Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Wellington, Washington State was founded in 1883 and was relatively unknown until an event in February 1910, when the community there suffered a 9 day blizzard. Around a foot of snow an hour fell to the ground and initially two trains (one passenger and one mail train) found themselves trapped but the worst was to come.

28th February and the snow stopped only to have rain and warm winds replacing it. Just after 1am the next day a slab of snow broke loose during a violent thunderstorm and this slid towards the town. A previous forest fire had exposed the approach into the town and down it rolled without resistance.

The impact to the two trains threw them 150 feet downhill to the Tye River, the result was the death of 35 passengers, 58 Great Northern employees and three rail-road employees that were in the depot. The 23 survivors were rescued by rail-road employees.

It took months to recover the bodies, Alaskan-style dog sled, slopes with ropes and pulleys and sheer hard graft took a toll on the physical and mental being of the rescuers. Wellington was renamed Tye in October that year and the depot was closed down in 1929, the town was then abandoned and raised.

The Iron Goat Trail allows visitors to go to the site, however hiking there in the winter is highly discouraged due to the nature of avalanches in the area. A retired editor for the Monroe Monitor newspaper said it is a very eerie feeling to be stood there.

The most common reports are about the sensations experienced at the site of the old town, often people feel that there is someone else watching them and many hikers will avoid camping there overnight. Oak Harbor resident, Bill Robards, is certain it is haunted having been there. He witnessed apparitions following them when they walked at night and even heard a child’s voice and states they captured audio evidence of a man (an immigrant working on the train perhaps) singing in Italian.

Train wreckage from Wellington WA avalanche cph.3b13980.jpg
By E.J. Frazier, Thompson, Montana – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division
under the digital ID cph.3b13980.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, Link

 

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Discovery Island is an 11.5 acre island at the Walt Disney World attraction, Bay Lake, Florida and was once open for guests from 1974 until April 8th 1999 when it was closed to the public.

From the early 1900’s it was known as Raz Island and Disney brought it in 1965, it opened up as Treasure Island in 1974 as a place to observe wildlife. It was later renamed Discovery Island and was recognized as a zoological park. 8th April, 1999 it closed but was operational until 9th July whilst they relocated the animals into other Disney areas like their Animal Kingdom.

Once closed Disney considered teaming up with Myst game creators to make it into a living game island. It never got past the concept stage, a shame as having played Myst that could have been something pretty awesome.

In 1990 the dusty seaside sparrow was declared extinct as the birds were last recorded on the island in 1987 and they seemingly died off entirely.

Online information states that the power was cut in 2009, but before that the illusion was that it was fully operational. Someone in 2009 on a blog mentioned the eerie sounds of the Disney theme music still playing. From most sources that I could find it seems that it more likely the place is operating with power as security would need it; the island is still patrolled with security so this would make sense.

As of this year it is also reported that the buildings and the attractions are still on the island. It is pretty much a given that they will have suffered through the ages, that hurricanes and weather patterns have meant that the usual toll has been taken and it is possible to see it from the Disney Wilderness lodge, the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and there are boat trips that mean you are likely to spot them as you head around on that trip. If you have been or seen it would you let me know?

disney-world-discovery-island-map.jpg

 

Much like Jack The Ripper he remains a focal point for armchair detectives and those who want to try to be the one that guesses right. The ONS is the name given to a serial killer and rapist who was active between 1979 and 1986.

He may have started out as a burglar and then the crimes escalated, the areas he stalked ere middle-class and he started out with single-women. Most of his victims had seen or heard a prowler on their property, so police believe he would do reconnaissance on the matter.

After initially targeting women he moved on to couples, this seems that it could be in response to the press goading him with the fact it was always single-women and seemingly a need to prove otherwise. Perhaps he felt they were issuing some sort of challenge.

Initially the Southern Californian murders were not thought to be connected, but later DNA testing linked the cases together. If you want to investigate the victims in detail it could be quite difficult to do due to the sheer number, but there are characteristics and there was a psychological profile put together. For the purposes of my writings I have not gone into the victims details.

A summary of the profile is that the suspect is, or was, white and would likely have lived near the area in 1980. Given his lack of identification he was not likely to stand out as an individual, he was in good physical shape because he evaded witnesses and law officials either by using a bicycle or by running. It was determined he would likely have engaged in sex with prostitutes and would be able to function sexually with either consenting or non-consenting individuals.

The last known contact was seemingly in 1991 when the Original Night Stalker made a call to the police to taunt one of his victims. There is a chance that he committed suicide or has been incarcerated for some other crime, putting an end to it.

Arts and Entertainments Channel’s ‘Cold Case Files’ aired and episode on the ONS and there is a good site if you want to read up: https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/home

EDIT: When I originally wrote this in 2017 as a draft I wrote it with the view of being unsolved, now it seems that things really can move on and new developments in the case came forwards.

