August, 2004

August 1, 2004

Today's Unjust Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Sarah Cornell, an unmarried 30 year old factory worker in Fall River, Massachusetts, was found hanging near a haystack on a local farm. She was identified by a Methodist minister to whose church she belonged. Initially considered a suicide, the case was reopened when a note in Cornell's handwriting was found among her possessions implicating Rev. Avery. Cornell had been a member of Avery's church in Lowell, Massachusetts, when she worked in a factory there, but had been expelled from the church for "lewdness and lying." Cornell met with Avery at a Methodist camp meeting in Thompson, Connecticut, in an effort to persuade Avery to destroy the letters of confession she had written, which were preventing her joining any other local Methodist churches. According to a later report of Cornell's brother-in-law, Cornell said that Avery had agreed to destroy the letters on the condition that she have sex with him, which she did. Cornell later discovered that she was pregnant. Based on the existence of the note, Cornell's body was exhumed and an autopsy performed. It was discovered that she was five months pregnant; there were signs of violence on the body indicating that an attempt had been made at abortion. A warrant for Avery's arrest was issued, but after a much-publicized, extensive, and extremely controversial preliminary hearing, it was ruled that there was not enough evidence against Avery, and he was freed. John Durfee, the farmer who had found Cornell's body, was dissatisfied with the finding, and convened a Committee of Vigilance; an official complaint was sworn out and filed with a magistrate in Newport. Threatened with arrest, Avery fled Rhode Island, but was traced to his hiding place in Rindge, New Hampshire by the Bristol County sheriff and arrested there. Press coverage of the trial was extensive, making it difficult to empanel a jury. Avery's trial was a long one for the period, 27 days, during which 196 witnesses were examined. The defense strategy was to point to Avery's respectable position in the community and to Cornell's bad character as proof that there could never have been any "connexion" between the two. Cornell's history of shoplifting and venereal disease was exposed. The jury deliberated for 16 hours, after which Avery was acquitted. Some weeks later, a Methodist church hearing cleared Avery of all blame in Cornell's death, and he returned to the ministry. Despite this, and despite the acquittal, popular opinion was against Avery, and the scandal continued to follow him. Two years later, Avery left the ministry and moved to Ohio.

Culled from: The Brown University Library
Suggested by: Katchaya


Well, whatever I say about this one will probably get me in trouble with someone or another, so I think I'll return to my parlor instead...

I had a very minor brush with morbidity the other day that I thought I'd share with you all. I was at my sister's house and I was in the corral playing with her goats, Betty and Spike. (Yes, I play with her goats. You got a PROBLEM with that???) When I was getting ready to leave, I picked up the chain that secures the fence and forgot all about the electric wire that runs around the perimeter. Well, now, normally the wire just gives me a little shock if I forget about it. I get pissed and that's that. But with the metal chain there to conduct electricity, it was an entirely unique experience. I was glued to the chain for a few seconds as the electricity surged through me and caused my muscles to twitch. I think it just took me by surprise, but I was able to get my wits about me and pull away, but not before I had been left with some rather nasty looking welts along the back of my arm. (And no, I didn't think to take pics of them... dummy me!) It was no big deal, but now I understand why people being electrocuted can't just pull away from the power source, and I think I'm ready for my turn in the electric chair, when it comes. And you just know it will. ;)

Comak1ll has something to say about this fact:
"Yay! I liked that fact, I live right along side of Fall River. :D There's plenty of morbid history in that city. Much more recently, someone I knew from there killed himself. There's this one gas station that my friends and I went to to purchase cigarettes because they didn't card. All the workers there were Indian, barely scraping by, probably very disillusioned by the "american dream", working at a gas station, selling cigarettes to minors.. Anyway, one of the gas station employees decided to end his life. He tied one end of a rope to a telephone pole, and the other end around his neck. He proceeded to get into his car and drive away, pulling his head clear off his body. This happened only one block over from my friend's house where I constantly hide out. >.< Fall River has a shitload of morbid history, Lizzie Borden included, you should come visit! ;D"


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

For those of us who can't get enough of creepy baby dolls, there's another source on the block: Krypt Kiddies. Although they're not as impressive as Autopsy Staple Zombie Babies (but what is?), they do have an anatomically correct Baby Divine doll:

And a Pinhead doll:

And my favorite, the ultra-creepy ShyAnne (and you gotta love the picture of the human baby trying to push ShyAnne away, hahahahahaha!):

Check them out - if you're rich. The dolls are hand-made and as such go for over $100.00 apiece. Sigh, always a catch...


Morbid Theater Du ... er... Last Month!

