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Showing posts from January, 2018

LV coroner defies court order, refuses to release Paddock autopsy report

In a stunning development in the Las Vegas shooting conspiracy, Clark County coroner John Fudenberg is refusing to comply with a court order calling for the release of Stephen Paddock's autopsy report.

On Tuesday the coroner was ordered by district court judge Timothy Williams to immediately make public the report.

According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, the Clark County coroner's office stated that the report would not be made public until it was "finalized". Very suspicious wording, since Paddock-- the gunman responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern American history-- was cremated on December 21, 2017.

On January 11, the coroner was fined $32,000 by another judge for refusing to release public records pertaining to the shooting.

This story comes on the heels of another important breakthrough in the Las Vegas shooting case. Earlier this week it was reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that authorities were pursuing a second person of interest in the…

The Unsolved Mystery of Fort Aubrey

Out on the western plains of Kansas, a few indentations in the earth and a granite monument erected in 1906 are all that remains to mark the site of Fort Aubrey, a frontier post established by the U.S. Army more than 160 years ago to serve as the lone safe refuge for wagon trains traversing a lonesome 150-mile stretch of the Santa Fe Trail.

Fort Aubrey was also the site of one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history; it was here that a party of 22 militiamen from Missouri met their demise in December of 1863 for reasons that have never been discovered. Not only is the cause of the tragedy a mystery, but even the names of those 22 unfortunate soldiers have been lost to history-- if they were ever even known in the first place, that is.

What is known, however, is that army records pertaining to Fort Aubrey disappeared in either 1858 or 1859, and the outpost was presumably abandoned. It wasn't until May of 1864-- one year after the unexplained deaths of the Missouri m…

Haunted by his victim: The bizarre tale of Edward Unger

Located on the east bank of the Hudson River, Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York is known throughout the country for housing some of the most violent outlaws in the world of crime. Over 600 criminals were executed at Sing Sing, and so it is not surprising that this famed prison in notoriously difficult to escape from.

And while escaping from a maximum security prison like Sing Sing is a monumental challenge in itself, a 19th century inmate named Edward Unger faced an even bigger challenge-- escaping from the ghost of his murder victim.

But the ghost that drove Unger over the brink of insanity is just one part of the story. There's also a sensational murder at the heart of this strange tale.

Once upon a time, long before Edward Unger ran a tiny saloon catering to lowlives and roughnecks who lived along the Bowery, he was a war hero. He earned a medal of honor and rose to the rank of captain during the Civil War, participating in a dozen bloody battles as a member of the 1…

The Strange Prophecy of Benrose Billman

It was March of 1892 in the sleepy Ohio village of Doylestown, just south of Akron. The heart of the village was the hotel known as the Billman House, owned by Benrose Billman, who was a genial host and known throughout the village as an upstanding pillar of the local community.

A few weeks earlier Benrose Billman had undergone a severe sick spell, and, for several days, his life was in the balance. His health gradually improved and one day he was able to get out of bed and hobble around with the aid of a cane.

The office of the Billman House was the local hangout spot for the young men of the village, who gathered daily at the hotel to exchange gossip and check upon the health of the well-loved owner. It was on this particular March morning when Mr. Billman left his sick room and made his return to the hotel office, much to the delight of the crowd.

The crowd hanging out at the hotel that day consisted of John Mealy, William Busson, James Eitel, Fred Baysinger and Kent Young. All we…

Haunted Alaska: The Mystery of Chirikof Island

Ghosts of prisoners said to haunt site of former Russian penal colony

Off the southern coast of Alaska lies the Kodiak Archipelago, a group of islands comprising over 5,000 square miles of land. Much of this land is forested and teeming with wildlife, and several of the islands are populated. At the extreme southern tip of the archipelago lies an anomaly-- a treeless, barren wasteland surrounded by treacherous seas. This desolate place is Chirikof Island, and it strikes the imagination as being the ideal place to strand blood-thirsty criminals until Mother Nature metes out her own brand of justice.

It is perhaps for this very reason that Chirikof Island was said to be the site of a 19th century Russian penal colony. Though some historians refute this idea, the legend of the lost Russian penal colony still survives to this day. And, according to legend-- and numerous eyewitness accounts-- the island is haunted by the ghosts of long-dead criminals  and exiles.

One of the first authors t…

The Parhamites: A Tale of Jesus, Pedophilia, Sodomy and Strangulation

Of all the religious cults in American history, few have had a reputation of debauchery like the Parhamites, a strange Pentecostal community founded by preacher Charles Fox Parham in the early years of the 20th century. While Parham is still remembered as a pioneer of American Pentecostalism (it was Parham who popularized the Pentecostal practice of "speaking in tongues", or glossolalia), most have forgotten the sensational scandals associated with Parham and his maniacally devoted followers.

As a young man in Kansas, Parham belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church and began preaching at the age of fifteen. A disagreement with church leadership led him to abandon the Methodist faith, and inspired Parham to start his own non-denominational ministry. In 1900 Parham established Bethel Bible College in Topeka. Although the school charged no tuition, the controversial and often bizarre beliefs of its founder prevented the college from flourishing. Within a few months, Parham wa…

The 5 Most Improbable Things That Have Ever Happened

In a classic 1991 episode of Seinfeld ("The Statue"), Elaine argues with a woman named Rava about coincidences. After Elaine mentions a "big coincidence" Rava angrily points out that there is no such thing as a small coincidence or a big coincidence-- just coincidences. "That's what a coincidence is!" Rava insists, which causes Elaine to protest: "No, there are degrees of coincidences!"

While statisticians have been debating ever since whether or not there are "degrees" of coincidence like Elaine Benes insists, most experts agree that coincidences are surprisingly common.

Mathematicians Frederick Mosteller and Persi Diaconis have defined a coincidence as a "surprising concurrence of events that are perceived as being meaningfully related", though neither (unfortunately) expressed an opinion about big coincidences and small coincidences.

History, however, presents several examples of concurrences so mathematically improbabl…