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Dead Pool 6th October 2019

A fairly quiet week for the world of celebrity deaths, worry not though, we have plenty for you to read. Next weeks issue will be deferred until the following Saturday as this writer will be partying hard and unable to put pen to paper. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders underwent emergency surgery after suffering a heart attack, his campaign has confirmed. The senator was taken to hospital on Tuesday after complaining of chest pain at a campaign event in Nevada. Doctors operated on Mr Sanders, 78, to remove a blockage in one of his arteries. His doctors said “two stents were placed in a blocked coronary artery in a timely fashion”. A stent is a small mesh tube used to help keep arteries open. Receiving stents is “a minimally invasive procedure”, typically with a short recovery time, the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says. Tehe doctors, Arturo Marchand and Arjun Gururaj, said Mr Sanders’s other arteries were “normal”. On Friday, Mr Sanders was well enough to be discharged from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, the doctors said. The two doctors said that, while Mr Sanders has made “good progress”, he has been advised “to follow up with his personal physician”. In an upbeat statement, Mr Sanders said: “After taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work.” 

It was a horrific bison attack that left trail runner Kyler Bourgeous with a collapsed lung and cracked ribs. But when the fully-recovered 30-year-old wanted to impress a date three months later, he invited her to the state park where he had been gored. Bison attacks are rare, he reasoned. And the scenery at Antelope Island in the US state of Utah was too stunning to be scared of going back: “I’ve never seen better sunsets anywhere,” he said. It was to be, it turned out, an unwise decision. His date became the second person attacked there this year. Kayleigh Davis was airlifted to hospital with a gored thigh and broken ankle after being charged by one of the beasts. “I thought my situation was just a freak accident,” Mr Bourgeous, from nearby Syracuse, told the Washington Post on Monday. “But apparently, they’re a lot more aggressive than I ever thought.” Neither he nor Ms Davis are understood to have made the mistake of approaching the animals. Both are keen outdoor types, and know the 900kg monsters are best left alone. “There’s a fair number of people that assume by association that this was somehow my fault, because I was there when it happened again,” Mr Bourgeous say. “I would never intentionally approach a bison.” During his own ordeal on 1 June, the keen cyclist and climber had reached a park summit when he saw two bison. As he attempted to get out of sight, one of the beasts – which can hit speeds of 35mph – charged. His attempts to flee were in vain. “You can’t outrun bison,” he noted. He was thrown into the air by the animal. Its horns pierced his hips and armpit. As he lay on the floor, it trampled him before waiting to see if he would move again. “It’s just hovering there, waiting for you to move, and it will finish you off if you do,” he said. He was rescued after two park-users saw the incident. Yet, despite needing to use a hip drain for several weeks, Mr Bourgeous says he was determined to go back to the park, which he has been visiting since childhood.  

So, when he and Ms Davis decided to have an outdoors date, it seemed like just the right location. She had gone ahead and out of sight as he put on bug spray, when a group of Scouts on bikes raced up to him to say they had just seen a woman being gored. Ms Davis later said she had seen the bison and given it space but the Scouts coming into view may have spooked it. “I looked over my shoulder, seeing it get closer,” she told the BBC. “And I looked again and it was pretty much right behind me. Right as I saw it, I flew up in the air 15 ft.” She landed on her back and – remembering conversations about her date’s previous experience – lay completely still as the bison sniffed her. Eventually, it wandered away, allowing Mr Bourgeous and other hikers to move into help. Yet despite what may now seem a disastrous date, the pair say it may have brought them closer together and they are continuing to see each other.

On This Day

  • 1854 – In England the Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead leads to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.
  • 1927 – Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent “talkie” movie.
  • 1985 – Police constable Keith Blakelock is murdered as riots erupt in the Broadwater Farm suburb of London.
  • 1995 – The first planet orbiting another sun, 51 Pegasi b, is discovered.

Deaths

Last Meals

Stephen Wayne Anderson was an American murderer who was executed at California’s San Quentin State Prison by lethal injection in 2002 for the murder of Elizabeth Lyman. He was either known to have killed or admitted to the killings of at least eight other people, including a fellow inmate and at least seven contract killings.

