He was 27, a small-time felon, being transported in a prisoner bus to a hearing in D.C. Superior Court. He saw his chance to escape and escape he did clinging to the underside of the bus.
Until he fell and was hit and crushed by cars, killed at the intersection of Third and D Streets in Washington.
He never thought when he woke this morning that this would be the day that he died.
Did she get away with murder? When prosecutors can't find the body, the defense can claim that there is no evidence that Mike Lord is dead.
Barbara Asher, 56, the dominatrix, pleaded not guilty, but prosecutors say that Asher told the police that Lord died while suspended by his wrists during a bondage session.
They also alleged that Asher and her boyfriend cut up Lord's body and dumped it in Maine, but the remains have never been found.
Defense counsel argued,
No body. No blood. No DNA. No evidence. That's how I started this case, and I suggest to you that nothing has changed," Page said.
Jurors in Norfolk Superior Court today found Asher not guilty of manslaughter and dismemberment.
UPDATE. From the Boston Globe
Lord's secret life of bondage stunned his family when the case became public in July 2000. Family members expressed disappointment with the verdict yesterday.
Several police investigators testified that Asher had admitted to watching Lord die on the bondage rack without calling for medical help and then dismembering his body the next day with Ferrer's help. But the confession was not recorded, and investigators could not produce any notes documenting the confession. Investigators said Asher had asked that tape recorders be shut off before she admitted to the crime.
Some years ago, the father of a friend of mine brought a fairly enormous house in the middle of Bodmin Moor, a sort of Georgian/Regency house built on the site of an older farmhouse.
In the capacious cellars they found half a dozen very large barrels. 'Oh, good!' said mother. 'We can cut them in half and plant orange trees in them.'
So they set to work to cut the barrels in half, but they found that one of them was not empty, so they set it up and borrowed the necessary equipment from the local pub. The cellar filled with a rich, heady Jamaican odour.
'Rum, by God!' said the father. It was indeed, so they decided to take advantage of some fifty gallons of the stuff before cutting the barrel in half.
About a year later, after gallons of rum punch, flip and butter had been consumed, it was getting hard to get any more rum out of the barrel, even by tipping it up with wedges. So they cut it in half, and found in it the well-preserved body of a man.
The legend of drinking liquor from a barrel used to preserve a body has a long history. Barbara Mikkelson tells you all including what "tapping the Admiral" means.
Two years ago, a woman's skeleton was found during an exceptionally low tide in Brittany. There was a 14 cm gash to the skull which suggested she had been bludgeoned to death.
Police were unable to identify the victim even with DNA testing. Someone had the bright idea of radio carbon dating the remains.
Voila! Mystery solved.
The woman died some time between 1401 and 1453, probably killed by pirates.
You might have missed the story about the stolen bones of Alistair Cooke, you should not miss this story in today's Washington Post: In New York, a Grisly Traffic in Body Parts by Michael Powell and David Segal.
The lead: "Hundreds of very live Americans are walking around with pieces of the wrong dead people inside of them."
A macabre scandal has spread from a body-harvesting lab in New Jersey to hospitals as far away as Florida, Nebraska and Texas as hundreds of people discover that they have received tissue and bone carved from looted corpses, not least the cadaver of Alistair Cooke, the late and erudite host of PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre."
The Brooklyn district attorney and federal Food and Drug Administration inspectors are investigating dozens of funeral homes in New York City and Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd. of Fort Lee, N.J., which is run by a former dentist who, his lawyer acknowledges, abused intravenous pain medications while with patients.
The former dentist came to funeral homes, investigators say, and extracted bone, tendons and skin from corpses without the consent of relatives. Later, Biomedical Tissue Services shipped coolers full of tissue to hospitals for surgeries. A dead body can be worth tens of thousands of dollars when it is dissected for parts.
The scandal raises questions about the safety and proper supervision of a billion-dollar-a-year industry that supplies skin and tissue for 1 million tissue transplants each year. But patients are most confounded by the skin-crawling fact that no one knows from whom the bone and tissue was harvested.
Heather Augustin, 42, lives in southern New Jersey and had two disks in her neck removed last year, supposedly replaced with bone taken from a youngish corpse. Three months later, her surgeon told her that her new neck bone had in fact come from rogue funeral homes, likely from the cadaver of a very old person.
Augustin hasn't slept particularly well since. "You think, 'I'm carrying a bone in my neck from someone who didn't want to get chopped up,' " she said. "I'm, like, in total shock. What am I supposed to do with these thoughts?"
