Archive for August, 2007

Friday vampire dance party

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Dead man’s scalp delivered to coroner

Gruesome alert.

From the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Ledger:

Paul Vun Cannon died earlier this month near Newtown Pike, where he probably lay down and didn’t wake up.

No one knows precisely when he died. His body was found on Aug. 12. He would have had his 50th birthday the next day. Instead, the coroner and a deputy coroner collected his remains and took them to the coroner’s office a few blocks away.

But not all Vun Cannon’s body made it there.

On Aug. 14, Sherry Nimbach, a close friend of Vun Cannon’s, visited the area where his body had been found. It’s a wooded strip of land off Newtown Pike, a little before the left turn into downtown Lexington. Homeless men, whom Vun Cannon knew, sleep there, and he had walked there after becoming stranded in Winchester, said Nimbach, 49. She thinks he drank beer along the way and became severely dehydrated in the near-record temperatures.

A preliminary autopsy indicates there was no foul play in his death.

When Nimbach walked through the area where her friend’s body had lain for several days, she found a large piece of his black hair and what she believes is part of his scalp. Twigs and a plastic cup were entangled with the matted hair.

A friend of hers called the coroner’s office to report the finding, she said, but they couldn’t provide the exact location. Days passed, and Nimbach went to the site a few times, and part of Vun Cannon’s remains were still there.

By Wednesday night, “I couldn’t take it anymore. That scalp wasn’t going to lay there in that ditch anymore,” she said. “It made me sick to do this, but I just pulled and it ripped. I brought home the part I had. … I felt it rip, I felt like I left part of it behind. I left with what I had. That’s why I thought some remained there.”


Eventually, with some urging, she agreed to turn the remains over to the coroner. “I want it back with Paul,” she said.

Still, she said she feared meeting the authorities and begged the Herald-Leader reporter to deliver the remains to the coroner’s office.

After the reporter took the bag to the coroner, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said he helped recover Vun Cannon’s badly decomposed body. Two trees were removed and sheets were spread around his body in an attempt to keep the remains together when they were moved, he said.

“Obviously, there was an oversight. I’ll take responsibility for it,” Ginn said. “I’m thankful it was brought to our attention.”

Ginn confirms a large amount of Vun Cannon’s hair was in the bag. He said it’s normal for hair to slough off during decomposition. But, he said, what Nimbach thought was scalp is really a styrofoam cup — litter from the ditch — covered in body fluids.

More on it here:

t was one of the strangest phone calls I’ve taken as metro editor at the Herald-Leader — and I’ve taken plenty of odd phone calls over the years. The woman on the line was despondent because she said the county coroner had left her friend’s scalp in wooded area along Newtown Pike.


When Steve called me back a few hours later, things got a little stranger. “I have a scalp in my car,” Steve told me.


Steve says that he first advised Sherry Nimbach to turn the material over to the coroner. “But for whatever reason – fear, grief, distrust of authorities or all three – Sherry Nimbach balked at taking a piece of her friend’s hair and scalp to the coroner’s office,” Steve says. “She begged me to do it. I rolled my eyes and balked myself and again encouraged her to make the delivery. But her protests increased and I started feeling bad for her dead friend, Paul. If I were in the same situation, I imagine I’d like someone to reunite my remains. And, I guess I’m a sucker for tears.

“In my gut, I suppose I knew I was crossing some journalism ethics line, but I couldn’t think of anything better… I was on the front porch with a mourning woman, who I didn’t know, whose moods swung widely the past few hours I had been with her. Oh, and she had produced a scalp from her freezer. Were we just going to stand there with the trash bag indefinitely?

Full Moon

A blogger, goldkeyrealty, wrote this at another site (published here with kind permission):

Behold the rising, brilliant orb of gold,
As if floating there on the shim’ring sea.
Reflections bright and comforting unfold
To warm the heart of all who come to see.
That light has hung up in the ev’ning sky
Since man first walked and dreamed of things on high.

Oh, golden moon what secrets do you hold?
What lovers have you watched beneath your glow?
You’ve witnessed tragic loss as that sea rolled.
You’ve seen mankind do everything below.
I wonder as I gaze at you tonight
If others elsewhere stare up at your light.

Perhaps we see upon your shining face
The light of hope for all the human race.

“Zombie Apocalypse on a Synagogue Wall”

With a headline like that, how can one not click on the link… I mean, really.

(Okay, the headline is the best part of the story.)

Atomic mutants created by mad scientists

I’m making an assumption they’re mad scientists although I’m sure it’s a fairly safe one. From The New York Times:

He rolled the dice again. This time, he was mimicking what he and his colleagues have been doing quietly around the globe for more than a half-century — using radiation to scramble the genetic material in crops, a process that has produced valuable mutants like red grapefruit, disease-resistant cocoa and premium barley for Scotch whiskey.

“I’m doing the same thing,” he said, still toying with the dice. “I’m not doing anything different from what nature does. I’m not using anything that was not in the genetic material itself.”

Dr. Lagoda, the head of plant breeding and genetics at the International Atomic Energy Agency, prides himself on being a good salesman. It can be a tough act, however, given wide public fears about the dangers of radiation and the risks of genetically manipulated food. His work combines both fields but has nonetheless managed to thrive.

Sure, they claim they are creating useful plants. But what about the triffids?

When the carrots rampage through the streets, we know to storm Dr. Lagoda’s castle with our pitchforks and torches.

Silk Road city marks 2750 years

Yeah, I know – it’s the allure of Orientalism. Still, some names instantly evoke mystery – and Samarkand is one of those names.

A city that has been continuously occupied for 2750 years. Pretty amazing…

Where’s Carnacki?

Just a quick note there is no truth to the rumor I was eaten by a chupacabra or abducted by aliens, but I am still here. I’ve been busy with a side project (by the way, Carlos, if that is your real name, you still owe me for the mummies I smuggled to you. I’ve not forgotten your debt – particularly since you didn’t mention that nasty curse on disturbing the tomb). However I should be back to regular blogging later this week. By regular I mean weird.

Edward Gorey’s Dracula

Paging Francis Ford Coppola. Mr. Coppola to the courtesy phone please. Link.

Friday Vampire Cat Blogging

Not the last view I would like to see.


The Librarian

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