May 10, 2017

More bizarre deaths

Part of an intermittent series, these short snippets of untimely and unexpected deaths can not begin to hint at the grief and loss their families and friends will experience for years to come.  May their memory be a blessing. May they all Rest in Peace and perpetual light shine upon them. 

American PhD student in Ireland dies in a house fire 'caused by a faulty cellphone charger'

Grace McDermott, 26, a PhD researcher at Dublin City University, was visiting some friends in Limerick for the weekend. There were four other people in the house with her, three men and another woman, who all escaped uninjured, and were the ones who notified authorities.

 Grace Mcdermott

Two parents accidentally die of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting and talking in an SUV in a Kansas City Wal-Mart parking lot

Carolyn Williams-Cottier, 26, mother of two small children, and Trevor Roth, 30, father of three children, had no way of knowing what was happening because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, police said.

Famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck, 40,  was killed in a mountaineering accident on Mount Everest.

He slipped and fell some 3,000 ft, severing his body into bits and pieces, said expedition organizers.  One of the most-renowned mountaineers of his generation, Steck said, before he set off on his expedition, 'I think being in the mountains is the best thing in life. Once you are out you are free and can do what you like to do.'

'Brilliant' MIT computer programming graduate, 24, dies after slipping and falling while trying to climb school's iconic dome

The MIT graduate died while trying to climb his alma mater's iconic 150ft-high dome.  Nicholas Paggi, 24, died after he climbed the roof near the dome and slipped off.  The 2015 graduate of the top global university was climbing the dome as a fun sort of prank, said his mother. He was working as a software engineer and had graduated with degrees in computer science and engineering, and physics, the school's newspaper The Tech reports. Doctor Rich Fletcher told CBS: 'He was one of the greatest computer programmers I've worked with.'  He added: 'He was a great mentor to all students. It's such a loss to all of us.'

 Nicholas Paggi Mit Grad

British tourist Dean Steele, 22, is run down and killed 'while taking selfies with his friends' in the middle of a MOTORWAY in Germany

Shark lover, 30, who devoted his life to warning people about the predators is mauled to death off the French island of Reunion

Adrien Dubosc, 30, died off the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean just two months after one of his best friends died in almost identical circumstances.  Mr Dubosc was a member of Shark Watch Patrol, an organization dedicated to cutting down on shark deaths on Reunion, which is plagued by man-eating bull and tiger sharks. Despite this, he loved the fish, and regularly posted Facebook pictures of ones he had seen, together with biological details about them.

Patient dies after local mayor takes Brazilian hospital's last oxygen cylinder so he can use it to pump BEER at a party

Jose Claudio Pol charged with murder after patient died from heart attack. He ordered council worker to remove the only cylinder from town's health centre. Photos emerged of him using oxygen cylinder as a beer keg at New Year's party. A technical report found that his actions led to the death of the patient.

Teenage sweethearts fall nine floors to their death after elevator's glass floor COLLAPSES

Boy and girl, both 17, were leaving a luxury block of flats in Salamanca.  The young couple were on their way to a party to celebrate the end of exams.  It is believed either the floor or a wall of a lift gave way.

Married father-of-five, 45, is killed by a stranger after sucker-punch to the face on the street

Luis Campos, of California, was sucker-punched on Fremont Street in Las Vegas Sunday and died from his injuries in the hospital three days later.  Campos was in town to attend his brother's bachelor party; he was supposed to be the best man in the wedding.  The father-of-five was waiting with his other brother to get into a lounge when two men came up to him and one struck him in the face before fleeing. Las Vegas police on Thursday released CCTV video showing the pair, Hispanic men in their 20s, running away from the scene.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:13 AM | Permalink

May 8, 2017

Operation Identifcation

More Have Died Crossing US-Mexico Border Since 2000 Than In 9/11 And Katrina Combined

That’s 6,023 recorded deaths in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, compared to a combined 4,800 between 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.....“I would say for every one we find, we’re probably missing five,” the local sheriff said.


