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Dead Pool 31st May 2020

Strangely enough, no points this week, even with record numbers of  people dying and a gimme like the oldest man in the world passing away, although in fairness he wasn’t the oldest until fairly recently. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Brian May has said he was recently taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack. The Queen guitarist revealed that doctors found him to be “very near death” after discovering three blocked arteries, which caused a pain in his chest that lasted 40 minutes. May, 72, told his Instagram followers that the pain began shortly after ripping his buttock muscles in a gardening accident a few weeks back. “In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack,” he said. “I say small – it’s not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness and that feeling in the arms and sweating.” May continued: “To cut a long story short, my wonderful doctor drove me to the hospital himself and I went straight into what they call the ‘CAT room’ I think and I had an angiogram, and that’s when they stick something in your wrist and it goes all the way up to your heart and into arteries in your heart, and it can find out in a way that nothing else can.” During the angiogram, doctors found the arteries “that were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood” to his heart. May said he turned down open heart surgery and instead opted to have three stents put in. Speaking about the many headlines and Twitter jokes made about his buttock injury, May said: “I didn’t realise that was amusing really. “I kind of forgot that anything to do with the bum people find amusing, so I got a bit pissed off with all the ‘Brian May gets a pain in the bum’ kind of stuff.”   

A Belgian prince has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party in Spain during lockdown. Prince Joachim, a nephew of Belgium‘s King Philippe, contracted Covid-19 after going to the gathering in Cordoba on 26 May, a spokesperson for the Belgian Royal Palace said. The party breached lockdown rules because of how many people were there, according to Spanish media. The royal spokesperson said the palace could not confirm the number of people in attendance. The 28-year-old prince travelled to Spain from Belgium on May 24 for an internship – two days before the party took place. He is still in Spain, the palace said on Saturday. El Pais newspaper said the prince, who is tenth in line to the Belgian throne, attended the party along with 26 other people. This would go against lockdown rules in the province of Cordoba, where a maximum of 15 people are allowed to meet up. Spanish police said they had launched an investigation into the incident and those who breached restrictions could face fines of between €600 and €10,000. All 27 people who attended the party are now in quarantine, Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s regional envoy in Cordoba, said on Saturday. She called the gathering “completely irresponsible” and said it could have caused an outbreak of infections, triggering a return to a stricter lockdown. “I feel surprised and angry. An incident of this type stands out at a moment of national mourning for so many dead,” she said.

On This Day

  • 455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome. One wonders why we don’t do this today. 
  • 1669 – Citing poor eyesight as a reason, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary. Maybe he should have driven his cart to Barnard Castle.
  • 1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 
  • 1970 – The 7.9 Mw  Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794–70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.

Deaths

  • 1983 – Jack Dempsey, American boxer and lieutenant (b. 1895)
  • 2009 – Danny La Rue, Irish-British drag queen performer and singer (b. 1927)
  • 2016 – Carla Lane, English television writer (b. 1928)

The Last British Executions

Henry John Burnett was the last man to be hanged in Scotland, and the first in Aberdeen since 1891. He was tried at the high court in Aberdeen from 23–25 July 1963 for the murder of merchant seaman Thomas Guyan, who was the husband of Margaret May, Burnett’s mistress. 

Burnett came to believe that, given the chance, Margaret would leave him, so he took to locking her in the house whenever he went out. This was not a state of affairs which Margaret relished so when by chance she met her estranged husband on 31st May, she agreed to go back to him. As soon as Margaret announced her intention to go back to her husband, Burnett cried “Margaret, Margaret, you are not going to leave me!” He then drew a knife to Margaret’s throat. A family friend banged repeatedly on the front door and demanded the release of Margaret. Minutes later, Burnett threw open the door and ran off down the street. Margaret was shaken, but relatively unhurt. 