Anderson had been incarcerated for one count of aggravated burglary in 1971 and three counts of aggravated burglary in 1973. While incarcerated at Utah State Prison, Anderson murdered an inmate, assaulted another inmate, and assaulted a correctional officer. Anderson admitted to six other contract killings in Las Vegas, Nevada that happened prior to the crime for which he received a death sentence. On November 24, 1979, he escaped from prison, after which he worked for narcotics traffickers and committed at least one contract killing in the eastern mountains of Salt Lake County, Utah.

On May 26, 1980, Anderson, then 26, burglarised the Bloomington, California house of 81-year-old Elizabeth Lyman, a retired piano teacher. In the middle of the night, Anderson cut Lyman’s telephone line with a knife, and broke into her home by removing a glass pane from her French doors. He checked the house for occupants room by room. When he entered Lyman’s bedroom, she awoke and screamed. Anderson shot her in the face from close range with a .45 calibre handgun, fatally wounding her. He covered her body with a blanket, recovered the expelled casing from the hollow-point bullet that killed her, and ransacked her house for money. He found less than $100.

Anderson then prepared himself a meal in Lyman’s kitchen. A suspicious next door neighbour called the sheriff’s department. As he was eating and watching television, sheriff’s deputies responded to the call and arrested him. He obviously admitted to the murder. 

On July 24, 1981, a San Bernardino County jury sentenced Anderson to death. His last meal before the execution was two grilled cheese sandwiches with radishes, one pint of cottage cheese, a hominy/corn mixture, one slice of peach pie, and one pint of chocolate chip ice cream. When asked by the Warden if he had any last words, Mr. Anderson was very adamant that he did not. On January 29, 2002, Anderson was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison. He was pronounced dead at 12:30 am Pacific Time.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Elisabeth Shue (55), Ioan Gruffudd (45), Britt Ekland (76), Kate Winslet (43), Guy Pearce (51), Jesse Eisenberg (35), Karen Allen (67), Clive Barker (66), Neil deGrasse Tyson (60), Bob Geldof (67), Melissa Benoist (30), Dakota Johnson (29), Christoph Waltz (62), Alicia Silverstone (42), Susan Sarandon (72), Liev Schreiber (51), Sarah Lancashire (54), Lena Headey (45), Seann William Scott (42), Denis Villeneuve (51), Neve Campbell (45), Clive Owen (54), Gwen Stefani (49), Tommy Lee (56), Avery Brooks (70), Sting (67), Brie Larson (30), Zach Galifianakis (50), Julie Andrews (84), Randy Quaid (69), Monica Bellucci (55), and Omid Djalili (54).

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.

Deaths

  • 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).

Dead Pool 22nd September 2019

Winner winner!! With the sad passing of Fernando Ricksen at the young age of 43, Shan has earned herself 107 points! But to outdo this enormous score, Douglas marked him down as a Maverick, thus amassing a huge 207 points. Well done both of you, especially Douglas, from memory this is only the second Maverick we’ve had since the inception of The Dead Pool. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Dog The Bounty Hunter was hospitalised over the weekend due to a heart emergency, three months after he lost wife Beth Chapman to cancer at age 51. The TV star, 66, was taken to a Colorado hospital after he felt chest pains but doctors couldn’t pinpoint what happened – but they believe it was a possible heart attack. The doctors were trying to see if he needed some type of corrective surgery. At the time his rep released a statement on Dog’s Twitter account and said: ‘I can confirm Dog is under doctor’s care and is resting comfortably. Thank you for all your well wishes – keep ’em coming.’ On Wednesday, the reality TV star recalled the scare, explaining that he “couldn’t breathe.” “It was like I had ran a three- or four-mile run,” “There’s something haywire or it’s psychologically. I don’t know,” Chapman — who noted he’s not sure what caused the episode — added. “I guess things happen like that. I’ve never … I don’t do drugs.” “It feels much better now. And I’m going through some psychological things right now, too, so that doesn’t help,” he told the media “I think, basically, I had a broken heart. And of course, it’s going to heal.”  

