Ramblings & ephemera

Ghost brides in China

From Reuters’ “China arrests men for murdering “ghost” brides” (26 January 2007): BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese police have arrested three men for killing two young women to sell their corpses as “ghost brides” for dead single men, a Chinese newspaper reported, warning the dark custom might have claimed many other victims. Yang Donghai, a 35-year-old […]

A beheading in Saudi Arabia

Image via Wikipedia From Adam St. Patrick’s “Chop Chop Square: Inside Saudi Arabia’s brutal justice system” (The Walrus: May 2009): This is Saudi Arabia, one of the last places on earth where capital punishment is a public spectacle. Decapitation awaits murderers, but the death penalty also applies to many other crimes, such as armed robbery, […]

Warning signs of an incipient serial killer

From Wikipedia’s “MacDonald triad” (26 July 2006): The MacDonald triad are three major personality traits in children that are said to be warning signs for the tendency to become a serial killer. They were first described by J. M. MacDonald in his article “The Threat to Kill” in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Firestarting, invariably […]

The day FDR was almost assassinated

From Adam Goodheart’s “10 Days That Changed History” (The New York Times: 2 July 2006): FEB. 15, 1933: The Wobbly Chair It should have been an easy shot: five rounds at 25 feet. But the gunman, Giuseppe Zangara, an anarchist, lost his balance atop a wobbly chair, and instead of hitting President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, […]

Fouche proud of terror

From Central Missouri State University’s “Joseph Fouche“: As chief police officer of the revolutionary government, Fouché was given the power to impose the government’s policies quickly and mercilessly. He demonstrated his willingness to accomplish this feat when, after the population of Lyons revolted against the government, he personally presided over the mass executions in that […]

Al Qaeda hijacks web server to distribute video

From Matt Tanase’s Don’t let this happen to you: Smaller companies often assume they have nothing of interest to hackers. Often times that is the case, but they are still after resources, as in this case. Unfortunately, the hackers in this case are tied to Al Qaeda. They placed the recent hostage video on a […]

A cared-for mummy

From “Mummified woman died naturally“: A woman whose mummified body was dressed in a white gown and placed in front of a television for 2½ years died from heart disease. … Officials never suspected abuse or foul play after finding Johannas Pope, 61, in her Madisonville home Jan. 4. Pope told her caretaker, Kathy Painter, […]

How many people die each year in the world?

From Ask Yahoo!: According to the CIA World Factbook, as of July, 2005, there were approximately 6,446,131,400 people on the planet, and the death rate was approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year. According to our nifty desktop calculator, that works out to roughly 56,597,034 people leaving us every year. That’s about a 155,000 […]

A horrid legal conundrum

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A convicted murderer being held in Atlanta is refusing to sign a waiver the district attorney says it needs to release the remains of an 8-year-old East Texas boy. Without the waiver, the family of Chad Choice cannot hold a funeral, although the boy was killed more than a decade ago. […]