Dead Pool 25th September 2022
Once more we look at a week gone past, however no points to award this week. A very collaborative newsletter this week, thanks to everyone who chipped in, keep sending in your submissions!
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Anna Thynn, Marchioness of Bath, 78, Hungarian-born British actress (Therese and Isabelle, The House of the Missing Girls, Zeta One).
- Cherry Valentine, 28, English drag queen (RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud).
- John Hamblin, 87, English-born Australian television presenter (Play School) and actor (The Restless Years).
- John Hartman, 72, American drummer (The Doobie Brothers).
- Dame Hilary Mantel, 70, British author (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, The Mirror & the Light), complications from a stroke.
- Louise Fletcher, 88, American actress (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Brainstorm).
In Other News
Monty Python star Eric Idle has revealed he survived “one of the most lethal” cancers, after receiving a rare early diagnosis. The 79-year-old comedian and writer, who helped found the Monty Python comedy troupe in 1969, made the disclosure in a recent op-ed. “About three years ago I was incredibly lucky: I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” Idle explained to the Flying Monkeys. “Lucky? One of the most lethal forms of cancer, how on earth was that lucky? Well, because it was found incredibly early.” He jokingly added: “No, not before lunchtime, but before it had gone anywhere.” Idle recalled how he had asked his friend, Doctor David Kipper, “the quickest way to die” while conducting research for a play about a writer who is penning a musical about death when he discovers he is about to die. In 2019, the same friend, who specialises in preventative medicine, helped diagnose Idle with pancreatic cancer. After undergoing surgery at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, Kipper told him: “Well, you’re in very good shape. The cancer hasn’t recurred. You should have about 10 years.”
Post Malone has been admitted to hospital after “having a very difficult time breathing”. Last week, the White Iverson rapper tripped over on stage, bruising his ribs in the process. While he reassured fans that “everything is good” following the incident, on Saturday, Post cancelled his concert at the TD Garden in Boston at the last minute. In a post shared to his Instagram Story on Saturday, the musician wrote that he was struggling to breathe and experiencing “a stabbing pain whenever I breathe or move”. “Boston, I love y’all so fucking much,” Post wrote. “On tour, I usually wake up around 4 o’clock PM, and today I woke up to a cracking sound on the right side of my body. I felt so good last night, but today it felt so different than it has before. I’m having a very difficult time breathing, and there’s like a stabbing pain whenever I breathe or move.” He continued: “We’re in the hospital now, but with this pain, I can’t do the show tonight. I’m so fucking sorry,” explaining that the show would be rescheduled. “Once again, I’m so fucking sorry,” he added. “I love y’all so much. I feel terrible, but I promise I’m going to make this up to you. I love you Boston, I’ll see you soon.” Post was performing at the Enterprise Center in St Louis earlier this month when he fell into a gap on the stage used for transporting equipment and hit his chest. The show was paused for several minutes as the rapper, real name Austin Richard Post, was being examined by the medics. “[It] winded me pretty good. Got me pretty good. We just got back from the hospital and everything’s good,” he initially explained. “Everything’s good. They gave me some pain meds and everything and we can keep kicking ass on the tour.” Malone’s manager Dre London also issued an update about his health at the time, saying that the rapper “didn’t break three ribs last nite thank god”.
