Total Batshit

Farewell to Dreads

After 10 years of unparalleled awesome, I have combed out my dreadlocks. Yes, combed out. All of them. Well, all except for two, because I am a monster who cannot resist the urge to hack at her own hair with a pair of children’s craft scissors.

There was no mystic or conspiratorial reason behind this, and I didn’t find any alien implants in my newly revealed scalp (unfortunately). There’s actually nothing at all batshit about this post, except for possibly the 20+ hours of effort I put into something as superficial as changing hairstyles. But if you’re thinking about combing out your own dreads, need to build up courage for a radical hair change, or even just want to check out 10 years of dread styles and colours, click through to the full post.

IMG_39952010: Parting is such sweet sorrow…

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Total Batshit is getting surprisingly regular traffic, so I guess I’m not the only person interested in this stuff. Thank you for stopping by, random visitors! If you like what you see, please scroll down and sign up to follow this blog via email.

I have a couple of projects keeping me busy at the moment (their codenames being “Adventure Time”, “beer” and “unnecessary quotation marks”), so it could be a fortnight before my next proper post. In the meantime, check out this article about the Korean Airlines Flight 007 conspiracy theory. It’s classic Reagan-era Batshit that reminds us “One should never underestimate the role of stupidity in history.”

stupid-ancient-aliens-guy

 

Serial Killer Q&A #1: David Berkowitz

Welcome to Serial Killer Q&A, a new irregular feature exclusive to Total Batshit. Yeah, that’s right – exclusive. That’s marketing gold, that is.

While multiple murderers are unfortunately very real, many of the beliefs around them are not. Each instalment of Serial Killer Q&A will focus on a different individual and address some of the questions relating to their crimes, as well as popular perceptions of serial murder. This could make Q&A posts a tad darker than the usual Batshit fare, but I’d encourage you to give them a shot even if you’re not a true crime fan. I promise this stuff is interesting!

*   *   *

1. Who is David Berkowitz?

In short, this guy:

David Berkowitz, at Police Headquarter in Yonkers
Is that all you needed to know?

Between July 1976 and August 1977, David Berkowitz terrorised New York City as the Son of Sam (formerly the .44 Caliber Killer). He shot 13 people, killing 6 and seriously wounding 7, and appeared to target young women with long dark hair. Berkowitz wrote bizarre letters to police and journalists, which claimed “Papa Sam” demanded the killings in order to quench his thirst for blood. The NYPD originally considered Berkowitz a witness, but when they contacted Yonkers police for assistance in tracking him down, the local PD informed them that the contents of one of the Son of Sam letters made them suspect Berkowitz was the killer. At the time of his arrest, Berkowitz confessed to all of the crimes. He explained that the “Sam” in his letters was his former neighbour, Sam Carr, whose demonically possessed labrador ordered him to kill.

2. Is David Berkowitz a psychopath?

I’m not a psychiatrist and I’ve never met David Berkowitz, so I’m not even slightly qualified to give a diagnosis. But since this is my blog (and since I spend an unhealthy amount of time reading about these things), I will give you my personal, uneducated opinion, which is that Berkowitz sounds more psychotic than psychopathic. What’s the difference? “Psychotic” is a sort of umbrella term that describes symptoms and conditions that cause people to loss touch with reality (or at least alter their perception of it). Psychotic symptoms include delusions and hallucinations (both visual and auditory), and an example of a psychotic condition is schizophrenia. People with psychotic conditions are rarely violent (and, in fact, are more likely to be victims of violence than commit it), but a person suffering psychosis may become violent if they are scared and misinterpret what they’re experiencing. This is more likely to occur if the person is not receiving treatment or has exasperated their condition with drugs or alcohol.

Psychopathy, on the other hand, is a behavioural disorder in which individuals display superficial charm, high intelligence, manipulative and impulsive behaviour, pathological lying and egocentricity, incapacity to love, lack of remorse or shame, etcetera. They are not intrinsically violent, but are selfish and lacking in empathy, which makes it easy for them to pursue their own desires at the expense of other people. It’s estimated that 1% of the population are psychopaths, and those that don’t end up in jail often become successful CEOs, lawyers* and neuroscientists.

american-psycho
And Wall Street douchebags (source: http://videovortex.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/all-time-classics-american-psycho-2000/).

