Archive for the ‘Morgue’ Category

Anatoly Moskvin hit the news in 2011, for a rather bizarre and disturbing set of criminal charges. He was arrested in connection with a series of grave desecration events in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Moskvin’s occupation was as a local historian and cemetery explorer. He is said to speak 13 languages and described as a ‘genius’ but it seems he had something odd in his home.

His house contained 29 life-sized dolls made from various female corpses in mummified states. The dolls were brightly dressed and their faces and limbs were covered in cloth. At the point the details were released it was not clear is each body/doll had actual remains in each one and I couldn’t see much in the way of a follow up, but the police and teams involved likely have a hard job of identifying all of them.

In the flat the investigators found the photographs and nameplate taken from headstones, instruction for making dolls and maps of cemeteries in the region. Shoes found in his home matched footprints found in the cemeteries and it is reported that he singled out Muslim Graves.

Lonely? Disturbed? Moskvin was caught out and no doubt this bizarre story will yield more details in the future but for now it is a curious psychological piece, what was he aiming at in the end if anything at all?

There we go a creepy tea break read!

It was 26th March, 1991 and five Korean boys went missing, they had gone out to Mount Waryong, near Daegu, to catch frog eggs, but more likely salamanders but the translation is easier for frogs, the name frog boys would stick easier. The five boys never returned and the name the Frog Boys (개구리소년 or Gaegurisonyeon) is really the term to identify the group of boys. The boys went missing on what was a national holiday in South Korea at the time, it was the 1991 local elections and the boys went out to play, no doubt the political interest being little to zero given their age. The local elections being held would also no doubt contribute towards people not paying as much attention to their behaviours that day, as all eyes would be centered on the events and so they were free to do pretty much most things without the usual adult eyes around them, perhaps this was a good time up until the end which seems a shame, when I was young being a little naughty was a big highlight! 

They were: 
Woo Cheol-won, aged 13 years.
 Cho Ho-yeon, aged 12 years.
 Kim Yeong-gyu, aged 11 years.
 Park Chan-in, aged 10 years.
 Kim Jong-sik, aged 9 years.

The boys disappearance had 321,000 police officers, volunteers and interested parties all searching for them, the searches were shown live on TV. Several of the parents left their jobs so they could continue in the search and sadly around 550 false claims about what had happened were made, no doubt making that job even harder.

The boys were not likely to have got lost as they knew their way around Mount Waryong living only a few miles away from it, there was no trace of the boys found and a reward offering 42 million won (around $35,000 for the USA audience) did not seem to tempt anyone to come forward that knew about the events either. There was one man that called the police claiming that he had kidnapped them in exchange for a ransom and that they were dying of malnutrition but it was established that it was a lie and so nothing more came of it. 

In 1992 a film was made about the events called Come Back, Frog Boys and has a running time of 1 hour and 37 minutes. I really wasn’t able to find a lot more about this and the film I could find on youtube had no translation, I don’t know Korean so it wasn’t really something I felt I could get any merit out of watching.  Around this time there were several speculations about how it might have been the authorities that did it, alien abductions, South or North Korean involvement and the inevitable accusations that it might have been the parents themselves. 

26th September 2002 and a man searching for acorns found the bodies in an area that had already been searched, the man first reported them anonymously (later being named as Mr Choi Hwan-tae) and the police recorded that finding to be death by hypothermia. The bodies had been found huddled up together and entwined, suggestion that maybe they had tried to get warm or comfort one another but again they knew the area and they were close enough to people for their cries to have been heard. 

It is worth a small mention, for the sake of trying to be a little thorough, that even if the boys knew the area there is a chance with mist or even going a little off track it can be possible to get lost even if it is temporary. As a young child I went up Pendle Hill, Lancashire, many times and I can locally pop to the Peak District, you can think you know your way around well enough but the mist can really affect it and familiar things seem very unusual until you can wait it out and look again. Now I am not saying that this is part of the cause of death (carry on reading it will be obvious why) but it just more information about the local area to keep context and to keep information collated.

In the end Mount Waryong had been searched around 500 or more times before the boys were found and nearby they had found shell casings that would not have supported the theory of hypothermia either.  The bodies had been buried in a way that forensics determined had meant they were hastily buried, moss had grown in their skulls and they had lain in a gully, eventually the water gave way and this exposed their bodies. The parents refused to accept the initial outcome and a full investigation was put into action to find out the truth. 

The boys clothes had been found tied in knots and had not naturally entwined, they were found in an area that the boys already knew and that they would have called out for help and been heard most likely.  Forensic experts also determined that three of the children had died from blows to the head, and that one of the boys had died from a shotgun wound to his head and two skills had traces of blood on them. The forensic team was led by professor Kwak Jeong-sik who said that three of the boys showed marks on the skulls and tentatively confirmed they had died by being beaten to death. 

