June, 2004

June 10, 2004

I must offer the most grievous of apologies for my sudden disappearance. I was away on business in Indianapolis for two weeks, then on vacation for a month in Minnesota afterwards. I had sent a message to the list (I thought) indicating as such, but when I returned home from my trip, the mail had bounced and apparently very few of you received it. And then I was hit with a virus of some sort (I still don't know which one) on my home PC and could not send out any e-mail at all. I fought with that for a few days, along with some mail server issues, and finally gave up and have moved all my operations (doesn't that sound official?) over to another PC until I have time to reformat my old PC. So, today, I am finally able to send mail again and the heart palpitations are finally subsiding. I didn't realize how devastating it would be to be cut off from the world like this!!!

And again, I feel horrible about leaving you in the lurch like that... I hope you can find it in your twisted blackened hearts to forgive me.

Now back to business...

Today's Surprising Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

British police launched a murder investigation Thursday (June 10, 2004) after a man found his daughter-in-law's dismembered body in his son's freezer. Police said they believed the body was that of Tae Hui Dalton, 36, who lived with her husband, Paul, in the suburb of Kingston-upon-Thames, southwest of London. "Police are actively seeking, and would like to speak to, Paul Dalton in connection with this murder," said Scotland Yard. The father was looking for milk for a cup of tea when he discovered the Korean-born victim wrapped up in plastic bags.

Culled from: Reuters
Generally submitted by: Georgia J


So, am I the only one among us who experiences a slight thrill of anticipation every time a strange refrigerator is opened? I always think that maybe THIS time, there really will be a severed body part in plastic wrap in there! Well, this guy's discovery only supports my contention that it COULD happen!


You know, just when I'm getting so down about the state of this world, I happened upon an e-mail from the charmingly named Anathema Device that reminded me how lucky I am to be living in a world where a girl will take the time to mummify her pet rat according to the ancient Egyptian traditions. And, even better, post it on the internet for all to see. That's exactly what Anethema's friend of a friend is doing. To watch the entire process unfurl (she unwraps the mummy on June 12th!), you need only visit:



Morbid Theater Du Jour!

debbie has written to inform me of what sounds like a splendid show that is currently running (through the summer) in New York City. I'll let her tell you all about it herself:

I am involved in a show that I think your readers in or near New York City this summer would be interested in. It's called "Charlie Victor Romeo" and it is the black box cockpit voice recorder transcripts of six airline crashes dramatized on stage. No real blood or gore, but morbid, nonetheless. It's a really awesome show!!

Here's the website link : http://www.charlievictorromeo.com/

And the info:



"No play presently running on New York stages can match the intensity of this dramatic scene..." TimeOut NY

"...It's effective beyond all hype, beyond any amount of technical chicanery enjoined to provide fright in more fabricated productions." Austin Chronicle

"An exceptionally vivid contribution to documentary theater." New York Times


OPENING: Wednesday May 26th
PERFORMANCES: @ 8PM Tues through Sun + 3PM Sat Matinee

$30 admission

PS122 150 First Avenue @ E. 9th Street
RESERVATIONS: 212-477-5288


(Damn... I wish I was New York City bound this summer! - Comtesse)

June 12, 2004

I apologize if some of you received several copies of yesterday's fact. I was fighting with my mail server and suffered a few fits and starts during the process. But, fortunately, everything finally clicked, and I'm back in "business" again... so to speak...

Today's Surprising Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Abraham Lincoln was heartbroken when an unknown illness killed his mother. He was only nine, a poor boy living in a wilderness area that had no pasture, so the Lincolns' cow had to forage in the woods. In 1818 the aunt and uncle of Nancy Hanks Lincoln took to their beds with fatigue, stiffness of the legs, and red tongues. In a few days they were dead, and Nancy followed them to the grave shortly thereafter. Their neighbors in Pigeon Creek, Indiana, spoke of the "milk sickness" and pointed to their cows, suffering from an ailment called the trembles. The neighbors' suspicions turned out to be justified when, in 1927, researchers determined that Mrs. Lincoln died from drinking the milk of a cow that had eaten poisonous white snakeroot. Only by sheer luck did the future American President avoid sharing his mother's fate.

Culled from: Strange Stories, Amazing Facts


What a tawdry web! The human dies from drinking the cow's milk which is laced with a root named after a snake. See - being at the top of the food chain does have its drawbacks!


Morbid Exhibit Du Jour!

Ms. Jukes has informed me of a fascinating exhibit that will be running at the New York State Museum in Albany through September 19th entitled "Lost Cases, Recovered Lives: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic". This exhibit displays artifacts that were found in abandoned suitcases that were long-forgotten in the attic of a disused building at the Willard Psychiatric Center, near Syracuse. (And believe me, finding something like that is what my DREAMS are made of!) Researchers were able to search through patient records to try and rebuild the stories behind the people who left behind their "normal" lives with those suitcases, and it looks to be a compelling exhibit.

The link below is to an excellent Village Voice article about the exhibit. Compelling reading, although it frustrates me to hell because I won't be able to see the exhibit!! Damn my rotten luck.



Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

This animated version of The Passion Of The Christ is beyond excellent!


Thanks to Bill for the link.

