Dead Pool 12th February 2023
In a cruel twist of fate, you all nearly lost your initial points! I missed the death of Amber McLaughlin, whom Jamie had listed as his Cert; she was executed on January 3rd, a full fourteen days before Lucile Randon. The reason I missed her is because Wiki didn’t list her on the Obituary pages, even though there is a Wiki page dedicated to her. These Death Row inmates are always a little problematic for our needs, commiserations to Jamie, but unfortunately rules are rules.
So, onto the points! With the passing of one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Burt Bacharach, I can award 56 points to: Laura, Fiona, Dave, and Shân. Well done you lot!
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Chris Browne, 70, American cartoonist (Hägar the Horrible).
- Phil Spalding, 65, English bassist (GTR, Original Mirrors, Toyah).
- Tonya Knight, 56, American professional bodybuilder (American Gladiators), cancer.
- Burt Bacharach, 94, American composer (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head“, “Walk On By“, “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)“), six-time Grammy winner.
- Hugh Hudson, 86, English film director (Chariots of Fire, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, My Life So Far).
- Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg, 97, Luxembourgish royal.
In Other News
Authorities in southern California say they are still “hopeful” of finding Julian Sands, but admitted the outcome of searches for the British actor “may not be what we would like”. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department said conditions in the area remain dangerous, but that ground searches were planned for the future. Sands has now been missing for four weeks, after first being reported missing in the Mount Baldy region of the San Gabriel mountains on January 13th. “Regarding the search for Julian Sands, we remain hopeful but know the outcome may not be what we would like,” a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s department told the flying monkeys. “Conditions on Mt Baldy remain a danger and our Aviation Division still patrols the area when they are available. We also plan to search the area by ground in the future.” The spokesperson added that Sands’ family were “grateful” for the support they had received since his disappearance, but had no further statement for the public at this time. Numerous searches for the actor have since been undertaken on foot and by air by both local and state-level agencies – and efforts remain classified as “search and rescue” rather than a recovery mission. Authorities have previously used a Recco device, which is able to detect electronics and credit cards, in the hopes of establishing a more exact area in which to focus search efforts. Two weeks ago, Sands’ hiking partner and friend Kevin Ryan told the flying monkeys that it was obvious “something has gone wrong” but that the actor’s advanced experience and skill would “hopefully” see his safe return. Yeah right!
Radio DJ James Whale has revealed he seriously considered euthanasia after finding out he has terminal cancer. The TalkTV and talkRADIO presenter announced he has just months to live in a heartbreaking speech at the end of last year. “This time next year I won’t be here,” he told a shocked audience at an awards ceremony just before Christmas. The 71-year-old radio star was first diagnosed with cancer in 2000 when he had a kidney removed. He survived, but in 2020 the cancer returned attacking his remaining kidney and has since spread to his lungs, spine and brain. Speaking in more detail about his most recent diagnosis, James told the flying monkeys he was all set to go to assisted dying clinic Dignitas in Switzerland to take his own life. He said: “I am terminally ill. It would have been easier all round. I’m not scared of dying… the reason I wanted to go to Dignitas was because I was thinking of others, not me.” But James decided not to go through with it so he could spend more time with his wife Nadine, who he married in a fairytale wedding in October 2021. In the joint interview with Nadine, who James met in his local pub in the Kent village they both live in, he says he is “glad” he stuck around because they’ve had “two great years together”. And James already knows what he wants for his last wish when the time comes.“I want to be buried in the churchyard at the top of the hill. It’s a great view,” he said.
On This Day
- 1993 – Two-year-old James Bulger is abducted from New Strand Shopping Centre by two ten-year-old boys, who later torture and murder him.
- 1994 – Four thieves break into the National Gallery of Norway and steal Edvard Munch‘s iconic painting The Scream.
- 2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the “saddle” region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
- 1554 – Lady Jane Grey, de facto monarch of England and Ireland for nine days (b. 1537).
- 1979 – Jean Renoir, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1894).
- 2000 – Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, created Peanuts (b. 1922).
- 2015 – Steve Strange, Welsh singer (b. 1959).
- 2019 – Gordon Banks, English footballer (b. 1937).
- 2022 – Ivan Reitman, Slovak-Canadian actor, director, and producer (b. 1946).