Sir Rod Stewart has been given the all-clear after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The rock legend made the revelation at a fundraising event on Saturday. “No-one knows this, but I thought this was about time I told everybody. I’m in the clear, now, simply because I caught it early. I have so many tests,” he said. The 74-year-old was speaking at an event for the Prostate Project and golf’s European Tour Foundation. He joked to wife Penny Lancaster that he was going to use the evening to “come out”, adding: “It’s not what you think. Two years ago I was ­diagnosed with prostate cancer.” He said: “If you’re positive, and you work through it and you keep a smile on your face… I’ve worked for two years and I’ve just been happy, and the good Lord looked after me.” He urged men to get checked, adding: “Guys, you’ve got to really go to the doctor.” He was speaking at the event in Wentworth, Surrey, alongside former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood, who has previously been treated for lung cancer. “Somebody up there likes us, Rod,” he said, the paper reported.  

A man has died in Australia after a swooping magpie reportedly caused him to crash his bicycle. The 76-year old man was distracted by the bird when he crashed into a fence, suffering a head injury, police said. The incident happened on an off-road cycle path near Woonona Beach south of Sydney at about 8am on Sunday. The victim was wearing a helmet, which is a mandatory requirement for cyclists in Australia. Paramedics called to the scene treated him before he was flown to St George Hospital in Sydney. He was admitted in a critical condition and died of his injuries on Sunday evening. According to witnesses, the man was cycling with three other people when he became aware of the magpie which was swooping over a female cyclist coming towards him in the opposite direction. While he was distracted, his bicycle left the path and hit a low wooden fence and he fell to the ground. “His eyes were off the path because he was concerned about the magpie swooping him I think,” said Nathan Foster, whose wife was the cyclist being swooped by the magpie. Mark Lawrie, chief executive of the Sydney University Veterinary Teaching Hospital said it was “pretty much impossible” to qstop magpies from aggressive swooping once they had learnt the behaviour. Last month a Sydney council was forced to defend the shooting of a “particularly aggressive” magpie, which had apparently swooped and attacked people. The council had received 40 complaints about the “monster” bird over three years, which reportedly dive-bombed people, going for their faces, even outside swooping season. 

On This Day

  • 1692 – The last hanging of those convicted of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials; others are all eventually released.
  • 1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published.
  • 1975 – Sara Jane Moore tries to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is foiled by the Secret Service.

Deaths

  • 1989 – Irving Berlin, Russian-born American composer and songwriter (b. 1888)
  • 1999 – George C. Scott, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1927)
  • 2018 – Chas Hodges, English musician and singer (b.1943)

Last Meals

Thomas J. Grasso was a 32-year-old male double murderer when he was executed for the strangulation of Hilda Johnson, an 87-year-old woman, using her Christmas tree lights on December 24, 1990, in her Tulsa home. He stole $8 from her purse, $4 in loose change, and her television set which he sold for $125. Six months later, after moving to New York with his wife, Lana, he murdered Leslie Holtz, an 81-year-old man from Staten Island, on July 4, 1991, stealing his Social Security check. Once caught he soon confessed and pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years to life at New York, however a new Republican senator got involved and had him extradited to Tulsa which got him the death penalty. On the day before his execution, Grasso released four statements to the press, all rambling poetic verses, the first read, “What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” the rest weren’t any better…

Grasso’s last meal was two dozen steamed mussels,  two dozen steamed clams (flavoured by a wedge of lemon), a double cheeseburger from Burger King, a half-dozen barbecued spare ribs, two strawberry milkshakes, one-half of a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, diced strawberries, and he requested a can of SpaghettiO’s with meatballs though he used his last words to claim that kitchen staff did not honour this request. 

