Archive for October, 2019

This case is interesting because it was in 1804 and set out a legal precedent in the UK about self-defense; could someone be held liable for their actions even if they were the consequence of a mistaken/misguided belief…

Near the end of summer in 1803 a number of people claimed to have seen and even been attacked by a ghost in the Hammersmith area, London. It was believed that the ghost was a man who committed suicide the year before and was buried in the Hammersmith churchyard. It was believed he should not be buried in consecrated grounds, it was thought that suicide victims would not find rest if that happened.

3rd January, 1804 and a member of the armed patrols set up in response shot and killed a plasterer, Thomas Millwood. The man mistook the white clothes of Millwoods trade for the ghost and 29 year old Francis Smith was found guilty of murder. Mr Smith was tried for willful murder, and a witness stated she had warned the victim he might want to put on something that stopped him being all white, she had said he had already been mistaken for the ghost on a previous occasion.

Millwood’s sister testified that Smith had called on her brother to sop or he would shoot but he then fired almost immediately. The Lord Chief Baron Macdonald advised the jury that Smith’s character before may well have been good and there may have been no malice but the question was more if he had at that point shot with intent to kill.

Smith had not been provoked and had not made any attempt to apprehend the ghost, therefore he felt that the jury should be directed to find him guilty if they believed the facts presented. It took an hour for the jury to come back with a verdict of manslaughter. MacDonald said they could not deliver that response, it must be either guilty or acquittal, the belief that he was a ghost was to him irrelevant to the case. The jury then came back with guilt… MacDonald stated he intended to pass the case to the king, who had the power to commute the sentence.

Initially the trial stated that it was a sentence of hanging and dissection. It was commuted to a year’s hard labour. The publicity meant that the true culprit of the ghostly encounters came forwards, John Graham had been pretending to be the ghost so that he could frighten his apprentice, and his apprentice had been scaring the local children with stories of ghosts.

The impact on the law was that a question arose about whether the action taken under a mistaken self-defense would be chargeable, and it went to the Court of Appeal. It wasn’t clarified until 1984, when appellant, Gladstone Williams, had seen a man dragging a younger man along the street, the younger man was shouting for help. Williams thought that an assault was taking place and intervened, Williams had not known but the person being dragged had been caught trying to commit theft. Williams was then convicted of assault with actual bodily harm, and the Lord Chief Justice Lane referred to the debate when the appeal came up.

It was a problematic issue, Williams was trying to help albeit without understanding the situation he had seen someone in peril and thought he was doing the right thing. It was not unreasonable perhaps, that he stepped in trying to assist, the man was crying out for help. So in the end for Williams an appeal was allowed and his conviction was quashed… the decision was also later written into a more concise reference for law, Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, section 76.

And all this because a man dressed up in a white sheet and tried to scare his apprentice!

Hammersmith Ghost.PNG
Public Domain, Link

 

TRIGGER WARNING

A quick search online will give you plenty of information but to give you a summary and because it is probably flitting to the nature of my blog, I am going to summaries this one.

López was born in Uruguay and the family moved to the USA where the seemingly easy, good-natured López grew up. He was regarded as a fairly nice person who had a dew male friends but never had a girlfriend or seemed to hold friendships with women. López dropped out of high school but didn’t pursue any of his artistic talents due to fears of being rejected by any schools and fearing that he was inadequate.

By 18 years of age he was a social recluse, he seemingly found a better place in fantasy and became enthralled by celebrities. In 1993 he became obsessed by Icelandic singer, Björk, following her career and learning everything he could about her.

At the beginning it seemed quite positive, she was a muse for him and overtime, during his 803 page diary, it showed he was losing connection with reality. His main motivation seemed to be a way to find for her to accept him as a friend nothing really suggested it was sexually motivated either. He spoke of a way to go back to the 1970’s and find her to be her friend…

Overall his diary is really an account of a terribly lonely man, he felt inadequate, ugly and unsuccessful. López’s diary referenced suicide and had fourteen mentions of murder. In it he had mentioned other celebrities but an overwhelming 408 references were made about Björk.

All-in-all up until this point I was seemingly a lonely man, obsessed with a woman he could not meet, but the story does not end there; hence me including it on the blog.