Burnett went to his brother Frank’s workplace and told him what had happened, but Burnett, still set on revenge, went to Frank’s house in the city’s Bridge of Don area to borrow his brother’s shotgun. He arrived at Guyans’ flat and forced his way in. Thomas Guyan jumped to his feet to see what the problem was. As he opened the kitchen door, he was met by Burnett, carrying the gun. A shot rang out and Guyan fell dead, having been shot in the face at close range. Burnett then took Margaret out of the flat at gun point; on the way down the stairs, he threatened a young boy from a neighbouring flat. 

Burnett dragged Margaret down a lane and as far as a garage on Seaforth Road, near the main route north out of Aberdeen. John Innes Irvine was filling his car with petrol at the garage when Burnett demanded his car. Irvine tried to stop Burnett from stealing the car, but was threatened with the shotgun. The police were soon notified of the theft and began following the car, after driving for about 15 miles, Burnett pulled the car over near the town of Ellon and offered no resistance as he was arrested. 

At his trial, Burnett’s defence was that at the time of the crime he was insane or alternatively, that this was a case of diminished responsibility. Both defences failed after the jury had considered the evidence for 25 minutes. After he was sentenced to death, both his own family and that of the victim petitioned for his reprieve. However, there was no appeal from Burnett and at 8.00am on Thursday, 15th August 1963, the 21-year-old was executed on Britain’s newest gallows (built in 1962 to Home Office-approved specifications) as a crowd of 200 people gathered outside the prison. Executioner Harry Allen and his assistant Samuel Plant performed the hanging. Shortly afterwards, Burnett’s body was buried in an unmarked grave within the walls of the prison, as was customary. Craiginches Prison closed permanently in January 2014 and the grounds were ear-marked for redevelopment. In early August 2014 the remains of Burnett were exhumed from the prison and taken to Aberdeen Crematorium, where a private ceremony was held on 7th August. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Clint Eastwood (89), Lea Thompson (58), Colin Farrell (43), Brooke Shields (54), Tom Berenger (70), Sharon Gless (76), Colm Meaney (66), Mark Sheppard (55), Stephen Tobolowsky (68), Keir Dullea (83), Harry Enfield (58), Jake The Snake Roberts (64), Leigh Francis (46), Jennifer Ellison (36), Annette Bening  (61), Danny Elfman (66), Laverne Cox (47), Mel B (44), Nanette Newman (85), Jake Johnson (41), Kylie Minogue (51), Michelle Collins (57), Paul Bettany (49), Louis Gossett Jr. (84), André Benjamin (45), Helena Bonham Carter (54), Pam Grier (71), Bobcat Goldthwait (58), Philip Michael Thomas (71), Lenny Kravitz (56), Stevie Nicks (72), Cillian Murphy (44), Mike Myers (57), Ian McKellen (81), and Frank Oz (76).

Dead Pool 24th May 2020

Another week bereft of points, however a long list of people you might have heard of below. Thanks as always for all of you who pass on interesting stories and ideas, keep them coming.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

A former White House employee who worked with 11 presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, died over the weekend after contracting the coronavirus. He was 91. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who appeared alongside the Obamas in a photograph published in former first lady Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir “Becoming,” retired in 2012 following 55 years of service. He began his White House career in 1957 as a cleaner, gaining promotion to the role of butler during the Kennedy administration, his granddaughter, Jamila Garrett, told us that the father of five “always taught us that there will be obstacles in your life, they will not disappear, but keep pushing forward.” Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush paid tribute to Jerman, describing him as “a lovely man.” “He was the first person we saw in the morning when we left the Residence and the last person we saw each night when we returned,” they said in a statement.  

Former Kent and England batsman Rob Key has revealed he is recovering after suffering a ‘mini stroke’. The 41-year-old, who is now a TV pundit, says he has had a “long weekend” after being treated at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. He posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed on Instagram. Key thanked his doctor and added: “Turns out I’ve had a mini stroke. Now got to eat food with no flavour and take pills, #triffic,”. Key played in 15 Tests for England, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match, with his stand-out international performance the 221 against the West Indies in July 2004. He was prolific on the County scene, scoring almost 20,000 first-class runs between 1998 and 2015 for Kent. His former club tweeted a “get well soon” message on Monday.   

