Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas horror movies


I truly messed up Halloween over here at RLIH, so since its horror all year 'round for us, I’m going to make up for it with a bloody Christmas. Starting off with a selection of Christmas themed horror flicks.



Black Christmas (1974)
 I really enjoyed the original “Black Christmas” and although it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, it was the first Christmas themed horror film that came to mind. It’s about a bunch of sorority girls who start receiving harassing anonymous phone calls around Christmas time. The threatening behavior of the killer inevitably escalates, and the girls begin to get picked off one by one.
You can watch it in full on YouTube [X]

Rare exports (2010)
A Finnish horror / fantasy / thriller. A reindeer butcher in Lapland is losing his animals to what he believes may be a wolf. He sets a trap to catch the animal, but instead captures Santa- a very different Santa to the jolly, fat bellied man we all know and love.
Watch here [X]


Kazuo Umezu's Horror Theater - 'The Present'
Jolly old Santa rewards the good and punishes the bad; and tragically for the drunken party goers in this film, they receive more than just a piece of coal for their years’ worth of bad behavior. This lesser known Japanese short turns Santa Claus into Slasher Claus and doesn’t fail to deliver on the blood and gore.
Again, watch it in full on YouTube here [X]

Gremlins (1984)
If your kid brother or sister asked for a hatchimal this Christmas, make sure it’s not a mogwai purchased from a cloudy eyed old man in Chinatown - and if it is, remember not to let it get wet and don’t, under any circumstances, let it eat after midnight.
Seriously though, Gremlins is a classic, it’s got to be on this list.
Watch it [X]

Krampus (2015)
Just in case you missed this one last year, now would be a good time to check it out.
A little boy having a bad Christmas accidentally calls upon the anti-Santa- a goat legged demon who punishes wrong doers at Christmas.
Watch [X]

Treevenge (2008)
Throwing this one in as a bonus, because it’s fucking awesome. Christmas tree’s revolt from their lives of oppression and humiliation to take revenge on those who cut down, decorate and display them in their homes.
See it here [X]

Thursday, 8 December 2016

mrhandcuffs and the suitcase bodies


In June of 2014, highway workers in the town of Geneva, Illinois found two suitcases that had been purposely dumped at the side of the road.
Inside were the decomposed remains of two contorted dead women who had been stuffed inside. 
One of the women was naked, bound and gagged and the other was bound at the wrists with her hands behind her back.

An ex-cop, a man in his early fifties named Steven M. Zelich, was charged with the murder of the two women. He confessed and during the investigation revealed the details of the crime stating that he met both women online, possibly on a fetish or BDSM website, he couldn’t recall. 
Some reports state the site was called “collarme”, and that he went by the user handle “mrhandcuffs”- the site does not seem to be currently active.

(Steven Zelich. Image source gazetteextra)

The first victim was identified by her dentals and tattoos as Laura Jean Simonson, who was 37 years old at the time. 
She had been reported missing more than six months previously by her family and was described as petite and vulnerable. The pair had checked into a hotel together in November, but analysis of the security footage from the establishment shows that only Zelich appeared to leave.

(Laura Simonson. Image source gazetteextra)

The second victim was identified as 19 year old Jenny Gamez. 
Gamez was a foster kid and had given birth to her first child young. She was a perfect student with a lot of hope for the future and a big heart for people. 
Apparently she chatted online with Steven M. Zelich for a long time before flying out to meet him, never to be seen alive again.

(Jenny Gamez. Image source unidentified.wikia)

Although Zelich remained cold in the courtroom during his sentencing, he did have positive words for Gamez, describing her as a “wonderful young lady”. 
Strangely, he claimed that he could not recall the young girl’s name.

It turned out that the ex-officer had been concealing the bodies of the two women for some time, keeping them in his freezer and in the trunk of his car and moving them around until the stench of decay became so unbearable that he was forced to dispose of them on the rural highway.

Zelich claimed the he had unintentionally murdered the women, saying that they had died during a sex game that involved choking.  
He told the court that it was just a sex game gone wrong.

(Poster released to identify Gamez)

Gamez had been choked to death and was kept in Zelich’ freezer while he actively searched for another woman and found Simonson. Even after disposing of the two bodies he was actively searching for a new victim that very night. According to some reports the ex-cop had previously used his position of authority and the databases available to him to track down women, stalk them, threaten them and allegedly attempt to trap them in his home against their will.
He was not charged for his crimes but was fired from the force.

He had been actively looking for a submissive partner online, in his advertisement on a web board he described his ideal partner wearing handcuffs and leashes and being caged, gagged and bound- indefinitely.