In 1977 David Berkowitz was not someone who was described as charismatic or likeable; he was an odd loner whose confusion of fantasy and reality made people uncomfortable. He moved house in attempt to escape from “howling demons”, and sent threatening letters to neighbours Sam Carr (“I can see that there will be no peace in my life, or my family’s life, until I end yours…”) and Craig Glassman (“True, I am the killer, but Craig, the killings are at your command…”), whom he claimed were part of a Satanic group that persecuted him. He shot dogs that he believed were speaking to him, scrawled Satanic graffiti all over the walls of his apartment, and kept notebooks documenting hundreds of fires he had lit around New York City. That’s the behaviour of a psychotic, not a psychopath.

3. Were the Son of Sam murders part of a Satanic conspiracy?

Sorry, did you just skip over the previous two sections about rambling letters and talking dogs? OK, fine, let’s have a look at this “theory”.

While Berkowitz had long demonstrated a preoccupation with the occult, the Satanic cult conspiracy theory only picked up steam in the early ’90s with the great Satanic Panic. After becoming a born-again Christian in 1987, Berkowitz made the claim that he had joined a Satanic Cult in 1975. In 1993 he told the press that the Son of Sam murders were ritual slayings intended to instigate war and chaos, and that he personally had only killed three people. Several cultists were involved in each attack – they assisted with planning, surveillance of victims, and acted as lookouts and drivers. Berkowitz was only willing to name two of his (supposed) co-conspirators: John and Michael Carr, the long-dead sons of Sam Carr.

theesatanicchurch001In 1975 fifteen bucks was quite a commitment! I would have just played some D&D.
(Source: http://occultchicago.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/advertisement-for-thee-satanic-chuch.html)

At the time of the attacks, some individuals close to the case expressed the belief that Berkowitz had not acted alone. This and Berkowitz’s claims resulted in the reopening of the Son of Sam case in 1996; however, it was eventually suspended due to lack of findings.

From my advanced Google-fu, it appears the only evidence to support the conspiracy theory are the varying witness descriptions of the shooter (specifically his hair) and the supposedly Satanic suicide of John Carr. The former can be explained by taking a closer look at the descriptions; following one attack two separate witnesses said the shooter looked like he was wearing a cheap blond wig, and if we disregard hair colour the majority of descriptions across all of the crimes match Berkowitz. The latter seems to be an odd, but not unbelievable, coincidence.

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with former Chief of Detectives Joseph Borrelli, who said, “The best proof I have that he acted alone: Has there been a homicide of a similar nature since?” If a cult was determined to start a war through human sacrifice, wouldn’t they continue to kill using one of the other shooters? I also think it’s telling that Berkowitz’s testimony changed after his conversion to evangelical Christianity. Obsession with religion, religious delusions,  delusions of grandeur (particularly the belief that you have a special purpose or mission) – all are common signs of schizophrenia, and I believe all are present in both Berkowitz’s original testimony and his current statements. Berkowitz has just changed focus from Satan to Christ.

4. Why did Son of Sam attack women?

Berkowitz targeted young brunette women, usually in pairs and sometimes with their boyfriends, but his changing testimony makes it difficult to determine why.  In 1979 Berkowitz said his original claims of demonic possession were a hoax and that he targeted women to punish them for rejecting him both romantically and maternally (as in the case of his biological mother, who gave him up for adoption to preserve a relationship with a married man). When Berkowitz returned to more Satanic explanations in the late ’80s, he claimed the “sacrifices” were chosen because they were young and middle-class – perfect symbols of the American future his cult was trying to destroy.

We may never be able to understand Berkowitz’s personal motivation, but the statistics of serial murder victims as a whole reveal some disturbing patterns. 70% of victims are women, and victims of both genders are often chosen from marginalised and/or vulnerable groups: prostitutes, runaways, migrant workers, hospital patients, children, and the LGBTIQ community. Selecting victims who are either estranged from family and friends (and who are less likely to be reported as missing), or who are widely discriminated against (and whose deaths rarely result in major media coverage or public outcry) not only has practical advantages in evading capture, but helps the killer dehumanise their victims and rationalise their own actions. These people “won’t be missed” (Ted Bundy: Conversations With A Killer) or “deserve to be punished”.

We could now easily move into questions of agency versus culture and nature versus nurture, but that’s a whoooole other post. However, it’s my opinion that serial killers, like art, do not exist in a vacuum, no matter how irrational their actions may seem.

vacuum_sealed_fresh_love_1Existing in a vacuum isn’t good for anyone.
(Source: http://youbentmywookie.com/wtf/fresh-love-bizarre-japanese-art-vacumm-sealed-couples-in-plastic-bags-15155)

5. Where is David Berkowitz now?

Berkowitz is currently incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York. He writes blogs and articles for his evangelical website (which is maintained by volunteers, as Berkowitz is not allowed access to a computer) and works in the prison’s Special Needs Unit and church.

