Dead Pool 29th September 2019

A slightly quiet week for celebrity deaths, however we do have a point scorer!! Martin correctly guessed that Jacques Chirac would depart this plane of existence thus scoring himself a tidy 64 points. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Nigel Benn has been described as the “fittest 55-year-old on planet Earth” as he prepares for a shock ring return. The ex-world champion has not fought professionally since November 1996 but will resume his career on 23 November, according to his promoter Mark Peters. “I wouldn’t support Nigel if I didn’t believe he was fit to box,” he added. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoc) is against the fight, which will be sanctioned by the rival British and Irish Boxing Authority (Biba). Benn – whose last fight was a defeat by Irishman Steve Collins 23 years ago – has passed all Biba’s medical tests, while there will be a specialist in head trauma and a portable brain scanner available at ringside on fight night. Biba – a rival to the BBBoC launched in 2016 – said it was happy to licence the fight, despite Benn’s age. “Nigel Benn is in amazing condition,” said Biba vice-president Gianluca di Caro. “He is a magnificent athlete. He is not taking any chances and he is minimising risk. No formal license application was made to the BBBofC – the governing body for the sport in the UK – despite the fight taking place on British soil. “We have not had a formal application for a licence from him but we had a conversation in the summer and we advised him that he was very, very unlikely to get one. “It is not in the best interests for him, or for the sport.” Brain injury charity, Headway, is uneasy about the idea of a 55-year-old boxing competitively. “Boxing at any age is an inherently dangerous sport,” said chief executive Peter McCabe. “We know that every blow to the head delivered by a boxer has the potential to cause serious and long-term brain injury or even death.”    

An award-winning TV chef who was on the cusp of receiving a Michelin star when cancer treatment cruelly robbed him of his sense of taste, has revealed the devastating news that the disease has returned – giving him just 12 months to live. Tim Bilton, 47, was at the height of his career, planning to open his second restaurant and appearing on shows including the BBC’s Great British Menu, when he was first diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, in his eye in March 2013. The melanoma returned in 2015, with treatment cruelly robbing him of his sense of taste. But clear for nearly three years, Tim felt confident he had beaten it, only to discover cancer in his left leg and kidney in December which, at stage four, is incurable. Now focusing on keeping things as normal as possible for their children, despite having to give up his restaurants, showing remarkable fortitude, Tim, who has regained 80 per cent of his taste, is continuing to work as a chef. By the time his melanoma was first discovered, Tim was excelling professionally with two appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu under his belt and a Michelin star – seen as the greatest fine dining accolade – within his grasp.  

A professional hunter was killed when an elephant that had just been shot fell on top of him, according to reports. South African big-game bagger Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a hunt in Zimbabwe on Friday when his group accidentally walked into the path of a herd of breeding elephants near Hwange National Park and three of the elephant cows charged at them. Botha fired at the rampaging pack but was caught by surprise when a fourth cow came in from the side and picked him up with her trunk. One of the other hunters shot the animal, and it collapsed on top of Botha, killing him. Botha, who leaves behind a wife and five kids, was known for taking wealthy American clients out to shoot for trophies. He specialized in hunting leopards and lions and was also an expert “houndsman” — which means he used big packs of dogs to drive deer and boar into hunters’ cross hairs, the paper said. Looks like he was beaten by his own game.

On This Day

  • 1829 – The Metropolitan Police of London, later also known as The Met, is founded.
  • 1885 – The first practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England.
  • 1957 – The Kyshtym disaster is the third-worst nuclear accident ever recorded.


  • 1902 – Émile Zola, French journalist, author, and playwright (b. 1840)
  • 1973 – W. H. Auden, English-American poet, playwright, and critic (b. 1907)
  • 1981 – Bill Shankly, Scottish footballer and manager (b. 1913)
  • 1997 – Roy Lichtenstein, American painter and sculptor (b. 1923)
  • 2010 – Tony Curtis, American actor (b. 1925)

Last Meals

Margie Velma Barfield was an American serial killer who was convicted of one murder, but who eventually confessed to six murders in total. Barfield was the first woman in the United States to be executed after the 1976 resumption of capital punishment and the first since 1962. She was also the first woman to be executed by lethal injection.

Velma Barfield was born in rural South Carolina in 1932. Her father was physically abusive and her mother, Lillian Bullard, did not intervene. She escaped by marrying Thomas Burke in 1949. The couple had two children and were reportedly happy until Barfield had a hysterectomy and developed back pain. These events led to a behavioural change in Barfield and an eventual drug addiction. Burke began to drink and Barfield’s complaints turned into bitter arguments. On April 4th 1969, after Burke had passed out, Barfield and the children left the house, and when they returned they found the structure burned and Burke dead. Luckily they were insured and a few months later she married widower Jennings Barfield, who died less than a year later from ‘heart complications’. Not long later, her mother died, exhibiting intense diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. In 1976 Barfield began caring for the elderly in Montgomery, and quite a few of her patients died of similar symptoms to her mother. Strangely enough, before they died cheques were written out to Barfield from most of the people she cared for, thus she was arrested and several autopsies later found that most of her victims had died of arsenic poisoning.

Barfield was imprisoned at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, in an area for escape-prone and mentally ill prisoners, as there was no designated area for women under death sentences at the time and she was the state’s only female death row inmate. During her stay on death row, Barfield became a devout Christian. Her last few years were spent ministering to prisoners, for which she received praise from Billy Graham. Barfield’s involvement in Christian ministry was extensive to the point that an effort was made to obtain a commutation to life imprisonment, something I doubt would have even been considered if she was a devout Muslim. A second basis for the appeal was the testimony of Dorothy Otnow Lewis, Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and an authority on violent behaviour, who claimed that Barfield suffered from dissociative identity disorder. Lewis testified that she had spoken to Barfield’s other personality, “Billy”, who told her that Velma had been a victim of sexual abuse, and that he, Billy, had killed her abusers. The judge was unconvinced. “One of them did it,” Lewis quoted him as saying. “I don’t care which one.” 

After Barfield’s appeal was denied in federal court, she instructed her attorneys to abandon a further appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Barfield was executed on November 2nd 1984 at Central Prison. She released a statement before the execution: “I know that everybody has gone through a lot of pain, all the families connected, and I am sorry, and I want to thank everybody who have been supporting me all these six years.” Barfield chose as her last meal one bag of Cheetos and two 8-ounce glass bottles of Coca-Cola. Barfield was buried in a small, rural North Carolina cemetery near her first husband, Thomas Burke.

Week’s Birthdays

Naomi Watts (50), Hilary Duff (31), Mira Sorvino (51), Brigitte Bardot (84), Dita Von Teese (46), Bam Margera (39), Moon Unit Zappa (51), Indira Varma (46), Gwyneth Paltrow (47), Meat Loaf (72), Avril Lavigne (35), Linda Hamilton (63), Olivia Newton-John (71), Serena Williams (38), Ricky Tomlinson (80), Will Smith (51), Mark Hamill (68), Catherine Zeta-Jones (50), Michael Douglas (75), Michael Madsen (62), Heather Locklear (58), Felicity Kendal (73), Sven-Ole Thorsen (75), Bruce Springsteen (70), Karl Pilkington (47), Billie Piper (37), Tom Felton (32), Sue Perkins (50) and Ruth Jones (53).

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