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Unexplained Cases: O.J Simpson Murder trial

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The Trial of O.J Simpson: An innocent man or a failed system? 

The double homicide of Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman shocked the world over 20 years ago, and with the recent introduction of shows such American crime story: The people Vs O.J Simpson (Watch here) and Kardashian: The man who saved O.J. Simpson (watch here) the most talked about case of the 90’s found its way back into the limelight. However even after 23 years people still found themselves asking the very same question this time around, did O.J. Simpson murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman? Or was he simply an innocent black man framed by a hate fueled system? 

This post will discuss the facts of one of the most publized trials in criminal history, as-well as some suspicsion circumstances that have left people unable to choice a side since the day ‘The Juice” was taken to court.

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O.J. Simpson and Ex-wife Nicole Brown Smith

A brief history of the marriage of O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Smith

O.J and Nicole met when Nicole was just aged 18 years, and in 1985 the pair married and had two children together. After 7 years the marriage ended in divorce.

Nicole repeatly assussed O.J of domestic abuse, with the police called to their home in a Brentwood total of 9 times before an action was taken against O.J. Nicole claimed that O.J had once thrown her out of a moving car and batten her several times but that police never took action across him due to his fame as 'The Juice". As a result Nicole and her sister took photos of her abused body after an attack carried out by O.J and locked them away should 'the truth' ever need to come out.

Images of the photo’s taken by Nicole and her sister can be found here

The night of the murders of Nicole Brown smith and Ron Goldman:

The facts/ Witness timeline  

On 12th June 1994, Nicole Brown Smith, after threats from ex-husband OJ Simpson, had put her home, in the south-side of Brentwood, up for sale. She was moving on to the next part of her life, a life without involvement of OJ.

akita-inu-800At 10:55pm on 12th June 1994, Steven Schwab, or ‘the dog witness’ as he came to be known, whilst on his usual walking route, happened to pass Nicole Smiths home, and stubble upon a rather distressed Akita. Schwab recalled that he had simply walked past the dog at first, but the dog followed him all the way back to his home. After speaking with his neighbour, Sukru Boztepe, Schwab agreed that the dog should stay at Boztepe’s home till the morning.

However it seemed like the dog had other ideas…

Boztepe stated that the dog became even more restless, appearing to desperately want to leave their home, and so at he and his wife decided to take the Akita for a walk. They allowed for the dog to lead them, but they did not expect what it would lead them too.. The bodies of Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman. 

Both the Boztepe, his wife, and officers that attended the scene of the crime claimed it was “something straight out of a horror movie” (Back when horror movies were actually horrifying). Ron had clearly been ‘brutally attacked’, whilst Nicole lay in a puddle of her own blood, ‘basically decapitated’. They were believed to have died around 10:15pm.

Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, were both asleep inside the house where Nicole’s body was found. The room’s were still candle lit and the bathtub was full, it seemed as though it would be a normal evening in for Nicole that night. Her friend, Ronald, was reportedly there that night dropping glasses off that her mother had left behind at a resturant where he was employed.

The involvement of O.J Simpson/OJ’s timeline

At 10:25pm a Limo driver, Allan Park,  arrived at O.J’s home ‘Rockingham’ to take O.J to the airport. Park claims there was no sign of O.J ready and waiting to go when he arrived, even though his flight was scheduled for 11:45pm (Kind of like went your mum says be ready for 7pm and she’s still in her rollers at 8pm)

At 10:30pm O.J’s friend (and ex-Nanny employed by Nicole) ‘Kato’ who was staying at O.J’s guest house at the time, claimed to hear 3 loud bangs as though someone had jumped over the fence in an attempt to get onto the property.

Between 10:40pm-10:50pm Limo driver Park stated that he buzzed O.J several times with no answer.

At 11:00pm Park claims to have seen a figure, matching O.J’s description, entering O.J’s home then at 11:05pm he buzzed O.J’s intercom again, with O.J finally answering, claiming he had overslept and had not heard the intercom.

Later detective Ron Philips rang O.J to inform him of the death of Nicole, due to the fact he was the father of her children. O.J's first response to hearing the words "Nicole has died" was not "How did she die?" but rather "Who killed her?"Up until this point no mention of a murder had taken place, not to any of Nicole's or Ron's family or to the media so with the fact that O.J jumped straight to the words "who" and "killed" doesn't sit right with alot of people, and one of the key starters in the theory that O.J already knew the answer.

The day of O.J’s arrest/The famous Bronco chase

Upon returning to his Rockingham home, O.J was famously handcuffed in his back garden, in full view of camera’s and taken it for questioning. Many argue that, before any official evidence had been taken, this was the second sign of OJ’s guilt, with his facial expressions whilst being handcuffed appearing put out as oppose to upset.

Was O.J Simpson memly an easy target?

Later O.J’s defence team would argue that the sudden rush to get O.J in handcuffs as soon as he returned showed that the LAPD were quick and unrash when finding someone to blame for the murders. The easier to target to pick up they argued?: An innocent black man.

O.J Facial expressions during his arrest seemed off to some
O.J Facial expressions during his arrest seemed off to some

After 3 hours of questioning O.J was realised with no charge, but after 4 days on 17th June 1994 O.J was charged with two courts of murder for the persons of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Smith.

What followed next would make for one of the most viewed news footage of the 90’s.

The infamous Bronco chase

O.J’s newly appointed Lawyer (after replacing O.J’s original lawyer), Robert Shapiro struck a deal with the LAPD allowing for O.J to self surrender, giving him a few hours to sort a few ‘stuff’ out (Such as the famous Louis Vutton bag which will later be discussed). However when it was time for O.J to turn himself in he refused, making him a declared fugitive and leading to the infamous car chase.

After appealing for witnesses for information as to where about of O.J Simpson it was reported to the LAPD that O.J was in the passage seat of a white Bronco which was driven by his friend Al Cowlings. Cowlings refused to pull the car over stating that O.J had a gun to his own head and was suicidal, leading police to allow for a low-speed car chase that lasted for over 60 miles.

Some surprising facts about the Bronco Chase

  • The Brunco chase was one of the most viewed television pieces in history and came in sixth place for “most impactful televised moment of the last 50 years”
  • Due to O.J’s fame as an NFL player not only was the chase procosted on basically every news channel but also took prime air time on major sports channels, resulting in the NBA finials being procasted on a small screen at the corner of the coverage of the chase.
  • Domino’s pizza reported record high sells levels due to the chase being live on television no body wanted to miss the big event, vice president of Domino’s Tim Mclntyre said that during the time the chase was being procast it was like ‘Superbowl Sunday’

The Phone call and O.J’s suicide note

During the chase Cowlings phoned the LAPD and told them to slow the cars down and move any traffic off the side of the road to try and calm O.J down, tracking the number Cowlings had called on homicide detective Tom Lange requested to speak to O.J via a phone call, O.J accepted. The audio of the phone call was later realised and can be listened to here.

One part it particular that made people question O.J’s involvement in the case was the following piece of audio:

  • Detective Lange: “Nobody’s gonna get hurt”

  • O.J Simpson: “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt”

  • Detective Lange: “No you do not deserve that”

  • O.J Simpson: “I’m gonna get hurt, all I did was love Nicole, all I did was love her” 

The statement “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt” suggests O.J felt a form of guilt and a need to be punished for the something.

Rather than turn himself over to the law, O.J decided to take matters into his own hand, leaving behind a suicide note at the home of friend and later Lawyer Robert Kardashian. Some believers of O.J’s guilt argue that O.J was not considering suicide because of the pain he felt for the loss of Nicole but rather to avoid the public scandal and shame of having the inteme details of his abuse towards Nicole confirmed by the trial.

The suicide note however, was possibly an attempt at distracting the LAPD from his whereabouts, as following a search of his car, police found: stage makeup, a fake mustras, OJ’s passport and a gun. Suggesting OJ had plans to flew the country.

The ‘Dream Team’: The Defence

On 25th June 1994, Robert Shapiro, or ‘Bob’ as he would be known on this day, called together a meeting involving America’s top Lawyers;

  1. Robert Kardashian 

Arguably the most heard of name on this list, Kardashian was a lifelong friend of O.J’s and had been with him since his first arrest, but did not officially become part of his legal team till encouraged by Shapiro.

oj_dream_team
O.J Simpson’s ‘Dream Team’

2. F. Lee Bailey 

Bailey’s was the man responsible for one of the key turning events in this case, the cross-examination of LAPD Investigator, Mark Fuhrman.

3. Peter Neufeld 

Neufeld is best known for his discrediting of the blood trail between Nicole’s body and O.J’s car.

4. Carl Douglas 

Considered one of Johnnie Cochrans top lawyer.

Johnnie Cochran was not present at this meeting, and did not become involved in O.J’s legal team until personally asked by O.J himself. However he had spoken publicly on national television about O.J’s innocent.