SSRecent pic (from AriseandShine.org).

Since 2002 Berkowitz has repeatedly requested that his parole hearings be cancelled, stating, “In all honesty, I believe that I deserve to be in prison for the rest of my life. I have, with God’s help, long ago come to terms with my situation and I have accepted my punishment.” He often expresses concern over the public’s interest in violent crime, and in 2005 he sued Hugo Harmatz, one of his former attorneys, for publishing a collection of his letters. Berkowitz demanded that Harmatz return his possessions and donate the money he made off them to the Son of Sam victims and their families. They settled out of court when Harmatz agreed to donate part of the book’s profits to the New York State Crime Victims Board.

 

Are you a true crime buff? Leave a comment to suggest a subject for the next Serial Killer Q&A!

6 Politicians With Alien Connections

Sorry for the radio silence, Batshitters, but I’ve spent much of the last month in a depressive slump, making it hard to get things done. “Why so serious?” you ask? Oh, just watching Australia piss its future down the drain, no biggie…

I need some cheering up, and if you’re reading this I’ll assume you do too. So let’s share some LOLs as we ruthlessly mock 6 Politicians With Alien Connections.

1. Jimmy Carter

 JimmyCarter alf copy

Former President Jimmy Carter saw a UFO when he visited Leary, Georgia in 1969 (presumably to appear as guest of honour at a peanut-farming symposium). He’s told the story in numerous interviews, including this one on Larry King Live:

Carter reported the incident to Oklahoma City’s International UFO Bureau in 1973, and an investigation was carried out in 1976. Only one other person recalled seeing anything in the sky that night; an object they described as “some kind of weather balloon” (just like the crash at Roswell. How many of those things do you need, America?).

While Carter has repeatedly stated that he does NOT believe he saw an alien spacecraft, during his presidential campaign he promised that if elected he would release all information regarding UFO sightings. This didn’t happen, probably because Carter was faffing about with his duties as Leader of the Free World. Whatever, J-Dog!

2. Paul Hellyer

 Paul Hellyer gazoo

Former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer believes there are 80 different alien species zipping around the universe, four of which have been visiting Earth for thousands of years. Their hobbies include dressing as nuns so they can go shopping in Vegas (because how else would you disguise yourself if you wanted to go unnoticed in Sin City?) and ripping off Star Trek (see the Prime Directive).

While the prospect of a ’60s Defence Minister (even a Canadian one) confirming the existence of intelligent, butt-probing life sounds promising, unfortunately Hellyer does not have any first-hand proof to back up his claims. He has never met an alien, and while a couple of UFO reports landed on his desk back in the day, he never investigated any of them. In fact, Hellyer’s own belief seems to be based entirely upon his reading of The Day After Roswell, as well as the fact that he’s about a hundred years old. A bit of a shame, really, because I respect his Fin Review-style message of WORLD IS FUKT.

3. Ronald Reagan 

 Ronald Reagan

Former President Ronald Reagan must have been a dream come true for the National Enquirer. He followed Astrology (to the extent that he and his wife Nancy installed a full-time advisor after the assassination attempt) and believed Abraham Lincoln’s ghost haunted the White House. He also had two close encounters, the first of which occurred while he was on his way to a party thrown by Lucille Ball. According to actress Shirley MacLaine, Ronald and Nancy watched a spaceship land and an ET occupant emerge. The visitor spoke with the couple and recommended that Ronald give up acting and enter politics, a story that puts a serious hole in the theory of “advanced” alien intelligence.

Evidently these encounters left quite an impression on Reagan, as many of his speeches mentioned aliens and space invasions. Have a listen while I check if he has a screenwriting credit in Independence Day:

 

4. John Key 

 john_key chestburster

 Great news, guys – New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is NOT a Reptilian alien. Phew!

After Auckland man Shane Warbrooke made a freedom of information request for “Any evidence to disprove the theory that Mr John Key is in fact a David Icke-style shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement,” Keys sought the advice of a doctor and a vet, both of whom confirmed his dull humanity. At least, that’s what he says! I agree with this blog – if Keys is a Lizard Man hell-bent on world domination, he’s probably not going to admit it.

