From 1934 to 1938, the Mad Butcher brutally murdered thirteen people, generally leaving only the torsos of the corpses behind. In all, seven men and six women were murdered, with only two victims ever having been identified. Two men were arrested in suspicion of being the Mad Butcher, but they were never convicted. The first suspect, Frank Dolezal, had originally confessed but later recanted, and died in custody. The second suspect, Dr. Francis Sweeney, failed a polygraph test but was released due to a lack of evidence. Ness’s journal hints that he knew who the killer was but could never prove it. And if the untouchable Eliot Ness was unable to prove who the killer was, that’s probably a pretty good indication that these are murders that will go forever unsolved.
The two Disney movies about the curvaceous, scantily-clad Native Indian beauty are based on sterilized and falsified English accounts of the early history of the Virginia Colony. Pocahontas was only around ten years old when Smith first made contact with the Powhetans. It is true that he was captured by the tribe, but in his original account of the event Smith relates that he was treated very kindly. It wasn’t until many years later, when Pocahontas’s name became known in England, that Smith fabricated the story about her rescuing him from execution.
When Pocahontas was seventeen, she was captured by the English and held for ransom. Her husband Kokoum was killed and Pocahontas was raped repeatedly and consequently impregnated. She was forcefully converted to Christianity, baptized Rebecca, and quickly married off to an English tobacco farmer named John Rolfe to make the pregnancy appear legitimate. In 1615 the Rolfe’s travelled to England and Pocahontas was laced into a corset and presented to the public as a ‘symbol of the tamed Virginia savage’.
After two years in England the Rolfe’s had begun their journey home to Virginia when Pocahontas suddenly started to vomit violently after dinner, she then began to convulse. Before they had even sailed off the river Thames Pocahontas had died, horribly and painfully. English historical accounts are ‘unsure of the cause of death’, speculating that she may have succumbed to pneumonia, tuberculosis, or even smallpox. However, in their book The True Story of Pocahontas; The Other Side of History Linwood Custalow and Angela L. Daniel postulate that during her time in England, Pocahontas learned of the English intentions to obliterate the Native Indian Tribes and forcefully take their lands. Afraid that Pocahontas might reveal their political strategies, her murder was swiftly plotted and she was poisoned before she could reach home and report what she had learned. Pocahontas was only twenty-two years old when she died.
Cordelia Botkin was the estranged wife of a prominent businessman in San Francisco in the last decade of the 19th century. She (41 years old) met John Dunning (31) when his bicycle broke down in the park. Botkin made very obvious sexual advances, and consequently Dunning (who was married to a former congressman’s daughter) entered into a torrid affair with her. He eventually left his wife and fell into a life of gambling, sex and alcoholism – all fueled (and financed) by Botkin. He eventually decided to end the affair and return to his wife, a fact of which he informed Botkin. Not wanting to be left alone, she sent a box of poisoned candy to Dunning’s wife made to look like a gift from a friend. Dunning’s wife and five friends and family members ate the chocolate. Four recovered but the wife and her sister died. The remaining chocolates were tested and found to be laced with arsenic. The trail of the candy eventually led back to Botkin, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In a strange twist to the tale, the judge who sent her to jail saw her out shopping in town a few weeks later; an investigation uncovered the fact that Botkin was exchanging sexual favors in order to be allowed to leave jail whenever she wanted. She died in jail at the age of 56. Her cause of death was: “softening of the brain due to melancholy.”
“The Black Dahlia" was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – c. January 15, 1947), an American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. Short acquired the moniker posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly lurid. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story. Short’s murder is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.
Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer. Better known as the “Soap-Maker of Correggio”, she murdered three women in Correggio between 1939 and 1940, and turned their bodies into soap and teacakes.
Having been born the child of a rape, she led a sad childhood with a hateful mother. She attempted suicide twice. In 1914, she married a registry office clerk, Raffaele Pansardi, and moved to Lariano in Alta Irpinia. Their home was destroyed by an earthquake in 1930, and they moved once more, this time to Correggio, where Leonarda opened a small shop and became very popular as a nice, gentle woman, a doting mother and a nice neighbor. In 1939, Cianciulli heard that her eldest son, Giuseppe, was to join the Italian army in preparation for World War II. Giuseppe was her favorite child, and she was determined to protect him at all costs. She came to the conclusion that his safety required human sacrifices. She found her victims in three middle-aged women, all neighbors. After murdering her first victim with an axe she got rid of the body in this way (her own words):
“I threw the pieces into a pot, added seven kilos of caustic soda, which I had bought to make soap, and stirred the whole mixture until the pieces dissolved in a thick, dark mush that I poured into several buckets and emptied in a nearby septic tank. As for the blood in the basin, I waited until it had coagulated, dried it in the oven, ground it and mixed it with flour, sugar, chocolate, milk and eggs, as well as a bit of margarine, kneading all the ingredients together. I made lots of crunchy tea cakes and served them to the ladies who came to visit, though Giuseppe and I also ate them.”
Cianciulli’s second victim was killed in exactly the same manner. Her final victim, opera singer Virginia Cacioppo was killed in the same way but with one twist:
“She ended up in the pot, like the other two…her flesh was fat and white, when it had melted I added a bottle of cologne, and after a long time on the boil I was able to make some most acceptable creamy soap. I gave bars to neighbors and acquaintances. The cakes, too, were better: that woman was really sweet.”
Cianciulli was caught due to an eyewitness and found guilty of murder. She was sentenced to thirty years in jail where she died of a brain hemorrhage.
Sorry for the break, but FYO is back
The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have in many cases been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.
Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat of arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.
On 18 November 1978, more than 900 people died in the largest mass murder/suicide in American history. Most of the deaths occurred in a jungle encampment in Guyana, South America, where members of a group called Peoples Temple lived in a utopian community and agricultural project known as Jonestown. Most died after drinking a fruit punch laced with cyanide and tranquilizers, although some may have been injected; two residents died of gunshot wounds. Earlier that day a few other residents of the group had assassinated a U.S. congressman along with three members of the media and a departing Jonestown resident. And in Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown, yet another member of the group killed her three children and then herself after receiving word of the deaths in Jonestown. In all, 918 Americans lost their lives that day.
An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. English translations of the word “Apsara” include “nymph,” “celestial nymph,” and “celestial maiden.”
Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are often the wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra. They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas, usually in the palaces of the gods, entertain and sometimes seduce gods and men.
As caretakers of fallen heroes, they may be compared to the valkyries of Norse mythology. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, and are often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.