FBI and NYPD investigators are excavating the basement at 127 Prince Street in SoHo for the remains of six-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared while walking to his bus stop in 1979—the first time he was allowed to walk alone.
Etan was the first missing child to be pictured on a milk carton, and the day of his disappearance, May 25, became National Missing Children’s Day.
This article in the Times looks at the science behind the new search and includes some quotes from Dr. Michael Baden, medical examiner for the City at the time of Etan’s disappearance:
What may have survived after all these years and the effects of the moisture of the soil and the bacteria from decomposition?
“There probably would still be bone,” Dr. [Michael] Baden said. “The permanent teeth that we have, more so than baby teeth, last for decades. Longer than that. It’s easy to get DNA from teeth and long bones.”
There could still be hair. “That definitely would provide DNA,” Dr. Baden said. Any blood spilled would have long decomposed, he said, but investigators will surely be looking for signs of insect activity.
“Maggots can have the DNA of an individual,” from feeding on a body, Dr. Baden said. The pupae cases left behind from hatching flies could contain the body’s DNA, he said.
Image: Etan Patz in 1978. Photograph by his father, Stanley K. Patz. Via Wikipedia.
Here you go. The first one is really important:
Thought I’d start doing link-roundup posts somewhere on the spectrum between occasional and frequent. This is the kind of stuff I already post on Facebook and Twitter, so if you like this sort of thing, consider liking and/or following me over theres.
Here you go:
In the email announcing the Bacon Coffin, Justin and Dave added, “Don’t you judge us, after baconlube [bacon flavored personal lubricant], we all knew it was just going to keep getting weirder. And yeah, your [sic] right we’re probably going to hell for this one.
These mummy pictures make me kind of sad for him. At least his hair is awesome.
I feel completely trashy posting something from The Mirror, but what the hey.
A doctor at the hospital was quoted as saying: “Thanks to the local tradition of parking the coffin in the house for several days, she could be saved.
But, despite ‘cheating’ death, the same local tradition has left Mrs Xiufeng with nothing as, according to tradition, after a person dies, all their belongings must be burnt.
Hint: No one, probably. But Montana’s Fort Peck Dam contains six bodies.
Have missing Civil War sailors in your family tree? The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is looking for your help identifying these two fellas:
These are facial reconstructions from skeletons found in the wreck of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, which sank in 1862.
I heard about this on NPR. Listen to the story. There are so many interesting things about this, including the fact that they were able to recover any remains at all from a 150-year-old shipwreck, including some soft tissue.
Top image: Crewmen of the USS Monitor pictured in July 1862. Library of Congress, via NPR.
Bottom two images: Louisiana State University, via NPR.
When they were young, Patricia and Joan Miller sang and danced for Bing Crosby, troops and their friends. […] Never married and without children or pets, the Miller sisters withdrew into four-bedroom home in California’s South Lake Tahoe, where they were found dead last week at the age of 73. One was in a downstairs bedroom and the other was in the hallway just outside.
The dean of Christ Church Cathedral and the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, the Rev Dermot Dunne, said he was “devastated” by the theft of the 12th Century relic.
"It has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father, St Laurence O’Toole," he added.
A Frankfort family is suing cemetery owners after they say workers dropped their mother twice during her burial, causing her body to roll out of its casket.
Yet another story of a long-undiscovered dead person. Sad.
Less sad: Pigeons broke in and turned on his radio, which alerted neighbors (and the police).
I like pigeons.
ofpaperandponies asked: That story of Joyce Carol Vincent in interesting on their own, but it also provides an interesting perspective on the recent death of David Carter. Well, recent discovery. He committed suicide four years ago in West Allis, WI. The cases are rather dichotomous in the end, but the reactions of those around the cases are so similar on the familial front, yet on the community front, they're so different. No one seems to care here, even though he was supposedly a "good and honest person" in life.
I’m really glad you brought this up.
Interestingly, I found the article about Joyce Carol Vincent about five minutes before I stumbled on the story of David Carter (via this Jezebel post, which characterized the discovery of the body as someone’s “worst day at work ever”—I’m not sure how I feel about that).
For those who haven’t heard this story: Here’s a more detailed article about David Carter.
From The Guardian:
On 25 January 2006, officials from a north London housing association repossessing a bedsit in Wood Green owing to rent arrears made a grim discovery. Lying on the sofa was the skeleton of a 38-year-old woman who had been dead for almost three years. In a corner of the room the television set was still on, tuned to BBC1, and a small pile of unopened Christmas presents lay on the floor. Washing up was heaped in the kitchen sink and a mountain of post lay behind the front door. Food in the refrigerator was marked with 2003 expiry dates.
Skeletons, mummies, bog bodies, exhumations. The dead, and what happens to them.
Meet This Dead Person
Feats of Preservation
Skulls and Skeletons
Ossuaries and Bone Architecture
Incorruptibles and Saintly Relics
When Famous People Die
When Dead People Turn to Soap
Skeletons in Clothes
Dead People Sitting, Standing, or
Made to Look Alive
Death in Art
Accidents and Disasters
Morgues, Funeral Homes, and the
Business of Death
Mourning Customs and Imagery
Handling, Disposing of, and Storing
Posthumous Travels and
Cemeteries and Graveyard Scenes
Personal Details and Opinions
Just Plain Weird or Uncategorizable