Deranged Derelicts and Devoted Detectives


Here are a number of (mostly) true, actual cases involving three types of deaths:

I’ve outlined the cases and you can play detective: decide which of the aforementioned solves the case before you read the summary.


Case Number One – The Man in the Sewage Drain
A yohungung man in his early 20’s was found in a large hole in the ground near the middle of a field that was used for sewage drainage.  He was hanging by the neck with a minute timer placed on a ladder, that presumably, he had stood upon before his death. His face and neck are congested with blood and are dark red. The bruise from the rope is in a v-shape, indicating that he was not manually strangled in another position and posed in the drainage hole. It was determined during autopsy that he had expired during daylight hours.  The possibilities were:

(i)  accident– the victim deliberately placed himself below ground using the ladder and hung himself intentionally, without meaning to kill himself
(ii) suicide – the victim deliberately placed himself below ground using the ladder and hung himself intentionally, meaning to kill himself
(iii) murder – the victim was forced to descend the ladder below ground, was forcibly hung against his will and left to die.

Summary:  (i)  suicide was ruled out – in order to kill himself the young man had no reason to go to such trouble as to walk across a field carrying a ladder, rope and minute timer, climb down inside a drainage hole, and hang himself.
(ii)  murderautowas ruled out – in order to murder the victim, the killer would have to force the victim to walk across the open field in daylight while carrying a ladder, rope and a minute timer.  The killer would also have to have reason for using the minute timer.
(iii) accident – by autoerotic asphyxiation syndrome. The victim practiced autoerotic asphyxiation syndrome, a means of sexual stimulation whereby a male (this is not known to be practiced by females) hangs himself with a cord around his neck,ties his genitals with the same cord, ties the other end of the cord to a doorknob or other immobile anchor, masturbates and loses consciousness. resulting in a more pleasurable orgasm than normal. AES is typically practiced by people with a masochistic streak, and frequently genital mutilation is found on the corpse. In order to regain consciousness, the male uses a minute timer bell to regain consciousness. In spite of the name asphyxiation, when death occurs, it’s usually because of pressure on a part of the neck called the carotid body, located near the fork of the carotid artery. Pressure on the carotid body slows down the heart and makes a person pass out, causing them to go limp, tightening the choke and decreasing circulation through the neck arteries, and causing asphyxiation. It’s the lack of blood flow to the brain that causes death. Autoerotic syndrome may be a practice of individuals who fall in love with themselves (narcissism). It is usually practiced by people who are homosexual and repress their desires. The actor David Carridine, best known for his role as halfChinese, halfCaucasian Shaolin monk Kwai Chang Caine, on the ABC hit TV series Kung Fu is said to have accidentally killed himself through AES. Rock star Michael Hutchence also died from AES.  In the aforementioned case either the minute timer malfunctioned, or the victim was unable to regain balance on the ladder. Talk about choking the chicken

Case Number Twenty-One – Ramon Novarro
was a drop-dead (pun) gorgeous movie star during the silent era. After the death of Rudolph Valentino, his international chic made him Hollywood’s newest sex sRamon-Novarro-by-Hulton-Arcymbol. Of course, while women were swooning over Novarro, he was a homosexual. Novarro had been deeply troubled all his life regarding the conflict between his Roman Catholic teachings and his sexual orientation.  In 1934, Novarro was a victim of the “witch hunt” for “reds”  (communists) in Hollywood. After decades of reclusiveness, on Halloween morning, October 31, 1968, the 69-year-old Navarro re-appeared in headlines when he was found decidedly dead in his home, tied up to a chair, with a dildo deep inside his throat.  Ick.  Possibilities included:

(i)  accident – maybe he (and possibly a friend) pushed a little too far this time.
(ii) suicide – helluva sexy way to go…mind you, the prisoner in Case Number Fourteen managed to kill himself with a bible.
(iii) murder – someone convinced Novarro to open his hotel door, then tied him up and gagged him with the sex toy.
Summary: (i) suicide – Novarro was a man under a great deal of pressure due to the aforementioned issues…however there was that pesky matter of his being tied to a chair…difficult to do by himself.
(ii)  accident  – was quickly ruled out since there were signs of a struggle on the body, and the depth of the dildo made it unlikely a partner would have shoved the thing that far down his esophagus.
(iii) murder – actually it was brutal but unintentional.  Novarro was murdered on October 30, 1968, by two brothers, Paul and Tom Ferguson, whom he had hired from an agency to come to his home for “sex services.”  The men believed that a large sum of money was hidden in Novarro’s house.  They tied him up and shoved the dildo down his throat to keep him quiet. Novarro was tortured for several hours to force him to reveal the location of the nonexistent money. He died of asphyxiation after choking on his own blood from the brutal beating the two brothers gave him.  Poor guy.


