Dead Pool 16th July 2023
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Andrea Evans, 66, American actress (Passions, The Bold and the Beautiful, One Life to Live), breast cancer.
- Randy Fullmer, 73, American animator (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast) and film producer (The Emperor’s New Groove).
- George Armstrong, 60, British actor (Grange Hill, Tucker’s Luck), leukaemia.
- Mantaur, 55, American professional wrestler (WWF, ECW, USWA).
- John Nettleton, 94, English actor (Yes Minister, Black Beauty, Oliver Twist).
- Jane Birkin, 76, English singer and actress (La Piscine, Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile).
In Other News
Morgan Freeman has been forced to miss the press tour for his latest project this week because he fell ill. The actor, 86, was due to promote the upcoming series Special Ops: Lioness in London on Tuesday alongside two of his co-stars, but he was instead absent from engagements. He was scheduled to attend a photo-call and a screening of the new Paramount+ show alongside co-stars Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman. Morgan was absent from both events and the actor also didn’t feature in an interview segment about the new series on The One Show last night either. A spokesperson for Morgan has however now confirmed that he recently had a “contagious” infection which meant he was unable to travel. He’s now said to be “fine”. The spokesperson told the Flying Monkeys: “Morgan had an infection which was contagious so he was not able to travel. He’s fine now. The infection has gone and he’s no longer contagious.” His absence was noted by host Alex Jones who said during the interview with his co-stars: “He was gonna come tonight. We’re gutted he couldn’t make it last minute”.
Black Sabbath legend Ozzy Osbourne has been pictured being wheeled out of hospital after sharing the news earlier this week that he was having to bow out of the Power Trip festival due to ill health. In the first pictures of him since the news broke, Ozzy was spotted leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, wearing an-all black outfit and a surgical mask and a hospital bracelet was visible on his wrist. He was pictured being helped into an SUV at Cedars-Sinai medical centre in Los Angeles. The festival he was scheduled to perform at is not until early October, but Ozzy has shared that he’s not confident that he’ll be feeling better by then. He said: “Unfortunately, my body is telling me that I’m just not ready yet and I am much too proud to have the first show that I do in nearly five years be half-arsed.” Ozzy’s fans came out in full force to share their well wishes and flooded the comments section with praise, as one wrote: “No need to apologise sir, you’ve provided many years of entertainment. Take care of yourself.” Ozzy underwent multiple surgeries for a spinal injury that he contracted as a result of his 2009 near-fatal bike crash. That injury only worsened in 2019 when he fell at his home. And in 2020, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Ozzy’s spate of ill health saw him announce his retirement in February. He said at the time it was “probably one of the hardest things” he has had to do. His biggest concern was that he was “disappointing” his dedicated fans. He said: “My original plan was to return to the stage in the summer of 2024, and when the offer to do this show came in, I optimistically moved forward.” However, Ozzy now realises he’s pretty much totally fucked.
A Kentucky man was arrested after an FBI investigation led agents to discover dozens of human skulls and spinal cords “decorating” his apartment. The case has been linked by authorities to the nationwide Harvard morgue trafficking scheme, in which a network of individuals were allegedly involved in trafficking human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School’s morgue. FBI agents filed a federal criminal complaint and executed a search warrant at the Mount Washington home of a man, identified as 39-year-old James Nott, and have accused him of selling human remains and for illegally possessing a firearm. The agents said they found about 40 human skulls, spinal cords, femurs and hip bones in Nott’s apartment, along with a Harvard Medical School bag. According to the complaint, the FBI agents asked Nott if anyone else was in the house before entering, to which he replied: “Only my dead friends.” The agents found human remains placed decoratively around his furniture and one found wrapped in a headscarf, while another was on Nott’s bed. Authorities said they reviewed Nott’s Facebook profile and messages and found he had bought human remains online using the alias “William Burke”. The Facebook page includes dealings of human remains as recently as June 2023, according to the documents. According to the complaint, he exchanged messages with Jeremy Pauley, 40, from Pennsylvania who was charged in the Harvard morgue case for selling human remains. The two allegedly exchanged messages about selling and buying body parts. The body parts found in Nott’s possession, however, are not believed to be from the Harvard morgue, according to an initial investigation, but he allegedly tried to sell them to someone connected to the case
On This Day
- 1945 – Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
- 1951 – J. D. Salinger publishes his popular yet controversial novel, The Catcher in the Rye.
- 1994 – The comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is destroyed in a head-on collision with Jupiter.
- 1999 – John F. Kennedy Jr., American lawyer and publisher (b. 1960)
- 2014 – Karl Albrecht, German businessman, co-founded Aldi (b. 1920).
- 2017 – George Romero, American filmmaker (b. 1940).
History’s Largest Child Sacrifice
Archaeologists working in Peru have found what they say is the site of the largest known child sacrifice in the world. About 140 children and more than 200 animals, probably llamas, were killed in the middle of the 1400’s. A civilisation known as the Chimú sacrificed the children in response to catastrophic weather, the scientists suggest. An unusual layer of thick mud, a sign of an extreme El Niño event, covered the burial pits.
