Dead Pool 2nd June 2024

Welcome once again to a pointless week for the Dead Pool. Shockingly, most of our famous people were tragically young this week

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Bette Nash, the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88 after nearly 70 years of airborne service. The news was broken by her employer, American Airlines, which mourned her death in a post on Twitter. “She started in 1957 and held the Guinness World Record for longest-serving flight attendant,” the airline said. “Bette inspired generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Bette.” Ms Nash began her career at the age of 21 with Eastern Airlines, the forerunner of American Airlines, working on its shuttle flight between Washington DC, where she lived, and Boston. She preferred the route because it allowed her to spend every night at home. She had intended to move on after a few years, but ended up staying, becoming a familiar sight to frequent flyers on the route. She never officially retired from her post. “The people are exactly the same,” she told the Flying Monkeys in 2017. “Everybody needs a little love.” According to other US media outlets, she died on 17th May in a hospice after recently having been diagnosed with breast cancer. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union which represented Ms Nash, said “Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. Bette will always be an integral part of our history and she will not be forgotten.”

Bats and rock ‘n roll rarely go together. There’s Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary biting the head off one. And now, add Taylor Momsen to the list. Opening for AC/DC on  the Power Up tour, the Pretty Reckless front-woman was bitten on the leg by a small bat. She wasn’t particularly bothered and the show went on, but now she has to undergo two weeks of rabies shots. “So…ROCK AND ROLL MOMENT…in Sevilla Wednesday during “Witches Burn” of all songs… a BAT flew onto me and clung to my leg,” Momsen wrote on Instagram. “In the moment I was performing and had no idea until the incredible crowd kept screaming and pointing.” In the video she shared, Momsen was calm. “I must really be a witch,” she said to the crowd. “It’s alright and the bat’s fine. He’s gonna be my new friend.” In the caption, Momsen added: “He was cute, but yes he bit me…so rabies shots for the next two weeks thanks to all the staff at the hospital who dubbed me #batgirl after seeing it on the local news that morning…more footage to come…that’s one for the books!!!!” The Pretty Reckless are touring with AC/DC in Europe through August.  

The number of executions recorded worldwide last year jumped to the highest level since 2015, with a sharp rise in Iran and across the Middle East, Amnesty International said in a report released Wednesday. The human rights group said it recorded a total of 1,153 executions in 2023, a 30% increase from 2022. Amnesty said the figure does not include thousands of death sentences believed to have been carried out in China, where data is not available due to state secrecy. The group said the spike in recorded executions was primarily driven by Iran, where authorities executed at least 853 people last year, compared to 576 in 2022. Those executed included 24 women and five people who were children at the time the crimes were committed, Amnesty said, adding that the practice disproportionately affected Iran’s Baluch minority. “The Iranian authorities showed complete disregard for human life and ramped up executions for drug-related offences, further highlighting the discriminatory impact of the death penalty on Iran’s most marginalised and impoverished communities,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary general, said in a statement. The group said China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the United States were the five countries with the highest number of executions in 2023. The total number cited in Amnesty’s annual report was the highest it recorded since 2015, when 1,634 people were known to have been executed. The US carried out 24 death sentences last year with only China (1,000+ executions), Iran (853+), Saudi Arabia (172), and Somalia (38+) using the death penalty more often. Callamard said progress faltered in the US, where executions rose from 18 to 24 and a number of states “demonstrated a chilling commitment to the death penalty and a callous intent to invest resources in the taking of human life.” The report cited the introduction of bills to carry out executions by firing squad in Idaho and Tennessee, and Alabama’s use of nitrogen gas as a new, untested execution method in January. Amnesty said that despite the setbacks, there was progress because the number of countries that carried out executions dropped to 16, the lowest on record since the group began monitoring. 

A man who died at Amsterdam airport was an airline employee who allegedly deliberately climbed into plane’s jet engine. He was killed immediately after getting into the KLM passenger plane’s engine at Schiphol Airport Wednesday afternoon as it prepared for takeoff. Passengers and crew members on board the Embraer 190 aircraft told the Flying Monkeys that a ‘hellish noise’ came from the engine, which quickly began trailing smoke. The Dutch Royal Military Police investigating the incident said today that the man ‘intentionally climbed into the engine, indicating this is a case of suicide’. They additionally said that he had been ‘identified as an employee of a company operating at the airport’. It was unclear from initial reports whether the victim was travelling with the airline or worked at the airport. An insider told the Flying Monkeys that the incident was ‘very intense’, adding: ‘After the plane was pushed back to take off, someone walked into the engine.’ Psychological support will be provided for the passengers witness to the incident, military police said. The passengers have since been disembarked from the aircraft. They noted that the passengers may still be ‘important witnesses’ in helping them understand exactly what happened.

On This Day

  • 1692 – Bridget Bishop is the first person to be tried for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts; she was found guilty and later hanged.
  • 1953 – The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey becomes the first British coronation and one of the first major international events to be televised.
  • 2023 – A collision between two passenger trains and a parked freight train near the city of Balasor, Odisha in eastern India, results in 296 deaths and more than 1,200 people injured.

Deaths

  • 1990 – Rex Harrison, English actor (b. 1908).
  • 2008 – Bo Diddley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1928).
  • 2008 – Mel Ferrer, American actor (b. 1917).
  • 2009 – David Eddings, American author (b. 1931).
  • 2012 – Richard Dawson, English-American soldier, actor, and game show host (b. 1932). 
  • 2017 – Peter Sallis, English actor (b. 1921).

