Author Archive

Dead Pool 5th Jul 2020

A good mix of celebrities kicking the bucket over the last week, strangely I believed some of you had Carl Reiner, but it turns out none of you did. Must have been a leftover from a list or two from years past. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field were threatened with being beheaded while doing charity work in Haiti. The entitled “Rock DJ” singer visited Haiti with children’s charity Unicef in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, which left an estimated 250,000 dead and 1.5 million without homes. Speaking about the trip on Field’s Postcards from the Edge podcast, Williams recalled the incident, saying: “I got threatened to be beheaded in Haiti. We were going out there to help! “I was like, ‘Should we go to the next street then?’, and looking back, it was scary.” Not to be outdone, Field, who has four children with Williams, added: “I was with you. I too was being threatened to be beheaded as well.” In an interview at the time, Williams discussed seeing the magnitude of the earthquake, saying: “As we walked around Jacmel on the first day, it’s hard to explain in words the massive and devastating impact that the earthquake clearly had – it’s a whole different league from what I had imagined I would see. “It was almost unbelievable, like a movie set. Cars completely crushed – some still poking out from underneath the buildings that have fallen on top of them.”  

Thanks to Nickie for bringing this one into my radar, as you might have noticed above, a Twitch streamer called Byron ‘Reckful’ Berstein committed suicide this week at the age of 31. Apparently he was a legend in the World of Warcraft Twitch community. As an avid WoW player since its inception in 2004 myself, I’d never heard of the chap. Which now begs the question of how loosely do we consider someone to be a ‘celebrity’? I think we have a good rule that they have to have a Wiki page to be considered for point scoring, but does someone who records himself playing a computer game that barely 100,000 people worldwide follow, make a celebrity that is worthy of a Wiki page? Most murderers on Death Row don’t make it and their actions will have made them national, if not international news stories! I believe we have reached peak media saturation, or maybe I’m wistfully dreaming of times when we only had three TV channels and the cinema to choose from.  

Bradley Walsh was warned that he was at risk of dying from heart disease, which has made him a ‘ticking time bomb’. The Chase host, who has just turned 60, is at high risk of getting the deadly condition as his own father Daniel died of it when he was just 59-years-old. After getting the dire warning from his cardiologist he was shocked into quitting booze and carbs, which has helped him lose 10 lbs. He told us: “I was a time bomb. I produce too much cholesterol. It;s a silent killer. My heart guy said, ‘Look, Brad, you need to get fit.’” Bradley revealed that he gets his heart tested every couple of years. He has a carotid artery test which he says tell you how much furring you’ve got in the artery. This is an “accurate predictor” of whether you’ll then have furring in your heart. Tests found that he had too much cholesterol in his blood and he was motivated to get healthy. Bradley added: “I had a hang-up because my father, Daniel, died at the age of 59. “I had it in the back of my mind that I just had to get past my dad’s age. So turning 60 was a bit of milestone.”    

On This Day

  • 1687Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.  
  • 1841 – Thomas Cook organises the first package excursion, from Leicester to Loughborough.  
  • 1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.  
  • 1946 – The bikini goes on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris, France.  
  • 1954 – Elvis Presley records his first single, “That’s All Right,” at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  
  • 1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.  
  • 1996 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.  

Deaths

Thank You NHS!

Robert Liston was a pioneering Scottish surgeon. Liston was noted for his skill in an era prior to anaesthetics, when speed made a difference in terms of pain and survival. Liston’s legacy comprises both that which has made its way into the popular culture, and that found primarily within the medical fraternity and related disciplines. His biographer Richard Gordon describes Liston as “the fastest knife in the West End. He could amputate a leg in 2 12 minutes”. Indeed, he is reputed to have been able to complete operations in a matter of seconds, at a time when speed was essential to reduce pain and improve the odds of survival of a patient; he is said to have been able to perform the removal of a limb in an amputation in 28 seconds. Gordon described the scene thus:

He was six foot two, and operated in a bottle-green coat with wellington boots. He sprung across the blood-stained boards upon his swooning, sweating, strapped-down patient like a duelist, calling, ‘Time me gentlemen, time me!’ to students craning with pocket watches from the iron-railinged galleries. Everyone swore that the first flash of his knife was followed so swiftly by the rasp of saw on bone that sight and sound seemed simultaneous. To free both hands, he would clasp the bloody knife between his teeth. 

Although Richard Gordon’s 1983 book pays tribute to other aspects of Liston’s legacy, it is his description of some of Liston’s most famous cases which has primarily made its way into what is known of Liston in popular culture. Gordon describes Liston’s four most famous cases in his book, as quoted verbatim below. 

  • Removal in 4 minutes of a 45-pound scrotal tumour, whose owner had to carry it round in a wheelbarrow. 
  • Argument with his house-surgeon. Was the red, pulsating tumour in a small boy’s neck a straightforward abscess of the skin, or a dangerous aneurism of the carotid artery? ‘Pooh!’ Liston exclaimed impatiently. ‘Whoever heard of an aneurism in one so young?’ Flashing a knife from his waistcoat pocket, he lanced it. Houseman’s note – ‘Out leaped arterial blood, and the boy fell.’ The patient died but the artery lives, in University College Hospital pathology museum, specimen No. 1256. 
  • Amputated the leg in 2 12 minutes, but in his enthusiasm the patient’s testicles as well. 
  • Amputated the leg in under 2 12 minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene; they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he died from fright. To this day the only surgical operation with a 300% fatality rate! 

Last Weeks Birthdays

Edie Falco (56), Huey Lewis (69), Blu Mankuma (71), Eva Marie Saint (95), Post Malone  (24), Gina Lollobrigida (92), Neil Morrissey (57), Ronni Ancona (51), Tom Cruise (57), Connie Nielsen (54), Patrick Wilson (46), Kurtwood Smith (76),  Yeardley Smith (55), Margot Robbie (30), Lindsay Lohan (34), Saul Rubinek (72), Larry David (73), Jerry Hall (64), Peter Kay (47), Liv Tyler (43), Pamela Anderson (53), Olivia de Havilland (104), Dan Aykroyd (68), Jean Marsh (86), Geneviève Bujold (78), David Prowse (85), Jamie Farr (86), Debbie Harry (75), Marton Csokas (54), Vincent D’Onofrio (61), Mike Tyson (54), Katherine Ryan (37), Cheryl Cole/Tweedy/Fernandez-Versini?(37), Gary Busey (76), Amanda Donohoe (58), Aleks Paunovic (51), and Katherine Jenkins (40).


Dead Pool 28th June 2020

Alas no points this week, but plenty of missed chances to score! Let’s see what next week brings us.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Yet another young ‘inspirational’ online influencer, who became a millionaire at 15, has died. Russian Anastasia Tropitsel, 18, suffered head injuries when she crashed on her Kawasaki on the Indonesian island of Bali. Her bad influence boyfriend Viktor Maydanovich, 30, who was on a bike next to her said she began to ‘wobble’ at around 60 mph and lost control, colliding with a roadside fence. Footage shows her last moments just before she set off on the bike as she filmed herself in the vehicle’s mirror and the surrounding beach views. Anastasia had been a blogger since the age of 12 and bragged about how she ‘became a millionaire at 15’ from her successful internet presence, although her fame and money didn’t bestow upon her enough common sense to not ride a powerful motorbike whilst using a phone. She told her million-plus young followers: ‘I inspire you to do what you can’t.’ Like buy a £10k Superbike and crash it straight away! Tropitsel – whose real name is Anastasia Zubrina – died soon after buying a new Kawasaki Ninja 250 motorbike and immediately following a public row with her doctor father who warned her that her online success story was turning to failure. She had stayed in Bali for lockdown after a trip to the island to boost her Instagram. Everyones a winner!   

Janet Street-Porter has revealed that she’s been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. The outspoken Loose Women panellist said on the show that she originally thought she’d been bitten on the nose by a mosquito over Christmas when she went to Australia. “I showed this tiny spot on my nose to a dermatologist and he immediately referred me to a consultant and they said I’ve got a basal cell carcinoma, which is a form of skin cancer,” she said. “If untreated it could grow. It has to be removed otherwise it’s going to get bigger and bigger. Also, I could be left with a very big scar. “I was about to have it removed then lockdown happened three days before I was supposed to have it removed.” The 73-year-old added: “I’ve spent the whole of lockdown getting more and more anxious about it. “Although it doesn’t look any bigger on top of my skin, this kind of cancer grows under the skin. You can’t see it and that’s what they’ve got to cut out.”  

Roberto Duran, the Panamanian six-time boxing world champion has been hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus, his children have said on the same day that Panama hit a new record of daily cases. “Test results have just arrived for my dad, and they confirm he is positive for COVID-19,” the legendary fighter’s son Robin Duran said on Instagram. “Thank God for now he doesn’t have symptoms beyond a cold. He is not in intensive care nor on a respirator, just under observation,” he added. Robin Duran had posted hours before that the 69-year-old had been hospitalised as a precaution for a “respiratory virus,” which turned out to be COVID-19. “We just spoke to the doctor who told us that his lungs are fine and there are no indications of severe (illness),” Robin Duran said. “We continue to have faith that everything will be OK.” Duran fought in 119 bouts between the ages of 16 and 50 — with 103 wins and 16 losses. He was knocked out four times, but did the same to his opponents 70 times, earning him the “Hands of Stone” nickname. Duran is a national hero in Panama as one of the country’s most famous athletes along with former New York Yankees baseball player Mariano Rivera, former Olympic long-jump champion Irving Saladino and former soccer players the late Rommel Fernandez and Julio Dely Valdes.

On This Day

  • 1838 – Coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.  
  • 1846 – Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone.       
  • 1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is captured at Glenrowan.  
  • 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo; this is the casus belli of World War I.   
  • 1969 – Stonewall riots begin in New York City, marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.  
  • 1987 – For the first time in military history, a civilian population is targeted for chemical attack when Iraqi warplanes bombed the Iranian town of Sardasht.  
  • 1997 – Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield‘s ear.

Deaths

Last Meals

It was the great flash point of the 20th century, an act that set off a chain reaction of calamity: two World Wars, 80 million deaths, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Hitler, the atomic bomb. Yet it might never have happened–we’re now told– had Gavrilo Princip not got hungry for a sandwich. 

We’re talking the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, of course—the murder that set the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire on a collision course with Serbia, and Europe down the slippery slope that led to the outbreak of the First World War a month after Princip pulled the trigger on June 28, 1914. More specifically, though, we’re talking the version of events that’s being taught in many schools today. It’s an account that, while respectful of the significance of Franz Ferdinand’s death, hooks pupils’ attention by stressing a tiny, awe-inspiring detail: that if Princip had not stopped to eat a sandwich where he did, he would never have been in the right place to spot his target. No sandwich, no shooting. No shooting, no war.  

It is the summer of 1914, and Bosnia has just become part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. A handful of young Bosnian-born Serbs decide to strike a blow for the integration of their people into a Greater Serbia by assassinating the heir to the Austrian throne. Their opportunity comes when it is announced that Franz Ferdinand will be making a state visit to the provincial capital, Sarajevo.  

Armed with bombs and pistols supplied by Serbian military intelligence, seven conspirators position themselves at intervals along the archduke’s route. The first to strike is Nedeljko Cabrinovic, who lobs a hand grenade toward Franz Ferdinand’s open touring car. But the grenade is an old one, with a 10-second fuse. It bounces off the limo and into the road, where it explodes under the next vehicle in the motorcade. Although several officers in that car are hurt, Franz Ferdinand remains uninjured. To avoid capture, Cabrinovic drains a vial of cyanide and throws himself into a nearby river—but his suicide bid fails. The cyanide is past its sell-by date, and the river is just four inches deep.  

The bombing throws the rest of the day’s plans into disarray. The motorcade is abandoned. Franz Ferdinand is hurried off to the town hall, where he is due to meet with state officials. Disconsolate, the remaining assassins disperse, their chance apparently gone. One of them, Gavrilo Princip, heads for Moritz Schiller’s delicatessen, on Franz Joseph Street. It’s one of Sarajevo’s smartest shopping destinations, just a few yards from the bustling through road known as Appel Quay. 

As Princip queues to buy a sandwich, Franz Ferdinand is leaving the town hall. When the heir gets back into his limousine, though, he decides on a change of plan—he’ll call at the hospital to visit the men injured in the grenade blast. There’s just one problem: the archduke’s chauffeur, a stranger to Sarajevo, gets lost. He swings off Appel Quay and into crowded Franz Joseph Street, then drifts to a stop right in front of Schiller’s. 

Princip looks up from his lunch to find his target sitting just a few feet away. He pulls his gun. Two shots ring out, and the first kills Franz Ferdinand’s wife, Sophie. The second hits the heir in the neck, severing his jugular vein. The archduke slumps back, mortally wounded. His security men hustle Princip away. Inside Schiller’s deli, the most important sandwich in the history of the world lies half-eaten on a table. What sort of sandwich the killer ordered? (Consensus answer: cheese.) 

Last Week’s Birthdays

John Cusack (53), Kathy Bates (71), Mel Brooks (93), Alice Krige (65), Felicia Day (40), Elon Musk (48), Courtney Ford (41), Tobey Maguire (44), J.J. Abrams (53), Meera Syal (58), Nick Offerman (49), Ariana Grande (26), Chris Isaak (63), Ricky Gervais (59), Carly Simon (75), Peter Weller (73), Iain Glen (59), Nancy Allen (70), Mick Fleetwood (73), Selma Blair (48), Frances McDormand (63), Joss Whedon (56), Bryan Brown (73), Meryl Streep (71), Bruce Campbell (62), Lindsay Wagner (71), Kris Kristofferson (84), Stephen Chow (58), Tim Russ (64), Prunella Scales (88), and Cyndi Lauper (67).


Dead Pool 21st June 2020

What a week! The Evil Flying Monkeys didn’t disappoint! It’s the first week in what seems like ages that some well known celebrities have bitten the dust! And a very big hitter for us: Vera Lynn! With her sad passing I can award the following 47 points each: Neil, Gwenan, Paul C, Lee, Laura, Shan, and Dave! Also Big Three points of 147 to Ron, Martin, Christine, and Paul G. Well done all of you and a bit of a change at the top of the leader board too. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Alex Zanardi, the ex-Formula One driver-turned Paralympic champion who lost both legs in a motor racing accident 19 years ago, has been taken to hospital by helicopter after being involved in a serious accident. The 53-year-old Italian was airlifted to a hospital in Siena, with police confirming that he was involved in a “serious accident” with a “heavy vehicle”. A Carabinieri police official in Montepulciano confirmed that it was Zanardi involved in the accident, and that he believed the Italian was still alive. Zanardi, a two-time Champ Car champion and 41-race F1 driver, was competing in the ‘Obiettivo tricolore’ national road race for Paralympic athletes on hand-bikes on Friday when the accident occurred. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that Zanardi was travelling on Highway 146 between Pienza and San Quirico at the time of the crash. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Zanardi was descending down a hill when he lost control of his hand-bike and veered into oncoming traffic. Emergency services were able to attend the scene after his fellow competitors helped to raise the alarm of the accident. Zanardi won the 1997 and 1998 CART Championship, which earned him a return to F1 with Williams in 1999, but following a disappointing season that included 10 retirements he returned to American open-wheel racing the following year. However, Zanardi had both of his legs amputated following a horrific crash during the 2001 American Memorial CART race at Lausitzring in Germany, though in 2005 he was able to resume his motorsports career in World Touring Cars and the Blancpain Endurance Series thanks to modified hand-controlled vehicles. His finest sporting achievement came outside of motorsports though as he won four gold medals in hand-bike at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. 

One of Britain’s top pole dancers has died suddenly at the age of just 27 after posting that she was finding lockdown ‘so hard’. Jess Leanne Norris, from Bolton in Lancashire, was a two-time winner of Miss Pole Dance UK. Details of how Ms Norris died have not been revealed, but last year she launched a fundraising drive in aid of mental health charities. In April she also put up an emotional post on Facebook saying she was finding lockdown ‘so so hard’ and that a lot of us are feeling ‘stressed, lost and lonely’. The post on April 4 read: ‘I myself am finding this so so hard…it always takes me time to adapt to ‘change’ mentally as I’m one to need structure to cope with mind! ‘A lot of us are all feeling stressed, lost & lonely… but please don’t feel alone… We’re all in this together.’ Ms Norris also has a separate ‘health and wellness’ Facebook page called ‘You Matter’ where she posted about her depression and anxiety as well as sharing quotes about mental health. Friends said she had a huge influence on the pole dancing industry, setting up her first pole dancing studio at the age of 15.  She won her first Miss Pole Dance UK title in 2011, and claimed the crown for a second time in 2015.     

The pet that inspired the book series and film A Street Cat Named Bob has died aged 14. James Bowen met Bob in 2007 during his battle with  drug addiction when he found the cat abandoned and injured and decided to look after him. He began taking the ginger cat, often seen wearing a scarf, with him when busking or selling The Big Issue in London. Bowen then wrote a book about their relationship, titled A Street Cat Named Bob, which became a smash hit and was made into a film in 2016 in which Bob played himself alongside six lookalikes. In a statement on the official Facebook page for Bowen’s books, the author said Bob had saved his life. He added: “It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing.” He said the success they found together was “miraculous”, adding: “He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. “There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again. I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.” 

On This Day

  • 1734 – In Montreal, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique is put to death, having been convicted of setting the fire that destroyed much of the city.  
  • 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet at Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed are the last casualties of World War I.  
  • 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.  
  • 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  
  • 2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
  • 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards.

Deaths

The Rise of Non-painful Execution 

Trends in most of the world have long been to move to private and less painful executions. France developed the guillotine for this reason in the final years of the 18th century, while Britain banned hanging, drawing, and quartering in the early 19th century. Hanging by turning the victim off a ladder or by kicking a stool or a bucket, which causes death by suffocation, was replaced by long drop “hanging” where the subject is dropped a longer distance to dislocate the neck and sever the spinal cord. Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar, Shah of Persia (1896–1907) introduced throat-cutting and blowing from a gun (close-range cannon fire) as quick and relatively painless alternatives to more torturous methods of executions used at that time. In the United States, electrocution and gas inhalation were introduced as more humane alternatives to hanging, but have been almost entirely superseded by lethal injection. A small number of countries still employ slow hanging methods, decapitation, and stoning.

