December, 2000

December 3, 2000
A 50-year-old Russian man was handed a 24-year jail sentence for killing one of his friends and giving away the victim's flesh as 'veal'. The unidentified man killed his friend in December 1999, cut the body into pieces and put them in a bag. He took the bag to an abode near his home and offered the contents as 'veal' for a New Year's banquet. The flesh was eaten by the guests, who only discovered the true nature of their feast when the man was arrested for murder a month later. (Bizarre magazine)

December 4, 2000
Outraged that her 7-year-old son refused to go to Sunday school, a single mother in Winter Park, Florida allegedly tried to burn the boy to death in a bedroom. Karla Dee Griggs, 31, is being held without bail in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. She is charged with attempted murder and child abuse. Authorities said the incident began the afternoon of Sunday November 5, 2000 in the apartment that Griggs shares with her mother, son and 11-year-old daughter. Griggs told police that the boy had refused to attend religious classes that day at a local church, so in anger she dragged him to a bedroom and set fire to a mattress, expecting the flames to kill her and the boy. However, the burning mattress generated more smoke than Griggs had expected. She and her mother, who was home at the time, doused the flames before anyone was injured. Griggs told police that she waited until her mother left the house to pick up granddaughter from Sunday services and tried again to kill the boy, this time by choking him with a belt. She relented when he started to cry. She then called 911. Both the boy and his sister have been placed in the care of the state's child protective services agency. The arrest is the first for Griggs, and police say they have never been summoned to the family's Nautical Way apartment. But Griggs has told police -- and her son has confirmed it -- that she has punched and hit the child in the past and that on one previous occasion she tried to choke him. (APBNews.Com , donated by Andy Milford)

Karla writes: "The following article should be removed. Not only is it now over 5 years old but it has lies in it. I don't think every time some one google a name that the past should always come up. This is barely the same as someone eating other people's brains and body parts as some articles listed on this site."

December 6, 2000
Wisconsin serial killer and necrophile, Ed Gein, arrested in 1957, was a sexually frustrated man who had for years been digging up newly buried female corpses, using them to satisfy his sexual needs, and eating parts of them. (Crimes And Punishment: The Illustrated Crime Encyclopedia, Volume 4)

December 9, 2000
A Kazakh man who was electrocuted and buried has shocked his friends and family by turning up for his own funeral feast. The man was wrapped in a cloth shroud according to Muslim tradition and buried in a shallow grave after apparently dying while trying to steal power cables in eastern Kazakhstan, local media reported Wednesday (12/6/00). But two days later he regained consciousness and rose naked from the ground, Express K daily said. The paper said he had difficulty flagging down a vehicle to take him home. (I wonder why?) (Reuters, donated by Sage, Stephen O'Rourke, and Ulf Rosvall)

December 10, 2000
If a serial killer is defined as someone who murders at least three victims over an extended period of time, then - strictly speaking - Edward Gein was not a serial killer, since he appears to have murdered no more than two women. And yet his crimes were so grotesque and appalling that they have haunted America for almost forty years. Gein was raised by a fanatical, domineering mother who ranted incessantly about the sinful nature of her own sex. When she died in 1945, her son was a 39-year-old bachelor, still emotionally enslaved to the woman who had tyrannized his life. Boarding up her room, he preserved it as though it were a shrine. The rest of the house, however, soon degenerated into a madman's shambles. When Gein wasn't earning his meager living doing odd jobs for neighbors, he passed his lonely hours poring over lurid magazine pieces about sex-change operations, South Sea headhunters, and Nazi atrocities. Driven by his desperate loneliness - and burgeoning psychosis - he started making nocturnal raids on local graveyards, digging up the bodies of middle-aged women and bringing them back to his remote farmhouse. In 1954, he augmented his necrophiliac activities with murder, shooting a local tavernkeeper named Mary Hogan and absconding with her two-hundred pound corpse. Three years later - on the first day of hunting season in 1957 - he killed another local woman, a fifty-eight-year-old grandmother who owned the village hardware store. Suspicion immediately lighted on Gein, who had been hanging around the store in recent days. Breaking into his summer kitchen, police discovered the victim's headless and gutted corpse suspended upside-down from a rafter like a dressed-out game animal. Inside the house itself, the stunned searchers uncovered a large assortment of unspeakable artifacts - chairs upholstered with human skin, soup bowls fashioned from skulls, a shoebox full of female genitalia, faces stuffed with newspapers and mounted like hunting trophies on the walls, and a "mammary vest" flayed from the torso of a woman. Gein later confessed that he enjoyed dressing himself in this and other human-skin garments and pretending he was his own mother. The discovery of these Gothic horrors sent shock waves throughout Eisenhower-era America. In Wisconsin itself, Gein quickly entered local folklore. Within weeks of his arrest, macabre jokes called "Geiners" became a statewide craze. After ten years in a mental hospital, Gein was judged competent to stand trial. He was found guilty but insane and institutionalized for the rest of his life, dying of cancer in 1984. (The A to Z Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers)