June 13, 2004

Today's Irresistible Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Yellowstone Park visitors since the earliest days have been curious about the water temperatures in thermal areas. You can often see them bending down to touch the water. The temptation is almost irresistible to some. That temptation proved to be the undoing of George H. Brown, 52, of Lampasas, Texas, on the afternoon of August 24, 1928. Brown and his party approached a hot spring at Midway Geyser Basin. While bending over to stick his hand into the water he lost his balance and toppled into the spring which today measures around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown was entirely submerged in the boiling water. His two frantic sons managed to extricate him, scalding their arms in the process. The unfortunate man was rushed toward the Mammoth hospital, but death occurred before he arrived there. Brown was conscious for the four hours prior to his death. He left a wife and nine children.

Culled from: Death In Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park
by Lee H. Whittlesey


I have a feeling that this guy's Mom didn't let him touch a fire when he was a kid so he'd learn his lesson.


Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Jason recommends the book "Off Season" by Jack Ketchum (great pseudonym):

"One of the best depictions of dismemberment I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The pictures I conjoured through the descriptions of the live disembowling of the main character still ring in my imagination. Dismemberment and cannibalism aside, it's a very good book. It's about a a pack (pack describes them well) of feral (and seriously inbred) kids that prey on tourists and, well, just about anyone else that has the misfortune of running across their path. They don't know what they're doing is wrong because they've never known any other way of life. You really do feel for the characters, I couldn't put the book down. There were parts that began to make me queasy, and I read MFDJ every day! ;-) Seriously, it's a well-written book, with a great plot, and characters that you connect with. He makes you feel like you're there. You won't be disappointed. Go to Amazon and read the reviews and descriptions."

Thank you, Jason. It sounds... erm... charming! Unfortunately, it's out of print, but I'm sure it is easy to track down at a used bookstore.
Here's the Amazon link so you can read the reviews:


Good News On The Morbid Front!

As you may be aware, the Lizzie Borden home was recently put up for sale, sending an alarm cascading through the morbid world. The prospect of this morbid treasure - which has been functioning as a bed and breakfast for years - falling into the wrong hands was grim. However, I'm pleased to report that the new owners plan on keeping the house running as a bed & breakfast, so my girlfriend and I can still take that Ouija Board into Lizzie's room. Thanks to Katie for sending out the good news!


Amelia has a theory about Lizzie:

"Talking of Lizzie Borden I read an indepth biography of her years ago and came up with my own theories about why she did what she did - they touched on her
sister and (as far as I can remember) some kind of depression problem she was having and then for no apparent reason she and Lizzie swopped bedrooms - I
think the dad was abusing the younger sister who eventually told Lizzie - I'm guessing they swapped bedrooms so Lizzie could see for herself if it was true - and I'm thinking she did something about it when she found it was - and their mother could have known about the abuse all along thus sealing her fate too - could
all be guess work of course as its just a theory - time for me to go back and revisit that story I think!"


Dahmerism Du Jour!

Q: What did J.D. tell the judge when he asked him why he did it?
A: "Well, sir, a sandwich is just a sandwich, but a MANwich is a meal!"

Blame this one on PoetStar1979!

June 24, 2004

Today's Sufferable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The great Russian author Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky's life was as dark and dramatic as the great novels he wrote. He was born in Moscow in 1821, the son of a former army surgeon whose drunken brutality led his own serfs to murder him by pouring vodka down his throat until he strangled. A short first novel, Poor Folk (1846), brought him instant success, but his writing career was cut short by his arrest for alleged subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849. In prison he was given the "silent treatment" for eight months (guards even wore velvet soled boots) before he was led in front of a firing squad. Dressed in a death shroud, he faced an open grave and awaited his execution, when, suddenly, an order arrived commuting his sentence. He then spent four years at hard labor in a Siberian Prison, where he began to suffer from epilepsy, and he only returned to St.Petersburg a full ten years after he had left in chains."

Culled from: An uncredited biography on Dostoevsky
Generously submitted by: Toad


Okay, I'm back home again... thank goodness. I was frustrated beyond belief by not being able to send out the facts in Indianapolis, but I think maybe, just maybe, I've learnt my lesson this time! They will be coming out in online-only versions the next time I head out for work... unless I find another solution.

In any event, the most exciting thing happened to me and my girlfriend while we were hanging out in Indianapolis last weekend! We went to the Indianapolis Medical History Museum (http://www.imhm.org/) which is housed in a fantastic old pathology lab building that was once part of Central State Hospital - an old (now closed) insane asylum that was infamous for numerous abuses against its patients. The museum itself is fascinating, as it contains many jars full of preserved diseased brains that contributed to the mental problems that some patients had experienced. And it has a grand old amphitheatre where they used to teach surgical techniques.

And, best of all, there is a wonderful autopsy room that still has the original metal autopsy table and all other equipment. My girlfriend lay down on the table and had me take a photograph of her - now perhaps you see why I love her so? We had so much fun wandering the building and admiring how well-preserved and intact it all is.

Then we went over to the old cemetery, which is now without gravestones. There was definitely an eerie atmosphere looking out over the grounds, knowing that hundreds of old asylum dwellers were buried there, without so much as a piece of concrete to remember them by. It saddens me to no end how the insane were treated like they didn't even exist at all.

