April, 2007

April 1, 2007

Today's Decomposing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Authorities have arrested a woman in connection with the discovery of a baby's decomposing body found in the back of a truck in Arapahoe County, Colo. The discovery was made just before 8 p.m. in a mobile home park south of the town of Strasburg. A man told Arapahoe County investigators that he and his 15-year-old son were removing trash left in the back of the pickup truck when they found the body of an infant boy in a box. He said he had bought the older-model truck just hours earlier from a family that lives in a mobile home nearby. A woman in that family, who has not yet been identified, was arrested for investigation of first-degree murder, and child abuse resulting in death. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told KMGH-TV in Denver that they consider the case a murder investigation and that there may be others involved in the case who may be arrested at a later date. Authorities are searching the family's home for additional clues. Neighbors said that the family has lived there since January 2005 and they are shocked by the allegations. The boy's body was sent to the coroner's office for an autopsy.

Culled from: Channel3000.com
Generously submitted by: Michael


Dammit! I need to go back to buying used cars!

Sorry for my absence this past week. I was suffering from a vicious respiratory infection that kept me bedridden for nearly a week. I'm finally feeling nearly "normal" again thanks to the wonders of antibiotics and corticosteroids.

While I was bedridden, I devoured a few books from The Library Eclectica and I will be featuring reviews of the books in the next few days. First up...


The Comtesse Critiques...

Coffee Made Her Insane
by Peg Meier

As a rabid enthusiast of all things Grim, there is nothing that irks me more than when an author/webmaster/director/news agency/etc. decides that it is in *my* best interest to have something morbid withheld from my sensitive eyes. I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about: like when Werner Herzog decided that we really shouldn't hear the audio of Timothy Treadwell being devoured by bears in Grizzly Man, or when the Powers That Be decided that we should not see the footage of the Crocodile Hunter's demise, etc. etc. etc. It happens all the time, and it's an absolutely unforgivable offense to my voyeuristic morbid mind!

So, imagine how appalled I became when reading the foreward of Coffee Made Her Insane - a collection of 19th and early 20th century clippings from Minnesota newspapers. Author Peg Meier made me groan out loud from my sickbed - which undoubtedly inspired a painful round of coughing - when I read the following paragraph:

"No editor today would run a gory, graphic story about the skinning alive of a criminal in China. I'm sorry I read it. I'm sorrier I can't get it out of my head. Lucky for you, I'm not reprinting it here."

Lucky for me???? Gee, thank you soooooo much, Peg, for deciding what information is good for me to read. I'm sure my poor, innocent mind would have been scarred for life reading that fascinating, gory article. Thank goodness you saved me from that.

So, as you can see, Peg was off on the wrong foot with me from the get-go, so maybe my opinion on her collection of newspaper clippings was a bit biased, but I found most of the articles that she selected to be uninteresting. There are a few good morbid stories, but nothing as fascinating as the articles in Wisconsin Death Trip, and I'm sure this isn't because old Minnesota newspapers lack fascinating articles. I think it's because Peg Meier's boring normal brain can't discern the good stuff from the dross. Peg should step aside and leave books like this to the more capable minds of people like Wisconsin Death Trip's Michael Lesy, or, perhaps, me! (2/5 skulls)


MFDJ Store Update!

The Morbid Fact Du Jour t-shirt shop has moved from Ebay to Etsy, so if you've been thinking about purchasing a shirt but you're loathe to use Ebay, now's your chance! Profits from the sale of all merchandise is used to keep the Morbid Fact Du Jour and The Asylum Eclectica running.



Epitaph Du Jour!

Culled from:
Over Their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History
Authors: Thomas C. Mann & Janet Greene
Date: 1962

Mary Lefavour, 1797, age 74, Topsfield, Mass.
Reader pass on and ne'er waste your time,
On bad biography and bitter rhyme
For what I am this cumb'rous clay insures,
And what I was, is no affair of yours.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Here are some delightful morbid trinkets for those of us with a six-figure salary. Anyone? Anyone???


Thanks to Amy D for the link.

April 2, 2007

Today's Christian Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man leaped into a lion’s den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts. “Jesus will save you!” shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away. “Come bite me!” he said with both hands raised, television footage showed. One of the lions, a large male with a shaggy mane, bit the man in his right leg before zoo workers drove it off with water hoses and tranquilizer guns. Newspapers said that the lions had been fed earlier in the day, otherwise the man might have been more seriously hurt ... or worse.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously donated by: Methlehem


More proof that religion is bad for you. In the olde days they would have called this "religious derangement".


The Comtesse Critiques...

Weird Illinois
by Troy Taylor

Over the weekend, my girlfriend and I journeyed to Lansing, Michigan to visit some friends and during the drive, I kept us entertained by reading aloud the entirety of Weird Illinois by local ghostlore figure Troy Taylor. I must say, we both found the book to be far less than fascinating. Maybe the problem is that we are both skeptics at heart, so some of the conclusions that Taylor jumps to are just silly to us. For example, he discusses the fact that no grass grew on the empty lot where the John Wayne Gacy house once stood for several years after the house was torn down, and uses this as evidence that the soil was infested with negative ghostly energy from the murder victims or some such thing. Of course, he's ignoring the obvious explanations for this: 1) The hard, compacted soil found in previously occupied lots requires considerable breaking down before anything can grow well on it. 2) The type of grass that you see growing on lawns is not native to Illinois and must be PLANTED in order to take root anywhere. But, no, let's just say it's haunted - it's so much more interesting that way. Sheesh.

The book does have an excellent design and does discuss some very interesting abandoned sites and legends that I would like to investigate further. However, the author annoyingly does not provide directions to any of the landmarks, so in order to actually see any of these sites for myself, I'm going to have to do additional research to find out where they are. Thanks so much.

I don't want to be too negative because I do like the Weird America people and the book is a fun, interesting read. However, for serious morbid sightseeing, I'd suggest you purchase the far more helpful and comprehensive Oddball Illinois - at least until my own book comes out in a year or two, which of course will become THE morbid sightseeing guide for Illinois.

3/5 skulls


Wretched Recommendations!

Here's a film to look out for - a documentary on Jonestown!


Thanks to Nina for the link.



Amos Quito sends this one with the following description: "Here's an old practical joke from our high school days....we used to get everybody with this one!!"

Apparently, it's still most successful.


