Archive for the 'Cemetery' Category

Crypt robbers sentenced to 26 years in prison

Perhaps Doctor Frankenstein should give lessons on how to rob graves.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two men accused of tampering with more than 20 caskets at a Martinsburg cemetery last year were sentenced Monday to 26 years in prison apiece in Berkeley County Circuit Court.


In April, Bowers told the court that it was his idea to go to Rosedale Cemetery last spring and remove jewelry from the bodies of the deceased, and that Ruffner went along with the plan on two trips to the burial grounds at 917 Cemetery Road.

Bowers told authorities he helped Ruffner and a third unidentified male open crypts from a mausoleum in the cemetery and take jewelry from the bodies, according to court records.

Bowers said a clothes hanger was used to get the jewelry from within the caskets, and the jewelry was taken to the Martinsburg Mall to exchange at a “cash-for-gold” business, records said.

Real-life vampire found in plague pit

No, this isn’t a Weekly World News headline (I mean really… would they even know what a plague pit is?) – it’s from Reuters:

By Daniel Flynn ROME (Reuters) – Italian researchers believe they have found the remains of a female “vampire” in Venice, buried with a brick jammed between her jaws to prevent her feeding on victims of a plague which swept the city in the 16th century.

Worth the click…

Hello Kitty tombstones

Boing Boing has photo and video of the Hello Kitty! tombstones. There are several tombstones in the graveyard where I jog of very young children. They are surrounded by Barbie dolls and stuffed animals. Always sad to see them.

The Doe Network: Naming the dead through crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a buzzword in information technology circles used to describe work usually conducted by professionals that has been sourced to a general audience for completion. The phrase can cover everything from’s Mechanical Turk (a marketplace for problem-solving), to’s organizing efforts, to Netflix’s competition to redesign their recommendation system.

The Doe Network is crowdsourcing applied to a subject a little closer to the interests of our readers – the Doe Network has crowdsourced cold cases:

The unnamed dead are everywhere — buried in unmarked graves, tagged in county morgues, dumped in rivers and under bridges, interred in potter’s fields and all manner of makeshift tombs. There are more than 40,000 unnamed bodies in the U.S., according to national law enforcement reports, and about 100,000 people formally listed as missing.

The premise of the Doe Network is simple. If the correct information — dental records, DNA, police reports, photographs — is properly entered into the right databases, many of the unidentified can be matched with the missing. Law enforcement agencies and medical examiners offices simply don’t have the time or manpower. Using the Internet and other tools, volunteers can do the job.

And so, in the suburbs of Chicago, bank executive Barbara Lamacki spends her nights searching for clues that might identify toddler Johnny “Dupage” Doe, whose body was wrapped in a blue laundry bag and dumped in the woods of rural Dupage County, Ill., in 2005.

The Doe Network, in their own words:

The Doe Network is a volunteer organization devoted to assisting Law Enforcement in solving cold cases concerning Unexplained Disappearances and Unidentified Victims from North America, Australia and Europe. It is our mission to give the nameless back their names and return the missing to their families. We hope to accomplish this mission in three ways; by giving the cases exposure on our website, by having our volunteers search for clues on these cases as well as making possible matches between missing and unidentified persons and lastly through attempting to get media exposure for these cases that need and deserve it.

A good idea that deserves more publicity.

Mr. Brownlow

Sadly, No! has done an excellent job with the debunking and de mocking of Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.”

But I really liked this by commenter Flying Fox:

I wish I wish I wish one of my High School history teachers was still alive. I had the luck to take a class senior year with a WWII veteran who (I swear, I am not making this up) looted HItler’s Munich residence. The teacher, Mr. Brownlow, focused on setting the stage for WWII. He taught about everything he considered relevant to WWII, and went back deep. Frederick the Great, Marx, Clausewitz, WWI etc. There were a few things he had very little patience for (but patience he had, he never lost composure) and they mostly involved things he went through. He used to tell us not to say “hate” is in his presence b/c he had blundered into a death camp. He used to chew out people for bandying about the tersm Nazi and Fascist. He kept saying “Don’t you tell me what hate is. I’ve seen hate. Pure hate. I’ve never seen anything else like it with my own eyes and I don’t have to. I remember it too vividly. Don’t tell me you hate something unless you’ve seen that.” Mr. Brownlow wanted us, above all, to understand why WWII happened the way it did with one exception, the one thing he could not understand. The Holocaust. I keep reading these posts hoping Mr. Brownlow’s memory will fill me, and my judgement will tell me exactly how to respond. BUt so far, nothing yet. The bloggers and commenters are doing well enough without Mr. Brownlow I think. I don’t want to attack Jonah phycisally. It isn’t worth it and it makes us all look bad when someone types it. I feel like we shouldn’t even call him names. Tripe like this, dealing with shit like this is why I went to school. It’s why I study history.

Jonah, I want to take you to Mr. Bronlow’s grave in Arlington Cemetary. If I could, I’d show you what his classroom looked like. He had models and portraits made by students of things and people he covered, he had trophies and memorabilia from the war. With this book Jonah, this disgusting act of cynicism, you disrespect everything Mr. Brownlow stood for and everything he believed in. He taught at a private school by the way Jonah. You have disrespected a man who taught for fifty-seven years because he believed that was the only way to make good on the victory he fought for, that his officers and his men fought and died for. But maybe Jonah, you would be glad to disrespect a man who once joked he would vote Communist because only they admitted they wanted to take his money. Wouldn’t you, Jonah, you cynical heartless man?

Coffin pr0n

Well, okay – coffin cheesecake is far more accurate… But would you have clicked if the title was “Coffin cheesecake”? I think not!

An Italian coffin manufacturer has, well… I’ll let Ship of Fools describe it:

Every year, Cofanifunebri, who have been making coffins, funeral urns and other deathware in Rome since the 1960s, produce what amounts to the Pirelli Calendar for morticians, undertakers and – who knows? – zombies, too, probably. Semi-clad Italian lovelies drape themselves over sturdy coffins, offering an invitation to help them secure the lid more securely.

It’s not that it’s NSFW – it’s pinup-style cheesecake, after all. It’s just that you might get some… looks for oogling the sultry woman with the coffin. That in mind, Miss January is, as they say, below the fold…

I cannot believe…

…that it is mid-October, and we haven’t posted a single cemetery image! Not one! Zero! Zip! Nada! Bupkus!

So I thought I’d remedy the situation with this pic, taken by a kayaker who paddled around Puerto Rico this summer. Never met the guy, but I read his blog every now and then, and I loved the image when I found it in his Flickr set of Old San Juan. (Click on the photo to see the full set… All of his sets related to the trip are here.)

Broken tombstone, San Juan, PR

(I’ve got another good cemetery photo lurking in the wings, but I’ve been too scattered lately to get around to it. Real Soon Now, I promise.)

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