned British warships. The battle continued by moonlight, with the Germans aiming at the fires that were burning on the British ships. The British lost two cruisers and sixteen hundred sailors and officers. The Germans did not lose a ship; their casuaties totaled two wounded. It was the Royal Navy’s first significant defeat since the days of Napoleon.

More important than the blow to British pride was the practical result: The Germans, during the critical early months of the war, cleared the British navy from west coast of South America. Germany, at least for the moment, controlled the shipment of nitrates from Chile. Spee’s success was so total, the German danger to British shipping so great, that insurers refused to extend coverage to British nitrate ships. The British depended on the Chile trade for their gunpowder and explosives too, and Spee’s imposition of what amounted to a German blockade started exerting a slow stranglehold on the United Kingdom’s war-making capability. As a U.S. military expert of the day said, “To strike at the source of the Allied nitrate supply was to paralyze the armies in France. The destruction of a nitrate carrier was a greater blow to the Allies than the loss of a battleship.”

It provided Germany a respite while the government raced to get its own nitrate plants started. But it did not last long. Within weeks the Allies dispatched a powerful squadron to hunt down Spee. Knowing that superior forces were en route and that any help from home would arrive too late, the admiral tried to make a dash back to Germany while he still could, leading his ships around Cape Horn, heading for the north Atlantic. On the way he needed fuel, which led to a raid the British coal bunkers in the Falklands. It was a move the British had foreseen. On December 8, 1914, the British opened fire and blew the Germans from the sea. Among the nearly two thousand dead were Spee and two of his sons.

Culled from: The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

Here’s the somewhat sinister looking Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spree himself:


The Worst Of Germany

And speaking of old Deutschland, I finally finished my travelogue on the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany which I visited last July.  As I was putting the finishing touches on the travelogue, I stumbled across this photograph in a book:

This image depicts SA men publicly humiliating Hermann Weidemann, a local council member for the SPD (Social Democratic Party – i.e., enemies of the Nazis) who had been taken into “protective custody”, Hofgeismar, May 2, 1933.  Like many of his political co-horts, Hermann was sent to the Oranienburg Concentration Camp (which later evolved into the larger Sachsenhausen Camp) in 1933. Unlike many, he survived his incarceration – having endured over a decade (1933-1944) in unimaginable horror.  As someone who doubts I could survive even a week in such conditions, I am impressed by his strength and character – as well as the strength and character of every survivor of concentration camps. It’s to those resilient survivors that I dedicate this travelogue. “Enjoy.”

European DeSpair, Day Four, Part Two: Nineteen Thirty-Sick! 16

Morbid Fact Du Jour for April 13, 2015

Today’s Liberal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Frederick III (18 October 1831 – 15 June 1888) was German Emperor and King of Prussia for 99 days in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl, known informally as Fritz, was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family’s tradition of military service. Although celebrated as a young man for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he nevertheless professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. On Wilhelm’s death at the age of 90 on 9 March 1888, the throne passed to Frederick, who had by then been Crown Prince for 27 years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx when he died on 15 June 1888, aged 56, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition.

By the time he ascended the throne, Frederick was 56 years old and suffering from a debilitating cancer of the larynx. He viewed his illness with dismay, crying “To think I should have such a horrid disgusting illness … I had so hoped to have been of use to my country.” He received conflicting medical advice regarding treatment. In Germany, Doctor Ernst von Bergmann proposed to remove the larynx completely, but his colleague, Doctor Rudolf Virchow, disagreed; such an operation had never been performed without the death of the patient. The British doctor Sir Morell Mackenzie, who had diagnosed the cancer, advised a tracheotomy, to which Frederick and his wife agreed. On 8 February, a month before his father died, a cannula was fitted to allow Frederick to breathe; for the remainder of his life he was unable to speak and often communicated through writing.  During the operation, Dr. Bergmann almost killed him by missing the incision in the trachea and forcing the cannula into the wrong place. Frederick started to cough and bleed, and Bergmann placed his forefinger into the wound to enlarge it. The bleeding subsided after two hours, but Bergmann’s actions resulted in an abscess in Frederick’s neck, producing pus which gave the new Emperor discomfort for the remaining months of his life. Later, Frederick would ask “Why did Bergmann put his finger in my throat?” and complain that “Bergmann ill-treated [me]”. The diagnosis and treatment of Prince Frederick’s fatal illness caused some medical controversy well into the next century.

