The most beautiful suicide
Evelyn McHale, born in California on September 20, 1923, was an American bookkeeper in the 40s. She is known for committing suicide by jumping off the Empire State Building on May 1, 1947.
After graduating from high school Evelyn joined the Women's Army Corps, and was stationed in Jefferson City, Missouri.
She later moved to Baldwin, New York and was employed as a bookkeeper at the Kitab Engraving Company on Pearl Street. She met her fiancé Barry Rhodes, a college student discharged from the United States Army Air Force.
On April 30, 1947, McHale took a train from New York to Easton, Pennsylvania to visit Rhodes. The next day, after leaving Rhodes' residence, she returned to New York City and went to the Empire State Building where she jumped from the 86th floor observatory.
Rhodes did not notice any indication of suicide before McHale left. Detective Frank Murray found her suicide note in a black pocketbook next to her neatly folded cloth coat over the observation deck wall which read.
''I don't want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family – don't have any service for me or remembrance for me. My fiancé asked me to marry him in June. I don't think I would make a good wife for anybody. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother's tendencies.''
In accordance to her wishes, she was cremated with no memorial, service or grave
A photograph was taken four minutes after her death by photography student Robert Wiles. It is now considered among the most iconic suicide photographs in history, referred to as "The most beautiful suicide".
Ben Cosgrove of Time described the photo as "technically rich, visually compelling and downright beautiful". Cosgrove described her body as "resting or napping rather than dead" and appears as if she is "daydreaming of her beau".
William Richard Bradford, photographer and serial killer
As a sequel to Glatman from comp 17 and 18 there was another killer posing as a photographer, by the name of William Richard Bradford. In 1984, while out on bail for a rape charge against Tracey Campbell, Bradford met bartender Shari Miller. Promising to help her kick-start a modeling career, he took her to a scenic desert spot outside LA and snapped a few pictures before strangling her to death. He then cut off her tattoos and drove her body back to Hollywood, where he disposed of it in a dumpster. Bradford was sentenced to death for the murders of both Campbell and Miller. He would spend the rest of his life on death row.
In July 2006, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released a compilation of photos found in Bradford's apartment in the 1980s, depicting 54 different women in modeling poses. As Bradford had used the promise of a modeling career to lure his victims, and taken pictures of Miller before murdering her, police believe that Bradford was in fact a serial killer and that the photos depict Bradford's other victims in the moments before their deaths. Bradford died at the Vacaville prison medical facility on March 10, 2008, of natural causes.
At the end of the day Bradford was only convicted for the murders of Campbell and Miller. While authorities suspected the other women were linked to Bradford, they weren’t able to proof it before Bradford’s death. To this day a lot of women on the compilation remain unidentified.
Texting and driving
A statement was issued in writing, released to the press urging people to never text and drive.
“Please, vow to never text and drive. In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you.”
A grave warning concluded Sharon Heit’s press release following the tragic death of her son, Alexander, who had died in a car accident related to texting in the late afternoon hours of April 3rd, 2013. At the time of his death, Alex was only 22 years old. He was enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado, studying to become a radiologist. His life was full of potential.
The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million car accidents related to cellphones occur every year. More specifically, 330,000 people are injured every year from texting and driving. The problem is so prevalent, that 1 out of every 4 car accidents is related to texting; a statistic that can also be deadly and one which would eventually claim Sharon’s son.
Witnesses reported that Alex’s head appeared to be focused downward toward his cellphone, when he began to veer from his lane into on-coming traffic. A driver who was nearly hit said that Alex looked up and in a split second reaction averted a far more deadly collision. His vehicle became jettisoned from the road, however, in an apparent over-correction that sent him careening into a steep ditch. Alex became mortally wounded when his car rolled and flipped into a twisted heap on the side of the road. Emergency crews were quick to respond, but his injuries were too great. He died at the hospital.
His cellphone was recovered in relatively pristine condition, and on the screen a text-cursor awaited input at the end of an unfinished text message to one of his friends:
Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw
Lake Champlain monster
Perhaps the most famous aquatic cryptid in North America is a monster that inhabits Lake Champlain, in Vermont, and is referred to by the locals as Champ; he's the North American equivalent to the Lochness Monster. There have been over 300 sightings of the beast, many of them far predating the 20th century. In fact, the sightings became so prevalent that P.T. Barnum offered a reward for its capture in 1873 and 1887, but did not live to see the bounty fulfilled.
The beast is mostly believed to be 20-30 feet long, but one sensational account estimated it at 187 feet long, making it one of the largest animals to ever live. It was said to have a massive body covered in scales, with a long serpent neck, and a horse-like head and a mouth lined with rows of sharp teeth. Since then, the legend of Champ persisted throughout the decades as reports continued to pour in by bewildered witnesses. As cameras became more widely available to the public, these reports would be accompanied by photographs. The most famous photograph was taken by Sandra Mansi in 1977 (as seen above), which made waves in the national media as major news outlets speculated on what the object could be; a floating log or some kind of undiscovered marine animal?
