Dead Pool 15th January 2023

Afternoon all, another busy week, including the shocking death of Lisa Marie Presley! Although she did have a family history of early deaths, nobody could have predicted her passing. 

On another note, the donations page is still open, we’re still slightly short of breaking even, so if anyone could spare a couple of quid before the end of the month, it would be appreciated. And of course, thank you to everyone who has donated so far, you’re all legends!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Adele Roberts has updated fans on her recovery from bowel cancer. Posting a selfie to Instagram on Monday, the radio host posed with a thumbs up from a hospital bed. The 43-year-old announced that she was undergoing treatment for stage two bowel cancer in October 2021. Eight months later, in June 2022, she revealed she was cancer free. In her most recent update, Roberts shared her reasons for undergoing “post bowel cancer surgery”. “Today was the first step in hopefully getting my colon working again (post bowel cancer surgery),” she wrote in the caption. “I may be down a rectum but I think there’s enough left to blag it and get things moving again.” The former Big Brother contestant  went on to praise the NHS and the team who looked after her during her surgery. “Yet again, the level of care I’ve received from the @nhs angels is awesome. Dr Bhan and team I love you,” she said. “The fabulous Bola along with the nurses and porters who looked after me post surgery thank you for helping me and I hope my anaesthetic chat wasn’t too random”. She continued by thanking those who are making advances in medical sciences in the UK. “Thank you to everyone who helps make that happen,” she said. “You do us proud.” “The fact I can recover from bowel cancer, have a stoma, start getting my life back on track and today a balloon up my bum to sort out my stricture is just marvellous. What a time to be alive?!” The BBC Radio 1 DJ gave a special mention to her stoma – who she has nicknamed “Audrey” – for keeping her ”happy, healthy, alive and kicking”. A stoma allows urine and faeces to be diverted out of the body through an opening in the abdomen into a collection bag. “I think there’ll be a few more surgeries for me this year… but do you know what, I’m just so happy they can help me and there’s hope,” continued Roberts. “I might be able to go to the toilet the ‘old fashioned way’ one day in the future. Might even get inspired by all the balloons and have a grand re-opening party.”

Dancer and choreographer Michael Flatley, famous for his Irish production Riverdance, has had surgery for an “aggressive form of cancer”. A post on his Instagram page said he was “in the care of an excellent team of doctors”, adding no further comments would be made. Flatley, 64, shot to fame with Riverdance, which first appeared during the 1994 Eurovision interval in Dublin, lasting seven minutes. Its success at Eurovision, where it teamed Irish dancers with music by Bill Whelan, saw it extended into a full-length show which opened at Dublin’s Point Theatre the following year. The Riverdance 25th anniversary website suggests that since its debut, more than three billion people worldwide have seen the show on television. Flatley, born to an Irish-American family in Chicago, has also created, produced and directed productions including Feet Of Flames and Celtic Tiger. He has previously had a diagnosis of facial skin cancer which he was treated for in 2003. He also directed and starred in the spy thriller film Blackbird, which did not receive many positive reviews. The film also stars Eric Roberts, Patrick Bergin and Ian Beattie, Flatley plays former MI6 operative Victor Blackley, who returns to the world of espionage, having left it behind. Last year Flatley also launched a Lord Of The Dance tour, which helped raise money for the humanitarian effort in Ukraine. 

Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro was admitted to a hospital in Florida with intestinal discomfort due to a stabbing he suffered during the 2018 election campaign, his wife Michelle Bolsonaro said on Monday on Instagram. In Brazil, Dr. Antonio Luiz Macedo, who has been treating Bolsonaro since the stabbing, said he has an intestinal subocclusion, or blockage, but was unlikely to need surgery. “It is not a serious case,” he told the Flying Monkeys. Earlier, a source close to his family said Bolsonaro’s condition was “not worrying.” Brazilian newspaper O Globo had reported earlier in the day that Bolsonaro had been suffering from abdominal pain. Bolsonaro has undergone six surgeries since his stabbing, four of them directly linked to the attack. He also has had cases of bowel adhesions and obstructions in the last few years. On Sunday, Bolsonaro supporters in Brazil’s capital launched the worst attack on state institutions since the country’s return to democracy in the 1980s. His successor as president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who took office on Jan.1st, blamed Bolsonaro for inflaming his supporters with a campaign of baseless allegations about election fraud. Bolsonaro flew to Florida 48 hours before his term ended.  