We then drove over to explore some of the old asylum buildings that remain. Unfortunately, the huge, gothic "seven steeples" main building was torn down in the 70's, as most beautiful things are. But we started wandering around the old administration building and met up with a couple of kindred souls who had permission from the Indiana police to explore the building. They invited us inside and we spent a couple hours exploring the three floors of the building, then made plans to meet them there that night to go exploring the old underground tunnels that connected the various buildings.

And so we did! Although we didn't see any ghosts in the allegedly haunted buildings, we did experience some creepy moments, and I can't say I enjoyed being the last in line as we walked through those tunnels. It was great fun, however, and certainly a dream come true for a morbid soul such as myself who adores old abandoned buildings.

I took lots of pictures and I will be working to get those up on my site as soon as possible. I'll let you know when they're available for your perusal.

In the meantime, here's a wonderful page from Ghosts of the Praire that describes some of the appalling history of the hospital. Hope you enjoy:

Ah, things like this can make a tired old Comtesse's heart sing!


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Narkitten

"I deliver meals to homebound elderly. Many times over the years at this job I had come close but hadn't found a deceased client. Finally I was making a delivery after a Memorial Day weekend. Because of the condition of most of my clients, I have a habit of knocking on the door and entering, announcing myself. I took one look and knew this guy was gone. He had been sitting there long enough that the blood had drained from his upper body into his legs and lower belly. What made it worse was that this gentleman had a breathing problem and used oxygen assistance. The machine was still running, giving the illusion that the body still breathed. The only phone was right by the body, so I tried to use it to call for assistance. It was broken and missing several numbers. I had the creeps so bad by now I went to the nearest business to call. Didn't even stop at a neighbor's. The post office was within walking distance, so ended up there. After the EMTs arrived it occurred to me that the full case of beer sitting by this guy's chair was looking awfully good. I couldn't wait to get out of there."

Which begs the question... why, exactly, was the beer looking good? Did it remind you of the froth coming from the man's mouth? Am I seriously demented because that was the first thing I thought?



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Kitty thought that a reminder was in order for one of the greatest morbid websites: Court TV's Crime Library. Whenever I need a synopsis of an infamous killing or a particular serial killer, this is the first place I go. If you haven't checked it out, it's well worth a browse. You can literally spend days here!



Follow-Up Du Jour!

Ms Jukes sends another review (from CLEVNET) of the book Off Season by Jack Ketchum which was a featured recommendation on the last MFDJ

"Eighteen years after its mass market release by Ballantine, Ketchum's debut horror novel gains hardcover publication. It's about time. Though this merciless tale of human evil in the Maine woods went out of print soon after publication, its bleak vision and extreme violence still influence horror today. Only a novel of expert articulation and emotional truth can cast such a long shadow, and Ketchum's is both. Horror critic Winter calls the book one of 'remarkable elegance,' and indeed it's drum tight. Equally impressively, Ketchum uses the devastation of a group of tourists by a band of cannibals not to pander, as so many horror writers after him have done, but to explore with intelligence (and ferocity) the nature of evil and of the human spirit that can resist it. The novel's structure isn't original, modeled largely on the film Night of the Living Dead, but its events unfold with shocking energy and directness. The imagery is cruel--bloody battles between the tourists and cannibals, torture and consumption by the cannibals of their victims--as is the arbitrariness of who will live and who will die; but always Ketchum is in command. In an afterword, Ketchum details the rough history of the novel, explaining how he has reinserted cuts forced by Ballantine. This signed and limited edition not only revives a horror classic and offers some neat publishing lore, but also reminds us that, once upon a time, some of the most exciting genre writing came in paper covers. (Aug.) FYI: Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym of Dallas Mayr (Ladies' Night, etc.)."


June 25, 2004

Today's Gaseous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Persons not employed in the coal mining trade are unlikely to encounter deadly amounts of carbon dioxide, yet such clouds have been known to form in the open air and at a cost dear in human life. Which was indeed the case at Lake Nyos in Cameroon. Carbon dioxide naturally seeps from geothermal sources below that body of water and dissolves under pressure in the cold layer at the bottom of the lake. The water serves to hold the carbon dioxide in place, and over time the lake becomes infused with the compound. Once the saturation point is achieved (when the water can absorb no more carbon dioxide), the lake turns deadly. On the fateful night of August 21, 1986, the deep waters of the lake either reached their carbon dioxide saturation point or something happened to disturb the layer lurking at the bottom of the lake (such as a rockslide), and without warning the lake "turned over," its bottom layer shooting to the surface in a violent, frothy eruption of carbonated water that flew some 250 feet into the sky. The lake waters turned red as dissolved iron was sucked up to the surface by the turmoil. An estimated 100 million cubic metres of gas emerged from the lake in that explosion, quickly sweeping over the valleys surrounding Lake Nyos and, being denser than air, sinking to suffocate and poison the inhabitants below. Death came quickly. One man living just two hours on foot from the lake said, "We heard a noise, just like a gunshot." He immediately checked on his two young daughters, and found them already dead in their beds. A total of 1,746 people were smothered in the night, according to the official casualty toll. The deadly cloud covered an area of up to 12 miles around the lake, killing thousands of cattle as well.

