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Dead Pool 3rd July 2022

Apologies for the late  submission, life got in the way. However, plenty to read, thanks as always to Nickie for finding half the content 🙂 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

If you’re stuck for who to list next year, may I suggest a British free climber who posed as a construction worker to sneak to the top of a skyscraper and dangle from a gut-churning height above Dubai with just one hand. Adam Lockwood, a 21-year-old from Manchester, gained entry to the residential skyscraper, Il Primo, and attempted to dodge the real construction workers during his ascent to the top – 390 metres (1,280ft) above ground. In video footage that documents his death-defying stunt in the United Arab Emirates, he films himself walking into a part of the building that looks to be under construction, noting there is hardly anyone around. But later he comes across a worker who asks him what he’s doing. He uses Google translate to say in Arabic that he “was working on the site and forgot something” before he is told to leave. Mr Lockwood then uses a different staircase to start his climb to the 77th floor, while stopping every so often to drench his head with water from taps to cool himself down in the heat. He says in the video that he changed staircases eight times in two hours as he kept coming across workers. At the top, the daredevil uses no safety equipment as he spins himself around the poles of the crane – as if on a playground climbing frame – with a view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, nearby. He said his experience was “surreal” but also “almost peaceful” as his “brain is blank” while he carries out his stunts. “When I first looked at the footage, I was thinking to myself: ‘This is it, this is the most incredible thing I’ve done’,” he said. “It’s something I know I can do and that 99 per cent of the world can’t and never will do, so I feel obliged to use my ability and enjoy doing it in the process.” He said he later discovered that the bars of the crane has been covered in “grease”, something he mistook before starting his stunt for desert dust.  

A man thought to be the most overweight in Britain has tragically died at the age of 37 of organ failure and sepsis after being admitted to hospital. Matthew Crawford weighed 55 stone at his heaviest and has hit headlines in recent years after taking up four hospital beds in the NHS for 18 months due to a lack of social care at home. Friends have paid tributes to him online as a ‘great lad’ who is ‘with his father now’. Nicknamed ‘Fatkid’, his friends reminisced about their time with Mr Crawford in years gone by, with one writing: ‘Sad news I’ve not seen him in years. Quite a lot younger than us if I remember rightly. RIP.’ He was admitted to The King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in May 2018, and is thought to have cost the NHS up to £7,000 a week during his extended stay. For much of that time he had been declared medically fit to leave, but was unable to be discharged due to a lack of appropriate social care being available. An NHS source at the time told the flying monkeys: ­’Everybody is sick to the back teeth with the situation and it’s about time it was exposed. There’s nothing medically wrong with Matt now but we’re powerless to get rid of him. There’s space for four people who need to be on the ward being taken up by one bloke who doesn’t.’ Mr Crawford also had to be moved to a separate area of the hospital after staff learned he had a previous conviction for attacking four nurses at a care home he was living in. But his mother Linda denied reports circulating in the media at the time which claimed he was regularly ordering takeaways from his hospital bed. A year later he was finally able to move to a more ‘appropriate’ setting in December 2019. A spokesperson for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust said at the time: ‘While we are not able to comment on the care of individual patients for reasons of confidentiality, we can confirm that Mr Crawford is no longer in the care of Sherwood Forest Hospitals. Mr Crawford is believed to have been Britain’s fattest man at the time of his death after 52-year-old Barry Austin, a Birmingham cab driver who had previously held the title, died last January. 

Mystery is surrounding the death of an American jet ski world champion dubbed ‘Eric the Eagle’, who was found floating in the water near his undamaged Kawasaki after  ‘disappearing’ during a race. Eric Francis, 36, from West Palm Beach, Florida, was found dead off the coast of Guadeloupe during a race in the Caribbean on Saturday, just weeks before the birth of his second daughter. The Floridian nicknamed ‘Eric the Eagle’ was married to British world champion jet skier Sophie Francis, 26. The couple have a two-year-old daughter and Sophie, from Wiltshire, UK, is due to give birth to their second daughter in the next few weeks. Both she and their daughter were in Guadeloupe supporting Eric and are now being comforted by family and friends. Eric was racing in the Marie-Galante jet ski race near Saint-Louis, Guadeloupe, where conditions were ‘moderate’. A search party was launched when he didn’t show for the final stage of the race. The multi-race winning world champion was found on Saturday afternoon near his high-powered Kawasaki Ultra 310X jet ski, which has a top speed of 67mph. His jet ski was found undamaged nearby and an investigation is taking place to establish the cause of death.

Travis Barker has revealed that he was admitted to hospital last week after being diagnosed with “life-threatening pancreatitis”. On Tuesday 28th June, the Blink-182 drummer was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles alongside wife Kourtney Kardashian. According to reports, Barker first attended West Hills Hospital in the morning after experiencing a health issue, but was then transferred to the larger hospital by ambulance. Fans shared their concerns after Barker’s 16-year-old daughter Alabama asked her followers for their prayers on social media. By Saturday night, Barker shared an update on his health, explaining that a routine endoscopy had left him with pancreatitis. ‘I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great,” Barker wrote on Instagram Stories. “But after dinner I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalised ever since. During the endoscopy I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe, life-threatening pancreatitis. I am so very very grateful that with intensive treatment I am currently much better.” Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a small organ located behind the stomach that helps with digestion. In her own post, his wife Kardashian described her “scary and emotional” week, writing: “Our health is everything and sometimes we take for granted how quickly it can change. I am so grateful to God for healing my husband, for all of your prayers for him and for us, for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support. I am so touched and appreciative,” she said. “I am so so thankful to our specialists, doctors and nurses at Cedars Sinai for taking such wonderful care of my husband and me during our stay. It’s crazy how sometimes words could never truly express the gratitude or feelings I have inside of me.”

On This Day

  • 1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.
  • 1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour.
  • 1969 – Space Race: The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.
  • 1996 – British Prime Minister John Major announced the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland.

Deaths

  • 1937 – Jacob Schick, American-Canadian inventor, invented the electric razor (b. 1877).
  • 1971 – Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943).
  • 2012 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1926).

 A Mafioso Hit?

A jet-setting Italian broker accused of stealing millions was burned beyond recognition when a motorbike he was driving burst into flames in Rome. 

Police are investigating the mysterious crash that claimed the life of Massimo Bochicchio, 56, who was due to give evidence in court after allegedly stealing around €500million from wealthy investors. His client list includes former Italian national football team coach Marcello Lippi and former Chelsea and present Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte, who was allegedly cheated out of more than €20million. 

The broker hung around at the Circolo Canottieri Aniene sports club, one of Italy’s oldest and most notorious sports clubs, and often boasted that he was close friends with the honorary chairman, Giovanni Malago. 

His LinkedIn profile shows he used to work at HSBC, and was linked to an enormous network of companies, with many registered in the UK.

Bochicchio’s talk of international investments won him a luxurious lifestyle as investors handed over their cash for the promise of 10% returns. 

But when investors demanded to see their returns, Bochicchio skipped town.

He left Italy in 2020 to lie-low, dodging calls and letters from his investors asking what had happened to their money.

By then, Italy’s financial crimes department had caught wind that something was amiss. Tax investigators opened an inquiry and seized nearly €11million in assets including an Alpine ski resort and a Picasso painting.

Eventually, the authorities caught up with Bochicchio.

Interpol tracked him down to Jakarta and  arrested him on July 2021, flying him home to face trial and give evidence. 

As well as his legitimate clients, investigators believe that Bochicchio also stole money from criminal investors who were using him to launder money held in offshore accounts.

But soon after agreeing to give evidence revealing details on his illicit funds, the motorbike Bochicchio was driving is reported to have slammed into a wall and burst into flames on June 19th.

The hearing was scheduled in the Capitoline court in piazzale Clodio the day after his death, opening up questions over the timing of the accident.

In another twist, one report suggested his motorbike was on fire even before he crashed, according to The Times, sparking speculation that his vehicle could have been sabotaged.

But which of Bochicchio’s affiliates could have targeted the crook? His list of clients stretches to include obscure celebrities and connected Italian businessmen of many varieties. 

Police wiretaps leaked to Italian media in 2020 reveal that at least one of told Bochicchio’s clients was waiting outside of his house, making a sinister promise to his life that ‘something will happen’.

‘We await the outcome of tests on the bike, but Bochicchio never told me he had received threats,’ said his lawyer, Gianluca Tognozzi.

His wife had filed divorce papers before he died, Il Mesaggero reported, after she confessed to her sister she could no longer put up with people turning up to their house.

Other investors and affiliates have so far kept silent, but Italian investigators are hoping they can piece the conspiracy together even without evidence from Bochicchio.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Tom Cruise (60), Patrick Wilson (49), Kurtwood Smith (79), Yeardley Smith (58), Margot Robbie (32), Lindsay Lohan (36), Jerry Hall (66), Larry David (75), Saul Rubinek (74), Peter Kay (49), Pamela Anderson (55), Liv Tyler (45), Dan Aykroyd (70), Jean Marsh (88), Debbie Harry (77), Jamie Farr (88), Vincent D’Onofrio (63), Katherine Ryan (39), Mike Tyson (56), Gary Busey (78), Amanda Donohoe (60), John Cusack (56), Mel Brooks (96), Kathy Bates (74), Felicia Day (43), Alice Krige (68), Elon Musk (51), Tobey Maguire (47), J.J. Abrams (56), and Meera Syal (61).


Dead Pool 26th June 2022

This issue is a bit mountainous. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Former Oasis guitarist Bonehead has given fans an update after undergoing treatment for cancer. The musician, real name Paul Arthurs, was diagnosed with tonsil cancer earlier this year.. Writing on Twitter on Friday, he informed fans of the progress of his treatment, saying he was now “in recovery”. “Quick update,” he wrote. “Today I finished my course of treatment, 30 radiotherapy sessions and two chemotherapy. I’m feeling the pain right now but I’m in recovery and things can only get better from here. I can’t thank the team who supported and treated me at The Christie enough. Doctors, radiographers, dieticians, speech and language. You all really made it so much easier,” he continued. “I’ll forever look back at what you all do with a hand on my heart. Thank you massively. I’m back for a scan end of September to check all’s well, but for now it’s into recovery mode. Couple of tough weeks ahead yet but I’ll get there.” He then thanked his fans for their messages of support. “There’s so many each day and I read them all,” he said. “They mean a lot so thank you for that.” Bonehead was a founding member of Oasis. He announced he was leaving the group in 1999, during the recording of Oasis’s fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, explaining that he wished to spend more time with his family. He continued to work with Liam Gallagher over the years, and had been scheduled to perform with him this summer.  

A British man has been killed after falling at the notorious “Devil’s Pass” mountain in northern Spain. The 25-year-old was staying in a hotel in Eibar, a city in the province of Gipuzkoa, with a friend and mountaineering in the Basque Country, as reported by the flying monkeys. He reportedly became separated from his climbing partner and continued on his own to navigate the limestone mountain crest of Anboto on Thursday afternoon in stormy conditions. It is suspected that dire conditions caused the unnamed climber to fall as he attempted to navigate the exposed route, which is known for being difficult to climb in wet weather. Emergency services were scrambled to find the young man and a search took place overnight to locate him that included helicopters, rescue dogs and the Red Cross. His body was recovered by the Ertzaintza Surveillance and Rescue Unit, with the assistance of a helicopter on Friday. It is understood the man was a tourist on holiday. A spokesperson for the Ertzaintza police force said: “Emergency services have located the lifeless body of the mountaineer who we had been searching for since Thursday evening. The alarm was raised around 8.30pm, saying the 25-year-old had gone missing near to the Alluitz mountain summit. A police helicopter found his body in a place called the canal de Infernu Zubi, near to the Alluitz peak, where it appears he could have suffered a fall.” The Devil’s Pass – Paso del Diablo in Spanish – is notoriously difficult for even the most experienced climbers and has previously caused fatalities. However, the mountain is still popular with hikers despite frequent slips on the treacherous limestone.  

Thirteen years ago this week, Michael Jackson died suddenly, on June 25, 2009, an event which soon became one of the most widely reported celebrity deaths.  Aged 50, Jackson died in his Los Angeles home after a cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs, prescribed by his personal doctor. As well as the controversy surrounding his death, soon, Jackson’s financial situation was cast in the public’s eye. He passed just 18 days before he was due to take the stage in his This Is It tour. The tour was supposed to be his last, and broke multiple box office records when tickets were released. However, some reports suggest that the tour was intended to help pay off some of Jackson’s mountainous debts. At the time of his death, Jackson had a $500million debt. Many blamed his spending habits for the debt, with lavish purchases like the Neverland Ranch, which reportedly cost $19.5million to purchase. On top of this, it is said to have cost $10million per year to maintain. After his death, the executors of his estate were able to save Jackson’s financial state thanks to an aggressive tactic. They sold all of his future music rights to Sony for $250million. Once his debts were settled, Jackson’s heirs could finally access their inheritance. Forty percent of his assets were split equally between his three children, and another 40 percent was left to his mother Katherine Jackson. The final 20 percent of the superstar’s estate was left to various children’s charities. Each of Jackson’s children are purported to be worth $100 million each, which ain’t bad for doing fuck all. 

On This Day

  • 1483 – Richard III becomes King of England.
  • 1906 – The first Grand Prix motor race is held at Le Mans.
  • 1963 – Cold War: U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, underlining the support of the United States for democratic West Germany shortly after Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall.
  • 1974 – The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
  • 1977 – Elvis Presley holds his final concert in Indianapolis, Indiana at Market Square Arena, before succumbing to a burger induced shit death a couple of weeks later.
  • 1997 – J. K. Rowling publishes the first of her Harry Potter novel series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in United Kingdom.

Deaths

  • 2003 – Denis Thatcher, English soldier and businessman (b. 1915).
  • 2005 – Richard Whiteley, English journalist and game show host (b. 1943).
  • 2012 – Nora Ephron, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1941).

What is the most dangerous mountain to climb? 

Is it the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, which claims lives almost every season? Could it be the medium-sized Matterhorn in the Alps? Or even little old Mount Washington in New Hampshire? We set out to try to answer this question and to uncover what makes a mountain so dangerous. 

It should go without saying that climbing and mountaineering are inherently dangerous activities and require a great deal of safety training and gear. One of the sad facts of climbing is that injuries and fatalities seem to take up as much news space as the success stories, but it is certain that far more people reach the world’s summit than perish trying. 

In setting out to answer this question, we relied on statistics surrounding fatalities, since these are better recorded than injuries and incidents which often go unreported. It’s safe to say that of all the possibilities when it comes to climbing, death is the worst one and therefore a good indicator of danger.

However, we’ve made a point to compare not just total death toll but also death rate, since some peaks have very few climbers attempting them and a high death rate, suggesting they may be more dangerous than those which attract thousands each year. We’ll let you look at the numbers and decide which you think makes the deadliest mountain.

Finally, our goal in approaching this common question is not to reinforce morbid fascination with climbing deaths; rather, want to provide you some perspective as to the relative dangers of climbing, and another reason to celebrate the many outstanding climbing success stories of our time. 

There are lots of factors that can make a mountain dangerous for climbing. Any slope that is 30 degrees or steeper is subject to powerful snow slides. Then there’s the question of wildlife – animals such as mountain lions, bears and moose that live at higher altitude certainly can pose some risk to humans.

And of course there’s the issue of the weather. Rain and snow storms, high winds and lightning all make for even more treacherous conditions up high. Mountain tops experience colder temperatures than land at sea level and their mass can actually influence weather patterns, forcing air to move over the barrier it creates and causing meteorological instability. Case in point: Mount Washington. Many people will be surprised to learn that this small 6,822ft peak in New Hampshire has claimed more lives than any other US mountain, largely due to its wild weather patterns. 

Then there are so-called internal factors that can make a mountain dangerous for climbing. You might experience altitude sickness at elevations above 8,000ft, which can mean dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, headaches, or in the worst case scenario high altitude pulmonary oedema and cerebral oedema. 

Getting lost is another factor that increases the dangers of climbing. The more remote the terrain, the less there is in terms of helpful navigational features. Getting lost on a mountain can mean spending the night on a rock face exposed to the elements, or risking a dangerous fall if you end up off-route.

Finally there’s the very real possibility of suffering from hypothermia, since mountains usually mean very high altitude and that almost always means sub-zero temperatures and the need for extreme weather gear and survival skills. 

Most people assume that Mount Everest, standing at 29,032ft in the Himalayas, is the deadliest mountain in the world and any deaths on Everest certainly do generate headlines. After all, it has claimed over 300 climbers and its perilous conditions have been chronicled by the likes of Jon Krakauer in his book Into Thin Air and in documentaries like Sherpa that spotlights the deadly 2014 avalanche that killed 16. Everest claimed the life of famous mountaineering pioneer George Mallory and turns back about a third of all those who attempt it each year. It becomes increasingly crowded with images of long lines of climbers waiting to reach the summit frequently circulating the internet. 

However, the number of climbers attempting Everest rose by more than 50% between 2006 and 2019 compared to the previous 15 years, the death rate remained the same at about 1%. So in a typical current year, of the average 800 climbers who attempt Everest, eight are statistically likely to die doing so. Further, it found that the summit success rate has actually doubled from the first 15-year period studied to the next, meaning we’re actually getting better at safely summiting the world’s highest peak. As it turns out, Mount Everest is not dearly as deadly as some other mountains in the vast Himalayan range. 

The next tallest mountain after Everest is K2, standing at 28,251ft in Pakistan. This remote mountain features a long approach and is known for treacherous weather and deathly avalanches. From 1906 to 2008 only 264 people managed to reach the top, far fewer than summit Everest in a single year.

This treacherous mountain has some grim statistics, especially when it comes to women climbers, having claimed the lives of such mountaineers as Alison Hargreaves. Hargreaves was the first woman to summit Everest without support or supplemental oxygen but perished along with six other climbers on K2 in1995. Compared to Everest’s average 1% death rate, the percentage of climbers who die attempting to climb K2 is reported by NASA to be around 25%. So K2 is statistically much more dangerous than Everest, but is it the most dangerous mountain to climb?   

There are two other Himalayan peaks worth looking at when trying to determine the most dangerous mountain to climb. Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth tallest mountain in Pakistan, where mountaineer Tom Ballard lost his life, is reported to have a death rate of about 25%, or one in four, which is staggeringly higher than Everest. Meanwhile, Nepal’s Annapurna, the world’s tenth highest peak, frequently tops the death toll rate with a fatality rate of more than 30%. In other words, for every three people that attempt Annapurna, only two survive. It’s also worth noting that both of these mountains have far fewer successful summits – under 300 total compared to over 4,000 on Everest – owing to how challenging they are.

So in terms of death rate, even with only 63 total deaths, Annapurna currently holds the title of the world’s most deadly mountain. Annapurna’s highly technical route and geology of unstable rocks are pointed to as primary factors making it considerably more dangerous than other surrounding peaks. Its avalanche-prone terrain features ice walls and crevasses and it is the victim of unpredictable weather and climate. 

At over 300, Everest seems to be a strong contender for highest death toll, but believe it or not, the answer to this question doesn’t seem to lie in the Himalayas at all. It is estimated that over 500 alpinists have died on The Matterhorn, a relatively small mountain at only 14,685ft in the Swiss Alps, making it the deadliest mountain in the world for climbing.

Though it is half the height of Everest, Swiss mountain guides told the newspaper Tages-Anziger that climate change was to blame for so many recent deaths, with rising global temperatures causing permafrost thaws and dangerous crumbling rock.

However, while more climbers may have died on the Matterhorn than any other mountain, it’s important to note that the first ascent of this peak took place back in 1865, almost a century before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Everest. So once again, the numbers are all relative.  

Last Week’s Birthdays

Nick Offerman (52), Ariana Grande (29), Chris Isaak (66), Ricky Gervais (61), Sheridan Smith (41), Erin Moriarty (28), Iain Glen (61), Nancy Allen (72), Peter Weller (75), Mick Fleetwood (75), Joel Edgerton (48), Selma Blair (50), Frances McDormand (65), Joss Whedon (58), Bryan Brown (75), Duffy (38), Meryl Streep (73), Bruce Campbell (64), Lindsay Wagner (73), Stephen Chow (60), Cyndi Lauper (69), Tim Russ (66), Prunella Scales (90), Chris Pratt (43), Juliette Lewis (49), David Morrissey (58), Lana Wachowski (57), Lana Del Rey (37), Tom Wlaschiha (49), Nicole Kidman (55), John Goodman (70), Robert Rodriguez (54), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (33), and Brian Wilson (80).


Dead Pool 19th June 2022

Short and sweet this week, simply because of my epic hangover.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Samantha Fox, 56, has been left “in shock” after doctors discovered a 10mm growth between her vocal cords. The lump was found after Sam sought medical attention due to issues with her singing. Following tests, doctors ruled that the growth is in a “precarious” position, but have not determined at this stage whether it is cancerous. The former Page 3 model says she was left in tears when she saw the growth. And, following a history of cancer in her family, she has expressed her worries that it could be throat cancer. Sam told The Flying Monkeys: “When I saw the growth on the screen, I thought, ‘Oh God, that’s not normal. It looked very big. You think about throat cancer straight away. The doctor said, ‘We have to get that out as soon as possible. It might be nothing, but it might not be’.” The singer adds that her fiancée, Linda Olsen, 48, was with her when she received the news and “broke down in tears”. Sam adds she is “in shock” and has “cried a lot”. She will have surgery to remove the growth this month. Doctors have told her that even if the lump is benign, its “precarious position” means “scarring is very much a possibility”. Sam’s former long-term partner, Myra Stratton, died in 2015 after battling a rare cancer in her jaw. Sam and Myra were in a relationship for 16 years and Sam took care of her until she died.   

Gardeners’ World star Monty Don was found by his wife after a terrifying collapse, and rushed to hospital where morphine was injected into his veins. The star had  succumbed to a bad case of peritonitis, which can quickly prove fatal if left untreated. Monty, 52, had been filming for the TV series Around The World in 80 Gardens when he became unusually exhausted. “I said to my director ‘I feel really tired’ and then woke up in the middle of the night feeling dreadful,” he told the flying monkeys. “My wife found me collapsed. If she had not found me I would have died. I got into an ambulance at 2am and they stuck morphine into my veins.” He had contracted peritonitis just before he travelled to South Africa. The father of three, who has also been open about his battle with depression, had become run down after taking on a heavy workload. He had not taken a holiday for two years at the time of his collapse. Peritonitis develops after the intestines become perforated and it can be deadly, so reacting quickly is vital.  

US President Joe Biden fell off his bike as he was trying to get off it, after a ride near his beach home in the US state of Delaware. The 79-year-old leader got back to his feet and proceeded to talk with members of the public. He said he did not hurt himself, according to the flying monkeys. He said his foot had been caught in the pedal strap. But we all know what a fall does to someone of his age. Here at Dead Pool Towers we are left wondering who does the presidents risk assessment? Seriously, they wouldn’t allow Obama to walk up a mountain with Bear Grylls, yet here they allow a geriatric loose on a racer! Go figure! 

On This Day

  • 1718 – At least 73,000 people died in the Chinese Tongwei–Gansu earthquake due to landslides.
  • 1910 – The first Father’s Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington. Greeting card and sock manufacturers rejoice!
  • 1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.
  • 2009 – Mass riots involving over 10,000 people and 10,000 police officers break out in Shishou, China, over the dubious circumstances surrounding the death of a local chef.

Deaths

  • 1937 – J. M. Barrie, Scottish novelist and playwright (b. 1860).
  • 1993 – William Golding, British novelist and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911).
  • 2013 – James Gandolfini, American actor and producer (b. 1961).

Last Week’s Birthdays

Zoe Saldana (44), Kathleen Turner (68), Aidan Turner (39), Paula Abdul (60), Richard Madden (36), Isabella Rossellini (70), Carol Kane (70), Paul McCartney (80), Will Forte (52), Jodie Whittaker (40), Barry Manilow (79), Arnold Vosloo (60), John Cho (50), James Bolam (87), Courteney Cox (58), Helen Hunt (59), Neil Patrick Harris (49), Ice Cube (53), Jim Belushi (68), Will Patton (68), Yasmine Bleeth (54), Donald Trump (76), Boy George (61), Chris Evans (41), Stellan Skarsgård (71), Richard Thomas (71), Ally Sheedy (60), Tim Allen (69), Malcolm McDowell (79), Mary-Kate Olsen (36), Ashley Olsen (36), Simon Callow (73), Steve-O (48), and Kathy Burke (58).


Dead Pool 12th June 2022

News and deaths were a bit thin on the ground last week, however, we can have a chuckle at  Bieber and some stupid people who took their own lives in their hands and epically failed. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Justin Bieber has cancelled a series of shows on his latest tour after a virus caused “full paralysis” on one side of his face. The Canadian ‘popstar’ said he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome after a virus had damaged the nerves in his ear. He said he was suffering a “pretty serious” case in a video he posted to his Instagram page. The 28-year-old is currently on his Justice tour in North America and has cancelled performances in Toronto, Washington DC and New York. He said: “It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear in my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis. As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move, so there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.” In the three-minute long video he tries to smile, blink and move his face but parts of his face would not react. He said he has been doing facial exercises to recover. Bieber’s last album, Justice, released in March 2021, has been certified platinum in the US, and got to second in the UK album charts. The North America leg of his world tour is due to end in July. “So for those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously not able of doing them,” he said. “This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down. I hope you guys understand, and I’ll be using this time to just rest and relax and get back to 100% so I can do what I was born to do. But in the meantime, this ain’t it. We don’t know how much time it is going to be but it’s going to be OK, I have hope and I trust God. I trust it is all for a reason. I’m not sure what that is right  now but in the meantime I am going to rest.” 

A British base jumper has died after leaping from a drop of almost a kilometre when his parachute failed to open. Dylan Morris Roberts had jumped from an 800m height in the Italian Dolomites but hit the side of a mountain after falling about a quarter of the distance. Local police said the 33-year-old’s parachute did not deploy, but that the accident could have happened because he miscalculated his trajectory. A spokesperson for police in Brento, northern Italy, said: “We received a call from the mountain rescue services informing us of an accident and a crew was sent to the scene. “The body of a British man was recovered and the consulate in Milan was informed. The prosecutor has also been informed and a report will be compiled for the office at a later stage.” Mr Roberts was a trained driving instructor who worked at the British Parachute School in Langar, Nottinghamshire. He had made dozens of jumps and also enjoyed base jumping, an extreme sport that sees people leap off fixed objects and use a parachute to land. Typically, this includes buildings, masts, bridges and cliffs. “Some of the happiest memories I have are teaching people to skydive and see the pure happiness painted in the beaming smiles on their faces,” he wrote on Facebook in 2018. “I’ll always remember them by those happy moments in free fall.” Monte Brento, not far from tourist hotspot Lake Garda, is a popular area for base jumpers. The Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Italy, and are in contact  with local authorities.” 

