July, 2008

July 1, 2008

Today's Acute Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On August 14, 2007, a Japanese motorcyclist cruised two kilometres down a road without noticing his right leg had been severed. Police suspect that Kazuo Nagata, 54, was unable to feel the pain as it was so acute. Osada was on a ride with some 10 friends on Monday when he lost his right leg from the knee down after hitting a dividing barrier on a road in central Shizuoka prefecture. He was so focused on the road he did not notice his leg was gone until he had to change direction two kilometres later. His friends went back to pick up his lower right leg, which was transported with Nagata by ambulance to a hospital.

Culled from: News24.com
Generously submitted by: Rene


Okay, so I don't have any experience riding motorcycles, but don't you have to do this with your feet? Like the brakes and the clutch and stuff? I mean, I can understand this with a scooter, but it seems odd with a motorcycle. Okay, I lied - I can't understand this with a scooter either!


Infrared Photography

So, I finally tried taking some infrared photos - mainly of graveyards but also some historic structures around Chicago - and they turned out really well, so I thought I'd share.



A Morbid Request

LG wrote me with a question which, unfortunately, has left me stumped (though luckily my head and limbs remain intact). I thought perhaps someone out there might be able to offer some information?

"[I have been] reminded... to finally ask you about a series of children's books. I've scoured Mystery bookshops and can't find a lead. When I was young, my oldest brother procured these 'murder mystery' game books and of course we had to play them discretely so as not to be discovered by my very pious mother. These gamebooks were oversized and had really graphic, grisly illustrated crime scenes and a list of clues and short story to go along - you had to follow the clues and find more in the pictures to figure out the mystery. Thinking back, these were quite inappropriate for children and of course, I'm dying to get my hands on them now!! Do you have ANY idea what they were called???"

They sound marvelous to me! Can anyone help?


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Now, here's a simply wonderful little blog about our favorite subject: Death! Definitely a must-browse!

Futility Closet

Thanks to mojo for the link.


July 6, 2008

Today's Momentous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A German "spit for distance" aficionado's attempt to go that extra foot has ended in tragedy. Trying too hard to gain extra momentum, he fell off an apartment balcony, sustaining life-threatening injuries. The 43-year-old, who has not been named, was critically injured when he fell off a balcony during a "spit for distance" competition. According to a police statement Thursday, the man had been competing with a 12-year-old boy in a spitting contest on Wednesday evening. The pair had been standing on the balcony of a second-floor apartment in the town of Forst in the east German state of Brandenburg, seeing how far they could spit. In an attempt to reach an even better performance, the man had apparently tried too hard to gain extra momentum to propel his saliva further. He was carried over the railing and fell onto the balcony of the first floor apartment below, sustaining life-threatening injuries. A rescue helicopter was called in to whisk the man to a hospital in the nearby city of Cottbus. The incident coincides with the publication of a new report showing that increasing numbers of men in the former East Germany are poorly educated, unemployed and frustrated.

Culled from: Spiegel Online
Generously submitted by: Magnoire


Apparently, some men in the former East Germany are also complete idiots!


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Looking for that perfect gift for that special gullible person in your life? Search no more!

Ghost In A Bottle

Thanks to lethaljesus for the link.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here are some fascinating images of Lenin's corpse, which was mummified and put on display in Red Square after he died in 1924, going through its annual mummy maintenance. Oh, if only we had done this with Abe Lincoln...


Thanks to Bill for the link.

July 8, 2008

Today's Compact Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Two people whose bodies were found at paper recycling plants more than 1,000 miles apart were a homeless couple who apparently went to sleep in a recycling container before its contents were compacted. Officials said there were no obvious signs of foul play. One body was found at the Abitibi Consolidated plant in Snowflake, Ariz., about 175 miles northeast of Phoenix. It was positively identified Tuesday as Thomas Jansen, 53, a south St. Louis County man missing since late last month. The Navajo County, Ariz., sheriff's office told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that workers at the Snowflake plant found the body in a large container used to collect material rejected in the paper recycling process. Using railroad documents, investigators determined that a large bale of material had been shipped to the Arizona plant from the St. Louis area. Jansen's body was identified from partial fingerprints and a description on an expired driver's license. The body of Jansen's wife, Susan, 48, was found May 24 on a conveyor belt at a recycling center in north St. Louis. Police believe both of the Jansens, who had recently become homeless, had gone to sleep in a recycling container in south St. Louis County before the container's contents were emptied into a truck and compacted.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Marco


