Scholar of the Strange and Mysterious
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Professor Hex
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Friday, April 30, 2004

Canadian Ghost story 
Several unexplained phenomena at the old courthouse in St. Thomas have sent chills through many.

He Sends the Devil Packing 
The Vatican's top exorcist has a full schedule. But not every troubled person is possessed, and evicting Satan takes time, he says.

Reach Out and Zap Someone 
If I remember correctly, this was a favorite weapon of Asian street gangs.

Link found at Jeremiah Tolbert. Thanks, Jeremiah.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Cook's `bone' in arrow a myth  
Scientific testing has dispelled the long-held belief that bone in an arrow shaft held at the Australian Museum came from Captain James Cook's leg.

Child’s murderers and black-magician arrested 
A rather nasty and unfortunate story.

Want to adopt Kanzilla? 
A 32-inch alligator found by the Missouri River earlier this month was turned over to a reptile rescue organization that intended to find it a home.

The Rapture, Fundamentalists, and forcing the End Times. 
"The believers are convinced that they will soon be rewarded for their efforts. The antichrist is apparently walking among us, in the guise of Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Yasser Arafat or, more plausibly, Silvio Berlusconi. The Wal-Mart corporation is also a candidate (in my view a very good one), because it wants to radio-tag its stock, thereby exposing humankind to the "Mark of the Beast."

"We can laugh at these people, but we should not dismiss them. That their beliefs are bonkers does not mean they are marginal. American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999 suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans."

"And among them are some of the most powerful men in America. John Ashcroft, the attorney general, is a true believer, so are several prominent senators and the House majority leader, Tom DeLay."

"So here we have a major political constituency - representing much of the current president's core vote - in the most powerful nation on Earth, which is actively seeking to provoke a new world war. Its members see the invasion of Iraq as a warm-up act, as Revelation (9:14-15) maintains that four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of men"."

Russian Museum to Exhibit Rasputin’s Penis 
With extremely disturbing photo!

The first Russian museum of erotica is opening in St. Petersburg, Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports. The museum is founded by Igor Knyazkin, the chief of the prostate research center of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

Knyazkin told the newspaper that museums of sex and erotica exist in many European countries and he wanted Russia to be a civilized country with a view on the future and with correct views on erotica

There is one exhibit in the museum which makes Knyazkin be especially proud of. This is the 30-centimeter preserved penis of Grigory Rasputin. “Having this exhibit, we can stop envying America, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s penis is now kept. … Napoleon’s penis is but a small ”pod“ it cannot stand comparison to our organ of 30 centimeters…”

This takes national pride to a whole new level . . .

Kung Fu for Hire  
Squat, with coiled muscles and a Marine's buzz-cut, Wu Chuan Wu looks the part: kung fu master for hire.

In case you haven't read The Da Vinci Code  
A Da Vinci Code primer, from Opus Dei to Monty Python.

New in Books: The Arcanum 
This certainly sounds like a ripping yarn. Hey, Weird Writer! Do you know anything about this?

On a foggy night in London early in the 20th century, a runaway Model T Ford careens into Konstantin Duvall, killing him almost instantly.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle belongs to the Arcanum, a secret sect Duvall had founded with the lofty goal of saving mankind. Other members include Harry Houdini, horror/science fiction writer Howard (H.P.) Lovecraft and voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.

New Houdini exhibit conjures up protests 
Museum will spill secret to one of the famous escape artist's great magic tricks.

Does tai chi heal ills? 
A couple of interesting stories about the healing effects of tai chi and qi gong.

Told in 1986 that he had full-blown aids and just a year to live, Morris turned to tai chi its companion discipline qigong and later a cocktail of antiviral drugs. Now, HIV is virtually undetectable in his blood, and he teaches tai chi at various locations in Miami-Dade County.

And this one:

Libby Bolton lost something when she started doing traditional Chinese taiji, commonly known as tai chi, exercises as part of a University of Illinois study looking at benefits of physical activity for senior citizens.

"I was walking with a cane and I didn't have much balance at all," the 90-year-old resident at Parkview Senior Homes in Savoy said recently. "I came today without a cane."

And this one:

A new study shows tai chi chih -- a variant form of tai chi -- can boost seniors’ immunity to the shingles virus.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Qigong in the news 
Finding alternative remedies to health problems isn't new in Hong Kong.

But one of the lesser known ones is the ancient art of qigong or 'energy exercise' - once a practice only permitted to be performed on Chinese emperors.

One qigong practitioner in Hong Kong is Mak Chung-man.

Treasure, arrrrrrr!  
In the summer of 1715, a stubborn queen and relentless hurricane converged to spill millions in royal riches off what would become Indian River County.

Ancient curse returns to haunt mosque 
Southern Thai Muslims sifted through the bloody wreckage of a centuries-old mosque where a battle raged between soldiers and militants today and 34 people were killed.

The curse dates back to 1608 when a Chinese architect came to the Pattani kingdom, converted to Islam and vowed never to return to his homeland.

According to legend, his younger sister tried to take him home to look after their ailing mother, but he refused because he had been appointed to head the construction of the mosque.

Wong How Man & The mystery of the hanging coffins  
Wong How Man, the Hong Kong-born explorer with credentials spanning 30 years, is currently working on a project to find out the story behind ancient hanging coffins in Sichuan Province.

