August 31, 2017

Marine laid to rest after 74 years

Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray was buried with full military honors Friday at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery, nearly 74 years after his death in World War II.

 Marine Murray 74 Years

Pfc. Murray, of Oceano, died during a battle in the Tarawa Atoll and was buried on the island. In recent years, according to the Department of Defense, his remains were recovered during an archaeological mission and positively identified thanks to laboratory testing.

Murray's remains arrived back in California on Wednesday. On Friday, people waving American flags lined Highway 1 as the procession escorting his casket made its way through Oceano to the cemetery where Murray was buried. His casket was placed on top of his mother's...

"The family has been working on it for the last 8 years, and we finally succeeded in bringing him back to his mother. His mother has always waited and has waited for him to come back," said George Winslett, George Murray's nephew.

"There is nothing in words to really say. It just chokes me up to think about it. It's amazing and I'd like to thank everybody that's done it," Winslett said. "He's finally home at rest where he belongs."

 Marine Murray Honor Guard

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:23 PM | Permalink

Grave robbers in Georgia

Grave robbers ransack historic cemetery where Revolutionary War and Confederate soldiers were buried.

A substantial reward is being offered following the discovery of grave robberies in Burke County this morning (Saturday) at a historic cemetery  At least five graves were excavated at Old Church cemetery off Idlewood Road south of Waynesboro, the bones of soldiers and an infant scattered as thieves likely searched for artifacts, personal effects and precious metal.

The unsettling scene was discovered by the Commander of American Legion Post 120, which is entrusted with the care of the cemetery, when he went there to mow the grass. “I came around here and saw this marker moved and the grave dug up and just thought, ‘What in God’s name?”
Bell said it’s unclear what might have been stolen from the graves, but what they left behind was disturbing.
Just beyond torn shards of one soldier’s uniform, the dentures from his mouth were left lying beside the hole of his grave...The robbers dug up the cast iron casket of baby Emma Jane McElmurray, who died at 13 months old in 1884, and smashed the iridescent glass at its head. All that was left of its contents were portions of her tiny skull and the sole of her infant shoe, which had been dumped on the ground beside the casket.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:15 PM | Permalink

August 26, 2017

"Does this look beautiful? Am I treating the deceased kindly?'

Drop dead gorgeous


 Corpse Dressing Contest

The Life Ending Industry EXPO 2017 in Tokyo is Japan's biggest funeral exhibition and celebrates rituals of dressing the dead. In Shinto teaching, the practice is thought to help purify the soul of corpses. The contestants dress live volunteers on a stage in front of undertaking experts.  The four contestants were judged on the grace of their movements and their ability to dress the body without revealing too much bare skin.

Female Japanese undertaker, Rino Terai, 23, won the contest by dressing the best-looking corpses before three judges as funeral music played gently in the background. After the ritualistic competition, she  said: 'I practiced every day to prepare for this competition.  I took videos and made improvements by asking myself, does this look beautiful? Am I treating the deceased kindly?'

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 PM | Permalink

August 23, 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. 

Mountain biker, 24, is struck and killed by lightning in front of his horrified girlfriend

John Huisjen was mountain biking outside Telluride, Colorado, Sunday afternoon when a storm rolled in and he was struck by lightning. His girlfriend, Caitlin Lucas, was also hurt but was able to run for help. An off-duty EMT tried to revive Huisjen with  CPR before paramedics arrived but his efforts failed.

 Josh Huisjen Struck Lightening

12 people are crushed to death when a tree crashes down on crowds during religious festival

At least 50 people were injured, including a baby in a pram, when a 200-year-old oak came down over dozens of people waiting to buy candles outside a church as a procession was leaving during the Festa da Senhora do Monte, a festival celebrating the island's patron saint in Monte, a village on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Two 19-year-old friends die after falling 150-feet off a cliff in 'freak accident' while climbing Mount Hood

The bodies of Emma Place and Emily Lang were found on rocks at the base of a waterfall six miles from the Timberline Lodge on Saturday. Authorities said the women had set up camp at the top of a waterfall and it appeared they lost their footing on the slippery rocks and fell.

Mother is electrocuted by her child's dirty diaper.

