Recently in death Category

Much like Navy SEALs, the brains behind the NMA World Edition are not afraid to go almost anywhere.

Case in point, the group's latest computer animated newscast featuring the special forces hit on Osama bin Laden. Public Enemy No. 1 has barely sunk to the bottom of his watery grave, and we already have explainer video, sort of, showing how the operation went down.

Amazingly like a video game, as it turns out. One where the good guys urinate on the bad guy's corpse and he is sent to Hell to be raped by pigs. You know. The usual.

All the news that's fit to treat like an Onion article gone bad.

Watch that video, filled with kids 7- to 10-years old, re-enacting one of the foulest, most violent and most iconic gangster movies ever made. Think about that as you watch the original, thoroughly NSFW final scene from "Scarface" as Al Pacino dies spectacularly in a cocaine-fueled firefight:

The kids' re-enactment of Tony Montana's death scene is the rage of the Internet this week, a legitimate viral video promising the last bits of a school play gone horribly wrong. Cue the outrage, parental anger and rolling heads of the drama club sponsor who allowed this to happen, right?

Well, not so fast. You can keep the fires of your outrage stoked, but know that this is a hoax. OK, maybe not a full-on, man landed on the moon type hoax. But it's no school play. Turns out it's just a glorious act of self promotion on the behalf of director Marc Klasfeld. He's been behind the lens of videos by Jay-Z, Avril Lavigne and even was a driving force behind Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" video via his Rock Hard films production company.

So, of course, his next step in the creative ladder was to make a sensational bit of child exploitation under the cover of the deep well of creativity the Internet opens to filmmakers, right?

Ahh, the classic Hollywood tale.

"It's a rare place where you can be creative and express yourself freely and it's a very democratic process," Klasfeld told the L.A. Times. "It was a lot of fun."

This is not Klasfeld's first brush with the elusive viral video pursuit, but his Hammer Pants flashmob effort was considerably less, umm, what's the word ... douchey.

To take the over-the-top film even further past the top, Klasfeld doesn't see why setting young kids up to play the title roles in a drug-induced murder scene is all the big a fudging deal. After all, he's a sensitive parent who tries to keep his child from the horrific commercials he sees on TV:

"Everyday when I wake up with my daughter and I turn on the television for her and we're constantly guarding her against all these unnecessary sexual [messages] bombarding her ... so for us to see the reaction against this, well, that was a little shocking."

Klasfeld goes on in this interview to explain to CNN's Headline News Network why this is all just art and since all the kids and parents were OK with the process, he doesn't see what the big fudging stink being created is all about:

No word on what his next project will be, but you can almost hear some Mark Wahlberg dialogue from "The Departed" or maybe the final revenge scene when Clint Eastwood deals with Gene Hackman in "The Unforgiven" performed by a pre-kindergarten class being spooled up in his head. Or maybe those aren't sensational enough to grab the public eye again for this boundary-pusher.

Death, it turns out, is anything but dignified for Michael Jackson.

His family continues to squabble over the estate. The label is marketing his work, using his death as a profit engine. His brain was held in deep freeze as his death investigation continues.

And now this ... his singed hair from the infamous 1984 Pepsi commercial fire accident is up for sale.

According to the London Sun newspaper, Ralph Cohen, the executive producer of the commercial, saved the hairs in his coat, which he had used to try to put the flames on Jackson's head out. Now the dozen singed hairs are going on the block in an auction expected to bring in a whopping $1,500.

Of course, that price also includes Cohen's harrowing tale of the day:

"And then, as Michael on his cue, was supposed to come down the stairs the explosion went off and the first thing I noticed was - he was about half way down the stairs - and I noticed flame emanating from his hair.

"And it took me a moment to register what exactly was happening because there was so much lights and so many different things go on sic] it was a little confusing but I noticed his hair was on fire and I immediately rushed out from my position.

"I pulled my jacket off as I was running and proceeded to, when I reached him, put it over his head."