A study of executions carried out in the United States between 1977 and 2001 indicated that at least 34 of the 749 executions, or 4.5%, involved “unanticipated problems or delays that caused, at least arguably, unnecessary agony for the prisoner or that reflect gross incompetence of the executioner”. The rate of these “botched executions” remained steady over the period of the study. A separate study published in The Lancet in 2005 found that in 43% of cases of lethal injection, the blood level of hypnotics was insufficient to guarantee unconsciousness. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 (Baze v. Rees) and again in 2015 (Glossip v. Gross) that lethal injection does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Chris Pratt (40), Juliette Lewis (46), Lana Wachowski (54), David Morrissey (55), Lana Del Rey (34), Nicole Kidman (52), John Goodman (67), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (30), Miles O’Keeffe (65), Lionel Richie (70), Brian Wilson (77), Zoe Saldana (41), Aidan Turner (36), Kathleen Turner (65), Paula Abdul (57), Richard Madden (33), Carol Kane (67), Isabella Rossellini (67), Paul McCartney (77), Jodie Whittaker (38), Will Forte (50), Arnold Vosloo (58), John Cho (48), James Bolam (85), Helen Hunt (57), Courteney Cox (56), Neil Patrick Harris (47), Ice Cube (51), and Jim Belushi (66).


Dead Pool 14th June 2020

Sadly the evil flying monkeys failed to find a massive celebrity for us, they’re still hiding from the virus. However, a few ‘oh, I vaguely know them’ stars are listed below. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

If anybody gives a shit, the royal family has been paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on his 99th birthday. While Prince Philip’s birthday celebrations are likely to be low-key this year due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, several members of the family have publicly marked the milestone occasion by posting online tributes. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the first to share a message of celebration on their Kensington Royal social media accounts. “Wishing a very happy 99th Birthday to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh!”, Prince William and Kate Middleton wrote alongside two photos of them with the royal. The duke’s eldest son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, also shared a tribute to his father on social media. “Wishing The Duke of Edinburgh a very happy 99th birthday!” a message from the Clarence House Instagram account read. In a recent interview Prince Charles said he was missing his family and revealed that he hasn’t seen his father for months. “Well I haven’t seen my father for a long time. He’s going to be 99 next week…it’s terribly sad,” Charles said. We’re not sure why he thinks his father turning 99 is sad, maybe he’s still pining for that throne. To mark Prince Philip’s birthday, the royal family released an official photo of the duke and The Queen posing side-by-side outside Windsor Castle. The portrait was the first public image of the duke for nearly six months as he was last seen leaving hospital on Christmas Eve following a four-night admission for an undisclosed but “pre-existing condition”.    

BBC journalist George Alagiah has confirmed his bowel cancer has spread to his lungs. The 64-year-old newsreader, who joined the BBC in 1989, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and later said it spread to his liver and lymph nodes. After 17 courses of chemotherapy and five operations, it appeared the cancer had cleared – but it returned in 2018. He revealed doctors told him at the end of April the cancer has now spread to his lungs in an interview with The Times. Mr Alagiah also spoke about testing positive for coronavirus after he developed a fever on 17th March. “My doctors have never used the word ‘chronic’ or ‘cure’ about my cancer,” he said. “They’re never used the word ‘terminal’ either. “I’ve always said to my oncologist, ‘Tell me when I need to sort my affairs out’, and he’s not told me that, but what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs.” Mr Alagiah said his previously low dose of chemotherapy has been increased to “the grown-up stuff”. “I said to my doctor, ‘You’re going to have to do the worrying for me’. I don’t want to fill my mind with worry. I just know that he’s a clever guy, doing everything he can.”    

Shaun Ryder has opened up about his cancer scare after he discovered a painful growth in his testicle during lockdown. The Celebrity Gogglebox and The Happy Mondays frontman, 57, immediately thought the worst after finding the uncomfortable lump. It turned out the sudden growth was non-cancerous. But in spite of the good news, the medical issue has left Shaun in constant pain amid the coronavirus pandemic. Due to health service restrictions, the star has been unable to receive surgery to remove the growth which is situated in his testicle. Instead, the much-loved star has had to put up with the pains it has caused him over the past number of months. Shaun admitted he wasn’t too worried as he can have the lump removed when hospitals revert to normality again. He told us: “This non-malignant growth in my testicle is pressing on a nerve. It’s like having really bad toothache in your b***s. “I can have the growth chucked out but I should’ve gone before lockdown started.” Despite the ongoing pain and the shock of his circumstances, his cancer scare has made Shaun realise the value of life. The star – who became famous for his love of sex, drugs and rock and roll – has been hit with the reality he is not invinsible. Father-of-six Shaun admitted that he’s not afraid of dying but he is afraid of leaving his young children behind. “I now think I’m not invincible. It doesn’t worry me about dying, it’s just that because I’ve got young kids. I don’t want to go because of them. That’s what I panic about the most.” The Celebrity Gogglebox star has suffered a long list of health problems over the past number of years. Shaun has dealt with fighting severe pain due to arthritis, as well as battling a thyroid problem and enduring panic attacks.

On This Day

  • 1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: HMS Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,600 mi) journey in an open boat.  
  • 1822 – Charles Babbage proposes a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society.  
  • 1962 – The European Space Research Organisation is established in Paris – later becoming the European Space Agency.   
  • 1966 – The Vatican announces the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (“index of prohibited books”), which was originally instituted in 1557.

Deaths

Execution Styles

To be hanged, drawn and quartered was, from 1352, a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, (Boris?) although the ritual was first recorded during the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272). The convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was then hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered (chopped into four pieces). His remains would then often be displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge, to serve as a warning of the fate of traitors. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake.

The severity of the sentence was measured against the seriousness of the crime. As an attack on the monarch’s authority, high treason was considered a deplorable act demanding the most extreme form of punishment. Although some convicts had their sentences modified and suffered a less ignominious end, over a period of several hundred years many men found guilty of high treason were subjected to the law’s ultimate sanction. They included many English Catholic priests executed during the Elizabethan era, and several of the regicides involved in the 1649 execution of Charles I.

Although the Act of Parliament defining high treason remains on the United Kingdom’s statute books, during a long period of 19th-century legal reform the sentence of hanging, drawing, and quartering was changed to drawing, hanging until dead, and posthumous beheading and quartering, before being abolished in England in 1870. Sadly, the death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998, so lying to The Queen won’t get you into trouble Boris… 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Will Patton (65), Donald Trump (73), Yasmine Bleeth (51), Boy George (58), Alan Carr (43), Steffi Graf (50), Chris Evans (38), Ally Sheedy (57), Stellan Skarsgård (68), Malcolm McDowell (76), Richard Thomas (68), Tim Allen (66), Simon Callow (70), Kathy Burke (55), Shia LaBeouf (34), Joshua Jackson (42), Hugh Laurie (61), Peter Dinklage (51), Adrienne Barbeau (75), Jane Goldman (50), Elizabeth Hurley (55), Jürgen Prochnow (79), Johnny Depp (57), Natalie Portman (39), Michael J. Fox (59), Eddie Marsan (52), Griffin Dunne (65), Nancy Sinatra (80), and Kanye West (43).


Dead Pool 7th June 2020

A quiet week again! Not much of a pandemic this one, too many celebrities are actually surviving! I’m opening the cage, the evil flying monkeys will reap someone of note this week! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The White House has released information about President Donald Trump‘s annual physical, including him experiencing no side effects while taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against Covid-19. Lumpy Trumpy weighs 17½ stone and stands at 6ft 3in tall, according a summary of the annual physical. The president made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in November for a little over two hours to perform tests necessary for the physical. Subsequent tests then happened later at the White House. “Sadly there were no findings of significance or changes to report,” Dr Sean Conely, the president’s physician, wrote in a memo about the president’s physical. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Mr Trump as “healthy” after the summary report was released. After Mr Trump’s first physical, it was indicated the president had a common form of heart disease, CNN reported. The president’s doctor recommended a higher dose of medication that would help lower his cholesterol and lifestyle changes. The latest annual physical showed Mr Trump’s cholesterol was now at 167 with an LDL, low-density lipoprotein, below 100, indicating a healthy level. Results are still pending on his psychological tests.  

Australian actress Cate Blanchett is lucky to be alive after a DIY accident with a chainsaw at her country estate in East Sussex, England. The two-time Oscar winner, 51, took a ‘little nick to the head’ while using the mechanical saw, but fortunately avoided a serious injury. She casually revealed her brush with death in a podcast interview with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week. Cate mentioned the incident in passing, telling Gillard it wasn’t very ‘exciting’. She said: ‘I’m fine. I had a bit of a chainsaw accident yesterday, which sounds very, very exciting, but it wasn’t. Apart from the little nick to the head, I’m fine.’ Gillard replied: ‘Be very careful with that chainsaw. You’ve got a very famous head, I don’t think people would like to see any nicks taken out of it.’ Cate, who was born and raised in Melbourne, lives in a $6.25million manor called Highwell House near Crowborough, about an hour south of London. Obviously can’t afford a gardener…  

Bhad Barbie has entered rehab to seek treatment for childhood trauma and prescription pills abuse, her management has confirmed. The “These Heaux” rapper, real name Danielle Bregoli, has been in the facility for several weeks now and sources told TMZ that they expect her to stay there for 30 to 90 days. In a statement, Bregoli’s management said: “We are very proud of Danielle for recognising that she needed help and seeking it out.” A further statement on her Instagram read: “Danielle has been working hard for the past few years and made a positive decision to take some much-needed time off to attend to some personal issues. “For the past weeks, she has been in a treatment centre receiving and continuing to receive professional support. “She loves her fans, and has promised to return better, and healthier than ever.” Bregoli has been quiet on social media lately, which caught the attention of fellow rapper Chika who called her out for her silence on the death of George Floyd. 

On This Day

  • 1692 – Port Royal, Jamaica, is hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1,600 people are killed and 3,000 are seriously injured.  
  • 1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Chinese Nationalist government creates the  Yellow River flood to halt Japanese forces. Five hundred to nine hundred thousand civilians are killed.
  • 1977 – Five hundred million people watch the high day of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II begin on television. Kids enjoy a street party where mugs are given out. Yay!

Deaths

  • 1329 – Robert the Bruce, Scottish king (b. 1274)  
  • 1937 – Jean Harlow, American actress and singer (b. 1911)  
  • 1954 – Alan Turing, English mathematician and computer scientist (b. 1912)  
  • 1970 – E. M. Forster, English novelist, short story writer, essayist (b. 1879)  
  • 1980 – Henry Miller, American novelist and essayist (b. 1891)  
  • 2015 – Christopher Lee, English actor (b. 1922)

The Youngest British Executions

Alice Glaston was an 11-year-old English girl from Little Wenlock who was hanged in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England. She is likely the youngest girl ever to be legally executed in England. The crime for which she was hanged is unknown, but she was hanged with two other people. A note of the incident from 1545 in the parish register of Sir Thomas Butler, vicar of Much Wenlock in Shropshire reads: 

Here was buried John Dod of the parish of Little Wenlock, who was hanged here, as also Alice Glaston, 11 yrs of age, of the parish of Little Wenlock, and Wm. Harper, a tailor. Three Convicts buried one a girl of 11 years old. 

However, this is not the youngest reference to a child who was hanged, a John Dean from Oxfordshire was not even 10 when he was executed for arson: 

At Abingdon assizes Feb 23 1629 before Whitlock justice one John Dean an infant between eight and nine years was indicted arraigned and found guilty of burning two barns in the town of Windsor and it appearing upon examination that he had malice revenge craft and cunning lie had judgment to be hanged and was hanged accordingly. 

But, such cruelty can be topped! The Guernsey Martyrs were three women who were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs during the Marian Persecutions, in 1556 Guernsey, Channel Islands. The execution was carried out on or around 18th July. All three were burnt on the same fire; they ought to have been strangled beforehand, but the rope broke before they died and they were thrown into  the fire alive. John Foxe recorded that one of the women was “great with child” and that “the belly of the woman burst asunder by the vehemence of the flame, the infant, being a fair man-child, fell into the fire”. The baby was rescued and laid on the grass, taken by the Provost to the Bailiff, Hellier Gosselin who took the advice of Roman Catholic priests nearby who said the boy should burn due to having inherited moral stain from his mother, Gosselin ordered that “it should be carried back again, and cast into the fire”.  Burn Baby Burn, 1556 Disco Inferno! 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Karl Urban (47), Liam Neeson (67), Anna Torv (40), Michael Cera (31), Lance Reddick (57), Bill Hader (41), Helen Baxendale (49), Iggy Azalea (29), Jason Isaacs (56), Paul Giamatti (52), Robert Englund (72), Sandra Bernhard (64), Josie Lawrence (60), Mark Wahlberg (48), Mel Giedroyc (51), Angelina Jolie (44), Bruce Dern (83), Noah Wyle (48), Sean Pertwee (55), Russell Brand (44), Geoffrey Palmer (92), Bradley Walsh (59), Imogen Poots (31), Penelope Wilton (74), James Purefoy (56), Clive Mantle (63), Bill Paterson (75), Suzi Quatro (70), Morena Baccarin (41), Awkwafina (32), Jewel Staite (38), Justin Long (42), Zachary Quinto (43), Dominic Cooper (42), Liam Cunningham (59), Dana Carvey (65), Sally Kellerman (83), Tom Holland (24), Morgan Freeman (83), Brian Cox (74), Jonathan Pryce (73), Amy Schumer (39), Heidi Klum (47), Alanis Morissette (46), and Robert Powell (76).


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.

Deaths

  • 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).


Dead Pool 24th May 2020

Another week bereft of points, however a long list of people you might have heard of below. Thanks as always for all of you who pass on interesting stories and ideas, keep them coming.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

A former White House employee who worked with 11 presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, died over the weekend after contracting the coronavirus. He was 91. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who appeared alongside the Obamas in a photograph published in former first lady Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir “Becoming,” retired in 2012 following 55 years of service. He began his White House career in 1957 as a cleaner, gaining promotion to the role of butler during the Kennedy administration, his granddaughter, Jamila Garrett, told us that the father of five “always taught us that there will be obstacles in your life, they will not disappear, but keep pushing forward.” Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush paid tribute to Jerman, describing him as “a lovely man.” “He was the first person we saw in the morning when we left the Residence and the last person we saw each night when we returned,” they said in a statement.  

Former Kent and England batsman Rob Key has revealed he is recovering after suffering a ‘mini stroke’. The 41-year-old, who is now a TV pundit, says he has had a “long weekend” after being treated at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. He posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed on Instagram. Key thanked his doctor and added: “Turns out I’ve had a mini stroke. Now got to eat food with no flavour and take pills, #triffic,”. Key played in 15 Tests for England, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match, with his stand-out international performance the 221 against the West Indies in July 2004. He was prolific on the County scene, scoring almost 20,000 first-class runs between 1998 and 2015 for Kent. His former club tweeted a “get well soon” message on Monday.   

Amanda Kloots, the wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, broke down in tears as she revealed that her husband’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Things had been looking up for the family, with Cordero waking up from his coronavirus-induced coma last week and Kloots celebrating a “small win” on Monday after doctors pulled out fewer secretions from his lungs than they had previously found. However, on Wednesday, dancer Kloots admitted that things had got worse in an emotional Instagram Story video filmed in her car. “Nick has had a bad morning. Unfortunately, things are going a little downhill at the moment, so I am asking again for all the prayers, mega-prayers, right now,” she said. “Please cheer and please pray for Nick today, and I know that this virus is not going to get him down.” Kloots, who has a 10-month-old son with the actor, continued: “It’s not how his story ends, so just keep us in your thoughts and prayers today. Thank you.” In a separate Instagram post, she wrote: “Mega prayers for this special man right now. God continue to grant miracles.” Cordero was admitted to hospital on 30 March after being diagnosed with pneumonia, testing positive for coronavirus and being put on a ventilator just two days later. The actor then faced a number of complications, including septic shock and two “mini strokes”, with his right leg needing to be amputated due to blood clotting. 

On This Day

  • 1487 – The ten-year-old Lambert Simnel is crowned in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, with the name of Edward VI in a bid to threaten King Henry VII‘s reign.  
  • 1930 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).  
  • 1956 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.  
  • 1976 – The Judgment of Paris takes place in France, launching California as a worldwide force in the production of quality wine.

Deaths

  • 1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (b. 1473)  
  • 1963 – Elmore James, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1918)  
  • 1974 – Duke Ellington, American pianist and composer (b. 1899)  
  • 1995 – Harold Wilson, English academic and Prime Minister of the U.K. (b. 1916)  
  • 2010 – Ray Alan, English ventriloquist, actor, and screenwriter (b. 1930)

The Last British Executions

Catherine Murphy (died 18th March 1789) was an English counterfeiter, the last woman in England to be officially burned at the stake.

Catherine Murphy and her husband, Hugh Murphy, were convicted for coining at the Old Bailey in London and sentenced to death on 18th September 1788. She and her husband were executed on the morning of 18th March 1789 at Newgate prison along with seven other men who had been convicted of various offences.

The eight men were executed by hanging. But as a woman, the law provided that Murphy should be burnt at the stake. She was brought out past the hanging bodies of the others, and made to stand on a foot high, 10-inch-square platform in front of the stake. She was secured to the stake with ropes and an iron ring. When she finished her prayers, her executioner, William Brunskill, piled faggots of straw around the stake and lit them. According to testimony given by Sir Benjamin Hammett, the Sheriff of London, he gave instructions that she should be strangled before being burned. She was, reportedly, tied with one rope around her neck, after which the platform was removed from under her feet and 30 minutes passed before the fire was lit, and thus, she was not actually burned alive. Whatever the case, Catherine Murphy remains the last person to have been sentenced and at least officially executed by the method of burning. In part through the efforts of Sir Benjamin Hammett, who took the execution of Murphy as an example when he criticised this form of punishment, burning as a method of execution was abolished the next year, by the Treason Act 1790.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Doug Jones (59), Alfred Molina (66), John C. Reilly (54), Jim Broadbent (70), Priscilla Presley (74), Gary Burghoff (76), Tommy Chong (81), Eric Cantona (53), Bob Dylan (78), Richard Ayoade (42), Joan Collins (86), Melissa McBride (54), Maggie Q (41), Ginnifer Goodwin (42), Graham Linehan (52), Naomi Campbell (50), Judge Reinhold (63), Noel Fielding (47), Mr. T (68), Cher (74), Jack Gleeson (28), John Billingsley (60), Louis Theroux (50), James Fox (81), Grace Jones (72), Amanda De Cadenet (48), Tina Fey (50), Miriam Margolyes (79), Yun-Fat Chow (65), and Toyah Willcox (62).