He was sentenced and is currently incarcerated for his crimes.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Si-Oui, the siriraj medical museum and Chulalongkorn university museum of bodies exhibit

A while back I visited the Chulalongkorn university medical museum in Bangkok, Thailand.
As you can see in my photos below they had a lot of skeletons and wet specimens of both humans and animals.


That was a while back, and I haven't been since, but after googling "medical museums" in the hope of finding another interesting place to spend a day I saw that they had a new exhibit of amazing plastinated human bodies on display.

 I found these images on the official website for the university and also on another bloggers page (He has a really informative post regarding the history and process which I urge you to check out if you want to know more



I also visited a few similar places including the Siriraj medical museum. 
The Siriraj Medical Museum is often treated as a macabre stop for tourists bored with temples and shopping malls, and is a gruesomely fascinating formaldehyde pickled nightmare world for the curious.  
It includes a gallery of suicide (photos of death and a description of the cause), an exhibit of Siamese twins in jars, forensic evidence from crimes, cadavers cut in half and heads in jars. 
Although extremely valuable and educational for students in the medical field, it is not for the faint of heart. 

The hospital is also home to the preserved body of Chinese immigrant and serial child killer cannibal “Si-oui” (or Si Ouey) who stands tanned and varnished in a big glass display box, staring out at visitors with his sunken hollow eyes. 

(Pic: trip adviser)

Si-oui (often spelled Si Ouey) is probably Thailand’s most infamous serial killer, responsible for the deaths of half a dozen young boys. He suffocated them and ate their hearts and livers as he believed the consumption of the organs gave him special powers.

If you want to visit the museum for yourself you can find it here:
2 Wanglung Road Khwaeng Siriraj, 
Khet Bangkok Noi, 
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700,
 Thailand

Check if it's open or not before you go, because I went there once and it wasn't. Boo.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Execution by elephant

Learned something brutal the other day, thought I'd share it here.



Apparently for centuries in South east Asia (particularly India) Asian elephants were trained in the art of torture and execution. 
Death by elephant was used as a form of capital punishment. 
The animals were trained to torture and crush their victims, often stomping on them or sitting on them to crush them. They could be taught to inflict a slow or quick death on command.
What a way to go, jeez.

(above left: listmaze, above sickchirpse)


Corpsewood manor murders


Corpsewood Manor is an allegedly haunted abandoned mansion located in the woods of northern Georgia. 
Those who visit the remains of the property in search of a scare claim to feel a sense of despair, see phantom dogs and human shaped shadows and hear faint harp music. But the real story behind the haunted rubble is much more terrifying and tragic than the movement of a shadow from the corner of your eye...

(image: weekinweird.com)

Although a sight of beautiful decay and a treat for urban explorers and paranormal researchers alike, the manor has a tragic story dating back to the early eighties involving the murder of a couple- a retired university professor Charles Scudder and his partner Joseph Odom. 

The pair moved to the rural area in search of a peaceful and quiet existence, sadly they got the opposite. 

Things were going well at first, amazingly Scudder and Odom built the property by hand- it was a simple structure of course, but they were self-sufficient and could grow their own produce and even make wine on the property. 
The interior of their hand built home was the opposite. It was fixed with the rare and antique items that Scudder loved to collect. He had a taste for the finer things when it came to art and music, often playing his golden harp into the night.



The couple was murdered by a young man they had befriended in the local area named Kenneth Brock who used to regularly visit and partake in the couple’s homemade wine. 

Some say he may have been sexually involved with the pair and struggled with his feelings about it.

 His partner in crime was a friend named Samuel West whom later remorselessly referred to the slain couple as “queer devil worshippers” during the trial. (Charles Scudder had once joined the church of Satan out of curiosity like many, but was not active in the church and had no real religious affiliations) 
They had arrived at corpsewood manor in a group of four under the false presense of having a small party. Both Brock and West had both been sniffing glue before their arrival and continued to do so throughout the night. 

Brock mercilessly shot Odom and the couples passive pet dogs to death with his hunting rifle before he shot Scudder in the face several times. 

(image weekinweird)

“I asked for this” were the final words of Charles Scudder. Nobody is really sure about what this meant.

Although the motive for the killing was money, the pair escaped with barely anything. 
They were caught and sentenced and remain in jail to this day.

Sylvester the mummy, Elmer McCurdy and Julia Pastrana

I always wondered how sideshows attained their mummies, so after a bit of quick research decided to share with you the stories of 3 mummies in particular. 


1.
Sylvester the mummy, who now resides at the “ye olde curiosity shop” in Seattle, was said to be discovered in the Arizona desert in the 1800′s. 
It was determined that he had been shot in the stomach and had mummified naturally in the sand and hot climate. He toured the sideshow circuit before settling into his home at the store in the mid fifties.

