The Mysterious Suicide of French Politician Robert Boulin

Robert Boulin.

Robert Boulin.

On October 30, 1979, the body of Robert Boulin was found in a pond in the forest of Rambouillet in southern France. Boulin, a Gaullist politician and veteran of the French Resistance during World War II, had not been seen since the day before, when he had gone out to lunch with his son. His car and an empty container of barbiturates were found near his body. Inside the car were some letters declaring his intention to kill himself.

A note he wrote to police, dated the day of his death, was received a few days later. Boulin wrote, “I have decided to drown myself in a lake in the forest of Rambouillet, where I enjoyed horse-riding.”

The autumn of that year, Boulin was embroiled in a real-estate scandal in which he illegally acquired five acres of land in the Rambouillet area. At that time, Boulin was the Minister of Labor, and was well on his way to becoming the next prime minister. The revelation of the scandal in the press, however, harshly tarnished his political career and reputation. According to the official account of his death, Boulin was so devastated that it drove him to suicide. The authorities closed the case quickly, attributing his death to drowning.

The spot where Boulin's body was discovered.

The spot where Boulin’s body was discovered.

Boulin’s family has publicly denied this. They’ve pointed out that the water he was supposed to have drowned in was only a foot-and-a-half deep. Furthermore, as was only recorded in a second autopsy that was conducted in 1983, there were “bruises around his wrists and a blood clot behind his head.” The judge in charge of the case asked for Boulin’s lungs to be checked to confirm that they contained water, but the jars storing the lungs inexplicably disappeared. Boulin’s family believe that his death was the result of foul play, and have accused his former Gaullist colleagues of plotting and covering up the murder.

POLITIQUE-ENQUETE-JUSTICE

After years of keeping quiet, the local policeman who first saw Boulin’s body came out publicly in 2011 with some new information. The officer, Francis Deswarte, reported that Boulin’s head was out of the water, and had red marks all over his face. Deswarte said that he was dismissed from the case only a half-hour later. Two or three months passed, and he was then called in for questioning by federal police, who ordered him to keep quiet about what he saw. When he asked about the red marks, they told him that Boulin’s body had been dropped by the firefighters who were taking it out of the water, despite that Deswarte himself saw the body being removed without a problem.

In light of this new information, no new investigation has been opened.

This article originally appeared on Bizarrepedia, a site full of interesting articles about serial killers, unsolved crimes, and other strange things.

5 Conspiracy Theories About the Death of Marilyn Monroe

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In the early hours of August 5, 1962, movie star Marilyn Monroe was reported dead in her home in Los Angeles, California. She had been found lying face down in her bed, naked and with her hands by her side.

Around midnight, her housekeeper Eunice Murray had noticed that Marilyn’s bedroom light was on. She knocked on the door a few times, but Marilyn didn’t answer. At 3:00 AM, Murray started to worry and called Dr. Ralph Greenson, Marilyn’s psychiatrist. After he failed to knock down her door, he looked through her window and saw her lying on her bed. He then broke the window, checked her for a pulse, and realized she was dead. The police were called at 4:30 AM.

Marilyn Monroe's bedroom.

Marilyn Monroe’s bedroom.

When they arrived, they questioned Murray, Greenson, and another doctor on the scene. They inspected the room and noticed that despite that there were empty pill bottles on her nightstand, there was no glass or cup of water anywhere to be found. Greenson estimated that Monroe died around 12:30 AM, while undertaker Guy Hockett thought her time of death sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 PM. The autopsy, conducted by Dr. Thomas Noguchi, concluded that Monroe had overdosed on sedative drugs, possibly to commit suicide.

Marilyn's body being taken out of her home.

Marilyn’s body being taken out of her home.

Her death has since been surrounded in controversy, and many of her fans and admirers believe that she was given the pills against her will. The investigation was quick and suspicious, and the official account of her death begs numerous unanswered questions. Why, for example, did it take Murray so long to call for help? What about the reports that Greenson summoned an ambulance and then turned it away after finding Marilyn dead? And how did a drinking glass, after the police search, turn up in Marilyn’s room? Murray would later change her story several times over her life, and the first policeman on the scene, Jack Clemmons, said that “Her hands were by her side and her legs were stretched out perfectly straight. It was the most obviously staged death scene I had ever seen. The pill bottles on her bedside table had been arranged in neat order and the body deliberately positioned, it all looked too tidy.”