The Flying Monkeys report that they have bodycam footage of the moment Arizona police officers allegedly stood by as a man begged them for help, before drowning in a lake. Footage and a transcript of the 28th May incident, obtained by the flying monkeys, reveals an officer telling Sean Bickings “I’m not jumping in after you” moments before he died in the water at Tempe Town Lake. Sounds horrific, but read on, you’ll change your mind. The officers had been called to the Elmore Pedestrian Bridge in Tempe just after 5am that morning to a report of a disturbance between a couple. When they arrived on the scene, Mr Bickings, 34, and his wife, who was not named, told officers that no physical fight had taken place. The officers then told the couple that they were running their names through a database to check for any outstanding warrants for their arrests. At that point, Mr Bickings is seen in the bodycam footage telling police he is going “for a swim”. “I’m gonna go for a swim. I’m free to go right?” Mr Bickings says. The 34-year-old then clambers over a metal fence and sits on the edge of the water. The officers stand watching from the water’s edge and tell him he can’t go swimming in the lake.  “You’re not allowed to swim in the lake,” one of the officers tells him. Mr Bickings then jumps into the water below the bridge and starts to swim away. The officers make no movement to retrieve him from the water, simply watching as they discuss “how far” they think he will manage to swim. The bodycam was only released in part by city officials with footage withheld of the specific moment that Mr Bickings drowned. Officials said that the remaining footage was “sensitive” and so a partial written transcript of the bodycam was released instead. In the transcript, the 34-year-old begs the officers to “help me” and repeatedly says that he is “going to drown”. “So what’s your plan right now?” one of the officers asks Mr Bickings. “I’m going to drown,” he replies, according to the transcript. The same officer dismisses his concerns, saying “no, you’re not”. Another officer urges him to “at least go to the pylon and hold on”. “I’m drowning,” Mr Bickings replies. The officer again tells him to “come back over to the pylon”. When the 34-year-old replies “I can’t. I can’t”, the officer refuses to get in the water to help him. “Okay, I’m not jumping in after you,” the officer says. Mr Bickings and his wife beg the officers to do something to save him from drowning. “Please help me. Please, please, please,” begs Mr Bickings. His wife tells the officers “he’s drowning right in front of you and you won’t help”. It is not clear how long Mr Bickings was left to struggle in the water before he disappeared under the surface and drowned. Officials said that at least one of the officers did try to get a boat to help the 34-year-old. His body was eventually recovered from the lake six hours later. The police union added that officers do not receive training in water rescue and do not have equipment to help people who are drowning. However, the incident’s “grief mirrors our community’s grief”, the union said, adding: “No one wanted this incident to end as it did.” The three officers on the scene have been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is ongoing. A police union defended the officers’ actions after the video captured nationwide attention on Monday, claiming that they did not have the resources to conduct the rescue. “Attempting such a high-risk rescue could easily result in the death of the person in the water and the officer, who could be pulled down by a struggling adult,” representatives of the Tempe Officers Association said. “Officers are trained to call the Fire Department … or get the Tempe Police boat. That is what officers did here.” So, an idiot drowned, his own wife decided she’d not jump in and help him either, but it is the police’s fault. 

On This Day

  • 1817 – The earliest form of bicycle, the dandy horse, is driven by Karl von Drais.
  • 1939 – Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures’ Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.
  • 1964 – Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.
  • 2016 – Forty-nine civilians are killed and 58 others injured in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida; the gunman, Omar Mateen, is killed in a gunfight with police.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Shia LaBeouf (36), Peter Dinklage (54), Joshua Jackson (44), Hugh Laurie (63), Adrienne Barbeau (77), Jane Goldman (52), Elizabeth Hurley (57), Bill Burr (54), DJ Qualls (44), Jürgen Prochnow (81), Johnny Depp (59), Natalie Portman (41), Michael J. Fox (61), Eddie Marsan (54), Griffin Dunne (67), Nancy Sinatra (82), Karl Urban (50), Liam Neeson (70), Bill Hader (44), Anna Torv (43), Michael Cera (34), Lance Reddick (60), Helen Baxendale (52), Tom Jones (82), Robert Englund (75), Jason Isaacs (59), Paul Giamatti (55), Sandra Bernhard (67), and Josie Lawrence (63).


Dead Pool 5th June 2022

Looks like old Queenie survived the Jubilee, just about… Anyhow, we do have points to  dispense! Well done Paul C for correctly listing Boris Pahor as his Cert. Bagging a whopping 142 points! He’s now the man to beat with six deaths to his name already! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Elton John looked frail as he arrived at Leipzig Airport in Germany in a wheelchair last Sunday, after performing as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. The singer, 75, revealed back in November he is “in pain most of the time” after he fell “awkwardly on a hard surface” and hurt his hip last summer. Elton said he is unable to get in and out of a car or move sideways, and was pictured being assisted into a wheelchair from his vehicle as he arrived for his flight home to Nice last weekend. He said last year of his injury: “At the end of my summer break I fell awkwardly on a hard surface and have been in considerable pain and discomfort in my hip ever since. Despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving.” And it appears Elton is still suffering from mobility issues which caused him to postpone his tour last October as he wasn’t “100 percent fit”. He told Lorraine of not having made a full recovery late last year: “I wouldn’t be 100 percent fit – I wouldn’t be 100 percent confident because I’m in pain most of the time. I can’t move sideways, I can’t get in and out of a car. I don’t know, with a year and a half of touring, how long my hip would last – it probably wouldn’t.The decision had to be made because I wouldn’t want to go on stage and give less than 100 percent.” In 2017, the music legend had a terrifying brush with death after contracting a “rare and potentially deadly” infection and falling seriously ill on a long haul flight – before hero medics saved his life. Elton was rushed to hospital after becoming “violently ill” on a flight home to the UK from Chile. He spent two nights being cared for in intensive care and 12 days in hospital while battling the “harmful and unusual” bacterial infection, contracted during his recent tour of South America. In the same year, Elton was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was fortunate that doctors caught the cancer early and Elton opted for surgery over a course of radiation and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, this left him incontinent and crippled with pain after a complication following the surgery.  

Bollywood star KK has died at the age of 53 after collapsing following a concert. The singer, whose full name was Krishnakumar Kunnath, died in Kolkata, India on Tuesday night. The Flying Monkeys report he fell ill when he returned to his hotel after a performance at Nazrul Manch. He had sung for almost an hour, but collapsed when he returned to the hotel. He was rushed to a private hospital in south Kolkata, but despite the efforts of medics, he did not survive. The Flying Monkeys reckon he suffered a heart attack. He was updating his Instagram page just eight hours before he becoming unwell. A senior hospital official said: “It’s unfortunate that we could not treat him.” KK had recorded songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali, among other languages. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to offer condolences to fans. “Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK,” he said. “His songs reflected a wide range of emotions as struck a chord with people of all age groups. We will always remember him through his songs. Condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti.”  

The rapper ex-boyfriend of singer Emeli Sande has been stabbed to death at a Jubilee party. Hypo, real name Lamar Jackson, was attacked in front of a “large number of people” at the bash in Redbridge, east London, police said. Despite efforts to save him the 39-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made. Scotland Yard is treating the case as a murder and has appealed for witnesses. Det Ch Insp Laurence Smith said it was possible the stabbing, in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, and its aftermath were captured on people’s phones. “I would urge anyone who is yet to speak with us to come forward and let us know what you saw,” he said. “Please take a look and call us. It is vital that we establish what happened.” Video appearing to show the death of Mr Jackson, from Hackney, was shared on social media, with fans quick to condemn those passing it on. One wrote on Twitter: “Whoever is sending the video of Hypo around is a sick and twisted individual and whoever recorded it is going to hell.” Tributes were also quick to pour in, with fans of the grime artist hailing him as “a pioneer” in the industry. Others said he was “a clean-hearted guy” and “a real Hackney legend”.

On This Day

  • 1883 – The first regularly scheduled Orient Express departs Paris.
  • 1893 – The trial of Lizzie Borden for the murder of her father and step-mother begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog”, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalising the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
  • 1963 – The British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigns in a sex scandal known as the “Profumo affair”.
  • 1968 – Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.
  • 1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first country-wide referendum on membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).
  • 1981 – The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognised cases of AIDS.
  • 1989 – The Tank Man halts the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Deaths

  • 2004 – Ronald Reagan, American actor and politician, 40th President of the United States (b. 1911)
  • 2012 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (b. 1920)
  • 2015 – Tariq Aziz, Iraqi journalist and politician, Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs (b. 1936)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Mark Wahlberg (51), Mel Giedroyc (54), Angelina Jolie (47), Russell Brand (47), Bruce Dern (86), Noah Wyle (51), Sean Pertwee (58), Bradley Walsh (62), Imogen Poots (33), James Purefoy (58), Suzi Quatro (72), Morena Baccarin (43), Awkwafina (34), Jewel Staite (40), Justin Long (44), Zachary Quinto (45), Wentworth Miller (50), Dominic Cooper (44), Dana Carvey (67), Kevin Feige (49), Liam Cunningham (61), Tom Holland (26), Morgan Freeman (85), Brian Cox (76), Jonathan Pryce (75), Amy Schumer (41), Alanis Morissette (48), Heidi Klum (49), Robert Powell (78), Clint Eastwood (92), Colin Farrell (46), Lea Thompson (61), Brooke Shields (57), Tom Berenger (73), Sharon Gless (79), Idina Menzel (51), Mark Sheppard (58), Stephen Tobolowsky (71), Colm Meaney (69), Jennifer Ellison (39), and Harry Enfield (61).


Dead Pool 29th May 2022

Since Lester Piggott decided to inconveniently die a day too soon, the lead story of him being in hospital has been pulled. However, if like me, you thought he died twenty years ago, you might be a little surprised he was actually still with us! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Legendary Dead Pool favourite, Dick Van Dyke made a rare public appearance last week. Van Dyke, 96, was in high spirits as he stepped out in a “Spoonful of Sugar” sweatshirt in Malibu, California, on Wednesday. The age-defying actor was accompanied by his wife Arlene Silver, 50, as they headed to lunch after finishing up a fitness class at a nearby gym. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary back in February by going viral with a romantic Valentine’s Day video — but still looked like loved-up newlyweds as they shared a laugh while strolling along in the sun. In addition to the sweatshirt referencing his most famous film role, Van Dyke kept things casual for the lunch date, donning a pair of Adidas sweatpants he presumably wore for his workout. The “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” star is famous for keeping fit and healthy in spite of his advancing age, telling the flying monkeys that he still hits the gym three times a week. “I’ve always been an exerciser and still am … I get in the pool and exercise. At my age, they say to keep moving. Put me on solid ground and I’ll start tapping,” he declared in an interview with the magazine back in 2019. Van Dyke revealed he does water aerobics, lifts weights and walks on a treadmill. He also credited his fit physique to “good genes.” Meanwhile, the smitten star said much-younger wife also keeps him on his toes. “I sometimes forget that we’re doing a great experiment here — 46 years’ difference. And we work at it to some extent,” he explained. “There’s got to be some understanding, find out what old habits don’t work anymore. It takes some adjusting and fitting in, but that’s part of the fun of it.”   

Ainsley Harriott has said his sister Jacqueline is doing “fine and well” after she dramatically fell into a pond at the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday. The chef took to Twitter to say: “Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She’s doing fine and all is well.” Ainsley and other stars rushed to save his sister Jacqueline from drowning as she fell into the pond. The 65-year-old was pictured lifting his sibling out of the water, alongside a group of celebrities, including DIY SOS host Nick Knowles. One guest who attended the show explained what had happened. They told the flying monkeys: “The garden was packed with lots of people and I think the woman must have fallen into the pond or tripped over and ended up in the water. “I think she nearly drowned. She was pulled out by Ainsley and some other celebrities before they laid her down on the floor. She was coughing up lots of water.” Pictures showed Ainsley grabbing onto Jacqueline and pulling her up after she slipped into the narrow water feature. She was handed over to paramedics after being pulled from the water. Onlookers were shocked as they watched the event unfold, with Ainsley and others rushing to save her, while Nick stood at the sidelines looking concerned with his new girlfriend Katie Dadzie. 

Meghan Markle’s dad has been left unable to speak after suffering a ‘major stroke’ less than a week before he was due to travel to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Thomas Markle Sr, 77, was hit by the health emergency in Mexico and had to be taken across the border to San Diego in an ambulance while using an oxygen mask. He was said to have lost his speech following the incident on Monday night which came after he already suffered a health scare last week, sources told the flying monkeys. His condition was so serious he could only communicate by scrawling down messages on a piece of paper, pals said. Meghan’s older half-brother Thomas Markle Jr, 55, was with him in Rosarito, the Mexican beach resort where he lives, on Monday when he was taken ill. His daughter Samanta Markle, 57, is understood to be flying in from Florida to be by his side. In a statement last night Samantha wished her father “godspeed” and said they were praying for his recovery. She said: “My father is recovering in hospital. We ask for privacy for the family, for his health and wellbeing. He just needs peace and rest. Godspeed. We are praying. He just needs some rest. It’s a travesty how much he’s been tortured and how much he’s had to go through thanks to my sister’s disregard the past few years. That is unforgivable.” The former Hollywood lighting director was planning to travel to the UK on Monday to be in London for next week’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

On This Day

  • 1914 – The Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with the loss of 1,012 lives.
  • 1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • 1982 – Falklands War: the British Army defeats the Argentine Army at the Battle of Goose Green.
  • 1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: Thirty-nine association football fans die and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses.

Deaths

  • 1957 – James Whale, English director (b. 1889).
  • 1979 – Mary Pickford, Canadian-American actress, producer, and screenwriter, co-founder of United Artists (b. 1892).
  • 2010 – Dennis Hopper, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1936).
  • 2017 – Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and politician, Military Leader of Panama (b. 1934).

 The Dog Suicide Bridge

Overtoun Bridge is a category B-listed structure over the Overtoun Burn on the approaching road to Overtoun House, near Dumbarton in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It was completed in 1895, based on a design by the landscape architect H. E. Milner.

Since the 1950s, numerous reports of dogs either falling or jumping from the bridge have been reported. With the incidents often resulting in serious injury or death upon landing on the rocks some 50 ft (15 m) below, the bridge has unsurprisingly been nicknamed the “Dog Suicide Bridge”. Various explanations for these deaths have been proposed, ranging from natural accidents to paranormal activity. 

During the 1950s, locals started referring to the bridge as the “Bridge of Death” or the “Dog Suicide Bridge”, as it was reported that dogs were leaping from the bridge into the ravine below. The story gained more prominence during the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. Since the original incidents were reported, at least 50 dogs have died from the fall, but over 600 have jumped but still survived!

In 2004, Kenneth Meikle was walking with his family and Golden Retriever, when the dog suddenly bolted and jumped off the bridge. It survived, but was traumatised by the experience. Going into 2005, at least five other dogs also jumped over the course of six months. In 2014, Alice Trevorrow, who was walking with her Springer Spaniel named Cassie, reported a strange experience on Overtoun Bridge. “I had parked up and as she is so obedient I didn’t put her lead on. Me and my son walked toward Cassie, who was staring at something above the bridge, she definitely saw something that made her jump. There is something sinister going on. It was so out of character for her.”  

A number of theories have been proposed as to the behaviour of dogs on the bridge. In 2014, canine psychologist David Sands proposed that the surrounding foliage – giving the in-reality extremely steep drop off the side of the bridge the appearance of even ground – combined with the residual odour from male mink urine in the area could be culprit for luring dogs to jump off the bridge. This theory was protested by a local hunter and resident of 50 years, John Joyce, who stated that there were “no mink in the area.” However, in an investigation by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Officer David Sexton found that one end of the bridge reportedly favoured by dogs contained “nests of mice, squirrels, and minks.” Furthermore, in an experiment in which ten dogs were exposed to canisters filled with mouse, squirrel and mink scent, seven of the dogs “all went straight for the mink scent, many of them quite dramatically.”

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has investigated the bridge and surrounding area, but none of their findings proved conclusive.

In 2019, the owners of Overtoun House, Bob and Melissa Hill, said that in 17 years of residing at the House, they had witnessed a number of dogs  become agitated, jump up, and fall from the bridge. Bob Hill, originally a pastor from Texas, stated that the scent of mink, pine martens, and other animals agitated the dogs, resulting in their jump onto the bridge wall: “The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge. And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.” However, Hill also stated his belief that the grounds of the House held some sort of spiritual quality. 

Local teacher Paul Owens argues that the bridge and nearby Overtoun House are haunted by supernatural activity. He claims that dogs and other animals are sensitive to such supernatural activity, so he proposes that dark spirits are responsible for luring dogs to their deaths. 

In October 1994, paranoid schizophrenic Kevin Moy threw his two-week-old son Eoghan to his death from the bridge because he believed that his son was an incarnation of the Devil due to a birthmark. He chose the location due to its association with dark spirits going back to the druidic days. Following his act of murder, Moy then attempted to commit suicide several times by jumping off the bridge and slashing his wrists, but he was detained and placed in a mental health hospital. 

So, who fancies a day trip? 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Annette Bening (64), Ted Levine (65), Laverne Cox (50), Danny Elfman (69), Mel B (47), Kylie Minogue (54), Paul Bettany (51), Jack McBrayer (49), Louis Gossett Jr. (86), André 3000 (47), Helena Bonham Carter (56), Pam Grier (73), Bobcat Goldthwait (60), Lenny Kravitz (58), Philip Michael Thomas (73), Stevie Nicks (74), Mike Myers (59), Cillian Murphy (46), Ian McKellen (83), Octavia Spencer (52), Frank Oz (78), Daisy Edgar-Jones (24), Doug Jones (62), John C. Reilly (57), Alfred Molina (69), Jim Broadbent (73), James Cosmo (74), Priscilla Presley (77), Gary Burghoff (79), Tommy Chong (84), Bob Dylan (81), Eric Cantona (56), Richard Ayoade (45), Joan Collins (89), Melissa McBride (57), and Bob Mortimer (63).


Dead Pool 22nd May 2022

After last weeks readathon, this week is slightly shorter. So without further ado….  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Danniella Westbrook was rushed to hospital with septicaemia, according to reports, which can be life-threatening if not dealt with quickly. The former EastEnders star, 48, was bedridden for several days while unwell, but is now recovering at home after having hospital treatment. A representative for the actress told The Flying Monkeys: ‘Danniella suffered a sudden health shock. Thankfully the issue was caught early and dealt with by medical professionals. Danniella has been released from hospital and is home recovering with the support of close family. We are grateful that Danniella hasn’t suffered from any major risks. Danniella appreciates everyone’s immediate support and we will be sure to issue updates on her ongoing recovery accordingly.’ Septicaemia, also known as sepsis, is a potentially life-threatening reaction, when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage its own tissues and organs. Although the symptoms can be hard to spot, and include confusion, pale or blotchy skin, a rash that does not fade with a glass rolled over it and breathlessness among other signs, urgent treatment is required. A source close to Danniella confirmed to the monkeys that it was caught in time and ‘all necessary precautions were taken’. Danniella recently appeared on the red carpet for a Celeb MMA party at the start of May, after having undergone surgery on her nose. She is currently undergoing operations to rebuild her face, including having a rib implanted in her face after her former drug addiction left her with crumbling bones and a collapsed jaw and cheekbone as well as damage to her nose.

Vladimir Putin is “increasingly ill” and is “constantly accompanied” by a team of doctors, former British spy Christopher Steele has claimed. Mr Steele, who wrote a dossier on Donald Trump and Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 US elections, had earlier stated that the Russian leader was “quite seriously ill”, although the “exact details” of what ailed him are not known. The latest remarks come amid mounting speculation on the Russian president’s allegedly deteriorating health and rumours that he is suffering from cancer. “He’s constantly accompanied around the place by a team of doctors,” the former spy told LBC radio. He also claimed that Mr Putin’s key meetings have to be divided into sections so that the president can take breaks in between to receive treatment from his doctors. “Meetings of the security council that are shown to supposedly last for a whole hour are actually broken up into several sections… he goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between those sections. And so clearly he is seriously ill, I mean how terminal or incurable it is not clear, we can’t be entirely sure,” Mr Steele said, adding that this health is affecting the governance of Russia. Mr Steele’s remarks on the 69-year-old president’s health come after an oligarch with close ties to Mr Putin was reportedly recorded saying that he is “very ill with blood cancer”. The unnamed Russian oligarch alleged in the recording that Mr Putin had surgery on his back linked to his blood cancer shortly before ordering the invasion of Ukraine on 24th February, according to the US-based New Lines magazine. There have been mounting concerns over Mr Putin’s health after videos circulating on social media showed him “shaking uncontrollably”. In April, Mr Putin was seen clutching a table for the entirety of a 12-minute video clip of a meeting he had with his defence minister. The Russian president also appeared frail at public events, including Victory Day celebrations on 9th May. Recently, video footage of Mr Putin from a meeting with his Tajikistan counterpart Emomali Rahmon showed the Russian leader fidgeting and twisting his foot. “There’s increasing disarray in the Kremlin, chaos in fact, that there’s no clear political leadership coming from Putin who is increasingly ill, and that in the military’s terms the structures of command and so on are not functioning as they should,” Mr Steele told the radio station. 

Dead Pool favourite and all-round smarmy cunt James Corden has admitted he only washes his hair once every two months, after residents of Los Angeles have been advised to cut down their shower time by four minutes to help preserve water. ”I use soap, but I don’t wash my hair. I wash it every two months. That is a true story,” he said during an episode of The Late Late Show. “I don’t think we’re nasty… We’re trying to protect the planet. You know, there is no planet B!” Corden says his average shower lasts three minutes. So not only is he a total waste of space, he probably smells too. 

On This Day

  • 1906 – The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.  
  • 1915 – Three trains collide in the Quintinshill rail disaster near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246.  
  • 1927 – Near Xining, China, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake causes 200,000 deaths in one of the world’s most destructive earthquakes.   
  • 1960 – The Great Chilean earthquake, measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, hits southern Chile, becoming the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, between 1,000 and 6,000 killed. 
  • 1967 – L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium, burns down, resulting in 323 dead or missing and 150 injured, the most devastating fire in Belgian history.  
  • 2017 – Twenty-two people are killed at an Ariana Grande concert in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.  

Deaths

  • 1885 – Victor Hugo, French novelist, poet, and playwright (b. 1802). 
  • 2004 – Richard Biggs, American actor (b. 1960). 
  • 2019 – Judith Kerr, German-born British writer and illustrator (b. 1923). 

The Next Big Thing! 

Just as you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Covid now just a distant dream, unless you didn’t get the vaccine, a handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States. 

The outbreaks are raising alarm because the viral disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere. 

Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases; as opposed to COVID-19 which has a fatality rate of 1.8%. The UK cases have been reported as the West African strain. 

“Historically, there have been very few cases exported. It has only happened eight times in the past before this year,” said Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who said it was “highly unusual”. 

Portugal has logged five confirmed cases, and Spain is testing 23 potential cases. Neither country has reported cases before. The United States has also reported one case. 

The virus spreads through close contact, both in spillovers from animals and, less commonly, between humans. It was first found in monkeys in 1958, hence the name, although rodents are now seen as the probable main animal host. 

Transmission this time is puzzling experts, because a number of the cases in the United Kingdom – nine as of May 18th have no known connection with each other. Only the first case reported on May 6th had recently traveled to Nigeria. As such, experts have warned of wider transmission if cases have gone unreported. 

The UK Health Security Agency’s alert also highlighted that the recent cases were predominantly among men who self-identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men, and advised those groups to be aware. 

Scientists are now carrying out genomic sequencing to see if the viruses are linked, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said this week. 

One possible scenario behind the rise in cases is increased travel as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. 

“My working theory would be that there’s a lot of it about in west and central Africa, travel has resumed, and that’s why we are seeing more cases,” said Whitworth. 

Monkeypox puts virologists on the alert because it is in the smallpox family, although it causes less serious illness. 

Smallpox was eradicated by vaccination in 1980, and the shot has since been phased out. But it also protects against monkeypox, and so the winding down of vaccination campaigns has led to a jump in monkeypox cases in areas where the disease is endemic, according to Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA in California. 

She said urgent investigation of the new cases was important as “they could suggest a novel means of spread or a change in the virus, but this is all to be determined. This isn’t going to cause a nationwide epidemic like COVID did, but it’s a serious outbreak of a serious disease,  and we should take it seriously,” said Whitworth.

Experts urged people not to panic!!!

Last Week’s Birthdays

Maggie Q (43), Ginnifer Goodwin (44), Graham Linehan (54), Naomi Campbell (52), Judge Reinhold (65), Noel Fielding (49), Mr. T (70), Jack Gleeson (30), Cher (76), Louis Theroux (52), Owen Teale (61), Grace Jones (74), James Fox (83), Tina Fey (52), Miriam Margolyes (81), Chow Yun-Fat (67), Toyah Willcox (64), Paul Whitehouse (64), Andrea Corr (48), Megan Fox (36), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (32), Pierce Brosnan (69), Danny Trejo (78), Debra Winger (67), David Boreanaz (53), Janet Jackson (56), and Stephen Mangan (54). 


Dead Pool 15th May 2022

Not to keep on about it, but the new rumour about Putin is blood cancer, couldn’t happen to a nicer person. And a quick shout out to Ukraine for winning the Eurovision, probably a forgone conclusion, but sadly was at our expense! Who would have thought, actual points and being on top of the table for a little while!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

BBC podcast host Deborah James has told her followers that she doesn’t know how long she has left after halting treatment for bowel cancer and moving to hospice at home care. The mother-of-two, who hosts the award-winning You, Me And The Big C, told her almost 300,000 Instagram followers that the last six months had been “heartbreaking”, but that she had been surrounded by “so much love” and had “no regrets”. James, 40, was diagnosed with the condition in 2016 and since then has regularly posted on social media with posts about her diagnosis and treatments. She wrote on Monday 9th May: “We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball. My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them. Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.” Sharing links to charities including Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, James asked her supporters to make donations and “buy me a drink to see me out this world”. She added: “Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment! You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah.” James, a former deputy headteacher, has been an avid cancer campaigner ever since her diagnosis, and has often shared the trials and tribulations of her disease in newspaper columns and on social media. She often wrote from her hospital bed. In September last year, she said she intended to “bang on” about her 40th birthday all week, because doctors previously told her she was unlikely to ever make it to that milestone.   

Britney Spears has revealed that she’s had a miscarriage weeks after announcing she was pregnant. Spears posted the news in April but, on Saturday, she told her followers she had miscarried, writing: “It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that we have lost our miracle baby early in the pregnancy.” The singer added: “This is a devastating time for any parent. Perhaps we should have waited to announce until we were further along, however, we were overly excited to share the good news. Spears said that she and her rumoured husband Asghari would “continue trying to expand our beautiful family”. Underneath the post, Asghari, who is believed to have recently married the singer in secret, wrote: “We will have a miracle soon.” Spears previously revealed that she had taken a pregnancy test after gaining weight on a vacation to Hawaii. In the post, she referred to Asghari, 28, as her “husband”, but sources close to the couple claim they are yet to be married. The 40-year-old has two children – Sean, 16, and Jayden, 15 – with her ex-husband Kevin Federline. Federline was married to Spears for two years from 2004 to 2006. Spears eventually filed for divorce from the former dancer, citing irreconcilable differences. 