(Left image sideshowworld, right image wikipedia)

If you want to visit Sylvester, just stop by the store at
1001 Alaskan Way, 
Seattle, 
WA 98104
+1 206-682-5844

2.
Elmer McCurdy, also known as “The Bandit who wouldn’t give up” was displayed as a sideshow oddity, after being shot and killed by the police in the 1920’s. 
When the traveling show that displayed his preserved remains disbanded, he found a new home in a Californian carnival park as a prop, scaring the visitors who believed that he was merely a dummy. His remains resided there until they were accidentally discovered in the mid seventies, when a member of a film crew attempted to move what he assumed to be a fun house prop, only for the brittle arm bone to break off as he pulled on it. 

(image Wikipedia

You can pay your respects to Elmer and visit his grave at
Summit View Cemetery 
Guthrie Logan County 
Oklahoma,
 USA

3.
The mummified body of Julia Pastrana, known throughout her sideshow career under many aliases, including “the ape woman”, “the non-descript” and “the bearded lady” due to the black hair that grew all over her body as a result of hypertrichosis. 
She was a talented woman who could sing, dance and speak several languages. She brought in a lot of revenue to the sideshow, so much so that even after her death her husband (who was also her manager) refused to retire her. 
Her body was embalmed, preserved and displayed, along with the remains of a child she had lost.

(images sideshowworld.com) 

Julie was buried in Sinaloa de Leyva in Mexico where she grew up. 

The rope walker doe


Nobody knew the name of this entertainer as he lay dying after falling from a tightrope in the middle of a busy street in Texas in 1898. 
Apparently he was described as a very old man with a pegged leg who had been hired to walk the tightrope carrying heavy items on his back as a promotional stunt to bring attention to a local store. 

He refused to reveal his identity and was buried simply as “Rope walker”. 

If you want to read more about him go here

(Image: findagrave)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Benjaman Kyle identified as William Burgess Powell.

Do you guys remember Benjaman Kyle? The man with no identity? 

If not, here's an old post from my tumblr from when he actually found out who he was.

The man who has been without an identity for 11 years finally knows who he is. 
Found behind a dumpster outside of a Burger King and hospitalized, Benjaman woke up with no memory of who he was, and was diagnosed with retrograde amenesia. 
Unable to work without any form of I.D, Kyle was dependent on those who helped him out in Jackson, Florida, where he’s lived for over a decade while searching for who he is. 

 Genetic genealogist, CeCe Moore, was able to figure out his identity using the same process used in finding biological parents in adoption cases. 

He made the following Facebook post:
  “MY IDENTITY HAS BEEN FOUND! It is now the start of the eleventh year since this began and I never thought this day would come. A little over two months ago I was informed by CeCe Moore that that they had established my Identity using DNA. Many people had shared their DNA profiles so that they could be compared with mine. Through a process of elimination they determined my ancestral bloodline and who my relatives were. A DNA test taken by a close relative has confirmed that we are related. I have been in contact with them and plan on visiting them next week. I will soon have a Social Security card and a new Florida ID card. I am reserving my new name for now until I have met my new found relatives.

Well, here's another update on that. Turns out his real name is William Burgess Powell.

The first article to reveal his name can be read here:
It's a very good read!

(link originally found here!)

Murder of Vera Holland and suspected killer Christopher Halliwell

I was browsing some unsolved murders like I sometimes do when I have a spare half hour and read about the unsolved murder of Vera Holland. I started writing the article and assumed it was going to be a short one until I found out about a suspected serial killer named Christopher Halliwell who could potentially be responsible for the death of not only Holland but an array of missing women in and around the area over the years since the eighties. 
I was actually pretty shocked at the amount of missing woman and unsolved murders of women there were and Halliwell is a real piece of work. I would like to flesh out the details and go all in with these cases at a later date- so expect this post to get an overhaul in the near future. 

On the 16th of November 1996, the body of a murdered woman, later identified as 47 year old Shinfield Rise resident Vera Holland, was found burning in a mound of illegally dumped waste which had been set ablaze by her killer. 

Firefighters recovered her remains as they battled the fire at a fly tip known to locals as “two bridges”, just off the A327 motorway- a stones-throw away from the victim’s home. It was later revealed that she had been asphyxiated.

Holland had been missing since the 14th November 1996 after she went out with the intention of picking up take-out food from KFC. Her husband reported her missing when she failed to return, and was later informed of the devastating news.
The crime still remains unsolved 20 years later.