Just before 1:00 a.m. on March 20, 1995, Grasso walked from his cell to the execution chamber. The witnesses, including Grasso’s lawyers and 12 reporters, sat in an adjoining room. About 1:00 a.m., with Grasso strapped to the gurney, warden Ron Ward picked up a phone in the witness room and spoke to Governor Keating, who granted permission to proceed from his official residence in Oklahoma City. His final statement was: “I did not get my SpaghettiO’s, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this”. Grasso was pronounced dead at 1:22 a.m.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Stephen King (71), Bill Murray (68), David Wenham (53), Alfonso Ribeiro (47), Ricki Lake (50), Liam Gallagher (46), Jon Bernthal (43), Sophia Loren (85), Asia Argento (44), Moon Bloodgood (44), George R.R. Martin (71), Danielle Panabaker (32), Jeremy Irons (71), David McCallum (86), Jimmy Fallon (45), Victoria Silvstedt (45), Twiggy (70), Jada Pinkett Smith (48), Jason Sudeikis (44), Tim McInnerny (63), Mickey Rourke (67), Nick Jonas (27), Amy Poehler (48), Tom Hardy (42), Tommy Lee Jones (73), Jimmy Carr (47), Prince Harry (35), and Brendan O’Carroll (64).

Dead Pool 15th September 2019

Yet another bumper edition full of news and interesting  snippets, however no points as the list of the deceased reads like a telephone book of people you’ve never heard of.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has said Kevin Hart is “doing very well” after suffering major back injuries in a car crash earlier this month. Comedian and actor Hart was taken to hospital after a vintage car he was a passenger in rolled down an embankment in the California hills. Speaking on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Johnson said his pal was “a lucky man”. “Everything is good,” he said. “I spoke with Kevin – I connected with him today.” He added: “And you know what? These things happen in life and thankfully he was strapped in nicely to his car seat.” The pair are close friends – having starred together in films including Jumanji and Central Intelligence – and the former professional wrestler, 47, confirmed he would soon pay Hart a hospital visit. “I love the guy, he’s one of my best friends,” Johnson went on. “And honestly, I mean, thank God, it could have been a lot worse. So, he’s a lucky man, and he knows it, too. Hart and the car’s driver were both taken to hospital following the crash in the hills above Malibu on 1st September. The driver of the car was not under the influence of alcohol, according to a California Highway Patrol collision report.  

Freddie Flintoff has confirmed he is “absolutely fine” following a high speed accident during filming for a new series of Top Gear. The former English cricketer reportedly “ran out of runway” at Elvington Airfield near York while riding a specialised three-wheel drag racing vehicle. He was competing with fellow presenters Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris in a drag race. In a statement, Flintoff said: “I’m absolutely fine and was back filming today. I go to great lengths to make sure I do well in Top Gear drag races but on this occasion I went a few lengths too far! It will look more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV.” A spokesperson for the BBC said: “The health and safety of our presenters and crew on Top Gear is paramount. As viewers of the recent series will have seen, Freddie is often keen to get ‘off the beaten track’. “Tuesday’s filming at Elvington Airfield was no exception – but he suffered no injuries as a result of his spontaneous detour, as fans will see for themselves when we show the sequence in full in the next series.” Flintoff, who assumed hosting duties on the long-running BBC programme this year, was wearing full protective gear and a motorcycle helmet while filming. The airfield is the same one former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond crashed at in 2006 while piloting a drag racing car. Hammond crashed at 288mph after a tyre blew out, and suffered a severe head injury. He spent two weeks in a coma and later detailed the extent of his subsequent paranoia, memory loss and depression as a result of the brain damage from the crash.   

A religious celebration was marred by tragedy this week as a man participating in a traditional Islamic mourning ritual accidentally beheaded himself. Mohammed Sayum was displaying his prowess at swordsmanship in the Nalanda district of Bihar, in east India, as part of a ritual procession known as the Mourning of Muharram. According to reports, Sayum, 60, accidentally cut his own neck and was rushed to Sadar Hospital, but died from loss of blood before he arrived. The accident sparked chaos in the area, according to the news site Swarajya, where hundreds of others were also observing the ritual procession. Sayum’s son, Mohammad Feroz, told police he witnessed the incident. Police in Bihar are still investigating and sent Sayum’s body for an autopsy. Fatal accidents and violence have long plagued Muharram commemorations: On Tuesday, at least 31 people were killed in a stampede in Karbala, with 100 more injured. According to the AP, the stampede started when a walkway collapsed. The same day, 20 people were injured watching a Muharram procession in Andhra Pradesh, in southeast India, when the roof they were standing on collapsed at about 2 a.m. Police report the victims were viewing the Pedda Saragathi ritual, where devotees walk on a hot bed of coals. Also on Tuesday, a man in Uttar Pradesh was electrocuted, and others wounded, when a tazia they were carrying came in contact with a live electrical wire. A tazia is a replica of Imam Hussain’s tomb, carried during Muharram processions. Days earlier, at least four people died in Karachi, Pakistan, when a tazia collided with overhead electrical cables… Think I’d stay at home… 