There have been numerous theories about what really happened to Marilyn Monroe, many of them placing the blame on the Kennedy brothers or Dr. Ralph Greenson. Below are five of the most common ones, provided by crackpots and experts alike.

5. She was Murdered by Communists

Author and conspiracy theorist Frank A. Cappell.

Author and conspiracy theorist Frank A. Cappell.

In June 1964, far right-wing author Frank A. Cappell published arguably the first book that expressed skepticism about the official account of Marilyn’s demise, The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe. Cappell’s 70 page booklet featured some of the earliest tropes now common in conspiracy circles, including that the Kennedys had a hand in her death. Cappell argued that both Marilyn and Robert F. Kennedy were communists, and that Marilyn was ultimately the victim of a vast communist conspiracy. According to Cappell, “Many ‘suicides’ and ‘heart attacks’ and ‘accidental deaths’ are in reality murders ordered by the Communist Party.”

4. She was Killed by the FBI or CIA

Cover of Norman Mailer's best-selling biography.

Cover of Norman Mailer’s best-selling biography.

A lot of the ideas in Cappell’s booklet were introduced to the mainstream in Norman Mailer’s best-selling Marilyn: A Biography, which was published in 1973 to great public attention. Mailer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist never shy of provoking controversy, repeated the link between Marilyn’s death and the Kennedys.

He believed, to get back at the Kennedys for the disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco, right-wing agents of the FBI or CIA killed Marilyn to upset the Kennedy brothers. He also claimed that Marilyn called the White House on the night of her death, and that the FBI confiscated her phone records. Mailer, however, didn’t have a single shed of evidence to back up his claims, and later admitted he only wrote the book for money.

3. It was a Fake Suicide Attempt Gone Awry

Peter Lawford and Marilyn Monroe at John F. Kennedy's birthday celebration in 1962.

Peter Lawford and Marilyn Monroe at John F. Kennedy’s birthday celebration in 1962.

According to this theory, based on a non-authenticated report supposedly circulated among the FBI in 1964, Marilyn thought she could revive her career by making a suicide attempt. Peter Lawford, a friend of Marilyn and the brother-in-law of Robert F. Kennedy, heard about this plan from some of Marilyn’s other friends. After telling Kennedy, whom allegedly was having an affair with Marilyn and wanted to get rid of her, Lawford persuaded Dr. Ralph Greenson and Eunice Murray to help orchestrate the suicide “attempt”.

So Greenson prescribed a few bottles of Seconal tablets to Marilyn, and then Murray is said to have put them in Marilyn’s bedroom on the night of her death. Believing that the pills could easily be pumped out of her stomach, Marilyn swallowed dozens of the them to overdose. After she became unconscious, Murray called Greenson, and they waited to contact the police until Marilyn died.

2. She was the Victim of a Mafia Hit

Mob boss Sam Giancana.

Mob boss Sam Giancana.

Darwin Porter, a biographer and travel writer who has written dozens of books, claims in Marilyn At Rainbow’s End that Marilyn was killed by the Mafia. Porter speculates that mob boss Sam Giancana, possibly paid off by one of the Kennedy brothers, ordered a hit on her. He said that Robert F. Kennedy had gone to Marilyn’s house that day and gotten into an argument. After he left, a partner of Gianacana named Johnny Roselli visited her at 10 PM.

When he left, he unlocked the front door, and then let five Mafia hitmen in. One of the hitmen sneeked up behind Marilyn while she was in the front room, and then slipped a chloroform-soaked washcloth over her face. They then undressed her, administered an enema of barbiturates, and moved her into her bedroom. They left after hearing Eunice Murray walk into the house. After the police were called, Peter Lawford arrived at the scene and stole a little red diary, which was said to have been filled with details about Marilyn’s affairs and sex encounters.

1. She was Killed by RFK and Ralph Greenson

Marilyn Monroe with the Kennedy brothers.

Marilyn Monroe with the Kennedy brothers.