Amanda Kloots, the wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, broke down in tears as she revealed that her husband’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Things had been looking up for the family, with Cordero waking up from his coronavirus-induced coma last week and Kloots celebrating a “small win” on Monday after doctors pulled out fewer secretions from his lungs than they had previously found. However, on Wednesday, dancer Kloots admitted that things had got worse in an emotional Instagram Story video filmed in her car. “Nick has had a bad morning. Unfortunately, things are going a little downhill at the moment, so I am asking again for all the prayers, mega-prayers, right now,” she said. “Please cheer and please pray for Nick today, and I know that this virus is not going to get him down.” Kloots, who has a 10-month-old son with the actor, continued: “It’s not how his story ends, so just keep us in your thoughts and prayers today. Thank you.” In a separate Instagram post, she wrote: “Mega prayers for this special man right now. God continue to grant miracles.” Cordero was admitted to hospital on 30 March after being diagnosed with pneumonia, testing positive for coronavirus and being put on a ventilator just two days later. The actor then faced a number of complications, including septic shock and two “mini strokes”, with his right leg needing to be amputated due to blood clotting. 

On This Day

  • 1487 – The ten-year-old Lambert Simnel is crowned in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, with the name of Edward VI in a bid to threaten King Henry VII‘s reign.  
  • 1930 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).  
  • 1956 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.  
  • 1976 – The Judgment of Paris takes place in France, launching California as a worldwide force in the production of quality wine.

Deaths

  • 1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (b. 1473)  
  • 1963 – Elmore James, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1918)  
  • 1974 – Duke Ellington, American pianist and composer (b. 1899)  
  • 1995 – Harold Wilson, English academic and Prime Minister of the U.K. (b. 1916)  
  • 2010 – Ray Alan, English ventriloquist, actor, and screenwriter (b. 1930)

The Last British Executions

Catherine Murphy (died 18th March 1789) was an English counterfeiter, the last woman in England to be officially burned at the stake.

Catherine Murphy and her husband, Hugh Murphy, were convicted for coining at the Old Bailey in London and sentenced to death on 18th September 1788. She and her husband were executed on the morning of 18th March 1789 at Newgate prison along with seven other men who had been convicted of various offences.

The eight men were executed by hanging. But as a woman, the law provided that Murphy should be burnt at the stake. She was brought out past the hanging bodies of the others, and made to stand on a foot high, 10-inch-square platform in front of the stake. She was secured to the stake with ropes and an iron ring. When she finished her prayers, her executioner, William Brunskill, piled faggots of straw around the stake and lit them. According to testimony given by Sir Benjamin Hammett, the Sheriff of London, he gave instructions that she should be strangled before being burned. She was, reportedly, tied with one rope around her neck, after which the platform was removed from under her feet and 30 minutes passed before the fire was lit, and thus, she was not actually burned alive. Whatever the case, Catherine Murphy remains the last person to have been sentenced and at least officially executed by the method of burning. In part through the efforts of Sir Benjamin Hammett, who took the execution of Murphy as an example when he criticised this form of punishment, burning as a method of execution was abolished the next year, by the Treason Act 1790.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Doug Jones (59), Alfred Molina (66), John C. Reilly (54), Jim Broadbent (70), Priscilla Presley (74), Gary Burghoff (76), Tommy Chong (81), Eric Cantona (53), Bob Dylan (78), Richard Ayoade (42), Joan Collins (86), Melissa McBride (54), Maggie Q (41), Ginnifer Goodwin (42), Graham Linehan (52), Naomi Campbell (50), Judge Reinhold (63), Noel Fielding (47), Mr. T (68), Cher (74), Jack Gleeson (28), John Billingsley (60), Louis Theroux (50), James Fox (81), Grace Jones (72), Amanda De Cadenet (48), Tina Fey (50), Miriam Margolyes (79), Yun-Fat Chow (65), and Toyah Willcox (62).