April 3, 2007

Today's Spurting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A recent case of water torture was reported by a Paraguayan prisoner, as follows:

"In the center of the room there was an ordinary bathtub, rather large. From a hole in the wall hung a plastic pipe from which water was flowing to fill the bath... They made me sit down on the edge of the trough at its highest part, having first tied my feet with ropes and my hands behind my back...

"Suddenly they grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me to the bottom of the trough. I held my breath a while, making desperate efforts to get my head out of the water and take in some air. I managed to free my head but they submerged me again, and when my efforts to get out became violent, the heaviest members of the group tramped on the top part of my body. I could no longer bear the lack of air, and began to swallow water through my mouth, nose, and ears.

"My ears started to hum as the water made its way in. They seemed to be blowing up like a balloon. Then came a sharp whistling, very loud at first, which has not yet completely gone, and which I hear when there is complete silence. The more I swallowed water the more my struggles to breathe also increased, and they all pressed me down to the bottom of the trough - my head, chest, and hands...

"I must have swallowed 8 to 10 litres of water. When they took me out and laid me on the ground, one of them trod heavily on my stomach, water poured out from my mouth and nose, spurting like a jet from a hose."

Culled from: A History Of Torture


Paints quite a vivid picture, doesn't he?


Wretched Recommendations!

Ashley recommends another Jonestown documentary. This one sounds quite fascinating!

Jonestown: Paradise Lost

"I recently wrote a concept paper on cults, and I used this documentary as a source. It was an amazing documentary that revolved around governmental footage and eyewitness accounts. It even discusses how an elderly woman survived the forced punch-drinking (or injections) by hiding under her bed."


Morbid Link Du Jour!

It is a well-known fact that nothing is as morbid in life as having children, but it's good to know that BabyCage.Net is here to provide you with all of your infant confinement needs!


Thanks to Jennifer for the link.

April 4, 2007

Today's Suffocating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An inmate death at the Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina has been ruled a suicide. Howard Melton, age unavailable, suffocated himself by stuffing toilet paper in his mouth and his nostrils. Officers found Melton unconscious in his cell at about 4:45 a.m. Friday during an inmate count. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 a.m. Melton was serving a one-year sentence for a conviction for a lewd act on a child.

Culled from: The State
Generously submitted by: Bruce T.


I am always amazed at how people can voluntarily suffocate themselves to death like this. I'm such a wuss, I can't even hold my breath until I pass out. This guy was obviously DESPERATE to escape prison!

On a completely unrelated note, I'm sure you've all heard by now about Keith Richards' claim that he snorted some of his Dad's cremated ashes mixed with blow. Am I the only person who read this and went, "So?" Doesn't sound remotely shocking to me - seems like something I would do if I were the drug-sniffing type. I think it's kind of touching, actually.

Anyway, here's an update on the article. Apparently his publicist is now saying that the original comment was a joke. Yeah, right... nice try.


Thanks to Remo for the link.


Morbid TV!

jkatj writes to let us know that one of the Jonestown documentaries that I have mentioned in the newsletter recently is appearing on a PBS channel near you in the next week. My TIVO is set. Check your local listings!

"In case you're interested, it's airing on PBS very soon:

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple"
April 9, 2007 9:00PM
April 11, 2007 3:00AM

"I'm not sure how to find out where it airs other than Chicago. I got that information from:



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a documentary to keep an eye out for: "No More Sunsets" - the story of a dying (and now dead) meth addict. Of course, I don't like preachy anti-drug films, but the allure of watching a documentary on a self-destructive dying druggie is, of course, completely irresistible.


Thanks to Heathir for the link.


Wretched Recommendations!

Andrea has a book recommendation for us:

"I wanted to pass along a book I'm reading that I heard about on NPR of all places called An Incomplete History of the The Art of Funerary Violins by Rohan Kriwaczek. It's an amazing little book about the aesthetic of death and funerals and the outcasting of muscians who made it their life's ambition to understand morbidity thoroughly and artistically. There's some question about how much fiction goes into the book, but who cares! There's also a CD sold separately of the violin dirges and such he discusses in his book but until my relatives die and leave me money I'll have to listen to the snippets off of Amazon or the NPR website:)... great cover too."

An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violins
by Rohan Kriwaczek

April 5, 2007

Today's Beserk Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Louis "Two Gun" Alterie was one of Dion O'Bannion's gunners during the Chicago gangster heyday of the 1920's. One of Alterie's close pals in the church-going, sentimental O'Bannion organization was Samuel J. "Nails" Morton. Morton was a horseman of some note, riding each day along the Lincoln Park bridle path. On one of these rides, a spirited horse threw him and kicked him to death.

Hearing his pal was dead, Alterie went beserk; he went to the stables, rented the same horse and, taking it to the exact spot where Nails had been killed, shot the animal through the head (a scene repeated in the classic gangster film Public Enemy). Alterie then called the stable owner and said, "We taught that goddamn horse of yours a lesson. If you want the saddle, go and get it."

Culled from: Bloodletters and Badmen


By the way, I highly recommend The Public Enemy. Even after all these years, it still packs a punch - and James Cagney is always a joy to watch.


Update Du Jour!

Elizabeth writes about yesterday's Wretched Recommendation "The Art Of Funerary Violins" by Rohan Kriwaczek. It turns out that, apparently, the book is a work of fiction:

"Re: The Art of Funerary Violins by Rohan Kriwaczek - it's all made up! There never were such people. The author has written this book for publicity for his own funerary violin playing business. I read it in The Fortean Times, but you can read about it [on the Museum Of Hoaxes website]."

And here is the information from The Museum Of Hoaxes:

"The literary world has been talking about a work of fiction that managed a brief masquerade as nonfiction. The book is An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin, by Rohan Kriwaczek. As the title suggests, it tells the history of that popular genre of music, funerary violin music.

"The Guardian reports:
'By the early 19th century, the book says, virtually every town had its own funerary violinist, but the tradition was almost wiped out in the Great Funerary Purges of the 1830s and 40s. The author, Rohan Kriwaczek, describes himself on a site on Myspace.com as being the president of the guild that represents a dwindling band of musicians dedicated to this largely forgotten art-form. But all references to the guild lead back to Kriwaczek, and several experts on the history of the violin say they have never heard of him or the tradition.'

"The book will be published next month by Duckworth Publishers in Britain, and Overlook Press in America. The publisher claims that it believed the book to be a work of genuine nonfiction. Or rather, it didn't care too much whether it was fiction or nonfiction because it thought the book was interesting. The hoax was 'exposed' by a book-buyer in Iowa City who saw the book described in Overlook's catalog, thought it looked fishy, and brought it to the attention of David Schoenbaum, an expert in the history of the violin and also a reviewer for the New York Times. The Times then revealed the hoax.