On 25th March, 2004 a funeral was held for the boys and their skulls were donated to medical science by their parents.The sad part of this? In 2006 the statute of limitations passed for the case which meant that the killers could go free if they were found but in 2015 it appears that for this case this restriction was lifted, so they can still continue to pursue it with charges being made if anything knew should arise. It is pretty clear from the notes that the case was not managed particularly well and that the parents pressing for further results was the only way to get the correct judgement on their passing but this has all ended up with little further evidence to go by and many potential clues having been missed. 

In 2011 a film was made, Children, and was created based on what information they could find on the case. Now I highly doubt this film is accurate and the synopsis even mentions alien abduction but my feeling is that this really is just a tragic event and if anyone is to be blamed it is a natural human involvement not a supernatural one. A more sensible theory listed amongst many is that it might have been hunters who then panicked and buried them too afraid to come forwards or hunting illegally knew they could not admit to it without getting themselves into further trouble. 

There is a Wikipedia Entry for the film – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_(2011_film) (link will remain unless Article 13 kicks in I guess)

Sources: Wikipedia, youtube, bizarreandgrotesque.com, englishchosun.com, reddit r/UnresolvedMysteries
LINK I would highly recommend this link if you want something from a more local point of view, and someone there at the time and a few theories in there you might think make sense. 

 

Stripper. Go on let out the groan, it feels better.

JTS is the nickname attacked to an unidentified serial killer from 1964 to 1965. I am going to detail the victims of the serial killer that are confirmed:

  • 2nd February 1964, Hannah Tailford was found dead near Hammersmith Bridge, the 20 year old was strangled, several teeth were missing and her underwear had been forced down her throat.

  • 8th April 1964 saw Irene Lockwood found dead on the shore of the Thames; a 57 year old man named Kenneth Archibald confessed three weeks alter but it was inconsistent and a third victim came to light. She was 26 years old.

  • 24th April 1964, Helen Bathelemy was found dead in an alleyway. The 22 year old case yielded the first evidence, paint flecks used for car manufacturing, it was felt it likely came from the killers workplace.

  • 14th July 1964, Mary Flemming’s body was found in an open street, close to heavy police presence and again paint spots were found on the 30 year old’s body.

  • On the 23rd October 1964 Frances Brown was last seen alive by a fellow prostitute, Kim Taylor, who saw the 21 year old picked up by a man who is now believed to have been her killer. She was found a month later, 25th November.

  • Bridget O’Hara’s date of death could not be confirmed as her body had been stored in a warm heated area, she was found in a storage shed. Once again the body had flicks of paint on them.

Possible victims also include a 21 year old Elizabeth Figg, she was found five years before the Stripper murders started, 17th June 1959. She was in the area and had also been strangled. The other was Gwynneth Rees who was found dead in a rubbish tip near the Thames, she was 22 years old and again had been strangled, she also had several teeth missing. She was discovered 8th November 1963.

7,000 suspects were interviewed and at an initial conference Chief Superintendent John Du Rose falsely stated that they had narrowed it down to 20 people. After a short period it was claimed to be 10 and finally three, but what is known is that after this no more Stripper murders occurred.

There have been theories put forwards about who the murderer was, one of them was that it might be a man named Mungo Ireland. He was picked up as a suspect for O’Hara’s murder and worked as a security guard near Heron Trading Estate. The estate was linked to the paint and shortly after the link Ireland committed suicide, but research suggests that he was in Scotland at the time that she was most likely murdered.

Howard Jones, convicted murdered from Wales, was also put forward as a suspect as he killed two girls in 1921, he did not get the death penalty because of his age and was released in 1941 where they think he went back to his home town, of Arbetillery. In 1942 he was in London and had come to marry and have a daughter. He was not considered for it at the time but it seems that much of the speculation about him comes merely from coincidence and not fact.

What do you think?

Hammersmith nude murders suspect identikit.png
By Source, Fair use, Link

 

If, like me, you are a fan of the Dan Bell hotel reviews for bad hotels/motels do you also wonder what review you could leave for discovering a dead body? 1 out of 5 stars, or is that bad taste? Well it all started with a small campfire style story…

 A couple book a night away and find the smell in their room to be over-powering and foul. Human beings tend to be quite inquisitive and a search shows up something truly awful… a dead body! Is there any truth to the claims? Well yes, I started with a Snopes article on his and went on to read up from there. So here goes:

 13th July, 2003 a news article for WDAF Kansas City TV News (now expired link) says that a man complained about a bad smell and checked out early, after three days. The Capri Motel on Independence Avenue was the location, the cleaning crew then then found a body of an unknown male under the bed. It is thought the wood paneling masked the odour for a period. Police knew his identity but had to notify his next of kin.

