Latest

Dead Pool 17th November 2019

No movement in the table this week and with little over six weeks left to go, some of us are hoping that this cold weather will do the trick. I hope you’re all researching your lists for 2020 already and letting your friends know about our amazing little pool. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Jimmy Carter has been admitted to hospital for brain surgery following a number of recent falls. The former US president was due to undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding, his spokeswoman said. Rev Tony Lowden, Mr Carter’s pastor, said the Democratic leader had had ”a rough day” on Monday. “We just need the whole country to be in prayer for him,” he said. Mr Carter is resting comfortably Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and his wife Rosalynn is with him, his spokeswoman added. The 95-year-old former peanut farmer has fallen at least three times in 2019, with one incident necessitating hip replacement surgery. On 6 October Mr Carter needed 14 stitches after a fall and on 21 October he fractured his pelvis. He is the oldest living president, surviving longer after leaving the White House than any former president in US history. 

Ariana Grande has reportedly been  struggling on tour in recent weeks. The 26-year-old posted a message to her Instagram Story on Saturday, revealing that she’s been battling an illness for several weeks! Not only that but her message indicates that her future tour dates in jeopardy until she’s feeling better. “Hi my loves so I’m still very sick. I’ve been sick since the last London show. I don’t know how it’s possible but my throat and head are still in so much pain. I sound okay I’m just in a lot of pain and it’s difficult to breathe during the show,” Grande wrote. “I just really don’t know what’s happening with my body right now and need to figure it out.” From there, the singer expanded on her condition throughout several videos. “Hi everyone so I have a quick health update, I just finished my show in Charlottesville and I’ve been sick since the last show in London,” the video showed. “I’ve been coughing and had this like crazy sinus infection thing that has not gone away for a really long time. I haven’t been able to really get better and tonight during the show tonight my head was really splitting and heavy and my glands really hurt and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.” Grande added that she’ll be going to a doctor soon and hopes to learn more about her condition and prompt a speedy recovery. Fans are likely hopeful she goes sooner than later, with Grande adding to fears with her confusion over the illness. “I’m scared that I might have to cancel some things, so this is kind just a heads up of like I don’t know what’s happening with my body, and I’m really disappointed and freaked out of why I can’t get better because it’s been over three weeks at this point,” Grande revealed to her fans. Pneumonia? Tuberculosis? Pleurisy? Over-reacting to a slight cold?    

Dwayne Johnson has become the victim of another sick death hoax after a fake news story suggesting he’d died in a stunt accident went viral. The post purported to be from BBC News and featured the headline “Dwayne The Rock Johnson Dies at 47 after a terrible stunt attempted failed”. The link took social media users to a fake website rather than the legitimate BBC site and it horrified fans as it circulated online. The 47-year-old actor and wrestler has yet to comment on the hoax, but he has been active on social media since, so he is alive. This isn’t the first time The Rock has been a target for a death hoax. In 2011 and 2014, the Fast and Furious star was declared dead by online trolls. He responded to the 2011 rumours on his Facebook page, telling fans: “Rumours of my death are false. “I’m still ‘Bringin’ It’ 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – including leap year!” In 2014, trolls circulated a fake story suggested Johnson had been killed in an accident on a movie set in New Zealand. The fake report declared: “Actor Dwayne Johnson died while filming a movie in New Zealand early this morning – June 10, 2014. “Preliminary reports from New Zealand Police officials indicate that the actor fell more than 60 feet to his death on the Kauri Cliffs while on-set.” However, the movie star was very much alive and well at the time and went on to make several shit films. 

On This Day

  • 1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.  
  • 1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason. It didn’t end well… 
  • 1894 – H. H. Holmes, one of the first modern serial killers, is arrested in Boston, Massachusetts.  

Deaths

  • 1796 – Catherine the Great, of Russia (b. 1729)  
  • 1917 – Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and illustrator (b. 1840)  
  • 1940 – Eric Gill, English sculptor and typeface designer (b. 1882)  
  • 1968 – Mervyn Peake, English poet, author, and illustrator (b. 1911)  

Last Meals

Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or, more commonly, as H. H. Holmes, was an American serial killer. While he confessed to 27 murders, only nine could be plausibly confirmed and several of the people he claimed to have murdered were still alive. He is said to have killed as many as 200, though this figure is only traceable to 1940s pulp magazines. Many victims were said to have been killed in a mixed-use building which he owned, supposedly called the World’s Fair Hotel (informally called “The Murder Castle”. Besides being a serial killer, Holmes was also a con artist and a bigamist, the subject of more than 50 lawsuits in Chicago alone. 

One of Holmes’ early murder victims was his mistress, Julia Smythe. She and her daughter disappeared on Christmas Eve of 1891, and Holmes later claimed she had died during an abortion, though what truly happened to the two was never confirmed. Another likely Holmes paramour, Emeline Cigrande, began working in the building in May 1892, and disappeared that December. Another woman who vanished, Edna Van Tassel, is also believed to have been among Holmes’ victims. 