A former top manager of the Russian energy corporation Lukoil has died from suspected toad poisoning, the flying monkeys report. Following a session with a local shaman in Mytishchi, a city northeast of Russia’s capital Moscow, Alexander Subbotin, a Lukoil board member, allegedly died in a basement after an anti-hangover session with the healer. Subbotin visited the shaman, Magua, and his wife at their home to treat a hangover using toad venom. “They made an incision on the skin, dripped toad poison there – and after vomiting the patient allegedly got better.” The witness also claims that Subbotin knew the couple for a long time and had regularly used their services. They noted: “And so he came to them once again – to treat a hangover. Suddenly he felt unwell – his heart ached. The owner decided not to call an ambulance, gave Corvalol and put the businessman to sleep in the basement. There the man died. They were just friends.” The tale of Subbotin’s curious demise is one in a number of unusual deaths involving Russia’s energy sector following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Recently, four current and former Gazprom officials – along with a further Russian energy official – died under mysterious circumstances over the course of several weeks, in the build-up to, and aftermath of, the Ukraine invasion. In two cases, the executives’ wives and children, in Moscow and a Spanish resort town, were also discovered gruesomely hacked to death.   

Actor and singer-songwriter Abi Phillips, the 28-year-old star of Hollyoaks, has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Phillips, known for playing Liberty Savage on the popular soap, shared the news with followers on Instagram on Monday 9th May. According to the post, Phillips had been diagnosed last month after initially being turned away by medical staff. She had been told that her age meant there was nothing to be concerned about after noticing two lumps on her neck However, she sought a second opinion after seeing Love Island star Demi Jones share her own experience with tumours. Sharing photographs of herself at a hospital, Phillips wrote: “So, I took these pictures before my scans and after my biopsy having a good old laugh about how ridiculously dressed up I looked in the hospital before a gig, not expecting for one moment to get the news that I did two weeks later… I’d previously been sent away from the doctors after having found two lumps in my neck, they’d passed it off and said I was ‘young’ and it wouldn’t be anything and I was ‘probably getting over a cold’ or my body was ‘fighting something off’. As much as that’s what I wanted to hear I wanted to get everything checked for my own peace of mind.” After booking in with a specialist, Phillips was referred for an urgent biopsy and scans. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and told she would need to undergo surgery and radiotherapy. “I never thought I would be told that I have cancer at the age of 28, you never think it’s going to happen to you,” she said. “I wouldn’t have taken things further with seeing a specialist if I hadn’t seen @demijones1 post as her lumps were in the exact same place as mine. If ever you find a lump or something unusual on your body, never just think it’s nothing, don’t be told that you’re fine by the GP and you’re ‘young’, always get things checked out by a specialist if you can and insist on tests even if it turns out to be nothing, as catching things early is crucial for a good prognosis.”   

Former England player and coach Graham Thorpe is “seriously ill” in hospital, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has said. Thorpe, 52, had accepted the job of Afghanistan head coach following his departure from the England set-up after this winter’s Ashes. The PCA released a statement at the request of Thorpe’s family, which read: “Graham Thorpe has recently fallen seriously ill and is currently in hospital receiving treatment. His prognosis is unclear at this stage and we ask for privacy for him and his family at this time. Our thoughts are with Graham and his family.” Former Surrey left-hander Thorpe was renowned as one of the finest English players of his generation, played exactly 100 Tests and scoring 16 centuries before retiring in 2005. He went on to begin a coaching career in Australia, where he worked with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner at New South Wales, before joining the England and Wales Cricket Board as a batting coach. He worked as assistant with the senior side under Trevor Bayliss and Chris Silverwood, stepping up to lead the team in this winter’s Sydney Test against Australia due to Silverwood’s coronavirus diagnosis. England drew the match to avoid a series whitewash. Thorpe left his role at the end of the Ashes but signalled his intention to remain in the international arena by taking the Afghanistan job in March. Surrey sent their thoughts to a “favourite son” of the club, writing on Twitter: “The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Graham, his wife Amanda, and family at this time. He is an icon of the English game, known by millions of cricket fans and forever a favourite son of Surrey CCC.”   

Gene Hackman has made a rare public appearance, and delighted movie fans in the process. The actor, who is 92, attended a show in Santa Fe’s Lensic Center for Performing Arts titled Broadway Confidential. It was billed as “an evening” with former Saturday Night Live star Ana Gasteyer and Sirius XM Radio host Seth Rudetsky. Rudetsky excitedly shared a photo of himself alongside Gasteyer and Hackman on Twitter, writing: “Look who came to our show in Santa Fe! GENE HACKMAN!!!!! Ah!!!! The Posiedon Adventure!!! My fave!” Since retiring from acting in 2004, Hackman, who lives in Santa Fe, has removed himself from the public eye, with many of his fans expressing concern about him. However, this photo has encouraged Hackman’s fans that the actor is OK, with many stating that he looks healthy. “What an honour!” one fan tweeted, adding: “He’s been retired from acting for a long time, but I’ve heard so many stories about him enjoying his life in Santa Fe. How great that he came to see your show. He looks fabulous.” Another added: “Oh wow, one of the greatest actors of the last 50 years (and arguably ever). Great to know that he’s still going strong even if we’re not lucky enough to have him on one screens anymore.” “He looks like he’s enjoying life to the fullest,” yet another Hackman fan replied, stating: “So nice to see a photo of him after so long!” Hackman’s extensive list of credits include The French Connection, The Conversation, Superman, Mississippi Burning and Unforgiven. His final roles before his retirement were The Royal Tenenbaums, Runaway Jury and Welcome to Mooseport. Hackman is considered one of the greatest actors of all time.

On This Day

  • 1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery and incest; she is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.
  • 1940 – Richard and Maurice McDonald open the first McDonald’s restaurant.
  • 1957 – At Malden Island in the Pacific Ocean, Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple.
  • 2010 – Jessica Watson becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.

Deaths

  • 1886 – Emily Dickinson, American poet and author (b. 1830)
  • 2003 – June Carter Cash, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress (b. 1929)
  • 2020 – Fred Willard, American actor, comedian, and writer (b. 1933)

Last Meals

Clarence Dixon had a last meal of KFC, a half a pint of strawberry ice cream and a bottle of water before he was executed last week. 

Dixon was sentenced to death for the murder of Deana Bowdoin, a university student, back in 1978. 

The blind 66-year-old served life behind bars and was executed by lethal injection, the first execution in Arizona since 2014.

As is protocol, inmates on death row get served a final meal of their choice and Dixon made his choice of chicken and ice cream according to documents given to the flying monkeys.

DNA linked Dixon to Bowdoin’s murder case in 2008 when he was already in prison serving a life sentence for a sexual assault in 1985. 

Leslie James, Bowdoin’s sister, released the following statement ahead of Dixon’s execution: “Deana was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was only 21 and in her last semester at ASU when she was violently taken from my family.” She said the last 44 plus years of reliving the murder as well as the trial had been horrific for the family. She continued: “As victims, the Arizona Constitution guarantees a prompt and final conclusion of this matter. Our parents wanted nothing more than to ultimately see justice for Deana. Unfortunately, they both passed away before punishment could be imposed.” 

The US Supreme Court denied Dixon a last minute stay of execution and he was given a choice between lethal injection and gas chamber. 

In the Arizona lower courts, the judge said that whilst Dixon evidently suffered from schizophrenia, in his legal opinion, he remained rational enough to comprehend proceedings and why he was being put to death. 

Prior to Dixon, Joseph Wood was the last person to be executed in Arizona. He ended up struggling and gasping for air for almost two-hours as he ended up being given more than a dozen doses – around 15 times the amount required according to the state’s execution protocol of drugs needed to kill a prisoner. 

Currently, in Arizona alone there are 112 people on death row however in recent years the state, like many others, has struggled to get hold of the drugs required for execution as more and more companies block their products from use. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Cate Blanchett (53), Sofia Coppola (51), George Lucas (78), Tim Roth (61), Robert Zemeckis (71), Francesca Annis (77), Jim Howick (43), Danny Huston (60), Greg Davies (54), Siân Phillips (89), Martine McCutcheon (46), Robert Pattinson (36), Samantha Morton (45), Iwan Rheon (37), Harvey Keitel (83), Zoë Wanamaker (73), Mark Heap (65), Stephen Colbert (57), Dennis Rodman (61), Stevie Wonder (72), Rhea Seehorn (50), Malin Akerman (44), Rami Malek (41), Emilio Estevez (60), Vanessa Williams (59), Ving Rhames (63), Gabriel Byrne (72), Stephen Baldwin (56), Jason Biggs (44), Shohreh Aghdashloo (70), Jeffrey Donovan (54), Tim Blake Nelson (58), Pam Ferris (74), Holly Valance (39), Coby Bell (47), Jadyn Wong (37), Bono (62), Maureen Lipman (76), Rosario Dawson (43), Glenda Jackson (86), Billy Joel (73), and Grace Gummer (36).


Dead Pool 8th May 2022

Another week, another newsletter… Bet you’re all getting bored of these!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers has said that he is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. The TV chef said that he’d decided to discuss his diagnosis publicly because he didn’t want to “hide under a rock”. He also disclosed that he would be losing his hair in the coming months. Speaking on his podcast, The Hairy Bikers: Agony Uncles… A Right Pair of Aunts, on Friday, Myers told his on-screen cooking partner Si King that he would be taking a step back from filming and attending food festivals with the Hairy Bikers this summer. “Anyway Kingy, I’ve got to come clean now,” Myers said. “I haven’t been too well recently and basically, I’ve got to have some chemo, you know all this anyway, so this year is going to be a bit quiet for me. I’m not going to be filming, some of the festivals I’m not going to be able to go to, some I may be OK but this year’s a bit of a write off for us.” The 64-year-old continued: “I would love it if people respected my privacy and just let me get on with it and give Si and our team all the support they need, that would be great. But look, the prognosis is OK, I’m going to be fine. I’ve just got to tuck in, look after myself, eat sensibly and get over this mess, flog books, and be a happy person. So within that, that’s where I am,” he said. “I may be a baldy biker for a while so it’s just a warning, I don’t want to make a fuss about it, I look alright bald actually,” Myers added, with King joking that his friend had looked like “an upside-down Hells Angel” when they first met. “Under different circumstances I would embrace it more I feel, but under these circumstances it’s simply something I have to live with, get on with it and crack on,” Myers said. The presenting duo met in 1995, releasing their first cookery TV show The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook together in 2004. Myers competed on the 11th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 with Karen Hauer, where they made it through to week seven.   

DJ David Hamilton has been diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer as the veteran broadcaster said it makes him look like he has a suntan. The legendary BBC broadcaster was admittedly left confused when friends expressed how his skin glowed and he had a healthy look about him. Unbeknownst to the radio legend, he had in fact been living with cancer. The veteran DJ explained he has been diagnosed polycythaemia vera – a rare type of blood cancer. Symptoms of the condition can include itchy skin, headaches, blurred vision, red skin and tiredness according to the NHS. David, who is best known for his presenting gigs on BBC Radio 1 and 2 as well as Top of the Pops, was in fact suffering from an unusual cancer. The 83-year-old admitted he was “caught on the hop” by his diagnosis after suffering no other signs of illness. He only became concerned when he began urinating blood one day and was referred to a specialist by his doctor that he was diagnosed with polycythaemia vera. The rare condition causes the body to overproduce red blood cells, causing the skin to develop a “very rosy complexion”. He explained: “I didn’t have any other indications, such as dizziness or tiredness, and that’s why the diagnosis caught me on the hop. When my GP sent me to St Luke’s, I said to my wife, ‘What am I doing here, I don’t have cancer? I was feeling perfectly fine, except for I was peeing blood, which is always a worry, but that could have been due to an infection. They told me I had too many red blood cells, and I was at risk of a heart attack or a stroke. They said the condition is called polycythaemia vera, and I needed to have treatment and have blood taken, to get my red cells down to a safe level.” He went on: “The word ‘cancer’ freaks everybody out. But my consultant said to put it in perspective, ‘if you’re going to have cancer, this is the best cancer you could possibly have’. That was very comforting. Too many red blood cells gives you a very rosy complexion, so it looks like you’ve got a suntan. So everybody who sees me says how well I look!” David, who lives in Sussex with his wife Dreena, continues to present a lunchtime show on Boom Radio radio six times a week despite his diagnosis. He began taking chemotherapy pills to treat the incurable condition over but is awaiting confirmation from his consultant if he requires further treatment. 

Amid rumours that Putin is planning to take a temporary leave of command due to ill health, experts are anticipating a big announcement on Russia’s 9th May ‘Victory Day’. Experts are keenly watching Vladimir Putin’s public appearances for further signs of ill health, amid rumours attributed to a Kremlin insider that the Russian president is due to undergo surgery, possibly for cancer. The rumours appear to have originated with the hugely popular Russian Telegram channel General SVR, which claimed that Mr Putin’s doctors have warned him the surgery might incapacitate him for “a short time”, and that during this period the president will briefly hand over the reins of power to an aide. There has been no official confirmation regarding Mr Putin’s alleged ill health – the Kremlin has not commented on the reports, either to confirm or deny them – but recent videos and pictures showing him shaky, fidgeting and puffy-looking have fuelled speculation that the 69-year-old may be suffering from one of a number of conditions including dementia, Parkinson’s or cancer. Russia observers are divided on how much attention to pay to the health rumours, with some even suggesting it could be a deliberate ploy from the Kremlin – given how tightly Russia controls any media output relating to the president. The latest claim about Mr Putin’s health was made on a Telegram channel which is purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general, using the pseudonym “Viktor Mikhailovich”. According to the Flying Monkeys, in a video on the channel it is claimed that Mr Putin recently had a two-hour “heart-to-heart” conversation with close aide and secretary of Russia’s security council, Nikolai Patrushev. Mr Patrushev, who is a former chief of the Federal Security Service, was told that he might be given charge in a handover lasting a few days, and the president “made it clear” to him that he views him as “almost the only truly confidant and friend in the system of power”. “I would say there is a great deal of speculation about President Putin’s health,” Theresa Fallon, founder and director of the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies in Brussels, told The Flying Monkeys. “Putin has always tried to emphasise his fitness and vigour, which is part of his brand. Illness does not fit with Putin’s strong man narrative that has been carefully cultivated over the years by the Kremlin. This makes me wonder if there is really something else going on behind the scenes,” she said. Last week, a video resurfaced from a mid-February meeting showing Mr Putin seeming to shake uncontrollably as he welcomed Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. 

On This Day

  • 1886 – Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.
  • 1902 – In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.
  • 1950 – The Tollund Man was discovered in a peat bog near Silkeborg, Denmark.
  • 1980 – The World Health Organisation confirms the eradication of smallpox.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Stephen Amell (41), Vicky McClure (39), David Attenborough (96), Alexander Ludwig (30), Richard O’Sullivan (78), Naomi Scott (29), Adrianne Palicki (39), George Clooney (61), Pippa Haywood (61), Gabourey Sidibe (39), Henry Cavill (39), Zach McGowan (42), Lance Henriksen (82), John Rhys-Davies (78), Richard E. Grant (65), Michael Palin (79), Adele (34), Will Arnett (52), Christina Hendricks (47), Bobby Cannavale (52), Rob Brydon (57), Frankie Valli (88), Sandi Toksvig (64), Dwayne Johnson (50), Ellie Kemper (42), Matt Berry (48), David Suchet (76), David Beckham (47), Engelbert Humperdinck (86), and Lily Allen (37).


Dead Pool 1st May 2022

Welcome to another bank holiday special, in which nothing special happens! And what’s this? More points to award?! Yup! Ceri had Kane Tenaka listed, so 31 points! Paul C had her down as his Woman, 131 points and Dave listed her as his Cert, 131 points!! Well done all three of you. Which means we have a new points leader! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Kim Woodburn has been rushed to hospital – and fans are worried for her. The 80-year-old TV star posted a photo from her bed, revealing that she has a mystery illness and underwent treatment. Kim managed to sit up in bed, while connected to an oxygen machine, and gave a smile to the camera. She appeared to show she was feeling in good spirits, by placing a cardboard bowl on top of her head, pretending it was a hat. Sharing how she can’t get back to her own home, Kim captioned the joyful photo: “My hospital outfit. Do you like the hat? Home tonight! Yippeee!” Kim is a ‘household name’ and rose to fame on show How Clean is Your House. She came onto screens back in 2003, fronting the show alongside Aggie MacKenzie. Before fame, she was working as a professional cleaner and earned around £1,000 a month. However things changed for the star when she entered the Big Brother house in 2017. She joined on Day 11 and finished in third place. The star was constantly involved in heated blows with her housemates on the show – making some of the most memorable moments in reality television history. She also had an infamous row with Coleen Nolan on Loose Women. Viewers got more than they bargained for when Kim and Coleen appeared on the show in 2018. With their explosive spat ending in tears and storming off, it’s safe to say their simmering feud had been a long time coming before their appearance on the ITV show. The two woman clashed in a highly charged episode billed to be a reconciliation after their Celebrity Big Brother stint, in which Kim claimed Coleen had ganged on on her with seven other housemates to bully her – which Coleen denied. The chaotic interview stunned viewers of the usually family-friendly show, as Coleen and Kim went to war on live TV, culminating in the How Clean Is Your House star storming off the  set in tears. 

Former Emmerdale star Malandra Burrows has vowed to stay positive while she is treated for breast cancer. The 56-year-old has had a stage three tumour removed from her left breast and is about to start chemotherapy. But she says: “I do not want to make this cancer my life. “When I tell people, they say to me, ‘I can’t believe you can talk about it and be so positive,’ but it’s the reality and you have to be positive.” Malandra, who portrayed Kathy Glover in the ITV soap for 16 years, was diagnosed in February after discovering a lump the month before. After seeing her GP and being referred to a hospital for a scan and an ultrasound, a consultant asked her to return and bring someone with her. Malandra said: “I thought, ‘I’ve got to take this on my own.’ I’m single and I felt I couldn’t do that to a friend. When I went in, I found myself greeted by a Macmillan nurse and I just knew. She nearly broke down telling me, but I just went, ‘Don’t be daft!’ We’ll get through it and I’m going to ring that bell. I had already galvanised myself before hearing the news so I’ve never cried about it. I’ve kind of gone into combat mode. If I look back, I’ve given it everything I can and that’s all I can do. When it’s your life at stake, you’re prepared to do everything to get through. That’s helped me focus.” Doctors told Malandra her type of cancer may have been caused by going through the menopause. She told our flying monkeys: “Davina [McCall] has done a fabulous job of bringing menopause to the forefront, but I had never heard of menopausal cancer. They told me that, because of the oestrogen and the way your hormonal balance changes, it’s one of the most major causes of breast cancer.” She decided to share her story to help raise awareness and encourage women to get checked out: “I tell all ladies, go and get a mammogram. No matter what age you are, if something seems suspicious, go to your GP. 

Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs has revealed he has cancer. The Oasis legend and former guitarist, who currently plays as part of Liam Gallagher’s  solo band, took to social media to share the news last Tuesday. Sharing a statement, he began: “Just to let you all know I’m going to be taking a break from playing for a while. I’ve been diagnosed with tonsil cancer, but the good news is it’s treatable and I’ll be starting a course of treatment soon. I’ll keep you posted how it’s going”. The Manchester rocker continued: “I’m gutted I’m missing the gigs with Liam and the band. Have the best summer and enjoy the gigs if you’re going, I’ll see you soon xxx”. Fans and artists alike have rushed to offer the Manchester rocker their love and support, with his longtime friend and touring bandmate Liam sharing his response to the news. Also taking to Twitter, the Everything’s Electric singer wrote: “Sending BIG love to the 1 n only Bonehead and his family wishing you a speedy recovery we’re all thinking of you rasta you’ll be back on stage bfore you can say r we doing Colombia LG x”, because picking up the phone is far too much trouble…  The news of course means that Bonehead will miss Liam’s shows across the summer, including two iconic dates at Knebworth on 3rd and 4th June, which were set for the Queen’s Jubilee weekend. Bonehead is credited with being one of the founding members of the legendary Manchester band. In the late 1980s, while working as a building contractor, he started a band called The Rain with his friends Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan, Tony McCarroll and Chris Hutton, which would later go on become Oasis when Liam Gallagher replaced the late Paul Ashbee, the man who introduced Liam to Bonehead, believes the rhythm guitarist was even more instrumental in the makings of the band than people think. “People think it was Noel and Liam who created the sound of Oasis but it wasn’t – it was Bonehead,” he told the flying monkeys. ”Liam was the frontman, Noel was the poet who came later. It was a jigsaw puzzle. It was meant to be. “Definitely Maybe was Noel’s therapy, it was his poetry – but it was Bonehead’s core sound. I know because I’d heard it back when they were still called The Rain.”

On This Day

  • 1807 – The Slave Trade Act 1807 takes effect, abolishing the slave trade within the British Empire.
  • 1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.
  • 1945 – World War II: A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. He had in fact died the day earlier.
  • 1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
  • 1994 –Three-time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna dies from an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix.
  • 1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Jamie Dornan (40), Julie Benz (50), Joanna Lumley (76), Gal Gadot (37), Kirsten Dunst (40), Sam Heughan (42), Johnny Galecki (47), Burt Young (82), Michelle Pfeiffer (64), Daniel Day-Lewis (65), Uma Thurman (52), Kate Mulgrew (67), Jerry Seinfeld (68), Willie Nelson (89), Penélope Cruz (48), Jessica Alba (41), Jay Leno (72), Jenna Coleman (36), Russell T. Davies (59), Sheena Easton (63), Pablo Schreiber (44), Channing Tatum (42), Giancarlo Esposito (64), Tom Welling (45), Kevin James (57), Jet Li (59), Joan Chen (61), Renée Zellweger (53), Al Pacino (82), Gina Torres (53), Hank Azaria (58), Talia Shire (76), and William Roache (90).


Dead Pool 24th April 2022

Welcome all, to a death-lite version of the Dead Pool Newsletter. Unsurprisingly, no points this week, but with a certain Russian upping his ante, I’m sure we’ll all be dead ten times over by next week. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Everyone’s favourite ‘superhero’ has been arrested in Hawaii for the second time in recent weeks and charged with second-degree assault after allegedly throwing a chair at a woman. Hawaii Island police responded to an incident at a Pahoa home early Tuesday morning and arrested Ezra Miller, aka The Flash. Police said that the 29-year-old actor “became irate” after being asked to leave a private residence and threw a chair at a woman, striking her in the head. The woman reportedly was left with a cut on her forehead half an inch deep. This is not the first legal issue Miller has faced in Hawaii recently. In late March, the Fantastic Beasts star was arrested in a karaoke bar in Hilo for disorderly conduct and harassment. He was accused of harassing a woman at the bar, at one point grabbing a microphone from a 23-year-old woman and later lunged at a 32-year-old man playing darts. Miller was then arrested and his bail was set at $500 (£381), which the actor paid. He’s certainly setting himself up as a woman hater as back in April 2020, a video surfaced in a since-deleted tweet that appeared to show Miller choking a woman and throwing her to the ground. The video was confirmed to have taken place at Prikið Kaffihús, a bar in Reykjavik that Miller frequented when in the city. A bar employee identified the person in the video as Miller and said he was escorted off the premises by staff after the incident. Miller, who was born in New Jersey, has played The Flash in the DC universe for a number of years and is set to star in a standalone movie scheduled for release next year. I bet DC wished they stuck with Grant Gustin.  

Former World Darts Championship finalist Mike Gregory has died aged 65. Gregory, known as the ‘Quiet Man of Darts’, was confirmed to have passed away on Tuesday morning, 30 years after his remarkable final appearance in the World Darts Championship. Gregory faced Phil Taylor in the final, and excruciatingly missed six match darts to clinch the title after a superb showing. The 65-year-old enjoyed a glistening career in darts, reaching the final of World Masters twice in 1983 and 1992 as well as winning the Unipart British Professional, the MFI World Matchplay and the News of the World twice. His last major title came in 1995 in the Unipart European Masters, and Gregory then proceeded to take a break from darts, making only a few appearances in the Scottish and Welsh Open before officially retiring. Having then continued as a county player, it occasionally looked as though Gregory could return to the BDO scene, but it never came to fruition.  

Vladimir Putin’s health has been called into question yet again after a video showed him tightly clutching a table throughout a meeting with Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu. The clip has sparked fresh theories about his health, which has reportedly deteriorated since he launched Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In the footage posted online by the Kremlin, the 69-year-old Russian president grabs hold of the corner of the table with his right hand as soon as he sits down for the meeting, and keeps hold of it for the entirety of the 12 minute clip. Mr Putin can also be seen intermittently holding the edge of the table with his left hand while Mr Shoigu reads him a statement. The footage shows Mr Putin’s right thumb constantly moving as he listens to his defence minister, and it has been suggested that the fidgeting could indicate that he was trying to hide a tremor typical of Parkinson’s disease. Sir Richard Dearlove – former MI6 head – and Professor Gwythian Prins – previously a Nato adviser – have claimed that Mr Putin has shown signs of the progressive nervous system disorder. In the clip, Mr Putin moves his feet up and down, appears restless and tense, and clears his throat a number of times while listening to his defence minister – who reportedly suffered a heart attack recently at the age of 66. The Russian president also sits slightly hunched, with his spine pressed flat against the back of the chair, in contrast to Shoigu who appears to be sitting more upright and without the need for any support. Anders Aslund, an author and former adviser on Russia and Ukraine, said that both men looked like they were not in good health. “Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumours of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance. Worth watching,” he said.  

Martin Roberts has described the terrifying moment he saw doctors plunge an eight-inch syringe into his chest before undergoing emergency heart surgery. On  Thursday, the Homes Under the Hammer presenter shared a video to social media explaining that he was in hospital after experiencing chest pains he had initially believed to be due to asthma or long Covid. Instead, doctors found that his heart was surrounded by “a massive amount of fluid”, which was preventing it from working. He had emergency surgery that night and was later told that he’d had “hours to live” when he was operated on. Speaking to the flying monkeys at the hospital, Roberts said that the incident was “the nearest thing to not being here that’s ever happened to me”. He was seen within 45 seconds of arriving at the hospital, where it was discovered that his blood pressure was half that of a healthy person. “It was severe,” he said. “My liver and my kidneys were down to 30 per cent of their normal operational capacity.” Roberts was given local anaesthetic, before doctors drained a litre and a half of fluid from his lungs with a large syringe. “I watched as they drew out syringe after syringe after syringe of this liquid,” the property expert said. “I was awake for this, but I was bit woozy. There was a tube that went in through my chest cavity, down into the sack around my heart.” Roberts said that doctors suspected he had an underlying respiratory problem that had spread to the heart, adding: “It remains to be seen whether I get full function back of my liver and kidneys. I don’t know about the lungs.”  

