Strange Deaths

Mythopoeika

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Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
That won't work because the helium will already be absorbed by tiny structures in the lungs called alveoli, where gas exchange takes place.
Wasn't talkin' 'bout helium.
For helium, hyperventilating is still the thing to do, to shift as much gas out of the lungs as possible.
 

RaM

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When we first mover here on pension day there was always a big que outside the post office waitting for it to open, I was told one day as the door opened one poor sod dropped dead and all the others just stepped over them into the shop, how true this is I don't know but knowing the area it would not surprise me.
 

escargot

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Ha! I've just found that and was going to post it.


Just imagine if he'd dropped dead in the studio doing that.
When we first mover here on pension day there was always a big que outside the post office waitting for it to open, I was told one day as the door opened one poor sod dropped dead and all the others just stepped over them into the shop, how true this is I don't know but knowing the area it would not surprise me.
Just knowing pensioners, that wouldn't surprise me.
 
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Might be Cult or even Occult related.

Eleven members of an extended family have been found dead in a house in India's capital, Delhi - 10 of them hanging from the ceiling, police say.

A woman in her 70s was the only one found lying on the floor. Most of the dead were blindfolded and gagged with their hands tied behind their backs.

What lies behind the deaths is unclear and police have not ruled out murder.

But they also released a statement saying they had found evidence of "mystical practices" by the family.

The full police statement refers to handwritten notes found in the house which pointed to "definite spiritual and mystical practices" that appear to have some links to the deaths.

They are still waiting for the results of the post-mortem examinations, questioning neighbours and examining CCTV footage of the area.

One police official told the AFP news agency it was "still too early" to know what happened.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-44673761
 

Yithian

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A grimly intriguing tale:

The Flagpole Jumper, Anchorage Alaska (1989)

The naked man left no clues. No identification, no telltale birthmarks, scars or tattoos. Police never even found his clothes or his shoes.

Thought to be in his early 30s, the bearded man strolled down Anchorage's Mountain View Drive around lunchtime on August 23, 1989, the same year as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the massacre in Tiananmen Square. As told by news accounts at the time, people stopped and stared, a carload of girls hooted, the cops were called and a patrol car was flagged down.

The man paused when he got to the McDonald's parking lot and stared off into the distance. Then he walked over to the tallest of three flagpoles at the building's main entrance, grabbed on and started to climb.

Fred Jones was the first officer on the scene.

"I saw him come around to the left side of McDonald's, walk right up to the flagpole and shinny up it like a squirrel," recalls Jones, now retired and dividing his time between Nevada and Oregon. "I've never seen anything like it. Naked, and right up the pole like nobody's business. It was rather impressive."

When the man reached the top, 30 feet up, he clung on with his legs and began fiddling with the flagpole topper. Other officers had arrived by then and tried talking to him. He didn't seem to hear or see anyone.

"It looked like he was having a conversation with the eagle at the top of the pole," Jones said. "And I'm on the radio calling dispatch, telling them they needed to send a fire department ladder truck."

Facing west, the man then stretched out his arms-like eagle wings, was Jones' impression. Then, as officers and bystanders gasped in horror, he kicked off with his feet as if to fly, and dropped headfirst onto the pavement.

"It was one of those, 'I can't believe what I'm seeing' things," Jones said. "It was completely unexpected."

An officer and an Army medic rushed to save him, clearing the airway, performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pumping his chest until fire department medics arrived and took over. The man was taken to Humana Hospital, now Alaska Regional. He didn't make it...

Much more to come:
https://www.anchoragepress.com/news...cle_af2602b1-c7fe-595d-8d8e-bd6a2359d0de.html

See below for parts 2 & 3.
 
Last edited:

RaM

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Mmmm just tried that maybe this new data thing is going to have more and unexpected restrictions or maybe intended restrictions than people at first thought.
Did the net just become a smaller and more restricted place?
 

Yithian

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Works here. Very frustrating.
E.U. laws are fantastic, aren't they?
Will copy and paste when I get to my laptop.
 

Yithian

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A grimly intriguing tale:

The Flagpole Jumper, Anchorage Alaska (1989)

The naked man left no clues. No identification, no telltale birthmarks, scars or tattoos. Police never even found his clothes or his shoes.

Thought to be in his early 30s, the bearded man strolled down Anchorage's Mountain View Drive around lunchtime on August 23, 1989, the same year as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the massacre in Tiananmen Square. As told by news accounts at the time, people stopped and stared, a carload of girls hooted, the cops were called and a patrol car was flagged down.