Through the trail of O.J Simpson, this defence team would become known by both criminal law and the media as ‘the dream team’.

Guilty or not Guilty? The dream Team vs Marcia Clark

After several months of preparation, with various jury members being added and removed, and key witnesses selling their accounts to the media, the trail of O.J Simpson finally began on 24th January 1995, 7 months after Ronald and Nicole’s deaths.

The Trail of O.J Simpson was also the first recorded criminal trial to air on US television, making it a landmark case in terms of the relationship between criminal justice and the media.

Now let’s get into the real part, the suspects…

Suspect 1: 

O.J Simpson 

oj-simpson

Given the title of this blog post, and all of the above, its pretty obvious that O.J Simpson would be top of this list. Bare with me though, because there’s some pretty wild theories/suspects to follow…

Why O.J was guilty

The Timeline:

Nicole and Ronald were believed to have been killed at around 10:15pm, with eyewitness’s (Is the term ‘eye witnesses correct her, when they only saw not heard?) claiming this was when Nicole’s dog began to bark. The prosecution claimed this timing would have given O.J enough time to commit the murders, clean himself up, and return back to his home in time for the Limo Driver, Park, to witness him at 11:00pm. 

It is worth noting however, the O.J ‘provided’ an alibi for his location at this time, claiming him and houseguest Kato had driven to McDonald’s at 10:10pm. Take what you want from that I guess… 

DNA Evidence: 

*Keep in mind that this case took place in 1995, and there was still much doubt about how effective DNA Analysis was*
  • The Glove

Found at the scene of the crime, by LAPD investigator Fuhrman, was a bloody glove. The glove had on it blood stains from three different sources; Ronald Goldman, Nicole Brown and O.J Simpson.

The glove found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders also matched one found later at O.J Simpsons home, next to where Kato had heard three loud bangs. Both gloves had traces of Ronald Goldmans, Nicole Browns and O.J Simpson’s blood.

Prosecutor, Clark, presented to the court a recipe found within Nicole’s home, for a pair of gloves that matched the one’s found at the crime scene and O.J’s house. Whilst Kris Jenner claimed she was with Nicole when she purchased the gloves in question.

O.J also had a cut hand the day the police arrested him. 

Pay attention as the gloves will come to play an important role… 

  •   The Hat

Found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders was a wooly hat, which when examined by DNA Analysis, had fiber’s/hairs on which matched Nicole Brown, Ronald Goldman’s and O.J Simpson’s DNA.

  • Blood Evidence

Upon inspection of O.J’s Rockingham home, investigators found a sock covered in Nicole’s blood. O.J’s shoe size matched with the bloody footprint left outside Nicole’s home.

Nicole Brown’s blood was found in O.J’s driveway, car and bedroom.

Spousal Abuse:

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, O.J had a history of abusing Nicole throughout their marriage. The police were called a total of 9 times to their home before any action was taken, and in 1989 O.J was found guilty of spousal abuse.

Photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts from Nicole’s friends and family confirm O.J’s abuse. Evidence of O.J’s violent past.

The book:

It psychically hurts me that I even have to type this next part

In 2006, O.J Simpson realised a book titled “If I did it”, explaining how, if he had done it, he would have gotten away with it. 

I’m not one for swearing, but ffs is all I have to say about that.

Why O.J was not guilty

As many of you will know, somehow, someway, for some reason, O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Dismissed evidence 

O.J’s defence team, ‘the Dream Team’, with Neufild playing a key part of this, managed to convince the Jury that the DNA evidence was inaccurate, due to its handling by the LAPD.

Neufild claimed evidence had not been bagged properly and had been overheated. He also raised concerns over the fact investigator, Philip Vannatter, had kept evidence in his car overnight. This lead to the Dream Team suggesting the crime scene at Nicole’s home had been contaminated with.

During the trail, the prosecution repeatedly said they did not want O.J Simpson to try the gloves found at the scene of  crime on, as they had been frozen or unfrozen several times throughout the investigation, meaning the size was likely to have changed.

However, the defence had other ideas. 

O.J’s defence team had O.J try on the gloves, and sure enough the gloves did not fit him. Leading to the famous line:

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O.J Simpson, smiling whilst trying on ‘the gloves’

“If the gloves do not fit, you must acquit”

An innocent black man

Johnnie Cochran was famous for his Black rights speeches, and a strong believer in institutional racism within the LAPD. Many believe Cochran was approached by Shaprio to help use this theory in favour of O.J’s innocence.

Evidence of institutional racism can be seen within the 1992 battering of Rodney King, a black man battered by LAPD police, whom were not charged with any accounts of assault.

Investigator Fuhrman was the driving focus of racism claims made by the Dream Team. 

The defence claimed Futhrman was a known racist, and during the trial, tapes recorded by a female journalist during an earlier interview with Futhrman were played to the Jury. The tapes shown Futhrman using racist wording more than 40 times, and there was rumours of him being a practising neo-nazi.

The idea that Fuhrman was a clear racist is important, as he alone found the key piece of evidence: the bloody glove. It was with this that the defence appealed to the Jury, made up of 8 black people, 1 hispanic person, 1 white person and 2 people of mixed race, that O.J had been set up by a racism, hate fuelled system. 

*It is worth noting that as a result of the trial, Robert Kardshian broke off his friendship with O.J Simpson, claiming the blood evidence left him uneasy*

o.J and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CTE is a condition known to effect a large amount of ex-footballers, an occupation in which O.J Simpson filled.

CTE symptoms include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Impaired Judgement
  • Impluse control
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Suicidality

These symptoms create an odd twist on the O.J Simpson case, as impaired judgement and impulse control would perhaps provide a motive, whilst depression and suicdiality would explain the suicide note left behind by O.J.

Suspect 2:

Jason Simpson

jason-simpson

Jason Simpson was the son of O.J Simpson (in case the name didn’t give that away). In William Dear’s book “O.J IS INNOCENT AND I CAN PROVE IT”, Dear suggests that diary entrances by Jason, discussing “using a knife to get rid of the bad parts of his life” (Ronald and Nicole were both stabbed to death) show he was guilty of Nicole’s murder.

Jason had also been arrested only a few weeks prior for attacking his boss with a knife.

However there was no DNA evidence to suggest Jason was ever anywhere near Nicole around the time of her murder.

Suspect 3:

Glen Rogers 

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Glen Rogers was a convicted serial killer, who’s brother, Clay Rogers, claims that whilst on death row, Glen confessed to him that he had murdered Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman.

If this is true however, many theorise that O.J Simpson had hired Glen Rogers to frighten Nicole, after she had recently decided to “get him out her life”.

Suspect 4:

An Aryan Cult 

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Within the book “BLOOD OATH: THE CONSPIRACY TO MURDER NICOLE BROWN-SIMPSON” claims that a nero-nazi run cult, with help from Fuhrman, had murdered Nicole in attempt to frame O.J. O.J Simpson was a famous black man, and if he was discredited, perhaps he would come to represent all those from the black community?

This one seems a little far fetched for me, I don’t know.

 

A Finishing Note 

Although O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown-Smith after just 4 hours following the trail, he was later found guilty of their wrongful deaths, and ordered to pay $33.5 million to their families, this money has still not been paid in full.

Whether you believe O.J Simpson’s innocence or not, the fact remains that two innocent friends lost their lives, as a result of someones actions, someone who has never been brought to justice.

Nicole suffered through many years of abuse from O.J, and as she was finally ready to move on to the next part of her life, it was taken away from her. She left behind two young children.

In Memory of Nicole Brown-Smith, and Ronald Goldman

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Useful Links:

The People Vs O.J Simpson”– An account by Jeffrey Toobin of the O.J Simpson Trial

“If I did it” A book written and realised by O.J Simpson surrounding Nicole Brown-Smith and Ronald Goldman’s deaths

O.J in court– Video Footage of O.J Simpson trying on ‘the gloves’

“His murder trial ruined my life” Marcia Clark reflects on O.J Simpson’s not guilty verdict, 21 years later

O.J Simpson Trial: Where are they now?: A look at the key figures involved in the O.J Simpson trial

 

Bella in the Wych Elm : The hand of Glory

Now I am completely aware that the title of this post appears as through we are about to sit down and read a fairy-tale, I therefore regret to inform you, that there will be no princesses, nor frogs in this story.

Instead we will dive into a war plagued Britain, where in the sleepy village of Hagley, lies an Wych Elm. The Elm is where our story begins and sadly does not end, as the body of a young women was discovered, yet who she is, and why she was there, still remains an unexplained mystery.