UK singer Tom Grennan is recovering from an “unprovoked attack” which has left him with injuries including a torn ear-drum, his manager has announced. The 26-year-old is said to have been attacked and robbed outside a bar in Manhattan after performing in New York on Wednesday. He has been forced to postpone a gig in Washington DC on Friday as a result. Grennan’s track Little Bit of Love was nominated for song of the year at this year’s Brit Awards. “In the early hours of this morning after Tom’s New York show, he was the victim of an unprovoked attack and robbery outside a bar in Manhattan,” his manager John Dawkins said in a statement posted online on Thursday evening. “Tom is currently being assessed by doctors for his injuries which include a ruptured ear, torn ear-drum and issue with his previously fractured jaw.” He added: “Despite this Tom is in good spirits but needs to temporarily recuperate whilst doctors assess his ability to continue with his touring.” His manager went on to thank Grennan’s American fans, noting how the singer was “desperate not to let anyone down”, but that the “precautionary decision” had been made to postpone his Washington show until later notice. Grennan initially found fame as the guest vocalist on Chase & Status’s track All Goes Wrong, and he went on to score a number one solo album with 2021’s Evering Road. The Bedford-born singer received two recent Brit Award nominations, including best rock/alternative act, while losing out to Adele’s Easy on Me in the song of the year category. Last month he revealed that therapy had offered him “light at the end of a tunnel”, as he opened up about his fashionable mental health battles.

On This Day

  • 1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for the crew of the sunken Endurance. 
  • 1967 – Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. He is the first human to die during a space mission.  
  • 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery. 
  • 2013 – A building collapses near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring 2,500 others.

Deaths

  • 1731 – Daniel Defoe, English journalist, novelist, and spy (b. 1660). 
  • 1974 – Bud Abbott, American comedian and producer (b. 1895). 
  • 2004 – Estée Lauder, American businesswoman, co-founded Estée Lauder (b. 1906). 

The Fun in Physics

Particle accelerators are machines that propel charged particles at incredible speeds, generally to collide with other particles. It’s highly advisable that the particles the high-speed particles collide with should not be part of your head, as one man learned the hard way.

On July 13th, 1978, particle physicist Anatoli Bugorski was working his job at the U-70 synchrotron, the largest particle accelerator in the Soviet Union. The 36-year-old was inspecting a piece of equipment that had malfunctioned when the accident happened. Unbeknownst to him, several safety mechanisms had also failed, meaning that when he leaned over to get a good look at his task, a proton beam shot through the back of his head at close to the speed of light.

Or at least, closer to the speed of light than you’d like a proton beam to be traveling at when it shoots clean through your face.

At first, he felt no pain. He knew what had happened, as he had seen a light “brighter than a thousand Suns,” as well as the gravity of the situation. At this point, he didn’t tell a soul, and merely completed his day’s work before heading home and waited for the inevitable to happen.

Absorbing 500 rads of radiation would usually lead to death. Though he didn’t yet know it, he had been hit with between 200,000-300,000 rads. In the night, his face began to swell beyond recognition, prompting him to visit the doctors the following morning. From there, he was taken to a clinic in Moscow, though largely so that his death could be observed rather than for any expectation that his life could be saved.

The next few days saw his skin peel off around the entry and exit wounds, showing a clean path burned right through his skin, skull, and brain. Remarkably, he did not  die. The brain tissue continued to burn away over the ensuing years, and his face became paralysed on the left side, where his hearing was also lost. Weirder still, as he aged the right side of his head showed signs of ageing, while the left side did not.

Over the next few decades, he experienced seizures but remained functional, continued his work as a physicist, and completed a PhD. As far as people who have put their heads into a particle accelerator go (and to be fair, that’s a demographic of one) he was pretty lucky. The narrow focus of the beam, though it caused massive damage, likely kept the damage limited to an area of brain that he could live without.

For the decade after his accident, he was unable to tell anyone about it, given the notorious secrecy of the Soviet Union. He survived well beyond the end of the USSR, however. In fact, the man who put his head in a particle accelerator and lived to tell the tale remains alive to this day.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Jack Quaid (30), Joe Keery (30), Aidan Gillen (54), Djimon Hounsou (58), Shirley MacLaine (88), Barbra Streisand (80), Rory McCann (53), John Cena (45), Dev Patel (32), Gemma Whelan (41), John Hannah (60), Lee Majors (83), Blair Brown (76), John Oliver (45), Amber Heard (36), Jack Nicholson (85), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (56), Machine Gun Kelly (32), Sheryl Lee (55), John Waters (76), Michelle Ryan (38), Robbie Amell (34), James McAvoy (43), Andie MacDowell (64), Toby Stephens (53), Tony Danza (71), Iggy Pop (75), Queen Elizabeth II (96), Andy Serkis (58), Clint Howard (63), Jessica Lange (73), Veronica Cartwright (73), Carmen Electra (50), Ruth Connell (43), Ryan O’Neal (81), George Takei (85), Leslie Phillips (98), Nicholas Lyndhurst (61), Michael Brandon (77), James Franco (44), Hayden Christensen (41), Tim Curry (76), Maria Sharapova (35), David Tennant (51), Hayley Mills (76), Rick Moranis (69), James Woods (75), and Eli Roth (50).


Dead Pool 17th April 2022

A short and quick update this week, I’m sure you’ve all got other stuff  you’d rather be getting on with!

I have to begin this week by belatedly awarding some points. I missed Harry E. Goldsworthy who died on the 16th of February at the ripe old age of 107, which means Paul C gets 43 points, which propels him to second place!!! Well done that man! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The formidable mother of Sophie Lancaster who was murdered in Bacup has sadly died. Sylvia Lancaster OBE, died suddenly on 12th April in Royal Blackburn Hospital though had been ill for the last couple of years. The mother of Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered in Stubbylee Park in Bacup in 2007, set up a foundation in memory of her daughter, with the name Sophie standing for – stamp out prejudice hatred and intolerance everywhere. In a post on Instagram, the foundation said: “This is the hardest statement to write. It is with great shock and disbelief that we announce that Sylvia Lancaster has passed away. “She died early this morning in Blackburn hospital. She had suffered from ill health for the last couple of years, but her death was sudden and unexpected. Sylvia had such a powerful life force; we cannot imagine a world without her in it. Following Sophie’s brutal murder, Sylvia put her energy into championing people from alternative subcultures and creating educational programmes to tackle prejudice and intolerance. She worked tirelessly to combat the inaccurate and lazy stereotyping that all too often leads to violent prejudice and promoted a culture of celebrating difference; something that leads to safer communities for us all. Sophie was killed, and her boyfriend Robert Maltby left with serious injuries, after an attack in August 2007 from a group of youths who beat up the pair because of their appearance. Recently, Ryan Herbert, who was aged 16 when he was jailed for life in 2008 for murdering Sophie, has been granted parole and will be released on licence. Following her daughter’s tragic death, the foundation, headed by Sylvia, has worked hard to visit schools to speak with youths about Sophie’s story. Sylvia was awarded an OBE for her work.   

Simon Cowell has sparked concern from fans as he appeared on the first episode of Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night. Viewers tuning into the show said the music mogul looked “ill”. The 62-year-old has recently recovered from a nasty e-bike accident near his home in London. He broke his arm and also ended up isolating during some of the audition rounds of the show as he caught Covid. But viewers of the show were concerned the star was “seriously not a well man”. They took to Twitter to comment. @traz_mac wrote: “Simon looks ill #britainsgottalent.” @colin84983253 commented: “Simon Cowell with blood blistered fingers there this fell a seriously not a well man.” @StephenMcGraw16 echoed: “God Simon looks ill #BritainsGotTalent.” @TardisPilot1 added: “@SimonCowell doesn’t look well, #bgt.” The show is back on screens for the first time in two years after it was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Simon has returned to the judges seat alongside Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.  

Former EastEnders actress Melanie Clark Pullen has tragically died at the age of 46 following a battle with breast cancer. The tragic star – who played Pauline Fowler’s niece – was diagnosed with illness in January 2019 – and sadly died on March 29 this year after rounds of radiotherapy. She leaves behind her husband Simon and three children. In 2020, Melanie was given the all-clear – telling The Irish News at the time: “I got the all clear. I’m cancer free, which is great, so now it’s all about recovery.” But last June she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She posted on her website: “I was only given the all clear from cancer 18 months ago and it’s a cruel blow to think that I will now be starting into some kind of treatment again and that this time it will be long term and a permanent fixture of my life.” Melanie kept her fans up to date with her journey, and posted about it as recently as March 14. In her last post, the star can be seen looking full of joy as she visited her family. She played the role of Mary Flaherty in the long-running BBC soap. 

On This Day

  • 1951 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom’s first National Park.
  • 1969 – Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.
  • 1970 – Apollo program: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.
  • 2014 – NASA’s Kepler space telescope confirms the discovery of the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star.

Deaths

  • 1790 – Benjamin Franklin, American inventor, publisher, and politician, 6th President of Pennsylvania (b. 1706).
  • 1882 – George Jennings, English engineer and plumber, invented the Flush toilet (b. 1810)
  • 1998 – Linda McCartney, American photographer, activist, and musician (b. 1941)
  • 2003 – Robert Atkins, American physician and cardiologist, created the Atkins diet (b. 1930)
  • 2003 – John Paul Getty, Jr., American-English philanthropist (b. 1932)
  • 2016 – Chyna, American wrestler (b. 1969)
  • 2018 – Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States (b. 1925)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Rooney Mara (37), Jennifer Garner (50), Sean Bean (63), David Bradley (80), Victoria Beckham (48), Anya Taylor-Joy (26), Gina Carano (40), Claire Foy (38), Ellen Barkin (68), Martin Lawrence (57), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75), Emma Watson (32), Maisie Williams (25), Luke Evans (43), Emma Thompson (63), Seth Rogen (40), Abigail Breslin (26), Adrien Brody (49), Sarah Michelle Gellar (45), Julie Christie (82), Rob McElhenney (45), Robert Carlyle (61), Peter Capaldi (64), Bokeem Woodbine (49), Ron Perlman (72), William Sadler (72), Erick Avari (70), Edward Fox (85), Peter Davison (71), Saoirse Ronan (28), Jennifer Morrison (43), Claire Danes (43), Andy Garcia (66), Ed O’Neill (76), Shannen Doherty (51), Nicholas Brendon (51), David Letterman (75), Tricia Helfer (48), Matt Ryan (41), and Jeremy Clarkson (62).


Dead Pool 10th April 2022

We’ve got a points bonanza this week!!! 

With the sad passing of June Brown, both Trish and Shan get 155 points as they both had her down as their Woman. Each of the following get 55 points for June Brown: Rachel, Liz, Mark, Nickie, and Paul C. 

Paul C also gets a further 48 points for the passing of Nehemiah Persoff and another 100 points for Tom Smith!! Three deaths in one week!! 

I can also award 100 points each to Julia and Martin for also correctly guessing Tom Smith. 

Well done everyone, especially Paul C for three in one week, I’m tempted to send out the flying monkeys to make sure he didn’t have a hand in their deaths!!! 

So no huge change at the top of the league table, but quite a few of you have propelled yourselves into the top half this week. Congratulations everyone!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

David McKee, the bestselling children’s author and creator of Elmer and Mr Benn, has died aged 87. The news was confirmed by his publisher Andersen Press, who says he died at his home in the South of France after a short illness. A spokesperson released a statement, which read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of David McKee, beloved author and illustrator for children, and creator of iconic children’s books Elmer, Not Now, Bernard and Mr Benn. All at Andersen Press hope his spirit lives on for many more generations through his joyful, heartfelt stories”. Andersen Press founder Klaus Flugge also said: “I am devastated by the sudden death of my best friend, David McKee. He was as close to Andersen Press as I am. He was there from the very beginning and essential to the origin of the company. He became great friends with everyone he encountered; staff, authors and illustrators alike.” McKee is best known for Elmer, which was first published in 1968, and later became one of the most popular children’s books in the world. McKee wrote 29 Elmer books, which have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 60 languages. The books have also been turned into an animated series, a stage play and a wide range of merchandise including soft toys. Another of McKee’s most popular creations, Mr Benn, was turned into a TV series. It is said that McKee based the suit and bowler hat-wearing character on Charlie Chaplin. McKee was born in Devon and later went on to study art in Plymouth. His writing career led to him travelling the world and spending considerable time in Italy, France and Spain.   

The woman who drew up lists of people for the German industrialist Oskar Schindler that helped save hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust has died aged 107. Mimi Reinhardt, who was employed as Schindler’s secretary, was in charge of drawing up the lists of Jewish workers from the ghetto of the Polish city of Kraków who were recruited to work at his factory, saving them from deportation to Nazi death camps. “My grandmother, so dear and so unique, passed away at the age of 107. Rest in peace,” Reinhardt’s granddaughter Nina wrote in a message to relatives. Austrian-born Reinhardt, who was also Jewish, was recruited by Schindler himself and worked for him until 1945. After the second world war, she moved to New York before deciding to move to Israel in 2007 to join her only son, Sasha Weitman, who was then a professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University. “I feel at home,” she told reporters when she landed in the country. Schindler, who died in 1974, was named by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum as a member of the “Righteous Among the Nations”, an honour for non-Jews who tried to save Jews from Nazi extermination. The lists that Reinhardt compiled for him helped to save about 1,300 people at considerable risk to his own life. His initiative was recounted in the bestselling 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark and the award-winning film adaptation by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List. Reinhardt, who spent her last years at a nursing home north of Tel Aviv, had said she once met Spielberg but found it hard to watch the movie. The Israeli photographer Gideon Markowicz, who met Reinhardt as part of a project dedicated to Holocaust survivors, described her as an active woman. “She took part in the activities of the nursing home and was a bridge champion. She surfed the net and monitored the stock exchange,” he said.  

The family of late rapper Goonew has defended their decision to place what was allegedly the artist’s “embalmed corpse” on stage for his memorial service. The Maryland rapper, real name Markelle Morrow, was shot and killed on 18th March. This week, images and video footage circulated on social media purporting to show Goonew’s family and friends partying at Washington DC club Bliss, while his dead body – dressed in jeans, a hoodie, trainers and a crown – is propped up on stage. Goonews mother, Patrice, and his sister Ariana, told the flying monkeys that they wanted to display his body after seeing other services do something similar. His sister apparently told us that Goonew hadn’t wanted to be buried in a suit, and didn’t attend church, so they felt it would be inappropriate to have him in a casket. The owners of Bliss are reportedly investigating whether the body was real. In a statement, a representative said the club was “never made aware of what would transpire” during a $40 event Sunday that was billed as “The Final Show” for Goonew. The club said it had been contacted by a local funeral home and asked to rent out its venue for the “homecoming celebration”. It has offered a “sincere apology to all those who may be upset or offended”.

On This Day

  • 1815 – The Mount Tambora volcano begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15th. The eruption ultimately kills 71,000 people and affects Earth’s climate for the next two years.
  • 1858 – After the original Big Ben, a 14.5 tonne bell for the Palace of Westminster, had cracked during testing, it is recast into the current 13.76 tonne bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
  • 1912 – RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.
  • 1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles for personal and professional reasons.
  • 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is signed in Northern Ireland.
  • 2019 – Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project announce the first ever image of a black hole, which was located in the centre of the M87 galaxy.

Deaths

Botched American Executions

It is estimated that 3% of U.S. executions in the period from 1890 to 2010 were botched. In the 2014 book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty, Austin Sarat, a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College, describes the history of flawed executions in the U.S. during that period. Sarat reports that over those 120 years, 8,776 people were executed and 276 of those executions (3.15%) went wrong in some way. Lethal injection had the highest rate of botched executions. 

In his book, he defines a botched execution as follows: Botched executions occur when there is a breakdown in, or departure from, the “protocol” for a particular method of execution. The protocol can be established by the norms, expectations, and advertised virtues of each method or by the government’s officially adopted execution guidelines. Botched executions are “those involving unanticipated problems or delays that caused, at least arguably, unnecessary agony for the prisoner or that reflect gross incompetence of the executioner.” Examples of such problems include, among other things, inmates catching fire while being electrocuted, being strangled during hangings (instead of having their necks broken), and being administered the wrong dosages of specific drugs for lethal injections. 

Method Total Executions Botched Executions Botched Rate
Hanging 2,721 85 3.12%
Electrocution 4,374 84 1.92%
Lethal Gas 593 32 5.4%
Lethal Injection 1,054 75 7.12%
Firing Squad 34 0 0%
All Methods 8,776 276 3.15%

A report in the Salt Lake City Tribune takes a different view of the suggestion that there have been no botched executions by firing squad since 1890. The paper reports that in September 1951, a Utah firing squad shot Eliseo J. Mares in the hip and abdomen and that it was “several minutes” before he was declared dead. 

Here are a few more examples: 

August 10th 1982. Virginia. Frank J. Coppola. Electrocution. Although no media representatives witnessed the execution and no details were ever released by the Virginia Department of Corrections, an attorney who was present later stated that it took two 55-second jolts of electricity to kill Coppola. The second jolt produced the odour and sizzling sound of burning flesh, and Coppola’s head and leg caught on fire. Smoke filled the death chamber from floor to ceiling with a smoky haze. 

September 2nd 1983. Mississippi. Jimmy Lee Gray. Asphyxiation. Officials had to clear the room eight minutes after the gas was released when Gray’s desperate gasps for air repulsed witnesses. His attorney, Dennis Balske of Montgomery, Alabama, criticised state officials for clearing the room when the inmate was still alive. Said noted death penalty defence attorney David Bruck, “Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while the reporters counted his moans.” Later it was revealed that the executioner, Barry Bruce, was drunk. 

December 12th 1984. Georgia. Alpha Otis Stephens. Electrocution. “The first charge of electricity failed to kill him, and he struggled to breathe for eight minutes before a second charge carried out his death sentence.” After the first two minute power surge, there was a six minute pause so his body could cool down before physicians could examine him (and declare that another jolt was needed). During that six-minute interval, Stephens took 23 breaths. A Georgia prison official said, “Stephens was just not a conductor” of electricity. December 13th 1988. Texas. Raymond Landry. Lethal Injection. Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes after the drugs were administered, the syringe came out of Landry’s vein, spraying the deadly chemicals across the room toward witnesses. The curtain separating the witnesses from the inmate was then pulled, and not reopened for fourteen minutes while the execution team reinserted the catheter into the vein. Witnesses reported “at least one groan.” A spokesman for the Texas Department of Correction, Charles Brown, said, “There was something of a delay in the execution because of what officials called a ‘blowout.’ The syringe came out of the vein, and the warden  ordered the team to reinsert the catheter into the vein.” 

Sept. 15, 2009. Ohio. Romell Broom. Attempted Lethal Injection. Efforts to find a suitable vein and to execute Mr. Broom were terminated after more than two hours when the executioners were unable to find a useable vein in Mr. Broom’s arms or legs. During the failed efforts, Mr. Broom winced and grimaced with pain. After the first hour’s lack of success, on several occasions Broom tried to help the executioners find a good vein. “At one point, he covered his face with both hands and appeared to be sobbing, his stomach heaving. Finally, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland ordered the execution to stop, and announced plans to attempt the execution anew after a one-week delay so that physicians could be consulted for advice on how the man could be killed more efficiently. The executioners blamed the problems on Mr. Broom’s history of intravenous drug use. In December 2020, Broom died in prison before the sentence could be carried out.

April 6th 1992. Arizona. Donald Eugene Harding. Asphyxiation. Death was not pronounced until 10 1/2 minutes after the cyanide tablets were dropped. During the execution, Harding thrashed and struggled violently against the restraining straps. A television journalist who witnessed the execution, Cameron Harper, said that Harding’s spasms and jerks lasted 6 minutes and 37 seconds. “Obviously, this man was suffering. This was a violent death, an ugly event. We put animals to death more humanely.” Another witness, newspaper reporter Carla McClain, said, “Harding’s death was extremely violent. He was in great pain. I heard him gasp and moan. I saw his body turn from red to purple.”One reporter who witnessed the execution suffered from insomnia and assorted illnesses for several weeks; two others were “walking vegetables” for several days. 

March 25th 1997. Florida. Pedro Medina. Electrocution. A crown of foot-high flames shot from the headpiece during the execution, filling the execution chamber with a stench of thick smoke and gagging the two dozen official witnesses. An official then threw a switch to manually cut off the power and prematurely end the two-minute cycle of 2,000 volts. Medina’s chest continued to heave until the flames stopped and death came. After the execution, prison officials blamed the fire on a corroded copper screen in the headpiece of the electric chair, but two experts hired by the governor later concluded that the fire was caused by the improper application of a sponge (designed to conduct electricity) to Medina’s head.  

December 13, 2006. Florida. Angel Diaz. Lethal Injection. After the first injection was administered, Mr. Diaz continued to move, and was squinting and grimacing as he tried to mouth words. A second dose was then administered, and 34 minutes passed before Mr. Diaz was declared dead. At first a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections claimed that this was because Mr. Diaz had some sort of liver disease. After performing an autopsy, the Medical Examiner, Dr. William Hamilton, stated that Mr. Diaz’s liver was undamaged, but that the IV catheters (which had been inserted in both arms) had gone through Mr. Diaz’s veins and out the other side, so the deadly chemicals were injected into soft tissue, rather than the vein. Two days after the execution, Governor Jeb Bush temporarily suspended all executions in the state and appointed a commission “to consider the humanity and constitutionality of lethal injections.”  

Last Week’s Birthdays

Daisy Ridley (30), Charlie Hunnam (42), Haley Joel Osment (34), David Harbour (47), Steven Seagal (70), Barkhad Abdi (37), Peter MacNicol (68), Kristen Stewart (32), Elle Fanning (24), Dennis Quaid (68), Cynthia Nixon (56), Mark Pellegrino (57), Patricia Arquette (54), Katee Sackhoff (42), Robin Wright (56), Dean Norris (59), Francis Ford Coppola (83), Russell Crowe (58), Jackie Chan (68), Paul Rudd (53), Zach Braff (47), Michael Rooker (67), John Ratzenberger (75), Billy Dee Williams (85), Lily James (33), Mitch Pileggi (70), Pharrell Williams (49), Robert Downey Jr. (57), Hugo Weaving (62), Graham Norton (59), and Xenia Seeberg (54).


Dead Pool 3rd April 2022

Let’s start off by handing out the points! With the tragic and untimely passing of Tom Parker, Julia and Christine get 117, however Lee and Laura get an astounding 217 points as they had Tom listed as their Cert, which leaves both of them dominating the table. Well done all of you, I’m sure you would love to send your condolences to his wife and children. Plus, I think we should all wish C.W. McCall a 10-10 good buddy, as he parks for the last time at heavens pickle park.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Phil Collins bade an emotional farewell to Genesis fans alongside bandmates Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks in London on Saturday – as the iconic band played their final ever concert. London’s 02 provided the backdrop for the band’s last show on their The Last Domino? Tour – with frail frontman Phil, 71, telling the crowd he will now have to get a real job. Phil, who performed the show sitting down due to suffering from a number of different health conditions in recent years, later joined Mike, 71, and Tony, 72 for a standing ovation. Multi-millionaire Phil told the crowd ‘It’s the last stop of our tour, and it’s the last show for Genesis. After tonight we all have to get real jobs.’ Collins, who has a history with back problems, has been sitting down for all the concerts on the tour and his son, Nic Collins, 20, has stepped in for him on drums. The 2007 Genesis reunion tour left Phil with a dislocated vertebra in his neck that caused nerve damage in his hands. He has been using a walking stick since he had major surgery on his back in October 2015. In 2017 Phil was forced to postpone two solo concerts at the Royal Albert Hall after a fall in his hotel  room.

Vladimir Putin has taken dozens of trips in the company of a cancer specialist, according to a report, which also claimed the Russian president attempts to boost his health by bathing in deer antler extract. According to the report by Russian investigative news outlet Proekt, Mr Putin has become increasingly preoccupied with his health in recent years and takes frequent trips to the resort city of Sochi in the company of doctors from Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital. Citing contracts between the hospital and hotels where its staff members stayed in Sochi, the investigation claims the average number of medics in Mr Putin’s entourage rose from five in 2016 and 2017 to nine in 2019. Among the Russian president’s most frequent medical attendants is oncologist-surgeon Evgeny Selivanov, who flew to Mr Putin 35 times and spent a total of 166 days in his presence between 2016 and 2020, according to the report. The only two doctors reported to have spent more time in Mr Putin’s company are two otolaryngologists – ear, nose and throat specialists – who Proekt notes are typically the first to diagnose thyroid diseases and cancers. Referring to the 16-day period of self-isolation Mr Putin underwent last September, when he cast his ballot remotely in the Duma election, the outlet cited a source as saying that, in medical circles, Mr Putin is believed to have undergone a complicated procedure related to some kind of thyroid disease. Proekt became the first Russian news site to be declared an “undesirable organisation” by Moscow last July, when a number of its journalists were also declared “foreign agents”. A journalist with independent Russian news site Meduza, which was declared a “foreign agent” last April and had its website blocked in Russia last month over its reporting of the war in Ukraine, also contributed to the report, which claims that Mr Putin has also sought treatments of a less scientific nature. The Russian president was reportedly introduced to the idea of bathing in an extract made from deer antlers by Sergei Shogu, his current defence minister, who has  been the subject of rumours in recent weeks following a period out of public view.  

Bruce Willis has reportedly been struggling with cognitive issues on the sets of his films for years – and even needed an earpiece to feed him lines – long before his family announced on Wednesday that the famed actor had been diagnosed with a brain condition. In a statement on social media, Willis’ family told his fans that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that affects his ability to understand language, and will therefore be stepping away from acting. But an unnamed source told the flying monkeys that his declining cognitive ability had been an open secret in Hollywood as the actor repeatedly had trouble acting in his films.  ‘Everybody knew, the cast and crew,’ the unnamed source said, adding that Willis was ‘using earpieces, hearing things, for them to feed him the lines,’ and it ‘was increasingly difficult to have him on screen.’ He said that films actually had to be made closer to where Willis resided with his family – who, the source said, has been taking care of the 67-year-old actor – to make productions easier. And in at least one production, the source said, producers began using a body double to increase Willis’ screen time, while in another his screen time was ‘whittled down,’ with the actor shooting on set for only three days. The source said: ‘It was becoming super obvious he was having trouble … he could not act anymore.’ The famed actor can even be seen in a scene in his new movie American Siege, which was filmed in 2020, wearing an earpiece. This was a full two years before the family’s announcement that Willis has aphasia.    

