You should probably stick with the steak

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Human beings have had an odd fascination for zombies for quite a long time. From the works of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to AMC’s The Walking Dead, we can’t seem to get the undead out of our heads.

I surmise that this interest has something to do with how we subconsciously understand that disease is still the ultimate threat to humankind. And with the chaos that followed the arrival of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we’ve become all the more conscious of it. I mean, what’s a more apt reminder for death and disease than a zombie?

Fortunately, no disease currently causes the dead to feast on the brains of the living. But interestingly, there is a disease that you could get from eating human brains. …


They started as George Washington’s elite fighting force but were disbanded after the war

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With rising political tensions in America caused by President Donald Trump's booting, you better believe that the United States (U.S.) Secret Service is on high alert. The lack of a known recent major attempt against the U.S. President's life has made most people take these stoic agents for granted. But after that surreal riot in the U.S. Capitol, I’m sure the nation is now more aware of how important this agency is.

It’s easy to forget that the president wasn’t always as protected as he is today — we have the assassinations of four previous presidents as proof of that. …


Antonio Nardello only became extremely religious a few weeks before his execution.

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Born in Naples, Italy, in 1864, Antonio Nardello did not have the privilege to set his eyes on his father, who was serving 20-year imprisonment. At the age of 19, Antonio immigrated to the United States, where he worked in different cities such as New York, Chicago, and Maryland. In Maryland, he worked as a laborer in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

Documents don’t say how religious Nardello was before his crimes and conviction, but supposedly, his Christian upbringing caused him to confess to more murders than he was found guilty for. …


Arguably the worst atrocity inflicted against the Chinese people during World War II

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The relationship between Japan and China has always been tenuous at best. Among many other things, they’ve fought over territory, trade, and unwarranted military exercises. But one fascinating thing they’ve fought about is history.

One could make a strong argument that the cause of hardened Chinese hearts against the Japanese were the atrocities committed in World War II. The invading Japanese forces decimated their cities with reckless abandon. They pillaged, raped, and killed without regard for age. Their delight in such war crimes was well documented.

However, among all the unjust acts that occurred during the time, none can compare to the events dubbed as “the Rape of Nanking.” …


Ironically, the murderer worked for his local church

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Newspapers from the late 19th century dubbed Thomas Piper as the “Boston Woman-Killer.” The man murdered at least two young girls in Massachusetts before authorities sentenced him to death by hanging.

Before he was a killer, Thomas worked as a carpenter in his family-owned farm in Nova Scotia but soon moved to Boston in 1866. Regarded as a smart and a staunch Christian, Thomas worked on several clerical jobs before landing one as a sexton in the Warren Avenue Baptist Church.

Thomas used to mix alcohol with an opium compound known as laudanum to “treat” his kidney disorder. The substance caused his hallucinations, and he burned things for the heck of it before eventually resorting to a life of murder. …


Did we eat too many of them?

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For much of our history, it is believed that humans were the cause of the dodo bird’s extinction. It went extinct within less than a century from its initial discovery in 1598.

According to records, the dodo birds had never been in contact with humans before, as they had evolved in isolation, so they were more curious than cautious. They would fearlessly approach sailors and run towards a captured bird's crying, effectively being captured themselves. They could also not fly away, so they were effortless to catch. Sailors occasionally committed mass killings in this manner.

One shipwrecked sailor vividly described how dodo birds were preyed on. …


The “Stockholm Syndrome” story

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When one falls in love with their abuser or captor, we say that they’ve caught an unfortunate case of the “Stockholm syndrome.”

While most people know this because of its use in crime dramas and psychological thrillers, not as many know the story behind its name. The term was coined from an odd hostage situation that took place back in 1973.

The Norrmalmstorg Robbery


Manuel Blanco Romasanta’s defense was that he was cursed to be a werewolf.

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Manuel Blanco Romasanta was Spain’s first documented serial killer nicknamed the “Werewolf of Allariz.” Born on the 18th November 1809 in Regueiro, Esgos, Ourense province of Spain, Manuel’s life was complicated from the start. His mother had a difficult birth, and he suffered from genetic abnormalities.

According to sources, he was originally named Manuela due to having androgynous gender, and his parents believed him to be female. For the first six years of his life, society treated him as a female until a doctor discovered his growing penis. …


Someone tell me where I can find a lawyer like him

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The duty of a lawyer is to defend his client, but I suppose one would be excused for not literally defending them to the death. However, Clement Vallandigham, an American lawyer and politician from the 19th century, earnestly took his duty to heart. In doing so, he also took a bullet to the stomach (albeit as an accident).

The case

Clement Vallandigham’s client, Thomas McGehean, was standing trial for the murder of Thomas Myers.

On Christmas Eve 1870, a fight broke out in a private card-playing room in Hamilton, Ohio. Five men broke into the room, and chaos ensued. As Myers drew his pistol, witnesses claimed a shot was heard. …


Chuck Cooper: A Pioneer for African-Americans in the league

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Among America’s major professional sports leagues, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has stood out as one of the more progressive organizations with respect to addressing social issues in the country. From allowing players and even team officials to speak their minds on certain issues to removing owners for views detrimental to the league, the NBA has made it a point never to just “shut up and dribble.”

The origins of the NBA’s progressive ways may have begun back on April 25, 1950, when the Boston Celtics secured Charles Henry “Chuck” Cooper with the first pick in the second round of that year’s draft. …

About

Ben Kageyama

📜. History, true crime, and the occasional personal story | ✉️. benkageyamawrites@gmail.com | 🎓. Help me finish law school? https://ko-fi.com/benkageyama

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