Category:
Death

The Funeral of Mike Merlo






Original picture here.


A wax and flower effigy of the deceased featured at his funeral, attended by ten thousand people.

His Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 16, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, 1920s

Postmortem Hyperthermia

Some weird, morbid trivia: After a person dies, their body will usually start to cool down. Except, not always. Sometimes the body of a recently deceased person will actually rise in temperature. The phenomenon is known as "postmortem hyperthermia."

A recent article in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology described a case that occurred in the Czech Republic, involving a guy who died of heart disease, while in a hospital:

According to the Czech law, the deceased must remain in the hospital ward for 2 hours after death. In this case, the ambient temperature in the hospital room was 20ºC. One hour after death, nurses started to prepare the body for transport to the Department of Pathology. They noticed the unusually warm skin of the deceased, and a doctor was called back to the hospital room to verify death again. The first record of postmortem body temperature was noted in 1.5 hours after death and peaked at 40.1ºC. Remarkably, the medical staff had concerns about spontaneous combustion of the body and attempted to cool the body with frozen solutions placed near the groin.


Source: "Postmortem Increase in Body Core Temperature"
Am J Forensic Med Pathol - 38(1), Mar 2017



Scientists really aren't sure what causes postmortem hyperthermia, but the list of possible causes includes: "pathological processes," violent incidents resulting in hidden cerebral traumatism, brain trauma with cerebral hypoxia, death by asphyxiation, and excited delirium.

More info: popsci.com

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 05, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Death

Helpful Dead Wife






Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 02, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Death, Superstition, Marriage, 1900s

Graves will be open Memorial Day

I came across this ad while browsing an old National Lampoon True Facts book, which described it as being from an "unidentified Kansas newspaper":



After a bit of research I tracked the business down. It was Graves Drug Store in Emporia, Kansas. And it's still around.

The Emporia Gazette - May 26, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 29, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Advertising

Give her the perfect gift — a funeral

Surprise, honey! I pre-arranged your funeral.

This first clipping I found circulating online, without any kind of attribution.



After a little searching I found this second ad, which seems similar enough that I assume it's from the same funeral home.

Burlington Free Press - Feb 17, 2013

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 18, 2017 - Comments (9)
Category: Death, Advertising

Coffin Birth

Also known as "postmortem fetal extrusion." The term describes the phenomenon of a dead woman giving birth to a dead baby, the "birth" being caused by the buildup of gas pressure in her decomposing body. It's not known for sure that this actually happens, because no one has ever witnessed it, but archaeological evidence has led researchers to conclude that it probably does.

More info: Bones Don't Lie, Seeker, Wikipedia.



Posted By: Alex - Sat May 06, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Pregnancy

Billie Carleton’s Death and the Birth of a Genre



Original article here.

How did the hedonistic death of one minor actress lead to Fu Manchu and the Yellow Menace?


Read the whole story here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 21, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Addictions, Crime, Death, Literature, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1910s

The Los Angeles Pet Memorial

I was briefly in L.A. over the weekend, so I took the time to visit the L.A. Pet Memorial, my curiosity about it having been piqued after posting recently about how Blinky the Friendly Hen was buried there. It's up in northwest L.A., in Calabasas. If you're ever in the area, and want to do some sightseeing that's more off the beaten track, it's worth checking out. Some of the highlights below:

The coffin showroom, featuring pet-sized coffins



Inside the mausoleum



The grounds spread out over 8 acres. So the park is pretty big.



Yours truly by the grave of "Room 8" — the cat that lived at the Elysian Heights Elementary School. He was once known as the most famous cat in America.



Satan — We'll Miss You



Sir Pretzel Stick — I'll Remember You



Vicious — Our Precious Baby



I finally found the marker for Blinky the Friendly Hen. The front office didn't have a guide to the graves, so you have to find them on your own. Blinky turned out to be in the area directly across from the front office, about 8 rows back.



There's a number of other famous animals buried at the park, including Tawny the MGM lion, Hopalong Cassidy's horse, and one of the dogs from the Little Rascals. Plus, the pets of many celebrities are there — Charlie Chaplin's cat, Humphrey Bogart's dog, etc.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 11, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Death

Helmet Law Suicide

In 1992 California began requiring that motorcycle riders wear a helmet. Despondent, Gerald Marotta, 48, put on his helmet and shot himself. He left behind a note, "Now I can't ever ride again."

Attorney Wendy Lascher, who had challenged the law, said, "from what I heard about his note, I think the law did have something to do with his death, in that [riding without a helmet] apparently was his only outlet."

Los Angeles Times - Jan 10, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 31, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Suicide, 1990s

Death by Deodorant

Paige Daughtry, 12, is the most recent young person to die from overuse of deodorant. She reportedly used Right Guard deodorant like "it was going out of fashion." She was liberally spraying herself with the stuff in her parent's rented caravan, while the family was on holiday. She sprayed so much that it caused her to pass out, and she couldn't be revived.

As bizarre as it may sound to die from overuse of deodorant, this isn't the first time it's happened. If I had a kid, I don't think I'd let them use the spray stuff. It's toxic. I'd tell them to use solid deodorant, because that kind can't kill you.

Some of the other cases:

1998: 16-year-old Jonathan Capewell from Oldham. He was "a normal, healthy teenager who was not indulging in any form of substance abuse. He was simply overcome by excessive use of anti-perspirants."

2008: 12-year-old Daniel Hurley was "always putting gel on his hair and spraying deodorant." He was found collapsed in a bathroom after having sprayed "copious" amounts of Lynx Vice spray.

2015: 16-year-old Thomas Townsend of Kent was found collapsed, surrounded by 42 cans of deodorant. His mother said, "He would not take showers but would stand there with a deodorant and spray half the can on him."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 30, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Hygiene, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods

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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 books such as Elephants on Acid.

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