Sexual addiction and aggravated assault. Did golf just get interesting?

There are two ways to make golf more exciting; sexual addiction and aggravated assault. This news story is about the latter. It started when two men, Glenn Lott (59) and an unidentified 65-year-old victim began arguing over the golf score at the Westwynd Golf Course in Oakland County in Michigan. (I don’t need to research this, it’s in Detroit isn’t it?)

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Enraged by the victims ability to piss him off when asking about the score, Mr Lott broke his Callaway 5-iron golf club over the victims arm. He then stabbed the victim’s arm with the broken end of the club. Two other golfers in their group held Mr Lott down while the victim fled in a golf cart to the club house.

Imagine it. The 65-year-old drove himself in a golf cart – which moves at the speed of a deep sleep with a stab wound in his arm. Within minutes, Mr Lott had broken free from the two men holding him down and was screaming “I’m going to get him” as he gave chase in an equally slow golf cart. (Is it just me or are you imagining a slow motion Caddy Shack meets Dexter as well?).

Mr Lott was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon. He was ordered to stay away from the victim and from all golf courses.

Fun fact: Lott is apparently a former Drake University football star who was a second-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1975 but never ended up playing in the NFL. Turns out he is shit at two sports.

Shopping with Dead Weight

A person has been found dead in a Victoria Secret’s store for reasons other than boredom or losing consciousness at the sight of an exorbitant price tag.

 (Source: AP)

Tiona Rodriguez, a 17-year-old mother and her friend Francis Estevez were seen lurking (i.e not buying anything) in the West 34th St and Broadway Victoria Secret store at 1.30pm on Thursday. After being spotted stashing undergarments among their clothes (it’s always the undergarments, the PINK range is just not worth it) the security guard contacted police. As the women were handcuffed, the police noticed a foetus at the bottom of one of the bags. This is particularly off-putting to someone who refuses to go shopping even with coins because they weigh me down. How do you effectively shop (or shop lift as it were) with the added weight of a foetus?

According to police, the baby was born alive to Rodriguez at her friend’s house and was later asphyxiated. It’s not known why the girls killed the infant and then decided the best course of action was to go shopping instead of calling the hospital, police or disposing of the body. (Or whatever one does with an extra dead foetus on hand). Perhaps they shit themselves – literally, and were cleaning that mess up first.

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 From Tiona’s now deactivated Facebook page

Both girls have been charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. The court date is set for Dec. 10 however, Rodriguez has not being charged in the death of the baby. The New York medical examiners office conducted an autopsy on the child  which proved inconclusive and is pending further investigation. The investigation will determine whether the baby was born alive or was killed later on.

Rodriguez’s defense attorney Genay Ann Leitman, said Rodriguez has been receiving death threats via Facebook after the news broke. Her account has since been deactivated.

Dead Man Frozen

There are a multitude of filthy smells on a plane. Often, they are indistinguishable from each other – sweat, bacteria-laced air vents, diapers, processed meals, unwashed clothing, questionable hygiene, toilets, air conditioners, alcohol and coffee. Funnily enough, there could be a much worse smell on the plane you’ve overlooked – a dead body.

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The iFly Airbus A330-300 flew from Remini, Italy to Moscow, Russia and upon landing, a maintenance worker found the body of a 22 year old Georgian man, Giorgio Abduladze, wearing only a t-shirt and shorts, stuck in the uninsulated wheel well.

According to an autopsy, the man froze to death. Mr Abduladze had been dead for 4 days and had flown on 7 flights on the Airbus before his body was discovered. Stating the obvious, the Investigative Committee said “the man was apparently flying without a ticket.”

The question remains, after 7 flights, how did no maintenance or other staff detect the body or blood sooner? After 7 rotations the doors were never opened and he was never seen? How did the maintenance crews at the beginning and end of each flight fail to do a once over or open the wheel well?

At least those unusually filthy smells on a plane aren’t all in your head. But they could be from something worse than you’d ever imagine.

Happy flying!

{Image: planespotters.net}

The zombies are in PA. Where else would they be?

Like something from the pages of a Stephanie Meyer novel, (minus the bestiality/sex with non humanoid subplots prepubescent tweens seem to adore/ignore) comes some real life weird zombie-esque escapades.