5. Nixon (does he even need a first name?)

 nixonrobocop
This… I don’t even have to… WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!
(source: http://whatculture.com/film/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-robocop.php)

Former President (and current head in a jar) Nixon was well known for his love of sports, but it seems not even he could maintain interest in a full game of golf. After playing a few holes with actor Jackie Gleason (aka Ralph Kramden, domestic violence enthusiast and inspiration for Fred Flintstone), the conversation turned to the subject of UFOs. Later that evening, Nixon turned up unexpectedly at Gleason’s home and offered to show him something. The President then drove the unauthorised, unqualified, civilian entertainer to Homestead Air Force Base, where he showed him some mangled alien corpses. This would have allowed him to tick yet another achievement off his World’s Shittest President to-do list.

According to Gleason’s then-wife, the frightened actor confided in her when he returned home, asking her not to repeat the story to anyone. Unfortunately for him, she spilled the beans in an interview she gave during their separation period, which pissed Gleason off enough to end the marriage once and for all. It was only when he got upset that she wondered if he might have made the whole thing up…

6. Simon Parkes

 Simon Parkes sex fiend

Whitby Councillor Simon Parkes claims he is abducted four times a year so that he can have sex with his alien wife, with whom he shares a child named Zarka. He experienced his first alien contact while still in the womb, and his first physical encounter at the age of six months. He also lost his virginity to a space hologram when he was five.

Apparently the reason for the intergalactic interest in Parkes is not his awe-inspiring comb-over, but the fact that he himself is part alien. His “true” mother is a 2.7m tall Reptilian who… Wait, aren’t Reptilians the bad guys? And he’s admitting being one? Why isn’t David Icke dissecting, or at least interrogating, him right now?

Here’s a two-hour interview conducted by Project Avalon. I think I got to about 1hr 45min before my brain snapped.

 

Still feeling depressed? Leave a comment to vote for the politician you’d most like to see abducted and probed.

Hippie Aliens Bring Love and Voice Modification Software

I got a new job on Monday, so much of this week’s Batshit time has been dedicated to chasing up super details and plotting a glorious escape from my current employer. But don’t worry; I still have a little something for you. Check this out:

Believe it or not, this actually happened. At the time, the  Independent Broadcasting Authority declared it to be an elaborate hoax, but the identity of Gramaha has never been determined. Most contemporary theories blame pirates, who were probably unsatisfied with the limited pillaging prospects available in ’70s Britain.

Expect an actual update sometime on the weekend! If you’re really lucky, it might even be about something other than aliens.

Space Italians and their Disappointing Pancakes

Last week I wrote about five of the most popular alien cliches that are supposedly causing mischief all over the galaxy (the scallywags). Many of these ideas came out of the Cold War freak-out of the ’40s and ’50s, and were later reinforced by movies and TV. Thanks to popular culture, we now all “know” what an alien looks like and how our close encounter should play out.

There are, however, some cases that refuse to fit the mould. Cases like Joe Simonton and the Eagle River Pancakes.

On April 18 1961, Simonton (a Wisconsin chicken farmer and part-time Santa Claus) was preparing breakfast when he heard what sounded like “knobby tires on wet pavement”. He went outside to investigate and found a flying saucer landing in his backyard.

Drawing on an iron will that only years of poultry-tending could produce, Simonton swallowed his fear and approached the craft. At the same time, a hatch door opened and revealed three shocking and obviously otherworldly beings. The creatures had dark skin, were approximately 5ft tall, and wore stylish blue turtlenecks. Simonton later described them as being “Italian-looking”, presumably because that was the most exotic form of humanoid he could image.

Mike-The-Situation-Sorrentino-Wants-Out-of-Jersey-Shore-2
UFO, or GTL? (Thanks, Mark!)

Either through telepathy or elaborate pantomime, one of the beings (to whom we’ll award the title of Captain)  managed to ask Simonton for some water. The ET gave Simonton a “beautiful thermos-like jug,” which he took to his basement to fill up. He then returned to the craft and gave the jug back, which allowed him a chance to have a bit of a stickybeak inside.

EagleRiverCEIII
The Captain, meanwhile, wondered why Simonton had filled his pimp cup with water instead of Cristal…

A second alien stood in front of an instrument panel (no doubt doing something very important and science-y), but it was the third spaceman who really caught Joe’s attention. He was cooking thin, perforated pancakes on a flameless griddle, which Joe seemed to think looked rather scrummy. The farmer gestured to the Captain to ask for one, and in stereotypically Italian fashion the Martian boss gave him four. The Captain then gave Simonton a grateful salute before the hatch door closed and the saucer shot off into space.