Head Injury

Case Number Two – The Man at the Bottom of the Stairs
A quinightet university student, a loner who kept to himself, aged 20, was found dead at the bottom of a steep concrete staircase inside of a apartment complex.  His arms were close to his body, with one arm wrapped around his rib cage. His death was the result of severe head injuries sustained during a fall down the stairs.  The possibilities were:

(1)  accident – the victim tripped
(2) suicide – the victim deliberately fell down the stairs to kill himself
(3) murder – someone pushed the victim

Summary (i) accidental -was ruled out.  The victim would have put out his hands and struggled against the fall, most likely saving his life.
(ii) murder – was ruled out. The victim had no known enemies and no one had reason to kill him.
(iii) suicide – was the official ruling. The victim’s severe head injuries and the position of his arms revealed that he must have deliberately hurled himself over the stairs, folding his arms around his torso so he was unable to prevent himself from breaking his fall.

Drug Overdose

Case Number Three – The Girl in the Park
A girl in her late teens was discovered dead, lying on her back, in a public park near her residence.  There are no signs of violence or struggle. She died some time during the daylight hours. Lividity, where blood in a corpse pools to the lowest place of gravity, was evident in her back. Autopsy revealed she died of a drug overdose of sleeping pills.  The possibilities were:

(i) accithe-walking-dead-bicycle-girldent – the girl used sleeping pills on a regular basis and over-estimated her ability to take as many as she did. However, this leaves the question of why she was found in the park.
(ii) suicide – the girl committed suicide in the park with sleeping pills. However this leaves the question of why she would commit suicide in a park, rather than at her residence, which was only minutes away.
(iii) murder – the girl was murdered by an unknown person and left in the park, suggesting her body had been moved. However, this leaves the question as to how the killer was able to force the girl to take an overdose of sleeping pills.

Summary:  (1)  accident – was ruled out.  The girl had to deliberately ingest a minimum of 35 – 40 sleeping pills in order to kill herself.
(ii)  murder – was ruled out.  It would be nearly impossible to force a person to commit suicide via drug overdose and there are easier methods of murder.
(iii) suicide – by drug overdose.  The mystery as to why the girl killed herself in the park remains unknown.  She had been depressed for a number of days, telliing people she was considering suicide. It is possible she killed herself in a public place hoping someone would discover her and call police before she died.

Case Number Four – The Woman, the Opthamologist and the Insulin Overdose
A middle-aged woman was found dead in her bathroom in her luxurious home in an affluent part of a city. She was a heavy drinker and a diabetic, who took daily insulinDSC01899 doses. Her husband, a successful opthamologist, who made a very high salary, discovered her in the early hours of the evening on a week day after returning home from a business trip. Suspicion against her husband was initially ruled out after it was proven he was out of town most of that day, however he had not attended a business trip, but instead had gone to visit his mistress in another city. It was revealed he was planning to leave his wife and marry his mistress. Examination of the dead woman’s right heart revealed a very high overdose of insulin, most likely resulting in her death. In support of this, the woman’s pupils were dilated. Possibilities included:

(i) accident – the woman, while drinking, accidentally gave herself a massive overdose of insulin and died on the bathroom floor.
(ii)  suicide – the woman knew about her husband’s mistress and killed herself in distress.
(iii)  murder – the husband didn’t want to divorce his wife due to the expense in legal fees and alimony, and instead, he gave his wife the lethal injection. It’s first use as a murder weapon was recorded in 1957, and there has been 50 cases globally of insulin being used either to kill, or to try to kill – mainly by medical staff who find the drug easier to obtain.

Summary:  (i)  accident – was ruled out.  The woman was not known to inject herself with insulin while she was heavily intoxicated.
(ii)  murder –  initially this was the police suspicion and the ophthalmologist was namarticle-1317201742397-0E1FF64900000578-489070_466x308ed as her potential murderer, especially since he was a doctor and had easier access to insulin than most people.  However, autopsy revealed that in spite of the massive amount of insulin in her system, this alone didn’t kill the womanMurder by insulin is very rare since it is very difficult to do. It is not a very good weapon and it is easy to kill babies and old people with insulin, but not adults.
(iii) suicide – was the official conclusion.  The woman died of a combination of alcohol poisoning and massive insulin injection.  Since she normally didn’t inject herself during a drinking binge, it was determined the woman drank until she became heavily intoxicated, then injected herself with the prepared syringe of insulin.  Autopsy revealed significant brain damage due to alcohol poisoning that had accumulated over several years. The woman possibly knew of her husband’s affair and intention to divorce her, and killed herself.