Marco summed up my thoughts about this article quite well: "What gets me is imagining the last five seconds of the people's lives. They're asleep, see, in a dumpster. A truck lifts the dumpster and spills them into itself and they're /compacted/." Shudder!!



Rene sent some ghastly burn pictures to the MFDJ Discussion Group awhile back that I am finally getting around to sharing. There was no identifying information on the pictures except the name "Amanda" on the titles. I'm wondering if anyone knows the background on the images?



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Orion Pax sent an interesting article about the execution of Ricky McGinn, a Texas man convicted of raping and murdering his 12-year-old stepdaughter in 1993. It's an old article, but still a fascinating read.


July 16, 2008

Today's Preparatory Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The following are the steps that should be taken to prepare a body for shipment:

1) Thoroughly cleanse and embalm the remains.
2) Pack all external orifices.*
3) Place the remains in a plastic garment (pants, coveralls, or unionalls).
4) Partially dress the remains using underclothing, pajamas, or a hospital gown, and envelop in a clean sheet;
5) When shipping by common carrier place the shrouded body on a sheet of plastic which can envelop the body.
6) Do *not* place one hand over another, as this might not be the desired position.
7) When shipping casketed remains, place a very heavy layer of cotton around the head and face to protect the casket and clothing from any purge; be certain to turn the pillow over for shipping to prevent soilage from purge or cosmetics.
8) Secure the body on a cot if shipping within the container; if casketed, place the bed of the casket in the lowest position and move the feet to the furthest end; secure the head end so the body will not slide.
9) Document the condition of the body prior to, during, and after embalming. Send a copy of the embalming report with the remains.
10) Notify the receiving funeral director of any unusual conditions (e.g., trauma, obesity, edema).

Culled from: Embalming: History, Theory, & Practice
Special thanks to beth for sending me the book.


* I just finished reading this book and I have decided that being an embalmer must surely be one of the most unpleasant jobs on the planet. At one time, I was attracted to the allure of working with corpses (who wouldn't be?), but the following paragraph convinced me that my talents are better spent elsewhere:

"When anal purge is present after embalming, force as much purge as possible from the rectum by firmly pressing on the lower abdominal area. Pack the rectum using cotton saturated with cavity fluid, autopsy gel, or a phenol solution. Dry packing should be inserted into the anal orifice after the moistened cotton. Leave a portion of the dry cotton so it can be seen. This will help to fully block the anal orifice."


Kellie G. adds the following:

Ahhh.. you bring back fond memories of preparing a body for shipment. Hope you don't mind if I add a few comments to your steps?

- old rule of thumb is to 'over embalm' the body for extra preservation for long flights, they usually arrive hard as a rock and purging.
- when shipping with a combo unit, they come with difficult origami instructions for the plastic sheeting and the head block
-when shipping with a casket on airtray, my old school boss would instruct us to bound the hands in place, tie the feet together and bound them to the mattress of the casket so they would not move around. Then we would lift the heavy casket onto the airtray, there must be an easier way to do this!
-after the body is all set for cargo shipment, we would use a huge black marker and write the name of the deceased really big on the outside of the box, in case they got lost!

and as for the worse part of embalming, I only packed the orifices if it was REALLY necessary, boy that can stink!
There is a product that looks like a huge plastic screw, wonder why they call it the AV plug?



I'm a Flickr junkie these days, and among my favorite Flickr contacts is jack_mord (of Thanatos.Net), who collects and posts morbid historic photographs. The other day he posted a doozy - a photograph of a most gruesome death. Take a look and join the shuddering.



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Jeremy sends a link to a macabre e-greeting website that could come in handy the next time you need to send the perfectly ghoulish card to your loved (or hated) one. Enjoy!