Dead Pool 17th May 2020

Not much in the news this week and no points scored. I think we need a more deadly virus! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Bachelor’s Sophie Tieman has revealed she is being tested for viral meningitis. The 27-year-old shared a shocking image of herself lying in a hospital bed wearing a gown and face mask, with a nasogastric tube inserted into her nose on Tuesday. Sophie explained in a post to her Instagram Stories she had been unwell for a week but was initially diagnosed with ‘influenza’. Following several days of treatment, her condition failed to improve and Sophie felt like her ‘head was going to explode’. She had also been suffering from other symptoms including lethargy and neck aches. The reality star was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to undergo tests including pathology, a chest x-ray and an MRI scan. Sophie also revealed she would be undergoing a spinal tap, which she was ‘dreading’. Meningitis is a serious illness which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes. It is usually caused by a viral infection but can also be bacterial or fungal. Sophie rose to fame on the 2018 season of The Bachelor where she dated Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins. She made it to the final rose ceremony along with co-star Brittany Hockley.  

As you saw above, an emotional Gardeners World paid tribute to Monty Don’s dog Nigel, who sadly died earlier this week. A poignant package of clips aired during the show saw the beautiful golden retriever scampering through daffodils and ‘helping’ his human by dropping filthy tennis balls in his freshly planted pots. Taken from previous episodes, each clip proved how strong Monty and Nigel’s bond was, as the cheeky pooch’s tail wagged like mad whenever he looked at his master. Sobbing viewers were treated to the sight of Nigel prancing through the flowers, tearing through Monty’s garden, and patiently waiting for his beloved ball to be thrown by dropping it right where Monty needed to be to talk to the camera. One old clip showed Monty standing by a wheelbarrow piled high with soil. “Now this is crushed bark with a little addition of tennis ball,” Monty explains as he holds up a dirty old ball that has somehow fallen in. “Now tennis ball, of course, is a magical horticultural ingredient… according to Nigel.” Another clip saw the gardening expert reach all the way up to his shoulder inside an enormous plant pot, just to fish out Nigel’s ball. Do you want to see what’s in there? Look. Why did you put it in? He’s going to put it back in now,” he chuckled as Nigel predictably nudged the ball straight back inside. Nigel was well known to fans thanks to his appearances on the BBC Two gardening programme, where he was often seen with Monty’s other dog Nellie. 

The Newly Infected

  • Justin Long: The actor revealed he believed he and his brother, Christian, contracted the virus. He said he symptoms included “achingness, some nausea, headaches and then the tightness in the chest.” 
  • Tony Shalhoub: revealed that he and his wife Brooke Adams have recovered from coronavirus.

On This Day

  • 1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn‘s marriage is annulled.  
  • 1900 – The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United States. The first copy is given to the author’s sister.  
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.  
  • 1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organisation eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.  
  • 1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armory in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.

Deaths

  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith, founded the Deere & Company (b. 1804)   
  • 1922 – Dorothy Levitt, English racing driver and journalist (b. 1882)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934) 
  • 2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)

The Last British Executions

James Smith was the sixth-to-last criminal to be executed in a British prison. He was hanged for the murder of Mrs. Sarah Isabella Cross in her sweetshop at the corner of Hulme Hall Lane and Iron Street, Miles Platting, Manchester.

Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1936, had entered the shop on Friday 4th May 1962 and battered 58-year-old Mrs Cross to death in order to rob her of around £6 from the till. A total of 5 glass screw-top orangeade and cherryade bottles were used to club the victim, each of which shattered to pieces as a result. Smith left coins scattered on the shop floor as he made his escape through the rear exit. The victim’s body was subsequently found lying behind the counter.

Forensic experts discovered Smith’s fingerprint on a door frame which had been painted two days earlier by Mrs Cross’s husband, a factory worker, and was still slightly tacky. Smith’s fingerprints were already on file because of a previous conviction. As a result, Smith was quickly arrested at his home on Corfe Street, Beswick by Detective Chief Superintendent Eric Cunningham and Detective Inspector Tommy Butcher. The broken glass bottles from the murder scene were sent to the North West Forensic Science Laboratory at Preston, where they were carefully reassembled using a tube of glue. Smith’s house was searched and microscopic particles of glass (recovered using a modified vacuum cleaner) were found on Smith’s clothing and also down the sides of a settee. The tiny fragments of glass recovered from Smith’s home fitted perfectly into the reassembled bottles from the murder scene.