The atmosphere of Hagley Hill

On the evening of 18th April, 1943, four young boys (Robert Hart, Thomas Willetts, Bob Farmer and Fred Payne) decided to sneak onto the lands of Hagley Hill woods. The woods had a reputation for its airy atmosphere, and following the events the young boys would endure that night, this was only strengthened.

The boys were setting out on a poaching trip,  a risky task given they were trespassing on Lord Cobhanm’s land, and began to wonder deep into the woods. Taking into account that 1943 was the height of the Birmingham Blitz, for four young boys to be out on their own of a nighttime probably wasn’t the best start.  

The boys would eventually stubble upon an overgrown Elm tree (When I was researching this case, the use of the word ‘overgrown’ somewhat triggered me, as how can a tree be ‘overgrown’ in its own environment, the exact place it is meant to grow?). This particular tree was known by locals as the ‘WYCH ELM’, due to its roots resembling  witches hair.  elm

Farmer, being the bravest of the boys, decided to venture into the Elm, although some would argue it was not his bravness, but rather skinniness, that landed him this role. Payne, Hart and Willetts stated that the tree “had a collection of mist forming at the bottom”, as if there couldn’t be more of a horrible movie cliche? . Farmer attempted to climb the tree and enter via the hole at the top, given that Elm’s are naturally hallow, it would make a perfect place for wildlife, particularly bird eggs.

Bird eggs would soon become the least pressing item for the young boys, given what Farmer was about to discover.

Child’s Play

There lay a pile of dead leaves and twigs within the Elm, and Farmer soon discovered they were not the only dead things inside. He came upon a skull, first believing it belong to a bird. However after removing several of the leaves, and taking a closer inspection, Farmer was frightened to find the skull did infact belong to a human.

The skull appeared to be removed of all its flesh, expect for mattered parts of hair still attached. Teeth still remained in tack, and to add an ever creepier element, they clung onto a piece of clothing. Farmer decided to fetch the skull out of the Elm, to show his friends, and most likely check he wasn’t seeing things.

To Tell?

All four boys looked upon the skull, and before shock could set in, they had to decide what to do. The boys knew they were breaking the law, as this was not their land, how could they report what they had found without getting the selves into trouble? After taking on a debate which no young children should have to discuss, they decided to return the skull and never speak of it again. bella2

Willetts however, had other thoughts. Willett knew that deep down, the skull could belonged to someone’s daughter, son, husband or wife, and so with all good intentions, decided to tell his parents. Willett’s parents, already burdened with the horrors of war, took on their sons story, and reported it to local police.

Police, true to Willetts word, searched the Wych Elm and found a human skull. Further to the young boys word, they discovered that an entire human skeleton had been stuffed inside the Elm, whilst a severed hand land at the foot (Punny). A single shoe, a cheap wedding ring, and rotting cloths were also found left within. The police did not know even where to begin.

From Hollywood to Birmingham

Professor James Webster, head of the Home Office forensic science department, was called in. The fact that a government official was brought to unknown village of Hagley, shows the seriousness of what was about to be unveiled.

Professor Webster removed all evidence from the scene, transferring it his laboratory and inspecting it using the latest technology (It is important to note however, that this k-0006-c.jpgwas 1942, and Britain had bigger worries than the funding for forensic research).  Webster produced a description of the victim, based upon his findings:

  • The skeleton belonged to a female
  • She had given birth at least once in her lifetime
  • She was aged between 35-40 years
  • She stood at 1.5 meters tall (4.9)
  • She had brown fair hair
  • She had uneven teeth

Professor Webster even realised a description of the women’s clothing, seen in the image above. Webster believed she had died 18 months prior to her discovery, and her been placed in the tree immediately after her death, given that once rigor mortis had set in, her body would have been too stiff to place inside. Webster found traces of clothing within her mouth, and concluded she had died from suffocation.

These details were realised to the public, along with the image, in the hopes that someone would claim the women. Sadly, no person ever came forward. Her description matched no one on the missing persons list. Police turned to the National Dental Records, given her uneven teeth, but no lead was found. It appeared as though no one knew the woman, or cared enough to say as such.

Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

It appeared as though the investigation into the mystery woman inside the Wych Elm was nearing to a dead end.  However, six months later, police responded to a unsettling new clue.

who-put-bella-down-the-wych-elm-graffiti.jpgUpon a wall in central Birmingham, the words “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm – Hagley Wood?”. The graffiti certainly throw police, was Bella the victims name?, Who had written this, and why hadn’t them come forward?

A new investigation was opened, in the hopes of finding the author, and their connection to ‘Bella’. Unfortunately, once again the leads went flat, and no one was ever found. However, the new investigation opened up several new leads. A prostitute came foward, stating her friend Bella, a fellow night worker, had disappeared around a year ago. The police further investigated, but given there was no other witnesses to this statement, the line grew cold.

A women named Una Mossop approached police, claiming her cousin, Jack, had stuffed the woman into the Elm. Mossop claimed Jack had been talking with a Dutch man and his partner whilst at a public house. The three went for a drive, but the woman had passed out on the passager seat from drunkenness. Mossop claimed the men decided to place her in the Elm and let her sleep it off. Mossop stated Jack had gone mad with guilt and had died in a mental hospital soon after. However, police were wary of this, as they tried to figure out why Mossop had taken so long to come forward, she could produce no answer and once again there was a flat line.

The Dark Cult 

 Professor Margaret Murray, an Anthropologist, produced a theory during the investigation that lead to Bella being a victim of a cult sacrifice. Murray suggested that, given the finger bones and severed hand found at the base of the tree, black magic had been involved. Murray linked the black magic to the tradition of the ‘hand of glory’, a tool created by a local witch and sold to the highest bidder. The hand would be cut from the body of a criminal corpse (meaning the witch could not use any old criminal), then baked. Fat from the flesh was used to create a candle, whilst hairs taken from the head could be used as a wick. cccAlthough, the likelihood of such activities such as this occurring seem bit outdated, even for 1942.

The forgotten Nazi Spy

In 1953, 11 years after the young boys discovered ‘Bella’ the case was given a further lead. A woman who went by the name of ‘Anna’ had written to a Birmingham journalist, claiming she had known Bella, as both her and her ex husband had been involved in a Dutch spy ring. Anna claimed Bella had been killed by the agents within the ring, and to some extent this backs up Mossop’s story. However no evidence has ever been found to support this.

Murder by Withcraft 

In 1968, 28 years after the Wych’s Elm murder, a book was realised by Donald McCormick titled ‘Murder by Witchcraft’. The book put forward several theories surrounding ‘Bella’s’ death, but most notably was the theory of Claradella Dronkers. McCormick claimed that a women named ‘Clara’, whom was related to nazi spy Marinus Dronkers, was the real Bella. She had been a spy herself and was placed in Birmingham to gather British Intel.

Jakobs Josef b1898 1941 Photo of Clara Bauerle 0001It wasn’t until 30 years later, when declassified wartime MI5 files were revealed, the evidence was brought to light that supported McCormick’s theory. In 1941, a man named Josef Jakobs, a Gestapo Spy, was arrested by British officals. Within his possessions there lay a photograph of a young woman. Jakobs claimed this woman was Clara Baurele, a young singer from Germany, whom had been recruited as a spy. Jakobs claimed Clara had sent to Birmingham, but never made radio contact with any agents. Jakob was executed by firing squad in 1941 (the last man to ever be executed at the tower of London) before investigations could pull any more information.

A mystery upon mystery

In 2009, 66 years after the discovery of ‘Bella’, the case of the Wych Elm was closed. What is perhaps even more saddening, is that the victim was never laid to rest. Professor Webster passed on the evidence, including the woman’s bones, unofficially to his friends at the University of Birmingham. It was expected they would return the bones to Webster in order for the woman have a burial, however, neither Webster nor investigators ever saw the bones again.

It looks unlikely now, given the time frame that we live upon, that the question of “who put Bella in the Wych Elm” will ever be answered, although the town of Hagley remembers. What is worse to me, is that this woman was never identified, meaning most likely someone missed their family members. Hopefully we can take peace in the knowledge that she is likely with them now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonbenet Ramsey: A Christmas mystery

Religiously watching after-hours TV at 4am is a sin many of us are guilty of. The low budget horror movies and the repetitive lifetime films have a way of gripping us till the very end, even when it probably time for bed.

But we’ve all been there right? Telling ourselves “just until the next ad break”, and then suddenly its 7am and you’re 80 years old, retired with grandkids. Well, that happened to be the case for me, when I stumbled upon a 3 hour documentary surrounding the unsolved murder of Jonbenet Ramsey (CBS The Case of Jonbenet Ramsey).

I was shocked I had never fully heard of this case before, and so after more bags of popcorn than I care to admit, I began to further research the tragic murder of Jonbenet, and that dear reader is what our blog post will be diving into today.