While working in Chicago, Holmes met and became close friends with Benjamin Pitezel. Holmes used Pitezel as his right-hand man for several criminal schemes; a district attorney later described Pitezel as “Holmes’ tool … his creature”. Holmes had an entrepreneurial spirit. Based on his former medical education and his connections, he was able to sell skeletons to medical labs and schools. “He, and his creature were accused of stripping the flesh off the bodies, dissecting them, and preparing the viable skeletons. The rest of the remains would be tossed in pits of lime or acid, effectively breaking down the remaining evidence. 

Whilst briefly incarcerated for the first time, on the charge of selling mortgaged goods in St. Louis, he struck up a conversation with a convicted outlaw named Marion Hedgepeth, who was serving a 25-year sentence for fraud. Holmes had concocted a plan to swindle an insurance company out of $10,000 (equivalent to $300,000 today) by taking out a policy on Pitezel and then faking his death. Instead, Holmes killed Pitezel by knocking him unconscious with chloroform and setting his body on fire with the use of benzene. As with all good plans, he became rather unstuck when he was forced to take on Pitezel’s children, who he later confessed to murdering by forcing them into a large trunk and locking them inside. He drilled a hole in the lid of the trunk and put one end of a hose through the hole, attaching the other end to a gas line to asphyxiate the girls. Holmes buried their nude bodies in the cellar of his rental house. Frank Geyer, a Philadelphia police detective assigned to investigate the disappearance of the missing children found the decomposed bodies of the two Pitezel girls in the cellar of the Toronto home. And thus Holmes’ murder spree finally ended when he was arrested after Hedgepeth informed the police of Holmes’ prior intentions. 

In October 1895, Holmes was put on trial for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel, and was found guilty and sentenced to death. By then, it was evident Holmes had also murdered the Pitezel children. Following his conviction, Holmes confessed to 27 murders in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Toronto, and six attempted murders. Holmes was paid $7,500 (worth $226,000 today) by the Hearst newspapers in exchange for his confession, which was quickly found to be mostly nonsense. Holmes gave various contradictory accounts of his life, initially claiming innocence and later that he was possessed by Satan. His propensity  for lying has made it difficult for researchers to ascertain the truth on the basis of his statements. 

On May 7, 1896, preceding his execution, Holmes was served boiled eggs, dry toast, and coffee as his last meal. He was then hanged at Moyamensing Prison, for the murder of Pitezel. Until the moment of his death, Holmes remained calm and amiable, showing very few signs of fear, anxiety or depression. Despite this, he asked for his coffin to be contained in cement and buried 10 feet deep, because he was concerned grave robbers would steal his body and use it for dissection. Holmes’ neck did not snap; he instead was strangled to death slowly, twitching for over 15 minutes before being pronounced dead 20 minutes after the trap had been sprung. In 2017, amid allegations Holmes had in fact escaped execution, Holmes’ body was exhumed for testing. Due to his coffin being contained in cement, his body was found not to have decomposed normally. His clothes were almost perfectly preserved and his mustache was found to be intact. The body was positively identified as being that of Holmes with his teeth. Holmes was then reburied.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Lisa Bonet (52), Missi Pyle (47), Maggie Gyllenhaal (42), Martha Plimpton (49), Beverly D’Angelo (68), Jonny Lee Miller (47), Petula Clark (87), Russell Tovey (38), Sandahl Bergman (68), Paul McGann (60), Gerard Butler (50), Whoopi Goldberg (64), John de Lancie (71), Jimmy Kimmel (52), Anne Hathaway (37), Ryan Gosling (39), Wallace Shawn (76), Max Grodénchik (67), Neil Young (74), Mariella Frostrup (57), Leonardo DiCaprio (45), Demi Moore (57), Stanley Tucci (59), Calista Flockhart (55), Taron Egerton (30), and Hugh Bonneville (56).

Dead Pool 10th November 2019

We begin this week by awarding 65 points to Sylvia for correctly guessing that Guy Byrne would kick the bucket this year. This leaves seven of us yet to score this year, and as always, one of the seven is me. You’d think I’d be good at this now, having run this thing for 28 years… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Donald Trump “stumbles, slurs and gets confused”, according to a new book by a senior White House official, who claims the US president “deserves to be fired”. The anonymous staff member questions Mr Trump’s fitness for office in a book published later this month under the title A Warning. “I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity,” the author writes, according to a review by The Washington Post. “All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesising information, not occasionally but with regularity. “Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”  Mr Trump is described variously as “a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower” and an “elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard” of a nursing home while “cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him”. “You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time,” the author adds. The anonymous official admits he sat in “uncomfortable silence” as the president made offensive jokes about a woman’s appearance or performance. The anonymous official says that “the last straw” which prompted his decision to speak out was the president’s attempt to prevent the White House flag being lowered to half-mast after the death of senator John McCain.  