The man paused when he got to the McDonald's parking lot and stared off into the distance. Then he walked over to the tallest of three flagpoles at the building's main entrance, grabbed on and started to climb.

Fred Jones was the first officer on the scene.

"I saw him come around to the left side of McDonald's, walk right up to the flagpole and shinny up it like a squirrel," recalls Jones, now retired and dividing his time between Nevada and Oregon. "I've never seen anything like it. Naked, and right up the pole like nobody's business. It was rather impressive."

When the man reached the top, 30 feet up, he clung on with his legs and began fiddling with the flagpole topper. Other officers had arrived by then and tried talking to him. He didn't seem to hear or see anyone.

"It looked like he was having a conversation with the eagle at the top of the pole," Jones said. "And I'm on the radio calling dispatch, telling them they needed to send a fire department ladder truck."

Facing west, the man then stretched out his arms-like eagle wings, was Jones' impression. Then, as officers and bystanders gasped in horror, he kicked off with his feet as if to fly, and dropped headfirst onto the pavement.

"It was one of those, 'I can't believe what I'm seeing' things," Jones said. "It was completely unexpected."

An officer and an Army medic rushed to save him, clearing the airway, performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pumping his chest until fire department medics arrived and took over. The man was taken to Humana Hospital, now Alaska Regional. He didn't make it...

Much more to come:
https://www.anchoragepress.com/news...cle_af2602b1-c7fe-595d-8d8e-bd6a2359d0de.html
Part 2:

If he had drugs or anything else in his system to explain how he could do what he did, his autopsy didn't detect them. The assumption was that he'd suffered a mental breakdown of some kind.

Despite exhaustive efforts, he was never identified; no next of kin was ever found. He died a John Doe. And he's remained one for 26 years.

"It's as if he was beamed here from a spaceship," Sgt. Mike Grimes told a reporter at the time.

Grimes, now retired and living in Florida, was head of APD's homicide unit in those days. Although this was a suicide, he assigned the case to one of his investigators.

"He really took it to heart," Grimes said of Bill Morris, who carried that file around with him for months. "I mean, he searched everywhere."

The use of DNA in forensic science was in its infancy in those days, and none was taken from the man's body. Instead, Morris sent his description-white male, early 30s, 185 pounds, between 6 and 6-foot-3-and his fingerprints and dental records to the FBI and missing person clearinghouses in all 50 states and Canada. He visited mental health facilities and showed his autopsy photo around.

"We never got a hit," Grimes said. "It was just bugging the hell out of all of us. Who is this guy? What is his story?"


The only thing left to think was that he was a foreign national, Grimes said. Possibly Polish. Since the early '80s, Polish fishermen had been jumping ship right and left in Seward, seeking political asylum from their country's Communist regime.

Morris even ran the case by Interpol, an international law enforcement organization based in France.

Nothing.

And so on a cold and windy September day, the man was buried in a simple wooden coffin covered in gray felt at Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery, a man with no name and no history laid to rest among some of Alaska's most storied leaders and pioneers. Besides the press and various officials, four strangers showed up, including two mental health consumer advocates, people who couldn't bear the thought of a man with no name going to his grave with no one to mourn him.

"To this nameless one we say, God be with you and keep you," funeral director Fred Witzleben said before the casket was lowered into the ground.

"John Doe 1989-1989," the grave marker reads at Track 13, Space 24.

This story has since been woven into APD history, handed down from seasoned cops to newcomers and rookies.

"I know it's kind of bad but we referred to this case as The Flagpole Jumper," said Cynthia Bradley, a former APD detective.

Among other duties, Bradley worked on missing person cases, which is why the call that came in a few years back was directed to her. That's when The Flagpole Jumper case became a lot more personal.

The call was from a California woman who is certain the man lying in that grave is her brother. So certain, she's having his body exhumed for DNA testing this month in hopes of giving him back his name, and his dignity, and finally bringing him home.

His sister's protector

If Terry Mihok is right, the man who died that day in Mountain View is Gordon Bethel Lopez, a Reed College student who vanished from Portland, Oregon in 1986. On purpose.

It's not easy for her to talk about what became of her brother. She loved him and never stopped looking for him, searching crowds for his face, the streets for his red Volvo sedan. And she never gave up hope that he would come home someday.

They grew up in the Los Angeles area, a family of six until their father lost a drawn-out battle with cancer, one that left him paralyzed from the neck down toward the end. Gordon not only made sure Terry didn't forget how to laugh during those grim times, he became her protector.

"He was kind of put in charge of looking after me because my dad died when I was six (Gordon was 10) and my mom worked as a schoolteacher," Terry said. "So I hung out with Gordon a lot, with him and his friends.