The 55-year-old explorer says he began to develop his fascination with the hanging coffins on the limestone cliffs some two decades ago after he heard about them from US scientists and then saw a picture of the coffins shot in the 1930s. However, he only started seriously working on the project from 1996.

Wong How Man is the author and photographer of many works, including Exploring the Yangtze: China's Longest River

Black Dahlia Avenger Book Review 
A rather late review of Steve Hodel's book.

That odd smell after you eat asparagus 
The Professor has often wondered about this. Apparently it doesn't happen to everyone.

Children turn to acupuncture 
At just 4 years old, Austin Theut is a pioneer. This little boy from Mount Clemens goes where few children have gone before ... to an acupuncturist.

Computer helps map ancient Rome 
Progress has been made in piecing together the Forma Urbis Romae, a map of Rome carved into stone slabs about AD 210 but later broken into fragments.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Holocaust Treasure Found 
After a decade of tracing his father's Holocaust-era movements, the legacy of Windsor's Mark Biederman's family has been dug up from a yard in .

Sixty-three gold coins, dating as far back as 1703, were discovered in their original ceramic pot on Wednesday outside a fourplex that had once been the Biederman family home in Lodz, Poland.

And here's another WWII era story about the search for the Treasure of Stechovice.

Support your local museum 
"She didn't want her kids to have to clean out her well-packed Dearborn home after she died, as she'd done for so many relatives. So last year, at age 66, she started giving stuff away -- to museums.

I would love to know which museum took the leisure suit.

Family calls psychic for closure 
After the family saw nationally-known psychic Carla Baron on TV recently, they contacted Baron, who performed a psychic reading on Sunday.

Ancient Florida 
Have they found Bartam's Mound?

When naturalist William Bartram traveled the Southeast in the 1700s, he described coming to Micanopy and encountering what he called 'a large artificial mound of earth . . . supposed to be the work of the ancient Floridians.'

Scientists Say Meteorite Hit Wisconsin 
Solving the puzzle of the mystery rocks.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Plato Schmato 
Is Atlantis in the watery deep off of Cyprus? Robert Sarmast thinks so.

"We believe our discovery will put Cyprus at the center of the world stage forever," Robert Sarmast told Reuters.

Sarmast said the east Mediterranean island is actually the pinnacle of the long-lost city and the rest of it is about one mile below sea level."

Of course, that's not even close to where Plato said it was, but no matter. I have no doubt that there may be a lost city under the water around Cyprus, but that doesn't make it Atlantis.

This expedition is finally taking a look where Plato said it was all along, beyond the Pillars of Hercules.

And this site has an entirely different theory, placing the fabled Lost Continent under the South China Sea. They also claim to have discovered "the Garden of Eden, the Island of Avalon, the Garden of the Hesperides, the hideout of the New Jerusalem, the true location of Troy and of Lanka, as well as the Holy Land and Paradise that has been promised us all from the dawn of time."

We can all rest easy now.

'Strange force' plays mind games with family 
A Glenmore family have been driven out of their home apparently by an invisible force which had set fire to their curtains, beds, sofas and played "mind games" with them over the last 10 days.

Strange Confessions in Togo 
When curses go wrong.

Da Vinci Car II 
A better article on the Da Vinci car. With pic.

Step away from the alligator... 
Drunk driving with gator.

When one of the troopers approached the cab of the truck, they saw the alligator running loose in the front with the three suspects. Troopers also found a turtle in the cab, as well as snakes and a number of tarantulas in the back of the truck.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

72 virgins - Myth or Truth? - 
Curious about the 72 virgins in the afterlife? Ask Dr. Kareem!

Silver Bullets 
William Safire on the etymology and history of the silver bullet.

Climbers seek missing camera for answer to Mount Everest mystery 
Eighty years after British climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine vanished on Mount Everest, a search party is seeking a camera which may prove whether the pair were the first to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak.

Priests! Satan! Ritual murder! 
TOLEDO, Ohio - Investigators re-examined the 1980 slaying of a nun whose body was found in a chapel surrounded by candles after another woman alleged she was abused by Roman Catholic priests during Satanic and sadomasochistic rituals.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Seeing is believing, or not 
More on the Kansas cougar and the willful ignorance of wildlife officials.

But it hasn't convinced Wildlife and Parks.

Matt Peek, a biologist at the department's Emporia office, remains skeptical.

“We don't question that the scat (test) was conclusive,” Peek said. “Our only concern is we don't know how the scat got there.”

It was obviously the Scat Fairy, Matt.

First reporter on the scene of the Black Dahlia murder dies 
Will Fowler, the author and journalist who was the first reporter on the scene of the famous Black Dahlia murder, has died in Los Angeles at age 81. He claimed to have closed the dead Elizabeth Short's eyes after her stare unnerved him, affording her more dignity in death than she was afforded in life. He lived a colorful life as you can read in this great article by Doug Moe.

Will Fowler was Gene Fowler's son, and Gene Fowler, well, Gene Fowler was the most colorful newspaperman who ever lived, and among the most accomplished. His close friends included John Barrymore (about whom Fowler wrote a best-selling biography, "Good Night, Sweet Prince"); W.C. Fields; Jack Dempsey; New York mayor Jimmy Walker; Damon Runyon; Ty Cobb and scores of others, famous and not.

Satan worshippers escape! 
Those darn satanists. So elusive. The Dark Lord, however, can be found at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces . For the next eight years.