A woman nearly died from an allergic reaction after having sex with her husband! The 46-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland, suffered an anaphylactic reaction to a medication her husband was taking through exposure to her husband’s semen, according to the case report in the American Journal of Medicine. The report, titled “Almost Killed by Love: A Cautionary Coital Tale”, said she complained of dizziness, diarrhoea, itchy hands and feet, and severe sweating shortly afterwards. The woman went to A&E and doctors initially believed she was suffering from sepsis due to her low blood pressure and she was put on an IV drip and given various antibiotics. However, further tests revealed she was suffering from anaphylactic shock. It was found that her husband had been treating a bacterial infection with a course of an antibiotic called nafcillin, which contains penicillin. The woman had a history of penicillin allergy since she was a child and said she had not been exposed to penicillin since then. The authors said they believe the woman was “exposed to nafcillin concentrated in the seminal fluid”. After her blood pressure normalised and her symptoms improved, the woman was discharged from hospital with an epipen. She was instructed to abstain from sexual intercourse with her husband until at least one week after he completed his course of antibiotics.  

A man has died attempting to eat 50 eggs to settle a dispute with a friend. The pair were visiting the Bibiganj market area in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district, in India, when they began arguing, police said. To settle the disagreement, they agreed on a Rs2,000 (£22) bet that each could be the first to eat 50 eggs in one sitting. Police say Subhash Yada had just begun eating his 42nd egg when he collapsed and fell unconscious. The 42-year-old was rushed to hospital but died just hours later. Doctors believe Mr Yada died from overeating, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. However his family has refused to comment on his death. But this eggy chap isn’;t the first to die stuffing his face! In August this year, Dana Hutchings died after choking and hitting his face on a table as he fell to the ground during a taco-eating contest in California. Medical staff attempted to clear airway of food but he died less than half an hour after arriving at hospital. Bethan Gaskin, 24, also choked to death in February while trying to see how many Jaffa Cakes she could fit inside her mouth. The young mother stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack after they became lodged in her throat. Student Caitlin Nelson, 22, collapsed just minutes into a pancake-eating contest during a charity fundraiser at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, US, in 2017. She later died in hospital. Take this as a warning peeps, chew your food! 

On This Day

  • 1580 – After a three-day siege, the English Army beheads over 600 people, including papal soldiers and civilians, at Dún an Óir, Ireland.
  • 1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.
  • 1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood explodes at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands, killing at least 432 and wounding 371.
  • 1983 – Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0.
  • 1989 – Germans begin to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Deaths

  • 1982 – Leonid Brezhnev, Ukrainian-Russian general and politician, 4th Head of State of the Soviet Union (b. 1906)
  • 2006 – Jack Palance, American boxer and actor (b. 1919)
  • 2010 – Dino De Laurentiis, Italian-American, producer, and production manager (b. 1919)

Last Meals

SaddamSaddam Hussein was President of Iraq from 16th July 1979 until 9th April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party which espoused a mix of Arab nationalism and socialism. Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup (later referred to as the 17th July Revolution) that brought him and the party to power in Iraq. He suppressed several movements, particularly Shi’a and Kurdish movements which sought to overthrow the government or gain independence, and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War. Whereas some in the Arab world lauded Saddam for opposing the United States and attacking Israel, he was widely condemned for the brutality of his dictatorship. The total number of Iraqis killed by the security services of Saddam’s government in various purges and genocides is conservatively estimated to be 250,000. Saddam’s invasions of Iran and Kuwait also resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

In 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq to depose Saddam, in which U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair erroneously accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to al-Qaeda. Following the war, Saddam’s Ba’ath party was disbanded and elections were held. Saddam’s whereabouts remained in question during the weeks following the fall of Baghdad and the conclusion of the major fighting of the war. Various sightings of Saddam were reported in the weeks following the war, but none was authenticated. At various times Saddam released audio tapes promoting popular resistance to his ousting. On 13th December 2003, in Operation Red Dawn, Saddam Hussein was captured by American forces after being found hiding in a hole in the ground near a farmhouse in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit.

Following his capture, Saddam was transported to a U.S. base near Tikrit, and later taken to the American base near Baghdad. The trial of Saddam took place under the Iraqi Interim Government and he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam’s half brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges. The verdict and sentencing were both appealed, but subsequently affirmed by Iraq’s Supreme Court of  Appeals.