Operation Identification is now trying to give the issue a more human face.

“When we get them, we assign them a case number because we have to have a way of tracking cases, but no one deserves to be just a number,” Timonthy P. Gocha, a forensic anthropologist with the project told The New York Times. “The idea is to figure out who they are, and give them their name back.”

212 bodies and more than 2,000 objects belonging to U.S.-Mexico border crossers sit in a collection at the Texas State University morgue. There are baseball caps and Bibles, bracelets and stuffed animals — treasures that reminded their owners of the loved ones that they had left behind.
It’s a big project; there are a lot of bodies.

Most of the immigrants died from dehydration, heatstroke, or hypothermia. The Trump administration’s approach to illegal border crossings does seem to have deterred some potential migrants. Arrests at the border have declined sharply from 40,000 a month at the end of 2016, to just 12,193 in March.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:02 PM | Permalink

May 6, 2017

Hitler's British death island

Astonishing story of how the Nazis murdered 40,000 people in Channel Island concentration camps - and planned to blitz the South Coast with chemical weapons
Unspeakable atrocities — which we will spell out in detail later — took place here. Not in distant territories on the other side of Europe, but just 60 miles from the coast of England, on an island that is British through and through and has owed its allegiance to the Crown since 1066.

 Channel Islands

That tiny Alderney — less than four miles long and a mile-and-a-half wide — was the site of slave labour camps during the war has been recognised for decades. But the scale of the operation and the number of deaths there have always been played down. After years of research, we are now in a position to reveal the grimmest truths.

The numbers who died there in helping Hitler and his henchmen pursue their evil master-plan were not the few hundreds spoken of in semi-official sources and history books. In fact, tens of thousands lost their lives in the most brutal way — at least 40,000 by our calculations and possibly many, many more. Such a toll makes Alderney nothing less than the biggest crime scene in British history.

The project on which they were engaged was not just the massive defensive works — the fortifications, bunkers, block-houses and anti-tank walls built all over the island on Hitler’s express orders to forestall an Allied invasion. There was a deadly offensive capability, too, never previously known. We have uncovered incontrovertible evidence that a top-secret launcher site for V1 missiles — one of Hitler’s vengeance weapons — was being constructed on the island. And the reason for that secrecy was that, shockingly, they were to be armed not with conventional explosives, but with internationally outlawed chemical warheads, capable of causing the same degree of destruction, terror and panic seen recently by President Assad’s chemical strike in Syria.
They are likely to have contained the very same nerve gas: Sarin.
The target of these deadly doodlebugs? The southern coast of England from Weymouth to Plymouth, where in the winter of 1943 and spring of 1944 hundreds of thousands of British and American troops were assembling and preparing for the D-Day invasion.

If the Alderney missiles had been fired — and our conclusion is that they were within a whisker of this happening — their chemical payloads would have thrown Allied invasion plans into such chaos that D-Day could not have taken place on June 6, 1944, and the whole course of World War II would have been drastically altered.  The Allies would have been on the back foot and Hitler in the ascendancy. He might even have fulfilled his ambition to conquer Britain.
When the Channel Islands were liberated in 1945, there was a mood and a move to minimise the events of the past five years when a slice of British territory had to exist under the Nazi heel.

It was embarrassing for the British government of the day, which had made a conscious decision in 1940 not to fight for the islands, but leave the residents to their fate.  It was embarrassing, too, for islanders and officials on Jersey and Guernsey who came to terms with the invaders in ways that sometimes bordered on collaboration and even treason. Uncomfortable questions were not asked. Veils were pulled over the truth, with the result that the full story of what happened on Alderney has been hidden.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:22 PM | Permalink

Roundup of Dying wishes and burials

Dying Paralyzed Veteran Granted Final Wish of Seeing Horses

A seriously ill paralyzed Vietnam veteran in Texas had one final wish — to see his two best friends - Sugar and Ringo - horses that he has trained and raised for a long time. Roberto is one of the only disabled licensed horse trainers in Texas. He had been in Vietnam for just a few months before being shot and injured on May 21, 1970, which left him paralyzed. He recently went to the hospital for a wound on his back, which is when it was discovered he also needed treatment for liver problems and that his kidneys were starting to shut down.