'46 suicide now a murder mystery 
Back to back old-time murder mysteries . . .only at Professor Hex!

When Harold Vest was found dead in his cabinet shop in 1946, a belt around his neck and ropes binding an arm and his legs, officials called it suicide.

His body was exhumed Friday after his family received a mysterious letter indicating that he had been

66-year-old murder mystery is solved  
Who poisoned farmer William Murfitt?

Not so elementary 
More on the mysterious death of Conan Doyle scholar Richard Lancelyn Green.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Da Vinci: Inventor of car? 
First the bicycle, then the Shroud, now this.

Alan Riding's top 10 curious facts about Shakespeare 
Definitely worth a read for the Bard's birthday.

Many expressions now taken for granted in English first appeared in Shakespeare's works, including 'elbow room', 'love letter', 'marriage bed', 'puppy dog', 'skim milk', 'wild goose chase' and 'what the dickens'.

I also had no idea that, in the Middle East, Shakespeare has long been thought of as an Arab. Sheikh al-Subair, indeed.

From the Guardian Unlimited.

Making a life full of magic 
Kokinos will perform using a "Phantom Cage" much like magicians first used in the 1890s and during vaudeville's heyday in the early 1900s. Kokinos built his own replica of the "Phantom Cage" and won't disclose what happens in the "Phantom Cage" trick. "You come to the show and you're amazed... and something mysterious happens."

Mysterious death of Sherlock Holmes expert  
A leading expert on fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes grew paranoid that people were plotting against him and trying to smear his name before dying in mysterious circumstances.

What do police want from the 'suspicious six'? 
In at least one virtual community, they became known Thursday as the "suspicious six." They apparently are regular visitors to an Internet site started by The Wichita Eagle after the BTK serial killer emerged after 25 years of silence.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Euphemistically speaking 
This article is freakin' nuts and not quite accurate as to the word "friggin" being a substitute for the F-bomb in polite conversation. The Victorians used the word "frig" in a very specific context involving digital stimulation and what used to be termed "self-abuse". And the article doesn't even mention Roman Moroni's "Fargin' Icehole". Lousy cork suckers.

Exhibit offers peek at bizarre 
Finally, after a long day of blogging really depressing stories about serial killers, regular killers, and Mexican gangsters, I found something that put a smile on my face. Step right up folks and feast your eyes on a real-live Cabinet of Curiosity, Dime Store-style, Museum of Wonder! Two-headed calves! Pet eating alligators! Rust from the Titanic! Giant lobsters! Man, it doesn't get any better than this! U.S. Toy is just a short drive from Hex Manor and, to top it all off, the Professor's nieces will be in town this weekend so I'll be able to expose them to a style of entertainment that's mostly gone the way of the dinosaur. They're gonna love it.

Also be sure to check out U.S. Toy's Magic Shop, one of the finest in the country.

BTK UPDATE--Authorities seek information on 6 people using BTK message board 
As I've mentioned before, much of my traffic on this site has been arriving from the Message Boards concerning BTK.

Now it seems that authorities have taken some interest and are seeking information on 6 people using the BTK message boards. Having read the forums rather extensively I can say that it was commonly assumed that BTK was at least monitoring, if not actually posting, on the boards, and the writings of certain posters seemed odd at best. Now, it's entirely possible that these posters were simply playing games to stroke their egos and enjoying a little tomfoolery, but I wouldn't put it past BTK to have joined in for his own amusement. As to the wannaBTKs out there, I hope it was worth it when the Wichita PD and the KBI come knocking on your door. They will not be amused.

Special thanks to Hex correspondent Ian.

Horror-movie director pleads guilty in murder-for-hire 
This story about Blaine Norris is much more horrific than his movie could ever be. See the face of a murderer here. Notice his quick jailhouse conversion. He's going to need it.

This story goes into greater detail about the sentencing.

The murdered woman's husband, and Norris' partner in crime, decided to kill his wife "because he didn't want to hurt her or her family by going through a divorce".

Wait, it gets worse.

"Trimble said his wife -- who was working two jobs to save for the day that his multiple sclerosis would make her the family's sole breadwinner -- was too "controlling."

A good woman taken by bad men.

Organisers defend 'freak show' exhibition pictures 
Two sides of the issue.

The show, at the Croydon Clocktower from April 24, will feature photographs of acts including Titania and Barney Worth, dubbed the world's fattest couple, siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton Lionel the Lion-faced Boy and midgets Davie "The Irish Leprechaun" Jones and Wee Johnnie Osbourne.

Presto, Change-o, the Magic's Gone  
Professor Hex never likes to see a magic shop close, especially one that's been in business for over fifty years. Our condolences go out to the fine people at Al's Magic Shop and we wish them the best of luck. Visit them on the web at

Sure, he says, the Web might be convenient, and kids just starting out might be able to use mom's credit card to buy something online: "But they open it up, and they can't make heads or tails of it. They can't see it performed. All of the wonderful allure of actually being fooled and seeing something, they're losing all that. It's really a shame. It really is a shame."

Al, you hit the nail on the head. A magic shop is one of the things that cannot be duplicated on the web. I understand that items tend to be cheaper online, but the personal interaction and character of a magic shop is irreplaceable.

Mexican gangs vie for bizarre nicknames  
Chester Gould would be proud.

"I usually start with a repulsive character and go on from there."

