Dead Pool 18th February 2024

This weeks big news it the untimely passing of DJ Steve Wright. Got to say, the radio will not be the same without him. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Six-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy says he is “optimistic, positive and surrounded by love” after revealing he was diagnosed with cancer last year. The former Great Britain track cyclist, 47, posted on Instagram that his treatment, which includes chemotherapy, “is going really well”. “I am continuing to work, ride my bike and live my life as normal,” he added. Hoy won six Olympic golds between 2004 and 2012. The Scot, also an 11-time world champion and the second most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, said that his diagnosis came as a “huge shock, having had no symptoms”. He did not disclose the type of cancer, and added: “For the sake of my young family, I had hoped to keep this information private but regrettably our hand has been forced. Whilst I’m thankful for any support, I’d like to deal with this privately. I’m optimistic, positive and surrounded by love for which I’m truly grateful. As you might imagine, the last few months have been incredibly difficult. However, I currently feel fine. It’s an exciting year of work ahead, not least with the Paris Olympics in July. I can’t wait to get stuck in, have fun and share it with you all.” Hoy won Olympic team sprint silver at Sydney 2000 and his first gold in the 1km time trial at Athens 2004, before three golds at Beijing 2008 and two more at London 2012. He retired from cycling in 2013, with his record of 17 global titles across four disciplines making him the most successful track cyclist of all time. Only Sir Jason Kenny, with seven, has won more Olympic golds for Britain than Hoy, who was knighted in 2009. 

Former BBC newsreader Moira Stuart collapsed at her friend Angela Rippon‘s birthday party on Monday night. The birthday party was brought to a sudden halt when an ambulance rushed to her aid at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London, according to reports. Stuart, 74, was reportedly helped by her colleagues including Louise Minchin and Michael Buerk after she fell while standing at the bar among other party guests. A source told the Flying Monkeys that the room was cleared for Stuart after hotel staff called an ambulance to check over the newsreader. Stuart reportedly insisted that she was feeling fine shortly after the incident. An onlooker told us: “Moira took a funny turn when Angela’s party was in full swing. She had been in great spirits on the night and spent time with Angela and Lulu, who was also a guest, at the Hilton. It all happened very quickly and out of nowhere, Moira, who was standing at the bar, had fallen to the floor.” Stuart was among the celebrities at Rippon’s belated 79th birthday celebrations, which she had postponed until she had finished her stint on the Strictly Come Dancing live tour. Pictures taken during the night show Stuart in high spirits as she chatted to Rippon and other guests. Later pictures show her leaving the venue in a taxi. Stuart, who is widely acknowledged as the UK’s first female African-Caribbean TV newsreader, joined the BBC in the late Seventies as a production assistant and then a newsreader for Radio 4 and BBC Radio 2. She went on to present virtually every BBC bulletin, with the exception of the Ten O’Clock News.  

Crystal Palace say manager Roy Hodgson is stable in hospital after he was “taken ill” during training on Thursday morning. Palace cancelled a news conference after the 76-year-old became unwell. It was widely reported on Thursday morning that Palace are set to sack Hodgson, with the club 15th in the Premier League and five points clear of the relegation zone. “Following news that Roy Hodgson was taken ill during today’s training session, we can confirm that he is now stable and is currently undergoing tests in hospital,” the club said on Twitter. “Everybody at the club sends their best wishes to Roy for a speedy recovery.” Everton boss Sean Dyche, whose team are playing Palace on Monday, said: “I wish him well and sent a message out. I briefly spoke to Ray Lewington, so I believe things are OK at the minute. Great guy. Someone I respect greatly. So we are hoping that he recovers. Bigger than the game is certainly his health. I hope he comes through it with no problems.” Danny Murphy shared messages he exchanged with Roy Hodgson after he was rushed to hospital. “I messaged him after the worrying news that he’d been taken ill at Crystal Palace’s training ground and was reassured by his replies. He said he was feeling fine, taking stock and prioritising his health. It was good to hear. At 76, he’s absolutely right to put himself first – and he indicated he’s starting to realise that himself. I’m sure he felt an enormous sense of responsibility in a tough campaign for Palace, but if this is a full stop on his managerial career, he should step away with full peace of mind.” 