Simonton ate one of the pancakes, which he later said tasted like cardboard. He then called his local police to report the assault on his tastebuds.

EagleRiverCEIIIphotoI fail to see how this wasn’t delicious.

A government lab tested one of the pancakes and found that it was made of flour, grease and water (again making its lack of tastiness almost supernaturally inexplicable). It has been rumoured that the flour was of an unknown, possibly extraterrestrial, origin, but the simple truth is that the Air Force had not bothered to break it down that far because they had better things to do with their time.

The Air Force’s official verdict was that while he was preparing his breakfast, Simonton had experienced a kind of waking dream that then developed into a full-blown delusion. However, Raymond Palmer (a publisher of paranormal science and pulp magazines) believed that Simonton had been hypnotised by a real estate broker, who wanted to gain publicity for a Disney-style theme park that was to be built nearby. This theory makes total sense, especially if you smoke a lot of crack…

While I’m sure we can all agree that it offers no firm evidence to support the existence of either aliens or Italians, the tale of the Eagle Farm Pancakes is still a lot of fun. Does it tell us anything about the evolution of UFO conspiracy myths or the culture that spawned them? Probably not much, although it is interesting to note to Simonton does not recall anything sinister about his encounter (as opposed to the common themes of abduction, invasive medical experimentation, warnings of impending doom, etc). In fact, the only negativity Simonton reported was from the all-too-human press, whom he felt ridiculed and laughed at him. Personally, I find Joe’s story rather endearing. Upon meeting strange new people, Joe’s first instinct was to try to communicate and offer assistance, not run away or grab a flaming torch. Isn’t that worth admiring?

 

Are mysterious space Italians trying to fatten you up? Tell me about it in the comments!

5 Alien Species You NEED to Know About

If you believe Reader’s Digest compilations and online forums, there are many different alien races out there. And by ‘out there’ I mean hooning around Wiltshire vandalising wheat fields and molesting cows before dashing off to donate technology to Nazis…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Just as a child (even a genetically modified ET-human hybrid) must learn to crawl before it can walk, you must learn the five basic alien “types” before I can blow your mind with the serious batshit. So let’s get on with the introductions.

1. Greys

grey-alien
source: coolinterestingstuff.com

The go-to image for ‘alien’ in Western popular culture, and absolute proof that you don’t need to believe in something for it to scare the shit out of you. These guys frigging terrify me! If I ever saw a living creature that looked like this, I would probably drown in a flood of my own tears and urine.

Greys are most commonly associated with abduction and experimentation. They appear in 43% and 50% of US and Australian close encounters, as well as a whopping 90% of Canadian accounts. Experts credit this to their well-documented love of poutine.

2. Men in Black

arton18918
The most serious of the MIB’s crimes was the release of some truly abysmal ’90s hip-pop…

Or not.

Possibly alien, possibly human, possibly even mechanical, MIBs reportedly visit UFO witnesses in the days following their encounter, usually to make some vague threats they never bother to act upon. They typically wear new (but strangely out-of-date) black suits, drive pristine vintage cars, and display odd behaviour, such as trouble walking or unusual excitement over things like ballpoint pens and Jell-O. My own theory that they are simply ska fans on acid is yet to be disproved.

3. Pleiadians (aka Nordics)

nordic
You can tell these are the “good” aliens because they’re white and blonde. SPACE RACISM!

Aryan space hippies who just want to save us from ourselves. Pleiadians are said to be tall, blond and blue-eyed, with either fair or tanned skin. They are fond of skin-tight clothing, sex with bored housewives, and are a favourite of New-Age spiritualists (who tend to be more interested in positive ET energies than paranoid conspiracy theories).

Reports of Nordic visitations mostly come from Europe, the continent of which Scandinavia is coincidently a part of. There is only one plausible explanation: the Vikings were Pleiadian colonialists.

Abba_proof!
It all makes sense now.

4. Reptilians (aka Draconians)

hillary-clinton-alien
source: abovetopsecret.com

Shape-shifting beings originally from the Alpha Draconis star system who now rule Earth, making all of us unwitting slaves. Despite wearing their holographic disguises for years on end (which you’d think would make them pretty good at it), Reptilians occasionally lose focus and reveal their true features – usually a narrowing of the pupils or sharpening of the teeth. Popularly accepted Reptilians include Queen Elizabeth, George Bush (senior and junior),  Hillary Clinton, Hugh Hefner and Beyonce.

4% of registered US voters believe the Reptilians theory. 