The Boxing day kidnap

On the morning of 26th December 1996, a day most families would spend recovering from festivities, Patsy Ramsey awoke to find, what she claims, was a ransom note for a young daughter Jonbenet, inside their home. 0B7D232C000005DC-3799601-image-a-2_1474443367210

At 5:52am, Patsy telephoned the police to report six year old Jonbenet as missing. With Jonbenet appearing to be taken, the only people inside the house (where the note was found) were both her parents; John Ramsey, Patsy Ramsey, and Burke Ramsey, her nine year old brother (is it just me, or are american’s not very creative with names?).

The strange 911 call

Before reading on, I strongly recommend listening to the auto recording of Patsy Ramsey’s phone call with Boulder police, to fully understand the next chapter. Find it here

Jim Fitzgerald, a forensic linguist, noted several strange behaviours displayed by Patsy throughout the phone call:

  • Patsy’s use of the word ‘We’ when stating “We have a kidnapping”. The word ‘We’ suggests a form of ownership.
  • Patsy does not mention her daughter Jonbenet directly, “She’s blonde”, “She’s six”, “I’m THE mother” are a few examples of Jonbenet being overlooked.

jonbenet-patsy-ramsey-jonbenet-ramsey-34567093-600-398Stan Burke, a statement analyst, also noted odd behaviours. The most interesting for use of a better word, would be the hanging up of the phone. Burke noted that for most people in times of distress, the emergency services are a form of hope, and many will stay on the phone till they arrive. Yet, Patsy didn’t seem too worried about this, was she perhaps worried about sorting other things out?

Most chilling of all, is what can be heard at the end of the phone call. Patsy had believed she had hung up, and so began speaking to whoever else was in the room with her. Although unhearable at the time, modern technologically has been used to show what exactly it was Patsy was saying:

“Jesus, what have you done?”

The Murder

Less than 8 hours after Patsy had found the note, the body of Jonbenet was found. What is most shocking about this is that Jonbenet was actually found still inside her home, by her father John. She was found in her cellar, with her mouth duct-tapped shut, and a rope around her neck.

It is appears shocking and odd to many whom have investigated the case, that Jonbenets body would be found still within her home, if he mother claims she had been taken. The police investigators later touched on this, realising a statement claiming they had not searched the basement, given the fact they believed she had been taken from her home.

The Ransom note: A clear clue?

jbr-ransom-note-fullPictured to the right is the handwritten ransom note found by Patsy Ramsey, a clearer version can be found at the bottom of this page. Mark McClish, a statement analysis, noted several odd aspects of the ransom note, which lead many to believe the note was actually the beginning of a cover up by the Ramsey family:

  1. The use of the word ‘small’ in “We represent a small faction” does not make sense, given the context. The kidnapper would want power over the Ramsey’s, and ‘small’ reduces this.
  2. In the sentence “We respect your business” it appears as though the letters ‘D’ and ‘O’ have been crossed out. This suggests the writer began to write don’t, why would a kidnapper who is already set on their view, suddenly change their mindset?
  3. The words “Business” and “Possession” are written incorrectly,  yet the writer correctly spelt “deviation” and “attache”, two uncommon words. Could the incorrect spelling of the first words be a way of making the writer seems foreign? to trick people?
  4. The letter is also criticised for being too long in several places. For example the sentence “We have your daughter in our possession”, surely the kidnapper would have wanted to write the note quickly, and simply written we have your daughter?
  5. “You will withdraw $118,000,00 from your account” also appears strange, as a kidnapper would not care where the money came from, and wouldn’t direct someone on where to withdrawn it.

Other researchers have also noted that the amount of money, $18,000,00 seems too neat, and an inquiry into the case found that this was the amount of money John Ramsey had recently been given in his Christmas bonus.

What is most confusing, and worrying about the ransom note, is that investigations found that the paper in which the note was written, matched the paper Patsy Ramsey kept, and that a practise letter had been written ontop. This further decredits the note, given this would mean the killer had broken into the house, written the note (and a long one at that), and then decided to no longer kidnap Jonbenet, but kill her. All whilst the family slept upstairs without hearing a sound.

A conflicting Autopsy report

In 1997, an autopsy preformed on Jonbenet found she had been killed by a fracture to the skull, yet the local coroner reported she had died of asphyxiation caused by being strangled.

DNA reports from the scene of the crime also create a lot of confusion. It was found that a paintbrush from Patsy hobbybox had been used to tighten the rope around her daughters neck.

rs_1024x759-160919150852-1024-jonbenet-ramsey-portrait.jpgThere was also male DNA found on Jonbenets underwear that, when compared against the FBI file of convicted violent offenders, none of the 1.5 million samples matched. Two unidentified sets of footprints were found in the basement of the Ramsey home, along with a set of rope, that the Ramsey’s claim did not belong to them.

It is important to note that DNA expert, Dr. Henry Lee, believes the unknown DNA could have come from the people who had actually made the underwear wore by Jonbenet.

Another confusing factor about the scene is that, no footprints were found within the snow surrounding the Ramsey home, if someone had broken in, surely there should have been? However, it is possible any footprints were snowed over.

When the possible fakeness of the note, mixes in with the lack of evidence of a break in, it all appears to point in one direction.. (year 9 me is triggered). With that lets get into our suspects:

Suspect 1

Burke Ramsey 

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The official autopsy report found that Jonbenet had, within 24 hours of her death, consumed pineapple. Photographs of the Ramsey’s home taken during the investigation showed a bowl of pineapple and milk within the kitchen, researchers believed could have been made as a snack for Burke.

burke-ramsay-policeinterview_AEIf the pineapple was found in Jonbenet’s system, this could suggest she ‘took’ some of Burkes. Given his unusual behaviour exhibited in interviews with police child psychologists, and his past history of violence against his sister (hitting her with a golf club is one example), researchers purposed that during a disagreement over the pineapple Burke struck Jonbenet with a torch, accidentally killing her.

During police interviews Burke noted that he and his sister both enjoyed pineapple and milk, but when later shown a photo of the bowl in his family kitchen, he is ‘unable’ to recognise the dish. Burke also appears to be somewhat scared of saying the word ‘pineapple’. It is also worth noting, that in a recent interview with TV Personality, Dr. Phi, Burke answered quite serious questions with laughs and smiles. Watch the interview here

Is it possible Burkes parents covered for him, through fear of losing their last child? Is this the mystery person whom Patsy Ramsey shouted “Jesus what have you done?” towards?

Suspect 2

Bill Mcreynolds 

McReynolds_Bill_JonBenet

Bill Mcreynolds would often dress up as Father Christmas for the children of Boulder, and two days before Jonbenets murder, he had visited her family home.

His daughter herself had been kidnapped in 1974 and his wife had written a play about a child who is sexually abused then murdered in a cellar. The Denver Post, a local newspaper, quoted Mcreynolds stating her had a ‘close relationship’ with Jonbenet. The paper quoted him as saying:

“Her murder was harder on me than my operation. She made a profound change in me”.

Mcreynolds even brought a bottle of glitter made by Jonbenet into the operation room with him, and told his wife if he were to pass he wanted his ashes mixed in with the glitter.

I personally believe these acts were just from the heart of an old man, whom was maybe even a little lonely. I believe Bill Mcreynolds was not involved in Jonbenets murder.

Suspect 3

Gary Oliva 

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Gary Oliva was the neighbour of Jonbenet Ramsey in the year of her death. In 2000 Oliva was arrested on drug charges, and found to be carrying a photo of Jonbenet Ramsey in his backpack, less than four years after her death. Oliva attempted to address why he had the photo to The Denver Post, stating:

“Jonbenet’s murder touched me very deeply. I felt she was an exceptional girl whose death was an exceptional loss”

“I feel the need to build a monument, a shrine, to remember this little girl”

In 2016, Oliva was arrested for keeping of child pornography.

In an interview with InTouch magazine, Oliva’s friend, Michael Vail, stated Oliva had phoned him the day following Jonbenets murder shouting:

“I hurt a little girl, I hurt a little girl”

Vail stated Oliva had took him the attack had took place in Boulder. Vail claimed also that the rope used to strangle Jonbenet, had been the same rope Vail had used when attempting to strangle his own mother. However, Oliva did not match DNA found on Jonbenet.

Suspect 4

John Mark Karr

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In 2006, ten years after Jonbenet’s murder, Karr confessed to killing the young girl in an email to journalist Michael Tracey.

Tracey had been emailing Karr for four years back and forth to gain his trust. Tracey said this about his emails with Karr:

“You are reading and hearing a truly dark side of the human psyche. Having to sit there and pretend it’s ok, that I wasn’t going to sit in judgement, because otherwise the communicant would have stopped. This is the worst experience of my life so far, it was horrible”

In his emails, Karr wrote in a similar style to the author of the ransom note, and would even use Patsy nickname, ‘Neddie’ when signing off. Karr wrote to Tracey and told him that he was in love with Jonbenet, and that he had hit her over the head. Karr even claimed to have moved her body to the basement from her bedroom.