On This Day

  • 1752 – The British Empire adopts the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2)
  • 1901 – U.S. President William McKinley dies after an assassination attempt on September 6, and is succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • 1959 – The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.
  • 1975 – The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonised by Pope Paul VI. Before this date, there were no miracles in America because God only cared for people east of the Atlantic Ocean.

Deaths

Last Meals  

John Martin Scripps was an English spree killer who murdered three tourists—Gerard Lowe in Singapore, and Sheila and Darin Damude in Thailand—with another three unconfirmed victims. He posed as a tourist himself when committing the murders, for which British tabloids nicknamed him “the tourist from Hell”. He cut up all his victims’ bodies, using butchery skills he had acquired in prison, before disposing of them. Martin was arrested in Singapore when he returned there after murdering the Damudes. Photographs of decomposed body parts were shown as evidence during his trial, making it “one of the most grisly” ever heard in Singapore. He defended himself by saying that Lowe’s death was an accident and that a friend of his killed the Damudes. The judge did not believe Martin’s account of events and sentenced him to death by hanging, making him the first Briton since Singapore’s independence from Britain and Malaysia to be given the death penalty. He is also the second Westerner to be executed in Singapore since independence, the first one being Johannes Van Damme.

Whilst Martin killed at least three people in Singapore and Thailand, he may have killed others in Belize, Mexico, and the United States. His modus operandi was to pose as a tourist and converse with randomly chosen caucasians, either aboard their flights or while waiting at airports. He stayed in the same hotels as his victims in a room near theirs. Once he had an excuse to be in their rooms, he used an electroshock weapon to immobilise them before killing them by striking their heads with a hammer and cutting them up in their bathrooms. He chose caucasians as his victims because they were vacationing far away from their home countries, which made him less likely to be discovered. His motive apparently included money, as large amounts were withdrawn using the credit cards of Gerard Lowe and Timothy MacDowall. Martin was arrested when he arrived at Changi Airport on the evening of 19 March 1995 and produced a passport with his assumed name, Simon Davis. Police had put the name on their wanted list on 14 March after they determined that Lowe had checked into River View Hotel with someone by that name. In a police interview room in the airport, Martin smashed a glass panel and cut his wrist with a shard of glass in a suicide attempt, fearing that he would be hanged immediately.

The police found five passports on Martin in addition to his own—two British passports issued to Simon Davis, two Canadian passports issued to Sheila and Darin Damude, and a South African passport issued to Gerard Lowe—each with Martin’s photograph affixed. They also found credit cards belonging to Sheila Damude and Gerard Lowe. In addition, police found Simon Davis’ birth certificate, and items that Martin had used to immobilise and kill: a hammer weighing 1.5 kilogrammes, a battery-operated Z-Force III electroshock weapon, a can of mace, two pairs of handcuffs, a pair of thumb-cuffs, two Police brand foldable knives, an oilstone and two Swiss army knives. Importation of some of these into Singapore is illegal.

In court, Martin argued that he was by nature not a violent person. “I may have worked in the (prison) butchery, but cutting up a human body is another thing. When I saw the photographs (of Lowe’s body parts), it made me feel sick.” He maintained that he had killed Lowe after the latter made homosexual advances that caused him to “freak out”; he had previously fended off homosexual attacks twice while imprisoned: in Israel in 1978, and in England in 1994. However his pleas fell on deaf ears as the evidence against him was conclusive. The judge sentenced Martin to death by hanging.

In the days before his hanging, Martin wrote of an “emptiness” inside him and lamented that no one had loved him besides his family and his ex-wife María. Martin’s mother remarked, “Whoever he is now, he’s the person the prison service trained him to be. These bastards have no right to take my son’s life. I brought him into the world. I am the only  person who can take him out of it.” However, no one formally protested against the hanging. At dawn on 19 April 1996, Martin was hanged in Changi Prison together with two Singaporean drug traffickers. Prior to his hanging he was granted his last meal of a pizza and a glass of hot chocolate.