December 17, 2000
The English poet Lord Byron lived the adventurous life his poetry reflects, and when he was self-exiled from his country he went off and helped the Greeks fight for their independence in 1823. His death wasn't as noble as some creditors have claimed. After a cold, wintry ride he became ill, and the doctors treated him by applying leeches to bleed him, which didn't resolve his sickness, and they bled him some more, and more, until they finally sucked one of Europe's greatest poets dry. (An Underground Education, donated by Michael Watkins)

December 18, 2000
Baltimore City police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found decomposing inside a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Police say the man was found dead this weekend inside KFC's bathroom on the 29-hundred block of Harford Road. But police say the man may have been dead for at least two days. A needle was found near the man and police believe he may have died of a drug overdose. KFC managers aren't talking about their bathroom cleaning policy, but because the body was found in a decomposing state, it's believed no one cleaned the bathroom for at least 48 hours. (Digital City, donated by Rebecca)

December 19, 2000
Prosecutors in Great Falls, Montana charged a man Tuesday (12/19/00) with killing a 10-year-old boy in 1996 and said evidence suggests he butchered the child and fed the remains to his neighbors. Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, 43, was charged in the death of Zachary Ramsay, who disappeared while walking to school. His body has not been found. Bar-Jonah is already in jail, awaiting trial on separate charges that he sexually assaulted children and dangled a 9-year-old from a kitchen ceiling with a rope. According to an affidavit, encrypted writings believed to be the work of Bar-Jonah include a list of "dishes" made from the body of a small child. Acquaintances of Bar-Jonah also said he gave them prepared dishes which tasted peculiar, the affidavit said. A doctor who performed a psychiatric evaluation of Bar-Jonah said that he had fantasies about "dissection and cannibalism" and that he "expresses a curiosity about the taste of human flesh". (The Associated Press, donated by Neil Langdon Inglis)

December 20, 2000
A retired mountaineer who was part of the second British team to scale Everest has donated the ten toes and five fingers he lost through frostbite on the 1976 expedition to a museum in London. Staff at the National Army Museum in Chelsea were astonished when Major Michael "Bronco" Lane, 55, handed over the digits after being asked if he could donate personal items connected with the climb. "The museum asked me if I had some piece of equipment I would like to donate, but I thought I would give them something really good, like my fingers and toes. I don't think it was quite what they were expecting. But I haven't got any use for them any more and I thought it would be nice to see them exhibited," Lane said. Lane and "Brummie" Stokes, his partner on the climb, both lost all their toes as they battled to survive the sub-zero temperatures close to the peak of Everest. Lane, who was in the army for 31 years, also sacrificed the top half of each finger on his right hand while connecting up a life-saving oxygen supply as they spent a night on the mountain on the way down. The digits were preserved in formaldehyde. Jo Woolley, a museum spokesperson, said: "The fingers and toes tell a great story and also capture a bit of typical army humour." (Deutsche Press-Agentur,donated by KSHOhio)

