‘Til Death Do Us Part: Couple Married 60 Years Buried in Double Coffin 

February 14, 2016 rehadlock 0

14 Most Violent Valentine’s Days 14 Most Violent Valentine’s Days   In 1921, Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Souder and Mary Ellen Souder, a couple married for sixty years died less than 48 hours apart and were laid to rest in a double coffin. The two had contracted dysentery, known as “The Flux” at that time. Dysentery is a form of gastroenteritis, usually contacted by contaminated food and water. Without treatment, a person with dysentery will rapidly lose bodily fluids leading to dehydration and eventually, death. This disease was a common killer in the 19th and 20th century before the invention of […]

Postmortem Family Photos: The Keller Family

January 20, 2016 rehadlock 2

    In the Victorian era, postmortem photography, also known as ‘mourning portraiture’ was a common practice. Often, these photographs would be sent to family across the country with the expectation that they would be proudly displayed as a way to remember the deceased. Due to the extremely high cost of film in the nineteenth century, death was often one of the few occasions deemed important enough to photograph a relative or friend and violent death resulting in disfigurement was not cause to forgo the photo op. These photos ranged from a portrait of only the deceased subject, to an entire […]

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A Witness to Spontaneous Human Combustion & Other Stories of SHC

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 7

Jeannie Saffin  The only known case of Spontaneous Human Combustion which was witnessed was that of Jeannie Saffin of London, England on September 15, 1982. Jeannie Saffin was 61 years of age but had the mental capabilities of a six year old and lived with her 82-year-old father, Jack Saffin. While in the kitchen, Jack noticed a bright flash out of the corner of his eye. Turning to Jeannie to ask if she had seen it as well as, Jack Saffin noticed his daughter was on fire, sitting perfectly still with her hands in her lap. Don Carroll, Jack’s son-in-law entered the house just in time to see Jeannie in […]

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Laura Belle Devlin

June 8, 2015 rehadlock 1

On January 5, 1947 C.G. Butcher, a postman in Newark, Ohio delivered mail to the Devlin residence at 78 King Avenue. That day, seventy-two year old housewife and avid collector of old lace, Laura Belle Devlin, received a letter from relatives in Philadelphia informing her that her 75-year-old husband, Thomas Devlin, had passed away during a recent visit. Made suspicious by the fact that this letter had no stamp and a postmark which was obviously hand-written, C.G. Butcher took the widow to the local police station. When Mrs. Devlin was questioned, she admitted to having murdered her husband, Thomas, in the parlour […]