The Somerton Man: In the early hours of December 1, 1948 a dead body was found lying on Adelaide’s Somerton Beach. The man was judged to be in his early forties and in good physical condition. Curiously, all the labels were missing from his clothing, he had no identification and his dental records did not match any known person. Even the coroner and Scotland Yard had no luck finding out the man’s identity or cause of death. The mystery deepened when a piece of paper with the printed words “Tamam Shud” on it was discovered in a secret pocket concealed within the dead man’s trousers. The scrap of paper was traced to a rare edition of a book entitled The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the back of which contained some kind of a code. Numerous unsuccessful attempts by amateurs and professional codebreakers to crack it have failed. The identity of the deceased man and even the cause of death remain unsolved to this day. The case was never closed by the South Australian Major Crime Task Force and many individuals continue to work on it.
The fingerprinting of a decomposed corpse sometimes requires the medical examiner to remove the deceased’s fingertips and slip them over their own gloved fingertips, which then allows them to take the prints.
The 21 Steps of an Autopsy
- The dead body arrives at the morgue.
- The body’s identity is confirmed, assigned an identification number, and given a toe tag, which is a cardboard ticket with all of the corpse’s pertinent information written on it. This tag is tied to the big toe.
- The body is photographed from head to toe, front and back, in the clothing it was wearing when it arrived at the morgue.
- The body is photographed from head to toe, front and back, completly naked.
- The body is weighed on a scale, and the weight is recorded. The body is also measured for length, and completely X-rayed.
- The fingerprints of the corpse are taken. In instances in which hands and/or fingers are missing parts are duly noted.
- The clothing the deceased was wearing upon arrival at the morgue is carefully examined. Fiber samples from the garments are taken for later study, and stains on clothing are noted and examined.
- Any and all moles, wounds, tattoos, scars (including surgical scars), and other physical body anomalies are noted and examined.
- The corpse’s fingernails, toenails, skin, and hair are examined. The skin on the arms and legs is carefully checked for syringe markings.
- During a medical autopsy of a female, a rigorous examination of the external genitalia (labia, pubic hair, etc) is performed to determine whether or not there was a rape or sexual assault committed against the woman prior to (and/or after) her death.
- Body fluids (blood, urine, etc) are withdrawn from the body and subjected to comprehensive toxicology tests.
- The coroner makes a huge, full body-length “Y” incision that opens up the entire front of the body. The incision starts at each shoulder, proceeds on an angle down to the mid-chest, and then joins into a straight line that extends all the way to the pubis. This is the most dramatic element of a medical-legal autopsy, and most people who have never seen one performed are stunned by the dramatic way the body is spread wide by this incision. Many people have, at one time or another, seen some sort of surgical procedure performed. The incisions, even for major abdominal surgery, are thin, neat, and relatively “clean.” An autopsy incision need not be neat, nor concerned with excessive bleeding. Thus, the corpse is split wide open by a deep cut that is a very effective reminder that the person being autopsied is, in fact, quite dead.
- First the organs of the upper abdominal cavity-the lungs, heart, esophagus and trachea-are removed. The coroner then takes out the lower abdominal organs, which include the liver, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, stomach, and intestines. Slices of each organ are taken and tested.
- The internal genitalia of both males and females are examined. In the case of females, the uterus and vagina are carefully studied for signs of pregnancy, rape, or some form of sexual assault.
- The organs of the pelvic region, including the bladder, the uterus, and the ovaries, are removed. Samples of each organ are taken and analyzed.
- When the cause of death are either drowning or a suspected poisoning or drug overdose, the contents of the stomach are removed, examined, and carefully analyzed. All findings are recorded.
- Any and all bullet wounds are recorded. The number of wounds is noted, as well as the perceived direction(s) of the bullet(s). An estimate, based on the configuration of the bullet entrance wounds, is made as to what distance the gun was from the victim when it was fired. All bullets are removed from the body and placed in plastic bags. The bullets are then examined and recorded as evidence.
- First, a deep incision is made in the skin of the scalp. The cut, which is called intermastiod, begins behind one ear, travels over the top of the head, and ends behind the opposite ear. The scalp is then grasped firmly and pulled forward over the face, baring the skull. Using an electric saw, a wedge-shaped portion of the skull is cut out and removed, exposing the brain. The brain is then removed in its entirety, weighed, and examined.
- Since he or she is now through with them, the coroner returns all of the removed internal organs to the body cavities.
- The autopsy findings, complete with a final opinion as to the cause of death, as well as all reports and photographs, are turned over to legal authorities. This “package” becomes part of the corpus delecti, and is used as evidence in a court of law when necessary. The folder containing all of this detailed information is known as the case file.
- A final determination is made as to the cause of death, and the death certificate is filled out.
- The body is turned over to the funeral director the family has selected. The body is then prepared for burial, cremation, or donation.