Saddam was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, 30th December 2006, despite his wish to be executed by firing squad (which he argued was the lawful military capital punishment citing his military position as the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi military). In his final hours, he refused offers of cigarettes and a last meal of chicken and shawarma rice.” Other sources state Saddam ate his last meal of chicken and rice and had a cup of hot water with honey. The execution was carried out at Camp Justice, an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, a neighbourhood of northeast Baghdad. Saudi Arabia condemned Iraqi authorities for carrying on with the execution on a holy day. A presenter from the Al—Ikhbariya television station officially stated “There is a feeling of surprise and disapproval that the verdict has been applied during the holy months and the first days of Eid al-Adha. Leaders of Islamic countries should show respect for this blessed occasion … not demean it.” On his way to the gallows, Hussein never bowed his head, until his neck snapped that is… His last words were equally defiant. “Down with the traitors, the Americans, the spies and the Persians.” Video of the execution was recorded on a mobile phone and his captors could be heard insulting Saddam. The video was leaked and posted on the Internet within hours, becoming the subject of global controversy. It was later claimed by the head guard at the tomb where his remains lay that Saddam’s body had been stabbed six times after the execution. A second unofficial video, apparently showing Saddam’s body on a trolley, emerged several days later. It sparked speculation that the execution was carried out incorrectly as Saddam Hussein had a gaping hole in his neck. Saddam’s demeanour while being led to the gallows have been discussed by two witnesses, Iraqi Judge Munir Haddad and Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie. The accounts of the two witnesses are contradictory as Haddad describes Saddam as being strong in his final moments whereas al-Rubaie says Saddam was clearly afraid.  Saddam was buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit, Iraq, on 31st December 2006. He was buried 3 km (2 mi) from his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. His tomb was reported to have been destroyed in March 2015. Before it was destroyed, a Sunni tribal group reportedly removed his body to a secret location.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Taron Egerton (29), Hugh Bonneville (55), Neil Gaiman (58), Ennio Morricone (90), Robert Duncan McNeill (54), Lou Ferrigno (67), Alfre Woodard (67), Matthew Rhys (45), Gretchen Mol (47), Richard Curtis (63), Gordon Ramsay (53), Adam Devine (36), Emma Stone (31), Ethan Hawke (49), Rebecca Romijn (47), Thandie Newton (47), Sally Field (73), Maria Shriver (64), Lori Singer (62), Nigel Havers (68), Famke Janssen (55), Sam Rockwell (51), Tilda Swinton (59), Robert Patrick (61), Tatum O’Neal (56), Armin Shimerman (70), Elke Sommer (79), Tamzin Outhwaite (49), Chris Addison (48), Art Garfunkel (78), Matthew McConaughey (50), Ralph Macchio (58), Olivia Taylor Dudley (34), and Loretta Swit (82).

Dead Pool 3rd November 2019

A quiet week in the celebrity death circles. You are forgiven for not knowing anyone on the list below. However, an excellent time to remind you to start researching for next year, whether that be looking back through Dead Pool articles or hunting down those celebs who have been unwell for some reason or another.    

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Nigel Benn has been forced to call off his controversial comeback fight after sustaining a shoulder injury in training. The 55-year-old had been due to face Sakio Bika in a one-off  contest at the Resort World Arena in Birmingham on November 23rd. But Benn, who last fought 23 years ago when he lost a rematch to Steve Collins, revealed the bout against Bika is now off. He said “I have been dreaming of a one-off fight for years and I’m heartbroken I’ve had to call it off.” Benn’s clash with Bika was to have been sanctioned by the British and Irish Boxing Authority. Although Benn did not formally apply for a licence to the British Boxing Board of Control, its general secretary Robert Smith indicated there was no chance of his request being considered. In his prime, Benn won middleweight and super-middleweight world titles and was involved in some of the defining fights of his generation against the likes of Chris Eubank, Michael Watson and, tragically, Gerald McClellan. Announcing his comeback in September, Benn said: “It is my decision to box again (although may be seen by some as ‘controversial’). “However, unlike many boxers, I have continued to maintain my fitness and healthy lifestyle since my last fight with Steve Collins. “I acknowledge the risks associated with the sport, and fully understand the importance of being fully assessed by medical professionals. “Therefore, I’ve welcomed the requirements of BIBA to clearly establish that I AM ‘fit to box’. There appears little chance of the contest being rescheduled for a later date.   

Earlier this year the actor and comedian Kevin Hart was involved in a major car accident while in a car in Malibu, California. The Jumanji star suffered major injuries to his back after he was involved in the incident in September with friend Jared Black, who was driving the car, and his fiancée Rebecca Broxterman. And now, two months later, Kevin has spoken out the difficult accident, opening up to fans about his ‘world was changed forever’ after the crash and how he has moved on from it. Taking to his Instagram page, the comedian shared a video with his nearly 81 million followers that shows his intensive rehabilitation and recovery over the last couple of months. “Basically you realise you’re not in control,” he said. “No matter how much you think you’re in control, you’re not in control. And at the end of the day it can all be over.” In the video the star can be seen in a hospital, leaning on a frame to try and stand up. He also shared clips of him undergoing physical therapy at home and struggling through rehabilitation exercises. The dad-of-four also shared a series of clips that show him walking around the house and spending time with his wife and children while wearing a back brace. Saying that the accident was a “message from God”, the star added, “Life is funny, because some of the craziest things that happen to you end up being the things that you needed most. “In this case I feel that God told me to sit down. When you’re moving too fast and doing too much, sometimes you can’t see the things you’re meant to see.” “After my accident I see things differently” he continued. “I see life from a while new perspective. My appreciation for life is through the roof. “I’m thankful for my family, my friends, for the people who simply ride with me and have been with me, because you stood by me. My fans – thank you for all of your love and support.” Kevin also showed fans a clip of his meeting with a team of doctors, who say to him that will take a year to fully recover, to which the star replies, “I’m not in a rush. I’m thankful for simply still being here.” 