Only Fools and Horses star Patrick Murray has revealed that he has had part of his liver and a tumour removed following his second cancer diagnosis. The 66-year-old actor, best known for playing Mickey Pearce in the hit BBC comedy, previously opened up about how his lung cancer had been cured in May last year. However, he took to Twitter to share the news that he had another form of cancer and that he had half of his liver and a tumour removed. He tweeted: “I am going home today. Minus half a liver and a tumour that the wonderful Prof Heaton removed last week. I kept this under my hat that they’d discovered another primary cancer last year. I am a two person, that’s for sure. High fives to all at Kings College Hospital.” It comes after Patrick revealed last year that he had discovered a cancerous lung tumour in its early stages and underwent surgery to remove it, as well as undergoing chemotherapy. More scans found another tumour in his liver that was treatable. He received transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (Tace), a minimally invasive procedure performed in interventional radiology to restrict a tumour’s blood supply. Sharing a health update on Twitter, Patrick explained at the time: “Thanks again for all your lovely messages. As you may know, I was diagnosed with lung cancer last July. After an op in Oct to remove the tumour I had chemo to help prevent the cancer returning. During this chemo, another tumour was discovered in my liver. Luckily for me this cancer was unconnected to the lung cancer and was also treatable. I had a procedure called Tace to deal with this. Last Friday l saw my oncologist. She told me the lung cancer was cured and that the tumour in my liver was shrinking. It’s not over yet, but as you can imagine I am over the moon with this latest news.” He went on to thank the ‘brilliant’ doctors and nurses of the NHS for all that they have done. “I will hopefully be there at next years convention,” he said of the annual Only Fools And Horses convention.    

On This Day

  • 1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England and Ireland in Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1867 – Forty people die when ice covering the boating lake at Regent’s Park, London, collapses.
  • 1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.
  • 1947 – The Black Dahlia murder: The dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angeles.
  • 1976 – Gerald Ford‘s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.
  • 2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopaedia, goes online.
  • 2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 ditches safely in the Hudson River after the plane collides with birds less than two minutes after take-off. This becomes known as “The Miracle on the Hudson” as all 155 people on board were rescued.
  • 2019 – Theresa May‘s UK government suffers the biggest government defeat in modern times, when 432 MPs voting against the proposed European Union withdrawal agreement, giving her opponents a majority of 230. It doesn’t get any better…


The Gruesome Story of The Black Dahlia 

The 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, also known as the “Black Dahlia,” is one of the oldest cold cases in Los Angeles. Not only was it a horrific crime, but it’s also proven notoriously difficult to solve.

In the decades since the Black Dahlia murder, police, the press, and amateur sleuths alike have all delved deep into this unsolved crime and developed several convincing theories. 

Though we may never know who killed the Black Dahlia, poring over the evidence of this case is just as darkly fascinating today as it was in 1947. 

On January 15th, 1947, Elizabeth Short’s dead body was found in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Leimert Park. The first person who reported the grisly sight was a mother out for a morning walk with her child. 

According to the woman, the way Short’s body had been posed made her think that the corpse was a mannequin at first. But a closer look revealed the true horror of the Black Dahlia crime scene.

The 22-year-old Short had been sliced in two at the waist and completely drained of blood. Some of her organs — such as her intestines — had been removed and neatly placed underneath her buttocks. Pieces of flesh had been cut away from her thighs and breasts. And her stomach was full of faeces, leading some to believe that she’d been forced to eat shit before she was killed. 

The most chilling mutilations, however, were the lacerations on her face. The killer had sliced each side of her face from the corners of her mouth to her ears, creating what’s known as a “Glasgow smile.” 

Since the body had already been washed clean, Los Angeles Police Department detectives concluded that she must have been killed elsewhere before being dumped in Leimert Park.

Near her body, detectives noted a heel print and a cement sack with traces of blood that had presumably been used to transport her body to the vacant lot.

The LAPD reached out to the FBI to help identify the body by searching their fingerprint database. Short’s fingerprints turned up rather quickly because she had applied for a job as a clerk at the commissary of the U.S. Army’s Camp Cooke in California back in 1943. And then her prints turned up a second time since she had been arrested by the Santa Barbara Police Department for underage drinking — just seven months after she’d applied to the job.

The FBI also had her mugshot from her arrest, which they provided to the press. Before long, the media began reporting every salacious detail they could find about Short.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Short’s mother Phoebe Short didn’t learn of her daughter’s death until reporters from The Los Angeles Examiner telephoned her pretending that Elizabeth had won a beauty contest.

They pumped her for all the details they could get on Elizabeth before revealing the terrible truth. Her daughter had been murdered, and her corpse had been dismembered in unspeakable ways. 

As the media learned more about Elizabeth Short’s history, they began to brand her as a sexual deviant. One police report read, “This victim knew at least fifty men at the time of her death and at least twenty-five men had been seen with her in the sixty days preceding her death… She was known as a teaser of men.”

They gave Short the nickname, “The Black Dahlia,” due to her reported preference for wearing a lot of sheer black clothing. This was a reference to the movie The Blue Dahlia, which was out at the time. Some people spread the false rumour that Short was a prostitute, while others baselessly claimed that she liked to tease men because she was a lesbian.

Adding to her mystique, Short was reportedly a Hollywood hopeful. She had moved to Los Angeles just six months before her death and worked as a waitress. Sadly, she had no known acting jobs and her death became her one claim to fame.

But as famous as the case was, authorities had tremendous difficulty figuring out who was behind it. However, members of the media did receive a few clues.

On January 21st, about a week after the body was found, the Examiner received a call from a person claiming to be the murderer, who said he would be sending Short’s belongings in the mail as proof of his claim.