Culled from: Scopes.Com
Generously submitted by: Michael


Nez has something to add:

"I live about 3 hours from Mammoth, California. Mammoth is an area rife with volcanic activity and there are a number of small lakes around this area that have very large warning signs about exactly this type of phenomenon. I cannot recall the last time someone died as a result of the CO2 bubble belching forth from the lake, but it HAS occurred right here in our country. Thought you'd like to know this bit of trivia."

Several individuals have written me to ask me if I accept donations for the website. This isn't something I'd ever really considered doing previously, but I figured that since it's only a donation, and since I definitely can use help with financing the site, why not? So, I've added a link to the Asylum Eclectica homepage. If you would like to donate, please visit the homepage and check out the link. Even if you're not planning on donating, you may want to visit the link, just because I think my link looks kinda cool. :)


Thank you all for your ongoing support for my morbid little hobby!


Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Well, as many of you are aware, the new season of my favorite show Six Feet Under is in full-swing. And I thought this was a fitting time to mention that the amazing first two seasons of the series are now available as a boxed set. Highly recommended for those of you with the misfortune to have missed out on the show from the beginning. You've got to check out the series, if only for the opening death sequences, although the entire show is compelling. A must-see!

I've placed a review for the series on The Library Eclectica if you're interested:

And here's the box set:


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Now, this one, courtesy the VERY ill Freakykittie, is TRULY stomach-turning!

There was this guy with leprosy who loved cold draft beer. But, everytime he would go into a bar, he would be thrown out because of his awful appearance and open sores all over his body. He was persistant though and one day walked into a new place and sat down at the bar. Everyone was looking at him and he was waiting for them to throw him out. Soon, the bartender walked over and asked what he would like to drink.

"A nice cold draft!", replied the leper. The bartender filled the mug and as soon as he set it in front of the leper, he ducked in the back room and became sick and puked. The leper knew it was because of his appearance and was certain he would be thrown out. But the bartender soon returned and continued with his work. Soon the mug was empty, so the leper signalled the barkeep. The bartender brought him another beer and immediately ran into the back room again and puked. The leper was certain he would be thrown out now but the bartender soon returned and went about his business. The leper was enjoying the beer and couldn't believe he hadn't been shown the door.

"Might as well enjoy it while it lasts!", he thought to himself. He motioned for the bartender again and the bartender soon brought him another beer and again ran to the back room and puked. This time when the barkeep returned, the leper motioned for him and said,

"You know, I just want to thank you for being so kind to me. Most places I go into, I usually don't even get to sit down, let alone have a drink. But you've been very nice to me by allowing me to enjoy a few beers, even though I do make you sick everytime."

The bartender replied, "Well, it's not you that's making me sick! It's that guy next to you that keeps dipping his cracker in your arm!"


Going Out In (Fundamental) Style!

Here's a great gift for those hard-to-shop-for dying Christian fundie relatives, courtesy of John!


June 26, 2004

Today's Roasted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Brazilian school teacher in the state of Santa Catarina confessed to killing her lover and roasting parts of his body to destroy the evidence. Romilda Manske, 48, said on January 11, 2002, her lover, Joel da Silva, 24, threatened her with a knife while he was intoxicated and then raped her. Afterwards, the woman said she hit him on the head with a stool, killing him unintentionally. In trying to hide evidence, Manske chopped up the body into pieces and smashed the bones with a hatchet. She placed the man's head and the feet in her kitchen oven. It took Manske a week to carry out the task before an anonymous caller tipped off police. When officers came to investigate, she confessed to the killing. A counsel for the defense said that despite the gruesome nature of the attempted cover-up, Manske will probably face trial for involuntary manslaughter and hiding a corpse. She could be free within a few months. The school teacher appeared to show no remorse on the murder of her lover. "I did to him what he wanted to do to me," Manske was quoted as saying.

Culled from: news.com.au
Generously submitted by: David


Okay, I'm dying to find out what the sentence was for this case. Is there anyone out there who can read the Spanish newspaper articles that pop-up on Google when you search for Romilda Manske? If so, can you tell us what has happened?

And... don't you wonder what her house must have smelled like with all that roasting going on? I can't quite imagine what roasted human must smell like. I wonder if her neighbors could recognize that smell as human and that's what tipped them off? Hmmmm... I'll be up all night thinking about this one!

Val has something to say!

"In regards to one of your facts Today's Roasted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Brazilian school teacher in the state of Santa Catarina confessed to killing her lover and roasting parts of his body to destroy the evidence. Romilda Manske, 48, said on January 11, 2002, her lover, Joel da Silva, 24, threatened her with a knife while he was intoxicated and then raped her. Afterwards, the woman said she hit him on the head with a stool, killing him unintentionally. In trying to hide evidence, Manske chopped up the body into pieces and smashed the bones with a hatchet. She placed the man's head and the feet in her kitchen oven. It took Manske a week to carry out the task before an anonymous caller tipped off police. When officers came to investigate, she confessed to the killing. A counsel for the defense said that despite the gruesome nature of the attempted cover-up, Manske will probably face trial for involuntary manslaughter and hiding a corpse. She could be free within a few months. The school teacher appeared to show no remorse on the murder of her lover. "I did to him what he wanted to do to me," Manske was quoted as saying.