--Chester Gould

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

An OOPA (Out Of Place Animal) in Leavenworth, Kansas.

First mountain lions, now this. Link found at the Anomalist.

Weird Writer 
Since Weird Writer is taking a break to revamp his site and has been kind enough to direct his readers to my humble endeavors, I thought I'd post a link to a story at his old Diaryland site about a trip to haunted Dudleytown, Connecticut, which is full of good links and information.

For more information on the strange and unexplained in Connecticut, click here for the Cranky Yankee's New England Anomaly page about the Nutmeg State. Be sure to check out the story of the Demon of Devil's Hopyard under the Phenomena section.

According to this excerpt from David E. Philips' Legendary Connecticut the entire state is a hotbed of devils and demons. Who knew?

On a personal note, I'm quite excited to see where Weird Writer goes in this brave new world of blogging. I wouldn't be here without his example and I'm sure he'll blaze a new trail for scholars of the weird to follow.

Orang Pendek 
The Centre for Fortean Zoology has announced that they will soon return to Sumatra to continue their search for the elusive Orang Pendek and will make eforts to be the first Europeans to enter the Lost Valley of Kerinci National Park. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavor.

Be sure to also visit their page of Planned or Ongoing Projects and see how you can help make cryptozoological history.

John Doe No. 2 
The mystery of John Doe No. 2 refuses to go away. And now, with allegations that the bombing of the Murrah Building was video taped and that the video has been hidden by the FBI, the mystery seems more important than ever. Read more about John Doe No. 2 here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Top 10 literary hoaxes 
A list of literary hoaxes from the Guardian.

Link found at WhatReallyHappened.

Nazca Lines 
The Nazca lines are still in danger, according to this article from the Washington Times.

Mystery Safe Unlocks  
A bit of a disappointment in Ferndale

The owner of Dino's Bar, Dean Bach, discovered the 500-pound safe during a recent remodeling of what was once Rialto's restaurant on Woodward Avenue. The safe was buried among secret rooms and hidden passages, Local 4 reported.

Timeline of Tragedy 
An article on the people behind the Center for Cooperative Research's 911 timeline.

Montana Strange 
Bizarre rituals in the name of God.

Ig Nobel Prize: Awards for the weird and wacky 
An interesting article on the selection process for the Ig Nobel Prizes. There's also a cool picture of that Anti-Bear Attack Suit.

Mountain Lions in Kansas 
A woman in Olathe, Kansas, claims that a mountain lion killed her chihuahua and despite other reports in the Kansas City area, and what appears to be hard evidence of a Lawrence, Kansas, cougar, the official line is that mountain lions have been extinct in Kansas since 1904. I'm curious about why so many game officials seem hell bent on denying the existence of mountain lions in their states, even going so far as to engage in blatant cover-ups, as in the case of the tragic killing of Leigh Ann Cox (scroll down) in Alabama in 2003. Click here for more info on mountain lions (puma concolor), as well as tips on how to stay safe if you encounter one.

Monday, April 19, 2004

About past lives ...  
Here is a genuinely creepy story about a little boy's past life as a WW II flyer from a link found at the Fortean Times.

More information on reincarnation in the world's religions may be found here.

One of the most famous cases of alleged reincarnation in the popular consciousness is the case of Bridey Murphy.

Amulets, Talismans, & Charms 
A brief overview from the Llewellyn Journal.

When I was writing Amulets and Talismans for Beginners, a friend commented that it would have to be of historic interest only, as no one used them nowadays. He hadn’t noticed all the people who wear astrological pendants, ankhs, St. Christopher medals, and a variety of other charms and amulets. Recently, a funeral director told me that he had noticed a large increase in the number of people who were buried with their favorite amulets and lucky charms.

-Richard Webster

Satan to appear on U.S. stamps! 
A nice essay on urban legends and Internet hoaxes from the Palm Beach Post. And really, who wouldn't buy a Satan stamp? For bills? Tax returns?

Attracted to strange alternative 
Can magnets fix what ails you? An interesting story on the art of kinesiology.

Magic Carpets and Living Legends 
Professor Hex loves the strange tales of the thirties and forties and this is certainly a rare example of the form. Note the cover story from living legend and grandmaster of horror Hugh B. Cave. This magazine was published in 1933 and Mr. Cave apparently has a new book coming out soon. I can think of only one other writer whose career spans seventy plus years, the legendary Jack Williamson.

Occult Bibliographies 
An interesting list of occult bibliographies from the now-defunct Arcana forum.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Can old wives' tales predict the sex of my baby? 
An overview of methods from the BBC.

Montreal authors hope new Kurt Cobain book prompts cops to see murder theory 
Was Kurt Cobain murdered? I would Love to see this theory followed up by authorities, but the investigation seems to have disappeared down a Hole.

A total wipe-out 
A 56-year-old city woman has been charged with making a false report about poisoned toilet paper.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Fatal plane crash mystery  
Federal investigators have determined that a single-engine delivery plane that crashed into Big Bateau Bay on Oct. 23, 2002, slammed into something 3,000 feet above the Mobile-Tensaw Delta moments earlier -- they're just not sure what it was.

The Pratt & Whitney engine block was split in two, the report states. Godwin called that a strong indicator of a violent impact.

"That's a big deal. That airplane could fall out of the sky and hit concrete and it's unlikely it would've broken the engine in half like that."