A new lead has raised hopes of a breakthrough in the hunt for the body of murdered British backpacker Peter Falconio just hours after his mother begged for help. Mr Falconio, 28, was shot dead by drug-runner Bradley Murdoch in 2001 who then tried to abduct his girlfriend Joanne Lees before she escaped and raised the alarm. But the backpacker’s body has never been found – and his mother pleaded on Friday for ‘anyone with a conscience’ to help locate his remains. Now a possible new witness has come forward to reveal he spotted a ute like the killer’s parked ‘in an odd place’ by a culvert and a bridge 24 hours after the murder. The new sighting has raised hopes it could lead to the discovery of the backpacker’s remains and end the 21-year-old mystery. The startling new evidence was revealed after South Australian politician Frank Pangallo demanded a $1million reward for information leading police to the body. ‘I received an email this morning from somebody who was in the area the day after the murder,’ the SA-BEST member of South Australia’s legislative council revealed. ‘He said he had spotted a vehicle that was similar to the one that Murdoch was using and it was parked on the side of a road near a culvert and a bridge. ‘He remembered going past it and saying it was unusual that the the driver was parked in that position. He did alert police at the time but heard nothing more. I’ll certainly pass that on to police to see if they’ll go there in person to check it out.’ The stunning development came just hours after the Australian Flying Monkeys revealed police had mounted a five-day search of an outback well in 2019 in the hunt for the remains. They pumped 15m of water out of the remote waterhole, just 1km from the murder scene near Barrow Creek, 300km north of Alice Springs, but sadly found nothing. Now Mr Falconio’s parents Joan, 75, and Luciano, 80, have appealed for fresh information to keep the hunt alive for their son’s remains. ‘We want to bring Peter home where he belongs near his family,’ his mother said. ‘Our pain is always with us. He was murdered 21 years ago, aged just 28 years. His life stopped on a lonely road – the Stuart Highway on July 14th, 2001. Shot dead by cowardly Murdoch, who will not reveal where or what he did with him.’ She added: ‘Peter has a beautiful niece and two lovely nephews who he never got to see or know. I am appealing to anyone with a conscience to help me – however small – to tell me where he was put.’ The renewed appeal comes in the week when Mr Falconio would have turned 50 last Tuesday, but police are no closer to knowing where his body was dumped. Murdoch was convicted of the murder and is now serving life in Darwin Correctional Centre – but he has refused to give up where he dumped Mr Falconio’s body. He could be eligible for parole in 10 years but will never walk free without revealing the location under the NT’s ‘no body no release’ laws. Police believe he hid the remains somewhere in the sprawling desert between Alice Springs and Broome, 1,700km away in Western Australia.
On This Day
- 1959 – Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, is mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama, and dies the next day.
- 1983 – Thirty-eight IRA prisoners, armed with six handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of the Maze Prison.
- 2018 – Bill Cosby is sentenced to three to ten years in prison for aggravated sexual assault.
- 1984 – Walter Pidgeon, Canadian-American actor (b. 1897)
- 1987 – Mary Astor, American actress (b. 1906)
- 1991 – Klaus Barbie, German SS captain, known as the “Butcher of Lyon” (b. 1913)
- 2012 – Andy Williams, American singer (b. 1927)
Deadly Ends by Neil G.
I’m fairly sure that most of us would agree that death sentences, while a sure source for our yearly lists, should no longer have a place in our society. Personally, I think knowing that I was to have my freedom taken, and to be for the rest of my life caged, is a far worse sentence than death. Although the methods used by and large in this day and age, are much more “humane” than those practiced in the past.
- Lethal injection (when the American State can afford the good drugs), is quick and painless, or so we’re told.
- Hanging, the science now perfected, the knot of the noose now placed in such a way that the neck is broken at the end of the drop.
- For sure there is that split second of terror for the hanged, but death is at least quick.
- Electric chair is, when done correctly (not the dry sponge execution of the Green Mile), effective. Huge power bills, but the savings made on death row…
But what of the methods used in days gone by, how do they compare? The Medieval period spanned the time between the fall of the Roman Empire to approximately the beginning of the Renaissance. It was during this time we humans got really creative with our methods of putting someone to death. For sure we could have used some of this creativeness to imagine ourselves a much more peaceful and enlightened existence, but where’s the fun it that?
Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered
One death sentence we would all be familiar with is being Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered. If not made keenly familiar about what it is to be high treasonous each 5th of November by Guido Fawkes, the last man to enter Westminster with honest intentions. We can fall back on the English hating Australian, Mel Gibson, portrayal of a certain Sir William Wallace. Albeit taking some artistic licence with actual facts surrounding Wallace’s life. Although, it’s fair to say that Longshanks was probably a bit of a c**t. This sentence, mainly reserved for the crime of high treason, involved stages which lead to the eventual execution. The doomed would be hanged to the point of death, often several times. Being allowed to recover enough to fully experience the remainder of the sentence. Being Drawn was to be dragged through the streets behind a horse to the eventual place of your death, often you would be drawn behind the horse before being hanged. Finally, it was time for the quartering. This was more gruesome than it sounds, the body of the damned was as the name suggests, quartered. The separate parts sent to the far reaches of the kingdom as a warning to other would-be treasonous snakes. However, it would start with the victim being castrated and disembowelled, having the removed parts tossed into a fire while you were still alive to see them burned. Eventually you were decapitated, and only then were you limbed and sent packing. All the while a baying crowd watched on, beating Match of the Day in the entertainment stakes. Amazingly being Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered was only outlawed in the UK in 1803! Although David Tyrie (another Scotsman) in 1782 was the last person to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in the UK.
Viewed during the times as a more humane form of capital punishment. Often reserved for nobility and royals, was not without issue, at least until it was perfected by the practitioner. Early forms of Medieval beheading were carried out with an axe, until (it’s believed) William the Conqueror introduced the more efficient method of beheading by sword. The doomed instructed to stand or kneel upright as a block to rest the neck upon was deemed to impede the stroke of the sword. Beheading continued well past the Middle Ages, the last person beheaded in England was Simon, Lord Lovat in 1747. Prior to losing his head there were some other notables in the history of British beheading: Mary, Queen of Scots, said to be grateful of her beheading after 19 long years of imprisonment. Anne Boleyn, who was lucky enough to have an expert swordsman from France come to do the deed. Not so lucky Margret Pole, who in 1541 was beheaded-ish by axe, said to be executed by a “blundering youth”, who “hacked her head and shoulders to pieces”. This form of execution was said to be painless, however draw your own conclusions: Dr. Beaurieux of France (where else with a name like that), conducted an experiment on guillotined murderer Albert Fournier in 1920. After the head had been separated from the body, Dr. Beaurieux waited for the post beheading, nervous spasmodic movements to cease (about 5-6 seconds). Then in the Dr.’s own words: “It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: ‘Languille’ I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions.” Continuing, “Next Languille’s eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. I was not, then, dealing with the sort of vague dull look without any expression, that can be observed any day in dying people to whom one speaks: I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me.” Beaurieux called out a second time, observing that Languille fixed his eyes upon the Dr.’s even more sharply than the first time. However, a third time elicited no response, because by now Languille was certainly dead. The whole experiment lasting 25-30 seconds. Despite this experiment, the last death by beheading in France was carried out in 1977.
Crushing with Weights
Although this cruel punishment was not actually intended to be an execution, rather, it was designed as a method of extracting a confession from the accused. Unfortunately the side effect of placing up to 800lbs (363 kilos) on a person’s chest often caused them a very painful death. One victim of this crushing punishment was a woman by the name of Margaret Clitherow, charged with the most heinous of crimes: Harbouring priests and practicing Catholicism. In 1586 she was taken to a public bridge and stripped naked in front of the watching crowd, described by onlookers as an “obscene shaming ritual”. Her limbs tied with ropes and stretched out spread eagle. A door was then placed upon her, and weights added. At any point she could have entered a plea of guilty or not guilty and the weights would have been removed. Her trial would then have begun (of which she would have almost certainly been found guilty and executed). However, she refused. When the total weight placed upon her reached 800lbs, her spine snapped, and her ribs burst from her skin. She was named a saint by the Catholic Church in 1970 for her sufferings. One of the more famous deaths by crushing occurred during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. It has been estimated that up to 200 people were accused of witchcraft, leading to a special court being formed that resulted in 20 executions. Farmer Giles Corey was among the accused, he probably brought this upon himself for being a notorious apple thief a couple of decades earlier. The de-cider of his death? He refused to stand trial and the “authorities” ordered a crushing in the hopes that he would finally enter a plea. So, they stripped him naked (again, what’s with the naked thing?), and placed a board upon his chest. Corey was well aware how this would play out; he could plead his innocence and face trial where he would have almost certainly been found guilty and executed. Or he could choose to keep his dignity and die by crushing. If he did this, it would also allow his living relatives to keep his land (as he would have died without charge). Throughout the crushing Giles did nothing but ask for “more weight”, knowing that it would bring about a quicker end. This however did not happen as his body held out for 2 full days before he died. The practice of crushing was finally outlawed in England in 1772.