"Personally I'm thinking the publisher probably had a hand in the exposure of the hoax. What better publicity could a book get than to be 'exposed' by the Times right before its debut?"

Thank you for the information, Elizabeth. I'll be removing that book from The Library Eclectica immediately!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a site that we definitely need now that Ebay has banned all crime-related auctions: Murder Auction. Absolutely fascinating.


Thanks to Faith for the link.


Morbid Sightseeing!

Frank writes:

"I just heard that my dad will celebrate his 70th birthday in this Restaurant/Hotel:

The J.H. Adams Inn

"The thing is that this house was for several decades one of the busiest local funeral homes and served as a overflow morgue (so I was told) until the local hospital expanded. They just converted this into a Hotel/Restaurant a few years ago and every time I drove by the construction site I had to think of you and that this would be the hotel for you to die in, or not? Notice on their 'history' section the gap between about 1930 and 2000. :-) Only the locals know and the death-elevator to the basement is now hidden and from what I heard used to transport equipment and wine since it ends in the main dining room . I can't wait to have a rare steak there - if it tastes like chicken I know...."

I found this additional juicy snippet (completely unsubstantiated, I admit) on a blog:

"Notes of interest: wondering where they kept the bodies? (The funeral home, silly, not the Adams.) The embalming room was located where the current restrooms are. Don't believe me? Check out the size of the drains in the floor."

Oh, I'd love to!

April 6, 2007

Today's Stupid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Jeremiah Sanders, owner of J's Quality Tree Service, was pulled into a large industrial wood chipper Tuesday afternoon, August 15, 2006 in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin when he attempted to free a log jammed in the machine. Pleasant Prairie police spokesman Pete Jung said Sanders was pulled all the way through the chipper while co-workers tried unsuccessfully to stop the machine. James Bennett, who had hired Sanders to clear branches out of his backyard in the 8900 block of 26th Ave. and witnessed the entire accident, said he couldn't believe how fast it happened. "Shut it off! Shut it off!" the 81-year-old had yelled when he saw the machine grab Sanders' foot. But, he said, the ordeal was over 20 seconds later. Randolph Sanders said his brother's 21-year-old nephew was one of five crewmen trying to stop the machine. The nephew told him that the safety bar that is supposed to reverse the chipper's teeth failed to engage. "There's almost eight feet of bar there to grab," Randolph Sanders said. "Jeremiah and his nephew were both pushing on the bar at one point, but it wouldn't reverse." Sanders said his brother had just gone into business on his own last year and was using borrowed, unfamiliar equipment. Jeremiah Sanders was the youngest son in a family of 11 brothers and sisters, all of whom live in Kenosha. The avid duck and goose hunter had two daughters, ages 4 and 7, and another child on the way. Sanders said that, especially for the sake of the children, he had reminded his brother often to be safer around wood chippers. "It was stupid of him to put his foot in there, but the machine shouldn't have been there, either," Randolph Sanders said, adding that he hopes the accident compels someone to enforce yearly inspections of such equipment.

Culled from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Generously submitted by: amy


I'd hate to get pulled in feet first... there's a lot of suffering to happen before you lose consciousness! And call me cruel, but I personally think the tree stump grabbed his foot and pulled him in when it found out that he was one of 11 siblings, and already had two kids with one on the way! There's a reason why so many trees are chopped down, after all!

The Lovely Abigail opines: "This guy was an idiot!! I worked with a chipper only a couple of days when I worked for The Care Of Trees and it only took those 2 days for me to fully realize and respect the danger and power of those chippers. Those teeth grab and pull in IMMEDIATELY!! I was shoving a branch through once and it got stuck on my glove. It started pulling it in so fucking fast I just yanked my hand out and watched the glove get shredded into a thousand pieces. This guy was obviously retarded. He stuck his FOOT in there!"


Morbid Science Project Du Jour!

Now here's a science project that I would be proud to call my own!

Lil Sparky!

Thanks to Shifter for the link.


My Brush With Morbidity

Now, here's an especially harrowing brush with morbidity!

"Death In The Desert" by Jenny

"I'm back from Vegas. It was an exhausting trip. I was there for 3 1/2 days and had only 3 hours of down time. I had one work day that lasted 23 hours. It was a great trip though. I like to take in as much as I can when I travel and I did just that. Vegas had everything.

"I even encountered remains in the desert on one of the photo shoots. Thursday we awoke a 5am to drive 1 1/2 out of Vegas to shoot the earthworks piece "Double Negative". We saw the sunrise over the mountains and the morning light on the mesas. It was breathtaking. Double Negative was not easy to find. It was off not only a desolate road but beyond a dirt road and beyond even a discernable path. We joked that from watching all of the crime shows, I know that this is where bodies are dumped. Well wouldn't you know it, I did find one.

"When Peter was trying to set up the shot, I wandered around taking in the unusual flora. Hoping to catch a glimpse of maybe an animal, a bird, a reptile, anything. I first came across the hands. Actually only one hand and an upper arm. They were not together but in the same area. We walked a bit farther and came across both feet. There was still part of the shin attached to both. They were riddled with bullet holes.

"I began to wonder where the rest of the body was or how far apart the remains could be strewn. I walked a few more steps and caught sight of the torso. What I really saw was the head. Because of the rather enormous size of the head, it was pretty easy to see. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the entire top if the head had been blown off by gun shots.

"I expected to be disgusted by the sight of such a horrendous death but I really wasn't. The face, frozen in death did not show fear or pain. The face actually looked happy, very happy with a large toothy grin. Peter being Peter gathered the hand to take home a souvenir. I myself picked up the upper arm thinking that would fit in my suitcase easier than the feet. The head would have made the best trophy but I was certain that I couldn't get that past security.

"If you're interested, I've enclosed a photo of our discovery."

The Body

Thanks to Georgia for forwarding the story my way, and to Jenny for letting me use it.

