Posts Tagged ‘dead’
Union Pacific Railroad Dick looking for bits and pieces
An Amtrak train struck a Jeep in Poplar Bluff, Mo., killing two teens and injuring one who were playing a game involving a ghost story…
Just after midnight Monday, five teens parked on train tracks that cut across County Road 554 and shut off the car in search of ghosts.
“They were playing a stupid game called ‘Ghost Train,’ and the object is to get scared, kind of like telling stories on Halloween,” Butler County Coroner Jim Akers said. “The game was to park on the tracks, let the windows fog up inside and let your mind play tricks on you.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported when a passenger train came around the bend, the driver couldn’t start the car again. Three teens fled to safety, but two, in a panic, were unable to unbuckle themselves. One girl ran back to help them, just as the train smashed into the car.
Victoria Swanson, 15, and Haley Whitmer, 17, died at the scene. Kaitlyn Fowler, 15, was seriously injured and hospitalized.
The game, outlined in a 2007 post on strangeusa.com, is rooted in the story of a train wreck which occurred in the 1900s, killing nearly everyone on board. Once one parks on the tracks and shuts their car off, the windows will fog up and supposedly train whistles can be heard.
Well, I imagine they heard the real train whistle. Too late.
What’s on TV nowadays?
The remains of a Spanish man have been found lying in the corridor of his terraced house in the north-western village of Canizal some 20 years after he died.
Police looking for clues to the date of Vicente Benito’s death point to the fact that the only coins and banknotes they could find in the house were denominated in pesetas, suggesting he had died well before the euro was introduced in 2002.
In fact nobody had seen Benito for almost two decades, though none of his neighbours in the village of 520 people thought there was anything peculiar about him failing to answer his doorbell for so long.
They long ago gave up ringing on it, assuming he had moved to neighbouring Portugal. There were rumours he had found a girlfriend, or was working as a shepherd in some other part of the world…
“We think he was last seen at least 15 years ago, but no one is sure,” the mayor, Miguel Angel Herrero, explained.
Earlier this week, however, a nephew who lived in the village decided to break into his uncle’s house.
“They say he wanted to see what had happened to his uncle,” a neighbour told the local La Opinión de Zamora newspaper.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep for at least a week,” the young man reportedly said…
“He had stopped talking to his siblings and went to work as a shepherd. He was always off somewhere, so it didn’t occur to people that he might still be in the village,” said Herrero.
His ex-wife, who had gone to live with someone else, formally reported him missing in 1992. She had since remarried and moved to the nearby village of Olmo de la Guareña.
I love stories like this. No one ever seems to notice when a modern hermit goes missing – even in the middle of a village.
Makes me feel like I’m part of a guild.
Just before he stepped off the edge
A Brazilian actor died after accidentally hanging himself during the play “The Passion of the Christ…”
Tiago Klimeck, 27, was one of the actors from a local theater company taking part in an independent production of the play April 6 in the city of Itarare. Klimeck died Sunday after spending more than two weeks in a medically induced coma due to extensive brain injuries from a prolonged lack of oxygen after accidentally hanging himself, according to the Hospital Santa Casa de Misericordia, in the neighboring city of Itapeva.
…Klimeck, in the role of Judas Iscariot, hangs himself as described in the Bible in the book of Matthew. Klimeck wore a harness under his robe during the play, according to CNN affiliate TV Record.
Police investigator Jose Victor Bassetti told the news station this was the third year the local fire department let the theater company borrow the harness for the play and that Klimeck was not supervised because he knew how to use the equipment. The harness, along with the rope used in the play, are now being analyzed at the Criminal Institute of Sorocaba.
Uh, obviously, he wasn’t as competent at using the safety harness as he thought, eh?
Amid the grief of finding her mother’s body at a makeshift morgue in this tsunami-ravaged city last March, Fumie Arai took comfort in a small but surprising discovery. Unlike the rest of the muddied body, her mother’s face had been carefully wiped clean.
Mrs. Arai did not know at the time, but the act was the work of a retired undertaker well-versed in the ancient Buddhist rituals of preparing the dead for cremation and burial. The undertaker, Atsushi Chiba, a father of five who cared for almost 1,000 bodies in Kamaishi, has now become an unlikely hero in a community trying to heal its wounds a year after the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged much of Japan’s northeastern coast a year ago Sunday.
“I dreaded finding my mother’s body, lying alone on the cold ground among strangers,” Mrs. Arai, 36, said. “When I saw her peaceful, clean face, I knew someone had taken care of her until I arrived. That saved me…”
Mr. Chiba’s story has been immortalized in a best-selling book in Japan, which has sold over 40,000 copies and is in its eleventh printing.