Dead Pool 17th May 2020

Not much in the news this week and no points scored. I think we need a more deadly virus! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Bachelor’s Sophie Tieman has revealed she is being tested for viral meningitis. The 27-year-old shared a shocking image of herself lying in a hospital bed wearing a gown and face mask, with a nasogastric tube inserted into her nose on Tuesday. Sophie explained in a post to her Instagram Stories she had been unwell for a week but was initially diagnosed with ‘influenza’. Following several days of treatment, her condition failed to improve and Sophie felt like her ‘head was going to explode’. She had also been suffering from other symptoms including lethargy and neck aches. The reality star was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to undergo tests including pathology, a chest x-ray and an MRI scan. Sophie also revealed she would be undergoing a spinal tap, which she was ‘dreading’. Meningitis is a serious illness which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes. It is usually caused by a viral infection but can also be bacterial or fungal. Sophie rose to fame on the 2018 season of The Bachelor where she dated Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins. She made it to the final rose ceremony along with co-star Brittany Hockley.  

As you saw above, an emotional Gardeners World paid tribute to Monty Don’s dog Nigel, who sadly died earlier this week. A poignant package of clips aired during the show saw the beautiful golden retriever scampering through daffodils and ‘helping’ his human by dropping filthy tennis balls in his freshly planted pots. Taken from previous episodes, each clip proved how strong Monty and Nigel’s bond was, as the cheeky pooch’s tail wagged like mad whenever he looked at his master. Sobbing viewers were treated to the sight of Nigel prancing through the flowers, tearing through Monty’s garden, and patiently waiting for his beloved ball to be thrown by dropping it right where Monty needed to be to talk to the camera. One old clip showed Monty standing by a wheelbarrow piled high with soil. “Now this is crushed bark with a little addition of tennis ball,” Monty explains as he holds up a dirty old ball that has somehow fallen in. “Now tennis ball, of course, is a magical horticultural ingredient… according to Nigel.” Another clip saw the gardening expert reach all the way up to his shoulder inside an enormous plant pot, just to fish out Nigel’s ball. Do you want to see what’s in there? Look. Why did you put it in? He’s going to put it back in now,” he chuckled as Nigel predictably nudged the ball straight back inside. Nigel was well known to fans thanks to his appearances on the BBC Two gardening programme, where he was often seen with Monty’s other dog Nellie. 

The Newly Infected

  • Justin Long: The actor revealed he believed he and his brother, Christian, contracted the virus. He said he symptoms included “achingness, some nausea, headaches and then the tightness in the chest.” 
  • Tony Shalhoub: revealed that he and his wife Brooke Adams have recovered from coronavirus.

On This Day

  • 1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn‘s marriage is annulled.  
  • 1900 – The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United States. The first copy is given to the author’s sister.  
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.  
  • 1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organisation eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.  
  • 1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armory in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.

Deaths

  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith, founded the Deere & Company (b. 1804)   
  • 1922 – Dorothy Levitt, English racing driver and journalist (b. 1882)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934) 
  • 2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)

The Last British Executions

James Smith was the sixth-to-last criminal to be executed in a British prison. He was hanged for the murder of Mrs. Sarah Isabella Cross in her sweetshop at the corner of Hulme Hall Lane and Iron Street, Miles Platting, Manchester.

Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1936, had entered the shop on Friday 4th May 1962 and battered 58-year-old Mrs Cross to death in order to rob her of around £6 from the till. A total of 5 glass screw-top orangeade and cherryade bottles were used to club the victim, each of which shattered to pieces as a result. Smith left coins scattered on the shop floor as he made his escape through the rear exit. The victim’s body was subsequently found lying behind the counter.

Forensic experts discovered Smith’s fingerprint on a door frame which had been painted two days earlier by Mrs Cross’s husband, a factory worker, and was still slightly tacky. Smith’s fingerprints were already on file because of a previous conviction. As a result, Smith was quickly arrested at his home on Corfe Street, Beswick by Detective Chief Superintendent Eric Cunningham and Detective Inspector Tommy Butcher. The broken glass bottles from the murder scene were sent to the North West Forensic Science Laboratory at Preston, where they were carefully reassembled using a tube of glue. Smith’s house was searched and microscopic particles of glass (recovered using a modified vacuum cleaner) were found on Smith’s clothing and also down the sides of a settee. The tiny fragments of glass recovered from Smith’s home fitted perfectly into the reassembled bottles from the murder scene.

The 26-year-old father of two, who worked as a £15-per-week rubber moulder at Failsworth, went on trial for Mrs Cross’s murder on 15th October 1962. The hearing lasted three days and it took the jury just 20 minutes to find him guilty. This verdict automatically resulted in him being sentenced to  death on 17th October 1962, because under the terms of the Homicide Act 1957 killing in the course or furtherance of theft or robbery was a capital offence.

Smith was subsequently hanged on the gallows at Strangeways prison, on the morning of Wednesday, 28th November 1962. The executioners were Harry Allen and his assistant. A few hours later, on the same day that he was executed, Smith’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in Manchester prison cemetery. This practice was standard procedure because bodies of executed prisoners were regarded as property of the British government, and therefore remained in the custody of the prison where they had been executed. Because the prison cemetery was located inside the prison walls, there was no access for the general public. Smith’s body remained in the prison cemetery until many years later when (in 1991 and again in 1993) the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed, cremated and the ashes interred in plots C2710 and C2711 at Blackley Cemetery, Manchester.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Erin Richards (33), Paul Whitehouse (61), Megan Fox (33), Pierce Brosnan (66), David Boreanaz (50), Danny Trejo (75), Stephen Mangan (51), Janet Jackson (53), Cate Blanchett (50), Tim Roth (58), Francesca Annis (74), George Lucas (75), Danny Huston (57), Martine McCutcheon (43), Greg Davies (51), Siân Phillips (86), Robert Pattinson (33), Samantha Morton (42), Harvey Keitel (80), Dennis Rodman (58), Iwan Rheon (34), Mark Heap (62), Zoë Wanamaker (70), Stephen Colbert (55), Stevie Wonder (69), Malin Akerman (41), Rami Malek (38), Emilio Estevez (57), Gabriel Byrne (69), Jason Biggs (41), Catherine Tate (51), Ving Rhames (60), Stephen Baldwin (53), Jeffrey Donovan (52), Tim Blake Nelson (56), Pam Ferris (72), and Holly Valance (37). 


Dead Pool 10th May 2020

Welcome all, surprisingly no points to award this week, even with the demise of the Grandfather of Rock’n’Roll and a man who was mauled by a tiger. Is it worth sending out the flying monkeys? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Brian May has been hospitalised after “ripping his Gluteus Maximus to shreds” in a mystery gardening accident, he has revealed. The Queen guitarist shared to Instagram an image of himself wearing a face mask, before clarifying to fans that he hadn’t experienced anything coronavirus-related. “The Virus didn’t get me yet – thank God,” the 72-year-old wrote in his caption. “I managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening. So suddenly I find myself in a hospital getting scanned to find out exactly how much I’ve actually damaged myself. He continued: “Turns out I did a thorough job – this is a couple of days ago – and I won’t be able to walk for a while … or sleep, without a lot of assistance, because the pain is relentless.” May did not specify what had occurred in his garden that had led to his injuries. May said that he was sent home after being looked at by doctors, and that he was asked to “go dark for a while” and “get some complete rest”. He added that he didn’t need sympathy, but rather some “healing silence for a while”. May, who is also an astrophysicist, said in April that he believed coronavirus was caused by too many people eating meat. “I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species,” he said.   

Radio 1Xtra DJ Yasmin Evans was hospitalised following her brutal involvement on Channel 4 reality show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. The 29-year-old watched her toenails turn black and her feet bleed after she caught trench foot following her involvement on the show. Yasmin – who was booted from the armed forces themed reality show on Monday night – was physically ravaged by the intense trials she was put though, and her feet were infected after enduring tasks that left her drenched in rain and water. After filming the show in the Scottish wilds, Yasmin was rushed to hospital and says she couldn’t walk for days as her feet swelled up and were left seeping. She explained how she began to feel unwell while taking part in a task on the show – and gave a graphic description of the effect on her body. She said: “I looked down at my feet and I just thought, ‘This is not OK’. My toenails were almost hanging off.” “I really suffered from having two major infections in my feet,” she said – revealing she was diagnosed with trench foot, an infection that was prevalent among soldiers in World War I after they were left standing around in waterlogged trenches. She explained: “Your socks are constantly wet. It’s a World War injury. The boots are really hard. Basically my toenail was black and one of them was split in the middle and was constantly bleeding.” She also said she would do the show again – but: “I would rip off my toenails before I went in there. They’re going to fall out anyway.” What a trooper!  

A woman was killed by an alligator as she attempted to touch the animal after spotting it in a nearby pond, authorities have said. Cynthia Covert, 58, was at her friend’s home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, painting her nails. According to the police report, the friend said Ms Covert was “very talkative and strange”. “She was very relaxed and excited that her boyfriend was coming from Tennessee to visit,” the friend said. Ms Covert had one glass of wine during the interaction but the friend did not know if she was on other substances. After doing the woman’s nails, Ms Covert reportedly spotted the alligator in the pond and was “fascinated” by the animal. Ms Covert walked over to the pond and started taking pictures of the animal, at which point the friend warned about how she saw a deer getting attacked by the alligator at that same location. “I don’t look like a deer.” Ms Covert responded before she reportedly reached out to touch the animal. It then attacked and grabbed the woman’s leg, pulling her into the water. “I guess I won’t do this again,” Ms Covert was heard saying after the alligator grabbed her, according to the police report. The friend’s husband and a nearby neighbour ran out and attempted to pull Ms Covert back to shore by tossing her a rope. But then the alligator rolled over onto Ms Covert and she disappeared into the water. Deputies and firefighters arrived on the scene and searched for Ms Covert for 10 to 15 minutes before her body resurfaced. But the alligator was still holding onto the woman’s leg. A deputy shot at the animal with a 9 mm handgun so it would release the woman’s leg. The alligator was shot several times before it died. Ms Covert’s leg was severely damaged after her body was brought to shore, but it was determined by the Charleston County Coroner’s office she died by drowning. She is the third person to die in the state from an alligator encounter, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.    

The Newly Infected

  • Piers Morgan said he would not host Good Morning Britain on Monday 4th May because he was presenting mild symptoms of coronavirus. Turns out he tested negative, no surprise for such a cry baby. 

On This Day

  • 1849 – Astor Place Riot: A riot breaks out at the Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City over a dispute between actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, killing at least 22 and injuring over 120. 
  • 1908 – Mother’s Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia. Billions of flowering plants have died for the cause.  
  • 1941 – World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.  
  • 1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.  
  • 1962 – Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk.  
  • 1967 – The Northrop M2-F2 crashes on landing, becoming the inspiration for the novel Cyborg and TV series The Six Million Dollar Man.  
  • 1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan.

Deaths

Last Meals

Liberace was an American pianist, singer and actor. ultimately becoming better known for his lavish lifestyle and extravagant wardrobe than for his not-inconsiderable prowess on the keyboard. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, however in 1987 Liberace — whose real name was Władziu Valentino Liberace — passed away at the age of 67. 

A devout Roman Catholic to the end, he had a priest administer the last rites to him the day before his death. His death was initially attributed variously to anaemia (due to a diet of watermelon), emphysema, and heart disease, the last of which was attested to by Liberace’s personal physician, Dr. Ronald Daniels. However, the Riverside County coroner – against the advice of Dr. Daniels – performed an autopsy and later stated that “a deliberate attempt” had been made to hide the actual cause of Liberace’s death by his doctors, his manager, and Liberace’s entire immediate family. The post mortem discovered that Liberace had emphysema and coronary artery disease from years of chain smoking, but the real cause was pneumonia due to complications from AIDS. Liberace was secretly diagnosed HIV positive in August 1985 by his private physician in Las Vegas, 18 months before his death. 

Gladys Luckie was arguably one of the people who knew him best, working for the entertainer for 40 years in a loosely defined role Liberace jokingly described as “a second mother.” Following Liberace’s death, Luckie told the Las Vegas Sun about Liberace’s final days, recalling that few weeks before his death that she thought his condition was improving “because he was eating so well.”

On his final day, Luckie served him a porridge-like breakfast cereal that was a Liberace favourite. “That last day I made him Cream of Wheat. He gave me a smile and a wink,” she told the newspaper. “And that was the last thing. He died.” According to Luckie, Liberace “always said I was the only one who made Cream of Wheat the way he liked it — with sugar and lots of butter.” 

Liberace was said to be worth over $110 million at the time of his death, and to have bequeathed $88 million to the Liberace Foundation. Only in 2015 did Liberace Foundation Chairman Jonathan Warren reveal in a lecture at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas that these figures were all part of the showmanship of Liberace, and that the real figures were closer to one tenth those amounts. Liberace’s body is entombed with those of his mother and brother, at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Maureen Lipman (73), Marion Ramsey (72), Rosario Dawson (40), Glenda Jackson (83), Billy Joel (70), Alan Bennett (85), Matthew Kelly (69), Stephen Amell (38), David Attenborough (93), Enrique Iglesias (44), Alexander Ludwig (27), Richard O’Sullivan (75), Naomi Scott (26), Adrianne Palicki (36), George Clooney (58), Henry Cavill (37), Zach McGowan (40), John Rhys-Davies (76), Lance Henriksen (80), Richard E. Grant (63), Michael Palin (77), and Will Arnett (50).


Dead Pool 3rd May 2020

Sadly we have points to hand out this week, with the death of the pioneering actress Jill Gascoine I can award Louise, Paul & Ashley 67 points each, and a special well done to Abi who had her listed as her Woman, so 167 points! Well done all. This has changed the leader board somewhat as we now have a new pooler in pole position.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Sir Michael Palin was saved by an elderly neighbour after accidentally starting a fire in his home while recovering from surgery, he has claimed. The Monty Python star says he was relaxing after having open-heart surgery in September when he blew some kitchen roll into a naked flame while doing his breathing exercises. “I leapt up and grasped a hand towel, which briefly smothered the flames before itself catching alight,” Palin said. “In some alarm now, as flames licked up towards the ceiling, I dialled the emergency services – but the moment we connected, the smoke alarm went off and I couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Palin continued: “I just caught something about washing my hands which made me realise that, without my glasses on, I’d rung 111 instead of 999. But I washed my hands anyway, and by a fantastic stroke of luck, the loose tap that we never had fixed finally came apart, dousing the ceiling and partially extinguishing the fire.” His 86-year-old neighbour broke into his house via a window and saved him, he claims. Palin notes that the neighbour had also had heart surgery the week before, adding: ”Thank God he’d been told to take it easy, otherwise he’d have been out playing golf and my house would have been a write-off.” Palin underwent open-heart surgery to fix his mitral valve, a small flap that prevents blood from flowing in the wrong direction around the heart.  

Sopranos and Bad Boys actor Joe Pantoliano is recovering from “a severe head injury” after being hit by a car. The actor, who also played Cypher in 1999 film The Matrix , was taking a walk with his family in Connecticut when a Porsche ran into him after avoiding a collision with another car. Pantoliano’s wife Nancy said that he was “sent flying a couple feet backwards”. He was rushed to hospital, but is now recovering from the head injury and “some chest trauma” at home. His family shared a photo of the actor and his head injury on Instagram, writing: “Joey is home recovering. He has a severe head injury and some chest trauma. He is going to be dark for a couple days while recovering. “Thank you for all the well wishes and positive vibes. Keep them coming! We’ll reading them to him to help him get better!” 

James Corden has reached out to fans to reveal that he has undergone minor surgery and won’t be able to film his show whilst he recovers. Taking to Twitter, the ‘star’ told his nearly 11 million deluded followers: “Hey all. I had to have minor surgery on my eye yesterday. I am doing well and recovering, but won’t be able to film new episodes for a few nights.” He added: “Thank you to everyone who has been watching the Late Late Shows from my garage. I’ll be back soon. Stay safe and well everybody. X.” Last month, the annoying cunt was close to tears as he admitted that the global pandemic had left him feeling “anxious and sad” and he wasn’t finding it easy to adjust. Speaking from his garage, where he has been filming his show, the 41-year-old told viewers: “I’ve found it tougher than I ever thought I would. I’ve found myself having these incredible spikes of anxiety and sadness when I’ve allowed myself to think about my family back home in England, or my friends or the people I love.” He then added that he’s realised it’s “OK” to feel such emotions. “It’s all right to feel a bit sad,” he said. “It’s OK to feel anxious, and the best thing we can all do is try and breathe through that and try and put our minds in a positive place.” Toughen up Tinkerbell, this rollercoaster has only just begun! 

The Newly Infected

  • Andy Murray: has revealed that he believes he contracted coronavirus before the UK went into lockdown. 
  • Madonna: revealed that she has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. 
  • Mikhail Mishustin: The Russian Prime Minister said that he has been tested positive, becoming the highest-ranking Russian official known to have gotten infected. 
  • J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter author revealed on Twitter that she had symptoms of the coronavirus but never got tested.

On This Day

  • 1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States. 
  • 2000 – The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet. 
  • 2007 – The 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann disappears in Praia da Luz, Portugal, starting “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history”. Kate and Gerry McCann were never arrested. 

Deaths

  • 1972 – Bruce Cabot, American actor (b. 1904) 
  • 2003 – Suzy Parker, American model and actress (b. 1932)
  • 2011 – Jackie Cooper, American actor, director, producer and executive (b. 1922)  

Last Meals

John Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian is known mainly for his work in Hollywood films. Candy rose to fame through his appearances in such comedy films as Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, Summer Rental, Home Alone, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, and Uncle Buck, as well as more dramatic roles in Only the Lonely and JFK. One of his most renowned onscreen performances was as Del Griffith, the talkative shower-curtain ring salesman in the John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

On March 3rd 1994, the comic actor was in Durango, Mexico, working on the movie “Wagons East.” His final movie, was his least enjoyable experience in film. Richard Lewis, who worked with him on the movie, said he was so much fun and so funny, but when he looked at him, he looked so tired. Although Candy complained about the 90-degree heat, he shot a series of exhausting action shots until 10 p.m. He then retired to his room and ordered Mexican spaghetti — pasta with a salsa-based sauce. 

