Most people observe the 14th of February as a day to celebrate love and romance, but those of us who are a bit twisted know all too well that the holiday has proven throughout history to be more murderous than mushy. Whether you’re celebrating Single’s Awareness Day alone or you’re cuddled up with your Suicide Girl and preparing to watch ‘Faces of Death’ this evening, if you are overwhelmed by the cheesiness of Valentine’s Day here are 14 morbid facts about February the 14th:
1. St. Valentine was a Roman Holy Priest who is known for marrying soldiers in secret during a time in which all marriages and engagements were strictly forbidden. The Roman Empire was building its army and felt family ties were a hindrance to active and potential soldiers. For performing these ceremonies, St. Valentine was sentenced to death. During his imprisonment, he formed a friendship with the jailer’s daughter. Before his execution, he left her a note and signed it “From Your Valentine”. On February 14th circa 270 (there are many years in which this may have taken place, no one is certain) St. Valentine was bludgeoned to death with clubs and decapitated.
2. King of England, Richard II died of starvation on February 14, 1400 while imprisoned in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire. King Richard II, who was only 33 years old at the time of his death, was deposed by Parliament and succeeded by his cousin, Henry IV.
3. On February 14, 1779 Captain James Cook, an English explorer and navigator landed on the beaches of Hawaii with his crew. As they debarked, they were met by very angry natives who began hurling rocks at them. Cook tried to negotiate with native leader King Kalaniopuu. Unfortunately, those negotiations did not go over well after Cook’s crew had shot a lesser chief of the tribe to death. A mob of natives attacked the Captain and his crew who retaliated with gunfire. Despite the superior weapons sported by Cook and his crew, they were engulfed by the Hawaiian natives. Captain Cook was killed in the battle, and only a handful of his men managed to escape the island and the wrath of its people.
4. In 1929, six associates of the Northside Irish gang (run by Bugs Moran) and one car mechanic were ambushed and killed in an execution style shooting in a Chicago, Illinois warehouse (2122 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park). These murders have gone on to be known as “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”. While it is widely believed the attack was carried out by members of Al Capone’s Southside Italian gang, Deidre Capone, Al’s niece, defends her late uncle’s innocence. When police arrived, John May (mechanic), Albert Weinshank, Reinhardt Schwimmer, Adam Heyer, Albert Kachellek, and brothers Peter and Frank Gusenberg lying side by side along one wall. The objective of the attack was to take out Bugs Moran himself, but the unknown assassins mistook Albert Weinshank, who bore a striking resemblance to Moran, as the infamous mob leader. All were found dead except Frank Gusenberg who was barely clinging to life after being shot fourteen times. When police repeatedly questioned Frank as to who shot him he replied, “No one- nobody shot me.”, adhering to ‘omerta’, a rule of absolute silence within the gang.
5. On February 14, 1943, Frieda Reiss, an 11 month old baby deported from France was murdered in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp.
6. Adolph Dubs, US ambassador to Afghanistan was on his way to the US embassy on Feburary 14, 1979 when his car was stopped by four men. The men forced the driver, at gunpoint, to drive to the Kabul Hotel where Dubs was held hostage in Room 117. His kidnappers had hoped to have Afghani prisoners in the US released, in exchange for the ambassador. Despite the United State’s wishes to hold off in order to ensure Dubs’s safety, Afgahnistan police forces stormed the hotel and opened gunfire on the room in which Adolph Dubs was being held captive. After a 40-60 second exchange of gunfire, Dubs was found slumped in a chair, killed by two shots to the head. Two of his captors were killed in the attack, as well.
7. Juan Manuel Navarro showed up at the home of Ignacia Manriquez, his ex-girlfriend, on Valentine’s Day 1993. The couple had three children together, but Manriquez had taken out a restraining order on Navarro after their break-up. One of their children, seeing his father outside, opened the door and allowed him in the house. Ignacia brought out the restraining order and told him to leave, but he refused. Navarro then followed his ex and their three children to the parking lot of a local supermarket in San Bernardino, California where witnesses say the two were engaged in an altercation outside Ignacia’s vehicle. Juan then shot Ignacia in the head at point blank range. As she fell onto the pavement of the parking lot, Navarro shot her again in the stomach and twice in the head while their four year old son watched. When the four year old boy was asked by police to recount the traumatic event he stated, “There is ketchup everywhere.”.
8. In 2000, three tornadoes unexpectedly touched down in Georgia between February 13th and 14th. Many were caught off guard as February is a highly unusual time of year for the Southern United States to experience tornadoes. It was the single deadliest tornado outbreak in the United States between June 1999 and October 2002, killing 18 total while injuring countless more and nearly destroying the Georgia towns of Camilla and Meigs.
9. 53 year old John Hamilton of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma came home on Valentine’s Day 2001 to find his wife of 14 years, Susan, lying on the bathroom floor in a pool of her own blood. She had been strangled with two of John’s ties and her head had been severly beated to the poin that parts of her brain were exposed. Blood on John’s shirt was found not to be from an attempt to recessetate his wife as he had claimed, but was consistent with blood splatters found when smashing someone’s head in. John Hamilton was later accused and imprisoned for his wife’s murder.
10. A terrorist group known as “The Nasra & Jihad Group in Greater Syria” detonated a truck bomb packed with an estimated 1,000 kg of explosives in Lebanon on Febrarary 14, 2005. The explosion, which took place in Beirut near the St. George Hotel, killed 21 people and injured approximately 220. Those killed in the attack include Bassel Fleihan, former Minister of Ecology in Lebanon and Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri.
11. Stephen Grant of Washington Township, Michigan reported his wife Tara’s disappearance to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office on February 14, 2007. Stephen claimed his wife had gone missing 5 days prior after she was overheard on the phone saying, “I’ll meet you at the end of the driveway” before getting into a “mysterious dark vehicle” and driving off. Police became suspicious, and during a search of the couple’s home found Tara’s torso in the garage. Later, other body parts were found scattered throughout the nearby woods. Stephen eventually confessed to his wife’s murder, telling investigators he had strangled her to death before dismembering her body.
12. On Febrary 14, 2008 the fifth deadliest school shooting in the United States took place at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. The shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, shot and killed five students and injured twenty-one before taking his own life. The entire event occurred in only 6 minutes, between 3:05 and 3:11 pm.
13. South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius is a double-amputee (legs, below knee), Paralympic Champion who shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in their home on Valentine’s Day 2013. Pistorius, who claims he believed her to be an intruder, was recently convicted of culpable homicide and is currently serving a five year prison sentence.
14. TODAY, Feburary 14th, 2015, Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath (23), Randall Steven Shepherd (20), an unidentified 23-year-old American female and 19-year-old Canadian male had planned to shoot as many people as possible in the Halifax Shopping Center before killing themselves. This shopping center is the largest regional shopping mall in Canada and could have resulted in multiple murders. The unidentified 19-year-old Canadian was found dead in his home, presumably as a result of suicide. The other “Murderous Misfits”, as they are being called, are in police custody.
From the same demented mind that brought you The Post-Mortem Post: FREAK