Well, sometimes it really is unfortunate that I don't have enough time to stay on top of my inbox. Like, for instance, when I tuck information aside to post to the list and then I forget about it for a few weeks, and then I go back to it to find it's now irrelevent. That's what has sort of happened with a post that Mommy's Little Monster submitted regarding a musical stage version of Evil Dead. What a brilliant idea!!! It ran in Toronto and closed on... July 25th. Erm. But the good news is 1) most of you probably wouldn't have gone to Toronto to see it anyway, right? <nervous grin> and 2) it will probably be playing somewhere else in the country. So, keep your eyes posted on this website and maybe we'll get lucky and it will go touring across the country?

August 4, 2004

Today's Raging Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A migrant worker from Myanmar cut off his penis on Friday after drinking himself into a rage when his wife refused him sex. Po Dong, 29, a dock worker at the Thai port of Samut Prakan, attempted intercourse with his wife, Kate, on Thursday night (July 29, 2004). When she refused he stayed up all night drinking whiskey and made another attempt on Friday. When this attempt at intimacy also was rebuffed, Po Dong flew into a rage and severed his penis with a pair of scissors. He then cut the severed member into several pieces and stabbed himself in the stomach while screaming abuse at his wife. He was reported in serious but stable condition on Friday afternoon.

Culled from: IOL
Generously submitted by: Sandy


"Po Dong" is right!!! What did that dong ever do to deserve such abuse? From "Po Dong" to "No Dong" in 15 seconds! And, of course, this incident would be the origin of the expression, "Cutting off your penis to spite your mate".


Book Recommendation Du Jour!

Wayne Jr. would like to tell us about a fascinating, yet horrifying, book about the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China in the 1930's:

The Rape of Nanking
by Iris Chang

"I haven't read the book, but the pictures are reputed to be VERY disturbing... (People want to throw up after seeing them...)

'Nor were they killed methodically and systematically as the Nazis and Bolsheviks usually did with their victims. Instead, they were put to death one by one...or in small groups. They were often tortured...degraded...and made to suffer as much as the killers' imagination made possible. Nothing personal...of course.

Butchery. Barbarity. Bestiality. It is hard to describe what happened inwords that do it justice.'"

Thanks, Wayne. I actually own this book but I haven't read it yet. (Why not? Good question... I must move it up in the list.) And I can attest that the photographs are very disturbing indeed: photos of Japanese soldiers "practicing" their bayonet technique on helpless live targets, men being prepared to be buried alive, a photo of a beheading by sword which captures the exact moment of decapitation, a row of severed heads, heaps of corpses, photos of burned and beaten children, and horrifying images of Chinese women being prepared for gang rape, including one of the most disturbing images I've ever seen of a mutilated woman, post-rape. A chilling document of the darkest side of human nature.

Oana adds the following commentary (8/5/04):

"My ex-grandfather-in-law, who was Japanese, would often try to gross me out at the dinner table with his exploits during the war. He was bad even for the Japanese Imperial Army. One day, riding his horse through an Indonesian village, he decided to crush a child's head. Somehow, he made his horse trample over the child's head so he could see what a brain looked like. The distraught mother reported him to his superiors who just looked the other way. This guy went to a glorious career as an alcoholic wife-beater, and later an alcoholic daughter-in-law-beater. Luckily, by the time I married into his family, he was too old to beat me for eating at the dinner table with the men instead of hanging out in the kitchen."

August 8, 2004

Today's Torn Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 23-year-old man who died in Tukwila, Washington police custody Aug. 24 swallowed a bag of cocaine before his arrest and it ruptured inside him and caused a fatal overdose. Jason L. Tucker of Seattle was arrested Aug. 23 on suspicion of domestic violence. While in the holding cell at the Tukwila Police Department, Tucker began having seizures. He was stabilized at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle but suffered another seizure and died. Toxicology tests by the King County Medical Examiner's Office determined that a high level of cocaine in Tucker's system was the immediate cause of death. Investigators also found a small, torn plastic bag in his digestive tract. The autopsy revealed no other marks or bruises.

Culled from: Seattle Times
Generously submitted by: -RaT-


Oooh! This would make the best plastic bag advertisement!! Can't you see it? In split-screen, two guys are sitting in their respective apartments preparing to snort up. The police knock on the door. They both run to the kitchen to grab a plastic bag - one grabs a generic brand, the other grabs Glad. They swallow the drugs and the scene cuts to both of them sitting in police custody. The guy who used the generic brand begins to collapse and go into convulsions, while the Glad user sits there smiling and happily conversing with the police, until he walks away free.

"Aren't you glad you used Glad?"

I really have missed my calling in life, haven't I? ;)

By the way, sorry for the lag in facts. I've been experiencing intermittent mail server woes again. Yeah, yeah, I know... excuses, excuses...