The 26-year-old father of two, who worked as a £15-per-week rubber moulder at Failsworth, went on trial for Mrs Cross’s murder on 15th October 1962. The hearing lasted three days and it took the jury just 20 minutes to find him guilty. This verdict automatically resulted in him being sentenced to  death on 17th October 1962, because under the terms of the Homicide Act 1957 killing in the course or furtherance of theft or robbery was a capital offence.

Smith was subsequently hanged on the gallows at Strangeways prison, on the morning of Wednesday, 28th November 1962. The executioners were Harry Allen and his assistant. A few hours later, on the same day that he was executed, Smith’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in Manchester prison cemetery. This practice was standard procedure because bodies of executed prisoners were regarded as property of the British government, and therefore remained in the custody of the prison where they had been executed. Because the prison cemetery was located inside the prison walls, there was no access for the general public. Smith’s body remained in the prison cemetery until many years later when (in 1991 and again in 1993) the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed, cremated and the ashes interred in plots C2710 and C2711 at Blackley Cemetery, Manchester.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Erin Richards (33), Paul Whitehouse (61), Megan Fox (33), Pierce Brosnan (66), David Boreanaz (50), Danny Trejo (75), Stephen Mangan (51), Janet Jackson (53), Cate Blanchett (50), Tim Roth (58), Francesca Annis (74), George Lucas (75), Danny Huston (57), Martine McCutcheon (43), Greg Davies (51), Siân Phillips (86), Robert Pattinson (33), Samantha Morton (42), Harvey Keitel (80), Dennis Rodman (58), Iwan Rheon (34), Mark Heap (62), Zoë Wanamaker (70), Stephen Colbert (55), Stevie Wonder (69), Malin Akerman (41), Rami Malek (38), Emilio Estevez (57), Gabriel Byrne (69), Jason Biggs (41), Catherine Tate (51), Ving Rhames (60), Stephen Baldwin (53), Jeffrey Donovan (52), Tim Blake Nelson (56), Pam Ferris (72), and Holly Valance (37). 

Dead Pool 10th May 2020

Welcome all, surprisingly no points to award this week, even with the demise of the Grandfather of Rock’n’Roll and a man who was mauled by a tiger. Is it worth sending out the flying monkeys? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Brian May has been hospitalised after “ripping his Gluteus Maximus to shreds” in a mystery gardening accident, he has revealed. The Queen guitarist shared to Instagram an image of himself wearing a face mask, before clarifying to fans that he hadn’t experienced anything coronavirus-related. “The Virus didn’t get me yet – thank God,” the 72-year-old wrote in his caption. “I managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening. So suddenly I find myself in a hospital getting scanned to find out exactly how much I’ve actually damaged myself. He continued: “Turns out I did a thorough job – this is a couple of days ago – and I won’t be able to walk for a while … or sleep, without a lot of assistance, because the pain is relentless.” May did not specify what had occurred in his garden that had led to his injuries. May said that he was sent home after being looked at by doctors, and that he was asked to “go dark for a while” and “get some complete rest”. He added that he didn’t need sympathy, but rather some “healing silence for a while”. May, who is also an astrophysicist, said in April that he believed coronavirus was caused by too many people eating meat. “I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species,” he said.   