Richard Davie from International Autograph Auctions is selling them at the Edwardian Radisson Hotel at Heathrow, London, on October 17.

The hairs are said to be worth about twice as much as when Jackson was alive. The video flameout is pointed to by many Jackson watchers as the beginning of the end for the King of Pop. After suffering second degree burns, he became hooked on pain killers, live-in doctors and bad advice until the time of his death by cardiac arrest this summer.

That, if it were the end of the story, would be enough to cover the weird quotient for the day. But when it comes to Michael Jackson, there's always more.

The Arlington Heights, IL., company, LifeGem, already has plans for about 100 more of Jackson's burned hairs - making them into diamonds. Dean Van den Biesen, one of the company's co-founders, says the 7- to 9-month process to make diamonds from Jackson's fried locks is underway.

"We have the Armani suit jacket, the locks of hair, the documentation. Everything," Van den Biesen said Tuesday.

How many diamonds does 100 hairs get you? About three by the time the carbon purification process the company advertises is complete. As to who gets those diamonds when they're done, plans are still being developed.

You'll just have to make due with the King's latest single - or is it his single? - for your Jackson fix in the meantime. Or, there's always the other King's hair auction, if you really must go that route.


An artist's rendering of a T-rex suffering from a trichomonosis-like disease, a parasitic infection caused by a protozoan, a single-celled organism that infects the mouth and throat and may have caused the animal to starve to death, according to a study conducted by an international team of researchers. The renderings show the infection and how it relates to the lesions found on the mandible of 'Peck's Rex' (Museum of the Rockies). Renderings by Chris Glen, University of Queensland

When you look at the massive skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Sue, the famed T-Rex at the Field Museum, it's hard to figure out what could kill this massive beast - the top of the Cretaceous food chain roughly 100 million years ago.

Could it have been after mortal combat with another T-rex? Sue is the largest complete skeleton of her kind, but hardly the largest T-rex, a species thought to have been mighty feisty and even carnivorous. Could it have been a natural disaster - we're not talking an asteroid, but simply an earthquake, lighting, a flood or the like? What about starvation? It takes a lot of critter kibble to keep a 7-ton meat-eater marauding the plains of Earth.

Or did Sue simply need a good ear, nose and throat doctor - one who specializes in birds?

That's the theory put out in a new study spearheaded out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and published in the online journal Public Library of Science One. The team, headed by Ewan D.S. Wolff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Steven W. Salisbury of the University of Queensland, Australia, believes the massive beast was felled by a mini parasite common today in birds.

wolff.jpegWolff, right, a vertebrate paleontologist and a third-year student at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, theorizes in the report that the 42-foot-long Sue may have suffered from trichomonosis, a nasty parasite that attacks the jaws of birds - particularly raptors - and can become serious enough that is causes starvation due to deterioration of the back of the jaw and throat.

"What drew my attention to trichomonosis as a potential candidate for these mysterious lesions on the jaws of tyrannosaurs is the manifestation of the effects of the disease in [bird] raptors," explains Wolff. "When we started looking at trichomonosis in greater depth, there was a story that matched some lines of evidence for transmission of the disease in tyrannosaurs."

According to the report, the parasite can be carried in food sources, like pigeons, that predator birds, like hawks, eat. While the prey remains unaffected, the predators can suffer and pass along ill affects:

In birds, trichomonosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas gallinae. It can be transmitted from birds such as pigeons, which commonly carry the parasite but often suffer few ill effects, to raptors such as falcons and hawks, where it causes serious lesions in the mandibles.

Wolff and his research team conclude that Sue - and a group of nine other Tyrannosaur skulls studied - exhibits lesions and degeneration consistent with the parasitical infection. But still, would it be enough to eventually kill an beast the size and power of an adult Tyrannosaur?

"The lesions we observe on Sue suggest a very advanced stage of the disease and may even have been the cause of her demise," says Wolff. "It is a distinct possibility as it would have made feeding incredibly difficult. You have to have a viable pharynx. Without that, you won't make it for very long, no matter how powerful you are."