I don't think Alistair Cooke's family has had a good night's sleep since his death. His daughter said she never gave permission for her father to be cut up. Cooke in fact had a "horror of being cut open."
"I am surprised by how upset I am," said Kittredge, who said she favors organ donation. "You wanted to remember your loved one in the fullness of life. But I've lived with the image of his cadaver pressed against my face now for a month.
"You have lives torn asunder, and I hope the people responsible for these desecrations get their comeuppance."
These rogue funeral homes and looters of corpses deserve a lot more than comeuppance. Personally, I vote for eternal damnation.
UPDATE: The FDA has shut down Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd or BTS, the New Jersey company that collected and distributed the tissue samples.
No one has yet been diagnosed with any infectious disease contracted from tissues collected from funeral home cadavers by Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd. of Fort Lee, New Jersey, the FDA said.
But several hospitals recently notified dozens of patients about the risks from the transplanted tissues and offered screening for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and syphilis.
Violations cited by the FDA against the company included not receiving consent from the donor, while alive, or his or her family, and not properly screening donors for illnesses that might make their tissue ineligible for transplant.
Charles Krauthammer pens a moving tribute to his brother in today's Washington Post.
Whenever I look at that picture, I know what we were thinking at the moment it was taken: It will forever be thus. Ever brothers. Ever young. Ever summer.
Sadly, it's never "forever thus" however timeless the moment.
Scientists have confirmed that people can die of a broken heart. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a shock can unleash a flood of stress hormones that can stun the heart causing sudden, life threatening heart spasms.
Now CNN reports that a grandfather died on hearing his 7 grandchildren died in a fiery wreck.
The poor mother, losing her seven adopted children and her father on the same day. If ever anyone needed the prayers of many, it is Barbara Mann.
Our soldiers in Iraq have used digital photography, video and Internet access to stay in closer touch to family and friends back home than in any other war. Now reports Dionne Searcey in the Wall Street Journal, they are "creating a powerful and raw new wave of war memorials".
On Iraq's Front Lines, Digital Memorials for Fallen Friends. (subscribers only)
When soldiers are killed in Iraq, all you see in the paper is name, rank and age," said Mr. Rieckhoff, a first lieutenant. The videos, he said, are "cathartic and a way to eternally honor their memory."
In another memorial video, Army Master Sgt. Brian Mack, who died in Mosul a year ago this month, is shown in photos riding in a Blackhawk helicopter and in a short video clip rushing a stationary target during gun practice, shooting repeatedly while friends laugh. It's set to the melancholy song "Clocks" by Coldplay.
"Every time someone was killed, we put together a little thing like that," said Sgt. Emmet Cullen, a sniper who fought alongside Master Sgt. Mack. "It helps the grieving process putting them together. Talking about them, seeing them with a big goofy smile on -- it helps."
Here are links to memorial videos made by their army buddies.
With gratitude for your service, may you rest in peace.
I don't know what to make of this story in Pravda. Human eyes possess destructive power of laser. It was known long ago that people could kill with their eyes.
A really sensational story occurred in the beginning of the past century in Paris. Opera singer Massol known by the manner to frown all the time and having gloomy nature was incredibly popular at the Italian Imperial Opera at that time. Once he was singing the Damnation aria in an opera by Halevy with the eyes upraised. At that very moment a technician shifting scenery above the scene fell down and died in an instant. Next time the singer stopped his glance on a bandmaster. The man felt immediately unwell and died of an unusual nervous attack in a couple of days. Massol was told to look at an empty box where nobody was expected to seat at the theatre while singing next time. But later it turned out that a merchant from Marseilles had a ticket to the box but for some reason took the seat only when the performance already began. The merchant died next day after the performance. After so many tragic deaths caused by the gloomy glance of the singer, the opera was excluded from the repertoire once and for all. Singer Massol quitted the scene soon.
"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."
When Galvan began to get the hiccups, Vargas apparently decided to try out a commonly held notion that one can be cured of the hiccups if properly frightened. Based on witness accounts, police believe Vargas sneaked up behind his nephew, pulled his gun out and pointed it at Galvan's neck.
The gun accidentally went off, Valderrama said, killing Galvan.
Luz Marina Prieto, a neighbour, told local RCN television that Vargas "told me beforehand that he was going to scare (Galvan) with his gun." Prieto said she heard a gunshot and ran to the door of the house, where she saw Vargas standing over the body of Galvan.
Vargas then ran out of the house and down the street a few metres before stopping and shooting himself in the head, Prieto said.