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On September 7, 2012 in Hawley, Pennsylvania a 20-year-old Doylestown man named Richard Cimino Jr. parked his car, stripped naked and proceeded to break into an unoccupied house. After pottering around doing God-knows what, he exited by throwing himself from the second storey window. He sustained severe injuries to his arms and legs (on top of the mental incapacity to make rationale decisions). After the leap, he snuck up on one of two women walking down the street and tackled her. He managed to cover the woman in his blood from his injuries and began to gnaw at her head while screaming like an animal.

The two women escaped and called the police. As police arrived on the scene, the man was lying in the middle of the road acting delusional and displaying confrontational behaviour. Even after a good ‘ol taser, he still had enough energy to punch the EMT who was treating his face. (Enough energy after football tackle, faux attempted suicide/flying attempt from a second storey and attempted cannibalism – all while nude).

The man was charged with aggravated assault, indecent exposure and burglary.

If this is a typical night in Hawley, I obviously studied in the wrong PA town.

Simmer down: A chef cooks his wife in California.

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Thinking outside of the culinary box, a Southern Californian chef traded poultry in favour of slow cooking his wife. 

Dawn Viens, 39, disappeared in October 2009. She was a co-owner of Thyme Café in Torrance, California with her husband and Chef David Viens. (Above)

David Viens, 49, originally stated he was arguing with his wife about her alcohol use and some money that was missing from their Cafe when she walked out on Oct 18 not to be seen again. However, as detectives closed in on David, he tried to commit suicide by diving feet first off a 80 feet Rancho Palos Verdes cliff. He survived to face the jury in a 2011 Los Angeles Superior Court where he was charged with murder.

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In court, Viens said he accidentally killed his 105 pound wife. He claims to have bound her arms and feet together and duct-taped her mouth. He panicked when he found her dead the next morning so he slow cooked her remains by placing weights on her body in a 55 gallon drum, he then drained the fat and hid the skull in his mothers attic. He admitted he cooked her for four days. No one has found the body parts.

Prosecutors claim that Viens killed his wife in a fit of rage over money that was missing from their Cafe. Viens while in court sat in a wheelchair – from his failed and quite frankly painful suicide attempt – plead not guilty, calling Dawn’s death “unintentional.” 

The murder may not have been premeditated but the butchery of her body afterwards suggests a level of paranoia – a need to make sure her body and the evidence was completely gone. To read more about this nutcase: here, here and here.

A Cemetery on the Grounds of a Castle. The Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Since I last wrote I moved from the US to Australia, England, a Scottish Island and now I’m in Italy on my way back to Australia for 2 weeks before I fly back to the US. Exhausted doesn’t even cover it.

Upon visiting Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull – the second largest Scottish island and my home for a month, I found what looked like an unremarkable cemetery hidden among the lawns. The irony of course being owning real estate such as this and with this view in life was probably unthinkable let alone unattainable in life.

Upon some questions to staff members at Duart Castle, I found the mostly faded graves are some of the English troops of George II, wives and children who lived at Duart Castle (a garrison from 1745 – 1951) under the instructions of Sir Hector and Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

The garrison had arranged for a cemetery dedication by an English Bishop so the Soldiers and their families wouldn’t have to be buried in a – and I quote – “heathen’s graveyard.” Mmm.

Have you been to Duart Castle and know any more about the history of the cemetery?

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

After I heard Charles Dickens wanted to visit two places in this region – Niagara Falls and the Eastern State Penitentiary, I knew I had to take some time out before I left Philadelphia to visit the latter. I know it as the site of the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis and a once home of Al Capone but as I toured I found out much more. Dickens was right in wanting to visit – the difference is he hated what he saw and I found it fascinating.

The prison opened in 1829 and is one of the most copied and expensive buildings in the US. It’s estimated that more than 300 prisons worldwide are based on the Penitentiary’s wagon-wheel floor plan. After 142 years of consecutive use, Eastern State Penitentiary was abandoned in 1971. There is an audio tour included with the entry fee ($1 off here) and at 2pm most days there is guided tour. The guided tour is informative if a bit bland. Ideally, if you have time learn the history from the guide and ask questions then return and grab the audio and tour the cells and buildings yourself for the most bang for your buck and better photo opportunities.