From the Alabama Mobile Register.

Link found at the The Anomalist.

Wrapped in the shroud 
More on the Shroud with a bit of Leonardo at the end from the BBC.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Second Face on the Shroud of Turin 
Weird Writer's post on the second face on the Shroud of Turin got me thinking about other possible candidates for the image. Aside from the obvious, both Leonardo da Vinci and Jacques de Molay have been mentioned as possible models for the Shroud.

Da Vinci, the great artist and inventor, seems a likely proposition as the Shroud first appeared not far from his home and the face is strikingly similar to a known self-portrait. The theory, expounded convincingly in Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince's Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? argues that Leonardo created the image using an early form of photography involving a camera obscura. This is not as unrealistic as it first sounds. Painters have long used optics in their work, according to David Hockney and his wonderful book, Secret Knowledge. These optics include the camera obscura, mentioned above, as well as the camera lucida. Roger Bacon wrote of optical theory in the 1200s and Da Vinci's notebooks prove that he was familar with the camera obscura and the properties of optics.

The speculation that Jacques de Molay might be the image on the Shroud comes from the book Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas.

De Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was tortured and burned to death by King Philip the Fair of France after Philip decimated the French Templars in an effort to seize their lands for himself and Pope Clement V. This theory speculates that the image was an after-effect of torture created by sweat and chemicals released from the body.

For my money, I'd stick with Leonardo. But assuming the primitive photography hypothesis is accurate, it still begs the question: where did the second face come from? The world's first photo assistant?

Monday, April 12, 2004

Watch the skies! 
It was this story about a piranha falling from the sky that peaked my friend John's interest and sparked a lively conversation over late night cocktails. John asked me to provide other historical occurrences of falling strangeness and Professor Hex is always happy to provide information for other scholars of the weird.

Many instances of falling fish and other strange falls were extensively catalogued by Charles Hoy Fort, one of the great strange scholars of modern times, in his books, all of which are available online. A quick perusal of my copy of Fort's Book of the Damned reveals blood rains, orange hail, jelly like material, worms, seeds, and slag all falling from the sky.

Records of strange falls date back to at least biblical times. The Book of Joshua mentions a storm of stones wiping out the retreating Amorite army, as well as the mysterious manna sent from heaven to the feed the wandering Israelites

Of course, fish continue to fall in modern times, in a variety of forms, as do frogs, ice bombs and other nasty things.

It has even rained frogs during a storm in John's current residence of Kansas City, in 1873, according to Scientific American and this excellent article about such strange falls.

Bigfoot in Connecticut 
Since I blogged earlier about Pennsylvania Bigfeet, I thought I'd give my friend Brian's state some equal time and mention this Connecticut Bigfoot sighting from Windham County. I'm sure there are others but this one is particularly scary.

Possible Origin of the Name BTK Killer 
I have always thought that the name BTK was rather clumsy and perhaps chosen by the killer to slyly reference something else.

It should be noted that BTK is also accepted short hand for Billy the Kid. The Kid, William Henry Bonney McCarty, spent time as a youth in Wichita, circa 1870. There has been speculation that the BTK killer has a strong interest in criminology. It would perhaps follow that he also has an interest in the legendary outlaws of the west. Further speculation might contend that the BTK killer fancies himself a descendant, spiritually or literally, of William Bonney McCarty, or that their names are similar. Many families have such folk legends (i.e. "I'm the great great great nephew of Billy the Kid"). BTK also patterned one of his missives to police after a poem found in a folklore textbook, so it would make sense that he was at least conversant with folklore of the west, if not a serious student. He might also belong to western historical societies and be a regular purchaser of Western books and movies. He might have also done some research on the historical Billy the Kid, where the family lived in Wichita, etc., and local historians may be familiar with him.

Another aspect of the case that has people puzzled is why he suddenly reappeared after all this time. Speculation has focused on the possibility that he might have been incarcerated (in prison or in a mental institution) since the eighties for other crimes. Some profilers do not think that he could have stopped his killing and that he simply moved his theater of operations away from Wichita and continued his string of murders. Perhaps he did. Then why did he come back?

One possible motive for his return may be the caretaking of an elderly parent or parents. If he fit the younger end of the most common profile for serial killers (mid twenties to mid thirties) in 1977, when the first killings took place, he would only be in his mid-fifties today. If his parents are twenty to thirty years older than him then they would currently be in their seventies or eighties, an age when most elderly people need some form of assistance. Perhaps one parent recently died, necessitating the caretaking of the surviving parent (most likely the mother) and a return to Wichita. If this parent dies, especially if it is the mother, I would expect BTK to go on another spree if his health permits and the desire to kill remains strong. Whether he could get away with it at his advanced age would be another question entirely.

When Otters Attack 
This story of a vicious otter reminded me of the legendary tale of the Irish Master Otter, the dhobar chu. Perhaps the dhobar chu was just a large variant of the traditional otter?

Group plans expedition in search for Bigfoot  
The Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society is planning an expedition in search of the Big Guy, but they may find stranger things waiting.

The animal has the ears of the Pennsylvania red fox, the body of the Colorado cougar, the snout of the African jackal and the tail of a hideous New Hope house poodle.

An amazing collection of Bigfoot links can be found here.