July 20, 2008

Today's Angry Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Famous Tennessee whiskey distiller Jack Daniel decided to come in to work early one morning in 1911. He wanted to open his safe but couldn’t remember the combination. In anger, Daniel kicked the safe and injured his toe, which later developed an infection that killed him.

Culled from: Neatorama
Generously submitted by: Bex


Best of all, you can actually see the Safe That Killed Jack Daniel if you take the distillery tour in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Here's the article from Roadside America:


And here's the "official" link:



Follow-Up Du Jour!

Long-time readers may recall the story of the family with the mummified baby family heirloom that ran into trouble with the police. This was featured as the March 12, 2007 Morbid Fact Du Jour:

"A family heirloom is not going over well with police. The mummified body of a baby kept by a Concord, N.H., family has drawn attention from investigators. The current keeper of the baby, Charles Peavey, said the tiny mummy has been passed down in his family for many years. Concord police recently got word of the remains and they took them in for testing. A forensic anthropologist will examine the tiny corpse. Peavey said the mummy belonged to his great-great uncle, who was born in Ashland in 1850. The family estimated that the mummy is 90 years old. It was discovered among the uncle's possessions in 1947 in Manchester, N.H. Police said the testing on the corpse could take a month or more."

Well, DNA testing came back and did not show a family tie, so the family had to bury the little mummy (Baby John). Isn't that tragic? You know, you try to do something nice for a fetus, like giving it a loving home, and look at the thanks you get.


Wretched Recommendations!

Steve O' has a film recommendation for us:

Masters Of Horror: John Carpenter: Cigarette Burns (2006)

"Eerie motherfucking film. The few glimpses we get of the film within the film, Le fin Absolue du Monde (The Absolute End of the World), give me the creeps, and that takes some doing! If you don't have a Netflix account, see if you can rent it locally. It may take a couple of watches to make a off-kilter kind of sense, but it's worth it."

Netflix Link

Amazon Link


July 21, 2008

Today's Unintentional Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An example of unintentional humor was provided by the death of General Sedgewick, American Civil War commander (1864), who, peering over a parapet was heard to observe, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."

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


This one smacks of urban legend to me. Anyone have time to do a little research and report back on your findings?

Tom writes: "I first remember reading this story back in the early 80s. It's based on a real incident but alas the last words aren't true. Here's a good link: http://www.civilwarhome.com/sedgwickdeath.htm "


Follow-Up Du Jour!

Speaking of reporting back on your findings, a few newsletters ago, I had featured some horrific photographs which I thought were depicting a girl who had been severely burned. I asked if anyone had additional information on the photos and, although no one has provided anymore detail on the particulars of the case, I did find out from several of you that the girl was not, in fact, suffering from burns; she was suffering from a disease entitled Epidermolysis Bullosa. Tapherine writes to tell us more about it:

"I'm writing regarding the Amanda pictures. I'm an Administrator for a Division of Dermatology and it looks like she may have the blistering disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). People born with EB lack anchors that hold the layers of their skin together. As a consequence, any activity that rubs or causes pressure produces a painful sore akin to a second-degree burn. Sufferers of this disorder, are often washed in baths with drops of bleach in it to kill any bacteria and the are wrapped in gauze. They become so scarred that their fingers/toes become fused together.

"A great documentary about this condition, "My Flesh and Blood."

"Websites about EB"

Here are the original "Amanda" pictures if you missed them:

Thank you for the information, Tapherine - and everyone else who wrote me. I can't believe I wasn't aware of this disorder - it will need to be a Malady of the Month for sure!


Morbid Sightseeing!

Who would have guessed that the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan would be the home of such incredible morbid goodies as the chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre, the limousine that JFK was riding in when he was assassinated in Dallas, and Thomas Edison's last breath? Certainly not I, but it's now on my "Must Visit" list!


Thanks to Scott for the suggestion.