 In 1999 Saul Hernandez of Queens, New York City was discovered dead, his body had been stuffed under the bed of room 112 of the Burgundy Motor Inn. A German couple managed to sleep there for one night, despite the smell, and it led to the discovery of the dead man when they complained the next day. The County’s Medical Examiner, Dr Hydow Park, concluded that death was due to exsanguination from chest and abdomen stab wounds. A follow-up article in the New York Times states a 17-year-old girl was charged on suspicion of murder.

 A slightly different way to report this one, in 1961 Jerry Lee Dunbar was born and sometime around May/June 1989 in Virginia he strangled two women and hid their bodies. Deidre Smith (27) and Marilyn Graham (29) were found murdered and left for guests to discover. Smith was found under the floor of a motel room on Route 1 and Graham under the bed in the Alexandria Econo Lodge (Murderpedia source). Dunbarr waived the rights to a jury trial, he was sentenced having been found guilty of both murders and sent to prison in 1990.

 CBS News reported a missing person found dead in a motel room, with a few frightening thoughts about the circumstances. Sony Millbrook reported missing on 27th January 2010, after she failed to pick her children up from school. On 15th March, 2010 homicide police were called to the room of a Budget Motel, Memphis, Tennessee when her body was found in the motel bed frame, she had been living there prior to her disappearance and after her room had been cleaned and rented several times. It had taken 47 days for her to be found and there are suggestions online that reports were made about a bad smell in between.

 Lakeith Moody was found guilty of strangling her to death and sentenced to life in prison. Moody was the father of four of Millbrook’s Children and was arrested several weeks later driving her car.

 Now don’t go thinking this is all exclusive to the USA either, poor Amphon Kongsong’s body was discovered in a hotel in Pattaya, Thailand. Two teenage boys of 14 years old and 17 years old were arrested for the murder of the transgender woman, the boys from Nakhon Ratchasima were tracked down by CCTV. The two boys had made friends with Amphon but she was apparently aggressive about the 17-year-old vying for sex, the fight turned lethal as he strangled her and the 14-year-old held her legs down.

 Having killed her they then stuffed her body under the mattress and a couple of tourists who used the room complaint about the odour, where upon her body was found.

 So, if you do get a funky smell in a room have I made you sufficiently paranoid?

 Sources: www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/bodybed.asp

www.bangkokpost.com

www.wreg.com

www.murderpedia.org

www.cbsnews.com

www.nytimes.com

www.thesun.co.uk

www.freerepublic.com

www.blumhouse.com

 

The space race was big news and in 1960, Komarov was picked, a Soviet test pilot and aerospace engineer, he was picked to be a cosmonaut. He was going to be one of the first man to go into low-earth orbit; alongside him was Yuri Gagarin, he was the first human that went into space.

The USSR decided to be brave several years later or just criminally reprehensible. They wanted to capture a docking between two Soviet spaceships in space. The Soyuz 1 would carry one cosmonaut and a second would have two more and one in space both spaceships would dock. The men would then switch spacecrafts and one would return to earth, a plan doomed from its very creation.

Soyuz 1 was to be Komarov’s craft, he knew it was doomed and so did a great many but the officials were going ahead with it regardless. Komarov knew it was pretty much a suicide mission, he also knew however that if he backed out his friend Gagarin was next to go in.

Komarov and Gagarin both showed up on April 23rd, 1967. This is the same year the US lost three astronauts in the Apollo fire. Gagarin apparently made strange demands and demanded a pressure suit, some through he may have intended to delay the launch. The mission went off according to the plan, well until Soyuz 1 made it to space. The ship did not operate properly and did not have enough fuel, one of the solar panels was compromised and when the capsule set for descent the parachutes did not open.

The parachutes failing and then their back-up entangling with a canopy meant to fill the larger spelt the demise of Komarov. The exact conversation has never been disclosed by the USSR, an unofficial account says in a sate of hysteria when he spoke with Alexsei Kosygin, a high ranking official, who cried with him saying that he was a national hero. He had a brief call with his wife about what to tell their children and they both plummeted through Earth’s atmosphere. It hit the ground with the force of a 2.8 ton meteorite. Some also say that he died screaming and cursing the people who contributed to his death.

His charred and unrecognisable body was then recovered and given an open casket, state sponsored funeral with military honours. It is worth mentioning again at this stage the stories about the alleged conversations and curses are speculation and probably just urban legend. What is worth mentioning is his incredible bravery and contribution to science and the exploration of space.

Fallen Astronaut.jpg
By NASA – Original image at http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/as15-88-11894HR.jpg Another: http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/luceneweb/caption_direct.jsp?photoId=AS15-88-11894, Public Domain, Link