On This Day

  • 1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service, the world’s first regular, “high-definition” (then defined as at least 200 lines) service.
  • 1947 – In California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the “Spruce Goose”), the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.
  • 1990 – British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky Television plc merge to form BSkyB as a result of massive losses.

Deaths

  • 1950 – George Bernard Shaw, author, playwright, and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)
  • 1996 – Eva Cassidy, American singer (b. 1963)
  • 2014 – Acker Bilk, English singer and clarinet player (b. 1929)

Last Meals

Ricky Ray Rector was executed for the 1981 murder of police officer Robert Martin in Conway, Arkansas. On March 21, 1981, Rector and some friends drove to a dance hall at Tommy’s Old-Fashioned Home-Style Restaurant in Conway. When one friend who could not pay the $3 cover charge was refused entry, Rector became incensed and pulled a .38 calibre pistol from his waist band. He fired several shots, wounding two and killing a third man named Arthur Criswell, who died almost instantly after being struck in the throat and forehead. Rector left the scene of the murder in a friend’s car and wandered the city for three days, staying in the woods or with relatives. On March 24, Rector’s sister convinced him to turn himself in. Rector agreed to surrender, but only to Officer Robert Martin, whom he had known since he was a child. Martin arrived at Rector’s mother’s home shortly after 3 p.m. and chatted with Rector’s mother and sister. Shortly thereafter, Rector arrived and greeted Martin. As Martin turned away to continue his conversation with Rector’s mother, Rector drew his pistol from behind his back and fired two shots into Martin, striking him in the jaw and neck. Rector then turned and walked out of the house. Once he had walked past his mother’s backyard, Rector put his gun to his own temple and fired. Rector was quickly discovered by other police officers and taken to the local hospital. The suicide attempt effectively resulted in a lobotomy. Rector survived the gunshot and was put on trial for the murders of Criswell and Martin. His defence attorneys argued that Rector was intellectually impaired and not competent to stand trial. However, after hearing conflicting testimony from several experts who had evaluated Rector, Judge George F. Hartje ruled that Rector was competent to stand trial. Rector was convicted on both counts and sentenced to death. Rector was subject to a unique overlap of controversies in 1992, during his execution in Arkansas. An oft-cited example of his mental insufficiency is his decision to save the dessert from his last meal “for later,” which would have been after his execution. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of people with mental retardation in Atkins v. Virginia, ruling that the practice constitutes cruel and unusual punishment; however, it is not clear that this ruling would have applied to Rector because his brain damage was caused by his suicide attempt after having committed the two murders for which he was convicted.  

For his last meal, Rector requested and received a steak, fried chicken, cherry Kool-Aid, and pecan pie. As noted above, Rector left the pie on the side of the tray, telling the corrections officers who came to take him to the execution chamber that he was “saving it for later.” The slice of pecan pie was not disposed of until Rector had been executed. Rector was executed by lethal injection. It took medical staff more than fifty minutes to find a suitable vein. The curtain remained closed between Rector and the witnesses, but some reported they could hear Rector moaning. The administrator of the State Department of Corrections Medical Program said “the moans did come as a team of two medical people—that had grown to five—worked on both sides of his body to find a vein. That may have contributed to his occasional outbursts.” The state later attributed the difficulty in finding a suitable vein to Rector’s great weight and to his having been administered an antipsychotic medication. Unsurprisingly he didn’t leave any last words.

Last Week’s Birthdays 

David Schwimmer (52), Stefanie Powers (76), k.d. lang (57), Toni Collette (46), Jenny McCarthy (46), Anthony Kiedis (56), Peter Jackson (57), Stephen Rea (72), Sanjeev Bhaskar (55), Michael J. Anderson (65), Vanilla Ice (51), Clémence Poésy (36), Henry Winkler (73), Jessica Hynes (46), Ivanka Trump (37), Winona Ryder (47), Rufus Sewell (51), Richard Dreyfuss (71), Dan Castellaneta (61), Joaquin Phoenix (44), Annie Potts (66), Julia Roberts (51), Matt Smith (36), Gwendoline Christie (40), and Bill Gates (63).

Dead Pool 27th October 2019

Thanks to some detective work from Doug, he’s found a couple of deaths I have missed. I’ve also run through everyones lists and found a few more, obviously I’ve scored you all accordingly. So, a few more points awarded to quite a few of you, which certainly makes things rather interesting at the top of the league table. 

However Trish has lost the accolade of getting the first death of the year as Lee managed to trump her with Sayed Ashraful Islam by five days. Sorry Trish! 