Child Abuse – Battered, Broken and Bruised

Case Number Five – The Boy in the Box – America’s Unknown Child
This case hearkens back to the Fox Chase area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1957The little boy, whose identity remains unknown, was discovered

  • nude, freshly bathed,
  • boyboxcovered with severe bruises, some fresh, others faded,
  • inside a J C Penney bassinet box,
  • wrapped in a plaid, coarse blanket,
  • hair was crudely cut with pieces of it clinging to his body
  • suggesting it was cut post-mortem, possibly to disguise his identity

His body was left at a dump site on Susquehannah Road, a small, dirt, side road where the Good Shepherd Home for Wayward Girls was located. There were no other residences in the area.  The boy’s body was found to have been left outside for at least 2 days prior to it being reported by a young man who was looking for his muskrat traps. The boy was battered to death. He was not drowned or this would have been discovered during autopsy.

The prime suspect was:

(i) The Nicolettis – Arthur Nicoletti and his teenaged stepdaughter, Anna Marie Nagle, whom police suspected had a baby out of wedlock, lived in the Good Shepherboy-in-the-box-add Home that was run by Nicoletti. Police theorized that Nagle had been hiding her son inside the home for 4 – 6 years, while abusing and starving him. Nicoletti later wed the girl. Eventually DNA collected from the boy’s exhumed body exonerated the Niciolettis.

A secondary suspect was:

(ii) Mary – a woman who claimed to be the boy’s foster sister, identifying him as Jonathan. She claimed her mother threw him on the floor for vomiting in the bathtub, killing him.  There has been no evidence uncovered to support her theory, and it has been suggested that Mary suffered from a mental illness.

A tertiary suspect was:

(ii)  The Duddead girlley’s –  Kenneth and Adelle Dudley starved, neglected and exposed their 7-year-old daughter to the elements to such a degree that she died. The couple admitted to murdering six of their own children in that manner. Eventually the gruesome pair were eliminated from the suspect list.

The question about this murder is not howdunnit but whodunnit and who is the boy?  Decades after his death, different investigators, including the Vidoq Society, are still researching the case, without success.


Case Number Six – The Drowned Woman
A  teehuntleynaged African-American girl drowned after her boyfriend pushed her off the Morgan Park Bridge in Arcadiathe bridge in Florida over Peace Bridge.   28-year-old Mark Allan Huntley deliberately pushed her into the river even though he knew she couldn’t swim. The two men jumped into the river when the girl didn’t resurface but they were unable to find her. When police were notified, they gathered up her possessions and left the area. Huntley claimed he was playing around with his girlfriend and didn’t intend for her to drown. Possibilities:

 (i)  accident – the men were playing a game and didn’t mean to kill her
(ii) involuntary manslaughter –  Unintentional murder, without malice aforethought and no intention to kill the victim .
(iii) murder – unlawful killling with malice aforethought.

Summary:  (i)  accident – was ruled out. The men knew the girl couldn’t swim but pushed her anyway.
(ii) involuntary manslaughter – was ruled out for Huntley and was the charge against Skevington, because he helped Huntley flee the scene after the girl drowned.This may have been because Skevington, who had a criminal record, made a plea bargain with the prosecution for a reduced sentence.
(ii)  murder –  Huntley was charged with murder involving malice aforethought.