Karr was eventually tracked down and arrested. Following his confession, police issued a public apology to John Ramsey, for ever suspecting him, and ruled all of the Ramsey family out. Karr’s DNA did not match the DNA found on Jonbenet, and was found not guilty. Police also found he was not in Boulder at the time, with CCTV showing him in another state completely.

Suspect 5

John and Patsy Ramsey

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John and Patsy Ramsey had alot of fingers pointing towards them straight after the murder.

One theory states that either Patsy or John, in a rage fuelled moment had hit Jonbenet following a child’s tantrum. They began to call the police, when Jonbenet began to wake up, and so they strangled her to cover their tracks.

It is important to note however, John had already lost one daughter, and witnesses told police he was often ‘overprotective’ of her if anything.

 

JonBenet-Ramsey
Rest In Peace, Johnbenet Ramsey

 

Although Jonbenet has inspired much research and investigation, and even this blog post, it is important to remember she was a real little girl, who’s life was taken too soon. I hope that by writing this blog post, I have in someway, kept Jonbenet Ramsey’s memory alive. 

 

 

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The Ransom Letter Found By Patsy Ramsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we in a simulation, inside a simulation?

Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy? 

Before we start, I imagine some of you are reading this blog with a closed mind. I’m not judging you, Conspiracy Theories can be a little wild at times, but let me ask you, have you ever considered that you might be in one? 

Have you ever questioned what is real? Maybe you heard someone shout your name, only to turn round and nothing? Maybe it was a sense of explainable Déjà vu? Whatever it was, you’re not alone in your questioning. 

In today’s blog, we’re going to address that question, and dive deep into the world of the simulation Conspiracy Theory.

rick and morty

This theory has been explored and explained in hundreds of different ways, and in ‘reality’, it is possible that all those hundreds of simulations actually exist, given all we need is the consciousness for a simulation to occur.

Video Games from the future theory

This appears to be one of the more popular side forms of the ‘simulation’ theory. The idea is, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of years into the future, a civilisation wanted to see what the people of the past lived like. To achieve this, the civilisation created a preview nsimulation, and we are in-fact living in that very thing.

This side of the theory is backed by some of the worlds leading scientists, such as Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom. 

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has for several years now, spoken very openly about his belief in the simulation theory. In fact, Musk is so invested in the theory, he believes there is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance we are real, meaning there is a very high chance we are not.

Summed up Elon bases his theory on this argument:

“40 years ago we had pong, just two rectangles and a dot, that’s what video games were. Now 40 years later we have photo-realistic 3D simulations, with millions of people playing all at once. 

It gets better every year, and soon, if you assume any rate of improvement at all, we will have a reality inside a simulation”Now 

Now that appears to me to make a lot of sense. The belief that if you look at what the ponghuman race has achieved (in terms of technology) in the last 40 years, imagine what a future civilisation, who have existed for thousands of years could achieve.

Elon Musk completely believes that in several years time, it will be impossible for simulations to not exist, and also impossible for those ‘living in the simulation’ to know.

The Paranormal Theory

Nick Bostrom, a Swedish Scientist and Philosopher, is another full believer of ‘The Simulation Theory’, stating “we are almost certainly living in computer simulation”. 2013-04-19_simulation

In attempt to understand paranormal events, such as ghost, monsters and alike, Bostrom, theorised that these were just ‘glitches’ in our simulation. Take for example, deja vu, there is still no official scientific exploration for this, so maybe it is actually just a computer glitch?

Television Theory

The age old classic, what if big brother is really watching us? This theory is loosely based around the same idea as above, that maybe future civilisations wanted to see how the past lived, and in order to do that they created a simulation. What if, what we are actually experiencing now is our lives playing out on a television show? (I admit, it wouldn’t have the highest of ratings).

Now, an even creepier side to this theory states that we are being watched on a television show, on a loop. If this theory is to be believed, that would mean we have already lived this life, several times in fact. This theory would also explain the deja vu experience, because maybe we have already lived that part of our lives before.

The Coma Theory

Although science denies dreaming in a medical coma is possible (Research here), the coma theory suggests that what you are actually experiencing now, is occurring inside the dream of another you, one very much unconscious. nlog

Some claim that when you hear someone call your name, but turn to see no one there, is actually an event in which someone is calling you to wake up. Now, this happens a-lot for me, but I think that might be due to the fact my name is verb.

Although there is little to go on in the way of researching the coma theory, my first experience with this theory was from the creepy image attached, kinda chilly isn’t it?

But what if we’re not?

If you’ve made it this far down the rabbit hole, and you’re starting to feel a little freaked out, worry not, because we you’ve just read might be completely rubbish.

Although there is a chance we are inside a simulation, this chance could be taken away if civilisation were to end before we got to advanced teleological age Musk discussed. So, let’s say if the apocalypse really did happen, creating a simulation isn’t likely to be at the top of any to do list. (On another note, what would we each actually do during the apocalypse? Do any of us humans understand what life would be like?)

There’s also other slight arguments on-top of this, such as, why would the simulation we live in need to be so large? Why are little things like atoms, bacteria etc needed? Well, maybe they’re not, it is possible that these unnecessary experiences appear only when it is needed for the sim? Creating a form of ‘conscious reality’.

Many people argue that the fact we even question these things, means we have a set idea of what reality is, and that is exactly what we are in a simulation, our philosophy is being programmed as such.

Who are we, truly?

Now that you’re starting to question if you really are in a simulation, you may have just answered your own question. The very fact we are even thinking about simulations, to some extent suggests we will eventually begin creating them.

To further fuel your mind, just remember, there is no possible way for us to know if we are surrounded by a simulation, and if there was, there is nothing we can do to break free.

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” – The Matrix (1999)

 

 

 

 

The Doll, It Watches

Dolls creep me out, and on behalf of most of my readers, i’d go as far as to argue that they give us all the spookes.

But why is this? Why do the toys we played with as children come to haunt us so? Is it those black eyes, the ones that appear to follow us around the room? Or is it the permanent smile marked upon their faces, never really knowing what they’re feeling?

Or maybe its something, or someone else… Something most of us don’t want to admit, but if you’re reading this list I imagine you want find out more, so here it is:

A list of the worlds most haunted dolls 

1.) Mandy 

         The girl with the questionable smile

mandy

Mandy is believe to have been created in Germany between 1910 – 1912. Her owner claims that the baby doll would throw tantrums all on her own, and reported hearing both crying and laughter coming from the dolls ‘bedroom’.

After being donated to the British Columbia’s Quesnel and District Museum in 1991, both staff and guests have reported strange happenings. Staff reported hearing footsteps from Mandy’s section of the museum, and stated she could never be left alone with other dolls, as she’d rip them apart. Guests often claim to feel ‘uneasy’ around her. Those life like eyes don’t help either. 

2.) Harold

The black eyed doll 

harold1

Harold is a doll that’s really seen the world, given the fact none of his ‘owners’ keep him for long, and he’s been pasted from country to country. In 2003, Harold was listed on ebay, with the seller claiming Harold had somehow murdered her cat. Harold was eventually sold, but did not stay with the buyer long.

Each owner claims Harold causes headaches, dizziness, and general pain all over the body.  Some even claimed they could hear the voices of playing children surrounding their home. His last owner, Anthony Quinata, stated he has had Harold exorcised and locked away. Goodbye Harold. 

3.) Ledda

Young boy, Old body

ledda

Ledda was first discovered by Harry Warren in New South Wales, Australia. Warren had entered an abandoned house located in his home town, and within in found this creepy little guy. Ledda is dated by museum experts to be around 250 years old, and is believed to contain the spirit of a young boy whom drowned.

Viewers of Ledda claim to have screamed uncontrollably, or broken down in tears, when near him. It is also claimed Ledda moves all by himself. He is still under ownership of Warren (Little inside joke for fans of the handmaids tale there). 

4.) Annabelle 

A classic 

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Annabelle was first gifted to a young nursing student named Donna, after her mother had bought the Raggedy Anne doll at a charity store during the 1970s. Donna and her room mate began finding that Annabelle had moved rooms, and would often hear her ‘playing’.

After Annabelle appeared to have attacked a male friend of theirs, Donna and her friend seeked the help of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens believed the doll had been taken over by a demon, and requested to remove her from the house. Donna agreed and Annabelle was placed under lock and key at Warren Occult museum, where she remains today.

 

5.) The Hands Resist Him

A little too realistic

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Artist Bill Stoneham created this piece in 1972, and in 2000 the painting was listed on ebay. The seller claimed that the doll seen within the artwork would come to life and push the boy out of the painting, and that both would walk freely around his home of a night. Many report feeling uneasy just from the site of the image. n

Stoneham created three sequels to his work, which can be found here. 