A mother, named as Annu, was electrocuted by her child's dirty nappy after it hit a power cable after she threw it off  the terrace of her relative's home in southwest Delhi's Bindapur, India.  The diaper is said to have struck an overhead power cable as she launched it towards a patch of open land.  'She got a strong electric jolt from the wire and was thrown back on the roof. The intensity of the shock was so strong that her clothes caught fire, resulting in burn injuries.'  She was taken to hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

Women's body  'cut in half' by an elevator as she was transported on a stretcher moments after giving birth

A husband heard a 'loud blow' as his wife's body was 'cut in half' by a lift as she was transported on a stretcher moments after giving birth.  Rocío Cortés Núñez, 25, who lived in the town of Dos Hermanas near Seville, is said to have been killed as she was transported on a stretcher between the second and third floors of the Valme Hospital in Seville, southern Spain. She was being taken to a maternity unit after waking up following a C-section...One local report said the lift began to function unexpectedly before Rocio was fully in and the doors had closed, causing her head to become trapped.

 Rocioz Cortes Nunez

Man 'Killed By Boat Propeller' While Spreading Father's Ashes

59-year-old Robert Louis from Lake Orion, Michigan died shortly after he and six other passengers fell out of their boat in Lake Superior.  The group was on a 19 foot wooden kit boat, and were out to honor the final wishes of Louis' father who died two weeks earlier after years of battling Alzheimer's.

A witness from shore told police he saw the boat take a sharp turn for reasons unknown at this time, spilling everyone on the boat into Lake Superior. Police say the the throttle was still open when everyone fell out. "What I gathered from the information was, he tried to grab the boat as it was circling around him or them and the prop hit him and I'm not sure if it made it so he couldn't swim or if it injured him bad enough to be life threatening," ...

Woman, 50, on vacation with her daughter and two friends 'falls off a rooftop deck balcony after laughing very hard' during a holiday in Mexico and dies of her injuries

Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, a sixth-grade social studies teacher in western Pennsylvania, was sitting on a rooftop deck bench that had no back. She started laughing very hard, threw her head back, lost her balance and fell off. 

 Sharon Regoli Ciferno

Couple tragically killed in a boating accident while watching the total solar eclipse in Idaho

 Idaho Couple Killed Solar Eclipse

Elaine and Neal Jenkins were in a boat being operated by Mike Kingston when all three were ejected while trying to complete a turn in the water. The boat then struck all three of them as it turned in circles around them.  Rescuers were stymied as the boat spun out of control until it finally ran out of gas and they could finally move in.  Kingston was taken by helicopter to hospital where his condition remains unknown. 

Susanna DeForest, 20, suddenly started vomiting while on a hiking trip with friends in Colorado and died from 'acute altitude sickness'

Two of her friends left to get help while another stayed with DeForest on the trail. Rescuers weren't to reach DeForest and by the time they arrived she had died. Police said the friends left a bit late in the afternoon but had the proper gear, water and food and were prepared to spend the night at the hot springs and hike out the next day. The Conundrum Creek Trail  takes almost a full day to complete, with '5-8 hours to hike in and 3-6 hours to hike out, on average'. It's described as highly elevated, 'beginning at about 8,000 feet and ending at about 11,200 feet' and 'almost entirely uphill' on the trek in.

 Susanna Deforest

American woman, 26, dies from food poisoning on bucket list trip to Mexico before she lost her sight

 Alexandra Noghaven+Sister

Alexandra Noghaven, 26, (right) died suddenly in Mexico City from diabetes complications while she was trying to see the world before she went blind. She was traveling with her sister Genevieve 'Jonvi' Del Sol (left) who posted this picture the day after Noghaven died.  On the night of August 15, Noghaven had a bout of food poisoning and the next day the US Embassy called her mother Anne Jackaway in Miami to tell her that Noghaven had died.  Jackaway said 'She spent her free time off traveling the world and seeing what would be lost to her.' Jackaway believes the food poisoning 'probably sent her blood sugars out of whack so she didn’t realize her vulnerability falling asleep'.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:01 PM | Permalink

August 18, 2017

Death as a Career Move

"Forty years ago Elvis Presley passed ...into a stunningly successful new phase of his career." Mark Steyn has been marking the anniversary of Elvis Presley this week with several posts

The Man Who Invented Elvis

Back in 1954 it was Sam Phillips who told Elvis to sing the country song ("Blue Moon Of Kentucky") kinda bluesy and the blues song ("That's All Right") kinda country, and, as Elvis was a polite 19-year old who obliged his elders, somewhere in the crisscross something clicked.  It's the Phillips tracks that redeem Elvis for everything that came afterward. Critics still insist that Elvis's The Sun Sessions is the all-time greatest album. As Robert Hilburn put it, on the Sun set "you hear rock being born" - not to Tin Pan Alley hacks and big-time corporations, but in a one-story brick studio where a kid walked in off the street

Rock-a-Hula Baby from the guy who wrote more Elvis songs than anybody else.