April 8, 2007

Today's Norwegian Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

It's murder in Norway at Easter. Rushing off to their mountain cabins for one last ski before the snow melts, Norwegians are also stocking up on thrillers for a national tradition known as "Easter Crime." Sales of crime books jump around 500 percent in the week leading up to Easter, estimates bookshop chain Tanum, while television and radio programmers schedule back-to-back thrillers over the Easter break, which in Norway lasts 5-1/2 days. "People sit inside their cabins, watch crime on television and then read crime books at night," said book reviewer Ane Farsethaas, who prefers 19th century British detective Sherlock Holmes to the modern thrillers most of her compatriots devour. "It's a very Norwegian thing to do," she said. Nobody knows when the Norwegian tradition of crime telling at Easter began, but their warrior ancestors -- the Vikings -- were renowned for raiding trips to the British Isles. On their return the Vikings would settle down with flasks of mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey, and recount tales of murder and pillage to their women and children. This April, Tanum's top 10 bestsellers are all crime novels, headed by Swede Stieg Larsson's new book "Men Who Hate Women." "I think it's something to do with being in your cabin," Lars Slethov a 28-year-old student, said. "You come back from a day's skiing and relax in your cabin by watching crime on television and then reading it later." Log cabins dot Norway's rugged countryside -- covered by forests, mountains and deep fjords -- and are used by Norwegians to escape from the towns at weekends and holidays. The United Nations has rated Norway the best place to live in the world for the last five years. Oil revenues ensure its people are among the richest in the world and they enjoy one of the lowest crime rates. Hanne Roer, 30, was heading off to a library to pick up a handful of crime novels before leaving Osl for Easter. "I really don't ever normally read crime novels," she said. "It's just at Easter, it's a sort of tradition."

Culled from: Yahoo News
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley


Need I mention that my paternal grandparents were both from Norway? :-)

Sorry about missing a newsletter yesterday - I quite simply lost track of time. Last night, I went with some friends (yes, surprisingly enough, I do have them) to a fantastic theater called Hollywood Blvd in Woodridge, Illinois where you sit in comfortable high backed chairs and can order food (real food) and drinks (real drinks) during the movie. Those of you in the Chicagoland area should really check it out!

Hollywood Blvd Theater - http://www.atriptothemovies.com/

We saw Grindhouse - the new Tarantino/Rodriguez film. The movie replicates the experience of watching a b-movie double feature in a rundown theater (a "grindhouse") in the 70's and it's absolutely brilliant. The first feature, by Rodriguez, is a funny, chaotic take on the zombie movie genre. The second feature, by Tarantino, stars Kurt Russell as a psycho who uses his car to kill women... until he messes with the wrong group of women. I preferred the second film, myself, but my girlfriend (who is much more of a horror movie buff than me) LOVED the first one.

Probably the best part of the experience is that the films contain missing reels and abundant scratches and missing frames to give it that vintage grindhouse theater look. Also, the intermission is filled with funny fake trailers for such would-be movies (would-b movies?) as "Don't," "Werewolf Women of the S.S." and "Thanksgiving". Such great fun.

If you've seen the trailer for this one and thought, "That's looks dumb" (as I did), give this one a chance. I doubt you'll be disappointed. And definitely try to see it in the theater. You'll lose the "Grindhouse" effects on the small screen.

Grindhouse Official Website - http://www.grindhousemovie.net/


Morbid Sightseeing!

K. has a sightseeing suggestion for Berlin:

"I don't know I would strictly say this is a morbid sight seeing example, although if you include the museum underneath it might qualify. Regardless, it certainly is worth a wonder through if you are in that part of the world.

"In 2005 I was backpacking through Europe, and made a point of getting to Berlin to do a tour of the city. On the tour we stopped at many places including the remaining sections of the wall, Hitler's hiding place and the Holocaust Memorial. It was the memorial that intrigued me the most. It is made up of hundreds of pillars all of differing heights, and placed on the ground which was a series of dips and rises. Our guide explained that part of the reason for the design was to show how you might meet up with people for a while, but then turn off and only see people for a second before they disappear behind another pillar, which was an effort to show how people passed each other in the death camps during the Holocaust as they were shifted around.

"The thing that really intrigued me was part of the controversy of the memorial. Each pillar is covered with what they call an 'Anti-graffiti agent', made by a company called Degussa, making it possible for any graffiti to be easily washed off. Yet Degussa also make Zyklon B Gas, which was used by the Germans in their gas chambers during the Holocaust.

"A lot of people on the tour thought this was appalling, however I thought it to be quite fitting. Sure it could more than likely come down to their bottom line and how much profit/publicity they could get off it, hell that is what business is about after all, but I prefer to think they saw how they had contributed in such a horrific way, and this is some small way of saying sorry.

"There are heaps of articles about it on the net, here are just a couple where I checked info:

"I have attached a photo I took while in the middle of the memorial. You can see how the ground looks like a wave, and how high the pillars get. It really is quite unnerving being in there after hearing all the tales of what happened."


There are some more photos that show the full memorial here:


Wretched Recommendations!

Katie has a vintage gaming recommendation for us:

The Residents: Bad Day on the Midway (PC/Mac)

"I used to have this and I am going to buy it again. It's a great game that fits well into our morbid interests."

Here's the description:
"A twisted 3-D graphical adventure from the minds of the the Residents, the infamous and anonymous rock and roll band/performance art troupe. The player explores the world of a demented carnival midway by inhabiting (possessing) its freakish denizens. Events appear differently when viewed through the eyes of different characters and each time the player leaps into a new character, his or her story is told via a graphic novel drawn by a well known comic artist. Visit the 'Kill a Commie' shooting gallery as Oscar the Racing Rat or watch a sperm whale give birth to an electric eel as Dagmar the Tattooed Dog woman. Strangeness abounds when you have a bad day on the midway."

April 9, 2007

Today's Botched Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Since 1983, the number of botched executions involving lethal injection have been more than double the amount caused by the electric chair.

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


I am a very angry and most distressed Comtesse tonight. I just received notification from my mailing list provider (YMLP.Com) that they will be changing their billing policy so that I will now have to pay based on the number of e-mails I send per month, as opposed to a flat rate based on the number of subscribers on the list. This means that during a 31-day month my fee will go from $20.00 to around $115!!! Ridiculous!!

I've voiced my dismay about this policy change, but I doubt it will do any good, and even with your generous donations and the money I make from merchandise, I can't afford to pay over $100.00 a month to send out the newsletter. So, I am on the lookout for another mailing service. In the meantime, I'll continue to use YMLP.Com, but if I don't find another service by April 13th, I will need to quit sending the Morbid Fact Du Jour via e-mail for awhile until I find another solution. It will, of course, still be available online (http://morbidfactdujour.com) and on My Space (http://blog.myspace.com/comtessedespair).

If anyone out there has a suggestion for a new mailing list provider, please send it my way!