He ate alone and told his bodyguard he planned to shower and go to sleep. The next morning around 8 a.m., Candy’s body was found in bed, clad in a long red-and-black nightshirt. The body remained in bed until 4 p.m., until four strong men could be found to carry the overweight actor to an ambulance. There was no sign of drugs, alcohol or foul play, and a doctor declared the cause of death a heart attack. The exact cause is uncertain, as no autopsy was performed however he was a heavy smoker, obese and had history of cocaine use. Wagons East was completed using a stunt double and special effects and released five months after Candy’s death. He was 43 years old.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Christina Hendricks (44), Rob Brydon (54), Sandi Toksvig (61), Dwayne Johnson (47), Ellie Kemper (39), Matt Berry (45), David Suchet (73), David Beckham (44), Lily Allen (34), Jamie Dornan (37), Julie Benz (47), Joanna Lumley (73), Una Stubbs (82), Sam Heughan (39), Kirsten Dunst (37), Gal Gadot (34), Burt Young (79), Daniel Day-Lewis (62), Michelle Pfeiffer (61), Uma Thurman (49), Kate Mulgrew (64), Jerry Seinfeld (65), Willie Nelson (86), Anita Dobson (70), Jessica Alba (39), Ann-Margret (79), Penélope Cruz (46), Jay Leno (70), and Sheena Easton (61).


Dead Pool 26th April 2020

Yay, a viable cure to the virus has been found, just inject 300mm of Domestos up your arse for a cough free poo! Extra points if you leave said white poos in the park for kids to play with, like we all used to back in the 80’s. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The South Korean government says it is investigating reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is in a “fragile” condition after undergoing an unspecified surgical operation. Officials from the South Korean intelligence services said they were looking into a CNN report that said the North’s leader was “in grave danger”, citing unnamed US intelligence sources. An earlier report by Seoul-based news outlet Daily NK said Mr Kim was staying at a countryside villa outside Pyongyang while he recovered from heart surgery, and that his condition was improving. The South’s Unification Ministry, which handles affairs relating to North Korea, said it could not confirm either report but was investigating the matter. But a government source told the Yonhap news agency that South Korea was yet to see any “unusual signs” coming from the North regarding Mr Kim’s health condition. Speculation about the state of Mr Kim’s health has grown since he was conspicuously absent from events on 15 April commemorating the birth of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, the founder of the nation. The date is a national holiday and one of the most important in the North Korean calendar. Dozens of top officials attended a flamboyant military parade at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Kim Il-sung’s mausoleum, but Mr Kim was nowhere to be seen. His absence from the 15 April events led to speculation at the time that he might be attempting to distance his own rule from the legacy of his grandfather – or perhaps that he had been struck down with coronavirus. North Korea has officially declared zero Covid-19 cases, a claim met with scepticism by experts. It is not the first time Mr Kim’s health has been a matter of speculation. In 2014, he disappeared from the public eye for more than a month – and then was pictured using a cane on his return. South Korea’s spy agency said he had undergone an operation to remove a cyst from his foot.      

Tom Hanks has detailed what it was like being in hospital with coronavirus. The actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19 in March. They were in Australia at the time, where Hanks was filming Baz Luhrmann’s biopic on Elvis Presley. Speaking on The National Defense Radio Show, Hanks said he had “bad body aches and was very fatigued”, and he was exhausted after just a 12 minutes of exercise; dunno about you, but I’d be exhausted  under normal conditions… “I was wiped” he said. “Whoever it was, a doctor or nurse, would come into our air pressurised isolation rooms. She said, ‘How are you feeling?’ and I said, ‘I just had the weirdest thing. I just tried to do basic stretches and exercises on the floor and I couldn’t even get halfway through.’ “And she looked at me through her glasses like she was talking to the dumbest human being. And she said, ‘You have COVID-19.’” Discussing the differences between his and Wilson’s symptoms, Hanks added: “Rita went through a tougher time than I did. She had a much higher fever. She had lost her sense of taste and sense of smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks.” He said at one point, Wilson “was so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities”. The couple have recovered and returned back home to Los Angeles. Having been told they are now immune from the virus, Hanks and Wilson have donated their blood as part of a study to see whether their antibodies can help develop a vaccine.  

Peter Kay fans have expressed their concerns for the comedian after his first TV appearance in two years. The beloved  standup was introducing a new version of his charity single “Amarillo” as part of the BBC’s Big Night In on Thursday evening. Kay, who has stayed out of the public eye since the final episode of his sitcom Car Share in 2018, was shown sat in the sunshine wearing glasses and a hat and eating an ice lolly. However, while many heralded the comic’s return to TV screens, they also expressed their concern for his health. “GREAT to see Peter Kay make an appearance on our screens tonight” said one user. “Poor bloke didn’t look or sound well, but still able to maintain his comedic heart licking on a solero! Hope whatever he’s going through he comes through the other end. Truly one of a kind.” “Great to see Peter Kay, although the legend is obviously far from 100 per cent. Whatever he’s battling, I and I’m sure the rest of the country wish him to get well very soon!” added another fan. “Hope Peter Kay gets through whatever he’s going through. The world’s a better place with him in it” said someone else. The 46-year-old cancelled his long-awaited UK and Ireland last year citing “unforeseen circumstances”. Other’s watching Big Night In praised how Kay had not lost touch with normal people, emphasising that some people cannot afford a charity donation. “Peter Kay ‘if you can give something, good, if you can’t then don’t worry, you’ve enough on your minds’” said one fan quoting the standup. “It is very nice to see a celeb who hasn’t lost touch with the ordinary people”.  

The odds of being struck and killed by a meteorite are said to be as low as one in 250,000. There has been no credible and well-documented evidence of any human being befalling this unfortunate fate. But researchers now say they have found three separate official papers describing a fatal encounter with an extra-terrestrial object more than 130 years ago. At around 8.30pm on 22 August, 1888, a fireball was seen in the sky shortly before a shower of meteorite pieces fell “like rain” on a village in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, then part of the Ottoman Empire. One man died after being struck, while a second was left paralysed, according to the manuscripts stored in Turkish government archives. The event appears to have been confirmed by a report to the sultan, Abdul Hamid II. “Due to the fact that these documents are from official government sources and written by the local authorities… we do not have any suspicion on their reality,” the researchers say in an academic paper describing their findings. They say it is the “first proof of an event ever of an event that a meteorite hit and killed a man”. If accepted as sufficiently verified, it would also become the earliest documented incident of a meteor hitting a person. Previously that notoriety was held by the Sylacauga meteorite, which struck Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges as she slept on a sofa in a farmhouse in Alabama, USA, in November 1954. Hodges was bruised by the fragment, which appears to have bounced off a radio set before hitting her leg, but survived. Other less well-documented contenders include a report said to date back to 1677, when a friar was supposedly hit and killed by a sulphurous “stone from the clouds” which lodged in his thigh.

The Newly Infected

Well, who’d have thought it. Barely three weeks into this new section and no new celebrities have admitted to having caught the virus. Does this mean we have reached peak infection around the world? I doubt it…. 

On This Day

  • 1865 – Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia.  
  • 1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.  
  • 1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union, creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster.  
  • 1989 – The deadliest known tornado strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.

Deaths

  • 1865 – John Wilkes Booth, American actor, assassin of Abraham Lincoln (b. 1838) 
  • 1970 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, striptease dancer, and writer (b. 1911)  
  • 1976 – Sid James, South African-English actor (b. 1913)  
  • 1989 – Lucille Ball, American model, actress, comedian, and producer (b. 1911)  
  • 1999 – Jill Dando, English journalist and television personality (b. 1961)  
  • 2017 – Jonathan Demme, American filmmaker, producer and screenwriter (b. 1944)

Last Meals

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as the chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then as Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1st September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust. 

Since we all know the mans history we’ll only cover his last moments. With The War coming to an end with the Allies capturing Berlin, Hitler was holed up in his Führerbunker, still giving out orders to his armies and arrest warrants for the colleagues who had deserted him. After midnight on the night of 28-29th April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in the bunker. Later that afternoon, Hitler was informed that Mussolini had been executed.  By April 30th, 1945, he finally realised he had lost the war.  

The German dictator’s last meal was eaten holed up in his bunker, he ate spaghetti with “light sauce” (although some biographers say he had lasagna). Hitler wanted a simple meal without any mention of the fall of Berlin, so the conversation consisted of dog breeding methods and “how lipstick was made from sewer grease.” Shortly after the meal, Hitler and Eva Braun, whom he had married less than 40 hours earlier, went into a private room and took their own lives. Hitler shot himself in the head and Braun bit into a cyanide capsule. Their bodies were carried outside to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were placed in a bomb crater, doused with petrol, and set on fire as the Red Army shelling continued. 

Records in the Soviet archives obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union state that the remains of Hitler, Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the six Goebbels children, General Hans Krebs, and Hitler’s dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed. On 4th April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg. The remains from the boxes were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the Elbe. The corpses of Braun and Hitler were fully burned when the Red Army found them, and only a lower jaw with dental work could be identified as Hitler’s remains.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Channing Tatum (39), Giancarlo Esposito (61), Pablo Schreiber (41), Jet Li (56), Joan Chen (58), Kevin James (54), Melania Trump (49), Al Pacino (79), Renée Zellweger (50), Hank Azaria (55), Gina Torres (50), Talia Shire (73), William Roache (87), Rory McCann (50), Aidan Gillen (51), Kelly Clarkson (37), Barbra Streisand (77), Djimon Hounsou (55), Shirley MacLaine (85), Dev Patel (29), John Cena (42), John Oliver (42), Gemma Whelan (38), John Hannah (57), Lee Majors (80), Michael Moore (65), Blair Brown (73), Amber Heard (33), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (53), Jack Nicholson (82), Michelle Ryan (35), Sheryl Lee (52), John Waters (73), James McAvoy (41), Toby Stephens (51), Andie MacDowell (62), Tony Danza (69), Iggy Pop (73), Queen Elizabeth II (94), Andy Serkis (56), Jessica Lange (71), Ryan O’Neal (79), Clint Howard (61), Veronica Cartwright (71), Carmen Electra (48), Ruth Connell (41), George Takei (83), Leslie Phillips (96), Nicholas Lyndhurst (59), and Michael Brandon (75).


Dead Pool 19th April 2020

Last week we saw three Doctors of the Who variety have their birthdays and a few well loved celebrities meeting their makers. I was due to work with Tim Brooke-Taylor next month, but along with all kinds of events it was cancelled due to the virus, sadly now that particular event will never be rescheduled. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Chadwick Bosemen’s appearance in a recent Instagram video has left fans concerned about the Avengers star. The actor, who plays the Black Panther, showcased a much slimmer physique as he shared a charity message about a new initiative to help battle the current coronavirus pandemic. Fans immediately flocked to the comments to note the change in how Chadwick, 42, appeared on screen as he rocked a purple cap and displayed a slightly scruffy beard. One fan asked, ‘Did you loose weight for a movie role ?????’ before another wrote: ‘Anyone in shock by how he look?’ While another concerned fan added: ‘I hope your okay, your appearance has changed.’ Chadwick’s weight loss may be down to his latest role in the TV series The Black Child, based on the book of the same name in which he plays a slave.   

Gogglebox star Jonathan Tapper was left “fighting for his life” as he battled coronavirus, his wife has revealed. The patriarch of the Tapper family, who appeared on the series for five years, struggled to breathe and was unable to move after being struck by the illness. Jonathan’s wife Nikki said: “One night Jonathan came home from work and was unable to move. He had a cough and high temperature. He laid down on the sofa and – with no exaggeration – he stayed there for two weeks in our lounge room.” She continued: “We tended to him as best we could, but at times he seemed unable to breathe. Having spoken to the doctors, they urged us to stay home, but they said to quickly get an oxygen monitor, which fixed to his finger.” 52-year-old Jonathan was particularly at risk for coronavirus due to his age, as well as underlying health conditions. In 2019, he lost three stone in 12 weeks to combat a diagnosis of diabetes. Two weeks after first coming down with the illness, Jonathan is said to still be resting, and his health is improving.  

Broadway star Nick Cordero is to have his leg amputated after suffering complications from coronavirus, his wife has confirmed. Yesterday, Cordero’s wife Amanda Kloots explained on her Instagram Story that she and her husband had received “difficult news”. She said that blood thinners doctors were using to help clotting in Cordero’s leg had sparked internal bleeding in his intestines. “We took him off blood thinners but that again was going to cause some clotting in the right leg, so the right leg will be amputated today,” Kloots said. The actor, who is best known for his work in Broadway productions of Waitress and Bullets Over Broadway, was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, before testing positive for coronavirus. While being treated in intensive care for a lung infection and fever, which caused a dangerous drop in blood pressure, he was placed on life support. He has remained unconscious in recovery since. 

A pensioner who was given a surprise flight in a £70million fighter jet as a retirement present was flung out at 2500ft after grabbing the ejector seat handle to  ‘steady himself’. The astonishing drama is outlined in a newly released report by French aviation investigators who have stern words for their country’s Airforce and government throughout. At times, it reads like a dark comedy film script, as it describes how the unidentified 64-year-old panicked and screamed with fear during his first flight in the Rafale-B which took off from Saint-Dizier airforce base, in north-west France last March. Then he shot out at high speed, losing his helmet that had not been fastened round his chin properly, before landing in a field close to the German border. His anti-g force suit, worn by aviators who are subject to high acceleration forces and designed to prevent a blackout, had also become loose around the trousers. It was only through good fortune that the pilot was not ejected by his passenger’s actions too – which could have led to a very serious crash. The pensioner had ‘never expressed a desire to take part in a flight like this, and especially not in a Rafale,’ reads the report by the Paris-based BEA (Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis). Despite this, his colleagues at the defence contractor where he had worked for most of his career set up the flight. ‘The need to keep the surprise until the moment of the flight,’ had hugely risky consequences, especially as regards ‘preparation for the flight,’ reads the report. It continues: ‘This situation generated a feeling of stress for the passenger, and this was particularly felt during the ejection seat briefing where he had to assimilate a large amount of information in a very short time. ‘The passenger said he had a complete lack of knowledge of the aeronautical environment and its constraints, having never flown  on a military aircraft.’ Four of the pensioner’s colleagues had turned up with a professional photographer, and they placed a Go-Pro camera on their friend’s helmet to film the afternoon flight. ‘Faced with a fait accompli on the day of the flight, it was very difficult for him to refuse to participate in the flight,’ says the report. The flight had also been authorised by the French Air Force staff at the request of the Defence Ministry, which also piled pressure on the pensioner. The pensioner, had expected a gentle ascent, but the plane ‘climbed at 47 degrees’, compared to around 10 to 15 degrees for a standard passenger plane. This was when the Frenchman reached out to hang on to anything he could, and pulled the ejector handle. There was then a loud bang, with the force of the ejection tearing his unsecured mask and oxygen mask from his face. The Rafele-B’s command ejection system is meant to fire both seats at once – meaning the pilot feared his seat would fly out at any moment. Analysis of radio recordings show that the pilot was in control of the situation. Once informed that his passenger had ejected, the pilot realises that he should have been ejected too. ‘He then demonstrated a certain calm following the loss of the rear seat and the canopy.’ The pensioner managed to land with the use of his parachute and ended up in a field, shocked and with minor injuries. 

The Newly Infected

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff: says coronavirus-like symptoms caused him to forget 10 days of his life.  
  • John Taylor: Duran Duran’s bassist, tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago. 
  • Danny Burstein: The Moulin Rouge! star admitted to “coughing up blood for two to three days,” before being going to hospital.
  • Sam Smith: Despite never getting tested, the Grammy-winner is convinced that it had coronavirus.
  • Kalie Shorr: The country music singer has been diagnosed with coronavirus, despite being in quarantine for three weeks. 
  • Sinitta: The singer said she felt like she’d ‘swallowed a packet of razor blades’ after contracting the virus.

On This Day

  • 1770 – Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia. 
  • 1927 – Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.  
  • 1943 – Albert Hofmann deliberately doses himself with LSD for the first time, three days after having discovered its effects.  
  • 1971 – Charles Manson is sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) for conspiracy in the Tate–LaBianca murders.  
  • 1987 – The Simpsons first appear as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, first starting with Good Night.  
  • 1993 – The 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building in Waco, Texas, USA, ends when a fire breaks out. 76 Davidian’s, including eighteen children under the age of ten, died in the fire.

Deaths

  • 1824 – Lord Byron, English-Scottish poet and playwright (b. 1788)  
  • 1881 – Benjamin Disraeli, English journalist and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1804) 
  • 1882 – Charles Darwin, English biologist and theorist (b. 1809)  
  • 1906 – Pierre Curie, French physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1859)  
  • 1989 – Daphne du Maurier, English novelist and playwright (b. 1907)  
  • 1992 – Frankie Howerd, English actor and screenwriter (b. 1917)  
  • 2004 – Norris McWhirter, English author and activist co-founded the Guinness World Records (b. 1925)

Last Meals

Peter Kürten was a German serial killer known as “The Vampire of Düsseldorf” and the “Düsseldorf Monster“. He committed a series of murders and sexual assaults between February and November 1929 in the city of Düsseldorf. In the years before these assaults and murders, Kürten had amassed a lengthy criminal record for offences including arson and attempted murder. He also confessed to the 1913 murders of a nine-year-old girl in Mülheim am Rhein and a 17-year-old girl in Düsseldorf. Described as “the king of the sexual perverts,” Kürten was found guilty of nine counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder for which he was sentenced to death by beheading in April 1931. He was executed in July 1931 at age 48. Kürten became known as the “Vampire of Düsseldorf” because he occasionally made attempts to drink the blood from his victims’ wounds, and the “Düsseldorf Monster” both because the majority of his murders were committed in and around the city of Düsseldorf, and the savagery he inflicted upon his victims’ bodies.  

On the evening of 1st July 1931, Kürten received his last meal. He ordered Wiener Schnitzel, a bottle of white wine, and fried potatoes. Kürten devoured the entire meal before requesting a second helping. Prison staff decided to grant his request. At 6 o’clock on the morning of 2nd July, Peter Kürten was beheaded by guillotine in the grounds of Klingelputz Prison, Cologne. He walked unassisted to the guillotine, flanked by the prison psychiatrist and a priest. Shortly before his head was placed on the guillotine, Kürten turned to the psychiatrist and asked the question: “Tell me…  after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood  gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.” When asked whether he had any last words to say, Kürten simply smiled and replied, “No.” 