Who remembers that Pope Pius XII suffered hiccups that brought him to the brink of death in 1954?
Some people swear by a couple of teaspoons of sugar while I sip an entire glass of water very slowly. It works every time.
Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes, John Donne
Andrea Bronfman, 60, was walking her dog and stepped off the curb when she was hit by a black livery cab as it turned left from Fifth Avenue. Billionaire's Wife Killed.
By all accounts, she was a wonderful woman and very active in charitable work.
May she rest in peace.
What Ted Williams and Walt Disney have in common is the belief that they can be revived years after death when medicine has advanced sufficiently to cure whatever caused their deaths.
There are some 1000 people in the cryonics movement who have arranged to have their bodies frozen in liquid nitrogen until the time is right to thaw them out. Some 142 human bodies or heads are already so frozen.
I always thought it was nuts myself, but never more so than when I read in the Wall Street Journal that they are leaving their money to themselves! A Cold Calculus Leads Cryonauts to Put Assets on Ice.
With the help of an estate planner, Mr. Pizer has created legal arrangements for a financial trust that will manage his roughly $10 million in land and stock holdings until he is re-animated. Mr. Pizer says that with his money earning interest while he is frozen, he could wake up in 100 years the "richest man in the world."
At least a dozen wealthy American and foreign businessmen are testing unfamiliar legal territory by creating so-called personal revival trusts designed to allow them to reclaim their riches hundreds, or even thousands, of years into the future.
Such financial arrangements, which tie up money that might otherwise go to heirs or charities, are "more widespread than I originally thought," says A. Christopher Sega, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University and a trusts and estates attorney at Venable LLP, in Washington. Mr. Sega says he's created three revival trusts in the last year.
On Personal Revival Trusts
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, leaving money to yourself is nothing but nuts.
She laughed on her deathbed.
SHE survived brutal Nazi and Communist regimes to ultimately be brought down by a banana.
Slovenian migrant Ivanka Perko died in hospital last week in bizarre circumstances - she suffered complications after she dropped a banana on her leg.
Comical to the end, the 73-year-old old quipped to friends and family while on her deathbed: "I can't believe after all this time it was a bloody banana that killed me."
A family friend told The Saturday Daily Telegraph yesterday that Ms Perko - who was treasured by her Blue Mountains community - had been ill for several months with a condition that made her skin delicate and fine.
"She had tried to open a banana and dropped it," the friend said. "The pointy end scraped down her leg and she died from complications."
Even her death notice revealed her strange demise, killed by a falling banana.
Friends said it was seen as an appropriate end to a unique and fruitful life.
Angela Saraiva is only 20, but when she went missing after a New Year's party, she didn't know what to expect when she returned home 20 hours later.
Never in her wildest dreams, did she expect to find her funeral underway after her worried mother mistakenly identified a dead body as her missing daughter.
She said: "My parents thought I was this woman because she looked just like me.
"I loved this whole experience, it made me realise how much my friends and family love me and how much they would miss me if I die; that made me feel important!"
Omid: a Memorial in Defense of Human Rights, is dedicated to the victims of the Islamic Republic of Iran who have died since 1979.
No matter what the political beliefs of the victims, Omid includes their names if their human rights were violated in the process leading to their death.
It's chilling to see hundreds of pages of the names of victims whose only crime may have been to be Bahai or wearing a bathing suit in her home pool.
The men and women whose stories you can read on this page are now all citizens of a silent city named Omid ("hope" in Persian). There, victims of persecution have found a common life whose substance is memory.
Omid's citizens were of varying social origins, nationalities, and religions; they held diverse, and often opposing, opinions and ideologies. Despite the differences in their personality, spirit and moral fiber, they are all united in Omid by their natural rights and their humanity. What makes them fellow citizens is the fact that one day each of them was unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of his or her life. At that moment, while the world watched the unspeakable happen, an individual destiny was shattered, a family was destroyed, and an indescribable suffering was inflicted.
If you wander around this city, you will realize that, through their common ordeal, the citizens of Omid have created another Iran, an imaginary Iran: a democratic polity, pluralistic and diverse, where citizens posthumously enjoy their human rights.
Hat tip Roger Simon. Would that this imaginary Iran becomes real - -soon.
Lst year I wrote about the mystery visitor to Edgar Allen Poe's grave every January 19th in Roses and Cognac.
Jeff Jerome, the curator of the Poe House and Museum, must regret letting people know about this decades-long tribute. Saddened by disrespectful visitors, he said
early Thursday he had to chase people out of the graveyard, fearing they would interfere with the mystery visitor's ceremony.