Amber McLaughlin breathed heavily a few times, uttered her final words and shut her eyes as she was executed on Tuesday, becoming the first transgender woman to be put to death years after she was convicted of killing her ex-girlfriend.
‘I am sorry for what I did,’ McLaughlin said in a final, written, statement. ‘I am a loving and caring person.’ McLaughlin, 49, spoke quietly with a spiritual adviser at her side as the fatal dose of pentobarbital was injected.
Earlier in the morning she was served her last meal of a cheeseburger, French fries, a strawberry milkshake and peanut M&Ms.
The Missouri inmate was convicted of stalking and killing former girlfriend Beverly Guenther, then dumping the body near the Mississippi River in St. Louis. A jury deadlocked on the sentence, but a judge sentenced McLaughlin to death in 2006.
McLaughlin, who previously went by Scott, was executed 17 years after she was convicted of killing and stalking her girlfriend Beverly Guenther, 45, and dumping the body near the river in 2003.
McLaughlin was put to death by lethal injection after Republican Governor Mike Parson declined a clemency request hours before.
‘McLaughlin’s conviction and sentence remains after multiple, thorough examinations of Missouri law. McLaughlin stalked, raped, and murdered Ms. Guenther. McLaughlin is a violent criminal,’ Parson said in a statement confirming the execution would go ahead.
‘Ms. Guenther’s family and loved ones deserve peace. The State of Missouri will carry out McLaughlin’s sentence according to the Court’s order and deliver justice.’
A database on the website for the anti-execution Death Penalty Information Centre shows that 1,558 people have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the mid-1970s. All but 17 of those put to death were men.
The centre said there are no known previous cases of an openly transgender inmate being executed. McLaughlin began transitioning about three years ago at the state prison in Potosi. In addition, the clemency petition cited McLaughlin’s traumatic childhood and mental health issues, which the jury never heard during her trial.
She claimed in her petition that a foster parent rubbed faeces in her face when she was a toddler and her adoptive father used a stun gun on her. It also cited severe depression that resulted in multiple suicide attempts, both as a child and as an adult.
The petition also included reports citing a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a condition that causes anguish and other symptoms as a result of a disparity between a person’s gender identity and their assigned sex at birth.
But McLaughlin’s sexual identity was ‘not the main focus’ of the clemency request, her attorney, Larry Komp, said.
In 2003, long before transitioning, McLaughlin was in a relationship with Beverly Guenther. After they stopped dating, McLaughlin would show up at the suburban St. Louis office where the 45-year-old Guenther worked, sometimes hiding inside the building, according to court records.
Guenther obtained a restraining order, and police officers occasionally escorted her to her car after work.
Guenther’s neighbours called police the night of November 20th 2003, when she failed to return home. Officers went to the office building, where they found a broken knife handle near her car and a trail of blood. A day later, McLaughlin led police to a location near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, where the body had been dumped. Authorities said she had been raped and stabbed repeatedly with a steak knife.
McLaughlin was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006. A judge sentenced McLaughlin to death after a jury deadlocked on the sentence. Komp said Missouri and Indiana are the only states that allow a judge to sentence someone to death. A court in 2016 ordered a new sentencing hearing, but a federal appeals court panel reinstated the death penalty in 2021.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Christina Ricci (43), Darren Aronofsky (54), Josh Brolin (55), Michael Ironside (73), Arsenio Hall (67), Annette Crosbie (89), Jennifer Aniston (54), Natalie Dormer (41), Damian Lewis (52), Taylor Lautner (31), Thomas Turgoose (31), Sheryl Crow (61), Elizabeth Banks (49), Chloë Grace Moretz (26), Laura Dern (56), Keeley Hawes (47), Robert Wagner (93), Philip Glenister (60), Holly Willoughby (42), Michael B. Jordan (36), Rose Leslie (36), Tom Hiddleston (42), Ciarán Hinds (70), Joe Pesci (80), Mia Farrow (78), Mary Steenburgen (70), Seth Green (49), Nick Nolte (82), John Williams (91), Ashton Kutcher (45), James Spader (63), Deborah Ann Woll (38), Eddie Izzard (61), Chris Rock (58), Mike Farrell (84), Kevin Whately (72), and Axl Rose (61).