"He was a wrestler in high school and a track star, as well We used to play football on the street, and he was usually the quarterback. We'd play street pick-up games, and when I'd play and he would give the ball to me, nobody would tackle me because he was my brother and he was bigger than everyone at that time. So that was fun for me."

As Terry speaks of him, a picture emerges of a young man, "brilliant at math," who was enough of an academic heavyweight to make it into Reed College, a man who cared deeply about things, a man who loved to read, from the classics to science fiction. One of his favorite authors was Hermann Hess, the German-born Swiss poet and novelist whose books explore the search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.

"I actually lived with him in Portland while he was going to college, for a brief time," Terry said. "My mother kicked me out of the house when I was 16, so I went to live with Gordon for a while.

"He was living in not the best conditions. He had a basement room in a house and it was very dark and damp and there was mold growing on the wall. That's probably not best place for someone growing up in Southern California to be living.

"I didn't realize he was depressed."

Without a trace

Terry and Gordon wrote letters to each other while he was away at college or working summer jobs out of state. He was in his third year at Reed when he called to thank her for the Christmas gifts she'd sent him, a flannel shirt and giant bag of M&Ms, his favorite.

"I was the last person to talk to him," she said. "He called me and I didn't know anything was wrong."

Soon after, he sent a letter addressed to their mother.

"My mom was in Japan with my sister; she lived there at the time," Terry said. "So I opened it and found the note that he left. He wrote that she would never see him again and that he had no regrets for the past."

Along with his farewell note, Gordon returned his college tuition check.

"I don't really know what happened between them; I can imagine," Terry said. "All of us kids had a lot of issues with her. And she drank a lot when we were young. So we had a lot to deal with."

Gordon was last seen on Jan. 3, 1986.

"His car was never found as far as I know. It was never found and it was never registered again. And he completely cleaned out his apartment. There was nothing left.

"My mom did hire a private investigator but he never found anything, nothing at all. Everything was just gone. Everything.

"So, he disappeared. He didn't leave any trace."
 

Yithian

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Part 2:

If he had drugs or anything else in his system to explain how he could do what he did, his autopsy didn't detect them. The assumption was that he'd suffered a mental breakdown of some kind.

Despite exhaustive efforts, he was never identified; no next of kin was ever found. He died a John Doe. And he's remained one for 26 years.

"It's as if he was beamed here from a spaceship," Sgt. Mike Grimes told a reporter at the time.

Grimes, now retired and living in Florida, was head of APD's homicide unit in those days. Although this was a suicide, he assigned the case to one of his investigators.

"He really took it to heart," Grimes said of Bill Morris, who carried that file around with him for months. "I mean, he searched everywhere."

The use of DNA in forensic science was in its infancy in those days, and none was taken from the man's body. Instead, Morris sent his description-white male, early 30s, 185 pounds, between 6 and 6-foot-3-and his fingerprints and dental records to the FBI and missing person clearinghouses in all 50 states and Canada. He visited mental health facilities and showed his autopsy photo around.

"We never got a hit," Grimes said. "It was just bugging the hell out of all of us. Who is this guy? What is his story?"


The only thing left to think was that he was a foreign national, Grimes said. Possibly Polish. Since the early '80s, Polish fishermen had been jumping ship right and left in Seward, seeking political asylum from their country's Communist regime.

Morris even ran the case by Interpol, an international law enforcement organization based in France.

Nothing.

And so on a cold and windy September day, the man was buried in a simple wooden coffin covered in gray felt at Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery, a man with no name and no history laid to rest among some of Alaska's most storied leaders and pioneers. Besides the press and various officials, four strangers showed up, including two mental health consumer advocates, people who couldn't bear the thought of a man with no name going to his grave with no one to mourn him.

"To this nameless one we say, God be with you and keep you," funeral director Fred Witzleben said before the casket was lowered into the ground.

"John Doe 1989-1989," the grave marker reads at Track 13, Space 24.

This story has since been woven into APD history, handed down from seasoned cops to newcomers and rookies.

"I know it's kind of bad but we referred to this case as The Flagpole Jumper," said Cynthia Bradley, a former APD detective.

Among other duties, Bradley worked on missing person cases, which is why the call that came in a few years back was directed to her. That's when The Flagpole Jumper case became a lot more personal.

The call was from a California woman who is certain the man lying in that grave is her brother. So certain, she's having his body exhumed for DNA testing this month in hopes of giving him back his name, and his dignity, and finally bringing him home.

His sister's protector

If Terry Mihok is right, the man who died that day in Mountain View is Gordon Bethel Lopez, a Reed College student who vanished from Portland, Oregon in 1986. On purpose.