Radio 1Xtra DJ Yasmin Evans was hospitalised following her brutal involvement on Channel 4 reality show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. The 29-year-old watched her toenails turn black and her feet bleed after she caught trench foot following her involvement on the show. Yasmin – who was booted from the armed forces themed reality show on Monday night – was physically ravaged by the intense trials she was put though, and her feet were infected after enduring tasks that left her drenched in rain and water. After filming the show in the Scottish wilds, Yasmin was rushed to hospital and says she couldn’t walk for days as her feet swelled up and were left seeping. She explained how she began to feel unwell while taking part in a task on the show – and gave a graphic description of the effect on her body. She said: “I looked down at my feet and I just thought, ‘This is not OK’. My toenails were almost hanging off.” “I really suffered from having two major infections in my feet,” she said – revealing she was diagnosed with trench foot, an infection that was prevalent among soldiers in World War I after they were left standing around in waterlogged trenches. She explained: “Your socks are constantly wet. It’s a World War injury. The boots are really hard. Basically my toenail was black and one of them was split in the middle and was constantly bleeding.” She also said she would do the show again – but: “I would rip off my toenails before I went in there. They’re going to fall out anyway.” What a trooper!  

A woman was killed by an alligator as she attempted to touch the animal after spotting it in a nearby pond, authorities have said. Cynthia Covert, 58, was at her friend’s home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, painting her nails. According to the police report, the friend said Ms Covert was “very talkative and strange”. “She was very relaxed and excited that her boyfriend was coming from Tennessee to visit,” the friend said. Ms Covert had one glass of wine during the interaction but the friend did not know if she was on other substances. After doing the woman’s nails, Ms Covert reportedly spotted the alligator in the pond and was “fascinated” by the animal. Ms Covert walked over to the pond and started taking pictures of the animal, at which point the friend warned about how she saw a deer getting attacked by the alligator at that same location. “I don’t look like a deer.” Ms Covert responded before she reportedly reached out to touch the animal. It then attacked and grabbed the woman’s leg, pulling her into the water. “I guess I won’t do this again,” Ms Covert was heard saying after the alligator grabbed her, according to the police report. The friend’s husband and a nearby neighbour ran out and attempted to pull Ms Covert back to shore by tossing her a rope. But then the alligator rolled over onto Ms Covert and she disappeared into the water. Deputies and firefighters arrived on the scene and searched for Ms Covert for 10 to 15 minutes before her body resurfaced. But the alligator was still holding onto the woman’s leg. A deputy shot at the animal with a 9 mm handgun so it would release the woman’s leg. The alligator was shot several times before it died. Ms Covert’s leg was severely damaged after her body was brought to shore, but it was determined by the Charleston County Coroner’s office she died by drowning. She is the third person to die in the state from an alligator encounter, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.    

The Newly Infected

  • Piers Morgan said he would not host Good Morning Britain on Monday 4th May because he was presenting mild symptoms of coronavirus. Turns out he tested negative, no surprise for such a cry baby. 

On This Day

  • 1849 – Astor Place Riot: A riot breaks out at the Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City over a dispute between actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, killing at least 22 and injuring over 120. 
  • 1908 – Mother’s Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia. Billions of flowering plants have died for the cause.  
  • 1941 – World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.  
  • 1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.  
  • 1962 – Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk.  
  • 1967 – The Northrop M2-F2 crashes on landing, becoming the inspiration for the novel Cyborg and TV series The Six Million Dollar Man.  
  • 1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan.

Deaths

Last Meals

Liberace was an American pianist, singer and actor. ultimately becoming better known for his lavish lifestyle and extravagant wardrobe than for his not-inconsiderable prowess on the keyboard. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, however in 1987 Liberace — whose real name was Władziu Valentino Liberace — passed away at the age of 67. 

A devout Roman Catholic to the end, he had a priest administer the last rites to him the day before his death. His death was initially attributed variously to anaemia (due to a diet of watermelon), emphysema, and heart disease, the last of which was attested to by Liberace’s personal physician, Dr. Ronald Daniels. However, the Riverside County coroner – against the advice of Dr. Daniels – performed an autopsy and later stated that “a deliberate attempt” had been made to hide the actual cause of Liberace’s death by his doctors, his manager, and Liberace’s entire immediate family. The post mortem discovered that Liberace had emphysema and coronary artery disease from years of chain smoking, but the real cause was pneumonia due to complications from AIDS. Liberace was secretly diagnosed HIV positive in August 1985 by his private physician in Las Vegas, 18 months before his death. 

