Part 2 of our possibly never-ending series on the Yellow Fever outbreak that devastated Philadelphia in 1793.
In southern France, on the West Bank of the Rhone river, sits the picturesque village of Pont-Saint-Esprit. The village itself looks exactly like what you might expect; Stone buildings with colorful shutters covering their windows sit beneath the clock tower of 15th century church. The village looks sleepy today, it probably is, and it probably has been throughout the majority of its history. In August 1951 though, over 250 residents of Pont-Saint-Esprit unexpectedly started tripping balls. Husbands and wives chased each other with knives, people screamed in terror and ran from flames that did not exist, a mother howled in grief believing that her children had been ground into sausages. By the events conclusion, more than 250 people would suffer from hallucinatory visions, 50 would be institutionalized, and 7 would lose their lives.
In February 2013 a Youtube video went viral, and for a short time a young drifter named Caleb Lawrence McGillvary was a star. In an interview with a local news station, Caleb who prefers to be known as "Kai" described how he had "suh-mashed!" in the head with a hatchet a man from whom he had recently hitched a ride. The driver who stopped to pick up Kai was mentally unstable which would become apparent after the man drove his car into a group of utility workers, and then wrapped a passerby in a bear hug while muttering that he was descended from God himself. Kai was, for a brief period after the video's release, a folk hero. Kai only enjoyed his new celebrity for a short while. Only 3 months after Kai's recounting of that day went viral, he killed a man. Kai was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison. How did this happen? Is Kai really the eccentric hippie with a heart of gold that millions of people saw in that 2013 viral video? Find out on episode 26 of Where is the Line?
On Christmas day 2008, children all over the world were waking up early to see what Santa had left for them under their Christmas trees. The parents of these hideous, greedy, and totally dependent children most likely watched television and their spawn violently ripped wrapping paper to uncover new toys and electronic devices that they would undoubtedly break or lose within the week. Parents in California were met with news reports of a massacre that had taken place in the town of Covina, CA. Throughout the day, the death toll would rise, the details of the attack would come to light, and the world would find out that Santa Clause had shot people, he'd set a home ablaze with a flamethrower that he'd made himself, and that in the end, Santa turned the gun on himself.
In 2011 Russian police raided the home of a highly intelligent and generally well-regarded historian and linguist named Anatoly Moskvin. They discovered almost 30 life sized dolls, many of which were clothed in frilly dresses and ornate head scarves. The idea of a 45-year-old man keeping a huge collection of life-sized dolls in his parents’ house, which is where Moskvin was living, is plenty creepy in its own right. These were not typical dolls though. They were actually the mummified and gussied up remains of 29 dead little girls that Moskvin had dug up and brought home.
In 2006, Pam Babcock entered the bathroom in Kory McFarren's yellow and white single-wide trailer. Should would not leave for two years. When authorities were finally contacted, they found Pam Babcock sitting on McFarren's toilet. She had spent a full month atop the shitter, her legs had atrophied, and she had become fused to the seat.
Long enough ago to have certainly past the statute of limitations, I misrepresented myself to serial killers. Pretending to be a woman, I filled pink envelopes with letters hand-written with feminine looping script and mailed them off to some of the most heinous criminals alive in America at the time. One of these criminals replied. The letter I received was from "The Night Stalker," Richard Ramirez. In this episode, we'll discuss my catfishing of The Night Stalker and answer the questionnaire that Richard Ramirez included with his reply to me. We'll also awkwardly segue into a discussion about Hybristophilia and share a few stories of love behind bars.
One of the first policemen to find Michael Taylor wandering the street naked and blood covered recognized Michael and requested that officers be sent to the Taylor home. The first officer who entered the home quickly ran back outside and is reported to have began dry-heaving. What this policeman saw would later be described as “a scene of appalling depravity.” The walls were covered not only in blood, but in bits of flesh. Christine Taylor lay dead on the floor. Here eyes had been removed, her face was almost entirely torn away leaving her unrecognizable, and her tongue had been extracted.
Nine months after the release of the film The Exorcist an Ossett West Yorkshire man named Michael Taylor underwent a 7 hour exorcism. The following morning Michael killed and mutilated his wife along with their family dog. In part 1 of "The Worst Exorcism Ever," we discuss the release of the The Exorcist and the impact that the movie had on its mid-1970s audience. We also speak with a new friend and genuine Englishman who was very close to some key players in this story and who shared with us a previously unconsidered perspective on who was really behind this now infamous exorcism.