  • He knew his girlfriend couldn’t swim
  • He knew the odds of saving her were slim
  • He encouraged his friend to assist him
  • He left the scene without notifying police or emergency personnel.
Case Number Seven  – Family’s Fatal Feast 
 In 1988, members of the Carr family lived in Alturas, Polk County, Florida. They were pleasant family who had no known enemies. Since the family lived in a safe area, they seldom locked their doors.  Their neighbour was George J. Trepal, a chemist and a member of Mensa, an organization for the highly intelligent. Mensa members enjotrepal_georgeyed staging murder mysteries with one another, including Trepal. Trepal claimed to work with his wife every day at her organization. Trepal was a troublesome elderly man who constantly quarreled with the Carrs. Trepal was frustrated by the Carrs’ loud music, barking dogs and noisy off-road bikes. Once Peggy and Trepals’s wife, Diane Carr (no relation) got into a shouting match about the loud music. Soon after this encounter, Peggy Carr,her son and her stepson became severely ill.  The two boys recovered, but Mrs. Carr lapsed into a coma, dying painfully.  State and Federal health officials began investigations, while fears of product tampering, and contaminated wells, spread rapidly in the area. It was soon discovered that Mrs. Carr died from thallium poisoning, a rare metal once found in rat poison. It was detected inside the soda pop bottles inside their kitchen. “I’ve never experienced the pain I had in that two-month period,” he says. Her son stated, “it was like having a humongous pair of pliers with 1,000 needles clamping on my feet.” Not long afterward, Trepal and his wife participated in a murder-mystery game with Mensa: Trepal wrote it and bragged that it was a perfect murder. Possibilities:
(i)  accident – was it possible that the soda bottles came into contact in an indirect manner? Poisons and viruses that are lethal to human beings have been found in soil, composts, and water.
(ii) suicide:  was this an attempt at a murder-suicide, or an attempt at murder that nearly became a murder-accident?
(iii) murder – was the cranky neighbour pathological and therefore angry at the Carrs over minor issues such as loud music and barking dogs?
Summary:  (i) accident – was ruled out.  The Carrs were the only family in the area who were poisoned with thallium, so the likelihood of thallium being in the soil or water was nil.
(ii) murder-suicide/accident – was ruled out. Peggy’s new husband, Parearlyn Carr, was first on the suspect list. The couple had been squabbling and Peggy thought he was having an affair, but the thallium was found in his blood and suspicions faded.
(iii) murder – was the official ruling – Trepal’s perfect murder contained a fatal flaw: a note that was sent to the Carr family warned them to leave Florida or they “would all die,” linking Trepal to the letter due to comments he made during a police interview.  Although Trepal claimed to work with his wife every day, he usually stayed home or went to his own office. Trepal and his wife had moved to a different community when the Carrs received the threatening letter. Officers went to Trepal’s empty house and examined his cellar where they discovered a bottle containing thalllium. Trepal was sentenced to death on March 6, 1991.
Case Number Eight – The Cozy Carbon Couple
Two young betrothed lovers had planned their wedding for a Christmas wedding.  Finally it arrived, and it was especially significant since the bride had discovered she had colon cancer months earlier and the odds of survival were reasonabldead loverse, but not encouraging. Although the groom-to-be was a decent man, the bride’s mother wasn’t especially happy with him for a son-in-law; the bride’s family was quite well-to-do and the mother suspected her daughter’s fiancee was marrying her as much for financial security as he loved her. Two days before their wedding day, the groom-to-be stopped by the bride-to-be’s house for a visit. The bride’s mother decided to leave them alone and she stepped out of the room where the two lovers sat entwined in each other’s arms.  A wood-burning stove was in the room and added to the ambience. About an hour later, the mother returned only to find the couple quite dead.  The couple were a bright orange in colour. There were two wine glasses on the table that were only half empty. Possibilities:
(i) accident – something happened in the room that ended the couple’s lives
(ii) suicide – the groom and the bride put poison into the wine and died together a la Romeo and Julie, knowing that some day the bride’s tumours would kill her
(iii) murder – the bride’s mother, didn’t approve of her daughter’s choice for a husband and she poisoned the wine the couple was drinking.Summary: (i) suicide–  the couple hadn’t poisoned themselves or else a winter wedding wouldn’t have been planned.
(i) murder was ruled out. There was no poison found in the couple’s wine.
(ii) accident – was the official ruling.  The couple were a distinct orange colour by the time the bride’s mother found them. Orange skin is a side effect of carbon monoxide poisoning. The wood burning stove produced the carbon monoxide poisoning as the room lacked adequate ventilation, which was unknown to the bride’s mother. Most carbon monoxide poisonings from wood burning stoves occur between November and February, the coldest months of the year in a northern state, due to faulty fossil fuel and wood burning appliances.
Two Heads are Better than None

Case Number Nine –  The Headless Driver
A man in his early 30’s was found dead in his convertible car, which had smashed into a tree. This however was not the cause of death.  The man had been decapitated and his head was found several metres from the scene.  Where his head had once been was torn and lacerated tissue.  Police found a large, long chain behind the convertible on the road, that seemed to have been attached to the man’s neck in order to decapitate him.  The other end of the chain was tied tightly around a steel post. It was determined during autopsy that the man had been very intoxicated.

(i) accident – obviously not.
(ii) suicide – a bizarre way to kill himself, if that was the case.
(iii) murder – someone convinced the man to drink to the point of intoxication, then after he climbed behind the wheel of his car, attached the chain around his neck, and allowed the man to speed off.

Summary:  (i)  mheadurder – a definitely complicated means of killing a person.  Not many killers would devise a scheme to decapitate a person in such a manner. Usually, a decapitation takes place after a murder in order to disguise the identity of the victim.
(ii) suicide – was the official ruling.  The man wanted to ensure his own death, drank up his courage, then fixed the chain into place around his own neck and sped forward in his car.  The chain happened to be the right length to hit the tree the car crashed into.