By the way, I haven't forgotten about the Ruthless Rhymes contest. I will be announcing the winners within the next couple of days. Sorry for the delay...


Epitaph Du Jour!

Culled from:
Over Their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History
Authors: Thomas C. Mann & Janet Greene
Date: 1962

Unbolstered by dates and reported as in Vermont or Iowa:
Here lies our darling baby boy
He never crys nor hollers.
He lived for one and twenty days
And cost us forty dollars.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Have you seen the Merry-Go-Round of Death yet?


Kids these days! Why, back in my day, we used to do sensible things, like jumping off roofs into gravel pits, not crazy stuff like this! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out if the girls were injured. I can't imagine that they *weren't* injured, at least somewhat. Anyone have a scoop?

I did find this ridiculous news story that suggests if we don't show this sort of thing to kids, they won't do it. Yeah, sure, and if you don't provide kids with sex education, they won't ever have sex either.


Thanks to Sandy for the link.

April 10, 2007

Today's Clowning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A hot-air balloon caught fire during a circus stunt, killing a clown acrobat as dozens of children watched. The accident happened as the Royal Russian Circus was performing in Scariff, County Clare, a village in western Ireland. About 100 people were in the audience, most of them children. Police said the clown was a 26-year-old man from Belarus but didn't release his name. Witnesses said the man, dressed in a clown outfit, was hanging from a cage suspended by ropes and a hot-air balloon inside the canvas tent. When the balloon exploded in flames, the cage fell on top of the man. The man's wife, who was also part of the act, suffered a broken arm. "We were all sitting down and they were doing their act. They were up fairly high, but they were doing fine. Next thing, he was down on the ground," said audience member Hazel Harrington. She said many people in the audience initially thought the falling cage was part of the act. About a half-dozen circuses, employing mostly Eastern European performers, tour Ireland each summer.

Culled from: Optimum Online
Generously submitted by: Ren


Too bad it isn't part of the act. If circuses showed clowns being crushed, I'd start attending them!

Thank you to everyone who sent me suggestions for my mailing list problem. I am thinking that my best bet (at least for the interim) will be to switch the list over to a Google Group "announcement-only" list. Although I've had terrible luck with Yahoo Groups deleting groups without any warning, so far there have been no issues with the MFDJ discussion group on Google, and it's definitely the cheapest option! If anyone has experienced problems with Google Groups, please let me know before I make a decision I come to regret!

And I will announce the Ruthless Rhymes winner with tomorrow's MFDJ. (Fingers crossed.)

Oh, and one more thing: Go See Grindhouse Before They Ruin It By Splitting It Into Two Separate Movies!!!! (http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=57383deb-bc9f-439f-9796-f00e11f41e0a&entry=index)


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Remember "Good Idea, Bad Idea" from Animaniacs? Well, here's one for you:

Good Idea: Fire Alarm Box

Bad Idea: Fire Alarm Box That Locks The Hand Of Alarm Sender Until Released By Policeman Or Fireman With A Key


Thanks to Shifter for the link.


Morbid Word Du Jour!

Patrick has a contribution to our semi-regular Morbid Word feature:

Defenestration: the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window

Definitely a handy word!

Mogadeet writes: "Here's a historical fact that deals with Defenestration. This is the start of a war that almost depopulated Germany and was one of the bloodiest in modern history.

"The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was touched off by an incident called "The Defenestration of Prague". The Bohemian nobility was in more or less open revolt against the Emperor, and, at a meeting of the Bohemian Estates at the Hrdcany Castle in Prague on 23 May 1618, the assembled Bohemian nobles took the two Imperial governors present at the meeting, namely Wilhelm Graf Slavata and Jaroslav Borzita Graf von Martinicz, and threw them out of a window of the castle and into a ditch. Neither man was seriously injured as a result of being defenestrated."

April 10, 2007

Today's Sordid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The massacres that took place in the city of Paris from September 2-6, 1792 were among the bloodiest episodes of the French Revolution, serving as a cruel prelude to the Reign of Terror of 1793. Roving mobs, seeking revenge on anyone connected with the recently overthrown aristocracy, stormed the jails where many noblemen, royal attendants, and clery were imprisoned. What happened to the Princess de Lamballe was typical: she was dragged from prison by her hair, hanged, and then disemboweled. Her mutilated body was dragged through the streets and put on display for two days.

At one prison, clergy were led outside two at a time. Their throats were cut and their bodies exhibited to torment the next victims being led out. Citizens paraded the streets carrying the heads and bodies of victims on pikes, a kind of spiked pole used as a weapon during the period. Mangled bodies lay piled against houses as men, women, and children were decapitated, hanged, run through with pikes, and even roasted alive. Before this sordid orgy came to a close, some 1200 prisoners perished, along with a number of their tormentors, who were killed while fighting over their victim's valuables.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History


Okay, I was overly optimistic in thinking I'd be able to roll out the results for the Ruthless Rhymes Contest today. Looking for a new mailing host has sidetracked me from the task. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have time to prepare the results but it could be this weekend before I get to it.

Tomorrow I will also have made a final decision on the new mailing host, since Friday is the deadline for my current host. Yeah, they didn't give me much notice, did they? A pox upon them!


Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're cruising through the U.P. (that's what Midwesterners call the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), why not stop and spend some time at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum? It's only open from May 1 through October 31, so you'll have to plan your visit for the summer. I'm going to try to make a trip in 2007.


Thanks to Elizabeth for the suggestion.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

The Epitaph Browser is a collection of epitaphs from the graves of famous people. It makes for an entertaining browse!


Thanks to Michael for the link.

April 12, 2007

Today's Ancestral Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Bruce T. adds: "The Neanderthal burial site in the Shanidar cave indicates that they buried their dead with flowers and, apparently, with some kind of ceremony.

I have run out of time in trying to find a new e-mail server and after trying out numerous services without satisfaction, I've decided to go the free route and use Google Groups. The list will be an announcement only list, which means it is set-up to send out e-mails but not to be a discussion list. If you want to start a discussion on any of the facts, you can use the existing Google discussion group (http://groups.google.com/group/MFDJ).

I will go ahead and move everyone over to Google Groups tonight, so you should be receiving notification when you have been added to the list. I'm going to set everyone up to receive e-mails as they are sent; if you want to change this for any reason, or unsubscribe, you can follow the instructions on the e-mail.

I haven't had time to tweak the page exactly as I'd like, but hopefully I will be able to do that in the coming weeks. The MFDJ will be sent using Google Groups starting tomorrow, so please let me know if you have any issues with the new format.