 Vietnam Vet Horse

“Horses are his life,” Rosario Gonzales told reporters of her husband, Roberto. “We’ve been training and raising horses for 30, 40 years.”  ...“When the horses came up to him, he actually opened his eyes,” Rosario said. “They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him.”

A Tesco worker who died without any family is to have his ashes scattered – in the supermarket car park.

Much-loved Andy Hughes manned checkouts at the Stroud branch of Tesco ever since it opened 27 years ago. His sudden death aged 55 from respiratory failure on March 26 left colleagues in shock. But now they have discovered that Andy – who had learning difficulties – faces a simple, council funeral this Friday as his next of kin could not be located. The store’s personnel manager, Helen Skinner, said: “Andy was one of our original members and we all had an emotional attachment to him – we were his family, really.  Helen said there was “nobody in the area that didn’t know him” and that he “had a heart of gold.”  Staff are hoping to set up a memorial bench and rose bush in a quiet corner of the car park, and eventually scatter his ashes there.

A suspicious white hearse north of Tombstone alerted Border Patrol agents who used a K9 dog to inspect the vehicle.

The K9 alerted agents about a suspicious odor coming from the hearse, authorities said. During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered that a casket was filled with over 67 pounds of pot worth $33,000 worth of pot. the 67 pounds of marijuana was hidden between several bags of manure in an attempt to disguise the smell.  A man, 28, a U.S. citizen, was arrested.


Archaeologists discover medieval villagers hacked up dead bodies to prevent them returning as ZOMBIES

Medieval villagers feared the dead could return from the grave by the devil. To prevent the dead from attacking, the corpses were beheaded and chopped up. Some even had their hearts gouged out before being set on fire before burial. Researchers found the evidence in a medieval village of Wharram Percy in Yorkshire.

Their Hearts Were in It: One Renaissance Couple's Final Gesture

Researchers have discovered a Renaissance man had his heart removed after he died and buried with his beloved wife. Toussaint de Perrien, who died on 30 August 1649 had his heart put in an urn and buried with his wife - who was laid to rest 125 miles away and 7 years later...The body of his wife, Louise de Quengo, had been opened after death and her heart removed, perhaps to rest with her husband (though it has not been found).  The heart-swap burials are believed to have allowed 'for couples to be reunited in death'.

The Suicide Note as Literary Genre

After the great confessional poet John Berryman leapt from the Washington Avenue Bridge onto the icy banks of the Mississippi River (he waved at a passing car first), his wife Kate found a crumpled note in the wastebasket, written on the back of an envelope. It read simply:
O my love Kate, you did all you could.

I’m unemployable & a nuisance.
Forget me, remarry, be happy.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:36 PM | Permalink

May 5, 2017

Darrell Cloyd was "The angel who didn't just keep driving.'

The hero truck driver who comforted a badly-burned dying woman while others took PHOTOS

....after her truck crashed into a tree and burst into flames. Dorothy Marko, 25 and mother of two, was able to crawl out of the back of the truck. A truck driver stopped to help and stayed with her until emergency crews arrived while others stopped to take photos and didn't help. Marko was flown to a nearby hospital, but she sadly died of her injuries. 

Cloyd was not scheduled to even be driving on Highway 70 that day. He said he took a wrong turn and ended up on the highway by accident. But when he saw the truck on fire, he knew he had to help.

Her family launched a search to find the truck driver who helped and he's now been identified as Darrell Cloyd from Ohio. They hope the next time he's driving through Oklahoma they can meet him.  'I'm hoping he made her feel comfortable for those last couple moments. I'm hoping that he eased her mind a little bit so she didn't have to go alone,' her sister Linda said.