more from Romilda Manske

O juiz de direito João Carlos Bush decreed yesterday, the preventive custody of the teacher Romilda Manske, 48 years, that was sent to the regional penitentiary of Joinville. On Wednesday, she confessed the murder of her boyfirend Joel Da Silva, 23, in Itapoá, on January 11th of this year. After that she took the body out of the mason.
During interview yesterday, Romilda affirmed that she delayed one day
and way to distroy the corpse. Natural of Caxambu of the South, in
the West of Santa Catarina, Romilda it liveed since the year passed in
Itapoá. She gave lessons in a state college, where she was always considered a normal person . The teacher is devorced and has a couple of
children, residents in Chapecó. She knew the Joel mason had a little more than two years in the city of Rattlesnake, in the Paraná, where
she made it after-graduation. When he finished the course, Romilda was
moved to Itapoá and the boyfriend started to live with her.
According to accused, since the beginning it relationship the couple
had constant fights. She says that she wanted to break up him but he did not agree to the idea. "He continued to threaten me", she affirms. The teacher after acounts that she killed her boyfriend with blows to the head in a quarrel. "He was with the knife in his hand, comeing in my direction. He was there when I caught the folding seat and I made
right two blows. Without seeing where it caught, I startted to run away
Jumping out the window from one of the rooms ", she says. Romilda remembers that she was despaired when seeing the man dead. "Not wise person on what to do, I picked up the telephone. I called for my son and I told him that I had killed Joel. He ordered me to call the police. I did not have courage. In these hours you do not reason. I was not a wise person what to dession to make... " Then she remembered that "He always
spoke that he was going to kill me, to hack me in small pieces and to plant me in the weeds". With this in her head she decided to kill him. "I
wanted to consume the body so that nobody would see", she adds. The woman started to cut to the body, separating the meat off the bones. According to her, she waited one day to do this.
"She started to make him (to disassemble Joel) and stopped for a little. She thought about turning her self in to the police, but she was afraid and she did not have courage because already she had started to cut into the body. At the same time that she thought about stopping already she thought about giving him to them like that. How much before I finished, my conscience I said that I would go to see myself free of that. In that
hour I was despaired... " The she-assassin confesses that she broke the bones in small pieces and boiled the meat not to give I smell. The head and the feet were put in the oven first, as she did not have any other skill but cooking, she cut whole body, after that she roast the parts in the oven. Romilda waited about one week before getting ridding herself of the pieces. She placed everything in bag and left, distributing it some parts in the city.

Bernard opines:
"It's fair to say that any normal person would, given a rapist and a chair, smack one over the head with the other, but as we both know any normal person would use fire or an acid bath when disposing of a large corpse! (or feed it to your ferrets!)"


Morbid Caption Contest Winner!

Well, the totals are in and by a 52% to 48% margin the winner of the January 6 MFDJ Caption Contest is ... <drum roll> ...

"... the other white meat"

(The runner up? "As dog is licking it's lips: 'It's ok, I had subway!'")

Congratulations to Karen D. for this winning contribution, and thank you to everyone who contributed and who voted.

I struggled in coming up with a suitable prize for this contest (ie. something working within the 'dog eats baby penis and testicle' theme), but I finally decided on this delightful one-ball morning star - as it well-represents what the baby boy has lost:


Stay tuned for the next contest, which will be a QUICK one, I promise!


Morbid Exhibit Du Jour!

KT writes to tell me about a fascinating and very morbid exhibit currently running (through August 15th) at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibit showcases the work of Mexican artist Teresa Margolles, who utilizes her forensic science background in the most imaginative ways in her work. Artwork made from human fat and the seeping fluids of cadavers are just two examples of the beauties in this exhibit. Here's a good article about the ghastly exhibit:


And here's a link to the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) website. Unfortunately, the text is all in German, but if you click on the Teresa Margolles link you can see what some of her art looks like:


If anyone happens to make it to the exhibit, please send a note to let us know your thoughts. Thanks!

Bill enlightens us:

"I've read it, but don't really have the time to translate all this modern art bollocks unless you're really desperate for it. Still a quick summary for your fanz:

"Generally: Bodies are victimes of violence, drugs, traffic accidents, unidentified corpses -many buried in unmarked graves or cremated when families don't
have the money to bury them.

"Art brings one into physical contact with the nameless dead" ... "reminds us that we are alive".

"Oh gawd, Comtesse, what a load of yuppie-art bollocks ... it's all been done before, it's like watching a coke advert - wankers like Charles Satchi will love this stuff.

"Of course the morbidity is valid - I'm not slagging you off, cos I know your heart is in the wrong place, but these artist are *so* un-outrageous. I bet they get the freaky heebie-jeebies when their deli serves them the wrong latte in their cappuchino.

"It's the same as that other German body-artist - such a wanker with nothing to say. I'd have respected him if he killed his own people for art, or this woman used her own aborted foetus, but it's always bodies bought 'legally' on the black market for financial gain - might as well be blue-chip shares.

"Anyway some that are not self-explanitory:


"This is a still-born child encased in a block. The mother couldn't afford a burial so the artist encased it in a solid but portable block. The pain and the sorrow over the death of the foetus, whose lack of rights [fucksake!] and place [huh!] are found in the impression given by the small raw block.