So, we’re pretty much up to date but I’d like to give an honourable mention to Abi, she’s listed quite a few Death Row inmates who have indeed been offed by the State, but alas they’ve not been listed on the Wiki page, thus not earning precious points. With five deaths under her belt she should be at the top of the table, but those pesky rules…. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Kathleen Blanco, 76, American politician, Governor (2004–2008) and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (1996–2004), member of the Louisiana House (1984–1989), ocular melanoma. Died on 18/10/2019
  • Julie Gibson, 106, American actress (Nice Girl?, The Feminine Touch, Lucky Cowboy) and singer. Died on 02/10/2019 
  • Sayed Ashraful Islam, 67, Bangladeshi politician, MP (since 2008) and Minister of Public Administration (since 2009), lung cancer. Died 03.01.2019
  • Qin Hanzhang, 111, Chinese engineer and food scientist, heart attack. Died 15/08/2019

In Other News

Krept, one half of Krept and Konan, has cancelled his shows in October after a warning from his doctor. The pair were due to do seven shows back-to-back in November performing songs from their newest album Revenge is Sweet. He says he has been “back and forth” from hospital since he was attacked backstage at the BBC’s 1Xtra Live event in October. The rapper says his plans for the tour “require 100% strength”. Krept was “slashed” in a backstage scuffle at the event in Arena Birmingham and treated on site. Following the assault, the concert was called off early and the headliners didn’t get to perform. West Midlands police told Newsbeat no arrests have been made but investigations are ongoing. Krept says he made the decision to postpone the tour because he didn’t want to “collapse on stage”. He said: “All tickets remain valid of course and I promise it will be worth the wait… health is priority and I’m sorry for any inconvenience.” The show in London’s O2 will go ahead as planned in December. Shall we remind this tough rapper that 53 year old President Theodore Roosevelt once read a 50 page speech which took over 90 minutes after he was shot in the chest.  

Billy Connolly has opened up about some “awful” symptoms he has experienced after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, as the comedian admitted he recently “started to drool”. The 76 year old got candid about living with Parkinson’s disease in an interview with Chris Evans, 53, on Virgin Radio. The comedian, who was diagnosed with the condition six years ago, opened up about some “awful” symptoms he is currently dealing with. He told the presenter: “I’ve started to drool which is a new one on me. “This disease it gives you a new thing every now and again that you have to deal with and drooling is my latest.” Detailing other aspects of the disease, Billy added: “I walk unsteadily and my hearing is going and it’s bizarre that bits of me are fallen off but it’s interesting.” The Scottish performer went on to explain why he has been avoiding taking to the stage since his diagnosis. When Chris quizzed him on why he is reluctant to perform live, Billy admitted: “It would affect my performance. “I don’t think the way I used to, I don’t think at the same speed as I used to. And because I don’t need to. “I don’t really know if the performance bit has gone because I have to get into the performance mode to see that.” “And steadily more symptoms come and it’s incurable. It’s not going to end. “As a matter of fact I had a Russian doctor in New York who said, ‘You realise this is an incurable disease’. “And I said, ‘You’ve got to get a grip of yourself, stop calling it an incurable disease, say we have yet to find the cure’. Give the guy a light in the tunnel. Incurable is such an awful thing to say to somebody.” 

As you will have seen from the lists above, Ivan Milat, the notorious Australian serial killer who kidnapped and murdered hitchhikers, has died aged 74. Milat had been serving a life sentence for killing seven backpackers between 1989 and 1992 and dumping their bodies in a New South Wales forest. He died of cancer in a Sydney hospital early on Sunday local time. Police said Milat’s lifelong refusal to admit his crimes had hampered further investigations into the killings and other unsolved cases. His murder victims were three Germans, two Britons and two Australians. All were aged between 19 and 22. Milat was arrested after targeting another backpacker, British man Paul Onions, who escaped and alerted police. The 2005 Australian film Wolf Creek is based on the backpacker murders of  the two British females. It’s sequel was based on the murders of the two Germans.

On This Day

  • 939 – Æthelstan, the first king of all England, dies and is succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund I.
  • 1962 – By refusing to agree to the firing of a nuclear torpedo at a US warship, Vasily Arkhipov averts nuclear war.
  • 1992 – United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, precipitating debate about gays in the military that results in the United States’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.