6.) Okiku

“Just a trim”

okiku_boneca

Okiku was first brought to the Suzuki family in 1918, when Edward Suzuki bought her as a gift for his young sister. In 1919, just under a year after receiving the doll, Okiku passed away due to illness.

The Suzuki family built a memorial alter in her honour, and placed her beloved doll at the focus point. A few weeks later, the family noticed that Okiku’s (the doll version) was growing. Believing that their young daughter had attached herself to the doll, the Suzuki’s donated her to the Mannenji Temple, Japan.

Okiku remains at the Temple still, where her hair has now reached 10 inches, and continues to grow.

7.) Robert

The real life Chucky

robert-the-doll-located

As the sub-title might suggest, Robert is the original doll behind the cult classic ‘Chucky’. Robert is believed to have been gifted to a young boy named Robert Otto, by the family servant. The servant was believed to practise black magic and had cursed the doll after becoming angry with the family.

The Otto families neighbour’s claimed they would see Robert (the doll) moving around the house when the family were not home. Whilst Robert claimed he could hear the doll giggling of a nighttime and would often throw his belongings and attack him whilst he slept.

After Robert’s parents passed away he remained in the house, and locked the doll in the attack until his death in 1974. Following this, a new family moved to the house, and upon discovering the doll gifted it to the young daughter. History repeated itself with the daughter claiming Robert would run around her room of a night and had attacked her on several occasions.

Robert is now on display at Fort East Martello Museum. It is said that if a person takes a photo of the doll without its permission, a curse is put upon them. The only way to lift the curse is to send an apology letter to report, which are kept on display also.

8.) Pupa 

Like Sisters

PupatheHauntedDoll

Pupa the doll was created in Italy during the 1920’s and was designed to resemble her owner. Those close to the little girl stated the doll would often speak to her. In 2005, Pupa’s owner passed away and her family stored her in a glass case.

Pupa did not seem to like the glass ‘cage’, given how her behaviour changed. Witnesses claim her facial expressions have grown anger over the years, and there are reports of the words ‘Pupa hate’ written on the case with stream.

 

9.) Joliet

The family curse 

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Joliet was originally given as a baby gift the present owners great grandma by a family friend. She is believed to contain the soul of four infant boys.

The story goes that each women in the family gave birth to to children, a boy and a girl. The boy appears to pass away after only 3 days, with his soul being taken by the doll each time. At night the doll is believe to cry out, as if a baby itself. This is believe to be the curse of the family.

The doll has been passed down from mother to daughter for years. When asked why they don’t remove Joliet from the family, the family responded that they believe if anything should happen to the doll, something will happen to their baby boys souls also.

10.) The Galveston Texas Voodoo Doll

The Voodoo Zombie

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In 2004 an unknown women from Texas bought this doll from its owner in New Orleans. The doll was handmade and arrived in a metal box in which the previous owner referred to as a ‘coffin’. The women removed the doll from its original box and placed it on display.

It was after she removed it from its ‘coffin’ that the women claims the doll began attacking her of a night, physically harming her. After returning it back, the spirit attached to the doll continued to haunt her dreams (or rather, nightmares).

She attempted to destroy the doll, both through fire and cutting, but find neither would work. Finally, she sold the doll on ebay, but was shocked when the buyer told her the shipping box had arrived empty. The women claimed that the next day, she found the doll in her garden, covered in dirt.

So remember folks, if the dolls ask you to play… say no. 

The Colony of Roanoke: The Forever Search

We’ve all heard of Amelia Earhart right? Maybe less so of Ambrose Bierce? How about the ghost ship of Carroll A. deering? Well what if I told you not that only did all these individuals disappear without a trace, but that despite the cases having over 24 years between them, all were connected through a single word: ‘Croatoan’. 

Interested? Well, to further explore how and why this word became to be associated with the worlds straightest cold cases, lets begin where it all started: With the Lost Colony of Roanoke, almost 350 years before.

A quick briefing on what exactly The Colony of Roanoke is before we get started: 

Roanoke is the name given to a colony of British, whom travelled to the American during Britannia's colonial period. Pretty normal right? Well, things didn't stay that way for long, given that once the colony of Roanoke would step foot onto America shores, no living soul would ever see them again.
 

Baptism Of Virginia Dare

The First 120 Settlers 

On 8th May, 1587, 120 British Settlers left England, and set sail for Roanoke Island, (located off the coast of what is now North Carolina). The settlers were to be captioned by John White, and it is emisatmated the journey took  around 2 months, with the settlers arriving July 1587. 

Upon first arriving, the settlers would come under several small attacks from local Native Americans (Understandable). As a result of this, the people of Roanoke demanded John White return to England, to retrieve more supplies (food, tools etc), and so after just having spent two months travelling away from England, John White returned after less than a month. I mean, slightly annoying for him. 

White took with him 5 men, leaving behind 115 colonists, (87 men, 17 women, 11 children), including his own wife and daughter. 

* Spellbinding Fact *

White’s daughter; Eleanor White Dare, had given birth shortly after arriving at Roanoke. This meant Virginia Dare was the first child born in North America to English partners. 

Whites Prolonged Return 

Unfortunately, given that White had left whilst Britain was on the edge of  war with Spain, his return to Roanoke was delayed. White was forced to wait a whole 3 years,  in 1590 before he could once again set sail for the lands of America.

However, when White finally arrived once again at Roanoke Island, the exact same spot he had set sail from 3 years ago, he would find it completely deserted, with the colony of Roanoke unaccounted for.

The First Clue 

Upon inspecting the surrounding area of the Roanoke Island, White found one possible clue as to where his colony had vanished too: The word ‘croatoan’ cut into a near by tree.

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A map of Roanoke Island

The search begins, The search ends

White’s obvious next step was to set sail towards the Island of Croatoan, (doesn’t take a genius really does it), located 50 miles away. However, White made two attempts to sail, but claimed a strong storm had prevented him each time, and as the boat was privately owned, he was prevented from trying a third time. White was sadly forced to give up his search, and returned to Ireland, where in 1893 he would pass away, never knowing what became of his family and friends.

* Spellbinding fact * 

The word ‘Croatoan’ has appeared at the sites of many other mysteries. This includes the word ‘Croatoan’ written within Amelia Earhert Journal, and craved into the bed of Ambrose Bierce, both of whom vanished without a trace. 

To this day (31st May 2018), the lost colony of Roanoke remains just that. Despite 115 people vanishing entirely, no bodies or signs of a mass grave have ever been found in the surrounding area. Given the mystery circumstances that surround the settlers of Roanoke, there have been many theories put forward, both by researchers and the general online public. So, as is the point of this blog, lets discuss a few…

Theory One: 

The colony of Roanoke were victims of Cannibalism

Zombie

Whilst there is no evidence to suggest the tribes of Croatoan were engaged in any form of cannibalism, research does show that a small number of Native American tribes, particularly those located in and around Jones Town, did consume human flesh. This has lead some to believe, that the tribes of Roanoke (on whom there is very little research), actually began to pick off the 115 settlers, over the 3 year period in which White was gone. This would explain the lack of graves and of bodies.

*Spellingbinding Fact* 

The Cannibalism surrounding the tribes of Jones Town, is thought to be where the belief of supernatural beings known as Wendigo’s began. A Wendigo is said to be a half man, half

The_Wendigo
A Wendigo

 animal like creature, whom as punishment for consuming the flash of his own, is forced to live with an unbearable craving for the rest of their pro-longed life. 

Another twist on this theory, is that given White had been sent to England to retrieve food for the settlers, and had taken longer than expected, the colony of Roanoke began to stave. As a result, cannibalism became a last resort. However, this does not fully explain the disappearance of all 115 settlers.

Further supporting this theory, Lawrence Stager, an archaeologist from Harvard University, claims to have discovered evidence that would support mass Cannibalism on Roanoke. As suggested by the evidence that Roanoke was suffering from the worst drought in over 800 years.

Side theory

Researcher Andre Freeman, from the National Zombie Research Society (guess whats coming next?), claims that Cannibalism was possible, as a result of a zombie plague. Given that Roanoke was an island, if a zombie plague had infected the colony, it likely wouldn’t spread. 

Theory Two:

The Settlers were murdered by a local Native American tribe

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When reviewing this theory, it is important to note that around 1885, only a few years before the Roanoke 120, a previous attempt to colonise the Roanoke area had been made by England. After a short while the 1885 settlers were forced to flew, due to the number of Native American attacks they suffered.

The original governor of Roanoke, Ralph Lane, was known to have issues with the local Native American people, and in an attempt to display power towards the local tribes, Lane murdered the King, Wingina. As a result, Sir Franis Drake was forced to rescue the settlers from Roanoke.