“The dead bodies are the most disturbing aspect of any disaster, and some people might not want to remember,” said the book’s author, Kota Ishii, who spent three months in Kamaishi and its environs in the wake of the disaster, chronicling Mr. Chiba’s work. “But this story is ultimately about how small acts of kindness can bring a little humanity, even in a tragedy that defies all imagination…”
As the black water receded, rescuers entered the city’s devastated streets and started pulling the dead from the rubble, carrying them on trucks to a vacant middle school that had escaped damage. The rundown gymnasium quickly became a large morgue.
Mr. Chiba, in his early 70s, whose home was also spared, raced to the gym on the day after the tsunami to look for friends and family, but was struck by the state of the mounting number of bodies there. Most were still clad in muddy clothes and wrapped in plastic, their rigid limbs jutting out and faces bruised by debris and contorted in agony.
“I thought that if the bodies were left this way, the families who came to claim them wouldn’t be able to bear it,” Mr. Chiba said Thursday in an interview. “Yes, they are dead. But in Japan, we treat the dead with respect, as if they are still alive. It’s a way to comfort the living.”
Mr. Chiba set to work. He became a fixture at the morgue, speaking to the bodies as he prepared them for viewing and then cremation. “You must be so cold and lonely, but your family is going to come for you soon so you’d better think of what you’re going to say to them when they arrive,” he recalled saying.
He also taught city workers at the morgue how to soothe limbs tense with rigor mortis, getting down on his knees and gently massaging them so the bodies looked less contorted. When the relatives of a middle-aged victim sobbed that her corpse looked gaunt, Mr. Chiba asked for some makeup and applied rouge and blush.
Mr. Chiba’s attempts to honor the dead quickly caught on. City workers put together old school desks to make a Buddhist altar. They lay the bodies of couples and of family members together. Each time a body was carried out, workers lined up with heads bowed to pay their last respects.
And at Mr. Chiba’s urging, Kamaishi became one of the only hard-hit communities to cremate all of its dead as called for by Japanese custom, enlisting the help of crematoriums as far as Akita, over 100 miles away…
As the city prepared this weekend for memorials to mark the disaster’s first anniversary, a Buddhist priest paid tribute to Mr. Chiba’s contribution to the city’s emotional recovery…
“Whether you are religious or not, mourning for the dead is a fundamental need,” Mr. Shibasaki said. “Mourning starts by taking care of the body. It’s the last you see of your loved one, and you want to remember them as beautiful as they were in life.”
Click through to the original article and interactive photos. Sadness is still there; but, so is hope.
Japan’s reconstruction following the devastating earthquake and tsunami nearly one year ago exactly is being delayed by an unlikely factor – ghosts.
Numerous reports of ghost sightings have reportedly been made by residents in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, home to nearly a fifth of all tsunami fatalities.
Reconstruction and repair have been put on hold in some instances due to workers’ fears that the spirits of the dead who passed away a year ago will bring them bad luck if they continue…
A taxi driver, who did not want to be named, added that he was unwilling to stop in certain parts of the city that were badly damaged in the tsunami for fear of picking up a customer who is a spirit of the dead.
Meanwhile, another local woman described hearing stories of people seeing queues of people rushing towards the hills, a replay of their final moment as they attempted to escape the tsunami…
As the first anniversary of the disaster approaches, Ishinomaki appears, on the surface at least, to be returning to a new level of normality, with the tsunami debris cleared away in most areas and a growing number of businesses reopening…
However, experts described the city’s apparent widespread belief in ghosts as a “natural” side effect of a large-scale tragedy which wiped out vast swathes of the community and a potentially positive part of the healing process.
“Human beings find it very difficult to accept death, whether they are inclined by nature to superstition or are very scientifically minded,” said Takeo Funabiki, a cultural anthropologist…
“When there are things that many people find difficult to accept, they can find expression in the form of rumours or rituals for the dead, among other things. The point is that it takes the shape of something that you can share with other people in your society.”
I can’t take ghosts – or angels – or some grayhead in the sky very seriously. Of course, I understand the reasons for denial, the pain and anguish over the loss of dear ones. I’ve been through it enough times myself.
I just settle down with simple psychological parameters. If you’re well balanced and sound within your self-understanding of reality, it takes six weeks max to reaccustom yourself to extreme loss. The other thing I always do is to skip having a touch of a single malt whiskey to “sooth” the pain. Crutches are as difficult to get rid of as the pain that brings them on.
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya’s interim rulers said.
His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.
“He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an ambulance…
His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader.