Raven Alexis has died at the age of 35 after battling Crohn’s disease and a life-threatening infection, her husband confirmed. Her husband shared the news of Alexis’ death on Instagram and Facebook, revealing she died in Las Vegas last Wednesday after having complications due to Crohn’s. ‘She went in Sunday night with some complications and some stomach Crohn’s/colitis issues she had dealt with, ended up getting some infection and passed away yesterday at 12:44.’ Her husband, who has not been named, added: ‘I want all those people out there to know that she loved you all, she cared about you and I’m just so blessed to have her in my life and be a part of my life. She was the absolute world to me, the love of my life.’ Crohn’s is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive track, most commonly affecting the small intestines and the beginning part of the large intestines, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Alexis had started out her adult film career as an internet model who ran her own membership sites before eventually receiving a contract with the production company Digital Playhouse from 2009 to 2010, after reaching out to many of the major companies in the adult film industry. She told Shabooty in 2011, ‘At the time, they were the company that I felt was more in line with my goals. It was a great ride, and they have a terrific business model for themselves, and I was fortunate to make some amazing and wonderfully selling movies in my time with them.’ She was a double  AVN Award winner in 2011, including winning a fan-voted award for the wildest sex scene.

Formula One boss Max Mosley was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his head after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, an inquest heard this week. The former president of the motorsport’s governing body FIA died at home in Chelsea, west London, last May, aged 81. The inquest heard that he was told he had just “weeks” to live, and that chronic bladder and bowel pain would only lessen with palliative care but could not be cured. Mr Mosley told his personal assistant of 20 years he was going to take his own life the day before he did so, the inquest also heard. His PA Henry Alexander said he had gone over at Mr Mosley’s request about 3pm the day before. He said: “He was sat in an armchair in a despairing way. He spoke to me and said I’d been amazing and thanking me. He said he’d had enough, had intentions of killing himself. I begged him to reconsider and said, ‘please, there must be another way’. He said he’d made up his mind. When I pleaded with him, asked him if he could give it 24 hours, he said ‘why?’” A neighbour and his housekeeper called 999 after they discovered a note on his bedroom door, stating “do not enter, call the police”, the remote inquest attended by witnesses and family heard. A suicide note found on his bedside table was barely legible, due to the large amounts of blood, but the few words officers could make out were “I had no choice”, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard. Senior coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said: “On May 24th, 2021, police were called to the address of Mr Mosely, attended, and found him lying on his bed with a gun in the vicinity. He suffered significant injuries consistent with gunshot wound.” Mr Alexander, who lived near Mr Mosley, said he had accessed the house through the housekeeper’s basement flat after 8am following concerning text messages the night before.

On This Day

  • 1721 – Robert Walpole becomes, in effect, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain, though he himself denied that title.  
  • 1882 – American Old West: Robert Ford kills Jesse James.   
  • 1888 – The first of eleven unsolved brutal murders of women committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London, occurs.   
  • 1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.  
  • 1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  
  • 1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann is executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the baby son of pilot Charles Lindbergh.  
  • 1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.  
  • 1974 – The 1974 Super Outbreak occurs, the second biggest tornado outbreak in recorded history. The death toll is 315, with nearly 5,500 injured.  
  • 2010 – Apple Inc. released the first generation iPad, a tablet computer.

Deaths

  • 1882 – Jesse James, American criminal and outlaw (b. 1847). 
  • 1991 – Graham Greene, English novelist, playwright, and critic (b. 1904).  
  • 1998 – Mary Cartwright, English mathematician and academic (b. 1900).  

Never Trust a Blogger!

A twisted food blogger has told police he filmed himself as he brutally killed a porn star whose dismembered body was found in bin bags by the side of a road in Italy this month. Davide Fontana, 43, kept the camera on his phone rolling as he battered victim Carol Maltesi, 26, with a hammer while she was naked and tied up to a stripper pole with a bag on her head before he slit her throat. He then told shocked officers he waited a day before trying to burn the mother-of-one’s face to disguise her identity and then buying a saw to dismember her body into 15 pieces. Fontana, who also works in a bank, then bought a deep freezer from Amazon and kept her body in four bin bags at his home before dumping it on a verge.

The remains of Carol, who turned to pornography during the pandemic to support her child, were found earlier this month by a passer-by at Borno near Brescia who was shocked to find her severed hand inside. 

Fontana told cops he had deleted the videos from his phone but forensic experts are examining its memory card to try and recover the gruesome images. 

Carol, who had previously worked in a perfume store, had turned to pornography during lockdown to make ends meet and support her six-year-old child. Colleagues told local media: ‘We knew what she did but she wasn’t ashamed. She had made her own mind up and wasn’t coerced. It was her private life.’ One neighbour said: ‘Her and Davide were an item for a while but then split up. They seemed to get on well afterwards. She had split up from the father of her child, he lived elsewhere and he had their son, but the little one would come and stay every now and then. My child and him would play together in the courtyard. No-one can believe what’s happened. I know she had family in Holland because she had told me and she had gone there for Christmas. She had even spoken about moving there but nothing had come of it. She was a lovely, kind gentle woman and a devoted mother.’

Fontana is currently in custody and due to appear in front of an investigating magistrate accused of aggravated murder as well as mutilating and hiding a corpse. A police spokesperson said: ‘This is a shocking case and some of the officers themselves have been left very upset at the details they have heard.’

Last Week’s Birthdays

Matthew Goode (44), Amanda Bynes (36), Eddie Murphy (61), Alec Baldwin (64), Paris Jackson (24), Pedro Pascal (47), Michael Fassbender (45), Linda Hunt (77), Clark Gregg (60), Penelope Keith (82), Mackenzie Davis (35), Annette O’Toole (70), Asa Butterfield (25), Ali MacGraw (83), Logan Paul (27), Michael Praed (62), Ewan McGregor (51), Christopher Walken (79), Richard Chamberlain (88), Rhea Perlman (74), William Daniels (95), Daniel Mays (44), Simone Ashley (27), Warren Beatty (85), Robbie Coltrane (72), Céline Dion (54), Ed Skrein (39), Lucy Lawless (54), Brendan Gleeson (67), Marina Sirtis (67), Christopher Lambert (65), Elle Macpherson (58), Eric Idle (79), Julia Stiles (41), Lady Gaga (36), Vince Vaughn (52), Dianne Wiest (76), Nick Frost (50), and Chris Barrie (62).


Dead Pool 27th March 2022

A quiet week until Taylor Hawkins shocked the world. Rather odd real, I’d only just watched Studio 666 the night before and thought he was the best actor other than Grohl himself.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

‘Canoe man’ John Darwin is willing to travel to Ukraine to fight, according to his second wife – who insists he has ‘good life insurance’. Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48, said her 71-year-old husband, who faked his death for money, is ‘on his way’ to join troops fighting against Russian forces. When questioned about the danger, she told the flying monkeys: ‘Yes, dangerous for the Russian when he shoot them. He will have a bullet proof vest and good life insurance, good for me.’ Her comments come ahead of an ITV drama, ‘The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe’, airing next month, exploring the culpability of John’s first wife, Anne. The Darwins’ jaw-dropping deception tricked insurers, police and even their two sons into believing the ex-prison officer had died in a North Sea accident in 2002. The couple started a new life in Panama but the tale unravelled in 2007 when a photo emerged of John and his wife smiling alongside an estate agent in Panama where they had moved to run an eco-resort. Their elaborate plot wiped off their £700,000 debt and fooled insurers into paying out over £500,000 so that they could start a new life abroad. They were jailed for the fraud and the extent of the parents’ deception shocked the world. During her trial at Teesside Crown Court, Anne used the unusual defence of marital coercion, claiming her domineering husband had forced her to go through with the massive deception. Nowadays, Darwin and his new wife live outside Manila, with Darwin continuing to receive the UK state pension. His wife is said make a living running clothes stalls in the capital.      

Dramatic pictures captured the moment former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson embraced an armed man who moments earlier pulled out a gun after trying to fight him at a Hollywood comedy club. On Tuesday an unidentified man was filmed interrupting a comedy set at a Hollywood rooftop bar to challenge Tyson to a fight in a deranged attempt to ‘elevate his status’, the flying monkeys reported. The bar’s MC interrupts the random man’s tirade and and asks him to get out. That MC then proceeds to shove the troublemaker away from the stage. But the man, wearing a white t-shirt and black leather jacket tries to play off the situation, saying: ‘I don’t give a fuck! I’m joking’ as the host pushes him towards the exit. It’s then the man says ‘look, this is easy’ and pulls out a gun from his waistband and cocks it, shocking the MC and drawing gasps from crowd members. Almost immediately the man seems to change his mind and puts the gun back into his waistband and says: ‘I’m out of here’ and walks towards the exit. He then stops and looks at Tyson who is seated in the front row and says ‘Hey I love you fam, salute to all of your accomplishments, for real, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have no inspiration, I love you OG, for real. From the heart, for real.  Respect.’ When he is told to leave once again he says ‘I told you am just joking’ laughing it off. Tyson who the entire time has been sitting calmly, appearing unfazed, calls the man over.  The armed man says ‘No’, because he fears the owners will call the police, but Tyson insists. The man then goes in for a handshake and the two then hug it out. The man then screams ‘New York! Brownsville!’ referencing the neighbourhood Tyson grew up in, before firmly shaking his hand again, grasping it tightly with two hands and leaning in with his forehead. He then shouts ‘Shalawam!’ which translates to ‘May peace be with you’ in Hebrew and salutes Tyson before walking away. As the MC tells him to head out, he once again grows confrontational and calls him a ‘sucker’ ‘You a bitch ass nigger, you not an OG,’ he says before he finally leaves.After he is finally gone, the person recording thanks Tyson and the tense crowd applauds him.

There has been a whole horde of ‘celebrities’ who have been rushed to hospital this week, all seem to be suffering from a mystery illness. Rather than fill up the pages of the newsletter with inane stories, let’s just list them: 

Made in Chelsea ‘star’ Sam Thompson was rushed to hospital this week with acute stomach pain. The 29 year old probably just needed a good shit, but has apparently been diagnosed with a hernia. 

Onto Kate Lawler; the Big Brother ‘star’ has vowed to make changes after she was rushed to hospital Thursday. The 41 year old radio presenter did not divulge what was wrong with her, but probably needed a good shit. 

Josh Widdicombe also jumped on the mystery illness bandwagon. The comedian missed his scheduled Last Leg show because he’d been ‘throwing up all week’. Josh added that he’s been having stomach issues, probably needed a good shit. 

Not to be outdone, Big Brother’s Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace was rushed to hospital with pneumonia! The ‘star’, 43, took to Instagram to update her fans on the pain she’d been suffering after her diagnosis, which couldn’t have been that bad as she managed to post on Instagram. 

Then we have Emmerdale’s Samantha Giles who sparked concern as she’s was rushed to hospital with her version of the mystery illness! Samantha, 50, tweeted that she was in hospital after needing urgent medical treatment and would be “home soon”. Again, we have no idea what was wrong with her, probably needed a good shit. 

On This Day

  • 1871 – The first international rugby match, when Scotland defeats England in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.
  • 1886 – Geronimo, Apache warrior, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.
  • 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
  • 1977 – Tenerife airport disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collide on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight. This is the deadliest aviation accident in history.
  • 1998 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.

Deaths

  • 1968 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1934).
  • 2000 – Ian Dury, English singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1942).
  • 2002 – Dudley Moore, English actor (b. 1935).
  • 2002 – Billy Wilder, Austrian-born American director, producer, & screenwriter (b. 1906).

Typhoid Mary’s Tragic Tale

George Soper was not your typical detective. He was a civil engineer by training, but had become something of an expert in sanitation. So when, in 1906, a landlord in Long Island was struggling to trace the source of a typhoid outbreak, Soper was called in. The landlord had rented his Long Island house to a banker’s family and servants that summer. By late August, six of the house’s 11 inhabitants had fallen ill with typhoid fever.

Soper had been previously hired by New York state to investigate disease outbreaks – “I was called an epidemic fighter,” he later wrote – and believed that typhoid could be spread by one person serving as a carrier. In Long Island, he focused his attention on the cook, Mary Mallon, who had arrived three weeks before the first person became ill. 

What Soper discovered would demonstrate how an unwitting carrier could be the root of disease outbreaks, and, later, spark a debate about personal autonomy when it’s pitted against public health.

Combing through the roster of wealthy New Yorkers who had employed Mallon in their summer homes between 1900 and 1907 he found a trail of 22 infected people. Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection typically spread through food and water contaminated by salmonella. Patients fall ill with high fever, diarrhoea – and, before antibiotics were developed to treat it, sometimes delirium and death.

At that time, without regulated sanitation practices in place, the disease was fairly common and New York had battled multiple outbreaks. In 1906, the year Soper began his investigation, a reported 639 people had died of typhoid in New York. But never before had an outbreak been traced to a single carrier – and certainly not one without any symptoms themselves.

Soper learned that Mallon would often serve ice cream with fresh peaches on Sunday. Compared to her hot, cooked meals, he deduced that “no better way could be found for a cook to cleanse her hands of microbes and infect a family.”  

Four months after he started the investigation, Soper found Mallon working in a Park Avenue brownstone. The 37-year-old Irish cook, he later described, was “five feet six inches tall, a blond with clear blue eyes, a healthy colour and a somewhat determined mouth and jaw.” When confronted with his evidence and a request for urine and faeces samples, she surged at Soper with a carving fork.  

Dr. S. Josephine Baker, an up-and-coming advocate of hygiene and public health, was dispatched to convince Mallon to provide samples, but was also chased away. Baker, whose father had died of typhoid, later made it her mission to promote preventative medicine (and became the first woman to earn a doctorate in public health). “It was Mary’s tragedy that she could not trust us,” Baker later wrote. 

Finally, Mallon was escorted by Baker and five policemen to a hospital where – after a nearly successful escape attempt – she tested positive as a carrier for Salmonella typhi, a bacteria that causes typhoid. This would later be confirmed by more tests. She was quarantined in a small house on the grounds of Riverside Hospital. The facility was isolated on North Brother Island, a tiny speck of land off the Bronx.

Mallon herself had no symptoms of typhoid and didn’t believe she could be spreading it. It’s likely Mallon never understood the meaning of being a carrier, particularly since she exhibited no symptoms herself. The only cure, doctors told Mallon, was to remove her gallbladder, which she refused. She was dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the New York American in 1909 and the name stuck.

In a hand-written letter to her lawyer that June, Mallon complained. “I have been in fact a peep show for everybody. Even the interns had to come to see me and ask about the facts already known to the whole wide world. The tuberculosis men would say ‘There she is, the kidnapped woman,’” she wrote. “Dr. Park has had me illustrated in Chicago. I wonder how the said Dr. William H. Park would like to be insulted and put in the Journal and call him or his wife Typhoid William Park.”

In 1909, she sued the New York City Department of Health and the case was brought to the Supreme Court. In the court of public opinion, Mallon had stirred a debate over individual autonomy and the state’s responsibility in a public health crisis. In the court of law, her lawyer argued she had been imprisoned without due process.

The court declined to release her, saying “it must  protect the community against a recurrence of spreading the disease,” but Mallon was freed early the following year by the city’s new health commissioner. He agreed on the condition that she stop cooking.

Without other skills and unconvinced that her condition was a danger, Mallon drifted back to her old job around New York and New Jersey. She prepared meals for a hotel, a Broadway restaurant, a spa, and a boarding house. When, in 1915, a typhoid outbreak sickened 25 people at Sloane Maternity Hospital, George Soper was again called to investigate. The cook, “Mrs. Brown,” was discovered to be Mallon. 

Mallon was sent back to North Brother island – permanently. She spent her days reading and working in the laboratory preparing medical tests. She died there of a stroke in 1938, after a quarter-century of quarantine. She never admitted to being a carrier of typhoid, and perhaps without the education to understand it, actually never believed it. Nine people attended her funeral at St. Luke’s in the Bronx.

During the course of two outbreaks, at least 51 people caught typhoid through Mallon, and three died. The number of cases was probably much higher. “The story of Typhoid Mary indicates how difficult it is to teach infected people to guard against infecting others,“ Soper warned. But the authorities had already changed the way they responded to such threats. At the time of Mallon’s death, more than 400 healthy carriers of typhoid who had been identified by New York officials, and none had been forced into confinement.

The legacy of “Typhoid Mary” as an asymptomatic vessel for disease led to the theory of “superspreaders” that has surfaced in disease outbreaks ever since. “Since ‘Typhoid Mary’ was discovered, the whole problem of carriers in relation to infectious diseases has assumed an immense importance,” Soper said in a speech in 1913, “an importance which is recognised in every country where effective public health work is done and in every army where communicable disease has been brought under control.”

Last Week’s Birthdays

Quentin Tarantino (59), Nathan Fillion (51), Michael York (80), Julian Glover (87), Fergie (47), Mariah Carey (53), Jessie J (34), Keira Knightley (37), Jennifer Grey (62), James Caan (82), Martin Short (72), Diana Ross (78), Steven Tyler (74), Lee Pace (43), Sarah Jessica Parker (57), Richard O’Brien (80), Paul Michael Glaser (79), Elton John (75), Jessica Chastain (45), Jim Parsons (49), Alyson Hannigan (48), Lara Flynn Boyle (52), Kelly LeBrock (62), Tig Notaro (51), Mark Calaway (57), Amanda Plummer (65), Joanna Page (45), Reese Witherspoon (46), William Shatner (91), Carter Wong (75), Gary Oldman (64), Sonequa Martin-Green (37), Matthew Broderick (60), Timothy Dalton (76), and Rosie O’Donnell (60).


Dead Pool 20th March 2022

We can start this weeks newsletter by awarding some points!!! Well done Paula, 65 points for  correctly guessing the passing of Peter Bowles. There’s lot to read, so I best not waffle on… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Ron Jeremy’s serial rape case was suspended this week, after the jailed porn star was asked to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The 69-year-old, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, was indicted in August last year on 34 counts of sexual assault, with the charges dating as far back as 1996. The ages of his 21 alleged victims range from as young as 15, to 51. Jeremy has pleaded not guilty. On Thursday 17th March, a critical hearing in the case was suspended after he was reportedly unable to recognise his own lawyer. “I was just up in the cell where he was being kept, and I tried to get his attention unsuccessfully,” his defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb told the court. “He was unable to determine who I was and wouldn’t accommodate both myself and the bailiff to fit into the wheelchair to come down here. I don’t think he should be forced to come down here under these circumstances.” Judge George Lomeli stated that the bailiff had also described Jeremy as “incoherent” and “not obeying commands”, before announcing his decision to suspend proceedings. The case has now been referred to a mental health courthouse for a hearing on 1st April, with Jeremy scheduled to return to the criminal courtroom on 19th April. Jeremy allegedly exploited the novelty of his celebrity to meet and often isolate the women he raped and sexually assaulted, using the same tactics for years, according to grand jury testimony from 21 women that was unsealed last September. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we got a picture and an autograph from him?” one woman, identified only as Jane Doe 8, said she remembered telling her friend when they saw Jeremy in 2013 at a West Hollywood bar and grill. He would sexually assault her minutes later, the woman testified. Several women claimed the attacks took place in the restaurant’s bathroom. The hearing on 17th March was supposed to address Jeremy’s request to have the case separated into 21 individual trials. However, prosecutors have opposed the motion, arguing that the offences he is charged with involve the same class of crime. The judge declined to hear further arguments pending Jeremy’s mental health evaluation.   

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a stay of execution for Michael Dean “Spider” Gonzales, who had been scheduled to die by lethal injection nest Tuesday for the deaths of Manuel and Merced Aguirre in 1994. Joshua Freiman, assistant federal public defender, said he received notice of the stay by phone on Thursday afternoon. Authorities believe Gonzales stabbed the Aguirres to death after they woke up to find Gonzales, their neighbour, burglarising their home on April 22nd 1994. He was convicted and sentenced to death in December 1995. He was sentenced to death again in 2009. Last week, federal public defenders asked Ector County District Court Judge John Schrode to halt the execution saying they have new evidence they believe could prove Gonzales didn’t kill the elderly couple. They also alleged he shouldn’t be executed because he is “intellectually disabled,” the state “knowingly elicited” false testimony and the prosecution suppressed evidence that could have cast doubt on Gonzales’ guilt. The Court of Appeals ruled that Schrode needs to look into the matter of Gonzales’ intellectual disability and the allegation that the prosecution suppressed evidence. Defense attorney Richard Burr said they say believe an Odessa man who was interviewed following the couple’s slaying is the actual killer. On late Wednesday afternoon he filed a motion requesting DNA tests to prove that man’s guilt.    

The production of NCIS has reportedly been hit with a mystery health issue. At least 18 cast and crew members from the hit CBS procedural, which is being filmed in Valencia, California, came down with a sudden illness Thursday morning that included vomiting, according to the flying monkeys. A source told them that “mild symptoms” seem to point to potential food poisoning, but there has been no confirmation of a cause. An executive for NCIS had no comment. NCIS is currently on its 19th season and recently said goodbye to its lead character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. Harmon, 70, played Gibbs for 18 seasons. During episode four of season 19, the beloved character – who was nearly killed during the season 18 finale – left his job for good, opting to stay in Alaska indefinitely after solving a case.  

Stephen Mulhern has been discharged from hospital after being treated for a mystery illness which forced him to pull out of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway co-hosting duties. The 44-year-old television host is said to be recovering at home after undergoing successful treatment for a mystery illness – but he could be forced to miss out on TV work for weeks as he recovers. And it has already been almost a month since Stephen was last seen on Saturday Night Takeaway as he featured on the opening show of the latest series. At the time, he was dressed up as former US President Donald Trump as part of a skit, and had previously left fans anxious as he went silent on social media too. But now it is reported that the star is recuperating at home after undergoing treatment for an unspecified medical condition. A source told the flying monkeys: “Stephen went to hospital for a medical procedure, but has been discharged now and is focusing all his energy on his recovery. He’s hoping to return to the show as soon as he’s feeling better and well enough. He’s currently resting up and supporting the lads from home.” Stephen had previously opened up to fans to tell them he was on doctor’s orders not to work – with a rare tweet explaining why he had been absent from TV screens. He wrote: “Hello all. Sorry I’ve been quiet on here recently and thank you for all your lovely messages. I’ve had some time off and been resting up on doctors orders. I’m on the mend, I’m happy to say, and looking forward to getting back to work soon. In the meantime, I’ll put my feet up and watch Saturday Night Takeaway tonight with the rest of you lot. Please don’t miss me too much! Lots of love.”

On This Day

  • 1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.
  • 1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.
  • 1972 – The Troubles: The first Provisional IRA car bombing in Belfast kills seven people and injures 148 others in Northern Ireland.
  • 1995 – The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo carries out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 13 and wounding over 6,200 people.

Deaths

Ghost Writer 

The case of an allegedly haunted 1980’s computer that started communicating with a teacher in archaic English has baffled paranormal investigators for over 35 years. Known as the Dodleston messages, they were a series of communications a teacher received on a BBC microcomputer in 1985. This was before the internet was commonplace and the computer was not connected to a network.

The bizarre events sparked theories ranging from an elaborate hoax to an angry ghost. Some even suggest it was an attempt from both the past and the future to communicate with the present, but it all started with a set of mysterious footprints. The story resurfaced recently in a blog written by Allison Troutner for the website howstuffworks.com.

In 1985, Ken Webster and his girlfriend, Debbie, had recently moved into and were renovating the dilapidated 18th Century Meadow Cottage in the village of Dodleston in Cheshire. During renovations the couple noticed strange, six-toed footprints in the dust, which seemed to walk up the walls between the bathroom and kitchen.

Feeling sure it was a prank, perhaps from some mischievous previous owner, Ken painted over the footprints and thought they were gone for good. The next day, the footprints returned.

Over the next few weeks the couple experienced a series of incidents that made them feel as though they were not quite alone. Tins of cat food had been neatly stacked in a pyramid and an eerie presence was felt in the cottage.

Ken was working as a teacher at a local school and had brought home a BBC micro computer he had borrowed. This was the point things really got weird.

Soon after the computer was set up, typed messages started to appear on its monitor. The first message appeared in the form of an ominous poem.

More messages soon followed. The writer appeared to be able to see both Ken and Debbie and asked about who they are before accusing them of stealing his house.

Days later, a second equally strange message came through, appearing to be written in some archaic version of English.

It said: “I write on behalf of many – What strange words you speak – You are a worthy (good) man who has a fanciful woman, and you live in my house (who dwell in my home) – with lights which (the) devil makes – It was a great crime to have stolen (bribed) my house. – L.W.”

Over the next year and a half more messages continued to appear. Committed to discovering who was behind them, Ken asked a series of questions to try and find out the identity of the writer.

The presence appeared to be able to see the couple in the house. The writer after initially giving his name as Lukas, confessed his name was Thomas Harden or Hawarden – a vicar with this name did appear to live around this time at a church in Gloucestershire.

It was then, Thomas said he had been in communication with ‘a friend from 2109’. Ken, intrigued, wrote a message to ‘2109’ on the computer and received a message.

The message read: “Try to understand that you three have a purpose that shall in your life time change the face of history, we, 2109, must not affect your thoughts directly but give you some sort of guidance that will allow room for your own destiny. All we can say is that we are all part of the same god, what ever, he is (?), is.” 

More messages were left from 2109, who is reported to have expressed annoyance at finding out Lukas’ real name. Could the messages from Thomas (Lukas), 2109, and Ken and Debbie be from three different time lines using the BBC micro as a communication device?

Paranormal investigators were invited into the cottage by the couple. Despite attending on three occasions, they were unable to gain any answers after no activity occurred.

Eventually, Thomas said that he was being forced from his land and was never heard from again. But before he stopped his communications, he said that he would leave a book for his friends in the future.

Messages from 2109 later said the book would be found at some point. As of yet, no such book has been discovered.

The events at Meadow Cottage in 1985 and 1986 continue to be debated by those with an interest in researching the paranormal. Nick Pontyz, a researcher with a Master’s degree in early modern history, has been fascinated by the story and has written a blog on his investigations into the events.

Ken Webster also wrote a book about his alleged first hand experiences communicating with Thomas and 2109 called ‘The Vertical Plane’. What is known, is that the Dodleston messages continue to intrigue sceptics and believers alike 35-years later on. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

John de Lancie (74), Holly Hunter (64), Ruby Rose (36), David Thewlis (59), Freema Agyeman (43), Spike Lee (65), Theresa Russell (65), Bruce Willis (67), Glenn Close (75), Ursula Andress (86), Harvey Weinstein (70), Lily Collins (33), Brad Dourif (72), Luc Besson (63), Queen Latifah (52), Irene Cara (63), Kurt Russell (71), Rob Lowe (58), Gary Sinise (67), John Boyega (30), Patrick Duffy (73), Grimes (34), Alexandra Daddario (36), Alan Tudyk (51), Aisling Bea (38), Jerome Flynn (59), Erik Estrada (73), Jimmy Nail (68), David Cronenberg (79), Will.i.am (48), Michael Caine (89), Jamie Bell (36), Billy Crystal (74), Betsy Brandt (49), and Quincy Jones (89).