Famous prisoners include Victor “Babe” Andreoli who was convicted of 1st degree murder and escaped and later shot a diner. Leo Callahan is the only successful escapee of the 100 inmates to escape from Eastern State. Alphonse “Scarface” Capone, who is Chicago’s most famous mob boss, spent eight months at Eastern State in 1929-1930. William Francis Sutton was also an inmate at Eastern State. He is one of the most famous bank robbers in American History.

 Have you been to Eastern State? What did you think?

Christ Church Cemetery, Philadelphia. The Final Resting Place of Benjamin Franklin.

I have always liked Philadelphia. It encompasses everything I look for in a good city – great food, living history, modern design and exhibits, inspired architecture, fabulous people, vintage inspired boutiques, and without the chaotic feeling of a major city but close enough to one if you need it. 

I spent the day walking around Olde Town, one of the most historically important areas of the country. It was with this importance in mind, I headed to the Christ Church Cemetery on 5th and Arch – founded in 1719, it’s the final resting place of 4000 people; Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Hewes, George Ross, Dr Benjamin Rush, Francis Biddle, Dr Philip Syng Physick, Commodore Thomas Truxtun and William Tuckey among other prominent residents.

Many people visit Christ Church to honour Benjamin Franklin’s grave who was buried here in 1790. It isn’t hard to find, just look for a large group of people hovering around the northeast fence. His grave is by entrance and the street – not because he was famous but rather since his wife Deborah has pre-purchased the plot before they died and wanted to be buried next to each other. Their two children Francis and Sarah are also buried next to him. His grave is covered in pennies whom many believe stems from the saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” However, it is actually a ritual started by nuns who used to pass his grave on their way to service. And yes, I did make a wish – two actually, since the cemetery takes the pennies and saves them for grave preservation of Benjamin Franklin, the military graves and the signers of the Declaration of Independence. It’s not often I’m able to be generous and greedy at the same time.

The grave stones are worn down to the point there is little to no inscriptions left on the stone. Only 1300 markers remain and plaques are now required to be purchased to be put in front of the blank grave stone. This is the main reason to splurge on the $3 tour. The guide will be able to point out graves of historical importance. One of which was Dr Benjamin Rush’s mother. Recently, her grave was destroyed by a tree branch directly above her. It was 100 years to the day of her death. Then it happened again almost 100 years exactly to the day of her death. (See picture above of a grave covered in plastic) If you are in to history this is definitely a stop worth doing and one which holds historical and political importance.

The burial ground is now open every day (except in January,February and December) Monday through Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4 (weather permitting) Admission price is: Adults-$2, Our guided tour “Revolutionary Americans” is available for an extra fee of $3 for adults and $1 for students. Guided tours are presented from 11 AM-3:30 PM. The tour is worth doing for an extra $3 since the graves are faded.

Whats your favourite historical place site in Philly?

Bodies: The Exhibition in Las Vegas

Recently I was given a $5000 scholarship for 5 months to study a programme of anatomy in the US, so in preparation, I dragged myself out of a Jo Malone Rose Oil infused bath and headed to the Luxor to see Bodies: The Exhibition. The exhibition consists of real human bodies and organs – the human specimens are prepared using a corrosion casting method and blood vessels are injected with (sometimes coloured) polymer than hardened.

Walking through the sections from the Respiratory System through to Reproduction, randomly people asked me anatomical questions. ( I wear black Prada glasses and look like an anatomy geek. Apparently)  – “Ma’am, the spine looks fibrous and flexible. Is it possible to snap the spine or do you snap the outer spine?” “If a person has hepatitis or HIV are there consequences for a foetus if they fall pregnant?” This is America, bitches. Litigation. Look it up yourself.

There were preserved hearts who made people squeal like Justin Bieber had just walked in, “OMG this is my favourite section!” I, however, am all about the brain. A particular specimen showed a healthy brain and another a brain that had been affected by a stroke (causing restricted or no blood flow to the brain). The area with no blood flow was black – dead, and looked much like the area of the lungs that blackened from tar in a smokers body.