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Jem has another of his incomparable Autopsy Staple Zombie Baby Dolls up for auction on Ebay. And this one is a BEAUTY, with a hinged chest plate and all!! Damn, if I wasn't moving in a few weeks, I'd seriously think about going after this one!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Trying to shed yourself of an unwanted suitor? Then, why not fake your own death? The Tombstone Generator is here to help you out!

Thanks to B for the link.


I Want My M(orbid) TV!

Looks like the ever-reliable History Channel has some good morbid shows coming up this month!
Monday, August 9, 2004

9-10pm -- Deep Sea Detectives - Death by Human Torpedo
During WWII's final stages, the U.S. established what
it believed was safe anchorage in a Western Pacific
lagoon called Ulithi Atoll. But on the morning of
November 20, 1944, an explosive attack by one of
Japan's new secret weapons sent a refueling ship, the
USS Mississinewa, to the bottom of the lagoon along
with 53 sailors. By 2001, nearly every major U.S. WWII
shipwreck had been found except for the Mississinewa.
This is the story of the efforts to locate the last
mystery shipwreck of WWII.

10-11pm -- Investigating History - Napoleon's Mass
In March 2002, in Vilnius, Lithuania, construction
workers uncovered a mass grave filled with close to
2,000 skeletons. Scientists determined that the
remains belonged to the last remnants of Napoleon's
Grand Army retreating from Moscow in 1812. The find
offers new insight into Napoleon's invasion of Russia,
the largest military disaster ever recorded. Follow
scientists as they seek to learn who these people were
and how they died. Was it a massacre, an epidemic, or
the result of brutal cold?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Torture Devices
For more than 3,000 years, emperors and generals,
dictators and police, criminals, clerics, and even
medical doctors have created and used a vast array of
torture devices--everything from the ancient Greeks'
Brazen Bull, which slowly barbecued the victim, to the
elaborate mechanical apparatuses of the Spanish
Inquisition. A medical doctor who specializes in
victims of torture reveals how the human body responds
to their use--from the earliest devices to the more

Thursday, August 12, 2004
7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Train Wrecks
Throughout railroad history, disasters lay at the
heart of progress, since expansion and profit proved
the main goals of management. In 1875 alone, an
average of 22 train accidents happened daily; in 1890,
over 6,000 people were killed. We'll examine how
safety, once a secondary consideration, became a
primary goal.

Saturday, August 14, 2004
7-8pm -- Wild West Tech - Execution Tech
Journey back to the days when justice was swifter than
a saloon girl on a Saturday night and examine the
horrors of human design that brought terror to the Old

Sunday, August 15, 2004
7-8pm -- Investigating History - Investigating
History: D-Day: The Secret Massacre
A cogent look at the massacre of U.S. paratroopers and
French civilians on D-Day.

August 16, 2004

Today's Grafted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 480-pound Martin County, Florida woman died after emergency workers tried to remove her from the couch where she had remained for about six years. Gayle Laverne Grinds, 40, died Wednesday, August 11, after a failed six-hour effort to dislodge her from the couch in her home. Workers say the home was filthy, and Grinds was too large to get up from the couch to even use the bathroom. Everyone going inside the home had to wear protective gear. The stench was so powerful they had to blast in fresh air. The walls and floors were matted with feces and trash was strewn across the floors. A preliminary autopsy on the the four-foot, ten-inch woman lists the cause of death as "morbid obesity." But officials want to know more about the circumstances inside the home.Investigators say Grinds lived with a man named Herman Thomas, who says he tried to take care of her the best he could. He has told them he tried repeatedly to get her up, but simply couldn't. No charges have been filed, but officials are looking into negligence issues. Emergency workers had to remove some sliding glass doors and lift the couch, with Grinds still on it, to a trailer behind a pickup truck. Removing her from the couch would be too painful, since her body was grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, her skin had literally become one with the sofa and had to be surgically removed. She died at Martin Memorial Hospital South, still attached to the couch.

Culled from:
Generously submitted by: Greg


Yikes! Personally, I don't see how they can't file charges against this woman's family for not getting help for her. How on earth can people live under conditions like that? It foxes me!!

And let this be a lesson to all you video game addicts: Get up every once in awhile or risk becoming one with your couch/chair!


It's official: work has devoured my existence. The Comtesse DeSpair is going into a very dark place (ie. Indianapolis, IN) for the next two weeks. May your days be pleasantly dark and blissfully dismal in my absence.

But, before I leave...

Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a clever little game. Hit the right arrow key repeatedly as fast as possible to increase the speed of the Hearse, then hit the spacebar to send the coffin flying as far as possible. Hours of fun!