Although this theory seems reasonable, I remind you that there has never been any form of mass bodies of graves discovered, that would suggest upto 115 people had been murdered. Therefore, there is no actual evidence to support this theory.

Theory Three: 

The colony of Roanoke settled with a local Native American tribe 

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This theory starts with a man named Manteo, a member of a local Native American tribe, that travelled to England on two occasions. Firstly in 1584, and secondly between the two Roanoke expectations. Manteo would actually sail back with John White and the new settlers in 1587, and after being baptised by the catholic settlers, White would go on to name him chief of the Roanoke and Croatoan tribes.

However, Manteo was only part of the croatoan tribe, and had no power or control over the Roanoke tribe. Some have suggested that is is possible Manteo would return to Roanoke several months later and bring the 115 settlers to Croatoan.

What is interesting about this is, in 1888, 54 Croatan Native Americans petitioned congress for aid, stating that they were the remnant of Whites lost colony. A few months later, the directors of the ethological bureau responded, stating:

“It was thought that traces of white blood could be discovered among the Indians, some among they having grey eyes. It was probable that a greater number of the colonists were killed, but it was quite in keeping with Indian usages that a greater, or less number, especially women and children, should have been made captive and subsequently incorporated into the tribe.” 

To further fuel this theory, in 2015, archaeologists found several objects of European origin on Hatters Island (originally the Island of Croatoan). Objects include:

  • An iron rapier sword (a form of sword used within 16th century England)
  • Broken English Bowls
  • A writing tablet made of slate, with the letter ‘M’ imprinted on it
  • Copper Anklets (small tubes used before the 17th century to hold wool)

These findings appear to suggest people from the same period, place and class of those from the Roanoke colony, inhabited the Island of Croatoan. However, other objects found amongst the search on Hatters Island, date to the 17th century, 100 years after the lost colony of Roanoke. This theory would also explain the curving of ‘Croatoan’.

Theory Four: 

The Colony moved inwards 

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John White, was actually a part of the original failed Roanoke expedition. During this first expedition, White created a detailed map (La Virginea Pars, edgy) the map appears to show the North Carolina coast, and both Roanoke and Croatoan Island.  Museum experts (Not sure if they’re experts on museums, or experts on maps…) claim that the map is in fact very accurate for its time, and when compared to modern images of North Carolina, the map matches almost perfectly.

In 2012 the ‘First Colony Foundation’ (Clue is kind of in the name) requested that the British Museum re-examine two patches found on the original map. Patches were often used to cover up mistakes on 16th centuary maps and were’t uncommon. However, using a form of x-ray, and other imaging techniques, The museum found that the smaller patch was covering a four pointed star. The museum quoted:

“While the detailed interpretation of the symbol is beyond the scope of the study, and it is best left to experts in the field, it seems certain to represent a fort” 

When examined again, it was found that there were also light markings of the fort ontop of the patch as-well. Researchers claim this is due to fading over the years, or that the lines could reflect the use of Invisible Ink. 

The question to ask here is, if this fort did exist, why did White go to so much trouble to hide it? Some claim White actually wanted to hide the fort from the English Court. To further back up this theory, White makes references to a fort ’50 miles’ inward from Roanoke Island.

When the site on which the star marked was examined, several pieces of European objects were found, including the Ankles mentioned before. Very Da Vinci Code, don’t you think? 

The not so lost colony of Roanoke?

Not i’m joking, that sub title was click bait, but you’re already here. As you may have guessed from this post, the colony of Roanoke to this day remains unfound, and many questions still remain:

  • Why were England so unconcerned about 115 missing citizens? 
  • Why would the colony not leave more clear instructions as to where they were? 
  • Why has no evidence of this colony, despite official British records, been found? 
  • How did they make it to the Island of Croatoan, with no food or supplies? 

Those are just a few of many unanswered questions surrounding the supposed colony of Roanoke, which makes it one of the simplest yet most interesting unsolved mysteries (I am aware ‘unsolved mysteries’ is counterproductive, but I aren’t here for an English degree x). See you guys next week!

 

 

 

The exorcism of Emily Rose: Leufier goes to court

We all remember this film don’t we? Whether you were 9 years old watching it past bedtime (unforgettably this was me), or an adult (like an adult adult) The exorcism of Emily Rose is a movie every true horror fan should have, and would have seen, and if not, why in the hell (punny) you wasting time reading this? Go watch it gal.

BUT did you not Emily Rose was in-fact a real women? Sure her name wasn’t Emily Rose,  nor did she actually win an MTV award, but Anneliese Michel, a young girl from Germany, did really undergo over 67 exorcisms and even created the first legal case against the devil himself (an impressive CV), inspiring the 2005 horror classic.

So have a peaked your interest? Do you want to know how one girl was supposedly possessed by six demons at once (No not like that, dirty) or are you currently in the bathroom reading this on your phone? Whatever the reason, you’re here now so why not stay and take a peek… exorcism-of-emily-rose-3 (1)

The girl before ‘Judas’

Born in Klingenberg, Germany, Anneliese Michel was 23 year old student whom had lived her life as a devout Catholic, however, in September 1968, aged just 16 years old, Anneliese experienced her first ‘paranormal’ episode’.

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Anneliese Michel, a 23 year old student

During this episode Anneliese stated that she had slip into unconsciousness, during which she felt a heavy weight pressing down on her chest, as if she was being pinned to her bed.  Now for those of you who have experienced sleep paralysis you will understand the fear this young girl will have felt during this, however this was merely the start for Anneliese Michel.

Almost a year later, in August 1969, Anneliese experienced a similar episode and so her mother took her to the family Doctor, Dr. Vogt and a Neurologist, Dr. Luthy. Both doctors examined Anneliese, even conducting several brain scans, but found nothing wrong with her. They therefore came to the conclusion (always a good thing to hear when visiting the doctors) that she was suffering from forms of seizures.

Over the next three years Aneeliese would go on to have two more ‘seizures’ as they were now referred to, and was perscribed two separate forms of medication (now pay attention to this part because it’ll come up later, and there will be a pop quiz) Anticonvulsant and Dilantin. On both occasions further brain scans were carried out, but once again doctors found nothing out of the normal in there.

The Paws, with Claws

In May 1973 things began to get even weirder in the Michel household. Anneliese, and her sisters reportedly started hearing knocking sounds, whilst Anneliese would hear a voice on repeat that would “condemn her to hell”

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A strong Catholic upbringing

Annaliese mother also claims that on one occasion she witnessed her stating at a figure of the ‘Virgin’? Mary with:

“Eyes turned black, jet black, and her hands appeared to have turned into claws, with paws”.

Odd?

In September 1973, whilst visiting Dr. Luthy, Annaliese stated that whilst she had ‘seizures’ she would see six demon like faces appear to her, and that she felt:

“As-though the devil himself was in side her”

I don’t know why but I honestly read that in like a southern american accent? By the grace of God… 

She reported also that she would often sense an odour that smelled of ‘burned feces’, a smell that her family would also claim they too smelt when around her (Tad offensive?).

According to Mrs. Michel when Anneliese told Dr. Luthy this information he advised them to seek the help of a jesuit .  A claim Dr. Luthy always denied. Following this however the family looked for help in religious official, Father Alt.

In November 1973, five years after her first ‘seizure’, Anneliese was reviewed by a Psychiatrist who diagnosed her as “neurotic with possible epilepsy”, following this another Neurologist found she had “epileptic patterns”. Anneliese was taken off any previous medication and switched to Tegretola much stronger drug.

The Spiders and the Fly’s 

Two years following Annaliese’s switch to Tegretol, in July 1975, things in the Michel household began to somewhat resemble a I’m a celebrity, get me out of here! episode. 

Anneliese would reportedly get a maximum of three hours sleep each night, and according to her sisters she would stay up all night like repeating the same prayers over and over. She began eating fly’s and spiders from under the floorboards, and even ‘lifted her own urine off the ground’ (Kind of like me after six hours in POPWORLD).

Anneliese also started to destroy all religious symbols in her home, snapping crucifix’s in half and ruining the holy bible. Her family claims that at this point Anneliese was showing signs of “Superhuman Strength”, examples include on one occasion where she broke an apple in half using her bare hands, and “throwing her sister across the room as-if she was a rag doll”. 

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The Michel Family

The Exorcism arrives

In 1975, seven years after Anneliese’s first ‘paranormal episode’, she was visited by a catholic priest named Father Rodewyk. Rodewyk was “Certain Anneliese was possessed by a demon of sorts” (helpful) and after some argument, he had the first exorcism rights on Anneliese approved by the church. On 24th September 1975, aged just 22 years old, Anneliese underwent an exorcism, ‘preformed’ on her by a priest named Father Renz. 