 Darrell Cloyd+Dorothy Marko
Darrell Cloyd, hero and truck driver and Dorothy Marko, the dying woman he consoled

Brenda Marko, Dorothy's mother, said, 'At least he comforted her when we couldn't.'  Nothing can bring her daughter back, but 'that the family is comforted by the angel who didn't just keep driving.'  With all my heart I want to thank him.'
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:01 PM | Permalink

May 4, 2017

Death in the Most Rock-and-Roll Way Ever

The Music Legend Who Died Onstage

When musician Bruce Hampton collapsed on stage Monday night, his band thought it was a theatrical end to a celebratory night and kept on playing for several minutes.....The guitarist/singer/bandleader was performing at Atlanta’s Fox Theater for his 70th birthday surrounded by over 30 of his acolytes, including members of the Allman Brothers Band, Phish, REM, Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic. They were all there because they consider Mr. Hampton a primary musical inspiration.

 Guitarist Bruce Hampton

The sold-out show concluded with the musicians on stage smiling broadly as Mr. Hampton led them through Bobby Bland’s “Turn On Your Lovelight.” He pointed to 14-year-old Brandon Niederauer to solo on guitar and then went to one knee, collapsed and died. It was several minutes before the band stopped and EMTs rushed on stage to try and revive Mr. Hampton.

He died shortly thereafter at a nearby hospital.

“It wasn’t the first time any of us had seen him on the floor like James Brown,” says Jeff Sipe, a drummer and longtime collaborator who was conducting the musicians. “It took a minute for concern to grow.”

Fans and musicians who were present described a raucous crowd of 5,000 chanting “Bruuuuuce” throughout the night. Mr. Hampton performed a 20-minute set at the start and then joined in occasionally, mostly watching from a chair on stage. Performers ranged across generations, from the 14-year-old Niederauer, a star of Broadway’s “School of Rock,” to 88-year-old pianist Johnny Knapp, who recorded with Billie Holiday.

“Everybody was devastated,” says Mr. Haynes, himself a jam band kingpin as frontman for Gov’t Mule and formerly the Allman Brothers Band. “It was one of the most epic nights of music anyone on stage or in the audience has ever experienced. To go from honoring Bruce in this amazing way to mourning him in the blink of an eye was emotionally jarring.”....

“There was an incredible feeling in the building that it was a family reunion as much as concert,” says Widespread Panic’s John Bell. “Everyone rose to the occasion, including Bruce, who was playing and singing as well as I’ve ever seen him. He was in command until the last second and it was glorious to see. I believe he went from fully present in this world to fully present in another world, with very little in the middle.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:49 AM | Permalink

May 3, 2017

The Last Thing She Saw

A COMBAT photographer captured the final moment of her life on film, snapping the mortar blast that killed her.
Spc. Hilda Clayton, a visual information specialist was attached to the 4th Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division on maneouvres in Afghanistan in July 2013.  The 22-year-old was documenting a live-fire training exercise in Qaraghahi to as US troops worked to certify Afghan soldiers on mortar operations. She was also training up a local combat photographer who was also snapping the scene. As the pair clicked away behind their cameras a mortar exploded while still inside its launcher.

 Last Mortar Blast

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:51 AM | Permalink

May 1, 2017

Bog Bodies

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

 Tollund-Man Bog Body

I drove here on a damp March day with Ole Nielsen, director of the Silkeborg Museum. We tramped out to a desolate stretch of bog, trying to keep to the clumps of ocher-colored grass and avoid the clingy muck between them. A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950. The dead man wore a belt and an odd cap made of skin, but nothing else. Oh yes, there was also a plaited leather thong wrapped tightly around his neck. This is the thing that killed him. His skin was tanned a deep chestnut, and his body appeared rubbery and deflated. Otherwise, Tollund Man, as he would be called, looked pretty much like you and me, which is astonishing considering he lived some 2,300 years ago.
What really gets you is his lovely face with its closed eyes and lightly stubbled chin. It is disconcertingly peaceful for someone who died so violently. You’d swear he’s smiling, as if he’s been dreaming sweetly for all those centuries. “It’s like he could wake up at any moment and say, ‘Oh, where was I?’” says Nielsen, who has clearly fallen under Tollund Man’s spell himself. “Looking at his face, you feel you could take a trip back 2,300 years to meet him.
The best-preserved bodies were all found in raised bogs, which form in basins where poor drainage leaves the ground waterlogged and slows plant decay. Over thousands of years, layers of sphagnum moss accumulate, eventually forming a dome fed entirely by rainwater. A raised bog contains few minerals and very little oxygen, but lots of acid. Add in low Northern European temperatures, and you have a wonderful refrigerator for conserving dead humans.