Dead Pool 13th March 2022

Another week at war, and a nice take below on what could happen to us. Try not to lose sleep after you read it 😛 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

ITV’s live shows were taken off air on Thursday morning and police were called after a suspicious package was delivered to the London studios where the daytime programmes are filmed. This Morning went off air suddenly and Loose Women did not air a live show, while Tube stations White City and Wood Lane, which are both near to Television Centre, were closed. Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Friday, host Ben Shephard asked Lorraine Kelly if she was responsible for the evacuation. She replied: “Apparently, I am told it was somebody from a film company had sent me a wee present and it had a battery in it and when they x-rayed it, it looked a little bit suspicious. But it was all fine and dandy and it’s OK.” This Morning went to an advert break during the final 15 minutes of the live show but, when it returned, a compilation episode started airing. Panel show Loose Women, which is on ITV immediately after This Morning, also did not air a live show. Instead, viewers were shown presenter Nadia Sawalha telling viewers they were seeing a “very special episode” of Loose Women, which would be showing the best bits of the Life Before Loose series. Reflecting on the interruption to the live broadcast, Kelly said: “It shows the system all works so it’s all fantastic.” ITV’s live programming returned in time for the lunchtime news at 1.30pm. A statement from the channel on Thursday said: “Due to a suspected security alert, the building which ITV daytime broadcast from was safely evacuated. The issue has been resolved and staff have returned to the building following the all-clear from the police. We apologise for the interruption to the schedule and we have now returned to normal programming.” The only question left is what was the battery operated device that Lorraine had delivered???    

Hailey Bieber is currently in hospital after suffering “stroke-like symptoms” from a “small blood clot” in her brain. The 25-year-old model was admitted to a hospital near Palm Springs several days ago for a brain-related condition. In an Instagram Story on Saturday, she told fans: “On Thursday morning, I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke like symptoms and was taken to the hospital. They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.” Bieber, who is married to singer Justin Bieber, said she is now in better health. “Although this was definitely one of the scariest moments I’ve ever been through, I’m home now and doing well, and I’m so grateful and thankful to all the amazing doctors and nurses who took care of me!” she wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has reached out with well wishes and concern, and for all the support and love..” It is not know what caused Bieber’s illness. Last month, Bieber said that she would not be publicly speaking about her private life anymore, saying she has no interest in doing any more interviews that are about her husband or her personal life. “It doesn’t feel worth it to me anymore when I try to have an open conversation with someone like you and then it gets taken out of context,” she explained. “The media loves to take a tiny little blurb of something for clickbait. The media has always been a disgusting thing.”  

Jenna Jameson, the famous ex-porn star & model has revealed that doctors still haven’t discovered the root cause of her mystery illness. In a recent health update, Jenna shared a video on her Instagram, conversing with her fans and well wishers about her current health status. In the video, she is seen bedridden. She shares that she is still sick but relieved that she is at home. She said that there is no idea of what exactly is going on. She is unable to stand but is feeling a lot better because of the support of her fans and well wishers. She added that there are a lot of tests that are needed to be done but the doctors have confirmed that something is really off with her femoral nerve that is affecting her strength in the legs.  James was hospitalised for over two months and shared with her fans that she had been confined to a wheelchair.  The former adult film actress, shared back in January that she was initially hospitalised and diagnosed with Guillain Barre syndrome which the doctors describe as a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves. However, after the news came out, Jameson’s boyfriend Lior Bitten, later confirmed that Guillain Barre has been ruled out and she has been misdiagnosed with the rare immune condition.

Taron Ergerton has assured fans that he is “completely fine” after collapsing on stage during the opening night of his new West End play. Theatre goers were left concerned after the Welsh actor, 32, was taken ill during the production of Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on Saturday night. Thankfully, a doctor was in the house and attended to him as the show took a 40-minute break. While director Marianne Elliot appeared on stage to reassure that the actor was “fine”, his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, filled in for the remainder of the performance as a precaution. Taking to Instagram the following day, Egerton gave his 2.5m a health update. “As some of you may have heard, I passed out during the first performance of Cock last night,” he wrote. “I am completely fine. Slightly sore neck and a bruised ego but I’m fine. I’ve decided to put a positive spin on it and I would appreciate it if anyone who was in the theatre last night just said that I gave such a committed, electrifying performance that my body couldn’t handle it and checked out,” he jokingly continued. “That being said, apparently you’re meant to do the full show and not just three quarters of it. So I’ll be back with a vengeance tomorrow night.” He went on to thank his “amazing” cast-mates and members of the production team, as well as Harper-Jackson.

On This Day

  • 781 – William Herschel discovers Uranus. Ahem… 
  • 1996 – The Dunblane massacre leads to the death of sixteen primary school children and one teacher in Dunblane, Scotland.
  • 2013 – The 2013 papal conclave elects Pope Francis as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
  • 2020 – President Donald Trump declares the COVID-19 pandemic to be a national emergency in the United States.

Deaths

What Happens to you in a  Nuclear Explosion?

With the current world situation, it might be useful for our readers to know the answer. Is it possible to live through the immediate effects of a nuclear explosion? Will you die instantly, or will your demise be slow and painful? It might be a morbid thought, but knowing how a nuclear explosion affects the body and how to protect yourself could save your life if you are unfortunate enough to experience an atomic bomb.  

Many factors determine how a nuclear blast would affect you. The size of the bomb, whether it explodes in the air or on the ground, the geographical layout of where the bomb hits, how far away you are from ground zero, and what types of buildings and materials are nearby all play into how a nuclear attack could affect you. 

Anyone at ground zero – the point immediately above or below detonation – is unlikely to survive. According to Brooke Buddemeier, a health physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the only people who would make it through a nuclear blast at such a close range are those who happen to be in a fortified building or underground bunker. If you are not fortunate enough to be in one of these safe spaces and are still within a few mile radius of the bomb, your body will be instantaneously reduced to its basic minerals from the heat of the blast. It can reach up to 300,000 degrees Celsius – 300 times hotter than the temperature used to cremate human bodies. Mercifully, this will happen so quickly you won’t see it coming. All that will be left where you stood will be a crater from the explosion or a nuclear shadow like those in Hiroshima. 

If you are within a half-mile of the explosion and somehow survive the blast, thermonuclear radiation, shockwave, and ultraviolet light, you are still not safe. Winds from the explosion can move at more than 400 miles per hour – double the speed of a Category 5 hurricane. The human body can withstand this force, but it cannot survive if large flying debris strikes at this speed. This wind speed is enough to knock down most structures, so even if you are indoors and shielded from the initial radiation, it may not matter – the building could crush you as it collapses. The shockwaves of air from the blast cause a change in air pressure, too, and if the wind doesn’t destroy the building you’re in, this change can crumble it. It’s all so sudden that even strong structures often cannot withstand the blast. 

Those closest to the blast site have it the worst, but what happens if they are not instantly incinerated? Thermal radiation goes out in a pulse, and it is so intense it can scorch a person’s skin and ignite widespread fires. 

On the inside, things get horrifyingly heated, too. Your lungs may rupture, like your eardrums, and you may have internal bleeding from the force of the blast. You could die from asphyxiation or organ damage. All of this happens within about a 3-mile radius of the blast, in around 10 seconds. 

A 1-megaton nuclear bomb can cause first-degree burns – or the equivalent of a bad sunburn – roughly 7 miles away from the blast point. If you’re within 6 miles of the explosion, those burns become second-degree. Third-degree burns, or a full-thickness burn, can happen within 5 miles of the blast. This type of burn destroys all three layers of your skin and can even damage muscles and bones. If 24% of your body is covered in this type of injury, it can be lethal.

Light can also cause burns in some cases. If you’re close enough to the blast, the intensity of the light can cause first, second, and even third-degree burns. Second-degree burns, though not as bad as third-degree burns, can still turn deadly. If you get them over 30% of your body or more, you can go into shock, which can kill you quickly if you don’t receive medical care.  

Even though journalist John Hersey described the blast of an atomic bomb as a “noiseless flash,” the air blast can be deafeningly loud. Since light travels faster than sound, you may become flash-blind in a 5-mile radius before your hearing is affected. At this distance, the blast area pressure is 5 pounds per square inch. At this pressure, your eardrums can easily rupture, which can lead to infection or deafness. If you are farther than 5 miles from the blast, your hearing could still be affected. You could get tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Studies show people who suffer hearing damage from even small explosions can experience hearing problems for years, if not life.  

At a little less than 7 miles away, nuclear blasts send out a flood of ultraviolet light. This intense light can burn people so severely, it disables their limbs – something that may lead to medical amputation down the line. These ultraviolet burns from thermal radiation happen so quickly that victims often don’t feel any pain – the light destroys pain nerves before they can feel the damage. You likely wouldn’t feel your body being severely burned, even if you did go into shock from the experience. 

The most lethal effects of a nuclear bomb happen within a 10-mile radius of the blast site, but that doesn’t mean everyone outside this zone comes out unscathed. Temporary flash blindness can occur in people up to 53 miles away from ground zero. While the condition can clear up in a few minutes, the problem with flash blindness is it doesn’t only happen to people in houses or sitting down comfortably. Anyone who looks directly at the blast while driving a car will be unable to see, meaning many people on the road could be instantly driving blind. In this moment, those drivers can cause serious damage to themselves and others. Even if the blast isn’t affecting your body directly, its effects could lead to injury or death. If you are closer to the blast and look directly into the explosion, the flash can focus through your eyes’ lenses, causing your retinas to burn. Retinal burns, or photic retinopathy, can permanently damage eyesight. 

One Russian Topol 800kt Bomb on London

In the case of a nuclear explosion, there is an effect created called an electromagnetic pulse, or an EMP. The nuclear blast generates this short burst of electromagnetic energy, which can cause voltage surges or disruptions in many pieces of technology. These pulses happen quickly, and they can cause electronic devices to turn off or become permanently damaged and disabled. This could prove lethal for people with pacemakers or any other sort of technology keeping them alive. You wouldn’t be able to call for help because your cellphone would be knocked out, too. Some experts say a nuclear bomb makes it dangerous to get into a car. It’s also worth noting that, depending on how high above the ground a nuclear weapon detonates, the EMP pulse could span hundreds of miles. 

One of the biggest long-term effects of a nuclear blast is the radiation, and not just that which settles during fallout. If you are close to the initial blast and survive, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods – you’ve still likely been contaminated with radiation.

Radiation can cause chemical changes in your DNA at high-enough doses, and if you’re close to a nuclear blast, those levels can be deadly, damaging or killing your cells. The radiation can cause immediate burns (including fatal ones), and it can also lead to cancer.

While burns might kill you in the short run, it’s cancer and other health problems that can lead to a slow death. Sometimes, it may take years or decades to occur, even though the initial changes happened directly after the nuclear blast. Even small doses of radiation seem to be harmful, according to scientists. 

You can survive a nuclear explosion from almost anywhere in the blast radius. Being at least 7 miles away or more keeps you safer from some of the more major burns, but it’s still possible to stay alive if you’re closer. There have been cases where a few lucky people survived atomic bomb blasts even though they were at ground zero. It takes being in a very sturdy building or a basement at the moment of the explosion to survive, though, so in those cases, it’s all about chance. 

On the other hand, if you are a mile or more away from the explosion, you may have an opportunity to save yourself. If you have an underground basement, it’s a good idea to head there immediately rather than trying to flee in a car or on foot. Also, try to cut off the flow of outside air, as it can bring radiation with it. 

Other than that, it’s all about being prepared. Have nonperishable food and water stored in a safe, underground area, and be prepared to stay there for 24 hours. The radiation from the bomb will decrease drastically after a day has passed – by up to 80% – which gives you a higher chance of surviving the lethal aftereffects. Good luck! 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Harry Melling (33), William H. Macy (72), Annabeth Gish (51), Jaimie Alexander (38), Titus Welliver (60), Aaron Eckhart (54), Liza Minnelli (76), Jodie Comer (29), Thora Birch (40), Johnny Knoxville (51), Alex Kingston (59), John Barrowman (55), Olivia Wilde (38), Sharon Stone (64), Jon Hamm (51), Chuck Norris (82), Robin Thicke (45), Oscar Isaac (43), Juliette Binoche (58), Aidan Quinn (63), Cynthia Rothrock (65), Micky Dolenz (77), Rachel Weisz (52), and Bryan Cranston (66).


Dead Pool 6th March 2022

I was worried there’d be no news to share at the beginning of this week, with Putin taking up all the  newspapers columns. Well, how wrong could I be! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Taron Egerton worried the audience of his new play after collapsing on stage midway through the performance. The Rocketman star, 32, was performing a new production of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play Cock alongside Jonathan Bailey when he passed out. According to crowd members at London’s Ambassadors Theatre, one of Egerton’s co-stars stopped the opening night performance and a safety curtain went down, leaving the audience sat around waiting for an update on his health. On Twitter, an audience member said that a doctor from the crowd rushed to the stage to help him. After a 40-minute break, in which the production team “assessed the situation”, the play’s director, Marianne Elliott, came on stage to reassure revellers that Egerton was “absolutely fine”. However, Elliott said that his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, would continue in his place for the remaining 15 minutes. Audience member Sue Nelson wrote on Twitter that the news that Egerton was alright received “huge applause”. A statement from the play’s production read: “During this evening’s first preview of Mike Bartlett’s play Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, Taron Egerton fainted towards the end of the performance. A doctor who was in the audience attended to Taron immediately after the incident, and whilst he felt fine, it was decided that Taron’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson would continue in the role to complete the performance.” Cock, which also stars Phil Daniels, follows a gay couple who are rocked when one falls in love with a woman (Jade Anouka). The play marks Egerton’s West End debut and, in between updating people on Egerton’s health, audience members praised his “sensational” performance as well as the production.  

Roxy Horner, who is dating the actor and comedian Jack Whitehall, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in May 2021 after she suffered from low energy levels, “appalling” memory, and continual sickness. The 30-year-old model revealed that she was rushed to the hospital after a friend called an ambulance. Taking to Instagram on Sunday, Roxy revealed she was forced to seek treatment and admittedly has been having a “really rough time” being a diabetic. The model expressed her gratitude at being in the UK after learning there was a shortage of medication for the condition in Ukraine amid the current military crisis. In view of her 193,000 followers, Roxy began: “After my last post on diabetes I’ve had a few messages on how I’m managing and the truth is I’m trying my best but it is still hard. I’ve been having a really rough time managing my glucose levels the past few weeks, they are yo-yo-ing for absolutely no reason, I throw up when I go too high and I’ve had a few too many hypos for my liking lately.” She continued: “My friend had to call an ambulance for me the other day, I was starting to lose consciousness, my entire body was shaking, my levels got pretty low and wouldn’t come back up even after drinking four apple juices. It’s so weird to me because I’m still figuring this out and a month ago I really thought I started to nail it but it’s always going to be a rollercoaster and I know soon I’ll feel much better, maybe even tomorrow, I’ll be fine. My problems feel so minuscule on the scale of what’s going on in the world and I count myself lucky that I’m safe in my own country.” In an earlier post, Roxy shared her dismay as she detailed the lack of vital medications available for people in Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last week. She admitted she couldn’t “fathom the fear” any sufferers must feel knowing medication is in short supply. 

The Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In a 6-3 ruling on Friday, the court found that a federal appeals court was wrong to vacate the death sentence based on issues of jury selection and evidence. The vote was divided along lines of ideology, with outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan, and, in part, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissenting with the ruling. Three people were killed and 260 were injured, many seriously, in the 2013 bombing. Seventeen of those who were injured lost limbs. A police officer was killed during the ensuing manhunt. “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one,” conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority. The court was looking at a ruling by a panel of three judges in the US Court of Appeals for the first Circuit. The panel agreed with Tsarnaev’s attorneys back in July that potential jurors were not properly questioned for bias in the heavily publicised 2015 trial. The panel overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence, saying that some evidence had also been improperly withheld. The evidence could have shown that Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, was more responsible for the attack. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a confrontation with law enforcement as police closed in on the brothers in the days following the bombing in April 2013. The panel of judges upheld Tsarnaev’s conviction on 27 charges; his guilt was never questioned. The issue at hand was whether he was to face the death penalty or life in prison. The three people who died in the bombing were Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, and 8-year-old Martin Richard. The case created an issue for the Department of Justice. The agency had asked the Supreme Court to reverse the federal appeals court’s decision despite President Joe Biden, who opposes the death penalty, having stopped federal executions.

On This Day

  • 1836 –Battle of the Alamo: After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie are killed and the fort is captured.
  • 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.
  • 1899 – Bayer registers “Aspirin” as a trademark.
  • 1984 – In the United Kingdom, a walkout at Cortonwood Colliery in Brampton Bierlow signals the start of a strike that lasted almost a year and involved the majority of the country’s miners.
  • 1987 – The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes in about 90 seconds, killing 193.

Deaths

  • 1951 – Ivor Novello, Welsh singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1893).
  • 1961 – George Formby, English singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1904).
  • 1982 – Ayn Rand, Russian-American philosopher, author, and playwright (b. 1905).
  • 2016 – Nancy Reagan, American actress, 42nd First Lady of the United States (b. 1921).

Is Putin Right in the Head?  

If, like me, you think that Vlad ‘The Invader’ Putin is not quite right, here are the flying monkeys guesses as to what might be wrong with him. 

It’s thought the Russian leader’s decision to invade Ukraine might have been sparked by not only his unhinged mental state, but also by a worrying physical health condition. Putin, 69, was described as “ashen and bloated” in pictures released by the Kremlin. The Russian president, normally cutting a rugged and manly figure, looked pale and unfit as his forces pounded Ukraine’s cities. 

Putin is always tight-lipped about his health – but there has been much speculation over the years. Researchers even claimed they identified signs in Putin’s gait which could point to Parkinson’s disease. 

The Kremlin has not commented on the 2022 speculation that Putin is ill. But here are a few clues puffy-faced Putin could be seriously ill. 

Putin has appeared notably more bloated around the face and neck in recent weeks – suggesting he might be undergoing treatment with steroids for a health condition. Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection – which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid. Steroids can also spark “mood and behavioural changes”. According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a high dose of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking. “This can include having strange or frightening thoughts,” the charity says. 

Fiona Hill, the British former senior White House expert on Russia, told the flying monkeys: “Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced. We know that he has complained about having back issues. Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else. There seems to be an urgency for this that may be also driven by personal factors. He may have a sense that time is marching on – it’s 22 years in power, after all, and the likelihood after that kind of time of a Russian leader leaving voluntarily or through elections is pretty slim. Most leaders leave either like Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko thought that he might leave, as the result of massive protests, or they die in office.” 

Former foreign secretary and medical doctor Lord Owen said changes in Putin’s face made it appear he had been taking steroids, which can make you more vulnerable to Covid. Lord Owen told our monkey: “Look at his face, see how that has changed – he now has an oval face. People who said, oh, it’s plastic surgery or Botox, I don’t believe that at all. He’s on either anabolic steroids as a bodybuilder – and he’s very proud of his muscles and strips to the waist and everything like that – or he’s on corticosteroids. If you’re on these drugs, this gives you this face. It reduces your immunity and makes you more vulnerable to Covid.” He added: “This man has been in complete isolation, quite extraordinary, won’t see anybody, stays miles away, tremendous pressures. Which indicates he’s on a steroid and probably, maybe, a combination of both. And we ought to fess up to it, that carries with it, particularly anabolic steroids, bodybuilders, aggressiveness that comes through. I think his personality has changed, but don’t believe he’s mad. He’s a very clever and able, and somebody who you don’t want as an enemy, and he’s ruthless.” 

Political scientist Valery Solovei has previously claimed Putin has cancer as well as symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. He claimed the Kremlin boss had emergency surgery in February 2020. Speaking that year, Prof Solovei said of Putin’s twin health traumas: “One is of psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem. If anyone is interested in the exact diagnosis, I’m not a doctor, and I have no ethical right to reveal these problems. The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first named diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances. But there is a fatal diagnosis. Based on this information people will be able to make a conclusion about his life horizon, which wouldn’t even require specialist medical education.” 

Prof Solovei – the former head of the Public Relations Department at Moscow State Institute of International Relations – claims Putin underwent surgery in February that year. Another Russian source went on to claim it was an abdominal cancer operation. It was even claimed the Russian leader was planning to announce his Kremlin exit early in 2021. But at the time, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov branded it “absolute nonsense” as he insisted everything was “fine” with the president.   

People who are taking immune-suppressing medication, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of contracting a severe case of Covid. And there has been a flurry of speculation over whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit metres away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues. In a case of extreme social distancing, Emmanuel Macron was forced to sit at the other end of a 13ft table during a meeting with the Russian president. Putin’s own foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was also seated at the other end of an absurdly long table.

Many of Putin’s visitors, including both staff and politicians, have reportedly been forced to quarantine in hotels for two weeks before meeting him. It was also reported visitors to the Kremlin had to walk through an elaborate disinfectant-spraying tunnel.

His extreme measures have sparked rumours that the leader is terrified of catching Covid because he’s vulnerable to a severe infection.  

Republican senator Marco Rubio – who has access to classified intelligence – raised eyebrows last week when he tweeted that “something is off” with Putin. The senior politician is on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is not allowed to talk about the information he views. But in what appears to be a hint, Rubio said Putin was facing a “different and significant” problem. “I wish I could share more, but for now I can say it’s pretty obvious to many that something is off with Putin,” he wrote. “He has always been a killer, but his problem now is different & significant. It would be a mistake to assume this Putin would react the same way he would have five years ago.” He later added that Putin “appears to have some neuro/physiological health issues” – but did not expand further. Pressure is piling on the US to release any intelligence that might reveal if Putin is indeed ill – with one former White House national security official telling the monkeys the US should “make it personal”. 

Putin has been slowly but surely carrying out his grand plans to restore Soviet glory. In 2008, he invaded Georgia – and six years later, he annexed Crimea. And under changes to the Russian law made in early 2021, he can now remain president until 2036. This would give gangster Putin plenty of time for incremental land grabs using what some have dubbed “salami tactics” by taking Ukraine “slice by slice” over a long period time.Therefore, many have been left puzzled as to why he would take such a huge gamble on taking over the whole of Ukraine in one go – unless he was unwell and had limited time. It increases the suspicion that perhaps his physical health means he is running out of time. What do you all think? 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Shaquille O’Neal (50), Ellen Muth (41), Tom Arnold (63), Alan Davies (56), Eva Mendes (48), Jolene Blalock (47), Matt Lucas (48), Paul Blackthorne (53), Fred Williamson (84), Penn Jillette (67), Catherine O’Hara (68), Patsy Kensit (54), Dominique Pinon (67), Jessica Biel (40), Julie Bowen (52), Miranda Richardson (64), Charlie Brooker (51), Bryce Dallas Howard (41), Daniel Craig (54), Rebel Wilson (42), Nathalie Emmanuel (33), Gates McFadden (73), Jon Bon Jovi (60), Alexander Armstrong (52), Chris Martin (45), Javier Bardem (53), Jensen Ackles (44), Ron Howard (68), Ma Dong-seok (51), Lupita Nyong’o (39), Zack Snyder (56), Dirk Benedict (77), Justin Bieber (28), Harry Belafonte (95), Roger Daltrey (78), John Turturro (65), Rae Dawn Chong (61), and Stephanie Beacham (75).


Dead Pool 27th February 2022

Short and sweet this week, all the news seems to be about a spot of bother in the Ukraine. Anyone care to place a bets on how long Putin will survive? 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Celebrity news blog Hollywood Unlocked has backtracked on its false report that the Queen had died. Two days after it was publicly announced that Queen Elizabeth II had tested positive for Covid-19, Hollywood Unlocked published a story with the headline: “HU Exclusive: Queen Elizabeth Dead.” The piece read: “Sources close to the Royal Kingdom notified us exclusively that Queen Elizabeth has passed away. She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead.” While Hollywood Unlocked was widely criticised for the story, founder Jason Lee insisted it was true, claiming: “We don’t post lies and I stand by my sources. However, by Friday a new article was published to the website titled: “Fact Check: 10 Reasons We Believed Queen Elizabeth Was Dead.” In the piece, the author laid out why Hollywood Unlocked and Lee had incorrectly believed the rumours to be true. The article claimed that Lee was directly contacted by a source who had attended Enninful’s wedding and claimed that guests had been told of the monarch’s passing there, prompting “dismay” among the attendees. Lee then allegedly corroborated this report with a source “familiar with the British military”, who claimed that the palace “had been locked down and all the top generals had been summoned to Windsor Castle ‘for an undisclosed reason’”. It is stressed in the article that Hollywood Unlocked had not “intentionally” meant to cause harm to the monarchy. A statement from Lee said: “Although I’ve never been wrong when breaking a story because this involves The Queen this is one time I would want to be. And based on Wednesday’s report from the Palace, I can say my sources got this wrong and I sincerely apologise to The Queen and the Royal Family.”  

Pete Doherty has been forced to cancel his upcoming gigs, after falling ill with a high fever and shortness of breath. The Libertines singer, 42, received ‘immediate treatment’ from medics, after the star tested negative for Covid-19 and that diagnosis was ruled out. A statement released on behalf of the indie icon revealed that the singer has been diagnosed with a respiratory infection and he remains under ‘close observation’ from a doctor. Due to Pete’s health battle, a string of his U.K shows and gigs have been cancelled, as the singer is not able to perform ‘under any circumstance’. Posted to recently-married star’s 137,000 Instagram followers on Thursday, the statement read: “A doctor has been called to assess Peter’s condition tonight after he developed a high fever and shortness of breath. “Thankfully, he has tested negative for COVID-19, but has been diagnosed with a respiratory infection which requires immediate treatment. Unfortunately, he has been advised not to perform tonight under any circumstances, which was not a decision taken lightly, and he remained under close observation with the doctor. Further updates tomorrow afternoon with regard to the weekends show.” Pete had been scheduled to perform at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town on Friday and Saturday. The Babyshambles frontman is due to take the stage at various locations across Europe over the next few months, including gigs in France, Germany and Holland.  