Sometimes, it seems, it's not the bigger fish to be feared, but the unseen that can be an undoing.


Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found, is shown at the Field Museum of Natural History May 17, 2000, in Chicago. (AP)

The mega-schlock moments cascaded from the stage Wednesday night as ABC's mega-hit "Dancing with the Stars" tapped out a few numbers to celebrate the life of Patrick Swayze.

OK. Fine. In a world filled with disingenuous moments of constructed emotion, why not benefit with some extra ratings on top of the poor guy's final year of suffering. But please, a little originality isn't such a terrible thing.

Yeah, they hit "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" moments, complete with open shirts and short skirts. But that's taking the easy way out. Why no dances celebrating his other side? There was a musical/dancish interlude with Helen Hunt in "Next of Kin." What about the incredibly sensual seduction scene in "Road House" when Sam Elliot's Wade Garret tries to lure Kelly Lynch away from Swayze's Dalton in the all-night diner? Or how 'bout the choreography from "To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar?"

Or the touching final moments as he carries the nearly lifeless body of brother Charlie Sheen in "Red Dawn."

Any of these would have added something to the moment. Try again, "DWTS," you can do better. You get a "5" for this effort - not enough content.


Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. A day that will live in infamy in Chicago?

According to, yes. Seems we're scheduled for nuclear armageddon today. Reason to worry or is this just a crackpot bit of end-of-world b.s. on the Web (does that happen?). Let's look at the facts as broken down by the site:

Firstly, keep in mind that a "second 9/11" or "9/11 sequel" could occur on 9/12/YYYY or 9/22/YYYY, rather than on 9/11/YYYY. Furthermore, eight years passed between the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and 9/11, and now eight years have passed since 9/11.

• 9/22/2009 is a Tuesday, as was 9/11/2001.

• 9/22/2009 is the first day of fall ("fall" being the operative word here).

• Chicago is known as "The Second City."

• President Obama is from Chicago.

• Chicago is a candidate city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The host city will be selected in October.

• Illinois Lottery drawings are held at 9:22 p.m.

• 9/11 occurred during President Bush's first year in office; President Obama is currently in his first year in office.

• September 22nd is the 265th day of the year and is followed by the final 100 days of the year.

Seems like a slam dunk call for you to grab some cans of Spam and get to the fallout shelter, right? I mean, the Lottery is involved, people!

Panic! In! The! Streets!

Wonder what this will do to the city's chances of getting the 2016 Olympic bid?

Now, frankly, we're just a little skeptical of this bit of intel. First of all, the Doomsday Clock is still at 5-til-midnight, so we have a ways to go there. And da Mayor has yet to tell the City Council to let this happen. Nevermind the fact that the Cook County Board has no immediate plans for a fallout tax.

Besides, the Cubs aren't a threat to win the World Series this year, which is the true test of credibility when it comes to an end-of-days scenario.

Chicagoist has more on the latest action item in our government's war on ... umm ... us, apparently. They'd just better not piss of the cops or some heads are getting cracked over this one.

Pretty Lucky from hvaliatti on Vimeo.

If you pay attention to the Darwin Awards, the annual recounting of some of the stupidest people in the world killing themselves in stupid ways, you may have wondered: "What about the runners up?" Surely there must be some really dumb deaths that didn't quite make the cut.

Well, this video doesn't quite answer that question, but it does give a glimpse into how a Darwin death might take place. Apparently being in Europe and near open-road auto racing is a good start on you way to all-to-mortal immortality. Can be there? A skateboard will do nicely in a pinch.

Michael Jackson rehearsing 'Human Nature'


To stoke the fires for next month's big-screen release of "This Is It" -- the feature film compilation of footage from Michael Jackson's final tour rehearsals -- Sony has slipped out a snippet of footage.

It's not quite a minute of Michael, running through the blocking for the song "Human Nature" from his hit "Thriller" album.