"Well, there's plenty more where that came from.

"I notice that the exhibition is in Yuppie-money Frankfurt. I have no immediate plans to visit that town."



Morbid Sightseer Update

I've added a "Nebraska" page to the Morbid Sightseer in order to accommodate Liz's suggestion that I include Fort Robinson, the site of the imprisonment of Cheyenne men, women, and children back in the "good old days". So, here it is, for those of you interested:


I've also added an Iowa page as well, so as to accommodate Amy's suggestions for sightseeing at the First Bride's Grave, and the Swift Meat Packing Plant, the site of a tragic explosion in 1949:


I also added a link to the beautiful, gothic Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY to the New York page, following the recommendation of Karen:



You know, I am almost positive I've featured this Brush with Morbidity before, but I cannot locate it in the archives... so what the heck, if I did feature it before, you've forgotten it by now anyway, and it's a goodie!

"My Friend's Younger Brother's Brush With Morbidity" by Kate

"[This]... happened to my friend's younger brother. He had been staying with his friends in this house for a while, until he ran out of cash, and then he moved back home. (He was about 18.) He had to get something he had forgotten in the friends' house, and so he went back to it, but the door was locked, and no one answered the bell. He decided to just go ahead and climb in the broken window into his friend's (let's call him Eric) room, because that's what they all did if they forgot their keys.

"He climbed in the window, landed on the bed, and discovered he was laying next to a dead girl. Apparently she had been there for a bit as she was kind of swollen and unattractive. He got out of the room, and called the police. The police showed up and got the body out of the room (after a whole lot of trouble for "why are you here? where's your key?" kind of stuff).

"He was kind of shaken up over the whole thing and upset. Waited for the other guy to come back, and to find Eric. Turns out that Eric was dead in the garage, and no one knew it. When the friend got there, they discovered that Eric had gone ahead and killed his girlfriend (it was strangulation) and then went and gassed himself in his car. No one knew that he had done it, because no one had really been checking up on him. Apparently the girl had been dead for a few days, and Eric had been living in the room with her until he finally couldn't stand it anymore and killed himself.

"Needless to say, they called the police back to report Eric's death. Made for an interesting day! My friend's brother called him the evening it happened and asked to borrow a gun to keep in his house because he was convinced the ghosts would be after him."

Now, that's what I call a brush (quite literally) with morbidity!! Thank you, Kate.

June 27, 2004

Today's Vile Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

English King Henry I died in Lyons-la-Foret, near Rouen, France, in 1135. His entrails, brain and eyes were buried in France, and the body was embalmed for shipment to Reading Abbey. Such was the advanced state of decomposition of the king's corpse that the surgeon assigned to do the embalming died of infection, "the last of many whom Henry destroyed." The body was sewn in a bull's hide and carried to Caen. Despite the coldness of winter, the corpse deteriorated further, prompting one mourner to observe, "Note the vileness of human flesh. It gives cause for humility."

Culled from: Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions and Fears


I think I shall have to make a shirt with that wonderful phrase on it: "Note the vileness of human flesh. It gives cause for humility." Would you buy it?


Follow-Up Du Jour!

First of all, thank you to everyone who wrote to remind me that they speak Portugese in Brazil, not Spanish. I do have an excuse, in that the newspaper articles that I saw were written in Spanish, and that's what I was referring to... but in fact I completely forgot about the Portugese thing. Well, what do you expect from a provincial Comtesse who spends all her time locked in her room in complete misery?

In any event, several of you were kind enough to do some translation for lazy me regarding the fate of Romilda Manske, the Brazilian woman who killed her lover and roasted him after he allegedly raped her. Wilf sent the most complete translation:

"I checked out some Spanish websites but finally had to check out the Portuguese ones. In May (2002) she was sentenced to 'Preventative' prison (an odd thing they have in Latin America as well as preventative police although they are always there too late - go figure) although I could not find out for how long or for what exactly. It wasn't for murder. However, in December 2002 the decision was overturned but a higher court and she was allowed to go free on a self-defense plea. One of the articles mentioned interviews with her colleagues at the 'State College' where she worked with basically all of them saying 'We're shocked! We always thought she was normal.'"

Well, she sounds pretty normal to me! I mean, isn't it normal to smack a rapist across the head with a chair? And when dealing with a large corpse, isn't it normal to try to break it down into smaller parts for disposal? Granted, the whole roasting thing is a little strange, but I don't know - maybe they're more culinary-oriented in Brazil? Anyway, thank you for the follow-up, Wilf! And thank you to everyone else who sent information on this subject.


Follow-Up Du Jour, Part II!

Liz has something to add to her Morbid Sightseeing suggestion of Fort Robinson, Nebraska (http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/ne/index.html ):

"Thanks for the blurb regarding Fort Robinson. I forgot to add an ironic touch here - during World War II Fort Robinson was used as a POW camp for German prisoners. Those German prisoners got better treatment than the Native Americans that had been imprisoned there, and far better treatment than the Japanese Americans did in the internment camps. The irony just boggles the mind ..."

Indeed, doesn't it always?


And, saving the best for last...

Follow-Up Du Jour, Part III!

Regarding my question of what roasted human must smell like, Dion and Talking Monkey sent some interesting commentary.