In spite of his illness, Frederick did his best to fulfill his obligations as Emperor. Immediately after the announcement of his accession, he took the ribbon and star of his Order of the Black Eagle from his jacket and pinned it on the dress of his wife; he was determined to honor her position as Empress. As the German Emperor, he officially received Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (his mother-in-law) and King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, and attended the wedding of his son Prince Henry to his niece Princess Irene. However, Frederick reigned for only 99 days, and was unable to bring about much lasting change. An edict he penned before he ascended to the throne that would limit the powers of the chancellor and monarch under the constitution was never put into effect, although he did force Robert von Puttkamer to resign as Prussian Minister of the Interior on 8 June, when evidence indicated that Puttkamer had interfered in the Reichstag elections. Dr. Mackenzie wrote that the Emperor had “an almost overwhelming sense of the duties of his position”. In a letter to Lord Napier, Empress Victoria wrote “The Emperor is able to attend to his business, and do a great deal, but not being able to speak is, of course, most trying.” Frederick had the fervour but not the time to accomplish his desires, lamenting in May 1888, “I cannot die … What would happen to Germany?”

Frederick III died in Potsdam on 15 June 1888, and was succeeded by his 29-year-old son Wilhelm II. Frederick is buried in a mausoleum attached to the Friedenskirche in Potsdam.After his death, William Ewart Gladstone described him as the “Barbarossa of German liberalism”. Empress Victoria went on to continue spreading Frederick’s thoughts and ideals throughout Germany, but no longer had power within the government.

Culled from: Wikipedia

And, of course, we all know what happened to Germany…  🙁

How I Spent My Saturday

Here in Illinois, deadly tornadoes have become an annual thing, what with Mother Nature’s increasingly violent mood swings. Living close to the lake shore here in Chicago, I haven’t had any close calls with any tornadoes, but people living in the middle of the state have not been so lucky. A pair of tornadoes touched down last Thursday, resulting in two deaths and many shattered lives. I’ve always wanted to see tornado damage first hand, so when a friend mentioned she was going to be volunteering to help with the storm clean-up on Saturday, I offered to go with her.

We started out trying to volunteer at the Summerfield Zoo, which had lost most of its fences during the storm. However, when we were very rudely yelled at for saying hello to the caged wolves (who, it must be noticed, wagged their tails and seemed very happy to see us), we decided to head to the city of Rochelle (Middle Of Nowhere, Illinois) to join their volunteer efforts instead. There were about 650 volunteers there, being led by something called Operation Blessing. Though I could care less who is overseeing the efforts, being an atheist, I wasn’t too thrilled to see that they were handing out free ‘Operation Blessing’ t-shirts to the participants, but I was relieved to find that they had run out of shirts by the time we arrived. Whew!

We made friends with a few people who arrived at the same time we did and split off into groups of 20.  As we awaited our captain to return with our marching orders instructing us which disaster zone we were to head to, we visited with the golden retriever “comfort dogs” supplied by the Lutheran Church.

Eventually, we got our orders: we were to report to duty at Grubsteakers Restaurant.  We split off from the group to drive over and meet them there.  However, when we arrived, our group was nowhere to be found.  We wandered all over the area, but we could not find a single member of our group. In the end, we just kind of became adopted members of a couple of other groups.