Case Number TenThe Suicide Jumper Who was Murdered by Shotgun

This is also a trRonald_Opusue case, although hard to believe.  An elderly couple lived in the same apartment complex as their middle-aged son, Ronald Opus, on the ninth floor. The son’s was on a higher floor than that of his parents. The couple fought frequently and on occasion, the elderly man took his unloaded hunting rifle out of a closet, aimed it at his wife and pulled the trigger.  After a spat with her son, the elderly woman cut off Ronald’s financial support. As a result, Ronald loaded his father’s rifle, hoping his father would kill his mother during an argument. Due to his increasing depression, Ronald decided to commit suicide by jumping from his balcony. On the same evening, the elderly couple had another fight, the man pointed his gun at his wife and pulled the trigger. The bullet missed his wife, went through a window, and through miraculous timing, shot his son in the chest as he fell from his balcony and passed in front of the ninth floor window.  The DA determined that due to the fact that the son was killed before he hit the ground his death was by:

(i)  acRonaldcident this was debated for some time, since the man had no intention of killing his son and was unaware that the gun was loaded.
(ii) suicide – the son was going to kill himself anyway, regardless of being shot.
(iii) murder – the elderly man was guilty of murder since technically he shot his son before he hit the ground.

Summary:  (i) accident – was ruled out.  It was a bullet that killed the son, not his fall.
(ii) suicide – was ruled out.  Although the son’s death was inevitable, he was dead before he hit the ground.
(iii) murder – was the official ruling.  Well, manslaughter, to be precise since the man aimed a loaded rifle at his wife.  What The elderly couple swore they didn’t know the firearm was loaded. Nonetheless, the father was charged in his son’s murder. Betcha didn’t see that one coming….

River Running (shoe) Red

Case Number Eleven – The Severed Feet
Two severed feet
, one of which was lodged in a shoe, washed up on a beach in British Columbia. The left foot was found four months after the right. Police were able to identify the man who formerly owned them. The three possibilities included:

(i)  accident – the dead man was on a boat of some sort, when he was knocked overboard by a rogue wave, possibly severing his feet on an ouboard motor.
(ii) suicide – the man jumped to his death (another drowning) and over time his feet detached from his body
(iii) murder – a psychotic killer murdered the man with or without a motive, hacked him into pieces and threw him into the river.
Summary:  (i) accident – was ruled out. The likelihood of the man severing his extrefootmities on an outboard motor, or any sort of boat mechanics, was too slim to be believable.
(ii) murder – was ruled out.  The man had no known enemies and certainly no reason for anyone to hack him into pieces to make identification difficult.
(iii) suicide – was the official ruling.  The man was clinically depressed and had been talking about suicide for weeks before his death by drowning. His feet weren’t severed: feet often rot off of the relatively weak ankles in the water and detach from a corpse.
Homicide where a perpetrator is found dead adjacent to the victim usually represents murder-suicide. A 39-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in a burnt out house with her 39-year-old de facto partner deceased from the combined ehousefireffects of incineration and inhalation of products of combustion. Options included:
(i) accident – the perpetrator meant to escape the fire but was overcome by smoke inhalation.
(ii) suicide: the typical murder-suicide scene for tragic, undiscovered reasons.
(iii) murder- the perpetrator killed the victim then changed his mind about suicide and died due to smoke inhalation.
Summary: (i) suicide – was ruled out. The perpetrator would have chosen a violent means of ending his own life after killing the victim, to ensure his suicide was successful.
(ii) murder – only half the conclusion, since the perpetrator also died.
(iii) murder-accident –  rather than murder-suicide, the perpetrator committed a murder-accident.  He had no intention of killing himself, but when and sought escape through a window but was blocked by smoke. He sought refuge in a bathroom under a running shower. Murder-accident rather than murder-suicide is a more accurate designation.
Case Number Thirteen- Bothersome Bottlecap
Tennessee Williams, the famous American playwright and author of short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays, was found dead in a hotel room in New york City, onwilliams_main February 25, 1983 at the age of 71. A bottle of eyedrops was found on the floor near his chair. The medical examiner determined Williams had choked to death on a bottlecap that was lodged in his throat. Possible conclusions were:
(i) accident – Williams deliberately placed the bottlecap into his mouth and somehow swallowed it.
(ii) suicide–  Williams chose an unorthodox means of doing away with himself.
(iii) murder – someone killed Williams by violently shoving the bottlecap down his throat.
Summary:  (i)  suicide – a very unlikely means since attempting to choke on a bottlecap would activate the gag reflex and cause the victim to spit it out.
(ii) murder –  pushing a bottlecap into Williams’ throat was a viable means of murder: it could look like a suicide without resorting to violence. However there were no signs of a struggle and no bruising around Williams’ mouth.
(iii) accident – was the official ruling.  Williams was in the habit of holding the bottlecap between his teeth while he applied eyedrops with his head held far backward.
22-year-old prisoner Franco Brun, was found dead in his prison cell in Toronto East Detention Centre. The cause of death was asphyxiation due to a pocket-sized Gideon Bible that had been shoved down his throat. The medical examiner initially Choke_Book_Cover_by_flealescame to the conclusion of:
(i) accident – how the heck could that happen?
(ii) suicide – Brun deliberately shoved the bible into his own throat in order to kill himself
(iii) murder – another prisoner shoved the bible down Brun’s throat, killing him. The ME stated “the average person does not have such a will to persistently shove something of such a size, such a solidity, down his throat.” Summary: (i) murder prison guards continually passed by Brun’s cell and determined no other prisoner had access to him
(ii) suicide – was the official ruling. Brun was determined not to go to trial for crime and the only weapon he had available to him, ironically, was the Gideon Bible.
 Case Number Fifteen  –  Broken Hearts and Broken Necks
Of all the cases listed in this blog, this one is the most hilarious….and yes, like the others, true.  A husband and wife living in England owned a bed that collapsed against a wall when they weren’t using it. One afternoon the couple got into an argument and the woman screamed she was leaving her husband for good.  HouBordeaux_Wall_Bed_Midwayrs later, police found the man’s body trapped inside the collapsible bed, squashed up against the wall. Three possibilities included:
(i)accident – while attempting to get up out of bed, the man accidentally kicked the bed lever with his foot, activating it and slamming it shut with him in it (giggle).
(ii) – suicide – despondent after his wife threatened to leave him, the man deliberately activated the lever and collapsed the bed.
(iii) murder – the wife activated the bed’s lever before she left the apartment.Summary:  (i) murder – entirely possible as the woman did indeed deliberately active the lever, yet incorrect.
(ii) suicide – helluva weird way to go (giggle).
(iii) accident – was the official ruling. Before she left the apartment, the irate wife kicked the bed’s lever and slammed her husband up against the wall. She intended to give him a hard bump and a bit of humiliation. As she left, she assumed he would be able to release the lever and let himself out. This proved incorrect since the man’s neck was broken. (And they say dying in bed is supposed to be peaceful.) You may ponder the accident theory thinking to yourself, “hmmm, the woman might have simply made her husband’s death appear to be an accident,” except when she returned home, the wife was horrified to discover her husband’s body still crammed up against the wall, and called the police herself, in utter hysterics.  Personally I would have been in hysterics laughing. I found this one on a Weird News site, but now I can’t find the link. If you find it, send it on to me so I can link it to this blog. I swear I don’t make up this stuff.
Mysterious Circumstances
May 25, 1968, in Newcastle, Scotswood, England, a small 4-year-old boy named Martin Brown was found seemingly asleep in an abandoned building. Scotswood was a slum with quarreling neighbours, domestic disputes and drunken fights in the streets. However, it was also considered to be a safe place to live and people commonly left doors unlocked when they were away or asleep. Martin was discover_86923_martin_browned by construction workers lying face down on the top floor of the building, a half-empty bottle of pills beside his small body. It was impossible to determine the cause of death and it was written off as unknown circumstances. You can decide whether it was :