The Hardy Tree In the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church in London, hundreds of old gravestones circle an ash tree. In the 1860’s an older part of the churchyard was designated to make way for a new railway line. Coffins were removed with care and reburied elsewhere. Some of the headstones were placed in a circular pattern around a young ash tree in the churchyard. Over the decades the tree has, inevitably grown and parts of the headstones nearest the tree have disappeared in to its growth.
There are prisons in Alabama that don’t let prisoners have books.
But there are prisons in Kentucky that let inmates play video games and have pizza parties, so idk.
Hold on just a tick. Listen, I’m Jewish, so I’m perfectly capable of understanding that what he did was just…..well, there are no words for it. But let’s not round it up to simply Jews that got killed. It was six million people that died in those camps, not just Jews. Did you know that homosexuals were sent there, too? Yeah, I’m sure you did. They had to wear special little symbols on their clothes. Do you know what it was? It was a pink triangle.
It was six million PEOPLE.
But you let that roll over in your mind for a while and you are going to forever see this man as a monster, but that’s not what he was. He was someone who thought he was truly doing something right for his nation, no matter how shitty he was doing it. Believe me when I say that I don’t like him. I really don’t. My grandfather’s brothers died in those camps, and my grandfather escaped to Spain, then to Mexico. He was lucky.
This is not a monster holding hands with a little girl.
This is Adolf Hitler, a man, holding hands with a little girl.
Yeah. It’s fucking scary. It really is. Do you know why?
It’s because you’re seeing that he wasn’t, in fact, a monster. You’re seeing in this picture that he was a man. He was a man, and that’s really the saddest part of it all.
As a History major who specializes in the history of early modern Europe, I’ve studied a lot of dictators in detail, not just Hitler. The number one mistake anyone could ever make in history is making the assumption that only inhuman monsters are capable of doing terrible things.
Stop dehumanizing Hitler just so you can reassure yourself that “normal” humans aren’t capable of doing bad things. Hitler liked children and dogs, he was a vegetarian and he cried like a little boy when his mother died. I’m not saying he was a good, innocent person, but when you stop attributing human characteristics to historical figures like Hitler, it’s how you overlook people just like him in real life, and it’s how people like him end up back in power.
That last statement.
Wow, this is deep cutting stuff.
I couldn’t agree more.
Some fun (see: creepy) facts about Jim Jones
- If Jones felt members of the People’s Temple had defied him or if he wanted sympathy from the group, he would often fake a heart attack, claim that his life was being threatened by outsiders and/or stage acts of violence against himself.
- Had all members give up all of their possessions, sign over deeds to their house, their pay checks and social security checks. In 1977, Jones was collecting well over $40,000 a month in Social Security checks and had over ten million dollars held in several different bank accounts.
- Bragged about being extremely well endowed.
- Was once arrested in a public bathroom for masturbating and showing his penis to an off duty police officer.
- Cussed like a sailor—even during his sermons.
- Told many of the male members of the People’s Temple that they were homosexual and then proceeded to “cure” them of their homosexuality by having sex with them. Fucking the gay right out of them.
- Also felt that many of the women needed some ~spiritual healing~ so he would have sexual relations with them as well, mostly to cure depression.
- Would make his temple members sign papers stating that they sexually molested or beat their children so he could use it as blackmail against them, if ever necessary.
- Forced one Temple couple (Tim & Grace Stoen) to sign paperwork saying that their child, John, was actually Jim’s son (he wasn’t). Grace eventually left the Temple and Tim did shortly after. Jones would never allow the parents to gain custody of their child and he would end up being one of the 900 members that lost his life in Jonestown.
- Began telling Temple members he was God —they believed him.
The opening credits in the new season of American Horror Story, called “Freakshow,” show fictionalized versions of real historical performers. They are identified by J Tithonus Pednaud on his website The Human Marvels.
There are several acts in the opening credits that have been popular throughout sideshow history, such as sword-swallowing and doing the human blockhead. (Ask me to show you if you ever see me at a party!) Listed here are some real, specific performers of circus fame.
1. Cephalophagous babies are a type of conjoined twin that are conjoined at the head. There has been no recording of any living past infancy, but deformed babies and fetuses in jars were a popular attraction in traveling sideshows, dime museums and the like as “pickled punks.” Sometimes they were real, sometimes they were fabricated fakes, or “gaffs.”
2. Nicodemus the Indescribable was born with truncated limbs and was known for being incredibly strong and an amazing acrobat.
3. The Ohio Bigfoot Lady wore custom-made size-30 shoes. Her real name was Franny Mills and she had lymphademia, which caused fluid build-up and swelling in her feet and legs.
4. The Lobster Boy is based on Grady Stiles Jr., who had ectrodactyly. Many members of the Stiles family, including Grady’s father and two of his children, also had lobster-claw hands. He was considered a bully and an abusive drunk. Grady was convicted of murdering his daughter’s fiancé, but was not incarcerated because he insisted that the jails would not be able to handle his disability. Afterwards he resumed beating his wife and children, so they hired a hit man to kill him.