Gladys Luckie was arguably one of the people who knew him best, working for the entertainer for 40 years in a loosely defined role Liberace jokingly described as “a second mother.” Following Liberace’s death, Luckie told the Las Vegas Sun about Liberace’s final days, recalling that few weeks before his death that she thought his condition was improving “because he was eating so well.”

On his final day, Luckie served him a porridge-like breakfast cereal that was a Liberace favourite. “That last day I made him Cream of Wheat. He gave me a smile and a wink,” she told the newspaper. “And that was the last thing. He died.” According to Luckie, Liberace “always said I was the only one who made Cream of Wheat the way he liked it — with sugar and lots of butter.” 

Liberace was said to be worth over $110 million at the time of his death, and to have bequeathed $88 million to the Liberace Foundation. Only in 2015 did Liberace Foundation Chairman Jonathan Warren reveal in a lecture at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas that these figures were all part of the showmanship of Liberace, and that the real figures were closer to one tenth those amounts. Liberace’s body is entombed with those of his mother and brother, at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Maureen Lipman (73), Marion Ramsey (72), Rosario Dawson (40), Glenda Jackson (83), Billy Joel (70), Alan Bennett (85), Matthew Kelly (69), Stephen Amell (38), David Attenborough (93), Enrique Iglesias (44), Alexander Ludwig (27), Richard O’Sullivan (75), Naomi Scott (26), Adrianne Palicki (36), George Clooney (58), Henry Cavill (37), Zach McGowan (40), John Rhys-Davies (76), Lance Henriksen (80), Richard E. Grant (63), Michael Palin (77), and Will Arnett (50).

Dead Pool 3rd May 2020

Sadly we have points to hand out this week, with the death of the pioneering actress Jill Gascoine I can award Louise, Paul & Ashley 67 points each, and a special well done to Abi who had her listed as her Woman, so 167 points! Well done all. This has changed the leader board somewhat as we now have a new pooler in pole position.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Sir Michael Palin was saved by an elderly neighbour after accidentally starting a fire in his home while recovering from surgery, he has claimed. The Monty Python star says he was relaxing after having open-heart surgery in September when he blew some kitchen roll into a naked flame while doing his breathing exercises. “I leapt up and grasped a hand towel, which briefly smothered the flames before itself catching alight,” Palin said. “In some alarm now, as flames licked up towards the ceiling, I dialled the emergency services – but the moment we connected, the smoke alarm went off and I couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Palin continued: “I just caught something about washing my hands which made me realise that, without my glasses on, I’d rung 111 instead of 999. But I washed my hands anyway, and by a fantastic stroke of luck, the loose tap that we never had fixed finally came apart, dousing the ceiling and partially extinguishing the fire.” His 86-year-old neighbour broke into his house via a window and saved him, he claims. Palin notes that the neighbour had also had heart surgery the week before, adding: ”Thank God he’d been told to take it easy, otherwise he’d have been out playing golf and my house would have been a write-off.” Palin underwent open-heart surgery to fix his mitral valve, a small flap that prevents blood from flowing in the wrong direction around the heart.  

Sopranos and Bad Boys actor Joe Pantoliano is recovering from “a severe head injury” after being hit by a car. The actor, who also played Cypher in 1999 film The Matrix , was taking a walk with his family in Connecticut when a Porsche ran into him after avoiding a collision with another car. Pantoliano’s wife Nancy said that he was “sent flying a couple feet backwards”. He was rushed to hospital, but is now recovering from the head injury and “some chest trauma” at home. His family shared a photo of the actor and his head injury on Instagram, writing: “Joey is home recovering. He has a severe head injury and some chest trauma. He is going to be dark for a couple days while recovering. “Thank you for all the well wishes and positive vibes. Keep them coming! We’ll reading them to him to help him get better!” 