(i) accident – Martin may have fallen downstairs in the unstable house and died.
(ii) suicide – riiiight.
(iii) murder – Martin was somehow murdered, without leaving a trace, and left in the building.
Summary: (i) accident -was ruled out. Although Martin was frightened of stairs since he had fallen down a staircase when younger, no trauma was found to the body, eliminating the possibility of a fall.
(ii) murder – The medical examiner determined through a toxicology report that little Martin hadn’t eaten any of the pills. It was discovered later that they were left behind by the previous tenants.It was concluded at the time that Martin Brown died due to the unsafe conditions inside the abandoned building.  Finally, several months after Martin’s death, Mary Bell, the infamous 11-year-old child murdereress was arrested for Martin’s murder. She had strangled the little boy to death. Because of her young age, she was unable to use significant force during the strangulation; ergo, no bruises on his neck, no striations (broken blood vessels) in his eyes, leaving the cause of death undetermined.
Case Number Seventeen – Diseased, Disappearing Dame
This is the one fiction in this blog and it’s a good one! A woman and her elderly mother were travelling through France. They had made reservations at an elegant hotel, were checked in, and entered their room at approximately 5 p.m.  By 9 p.m. the mother began feeling sick and by 10 p.m. she exhibited severe symptoms: vomiting, dark bruises on her neck, boils, great joint pain.  She was so ill that her daughter went dowmyrtilesghostphoto1nstairs to the concierge and asked for medical assistance.  However at 10 p.m., no doctor’s office was open and the nearest hospital was miles away.  Finally, the hotel manager found a doctor who had a medicine the doctor felt would assist the elderly woman. The daughter was informed she had to go to his home across the city to get it, and she called a taxi, and headed off for the doctor’s home.  Once there, he offered her a small bottle of medicine, telling her that it was so potent her mother was only to take three teaspoonfuls a day and no more than one before midnight.  The woman hurried back to the hotel with the medicine and proceeded to her room.  When she got there, she found the room was completely different in appearance and furnishings than it had been previously.  Even the carpet and wallpaper were different but strangest of all, her mother had vanished . Frantic, the woman demanded to know what had happened to her mother. The hotel staff was confused and told her she had never been in the hotel with her mother, and that she alone had made a reservation for herself. Bewildered, the woman approached the hotel manager to ask him what the business of removing her mother from the room was about. The hotel manager informed her she had entered the hotel alone. Furious, the woman called the police who arrived just before midnight. The woman explained her dilemma and the police officers questioned several hotel staff, all of whom swore the woman had entered the hotel alone. To prove that the staff was lying, the woman showed the bottle of medicine to the police, but it was filled with water. The woman insisted the police bring her to the doctor’s residence which they did. However, the house was closed up and empty, and it appeared that no one had resided there for some time. The possibilities were:
(i) accident – the woman had succumbed to her illness 
(ii) suicide – obviously not
(iii) murder – the woman had murdered her mother for unknown reasons, and in a state of psychosis couldn’t remember disposing of her mother’s body.
Summary:  (i)  murder was ruled out.  The woman was sane and had no reason to kill her mother.
(ii) accident – was the official ruling.  The mother had indeed been in the hotel, but she had succumbed to a case of the bubonic plague, which she had contracted while in India. The hotel manager, after referring to the City, disposed of the body in case widespread alarm spread among tourists and locals. The entire room was redesigned by hotel staff while the woman was on the other side of the city, visiting the doctor. There was no evil intent, but the City and the hotel manager wouldn’t chance information about the mother’s disease reaching the public.
Case Number EighteenMovie Star Melodrama
Marilyn Monroe’s death has long been debated to be either a :
(i) staged suicide – the implication being Marilyn’s death was staged to look as though she had kille4-85d herself via drug overdose when she was murdered by persons unknown. A suicide note was left at the scene but “mysteriously” disappeared after her body was removed from her Brentwood home.
(ii) suicide – Marilyn deliberately killed herself via overdose for many reasons, a strong reason being the bipolar disorder (known then as manic-depression) that had plagued her most of her adult life. Marilyn often voice her fear that she would suffer the kind of breakdown as her mother Gladys, a schizophrenic, and also be committed into a mental hospital.
(iii) murder – either the Kennedy’s or the CIA were responsible for Marilyn’s murder. It has been debated that a dead Marilyn was more dangerous to the Kennedys than a live Marilyn. Jack and Robert were next door at Peter Lawford’s house attending a dinner party. And the widespread knowledge that Marilyn and the president had had an affair made it very dangerous for a Kennedy connection and her murder. In 1997, documents purporting to prove a coverup of a relationship between JFK and Monroe were discovered to be fraudulent.
(iv) accident Marilyn deliberately swallowed 40 Nembutal (the drug that killed her), then contacted Peter Lawford, a Kennedy cousinstating,say goodbye to the President and say goodbye to you too, because you’re a nice guy“, the implication being she was committing suicide and wanted Lawford to hurry to her rescue.
In 1961, Marilyn and her third husband, Arthur Miller, divorced, and after she found a portrait of herself in his empty study, she commented “he really just wants to forget, doesn’t he?” And Marilyn’s career was very unsatisfactory at that time. She had expressed an interest in playing “serious, dramatic roles“, but the public refused to accept her as anything but a dumb blonde in comedic films. Later, Fox fired her from the film Something’s Got to Give(irony) due to her many absences. The absJFK_and_Marilyn_Monroe_1962ences were attributed to her depression, drinking and drug use. Eventually, when Dean Martin refused to work with anyone but Marilyn, Fox re-hired her. However her distress deepened after Jack Kennedy ended all contact with Marilyn, mere weeks after she sang Happy Birthday to him during a televised celebration. It was rumoured she began an affair with his brother, Robert Kennedy. Like his brother, Robert also ended his affair with Marilyn quite abruptly.
