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Monday, October 25, 2010

Beware The Bathwater!

I suppose I'm feeling exceptionally ghoulish today--perhaps it's because Halloween is only a few days away?--but I have murderers on the brain. Funnily enough, while looking for something completely different, I discovered that while you can search for people by name, nationality, etc... in one of our databases called Biography Resource Center, you can also search by occupation. And guess what one of the occupations is? Of course, of course! Murderer! (Imagine filling out a job application with that as a listing: Well, from 1992-1997, I was a waitress, but then from 1997-2000, it was strictly killing.)

Naturally, I found some other oddities that I thought might be fun to share:
  • Shoko Asahara and his cult followers were the ones who set off sarin nerve gas in a Japanese subway in 1995. It killed twelve and injured thousands. In my opinion, the most bizarre part? Asahara and his sheep believed that he could "teach levitation and telepathy" and that if you were to imbibe of his bathwater one would come closer to total enlightenment (Shoko Asahara). I'm sure I would come closer to something if I were to go around drinking other people's bathwater. Enlightenment? Perhaps not.
  • Why is it that I'm always the last to know these things? Did you know that the hit TV show and the movie The Fugitive were based on a real-life case? The real Sam Sheppard was retried after ten years of imprisonment, found not guilty, and set free. His son later brought a civil suit against the state of Ohio, citing wrongful imprisonment, but lost (Sam Sheppard).
  • Margie Velma Barfield (have I ever mentioned the bully from middle school whose name was Velma?) was known as the Death Row Grandma and had a penchant for poison. It seems that she added some rat poison to several people's refreshments. She managed to put ant poison in her mother's Coca-Cola and a fiancée's beer and, while working as a private nurse, rat poison into a patient's early morning vittles (Margie Velma Barfield). Scrumptious, and definitely one of my favorites: rat poison mixed with beer certainly enhances that hoppy flavor!
  • Last but not least, one of the contestants for ickiest murderess ever is Elizabeth Bathory. Her entry reads simply thus: Killed 610 servant girls; believed human blood baths essential to retaining youth.
Yes, I definitely recommend that you NOT drink the bathwater!

"Elizabeth Bathory." Almanac of Famous People. Gale, 2007. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.
"Margie Velma Barfield." World of Criminal Justice. Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.
"Sam Sheppard." World of Criminal Justice. Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.
"Shoko Asahara." Biography Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.

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