Dead Pool 24th February 2019

No change to the leader board this week, however some interesting demises and again, some unusual news as nothing much has happened over the last week. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

The US sailor famously photographed kissing a stranger in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the end of World War Two has died aged 95. Although personally not famous enough for our needs, the picture of George Mendonsa bending over and kissing 21-year-old Greta Zimmer Friedman on VJ Day (Victory over Japan) became one of the most enduring images of the period. It was one of four photographs taken by Alfred Eisenstadt as a round-up of celebration pictures for Life magazine. Ms Friedman died in 2016 aged 92. Mr Mendonsa’s daughter, Sharon Molleur, said her father suffered a seizure and died on Sunday after a fall at a care home in Middletown, Rhode Island. Alfred Eisenstadt did not give the names of the kissing strangers and it was years before Mr Mendonsa and Ms Friedman were confirmed as the featured couple. The photographer described how he watched the sailor running along the street on 14 August 1945, grabbing any girl in sight. “Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture.” Ms Friedman, who had been working as a dental assistant, said she had not been aware of the photo until the 1960s. “It wasn’t much of a kiss,” she later recalled. “It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event.” Mr Mendonsa had served in the Pacific and was on home leave when the picture was taken. However, not everyone sees the photograph as something to celebrate. Although it was widely lauded as an expression of the joy felt across the US on the day Japan surrendered, in more recent times some have considered it, as Time Magazine wrote, “as little more than the documentation of a very public sexual assault”. 

Former England midfielder Glenn Hoddle says he realises how “lucky” he is after surviving a cardiac arrest. Hoddle collapsed at the BT Sport studios in October on his 61st birthday and had a quadruple heart bypass before returning home to recuperate. “When doctors said it was a quadruple I realised I was a lucky man,” he said. “Not just because of the synchronisation of the timing on the day, but there was something going on for some time.” Hoddle, who was speaking to former footballer Robbie Savage on his BT Sport show, said the day of the incident was “a bit of a blur”. Sound engineer Simon Daniels used CPR treatment to keep the ex-Spurs player alive before paramedics arrived. “I just thank God that I was in the studios at that time with Simon there and a defibrillator,” Hoddle added. “I could’ve gone and taken a phone call and been on my own and I wouldn’t be sitting here today. “What a time to do it, on your birthday as well – some present I gave myself.” Hoddle banged the back of his head on the floor when he collapsed and said it was “still quite tender” when he tapped it more than three months on.  

On death row in Malawi, Byson Kaula was nearly executed three times – but on each occasion the hangman stopped work before hanging all the prisoners on his list. So he survived… until the country stopped executing people altogether. Byson Kaula says jealous neighbours were responsible for him being found guilty of murder. It was 1992 and murder in those days carried a mandatory death sentence. Neighbours attacked one of his employees, Byson says, leaving him badly injured. The man couldn’t walk without assistance, and while helping him get to the toilet – navigating steps that were slippery after heavy rain – Byson fell and dropped him. The man died later in hospital, and Byson – then in his 40s – was charged with murder. This was towards the end of the totalitarian government of Hastings Banda, which had controlled the country since 1964. Byson vividly remembers the horror of waiting for his turn at what he calls “the killing machine”. “When I was told: ‘You can go now to the condemned section waiting for your time to be hanged’ – oh, I felt as if I was already dead.” At that time, there was just one executioner – a South African who travelled between several countries in the region, carrying out hangings. When he arrived in Malawi, once every couple of months, the prisoners on death row knew that time, for some of them, had run out. One day Byson remembers being told that his name was on the list of 21 people to be hanged within hours. A guard told him that executions would begin at 13:00 and that he should “just start praying”. They continued until 15:00, when the executioner stopped work. But he had not reached the end of the list. Three people, including Byson, would have to wait until he returned. The same thing happened twice more, Byson says. The list was drawn up, but the hangman didn’t finish it – and each time, by chance, Byson was among those left alive at the end of the day. On the third occasion, all the prisoners on the list were executed except him, he says. In a way he was lucky, but the experience took its toll on him and he attempted suicide twice – only to survive this too. 

On This Day

  • 1854 – A Penny Red with perforations was the first perforated postage stamp to be officially issued for distribution.  
  • 1920 – Nancy Astor became the first woman to speak in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom following her election as a Member of Parliament (MP) three months earlier.  
  • 1981 – The 6.7 Ms Gulf of Corinth earthquake affected Central Greece with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). Twenty-two people were killed, 400 were injured, and damage totalled $812 million.  
  • 1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa and offers a USD $3 million bounty for the death of Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.  


  • 1993 – Bobby Moore, English footballer and manager (b. 1941)  
  • 2006 – Octavia E. Butler, American author and educator (b. 1947)   
  • 2014 – Harold Ramis, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1944)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Emily Blunt (36), Dakota Fanning (25), Kelly Macdonald (43), Aziz Ansari (36), Thomas Jane (50), Drew Barrymore (44), Jeri Ryan (51), Kyle MacLachlan (60), Julie Walters (69), James Hong (90), Nigel Planer (66), Ellen Page (32), Sophie Turner (23), Kelsey Grammer (64), William Baldwin (56), Tyne Daly (73), Anthony Daniels (73), Sidney Poitier (92), Brenda Blethyn (73), Rihanna (31), Cindy Crawford (53), Anthony Head (65), Trevor Noah (35), Millie Bobby Brown (15), Benicio Del Toro (52), Jeff Daniels (64), Ray Winstone  (62), Leslie Ash (59), Seal (56), John Travolta (65), Molly Ringwald (51), Matt Dillon (55), Cybill Shepherd (69), Dr. Dre (54), Yoko Ono (86), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (38), Rene Russo (65), Bonnie Wright (28), Dominic Purcell (49), Ed Sheeran (28), Paris Hilton (38), Rory Kinnear (43), Patricia Routledge (90), Michael Jordan (56), Brenda Fricker (74), and Barry Humphries (85).

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