20141022

John Dillinger

Conspiracies have swarmed about John Dillinger’s death ever since he was shot outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago. 

Every detail (from the night he was shot to the circumstances of his funeral) has been brought into question to determine whether or not Dillinger pulled the greatest heist of all time. 

Eyewitnesses at the shooting claim the murdered man had brown eyes whereas Dillinger’s were gray.

More speculation was brought about when it was made public that his father and sister did not immediately identify the body on the slab as John Dillinger. 

One of the issues with the theory is that John Dillinger underwent numerous plastic surgeries prior to his death to make himself less conspicuous in public. 

This included having his fingerprints altered or removed entirely for identification.

Naturally, this led to some confusion as to whether or not the man who was shot down was, in fact, the infamous gangster.

20141020

The Brazilian soccer fan who was killed by flying toilet

Forty days before the beginning of the 2014 World Cup, a football fan was killed after he was struck on the head by a toilet bowl hurled from a stadium in the World Cup host city of Recife.

The 26-year-old man died after a large fight erupted following a match between Santa Cruz and Parana at the Arruda Stadium. 

Fans inside the stadium ripped out three toilets from a lavatory and threw them from the stands at rivals on the streets below. 

One of them hit and instantly killed the young fan.  More

20141019

Yao Ming, the basketball giant, was made in China by order of the state

Far from being a chance creation, Chinese basketball giant Yao Ming was knowingly bred for the sport, forced into it against his will and subjected to years of dubious science to increase his height.

The Houston Rockets centre also underwent years of punishing training as one of hundreds of thousands of potential Chinese athletes who endure miserable childhoods in boot-camp conditions.

An Elephant’s ‘Radar’ Can Detect Rain 150 Miles Away

They say elephants never forget – and evidently they can vividly remember the sound of rain, so much so that they can tell when a storm is approaching even if it’s 150 miles away, and their ability to do so might one day save them from being killed by the thousands by poachers, according to research that includes a Texas A&M University professor.

Oliver Frauenfeld, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, and colleagues from the University of Virginia, Australia’s University of New South Wales and the University of Utah, have had their work published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

The team analyzed data from GPS tracking devices placed on elephants in 14 different herds in the Namibia region of Africa and the elephants’ movements were plotted for seven years. The region has a distinct rainy season and conditions are usually hot and dry with little precipitation.

The researchers found that elephants can “sense” thunderstorms — often hundreds of miles from their current location – and seem to predict approaching rain several days before it occurs. More

20141018

How age-progression software helps find missing kids

Age-progression images are a critical tool in helping identify missing children after an abduction or missing person’s report, says Steve Loftin, the Supervisor for National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the Forensic Imaging Unit, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Loftin told FoxNews.com their Forensic Imaging Specialists, as they are known, have used new features in Adobe Photoshop for color-matching and light-matching. Using reference photos from siblings, parents, and other relatives, the specialists can create realistic age-progressed images that show the correct bone structure, skin tones, and even hair styles.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” explained Loftin, who says the reference images for the parents and siblings are helpful for constructing the age progressions. More

20141017

The White House, Washington, D.C. is haunted



By far the most frequently reported sighting in the White House over the years has been the ghost–or at least the presence–of the celebrated 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, whose life was cut tragically short by an assassin’s bullet in April 1865.

Grace Coolidge, wife of President Calvin Coolidge (1923-29), was the first person to say she had actually seen Lincoln’s ghost. According to her, the lanky former president was standing looking out a window of the Oval Office, across the Potomac to the former Civil War battlefields beyond.

Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson (1963-69), reportedly felt Lincoln’s presence one night while watching a television program about his death.

Most notably, sightings of Lincoln’s ghost were frequently reported during the long administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45), who also presided over his country during a time of great upheaval. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt used the Lincoln Bedroom as her study, and said she would feel his presence when she worked there late at night.

During her visit to the White House, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands heard a knock on her bedroom door in the night; when she answered it, she reportedly saw Lincoln’s ghost, wearing his top hat, and fainted dead away.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who visited the White House more than once during World War II, told a story of emerging naked from his evening bath smoking his customary cigar, only to find a ghostly Lincoln sitting by the fireplace in his room.

