Morbid Fact Du Jour For January 19, 2017

Today’s Egregious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Oliver Jones, 29, was in the mood to tease animals that summer afternoon at the Central Park Zoo in 1971. Irate keepers had already driven him from the lion’s cage. Where to next?, he probably thought as he strolled through the lunch time crowds. What does one do for an encore after teasing the King of Beasts?

This was New York. His destination was predestined. For the amusement of some 200 witnesses, he valued the safety rail and stuck his arm in the polar bear cage. Its current occupant, Skandy, rose to the bait. He sank his teeth into the proffered arm and refused to let go. Zookeepers and a passing policeman rushed to the screaming man’s aid. They beat and jabbed Skandy with sticks; a few warning shots were fired. Single-minded Skandy refused to be distracted from his tasty morsel. Finally, the cop used his last resort. Stepping back, he dispatched Skandy with a nice display of shooting from his service revolver.

Unique for New York, Jones appears to have emerged from his ordeal more of less in one piece. However, it didn’t end with the relaxation of Skandy’s lifeless jaws. His savior, the policeman, was not one to overlook such an egregious violation of the law. He told reporters, “I gave him a summons for feeding the animals. It’s illegal you know.”

Skandy playing with Snowball before… 

Culled from: Murder Can Be Fun #16


Ghastly: The Somber Portrait Gazed On Disapprovingly

Luc Sante’s Evidence is a compelling collection of crime scene photographs taken by the New York City Police Department between 1914 and 1918. The images are always intriguing, often mysterious, sometimes artistic, occasionally shocking, and reliably graphic. The appendix contains a detailed explanation of all known facts regarding each image (include applicable newspaper clippings) and much reasonable speculation on those images where the facts are lost to history.

No caption. She has bled very heavily; the spot above her right breast and the line extending away from it in both directions probably indicate a knife wound. The shoes on the bed and the relative lack of blood on the covers suggest that she was moved to the bed some time after the attack took place. From the number of such dispositions of bodies among the pictures here it might be reasonable to guess that victims were moved onto beds when they were still alive, and were photographed after they subsequently died. Here it is impossible to tell whether sexual assault took place as well as murder. The undressing, again, may have been the work of cops or physicians.


  1. There’s a tie for World Champion Stupid for that day: Ollie for thinking it was smart to put his arm within reach of a very large carnivore, or Skandy for living in NYC and still not grasping that when a police officer tells you to quit doing something, you should quit immediately.

  2. I can’t be the only person who wishes that the cop’s aim had slipped (accidentally? on purpose?), leading him to shoot the human instead of the polar bear.

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