James Corden has reached out to fans to reveal that he has undergone minor surgery and won’t be able to film his show whilst he recovers. Taking to Twitter, the ‘star’ told his nearly 11 million deluded followers: “Hey all. I had to have minor surgery on my eye yesterday. I am doing well and recovering, but won’t be able to film new episodes for a few nights.” He added: “Thank you to everyone who has been watching the Late Late Shows from my garage. I’ll be back soon. Stay safe and well everybody. X.” Last month, the annoying cunt was close to tears as he admitted that the global pandemic had left him feeling “anxious and sad” and he wasn’t finding it easy to adjust. Speaking from his garage, where he has been filming his show, the 41-year-old told viewers: “I’ve found it tougher than I ever thought I would. I’ve found myself having these incredible spikes of anxiety and sadness when I’ve allowed myself to think about my family back home in England, or my friends or the people I love.” He then added that he’s realised it’s “OK” to feel such emotions. “It’s all right to feel a bit sad,” he said. “It’s OK to feel anxious, and the best thing we can all do is try and breathe through that and try and put our minds in a positive place.” Toughen up Tinkerbell, this rollercoaster has only just begun! 

The Newly Infected

  • Andy Murray: has revealed that he believes he contracted coronavirus before the UK went into lockdown. 
  • Madonna: revealed that she has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. 
  • Mikhail Mishustin: The Russian Prime Minister said that he has been tested positive, becoming the highest-ranking Russian official known to have gotten infected. 
  • J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter author revealed on Twitter that she had symptoms of the coronavirus but never got tested.

On This Day

  • 1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States. 
  • 2000 – The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet. 
  • 2007 – The 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann disappears in Praia da Luz, Portugal, starting “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history”. Kate and Gerry McCann were never arrested. 

Deaths

  • 1972 – Bruce Cabot, American actor (b. 1904) 
  • 2003 – Suzy Parker, American model and actress (b. 1932)
  • 2011 – Jackie Cooper, American actor, director, producer and executive (b. 1922)  

Last Meals

John Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian is known mainly for his work in Hollywood films. Candy rose to fame through his appearances in such comedy films as Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, Summer Rental, Home Alone, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, and Uncle Buck, as well as more dramatic roles in Only the Lonely and JFK. One of his most renowned onscreen performances was as Del Griffith, the talkative shower-curtain ring salesman in the John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

On March 3rd 1994, the comic actor was in Durango, Mexico, working on the movie “Wagons East.” His final movie, was his least enjoyable experience in film. Richard Lewis, who worked with him on the movie, said he was so much fun and so funny, but when he looked at him, he looked so tired. Although Candy complained about the 90-degree heat, he shot a series of exhausting action shots until 10 p.m. He then retired to his room and ordered Mexican spaghetti — pasta with a salsa-based sauce. 

He ate alone and told his bodyguard he planned to shower and go to sleep. The next morning around 8 a.m., Candy’s body was found in bed, clad in a long red-and-black nightshirt. The body remained in bed until 4 p.m., until four strong men could be found to carry the overweight actor to an ambulance. There was no sign of drugs, alcohol or foul play, and a doctor declared the cause of death a heart attack. The exact cause is uncertain, as no autopsy was performed however he was a heavy smoker, obese and had history of cocaine use. Wagons East was completed using a stunt double and special effects and released five months after Candy’s death. He was 43 years old.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Christina Hendricks (44), Rob Brydon (54), Sandi Toksvig (61), Dwayne Johnson (47), Ellie Kemper (39), Matt Berry (45), David Suchet (73), David Beckham (44), Lily Allen (34), Jamie Dornan (37), Julie Benz (47), Joanna Lumley (73), Una Stubbs (82), Sam Heughan (39), Kirsten Dunst (37), Gal Gadot (34), Burt Young (79), Daniel Day-Lewis (62), Michelle Pfeiffer (61), Uma Thurman (49), Kate Mulgrew (64), Jerry Seinfeld (65), Willie Nelson (86), Anita Dobson (70), Jessica Alba (39), Ann-Margret (79), Penélope Cruz (46), Jay Leno (70), and Sheena Easton (61).