In 1996 he was living alone in Hollywood, Florida, and found an article in Entertainment Weekly about her romantic involvement with Goldie (Clifford Joseph Prince). He avidly disliked the relationship because he was a black man and felt betrayed at her having Goldie as a lover. He decides he needs to harm her because of this relationship and the feeling of betrayal.

14th January 1996 and López stopped writing his diaries, instead he moved to making video diaries instead. He made eleven tapes in total, each lasting around two hours. They were filmed within his apartment, a squalid place hat he referred to as his pigsty, he would also record the videos in various states of undress.

By the end of his series he had decided Björk must die and in his diary he states that he’s going to kill her by sending a package, he wanted to send her to hell. His intention was a letter bomb loaded with needles of HIV infected blood gained from a prostitute and abandoned his plan when he realised he could not do it, it was unfeasible.

López changed tactics, in June he began to construct a bomb in a book that was to be sent to her home, he wanted it to look like it had been posted by her record label. It was devised to spray acid in her face, to leave her disfigured.

12th September 1996 and López makes his last entry, he films his preparation of going to the post office. He is nervous but if he aroused suspicion he was going to commit suicide if they tried to detain him. He returns from the post office and resumes the entry, he has Björk’s music playing in the background and is naked in the video.

López then shaves his head and paints it with red and green paint, he colours his lips black and tells that camera that he is now nervous. Declaring that he is not depressed, or drunk, he then shoots himself with a .38 caliber pistol and slumps forwards. It looks like he was hoping that the blood would splatter on the sign behind him, “The best of me. Sept 12”, but the bullet did not exit his skill and he fell forwards.

You can find this on YouTube and other sites, I haven’t posted the link here, I don’t think it’s necessary. Watching the video, which I did, I felt quite upset because this was a man who was clearly very ill and ultimately he killed himself. You can hear the noises of his blood falling down and exiting and yes it’s real… but it’s not nice. Don’t go trying to watch it unless you know you can cope. I have warned you and accept no blame if you do.

López’s death was discovered by a maintenance worker (poor thing) on 16th September, the smell was terrible and the blood was seeping through the ceiling. The worker called the police who gained entry and found him decomposing once they gained entry. They also found a further message above the wall in black letters, “The 8mm Tapes Are A Documentation Of A Crime Terrorist Material. They Are For The F.B.I”, the apartment was then evacuated and searched for devices.

There was only one that had been constructed and it was the one he had posted, police contacted Scotland Yard and after viewing the last tape the Metropolitan Police managed to intercept the package from a South London post office. It was safely detonated.

López died not knowing that only a few days before he had shot himself Björk and Goldie has ended their relationship. Björk herself was affected by the event and did eventually respond, no doubt relieved that the thing had not been delivered and put her and her child at risk. No one that knew López had considered him dangerous either, and overall it seems that this was a man who’s mental health had degraded and was not as likely to be noticed as he had always been very secluded and kept away from people.

Bjork APEVicPark270518-97 (42563937282).jpg
By Raph_PHAPEVicPark270518-97, CC BY 2.0, Link

 

It started with the YouTube community and some videos abut a missing hiker, that’s how I saw it anyway. Kenny Veach had gone into the Nevada desert, he’d gone back after a series of comments bating him about going to the ‘M Cave’ and supposedly the strange feelings he’d had about being there.

North of Las Vegas, Sheep Mountains had been the location an in 2014 he went out to look at the area again. Kenny Veach usually went with his girlfriend, Sheryon Pilgrim, or went alone. He would go without GPS and seemingly seemed to come across a bit gung-ho about the whole thing and his own safety.

He pointed out on a YouTube comment (as snakebitmgee) that near the Wellis Air Force Base, he’d found a cave shaped like a capital m and it had caused his entire body to vibrate, he became to scared he left. 22nd November, 2014 a Saturday, and 3 News Las Vegas reported that they had found the man’s cellphone near a deep vertical mine shaft. The 47 year old man was meant to have come back after a two day hike but the family alerted authorities when he failed to return. Red Rock Search & Rescue Centre did not find anything more and said he may not have fallen or been down there, the area was searched again.

Kenny’s first visit had caused the fights, his second he reported on the presence of a black ram watching him from the top of a ridge. It didn’t deter him from his third trip, the self-proclaimed daredevil/cowboy took his 9mm gun and headed back that way. Some YouTube commenters had tried to deter him from going back out, the area is known to have many hazards; the terrain, animals, dehydration and how remote it is as just a little summary.