Following Kürten’s 1931 execution, his head was bisected and mummified; the brain was removed and subjected to forensic analysis in an attempt to explain his personality and behaviour. The examinations of Kürten’s brain revealed no abnormalities. Shortly after World War II, Kürten’s head was transported to the United States. It is currently on display at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Hayden Christensen (38), James Franco (41), Tim Curry (73),  Kate Hudson (40), Maria Sharapova (32), David Tennant (48), Hayley Mills (73), Edgar Wright (45), Rick Moranis (66), Eli Roth (47), James Woods (72), Conan O’Brien (56), Rooney Mara (35), Sean Bean (61), Jennifer Garner (48), David Bradley (78), Victoria Beckham (46), Claire Foy (36), Martin Lawrence (55), Ellen Barkin (66), Emma Watson (30), Luke Evans (41), Seth Rogen (38), Emma Thompson (61), Maisie Williams (23), Samantha Fox (54), Sarah Michelle Gellar (43), Adrien Brody (47), Robert Carlyle (59), Julie Christie (80), Peter Capaldi (62), Ron Perlman (70), William Sadler (70), Erick Avari (68), Edward Fox (83), and Peter Davison (69).


Dead Pool 12th April 2020

We have a winner! With the sad passing of Sir Stirling Moss, Ashley has scored 60 points! Well done that man! I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the overriding news of the week is this rather nasty flu that’s going around! Apparently it’s killing off thousands of people a day, barely any celebrities though… Even Boris is getting better :/ 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News 

Promoter Barry Hearn is recovering after suffering a minor heart attack, his son and fellow promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed. Hearn is the chairman of Matchroom Sport, World Snooker and professional darts organisation PDC. His son, who leads Matchroom Boxing, confirmed the news with a tribute to the NHS and an update on his father’s health. He wrote: “As if we can’t thank the NHS enough, I want to particularly thank the staff at Broomfield and Basildon. “My dad Barry Hearn was taken to hospital on Sunday after a minor heart attack and was operated on yesterday. He is up and well and returns home today in good spirits! Thank you.” Hearn has been active on Twitter despite recovering in hospital, even reaching out to a fan to thank him for his fiancée’s work for the NHS.  

Jimmy Greaves spent a comfortable night in hospital on Tuesday and is awaiting the outcome of tests. Tottenham announced on Tuesday night that their record goalscorer, who turned 80 in February, was receiving treatment in hospital. Greaves suffered a severe stroke in May 2015, which left him wheelchair-bound. A statement on his Facebook page, run by his friend and agent Terry Baker, read: “I did promise a statement mid-morning today when I posted a statement last night. “All I can say is no news is good news at the moment. Jimmy has spoken to his wife Irene by phone. “During the course of the day he will be having tests and when we find out the results I will post them on here. So watch this space and have a good thought for Jimmy as you go about your current daily routine. “His problem isn’t coronavirus-related and doesn’t seem to be related to his previous illness. Hopefully he won’t be in hospital for too long. “Thanks for the 1000s of you showing concern. England’s greatest ever goalscorer is still with us and here’s hoping he’s home soon.” 

Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise and his daughter  have been hospitalised in Norway after being involved in a car accident in Norway in the early hours of the morning.  The 39-year-old was understood to be driving his 19-year-old daughter Ariana home to Alesund from Tonsberg in the middle of the night when he was forced to swerve in an effort to avoid something in the road, causing the vehicle to slide off the side-verge and into a guard rail. Police found the car stranded at the side of the road in Erstad, around five miles from Alesund, and both occupants were taken to hospital, though this is reported to have been a precautionary measure. Riise’s agent, Erland Bakke, confirmed the accident involved the former footballer and his daughter, and said that both were conscious as they were taken to hospital for medical checks. Police have confirmed that there is no suspicion of criminal circumstances. 

The Newly Infected

  • Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria: The 59-year-old has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now being quarantined. 
  • George Alagiah: The BBC newsreader confirmed he had tested positive for the virus but said he thought he had had a “mild dose”.  
  • Alister Jack: Scottish Secretary and member of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet has developed symptoms of COVID-19.   
  • Chris Whitty: England’s Chief Medical Officer announced he was in self-isolation at home after experiencing coronavirus symptoms.  
  • Sir Kenny Dalgish: The former Liverpool player and manager tested positive after being admitted to hospital.

On This Day

  • 1606 – The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships.  
  • 1934 – The strongest surface wind gust in the world at the time of 231 mph, is measured on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. It has since been surpassed.  
  • 1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President upon Roosevelt’s death.  
  • 1961 – The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, Vostok 1.   
  • 1981 – The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place: The STS-1 mission.

Deaths

Last Meals

Aileen Wuornos was an American serial killer and prostitute who murdered seven men in Florida in 1989 and 1990 by shooting them at point-blank range. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was servicing them, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was sentenced to death for six of the murders and was executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002. The 2003 film Monster chronicles Wuornos’ story from childhood until her first murder conviction. It stars Charlize Theron as Wuornos, a performance that earned Theron an Academy Award for Best Actress. Wuornos was incarcerated at the Florida Department of Corrections Broward Correctional Institution death row for women, then transferred to the Florida State Prison for execution. Her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied in 1996. In a 2001 petition to the Florida Supreme Court, she stated her intention to dismiss her legal counsel and terminate all pending appeals. “I killed those men,” she wrote, “robbed them as cold as ice. And I’d do it again, too. There’s no chance in keeping me alive or anything, because I’d kill again. I have hate crawling through my system…I am so sick of hearing this ‘she’s crazy’ stuff. I’ve been evaluated so many times. I’m competent, sane, and I’m trying to tell the truth. I’m one who seriously hates human life and would kill again.” While her attorneys argued that she was not  mentally competent to make such a request, Wuornos insisted that she knew what she was doing, and a court-appointed panel of psychiatrists agreed. Wuornos’s execution took place on October 9, 2002. She died at 9:47 a.m. EDT. She declined her last meal which could have been anything under $20 and opted for a cup of coffee instead. Her last words were, “Yes, I would just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back, like Independence Day, with Jesus. June 6, like the movie. Big mother ship and all, I’ll be back, I’ll be back.” She was the tenth woman in the United States and the second in Florida to be executed since the 1976 United States Supreme Court decision restoring capital punishment. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Saoirse Ronan (25), Claire Danes (40), Jennifer Morrison (40), Andy Garcia (63), Ed O’Neill (73), Shannen Doherty (48), David Letterman (72), Tricia Helfer (45), Matt Ryan (38), Jeremy Clarkson (59), Joss Stone (32), Jill Gascoine (82), Charlie Hunnam (39), Daisy Ridley (27), Haley Joel Osment (31), David Harbour (44), Steven Seagal (67), Peter MacNicol (65), Kristen Stewart (30), Elle Fanning (22), Dennis Quaid (66), Robin Wright (54), Patricia Arquette (52), Dean Norris (57), Jackie Chan (66), Russell Crowe (56), Francis Ford Coppola (81), Paul Rudd (51), John Ratzenberger (73), Michael Rooker (65), Zach Braff (45), and Billy Dee Williams (83).


Dead Pool 5th April 2020

Here we go again, yet more deathly news. Surprisingly, still no scoring even though the world is currently experiencing an apocalypse of sorts. Maybe we’ll see more deaths when the toilet roll runs out. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Celebrities have been criticised for “fanning the flames” of conspiracy theories linking 5G technology to coronavirus after several videos claiming to show 5G towers on fire emerged on social media. A Facebook page, which was created on Thursday, encouraged people to set fire to the towers due to baseless claims about the health risks posed by 5G technology, before the social media company took down the page on Friday morning. Amanda Holden, reality TV star Calum Best, Actor Woody Harrelson, Blue singer Lee Ryan and former Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner were among the celebrities who shared theories connecting 5G to the Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps it’s at times like these we should take the opportunity to thin the herd and relive us of the stupid to decrease the surplus population, or perhaps just remove the ‘Do not drink’ label on bottles of bleach and see what happens.  

Comedian Eddie Large, best known for being part of double act Little and Large, has died with a very dubious case of the coronavirus. The star, 78, was a well known face on TV in the 1970s and 80s and was famous for his partnership with Syd Little. His family confirmed the news “with great sadness” on Facebook, saying he had been suffering with heart failure and then contracted the virus in hospital. Little said he was “devastated” by the news. “He had been ill for a while but when it happens, it hits you,” he said. His death leaves us with the question, what finally killed off Eddie Large? The fact that his heart was fucked for a long time or catching the lurgy whilst in hospital? I doubt he was in hospital if he was able to do cartwheels down the corridors, so to publicise his death, they stuck the C-19 label on him. Large stepped away from the limelight when the Little & Large Show ended in 1991, after doctors told Large his heart couldn’t stand the rigours of the live show. “That phone call to Syd was the most painful I’ve ever had to make,” he told the Mirror in 2017. “I was crying my eyes out because I knew I was putting him out of work. He had bills to pay. “I felt horrible. We weren’t just a double act. We were mates, right from the start.” Large had a heart transplant in 2003, and became a spokesman for the British Heart Foundation. Little said he had remained in almost daily contact with his stage partner, and spoke to him on Wednesday night, shortly before he died. “He was in pain, bless him, but he even asked me how we were,” he said. “He was so thoughtful to everybody.”

The Newly Infected

  • Dominic Cummings: is self-isolating at home after showing symptoms Downing Street has confirmed.    
  • Dynamo: has revealed he has tested positive after experiencing “severe” symptoms. 
  • Ali Wentworth: said on April 1st that she’s “never been sicker” after testing positive. “High fever. Horrific body aches. Heavy chest. I’m quarantined from my family,” she said on Instagram. “This is pure misery.” 
  • Debi Mazar: took to Instagram to reveal that she tested positive for the disease. “I have just tested positive for Covid-19. I AM OK!” 
  • Indira Varma: appeared to confirm that she tested positive for coronavirus. The “Game of Thrones” and “Carnival Row” star said I’m in bed with it and it’s not nice. Stay safe and healthy and be kind to your fellow people.”  
  • Pink: announced she tested positive for coronavirus, in an Instagram post that criticised the US government’s handling of the crisis. 
  • Greta Thunberg: the teenage climate change activist, has revealed that she has self-isolated after showing coronavirus symptoms. 
  • Lee Mack: the comedian said on March 26th that he was self-isolating at home after developing symptoms. 
  • Paul Chuckle: is currently recovering from having contracted Covid-19. 
  • Robbie Williams: he believes he had coronavirus while he was self-isolating away from his family for three weeks.  
  • Marianne Faithfull: the singer, who also has pneumonia, is “stable and responding to treatment”, according to her agent.

On This Day

  • 1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.  
  • 1951 – Cold War: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for spying for the Soviet Union.  
  • 1998 – In Japan, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge opens to traffic, becoming the longest bridge span in the world.

Deaths

Last Meals

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens who were convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. The couple were accused of providing top-secret information about radar, sonar, jet propulsion engines, and valuable nuclear weapon designs; at that time the United States was the only country in the world with nuclear weapons. Convicted of espionage in 1951, they were executed by the federal government of the United States in 1953 in the Sing Sing correctional facility in Ossining, New York. 

The trial of the Rosenbergs on federal espionage charges began on March 6th, 1951. The prosecution’s primary witness, David Greenglass, said that he turned over to Julius Rosenberg a sketch of the cross-section of an implosion-type atom bomb. This was the “Fat Man” bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, as opposed to a bomb with the “gun method” triggering device used in the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Rosenbergs both remained defiant as the trial progressed. During testimony, they asserted their right under the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment not to incriminate themselves when asked about their involvement in the Communist Party or their activities with its members. On March 29th, 1951, the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage. They were sentenced to death on April 5th under Section 2 of the Espionage Act of 1917, which provides that anyone convicted of transmitting or attempting to transmit to a foreign government “information relating to the national defence” may be imprisoned for life or put to death. They were transferred to New York State’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, for execution. The execution was delayed from the originally scheduled date of June 18th, because Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas had granted a stay of execution on the previous day. The execution was scheduled for 11 p.m. that evening, during the Jewish Sabbath, which begins and ends around sunset. Their attorney asked for more time, filing a complaint that execution on the Sabbath offended the  defendants’ Jewish heritage. Rhoda Laks, another attorney on the Rosenbergs’ defence team, also made this argument before the Judge. The defence’s strategy backfired. The Judge, who also stated his concerns about executing the Rosenbergs on the Jewish Sabbath, rescheduled the execution for 8 p.m. before sunset and the Jewish Sabbath and before 11 p.m., the regular time for executions at Sing Sing, thus not allowing for the Rosenbergs time to have a last meal. 

Julius died after the first electric shock. Ethel’s execution did not go smoothly. After she was given the normal course of three electric shocks, attendants removed the strapping and other equipment only to have doctors determine that Ethel’s heart was still beating. Two more electric shocks were applied, and at the conclusion, eyewitnesses reported that smoke rose from her head. The Rosenbergs were the only two American civilians to be executed for espionage-related activity during the Cold War.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Lily James (30), Mitch Pileggi (67), Jane Asher (73), Agnetha Fältskog (69), Pharrell Williams (46), Robert Downey Jr. (54), Hugo Weaving (59), Natasha Lyonne (40), Cherie Lunghi (67), Xenia Seeberg (51), Amanda Bynes (34), Eddie Murphy (59), Alec Baldwin (62), Paris Jackson (22), Pedro Pascal (45), Michael Fassbender (43), Clark Gregg (58), Penelope Keith (80), Mackenzie Davis (33), Ali MacGraw (81), Michael Praed (60), Ewan McGregor (49), Christopher Walken (77), Rhea Perlman (72), Daniel Mays (42), Richard Chamberlain (86), Robbie Coltrane (70), Warren Beatty (83), Eric Clapton (75), and Céline Dion (52).


Dead Pool 29th March 2020

As the ongoing viral infection is taking over the news, I’d hoped not to have to mention it here, but alas that’s nigh on impossible. All news that isn’t Coronavirus related has been binned and anything and everything is now associated with said infection. This is the first week that I have noticed a rise in notable deaths from the virus, mainly celebrities in Spain and Italy and a few in America, however, since Trump is mishandling the situation more than Boris is, I suspect a few of us will be scoring quite soon. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

First the coronavirus outbreak shuttered entertainment venues and events around the world. And now it is starting to claim the lives of artists, entertainers and other celebrated figures. First to succumb is actor Mark Blum, known for roles in “‘Crocodile’ Dundee” and “Desperately Seeking Susan,” who died on March 25th from complications of COVID-19. He was 69. Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winning playwright, died on March 24th at the age of 81 of complications from the coronavirus. His works included “Master Class,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” which later became a film with Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. Italian actress Lucia Bosè, who starred in such films as Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Story of a Love Affair” (1950) and Juan Antonio Bardem’s “Death of a Cyclist” (1955), died on March 23rd of pneumonia after contracting COVID-19. She was 89. Chef Floyd Cardoz, winner of “Top Chef Masters” Season 3, died at the age of 59 of coronavirus complications on March 25th. I suspect this section of The Dead Pool to take over the newsletter, if I’m still here to write it… 

The Newly Infected

  • Boris Johnson: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he tested positive for coronavirus. In a video posted to Twitter Friday, the conservative leader said he was tested after showing mild symptoms, including a cough.
  • Harvey Weinstein: The 68-year-old former film producer tested positive for the coronavirus at a state prison in New York while serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault, the head of the state correctional officers union said March 23rd. 
  • Prince Charles: the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne tested positive for the coronavirus on March 25th. The 71-year-old is displaying mild symptoms “but otherwise remains in good health”. 
  • Rand Paul: The Republican of Kentucky is first United States senator to test positive for coronavirus. 
  • Matthew Hancock: Britain’s Health Secretary Matthew Hancock announced on March 27th he tested positive for the coronavirus. 
  • Alister Jack: Scottish Secretary and member of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet has developed symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Placido Domingo: On March 22nd, the Spanish opera singer said he had tested positive for coronavirus and had gone into self-isolation with his family.   
  • David Bryan: The Bon Jovi keyboardist announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 after feeling sick for a week.

On This Day

  • 845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.
  • 1886 – John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta.
  • 1974 – Terracotta Army was discovered in Shaanxi province, China.
  • 2014 – The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales are performed.

Deaths

  • 1891 – Georges Seurat, French painter (b. 1859)
  • 1972 – J. Arthur Rank, English businessman, founded Rank Organisation (b. 1888)
  • 1982 – Carl Orff, German composer and educator (b. 1895)

Last Meals

John Spenkelink was a convicted American murderer. He was executed in 1979, the first convicted criminal to be executed in Florida after capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Spenkelink was a drifter who was convicted in California for armed robbery and had been sentenced to five years-to-life. He had just escaped from the Slack Canyon Conservation Camp when he shot and killed a small-time criminal named Joseph Szymankiewicz in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1973. He claimed that he acted in self-defence —that Szymankiewicz had stolen his money, forced him to play Russian roulette, and sexually assaulted him. However, evidence and witness testimony from a co-defendant indicated that Spenkelink left their shared motel room, returned with a gun, and shot Szymankiewicz in the back. He turned down a plea bargain to second-degree murder that would have resulted in a life sentence. In 1976 he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. 

Spenkelink’s case became a national cause célèbre, encompassing both the broader debate over the morality of the death penalty and the narrower question of whether the  punishment fitted Spenkelink’s crime. His cause was taken up by former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, actor Alan Alda, and singer Joan Baez, among many others. Also at issue was the assertion that capital punishment discriminated against the poor and underprivileged — Spenkelink often signed his prison correspondence with the epigram, “capital punishment means those without capital get the punishment.” 

Prior to his execution Spenkelink split a flask of Jack Daniel’s whiskey with his prison superintendent. The execution was carried out on May 25th, 1979, on “Old Sparky”, the Florida State Prison electric chair. That morning, Doug Tracht, a popular Jacksonville disc jockey, aired a recording of sizzling bacon on his radio program and dedicated it to Spenkelink.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Ed Skrein (36), Marina Sirtis (64), Lucy Lawless (51), Brendan Gleeson (64), Christopher Lambert (62), Elle Macpherson (55), Eric Idle (76), Julia Stiles (38), Vince Vaughn (49), Orla Brady (51), Nick Frost (47), Lady Gaga (33), Dianne Wiest (71), Chris Barrie (59), Quentin Tarantino (56), Nathan Fillion (48), Julian Glover (84), Fergie (44), Mariah Carey (49), Jessie J (31), Keira Knightley (35), Jennifer Grey (60), James Caan (80), Martin Short (70), Diana Ross (76), Steven Tyler (72), Lee Pace (41), Sarah Jessica Parker (55), Elton John (73), Paul Michael Glaser (77), Richard O’Brien (78), Jessica Chastain (43), Alyson Hannigan (46), Lara Flynn Boyle (50), Jim Parsons (47), Kelly LeBrock (60), Mary Berry (85), Amanda Plummer (63), and Joanna Page (42).