Jeremy Clarkson opened up about a recent car accident he had near his Diddly Squat Farm. The frightening incident happened earlier this week when the presenter was driving to see a friend in a nearby Cotswolds village. He headed out in the morning and recalls feeling as though something was “troubling” him. Writing for the Sunday Times, he said: “I was being tickled by the motoring world’s equivalent of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tingle in the left arm. You know what it’s like when you walk into a northern pub and everyone’s laughing and joking. But you can just sort of sense that, somewhere in the steamed-up background, Begbie’s getting ready to lob his pint glass over the balcony. And that soon you’ll have a split lip and a snooker cue up your jacksie. It was that feeling.” Jeremy was driving down a long hill in Chipping Norton when he pressed his foot down on the brake pedal. In a heart-stopping moment, Jeremy’s BMW, which he says is “the worst car of them all”, began to skid when the wheels hit a portion of black ice. Detailing the frightening experience, the Clarkson’s Farm star explained: “It was the noise that gave it away first. A sort of shooshing sound, followed by the slow-motion staccato of the car’s antilock braking system fighting a losing battle with a surface that plainly had the characteristics of wet soap in a puddle of Fairy Liquid. In short, I was driving on black ice.” Thankfully, Jeremy managed to steer the car onto a grass verge at the side of the road. He was unharmed but admits he was left shaken by the accident. He continued: “I steered carefully to the side of the road, where there was a grass verge so that two of the tyres would have some kind of adhesion. And then, after stopping and taking stock, I continued with my journey at approximately 1mph.” It comes as the former Top Gear host is filming the second series of his hit Amazon Prime show, Clarkson’s Farm. It will detail the highs and lows of life on the Diddly Squat Farm as well as work on the farm’s shop.

On This Day

  • 1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.
  • 1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
  • 1964 – The Government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over, must have worked as its still standing!
  • 2004 – Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, is sentenced to death for masterminding the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack.

Deaths

  • 1892 – Louis Vuitton, French fashion designer, founded Louis Vuitton (b. 1821)
  • 1993 – Lillian Gish, American actress (b. 1893)
  • 2002 – Spike Milligan, Irish soldier, actor, comedian, and author (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – Fred Rogers, American minister and television host (b. 1928)
  • 2006 – Linda Smith, English comedian and author (b. 1958)
  • 2015 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor (b. 1931)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Kate Mara (39), Timothy Spall (65), Adam Baldwin (60), Noah Emmerich (57), Richard Coyle (50), Bolo Yeung (76), Chase Masterson (59), Bill Duke (79), Rashida Jones (46), Téa Leoni (56), Sean Astin (51), Rose Matafeo (30), Lee Evans (58), Martha Kelly (54), Billy Zane (56), Daniel Kaluuya (33), Edward James Olmos (75), Dennis Waterman (74), Emily Blunt (39), Dakota Fanning (28), Samara Weaving (30), Kelly Macdonald (46), Josh Gad (41), Aziz Ansari (39), Drew Barrymore (47), Jeri Ryan (54), Thomas Jane (53), Kyle MacLachlan (63), James Hong (93), Julie Walters (72), Sheila Hancock (89), Nigel Planer (69), Elliot Page (35), Jennifer Love Hewitt (43), Jordan Peele (43), Sophie Turner (26), Tuppence Middleton (35), Kelsey Grammer (67), Anthony Daniels (76), Charlotte Church (36), and Tyne Daly (76).


Dead Pool 20th February 2022

As  we all prepare for WWIII, or just amuse ourselves at how windy the wind is, there have been a few celebrity deaths. None are war related, nor were they squished by a flying trampoline, but the wind is still rather windy around here, so there is still hope… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Queen has spoken of feeling frail but remained in good spirits at her first appearance since a Covid scare in the family, and amid another turbulent week for the royals. Standing while using a walking stick, she pointed to her left leg or foot and remarked: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move,” during an official engagement at Windsor Castle. The Queen, 95, appears to have avoided catching Covid, having met the Prince of Wales last week shortly before he was confirmed as having tested positive for the virus. She was pictured greeting the Estonian ambassador who spoke to the monarch via video-link from Buckingham Palace. Also, her majesty received the Spanish ambassador over video-link. It comes after Prince Charles tested positive for Covid last week for the second time, having met the Queen earlier in the week. On Monday, the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla tested positive. Prince Charles, 73, and Camilla, 74, have both had two doses of a vaccine plus a booster dose.  

Adele Roberts has spoken out about her ‘shock’ cancer diagnosis and detailed the effects of her surgery to remove the tumour. The Radio 1 DJ, 42, revealed that she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in an emotional post on October 24th, sharing the news a month after learning she had the disease. In her first live interview since the announcement, the I’m A Celebrity star appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss her diagnosis. She explained: ‘It was a shock. I didn’t realise I could get cancer which I know sounds silly because I know now it can happen to anyone at any age. ‘I’m vegetarian. I’m healthy. I exercise.’ Describing the first warning signs, she said: ‘My digestion started to get a bit funny – after what we ate in the jungle I wasn’t surprised. I noticed when I went to the toilet things like mucus and then blood. I didn’t know whether to call the doctor because of Covid I didn’t want to bother anyone. But it got so consistent that I thought I’d better call up just in case.’ Despite all she’s been through, Adele remains positive and hopeful she’ll be back to her ‘normal self’ by the summer. She said: ‘I feel like I’ve not really taken it on board. I’m just trying to get through each day. The NHS have been awesome.  I’ve been able to get back on Radio One and I’m on chemotherapy. Hopefully by the middle of this year I’ll be back to my normal self.’   

Progress concerning Princess Charlene of Monaco’s ongoing recovery continues to be encouraging. Speaking to the local flying monkeys on Thursday, Prince Albert provided a brief update on his wife, saying, “Princess Charlene is doing much better, and I hope she will be back in the Principality very soon.” The prince’s remark comes three weeks after the most recent palace update, which described her recovery as “continuing in a satisfying and very encouraging way.” That statement, however, also stated her stay in a clinic would “still take several weeks.” Princess Charlene, who celebrated her 44th birthday in January, is currently receiving treatment outside of Monaco after suffering profound “exhaustion, both emotional and physical,” Prince Albert told the flying monkeys in November. After landing in South Africa last May for what was planned as a brief 10-day visit in her home country, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded her for six months. A series of painful corrective surgeries and a subsequent relapse postponed her return to Monaco until early November to reunite with her husband and their children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. Upon her return, however, the princess exhibited signs of both emotional and physical exhaustion and in consultation with her doctors and family members, she decided to seek medical assistance. It was clear “she was unwell and felt uncomfortable” a palace source explains. For numerous reasons, it was determined a facility outside Monaco was preferential. Seeking treatment “elsewhere in Europe” was a solution that the princess already favoured, Albert said. Reports speculate the clinic she chose is located in Switzerland. Albert described Charlene’s decision as a voluntary choice. “She had already made her decision, and we only wanted her to confirm it in front of us. She wanted this. She already knew the best thing to do was to go and have a rest and have a real medically framed treatment,” he told the flying monkeys in November. In December, the palace shared that “it may take a few more months before her health has reached a full recovery.”

On This Day

  • 1935 – Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.
  • 1962 – Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, making three orbits in four hours, 55 minutes.
  • 2003 – During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the Station nightclub ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.

Deaths

Most Murderous Murderer of Pakistan

Javed Iqbal Umayr  was a Pakistani serial killer and pederast who confessed to the sexual abuse and murder of 100 young boys, ranging in age from 6 to 16. Iqbal strangled the victims, dismembered the corpses and dissolved them in acid as a way to conceal the evidence. 

Iqbal was the sixth of eight children of his businessman father. He attended Government Islamia College, Railway Road Lahore as an intermediate student. In 1978, while still a student, he started a steel recasting business. Iqbal lived, along with boys, in a villa in Shadbagh which his father had purchased for him. 

In December 1999, Iqbal sent a letter to police and a Lahore newspaper chief news editor Khawar Naeem Hashmi confessing to the rape and murder of 100 runaway boys, all aged between 6 and 16. In the letter, he claimed to have strangled and dismembered the victims, mostly runaways and orphans living on the streets of Lahore, and disposed of their bodies using vats of hydrochloric acid. He then dumped the remains in a local river. 

Inside Iqbal’s house, police and reporters found bloodstains on the walls and floor, along with the chain with which Iqbal claimed to have strangled his victims and photographs of many of his victims in plastic bags. These items were neatly labelled with handwritten pamphlets. Two vats of acid with partially dissolved human remains were also left in the open for police to find, with a note claiming the bodies in the house have deliberately not been disposed of so that authorities will find them.

Iqbal confessed in his letter that he planned to drown himself in the Ravi River following his crimes but after unsuccessfully dragging the river with nets, police launched the largest manhunt in Pakistan history. Four accomplices, teenage boys who had shared Iqbal’s three-bedroom flat, were arrested in Sohawa. Within days, one of them died in police custody, with a post-mortem suggesting that force had been used against him; allegedly, he jumped from a window.

Iqbal’s motive for committing his murders was his infuriation at a perceived injustice at the hands of Lahore police who had arrested him on charges relating to an act of sodomy against a young runaway boy in the 1990s. No charges were brought in relation to this offence. His mother had “been forced to watch his decline” before suffering a fatal heart attack. He had therefore resolved to make 100 mothers cry for their sons as his mother had been forced to do for him before her death. 

It was a month before Iqbal turned himself in at the offices of the Daily Jang on 30th December 1999. He was subsequently arrested. He stated that he had surrendered to the newspaper because he feared for his life and was concerned that the police would kill him.

Iqbal was sentenced to death; the judge passed sentence saying “You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed, your body will then be cut into 100 pieces and put in acid, the same way you killed the children.” The Interior Minister, Moinuddin Haider, contradicted the sentence by stating that Pakistan is a signatory of the Human Rights Commission, so “such punishments are not allowed.”

Iqbal hanged himself in his cell before the execution could be carried out, with another “accomplice” hanged in a nearby cell the same night.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Chelsea Peretti (44), Brenda Blethyn (76), Benedict Wong (52), Anthony Head (68), Rihanna (34), Cindy Crawford (56), Imogen Stubbs (61), Millie Bobby Brown (18), Benicio Del Toro (55), Jeff Daniels (67), Ophelia Lovibond (36), Ray Winstone (65), Leslie Ash (62), John Travolta (68), Molly Ringwald (54), Matt Dillon (58), Cybill Shepherd (72), Greta Scacchi (62), Dr. Dre (57), Yoko Ono (89), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (41), Lou Diamond Phillips (60), Michael Bay (57), Bonnie Wright (31), Dominic Purcell (52), Rory Kinnear (46), Paris Hilton (41), Brenda Fricker (77), Patricia Routledge (93), Ed Sheeran (31), Barry Humphries (88), Alejandro Jodorowsky (93), Michael Jordan (59), Elizabeth Olsen (33), Christopher Eccleston (58), LeVar Burton (65), Ice-T (64), Faran Tahir (59), Agyness Deyn (39), Amanda Holden (51), The Weeknd (32), John McEnroe (63), Alex Borstein (51), Jane Seymour (71), Matt Groening (68), Simon Pegg (52), Andrew Robinson (80), and Teller (74).


Dead Pool 13th February 2022

A fairly scant week on the deaths front, but I did find an interesting story to share below. I do think it may be time for a Flying Monkey incident. Fly my lovelies, fly! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The Queen’s recent Covid-19 scare has sparked debate over which royals should be allowed to step in for her if she is unable to fulfil her duties. Her Majesty is currently being “monitored” after it was revealed she was in close contact with Prince Charles two days before he tested positive with coronavirus. If the Queen cannot undertake her official duties, there are four potential royals who are Counsellors of State and appointed by Letters Patent who can fill in for her – Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry. Buckingham Palace refused to confirm whether the 95-year-old monarch had tested positive or negative for Covid, fuelling fears for her health, but palace sources insisted she was not displaying symptoms of the virus. Counsellors of State are appointed from among the following: the monarch’s consort (which was the late Prince Philip) and the four adults over the age of 21 next in succession. These are currently Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. And since Charles contracted Covid yesterday and William abroad in Dubai, if both the Queen and Charles were too unwell to carry out duties, the role would have fallen to Andrew and Harry. However, Andrew has stepped back permanently from royal life while he fights a civil sexual assault case, while Harry is in the US having also quit as a senior working royal. Andrew and Harry remain in the line of succession, but the fact that Harry is out of the UK living in California could potentially disqualify him from a Counsellor of State role, although he could travel back to London if ever required. Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt tweeted: “With Prince Charles isolating and Prince William abroad, is Prince Andrew limbering up in case he needs to be a Counsellor of State – or can Prince Harry do it, virtually?” But, in the event Counsellors of State were needed, he would only be one of the two required. Charles is understood not to have serious symptoms after testing positive on Thursday.    

Radio 2 presenter Rylan Clark has been rushed to hospital, which forced him to pull out of his BBC show for the second week in a row. It is not yet known why Rylan was taken to hospital, but last week, he told his followers he had the flu. The host, 33, has since revealed he is now back at home after “an extended stay” and will not be on the radio tomorrow. Sharing a picture of his arm fitted with a cannula, the star confirmed that he was “on the mend”.  He wrote: “Finally home after an extended trip to Costa del hospital. Slowly on the mend. “Won’t be on the wireless tomorrow. Resting up. Be back soon.” The former X Factor star usually presents Rylan On Saturday every week between 3-6pm, but his recent health troubles have prompted a bit of a shake-up. Last week, Rylan was also forced to pull out of his stint on the airwaves after coming down with the flu. He told his followers at the time: “Gone and got the flu (not surprised) been in bed for a couple of days. “Have lat tested and not Covid thankfully but won’t be able to go on the wireless tomorrow. Be back soon x.” Rylan recently opened up about his mental health issues following the breakdown of his marriage last year. The star revealed to The Flying Monkeys that he had lost a lot of weight during the ordeal, as he struggled to cope with splitting from his partner Dan Neal, 41, after five years together. During the tell-all interview, he admitted that his weight had plummeted to 9st 13lb and that he “didn’t deal with what happened”. He said: “I got ill and I lost weight, I went down to under ten stone — and I’m six feet four inches, so that’s not good. The honest truth is that it’s been shit,” he confessed. Rylan went on to explain that his family had been “majorly worried” about him and that he never usually “disappears for four months”, in reference to his career break amid the breakdown of his marriage. “One of my biggest regrets of this year was putting my mum through me not being well,” he said. “I needed to get back to me.”   

Rapper Kodak Black was shot in the leg while leaving a party held for Justin Bieber. The musician had been a guest at a Super Bowl weekend party at The Nice Guy, a restaurant in Los Angeles, on Friday night. According to reports by the flying monkeys, Kodak – real name Bill Kapri – was outside the restaurant with fellow rappers Gunna and Lil Baby in the early hours of Saturday morning. A fight broke out within the group, with Black reportedly attempting to punch someone when gunshots were heard by witnesses. “The fight was believed to have started with someone in Kodak Black’s entourage,” a source told the flying monkeys. “After others jumped in, shots were fired… and then all hell broke loose.” Police said that ten shots were fired during the altercations, with four men injured, including Black. One is said to have been shot in the shoulder, one the leg and one the buttocks, a source said, while photos showed a man covered in blood. Two of the men (a 19 and 60-year-old) were taken straight to the hospital from the scene. A 24-year-old (believed to be Black) and another man took themselves to hospital later. Two of the men are yet to be named by local authorities, but they are all said to be in a stable condition. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to the flying monkeys that no arrests had been made. The chief monkey has contacted Black’s representatives for comment. Sadly, Bieber was unscathed and he and his wife Hailey quickly left The Nice Guy after the shots were fired. Other attendees at the event, which had been an afterparty following a show by the “Peaches” singer, included Jeff Bezos, Drake, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Kendall Jenner and Khloe Kardashian. 

On This Day

  • 1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, is executed for adultery.
  • 1960 – With the success of a nuclear test codenamed “Gerboise Bleue“, France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons.
  • 2004 – The Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds“.

Deaths

The Most Kissed Woman in the World

Nobody knows what her name was. We don’t know her age or background. How her life brought her to Paris, and left her drowned in the River Seine. But when her lifeless body was pulled from those murky waters in the late 19th century, the girl known forevermore as L’Inconnue de la Seine (the unknown woman of the Seine) began an amazing new story in death. 

This strange second chapter, a surreal postscript nobody could have ever predicted, ultimately helped save millions of lives, even after her own was cut so tragically short. Or was it? The exact history of what happened to L’Inconnue both before and after her fateful drowning is a matter of some debate – one shrouded in a frayed, fanciful Parisian legend. But what follows is the most commonly told version of a tale that’s now perhaps 150 years old. 

L’Inconnue, who is estimated to have been about 16 years old when she died, may have been a suicide. Nobody knows for sure, but there were no marks on her body, and many concluded she took her own life. After she was pulled out of the Seine, she was transported to the Paris mortuary, and put on public display alongside the bodies of other unknown dead for the purpose of identification. This grisly parade of nameless corpses was a popular diversion in its day. “There is not a single window in Paris that attracts more onlookers than this,” a contemporary account explains. Despite the crowds, however, nobody recognised L’Inconnue, or at least none came forward. But while she may never have been identified by the crowds who attended her corpse, that’s not to say she went unnoticed. 

Even in death her serene appearance turned heads. One of those heads belonged to an attendant at the mortuary, who – so the story goes – was so transfixed by her, he ordered a plaster cast to be made of her face. 

The mask was a hit. Before long, L’Inconnue’s alluring, deathly likeness was reproduced in facsimiles sold in souvenir shops across Paris, then Germany, and the rest of Europe. The mesmerising mask of this unknown dead girl – described by philosopher and author Albert Camus as the “drowned Mona Lisa” – became a coveted cultural icon. 

In time, L’Inconnue’s frozen half-smile rested on mantels and hung in drawing rooms all over the continent. She was positioned in artists’ workshops, gazed upon as a mute, motionless model. But it wasn’t just sketchers and painters who were captivated. Poets and novelists became entranced too. At some point, L’Inconnue turned into a kind of morbid meme for early 20th century writers, who contrived countless dramatic histories for this heartbroken heroine, engulfed by ill fortune and the weight of water. 

“The facts were so scarce that every writer could project what they wanted on to that smooth face,” museum archivist Hélène Pinet told The Flying Monkeys in 2007. “Death in water was a very romantic concept. Death, water, and woman was a tantalising combination.” One critic described her as “the erotic ideal of the period”, the aesthetic template for a “whole generation of German girls who modelled their looks on her”. 

Half a century after this explosion of fame and fascination was lit, L’Inconnue transformed into something else again – with the help of a man who was born decades after she died. 

His name was Asmund Laerdal, and he was a toy manufacturer from Norway. His company had started off in the early 1940s printing children’s books and calendars, before moving on to small toys made out of wood. After the war, Laerdal began to experiment with a new kind of material that had just entered mass production: plastic. Using this soft, malleable substance, he manufactured one of his most famous playthings: the ‘Anne’ doll, which in post-war Norway was acclaimed “toy of the year… with sleeping eyes and natural hair”. She might have been sleeping, but Anne wasn’t L’Inconnue. At least, not yet.

One day, Laerdal’s two-year-old son, Tore, nearly drowned. Had his father not rushed to intervene – pulling the limp boy from the water and forcing the water out of his airways – things would have turned out very differently. So when a group of anaesthesiologists approached Laerdal and told him they needed a doll to demonstrate a newly developed resuscitation technique – a procedure known as CPR – they found an attentive, receptive listener. 

With these researchers – including, most notably, the  Austrian physician Peter Safar, who had helped pioneer the CPR method – Laerdal embarked upon a history-making project: making a life-sized mannequin that people could use to practise life-saving techniques. For a toymaker accustomed to manufacturing miniature cars and play-dolls, it was a challenge to make a realistic, functional mannequin; one that could reliably demonstrate the physical complexities of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Aside from the technical issues, what kind of face would he give to this giant doll? That’s when Laerdal recalled a strange, enigmatic half-smile. A serene mask he’d seen hanging on the wall at his in-laws’ house. It was, of course, L’Inconnue.

Laerdal kept the name of his Anne doll, but gave the new mannequin L’Inconnue’s face, along with a body of full sized adult dimensions – including a collapsible chest for practising compressions, and open lips to simulate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. 

Laerdal felt it was important that the mannequin should be a female, suspecting that men in the 1960s would be reluctant to practise CPR on a male doll’s lips. The mannequin was given the name Resusci Anne (Rescue Anne); in America, she was known as CPR Annie.

Since she became available in the 1960s, Resusci Anne hasn’t been the only CPR mannequin on the market, but she is considered the first and most successful ‘patient simulator’ ever – responsible for helping hundreds of millions of people learn the basics of how to save a life with CPR. That incredible number, amassed over almost 60 years of live-giving mouth to mouth, is why Resusci Anne is often said to have the most-kissed face of anyone in history.

Today, the Laerdal company estimates that two million lives have been saved by CPR. Ironically, most of these rescues were the eventual result of people kneeling down and coming face to face with the replica of an unknown dead girl from Paris – a Jane Doe who perished long before the technique could ever have saved her. 

With time, the resuscitation replica became famous herself – separately from L’Inconnue and the bygone trends of late 19th century Paris. 

The lyric “Annie, are you OK?” from the Michael Jackson song “Smooth Criminal” actually stems from American CPR training, in which students practise speaking to their unresponsive plastic patient, CPR Annie. Today, however, many doubt that the flawless features of L’Inconnue’s mask could have ever come from a drowned girl – with skeptics suggesting that the face of a corpse, especially one retrieved from a river, would be misshapen, bloated, or scarred. Some say the mask we know may have instead been taken of a live model posing for a moulder – a beautiful face who later became somehow swept up in another girl’s legend.

L’Inconnue’s remains are thought to have been disposed of in an unmarked pauper’s grave, and police records from the era make no mention of this mysterious girl.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Neal McDonough (56), Mena Suvari (43), Sophia Lillis (20), Tony Dalton (47), Stockard Channing (78), Kim Novak (89), Christina Ricci (42), Josh Brolin (54), Michael Ironside (72), Arsenio Hall (66), Taylor Lautner (30), Natalie Dormer (40), Jennifer Aniston (53), Damian Lewis (51), Thomas Turgoose (30), Sheryl Crow (60), Stephanie Beatriz (41), Chloë Grace Moretz (25), Elizabeth Banks (48), Keeley Hawes (46), Laura Dern (55), Robert Wagner (92), Philip Glenister (59), Holly Willoughby (41), Rose Leslie (35), Tom Hiddleston (41), Michael B. Jordan (35), Ciarán Hinds (69), Joe Pesci (79), Amber Valletta (48), Mia Farrow (77), Mary Steenburgen (69), Seth Green (48), Nick Nolte (81), John Williams (90), James Spader (62), Deborah Ann Woll (37), Eddie Izzard (60), Ashton Kutcher (44), and Chris Rock (57).


Dead Pool 6th February 2022

Here we go again! No points this week, but loads to read. So make a nice cup of tea and sit back and let the flying monkeys massage your feet. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Simon Cowell has said that he’ll “definitely wear a helmet” in the future after crashing his e-bike for the second time in 18 months. The former X Factor judge broke his arm on the 24th January after suffering an accident near his home in west London. Witnesses said that Cowell hadn’t been wearing a helmet and had “blood pouring from his face”. Speaking to the flying monkeys, the music mogul said that he was doing “OK” and “feeling much better” after the accident. “It happened just round the corner,” he said. “I’m a bit of a nutter. I’ll definitely wear a helmet next time.” Cowell was said to have been driving the e-bike at a speed of about 20mph when the accident occurred, with the 62-year-old then being rushed to a nearby hospital with a broken arm, badly bruised cheek and possible concussion. He was discharged the same day and photographed with his arm in a yellow cast. In August 2020, Cowell broke his back while testing out his new £10,000 e-bike in the courtyard of his Malibu home. Speaking about the incident at the time and after he was forced to undergo surgery, Cowell said: “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”   

1000Lb Sisters star Tammy Slaton was left fighting for her life in a coma after a terrifying health scare. The 35-year-old fronts the TLC series with sister Amy, offering viewers a front-row seat into their weight loss journey as well as an intimate look at their personal lives. Her struggles have been documented in the past, with viewers left shocked at her decision to leave a food addiction rehab early in previous episodes. However, things took a scary turn in the latest instalment, when she was rushed to hospital shortly after arriving at another weight loss facility. Her family got a concerning phone call that she had ‘quit breathing’ before being rushed for emergency treatment. ‘They’re just telling us that her lungs have given up, and like her body is shutting down,’ sister Amanda told the cameras. ‘So at this point, we’re facing making funeral arrangements for my little sister. ‘I’m just sitting here thinking, “Oh my god.” She’s been in such a bad place for so long. She waited too long. And now that she has the courage to step out and get the help that she needs, now this.’ Tammy’s brother, Chris, explained that doctors weren’t sure whether she would ‘make it through the next hours’, with her loved ones gathering by her bedside. She was placed into a medically induced coma at the hospital, with doctors also putting her on a ventilator. Thankfully she woke up, with doctors later giving her a tracheotomy. Amy broke down over her recovery, adding: ‘She’s okay. She’s still alive. She has her life.’ The star spent three weeks in hospital before returning to the rehab centre to continue her weight loss efforts. According to Chris, she is already doing well with her transformation, and is already down 115lbs after spending a month at the facility. He proudly added: ‘I’m overjoyed that’s she’s ready to get on this train and start rolling down the tracks.’ 

Tom Parker, 33, called for his fans to “light a candle and say a prayer” for him on Wednesday. The Wanted singer explained to his 267,000 followers on Instagram how the date, 2nd February 2022, was “a powerful day to manifest” and heal. Tom – who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020 – went on to share an affirmation that included the line: “May my body return to health and completely free from dis-ease.” The dad-of-two uploaded a sweet snap of himself and wife Kelsey Hardwick to accompany the positive post on social media. “Calling all my amazing followers,” Tom began in the caption on Wednesday. “I would love for you all to get involved tonight and light a candle and say a prayer for me.” He continued: “It’s a new moon and supreme number 02.02.22 it’s a powerful day to manifest with the universe. “So let’s all heal together.” The Dead Pool favourite – who has a daughter Aurelia, two, and son Bodhi, 11 months – was initially told he had a grade four glioblastoma and was given a life expectancy of 12 to 18 months. Thankfully, after six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 radiotherapy sessions, the star’s condition has improved and he and his family have a positive outlook about things.  

A woman who made international headlines when she announced she was expecting octuplets has died aged 56 after developing cancer. Mandy Allwood first announced she was expecting eight children, aged 31, with her then partner Paul Hudson after taking fertility drugs in 1996. But the six boys and two girls, who were born over three days and three nights, tragically did not survive. First reported by The Scum, Ms Allwood will be laid to rest in a service funded by her local council, known as a pauper’s funeral, with no mourners present. Her friend Mark Beard, 58, said: “She had been struggling with cancer for a while and had an operation before Christmas but told us recently that it had come back. I don’t know what sort of cancer it was.” Mr Beard, the landlord of the Yard of Ale pub in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, told the flying monkeys that Ms Allwood would pop in two times a week, and said she was “loved” by the locals. He said about a dozen of her friends would “raise a glass” in her memory after her family declined to attend her cremation. Her close family did not comment but confirmed to the monkeys that they would not be attending. Ms Allwood went on to have three other children but never recovered from the loss of her octo-babies. She would go on to appear on Oprah and have lunch with Princess Diana, and eventually sued disgraced publicist Max Clifford for secretly profiteering from her story. She struggled with depression, and she lost custody of her three surviving children and became estranged from her family. 

