Dead Pool 31st May 2020

Strangely enough, no points this week, even with record numbers of  people dying and a gimme like the oldest man in the world passing away, although in fairness he wasn’t the oldest until fairly recently. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Brian May has said he was recently taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack. The Queen guitarist revealed that doctors found him to be “very near death” after discovering three blocked arteries, which caused a pain in his chest that lasted 40 minutes. May, 72, told his Instagram followers that the pain began shortly after ripping his buttock muscles in a gardening accident a few weeks back. “In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack,” he said. “I say small – it’s not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness and that feeling in the arms and sweating.” May continued: “To cut a long story short, my wonderful doctor drove me to the hospital himself and I went straight into what they call the ‘CAT room’ I think and I had an angiogram, and that’s when they stick something in your wrist and it goes all the way up to your heart and into arteries in your heart, and it can find out in a way that nothing else can.” During the angiogram, doctors found the arteries “that were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood” to his heart. May said he turned down open heart surgery and instead opted to have three stents put in. Speaking about the many headlines and Twitter jokes made about his buttock injury, May said: “I didn’t realise that was amusing really. “I kind of forgot that anything to do with the bum people find amusing, so I got a bit pissed off with all the ‘Brian May gets a pain in the bum’ kind of stuff.”   

A Belgian prince has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party in Spain during lockdown. Prince Joachim, a nephew of Belgium‘s King Philippe, contracted Covid-19 after going to the gathering in Cordoba on 26 May, a spokesperson for the Belgian Royal Palace said. The party breached lockdown rules because of how many people were there, according to Spanish media. The royal spokesperson said the palace could not confirm the number of people in attendance. The 28-year-old prince travelled to Spain from Belgium on May 24 for an internship – two days before the party took place. He is still in Spain, the palace said on Saturday. El Pais newspaper said the prince, who is tenth in line to the Belgian throne, attended the party along with 26 other people. This would go against lockdown rules in the province of Cordoba, where a maximum of 15 people are allowed to meet up. Spanish police said they had launched an investigation into the incident and those who breached restrictions could face fines of between €600 and €10,000. All 27 people who attended the party are now in quarantine, Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s regional envoy in Cordoba, said on Saturday. She called the gathering “completely irresponsible” and said it could have caused an outbreak of infections, triggering a return to a stricter lockdown. “I feel surprised and angry. An incident of this type stands out at a moment of national mourning for so many dead,” she said.

On This Day

  • 455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome. One wonders why we don’t do this today. 
  • 1669 – Citing poor eyesight as a reason, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary. Maybe he should have driven his cart to Barnard Castle.
  • 1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 
  • 1970 – The 7.9 Mw  Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794–70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.


  • 1983 – Jack Dempsey, American boxer and lieutenant (b. 1895)
  • 2009 – Danny La Rue, Irish-British drag queen performer and singer (b. 1927)
  • 2016 – Carla Lane, English television writer (b. 1928)

The Last British Executions

Henry John Burnett was the last man to be hanged in Scotland, and the first in Aberdeen since 1891. He was tried at the high court in Aberdeen from 23–25 July 1963 for the murder of merchant seaman Thomas Guyan, who was the husband of Margaret May, Burnett’s mistress. 

Burnett came to believe that, given the chance, Margaret would leave him, so he took to locking her in the house whenever he went out. This was not a state of affairs which Margaret relished so when by chance she met her estranged husband on 31st May, she agreed to go back to him. As soon as Margaret announced her intention to go back to her husband, Burnett cried “Margaret, Margaret, you are not going to leave me!” He then drew a knife to Margaret’s throat. A family friend banged repeatedly on the front door and demanded the release of Margaret. Minutes later, Burnett threw open the door and ran off down the street. Margaret was shaken, but relatively unhurt. 

Burnett went to his brother Frank’s workplace and told him what had happened, but Burnett, still set on revenge, went to Frank’s house in the city’s Bridge of Don area to borrow his brother’s shotgun. He arrived at Guyans’ flat and forced his way in. Thomas Guyan jumped to his feet to see what the problem was. As he opened the kitchen door, he was met by Burnett, carrying the gun. A shot rang out and Guyan fell dead, having been shot in the face at close range. Burnett then took Margaret out of the flat at gun point; on the way down the stairs, he threatened a young boy from a neighbouring flat. 

Burnett dragged Margaret down a lane and as far as a garage on Seaforth Road, near the main route north out of Aberdeen. John Innes Irvine was filling his car with petrol at the garage when Burnett demanded his car. Irvine tried to stop Burnett from stealing the car, but was threatened with the shotgun. The police were soon notified of the theft and began following the car, after driving for about 15 miles, Burnett pulled the car over near the town of Ellon and offered no resistance as he was arrested. 

At his trial, Burnett’s defence was that at the time of the crime he was insane or alternatively, that this was a case of diminished responsibility. Both defences failed after the jury had considered the evidence for 25 minutes. After he was sentenced to death, both his own family and that of the victim petitioned for his reprieve. However, there was no appeal from Burnett and at 8.00am on Thursday, 15th August 1963, the 21-year-old was executed on Britain’s newest gallows (built in 1962 to Home Office-approved specifications) as a crowd of 200 people gathered outside the prison. Executioner Harry Allen and his assistant Samuel Plant performed the hanging. Shortly afterwards, Burnett’s body was buried in an unmarked grave within the walls of the prison, as was customary. Craiginches Prison closed permanently in January 2014 and the grounds were ear-marked for redevelopment. In early August 2014 the remains of Burnett were exhumed from the prison and taken to Aberdeen Crematorium, where a private ceremony was held on 7th August. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Clint Eastwood (89), Lea Thompson (58), Colin Farrell (43), Brooke Shields (54), Tom Berenger (70), Sharon Gless (76), Colm Meaney (66), Mark Sheppard (55), Stephen Tobolowsky (68), Keir Dullea (83), Harry Enfield (58), Jake The Snake Roberts (64), Leigh Francis (46), Jennifer Ellison (36), Annette Bening  (61), Danny Elfman (66), Laverne Cox (47), Mel B (44), Nanette Newman (85), Jake Johnson (41), Kylie Minogue (51), Michelle Collins (57), Paul Bettany (49), Louis Gossett Jr. (84), André Benjamin (45), Helena Bonham Carter (54), Pam Grier (71), Bobcat Goldthwait (58), Philip Michael Thomas (71), Lenny Kravitz (56), Stevie Nicks (72), Cillian Murphy (44), Mike Myers (57), Ian McKellen (81), and Frank Oz (76).

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