Dead Pool 22nd March 2020

As the whole world is dying around us, or so we are led to believe, I still have no points to award you. However, to lighten things up a bit, Doug came up with an idea that I rather liked, so we’re going to go with it. If any of your listed die of COVID-19, you will get an extra 19 points! I don’t expect to be handing out many 19 point bundles, but who knows, this could be the end of times! Although, if this was the case Tom Hanks would have pegged it already? Perhaps it calls for a flight of evil monkeys?

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Mike Tyson has said that he is looking forward to his own death because “living might be more complicated than dying to me”. Tyson, 53, is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights in the history of boxing. He became the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF belts and later became the lineal champion. However, he has a controversial past and in 1992, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison. He was eventually released on parole after serving three years. Since his retirement from boxing he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and, reflecting on both his career and his life in an interview with The Sportsman, Tyson said that he does not fear death. “From my experience, from what I believe, the more I know about not existing, the more willing I am to die,” he said. “Yeah [I look forward to it], I don’t fear it. Living might be more complicated than dying to me… because living takes a lot of courage. “Without the courage, you can’t handle living. Living is a journey; living is a struggle. People have everything and they still can’t do it, they struggle. “We take ourselves too seriously; we think we’re somebody. Who the fuck, we’re nothing! We come from shit; we think we’re special [but] fame is shit. “You find out you’re not [special]. You’re capable of going to jail, you’re capable of dying, you’re capable of being mistreated. “I don’t really expect bad things to happen to me, but when they do happen to me, I understand it and I’m able to handle it. I’ve handled bad stuff before, that’s been my life. I don’t trip over bad things, I know shit happens. When bad things happen, I will be still striving to do something. I won’t be discouraged.” Good old Mike! 

The Notably Newly Infected

Prince Albert II of Monaco: The 62-year-old reigning monarch confirmed he had tested positive for the virus on Thursday. 

Michel Barnier: The European Union’s chief negotiator for its future relationship with Britain after Brexit. 

Idris Elba: The British actor confirmed he had contracted COVID-19 on Twitter on Tuesday 17th March. 

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal’s head coach tested positive for the coronavirus and self-isolated in line with government guidelines.  

Kristofer Hivju: Games of Thrones star Hivju, who played the wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane, self-isolated with his family after contracting the illness. 

Linda Lusardi: The actress and former model said she had “never felt this ill” after contracting the virus. 

Fiona Phillips: The former GMTV host said she had symptoms including a sore throat and dry cough but was “fine” and “not suffering”.

On This Day

  • 1906 – The first England vs France rugby union match is played at Parc des Princes in Paris. 
  • 1972 – In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decides that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives.  
  • 1978 – Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope suspended between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  
  • 1995 – Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov returns to earth after setting a record of 438 days in space.

Deaths

  • 1772 – John Canton, English physicist and academic (b. 1718)
  • 2001 – William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and voice actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (b. 1910) 
  • 2003 – Terry Lloyd, English journalist (b. 1952)

Last Meals

Oba Chandler was an American Serial Killer who was convicted and executed for the June 1989 murders of Joan Rogers and her two daughters, whose bodies were found floating in Tampa Bay, Florida, with their hands and feet bound. Autopsies showed the victims had been thrown into the water while still alive, with ropes tied to a concrete block around their necks. The case became high-profile in 1992 when local police posted billboards bearing enlarged images of the suspect’s handwriting recovered from a pamphlet in the victims’ car. Chandler was identified as the killer when his neighbour recognised the handwriting. This was the first use of billboards by law enforcement in the US. Billboards then became useful tools in searches for missing people. Against the advice of his attorneys, he testified in his own defence, saying he had met the Ohio women and had given them directions. Chandler said he never saw them again, except in newspaper coverage and on the billboards set up by authorities. Police originally theorised that two men were involved in the murders, but this was discounted once Chandler was arrested. Chandler was found guilty of the murders and was sentenced to death on November 4, 1994. He maintained his innocence and continued to pursue legal appeals while on Florida’s death row. During his seventeen years of incarceration until his execution, he was notable for not having a single visitor. On November 15, prior to his execution, Chandler requested two salami sandwiches on white bread with mustard, peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich on white bread, iced tea and coffee as his last meal. He was executed at 4:08 pm but declined to make a last statement before being injected but left a written statement with prison officials stating: “You are killing a innocent man today.” On February 25, 2014, investigators revealed that DNA evidence identified Chandler as the murderer of Ivelisse Berrios-Beguerisse, who was raped and strangled in Coral Springs, Florida, on November 27, 1990. Chandler was living two miles from her workplace and abandoned his apartment two days after murdering her, leaving everything including his furniture behind. So not so innocent after all… 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Lena Olin (64), Reese Witherspoon (43), William Shatner (88), Andrew Lloyd Webber (71), Gary Oldman (62), Rhys Darby (46), Matthew Broderick (58), Timothy Dalton (74), Sonequa Martin-Green (35), Jaye Davidson (52), Ruby Rose (34), Holly Hunter (62), Freema Agyeman (41), David Thewlis (57), William Hurt (70), Spike Lee (63), Carl Reiner (98), Harvey Weinstein (68), Bruce Willis (65), Ursula Andress (84), Glenn Close (73), Brad Dourif (70), Irene Cara (61), Rob Lowe (56), Kurt Russell (69), Gary Sinise (65), John Boyega (28), Alexandra Daddario (34), Alan Tudyk (49), Victor Garber (71), Jerome Flynn (57), Erik Estrada (71), and Jimmy Nail (66).


Dead Pool 15th March 2020

Ironically, even with all the scaremongering from the media, we are struggling to find dead people to list on the Dead Pool this week, and those who have died have died from other issues. Maybe next week eh? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Tom Hanks has urged fans to take care of themselves and each other in his latest Instagram post, after testing positive for Coronavirus this week. The actor and his wife Rita Wilson, both 63, are currently recovering from the disease in hospital isolation after falling ill while filming in Australia. The couple, who have been married for more than 30 years, had been Down Under filming for an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic Tom is starring in. On Sunday, Tom shared an update with fans as he and Rita remain in isolation. The Oscar winner shared a picture of his Vegemite on toast breakfast and a glass of water, hinting that he’s over the worst. He also included a little toy kangaroo and a cute koala bear in the picture in homage to those who have helped take care of him. Alongside the snap, he wrote: “Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Hanx” Fans responded to wish him and Rita well while others joked about the generous helping of spread on his toast. Earlier in the week, Tom and his wife Rita posed for a smiling selfie as they remained in isolation. Tom wrote: “Rita Wilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx” Hanks announced that the pair had contracted the virus in a statement, as they became the highest profile celebrities to have fallen ill with the virus. He wrote: “Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. “To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for Coronavirus, and were found to be positive. “We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?” But what about Wilson??? 

Other celebrities who have contracted the Coronavirus? Well, let’s make a list…

  • We obviously know of Tom Hanks and his wife as they were the first to go public. 
  • Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 
  • Quite a few NBA players that I won’t bother listing as barely any of us would know who they are.

And Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive. “I had the virus for the last couple of days, which I’ve recovered from,” Hudson-Odoi said in a video posted on social media. “I’m following the health guidelines and self-isolating myself from everybody for the week. I hope to see everybody soon and hopefully be back on the pitch very soon. Take care.”  And that’s about it so far, they all seem to be fairly healthy and will survive, shame that…  

Floyd Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his three children, Josie Harris, has been found dead in her car by police in California. She was 40 years old. Harris was found outside her home in Valencia, Los Angeles County, on Tuesday night. Authorities do not suspect foul play and are treating the case like a death investigation. Mayweather and Harris had a tumultuous relationship when they dated between 1995 and 2010. The boxing icon served two months in prison when he was convicted in 2010 of domestic violence against her. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on Wednesday: ‘Homicide investigators have responded to the death of a woman. ‘The incident was reported Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at approximately, 10pm, on the 25,700 block of Oak Meadow Drive, Valencia. ‘The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. There is no additional information available at this time.’ Harris claimed that she was abused by Mayweather on six different occasions and was in the process of writing a book about domestic violence survivors when she died.     

On This Day

Deaths

Last Meals

A convicted killer sentenced to death for slaying three police officers took only one bite of his last meal before being executed by lethal injection. There was some hope death row inmate Nathaniel Woods’ execution may have been called off after the US Supreme Court granted a last minute stay, but this was lifted hours later. The 44-year-old dad had requested sweet potatoes, spinach, chicken patty and leg quarter, cooked apples, fries, two oranges and an orange-flavoured drink. However, he only had a bite of the chicken before leaving the rest of the meal untouched, according to a statement from Alabama Department of Corrections. Woods had made calls to his father, sister, daughter and mother, as well as friends, in the hours before his execution on Thursday evening at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

Woods was convicted for his part in what became known as the ‘deadliest day’ in the history of Alabama’s Birmingham Police Department in 2004. Officers Carlos Owen, Harley A. Chisholm III and Charles R. Bennett were shot dead by Kerry Spencer at an apartment in Birmingham where Woods was also present but didn’t pull the trigger. Prosecutors, however, said Woods had lured the three  law enforcers into the home where they were killed – but supporters claim the evidence against him doesn’t stack up. During his trial – in a practice abandoned by every other US state except Alabama – the jury could not even come to a unanimous decision on his sentencing, with two opposed to the death penalty. The decision to press on with the execution came after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey reviewed a letter from Woods’ legal team requesting a reprieve from the death sentence, but said she would allow the execution to proceed. In a lengthy statement, the governor said: “There is no evidence, and no argument has been made, that Nathaniel Woods tried to stop the gunman from committing these heinous crimes. “In fact, he later bragged about his participation in these horrific murders.” Alabama State Attorney General Steve Marshall agreed in a statement on Wednesday that Woods was “correctly found guilty and sentenced to death by a jury of his peers”. Woods became the first person executed in Alabama in 2020 and the 67th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Last Week’s Birthdays

David Cronenberg (76), Will.i.am (44), Jamie Bell (33), Jaimie Alexander (35), Michael Caine (86), Billy Crystal (71), Quincy Jones (86), Annabeth Gish (48), William H. Macy (69), Aaron Eckhart (51), Liza Minnelli (73), Thora Birch (37), John Barrowman (52), Johnny Knoxville (48), Nancy Kovack (84), Olivia Wilde (36), Sharon Stone (62), Jon Hamm (49), Chuck Norris (80), Robert Llewellyn (64), Juliette Binoche (56), Freddie Prinze Jr. (44), and Aidan Quinn (61).


Dead Pool 8th March 2020

Nil points to award this week, just goes to show that the coronavirus isn’t that bad. Although, just to put the willies up some people, three politicians in Iran have died of Corvid-19, at least we can all agree that if it targets politicians, we will welcome the virus with open arms… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

A Ukrainian chess grandmaster once ranked eighth in the world and his teenage girlfriend, who also played professionally, have died. Investigators claimed the pair may have choked to death after inhaling nitrous oxide. Stanislav Bogdanovich, 27, and 19-year-old Alexandra Vernigora, both from the Odessa region, were found dead in their adoptive home of Moscow, according to industry publication chess-news.ru. The couple, who had been together for a year, were initially claimed to have been found alongside balloons used to inhale the gas, which is legally available in the country. However Russian broadcaster Ren TV, citing Russian investigators, later said the couple had been found with bags over their heads. The supply of  nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, was outlawed for recreational purposes in the UK in 2016 – however, the death rate associated with its use is relatively low. Between 2010 and 2016, 25 people were confirmed to have died as a result of inhaling the gas in Britain. Investigators reportedly said there was no evidence of foul play.   

Jared Leto has revealed he “nearly died” while rock climbing in Nevada. Leto shared photos and videos of the incident on Instagram, which occurred while he was climbing with Alex Honnold, who is famous for his free solo ascents. Leto and Honnold were climbing at the Red Rock canyon in Nevada when the actor “took a pretty good fall”. “Not to sound dramatic, but this is the day I nearly died,” wrote Leto in the Instagram caption. “Took a pretty good fall climbing with @alexhonnold at Red Rock. Looked up and within seconds the rope was being cut by the rock while I dangled some 600 ft in the air. “I remember looking down at the ground below. It was a strange moment – less fear, more matter of fact, and slightly melancholy. The adrenaline came after, when I got back on the wall. But we made it through and lived to see another day. “Overall it was actually quite fun. we continued climbing into the night…”    

Post Malone has spoken out to reassure fans that he is not taking drugs, after many expressed concerns for his health following bizarre live shows. The rapper, who is currently out on the second leg of his Runaway tour, was filmed stumbling across the stage, slurring his words and rolling his eyes back while performing. After fans took to social media to say they were worried he might be taking drugs, Malone used his concert in Memphis, Tennessee to deny these claims. “I’m not on drugs,” he told the crowd. “I feel the best I’ve ever fucking felt in my life. And that’s why I can bust my ass for these shows and fucking fall on the floor and do all that fun shit.” He added: “But for anyone that’s concerned here, I appreciate the love and the support, but I feel fucking fantastic and I’m not doing drugs.” 

On This Day

  • 1618 – Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.
  • 1979 – Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time.
  • 2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying a total of 239 people, disappears en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Deaths

  • 1723 – Christopher Wren, English architect, designed St. Paul’s Cathedral (b. 1632)
  • 1930 – William Howard Taft, American lawyer, 27th President of the U.S. (b. 1857)
  • 1971 – Harold Lloyd, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1893)
  • 2003 – Adam Faith, English singer (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – John Inman, English actor (b. 1935)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Cynthia Rothrock (62), Micky Dolenz (74), Rachel Weisz (49), Bryan Cranston (63), Shaquille O’Neal (47), Tom Arnold (60), Alan Davies (53), Jolene Blalock (44), Eva Mendes (45), Dean Stockwell (83), Jake Lloyd (30), Matt Lucas (45), Paul Blackthorne (50), Fred Williamson (81), Aasif Mandvi (53), Penn Jillette (64), Murray Head (73), Catherine O’Hara (66), Patsy Kensit (52), Jessica Biel (38), Julie Bowen (50), Miranda Richardson (62), Charlie Brooker (49), Brian Cox (52), Bryce Dallas Howard (39), Daniel Craig (52), Rebel Wilson (40), Nathalie Emmanuel (31), Gates McFadden (71), Jon Bon Jovi (58), Chris Martin (43), and Alexander Armstrong (50).


Dead Pool 1st March 2020

Somewhat surprisingly, we’re not dishing out any points this week. Even though the oldest man on the planet has died and the last film star of the silent era also passed away. I’m expecting the following weeks to be busy with hordes of stars dying of Coronavirus, any bets on Jon Snow? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

In what can only be described as an amazing case of Darwinism in action, three people have been killed after dry ice was poured into a swimming pool during a birthday party in Moscow. The victims had been celebrating the 29th birthday of Instagram influencer Yekaterina Didenko at a pool complex in the Russian capital. About 25kg of dry ice was tipped into the pool with the intention of creating a “visual effect” to impress guests. But people inside the pool reportedly instantly began to choke and lose consciousness. Several people were injured during the stunt, including Ms Didenko’s husband, 32-year-old Valentin Didenko, who is reportedly among the dead. The mother-of-two had earlier posted a video message telling her one million followers he had been rushed to intensive care. Dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, produces a heavy vapour when put into water. The cause of the deaths is not yet known, but the vapour can cause an elevated level of carbon dioxide in blood when released in an inadequately ventilated space.     

Britain’s oldest man is now the oldest man in the world following the death of the previous record holder in Japan – but it’s not an achievement he seems too enamoured with. Born on 29th March 1908, Bob Wighton has been the oldest man in the UK since last summer and took the global title after Chitetsu Watanabe died aged 112 on Sunday – days after receiving a Guinness World Record certificate. Mr Weighton, who turns 112 next month, can now expect to receive a certificate of his own, although he says he takes no satisfaction from the milestone. “Well, I don’t really feel satisfied because it means someone else has died,” said the former teacher and engineer. Mr Weighton, who still lives in his own flat in Alton, Hampshire, said living to such an age was “not something I ever intended, wanted or worked for – it’s just one of those facts of life”. “It’s good genes I guess – taking things as they come instead of worrying about them for months”. Upon celebrating his 111th birthday last year, Mr Weighton put his long life down to “avoiding dying”. He said: “I have had the usual scares, flu, influenza, malaria, two or three operations; I ought to be dead but I am a survivor, if you like.”    

Prison bosses are reportedly worried about how to handle Harvey Weinstein while he is in jail, fearing he may commit suicide, or as it’s now called, doing an Epstein. Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault on Monday and officials at New York prisons are said to be concerned another high-profile inmate could take his own life. Billionaire Epstein hanged himself last August in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. Now it is feared Weinstein may have to be kept in a private section of Rikers Island’s North Infirmary Command, which is for high-risk inmates, for his own safety. However, according to his attorney, Weinstein is as happy as can be — despite the looming possibility of nearly 30 years in prison. While Weinstein’s hospitalised at the moment due to chest pains, his attorney also doesn’t think his client will need extra protection from other inmates. Nothing like a bit of optimism. 

On This Day

  • 1692 – Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.
  • 1953 – Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.
  • 1983 – First collection of twelve Swatch models was introduced in Zürich, Switzerland.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

John Turturro (62), Rae Dawn Chong (58), Mercedes Ruehl (71), Kate Mara (36), Adam Baldwin (57), Richard Coyle(47), Timothy Spall (62), Chase Masterson (56), Bill Duke (76), Michael Bolton (66), Téa Leoni (54), Jameela Jamil (34), Sean Astin (49), Lee Evans (56), Daniel Kaluuya (31), Edward James Olmos (73), and Dennis Waterman (72).