"In letting people know about this tribute, I've been contributing to these people's desire to catch this guy," Jerome said. "It's such a touching tribute, and it's been disrupted by the actions of a few people trying to interfere and expose this guy."
I say, keep the mystery. We have far too few of them.
If you've ever ridden the New York subways at night, you see a lot of sleeping people on their way home.
So I'm not surprised that, at the start of this morning's rush hour, one man was actually dead and may have been aboard the subway for as long as six hours before he was discovered.
May this unidentified US postal employee rest in unmoving peace once he is finally buried.
No response from the Diocese of Brooklyn on Gerard Glock's suit.
Gerard Glock is suing for damages resulting from a cemetery sinkhole.
Gerard Glock, 39, of Flatbush, was trimming weeds choking a family plot at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, L.I., on Dec. 1, 2004, when the earth collapsed under his feet, he told the Daily News.
Seconds later, he was waist-deep in the grave of his brother-in-law, Charles Rizzo.
"I just fell right into Charles' grave," said Glock, who said his wife, daughter and mother-in-law watched in shock.
"It was exactly out of a horror movie. It was like being buried alive," Glock said. "My daughter was hysterical crying, my wife was in shock."
He paid his AA dues for years, but when David Barker's relatives tried to move his car after David collapsed at the wheel and died, they realized the battery had died too.
They called AA only to learn his breakdown cover expired when he did.
The AA's breakdown service refused to respond after a driver collapsed at the wheel because his death meant his membership had lapsed.
"It is absolutely disgusting. We were speechless and couldn't believe they could be so cruel."
The photograph below however is from the exhibit of Chicano Experience in Arizona
Jack Grant deals with his grief over his father's death in Treading the narrow path between rage and despair.
A good friend who will remain anonymous unless they tell me differently recently wrote to me that grief is not a simple, linear process of “stages” as is so commonly expressed but instead a whirlpool where the different emotions that are incorrectly labeled as “stages” are swirled together in a maelstrom that while it defies the conventional wisdom of a “process” can indeed be overcome in the same way a hurricane is survived, by experiencing the feelings instead of rejecting them and bending to the storm instead of trying to stand straight and risk breaking.
My father lived a very healthy life. Over and over again those health care professionals who worked on him would say that he looked more like a man 15 or 20 years younger than he was.
The reaper came anyway.
I now have my father’s hammer and the rest of his tools, along with his responsibilities.
I hope I can live up to the example he has left for me, a shining light guiding my life.
Nixzmary Brown was only seven when she was tortured and finally beaten to death by her parents.
Her stepfather Cesar Rodriquez became enraged when he found a broken computer printer and a missing cup of yoghurt. Her mother did nothing to protect her daughter and ignored her cries for help and her last words, "Mommy, don't leave me!"
The New York Times reports in Long Chain of Alarms Preceded Death of Girl that Nixzmary had been systematically tortured for weeks.
Investigators said the girl had become the target of her stepfather's anger and was sometimes bound to a chair in her room and forced to eat cat food. Because she was often held in isolation, she was sometimes made to use a litter box, they said.
They also said that Mr. Rodriguez would sometimes punish Nixzmary and her siblings by dunking their heads in a water-filled sink.
There was barely a spot on this child that was not marked by her parents, said prosecutor Cathy Dagonese from the Brooklyn DA's office.
That such violence could surround a little girl has horrified New Yorkers. Mayor Bloomberg said, "We as a city, have failed this child."
Yesterday she was buried as "tears flowed like the driving rain" with an honor guard of Marines -in -training. Andrea Peyser reported that mourners could not stop whispering about Nixzmary's dysfunctional family. "Pointing. Accusing. Condemning."
This was the first funeral I've attended in which every word was spoken by a stranger.
Normally, family members greet the mourners. This family gave threatening looks
A priest told mourners that "Nixzmary is now surrounded by love, beyond the touch of evil."
May it be so.
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation is collecting stories about that terrible day for its digital archive.
Add your own story and be part of the building of the historical record.
And, while you're at it, make it part of your own Legacy Archives.
Gerald Van der Leun of the American Digest left New York City in November 2002. Since he knew he would be leaving, he made his own record of the city where he lived for almost 30 years. From his post Project 1-2006: 1000 Pictures of New York City (10% Done) . vividly
WHEN A MAN has lived a long time with a city and then decided to leave her, it seems best to make a record before departing. Otherwise, for all the years he has lived with her, all he will have left will be the shards of moments and not the mosaic complete.