The storm damage was pretty amazing to see.  Everything was covered in brown mud, most of the houses were bare down to the foundation, and the landscape was peppered with pieces of machinery and corrugated metal that had been blown from gawd knows where.  This is what Grubsteakers looked like before the storm:

And this is how it looked when we arrived:

Evidence of the storm’s ferocity was all around us.  The cars were all destroyed in one way or another.  This truck had been impaled by a tree limb.

We went around the back side of Grubsteakers and were getting ready to start hauling debris to the dumpsters when we ran across this adorable little cat.  Someone else picked her up and told us that she was a stray that lived at the restaurant and she had two kittens before the storm. One kitten had already been collected and taken to a vet clinic in Oregon, IL (I know, I didn’t know there was an Oregon, Illinois either!) and they wanted someone to take the cat to be reunited with her kitten. We volunteered to take her and she was a perfect little angel riding on my lap all the way to the clinic (about a 15 minute drive). We took her in and we were told that her kitten was severely injured (a mangled leg) and they weren’t sure if he/she was going to make it or not but they reunited the mother cat with her kitten.

After we returned to Grubsteakers, we wanted to go down into the basement to see if the kitten was down there because that’s where the mother cat was hanging around, but they wouldn’t let us go down there because it’s “too dangerous”.  (“Oh, puh-leeze!” we thought. “We have been in waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more dangerous buildings that this!”) When the tornado hit, 12-14 (depending on which number you believe) people rode it out in this basement. (See the entrance at the bottom of the below image. You can see kitchen supplies unscathed too.)

After being foiled in our kitten rescue attempt, we went around to the front of the building and started entering it and removing debris and potentially sentimental items and giving them to the owner. We noticed a huge amount of blood all over the floor and the walls. A teenager told us that someone had smashed through the glass during the tornado in an attempt to rob the place. That makes absolutely no sense to me, but I can’t seem to find the *real* story anywhere, so that’s the best I have. In any event, the bloody hand prints and blood-stained glass was pretty gruesome.

Soon thereafter we were told that we could not enter the building under any circumstance! And a couple minutes later we noticed a huge group of men entering the building to continue to work on the clean-up. Sexist/hypocritical bastards. So we decided to leave Grubsteakers and head down the street to the sad remains of the houses that had once stood there and see if our services could be better used there.

Here’s the first house – before (Google Maps – it’s that white house in amongst the trees) and after shots.

The second house – before and after:

Finally we arrived at a home where we could proceed with assisting the daughter of the man who had lived there. She instructed us to look for salvageable items – and being a staunch sentimentalist I started raking through the debris looking for photographs and other such things. I was happy that I was able to find quite a few. The house was completely gone – down to the foundation. We never did hear the story of how her father survived the storm. I was filled with thoughts of how trivial possessions are and how I needed to finish digitizing my family archives so that a fire could not take the photographs and memorabilia away.



It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me, and while I still would love to be a storm-chaser, I’m definitely a bit more wary of the chase now. And a bit more apprehensive of the devastating power of nature.

A board driven in the earth.

Morbid Fact Du Jour for February 26, 2015

Today’s Miscued Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In 1997, during a stag party in Consenza, Italy, revelers were puzzled as to why the evening’s entertainer, stripper Gina Lalapola, 23, failed to jump out of a wooden cake as planned. When they were able to get the cake open, they discovered that she had suffocated inside it, apparently while waiting for her cue.

Culled from: 5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists
Submitted by: Aimee

Doesn’t that just take the cake? – Aimee


More Eastland Disaster Footage!

Additional footage of Chicago’s infamous Eastland Disaster has been discovered!  And this is much more graphic than the last footage – as it shows bodies being recovered. What a grim task that must have been…

Body of Girl Taken From Deck


A Lovely Bone House

Howard sent me an article about Austrian photographer Paul Kranzler who has been documenting a beinhaus (“bone house”) in the village of Hallstatt.   Why can’t we have nice things like this in America???