Journalists Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin in their book The Murder of Marilyn Monroe: Case Closed, repeated the story about Marilyn and Robert F. Kennedy having an affair and then getting into an argument the day before her body was found.

According to this theory Kennedy told Marilyn that he wouldn’t marry her, and Marilyn threatened to stage a public conference and reveal her affairs with him and his brother John. Kennedy demanded that Marilyn leave him alone, and to hand over the diary in which she kept track of her affairs. Marilyn refused, and Kennedy left in a fit of rage.

Dr. Ralph Greenson, Marilyn's psychiatrist.

Dr. Ralph Greenson, Marilyn’s psychiatrist.

He called up her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, another man Marilyn had been sleeping with. Kennedy falsely told Greenson that she was planning to go public with the affair she was having with him. Greenson, worried that his reputation would be ruined, agreed to go with Kennedy to convince Marilyn to hand over the diary. That evening, Kennedy came back to Marilyn’s house, bringing along two bodyguards, Greenson, and his brother-in-law Peter Lawford.

One of the bodyguards shot Marilyn with an injection of Nembutal to calm her down, and then Kennedy threw her to the floor. While Kennedy and Lawford were looking for the diary, his bodyguards tore Marilyn’s clothes off and administered a powerful enema that would further sedate her. The group of men left around 10:30 PM, and Marilyn’s housekeeper Eunice Murray and son Norman Jefferies found her naked and unconscious on her bed a short while after. They called for an ambulance, and one of the attendants, James Edwin Hall, attempted to revive her with a resuscitator.

Suddenly, Ralph Greenson appeared on the scene, explained who he was, and then ordered Hall to remove the resuscitator. Greenson thrust a foot-long syringe into Marilyn’s chest, and then allowed her to be moved into the ambulance. At about 4:30 AM, Greenson called LAPD sergeant Jack Clemmons and told him that Marilyn had committed suicide. Marilyn was taken back to her home, and her death was subsequently ruled a suspected suicide.

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Sources:

http://www.marilynmonroe.ca/camera/books/89.html

https://books.google.com/books?id=eb2oQbu8xcsC&pg=PT32&lpg=PT32&dq=marilyn+monroe+norman+mailer+cia&source=bl&ots=4dlzbnrxMZ&sig=_pVvqZVqm6z534ZfYhYrjePcjLI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEoQ6AEwCmoVChMIwOePo9P_xgIVCJANCh0lHQDr#v=onepage&q=marilyn%20monroe%20norman%20mailer%20cia&f=false

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2630449/EXCLUSIVE-Bobby-Kennedy-ordered-Marilyn-Monroes-murder-lethal-injection-prevent-revealing-torrid-affairs-RFK-JFK-dirty-Kennedy-family-secrets-new-book-claims.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/marilyn-monroe-death-new-book-1174703

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-443111/Did-Kennedy-clan-fool-Marilyn-killing-herself.html

20 Bizarre and Disturbing Japanese Woodblock Prints

(This article is recommended for mature audiences only. It contains images of graphic violence and sexual content.)

This is a gallery of mostly 19th century woodblock prints. Many of them were made by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, an artist who pioneered the muzan-e (“bloody print”) genre in the 1860s. This collection also features prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Takato Yamamoto, Utagawa Kunisada, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Yoshiiku.

20. “Sakuma Daigaku Drinking Blood from a Severed Head.” Sakuma was a mid-16th century samurai who served Oda Nobunaga, an important historical figure who paved the way for the unification of Japan when it was engulfed in social and political turmoil during the Sengoku period (1467-1603).

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

19. “People Join Together to Form Another Person.”

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

18. “Reizei Hangan Takatoyo”. Takatoyo was a 16th century samurai and poet. He is shown here committing seppuku.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

17. “Night of the Scarlet Moon.” This is actually the work of a modern artist. You can visit his official site right here.

Takato Yamamoto.

Takato Yamamoto.

16. “Bound to Death.” Scene from the kabuki play Yotsuya Kadian.

Utagawa Kunisada.

Utagawa Kunisada.

