Morbid Fact Du Jour For March 8, 2016

Today’s Misguided Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On May 31, 2013, an EF1 tornado touched down near Oklahoma City and traveled on the ground for 10 minutes. KFOR-TV meteorlogist Mike Morgan warned viewers to head for shelter, recommending that they go underground.

Timothy Shrum, 21, had survived a tornado three years earlier by hiding in the drainage tunnel behind his apartment building, and he urged his friends and family to accompany him there now. His sister Virginia had a bad feeling about the tunnel, and friend Alvin Hennington told Shrum “No, no, no, let’s go in the closet. I don’t trust the tunnel.” But eventually they all agreed to leave the apartment.

The eleven people were in the half-mile-long tunnel, which runs from behind their building, under a parking lot and empties into the Oklahoma River. And that river was now flooding. In an instant, the water in the tunnel rose from knee-high to waist-high, and adults and children alike were unable to resist its tremendous force and were swept away into the river.

Virginia Shrum’s two daughters, Destiny Love Shrum, 4, and Terra, 3; her adoptive mother’s two children, Cory Johnson Jr., 4 and Alexis Johnson, 5 months; and Timothy Shrum, were all drowned. Alexis’s body has never been found.

And the apartment building they’d fled was undamaged.

The Tunnel of Doom

Culled from: NewsOK
Submitted by: Aimee

And you just have to go to the NewsOK website and watch the interview with Virginia Shrum. I’ve never seen anyone so nonchalant while discussing the death of her children. Something ain’t right about that woman…


Garretdom: Baby in a Basket Edition!

Years ago, some scrapbooks were sold on Ebay. They had been discovered at an estate sale and had been compiled in the 1880’s by a morbid kindred soul.  He or she had cut articles out of newspapers and pasted them over old textbooks (“The Latin Reader,” etc.). Each article was about death or mayhem. The collection was magnificent, but each individual book sold for huge sums on Ebay. I  was able to convince the seller to make copies of the scrapbooks for me before he sold some of them.  This article is taken from one of the books – hence the lack of an attributable newspaper.  I store these crazy articles at Garretdom.  I hope you enjoy today’s weird little story.

December, 1886


How a Wretch Abandoned a Helpless Infant Yesterday Afternoon.

“Say, there’s somebody left a basket in the cabin here.”

It was Billy Hughes, the handsome deckhand of the ferryboat Wenonah, on the Camden and Philadelphia Ferry, to whom these words were addressed by a woman who was leaving the boat early yesterday afternoon. Billy dropped the rope with which he had just pulled the gang-plank down from the Camden slip, and dove for the cabin.

“Look here. There’s a basket some one has left on one of the seats.”

It was a man who spoke to Hughes this time, and he paused in his plunge for the cabin just long enough to wonder how it happened that there were two honest folks on one ferryboat. Then he stepped into the cabin and picked up a little split basket over which a towel was carefully spread and without examining its contents took it to the ticket collector’s office and left it, in the full expectations that somebody would come tearing down through the slush and mud in about two minutes and ask for it. But nobody came.

David Moore, the genial collector, hadn’t time to spare from hauling in little bronze shekels for the company to examine the package, even if he had been disposed to do so.

“Kee-wah, kee-wah.”

Mr. Moore’s face assumed a more surprised look than usual.

“Look into that basket and see what’s there,” he said in as off-hand a manner as possible. “I believe it’s a poll parrot.”

Nobody wanted to look, but in a minute someone plucked up the courage to turn the towel down, and there was the face of a new-born baby. It was already growing purple with cold. Examination showed that the little thing was carefully wrapped up in very plain garments.

“I’m absolutely unable to perform the duties of a wet-nurse!” shouted the collector, as he began to make frantic passes at imaginary pennies in order that it might be seen that he had no time to nurse the baby.

“Anybody that would do such a thing ought to be tarred and feathered,” growled Johnnie Middleton, as he tugged ferociously at his strawberry blonde moustache. Then the telephone was put in operation and arrangements were made to send the little thing to the Almshouse.

“I’ll bet that man and woman had something to do with that,” remarked Hughes as the boat pulled out from the slip, and a passenger sat in the cabin and told blood-wodling [sic] tales all the way over of how he had seen seventeen babies’ bodies taken from the Fairmount reservoir when it was cleaned, and how he had seen blood on the sumps there, where the little bodies had been sucked in and crushed to fragments.

From the Collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1886 Morbid Scrapbook

One comment

  1. Well, Ms. Shrum did seem awfully nonchalant about losing half her offspring, plus her brother and adopted siblings, but we could possibly attribute it to being the reaction to the latest in a lifetime’s worth of hardship.
    Now, if we want nonchalance, there’s your Garretdom article about the handsome deckhand, the genial ticket agent and the guy with the strawberry-blond stache. That one is a real howler. Especially the genial ticket agent shouting that he could not possibly perform the duties of a wet nurse. Um, no shit, Sherlock?

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