The capture of Sirte and the death of Gaddafi means Libya’s ruling NTC should now begin the task of forging a new democratic system which it had said it would get under way after the city, built as a showpiece for Gaddafi’s rule, had fallen.
A couple prayed and rubbed olive oil on their sick infant rather than seek medical care for the dying boy, prosecutors argued in the latest criminal case against members of an Oregon church that believes in faith healing.
Dale and Shannon Hickman are accused of manslaughter in the death of their son David, who was born prematurely in 2009 with underdeveloped lungs. The boy developed a bacterial infection and lived for less than nine hours…
The Hickmans are members of the Followers of Christ church, a Clackamas County church that practices faith healing and rejects doctors. The trial is the fourth time in recent years that members have faced criminal accusations that they let their children get seriously ill or die.
When David’s skin turned ashen and he could barely breathe, the Hickmans did not call for help, prosecutor Mike Regan said during opening statements Wednesday. Instead, he said, Dale Hickman anointed the baby with olive oil, a common church ritual for treating the ill.
The Hickmans’ lawyers said witnesses to the boy’s birth will testify that the baby showed no sign of distress until minutes before his death. And even if the Hickmans had called 911, the infant would have died before help arrived, they said. The same defense used by church members in previous trials.
The couple was being tried for their faith, said lawyer Mark Cogan.
“You, ladies and gentlemen, are our protection against tyranny,” Cogan told jurors.
The tyranny of self-delusion, of religious ideology, letting superstition govern your behavior instead of ethics, reason, often leads to confrontation with common law. As the prosecutor, Mike Regan, said – Failure to act is a crime.
We have a responsibility to the society within which we live and function to act in the broadest sense. Letting a child die with no reasonable attempt to save that small life is not excused by ideology.
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
At least 53 people were killed in a fiery attack at a casino in an upscale area of Monterrey, Mexico, government and emergency officials said…
Witnesses have told investigators that up to six people entered the Casino Royale and asked for the manager, according Adrian de la Garza, the state attorney general for Nuevo Leon.
When the manager refused, they set the building on fire, he said. It’s believed a solvent was used to start the blaze, possibly gasoline, de la Garza said…
Between 20 and 30 people were trapped in the casino by debris, said Cmdr. Angel Flores with the Green Cross…
Monterrey is the capital of Nuevo Leon…Nuevo Leon and the neighboring states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas have been the scene of clashes between organized crime groups. The Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas are vying for control of trafficking routes into the United States.
In November 2010, the federal government launched the Coordinated Operation Northeast, which involves sending more security forces to the area to tackle crime.
A tactic which obviously hasn’t had the effect of diminishing violence.
An off-duty Chicago police officer dressed up as a clown for a South Side fundraiser shot and killed a teen who held him at gunpoint tonight after the event, authorities said.
The officer…was in his clown outfit for a fundraiser for a day-care business. The event, attended by a group of 50 children, was near West 87th Street and South Damen Avenue.
At 10:10 p.m. after the event ended, the officer went to his car and a teen approached him, asking him for money, authorities said. When the officer said he had no money, the teen pulled a gun on him, authorities said.
During a struggle with the teen, the officer grabbed hold of the gun, opened fire and killed him.
The officer sustained minor injuries, according to a release from police News Affairs.
Don’t carry a gun unless you’re prepared to use it. Don’t pull a gun on someone unless you’re capable of using it. Don’t get close enough to let someone take your gun away – and use it on you.
In this case – I’d say instant justice was meted out.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan and his body was recovered, President Barack Obama announced Sunday.
“Justice has been done,” Obama said in a dramatic, late-night White House speech announcing the death of the elusive mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the New York and Washington.
Obama said U.S. forces led the operation that killed bin Laden. No Americans were killed in the operation and they took care to avoid civilian casualties, he said.
“The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women and children,” Obama said…
U.S. officials said that after searching in vain for the al Qaeda leader since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist was killed in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad and his body recovered.
Having the body may help convince any doubters that bin Laden is really dead.
He had been the subject of a search since he eluded U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan in 2001.
The trail quickly went cold after he disappeared and many intelligence officials believed he had been hiding in Pakistan.
While in hiding, bin Laden had taunted the West and advocated his militant Islamist views in videotapes spirited from his hideaway.
Besides September 11, Washington has also linked bin Laden to a string of attacks — including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen.
This death alone does not mean victory. But, this death is a significant moment and hopefully may be the beginning of an end to a deadly chapter.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the IT geek’s tweets – Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual – who live-blogged the raid without knowing what he was watching. Getting away from the city for the day, relaxing in the mountains.