July 22, 2008

Today's Fan-tastic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A suspected burglar in Miami was found dangling from a large ventilation fan after he apparently stepped on the on switch while his body was inside the machine and killed himself, according to police. Miami investigators said a "known burglar" in the area was found dead in the powerful fan at the Maranatha Used Clothing store Thursday, May 31, 2007 when the store opened up for business. A witness said an employee of the store noticed feet dangling from the fan and called police. Officers said they believe he was trying to scramble through the fan when his foot clicked a switch to the on position. "If you are going to die for your profession, make it worthwhile," an officer told WSVN on the scene. "That is horrible," a resident said. "I wouldn't want anyone to die like that."

Culled from: Local6.Com
Generously donated by: Magnoire


Follow-Up Du Jour!

Thank you to everyone who researched yesterday's morbid fact on the death of Civil War General John Sedgewick, who was supposed to have died when struck by a bullet mid-sentence: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." It appears from the most reliable evidence (an eyewitness account) that Sedgewick did make the statement, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" while teasing his men, who were flinching and dodging flying bullets. It was a few seconds after saying this line that he fell forward dead, with a bullet hole under his left eye. So the statement itself is true, but he didn't die in the act of actually saying the sentence. Okay, I can live with that death...


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Now here's a cute lil gift idea: skelanimals! Available in ever-so-many morbid varieties!


Thanks to Kainlane for the link.


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

I must thank Kainlane for introducing me to a kindred soul of a comic strip: Wondermark by David Malki. It's not always morbid, but it is always eclectic and arcane, and that's how we "roll" around the Asylum. Fellow luddites, please have a gander!



July 25, 2008

Today's Especially Ironic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Bobby Leach wasn’t afraid to court death: in 1911, he was the second person in the world to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The daredevil went on to perform many other death-defying stunts, so his death is especially ironic. One day while walking down a street in New Zealand, Leach slipped on a piece of orange peel. He broke his leg so badly it had to be amputated. Leach died due to complications that developed afterwards.

Culled from: Neatorama
Generously submitted by: Bex


Morbid Gaming!

Unfortunately, I don't have time for gaming these days, but perhaps you'll be interested in Kainlane's gaming suggestion?

"I have a game suggestion. And it's free to download! The White Chamber by Studio Trophis is a point and click adventure with an anime theme. The main character wakes up in a strange glowing coffin with no memory of where she is or what is going on. You quickly realize she is on a space shape where something has gone terribly wrong. She is literally living in a nightmare as the story progresses. The ship is covered in blood throughout and everything is in disarray. You have to go through and figure out various clues, including collecting body parts! It is a really short game, that could be finished in just a few hours and it all comes together in the end. There are seven horrifying endings and one 'good' ending, depending on how you play. It is definitely a fun trip."


For extra backstory (or a prologue) listen to this terrifying treat:



Morbid Art Du Jour!

If you're simultaneously attracted to both the morbid and the futuristic, you may find the artwork of Viktor Koen to your liking:


Thanks to Lady Morgana for the link.

July 28, 2008

Today's Teethy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Rugby player Ben Czislowski kept competing for more than three months despite the headaches that started after a clash with an opponent. Czislowski was playing for Brisbane team Wynnum during the April 1 incident involving Tweed Heads forward Matt Austin. He had a head wound stitched up afterward, the Australian Associated Press reported Tuesday. Czislowski later suffered an eye infection and complained of lethargy and shooting pains in his head. Then last week, his doctor found a tooth imbedded in Czislowski's head. "I can laugh about it now, but the doctor told me it could have been serious, with teeth carrying germs," Czislowski said. "I've got the tooth at home, sitting on the bedside table," he said. "If he (Austin) wants it back he can have it. I'm keeping it at the moment as proof that it actually happened."

Culled from: WFTV.Com
Generously submitted by: Paradox


And those American football players with their shoulder pads and helmets think they're sooooooooo tough.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

I can always appreciate commitment - especially when that commitment is to become a walking, talking, rotting cadaver. Meet Rick - and swoon!


Thanks to Lady Morgana for the link.


Morbid Trinkets!

If you're into serial killers (and I know you are), you might be interested in the myriad of dreadful delights to be found at...


Thanks to Eleanor for the link.