Sheryon Pilgrim (girlfriend) had even explained he was plagued by depression but had refused to seek any help, It may well have contributed to the situation as he’d taken risks that perhaps others might not.

So let’s move on to theories, did he see something around the base he should not have? Was it occult based? Did he simply succumb to the desert ravages? Or did he fake his own death to begin a new life as many struggles and depression caught up with him?

Wellis Air Force Base is one of those places that has come with conspiracy theories, secret testing facilities and hidden alien presences amongst them. The U.S government agencies are often under fire for secrecy and this is no shock, government secrecy and actions means speculation but I highly doubt he was captured or killed for seeing something as the man wasn’t trying to break onto the base.

A comment I found on one site was about how Kenny had a fascination with the occult, and that he may have known about local rumours that the cave was more than a natural occurrence. Some suggest that the cave lures people in with a macabre power; it can lure in depressed people to their deaths or a portal to another dimension. Me? I don’t think I have anything to work on here other than rumour, local lore or even retrospective speculation from others.

So this leaves two other options which are mundane explanations, I know, I blog about so many things like ghosts or oddities but here I am going for the natural ones? Hear me out though please?

Faking his death? It seems to me that this is possible but unlikely. He had certainly got friends and a family in the area but his cell-phone was found in the vicinity of the area whilst not entirely conclusive it points to someone wanting to prove a point, not to disappear and there are other comments online which leads me to think the most likely answer is below and not the most exciting.

Kenny Veach was 47 years old, suffering from untreated (and undiagnosed) depression or possibly, even another or accompanied, by another mental health disorder. A comment from his own girlfriend on YouTube also leads to come information that may assist more.

He had left home at 6am for the one hour drive out to the place, she said she thinks his depression had got worse as well due to money issues. 14 months before his disappearance he’d quit a job he had been in for 17 years and was living off his retirement money. Suicide ran in the family history and his dad had committed suicide via a gun when Kenny was in his early 20’s, he had taken his own 9mm out with him when he went on the trip.

She explained that she had found his search history and that it had contained pages on suicide. She had also said he told her that if he were to kill himself it would not be at home and so things in her mind felt sadly concluded.

I am, also sadly, inclined to believe her as the man had severe mental health issues he would not willingly address. He was not prepared to put her, and his family, through sorting out the aftermath and her comments and his actions seem to match up that way.

The search hasn’t really ended either, 3 News LV also reported that Red Rock Search & Rescue had gone out to look for another missing man but they keep an eye out on another missing cold cases when they do go that way. Kenny Veach is one of the ones on that list, the last search I saw online that might have been with that in mind was 27th April, 2019. Perhaps the answer will happen one day and I hope if the family require closure that it does.

It was quiet hard to write this one, I wanted to cover his story but I wanted to ensure I tried to remain respectful. I hope that I have.

https://youtu.be/EfdrY-2sROQ

https://youtu.be/Gc4qjTrpEa0

https://www.youtube.com/user/snakebitmgee

ghosttheory.com

Mysterious Universe

YouTube in general

Reddit

3 News Las Vegas

It’s mildly possible you’ll get quite a few updates about Ukraine or Chernobyl, not because of a recent drama show but because I visited Kyiv and Chernobyl. I’ve taken a lot of photos and notes but here is another dive into some interesting history around there.

The Chernobyl Disaster (1986) is still a major talking point even this far on, maybe I should do a deeper dive into it all, but that’s something you write books on, and I have read a few. I did Soviet history so you probably notice I pick up these things here and there in my blogs, it is actually very tempting to go down these rabbit holes more and more but there is a whole world for us to look into and so I may point some here and there but forgive me if that does happen. It is important as a point in modern history, when reactor 4 exploded it caused international concerns and the subject looks to have been added to our school curriculum (I believe).

The actual name of the, now decommissioned, nuclear power plant is V I Lenin Nuclear Power Station (чернобыльская АЕС ИМ. В.И.Ленина) and it had suffered an incident before in 1981, a partial core meltdown had occurred in Reactor 1 but was operational again within a few months and was not revealed until several years later.