The children’s bodies were buried on the skirt of a bluff that, six centuries ago, overlooked the Pacific. It now overlooks the ocean and a housing development. Gabriel Prieto, an archaeologist at the National University of Trujillo, was working nearby when the owner of a pizza restaurant told him construction workers had uncovered an “unusual concentration of human remains” in a dune.
The number of human skulls that emerged from the sand stunned Prieto. They were in an “excellent state of preservation,” he said.
The site was less than a kilometre from the ancient Chimú metropolis of Chan Chan, the largest city in pre-Columbian South America. That the Chimú sacrificed children here, and in such numbers, came as a surprise to researchers. Archaeologists knew the Inca people, who conquered the Chimú at the end of the 15th century, killed children in mountaintop rituals. But before this research, no similar accounts existed for the Chimú.
“It is an unknown chapter that we can add to the big book on ancient sacrifice in world societies,” said John Verano, an archaeologist at Tulane University, who, with Prieto and their colleagues, is an author of a PLOS One study. The sacrificial site, covering 7,500 square feet, is named Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, after a nearby coastal town and the llamas.
Prieto and his colleagues excavated the site between 2011 and 2016. Both boys and girls were killed, the scientists say, citing anatomical details and DNA extracted from teeth. The study authors estimate that the children were between 5 and 14 years old. Radiocarbon dating placed the mass sacrifice around the year 1450.
Many world religions refer to child sacrifice, Verano said, such as the binding of Isaac in the Bible. But archaeological evidence is rare, and attributing sacrifice as the cause of death for human remains is often difficult. Not so in this case.
“What we’ve got is no ambiguity at all — all of these kids have their chests cut open,” Verano said. Horizontal marks, similar to incisions made in some thoracic surgeries, cut across their chests. This was probably a way to remove the children’s hearts.
“This site really represents something remarkable,” said Haagen Klaus, a bio-archaeologist at George Mason University who was not involved with this research.
“It is disturbing and disquieting to see the sacrifice of children on any scale,” he said. “We study sacrifice not for the gruesome detail, but as anthropologists and bio-archaeologists, our reasoning is to reconstruct a larger living world.”
Human sacrifice was rarely a simple transaction, said Klaus, who cautioned against too “simplistic and robotic” theories. Children, to long-ago South Americans, had a “different kind of personhood” than what we understand, he said.
Children came from mountain spirits, who were old and recycled ancestors. Infants were untamed and wild. Children existed in the space between the supernatural and human, and as they grew they became “a bit more human every day.” Sacrifice was a way to influence ancestors, whom Klaus described as the “most powerful entities” in these peoples’ cosmos, using something partly supernatural and wholly precious.
“Around 1450, that was right at the peak of Chimú power, at their greatest moment,” Verano said. The mass sacrifice “is something that was directed by a state-level society.” The Chimú civilisation was a powerful empire along north Peru, with millions of inhabitants. They fished along the coast and raised herds of llamas for meat and alpacas for wool.
A mega El Niño event would have struck these people “like a punch in the stomach,” Verano said.
The region is arid and receives about a tenth of an inch of rain a year. Klaus agreed “very strongly” with the interpretation that this sacrifice was a response to extreme weather. Heavy rains could have led to flash floods, agricultural collapse and vanished fishing stocks. At least one empire preceding the Chimú crumbled after the heavy, months-long rains of a severe El Niño.
The site contains prints of dogs and other animals preserved in what had been wet mud. In places, heavy foot traffic, by adults in sandals and barefoot children, was visible in the mucky surface. Sacrificial burials were dug through the mud.
“The thick layer of mud, right on top of the clean sand, with evidence of footprints, shows the connection between the rains and the sacrificial event,” Prieto said.
Excavations continue in the area, Verano said. The researchers found a second sacrificial site, which may be as huge as the first, about 1,000 yards away. Most recently, they found what may be a third location as well.
“The story’s not over yet,” Verano said.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Phoebe Cates (60), Will Ferrell (56), Corey Feldman (52), Michael Flatley (65), Lana Parrilla (46), Travis Fimmel (44), Diane Kruger (47), Brigitte Nielsen (60), Forest Whitaker (62), Celia Imrie (71), Terry O’Quinn (71), Jesse Ventura (72), Adam Savage (56), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (38), Jackie Earle Haley (62), David Mitchell (49), Kyle Gass (63), Harrison Ford (81), Patrick Stewart (83), Michelle Rodriguez (45), Melissa O’Neil (35), Anna Friel (47), Cheryl Ladd (72), Tamsin Greig (57), Bill Cosby (86), Stephen Lang (71), Michelle Fairley (60), Caroline Quentin (63), Craig Charles (59), Sofía Vergara (51), Chiwetel Ejiofor (46), Fiona Shaw (65), Peter Serafinowicz (51), and John Simm (53).