Category:
Death

Yes, It’s True!

Really! It's true! It wasn't just a fantastical rumor! Metallic caskets are available again!

Springfield Daily News - Apr 14, 1946



Incidentally, I came across this ad after reading a 1948 article by columnist Doris Lockerman in which she wrote that, "It was reported, but not confirmed, that a convention of morticians once crowned a Miss Metallic Casket."

This led me to a long, and ultimately fruitless, search for any evidence of a 'Miss Metallic Casket'. The above ad was the only minor curiosity related to metallic caskets that I came across.

I'm wondering if the rumor of a 'Miss Metallic Casket' may somehow have been inspired by the pin-up girl calendar that a mortuary released in 1948, which caused a bit of a scandal.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Advertising, 1940s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 6





From the ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS, August 4, 1924

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 19, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Death, 1920s, Russia

Isaac Parker, the Hanging Judge

His Wikipedia page tells us:

Parker became known as the "Hanging Judge" of the American Old West, because he sentenced numerous convicts to death.[1] In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases. In more than 8,500 of these cases, the defendant either pleaded guilty or was convicted at trial.[2] Parker sentenced 160 people to death; 79 were executed.


Read a memoir that appeared two years after his death at this link.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 17, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, History, Wild West and US Frontier, Law, Books, Nineteenth Century

The Death of Pierre Beaumard

1979: To help cure his shyness around women, Pierre Beaumard's therapist had him lie sandwiched between two mattresses. This was meant to simulate the womb. Four people then walked on top of the mattresses to "stamp out his complexes". Beaumard died of suffocation.

I'm skeptical about whether this story is true. For some reason it makes my BS spidey sense tingle. It was definitely reported in papers as legitimate news, but it's been known to happen that reporters will hear an urban legend or joke and then (knowingly or not) put it out on the wire services as a true story. I'm suspicious that's what happened here. I'd believe it more if I could find an original French source, which I can't.

The Santa Clarita Signal - May 27, 1979



The Ottawa Citizen - May 17, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 05, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Psychology, 1970s

Crocodile Teasing at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo

The head in mouth bit comes after the four-minute mark.



The Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 26, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Death, Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Asia

Please Kill Me

Unsolved after 20 years, and from what I can see, unsolved to the present day.

Source for first clipping: Joplin Globe (Joplin, Missouri) 11 Nov 1948, Thu Page 4

Source for second clipping: The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas)17 Aug 1968, Sat Page 11







Posted By: Paul - Wed Aug 25, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Unsolved Mysteries, 1940s, North America

The Reid Flying Submarine



More pix and article here.

It wasn't a high-tech machine, despite its abilities. In the air it was powered by a 65 horsepower four-cylinder Lycoming engine. While underwater a 1-horsepower electric motor provided propulsion. Conversion from aircraft to submarine was a clumsy affair. The pilot first had to remove the propeller, and then cover the engine pylon with a rubber diving bell to keep the engine dry. The pilot used an aqualung to breathe. Maximum depth was roughly 10 to 12 ft (3.5 metres).


From THE SATURDAY EVENING POST for January 1, 1966.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 21, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Disasters, Inventions, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Air Travel and Airlines, 1960s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 5

Suicide is self-murder, and offing oneself because your murderous insurance scam has come unraveled seems a bit more unlikely than accepting the punishment. Extra points given for swallowing poison in front of the cops. How did he have it so handy?



Source: The Daily Journal (Commerce, Texas) 09 Nov 1956, Fri Page 1

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 19, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Suicide, Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny, Stupid Criminals, 1950s

Pseudo Corpse Scent

The Sigma-Aldrich Corporation sells a variety of scents including: Pseudo Corpse I (that smells like a body less than 30 days old), Pseudo Corpse II (that mimics the dry-rot scent cadavers attain after a month), and Pseudo Drowned Victim.

The scents are intended to be used for training rescue dogs, but I suppose they could also be used to enhance a Halloween costume.

Their product literature offers the following info about training dogs to find a corpse:

Canine reaction to a body can vary widely. The general categories of behavior are:

1 . Enthusiasm - the dog does not hesitate to approach the body. It may attempt to elicit a response from or urinate on the victim.

2. Cautious Interest - the dog slows its search, may become nervous and raise its hackles, but with encouragement, will approach the victim.

3. Avoidance - the dog will not approach the scent source and may actually attempt to leave the area. This behavior may become evident some distance from the body as the dog enters the scent cone.

image source: EliteK9.com



More info: Discover magazine

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Dogs, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

X-Radium Cooking Utensils



Here is a fascinating short monograph (a PDF) about the Radium craze, including a discussion of the product above.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 19, 2021 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Domestic, Really Bad Ideas, Twentieth Century

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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