As we entered the Information Age, purported evidence of the lake monster continued to spark interest as audio and video recordings breathed new life into the legend.
2014 Audio Recording: clyp.it/m15zs2nn
The mysterious, high-pitched clicking sounds is said to be a function of echo location that Champ uses to hunt, and is reportedly similar to that of a beluga whale.
2015 Video Recording: youtu.be/rlfIzzk6XLc
This video was published in December, 2015, by YouTube user, Enoch. It was recorded from a shore in Lake Champlain. According to Enoch, it was massive and at one point some part of its body breached the water 6 feet above the surface.
Many have speculated on what Champ could be; Some believe that it could be an alligator gar, or perhaps a misidentified fish. Speculation eventually invoked the possibility it could be some remnant of the plesiosaur.
There is an interesting side-note to the story however. In 1994, miners in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, discovered the fossil of a 112 million year old plesiosaur. This lead to the successful excavation of an entire fossilized skeleton. Paleontologist believe that 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Era, the North American continent was split in two halves by the Western Interior Seaway, which filled in the central plains between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain ranges, and essentially connected the Arctic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico. At its widest point, the sea was more than 600 miles wide, and was 3,000 feet deep. Therein marine reptiles like the plesiosaur and mosasaurs swam and hunted freely across the continent. From the seaway, there could've easily been thousands of inlets into the existing river systems that sprawled across both halves of the continent 100 million years ago. The question then becomes, is life diverse enough that a distant cousin of the plesiosaur could have evolved to inhabit these lake and river ecosystems in North America, given enough time? With the large amount of marine reptiles that exist today, turtles, water snakes, alligators... the answer could be surprising.
Black Dahlia murder (thanks LiveDie for the suggestion!)
Elizabeth Short was a relatively average teenager born in Massachusetts who lived in various places in the United States during the 30's and 40's. She was once arrested for underage drinking when she was 19 years old, which is where the mug shot pictured above originates from. She had been in several relationships over her lifetime and there was no particular evidence to show that any of them had been abusive. For the most part, she lived a relatively normal life, until the morning of January 15th 1947.
Elizabeth's body covered up
Elizabeth's body was found in several pieces on the side of the road in an abandoned field by a mother and her 3 year old daughter. Short's face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth to her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile. Short had several cuts on her thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been sliced away. The lower half of her body was positioned a foot away from the upper, and her intestines had been tucked neatly beneath her buttocks. The corpse had been "posed", with her hands over her head, her elbows bent at right angles, and her legs spread apart. Detectives found a cement sack nearby containing watery blood. There was a heel print on the ground amid the tire tracks.
The body was highly mutilated, the pieces were discarded, and there was virtually no physical evidence to link anyone to the crime. There was a widespread belief that Elizabeth Short was a "call girl", however it was proven later on that she was never at any point a sex worker.
A close up view of how Elizabeth was found at the crime scene: i.imgur.com/VUKjFuU.png (**** due to body mutilation and exposed breasts/nipples)
The crime scene being investigated
Due to how well publicized this case was, as they often are, the Los Angeles police department received hundreds of phone calls and confessions from as many as 60 different people claiming to be the murderer. Suspects were lined up and run down over the years, however there has never even been a likely suspect that authorities could tie anything to. The truly peculiar element of this particular story was that the nature of the dismemberment would suggest this was something planned in advance, and likely a fantasy of the killer. These types of crimes usually come in groups, where the killer starts exploring his fantasies, then takes them further. There was however never any murder that followed this strict method of dismemberment, washing of the corpse, the removal of organs to be placed elsewhere, as well as the "Glasgow smile", which leads some criminologists to wonder if the killer disappeared entirely after this murder.
The disappearance of Kris and Lisanne (thanks *************** for the suggestion!)
In March of 2014, two Dutch women, Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon went to Panama for a vacation, of which they rewarded themselves from graduating and working months prior to save up for the trip. Reaching Panama, they soon headed for the town of Boquete and was being hosted by a family.
Shortly after on April 1st, 2014, Kris and Lisanne vanished as they were hiking trails in the forest around the town of Boquete, which was also near to the Baru Volcano, which was strange in and of itself because they scheduled for a tour guide by the name of Feliciano to assist them on the trails for April 2nd.
Nevertheless, the two women made their way for the trails and was accompanied by a dog named "Blue" that belonged to the hosts' family. When Blue arrived back home later that evening without the girls, the family became concerned and tried contacting the mother of Lisanne Froon, who then proceeded to try to make contact with her daughter, but of no avail.