December 21, 2000
The Tyburn Gallows, also known as the Tyburn Tree, was the main place of execution in England for over 600 years, from 1177 until 1783. During this time over 5,000 condemned prisoners made their last journey by cart, taking nearly three hours, from Newgate prison (where the Central Criminal Court, or 'Old Bailey' now stands) along Holborn and Tyburn Road, renamed Oxford Street in the last century. From 1571 until 1759 the gallows were triangular in shape, hence being known as 'The Triple Tree'. They stood 18 feet high and as many as eight men could be hanged at the same time from each of the three beams. . In earlier days, hanging was just a preliminary part of the execution. The victim would be cut down while still alive and subjected to dismemberment or disemboweling. In the earliest executions, the condemned would have to stand with his head in a noose while a fire was lit under his feet. As time went on, hanging itself was considered sufficient, with the hangman pulling on the feet of his victim to assure a speedy conclusion to the event. Execution day was known as 'Tyburn Fair' and was an excuse for merriment, drunkenness and mob violence. From 1724 until 1783 viewing stands overlooked the gallows and the scene was reminiscent of a modern day racecourse. (Tyburn Corner and Tyburn Tree, generously donated by Steve Sharp)

December 22, 2000
Emergency workers who found the baby in the snowy wreckage called him a little miracle -- born when he was ripped from his mother's womb as she was killed in a highway crash. The baby, with only a scratch on his knee, was in fair condition Wednesday. When paramedic Charles Shepherd pulled back a blanket on the snowy embankment, he found the baby still attached by the umbilical cord to his lifeless mother, 31-year-old Olga Maria Nunes Bera-Cruz, who had been cut in half when she was thrown through the windshield of a tractor-trailer. The infant was blue and motionless. His father, the truck driver, hovered over both mother and son, sobbing hysterically. Shepherd grabbed the umbilical cord, and the baby started crying. Shepherd cut the cord and gave the baby oxygen. The father, Furtado Boaventura, 42, of Miami, was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and held his son's tiny hand before the baby was transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Trisha Welch, 18, and other relatives heard the crash from her grandfather's house and were the first to rush to the scene, covering the baby with a blanket. Otherwise, the baby probably would have died in the 15-degree cold, said Jeff Wilson, an emergency medical technician. State Trooper Dwaine Barnett said the truck may have hit a patch of ice. Boaventura was wearing a seat belt, but the woman was in the sleeping compartment and sat upright as the truck jackknifed. She was thrown through the windshield when the tractor-trailer hit an embankment. (The Associated Press, donated by Desmodus)

December 23, 2000
The pressure of gases produced by a decomposing body can force out stomach contents, expel a baby from the womb, tear the abdomen asunder or even burst apart the coffin. Expanding gases are also held responsible for the large number of Egyptian mummies found with rectal and vaginal prolapses. 19th Century forensic expert Dr. Brouardel said, "When these gases are diffused abroad they create an abominable smell. To avoid this tainting of the atmosphere, I prick the bodies to let the gases escape: then I set light to them at the pricks, and long bluish flames start forth, like those of a blowpipe." Prior to 1882, before the Paris morgue had its refrigeration apparatus, phosphorated hydrogen produced a will-o'-the-wisp phenomenon which could be seen running over and around the bodies. (Death: A History Of Man's Obsessions And Fears)