Check it out -- he was still in fine voice ...

"This Is It" is a rushed-together documentary of the preparations for Jackson's comeback shows, originally scheduled for July in London. Jackson died in June. The movie, culled from rehearsal footage (we posted some of that earlier), will stand as the final document of Jackson's massive musical career.

Then again, there might be more shows to come, since he's allegedly still alive.

Sad news tonight that Patrick Swayze, by all accounts, one of the better people in Hollywood, has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

For most people, he'll be remembered as the sultry teacher for Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing." Or maybe as the leading man in the afterlife in the chick flick uberhit "Ghost." Or maybe from his latest and last roll in "The Beast," the gritty crime drama set in Chicago. Or as the adrenaline junkie bank robber, Bohdi, in "Point Break." Dare to dream, he might even be remembered after a long career as Dalton ("Be nice ... until it's time not to be nice) in the classic "Road House."

But for me, as a child of the '80s in rural America where God, guns and guts were all we had to keep the Commies at bay, I'll always think of his role as Jed, the leader of a scrappy band of teen freedom fighters in "Red Dawn." So here's the whole movie, in chapters, to honor Swayze.

Wolverines! ...

Rest of the movie after the jump ...

This is graphic, so, you know, don't watch if you can't deal.

Texting and driving is getting to be big news as states, like Illinois, and even the federal government, in the form of a threat to withhold funding without state legislation being passed, move to ban an activity that, frankly, you would assume most people would realize is dangerous.

Stand on any busy street for 10 minutes and watch people try to walk and text as they ram into passersby, walls and bus stops and you get the idea - if talking on the phone is distracting, reading and writing is not only a safety hazard to yourself, but a potentially deadly impairment on par with driving under the influence to anyone unlucky enough to be on the road at the time. In fact, a Virginia Tech study in July found that those who text and drive increased their crash risk by 23 times.

That's where this video, making the rounds on talk radio and cable news, comes in. Produced in Wales, it shows in fairly graphic context what happens when you concentrate on thumb typing instead of driving. The results are LOL. There's a debate on various sites - check out the comments here at carcentric - as to the realistic depiction of the chain of events and the severity of the situation presented in the PSA, but it does a good job pointing out that the person texting is not the only one affected. Whether it gets people to stop? Well, do these things ever stop people? Time - and aggressive laws - will tell.

Car Accidents & Crashes: Shocking Driver's Ed Fear Video - Funny bloopers R us

Michael Jackson is still alive!!!


You knew it would happen. If Elvis is still alive, and Marilyn & JFK, and if Hitler is still alive and sunbathing in Paraguay or some such nonsense, you just knew the Michael-is-alive rumors would moonwalk from the shadows. It's only surprising it's taken them this long.

Adding fuel to the delusions is this video, making the round online today ...

The original posting at LiveLeak explains the video this way:

"This video shows that Michael was still alive after his dead body was transported to the Los Angeles Dept. of Coroner I checked the license plate number and it looks like the King of Pop is jumping out of the same van, his dead body has been in. I got the original video tape from a trustworthy source. I know him for years. And I am sure it´s real and Michael is alive."


Dude looks like a lil' Michael, all right. No way to verify exactly where or when this was filmed, though, and who. Maybe Lisa Marie gave Michael her dad's fake-your-death playbook.

So if he is still alive: Where do you think he is, and what do you think he'll do?

People Marilyn Monroe Crypt.jpg

Some like it hot - but hopefully that's not the case for this lucky auction winner. We are talking the afterlife here.

A lucky E-Bay bidder has won the right to rest in piece looking down - literally - at Marilyn Monroe. For just $4.6 million, they snapped up the crypt directly above the actress in an auction that ended Monday.

The listing says the space at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery above Monroe is being vacated, making room for someone else. The listing also offers the detail that the current occupant is "looking face down on" Monroe.

Bidding for the auction started at $500,000 on Aug 14.

Monroe was laid to rest at the cemetery in 1962.

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