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions. Let's hope this works out for the best.


Morbid Word Du Jour!

Rutybear sends another morbid word our way:

"I found this in the Urban Dictionary - I think it sums us up *Perfectly!*"

A person who is fascinated with death.

"Thanatophiles like to see dead people. They like to see people die."

Wow - I think you're absolutely right, Ruty! Perhaps I should create a bumpersticker? "Thanatophiles Of The World, Unite!" Actually, I think I will! Coming Soon to A Plethora Of Viscera!


Urban Legend Du Jour!

grim747 has some sad news for us all (except the lemmings in our midst):

"The world as I knew it just came crashing down. Who knew that [the] famous lemming footage was STAGED?

"Curse the Disney Nature Films of my youth!!!!"

"White Wilderness is an Academy award winning nature documentary produced by Disney in 1958 noted for its splendid visuals as well as its propagation of the myth of lemming suicide.

"The film was directed by James Algar and narrated by Winston Hibler. It was filmed on location in Alberta, Canada over the course of three years.

"White Wilderness famously contains a scene supposedly depicting a mass lemming migration, which ended with the lemmings leaping to their death into the Arctic Ocean; however, the entire sequence was staged. The lemmings were not even local (there are no lemmings in Alberta); the film makers arranged to buy wild-trapped lemmings from Inuit school children in Manitoba and transported them to the set. A few dozen lemmings, placed on a large, snow covered turntable and filmed from a variety of angles, became a mass migration. As a grand finale, the captive lemmings were herded over a cliff into a river (in the film, this was the 'sea', and the herded lemmings were on a 'suicide drive').

"Generations of TV watching schoolchildren grew up on the Disney nature films, and the myth of lemming suicide persists to this day."

Life's a bitch... then you dive.




"(however, that "The Far Side" panel with the lemmings jumping to their death and getting diving scores from their peers remains in my fave top 50)"

April 14, 2007

Today's Obscene Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Striptease send-offs at funerals may become a thing of the past in east China after five people were arrested for organizing the intimate farewells. Police swooped in September, 2003 after two groups of strippers gave "obscene performances" at a farmer's funeral in Donghai County, Jiangsu province. The disrobing served a higher purpose, Xinhua news agency said. "Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers," it said. "Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored." Wealthy families often employed two troupes of performers to attract a crowd. Two hundred showed up at last week's funeral. Five strippers were detained and local officials "issued notices concerning funeral management", Xinha. Now village officials must submit plans for funerals within 12 hours after a villager dies. And residents can report "funeral misdeeds" on a hotline, the report said.

Culled from: MSNBC
Generously submitted by: Star Opal


As my Dad always says (ironically, of course), "Clever people, those Chinese!"

And as Nanna Roseannadanna used to say, "It's always something." So, I tried moving everyone from the current MFDJ list over to the new Google Groups list, but of course there were too many members, so they have to "review" my request. It's supposed to take 1-2 business days - I was hoping for 1, but obviously I was too optimistic since I haven't heard a dicky bird from them yet. I've started sending out invitations manually but, of course, my ISP limits me to 1,600 e-mails a day, so it will take me awhile to get all the invites sent out. Such frustration! Makes me want to create a pyre of spammers to make them pay for being the ultimate cause of all these ridiculous e-mail restrictions!!

Anyway, if you're reading this on the web and you'd like to receive the MFDJ by e-mail, please visit the Google Group at http://groups.google.com/group/morbidfactdujour and sign yourself up or send an e-mail to morbidfactdujour-subscribe@googlegroups.com. Sorry for all this hassle!


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Teena

"I am not sure if you would consider this morbid or not, but it certainly scared me. I am a mortician and I work around dead bodies all day. I have never seen one sit up, but I have seen fingers moving. Sometimes when a body is still fresh (they stay warm for several hours after death), when you move them they let out deep groans, which is just gas escaping, but sounds quite disturbing.

"Yesterday I was closing the mouth of a gentleman who had been dead several days in his home before anyone found him. I sprayed disenfectant in his mouth and reached in my fingers to pull his lip back to insert the needle injector. All of a sudden something starts to move in his mouth and this HUGE spider crawls out. My boss, who is dressing the guy, just looks at it, kills it, and tells me to hurry up and close his mouth before anything else crawls out. Maybe not the most gruesome of tales, but it definately reminded me why I want to be cremated."

Positively creepy!!!


Wretched Recommendations!

Sandy has a film recommendation for us:

Side FX

(2004 Chicago Film Festival Winner/ Winner the best Texas Feature Deep Ellum Film Festival 2004)

"Sex, drugs and Rock and roll will never be the same after a medieval sex drug makes a comeback on the college party scene.
Everyone wants to try this 'orgasm' drug but no one considers the side effects.

"This drug took its first victims in 1646. The church soon discovered that the blood-drained corpses found around the countryside were due to a powerful elixir that made select victims thirst for blood. While under its influence average men and women turn into animals. The church destroyed much of the drug and vampires, so they thought.

"It's now modern day and some medieval vials have been discovered. No one knows this drug makes you thirst for blood and its side effect can kill you.

"This film has an unusual take on the usual vampire fare. Good creepy fun! Plus, not many vampire flicks win film festival awards!"

April 15, 2007

Today's American Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

No American has died of old age since 1951. That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Thanks to everyone who has rejoined the MFDJ e-mail list on Google (http://groups.google.com/group/morbidfactdujour). Hopefully things will settle down now!


Morbid Site Du Jour!

Corpus Obscurum is an excellent blog reporting the obits of those whose accomplishments vastly exceeded their fame:


Thanks to J. Bo for the link.


Wretched Recommendations!