Father Renz allowed some of the exorcism’s to be recorded, and a total of 42 clips were created. These recordings can be found here. Readers/viewers should note these clips are haunting, and I personally do not advice listening to them before bed. 

Within the recordings, the following conversation can be heard between Father Renz and ‘Anneliese’: 

Father Renz: “Why are you here?”

‘Anneliese’: *Growls*

‘Anneliese: “I have the right to be in this woman, I will carry this brat so long, until she croaks, this dumb ass bitch!”

‘Anneliese’: *A demon like scream*

‘Anneliese’: “For us there is no coming back! Never! For all Eternity!” 

Father Renz: “Say your name”

‘Anneliese’: “I, Judas, …and Nero…, and Cain, and Hitler! ….That is five of us”

Father Renz: “Who is the sixth?” 

‘Anneliese’: “We lied about him…”

I don’t know about you guys but it seems odd to me that Judas and Hitler would someone end up in an exorcism together?..

Further to this recording Anneliese also named Valentin Fieishcmann, an excommunicated priest, as one of her processors. Father Alt found this aspect especially odd, as Anneliese “would have no way of knowing about Fieishcmann”. Knowledge of hidden truths is a key element amongst procession according to the catholic church. 

The 67th Exorcism

By May 1976 Anneliese was at her lowest point. She would self-harm by smashing her head against walls, and at one point her family had to tie her down to prevent this. Anneliese at this point refused to eat anything claiming she was:

“Not permitted to eat”

Although Anneliese now weighted under 80 LBS, her “superhuman strength” had grown much stronger. On 30th June 1976 Anneliese refused a doctors visit and had the exorcism rights preformed on her for the 67th time, only this time the only words she uttered were:

“Please, Absolution…”

The Michel family had know placed on faith of Anneliese’s recovery into the exorcisms of Father Renz, however, Anneliese Michel tragically passed away on 1st July 1976, having died from starvation and weighing only 68 LBS at the time.

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Anneliese and Friends

The Legal Case of Lucifer

In 1978, following Anneliese tragic passing, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Michel and the two priests whom she had place all hope upon, Father Renz and Father Alt were taken to court accused of ‘negligence’. Below I’ll outline both the defences, and the prosecutions arguments in court:

The position of the defence

As expected, the defence argued from a religious point that Anneliese Michel had been possessed by ‘demons’ and submitted the tape recordings taken during the 67 exorcisms preformed as official evidence. However, although never stated officially, most of the court did not take the tapes seriously and believed them to be fake.

From a non-religious stand point however, the defence argued that Anneliese out of her own free will was permitted to deny any medial treatment offered. It is arguably understandable that Anneliese would have denied medial treatment as, as well all know, medical treatment in the 70s wasn’t the best and could have included tranquilizing and electroshock therapy.

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Anneliese and Mother during her last years of life.

Eyewitness Thea Hein, a family friend, stated before the court that before Anneliese’s death she had ‘begged’ to not be given any form of medial attention.

It is important to note that towards the end of Anneliese’s life, Father Alt did seek medial attention. On 30th May, Father Alt brought Anneliese to see Dr. Richard Roth, however Dr. Roth claims that he only agreed to see Anneliese out of “interest” and not as a medial professional. Evidence submitted to the court however shows Dr. Roth stating:

“There is no injection against the devil”

The Autopsy

Despite several doctors diagnosing Anneliese Michel with suffering from  ‘seizures’, an autopsy preformed on Anneliese found her brain was Perfectly healthy with no size of damage that could cause seizures.  Further to this, the autopsy also revealed that no ulcers were found in Anneliese’s stomach, something common amongst those who have suffered from starvation.

The position of the prosecution

The prosecution argued that Anneliese had suffered from psychosis and was not of sound enough mind to protect herself, a job had family had failed to do on her part.

The prosecution completely denied possession as a factor within Anneliese’s death, and submitted evidence suggesting Father Alt showed signs of schizophrenia. Arguably if this were the case this would have played into the ‘fantasy’ of the exorcism rights?

Further to this, the prosecution argued that Anneliese’s medication had successfully suppressed her seizures, but that this suppression had lead to:

“A delusional psychosis associated with epilepsy”

This psychosis, when mixed with the endless exorcisms preformed on Anneliese, had caused her to act and believe that she was processed. To back this up, the prosecution gave eyewitness accounts stating that “Anneliese would often act normal inbetween exorcisms”. BUT Anneliese’s view that “the devil was inside her” predates any medication she was given.

The final vote

In the end, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution, with all four defendants sentenced to six months in prison and a suspension (for Father Renz and Father Alt) of up-to three years and payment for all court costs. The final court statement read:

“Anneliese Michel was unable to make decisions for herself and should have been forced to submit to medial care”

A mental illness or a mental possession?

After researching this case I can say that my heart goes out to Annelise Michel, being a similar age to her I feel sorrow for the future she lost.

I can’t help but wonder though, if the young girl was really actually possessed?, or if she was suffering from a form of mental illness, which if she had lived in today’s age she would have (hopefully) received help for.

I guess the fault here is that her family trusted their guts and sadly put their faith in the wrong people, something which we have all been guilty of. 

If you found this blog post interesting and want to do some more of your own result, below is a list of sources I used when attempting to find the truth of Anneliese Michel…:

“God told us to exorcise my daughter’s demons, I don’t regret her death”- A newspaper article regarding Anneliese’s mother’s views on the exorcisms 

‘True Evil: The tragic life of Anneliese Michel’- A blog post about the years leading up-to Anneliese’s death 

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Trailer– A movie loosely based on the exorcisms of Anneliese Michel 

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In Memory of Anneliese Michel

 

 

 

Dangerous horror games: Halloween edition

Previous game: Dolly Hide and Seek

*Warning*

The games that will listed throughout these posts have come from the internet, I personally have never tried them none ever will I. I do not know the results of these games so please play at your own risk and in a safe environment.

DO NOT play these games with anyone in the who does not wish to take part in the game or is unaware that the game is in happening.

The Elevator game: A lift to another world

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For some of us the pressures of this world can be overwhelming, deadlines, exams, work… it kind of makes you wish you could leave it all behind for a few hours. Well with this game you can, but be careful because a few might just turn into a few centuries...

For fans of the conspiracy theories that surround the death of tourist Elisa Lam this game may sound familiar.

Will you take the risk and enter the Elevator? Be careful not to get trapped..

Players:

1

Requirements:

1 Elevator, that goes at least 10 floors high.

How to play:

Firstly make sure the lift you have chosen to get into is completely empty and on the 1st floor, the game won’t work otherwise.

  1. Press the button for the 4th floor.
  2. When the elevator reaches the 4th floor do not get out. Remain in the elevator and press the button for the 2nd floor.
  3. When you reach the 2nd floor do not get out, press the button for the 6th floor.
  4. When you reach the 6th floor press the button to go back down to the 2nd floor.
  5. When you reach the 2nd floor again press the button for the 10th floor.
  6. When you reach the 10th floor press the button to take you down to the 5th floor.
  7. When you arrive on the 5th floor a young woman may enter the Elevator. Be sure to not look or speak to her, she is from the otherworld and can trap you there.
  8. Press the button for the 1st floor.
  9. The elevator should then begin to travel up towards the 10th floor rather than going down to the 1st. If this happens the game is working, if it simply goes down to the 1st floor make sure to get out on the 1st floor straight away. Dont look back and dont speak until you’re out.
  10. Once you reach the 10th floor you may stay within the elevator or you may chose to get out and explore. If you choose to leave the elevator ignore any attempts from the young woman to get you to stay, do not speak to her, do not look at her.

You will know that you have reached the ‘otherworld’ because you will be completely alone there.

The return trip

If you remained in the elevator during the game:

  1. Press the button for the 1st floor. Keep pressing until the elevator starts to travel down.
  2. Exit as soon as the door open, do not look back, do not speak to anyone until you are out of the building.

If you went exploring:

  1. Make sure the elevator you get into is the same one you left.
  2. Press the buttons in the same order you did in steps 2-8. You should finish on the 5th floor. 
  3. Once at the 5th floor press the button for the 1st floor. The elevator will begin to travel up to the 10th floor, press any button to stop the elevator reaching the 10th floor. Do not allow the elevator to reach the 10th floor. 
  4. When you reach the 1st floor check your surroundings before departing the elevator, if even one thing seems off do not get out. Repeat the steps 2-8 until you feel safe.

Important warnings

  • Once you reach the other world you can check to see if you’re really there by looking out of the window, the only thing you will see is a red light in the distance. 
  • DO NOT leave the building until the game is over
  • DO NOT speak to the woman
  • If at any point you pass out during the game you will likely wake up at home. Make sure to check your surroundings. 

Previous game: Dollys hide and seek