This weeks big news is the suicide of that lovely individual called Jeffrey Epstein. However convenient his death may be to some major players in the world, it’s crass and pointless to engage in conspiracy theories about it, as we’ll probably never know who committed Epstein’s suicide.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Miriam, 38, Mexican reality show personality (There’s Something About Miriam, Big Brother Australia 2004).
- Henri Belolo, 82, French music producer (The Ritchie Family, Village People) and songwriter.
- Alfred Smith, 111, Scottish supercentenarian, oldest man in Scotland.
- Toni Morrison, 88, American author (The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved), Nobel laureate (1993), Pulitzer Prize winner (1988).
- Jeffrey Epstein, 66, American financier (Bear Stearns), philanthropist (Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation) and convicted sex offender, suicide by hanging.
In Other News
Country music legend Willie Nelson has canceled his tour just as it began, due to a medical issue. The 86 year old singer took to his verified Twitter on Wednesday night, to reveal that his tour with Allison Krauss is canceled due to a breathing problem. Nelson didn’t indicate whether there were any plans in the immediate future to hit the road again. ‘To my fans, I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out. I’ll be back Love, Willie,’ the singer said. He wouldn’t elaborate on the medical issue, but Nelson had just embarked on his tour on Monday, with a performance at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This isn’t the first time that Nelson has been forced to cancel numerous performances due to medical issues. Nelson has had a history of emphysema, and in 2012 he canceled a performance in the Denver area due to complications with emphysema due to the high altitude. In 2015, after several years of difficulties with emphysema, Nelson underwent stem cell therapy to improve his lungs. A longtime cigarette smoker, he quite several years ago but continued smoking marijuana, though in 2008, he used a carbon free method to avoid effects of smoke.
You might remember that Jimmy Osmond, 56, suffered a stroke during a pantomime performance of Peter Pan in Birmingham at the end of last year. The singer fell ill on stage but still continued his performance and signed autographs for fans before being rushed to hospital. Now, Merrill Osmond, 66, who was previously the lead singer of the sibling’s group The Osmonds, has said a return to the stage for his brother is unlikely. He commented: “I think they are off the cards. I think they are off, brother. We used to be called The Osmond Brothers. Now it’s down to Brother Osmond.” Merrill went on to say his brother’s illness is a “big enough disaster” to prevent him from performing again. “He definitely needed space – and he still does. He doesn’t want to meet with anybody,” he added.
Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder says he’s taking more pills than ever because ‘getting old is really shit’. Bizarrely, the singer, now 56, now pops more prescription drugs than ecstasy tablets. He told us: “I’m on so many fucking drugs I rattle when I walk. I have to take all sorts of bleedin’ stuff for all me different ailments. Shaun has never hidden his past struggles with drugs – he’d regularly indulge in a cocktail of booze, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana after a gig. But these days, while on tour with the band four decades later for their greatest hits tour, he’s got a new addiction to contend with. “Just shit loads of chocolate really,” he said. “It used to be sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Now it’s just rock ’n’ roll – the wife is gutted. Shaun recently hit the headlines about his appearance when all his body hair fell out. He explained in an interview that he now has ‘no eyelashes, no fingernails, no head, no hair whatsoever’ – and it has left doctors completely baffled. “I got alopecia and all me hair fell out,” he said. “At the start of this year I had hair and a beard and then, almost overnight, the whole lot went, eyelashes, eyebrows, even me pubes. “They don’t know what’s caused it. At first they thought I had that immune deficiency thing, but I haven’t. Then they said it was linked to me under active thyroid but that just makes me fat and tired. “And I haven’t produced any testosterone for 10 years. I used to have injections but now I’m on the gel which is better.”
On This Day
- 1934 – The first civilian prisoners arrive at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.
- 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.
- 1969 – The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine following their lift-off from the moon.
- 2000 – An air rage incident occurs on board Southwest Airlines Flight 1763 when 19-year-old Jonathan Burton attempts to storm the cockpit, but he is subdued by other passengers and dies from his injuries.
- 480 BC – Leonidas I, Agiad King of Sparta
- 1956 – Jackson Pollock, American painter (b. 1912)
- 1994 – Peter Cushing, English actor (b. 1913)
- 2014 – Robin Williams, American actor and comedian (b. 1951)
Friedrich Heinrich Karl “Fritz” Haarmann was a German serial killer, known as the Butcher of Hanover, the Vampire of Hanover and the Wolf-Man. Between 1918 and 1924, Haarmann is known to have committed at least 24 murders, although he is suspected of murdering a minimum of 27. All of Haarmann’s victims were males between the ages of 10 and 22, the majority of whom were in their mid- to late-teens. The victims would be lured back to one of three addresses in which Haarmann is known to have resided throughout those years. He is known to have killed upon the promise of assistance, accommodation, work, or under the pretence of arrest. At Haarmann’s apartment, the victim would typically be given food and drink before Haarmann bit into his Adam’s apple, often as he was strangled. In many instances, this act would cause the victim to die of asphyxiation, although on several occasions, Haarmann would bite completely through his victims’ Adams apple and trachea. (Haarmann would refer to the act of biting through his victims’ neck as being his “love bite”.) All of Haarmann’s victims were dismembered before their bodies were discarded, usually in the Leine River, although the dismembered body of his first known victim had simply been buried, and the body of his last victim had been thrown into a lake located at the entrance to the Herrenhausen Gardens. Following Haarmann’s arrest, rumours would circulate that the flesh of his victims had been consumed by Haarmann himself or sold upon the black market as pork or horse meat. Although no physical evidence was ever produced to confirm these theories, Haarmann was known to be an active trader in contraband meat, which was invariably boneless, diced and often sold as mince. Haarmann was found guilty of 24 of the 27 murders for which he was tried and sentenced to death by beheading in December 1924. In addition, in accordance with German practice, his honorary rights of citizenship were revoked.
At 6 o’clock on the morning of 15 April 1925, Fritz Haarmann was beheaded by guillotine in the grounds of Hanover prison. In accordance with German tradition, Haarmann was not informed of his execution date until the prior evening. Upon receipt of the news, he observed prayer with his pastor, before being granted his final wishes of an expensive cigar to smoke and Brazilian coffee to drink in his cell. No members of the press were permitted to witness the execution, and the event was seen by only a handful of witnesses. According to published reports, although Haarmann was pale and nervous, he maintained a sense of bravado as he walked to the guillotine. The last words Haarmann spoke were: “I am guilty, gentlemen, but, hard though it may be, I want to die as a man.” Immediately prior to placing his head upon the execution apparatus, Haarmann added: “I repent, but I do not fear death.” Following Haarmann’s execution, sections of his brain were removed for forensic analysis. An examination of slices of Haarmann’s brain revealed traces of meningitis, although no sections of Haarmann’s brain were permanently preserved. Nonetheless, Haarmann’s head was preserved in formaldehyde and remained in the possession of the Göttingen medical school from 1925 until 2014, when it was cremated.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Antonio Banderas (58), Rosanna Arquette (59), Anna Kendrick (34), Sam Elliott (75), Gillian Anderson (51), Rhona Mitra (43), Eric Bana (51), Melanie Griffith (62), Audrey Tautou (43), Dustin Hoffman (82), Charlize Theron (44), Abbie Cornish (37), Michael Shannon (45), David Duchovny (59), M. Night Shyamalan (49), Michelle Yeoh (57), Barbara Windsor (82), Geri Horner (47), Mark Strong (56), Tawny Kitaen (58), Meghan Markle (38), Billy Bob Thornton (64), and Barack Obama (58).