It's not easy for her to talk about what became of her brother. She loved him and never stopped looking for him, searching crowds for his face, the streets for his red Volvo sedan. And she never gave up hope that he would come home someday.

They grew up in the Los Angeles area, a family of six until their father lost a drawn-out battle with cancer, one that left him paralyzed from the neck down toward the end. Gordon not only made sure Terry didn't forget how to laugh during those grim times, he became her protector.

"He was kind of put in charge of looking after me because my dad died when I was six (Gordon was 10) and my mom worked as a schoolteacher," Terry said. "So I hung out with Gordon a lot, with him and his friends.

"He was a wrestler in high school and a track star, as well We used to play football on the street, and he was usually the quarterback. We'd play street pick-up games, and when I'd play and he would give the ball to me, nobody would tackle me because he was my brother and he was bigger than everyone at that time. So that was fun for me."

As Terry speaks of him, a picture emerges of a young man, "brilliant at math," who was enough of an academic heavyweight to make it into Reed College, a man who cared deeply about things, a man who loved to read, from the classics to science fiction. One of his favorite authors was Hermann Hess, the German-born Swiss poet and novelist whose books explore the search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.

"I actually lived with him in Portland while he was going to college, for a brief time," Terry said. "My mother kicked me out of the house when I was 16, so I went to live with Gordon for a while.

"He was living in not the best conditions. He had a basement room in a house and it was very dark and damp and there was mold growing on the wall. That's probably not best place for someone growing up in Southern California to be living.

"I didn't realize he was depressed."

Without a trace

Terry and Gordon wrote letters to each other while he was away at college or working summer jobs out of state. He was in his third year at Reed when he called to thank her for the Christmas gifts she'd sent him, a flannel shirt and giant bag of M&Ms, his favorite.

"I was the last person to talk to him," she said. "He called me and I didn't know anything was wrong."

Soon after, he sent a letter addressed to their mother.

"My mom was in Japan with my sister; she lived there at the time," Terry said. "So I opened it and found the note that he left. He wrote that she would never see him again and that he had no regrets for the past."

Along with his farewell note, Gordon returned his college tuition check.

"I don't really know what happened between them; I can imagine," Terry said. "All of us kids had a lot of issues with her. And she drank a lot when we were young. So we had a lot to deal with."

Gordon was last seen on Jan. 3, 1986.

"His car was never found as far as I know. It was never found and it was never registered again. And he completely cleaned out his apartment. There was nothing left.

"My mom did hire a private investigator but he never found anything, nothing at all. Everything was just gone. Everything.

"So, he disappeared. He didn't leave any trace."
Part 3:

A chilling discovery

Terry was 18 when her brother vanished. She contacted his friends, including childhood ones, none of whom had heard from him. Later, working for government agencies, she put his Social Security number into whatever database she had access to, but nothing ever came up.

It wasn't until a couple of decades had gone by that she started getting somewhere. Reading a mystery novel, the mention of an online database called NamUs caught her attention. The Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

"I'd never heard of it, and I didn't know it was real even until I tried it, and there it was."

It took her several days of going through case after case until she came across one from Alaska that stopped her cold.

"When I read it, I knew it was him."

She'd long suspected that Gordon may have been hiding out in Alaska. He'd worked up here the summer before he disappeared, as a logger on Heceta Island in the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast, and she'd spent a lot of time pouring over maps of the area and the state.

The John Doe's physical description fit Gordon's, except for the ages being off. Gordon was 21 when he disappeared, and the man who died two-and-a-half years later was estimated to be in his early 30s. But Gordon always did look older than his age, she said. And those lost years of living under the radar may have taken a tough toll.

More than anything, the circumstances of the suicide cinched it for her. The naked part, for one.

The private investigator her mother had hired to look for Gordon actually did discover one thing Terry hadn't known about, that her brother had gotten himself in trouble at college when, high on LSD, he took off all his clothes and started preaching to people.

The date the man killed himself eliminated any doubt.

August 23.

When Terry was 15, she made a suicide attempt of her own, swallowing a bottle's worth of aspirin. She was depressed, she said, but her mother didn't believe in depression. So she felt she was left to find her own way out.

August 23. Nothing random about it.

"When I tried to kill myself, (Gordon) told me that if he ever did it, he would do it in a public place to make a statement. And if this really is Gordon, he killed himself on my mother's birthday."

John Doe to be exhumed

After getting Terry's call, Cynthia Bradley dusted off what was left of the John Doe file and pulled reports off microfiche.

