Dead Pool 14th February 2016
Welcome all to a special ‘Fuck Off to Valentines Day Special Edition’ of The Dead Pool, where there will be no further mention to said consumer holiday. Alas no points to award, in fact we’re very thin on the ground this week for deaths. However we have plenty of deathly news for you to read and plenty of gruesome facts.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Dan Gerson, 49, American screenwriter (Monsters, Inc., Big Hero 6, Chicken Little), brain cancer.
- Margaret Forster, 77, English novelist (Georgy Girl) and biographer, cancer.
- Wayne England, English artist (Magic: The Gathering).
- Christopher Rush, 50, American illustrator (Magic: The Gathering).
- Antonin Scalia, 79, American judge, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (since 1986).
In Other News
Barry Manilow is out of surgery and is “doing well” after being rushed to hospital “due to complications from emergency oral surgery”. The 72-year-old singer was taken to a Los Angeles hospital after playing a sold-out show on Wednesday evening. In a message posted on Manilow’s Facebook page, his management team said it was due to complications arising from an operation he had on Monday. “For the next 48 hours, Manilow has been instructed not to talk, sing, or rap,” an updated posting on the singer’s Facebook page said. Manilow is due to attend Monday night’s Grammy awards – it’s not yet known whether he will still be able to make it. He has suffered a series of health scares over his career – having to undergo regular dental treatment after a benign tumour ruptured in his mouth in 1986.
Richard Dawkins has had a stroke on the eve of his tour of Australia and New Zealand. Management for the 74-year-old author of The God Delusion said he had suffered a “minor stroke” in the UK last Saturday but had already returned home from hospital. Management for the 74-year-old author of The God Delusion said he had suffered a “minor stroke” in the UK last Saturday but had already returned home from hospital. “On Saturday night Richard suffered a minor stroke, however he is expected in time to make a full or near full recovery,” the statement said. “He is already at home recuperating.
Ken Watanabe has revealed he is suffering from stomach cancer. The illness has forced the 56-year-old Japanese actor to delay his return to the Broadway musical The King and I in order to have treatment. The Oscar-nominated actor has had endoscopic surgery and is recuperating in a hospital in Japan, his agent said. Watanabe, who has previously battled leukaemia, was diagnosed “almost miraculously early” with stomach cancer last month and underwent surgery, he said. “I was really shocked, my wife and daughter pushed me to have a health check and the cancer was found. It was a very early stage and they operated immediately,” he added. The actor was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 1989 but resumed acting while still undergoing chemotherapy. He became ill again in the early 1990s and, following further treatment, has been in remission since.
Rapper DMX is recovering after being found unconscious in a hotel car park and resuscitated. A representative of the rapper whose real name is Earl Simmons said he had suffered an asthma attack, although one source told the media it was actually a drug overdose. Police in Yonkers, New York, were first alerted to the report of an unconscious man in a Ramada Inn parking lot on Monday night. Lt Patrick McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department told CNN that officers escorted Simmons to the nearby Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, administering chest compressions and oxygen in the ambulance.
Britain’s most successful gymnast is walking unaided after neck surgery following a fall during training for Channel 4 show The Jump. Beth Tweddle, who won bronze at the London Games in 2012, could only walk a few steps assisted by medics after the operation, which involved having a piece of bone taken from her hip. In a statement, she said: “The medical staff here in Austria have been fantastic and I couldn’t have wished for better people to be around me at this time. I’ve started to feel a lot better in the past 24 hours and I’ve begun walking by myself. It’s still a case of taking one day at a time.” Surgeons took a bone from her hip and used it with pins to fuse together two fractured vertebrae in her neck. The number of injuries on the third series of The Jump – five celebrities have been forced to pull out – has prompted Channel 4 to review safety procedures on the show.
Hugh Jackman has appealed to people to wear sunscreen and get regular skin checks by posting a picture of himself on social media after having a fifth skin cancer removed. The picture shows his nose covered in a dressing after the removal of a basal cell carcinoma, a common and usually non-invasive type of skin cancer. The 47-year-old Australian actor, who starred as the Wolverine in the X-Men film series, says he had his first skin cancer removed in 2013 after his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, suggested he should get a mole on his nose checked. Basal cell carcinomas are relatively common, accounting for about 70% of all non-melanoma skin cancers. They are not invasive, but can require treatment as some may develop into more aggressive skin cancers. About 95% are caused by UV exposure from sunlight.
The world’s longest-surviving heart transplant patient has died, 33 years after his life-saving operation. John McCafferty was told he had only five years to live when he received the transplant at Harefield Hospital in west London, on 20 October 1982. His widow Ann said: “The last 30 years we had together were brilliant. We’ve travelled the world.” Mr McCafferty, from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, died aged 73 on Tuesday at Milton Keynes Hospital. He was officially recognised as the world’s longest surviving heart transplant patient by Guinness World Records in 2013. At the time he said: “I want this world record to be an inspiration to anyone awaiting a heart transplant and to those who, like me, have been fortunate enough to have had one.”