THE HOPE DIAMOND IS CURSED

It has traveled the world but now resides in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and some believe it is cursed, with a whole mythology claiming that great misfortune and misery will befall any who dares to wear the 45.52 carat diamond.

There is evidence of several newspaper accounts which helped spread the curse story. 

A New Zealand newspaper article in 1888 described the supposedly lurid history of the Hope Diamond, including a claim that it was "said once to have formed the single eye of a great idol", as part of a confused description that also claimed that its namesake owner had personally "brought it from India", and that the diamond's true color was "white, [although] when held to the light, it emits the most superb and dazzling blue rays."

An article entitled "Hope Diamond Has Brought Trouble To All Who Have Owned It" appeared in the Washington Post in 1908. 

An additional account of the Hope Diamond's "cursed origins" was a fanciful and anonymously written newspaper article in 1909. 

It was followed by another article in 1911 which detailed a rather lengthy list of supposed cases of ill-fortune but with few confirmations from other sources:

Jacques Colet bought the Hope Diamond from Simon Frankel and committed suicide.
Prince Ivan Kanitovski bought it from Colet but was killed by Russian revolutionists.
Kanitovski loaned it to Mlle Ladue who was "murdered by her sweetheart."
Simon Mencharides, who had once sold it to the Turkish sultan, was thrown from a precipice along with his wife and young child.
Sultan Hamid gave it to Abu Sabir to "polish" but later Sabir was imprisoned and tortured.
Stone guardian Kulub Bey was hanged by a mob in Turkey.
A Turkish attendant named Hehver Agha was hanged for having it in his possession.
Tavernier, who brought the stone from India to Paris was "torn to pieces by wild dogs in Constantinople."
King Louis gave it to Madame de Montespan whom later he abandoned.
Nicholas Fouquet, an "Intendant of France", borrowed it temporarily to wear it but was "disgraced and died in prison."
A temporary wearer, Princess de Lamballe, was "torn to pieces by a French mob."
Jeweler William Fals who recut the stone "died a ruined man."
William Fals' son Hendrik stole the jewel from his father and later "committed suicide."
Some years (after Hendrik) "it was sold to Francis Deaulieu, who died in misery and want."

20141016

World's youngest grandma

A woman became the world’s youngest grandmother at the age of 23.

Rifca Stanescu (pictured with grandson, Ion), from the Romanian town of Investi, was 12 years old when she gave birth to her daughter, Maria.

Maria, in turn, had her first child, her son Ion, at age 11.

I am happy to be a grandmother but I wished something else for Maria - and for me

The birth made Rifca a grandmother at age 23, and her mother a great-grandmother at age 40.

The family is part of the Romanian traveller community, in which it’s common for couples to marry and have children at a young age.

20141015

JFK's Strange Umbrella Man


At the moment when bullets were being fired into JFK's motorcade, a man can be seen standing on the side of the road near the car holding an open black umbrella. But it wasn't raining. This is exactly the kind of detail that sets a fire under conspiracy theorists — and here's why.

Indeed, it was a sunny day, although it had rained the night before, and no one else in Dallas was holding an umbrella. It is a genuine anomaly – something that sticks out like a sore thumb.

The event also defies our intuition about probability. Even if one could accept that somewhere on the streets of Dallas that morning one man decided to hold an open umbrella for some strange reason, what are the odds that this one man would be essentially standing right next to the president's car when the bullets began to fly?

20141014

Pablo Escobar’s hippos are wreaking havoc in Colombia

Columbia - Hippos once owned by Pablo Escobar are still roaming the grounds of the late Colombian drug lord's former home, presenting a problem for locals and wildlife officials, who aren't sure the best way to contain or control them.

The hippos were smuggled in as part of a zoo that Escobar built at Hacienda Napoles, his estate about 200 miles from Bogota. 

Escobar died in 1993, but his hippos remained on the land, even after the zoo's other animals were relocated.

Smithsonian magazine reports that hippos are believed to "kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined."  More

20141013

Haunted Hotel in Galveston, Texas

In the mid-1950’s a 25 year old bride-to-be named Audra was a frequent guest at the Hotel Galvez. Legend has it that she checked into a room on the fifth floor, number,501.