The Golden State Killer is the other name that you may know this case as, or even East Area Rapist. but effectively it would appear all could be tied up into this case.  What might once of been a series of cases has slowly tied itself into one operation and someone has been arrested and charged in connection with eight counts of first-degree murder alongside attempts to press charges related to cases that have not been lost due the statute of limitations.

On the 24th April, 2016 following decades of police work, FBI, a crime writer’s book (Michelle McNamara, Golden State Killer was termed by her) and a continued public involvement, a man named Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested. the 72-year-old Navy Veteran was arrested and charged with 8 counts of first-degree murder and it was linked to DNA evidence. California’s statute of limitations means that whilst they could press charges on the rape charges they could continue to press charges for crimes that were still possible to work with. The work undertaken would simply take far more in depth writing than my simple blog could cover but it is a testament to the dedication of people seeking justice that movement on these victim’s cases are still paying off now.

As a small side note – it has been 8 years since my morgue doors open and I thank everyone that keeps commenting, sharing and correcting anything I get wrong. I genuinely love writing and researching these things and hope you enjoy reading them.

 

The tale has been documented by Michael Norman and Beth Scott, in Historic Haunted America about a tunnel in western Massachusetts. The tunnel is the Hoosac Tunnel in North Adams.

It began construction in 1851 and wasn’t finished unti 1874, for 24 years workers chipped away at the rocks and around 200 men lost their lives by explosions, fires and drowning in what became known as the bloody pit. It seems that many of those were accidental but one may have been more sinister.

Nitroglycerin was an explosive introduced in 1865 to the miners and used for the first time at the Hoosac Tunnel. 20th March, 1865, three men planted the nitroglycerin and ran for the safety bunker, they were Ned Brinkman, Billy Nash and Ringo Kelly. Kelly had prematurely set the charges and it buried both of his colleagues under a heavy pile of rocks.

After the incident Kelly disappeared and he was not seen again until 30th March, 1866 where his body was found two miles into the tunnel. His strangled corpse was at the spot Brinkman and Nash had been killed by the explosion. The Deputy Sheriff thought the murder had happened between midnight and 3am but no suspect was on the cards and his murder went unsolved.

The workers felt the spirits of Brinkman and Nash were the culprits and feared the area was cursed, they felt unhappy about having to go inside. The work slowed to the point that an investigation was called for. Paul Travers was a highly respected cavalry officer in the Union Army. He went into the tunnel with Mr Dunn, they went in at 9am and went to the spot where they heard what sounded like a man groaning in pain. They agreed that it did not sound like the wind.

It was a month later, 17th October 1868, when thirteen miners died in a gas explosion, the gas explosion blew apart one of the surfaces pumping stations. The debris filled the central shaft where the miners were working. It was the single worst disaster during the tunnels construction and a local reporter said that a miner, Mallory, was lowered down by a bucket and rope to search for survivors. He emerged almost unconscious, lifted back up, saying there was no hope. With no pumping station the 538-foot shaft filled with water and the bodies of some of the unfortunates began to surface from it. A year later the remaining men’s bodies were found on a raft that they had built trying to use it to float up on the water as it rose up.

All the time that they were missing the villagers spoke of vague shapes and the muffled wails of what the believed were the dead men. Workmen saw them carrying their picks and shovels through mist and also the snowy mountaintop. They left no footprints and only appeared briefly before they vanished. Once the last of the missing dead were located the strange sightings stopped.

That may have been the end of one tale but in 1872 another report came up about Dr Owens and James R McKinstrey who went into the tunnel. They went down the two miles down and halted to rest, the place was cold and dark, the only light was from their lamps. Both men heard a moan like someone in great pain. A dim light came down the tunnel and as it came closer the light took on a blue hue and looked more like the form of a human being with no head.

The strange light was so close it could have been touched but the men stood with gaping, open mouths and were most likely terrified. It eventually turned away and vanished, Owens was unable to come up with a rational explanation for the very thing they had witnessed.

16th Octobre, 1874, another bizarre event came up, a local hunter named Frank Webster vanished and three days later a search party found him stumbling around in shock, along the banks of the Deerfield River. His story was he had been ordered by strange voices to go into Hoosac Tunnel, when he did ghostly figures were walking around. Suddenly his rifle was seized from his hands, it was used to knock him him out around the back of the head and he woke up outside without the rifle and without any memory of leaving.

The first train went through on 9th February, 1875 and with its completion the stories still carried on. That fall a man named Mulvary, a fire tender, was driving a wagon load of firewood into it. He suddenly turned his cart around, whipped the horses flanks and was never heard of again. Three miles from there they did find the wagon and in 1977 a man named Impoco said he heard someone yell “Run, Joe, run!” as he was chipping ice from the tracks and there was a train coming. The voice alerted him and most likely saved his life.

The tunnel is very much in use today, the Boston and Maine railroad is very busy. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and visitors can talk to local old-timers who will recount the local tales.

Hoosic.jpg
By en:User:Acela2038 – en:Wikipedia, Public Domain, 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