When Martin’s ex-wife María heard that he had been hanged, she said: John disappeared on several trips and went to the United States and Southeast Asia. I knew something awful was happening, but I could not believe he had started killing people. The last memory I have of him is a message he sent promising we would meet in the next life and that he would never let me go again.

I bet she sleeps well at night….

Last Week’s Birthdays

Alfie Allen (32), Ian Holm (87), Linda Gray (78), Virginia Madsen (57), Elizabeth Henstridge (31), Johnny Vegas (47), Guy Ritchie (50), Colin Firth (58), Adam Sandler (52), Hugh Grant (58), Henry Thomas (47), Jeffrey Combs (64), Eric Stonestreet (47), Julia Sawalha (50), Topol (83), Rachel Hunter (49), Martin Freeman (47), Heather Thomas (61), Pink (39), Julian Richings (63), and Miles Jupp (39).

Dead Pool 8th September 2019

Welcome all, more points to dispense this week with the demise of Robert Mugabe!! Both Shan and Jamie had him as a Cert, so 155 points each, and Chrissy and Mark get 55 points each! Well done everyone, slight movement in the league table with only the last quarter of the year to go.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart was taken to hospital with “major back injuries” on Sunday following a car accident in Los Angeles. According to the California Highway Patrol, Hart was being driven in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda on Mulholland Highway at the time of the accident. His wife Eniko Parrish told news reporters on Monday that the comedian was awake and “going to be just fine”. The accident happened just after midnight. The driver, Jared Black, lost control of the car and it tumbled into an embankment, the report stated. Black also sustained major back injuries. A third passenger was unhurt. Black – the fiance of the third passenger, Rebecca Broxterman – was determined not to have been driving under the influence at the time of the crash. Hart was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Centre and the driver was taken to another hospital, the patrol report said. Photos published by the media showed the car had suffered considerable damage. It looks like the fire department had to saw the roof off to free the two occupants who were pinned to their seats.    

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro will miss a planned summit on the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest to prepare for surgery, an aide has said. The operation will be the far-right leader’s fourth after he was stabbed in the stomach during his presidential election campaign in 2018. Brazil may send a representative in his place or ask for the summit to be postponed, the spokesman said. More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest this year. The controversial leader was elected to the presidency in October 2018, a month after he was stabbed at a campaign rally. His surgery is to correct an incisional hernia and is his fourth operation since the attack. Speaking to reporters outside his official residence, the president vowed on Monday to defend his Amazon policy “even in a wheelchair” at a UN General Assembly meeting on 24th September. Let’s hope hr has a complication on the operating table.  

It is the kind of incident that might convince one of a higher power, or not. A priest has accidentally shot himself in the face with a spear gun while scuba diving. Despite the three-foot dart impaling his head, he survived. Connie Hallowell, from Umkomaas, in South Africa, called his escape a “miracle”, obviously… The near-tragedy happened as he was spearfishing in the sea off Scottburgh Beach, south of Durban, on Saturday. “I put my gun down while I was trying to get some sinkers out of the rocks,” the 48-year-old father-of-two told us from his hospital bed. “A big wave came, and with that wave in action, I tried to remove the gun, and the trigger went off and fired the spear into my face.” The arrow smashed straight through his right check and out in front of his left ear – but crucially missed his brain and eyes. He said: “When I tried to move my head, I couldn’t, and I realised it was a spear. I managed to stand up, and I just thought let me stay awake. I screamed for people to help me while I walked back towards the shore.” He was able to make it to dry land where lifeguards treated him while a fisherman shortened the embedded projectile with an angle grinder. Doctors were able to remove the spear after he was airlifted to hospital. “I can see, I can talk, everything is going well. I’ve got a bit of numbness, but I will be much better,” Mr Hallowell said on Sunday. “It’s amazing that I am here at all.” He added that he had no plans to quit spearfishing and was already planning his next trip. God is planning his next ‘miracle’ to cleanse the earth of priests as we speak. 