During what has become known as The Last Interview, Marilyn displayed her ongoing fear of being demeaned in her interviews. She begged the journalist to end the article, “We are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.”  Marilyn had attempted suicide on at least four occasions over the previous 12 years. Each time she ensured someone would find her and the suicide attempt would fail. This time Marilyn contacted the wrong person (Lawford) who simply hung up the phone and returned to his dinner party. The phone call is probably a significant argument for Marilyn having committed suicide, rather than being part of a government conspiracy. But two July 1962 documents, labelled 105 file, detailed the FBI/CIA’s observation of Monroe 10 days before her death. There is no evidence in the documents to sustain the murder myth. Yet today the debate still continues as to whether the most famous mystery of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe’s death, was a suicide or a murder.
Case Number Nineteen – Beholden Unto Death
William Holden was a handsome actor known for Oscar-winning performances in movies suchhol as “Bridge Over the River Kwai” and “The Wild Bunch.” Holden was known to be a drinker. One evening he was found dead in  his home, lying near a bedside table, one side of his skull cracked, and a rumpled carpet nearby.  Holden had bled profusely and in fact, died of exanguination (blood loss). He may have lived for up to half an hour after his death.  Possibilities included:
(i) accident – the rumpled rug might have indicated Holden had tripped and fallen.
(ii) suicide – unlikely since there was no weapon nearby and no note.
(iii) murder – was the immediate suspicion due to the extent of Holden’s injuries, the rumpled rug and the blood on the night table.
Summary:  (i) suicide – unlikely and untrue.
(ii) murder – a good supposition but incorrect.
(iii) accident – Holden was intoxicated at the time of his death.  He tripped on the rug in his room, fell, hit his head on the night table, and bled to death.  He may have lived for up to 30 minutes after his death, meaning Holden could have called for an ambulance but underestimated the extent of his injuries.
 Case Number TwentyTelevision Trauma
Laughing Lunatic
This one is truly in a class of its own. 55-year-old Alex Mitchell of Norfolk, Scotland, was found dead in his living room with a comedic sitcom, The Goodies, palex-mitchell-lisa-corke-image-2-266401002laying on the television.  There seemed to be no signs of foul play initially, but there is no such thing as a case as easy as that.  Possibilities included:
(i) accident – something strange happened to Alex in the household and no one wanted to come forward about it.
(ii) suicide – unlikely. Alex was employed, had a loving family and was not known to be depressed.
(iii) murder – had anyone in the household killed Alex they had been very clever at staging a mysterious death scene. There was no murder weapon and no signs of trauma anywhere on the body.
Summary:  (i) suicide – was ruled out.  No suicide note was left and Alex had no reason to kill himself.
(ii) murder – was ruled out. THe medical examiner found no trauma to the brain, organs nor in the bloodstream. However she did find evidence of cardiac arrest.
(iii) accident/natural death – was the official ruling.  Alex had a very rare genetic condition known as Long QT Syndrome, wherein a person who laughs very hard for a significant amount of time suffers cardiac arrest based on\] and dies if not rescussitated on time. In effect, Alex Mitchell laughed himself to death. Well, if you gotta go, that’s not a bad way to do it. Personally, if I had been the woman in Case Number FifteenBroken Hearts and Broken Necks – there would have been two deaths that day … the collapsible bed and me, collapsed on the floor, laughing myself to death like Alex Mitchell.
 homosexuality. His life-long struggle with alcoholism is often traced to his religious and sexual conflict. In  
Me Hungry
Case Number    –  Butchered and Bitten
On 9 March 2001, Bernd Jürgen Brandes met with a horrific end inside the Slaughter Room ofbernd-brandes one Armin Meiwes, in the small town of Rotenburg. Meiwes stabbed Brandes to death, hung him up with meat hooks, and tore chunks off his body and consumed them.  Hang in there (pun). Prior to that stomach churning display of cannibalism, Meiwes severed Brandes’ penis and attempted to eat it. Meiwes fried it in a pan with spices and burned it so badly he fed it to his dogs. At this point, Brandes was still alive.  He didn’t meet with his pathetic demise until after the severing of his genitals and his entry into the Slaughter Room. Meiwes ate the body over the next 10 months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and consuming 44 lbs of the flesh. According to prosecutors, Meiwes committed the act for sexual enjoyment.  Perhaps he should have stuck to Navarro’s dildo habit.Possibilities included:
(i)  accident – seriously??
(ii) suicide – Brandes deliberately met with Meiwes and participated in his own murder.
(iii) murder – Meiwes somehow lured the unfortunate Brandes into his home, a la Jeffrey Dahmer.
Summary:  (i) murder – yes and no.  Keep reading.
(ii) suicide – say what?  Brandes found an ad on the internet on a site known as The Cannibal Cafe. Meiwes’s post stated that he was “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. He emphasized that this was reality and not fantasy. Believe it or not, several young men answered the ad then changed their minds. They commented at Meiwes’ trial that at no point did he try to force them into anything. Aw, what a swell guy. Brandes answered Meiwes’ ad and voluntarily attended his home to be slaughtered and eaten. He assisted Meiwes with the severing of his genitals and also attempted to eat his own penis (you can’t buy memories like that).Finally, as agreed, Meiwes stabbed Brandes in the throat and cannibalized him.  Hannibal Lecter’s got nothin’ on him.  Armin went into the other room to read Star Trek Adventures while waiting for his victim to die. Ten hours later, Brandes accommodated him via several more stabbings in the throat. On 30 January 2004, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison The prosecutors appealed the case stating that Meiwes should have been tried for murder. The conclusion of the retrial was a sentence of life imprisonment. I don’t know which way to go on this one.  True Meiwes was both a murderer and a cannibal, but Brandes was his own freakshow and was quite happy to offer himself as a sacrifical lamb. There really is someone out there for everyone.
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