When staff finally took Rainey out of the stall, his skin seemingly melted off — a condition known as “slippage” caused by prolonged exposure to water, humidity and the “warm, moist” environment, the autopsy reported, sources said.
Here are some clinical details about death by near-boiling:
After being removed from the shower, staff administered CPR, with one a nurse registering Rainey’s internal temperature at 102 degrees, well above the normal temperature of 98.6. The autopsy report states that 12 hours after his death, Rainey’s body still had a temperature of about 94 degrees.
And "[a]ccording to an inmate working as an orderly in the prison, Rainey could be heard screaming, 'I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.'”
The same inmate described something that sounds close to a torture chamber:
Harold Hempstead, an inmate-orderly who was in a cell almost directly below the shower... told investigators, including those with the Justice Department, that the rigged shower was used on several other inmates with mental illnesses to terrorize them and keep them in line. The plumbing was dismantled after Rainey’s death.
Remember that the war on drugs is terrible, a Gothic exercise: "According to court records, Rainey was serving a 2-year sentence for cocaine possession at the time of his death."
These aren't full readings, but impressionistic mixes, using excerpts from the stories to anchor audio brooding.
Get into your isolation tanks, at Matt Howarth used to say, and listen:
Madness rides the star-wind . . . claws and teeth sharpened on centuries of corpses . . . dripping death astride a Bacchanale of bats from night-black ruins of buried temples of Belial. . . . Now, as the baying of that dead, fleshless monstrosity grows louder and louder, and the stealthy whirring and flapping of those accursed web-wings circles closer and closer, I shall seek with my revolver the oblivion which is my only refuge from the unnamed and unnamable.
How is this disturbing, beyond the idea of violating a family's privacy through their children's spaces? First, there's the audio aspect:
[T]he boy had previously told his parents that he was scared at night because he could hear someone talking to him over the phone. Jay and Sarah were confused as to what he meant until the hair-raising moment Sarah walked into her son's room to hear a voice say, "wake up little boy, daddy's looking for you."
Then there's the camera:
Jay heard the voice from the monitor continue to speak, saying, "look someone's coming or someone's coming into view," as Sarah walked into the room. The couple also noted that the night-vision lens was being controlled to follow their movements.
Let us pause to enjoy the photo attached to the article:
The Gothic always makes for powerful communication beyond scary stories. Case in point: late nineteenth- and early-twentieth century ads, as nicely captured in this Guardian gallery.
Consider this one, urging viewers to shun the demon drink:
Or this poster urging Belgian soldiers to avoid sexual diseases:
Gorgeous, powerful stuff.
Los Angeles art gallery Century Guild has a collection of peculiar and macabre prints from Germany, Austria, France and Italy dating back to 1880-1890. “What I find most striking is the modernity of the visual message,” says the gallery’s founder, Thomas Negovan. “We tend to view the turn of the century through a sepia-toned lens of quaintness, when the truth is that the world then was just as dynamic and thrilling as our lives are today.”
Took my young children to a cave not far from the house. Popular spot, but we had the place to ourselves. You can walk through it in about 30 minutes without too much difficulty. It has a tiny exit at the opposite end. It was pretty muddy, so we decided to turn around and head back to the entrance. Halfway back, there was a lit candle sitting about eight feet up one side. It was definitely not there on the first trip. I went into full-on protective-dad-mode knowing there was likely someone hiding in the dark while we walked the rest of the way out.
That thread led to a much larger strand, a marvelous sequence of campfire spooky stories. The conceit is a search and rescue veteran sharing the creepiest experiences s/he has had or heard. Pore through these in a brightly lit, warm house, without stairs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
CNN started the new year by continuing its longstanding practice of purveying Gothic horror, publishing an article about a mysterious and gory death on a cruise liner. "Couple witnesses horrific cruise ship death" is the decently scary headline, but the URL verges on sublime lyricism: "carnival-ecstasy-cruise-ship-elevator-death".
Passengers aboard the Carnival Ecstasy witnessed part of the horrifying incident Sunday evening in which blood poured down the front of the elevator...
As the couple looked on aghast at the flowing blood, which they said sounded like a rainstorm, a crew member was trying to usher people back inside the restaurant.
There's even an explicit call-out to classic horror fiction:
Singapore has opened an embassy in the uncanny valley by building Nadine, a new humanoid robot.
The humanoid "receptionist" was presented at a new media showcase Tuesday at NTU, where her human creator, professor Nadia Thalmann, predicted that "physical social robots such as Nadine are poised to become more visible in offices and homes in future."
Nadine was created to be a doppelganger of Thalmann, according to NTU's news release, which said the "humanoid" has "soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She smiles when greeting you, looks at you in the eye when talking, and can also shake hands with you."
The bot "can be happy or sad, depending on the conversation" and she "also has a good memory" with the ability to recognize people she's met and remember what those people have said before, NTU said.
We would include a video, but either NTU or ABC decided to make it Facebook-only.
The BBC hosted a remake of a classic 1970s work of haunted media. The Stone Tape (1972), written by the great Nigel Kneale, took place in an old haunted mansion. An innovation-hungry engineering team figures out how to use the building's stones as an audio-visual storage medium. Things... don't turn out well.
So this year the BBC asked up and coming director Peter Strickland to reimagine the tale for audio. The results follow Kneale's tale closely, set in the period. The plot follows the original, as well.
In 1979, a team of scientists moves into a new laboratory in a Victorian mansion. When Jill Greely hears a strange disembodied scream, the team decides to analyse the phenomenon, which appears to be a psychic impression trapped in the wall. The scientists begin to realise that their work has disturbed something hidden beneath the stone, something ancient and malevolent.
Period audio effects have a powerful effect, combining setting with creepiness. The conclusion is more cryptic than the original; listeners will have to determine for themselves if that's an improvement or error.
For those Infocult readers not in the UK, you can't listen from the BBC site linked above, but you can enjoy this YouTube copy.
(synonyms Lysurus archeri, Anthurus archeri, Pseudocolus archeri), commonly known as octopus stinkhorn, or devil's fingers, is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh.
Naturally it started in Australia, home of all things homicidal.