Shortly thereafter on the 24th, the Examiner received a package with Short’s birth certificate, photos, business cards, and an address book with the name Mark Hansen on the cover. Also included was a letter pasted together from newspaper and magazine letter clippings that read, “Los Angeles Examiner and other Los Angeles papers here is Dahlia’s belongings letter to follow.”

All of these items had been wiped down with gasoline, leaving no fingerprints behind. Though a partial fingerprint was found on the envelope, it was damaged in transport and never analysed.

On January 26th, another letter arrived. This handwritten note read, “Here it is. Turning in Wed. January 29th, 10 a.m. Had my fun at police. Black Dahlia Avenger.” The letter included a location. Police waited at the appointed time and place, but the author never showed.

Afterward, the alleged killer sent a note made of letters cut and pasted from magazines to the Examiner that said, “Have changed my mind. You would not give me a square deal. Dahlia killing was justified.”

Yet again, everything sent by the person had been wiped clean with gasoline, so investigators couldn’t lift any fingerprints from the evidence.

At one point, the LAPD had 750 investigators on the case and interviewed more than 150 potential suspects linked to the Black Dahlia killing. Officers heard more than 60 confessions during the initial investigation, but none of them were considered legitimate. Since then, there have been more than 500 confessions, none of which led to anyone being charged.

As time went on and the case went cold, many people assumed that the Black Dahlia murder was a date gone wrong, or that Short had run into a sinister stranger late at night while walking alone.

After over 70 years, the Black Dahlia murder case remains open. But in recent years, a couple of intriguing — and chilling — theories have emerged.  

Shortly after his father’s death in 1999, now-retired LAPD detective Steve Hodel was going through his dad’s belongings when he noticed two photos of a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Short.

After discovering these haunting images, Hodel began using the skills he had gained as a policeman to investigate his own deceased father.

Hodel went through newspaper archives and witness interviews from the case, and even filed a Freedom of Information Act to obtain FBI files on the Black Dahlia murder.

He also had a handwriting expert compare samples of his father’s writing to the writing on some of the notes sent to the press from the alleged killer. The analysis found a strong possibility that his father’s handwriting matched, but the results were not conclusive.

On the grislier side, the Black Dahlia crime scene photos showed that Short’s body had been cut in a manner consistent with a hemicorporectomy, a medical procedure that slices the body beneath the lumbar spine. Hodel’s father had been a doctor — who attended medical school when this procedure was being taught in the 1930s.

Additionally, Hodel searched his father’s archives at UCLA, finding a folder full of receipts for contracting work on his childhood home.

In that folder, there was a receipt dated a few days before the murder for a large bag of concrete, the same size, and brand as a concrete bag found near Elizabeth Short’s body.

By the time Hodel began his investigation, many of the police officers who originally worked on the case were already dead. However, he carefully reconstructed conversations these officers had about the case.

Eventually, Hodel compiled all of his evidence into a 2003 bestseller called Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story. 

While fact-checking the book, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez requested official police files from the case and made an important discovery. Shortly after the murder, the LAPD had six main suspects, and George Hodel was on their list.

In fact, he was such a serious suspect that his home was bugged in 1950 so the police could monitor his activities. Much of the audio was innocuous, but one chilling exchange stuck out:

“8:25pm. ‘Woman screamed. Woman screamed again. (It should be noted, the woman not heard before the scream.)’”

Later that day, George Hodel was overheard telling someone, “Realise there was nothing I could do, put a pillow over her head and cover her with a blanket. Get a taxi. Expired 12:59. They thought there was something fishy. Anyway, now they may have figured it out. Killed her.”

He continued, “Supposin’ I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn’t prove it now. They can’t talk to my secretary anymore because she’s dead.”

Even after this shocking revelation, which seems to support that George Hodel killed Short — and possibly also his secretary — the Black Dahlia case still hasn’t been officially closed. However, this hasn’t stopped Steve Hodel from investigating his father.

He says he has found details from dozens of other murders that could possibly be connected to his father, implicating him not only as the Black Dahlia murderer but also as a deranged serial killer.

Hodel’s research has even garnered some attention from law enforcement. In 2004, Stephen R. Kay, the head deputy for L.A. County’s district attorney office, said that if George Hodel was still alive he would have enough to indict him for the Elizabeth Short murder. 

Though we still don’t know for certain who killed the Black Dahlia, recent theories present compelling cases. And it’s possible that the truth is still out there, just waiting for the right investigation to finally bring it to light.

Last Week’s Birthdays

James Nesbitt (58), Claudia Winkleman (51), Eddie Hall (35), DJ Jazzy Jeff (58), Jason Bateman (54), Kevin Durand (49), Faye Dunaway (82), Carl Weathers (75), Mark Addy (59), Grant Gustin (33), Dave Grohl (54), Ruth Wilson (41), Liam Hemsworth (33), Orlando Bloom (46), Michael Peña (47), Bill Bailey (58), Rob Zombie (58), Howard Stern (69), Melanie C (49), Pixie Lott (32), Jemaine Clement (49), Evan Handler (62), J.K. Simmons (68), Joely Richardson (58), Imelda Staunton (67), James Acaster (38), Catherine Princess of Wales (41), Michelle Forbes (58), and Amber Benson (46).

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