5. Ancient Aliens

Ancient Aliens collage
That hair says more than real evidence ever could.

OK, so this last one is not about a species, but the theory that extraterrestrials have been visiting Earth for thousands of years to guide our evolution, teach us about astronomy and build us some lovely pyramids. This might sound like blasphemy, but the good news is that you can have your alien pie and still say grace before you eat it. Everything in our religious texts is literally true; you just need to accept that your deities, prophets and angels were all spacemen.

Ancient Aliens, a television series dedicated to the theory and its ‘experts’, is currently airing its sixth season on the History Channel. Why should HC limit itself to things that actually happened?

There is MUCH more to say about all of our space bros, and I am sure we will revisit them soon. But for now, have I overlooked any major ET kingdoms? Leave a comment to tell me about your favourite aliens!

Late already!

I’ve had a busy (although rather positive) week, so I’m only halfway through the next Batshit. Considering this would have been only my second proper post, I think that’s a tremendous effort in time mismanagement and general buggering-aroundery.

I should have some weirdness to share sometime over the weekend. In the meantime, let’s celebrate with a sparkly rainbow Nic Cage!

nic cage rainbow

The London Monster (alternative title BUTTS LOL)

I’m a sucker for some mass hysteria, and the London Monster is one of my favourite stories. Here’s a brief synopsis – hopefully you’ll enjoy it enough to go learn more.

Between 1788 and 1790, stinky old London was terrorised by a violent phantom. He stalked beautiful young women; sometimes he approached to offer a sniff of his nosegay, other times to spew profanity in their faces. He strapped knives to his knees, concealed a blade in his bouquet… and liked to stab women in the butt.

tina butts

More than 50 attacks were attributed to the monster, who seemed driven by an insatiable lust for booty blood. Women took to wearing copper pans beneath their bustles. Men formed No Monster Clubs and wore special pins to declare their innocence (evidently working on the theory that monsters are not fans of brooches).

With the city in panic, soon every clothing snag or accidental shove was viewed as a monster attack. This resulted in many conflicting witness descriptions, which led some to conclude that the monster was a supernatural master of disguise. Pickpockets and other petty criminals were able to use this fear to their advantage; if they risked detection, they would scream “Monster!” and disappear amidst the ensuing chaos. It is also believed that some ‘victims’ faked injuries and lied about assaults in order to gain attention or acknowledgement as a beauty (although I personally believe their true motivation would have been much more interesting than just wanting to feel pretty!).

V0011294 The dismayed Charles Fox in handcuffs, implicated by a woman
A victim presents her puncture…

In June 1790, 23-year Rhynwick Williams was accused of committing the assaults. Williams, a former ballet dancer and artificial-flower-maker, had fallen out of work. Lacking a stable income, he’d been forced to share a two-bed room with three other men. This was considered strong evidence of his hatred of women, which supposedly fuelled the attacks.

Williams was eventually charged with defacing clothing, a crime which under the Bloody Code actually carried a harsher penalty than assault. The evidence presented against him was flimsy and he had solid alibis for many of the crimes, but unfortunately the people of London needed a scapegoat in order to feel safe again. Despite an ebullient defence by the poet Theophilus Swift, Williams was ultimately convicted on three counts and sentenced to six years in Newgate Prison.

If you’d like to learn more about The London Monster (and 18th-century English weirdness in general), I’d strongly recommend Jan Bondeson’s The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale. You can order it through Book Depository, or if you’re feeling optimistic you can try to borrow my copy. Good luck with that.

Did I seriously just use the term ‘booty blood’? Ugh! I’m the one who should be locked up!

Behold the Batshit!

Welcome to TotalBatshit.com, your one-stop guide to everything bizarre. My many months of intensive market research have demonstrated an obvious need (and demand) for this service, so here it is. You’re welcome.

This site is born out of my love of human weirdness, which can be found in both popular myths and real-world events. I honestly wish I could be a Mulder and believe in aliens, psychic phenomena and conspiracies, but I’m too much of a rational Scully (sans the paradoxical Catholicism). Luckily for me the truth behind the supposedly ‘supernatural’ is often much more interesting (and less well-known), and there are plenty of actual mysteries left to ponder.

Every Thursday, Total Batshit will bring you a thrilling new post on some matter of urgent strangeness. Some may be a little darker than others, because that’s life. Hopefully you’ll learn something new, even if the knowledge is completely useless and not appropriate for polite conversation.

So come on, everyone! Come get batty (although hopefully not shitty) with me!

batcat