At this stage both Kopachi and Poliske were normal functioning areas, the incident in 1986 left both of them abandoned, Kopachi is now abandoned entirely and Poliske has been taken from the registry but there are around 20 known settlers there.

Kopachi (Колачи/Колачi) was a village, located just south-west of the Pripyat River Basin, after it was evacuated in 1986 the authorities had houses torn down and buried as an experiment. The village was the only one that suffered from his fate and now lonely two brick buildings, a series of mounds and some trees are the original remnants of the place.

Each mound has a sign which has the international symbol for radiation on it, it points to the fact there is a house beneath it. The kindergarten and one other building is still there and the local soil is contaminated with plutonium, strontium-90 and caesium-137.

Kopachi’s geography lies within the Kyiv reg, in ion, Ivankiv district and is 4km away from Chernobyl. It’s first mention as a village appears to have been in 1685, in 1886 it was listed with 774 orthodox residents and 92 Jews as its Parish. In 1900 the owner of the village, Sergey Chelytshev listed 334 inhabitants, there were 56 households and a church made from wood named Great Martyr Paraskeva which burnt down in 1927, the church in the name of the Great Martyr Paraskei, was described as dilapidated and built in 1742 and that prior churches stood higher on Kariplouka and the church served 65 tithes. The villages under the Kopachevsky parish were made up of Nagoretsy, Semihody, Krivaya Gora and Starosel’ye.

In 1927, Father Peter , the rector, was arrested and taken off to Kyiv, his fate was not reacted in anything I could find. The church was ravaged, the Holy icons and church plates were burnt in the churchyard and as this happened the anecdote states that the residents there wept. Before the disaster it was a well established village with around 114 inhabitants and the residents were relocated to Lehnvika, Boryshiv district.

If ( like me) you played Stalker, Call of Pripyat, you can go to their interpretation of the village on the level “Neighbourhood of Jupiter”, the area is known to have zombies, the hills and old buildings also emit a lot of radiation.

Poliske or Polesskoye (Поліське / Полесское) is part of the Kyiv oblast region and can be found listed in the Exclusion Zone area. The areas has about 20 samosely, the region has about 197 people, they are returning people to the area of those considered self-settlers. Samosely are informally allowed to stay there.

I’m going to put down the number of people as a sub-paragraph because its really not that identifiable. April 2013 saw an estimate of illegal settlers being anything from 200-2000. Refugees, re-settlers and other migrations most likely mean no true number could be stated. One official birth is known, 25th August 1999 a 46 year-old woman called Lydia Sovenko gave birth to Maria Sovenko, Maria lived in Chernobyl with her parents until 2006 and goes back to the area at the weekend and visits her mother there.

So back to Poliske – it was originally called Khabnaye or Khabne’, it was renamed Kaganovichi Pervye/ Kahanovychi Pershi in 1934. It was renamed to Poliske in 1957. Poliske was founded in the 15th Century, the home of a Polish family, the Howatt’s from 1850 to 1918. It was known for it’s weaving and textile industry, and the area got official status as a city in 1938. The population dwindled after the disaster and in 1999 the remaining population was evacuated, as of 2005 around 1,000 people remained and were mostly senior citizens.

A couple of notable people are mentioned from the place, Iser Kuperman was born there in 1922 and he was the seven-times world champion of draughts. Lazar Kaganovich, one of the leaders of the Soviet Union, was born there in 1893. He was a Soviet politician and was known to have helped Stalin seize power. He died in 1991 and in 1987 an American journalist (Stuart Kahan) published “The Wolf of the Kremlin” which was a biography about Kaganovich. It is worth another side not here that some contact the books validity.

So have you been? Did you visit the area on a tour OR were you once a resident with a story to share?

Sources:

Pohilevich Lawrence Ivanovich – Ukrainian ethnographer, ‘Tales of populated areas of the Kiev province’;

Chernobylpeople.ucoz.ua ;

forgottenisland.net ;

wikipedia ;

earthtimes.org ;

Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin ;

Chernobyl & Nuclear Power in the USSR – David R Marples; Dazv.gov.ua – visiting the zone (English version);

Stalker game – GSC Game World.

SoloEast Travel and going on the tour.

The formulated list of the settlements that were taken from the Exclusion zone and where people were resettled too (Ukraine forum on the subject).