I'm also linking a November 2000 FATE magazine article by Loren Coleman on the Eastern Bigfoot. This article doesn't have a lot of information on the Pennsylvania Bigfoot, but it does feature the Robert Crumb cover that caused so much controversy in the magazine's letters column. This article also contains some information on Missouri's mystery bipedal hominid, affectionately known as "Momo", which is short for "Missouri Monster". I have fond memories of Momo, as my father used to scare the Hell out of me with stories of him when I was just a little Hex.

For more on Loren Coleman, please click here.

Cold-case murders eyed for BTK link 
The Wichita Police are looking into their cold case files for other possible victims of the BTK killer.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

The mystery of the Hypogeum 
An interesting article from the The Malta Independent Daily Website.

The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army 
A little military levity in honor of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Not allowed to add 'In accordance with the prophesy' to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.

The MP checkpoint is not an Imperial Stormtrooper roadblock, so I should not tell them "You don't need to see my identification, these are not the droids you are looking for."

May not bring a drag queen to the battalion formal dance.

Crucifixes do not ward off officers, and I should not test that.

Despite the confusing similarity in the names, the "Safety Dance" and the "Safety Briefing" are never to be combined.

Link found at

Raytheon beam controls mobs  
Laser beam weapons have arrived.

Link found at WhatReallyHappened.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Chat rooms awash in BTK theories 
As most of my traffic of late seems to be coming from the messageboard concerning BTK, I thought I'd post this story from the Wichita Eagle. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to tell your friends. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Italian poet loses his head  
Perhaps Petrarch's skull can be found in the tomb of the Skull and Bones Club? Perhaps it sits next to the skull of Geronimo, allegedly stolen by Prescott Bush, grandfather to our current president.

Link found at the Fortean Times.

Woody Guthrie- Black Dahlia Suspect? 
Was noted folk singer Woody Guthrie a suspect in the notorious Black Dahlia murder? I thought I was familiar with the more notable Dahlia suspects--Larry Harnish's doctor, Jack Wilson, Dr. George Hodel, Orson Welles, the mysterious Ed Burns, etc.,-- but I have never heard Guthrie described as such. Ed Cray apparently makes the claim in his new book Ramblin' Man.

As the release date of the Black Dahlia film approaches, I imagine we will see the unveiling of many more "suspects" in the media. The film is based on James Ellroy's excellent novel, and the roots of Ellroy's obsession with the case--the murder of his own mother--are chronicled in My Dark Places.

Haunted house resident organizes Web site 
I'm surprised this took so long, given the number of people who have claimed supernatural experiences in their homes. If you hear things that go bump in the night, perhaps this site is for you.

Gloria Fritz's home in Whitehall hardly looks like a haunted house. Built in the early 1950s, the cozy two-story Cape Cod is more "Leave It to Beaver" than "The Munsters."

Link found at the Anomalist.

Monday, April 05, 2004

"Builders dig up child death mystery" 
Have they found evidence of human sacrifice in Australia? Foundation sacrifice, the consecration of a building with the life of a human or animal, is an ancient practice. Was it practiced in Australia?

Builders renovating a 130-year-old Birchgrove house have found the bones of a child under a sandstone fireplace.

Illuminating information on foundation sacrifice has been collected by D.L. Ashliman in his article Human Sacrifice in Legends and Myths. I also discovered a fine point-counterpoint as to whether living children were sacrificed to the gods of Phoenician Punic Carthage at, an wonderful site for budding Phoenicianistas.

A Man of Mystery 
Derren Brown gets in your head.

The latest on the mysterious fires in the Sicilian town of Canneto di Caronia.

My Apologies 
It seems that much of my recent traffic is arriving to read the long Serial Killers Redux post below, which, due to some unknown Blogspot glitch, has converted to italics and will not unconvert. These random italics are also affecting other posts and my links section. I have no idea how to fix this and my inquiries to Blogger have as yet been unanswered. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to fix this problem I would love to hear them. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Thanks for stopping by.

It seems that the mystery of the BTK killer still has the power to fascinate. The Wichita Eagle has an interesting article on Robert Beattie, the lawyer and Newman University instructor writing a book on the killings.

Friday, April 02, 2004

"Is Bigfoot Real? New Novel Proposes a Unique Answer"

Newspapers, magazines, and websites continually report Bigfoot sightings ranging from "something was out there" to "it grabbed my arm." Lisa A. Shiel’s new 466-page novel "The Hunt for Bigfoot" offers a plausible answer by means of an entertaining romp through Michigan's north woods — a wild journey laced with murder, intrigue, conspiracy, romance, extraterrestrials, and a new theory of alternative history. If Bigfoot lives around us just beyond the borders of our civilized enclaves, could somebody be protecting them from our interference?

Everybody loves a Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti/MoMo/Skunk Ape/Minnesota Iceman.

"Man explores mystery of Stonehenge"

Some may find it odd that a 57-year-old man goes out into his yard to play with blocks.

But then, the blocks that Wallace T. Wallington moves around near his home in a rural Flint area weigh up to nearly 10 tons. And by himself, he moves these behemoth playthings, not with cranes and cables, but with wooden levers.

From the Detroit News.


Women who make the room light up with their good looks may have a secret up their sleeve - it may be down to their menstrual cycle. Both men and women consider a woman's face to be at its most attractive when she is at the peak of her fertility, according to new research.