Musical theatre star Andrew Lloyd Webber said agony and lack of sleep had almost led to him overdosing on painkillers as he opened up about his health woes in his memoir Unmasked. The 73-year-old composer explained that his prostate cancer battle had left him impotent. Llyod Webber, who is best known for a number of musicals that include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. Addressing the details of his health concerns, the composer spoke out in an unearthed admission. The dad-of-five said the treatment left him impotent before he was given the all-clear from the disease in 2010. According to the flying monkeys, in his memoir, Unmasked, Andrew said: “I did think of suicide. It was so painful and I couldn’t sleep. “You have all those ridiculous painkillers and none of them work and you just think, ‘I shall take the whole lot of them.’” However, his wife of 30 years, Madeleine Gurdon, provided a ray of light through dark times, however. “When I met Madeleine, it was almost like getting my life back; a door has been unlocked back into a world that I’d perhaps missed in the previous years – people outside the theatre. “There is a world outside the Tony Awards and I think that’s what Madeleine brings to me.”

On This Day

  • 1843 – The first minstrel show in the United States, The Virginia Minstrels, opens (Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City). 
  • 1918 – British women over the age of 30 who meet minimum property qualifications, get the right to vote when Representation of the People Act 1918 is passed by Parliament. 
  • 1951 – The Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derails near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. The accident kills 85 people and injures over 500 more. The wreck is one of the worst rail disasters in American history.  
  • 1952 – Elizabeth II becomes Queen of the United Kingdom and her other Realms and Territories and Head of the Commonwealth upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.  
  • 1958 – Eight Manchester United F.C. players and 15 other passengers are killed in the Munich air disaster.  
  • 1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit. 
  • 1988 – Michael Jordan makes his signature slam dunk from the free throw line inspiring Air Jordan and the Jumpman logo.

Deaths

Choo Choo! 

On February 6th 1951, a Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed on a temporary wooden trestle in Woodbridge, New Jersey, killing 85 passengers. It remains New Jersey’s deadliest train wreck, the deadliest U.S. derailment since 1918, and the deadliest peacetime rail disaster in the United States. 

At around 5 p.m Pennsylvania Railroad Train No. 733 left Exchange Place in Jersey City. An express train to Bay Head via the North Jersey Coast Line, No. 733 was crowded that day due to a labor strike on the nearby Jersey Central Railroad. It carried over 1,000 passengers in 11 cars drawn by PRR K4 4-6-2 steam locomotive No. 2445.

That afternoon, rail traffic through Woodbridge was being diverted onto a temporary wooden trestle and a shoofly near Fulton Street, allowing labourers building the New Jersey Turnpike to work on the main line. A notice had gone out to train engineers in late January: after 1:01 p.m. on February 6th, they were to proceed through Woodbridge not at the normal 60 mph but at 25 mph.

Before Train No. 733 left Jersey City, conductor John Bishop reminded engineer Joseph Fitzsimmons about the speed restriction. It was not the railroad’s practice to install warning lights in such cases, and Fitzsimmons failed to slow the train as it approached Woodbridge. Bishop, alarmed at the train’s speed, tried to pull the emergency cord, but the crush of passengers made it impossible.

The train was traveling faster than 50 mph when it reached the curve approaching the trestle, according to a subsequent inquiry. At 5:43 p.m., the tracks shifted under the massive locomotive, and eight of the train’s eleven passenger cars derailed. The first two cars fell on their sides. The third and fourth cars crashed into each other as they hurtled down a 26-foot-high embankment. It was in these two cars that most of the 85 deaths occurred. The fifth and sixth cars were left hanging in mid-air over a street that glistened from rain. Some passengers may have jumped to their deaths, believing they would land in water. The accident occurred in a heavily populated area, so help soon arrived. Neighbours opened their houses and businesses to those in need. The critically injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

Although Fitzsimmons initially claimed that he had been traveling at only 25 mph, the inquiry estimated that the train’s speed was between 50 and 60 mph. The report concluded that the wreck was caused by “excessive speed on a curve of a temporary track”. Fitzsimmons continued working for the railroad, but never operated a train again.

Near the derailment site, the victims are memorialised by a pair of historical markers, installed by New Jersey Transit in 2002 and by Woodbridge Township in 2013.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Alice Eve (40), Kevin Whately (71), Mike Farrell (83), Jennifer Jason Leigh (60), Michael Sheen (53), Charlotte Rampling (76), Christopher Guest (74), Tony Jaa (46), Cristiano Ronaldo (37), Gabrielle Anwar (52), Natalie Imbruglia (47), Alice Cooper (74), Jim Jefferies (45), Isla Fisher (46), Bridget Regan (40), Warwick Davis (52), Morgan Fairchild (72), Gemma Arterton (36), Brent Spiner (73), David Jason (82), Shakira (45), Michael C. Hall (51), Harry Styles (28), Sherilyn Fenn (57), Lisa Marie Presley (54), Minnie Driver (52), Jonathan Banks (75), Portia de Rossi (49), Justin Timberlake (41), and Dexter Fletcher (56).


Dead Pool 30th January 2022

Another week passes us by, a few more celebrities die. Maybe we should have got the supercentenarian, maybe we should have got Barry Cryer, but there’s no point crying over spilt milk. Onwards we go!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Dame Judi Dench has revealed she suffered a fall at home which left her immobile for 30 minutes. The acting legend, 87, admitted that keeping her independence is becoming ‘very difficult’ as she grows older as she detailed her recent scare. Dame Judi, who is currently starring in Oscar-tipped film Belfast, revealed the frightening moment she tripped at home and was unable to get up, having to call out to her pet parrot for help as nobody was around. ‘I tripped over the carpet, and there was nobody in the house and I was lying on the ground unable to get up for half an hour,’ she said. Despite the distressing situation, Dame Judi kept her humour, as she recalled her pet parrot kept asking her: ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ ‘This is when you need a very convenient parrot who would phone somebody,’ she joked, ‘but she didn’t.’ The Belfast star lives alone, although her partner David Mills, 77, and daughter Finty Williams live nearby. Thankfully, the beloved actress recovered and was able to pull herself up after half an hour. Despite the scare, Dame Judi is adamant she is not willing to install a panic alarm in her home as she wants to keep her independence – but admits it is ‘very, very difficult’. The veteran actress has appeared in everything from the James Bond Franchise to heart-breaking biopic Philomena, but has recently admitted there are some roles she would be unable to take up at her age. Dame Judi last week appeared on The One Show alongside Belfast co-star Ciarán Hinds, where she was asked if she would consider taking on the role of Doctor Who. However, to fans’ disappointment, the actress admitted she ‘might have to pass on that one’. ‘I’d have to get someone to do the stunts for me, that wouldn’t be any good, would it! I’m not up to that, I’m afraid,’ she admitted. But while she might not be travelling through time and space in the Tardis any time soon, Dame Judi has proved time and again that she’s still young at heart – having made multiple viral appearances with her grandson, Sam, on TikTok, which is more than your friendly Dead Pool Master can do, even with the help of the flying monkeys!  

If, like me, you feel that the human race needs a bit of a cull, thankfully Putin is of the same mind, you might want to listen to Uri Geller. The self-proclaimed psychic has urged NASA to prepare for a mass alien landing on Earth!!! Earlier in the week, scientists spotted an extraordinary object blasting giant bursts of energy in a way they have never seen before. Natasha Hurley-Walker, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, called the “mystery” object “completely unexpected.” “It was kind of spooky for an astronomer because there’s nothing known in the sky that does that,” she said, adding: “It’s really quite close to us — about 4,000 light years away. It’s in our galactic backyard.’’ Astronomers theorised that it could have been the remnant of a massive star that had exploded. But now, legendary spoon bender Geller has offered his ideology that an imminent alien invasion is near. Taking to Instagram, the illusionist said: “A team mapping radio waves in the universe has discovered something unusual that releases a giant burst of energy three times an hour and it’s unlike anything astronomers have seen before. No doubt in my mind that this is connected to alien intelligence way way superior than ours. Start deciphering their messages! They are preparing us for a mass landing soon! The characteristics of the mystery object seemed to have matched something known as an ultra-long period magnetar. Such object has never been seen before. “It’s a type of slowly spinning neutron star that has been predicted to exist theoretically,” Dr Hurley-Walker explained. “But nobody expected to directly detect one like this because we didn’t expect them to be so bright. Somehow it’s converting magnetic energy to radio waves much more effectively than anything we’ve seen before.” But, if you believe what Uri Geller says, we better get ready for a points windfall, as everyone is going to die!!!! 

Only Fools and Horses actor Patrick Murray, who is best known for playing Mickey Pearce, revealed he was told he wouldn’t make it to Christmas after  being diagnosed with cancer. The 65-year-old shared news of his devastating illness earlier this week. Patrick explained the first primary diagnosis was “actually a lot worse than what it was, it showed up a lot of red flags that I had a tumour on my liver and three metastatics – which is cancer of the blood. “I was told it looks like I wouldn’t make Christmas, but the PET scan did show there was a tumour in my lung so I had that removed in October. They caught it early and right now I’m on chemo to make sure it doesn’t come back. If I left it a couple of months later, I could have been in real trouble. I probably wouldn’t be here now.” After opening up about his illness this week, Patrick tweeted: “Naturally I wanted to keep my own health problems private, but failing to fully endorse this ad would be selfish. Thanks to my ultra-scan I have a fighting chance. It showed my organs needed further investigation and tumours were spotted. This led to a PET scan which covers a much larger area. To my wonderful surprise these lesions were not cancerous but the scan did find an early-stage cancerous tumour in my lung. This has since been removed.” The star concluded: “A lot of people put these symptoms down to age and the discomfort to simply having a weak stomach. Please don’t ignore it if it persists. As for me, and thanks to the NHS, I can now see the same beautiful horizon as you.” Patrick appeared in a total of 20 episodes of Only Fool And Horses.  Since the show finished in 2003, Patrick has landed roles in big-screen productions, including The Firm and Curse Of The Pink Panther. After a couple more years of acting, Patrick eventually retired and became a taxi driver in Kent.

On This Day

  • 1607 – An estimated 200 square miles along the coasts of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary in England are destroyed by massive flooding, resulting in an estimated 2,000 deaths.
  • 1649 – Charles I of England is executed in Whitehall, London.
  • 1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
  • 1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen as well as Jackson himself.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with German refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing approximately 9,500 people.
  • 1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
  • 1972 – The Troubles: Bloody Sunday: British paratroopers open fire on anti-internment marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland, killing 13 people; another person later dies of injuries sustained.
  • 1982 – Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner”.

Deaths

Last Meals

Matthew Reeves was an American man convicted of capital murder in Alabama and sentenced to death row. His case and execution generated controversy due to claims he was intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution With an IQ score in the 60’s, he certainly wasn’t the smartest bee in the hive. 

On November 27th 1996, Reeves and his friends planned to rob a drug dealer. Reeves’ car broke down in Selma, Alabama, and Willie Johnson Jr., who had a pickup truck, offered to tow their car to Reeves’ house. Reeves rode in the bed of the truck, but when they arrived at the house, Reeves stuck a shotgun through the cab window and shot Johnson and stole his money. At a party that evening, Reeves “pretended to pump a shotgun and jerk his body around mocking the way Johnson had died.” Johnson’s body was found inside his truck on Thanksgiving morning.

Reeves was arrested at a house a few hours after the murder. Two accomplices also involved in the crime, one of whom was his brother, were arrested a few days later. Both accomplices pointed the finger at Reeves and claimed he had been the shooter. 

Reeves was sentenced to death on July 20th 1998. Reeves’ brother and co-defendant, Julius Reeves, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. A third defendant, Brenda Scuttles, was also sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Reeves’ lawyers argued that his trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance of counsel and “should have done more to try to show he is intellectually disabled.”. They claimed that because of this Reeves should not face the death sentence. On July 2nd 2021, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had vacated Reeves’ death sentence. The court decided in a 6–3 opinion, with the conservative majority reversing the circuit court. The Supreme Court stated that the Alabama state court had “correctly rejected claims that Matthew Reeves had ineffective counsel at trial because they did not hire a neuropsychologist to present evidence he is intellectually disabled.” 

Days before his execution, Reeves wrote a poem that hinted towards his thinking before his death. In his poem, shared on Twitter by Lee Hedgepeth, a digital reporter, Reeves continued, “Generations of a lot of sons of mothers, struggling will be victims of murders, fighting day by day to never be the victim to this killing machine. U want me dead but don’t know why, my color, my past, someone word, can u picture me being innocent, or did you just stereotype me,” before he concluded: “This system is not full proof, just think if you on protect the project houses, trailor park, shot gun houses, and brick houses, u too will be defending ur self, one day can equate to a sentence of eternal sleep.” 

Reeves’ lawyers had earlier argued that he’s intellectually disabled and the state should have made him understand the execution methods as well as help him in choosing a new execution method involving nitrogen. But when prosecution and defense experts carried a test on Reeves for intellectual disability, they reportedly found his IQ in the high 60s or low 70s. Last month, a federal court stated that state officials were “on notice that Reeves had IQ scores in the high 60s or low 70s, subaverage intellectual functioning, and had been found to be functionally illiterate…” 

A lot of people reacted online after his execution and also after the release of his poem. A user tweeted, “I thought he couldn’t read or write or understand anything. That’s the argument why he shouldn’t be accountable for robbery and murder, right?” The second one said, “Again can’t be a simpleton if he can write poetry.” “Matthew Reeves shot a man in the neck for $360 in cold  blood and then celebrated what he had done at a party the same night while still covered in his victim’s blood,” the third user added. 

Reeves was executed by lethal injection on January 27th 2022, at the age of 44. He refused a last meal and was pronounced dead at 9:24 p.m. and had no last words. Some of Johnson’s family members attended the execution and released a statement that said “After 26 years justice has finally been served. Our family can now have some closure.”

Last Week’s Birthdays

Olivia Colman (48), Christian Bale (48), Gene Hackman (92), Vanessa Redgrave (85), Phil Collins (71), Heather Graham (52), Katharine Ross (82), Tom Selleck (77), Marc Singer (74), Oprah Winfrey (68 ), Adam Lambert (40), Will Poulter (29), Tom Hopper (37), Ariel Winter (24), Elijah Wood (41), Alan Alda (86), Frank Darabont (63), Patton Oswalt (53), James Cromwell (82), Bridget Fonda (58), Alan Cumming (57), Frank Miller (65), Scott Glenn (83), Deep Roy (73), Ellen DeGeneres (64), Matthew Lillard (52), Kristen Schaal (44), Mischa Barton (36), Nastassja Kinski (61), Tatyana Ali (43), Adrian Edmondson (65), and Neil Diamond (81).


Dead Pool 23rd January 2022

A week to be glad that you’re not a hamster in Hong Kong, and to be fair, a year in which we all should have guessed Meat Loaf. He wasn’t the fittest fiddle in the orchestra and he had a dubious medical history. But as always, we almost never list people we like. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Police are investigating reports a man’s body was brought into a post office before an attempt was made to claim his pension. According to local reports, a man entered a post office in County Carlow on Friday morning and tried to collect a pension on behalf of another man. After being told the man would have to be present for pension payment to be claimed, he reportedly left and two people later returned with a man in his 60s, who appeared to be propped up. The Flying Monkeys reports the body of the man was left at the scene after the two men fled when a woman reported suspicions. Carlow mayor Ken Murnane said the local community is absolutely shocked by the reports. “The whole town is in shock that anyone could actually think of doing something like that, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s just mind-boggling that anyone could happen to do something like that, it beggars belief. It’s like a Hitchcock movie.” A Garda spokesperson said officers are investigating all the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of a man in the Carlow area on Friday morning. “The services of the Garda Technical Bureau and the Office of the State Pathologist have been requested,” they said. “A post-mortem will be conducted by the Office of the State Pathologist, the results of which will determine the  course of the investigation. “No further information is available at this time.”    

Arnold Schwarzenegger has reportedly been involved in a “multi-car” accident which saw his vehicle flip onto the top of another car. According to a reports by The Flying Monkeys, another driver, a woman, was “badly injured” in the crash, and is currently being treated in hospital. The incident occurred on Friday afternoon (21st January) in Los Angeles, around a mile from the Terminator star’s home. Schwarzenegger’s car, a Yukon SUV, collided with a red Prius at roughly 5pm local time. The vehicle then began to roll onto the top of the Prius, and continued to roll onto another car, a Porsche Cayenne. It is said that Schwarzenegger is “deeply concerned about the injured woman” and “wants to personally check up on her”, after she was seen bleeding heavily from her head. “There was a collision about 4.35pm on Sunset and Allenford Avenue,” a spokesperson for the LAPD confirmed to PA. “It was a four vehicle traffic collision and fire departments and paramedics transported one female to a local hospital with an abrasion to her head. Neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected as a factor in this and all parties remained at the scene.” A full investigation into the incident is being conducted by authorities.    

A folk singer from the Czech Republic has died after deliberately catching Covid, her son has told The Flying Monkeys. Hana Horka, 57, was unvaccinated and had posted on social media that she was recovering after testing positive, but died two days later. Her son, Jan Rek, said she got infected on purpose when he and his father had the virus, so she could get a recovery pass to access certain venues. The Czech Republic reported a record number of Covid-19 cases on Wednesday. Mr Rek and his father, who are both fully vaccinated, both caught Covid over Christmas. But he said his mother had decided not to stay away from them, preferring instead to expose herself to the virus. “She should have isolated for a week because we tested positive. But she was with us the whole time,” he said. Proof of vaccination or recent infection from the virus is required in the Czech Republic to gain entry to many social and cultural venues, including cinemas, bars and cafes. His mother was a member of one of the oldest Czech folk groups, Asonance. She had wanted to catch Covid so there would be fewer restrictions on her movement, Mr Rek explained. Two days before she died, she wrote on social media that she was recovering: “Now there will be theatre, sauna, a concert”. On Sunday morning, the day she died, Ms Horka said she was feeling better and dressed to go for a walk. But then her back started hurting, so she went to lie down in her bedroom. “In about 10 minutes it was all over,” her son said. “She choked to death”. Although she was unvaccinated, Jan Rek stressed that his mother did not believe in some of the more bizarre conspiracy theories about Covid vaccines. “Her philosophy was that she was more OK with the idea of catching Covid than getting vaccinated. Not that we would get microchipped or anything like that,” he said. There was no point in trying to discuss the issue with her as it would just get too emotional, he added. Instead, he hoped that by telling his story he could convince others to get vaccinated. “If you have living examples from real life, it’s more powerful than just graphs  and numbers. You can’t really sympathise with numbers.”

You’ll all be glad to hear that the Brighton cat killer who terrorised cats and pet owners during his deadly rampage has died behind bars. Security guard Steve Bouquet was jailed after claiming the lives of nine cats and wounding seven. The former Royal Navy gunner carried out his bloody spree in the East Sussex city between October 2018 and May 2019. He was finally brought to justice after being caught on CCTV set up by the owner of a dead moggy. On Tuesday, the Prison Service confirmed that he had died at hospital on January 6th. At his sentencing hearing the court was told Bouquet had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which had spread to his liver and lungs. The pet killer was jailed for five years and three months at Hove Crown Court last July after being found guilty of 16 offences of criminal damage in relation to the cats, as well as possession of a knife. During his trial, jurors heard accounts from several cat owners who had found their pets bleeding on their doorsteps. Nine cats – Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo – were killed, while another seven were injured. Emma O’Sullivan, owner of Gizmo, wept as she told the court: “I miss Gizmo every day. After it happened it could not sleep. I spent many months in therapy working through what had happened.” Katerine Mattock, who lived with Alan the cat, said: “This was a murder of an innocent and much-loved cat called Alan. Alan was my family. He made my house a home. One minute he was running round the kitchen then next he was dead, covered in blood. Sentencing Bouquet, Judge Jeremy Gold QC said his behaviour was “cruel, it was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life”. He added: “It is important that everyone understands that cats are domestic pets but they are more than that. They are effectively family members. They are much loved by the adults and children who live with and care for them. Cats and all domestic animals are a source of joy and support to their owners, especially during lockdown.” Bouquet served in the Royal Navy for 22 years, including in Northern Ireland and Iraq.  

Singer and actor Hazel O’Connor is recovering after a “serious medical event”, her family have said. The 66-year-old, who rose to fame as a pop star in the Eighties  after appearing in the film Breaking Glass, was found at her home in southern France on Sunday 9th January. After being rushed to hospital, she was found to have suffered a bleed on the brain and was placed in an induced coma for 24 hours while receiving treatment, according to a blog post by her brother, Neil O’Connor. He said that the artist has been showing “a lot of progress” since being taken out of the coma on Monday 17th January, and while her recovery would take time, “she is tough and is responding to stimuli and treatment”. “She’s receiving the best of care and I thank the French medical service there for taking such good care of her,” he wrote. “She’s going to need patience from us and from herself, I’ve already learned that she’s started to show her usual feistiness.” 1O’Connor was due to tour the UK from March this year. Her brother said an announcement will soon be made by her management regarding the shows.

On This Day

  • 1556 – The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
  • 1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.
  • 1957 – American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the “Frisbee”.
  • 2020 – The World Health Organisation declares the COVID-19 pandemic to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Deaths

Last Meals

Douglas Franklin Wright was an American serial  killer who murdered at least seven people between 1969 and 1991. He was sentenced to death for three of these murders and was executed in 1996 at the Oregon State Penitentiary, becoming the first person to be executed in Oregon since 1962. He was also the first person executed in Oregon by lethal injection.  

Wright was born on March 25th 1940, in Spirit Lake, Iowa. His father was an alcoholic and his mother neglected him. According to psychological reports, Wright endured repeated physical and sexual abuse as a child. He became a high school dropout and was kicked out of the Marines for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy in California. Wright admitted to a probation officer that he had sexually assaulted more than 70 young boys. In the early 1960s, Wright was arrested for multiple burglaries and was sentenced to eight years in prison.    

In September 1969, Wright broke into the home of 71-year-old Margaret Rosenberry, and her granddaughter, 27-year-old Gail Snelling, in Portland, Oregon. Wright was a friend of the family and was known to them. Upon entering the home, Wright murdered both Rosenberry and Snelling with a pistol. He killed Snelling via two fatal gunshot wounds to the head and fatally shot Rosenberry three times in the head. He then abducted Snelling’s 5-year-old son, taking him to several motels in the area where he sexually molested him. Wright eventually let the boy go and abandoned him. Police launched a manhunt for Wright who evaded them for over a month. He was eventually captured after he shot and wounded a man at a billiards hall in Banks, Oregon. Wright was found guilty of the murders of Rosenberry and Snelling and was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison. When asked why he killed them, Wright said he had always wanted a son of his own. 

Wright was paroled in 1982 as he was considered a model prisoner. However, upon his release, he returned to his life of crime and committed several armed robberies, threatening to kill anyone who got in his way. On May 23rd 1984, Wright abducted 10-year-old Luke Tredway from Portland. He grabbed Tredway off the streets as he walked home from a friend’s house. He then drove Tredway back to his apartment and molested him for the next thirty-six hours. He murdered Tredway at dawn on May 25th, fatally shooting him six times. Wright then disposed of the body and the case went unsolved for over twelve years. Wright was later arrested in 1984 for the armed robberies and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. However, he was released early once again in June 1991, and served less than seven years of his thirty year sentence.   

In October 1991, Wright advertised work to homeless men in Portland, offering them ten dollars an hour to clear brush at a youth camp. On October 20th, two homeless men, 26-year-old Randy Scott Henry and 31-year-old Anthony Shawn “Tony” Nelson, accepted Wright’s offer for work. Wright drove them out of Portland to a remote area on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and bought them food. He then drove to the desert and offered them alcohol. As the men drank the alcohol, Wright fatally shot Nelson in the head with a pistol. Henry jumped out the car and escaped while dodging bullets fired at him by Wright. He managed to get to the highway and returned to Portland where he alerted the authorities. With the help of another witness, they led the police straight to Wright, and he was apprehended.

It was then learned that Wright had killed three more people in a similar fashion to Nelson. The victims were identified as 27-year-old Anthony Barker, 23-year-old William Marks, and 37-year-old William Davis, all murdered in October 1991. All three victims were homeless men whom Wright had lured to a remote area of Wasco County on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation with a false promise of work. He then murdered each of them by fatally shooting them in the head with a pistol. He would later be convicted in Wasco County of these murders.   

 In total, Wright was convicted of five murders, but was linked to seven. He reportedly also hinted at additional killings in other states prior to his execution, but he was only ever confirmed to have killed seven people.   

Wright was convicted of the murders of Barker, Marks, and Davis. He was also indicted in the murder of Nelson in a federal court. Because Nelson was a Makah Indian, Wright was never officially charged with his murder, as he would have to be tried in a federal court based on the law. If Wright had not quit his appeals process, he would have been tried before a federal court in the Nelson case, because killing a Native American on an Indian reservation is a federal crime, under the Major Crimes Act. 

On June 25th 1993, Wright was convicted of aggravated murder for the three killings. On October 11th 1993, he was sentenced to death for the murders of Barker, Marks, and Davis. After being sentenced, Wright waived his appeals and asked to be executed, speeding up his execution.

Shortly before his execution Wright sent a letter to The Oregonian in which he confessed to the abduction, molestation, and murder of Luke Tredway back in 1984, which was still unsolved by 1996. Wright claimed he confessed to the murder because he wanted to do one good thing before he died. He also invited Tredway’s family to attend his execution but they declined. Wright asked for one honey bun as his last meal, which was granted. 

He was executed by lethal injection on September 6th 1996. It was the first execution in Oregon in thirty-four years and the state’s first post-Gregg execution. Wright remains the first of only two people to be executed in Oregon since the resumption of the death penalty.  The other was convicted murderer Harry Charles Moore in 1997. Both waived their appeals and asked that the execution be carried out. Wright was executed on the same day as Michael Torrence, another serial killer who was executed in South Carolina.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Gil Gerard (79), Olivia d’Abo (53), Linda Blair (63), Piper Laurie (90), Geena Davis (66), Martin Shaw (77), Emma Bunton (46), Rainn Wilson (56), David Lynch (76), Tom Baker (88), Will Young (43), Elizabeth Tulloch (41), Katey Sagal (68), Rob Delaney (45), Dolly Parton (76), Tippi Hedren (92), Michael Crawford (80), Pasha Kovalev (42), Mark Rylance (62), Kevin Costner (67), Dave Bautista (53), Jason Segel (42), Jane Horrocks (58), Jim Carrey (60), Zooey Deschanel (42), Kelly Marie Tran (33), James Earl Jones (91), and Jake Paul (25).