Audra was engaged to a mariner who sailed out of the Port of Galveston. According to the tale, Audra would climb to the top of one of the turrets in the Hotel and watch for her love whenever he was expected to return from sea. 

From the turret she watched in horror as a mighty storm battered the port. With great hope, she continued to climb the turret day after day, but never saw the ship. 

Finally, word came that the ship had sunk and all aboard had perished. In despair, Audra hung herself. A few days later, her mariner arrived at the hotel, very much alive, and ready for the wedding that was never to be.

There were many “sightings” and stories of contact with Audra. Audra is said to wander the fifth floor at night searching for something or someone.

20141012

Ronald Clark O'Bryan - The Man Who Killed Halloween

Texas - Ronald Clark O'Bryan (October 19, 1944 – March 31, 1984), nicknamed The Candy Man and The Man Who Killed Halloween, was an American former optician from Deer Park, Texas convicted of killing his eight-year-old son Timothy on Halloween 1974 with potassium cyanide-laced Pixy Stix in order to claim life insurance money. 

He also distributed poisoned candy to his daughter and three other children in an attempt to cover up his crime; however neither his daughter nor the other children ate the poisoned candy.

Ronald O'Bryan was confined to the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas. 

According to Reverend Carroll Pickett, a former chaplain who worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, O'Bryan was shunned and despised by his fellow Death Row inmates for killing a child and was "absolutely friendless". 

The inmates reportedly petitioned to hold an organized demonstration on O'Bryan's execution date to express their hatred of him.

During the execution, a crowd of 300 demonstrators gathered outside the prison cheered while some yelled "Trick or treat!". Others showered anti-death penalty demonstrators with candy.

The dishwasher that also cleaned clothes

In 1907, Thor introduced the first electric clothes washer sold commercially in the United States and were appliance innovators throughout the 20th century.

They also introduced a combo washing machine and dishwasher in the 1940s.

Despite pretty major marketing at the time, the machines didn't do too well – most consumers were put off by washing their clothes and dishes in the same machine.  More

Florida's Drive-Thru Funeral Home

In the 1980s, it was set up to permit mourners to see departed loved ones without ever leaving the car.

A large drive-through bank teller window was added to the Westside Serenity Funeral Home after the city denied a request for additional parking.

The deceased lay in state next to the window behind closed drapes that opened when the front tires of a car passed over a rubber cable on the ground.

Mourners signed in at a register kept in a deposit drawer. When the car's back tires drove over the cable again, the drapes closed and the lights and music that mourners heard shut off.

20141010

Elvis died alone in his Graceland bathroom

By October 1973, Elvis and Priscilla divorced and his problems with prescription drugs like barbiturates came to light. By the end of the year, he was hospitalized from the effects of Demerol addiction.

His rock star looks were lost as he became overweight and bloated. Some said he became a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self.

By the time he died, he was suffering from glaucoma, liver damage, high blood pressure, and an enlarged colon, each aggravated—and possibly caused—by drug abuse.

Elvis was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16, 1977, to begin another tour. That afternoon, he was found unresponsive in his Graceland bathroom. He couldn't be revived and Elvis was pronounced dead at 3:30 in the afternoon.

20141009

Woman Uses Diamond Ring to Escape Being Buried Alive

London - In 2011, a woman who was buried alive in a cardboard box has told a British court how she used her diamond engagement ring to cut her hands and legs free, and then slash her way out of the box.

Michelina Lewendowska, 27, told her harrowing tale while testifying against her former fiancé Marcin Kasprzak and his friend Patryk Borys, who are both on trial for attempted murder.

Speaking in her native Polish, Lewendowska told the court her fiancé attacked her with a taser in their home.

"I was trying to push him away with the taser. He knelt down, he pressed my ribs with his knee and continued to use the taser," she said.

Lewendowska was tasered twice in the neck, bound and gagged, and put into a cardboard computer box, she said.

The woman told the court Kasprzak and Borys taped the box shut, put her in the trunk of a car, then drove her to the woods and buried her, head down, under nearly half a foot of dirt. And left. More