The Bone House

Morbid Fact Du Jour for January 31, 2015

Today’s Overcrowded Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Trapped between the sea and steep hills, Hong Kong is one of the most overcrowded cities in the world, and its murder rate has always been high. After World War II, the population quickly rocketed from half a million to more than two and a half million. Consequently, there was a terrifying wave of gang murders – murders so atrocious that the police speak of them as the work of “horror cults”.

In 1958, there were more than 900 murders – five times the American murder rate, and 150 times the English. These “horror cults” are, in fact, Chinese “tongs”, or “Triad Societies”. (The earliest tongs were called “Three Harmonies Societies”.) Like their American counterpart, the Mafia, they operate prostitution, drugs rackets, protection, and extortion. But their methods of ensuring obedience depend upon terrorism.

For example, in 1958, a rich merchant named Ko Sun Wei, together with four of his family, were horribly murdered in his house in Kowloon. The victims were staked out, with their arms and legs spreadeagled. Three women – the merchant’s two daughters and his daughter-in-law – were raped repeatedly, then tortured to death with knives. One woman was still alive when the police arrived, but was unable to speak – her tongue had been cut out. These were only five among 350 murders that took place in Hong Kong in September 1958. The interesting point here is the verification of observations about overcrowding. It produces true gangsters – men who are adepts in cruelty and violence, because they are unable to experience ordinary human emotions.

Culled from: Crimes and Punishment: The Illustrated Crime Encyclopedia, Volume 10

So, do you buy that?  Does overcrowding result in increased crime due to men being unable to experience ordinary human emotions?


Morbid Sightseeing News!

Howard sent me a link with some potential good news for morbid sightseers.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

“Hart Island, which just east of the Bronx in the mouth of the Long Island Sound, boasts breathtaking views of the water, fascinating examples of Victorian architecture, 100 acres of open space and…the bodies of almost one million dead New Yorkers.
“The largest publicly funded cemetery in the world, Hart Island has served as a potter’s field for New York City since 1869. Since then, it’s housed a prison, a workhouse for the poor, an insane asylum, a tuberculosis sanatorium and a missile base. Currently, around 1,500 bodies are buried there annually.

“And in a few years, you might be able to picnic there. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who represents Ridgewood, Maspeth and Glendale in Queens, has introduced a bill that would transfer control of the half-mile-long island to the Parks Department. The goal would be to open the island to the public, transforming it into a space similar toGovernor’s Island.”

New York’s Newest Park Could Be Built Atop Nearly a Million Unmarked Graves


Decayed Daguerreotypes!

With yesterday’s newsletter, I shared the fascinating glass negative photographs of Costică Acsinte.  One of the things I love about the photos are the atmospheric cracks that cover many of them.  Now, here’s a collection of decayed daguerreotypes, courtesyMichael M. who sent me the link.

“Daguerreotype portraits were made by the model posing (often with head fixed in place with a clamp to keep it still the few minutes required) before an exposed light-sensitive silvered copper plate, which was then developed by mercury fumes and fixed with salts. This fixing however was far from permanent – like the people they captured the images too were subject to change and decay. They were extremely sensitive to scratches, dust, hair, etc, and particularly the rubbing of the glass cover if the glue holding it in place deteriorated. As well as rubbing, the glass itself can also deteriorate and bubbles of solvent explode upon the image.”

Fascinating effects!

Decayed Daguerreotypes

Morbid Fact Du Jour for January 30, 2015

Today’s Raging Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Setsuko Ogawa (21 at the time) was participating in morning physical exercise at the fifth army headquarters, 800 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Although she sought refuge at a nearby park, raging fire forced her to flee into a small river. She was then rescued by soldiers and accommodated at an army headquarters. On August 9, she was transferred to another location, but died on August 11.

Here is Setsuko’s dress, photographed by Hiromi Tsuchida.

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


Dream Job Du Jour!

Tamara sent this link to me stating that it looked like my “dream job”.  She knows me well!