And finally, we’re wondering if everything okay with the Queen? The only reason we ask is that the Arts Council have just sent out a document entitled “Advice And Guidance: Category ‘A’ Death” which lets organisations know how they should conduct their affairs in the event of the death of a senior member of the Royal Family. Although they do try to broaden the advice out for other “notable persons”, they return to the theme of Queeny carking it regularly. The most interesting part? We learned that while Charles, Camilla, Wills and Kate all classify as a ‘Category A’ member of the Royal Family, Harry doesn’t, perhaps further fanning the fires that he’s Hewitt’s son, not Charles’.
On This Day
- 1400 – Richard II of England dies, most probably from starvation, in Pontefract Castle, on the orders of Henry Bolingbroke.
- 1779 – James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.
- 1849 – James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
- 1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, is founded in London.
- 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray.
- 1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
- 1929 – Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone‘s gang, are murdered in Chicago.
- 1966 – Australian currency is decimalised.
- 1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
- 1990 – The Voyager 1 spacecraft takes the photograph of planet Earth later become famous as Pale Blue Dot.
- 2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world and a main source for viral videos.
- 1400 – Richard II of England (b. 1367)
- 1744 – John Hadley, English mathematician, invented the octant (b. 1682)
- 1779 – James Cook, English captain and explorer (b. 1728)
- 1975 – Julian Huxley, English biologist and eugenicist, co-founded the World Wide Fund for Nature (b. 1887)
- 1975 – P. G. Wodehouse, English author and poet (b. 1881)
- 1996 – Bob Paisley, English footballer and manager (b. 1919)
- 2010 – Dick Francis, Welsh jockey and author (b. 1920)
Why Are So Many Unnatural Deaths Not Investigated?
The UK’s most prolific murderer, Harold Shipman, would have been 70 this year had he not killed himself 16 years ago in Wakefield Prison. He managed to kill at least 250 women without alerting suspicion. The whistle was blown by a relative of one of the victims. So why wasn’t the case picked up by a coroner and how many more unnatural deaths are officially missed?
What do coroners do? A coroner is an an independent judicial officer, appointed and paid for by the relevant local authority. He or she is usually a solicitor or doctor of five years standing, although all new appointments now have to be legally qualified. Their job is to investigate deaths that are violent, unnatural or of unknown cause with a view to determine who the deceased was, when and where they died and, crucially, how they died. There are about 507,000 deaths every year in England and Wales, of which about 45% will be reported to coroners. And there are currently 96 separate local coroner areas, each with their own senior coroner.
The coroner has three main decisions to make when a death occurs. First, should they accept the death for investigation? The general principles are that if the death was violent, unnatural or of unknown cause, it should be investigated. However, local reporting rules mean that what’s considered violent or unnatural varies from one area to another.
Second, once investigated, the coroner must decide whether to open an inquest. An inquest is opened when the original reason for accepting the death for investigation – violent, unnatural, or unknown cause – still holds after initial enquiries. Data for the same period showed that deaths advancing to inquest ranged from 6% in some areas to 29% in others.
The third and final decision for the coroner is to determine the appropriate verdict for the death. There are six common verdicts (now known as “conclusions”): natural causes, accidental death, suicide, industrial disease, open verdict, and the increasingly used “narrative” verdict where the circumstances of the death are recorded in a brief story.
You might think that coroner areas would have a fairly similar profile of verdicts but, in fact, these too vary widely. For example, narrative verdicts for the period 2000-2010 ranged from almost zero in some areas, such as Carmarthenshire in south-west Wales, to 46% of all verdicts returned in another (Birmingham and Solihull). And in South Shropshire, just 3% of inquest verdicts were recorded as natural deaths, while that verdict accounted for an incredible 52% of all inquest conclusions in Sunderland. Suicide rates ranged from 4% to 27%.
Does this matter? Widely varying outcomes across the country prove that not all coroner areas can be striking the appropriate balance between the needs of the state and the rights of the bereaved. This is how Harold Shipman was able to kill people without anybody batting an eyelid. Had he been practising in another area he would have been caught much sooner or perhaps not at all!!!
Last Week’s Birthdays
James Spader (56), Garth Brooks (54), Chris Rock (51), Ashton Kutcher (38), Nick Nolte (75), Mary Steenbergen (63), John Grisham (61), Seth Green (42), Joe Pesci (73), Mia Farrow (71), Greg Norman (61), Glenn Beck (52), Laura Dern (49), Elizabeth Banks (42), Chloe Grace Moretz (19), Robert Wagner (86), Burt Reynolds (80), Taylor Lautner (24), Damien Lewis (45), Jennifer Aniston (47), Sheryl Crow (54), Darren Aronofsky (47), Arsenio Hall (60), Josh Brolin (48), Christina Ricci (36), Mena Suvari (37), Peter Tork (74), Jerry Springer (72), Peter Gabriel (66), Charles Yeager (93) and Robbie Williams (42).
The Final Word
Actress Joan Crawford yelled at her housekeeper, who was praying as Crawford died. Crawford said, “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”
Next week peeps!
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