Dead Pool 23rd February 2020

I’m not going to lie to you, this one is going to take a little while to read; I blame Nickie for sending too many stories… Luckily none of you chose Britain’s Oldest Living Person as she died last year, so any points you would have scored would have been nullified. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

A daredevil pilot who believed the Earth was flat has been killed after his homemade rocket crashed shortly after take-off in California. “Mad” Mike Hughes, who hoped to prove the Earth was flat by going into space, died on Saturday near Barstow, California, after attempting to launch his steam-powered rocket for a new television series called Homemade Astronauts on the US Science Channel. In a statement, the Science Channel said: “Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch & Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey.” A video of the launch, posted by a witness on Twitter, shows a parachute trailing behind the rocket immediately after take-off. The rocket is then depicted hurtling down to earth before crashing into the desert. With the help of his partner Waldo Stakes, Hughes wanted to reach 5,000 feet (1524m) in his rocket, according to space.com. Obviously nobody told him that commercial flights fly at 35,000 feet…  

Dame Julie Walters has revealed that she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer 18 months ago. Walters said she had two primary tumours in her large intestine, and was so shocked when she was diagnosed that she thought doctors “must have made a mistake”. She was filming her new movie The Secret Garden when she was diagnosed. “I was still thinking, ‘That’s ridiculous, he must have made a mistake,’” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.” Walters described the reaction of her husband, Grant Roffey. “I’ll never forget his face,” she said. “Tears came into his eyes.” The actor said that while she had always been optimistic that she would recover, she worried about not coming round from anaesthetic after surgery. She said that she had “30cm taken out of my colon” in hospital. Walters had chemotherapy, which she said was “fine” and had not caused hair loss. She added: “I’ve just had a scan, and I know that I’m clear.”  

Larry Tesler, the mind behind cut, copy and paste has died aged 74. Tesler played a key role in the development of a range of Apple products, serving as VP of AppleNet and Apple’s Advanced Technology Group. Prior to this the computer scientist had a pioneering career in technology. After studying the subject at Stanford University he went on to work for the legendary R&D facility, Xerox PARC. However, Tesler’s crowning achievement was the invention of cut, copy and paste, a function that is now taken for granted in modern computers. Tesler is fondly regarded as an encapsulation of hippie and high-tech culture that helped create Apple as a company.  

Liverpool comedian, Jimmy Tarbuck, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The veteran comedian, 80, said that he is going to “try and beat it”. He said men can be too “shy” to get tested as he urged viewers: “All men out there watching, and all wives, get your husbands to go for the tests. I think after 50, just have a test, let them have a look at you. “You will be relieved and be with your families for extra years.” He added: “I feel great. I’m on the telly and I’m having a good time. Tarbuck said Sir Tom Jones has been his “mentor”, and had advised him to see a doctor when he told him about his symptoms. “Tom told me what was going to happen, all the tests,” Tarbuck said. He added: “Boys, go. It is embarrassing. The fella said to me ‘We’re going to give you the thumbs up’. I said ‘I hope not’. He roared laughing.” Tarbuck, who said the cancer has not spread, added: “I’m having injections and taking tablets and then I take a yearly cycle.”   

The oldest person in Britain has died at the age of 111, it was announced last Wednesday. Hilda Clulow passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve with her family and friends by her side at the care home where she was staying in Redditch, Worcestershire. She was born on March 15, 1908, when a loaf of bread cost just 1p and London hosted its first Olympic Games. Hilda lived through 27 prime ministers, five monarchs, and survived both world wars. The retired dress worker celebrated her 111th birthday with a 1940s-themed party last March. Speaking of her longevity on her previous birthday, Hilda said: “When you get to my age, it’s just a number isn’t it? “I’ve had a lovely day and seen lots of old photos, my memory isn’t quite what it was, but I don’t do too bad! The oldest person in the UK now is believed to be 111-year-old Bob Weighton who was born in Hull on March 29, 1908.

On This Day

  • 1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type.
  • 1739 – At York Castle, the outlaw Dick Turpin is identified by his former schoolteacher. Turpin had been using the name Richard Palmer.
  • 1927 – German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg writes a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli, in which he describes his uncertainty principle for the first time.

Deaths

Last Meals 

The final words of a death row inmate who was executed for stabbing a child rapist to death in prison have been revealed. Nicholas Todd Sutton was given a death sentence after being convicted of murdering fellow inmate Carl Estep in 1985. The 58-year-old had eaten his last meal– fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, biscuits and peach pie with vanilla ice cream, saying in his last words that he hopes he does better in his next time.

Sutton – who choose to die by electric chair rather than lethal injection – also paid tribute to his faith in God. Supporters had been attempting to overturn his death sentence, arguing he was a changed man.  

He was originally locked up for killing his grandma, and later confessed to two more murders before stabbing Estep to death while in jail. In a statement, Sutton said: “I have made a lot of friends along the way and a lot of people have enriched my life. “They have reached out to me and pulled me up and I am grateful for that. “I have had the privilege of being married to the finest woman, who is a great servant to God. “Without her, I would not have made the progress that I have made. I hope I do a much better job in the next life than I did in this one. “If I could leave one thing with all of you, it is, don’t ever give up on the ability of Jesus Christ to fix someone or a problem. “He can fix anything. Don’t ever underestimate His ability. He has made my life meaningful and fruitful through my relationships with family and friends. “So, even in my death, I am  coming out a winner. God has provided it all to me.” 

Sutton is the fourth inmate the US to executed in 2020, and the first in Tennessee. He was in prison when he killed child rapist Estep back in 1985 and was sentenced to death in 1986 – serving 34 years on death row. During a guard shift change, Sutton and his accomplice Thomas Street entered Estep’s cell and stabbed him 38 times in the chest and neck with homemade knives. Inmates said Estep was a drug dealer behind bars and had sold the men “bad merchandise”. It is claimed the paedophile refused to refund their money, so the men stole his watch. But then he threatened to kill Sutton, leading to the murder in which four inmates saw the men enter his cell and heard screams. 

Sutton killed his grandmother Dorothy by knocking out and throwing her into a river in Tennessee’s Hamblen County. He was convicted of murder and then confessed to beating to death his high school friend John Large, 19, and fatally shooting Charles Almon, 46. Such a nice man! 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Emily Blunt (36), Dakota Fanning (25), Josh Gad (38), Kelly Macdonald (43), Aziz Ansari (36), Jeri Ryan (51), Drew Barrymore (44), Thomas Jane (50), Kyle MacLachlan (60), Julie Walters (69), Nigel Planer (66), Sophie Turner (23), Ellen Page (32), Tuppence Middleton (32), Kelsey Grammer (64), Tyne Daly (73), Anthony Daniels (73), Charlotte Church (33), Anthony Head (66), Brenda Blethyn (74), Sidney Poitier (93), Rihanna (32), Cindy Crawford (54), Trevor Noah (36), Millie Bobby Brown (16), Ophelia Lovibond (34), Benicio Del Toro (53), Jeff Daniels (65), Ray Winstone (63), Seal (57), John Travolta (66), Molly Ringwald (52), Matt Dillon (56), Cybill Shepherd (70), Greta Scacchi (60), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (39), Rene Russo (66), Lou Diamond Phillips (58), Bonnie Wright (29), Dominic Purcell (50), Rory Kinnear (44), Paris Hilton (39), Michael Jordan (57), Patricia Routledge (91), Ed Sheeran (29), Brenda Fricker (75), and Barry Humphries (86).


Dead Pool 16th February 2020

A handful of deaths, alas no points this week but plenty to depress you in the following newsletter. Let’s get on with it! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Legendary Brazil forward Pele is reluctant to leave his house because he cannot walk unaided, his son has said. Pele, 79, has had problems with his hip for some time and now needs a frame to walk, with many of his recent public appearances in a wheelchair. “He is very sheepish, reclusive,” his son Edinho told us. His health has been a concern in recent years and he had prostate surgery in 2015 after he was admitted to hospital for the second time in six months. “Imagine, he’s the King, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can’t walk properly,” Edinho explained. “He’s embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house. “He’s pretty fragile. He had a hip replacement and didn’t have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation. So he has this problem with mobility and that has set off a kind of depression.” This June marks the 50th anniversary of Pele’s final World Cup title, won in Mexico with what many believe to be the greatest team of all time.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh announced that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. The 69-year-old told listeners that he began to experience shortness of breath earlier this month. This ultimately led to his diagnosis, which was confirmed by two medical institutions. “I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “But it is what it is. And you know me, I’m the mayor of Realville.” Although I will have to miss some of my shows to undergo tests and treatment, “my intention is to come here every day I can. And to do this program as normally and competently … as I do each and every day.” Limbaugh is a longtime cigar smoker and smoking advocate. In e, he told a caller that Americans should thank smokers because of the money they add to the economy. He also denied that second-hand smoke caused illness, and that it took 50 years for first-hand smoke to cause cancer. Let’s see how his views help him with his recovery.  

As we’re all about to die of the coronavirus, I thought you all might like to know why. Like so many deadly outbreaks before it, the new coronavirus likely emerged from bats. Since the first patients were infected at a seafood and live animal market in the Chinese city Wuhan at the end of last year, the previously unknown strain has spread to at least 27 countries. Authorities have confirmed more than 43,000 cases, of which 42,655 are in mainland China. One death has been reported in Europe, but luckily we’re not part of the EU anymore, so our gammons are safe. The new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, is far from the only outbreak with bats behind it. Coronaviruses are a class, with seven strains known to infect humans. One of which is severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 774 people during its 2004 outbreak. Mers and Ebola also fall into the same class. But why are bat viruses are so deadly? It’s all down to flying. The bat is thought to have evolved to release high amounts of the protein to “mop up” inflammatory damage caused by flying. The nocturnal creatures may therefore be “primed” to defend themselves against viruses. Viruses may then evolve to reproduce quickly within the animal before a defence response is initiated. “When you have a higher immune response, you get these cells that are protected from infection, so the virus can actually ramp up its replication rate without causing damage to its host,” said study author Cara Brook. While bats can tolerate this, if the virus moves into a creature without the same immune response, it can be deadly. “Our immune system would generate widespread inflammation if attempting this same antiviral strategy,” said Brook.  While little is known about exactly where the virus came from or how long it takes to cause symptoms, Chinese authorities have confirmed it spreads via droplets expelled while sneezing or coughing. It is unknown whether the virus “floats” in the air or survives on hard surfaces. Infected patients develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever and breathlessness. In the most severe cases, victims succumb to pneumonia. 

On This Day

  • 1923 – Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
  • 1937 – Wallace H. Carothers receives a United States patent for nylon.
  • 1998 – China Airlines Flight 676 crashes into a road and residential area near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taiwan, killing all 196 aboard and seven more on the ground.
  • 2006 – The last Mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.

Deaths

  • 1992 – Angela Carter, English novelist, short story writer (b. 1940)
  • 2015 – Lesley Gore, American singer-songwriter (b. 1946)
  • 2016 – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian politician and diplomat, 6th Secretary-General of the United Nations (b. 1922)

Last Meals

Westley Allan Dodd was an American serial killer and convicted sex offender. In 1989, he sexually assaulted and murdered three young boys in Vancouver, Washington. 

At the age of 13, Dodd began exposing himself to children in his neighbourhood. His father eventually told an Oregon newspaper that he was aware of the boy’s behaviour but largely ignored it, since he felt his son was otherwise “a well-behaved child who never had problems with drugs, drinking, or smoking.” By the time he entered high school, Dodd had progressed to molestation, beginning with his younger cousins, and then neighbourhood children he offered to babysit, as well as the children of a woman his father was dating. The ongoing pattern din not stop and each time he was caught he was given a slap on the wrist and he just carried on. 

On September 4, 1989, Dodd went to Vancouver’s David Douglas Park, with a fish fillet knife and shoelaces, and sought out young boys to kill. He lured two brothers, 11- and 10-year-old Cole and William Neer, to a secluded area, where he forced them to undress, tied them to a tree and performed sex acts on them both. When he was done, he stabbed them repeatedly with a knife and fled the scene. The boys were soon discovered in the park. Cole was dead at the scene, while William died en-route to the hospital. 

After the murders of the two brothers, Dodd started a scrapbook with newspaper clippings and other facts about the murders. On October 29, Dodd drove to Portland, Oregon and there he encountered four-year-old Lee Iseli and his nine-year-old brother Justin at a local park. The younger boy was playing alone on a slide, and Dodd succeeded in convincing the boy to come with him. Justin had gone home, so Dodd told Lee that he “would drive him back to his house”. He managed to bring Lee to his apartment in Vancouver apparently unnoticed, and he ordered the boy to undress. Dodd then tied Lee to his bed and molested him, taking photographs of the abuse. Dodd kept Lee overnight while he continued to molest him, all the while jotting down every detail in his diary. The next morning, he strangled Lee to death with a rope and hung his body in the closet, photographing it as a macabre “trophy”. He would later confess to police that he had not originally planned to kill the boy, but eventually decided that it was necessary to keep him from telling anyone. Dodd stuffed Lee’s nude body in trash bags and threw it in some bushes near Vancouver Lake. He burned Lee’s clothing in a trash barrel except for the boy’s underwear, which he kept as a souvenir of the crime. One day later, Lee’s body was discovered, which sparked a manhunt for the killer. 

On November 13, 1989, Dodd attempted to abduct 6-year-old James Kirk II from the restroom of the New Liberty Theatre in Camas, Washington, but the child began fighting and crying as Dodd was leaving the theatre through the lobby, carrying the boy in his arms. Despite Dodd’s attempts to calm the boy, theatre employees became suspicious. Once outside, Dodd released his victim before getting into his car and driving away.  The boyfriend of the boy’s mother, William “Ray” Graves, came to the theatre lobby and was told that the boy had nearly been abducted. Graves went outside the theatre in the direction where Dodd was last seen. Dodd’s car had broken down a short distance away from the theatre and he was attempting to start the motor. In order not to raise Dodd’s suspicion and to stall for time, Graves offered to help him. He then put Dodd into a headlock and brought him back to the theatre, where employees called the police. 

During the search of Dodd’s home, police discovered a homemade torture rack, along with newspaper clippings about his crimes, a briefcase containing Lee Iseli’s underwear, a photo album containing pictures of Lee Iseli, and assorted photographs of children in newspaper and store catalogue underwear advertisements. They also discovered Dodd’s diary, in which he wrote in detail about the murders. Dodd was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the Neer brothers and Lee Iseli, plus attempted kidnapping of another child. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but later changed his plea to guilty.

Less than four years elapsed between the murders and Dodd’s execution. He refused to appeal his case or the capital sentence. He insisted that he was uncontrollable and would kill again, stating in one court brief: “I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone else. If I do escape, I promise you I will kill and rape again, and I will enjoy every minute of it.” He also said in some interviews that death would give him relief from guilt over the  murders. During his trial, he wrote a pamphlet on how parents could protect children from child molesters such as himself. Washington state law gave Dodd the choice of either lethal injection or hanging for his execution. He chose hanging, later stating in interviews that he preferred that method “because that’s the way Lee Iseli [his final victim] died”. Dodd’s execution was witnessed by 12 members of local and regional media, prison officials, and family members of the three victims. Dodd ordered broiled salmon and fried potatoes for his last meal. His last words, spoken from the second floor of the indoor gallows, were recorded by the media witnesses as:  I was once asked by somebody, I don’t remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said, ‘No.’ I was wrong. I was wrong when I said there was no hope, no peace. There is hope. There is peace. I found both in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Look to the Lord, and you will find peace.

Dodd was executed by hanging at 12:05 a.m. on January 5, 1993 at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He was pronounced dead by the prison doctor and his body transported to Seattle for autopsy. The witnesses said that the King County Medical Examiner, Donald Reay, found that Dodd had died quickly, within two to three minutes, though not from a broken neck, which is the usual cause of death from hanging. Reay stated that Dodd’s death had likely not been very painful.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Christopher Eccleston (55), LeVar Burton (62), Amanda Holden (48), John McEnroe (60), Jane Seymour (69), Simon Pegg (50), Andrew Robinson (78), Mena Suvari (41), Neal McDonough (54), Kim Novak (87), Christina Ricci (40), Josh Brolin (52), Michael Ironside (70), Arsenio Hall (64), Jennifer Aniston (51), Natalie Dormer (38), Damian Lewis (49), Taylor Lautner (28), Sheryl Crow (58), Laura Dern (53), Chloë Grace Moretz (23), Elizabeth Banks (46), Keeley Hawes (44), Robert Wagner (90), Philip Glenister (57), and Holly Willoughby (39).


Dead Pool 9th February 2020

A very busy points week with the long anticipated death of Kirk Douglas! 21 of us have scored some points! I’ll not list you all, but take a quick look at the league table and you’ll see most have now scored some points already, well done everyone, especially those of you who listed him as a Cert. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Shannen Doherty has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. The Charmed and 90210 star revealed the diagnosis on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning. “It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I have stage four [cancer],” she told host Amy Robach. “My cancer came back and… that’s why I’m here.” Doherty kept the diagnosis private for a year. She said she chose to discuss it now because the condition will soon be made public in court documents. “I don’t think that I’ve processed it,” she added of the diagnosis. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.” Doherty was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and announced that the illness was in remission in April 2017.      

Infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has asked a judge to grant him a “compassionate release” from his 150-year prison sentence, saying he has terminal kidney failure and barely 18-months to live. In 2009, the financier was sent to jail after pleading guilty to more than 10 federal charges relating to a Ponzi scheme involving hundreds of his clients. But lawyers for the New York-born financial adviser have filed court papers to say the 81-year-old has end-stage kidney disease and other “chronic, serious medical conditions”. including hypertension and cardiovascular disease. “There’s no cure for my type of disease,” Madoff told the Washington Post in a phone interview, expressing remorse for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. After spending more than a decade behind bars, Madoff said his dying wish was to salvage his relationships with his grandchildren. He said; “I’ve served 11 years already and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it.” Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to 11 federal counts in a fraudulent investment scheme involving billions of dollars, admitting he swindled thousands of clients over decades. The rich and famous were among his victims, as well as people of lesser means who had invested with him unknowingly through feeder funds. The Bureau of Prisons denied Madoff’s request for release last December, according to court papers, saying it would “minimise the severity of his offence”. The agency lists Madoff’s release date as November 14th 2139.   