Now hiring: Ramsey County seeking someone to do dirty work during autopsies
“Examples of Work Performed” include the following:

— Removing internal organs for pathological examinations

— Collecting tissue and body fluid samples

— Removing jaws and teeth for identification purposes

— Removing foreign objects or projectiles and transporting the samples to the proper laboratory for further study

— Disposing “anatomical waste”

— Processing bodies upon intake by taking height and weight measurements

— Returning internal organs to body cavities and sewing shut incisions
If only it paid better than my current position…


Mortuary Photograph Du Jour!

Howard graciously sent me a link to a mortuary photograph along with information about the photographer.

“This is from the ‘Costică Acsinte Archive’ which is the project run by Cezar Popescu for the digitization and long term storage of Costică Acsinte’s photographic work: around 5.000 glass plates negative, a much smaller number of film negative and an unknown number of photographic prints. The gross of the archive is in the custody of Ialomița County Museum.”

The Flickr site is especially fascinating.  I adore the photos with cracked edges.

Morbid Fact Du Jour for December 25, 2014

Today’s Pathogenic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Many of the worst human diseases were created by proximity to animals. Cattle provided the pathogen pool with tuberculosis and viral poxes like smallpox. Pigs and ducks gave humans their influenzas, while horses brought rhinoviruses and hence the common cold. Measles, which still kills a million children a year, is the result of rinderpest (canine distemper) jumping between dogs or cattle and humans. Moreover, cats, dogs, ducks, hens, mice, rats, and reptiles carry bacteria like Salmonella, leading to often fatal human infections; water polluted with animal faeces also spreads polio, cholera, typhoid, viral hepatitis, whooping cough and diptheria.

Culled from: The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity

Oh, so it’s the HORSE that gives us the common cold?  I never did trust horses – not since they kicked me in the chin and bit my back when I was a child.  Seems like I had very good reason. Hmmph.



Here’s another shocking article from the Chico (California) Courant newspaper, originally published on December 9, 1865, showing the institutionalized genocide of our forebears.

Chico Courant (Chico, California)
Saturday, December 9, 1865


CAUGHT THE DEVILS. – The Humboldt Register gives an account of the routing of the gang, and killing of over fifty of the red devils who murdered Ballew on the Humboldt road.  According to the Register’s account, Lieut. Osmer is entitled to promotion, and his men to a medal each for their bravery and tact in ferreting out the Indians and wiping them out when found.  The Indians were found 100 miles north-west of Dun Glen, and did not discover the approach of the soldiers until within two miles of their camp.  Lieut. Osmer’s command, was, “Come on, boys!” and they pitched in without any “red tape,” and with an energy irresistible.  The Indians were well armed.  One soldier, named David O’Connell was killed, and two painfully wounded.  A portion of the plunder taken from Ballew’s wagon was recovered.  Lieut. Osmer and his command may redeem the character of the regular army for Indian hunters.  Pitch in and wipe out the last vestige of the red rascals.

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

More of our Racist past can be seen at Garretdom.


Fetus Du Jour!

And now, the moment many of you have been waiting for: the final installment of Fetus Du Jour. Here’s the last of the 1930s fetuses that I photographed at the Museum of Science and Industry. And he’s the most miserable looking of the lot.  Which only goes to support my theory: the closer you get to being born, the more miserable you become! Non-existence Is Bliss!  I think I need to make a shirt with that on it…

Morbid Fact Du Jour for December 24, 2014

Today’s Un-resurrected Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A woman left her husband’s body rotting in a bedroom of their home because she thought he would rise from the dead, a Hamilton, Canada court heard Monday December 1, 2014.  ​Kaling Wald pleaded guilty to Coroner’s Act charges of failing to notify police or the coroner that Peter Wald had died from an illness that wasn’t being treated. She received a suspended sentence and an order to get counselling as well as 18 months probation.