This was the practice of placing criminals in human shaped cages, hung high (often 30ft) for display. Often, they were executed prior to the gibbeting, but in extreme cases they were locked in the cage while still alive and left to die from exposure and/or starvation. This was a powerful tool to use as a deterrent to crime, the horrifying sight of an immobile human caged and left to, then “reeking” when dead. The carcass nothing more than a feed for crows and maggots. Its use was popular in Britain during the 1740’s, but this torturous form of death had been in use across Europe for many years previous. Gibbeting did not happen often, but its effect on the community left big impressions. So much so that it was mandated for convicted murderers in the 1752 Murder act, the act requiring that “bodies be either publicly dissected or gibbeted”. Bodies were often left in the gibbets for years. Interestingly, women were spared from the gibbet, the female convicts’ bodies were often given to surgeons and anatomists. Between 1752 and 1832, 134 men were gibbeted, this form of execution finally being outlawed in 1834.
Death by Impalement
There was no human more enthusiastic about this type of execution than happy, hippy, sticky man, Vlad the Impaler! So keen was he to “stick” it to his enemies, that his lust for this gruesome method of execution inspired the legend of Count Dracula. Dying by impalement was not a quick way to die, more a prolonged torture proceeding an inevitable death. The stake would only be partially sharpened and planted into the ground; the victim then placed onto the spike. Men would be skewered though the anus, women their vagina. The stake was semi-greased (the little pleasures in death) and would slowly force its way through the victims’ body before exiting near the neck, throat, or shoulders. In some case the spike was left purposely blunt to ensure impalement took hours or even days to prolong the torture more. Records show impalement occurred as early as 1772 B.C. and continued as recently as the 20th century, when employed by the Ottoman government during the Armenian genocide. Vlad, however, is still the Poke ‘em On king. He was estimated to have killed 80,000 people, in various ways, but approximately 20,000 of them impaled and placed on display on the outskirts of the city of Targoviste. So affective was this display that an invading Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II, immediately turned his army around after witnessing this sight… I wonder, where did 20th century Ottoman government get its idea for impalement from?
So, the poor souls on death row, if given a choice in their method of demise, would probably choose what’s on offer to them now, over a death by previous age methods. In an age of “enlightenment” perhaps our Deadpool list certs should not be executed at all? A conversation for another day. But it remains that humans are ever so inventive when it comes to “offing” other humans. Some methods of “offing” others omitted from the above are: Immurement (the stuff of nightmares), burning at the stake, death by elephant (it’s true), being boiled alive (save it for the lobsters), and many, many more.
Well, I hope you sleep well Deadpoolers, and happy dreaming. I’m off to enjoy a bloody stake and chips at my local.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Will Smith (54), Clea DuVall (45), Catherine Zeta-Jones (53), Mark Hamill (71), Michael Douglas (78), Heather Locklear (61), Michael Madsen (65), Felicity Kendal (76), Kevin Sorbo (64), Kate Fleetwood (50), Sven-Ole Thorsen (78), Anthony Mackie (44), Tatiana Maslany (37), Tom Felton (35), Billie Piper (40), Nick Cave (65), Ruth Jones (56), Joan Jett (64), Sue Perkins (53), David Wenham (57), Bill Murray (72), Luke Wilson (51), Stephen King (75), Alfonso Ribeiro (51), Jon Bernthal (46), Sophia Loren (88), Moon Bloodgood (47), George R.R. Martin (74), Michelle Visage (54), Danielle Panabaker (35), Jeremy Irons (74), David McCallum (89), Twiggy (73), and Jimmy Fallon (48).
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