Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Done learnt myself cross-eyed

I think I had a mild hypomanic episode today; I spent the afternoon seemingly hellbent on researching myself stupid. (Wait, can you do that? By definition, can you learn yourself stupid?) Things I found out:

>> "Locusta is the name of a woman thought to be the first documented serial killer. She was a professional poisoner in Rome sometime during the first century A.D.; she also poisoned others in her spare time." Don't ever let them tell you that there weren't female serial killers before Aileen Wuornos, y'all. To wit:

>> "Take Russia's quiet professional, Madame Alexe Popova. Her first murder taking place in 1879, this hit-woman poisoned some three hundred men — other women's husbands and boyfriends — until she was caught and executed by a firing squad in 1909."

>> "Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d'Aubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers (1630 – 1676) was a French poisoner. Madame de Brinvilliers was notorious for her gallantries and for poisoning her father, brother, and two sisters in order to inherit their property, with the help of her lover army captain Godin de Sainte-Croix. There were also rumors that she had poisoned poor people during her visits in hospitals. She fled but was arrested in Liège. She was forced to confess, sentenced to death and in July 17, 1676, was put to the 'extraordinary question' (forced to drink sixteen pints of water), then was beheaded and burned at a stake."

>> "The Axeman of New Orleans was a serial killer active in New Orleans, Louisiana (and surrounding communities, including Gretna, Louisiana), from May 1918 to October 1919. 'The Axeman' was not caught or identified at the time, although his crime spree stopped as mysteriously as it started." Not female--just interesting. You know how the Wikipedia train is--you get on, you have no idea where you'll end up.

>> "The Servant Girl Annihilator or Austin Axe Murderer is the given name of a notorious serial killer or killers who terrorized Austin, Texas between 1884 and 1885." THE SERVANT GIRL AH-NNIIIII-HI-LA-TORRRRRRRRRRR. They just don't make 'em the way they used to, y'all.

>> "Jane Toppan (1854 - 1938), born Honora Kelly, was an American serial killer who has sometimes been called 'the female Jack the Ripper.' [Note: there is a sad lack of ripping in her actual MO.] She confessed to 31 murders in 1901 but is believed to have been responsible for at least twice that number. She is quoted as saying that her ambition was 'to have killed more people — helpless people — than any other man or woman who ever lived.' "

>> "Peter Stumpp (died 1589) was a German farmer and allegedly a serial killer and cannibal, also known as the Werewolf of Bedburg. In 1589, Stumpp had one of the most lurid and famous werewolf trials in history." I don't know about you, but I'm just kind of impressed that there were werewolf trials, plural.

>> "At the beginning of the 17th century the punishment of witchcraft was still zealously prosecuted by James I of England, and that pious monarch regarded 'warwoolfes' as victims of delusion induced by 'a natural super-abundance of melancholic.' " They're just sad, okay? Also, there's an "Oh no, you is a warwelf!" joke in there that I just can't make come out right.

In less murderous news:

shoiryu: "Hey, Cleo, can I ask you to pimp this out? helpweep is the coordination center for assisting WEEP of Canada, an environmental education program that uses non-releasable birds of prey to raise environmental awareness. The program is in serious danger of closing, and if that's the case, all their birds are going to be euthanized. It seems a good enough cause for some attention."

Mrs. Coulter appears. I dunno, she's a little blonder than I wanted, but it is Nicole Kidman, so...

Giant diamond sells for more than $12 million.

Quick gothlit recs from reynardine, since my internet's being fritzing in and out every five minutes (quite literally): "I've been reading some scary short stories myself from A Treasury of American Horror Stories. One of the creepiest has been Pickman's Model by H.P. Lovecraft. The prose isn't quite as overwrought as some of his other works (and no Cthulu), but this is a very well-crafted horror story. Twilla by Tom Reamy was also very good, as was Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin." I actually have Chopin's on to-read list, and one of the things I wanted to do was break down some of the less tentacly Lovecraft stories, because the man really does have an excellent grasp of atmosphere when he's not fhtagning it up.

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October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Tags: black ribbon, books, crime, gothic, his dark materials, horror, hypomania, research, werewolves
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