The macabre case first came to light back in January 2014, when the woman was arrested and charged with neglect of duty regarding a dead body and indignity to a body. The two charges were withdrawn and replaced with the single charge under the Coroner’s Act. The sheriff found the 51-year-old’s body while trying to evict Wald and his family from their St. Matthews Avenue home in the city’s north end last year.  Regional coroner Dr. Jack Stanborough told CBC News in a previous interview that Wald’s body was found in an “advanced state of decomposition” when it was discovered in an upstairs bedroom. “Evidence suggests he’d been dead for weeks, if not months,” Stanborough said.

Wald died around March 20, 2013, according to summary of the case’s facts provided by Crown counsel Janet Booy. He had diabetes and was suffering from a foot infection. Neighbours in the area told CBC News that Wald had been seen hobbling for some time before he stopped being seen in public. When neighbours asked his wife about him, all she would say was he “was in God’s hands now.” Wald refused to go to hospital. “He believed God would cure him,” Booy wrote.

Neighbours described Wald as a deeply religious but kind man. He could be seen driving through Hamilton in a blue Astro van adorned with religious symbols and sayings. He could also be seen wearing clothing with religious-themed writing on it. Both lawyers in the case agreed that Kaling Wald had no ill intent. “We were trusting God … we thought, ‘OK Lord, you know better,'” Wald told the Spectator. Wald thought her husband went into a coma “sometime in March and eventually died, probably around March 20, 2013,” Booy wrote.

Wald slept in the bed with her husband for one night, just before he died. Then she noticed his stomach was bloating and rigor mortis was setting in on his forehead. After he died, his wife sealed off the room so the smell of the body wouldn’t permeate through the rest of the house, where she was still living with her six children. “Kaling and her five children who resided in the house are devout Christians and thought Peter would be resurrected and therefore kept the door locked and waited for him to come to life,” Booy wrote. “There were also friends who resided at the house. They all prayed on a daily basis for Peter to come back to life.”

Wald’s body sat in the room until September, when the sheriff came to evict them from the home after they defaulted on the mortgage. Health officials and police were called in, but the body had decomposed to the point that it was impossible to confirm a cause of death. Stanborough said the body was in an “advanced state of decomposition.” Wald was found covered with two blankets and a toque on his head. His feet were sticking out from underneath the blankets, and there was gauze wrapped around his left foot.

“There was nothing in the examination that would suggest criminal activity or public health concerns,” Stanborough said in a previous interview. The Children’s Aid Society was previously called in, but found no concerns for the children’s well-being and the case was closed, the Spectator reported.

Culled from: Yahoo News
Generously submitted by: Wallace

“No concerns for the children’s well-being”?  None at all?  Dead father rotting upstairs, crazy mother telling the kids he’s gonna be resurrected?  That doesn’t cause any concern?  Hmmmm.  Interesting.



Oh, our shameful past.  This is an article from the Chico (California) Weekly Courant originally published on Saturday, November 18, 1865:

INDIANS. – It will be seen by extracts from a letter written by Mr. Nance, of this place, that the Indians are still committing their depredations about Humboldt.  Nothing but extermination will prevent them from committing their depredations.  It is a false notion of humanity to save the lives of these red devils.  There should be no prisoners taken, but a general sacrifice made of the whole race.  They are of no benefit to themselves or mankind, but like the rattlesnake live only to slay.  Like the wild beast of prey they are necessarily exterminated by the march of civilization.  The tribes of Indians upon this Coast can no more be civilized than the jaugar [sic].  If necessary let there be a crusade, and every man that can carry and shoot a gun turn out and hunt the red devils to their holes and there bury them, leaving not a root or branch of them remaining, then we shall record no more massacres.

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

More of our Racist past can be seen at Garretdom.


Fetus Du Jour!

Here’s another 1930’s fetus that I photographed at the Museum of Science and Industry. This guy looks like he’s playing air guitar, rocking out to The Wombtown Rats.  Or The Fetals.  (Your turn…)