Deaths

  • 939 – Æthelstan, English king (b. 894)
  • 1988 – Charles Hawtrey, English actor, singer, and pianist (b. 1914)
  • 2013 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1942)

Last Meals  

Brandon Astor Jones was an American criminal who was executed by lethal injection by the state of Georgia on February 3rd, 2016. Jones, aged 72, was the oldest person on Georgia’s death row at the time he was executed. He was first sentenced to death on October 17, 1979 for his involvement in the felony murder of Roger Tackett on June 17 of that year during a robbery of a Tenneco convenience store, of which Tackett was the manager. According to evidence at his trial, Jones and Van Roosevelt Solomon were arrested at the scene by a Cobb County policeman who had driven a stranded motorist to the convenience store to use a pay phone. The officer knew the store usually closed at midnight and was suspicious when he saw a car out front with the driver’s side door open and lights still on inside the store. In the storeroom, the officer found 29-year-old Tackett, the station manager, who had been shot in the legs and arms and beaten before the fatal contact shot was fired behind his left ear. Both Jones and Van Roosevelt Solomon were apprehended in the storeroom, literally caught red-handed. Tests showed each man had recently fired a gun or handled a recently fired gun. The cash drawer had been removed and was found wrapped in a plastic bag. Jones was convicted in relation to this murder along with Van Roosevelt Solomon who was executed in 1985 by electrocution at age 41. In 1989, a federal court ordered Jones to be re-sentenced because the jurors who had convicted him had improperly brought a Bible into the deliberation room. He was re-sentenced to death in 1997. e 

Jones was to be executed early on February 3, 2016 by lethal IV injection, ten days before his 73rd birthday, he declined to make a final statement and did not make a special meal request so was given the standard issue menu of chicken and rice, rutabagas, seasoned turnip greens, dry white beans, cornbread, bread pudding and fruit punch. Following his meal, he waited in a holding cell a few steps from the death chamber as the appointed time came and went amid a flurry of last-minute court filings for mercy. The executioner team struggled for an hour to insert the IV into Jones’ veins, spending 24 minutes trying to get it into a vein in his left arm, another eight minutes trying his right arm and then they asked a doctor in attendance to insert it into Jones’ groin which took 13 minutes. Jones fought death. His eyes closed within a minute of the warden leaving the execution chamber, but 6 minutes later his eyes popped open. He looked at a clock on the wall, and then appeared to look at the man who prosecuted him in 1979, former Cobb County District Attorney Tom Charron, who was sitting on the front row. Jones was pronounced dead at 12:46 AM.

Last Week’s Birthdays

John Cleese (79), James Cosmo (71), Robert Picardo (65), Kelly Osbourne (34), Cary Elwes (56), Seth MacFarlane (45), Jon Heder (41), Roger Allam (65), Keith Urban (51), Nancy Cartwright (61), Katy Perry (34), Glynis Barber (63), Kevin Kline (71), F. Murray Abraham (79), Sarah Greene (61), Emilia Clarke (33), Ryan Reynolds (43), Ang Lee (65), Sam Raimi (60), ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (60), Cat Deeley (43), Christopher Lloyd (81), Bob Odenkirk (57), Saffron Burrows (47), Jeff Goldblum (67), Derek Jacobi (81), Catherine Deneuve (76), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (44), Ken Watanabe (60), Kim Kardashian West (39), Everett McGill (74), Viggo Mortensen (61), Danny Boyle (63), and Snoop Dogg (48).

Dead Pool 20th October 2019

Since I took a brief holiday last weekend, there are plenty of points to award this week. Paul C took time out to read through his list and found that I had missed one of his names, specifically actress Fay McKenzie who died back in April at the age of 101. With the death of Leah Bracknell, Paul’s tally is now six deaths!!! 

But we must also congratulate Abi, Doug, Ceri, and Neil who also had Leah Bracknell listed, 95 points each; but a special round of applause goes to Debbie, Lee, and Ashley who listed her as their Woman and score 195 points each!!! So a huge upheaval in the table. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

5th Oct – 12th Oct
13th Oct – 19th Oct

In Other News 

Eddie Van Halen is suffering from throat cancer which he believes he contracted after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick, according to reports. The veteran rocker, 64, was diagnosed with cancer nearly 20 years ago and has been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment. He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000 and had reportedly been declared cancer free in 2002 but has now been to Germany to get radiation treatment over the last five years. The Van Halen star, who was a ‘heavy smoker’, is said to blame holding the pick in his mouth while on stage for his diagnosis. Eddie told Billboard in 2015: ‘I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. ‘Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.’ Eddie’s friend and TOTO guitarist Steve Lukather said ‘health issues’ were stopping the group – who are also made up of singer David Lee Roth, Eddie’s brother Alex Van Halen, who plays drums, and Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass guitar – from touring. The band last performed in October 2015 at at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and there were rumours the band’s classic lineup were set to perform for the first time since 1984.   

Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas has been struck by illness and had to be hooked up to a vitamin drip just before Saturday’s show. It comes after Shirley was sent death threats over the early elimination of contestants Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell. Shirley, 59, revealed she was needing some TLC after falling ill after a ‘tough’ week. Shirley shared a picture to Instagram of her lying down in a cosy jumper while a drip was fixed to her left arm on a home visit. “Full of all sorts of things Vitamin c, Magnesium b12 and the list goes on. Feeling under the weather today as a result of a tough week,” she told her followers. “Hopefully we’ll be right as rain for Saturday,” she added. Looks like she was, but with death threats coming in, who knows what will happen! 