December 24, 2000
On March 2, 1757, the people of Paris converged on the main door of the Church of Paris. Here, Robert Francois Damiens, a French soldier who had attempted to assassinate King Louis XV, was to have his flesh ripped from his body with red-hot pincers, his right hand burnt with sulphur and, by proclamation, 'on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds'. But what the crowd witnessed was a gruesome burlesque in which the executioners' ineptitude extended the condemned man's agony. The sulphur was lit, but the flame was so poor that only the top skin of the hand was burnt, and that only slightly. Then the executioner took steel pincers, which had been especially made for the occasion, and pulled first at the calf of the right leg, then at the thigh, and from there at two fleshy parts of the right arm, then at the breasts. Though a strong, sturdy fellow, this executioner found it so difficult to tear away the pieces of flesh that he set about the same spot two or three times, twisting the pincers as he did so, and what he took away formed at each part a wound about the size of a "six-pound crown piece". Even the horses weren't up to the job: his thighs had to be severed with knives before they would give way. When the limbless trunk was finally thrown onto the pyre, it was recorded that Damiens was still alive. (Bizarre Magazine)

December 25, 2000
To Americans before the turn of the century the origin of yellow fever was unknown, but the effects were only too visible; its victims literally turned yellow and died in agony. The Memphis epidemic of 1878 took 5150 lives. Many of the sick had crawled into holes "twisted out of shape," their bodies discovered later "only by the stench of decaying flesh." Leslie's Weekly described the suffering of an entire family caught in one room, the mother dead "with her body sprawled across the bed... black vomit like coffee grounds splattered all over... the children rolling on the floor, groaning." Out of a population of 38,500, 20,000 deserted the city. (The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!)

December 26, 2000
A long-standing feud between King Henry II of England and Archbishop Thomas Becket concerning Henry's authority over the Catholic church in England came to a head on December 29, 1170. Four of the king's knights, fully armed with swords and axes, arrived at Canterbury Cathedral. Claiming to be acting under the king's orders, the knights cursed the archbishop and demanded he leave the kingdom. Becket refused, saying, "I trust in the King of Heaven." The knights left, but later returned and demanded entrance to the cathedral, where monks had sheltered the archbishop. Refusing to hide from his fate, Becket ordered the doors opened. The knights entered with swords drawn, demanding, "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to the king?" "I am ready to die for my Lord," the archbishop answered unwaveringly, "that in my blood the church may obtain liberty and peace." The knights fell upon Becket with their swords, knocking him down and cracking open his skull. The martyred archbishop fell, his blood and brains spilling over the floor of the cathedral he was so determined to protect. Henry II, as a penance (and maybe to assuage a guilty conscience), walked barefoot into Canterbury Cathedral and underwent a flogging at Becket's tomb. (The Pessimist's Guide To History)

December 27, 2000
A Christmas Eve shooting was apparently the result of a bizarre stunt gone awry when a man tried to shoot a plastic cup off the head of an acquaintance. The gunman shot the victim in the forehead, killing him almost instantly, detectives have concluded. "I have never seen anything like this in my 16-year law enforcement career," Sgt. Dan Mark said. Manuel Dominguez-Quintero, 22, of Aurora died Sunday evening during a gathering of family and friends. Police are searching for Adrian Lorenzo Quintana-Galindo, 22. Mark said 12 to 15 people were at the home when Dominguez-Quintero and Quintana-Galindo went into the back yard. There, Mark said, Dominguez-Quintero put a plastic drinking cup on Quintana-Galindo his head. Investigators believe Quintana-Galindo fired a shot from a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol in an effort to blow the cup off Domingeuz-Quintero's head. But the bullet hit Dominguez-Quintero in the head. He was dead by the time police had arrived. Quintana-Galindo apparently dropped the gun and ran away, Mark said. Investigators are still trying to calculate how far apart the two men were when the shooting occurred. (The Nando Times, donated by Snort)