The following day on April 2nd, Feliciano was waiting for Kris and Lisanne to show up for their hike, but they never arrived. Confused, Feliciano went to the host family the ladies were staying at, but they weren't there as well. In fact, most of their belongings were still there prior to their disappearances, but the two women did have their cell phones on them.
Panic began to seep in with everybody, so the police were contacted and an extensive search began, not just from locales and farmers, but detectives, search dogs, helicopter top down views, and more. The search lasted for ten days, yet no trace of Kris and Lisanne were found.
Two months pass by and a local found a backpack belonging to one of the women. To everyone's shock and horror, skeletal remains were also discovered and after DNA testing, it was shown to be a match for both women.
However, the story doesn't end there. While continuing the investigation, cell-phone logs were released. The two women were trying to make 911 phone calls throughout this stretch of 10 days. Although believed to be a possible accident of getting lost and injured in the forest which therefore resulted in succumbing to the elements, strange discoveries were unearthed.
Inside one of the backpacks there was a camera with 100 photos stored on the memory; taken within those 10 days of their vanishing. Most of these photos were of normality. Two young women who were having fun, enjoying life, their vacation, and simply documenting a moment of their life.
The police were also able to retrieve the pictures that the women took and match it up with their calls to 911. You can find those pictures here. You need to login to view this link
Pictures taken by authorities were the possessions of the girls were found
It now starts to become stranger. 10/100 pictures were taken within in the 10 days. The other 90 were taken afterwards around 1-4 in the morning, in complete darkness. It is believed that these pictures were merely taken with the "flash" button in order to get some form of visual at night, but it's not confirmed.
As mentioned earlier, the skeletal remains that had DNA testing confirming it was the two women was disturbing. There was a hiking shoe that still had a foot inside which belonged to Kris Kremers. Also found was a pelvic bone that belonged to Lisanne Froon.
The police came to the unfortunate conclusion that the two women went off the beaten path of the trail and one of them became injured, most likely by falling off a so called monkey bridge into the nearby river.
A makeshift construction authorities believed to be an emergency marker
Near the river bank a makeshift emergency marker was found, built from twigs and pieces of a plastic bag. The twigs resemble the river bank and the pieces of plastic are Lisanne and Kris. It indicates Kris, while crossing the monkey bridge, fell and became injured. It was confirmed one of the taken pictures shows Kris with a head wound.
Then the other girl, Lisanne, who was still on the other side of the river bank, was believed to try and provide help and may or may not have become injured herself in the process, which then lead to starvation and dehydration. It also fits with other evidence. Kris' iPhone was turned on after several days of inactivity, without anyone entering the PIN. This is because Kris was most likely dead, and Lisanne was on her own and didn't know the PIN to access it.
To this day there is still speculation on what exactly happened to the two girls. Some say they might have come across another person with nefarious intents and that it was a robbery gone wrong. Others say the duo was the victim of a sex crime. However the most evidence points in the direction of it all being an unfortunate accident, which is also the theory the families of both girls have accepted.
Washed up feet
Since 2007, 12 human feet clad in running shoes have been found on the shores of British Columbia, from Jedediah Island to Botanical Beach. So far, the provincial coroner’s office has identified eight of the 12. Of those eight, there were two pairs. The remaining lone feet, the coroner determined, belonged to men.
One explanation is that some of the feet are those of four men who died in a plane crash near Quadra Island in 2005 and whose bodies have not been recovered, though one of the feet has been determined to be from a female. Foul play has also been suggested, although none of the first four feet showed tool marks. This does not necessarily rule out foul play however as it is possible that the bodies could have been weighted down and disposed of, and the feet were separated due to natural decay.
Another theory is that the feet belonged to people who died in the Asian tsunami on December 26, 2004. Richmond-based writer Shane Lambert has advocated this position, pointing to the fact that many of the shoes found were manufactured and sold in 2004 or earlier. Lambert acknowledges that there could be other sources for the shoes or multiple sources. However, besides the dates when the shoes were manufactured, Lambert cites ocean currents and their ultimate northward tendencies up the Pacific Ocean from part of the region that was hit by the 2004 tsunami.
One foot has been identified as belonging to a man who was depressed and was believed to have committed suicide. Another two feet were identified as belonging to a woman who committed suicide by jumping from the Pattullo Bridge in New Westminster, B.C., in 2004. This suggests the feet could belong to other people who have jumped from the bridge.
Barb McLintock, who works at a local coroner’s office in British Columbia, said this is not the work of a serial killer or even the result of alien abductions which some people suspected. The coroner’s office has ruled that all of the identified individuals committed suicide or died accidentally, most likely due to storms near the coast. After several years and a dozen cases, McLintock said their work suggests the feet are separating from the bodies during decomposition. This occurs more quickly underwater than it would on land.
Some people also wonder why the feet only started turning up around 2007. The answer may be advancing shoe technology. More and more sports shoes are using air pockets or light foam in their designs, which eventually allows them to be light enough to float and to wash up on shore.