As you may have seen in the listings, some good news. Richard Huckle, 33, from Ashford, Kent, who was jailed for numerous sex crimes against Malaysian children has  been found stabbed to death in prison. In 2016, he was given 22 life sentences after admitting 71 charges of sex abuse of children aged between six months and 12 years, between 2006 and 2014. It is understood he was attacked on Sunday in his cell at Full Sutton Prison, near York, with what was described as a makeshift knife. Police were called shortly after 12:30pm and have launched an investigation into his death, which they are treating as suspicious. Huckle’s trial at the Old Bailey in 2016 heard that investigators who checked his computer found more than 20,000 indecent pictures and videos of his assaults. These were shared with paedophiles worldwide through a hidden website on the dark web. Huckle, who worked as a freelance photographer, tried to make a business out of his abuse by crowd-funding the release of the images. He was compiling a paedophile’s manual at the time of his arrest in 2014. At the end of his trial, Judge Peter Rook said Huckle’s sentence reflected the “public abhorrence” over his “campaign of rape”. 

On This Day

  • 1944 – Liquefied natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland and then explodes, levelling 30 blocks and killing 130 people.  
  • 1973 – The Sydney Opera House is opened by Elizabeth II after 14 years of construction.  
  • 1977 – Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s airplane crashes. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines perish in the crash.  
  • 2011 – Libyan Civil War: Rebel forces capture Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte and kill him shortly thereafter.

Deaths

  • 1964 – Herbert Hoover, American engineer, 31st President of the United States (b. 1874)  
  • 1989 – Anthony Quayle, English actor and director (b. 1913)  
  • 1994 – Burt Lancaster, American actor (b. 1913)  
  • 2011 – Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan colonel, Prime Minister of Libya (b. 1942)

Last Meals

Robert Alton Harris was an American car thief, burglar, kidnapper and murderer who was executed at San Quentin State Prison in 1992 for the murders of two teenage boys in San Diego. His execution was the first in the state of California since 1967. Harris was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was abused as a child. He had run-ins with police as early as age 10, and was first placed into  juvenile detention at age 13 for stealing a car. His mother abandoned him at age 14 and he was soon after placed into juvenile detention after stealing another car. On July 5, 1978, Harris and his younger brother happened upon John Mayeski and Michael Baker, both 16, sitting in a green Ford LTD eating hamburgers in a supermarket parking lot in Mira Mesa. Mayeski and Baker were best friends who had planned to spend the day fishing to celebrate Mayeski’s newly acquired driver’s license. Robert Harris commandeered Mayeski’s car and ordered him to drive to Miramar Lake, with Daniel Harris following in another vehicle. Robert Harris told the boys that they would be using the vehicle to rob a bank, but that no one would be hurt. At Miramar Lake, the Harris brothers ordered the boys to kneel, whereupon the boys began to pray. Robert told the boys to “Quit crying, and die like men”, then shot both boys multiple times.[4] The Harris brothers then returned to Robert’s Mira Mesa home and finished the victims’ half-eaten hamburgers while Robert boasted about the killings. About an hour later, the Harris brothers robbed the Mira Mesa branch of the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank located across the street from where they had abducted Mayeski and Baker, and fled with about $2,000. A witness to the robbery followed the Harris’ to their home and notified police. The Harris brothers were arrested less than an hour after the robbery. One of the officers who apprehended the Harris brothers was Steven Baker, father of victim Michael Baker, who at the time was unaware that his son had been killed. On March 6, 1979, Robert Harris was convicted in the San Diego County Superior Court of two counts of murder in the first degree with special circumstances as well as two counts of kidnapping, and was sentenced to death. Daniel Harris was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to six years in state prison; he was released in 1983.  

Harris was executed on April 21, 1992, in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison—the first execution in California in 25 years. For his last meal, he requested and was given a 21-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, two large Domino’s pizzas, ice cream, a bag of jelly beans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a pack of Camel cigarettes. At 6:01a.m., Harris was escorted into the gas chamber. The execution order was given at 6:07a.m., and Harris died at 6:21a.m. Harris’ execution is specifically remembered for his choice of final words (recorded by Warden Daniel Vasquez): “You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everybody dances with the grim reaper.” It was the subject of a 1995 Dutch documentary film, Procedure 769, witness to an execution. This is a misquote of a line used in the 1991 film Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey: “You might be a king or a little street sweeper but sooner or later you dance with the reaper.” 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Rebecca Ferguson (36), Michael Gambon (79), Trey Parker (50), John Lithgow (74), Philip Pullman (73), John le Carré (88), Zac Efron (32), Jean-Claude Van Damme (59), Martina Navratilova (63), Pam Dawber (68), Felicity Jones (36), Michael McKean (72), George Wendt (71), Mark Gatiss (53), Eminem (47), Angela Lansbury (94), Tim Robbins (61), Suzanne Somers (73), Peter Bowles (83), Dominic West (50), Sarah Ferguson (60), Steve Coogan (54), Cliff Richard (79),  Sacha Baron Cohen (48), Himesh Patel (29), Paul Simon (78), and Chris Carter (63).