The archives he retains will, invariably, be merely personal -- clippings from the local papers, a box of business cards, filched matchbooks, a sheaf of menus, random pay stubs, a well-thumbed Rolodex, and a few albums filled with pictures of friends and acquaintances remembered with varying degrees of accuracy. And his snapshots.
He knew his memories of the city would fade, so
Knowing this, and knowing soon after the 11th that I would leave, I resolved to record New York City as I knew her in that last year without sham or falsity.
Beginning in early October of 2001 and ending at around ten in the evening of November 9, 2002, I kept a detailed photographic record of what we were like and how we lived in New York in that shaky first year of our unsought new era.
His photostream at Flickr captures a vivid sense of place of city and its people that stands alone for anyone to see but was for him the background of his life.
He reminds me again that often what is most interesting is the background, what we don't see or take for granted because it's so ordinary and normal. We all remember to take photographs on vacation, at birthday celebrations and at Christmas, but how many of us really see the background of our own lives. Yet, what people really want to know is how you lived and just what were your normal days like. I can't think of anything that would cultivate a seeing eye better than picking up a camera and just walking around your house, the street where you live, your neighborhood, your town, your stomping grounds, taking pictures of what captures your eye.
Jorge Luis Borges, the blind, Argentinian poet and writer once said, if I remember correctly, something like 24 hours fully observed would give any man enough to think about if he were imprisoned for the rest of his life. I think just walking around and really looking will fire your creative juices.
With Gerard's fine example before me, I think taking even one day this year to document your surroundings would be a fine addition to your Legacy Archives. I'm going to do it, but I think I'll wait till it gets a little warmer.
If you want to get just the right for a hunter or sportsman, you should check out camouflage caskets.
Hand-made, one at a time, with 18-gauge steel, you have your choice of exterior colors and interior linings - natural, evergreen or "superflauge" like the casket pictured below.
It was a priest who found the hidden synagogue in Porto, Portugal, "for a persecuted minority at risk of being burnt to the stake."
The mystery began unravelling when Fr Agostinho Jardim Moreira, a Catholic priest, bought the four-storey house for use as an old people's home for his parish. When construction workers told him they had come across a false wall, he told them to pull it down - sensing a hidden tale.
He had studied the city's Jewish history and knew his parish had been a Jewish quarter in the 15th and 16th centuries. He also knew that, after they were forced to convert to Catholicism in 1496, many Jews privately kept their faith and worshipped in secret. "I suspected that false wall was hiding something," said Fr Moreira. "I knew there had to be some kind of Jewish symbol behind it."
A worker's sledgehammer proved his hunch right. Beyond the wall was a room with a medieval holy ark - a nook in the wall of a synagogue where Torah scrolls are kept. Only two other arks from the period have been found in Portugal.
"The caregiver is not someone you'd think was from another planet or really seems off the wall -- (she's) a pretty normal kind of person," he said. "But I think out of loyalty, friendship and love of her friend, (she) decided to keep the body at home."
That's how authorities described the forty-ish woman who, when Johannas Pope died, left her body in the chair in front of the television until, after 2 1/2 years, the body mummified. That is until the air conditioner to the room broke and you could smell death, standing outside.
The mother-in-law of a friend told her 29 year-old granddaughter, "Please get married so I can die."
Apart from laughing out loud, I can't think of better example of "putting a pall" over what otherwise would be a much-looked-forward-to event.
Nobody knows the man who died after being in a coma for 9 years
Without identification he will be buried in a potter's field, alongside some 600,000 nameless dead.
If the body is unclaimed, the burial permit and the deceased are sent to the central morgue at Bellevue Hospital on East 29 Street, Manhattan.
There, services are said for the deceased....
At the morgue, the bodies of the deceased are wrapped in shroud paper and sealed in pine coffins which are lined with waterproof paper when necessary. Unknowns are fingerprinted and photographed, and are interred with all their clothes and belongings, so that they can be identified later. Inside the coffins and on top of them are placed the duplicate and triplicate, respectively, of the burial certificate, chemically treated so that they are legible even after 25 years.
May he and all the nameless ones rest in peace.
If you haven't cleaned out your house of the piles of clutter we all accumulate, it's time. Who wants to die suffocated under piles of clutter like 62 year old Marie Rose
Rose's husband believes she fell while looking for the phone in the house this week and suffocated. There were so many piles of items that the man did not realize she was dead in the home.
Shelton Police Chief Terry Davenport said the home was so cluttered that police officers' heads touched the ceiling as they climbed over the clutter..