In an amazing development, the San Francisco Police Department has closed the Zodiac Killer investigation, even though the case remains unsolved. Read all about it at Tom Voigt's excellent I can not recommend this site highly enough for those interested in the case. Tom has done some amazing and important work. Be sure to check out the extensive forums.

Meanwhile, Zodiac wannabe and Wichita boogeyman BTK is back in the news. The Wichita Eagle offers a profile.

Interestingly, a rather obscure writer named Ken Mosbaugh developed a theory linking the two killers (among others). What follows is an old article from KSN News, Wichita, that is no longer on their website, but was posted on's forums and I repost it here for your convenience. The theory is reminiscent of Maury Terry's excellent book on the Son of Sam murders The Ultimate Evil, which I highly recommend. And if anyone knows anything about Ken Mosbaugh (if that is his real name . . . ) please let me know.

BTK Murders: A new theory

KSN News

WICHITA, Kansas, Feb. 27 - In the mid 1970's Wichita's most notorious serial killer, BTK murdered at least six people and sent the entire city into a panic. That case is still unsolved. Now, a California man says he's unlocked the mystery to this case and two other infamous killers.

THE THEORY IS COMPREHENSIVE and complicated. And the cases have similarities that one man says are much more than coincidence.
January, 1974: Four members of the Otero family are found dead in their home. And Wichita enters an era of terror unlike it has ever known. Children hide knives under their beds, adults stay home after dark, families keep their doors locked, all for fear of being the next victim of BTK.
BTK.bind.torture.kill.He would choke his victims almost to the point of death, then let them come back, before strangling them. The dead bodies were found tied up. And BTK left his mark with letters to the media.
In 1977, after the murder of Nancy Fox, the killings stop as abruptly as they started. But the case was never solved.
The fear was very much the same as that eight years earlier in California, when the Zodiac killer stalked his victims in four towns along the coast.
The Zodiac also sent letters, but like BTK, they weren't able to lead police to a suspect.
Years later in 1976, another serial killer surfaces on the other coast-this New York killer calls himself the Son of Sam. And again there are letters, but this time police make a break. They arrest David Berkowitz and he readily admits to the murders. But in interviews since, he has claimed he was part of a murderous satanic cult.
Three notorious serial killings committed in communities thousands of miles apart, yet the crimes appear to be closely related.
All three killers had six official victims, all three killers used similar taunting letters, in all three cases the letters were sent to press or police by the killer, and in all three cases the letters make reference to things demonic or satanic.
In the first BTK letter three times the author describes himself as a monster. In the first Son of Sam letter three times the author describes himself as a monster. In all three cases, there are letters containing misspellings. In letters from the Son of Sam and the Zodiac, the killer misspells 'woman'. The first letters of both Zodiac and BTK were typed. The killers in both the Zodiac and BTK case called police from a phone booth.
During one of the Zodiac murders, the killer said "I want your money and your car keys, I want your car to go to Mexico." He also said he was wanted by police in Montana.
Years later, in another murder thought to be connected to BTK, the killer said he needed money and a car for a trip to New York. He said he was wanted by police in California.
"If someone wants to call this circumstantial, then it's the most circumstantial case of all mankind," said Ken Mosbaugh, the man who says he's broken a complex satanic code that proves all three killings were masterminded by the same person.
Ken Mosbaugh was studying the Zodiac killings, when he stumbled onto the BTK case in the process. He says pieces started falling in place quickly after that.
Mosbaugh says he's solved the BTK, Zodiac, and Son of Sam cases in a massive five year investigation that began when he broke the code of the Zodiac letters.
"At the end of the 72 hours I had broken two of the languages used to compose the ciphers for Zodiac murders," Mosbaugh said. He says those ciphers revealed the mastermind behind the Zodiac -- the leader of a satanic group called 'Four Pi'.
But it wasn't until Mosbaugh laid out all the Zodiac murders on a map that he started finding connections to other cases..
Mosbaugh drew a line from Riverside to San Francisco -- the points of two of the Zodiac murders. He did the same thing with the killings in Lake Barryessa and Lake Herman near Vallejo. The point where they crossed was Palo Alto and when Mosbaugh started following the 37th latitude across, he ran right into Wichita.
When Mosbaugh investigated further, he says he found the evidence to link BTK to Zodiac.
"When I read the descriptions the letters the poems were adjunct to the killings in Wichita, I was absolutely stunned -- it was the same MO," Mosbaugh said.
More research led Mosbaugh to the 1974 unsolved case of Arlis Perry, who was killed in a church at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Church officials called the scene "ritualistic and satanic." Her body laid out on the same lines Mosbough drafted on the map, a candle between her legs pointing east, which he believes is toward Wichita. The murder came on the five year anniversary of the last Zodiac death and the birthday of the most famous satanist in history -- Alister Crowley.
Perry, who was from Bismark, North Dakota, published reports say members of a satanic cult lived nearby. And a man by the name of John Carr was among them.
After more research by Mosbaugh, Carr's name comes up again -- this time linked to the Son of Sam murders.
David Berkowitz is sentenced to life for that crime, he confessed and pled guilty in court, but has since claimed he was a just a part of a murderous satanic cult. Berkowitz named John Carr and his brother Michael Carr as triggermen.
But shortly after Berkowitz was arrested, John Carr was found dead in Bismark, North Dakota. According to Mosbaugh, the evidence all points to a satanic cult traveling across the country, performing ritualistic killings in California, Kansas, and New York.
And while it all may be circumstantial, he says he has the hard proof that leaves no question.
"There is a change in the weapons used in the murders but the serial writing is identical," Mosbaugh said. He also says he's cracked a code written into the letters. "The ciphers with the Zodiac letters, the ciphers with the Otero case letter and the ciphers with the Son of Sam letters are all based on the same key," he said. And they all reveal the same thing -- the Zodiac, BTK, and Son of Sam murders were all masterminded by yet another famous serial killer: the Unabomber.
In these cases, there are a lot of things that fit together, which could all be circumstantial. But Mosbaugh says, "homicide investigators have a mantra -- there's no such thing as coincidence."
Ken Mosbaugh isn't the only one standing behind his theory. Dr. Margaret Singer, one of the world's foremost experts on cults, believes it's completely true.
"Those aspects that I can check out, it all hangs together time wise possibility wise and psychologically," Singer said.
Mosbaugh believes Kaczynski mapped out the killings sometime in the sixties, then recruited members into his cult to carry out the murders as a bold sacrifice to satan.
"It was an era where cults were on the rise and that guy was bright enough to know how do go about doing it -- you self proclaim you have all this knowledge, follow me and this is what we'll do," Singer said.
The devil is in the details proclaims Mosbaugh, who believes Kaczynski, a math professor, hid clues to his identity and used engineering concepts as he laid out his plan. For example, the satanic group was called 'Four Pi,' an engineering term. The kill lines on the map run parallel to the east borders of California and according to Mosbaugh, they fit the formula for a complex plane.
Mosbaugh also points to the similarities in handwriting between the Zodiac and Kaczynski. Mosbaugh interprets one letter sent by the Zodiac to read the murders will come by knife and gun as in the Zodiac and Son of Sam cases, by rope as in BTK, and by fire as in the Unabomber.
Another believer in Mosbaugh's theory is Mark Mazzaferro. He grew up in California during the Zodiac killings and investigated them as city editor for the Vallejo Times Hearld. "You get to the point where there's too many circumstances for it to be coincidence," Mazzaferro said. "From the time line to the location to the actual incidences, beyond that what Ken did was brought it all together -- it's no coincidence it's fact," he said.
Mazzaferro said his first thought was, 'here is another person who thinks they solved the Zodiac murders.' "But after many hours and weeks of conversation I came to the conclusion that he's right that he actually came up with a plausible explanation for what happened and who's responsible," Mazzaferro said.
The theory that Ted Kaczynski is responsible for more than just the Unabomber killings is not a new one. Investigators have been trying to connect him to the Zodiac murders for years. But Mosbaugh goes further, when he adds BTK and Son of Sam and points to hard mathematical evidence to prove his theory.
But Wichita State University engineering professor, Dr. Scott Miller says he doesn't see mathematical proof of anything. Miller spent several hours pouring over Mosbaughs theory.
"I just don't see the rigorous math, there may be a coincidence or maybe some weird interpretation of the math but it doesn't fit the traditional engineering sense," Miller said.
Miller says he doesn't see the complex plane or any obvious math in the murder trail, especially if an engineer was behind it.
"If it was an engineering professor and he was attempting to do an engineering type exercise, it's out of the norm," Miller said. "That doesn't mean it's not true," cautions Miller, "but it doesn't mean it is either."
The Wichita Police Department says they have investigated this lead, but have eliminated Kaczynski as a suspect after they learned that there was no way he could have been in Wichita during the time of the BTK murders. And they are doubtful that he was the mastermind behind the killings. They have always believed that BTK was a single person acting alone.