The ever attention seeking Katie Price was forced to cancel a recent gig after coming down with a mystery illness, (cough, hangover, cough) and it’s claimed the former glamour model is worried it’s something serious. She is said to be concerned that it’s coronavirus, a contagious condition that has killed 565 people worldwide. According to The Scum, the mum-of-five has been texting her friends to ask what the symptoms are as she fears she picked it up from either her New Year’s break to Thailand or a recent trip to New York. A source told the paper: “Katie’s been feeling so bad she’s convinced it’s more than the flu. Yesterday Katie recorded a video from her bed saying she was feeling ill, but not too ill to take a selfie video. She lay in bed with no makeup on and her hair down and laying unbrushed around her, like us normal people do. “I’ve been really ill and I’ve been in bed all night and I’m staying in bed all day,” Katie said. No change there then… 

On This Day

  • 1959 – The R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile, becomes operational at Plesetsk, USSR.
  • 1964 – The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a “record-busting” audience of 73 million viewers across the USA.
  • 1996 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares the end to its 18-month ceasefire and explodes a large bomb in London’s Canary Wharf, killing two people.

Deaths

Last Meals

Coy Wayne “Elvis” Wesbrook was an American mass murderer, convicted for the killing of 5 people in Channelview, Texas on November 13, 1997. Wesbrook fatally shot his ex-wife Gloria Jean Coons, her female roommate, and three men during a party at Coons’ home in an apparent fit of jealous rage. Wesbrook was sentenced to death in 1998, and was executed by lethal injection in 2016. The case was controversial due to questions about Wesbrook’s intelligence being low enough that a death sentence was improper. According to his testimony, Wesbrook went to visit his ex-wife, Gloria Jean Coons, at her home in Channelview, Texas, in the Greater Houston area. He was invited to a party at Coons’ apartment along with other friends Diana Ruth Money, and three other males. Wesbrook had gone there with hopes of rebuilding the relationship with Coons, but went into a rage when the party’s attendees began to mock him because Coons had cheated on him in the bedroom. At some point in the evening, Wesbrook noticed that his ex-wife and two of the men had slipped away, and when he went into the bedroom, he found Coons having sex with both of the men. While they were mocking him they were playing “keep away” with his keys, tossing them back and forth to each other, preventing him from leaving. He was able to get his keys back and he left. A very short time later he returned in his truck and pulled out his .30-06 hunting rifle and returned to the residence, where he then fatally shot his ex-wife, all three of the males, and Money in the residence. At about 2 a.m., a neighbour heard the gunfire, grabbed a cell phone, went next door, saw the corpses, and called 911. Wesbrook was arrested at the scene. In 1998, Wesbrook’s trial began, and due to his low IQ the defence asked the jury to show mercy for Wesbrook. However, the prosecution said that Wesbrook had been fully aware that what he was doing was wrong and that made him fully responsible for his actions. The prosecution immediately sought the death penalty. The jury found Wesbrook guilty and fully responsible for his actions and recommended the death sentence, and on September 2, 1998, Wesbrook was sentenced to death, being placed on death row the same day. Despite his low IQ and the disputed testimony of Dr. George Denkowski, Wesbrook was not granted another trial. On March 9, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a last-minute appeal that had been filed because of concerns over Wesbrook’s  possible mental impairment. For his last meal, Wesbrook ate baked chicken, mashed potatoes, country gravy, green beans, black-eyed peas, sliced bread and mandarin orange cake. He was given a choice of water, tea or punch to drink. Wesbrook was executed by lethal injection that evening, and was pronounced dead at 8:04 PM.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Joe Pesci (76), Michael B. Jordan (32), Rose Leslie (32), Tom Hiddleston (38), Ciarán Hinds (66), Mia Farrow (74), Jim Parrack (38), Mary Steenburgen (66), Nick Nolte (78), Ethan Phillips (64), Seth Green (45), John Grisham (64), Tina Majorino (35), Ashton Kutcher (42), James Spader (60), Deborah Ann Woll (35), Chris Rock (55), Eddie Izzard (58), Mike Farrell (81), Kevin Whately (69),  Axl Rose (58), Jennifer Jason Leigh (58), Michael Sheen (51), Charlotte Rampling (74), Christopher Guest (72), Gabrielle Anwar (50), Jim Jefferies (43), Alice Cooper (72), Isla Fisher (44), Warwick Davis (50), and Morgan Fairchild (70).


Dead Pool 2nd February 2020

Surprisingly we only have one person who listed Nicholas Parsons this year, at one point it seemed like he was on everyones list! However, points are points and Ron has made 54 of them! Well done that man! Shall we get on with it? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Olivia Newton-John says she is winning her third battle with breast cancer, thanks to medicinal cannabis. The 71-year-old told how the herbal treatment has helped contain the stage four disease, which returned three years ago in her lower back. Olivia looked fit and healthy as she appeared on the red carpet with Grease co-star John Travolta, 65, at the G’day USA gala in Beverly Hills on Saturday. The actress and singer said: “My tumours are receding or they’re going away or they’re staying the same. On a stage four metastatic breast cancer that’s pretty amazing. I don’t see it as a battle. I am winning.” Olivia is pushing for the wider use of cannabis as a medicine. She added: “For me the proof is in the pudding and I’m the pudding. “If I hadn’t had the experience I’m having with cannabis I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.” The mum-of-one’s Cancer & Wellness Centre in her native Australia is launching trials of cannabis as a medicine. She has also lobbied the ­government there to approve its use. The cannabis she uses is grown by husband John Easterling at their Santa Barbara home in ­California. She claimed doctors were supportive of the treatment. Olivia added: “It’s not a drug. It’s a herb and a plant.”     

Comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck has revealed he is having a cancer test the day after he turns 80 this week – but best pal Sir Tom Jones will help keep him laughing. The star started to fear he might have prostate cancer after suffering some of the telltale symptoms. And he credits rocker Rod Stewart – who has survived the disease – with giving him the courage to finally go and get tested. But it’s The Voice star Tom, 79, who will support him through his ordeal. Jimmy, whose birthday is on Wednesday, said: “The day after, I am going in for an operation and I will be getting myself right again. “They need to do a biopsy to find out if I have got prostate cancer. He added: “The thought of having prostate cancer is scary but I am determined to face it head on – and that’s because of learning that Rod Stewart has gone through it too.” Jimmy saw the rocker at a charity event in November when Rod first publicly announced he had been diagnosed with the disease. At the time Jimmy was experiencing symptoms, including blood in his urine and the frequent need to urinate. Of this week’s test. He said: “It’s best to know now because I want to grab another few years. My health has been fine since I had the stents put in and, please God, I’m still here. “I will make a deal with Him. I want a few more years and a bit of fun. And then I will say, ‘Thanks very much you have given me a great life.’  

Madonna has cancelled two more shows in London, but said she was defying the orders of doctors who have told her she should be playing even fewer nights. The star, 61, said she has “multiple injuries”, meaning she has to do six hours’ of rehab every day she performs. She is currently doing a residency at the London Palladium, but has called off the shows on 4th and 11th February. That means she will not have three gigs in a row – but doctors told her two consecutive nights were still too much. She had previously cancelled her first London show on Monday after also calling off performances in Portugal. In a statement on Instagram on Friday, she wrote: “As you all know I have multiple injuries and have had to cancel shows to give me time to recover. “So as not to surprise you I want to let you know ahead of time that I will be cancelling 2 shows – on Feb 4th and Feb 11th at the Palladium in London because doing 3 shows in a row is too much on my body and in fact my doctors insist I take a day off after every show but I believe can manage if I do 2 shows then I rest! “It’s a miracle I have gotten this far but a lot has to do with the fact that I do 6 hours of rehab every day. 3 hours before show and 3 after with multiple therapies. “I have also switched to flat shoes and modified difficult parts of the show. This has helped enormously but I still need to be careful and of course rest is the best medicine. “Of course I never want to cancel any show and I’m determined that I will make it to the end if I pace myself. God Willing.” On Wednesday, she took to the Palladium stage wearing knee supports, but still performed high kicks, yoga poses and even the splits during a two-and-a-half-hour show.

On This Day

  • 1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring Daniel Defoe‘s adventure book Robinson Crusoe.
  • 1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
  • 1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
  • 1901 – Funeral of Queen Victoria.
  • 1959 – Nine experienced ski hikers in the northern Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union die under mysterious circumstances.

Deaths

Last Meals

Donnie Cleveland Lance was executed by lethal injection at 7pm on Wednesday in Georgia, USA, having been convicted of the murders of Sabrina ‘Joy’ Lance and Dwight ‘Butch’ Wood Jr in November 1997. Having been convicted in 1999, the murderer went  on to exhaust his standard appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case last year. The bodies of Lance’s victims were found at Butch’s home in Jackson on November 9, 1997 – with the murders estimated to have taken place between midnight and 5am, a court summary details. Butch had been shot at least twice with a shotgun and Joy had been beaten to death by repeated blows to her face, while the front door had imprints matching Lance’s size 7-and-a-half work boots. A police officer saw Lance’s car leave the scene near midnight and Joy’s dad testified he told the convicted man she was not home when he called hoping to speak to her at 11.55pm. Associate Joe Moore assisted Lance in disposing of shotgun shells and the killer told him the pair were dead, adding Butch’s “daddy could buy him out of a bunch of places, but he can’t buy him out of Hell”.

Lance had a long history of abuse against his ex-wife, both during and after they were married, including kidnapping, beatings with his fist, a belt, and a handgun, strangulation, and electrocution or the threat of electrocution. He had also threatened to burn her with flammable liquid and kill her with a handgun and a chainsaw, as well firing a handgun at or near her, and other forms of physical abuse. Several witnesses also testified that Lance had repeatedly threatened to kill Joy if she tried to divorce him or became involved with Butch, and had threatened to kill Butch’s wife and other people related to his ex. So, the police were a bit a slow on the uptake here and maybe could have prevented the double murder.

Lance requested a last meal of two chilli steak burgers, French fries, onion rings, mustard, ketchup, and a soda. Lance said nothing when he was given a chance to make a final statement and declined to have a chaplain say a prayer. Strapped to a gurney, he lay mostly still but wiggled his feet. The warden left the execution chamber at 8:54 p.m. Records from previous executions show that the lethal drug generally begins flowing within a minute or two of the warden’s exit. Lance took about a dozen deep breaths and then became completely still about three minutes after the warden left and was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m. thus becoming the first man to be executed in Georgia in 2020.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Gemma Arterton (33), Brent Spiner (70), Shakira (42), David Jason (79), Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman (66), Sherilyn Fenn (54), Harry Styles (25), Lisa Marie Presley (51), Dexter Fletcher (53), Minnie Driver (49), Jonathan Banks (72), Justin Timberlake (38), Christian Bale (46), Olivia Colman (46), Gene Hackman (90), Vanessa Redgrave (83), Phil Collins (69), Tom Selleck (75), Heather Graham (50), Katharine Ross (80), Marc Singer (72), Oprah Winfrey (66), Adam Lambert (38), Tim Healy (68), Ariel Winter (22), Will Poulter (27), Elijah Wood (39), Tom Hopper (35), Alan Alda (84), Frank Darabont (61), Frank Skinner (63), Rosamund Pike (41), Alan Cumming (55), Patton Oswalt (51), James Cromwell (80), and Bridget Fonda (56).


Dead Pool 26th January 2020

Welcome Poolers, to a slightly tardy edition this week, my apologies, I was away for the weekend at a school reunion. However, as we all know from the emails last week, there are points to be awarded. With the tragic demise of Terry Jones, I can fork out 73 points to Paul C, Abi FB, & Lee U, and a whopping 173 points to Neil G for listing him as his Cert. So! The game is certainly afoot! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Nashville singer-songwriter David Olney has died during a performance on stage. The Americana artist, whose music was recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Young and others, died of an apparent heart attack while performing at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. According to fellow singer-songwriter Scott Miller, who was performing with Olney, the 71-year-old stopped in the middle of a song, said “I’m sorry”, and “put his chin to his chest”. “He never dropped his guitar or fell [off] his stool,” Miller wrote on Facebook. “It was as easy and gentle as he was.” Amy Rigby, who was also on stage with Olney at the time, wrote a separate Facebook post with her own moving account of what happened. “He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket… I just want the picture to be as graceful and dignified as it was, because it at first looked like he was just taking a moment,” she wrote. Olney became a key member of Nashville’s music scene after moving from his native Rhode Island in 1973. Regarded as an “Americana pioneer”, he produced more than 20 albums, including 2018’s This Side or the Other.  

Serial sock sex pest James Arthur has had to cancel another gig as his health has deteriorated due to an unknown illness. The 31-year-old singer is currently on his world tour, and has had to pull out of his Zurich gig tonight after dropping his Barcelona show on Wednesday. Middlesbrough-born James admitted he was “gutted” on Wednesday after doctors urgently advised him to rest, but his health has not improved since. The cause of James’ illness is unknown, but he told followers on social media “I’ve become really unwell”. An Instagram post on the singer’s account stated: “Unfortunately James’ health has not improved in the past couple of days and therefore we are sad to say that he will not be able to perform in Zurich this evening.” The post continued: “James is very sorry for any disappointment this may cause and really hopes to get to see you all again soon.” The star, who became famous from his X Factor appearance in 2012, is set to perform in Vienna on Monday and Czechia on Tuesday if his illness gets better or if it gets worse, our ears will be saved and he might die.  

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is likely “very altered and deteriorated” six years on from suffering serious head injuries after a skiing accident in 2013 and will be a “very different person from who we remember”, according to a leading neurosurgeon. Schumacher, 51, has not been seen in public since suffering a traumatic brain injury while skiing off-piste in the French Alps. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months until June 2014 and has since been treated privately at his home in Switzerland. Little is known about his recovery. However, leading surgeon Nicola Acciari, who is based in Bologna, has told an Italian newspaper that the seven-time Formula One world champion will now be a completely different man and is unlikely to truly recover from his injuries. “We must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure,” she told Contro Copertina. “All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered.”  The neurosurgeon’s warning comes after Jean Todt, his former manager at Ferrari, last year assured fans that Schumacher was “still fighting”. “I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting. His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.”    

On This Day

  • 1905 – The world’s largest diamond ever, the Cullinan weighing 3,106.75 carats, is found at the Premier Mine near Pretoria in South Africa.
  • 1926 – The first demonstration of the television by John Logie Baird.
  • 1972 – JAT Fight 367 is destroyed by a terrorist bomb, killing 27 of the 28 people on board the DC-9. Flight attendant Vesna Vulović survives with critical injuries.
  • 1998 – On American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denies having had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Deaths

Last Meals? No, Something Else… 

I thought we’d try something a little different this week, since we have Vesna Vulović mentioned above. As you saw, she’s quite a survivor, she holds the Guinness world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160m (33,330ft; 6.31mi)!!! 

Vulović was born in Belgrade on 3rd January 1950. Her father was a businessman and her mother was a fitness instructor. Driven by her love of the Beatles, Vulović travelled to the United Kingdom after completing her first year of university, hoping to improve her English-language skills. “I initially stayed with my parents’ friends in Newbury,” she recalled, “but wanted to move to London. It was there that I met up with a friend who suggested we go to Stockholm. When I told my parents I was living in the Swedish capital, they thought of the drugs and the sex and told me to come home at once.” Upon returning to Belgrade, Vulović decided to become a flight attendant after seeing one of her friends in a flight attendant’s uniform. “She looked so nice and had just been to London for the day,” Vulović recalled. “I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I be an air hostess? I could go to London once a month’.” She joined JAT, Yugoslavia’s national flag carrier and largest airline, in 1971.

The fateful Flight 367 departed from Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 1:30p.m. on 26th January. The aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, landed at Copenhagen Airport at 2:30p.m., whereupon Vulović and her colleagues boarded the plane. “As it was late, we were in the terminal and saw it park,” Vulović said. “I saw all the passengers and crew deplane. One man seemed terribly annoyed. It was not only me that noticed him either. Other crew members saw him, as did the station manager in Copenhagen. I think it was the man who put the bomb in the baggage. I think he had checked in a bag in Stockholm, got off in Copenhagen and never re-boarded the flight.”

Flight 367 departed from Copenhagen Airport at 3:15p.m. At 4:01p.m., an explosion tore through the DC-9’s baggage compartment. The explosion caused the aircraft to break apart over the Czechoslovak village of Srbská Kamenice.  Vulović was the only survivor of the 28 passengers and crew.  

She was discovered by villager Bruno Honke, who heard her screaming amid the wreckage. Her turquoise uniform was covered in blood and her 3-inch stiletto heels had been torn off by the force of the impact. Honke had been a medic during World War II and was able to keep her alive until rescuers arrived. Air safety investigators attributed Vulović’s survival to her being trapped by a food cart in the DC-9’s fuselage as it broke away from the rest of the aircraft and plummeted towards the ground. When the cabin depressurised, the passengers and other flight crew were blown out of the aircraft and fell to their deaths. Investigators believed that the fuselage, with Vulović pinned inside, landed at an angle in a heavily wooded and snow-covered mountainside, which cushioned the impact. Vulović’s physicians concluded that her history of low blood pressure caused her to pass out quickly after the cabin depressurised and kept her heart from bursting on impact. Vulović said that she was aware of her low blood pressure before applying to become a flight attendant and knew that it would result in her failing her medical examination, but she drank an excessive amount of coffee beforehand and was accepted. Following the crash, Vulović spent days in a coma, having fractured her skull which then haemorrhaged. She also suffered two broken legs and three broken vertebrae, one of which was crushed completely. Her pelvis was fractured and several ribs broken. Her injuries resulted in her being temporarily paralysed below the waist. She had total amnesia from the hour preceding her fall until one month afterwards. Vulović’s parents told her that she first learned of the crash about two weeks after it occurred. She fainted upon being shown a newspaper headline by her doctor and then had to be tranquillised. The last thing that Vulović could remember from before the crash was greeting passengers as they boarded. The next thing she remembered was seeing her parents in her hospital room about one month later. Within ten months of her fall, Vulović had regained the ability to walk, but limped for the rest of her life, her spine permanently twisted. In total, she spent 16 months recuperating. “Nobody ever expected me to live this long,” she recounted in 2008. Vulović attributed her recovery to her “Serbian stubbornness” and “a childhood diet that included chocolate, spinach, and fish oil”. Sadly she died in anonymity and rather poor in 2016.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Scott Glenn (80), Ellen DeGeneres (61), Eddie Van Halen (64), Kristen Schaal (41), Nastassja Kinski (58), Ade Edmondson (62), Neil Diamond (78), Gil Gerard (76), Linda Blair (61), Piper Laurie (88), Rainn Wilson (54), David Lynch (74), Tom Baker (86), Bill Maher (64), Katey Sagal (66), Dolly Parton (74), Tippi Hedren (90), and Michael Crawford (78).