From Dion:
"Roasted human smells like a cross between pork & someone peeing on a red hot frying pan--I was driving my grandparents from Houston to Iowa and in AK. we came across a horrible semi fire ...cops, rescue, fire trucks ect. We had to wait a long time before they reopened the road but before they did a cop walked up & told us it would be wise to roll up the windows as we passed...well when we got closer to the burned out
semi I learned why!!!"

From Talking Monkey:

"On the subject of roasting human flesh and the subsequently emitted aromas: I used to be a package courier for a construction company. This job took me to all points around the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Ah, Virginia... I say I do not fear hell, for I have lived in Virginia.

"Anyway, One day my delivery work took me to an industrial park in Suffolk. As I exited the vehicle I was struck by the overwhelming smell of barbequed meat. It was about lunch time and I had skipped breakfast that day. Needless to say (at least for all the meat eaters out there) the smell was most enticing. I made a mental note to track down whatever BBQ pit was generating these savory aromas immediately after my delivery was made.

"You know where this is going.

"After leaving the job site and making my way back to the car, still overwhelmed by this delicious scent in the air, I happened to look down a side street. Of course I spied exactly what you're now expecting me to have seen, a delivery van unloading a casket into an industrial-type building with smoke billowing from two large smokestacks.

"I vowed never to eat meat again. That lasted almost a week.

"The worst part of it is, and maybe the facts have slowly become jumbled over the intervening seven years, I swear that building was a meat packing plant.

"Ah, Virginia."

Fascinating reports. Thanks to you both!

~ashleigh provides the following addendum:
"Regarding Talking Monkey's comments on the smell of roasting flesh in Suffolk, Virginia . . . ah, Virginia indeed. I have lived in the Hampton Roads (could it really be an inadvertant slip that I originally typed "Hampton Toads" on accident?) area for my entire life, and I have many, many memories (most of them unpleasant) of the smell of cooking flesh, be it that of a pig, cow, or chicken in some barbecue restaurant or processing plant. Is it any wonder that I am a vegetarian? Anyway, there was once a Mack-truck-versus-Honda collision on Route 58 in Franklin (near the area Talking Monkey described, I assume) in which a couple of people burned to death. I was on the way to Georgia with my family, and I knew right away that we were NOT smelling chicken or pork or beef processing. This was years ago, and I couldn't describe that smell to you right now, but just a few months ago, I witnessed a car fire on I-464 in Chesapeake on the way home to Norfolk from my aunt's house. I turned to my mom and was beginning to ask, "do you think there was a person in the car?" when I smelled it: roasting human flesh. Ugh. I don't know how cannibals do it.

"Thought I would add a nice rambling addendum to your presumably voluminous files on the lovely commonwealth we call Virginia."

June 29, 2004

Today's Buoyant Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Few ships, after the Titanic went down, chose to navigate in or around the area where the Titanic sank. Those that did, came upon hundreds of bodies and wreckage. Most ship captains considered this site a graveyard and chose to not subject their passengers to the grim sight in that area. As cautious as some captains were about subjecting their passengers to such sights, some ships could not avoid the wreckage area. Even after the search for victims had concluded, ships continued to sight victims of the Titanic. Some Scandinavian immigrants en route to Minnesota related an incident so heartbreaking and ghastly a transcription of it was sent to President Taft. "In several instances," the immigrants reported, "bodies were struck by our boat and knocked from the water several feet into the air." One of the Bremen's first class passengers saw a body of a woman in her night dress, and clasping a baby to her breast. Close by was the body of another woman with her arms around a shaggy dog. Other passengers saw the bodies of three men in a group, all clinging to a chair. Floating by just beyond them were dozens of bodies, wearing life belts and clinging desperately together as though in their last struggle for life. The entire surface of the ocean around them formed a wreath of deck chairs and wreckage.

Culled from: The Titanic Graves Of Halifax
Generously submitted by: Heather


You know, in spite of the movie, I doubt I shall ever lose my obsession with the Titanic. I mean, how could I with tidbits like this one??? They just don't make disasters like this anymore... sigh...


Morbid Zine Du Jour!

Onyx sends us a recommendation to Morbid Outlook magazine:

"Lots of fun things and some VERY interesting articles. Enjoy!"

I can attest to the fact that it is a most excellent creation.

Join the fun at:



Special Discount For The Morbid!!

Some of you may recall the mention that I made of the stage production "Charlie Victor Romeo". Well, Deb - who originally informed me of the show - has good news for those of you in the NYC area (or planning a visit there soon)!

"I'd like to offer something special to MFDJ readers for 'Charlie Victor Romeo.' If they say YUKLA (you-kla) at the door they can get in for 20 bucks instead of $30. It's the least I can do for my fellow ghoulies. I've included the info again, so you don't have to look it up, along with our latest press release."


"...the intensely engrossing documentary of life-and-death enacted on the stage...Charlie Victor Romeo is a powerful experience, not for the faint of heart." New York Times 6/12/04

"...the uniformly excellent cast performs with such verisimilitude, theatergoers may feel as if they’re sitting in an aisle of a very different kind... Still, no show in town can match its sheer intensity or hermetic artistic perfection." Time Out New York 6/10/04


PERFORMANCES: @ 8PM Tues through Sun + 3PM Sat Matinee

$30 admission
[EXCLUSIVE FOR MFDJ READERS AND THEIR FRIENDS: Say YUKLA (you-kla) at the door and get in for $20!]