Speaking of which, I don’t date smokers. I never have and never will and this exhibition confirmed it. There was a preserved lung of a healthy person by one of a smoker. The smoker’s lung was black, dead, infected, killed. I wonder, like other self-inflicted diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes , is it worth it? When you smoke a cigarette you are inhaling tar directly into your lungs. Breathing over time becomes harder, cigarettes stain your nails and your teeth, you stink like a charred body, your breath stinks, you are helping your body create a cancer within itself and on top of this, an average pack of smokes takes 3 hours and  40 minutes off your life. They are also a phenomenally expensive habit – you are paying through the nose to slowly kill yourself. Just buy a noose. It’s quicker and much cheaper.

There is a section of displayed arteries that were Andy Warhol-esque, having been injected with coloured polymer in corals, reds, whites and greens. Other coloured sections such as the pulmonary veins and bronchi looked like coral from the barrier reef and could easily pass as art in a boutique gallery in NYC.

There is a section on babies – a conjoined twin, foetus at different rates of development, a baby’s skull, heart and lungs paired next to adult developed ones. Besides the amazing specimens and whole preserved bodies you learn a lot about Anatomy 101 – such as the fact no cell in the body lies more than a few micrometres from a blood vessel or that the pulse is an artery wall stretching w every heart beat, and human skin is the heaviest of all organs at almost 4kg.

The exhibition is $35 dollars but most Vegas magazines and books will have a $5 off coupon. If you do the survey at the end of the exhibition you will be given a code enabling you to receive 10% off at the gift shop.

Have you been to the exhibition or are you planning to? What do you do in Vegas? (The first two photos are from http://www.luxor.com as photographs are prohibited in the exhibition)

City of Death: The St Louis Cemetery #1, New Orleans

For those of you keen to soak up the company of a decaying body or pile of bones from the other side of a cement wall, Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is for you. It is the oldest cemetery in New Orléans, founded in 1789, and is located at the corners of St. Louis and Basin streets. (Just outside the French Quarter) If the dead bodies didn’t grab you attention, the cemetery was also featured in the 1969 film, Easy Rider.

The reason New Orléans bury their dead above ground is the predominantly below sea level city’s (French quarter is the highest point) climate. Bodies buried underground in New Orléans have a tendency to float to the surface when the city floods, releasing bacteria and causing disease to spread. Needless to say, the original French Settlers decided to bury their dead in an above-ground crypts to save little Johnny from stepping on something ambiguous on the way to school or from the dog dragging in something in slightly bigger than a bird.

Above ground crypts protect the body and coffin but also allows the vaults to be reused. Many of the crypts were and still are, large family tombs where coffins are stacked several levels high. When a family ran out of space, the oldest burial was moved under the vault – thus the joke, “the use of dead space” surrounding the vaults.

St Louis Cemetery #1 is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Marie Laveau, a famous Voodoo priestess, who was buried here in 1881. The legend continues that Marie rises from the dead on St. John’s Eve (June 23) and leads voodoo practitioners in a wild ceremony and orgy. (This weekend I’m going on a ritual voodoo ceremony presided over by a ghost of a black magic queen that will end in a supernatural occult orgy. What are you doing? Um, playing X Box)

The tallest monument in the cemetery is the The Italian Mutual Benevolent Society tomb.The tomb has space for more than a thousand remains.

Recommended Tour:

Save Our Cemeteries – Only non-profit, most ticket price goes into restoring the cemetery. 1 hour $20

You can go to the cemetery and visit for free but the knowledge of the guide is indispensible in explaining the vaults and history.

Other Tours:

Cajun Encounters City/Cemetery Tour  - all city tours with a “Cemetery option” are usually15 minutes guided tours only

Voodoo Cemetery Tour 

Gray Line Cemetary Walking Tour 

Bloody Mary’s Cemetery Tour 

Cajun Pride City/ Cemetery Tour 

Magic Tours NOLA St Louis Tour

Cemetery Voodoo Tour

Spirit Tour of New Orléans Cemetery Tour 

Haunted History Tour 

Have you been on a  tour here? What did you think?

*If you are interested in reading about my actual travels and looking for advice go to http://www.travellingassassin.com!