And concluding with All Shook Up: On death as a career move.

 King Elvis Dead

It was his widow Priscilla who turned Elvis into a brand name. In life he was a most naive superstar: there were no shrewd investments, no offshore funds - just a million bucks sitting in the same kind of no-interest checking account a minimum-wage waitress would have. His most valuable copyrights had been sold to RCA for a pittance, and the reason he never did any overseas tours turned out to be because Colonel Parker, who claimed to be the son of West Virginia carnie folk, was actually an illegal immigrant from the Netherlands and didn't have a passport.

To secure Lisa-Marie's inheritance, Priscilla set about the belated professionalization of her husband's career. He was posthumously all shook up. She opened Graceland, so that fans could make their pilgrimage to his home and his grave, which now attracts more annual visitors than President Kennedy's. Before Elvis, it was an established legal concept that "the dead have no rights." Priscilla decided to reclaim exclusive rights to her late husband – his image, his identity. The Celebrity Rights Law, passed by Tennessee in 1983 and since taken up by other jurisdictions, effectively extends to Elvis' estate the rights of a living person. Whether you believe he and Osama are working the night shift at the Dubuque Burger King is up to you. But, in the legal sense, Elvis is most definitely alive; it's just that he's changed his name to Graceland Enterprises Inc.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:49 PM | Permalink

August 16, 2017

"They kept a heart connection not just to his teachings but to something of him"

His Voicemails Were a Kind of Afterlife

My iPhone died last week. There was no warning. The phone just powered off, and no matter what I did, it wouldn’t come back on......there are some items on my phone that are special.

the voice memos... of my kids from when they were much younger. Some from my parents, some from my mentors — those are special ones to which I occasionally go back and listen to...And there are voice messages from Vincent Harding.

Those voicemails were the treasure chests where his gems were stored. How often I have come back to these voicemails over the last three years. I sobbed when he died, and I cherished his words, his voice. They would comfort me. They were my link to a world of justice and love, wisdom and beauty that seemed so urgently needed and yet so far away. They were a personal connection to Uncle Vincent and, through Uncle Vincent, to Martin King. Somehow the voicemails were a kind of afterlife. They kept a heart connection not just to his teachings but to something of him.

They lingered, even after his death. And they are gone....

And now those voicemails are lost somewhere on my iPhone. Inaccessible. Lost. Gone. No, I had not backed up my phone. Don’t ask me about the regret now.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:19 AM | Permalink

"Every day, at six o'clock sharp, he lies down on top of the grave stays there all night"

Capitan the German shepherd has stood by its owner's grave for TEN YEARS

Capitan the German shepherd has been standing vigil at owner Miguel Guzmán's grave side in Argentina ever since he passed away in 2006.  And it seems the 15-year-old dog intends to remain faithful to his last, as he continues his ritual despite being almost totally blind and barely able to walk. Graveyard workers, who now care for 15-year-old Capitan, say he is 'waiting until he can be reunited' with his owner.

 Capitan's Vigil 10 Years

The dog's vigil began the day after Mr Guzmán's funeral, when he went missing from the family home in Cordoba. Mr Guzmán's wife and son launched a search for the dog, eventually locating him a 45 minute drive away in the village where his owner had been taken to be buried. They say it is a mystery how Capitan found the grave, claiming he had not been taken there before. Damian tried several times to bring the animal home, but he always escaped and returned to the grave side, and they decided to leave him there.

The cemetery's director Hector Baccega remembers the day he first saw the dog. "He turned up here one day, all on his own, and started wandering all around the cemetery until he eventually found the tomb of his master....During the day he sometimes has a walk around the cemetery, but always rushes back to the grave. And every day, at six o'clock sharp, he lies down on top of the grave stays there all night.'
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:29 AM | Permalink

August 7, 2017

Regrets on the dying

10 Regrets people confess on their deathbeds at Aleteia

Father Nelson Medina, lists the sort of regrets he has often heard while accompanying the dying.

1. For complaining much more that I gave thanks.
2. For the times when I set a bad example and there were people who followed my lead.
3. For my indifference in the face of someone's suffering.
4. For failing to say so many words of praise to those who deserved them or needed them.
5. For claiming credit for my triumphs but blaming my failures on circumstances.
6. For having failed to respect someone's innocence or having blocked someone's dreams.
7. For wasting so much time on empty things...time that can't be gotten back.
8. For taking advantage of someone who loved me in order to get something for myself.
9. For not being careful to guide those I should have educated better before it was too late.
10. For the promises I didn't keep.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:20 PM | Permalink

August 6, 2017

Dropped off at the funeral home while still alive

Shock as 'dead woman', 69, dropped off at a funeral home begins to CRY

Relatives of a dying 69-year-old woman have been arrested after they dropped her off at a funeral parlor - even though she was still alive. Carmen Pilar spent the night on a table, covered by a shroud, in the mortuary in the Bolivian capital city of La Paz. Funeral parlor workers were preparing to inject her with formaldehyde when two grieving friends of the woman heard her begin to cry.