"She worked really hard on the case trying to help me," Terry said.

Bradley had only one photo to work with, a Polaroid snapped during the autopsy. She sent it along with photos Terry had of her brother to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, experts in age progression and photo comparisons.

"They couldn't for say for certain it was him but they couldn't exclude it either," Bradley said.

She also sent the autopsy photo to Terry.

"It looked like him, of course somewhat disfigured," Terry said. "He did dive head first.

"Depression hits people really hard sometimes," she said. "He must have just felt terribly alone.

"I was really touched that people went to his funeral. That was really sweet of them to do."

As the case progressed, Bradley secured the paperwork required by the state for exhuming human remains.

"I expected to be collecting bones, not a body," she said, noting that, as a pauper's funeral, the casket would not have held up. "I was going to collect the bones and send them to the University of North Texas, where they do a lot of the unknowns."

But then the case came to a screeching halt.

"I couldn't get the city to give me the money to have him exhumed," Bradley said, "and it was only going to cost $1,000 give or take. I mean, I tried a lot of different things to get them to do it."

She looked for funding elsewhere, too. She even opened a bank account so people could contribute and made the first donation herself.

"I just wanted closure for this woman," she said.

In 2011, before she could see the case through, an on-the-job car accident added to an earlier work injury and put Bradley on the path to medical retirement. After nearly 21 years with APD, she left the force at the end of 2012.

Not long afterward, Terry herself had a horrific car accident and was medevaced to Stanford University Medical Center, her neck fractured in three places, a hand crushed, tendons severed, ribs broken, her skull cracked along with various other injuries. She's lucky to be alive and she knows it.

It's been two-and-a-half years now. For the most part, she's healed well and is working as operations manager for a realty firm. And she's focused again on her mission to give her brother back his name.

Terry's mother is not on board with this mission of hers.

"My mom is completely not willing to explore the possibility that that's him," Terry said. "And she's 90, so I haven't pushed her too hard. She's always believed that he was out there living a happy life somewhere with kids and whatever, that she might have other grandkids out there. So when I told her about this case, she said whoever that was wanted to be anonymous and we should respect that. My answer was, 'Well, he was my brother and I need closure, and I'd like to honor him.'"

After Bradley retired, APD Detective James Trull took over the case.

"The sister contacted me and said, 'I want to pay for this; let's do it,'" he said, adding that the exhumation is going to cost her about $1,200 including mortician fees.

Trull arranged for the collection of Terry's DNA for the second time, and, working with the Alaska State Medical Examiner's Office, reapplied for the exhumation permits. This time, the exhumation seems to be a go.

Although it's no longer Bradley's case, she's eager to know how the story will end.

"(Terry) is willing to pay even if it's not her brother," she said. "She's willing to take that risk.

"And the reality of it is, if it's not her brother, which I'm really hoping it is for her sake, but if it's not, maybe the man's family has put their DNA into a database and we can identify who this guy is."

Once exhumed, the man's femur and some teeth will be shipped to the federally funded forensics program at the University of North Texas, where his DNA will be compared to Terry's, according to Stephen Hoage, operations manager and investigator with the medical examiner's office.

It could take six months to a year for results to come in.

Once this is all behind her, Terry plans to have Gordon cremated and will scatter his ashes in the sea. Growing up in Southern California, they spent a lot of time swimming in the ocean together and out on the water sailing.

And if it turns out the man in that grave is not Gordon?

"I'm not really prepared for that," she said. "I haven't even thought about that. I'm just so positive that it's him. I am 100 percent sure."
 

Yithian

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If you're wondering why I've bothered with such a long and inconclusive tale, I'll say only that I'm interested in the way a single event--here a death--can be tracked both forwards and backwards through a chain of causality and the antecedents and consequences observed.

And what a bizarre way to end it all.
 

Swifty

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Whatever that second link is, I am getting warnings and cannot connect. Removed as a precaution.
OK, sorry about that Yith .. the link's still available in the link you've left up and is more pictures of posed dead Victorians.
 
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Wreckless

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Married woman, her mechanic die during barter sex in her garage

Updated 9:12 PM; Posted 5:12 PM

A man returned to his Newark home Monday night to find his wife and the mechanic she was having sex with dead after they were overcome by carbon monoxide in the couple's garage, a police department source told NJ Advance Media.

The 39-year-old woman was apparently paying for work on her car by having sex with the 56-year-old mechanic, the source said.

The woman's husband, Kahali Johnson, told ABC that he found his wife, Tameka Hargrave, after he smelled a strong odor of gas in his apartment and went to investigate the source.


https://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/..._garage.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured
 
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