PS122 150 First Avenue @ E. 9th Street NYC
RESERVATIONS: 212-477-5288

Damn, damn, damn!! I REALLY WANNA GO!!!! - The Frustrated Comtesse, sulking...


Morbid Trinket Du Jour... For The Rich.

I was delighted to receive an e-mail from markryden.com informing me that one of my favorite artists is releasing a limited edition print available tomorrow... until I saw that the price is $900.00. But I figured, who knows, there may be someone among us with enough dosh to afford this fine collectible? So, here's the information for you lucky bastards.

Porterhouse Fine Art Editions will be offering three new Limited Edition prints on Wednesday, June 30th.

"Blood, Sweat & Tears" limited edition prints. Signed and numbered Giclee prints on archival, cotton rag paper with deckled edges. Letterpress title. These prints are available individually or as a suite of all three.

Paper Size: 17" x 23"
Edition Size: 60
Price: $900 each
($2500 for suite of three prints)

The prints will be available for viewing and purchase through our website starting the morning of June 30th. Ordering pages will be added to the website for online purchasing. The prints will be limited to one of each per person.

At the very least, why not take a look at the delightful prints at http://www.markryden.com/ ? (I'm fond of "Blood" myself.)

Whimsical fun for the whole sick and twisted family!

June 30, 2004

Today's Loving Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Although Valentines Day was only four days away, one couple's love-bites got out of hand on February 10, 2003, to the point where they both had to go to the hospital. While this may not be a Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt case it does come close: very close. 54-year-old William Frank Reese didn't want to be interviewed on-camera, and you can probably understand why. He claimed his live-in house keeper, 39-year-old Tommie Lorene Burnette, bit him in his thigh and penis, and then chewed off a chunk of skin from his scrotum. Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnette said "the officers arrived on the scene, and saw both parties had wounds and been fighting. So both parties were arrested." Sheriff Burnette, no relation to the woman in this story, was too embarrassed to describe on-camera the details about what happened. For some still unknown reason the couple got into a fight Monday night, and Ms. Burnette then went nuts. After the woman bit Reese's scrotum, she spit the chunk of flesh into the front yard, where one of several dogs outside ate it. Ms. Burnette was taken to Grandview Medical Center and treated for bites to her face and ear. Mr. Reese was taken to jail where officers noticed his injury. He was later treated by doctors for "a big hole in his sack." Sheriff Burnette said "it's very unusual. Most domestics are not this bad, you know. Usually it's a black eye or something. Usually the wounds are not this bad, so it's something uncommon." Mr. Reese said the flesh wound is "not that big a deal," adding his testicles were not seriously injured and will be OK.

Culled from: News Channel 9 (Chattanooga, TN)
Generously submitted by: Runefaer


Well, thank GAWD his testicles are going to be okay! I mean, the thought that this loving couple might not be able to have children in the future is just *tragic*!

Speaking of tragic, I must sadly inform you that I will be out of town until July 6th. I'm going to Chicago to spend the extended weekend with my girlfriend. We'll be celebrating our one year anniversary with a romantic stroll through a haunted cemetery or two. What could possibly be more romantic?

I know, I know... This isn't very Comtesselike, is it? Damn that charming girl for infecting me - she's ruining my reputation!!!


Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Burleyque has a couple of recommendations for us all.

"First, the book 'The Little Book of Bad Taste' is full of great morbid gems - it opens with a list of 'surprise fillings' including an Italian stripper who suffocated in a birthday cake and various appendages showing up in various food products."

Sounds yummy!


"Second, The Jekyll and Hyde Club in New York (http://www.jekyllandhydeclub.com/home.html) is aimed at kids, but its still very morbid, decorated with rotting skeletons, specimens, framed anatomical and insect drawings, talking gargoyles, ghostly widows, TVs playing old b&w scary movies and a bar on every floor for adults to 'get into the spirit' (and they're watched over by deceased bartender 'Max Gorey' : "He
served Dr. Jekyll and his companions for years mixing such potent drinks as the 'Cerebral Hemorrhage' and the 'Spine Smasher'. Max perished in an unfortunate blender accident. in the words of club member Lucifer Garrotte, 'Max was a good bartender, but he was a great Daiquiri.'") It's the kind of sick place I'd take my kids if I had any, and I'd take my friends kids just to try and corrupt them.

"Apparently the same company has a couple of other bars in the city and a dance club http://www.eerie.com/."

Dammit. Why does New York have all the fun???? Maybe I'll have to convince my girlfriend to move THERE!!


Morbid Site Du Jour!

Leave it to the good folks at Northwestern University to show us what a PROPER project looks like! They've gone and catalogued Chicago murders from 1870-1930, including images of some of the original police reports and photographs! Why, this sounds like something I'd do a thesis on! Now, of course, when I move to Chicago later this year, I'm going to be obsessed with driving past some of the sites where the more gruesome murders occurred to see if the houses are still there. Such a fine hobby that is!

Anyway, check out the fascinating site for yourself. Special thanks to Keith for forwarding the link.