On This Day

  • 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
  • 1957 – Walter James Bolton becomes the last person legally executed in New Zealand.
  • 1977 – The Xinjiang 61st Regiment Farm fire: started during Chinese New Year when a firecracker ignited the wreaths of late Mao Zedong, killing 694 personnel. It remains the deadliest fireworks accidents in the world.
  • 2003 – 192 people die when an arsonist sets fire to a subway train in Daegu, South Korea.
  • 2004 – 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Nishapur, Iran, when a runaway freight train carrying sulphur, petrol and fertiliser catches fire and explodes.
  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.

Deaths

New Zealands Last Execution

Walter James Bolton was a New Zealand farmer who was found guilty of poisoning his wife. He is known as the last person to be executed in New Zealand before the abolition of capital punishment.

Jim Bolton was born in Wanganui and grew up in nearby Mangamahu. He married Beatrice Mabel Jones in 1913, but Beatrice died in July of 1956 after a long and debilitating illness. An autopsy found traces of arsenic in her body, and a police investigation was launched. Bolton was formally charged with her murder in September.

The prosecution claimed that Bolton was having an affair with Beatrice’s sister, Florence, who had moved in to help look after Beatrice, and that Bolton had poisoned his wife with arsenic he possessed for use on his farm. It also alleged that he and Florence had destroyed Beatrice’s diary. Bolton’s defence argued that Beatrice could have been poisoned accidentally, by arsenic entering the water supply. Water on the Bolton’s farm was tested and found to contain arsenic, and traces of arsenic were also found in Bolton and one of his daughters.

Despite this evidence, a jury quickly found Bolton guilty of murdering his wife, and he was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Mount Eden Prison in Auckland on 18th February 1957, aged 68. According to a contemporary newspaper account, his execution was allegedly botched – instead of breaking his neck instantly, he was slowly strangled to death. Shortly afterward, the New Zealand Labour Party won the 1957 New Zealand General Election and in effect, the practice of capital punishment ended with Bolton’s execution. Due to bipartisan support for abolition, the death penalty faced statutory abolition for homicide and most other crimes when Parliament passed the Crimes Act 1961. (The last vestiges of the death penalty in New Zealand – for treason and similar acts – were abolished with the passage of the Abolition of the Death Penalty Act 1989).

But was there enough reasonable doubt in the case for the last state-ordered death to be considered an unjustified murder?

New evidence shows that Bolton made statements to police at the time which were not shared with the jury – admitting he suffered from erectile dysfunction. This would have affected the relationship he may have had with Florence. 

Bolton paid large sums of money for his wife’s healthcare (he even placed her in a private hospital); and was the only member of the family to agree to an autopsy, which then revealed Beatrice’s organs were riddled with poison. 

Ultimately, Bolton may have been the victim of small-town judgement, rather than having been convicted on the evidence to hand. He was probably convicted as much for his sexual morals as for whether he had killed his wife or not… Perhaps Jim Bolton deserved the benefit of the doubt.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Molly Ringwald (56), John Travolta (70), Matt Dillon (60), Cybill Shepherd (74), Dr. Dre (59), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (43), Dominic Purcell (54), Bonnie Wright (33), Lou Diamond Phillips (62), Rene Russo (70), Rory Kinnear (48), Paris Hilton (43), Patricia Routledge (95),  Brenda Fricker (79), Ed Sheeran (33), Christopher Eccleston (60), Elizabeth Olsen (35), LeVar Burton (67), Amanda Holden (53), John McEnroe (65), Jane Seymour (73), Matt Groening (70), Simon Pegg (54), Andrew Robinson (82), Meg Tilly (64), Teller (76), Neal McDonough (58), Stockard Channing (80), Kim Novak (91), Tony Dalton (49), Hugh Dennis (62), Michael Ironside (74), Annette Crosbie (90), Maud Adams (79), Josh Brolin (56), and Christina Ricci (44).

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