Category: death

Lost Weegee Crime Photos Revealed!

Lost Weegee Crime Photos Revealed!

Artist David Young bought a box of original newspaper photos in 1970, and only discovered recently they were taken by famous crime photographer Arthur Fellig, aka Weegee, in 1937.

Real life film noir: Crime scene photographs f…

Real life film noir: Crime scene photographs from the LAPD

Execution by Submachine Gun in Thailand

Execution by Submachine Gun in Thailand

One of the most bizarre execution methods in the 20th century was Thailands bizarre method which was utilized from the 1930′s until 2002. While the use of firing squads has been a common practice around the world throughout history, the use of a single submachine is rare. The condemned was blindfolded and restrained on a cross facing away from the executioner. A screen was then placed in between the condemned and the executioner, with a bullseye that was aligned with the center of mass of the condemned. At the executioner’s end was a fully automatic 9mm submachine gun, stabilized in a special vice which held the weapon steady. Before 1984 a Bergmann MP-34 was used, a German weapon dating to the 1930′s. 

After 1984 a Heckler & Koch MP-5 submachine gun was used, mounted with a silencer.

One the signal was given, the executioner would pull the trigger, firing a burst of 15 rounds which mostly likely would instantly kill the condemned.

The last execution by submachine gun in Thailand occurred in 2002, undertaken by prison guard Chavoret Jaruboon, of which the biopic The Last Executioner is based upon. Between 1984 and 2002 he was involved in the execution of 55 people, of which he was paid a bonus of 2,000 baht (60 US dollars) per execution. According to Jaruboon, one strange incident occurred when the submachine gun misfired. Jaruboon worked the action and chambered the next round, only to have it misfire again. The weapon was tested and found to function perfectly, but again it misfired. The condemned was searched and found to be wearing a sacred amulet, which was confiscated. On the next attempt, the weapon functioned without issue.

Execution by submachine gun was banned in 2003, and replaced with lethal injection.

The mysterious Japanese balloon bombs of World…

The mysterious Japanese balloon bombs of World War II.

Handmade medical-themed chess set, made from c…

Handmade medical-themed chess set, made from clay and wood, c. late 20th century. 

The Bhopal Gas Disaster — The Worst Indu…

The Bhopal Gas Disaster — The Worst Industrial Accident in History

In 1969 the chemical company Union Carbide opened the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) plant in Bhopal, India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The plant specialized in producing pesticides for India’s growing modern agricultural sector. One important chemical for the production of the pesticides is Methyl Isocyanate (MIC), a highly toxic chemical which can cause skin burns, coughing,vomiting, dyspnea, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and in high doses asphyxiation. Since MIC was necessary for the production of pesticides, the plant had three large underground storage tanks full of the chemical.

image

Maintenance and repair of infrastructure and systems at the UCIL plant was woefully poor, especially noted were a number of leaks found on pipes used to pump MIC to different tanks and locations. It is through one or many of these leaks that water infiltrated the pipes and entered the main MIC storage tanks. The mixture of the water and MIC caused a reaction resulting in a great amount of heat and pressure. On the night of December 2nd/3rd a worker noticed cracks forming on the concrete cap of the one of the tanks, signalling a heavy build-up of pressure. Workers scrambled to prevent the tanks from bursting by activating three safety backups. First the gas was to be pumped into refrigerated secondary tanks, however this system had been dismantled in order to save money. The next safety system involved the gas being released into their, but filtered by an air scrubber which would remove all toxins before it was released into the environment. This system failed due to a malfunction. The last ditch safety system involved the gas being piped to a flare tower where it would be burned off, however this system was down due to maintenance.

Finally the pressure in the storage tanks burst, releasing a massive invisible cloud of MCI around Bhopal.  Warning alarms failed to sound in time, giving the people living near the plant no warning of the incoming cloud of death. Many people asphyxiated in their sleep. Other’s died in the streets right where they were standing. Hospitals were quickly overwhelmed by the injuring and dying. Throughout the night 3,787 people died and between 500,000- 600,000 suffered injuries, of which 38,000 were serious injuries and  3,900 were permanently disabling injuries. Many of these injuries included severe burns, blindness, and severe respiratory injuries. Over the next week, another 8,000 would die due to related illnesses or injuries. 

image

Furthermore, what is almost impossible to account for are the thousands upon thousands of victims who would suffer long term effects and chronic illnesses as a result of exposure. Such chronic illnesses include emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neurological damage, chronic skin diseases, miscarriages, and birth defects. Likewise environmental and economic damage is practically incalculable. 

In 1986 the Bhopal Union Carbide India Limited plant was dismantled. In 1988 Union Carbide agreed to pay a settlement of $470 million to the Indian government. Due to Indian bureaucracy payments to individual victims has been slow, and many have yet to see any compensation.

image

Great Glass Coffin Scam: When Hucksters Sold t…

Great Glass Coffin Scam: When Hucksters Sold the Fantasy of Death Without Decay

The World Health Organization declared Dec. 1,…

The World Health Organization declared Dec. 1, 1988, the first World AIDS Day. On the 20th Anniversary, photographers and reporters reflect on their coverage of the epidemic.

The Tristate Crematory Scandal — The sca…

The Tristate Crematory Scandal — The scandal with changed the death industry

from Ask a Mortician

collectorsweekly: Mexican folk-art sculpture o…

collectorsweekly:

Mexican folk-art sculpture of medusa celebrating Día de los Muertos.