With no suspects or persons of interest, attention turned to a remorseless, suspected serial killer and former taxi driver, Christopher Halliwell, who is currently spending life in prison for the murders of 20 year old Becky Godden in Swindon in 2003 and 22 year old Sian O’Callaghan in Wiltshire in 2011.
Both the locations of the bodies of Godden and O’Callaghan were under a 50 minute drive from Shinfield and there is an eight year gap between the two murders. Both victims had also been strangled.  

In fact, there is a string of missing people’s cases and unsolved murders in the south-west of England from 1995 onwards that could possibly be the handy work of Christopher Halliwell.

Officer Steve Fulcher (who lost his position while working on the case due to gross misconduct) highlighted what he considered an important detail: Three women went missing or were possibly murdered in the south-west on the same date, March 19th, of different years- Sian O’Callaghan (A confirmed victim) Linda Razzell (although her husband was arrested) and yet another missing woman, Claudia Lawrence (also unsolved). He expressed his disappointment with the local police for not further exploring the connection after he was relieved from his position.

This article in the Sun newspaper contains a statement made a friend of the killers ex-wife stating "The date was “special” to the killer, 52, as it was the one on which he was dumped by a girlfriend in the Eighties."

Halliwell. 
(Pic source: dailymail)

According to an article in the Guardian from this year, Halliwell was inquiring how many victims it would take to be officially classed as a serial killer while he was incarcerated for an unrelated crime. An old cell mate of Halliwell's, an armed robber by the name of Ernest Springer, told interviewers that the suspected serial killer would constantly talk about serial killers and was particularly interested in Myra Hindley, whom was something of an idol to him. The twisted taxi driver’s internet search history exposed an interest in an array of exploitative pornography.


Investigators do not believe that Callaghan and Godden were Halliwell’s first victims, and believe that there are probably more unsolved murders of woman that could be the work of Halliwell- including Linda Razzell whose remains were found in Swindon in 2002. He is not as of yet forensically tied to any of the cases but they say that does not rule him out as the potential perpetrator. 
A woman named Sally Ann John, who went missing in Swindon in 1995, and lived very close to Halliwell at the time, is also thought of as a possible potential victim. She worked as a call girl, and Halliwell was known for requiring the services of those working in the sex industry and would cruise around the red light district in his taxi (a green Toyota Avensis )- which is where he met Godden. [X


Halliwell also had a collection of pencil drawings in his home, with rural or isolated locations as the subject. These were thought to be indications of the burial sites of other victims.[X]

If you have any information of the murder of Vera Holland, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Michel Rostand and the Buddhafield cult: Holy hell

Remember how I was on a cult documentary binge last month? 
Well I watched a more recent title called "Holy Hell" (2016) [X
It's available from all the usual places like itunes, amazon etc.

Anyways it's about this group called "The Buddhafield" that was active in the mid eighties (and presently), lead by a speedo wearing, narcissistic control freak referred to by his followers as "the leader" or simply "Michel".
One of the members was a film student called Will Allen, who documented his time there and went back to interview members years later to talk about what happened.
The whole film has a really unnerving, sinister vibe to it. I was obviously expecting  the truth to be revealed throughout the documentary of course, but no matter how many cult films I watch, I'm never exactly prepared for that unsettling feeling of watching the leaders act dissolve and finding out the reality of abuse and control.

I do like the way the story was told and the style it was filmed and edited in. You should check it out if you're looking for something to watch.

Here's the trailer for it. 


CNN did a report after the documentary came out in search of Michel Rostand, which you can watch here.
You can also read an article by the huffington post here

You may also be interested in...


In late 2006/early 2007, then 19 year old Ria Ramkissoon starved her 16 month old son, Javon Thompson, to death under the orders of Toni Sloan, aka “Queen Antoinette”, who was the leader of the “1 Mind Ministries” cult. A new mother with a troubled home life and an incarcerated partner (attempted murder charge); she originally joined the cult as a disappointed reaction to the places of worship in the Baltimore area. At a loss for what to do with her life, and unsure of what direction to go in, she decided to move into the “1 Mind Ministries” house after being recruited by existing members who actively pursued her.. (click to read more

Recently I’ve been binge watching videos about cults and cult survivors and the like and thought I’d make a post on five documentaries that you can watch right now.
1.“Cult Witness” [X] This documentary includes interviews with a young ex-cult member detailing the techniques used and the process he went through. It also briefly interviews members of other cults such as the “UFO” cult “Gentle wind project” whose leader scammed this particular member out of thousands of dollars in return for alien prophecies, and the story of a member of “Children of God” which brings me to number 2 on my list… (click to continue)

Then eighteen year old Nancy Lynn Jason was last seen on the 20th of July 1977 in Bethesda, Maryland. Nancy was a “Premie”, a member of a religious group called “Divine Light Mission” which was founded in India in the sixties by leader Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. The Western sect of the group is classed by many as a cult. Maharaja’s youngest son, Guru Maharaj Ji (later Prem Rawat) brought the Divine light mission to the west against his families wishes, spreading branches of the DLM across the US, England and other countries in Europe"Eventually the family split in anger and took control of (click to continue

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Hey horrors!
I honestly, for the life of me, cannot recall how I came about reading articles on Frances Glessner Lee, but I'm so glad I did.