‘’He’s eating her!’’
Travis was a male chimapanzee, living in North Stamford, Conneticut with 70 year old Sandra Herold. Travis was an animal actor who appeared in several television shows and comercials, including in spots for Coca-Cola and Old Navy.
On February 16, 2009, Travis attacked Sandra Herold's 55-year-old friend Charla Nash, inflicting devastating injuries to her face and limbs. Travis had left the house with Sandra Herold's car keys, and Nash came to help get the chimp back in the house. Upon seeing Nash holding one of his favorite toys, Travis immediately attacked her. Travis was familiar with Nash, who had also worked at the Herolds' towing company, although Nash had a different hair style at the time of the attack.
The chimp had been taking medication for Lyme disease. Herold, then 70 years old, attempted to stop Travis by hitting him with a shovel and stabbing him with a butcher knife.
The 911 call concerning the attack. Travis can be heard in the background attacking Charla Nash
_ "For me to do something like that – put a knife in him – was like putting one in myself,"_ Herold later said. The chimp turned around, she said, as if to say, "'Mom, what did you do?'" The ape was angered more. Herold then called 911 and pleaded for help. Travis' screams can be heard in the background of the tape as Sandra pleads for police, who initially believed the call to be a hoax, until she started screaming, "He's eating her!"
Emergency medical services waited for police before approaching the house. Travis walked up to the police car when it arrived, tried to open a locked passenger door, and smashed a side-view mirror. Then he went calmly around to the driver's-side door and opened it, at which point Officer Frank Chiafari shot him several times. Travis retreated to the house, where he was found dead next to his cage.
The emergency crew described Nash's injuries as "horrendous". Within the following 72 hours, Nash underwent more than seven hours of surgery on her face and hands by four teams of surgeons. The hospital provided counseling to its staff members who initially treated her because of the extraordinary nature of Nash's wounds. Paramedics noted she lost her hands, nose, eyes, lips, and mid-face bone structure, and received significant brain tissue injuries. Doctors successfully reattached her jaw, but announced on April 7, 2009 that Nash would be blind for life. After initial treatment at Stamford Hospital, Nash was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Her family started a trust fund to raise money to pay her "unfathomable" medical bills and support her daughter.
Nash revealed her damaged face in public for the first time on The Oprah Winfrey Show on November 11, 2009. She was not at that time in physical pain from the attack, and family members said she hoped to leave the Cleveland Clinic soon. Pictures have surfaced on the Internet displaying Nash's face before and after the attack.
Nash’s injuries can be seen here: You need to login to view this link (****, it’s not pretty)
In June 2011, Nash underwent transplant surgery performed by a team led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahač at the Harvard teaching affiliate, Brigham and Women's Hospital, receiving a donated face and hands. The hands transplant was successful, but because Nash developed pneumonia shortly thereafter, doctors were forced to remove her newly transplanted hands due to the infection and resulting poor circulation.
In accordance with standard procedure, Travis' head was taken to the state laboratory for a rabies test, and the body was taken to the University of Connecticut for a necropsy. The head tested negative for rabies, but there was Xanax (Alprazolam) remaining in his system. Necropsy results in May 2009 confirmed the chimp was overweight and had been stabbed. The remains were cremated at All Pets Crematory in Stamford on February 25, 2009. Toxicology reports confirmed Sandra's statement that she had given Travis Xanax-laced tea the day of the attack, which could have exacerbated his aggression. Xanax can cause disinhibition and disorientation and occasionally paradoxical reactions of hallucination, aggression, rage and mania.
Charla Nash in 2016
In March 2009, an attorney for Charla Nash's family filed a $50 million lawsuit against Sandra Herold. On May 6, a Stamford judge froze Herold's assets, valued at 10 million US dollars. Other potential defendants included the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the city of Stamford, and the veterinarian who prescribed the Xanax. The defense claimed the chimp had no violent behavior before the attack, and that two accusations in the 1990s attacks were untrue because the chimp had no teeth at the time.
On May 25, 2010, 15 months after the attack, the Associated Press reported that Sandra Herold had died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm at the age of 72. Her attorney, Robert Golger, released the following statement: "Ms. Herold had suffered a series of heartbreaking losses over the last several years, beginning with the death of her daughter who was killed in a car accident, then her husband, then her beloved chimp Travis, as well as the tragic maiming of friend and employee Charla Nash. In the end, her heart, which had been broken so many times before, could take no more."
In November 2012, Nash reached a settlement with Herold's estate and received approximately 4 million US dollars. Nash attempted to sue the state of Connecticut in 2013 but her claim was denied. She had asserted that officials knew the animal was dangerous but did nothing about it. Nash's petition to sue was denied on the basis that at the time of the attack, no statute existed that prohibited the private ownership of a chimpanzee.