Tasha has a film recommendation for us:

American Psycho (2000)

"While I haven’t read the book yet, it’s actually on hold for me at the library as we speak, I have to express my complete and utter adoration of the movie. Christian Bale is amazing. The entire movie is wonderfully disturbingly hilarious, the kind where you’re not sure if you’re supposed to be laughing, but you do. Well, I do anyway…"

April 16, 2007

Today's Charred Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A suicide note in the pocket of a man who jumped off the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel late Tuesday led police to the grisly scene of his girlfriend’s murder, where they found her charred head in a pot on the stove, her legs and arms baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body in a trash bag in the refrigerator, according to police and the couple’s landlord. The man, Zackery Bowen, a tall 28-year-old man with long blond hair, confessed in the note to have killed his girlfriend, Adriane “Addie” Hall, 30, on Oct. 5, according to police sources and friends of the couple. Officially, police declined to release the name of the victim, saying she was still a “Jane Doe” until the remains of her body could be forensically identified. “This is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took,” Bowen wrote in a short suicide note found in a plastic bag in his pants’ front pocket, which directed police to the scene of the crime and gave a synopsis of what he had done, according to sources familiar with the case. A source familiar with the investigation said that detectives found two pots on the stove, one containing a the victim’s head and the other her hands and feet. Next to the pot containing the head were carrots and potatoes that had been cut up, but none had been placed in the pots. In the oven were turkey-basting trays containing human legs and arms, the source said. At least one of the pans had seasoning sprinkled on the human remains. At an afternoon news conference, Chief of Detectives Anthony Cannatella said there was no evidence of cannibalism on the scene, and an autopsy on Bowen, done some 13 days after he claimed to have committed the murder, showed no evidence of body parts in his system.

Culled from: NOLA.com
Generously submitted by: Margrock


Here's some additional information on this case from PopBitch, sent to me by Alastair:

"Bartender Zach Bowen became one of the most famous faces of Hurricane Katrina. He refused to leave the French Quarter of New Orleans, and was offered shelter by a fellow bartender who quickly became his new girlfriend, Addie Hall. Hall and Bowen helped clean up the streets and invited reporters round for cocktails and cigarettes, claiming 'We're having a civilized hurricane.'

"Sadly, in October, Addie ended up in a cooking pot and Bowen jumped off the roof of the Omni Hotel. Police found his girlfriend's head in a pot on the stove, and her legs and feet inside he oven. The couple had recently moved into this flat. It was above the Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Cultural Centre."

And some other information sent by Dan:

"I have a very good friend who lives in New Orleans, just 2 blocks from Priestess Miriam's VooDoo Temple on Rampart Street, the location of the grisly discovery
from yesterday's MFDJ. I have met Priestess Miriam on several occasions while in the neighborhood, and she's a gentle, soft-spoken, delightful woman. She had
leased the apartment above her temple (there are actually 2 apartments up there; hers was vacant due to her leaving post-Katrina) to the ill-fated couple simply
to have someone living in the building after the Hurricane for security reasons.

"According to my friend down there, the couple were notorious in the neighborhood. They were both methamphetamine users, and had some pretty public and spectacular arguments and physical fights while speed-fueled. While people in the neighborhood were horrified at his grisly culinary attempts, they were not surprised that the couple's deaths were so violent. Priestess Miriam was quite disturbed at the whole incident, not least because she worried that the couple would be connected with VooDoo (of which they were not practitioners).

"Anyway ... just a sprinkle of extra morbidity for you there."

Okay, now that the change of mailing lists is calming down, I will definitely have the results of the Ruthless Rhymes contest tomorrow. *Definitely.*


Morbid Site Du Jour!

The Blog of Death is an other excellent way to keep track of the latest noteworthy people who have given up the ghost:


Thanks to J. Bo for the link.


Wretched Recommendations!

Nitemare969 recommends classic of Japanese gore:

Ichi The Killer

"I think that you would enjoy Ichi The Killer. It is a japanese gorefest about a young gentlemen molded into a serial killer. The visuals and interaction of the characters are rather interesting. I am not a true gore fan, but I truly enjoyed this one. Especially the scene in which a gentleman catches a punch in his mouth, and removed the flesh from his hand thanks to some rather interesting body modifications."

April 17, 2007

Today's Strange Smelling Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A woman's body was found wedged upside-down behind a bookcase in the home she shared with relatives who had spent nearly two weeks looking for her. A spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Mariesa Weber's death was not suspicious. Family members said they believe she fell over as she tried to adjust the plug of a television behind the bookshelf. Weber, 38, returned home Oct. 28 and greeted her mother, then wasn't seen again. Her family thought she had been kidnapped and contacted authorities. Family members scoured her room for clues but found nothing, though they did notice a strange smell. On Nov. 9, Weber's sister went into her bedroom and looked behind a bookcase, where she saw the woman's foot. Using a flashlight the family saw Weber was wedged upside-down behind the unit. "I'm sleeping in the same house as her for 11 days, looking for her," her mother, Connie Weber, told the St. Petersburg Times. "And she's right in the bedroom." Both Weber and her sister had previously adjusted the television plug by standing on a bureau next to the shelf and leaning over the top. Her family believes Weber, who was 5-foot-3 and barely 100 pounds, may have fallen headfirst into the space. "She's a little thing," her mother said. "And the bookcase is 6 feet tall and solid. And she couldn't get out." The sheriff's office said Weber appeared to have died because she was unable to breathe in the position she was in.

Culled from: Unspecified Source
Generously submitted by: Skye


Here's an update on this story - apparently the woman had as many drugs in her as Anna Nicole!


Thanks to Lucky Starla for the link.


Ruthless Rhymes Contest Results!

Yes, I finally have a winner for the Ruthless Rhymes Contest. To refresh your memory, the object of the rhyme was to write a short (10-14 lines) and morbid poem in the style of Harry Graham whose "Ruthless Rhymes For Heartless Homes" provided the inspiration. I received many excellent submissions and it was difficult to narrow it down, but I chose a winning rhyme that I felt best captured the spirit of Harry Graham. I thought I'd also share some of my favorite runner-ups, since they were so good.

Let's start with the runner-ups and work our way to the victor...


I thought I'd start out with a couple of simple little rhymes that can make even a vegetarian smile...

What's... er... Who's For Dinner?


Crispy and juicy
and red like the sun.
My friend came for dinner
and he's almost done.

by: Victor "The Undertaker" Ives w/ HauntedHotSauce.com



Dear Albert, he loved children-
He thought they were quite sweet,
Especially once he learned
To tenderize the meat.

- Denese Young



Poor Jeffrey was a lonely man,
He didn't know how to flirt!
He'd pick up hitch-hikers instead,
Named Steve, or Dave, or Burt.
He'd take them home and show his love,
But when they tried to leave-
Poor Jeffrey couldn't handle it,
Poor Jeffrey he would grieve.
The loneliness inside would swell,
Poor Jeffrey would turn vicious,
His lovers would all still be gone,
But at least they were delicious.

- Denese Young


Moldies But Goodies!

Everybody can sing along with this one!

The Ballad of Eddie Gein
(Sung to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies," briskly, with feeling:)

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Ed
Old necrophile, had a preference for the dead
Then one day when he was checkin' the obits
A picture of a gal gave him tremblin' fits!