The patron saint of police, Frances Glessner Lee, had always had an interest in forensic science. 
She was denied a formal education in medicine and law and instead was married off to an attorney in training. During her time as a stay home wife and mother she pursued other hobbies at home such as sewing, art projects and making miniatures and doll houses.

Three children and many years later in the 1940’s, the marriage had ended in divorce and that nagging passion in forensics reared its persistent head again- this time as an interest in crime. This interest was inspired by the hundreds of cases that she had notice go unsolved. 

She noticed that the authorities seemed to be largely untrained in solving murder cases, and so following a hefty inheritance she dedicated her time, knowledge, funds and energy to helping provide proper police training in the art of evidence collecting and file building.

She liaised with witnesses of crimes, local people, police who were at the scene as well as morgue staff who dealt with the body, in order to collect statements and evidence to put together case files.
 Her favorite pastime of miniature model making came in extremely useful as a training tool to officers and investigators as she crafted small models of rooms, furniture and victims to use in demonstrations when training. Murder weapons, unchecked mail, position of furniture, stained clothing and fabrics were pointed out as important clues to solve the case.



These impressively detailed hand crafted tiny crime scene dioramas came to be known as “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”.




You can interactively explore the nutshells here and try to solve the crimes [X]

All images are from the deathindiorama site.
And all credits for such can be found here [X] as well as here [X]

Nicolae Minovici- hanging for science

I came across this picture online and just had to find out exactly why I was looking at a reclining man casually hanging himself. This guy was wild, check it out. 


A Romanian criminologist and forensic science professor named Nicolae Minovici routinely hanged himself in the name of research for his paper “Study on hanging” published in the 1900s.
Using a series of ropes, knots and pulleys he would auto-asphyxiate himself to experience both the physical and psychological effects it had on the human body and mind. He would then report his findings such as ringing in the ears, visual disturbances and other phenomena, and would experiment on other test subjects by choking them and having them report their experience too.



(All pictures found at madsciencemuseum)

The disappearance of Kimberly Ann Moreau and youtube channel 00b4as6


After an argument with her boyfriend on the 11th of May 1986, then 17 year old Maine resident, Kimberly Moreau, skipped her junior prom to party with a girlfriend two men in their mid-twenties whom they had just met.
The timeline of the night reveals that she made sure to stop by her family home around 11pm to inform her sister that she’d return in an hour or so. Her sister neglected to ask any further questions- something she would forever come to regret, but provided a description of the car that Kimberly left in- a Pontiac trans am in white.

That would be the last time that any member of the Moreau family would ever see Kimberly again.
Brian Enman- one of the two 25 year old men the girls were with that night, was the last person to have contact with the missing teenage girl that night. He insisted in his statement that, as per Kimberly’s request, he had dropped her off a fair distance from her home (around half a mile) so that she could take a walk and reflect on what had happed between her and her boyfriend that night.  

Many people were sceptical of Enman’s statement, including the police and the missing girl’s family, who commented that it would be completely out of character for Kimberly to do something like that. Needless to say, Brian Enman was a person of interest in the case; however he was never convicted for the disappearance.

(pic source: centralmaine.com)

Kimberly’s father, now in his early seventies, has searched high and low for his daughter over the years with the intention of "giving her a proper burial"- he revealed to the Portland press herald in 2015.
As with many high profile missing peoples cases the family received many phone calls from anonymous people claiming to know where their missing daughter was- All hoax calls with dead end answers or course. 


Another presumed hoax to pop up was a coded YouTube account- user “00b4as6” who began posting content relating to Moreau's disappearance one month after local police searched Brian Enman’s property and surrounding land. Reddit subunresolved mysteries dissected the videos in their comments section with the senses that although unnerving, they are not convinced that the videos are legit.

The videos are no longer available and have been removed, but Top15’s Y/T channel does talk about the mysterious channel in this video here [X]

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Kimberly Anne Moreau please do not hesitate to contact the
Maine State Police on 1-800-228-0857 or 207-743-8282

(pic source: central Maine)