The Pig Farmer Killer

Robert William “Willie” Pickton, a.k.a. “The Pig Farmer Killer”, was a Canadian serial killer who was convicted for six counts of murder and was suspected for at least 26 others. 

Not a lot of details about Pickton’s life prior to him becoming a serial killer are currently publicly known due to Canadian publicity laws regarding ongoing criminal investigations. What is known is that he was born in 1949 in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. His family had been pig farmers for three generations, but by the time of his arrest, Pickton had largely given up using the farm for actual farming and only raised a few pigs to sell to friends and neighbours. 

He and his two siblings, David Francis Pickton and Linda Louise Wright, inherited the family pig farm, where Pickton later committed his murders. In 1994 and 1995, they sold parts of their inherited land, earning a total of $5.16 million. 

In 1997, Robert was charged with the attempted murder of a prostitute named Wendy Lynn Eistetter, having tried to stab her, but the case was dropped because prosecutors felt that the victim, who was a drug addict, was too unstable to give an accurate testimony, even though both the victim and Pickton, who suffered a stab injury during the encounter, were treated at the same hospital and a key to the set of handcuffs on Eistetter’s wrist was found in Pickton’s pocket. David, on the other hand, had a criminal record for a sexual assault in 1988 and had also been sued on three occasions for various traffic offences. 

Though Robert was locally considered a quiet man, he and his siblings often hosted wild parties at a converted building near the pig farm called “The Piggy Palace”. In 1996, they also founded a non-profit charity organisation called the “Piggy Palace Good Times Society”, the function of which was listed as to “organise, coordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organisations, sports organisations and other worthy groups”. This came to an end after a New Year’s Eve party on December 31, 1998, when the Pickton siblings were sued for violating zoning laws and legally forbidden from holding any more parties. The “Piggy Palace Good Times Society” was disbanded soon afterwards in January 2000 for failing to provide mandatory financial statements. 

In 1999, Canadian police received a tip that Robert kept human flesh in freezers on his  property. Though a warrant was secured, no search was carried out. 

On February 5, 2002, Pickton was arrested when police, acting on a warrant for firearm violations, found personal belongings of a missing woman on the farm. A second court order was obtained to continue searching the farm as part of the BC Missing Women Investigation, which investigates the disappearances of women. 

As they searched the grounds, they found remains of some victims, such as skulls cut in half and stuffed with human hands and feet, DNA from 33 women, bloody clothing, and a jawbone and teeth. They also found a .22 revolver with a dildo attached to its barrel, .357 Magnum rounds, two pairs of faux fur-lined handcuffs, a pair of night-vision goggles, and photos of a garbage can containing the remains of a victim. Pickton claimed that the dildo, which had the DNA of both him and a victim on it, had been meant to function as a makeshift suppressor. The gun also contained a spent cartridge. While in custody, Pickton told an undercover officer posing as a fellow inmate that he had wanted to kill one more in order to bring his victim count up to an even 50, suggesting that he is responsible for 49 murders. A video recording of the statement was later used as evidence in his trial, which began on January 30, 2006. 

Exactly how he killed his victims is not entirely known to the public, as is anything he might have done to them before killing them. According to a witness on tape, Pickton had claimed that he brought his victims, who were prostitutes, to the farm, handcuffed them, raped them, killed them by strangling them, bled and gutted them, ran them through a wood-chipper and then fed their remains to his pigs. Another claim is that the victims were ground, the resulting mince mixed with the pork mince from the farm and the packages given to Pickton’s friends and family. It was stated in a Biography Channel documentary about the case that Pickton would lure his victims to his farm using a simple ruse, such as pretending to buy sexual favours. During sex, he would become violent and accuse the victims of something, such as stealing from him, in order to build up his rage. He would then restrain them, kill them by strangling or shooting them, and then butcher their bodies.

Pickton pleaded not guilty to 27 charges of first-degree murder, one of which was later rejected on the grounds of a lack of evidence. Because of a publication ban, not all the details are publicly known about the proceedings. On December 6, 2007, a jury found Pickton guilty of six murders, which were reduced from first-degree to second-degree. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, which in Canada entails a possibility of parole in 25 years and is the highest possible punishment for second-degree murder, essentially earning Pickton the same punishment that he would have received for a first-degree conviction. 

On May 19, 2024, Pickton was attacked by another prisoner at the Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec. The prisoner, Martin Charest, described as having a history of assaulting other prisoners, “speared” Pickton in the head with a “broken broom-like handle.” Pickton was placed on life support after being airlifted to a hospital. He died at a hospital in Quebec City from complications of the attack on May 31, 2024. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Morena Baccarin (45), Awkwafina (36), Jewel Staite (42), Liam Cunningham (63), Justin Long (46), Zachary Quinto (47), Dominic Cooper (46), Dana Carvey (69), Tom Holland (28), Morgan Freeman (87), Brian Cox (78), Jonathan Pryce (77), Amy Schumer (43), Robert Powell (80), Heidi Klum (51), Alanis Morissette (50), Brooke Shields (59), Colin Farrell (48), Clint Eastwood (94), Lea Thompson (63), Stephen Tobolowsky (73), Colm Meaney (71), Mark Sheppard (60), Keir Dullea (88), Harry Enfield (63), Ted Levine (67), Annette Bening (66), Laverne Cox (52), Danny Elfman (71), Kylie Minogue (56), Michelle Collins (62), and Paul Bettany (53).

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