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Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:32 PM | Permalink

Miscellaneous links

Fury as officials place 'undignified' signs advertising 'space available' on vacant plots at a cemetery

A Texas cemetery is facing backlash after posting 'Space Available' signs to advertise open plots. The bright yellow signs are scattered around the San Jacinto Cemetery in Harris County, and many believe that they are in poor taste. The signs feature the words 'Space Available' alongside the cemetery's phone number for those interested to call....

 Space Available Cemetery

25-year-old female FUNERAL DIRECTOR who began working with dead bodies at age 17

Amy Sagar, from Sydney, began working at funeral homes when she was just 17.  Sitting in a classroom watching morticians work on a dead body, 16-year-old Amy Sagar knew she had found her calling. "It was just a very ordinary experience and they were just so casual. It was the first time I'd seen any form of media presenting the body as a normal thing as opposed to being spooky."

Amy, who recently married, said being exposed to death on a daily basis has taught her to not take life for granted.
"I certainly value life and the people around me a lot more. I never leave the house without kissing my husband goodbye and I never leave an argument without saying I love you."

Excessive fat from an 'overly obese' body being cremated causes funeral home to go up in flames

The 4 lines from an obituary that inspired so many

When Jeanne Esther Barbour, 91, died on March 8, she passed on a bit of her philosophy of life with the world in her obituary:  “In lieu of flowers, please be kind to someone. Call a friend or relative you haven’t reached out to recently. Visit a shut-in or nursing home resident. Forgive someone. All acts of kindness are appreciated.”

New York newscaster Michael Benny posted Barbour’s message on his Facebook page, noting, “Central New York woman’s obituary has a wonderful idea…RIP lady, wish I knew you.”  Hundreds of people responded to his post, and many left comments about how her inspiring words had moved them:

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:26 PM | Permalink

Last known photograph

The Last Known Photographs Of 27 Icons

Philip Seymour Hoffman posed for this tintype portrait at the 2014 Sundance film festival, his final public appearance.
Soon after, Hoffman would be found dead in his apartment with 70 bags of heroin and 20 used needles.

 Hoffman Tintype-1

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:55 PM | Permalink

On May 1, Remember the 100 million UPDATED

Remember the VICTIMS of Communism on May Day!

May 1, is -- as we all have heard repeatedly -- International Workers' Day.

 May Day

...May 1 is also suggested as a commemorative day for another, much darker, reason. Ilya Somin has been campaigning for years to have May 1 declared Victims of Communism Day.

 Forgotten Victims

...Communism in the 20th century killed 100 million people, according to the Black Book of Communism. That included Jews, Kazakhs, Ukrainians in Russia, millions of Chinese under Mao, millions of Cambodians under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge; for most of that time, western media was at best indifferent and at worst directly misleading (like Walter Duranty and the Holodomor).

 100 Million Victims

As Somin says:

Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events help sensitize us to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government control of the economy and civil society.

UPDATE:  Another NY Times Piece Extolling the Virtues of Communism.

It's depressing to see the NY Times get all weepy-eyed and nostalgic for for commie thugs and murderers:
It is perhaps hard to understand now, but at that time, in this place, the Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified.
But it was part of the NY Times "Red Century" series of articles. I'm not making this up, they actually called it 'Red I wonder why they never run articles about old Nazis getting together to reminisce about the good old days and sing the Horst Wessel song and such?

Dennis Prager on the Left’s unending love for communism even as it reviles Nazism

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:05 AM | Permalink