December 10, 2012

His self-written obituary used too soon

 Christopher Weigl Obit Too Soon

Boston University student killed in bike accident wrote his own obituary just three months earlier

A university student who was killed after being struck by a tractor-trailer while cycling to a lecture chillingly wrote his own obituary for a class assignment just three months ago.

Boston University photojournalism pupil Christopher Weigl, from Southborough in Massachusetts, died on Thursday after colliding with the vehicle in Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

In September the 23-year-old, who was the fifth cyclist to be killed in a road traffic accident in the city this year, wrote his own obituary as part of a class assignment.

In the obituary the former eagle scout, spoke about his passion for photography and love for the outdoors lifestyle.
He said that 'he cemented his love for photojournalism' during a trip to southeast Asia after finishing at Skidmore College.

The accomplished clarinet player gained the opportunity after enlisting with the volunteer organization Operation Groundswell. He was given  the chance to uncover stories and assist with projects in both Cambodia and Thaila
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One of his professors, Mitchell Zuckoff, gave Mr Weigl the obituary writing assignment on the first day of a feature writing class.
According to the Boston Globe Zuckoff says he uses the assignment to give students the opportunity to express themselves and for him to find out more about those he is going to teach.

Of course he never envisaged that the obituary would be used so soon after it was written.

Click link for full obituary.

May he rest in peace.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:42 AM | Permalink

Wave of grave robberies in Paris

Paris hit by wave of street muggings and grave robberies

Austerity-struck Paris has been hit by a wave of street muggings and grave robberies with thieves prepared to exhume bodies to steal gold and jewelry.

Last week, police in the French capital arrested three people as part of a widening grave robbery investigation.

There was further public outrage after two masked intruders shot dead a 52-year old precious metal worker when he tried to stop them stealing gold from his foundry in the chic central Parisian district of Le Marais.

Police said sky-high market prices for precious metals are acting as a magnet for thieves with scant regard for the living or the dead.
In Pantin cemetery, in the north of Paris, dozens of bodies have recently been dug up, with gold teeth and jewelry stolen from them.

Police sources said the three men seized last week were gravediggers employed by the city's cemeteries.

Last month, four other men – three from the same Pantin cemetery – were arrested and placed under investigation for aggravated theft, grave robbery and violating the integrity of a corpse.

Last month, four other men – three from the same Pantin cemetery – were arrested and placed under investigation for aggravated theft, grave robbery and violating the integrity of a corpse.

According to a source close to the investigation, the men removed personal belongings from corpses in the freshest graves, opening them in the dead of night.b  Two of the men were caught wearing miner's helmets and gloves. Their boots were covered in fresh earth.

One of the suspects was found to be carrying 10 gold teeth.

After the initial arrests, the mayor of Paris, Bernard Delanoe, expressed his outrage and ordered the city authorities to step up surveillance of cemeteries.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:22 AM | Permalink