Well, the first thing you know ol' Ed's away from there
With a shovel and a pick and a real determined air
Couple hours later while he's diggin' in the ground
His shovel hits a box and his lover he's found!

So he loads her on the truck and he takes her to the farm
Lays her on the table and he contemplates her charm
Inspiration hits like a message from above
Ed knows the way to eternalize love!

Well, the rest is his-tor-y 'cuz we never saw before
A fella quite like Eddie and his taste in home decor!
But the legacy he left and his final saving grace
Was a whole new meaning to the term "to save face!"

- Eleanor Cooney


And here's a much more uplifting take on the Dorothy Parker classic "Resumé". You know, "Resumé", right?

Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Well, as much as I love Dorothy Parker, I think I prefer Megan's version - don't you?

Epitath (Apologies to Dorothy Parker)
Razors cut keenly
Rivers run deep
Acids eat through you
Drugs put you to sleep
Guns make holes cleanly
Nooses hang high
Gas smells serenely
You might as well die


Just Because...

This one gets special mention just for including the MFDJ within its lovely stanzas!

by: Victor "The Undertaker" Ives w/ HauntedHotSauce.com

I read the Morbid Fact Du Jour
and savor every line.
I cannot do much more now since
the maggots reached my spine.

My nurse found this site too bizarre.
She didn't get the humor.
She died in that chair weeks ago.
I've not the strength to move her.

It's been three days since I last wrote
but I don't feel much pain.
I read my final Fact Du Jour
as maggots eat my brain.


The Second Runner-Up

I love the twist in this one... I guess they don't call her "Twisted Princess" for nothing.


For a nickel you can come inside
And see my brother who committed suicide
Watch him swinging on a rope
And see my mommy trying to cope
While my step dad tries to hide
Evidence it wasn't a suicide



The First Runner-Up

I think this one captured a bit of that Harry Graham... erm... "flavor".


In her garden Sue was weeding
When she came across maggots feeding

On her husband which she had slain
For tracking in mud from the rain

She wished that he had been much thinner
Too much fat to enjoy for dinner

He failed to please her as an appetizer
So she used him instead as fertilizer.



And The Winner Is...

I selected this one because I feel like Lady Muck most closely replicated the style of a Harry Graham Ruthless Rhyme. Well done, M'Lady!

Dear little Molly said to Mother
"O is something wrong with brother?
Baby is lying still on the floor,
and won't play with me anymore."

Mama said "I'll come and check."
She found the nursery quite a wreck.
O the ground is wet and sticky,
in Molly's hands is something icky.

"It's not MY fault there's a mess", said she,
"he wanted to play autopsy."
Then Molly held up Baby's heart
and Mother did get such a start!

By Lady Muck

Congratulations, Lady Muck - you are the proud owner of a Desensitize Yourself t-shirt!

Stay tuned for our next fun-filled contest!

April 18, 2007

Today's Hyperthermic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A mother was arrested on suspicion of murdering her newborn daughter by microwaving the baby in an oven. China Arnold, 26, was jailed Monday on a charge of aggravated murder, more than a year after she brought her dead month-old baby to a hospital. Bail was set Tuesday at $1 million. "We have reason to believe, and we have some forensic evidence that is consistent with our belief, that a microwave oven was used in this death," said Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County coroner's office. He said the evidence included high-heat internal injuries and the absence of external burn marks on the baby. Arnold was arrested soon after the baby's death in August 2005, then was released while authorities investigated further. Betz said the case was difficult because "there is not a lot of scientific research and data on the effect of microwaves on human beings." The death was ruled homicide by hyperthermia, or high body temperature. The absence of external burns ruled out an open flame, scalding water or a heating pad as the cause. Arnold's lawyer, Jon Paul Rion, said his client had nothing to do with her child's death an act could occur," Rion said. The night before the baby was taken to the hospital, Arnold and the child's father went out for a short time and left Paris with a baby sitter, Rion said. The mother didn't sense anything out of the ordinary until the next morning, when the child was found unconscious, Rion said. Arnold has three other children.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously donated by: Paradox


I must sadly inform you that the Comtesse is leaving town for a DeSpair family reunion through the end of the month. Yes, the April showers will be a bit less uplifting as the MFDJ is on hiatus. I hope you don't suffer tooooo much, and perhaps I'll have some interesting tales when I return. One never knows...


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Purple Jade sends a joke:

The day after a man lost his wife in a scuba diving accident, he was greeted by two grim-faced policemen at his door.

"We're sorry to call on you at this hour, Mr. Wilkens, but we have some information about your wife."

"Well, tell me!" the man said.

The policeman said, "We have some bad news, some good news and some really great news. Which do you want to hear first?"

Fearing the worse, Mr. Wilkens said, "Give me the bad news first."

So the policeman said, "I'm sorry to tell you sir, but this morning we found your wife's body in San Francisco Bay."

"Oh my god!," said Mr. Wilkens, overcome by emotion. Then, remembering what the policeman had said, he asked, "What's the good news?"

"Well," said the policeman, "When we pulled her up she had two five-pound lobsters and a dozen good size Dungeoness crabs on her."

"If that's the good news than what's the great news?!", Mr. Wilkens demanded.

The policeman said, "We're going to pull her up again tomorrow morning."


Update Du Jour!

Awhile back (December 14th to be precise), I featured the following fact:

A woman has been indicted on negligent homicide charges for allegedly giving her husband a sherry enema that killed him. Michael Warner, 58, died in May, 2004 after the enema caused his blood-alcohol level to rise to .47 percent. "That's extremely high," Detective Lt. Robert Turner said. "You're either going to be in the hospital or the funeral home with that much alcohol." Tammy Warner, 42, was indicted last week. Turner said Michael Warner was an alcoholic who could not swallow liquor because of ulcers and heartburn. "He was told that he could not drink alcohol or that he would die, according to the people that we interviewed," Turner said. "We are going to prove that she gave him the sherry and that she knew that he wasn't supposed to have any and that it could be detrimental to his health, and that she gave it to him anyway."

NeoGeisha has an interesting snippet about this fact to share with us all:

"This incident was 'chronicled' I guess you'd say in a new-ish comic called Fell by Warren Ellis and art by Ben Templesmith. All of the comics so far have dealt with nasty little crimes like this one, and they're all really cheap, as in about $1.99 apiece. They're short but the art and the story make up for it."

Best of all, I was able to find the comic in question online so we can all enjoy it. It's a great little read!