December 28, 2000
German immigrant Count Carl von Cosel was a radiologist at a now-defunct Key West hospital. He met Ms. Maria Elena de Hoyos while conducting a chest X-ray that showed she had tuberculosis. He fell in love with her, but she died on Oct. 25, 1931, at the age of 22 before he could persuade her to marry him. The count, who was 56 when Ms. de Hoyos died, paid daily visits to her crypt, where he left a telephone so he could speak to her. One night in 1933, he removed her body and took it to his home on Flagler Avenue, where he tried to rebuild her with a concoction of beeswax, silk and makeup. Her head was completed with two glass eyeballs and locks of her own dark hair. After stuffing the corpse with rags, he dressed it in a wedding gown and placed her in his bed, where he would play music to her on a small church organ in the room. He placed a tube in her vaginal opening so that they could consummate their relationship. Seven years later, Ms. de Hoyos' family discovered the desecration and von Cosel was arrested for wanton and willful destruction of a tomb. City officials put the body on public display in a chapel at Lopez Funeral Home, where it drew more than 6,000 curious spectators. Von Cosel was never prosecuted, and he died in July 1952 in the central Florida town of Zephyrhills. It is said the count's body was found lying on top of an open coffin in his home, holding a replica of Ms. de Hoyos. The funeral home on Bahama Lane, which has since been converted into an apartment building, is rumored to be haunted by Ms. de Hoyos' ghost. (USA Today)

December 29, 2000
A court sentenced three Hong Kong men to life in prison in December, 2000 for torturing a young mother, cutting up her body and stuffing her skull into a Hello Kitty doll in one of the most brutal killings in this territory. Chan Man-lok, 34, Leung Shing-cho, 27, and Leung Wai-lun, 21, were found guilty of manslaughter and unlawful imprisonment by a jury in November after a six-week trial. "Never throughout the years in Hong Kong has a court heard such cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence and viciousness, perpetrated by a human being, or human beings, on another human being," said Justice Peter Nguyen. Psychiatric reports described the three, members of a secret triad gang society, as "remorseless." The jury accepted that the men did not kill 23-year-old Fan Man-yee with intent, which would have meant a mandatory life sentence, but it determined she died as a result of their abuse. The exact cause and date of Fan's death is not known as only her skull, one tooth and her internal organs, which were found in a refrigerator in the flat where she was killed, were recovered. The men kidnapped Fan in March last year and tortured her for a month in a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui because of a disputed debt of HK$20,000 (US$2,560). The crime came to light when the 14-year-old girlfriend of one of the men informed on them after she suffered nightmares from witnessing, and partaking, in some of the torture sessions. In return for immunity, the teenager, identified only as "Ah Fong," described how the men amused themselves as they terrorized and inflicted sadistic acts on Fan almost daily. High on drugs, they laughed as they burnt her by dripping melting plastic on her feet, beat her with iron bars, poured chili oil in her wounds, urinated into her mouth, and at times, strung her up by her hands with electrical wire. On one occasion, the victim was even forced to eat Ah Fong's excrement. When they tired of this, they would go off to the next room to play video games as the mother of a one-year-old son drifted in and out of consciousness. When Fan died in April, they put her in a bathtub and cut her up with a saw. Fearing a stench, they boiled her body parts and threw them out along with the household rubbish. As they boiled down her head, the court was told of how the four cooked noodles for themselves, at times stirring the head and the noodles with the same chopsticks. (Reuters, donated by cvilla)

December 30, 2000
A 36-year-old miner died in November, 2000 while trying to change a light bulb when he fell onto a conveyor belt which carried him into a machine used for crushing coal into small pieces. Constantin Vanatoru's body was unrecognisable after it passed through the machine at the mine in Jilt, County Gorj in Romania. (Ananova.Com,donated by Bruce Townley.)

December 31, 2000
The following is a depiction of the first recorded use of the Iron Maiden on August 14, 1515 : "A forger of coins was placed inside, and the doors shut slowly, so that the very sharp points penetrated his arms and legs in several places, and his belly and chest, and his bladder and the root of his member, and his eyes, and his shoulders, and his buttocks, but not enough to kill him; and so, he remained making great cry and lament for two days, after which he died." (20 Gnarliest Torture Devices of All Time, donated by Marc-André Mongeon)