The women, who had come to the mortuary to say their final farewells, contacted her family but they allegedly still refused to take her home. They then alerted police who have arrested the woman's daughter, son-in-law and cousin over the bizarre incident.

Doctors who had been treating her for a brain tumor had told them there was nothing more that could be done for her. Police believe that they expected her to die imminently and did not think it worth taking her home. Mrs Pilar is still alive and has been admitted to another hospital where she is now being treated in intensive care, officers revealed.

 Carmen Pilar Dumped

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:12 AM | Permalink

August 4, 2017

Bizarre deaths

These short tales of unexpected and unforeseen deaths are to reinforce the truth that we never know when death will come to us and so we should be prepared to die at all times.  May their family and friends, faced with sudden and grievous loss, find consolation.  May all of the victims rest in peace.

Alabama boy, Aron Dunn,16, dies after being struck by lightning that leapt from a tree into his body as he stood on a porch

Elderly Denver man died in elevator after twice pushing emergency button

Isaak Komisarchik was reported missing about a month before his decomposing body was found in the elevator car.  Unable to escape the elevator car — possibly because of dementia — 82-year-old Isaak Komisarchik died between the morning of July 6 and Aug. 2, when elevator repair workers finally discovered the body after multiple residents of the apartment complex reported a terrible stench.

Killed by a HIPPO on safari in Tanzania, American businesswoman, Carol Sue Kirken, 75, dies in her son's arms

Elephant ‘impaled his handler on the stick he used to control the animal’ as Zimbabwean safari boss warns that the beast may have harbored a ‘grudge’

Enock Kufandada, 50, was charged, trampled and torn apart by a bull elephant called Mbanje in Zimbabwe before colleagues could come to his aid. They shot the animal dead after it was deemed to be still be in a state of rage....The elephant is thought to have impaled his handler on the stick he used to control the animal as a safari boss warned it may have harbored a grudge. Workers said Mr Kufandada had been attacked twice before by the same elephant but survived...Officials said elephants can keep grudges against handlers if they are mistreated

Long Island boy Josh Mileto, 16, dies after 'being struck by falling LOG that he and a teammate were made to carry while at football summer camp.

‘Incredible coincidence in road crash deaths’.

The Royal Gazette reports: “Erskine Ebbin and his brother Neville were killed almost exactly a year apart after being involved in collision with the same taxi, driven by the same driver and carrying the same passenger.” Both victims were 17, and both were riding the same auxiliary cycle on the same road. Erskine was killed on the night of July 18, 1975, near the Packwood Home in Sandys; Neville died on July 30, 1974, on the nearby stretch of Middle Road known as Hog Bay Level. Both were reported to have collided with a taxi driven by Willard Manders. According to their father, John Henry Ebbin of Woodlawn Road, Sandys, even the passenger in the taxi was the same in both instances.

Canadian girl, 14, dies after getting stuck in mud while trying to save her neighbor's dog

Khrystyna Maksymova, from Edmonton, Canada, had been walking the dog with her 11-year-old sister when it went into the water to chase a flock of geese. However, once in the water, the brave teenager reportedly found herself stuck in mud and weeds and was unable to swim to the shore.

Glove-wearing police officer, Monty Platt,  dies after being bitten on the hand by a FERAL CAT on a Texas university campus

Teen ballet dancer sitting in backyard hammock is crushed to death by falling tree in Kentucky

Michelle Chalk, 15, of Kentucky, was crushed to death after the tree the hammock was attached to collapsed without warning on Tuesday in Ford Thomas. It is still not clear what caused the tree, which was old but not described as sickly, to fall.  Chalk, who was expected to start classes at Highlands High School later this month, was a talented dancer who had trained with the Cincinnati Ballet for many years.

Swarm of bees stings one man, a landscaper to death and leaves another two injured in horrifying attack at a home in Tucson, Arizona.

Two drunk tourists clamber over the safety barrier at an Indian waterfall and jokingly let go of the railing... then slip and plunge 100ft to their death

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:03 AM | Permalink