Thursday, April 01, 2004


The megaliths of the British Isles and Europe are breathtakingly beautiful and their origins are shrouded in mystery. One of the finest sites available concerning these structures is The Megalithic Portal. Be sure to check out their clickable map. This map is a brilliant tool for anyone visiting the British Isles with an eye towards exploring these ancient wonders. Cheers, mates!!


Professor Hex is not alone in his studies of the mysterious world around us. Aside from the aforementioned WeirdWriter, we also have the esteemed Dr. Mysterian. In addition to being a fine scholar of the unexplained, Dr. Mysterian is also blessed with the powers of prophecy. Be sure to also check out his excellent blog.

Dr. Mysterian was a brilliant divinity student until a freak accident caused him to become beset with visions of the future, including one showing him the EXACT DATE OF HIS OWN DEATH — January 26, 2010! His prophesies for the future have independently been proven to be 98% correct, and he will continue to write them until the irreversible, fast-approaching date of his quietus.

I also very much enjoyed the wonderful Mock Turtle Soup. Very informative and, dare I say it, sexy. And anyone with 203 items on their Amazon wish list is my kind of lady.


Is the mystery of Roberto Calvi finally starting to unravel? After twenty-two years, four people are finally facing trial for his murder. I first heard of the strange case of Calvi and the mysterious P2 masonic lodge from the works of Robert Anton Wilson. Additional resources concerning Calvi may be found in Jim Marr's Rule By Secrecy and in the unfortunately out-of-print God's Banker.

Twenty-two years after the body of God's Banker, Roberto Calvi, was found hanged under London's Blackfriars Bridge, his death remains a compelling mystery. But with four people facing a murder trial in Italy, his son is hoping for an answer at last.

Calvi's death has long been the subject of wild speculation. Perhaps this trial will clear up some of the mystery. But don't bet on it.

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