The Lurid Case of The Black Dahlia: Unsolved 70 Years Later

January 15, 2017 rehadlock 0

At 11:07 AM on January 15, 1947, housewife Betty Bersinger and her three-year-old daughter were walking from their home on Norton Avenue in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles to a nearby shoe repair shop. Development in Leimer Park had been halted at the onset of World War II and was still largely comprised of overgrown land. As the two walked down the west side of the 3800 block of South Norton Avenue that dreary morning, Betty spotted what she believed was a mannequin lying in a vacant lot, near the sidewalk; It’s top and bottom half were disconnected […]

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Stage 3: Rigor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 6

The third stage of decomposition known as “Rigor Mortis” translates to “stiffness” [rigor] “of death” [mortis]. The stiffness in a body during the phase of Rigor Mortis is caused by a build up of lactic acid which causes chemical changes within muscles. In life, lactic acid, also known as “milk acid” plays various roles in a body’s biochemical process. The myosin and actin (proteins involved in muscle movement) in the body then begin to harden, causing all muscles in the body to harden for a period of time, as well. At the time of death, “primary flaccidity” occurs and Rigor Mortis begins within […]

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Stage 4: Livor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 11

The fourth stage of decomposition, Livor Mortis translates to “blueish color” [livor] “of death” [mortis] although it has many names including “hypostasis”, “suggillation”, “cadaveric lividity”, “darkening of death” and “postmortem staining”. Livor Mortis begins when circulation stops, blood vessels become more permeable due to decomposition, and blood settles throughout the corpse. Red blood cells, which are very dense, travel and pool in the lowest areas possible, staining the tissue. This means in a hanging death, discoloration would be seen in the feet, fingertips and ear lobes. Males who die from hanging may also acquire what’s known as a “Death Erection” (or “Angel Lust”) due […]

Pray the Decay Away: Incorruptible Corpses and Other Forms of Natural Postmortem Preservation

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 21

Ancient Egypt is widely recognized for their advanced process of “mummification” which successfully prevented natural decomposition. These purposefully preserved “anthropogenic mummies” have been found in various ancient civilizations throughout the world and were created by exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, extremely low humidity and/or lack of air. Spontaneous Mummification/natural embalming can occur under the same conditions. The oldest known natural mummification was observed in a 6,000 year old severed head discovered in South America in 1934 which was found to be of the Incan Civilization. Most people are familiar with the image of a “normal”, dried up mummy, a body which did not go through the process of Putrefaction due to dehydration of the corpse; However, there are […]

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Who Killed Kendrick Johnson?

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 5

-This article contains GRAPHIC IMAGES which may not be suitable for some- On the evening of January 10, 2013, 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, a sophomore at Lowndes High School did not return home from school. The following day at 9AM, his body was discovered inside a rolled up wrestling mat in the gym of his Valdosta, Georgia high school. The grisly discovery was made by two sisters, daughters of the Superintendent, Wes Taylor. The girls were sitting in the gym near an area full of rolled up mats when they noticed a pair of feet inside one of them. The mat was moved from its vertical position to the […]

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The Death Zone

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 8

 Climbing the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is on the bucket list of countless adventurous individuals. Part of The Himalayas, Mount Everest’s peak towers at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level and marks the border between the countries of Nepal, to the south, and Tibet to the north. In Nepal, Everest is known as “Sagarmatha” and in Tibet call the mountain “Chomolungma”. The cost of climbing Mount Everest is $25,000 – $60,000 (16,660 – 39,700 pounds) but ultimately, some pay with their lives.   In recent years, Mount Everest has become notorious for an area known as “The Death Zone” which is the final resting place for over 200 climbers who lost their lives during their attempt […]

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Hannelore Schmatz “The German Woman”

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 4

Hannelore Schmatz was a German mountaineer born on February 16, 1940. On October 2, 1979 she became the first woman, and the first German citizen to die on the upper slopes of Mount Everest. Her husband, 50-year-old Gerhard Schmatz was the leader of the expedition, becoming the oldest person to have summited Mount Everest up to that time. It is common on Everest for expedition teams to split up into smaller groups, having a few summit at a time as the rest remain at base camp. Hannelore summited that day with Swiss-American Ray Genet and a Sherpa, Sungdare. After a successful summit, Schmatz and Genet were […]

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David Sharp

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 0

British engineer and mountaineer David Sharp was born February 15, 1972. In 2006 he attempted to summit Mount Everest solo with no oxygen, Sherpa, guide or radio. It is presumed he did reach the summit and was descending when he became imparted due to environmental conditions and was possibly experiencing oxygen depletion. David Sharp took refuge in “Green Boots’ Cave“, next to the body of the unidentified Indian climber refered to by the nickname “Green Boots“. Sitting with his arms clasped around his legs, Sharp was passed by at least forty climbers who mistook him for the infamous “Green Boots“. […]

Life Before Death: Overcoming the Fear of Death Through Postmortem Photography

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 15

 German photographer Walter Schels and journalist Beate Lakotta set out to dispell their shared fear of death by photographing terminally ill people perimortem and postmortem in the series “Life Before Death”. Beate Lakotta and Walter Schel have been married for over twenty years; Schel is 30 years her senior. The two are well-aware Schels will most likely die long before Lakotta, an event which they both fear. Walter Schels grew up near Munich, Germany during the final years of World War II; His own home was bombed as a child and he saw many victims of the air raids. He […]

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