On This Day

  • 1727 – A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire, England kills 78 people, many of whom are children.
  • 1888 – In London, the body of Jack the Ripper’s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found.
  • 1914 – World War I: Private Thomas Highgate becomes the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war.
  • 1966 – The landmark American science fiction television series Star Trek premieres with its first-aired episode, “The Man Trap”.

Deaths

  • 1965 – Dorothy Dandridge, American actress and singer (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – Moondog, American-German singer-songwriter, drummer, and poet (b. 1916)
  • 2017 – Don Williams, American musician (b. 1939)

Last Meals

Larry Swearingen, 48, was the latest recipient of the lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for his part in the brutal strangling of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter, a Montgomery county girl he claimed was his friend. The Texas death row inmate maintained his innocence until the very moment of his execution for the 1998 rape and murder of the student who was found strangled in woodland with a pair of pantyhose around her neck. Despite Swearingen’s repeated pleas of innocence and a number of push-backs on his execution date – along with Trotter’s family – prosecutors stood firm on their belief that he was her killer. A last-ditch appeal filed by Swearingen’s attorneys was denied by the US Supreme Court just minutes before his scheduled execution time of 6pm. As a result, Swearingen was escorted into the execution chamber, strapped to an IV, and at 6.35pm, he was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital. ‘Lord, forgive them,’ Swearingen said into a microphone hanging above his head after the warden asked if he had a final statement. ‘They don’t know what they’re doing.’ He then began narrating his impending death, saying he could hear the drug going into his arm, before saying he could ‘taste it’. ‘It’s actually burning in my right arm. I don’t feel anything in the left arm,’ he said. Almost immediately, he took a short breath, then started to snore quietly. He stopped moving. He never opened his eyes and never looked at the witnesses who were there on his victim’s behalf, including her parents, who watched through a window just a few feet from him. At 6.47pm – 12 minutes after the lethal dose was administered – Swearingen was pronounced dead and became the 12th inmate to be put to death in the US this year, and the fourth in Texas – the country’s busiest state for capital punishment. But what was his last meal I hear you ask… Well… In Texas, you ain’t getting anything special, and this is the reason why. 

Back in 2011, white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was served two chicken fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger and a cheese omelette with beef mince, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos. If that wasn’t enough, he was also given fried okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas and a meat pizza. For dessert he was served a pint of ice cream and peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. He was also given three root beers to wash it all down. But Brewer thumbed his nose at the system one final time and didn’t have a single bite, telling staff at the Huntsville prison he wasn’t hungry.  

The next day, Texas lawmakers were so outraged that the practice of final meals on death row was brought to an immediate halt. State Senator John Whitmire said Brewer had ordered such an elaborate meal to “make a mockery” of the system. “It’s wrong to treat a vicious murderer in this fashion. Let him eat the same meal on the chow line as the others.” And rightly so, Brewer was convicted of the racist murder of James Byrd Jnr – who was chained to a truck and dragged to death 21 years ago. Along with Shawn Berry, the killers chained Mr Byrd’s ankles to the back of a truck and dragged him for three miles along roads in Jasper, Texas, on a Saturday night in June 1998. They had offered Mr Byrd a ride home but drove him to an isolated spot where they beat him, spray-painted his face and urinated and defecated on him before chaining him to the vehicle. He was alive during much of the dragging before his head and right arm was severed. The killers dumped his body in front of a black cemetery. King was convicted in February 1999 and became the first white man in modern Texas history to be sentenced to death for killing a black person.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Evan Rachel Wood (31), Shannon Elizabeth (45), Leslie Jones (51), Toby Jones (52), Julie Kavner (68), Dario Argento (78), Chrissie Hynde (67), Doug Bradley (64), Idris Elba (47), Michael Keaton (68), Raquel Welch (79), Rose McGowan (46), Carice van Houten (43), Paddy Considine (46), George Lazenby (80), Christopher Morris (54), Beyoncé (38), Michael Berryman (71), Charlie Sheen (54), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (66), Pauline Collins (79), Keanu Reeves (55), Salma Hayek (53), Keith Allen (66), Zendaya (23), Burn Gorman (45), Lily Tomlin (80), Steve Pemberton (52), Gloria Estefan (62), and Barry Gibb (73).