15. “The Demon’s Arm.”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

14. “The Lone House.” The old woman in the center is the Hag of Adachi Moor, a deranged serial killer and cannibal who ran an inn.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

13. Not sure about the title of this one, or if it’s even by Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

12. “Cat Janken.” Janken is a Japanese game similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

11. “Greedy Old Woman.”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

10. That “monster” coming out of the tanuki is actually one of its testicles. Kuniyoshi created a whole series about tanuki and their gonads.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

9. “Gosho Gorozo Battling a Shadow.” Possibly a scene from a kabuki play called Gosho no Gorozo. 

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

8. “Two Severed Heads in the Reeds.”

Katsushika Hokusai.

Katsushika Hokusai.

7. “Princess Shiranui and Captive Man.” Princess Shiranui was the wife of Minamoto no Tametomo, a 12th century samurai who committed seppuku after being surrounded by enemy soldiers during the Genpei War.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

6. “Furuteya Hachirobei Murdering a Woman in a Graveyard.”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

5. “The Prostitute Oyaku and a Seated Ghost.”

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

4. “Seimonya Keijuro.” I think this is a scene from a kabuki play of the same name.

Utagawa Yoshiiku.

Utagawa Yoshiiku.

3. “Naosuke Gombei Ripping Off a Face.” I’m not exactly sure, but I believe this Naosuke Gombei was an 18th century servant who killed his master, his wife, and their three children.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

2. “The Lonely House.” Another depiction of the Hag of Adachi Moor, getting ready to kill a pregnant woman.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

1 This piece seems a bit obscure; I have no idea who made this or what it’s called.

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Omar Killed Me

Ghislaine Marchal

Ghislaine Marchal

On June 24, 1991, a Monday, 65-year-old affluent widow Ghislaine Marchal was found dead in her home in Mougin, France. Marchal suffered a broken skull, a slit throat, a sliced finger, and multiple stab wounds. Her body had been discovered in her basement, the door of which had to be knocked down because somebody had barricaded it from the inside with an iron bar and bed. Across the door, scribbled in blood, was“Omar m’a tuer”, a grammatically incorrect phrase that meant “Omar killed me”. There was a similar message near-by, although incomplete, and police also found a bloody handprint.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

Despite that all this blood was later confirmed to be Marchal’s, her body was found on the other side of the room. The authorities were baffled; how did she get from the door all to way to the spot where she had died without dripping a trail of blood behind her? The floor was completely clean. Almost nearly as strange, how did an educated woman like Marchal make such an elementary grammatical mistake in writing her message?

The autopsy determined that Marchal had been killed the day before, after talking to a friend around noon. Her gardener, an illiterate Moroccan named Omar Raddad, was usually at her house on Sundays, but had earlier changed his schedule. He claimed to have been eating lunch at home during the time of the murder, but only family members could confirm his alibi. His case caused an uproar in France, with his supporters arguing that he was an innocent man being accused simply because he was an immigrant. The authorities pinned him with a first-degree murder charge, and he went to trial in January 1994.

Omar Raddad.

Omar Raddad.

The prosecution argued that Raddad stabbed Marchal to death after getting into an argument with her over his pay. They had no solid evidence, however, and nobody reported seeing Raddad even near Marchal’s home the day of the murder. Raddad, furthermore, had no criminal record, and was a hard-working, honest man by all accounts. As for the message, graphologists were certain that it was Marchal’s handwriting. Still, despite the weakness of the prosecution, Raddad was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

After pressure from the Moroccan King, the French president eventually pardoned Raddad in 1998, but the murder conviction was still left on his legal record. Raddad has spent the past 17 years fighting to clear his name, even applying for a new trial after his release. Forensic tests conducted in 2001 found a male’s DNA on the basement door and a block of wood suspected of being used to hit Marchal. These strains didn’t match Raddad at all, and almost certainly had to belong to Marchal’s real killer.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/who-really-killed-ghislaine-marchal-2041696.html

http://www.crimemagazine.com/written-blood

The Drummond Family Murder Mystery

Sir Jack Drummond and his wife and daughter.

Sir Jack Drummond and his wife and daughter.

Sir Jack Drummond was a notable British biochemist known for his research on vitamins and nutrition. During World War II, Drummond served the British government’s Ministry of Food, and helped design the rationing diet the government implemented during the time. After the war, he stopped working for the government and became the Director of Research at the Boots pharmaceutical company.

In July 1952, Drummond, his wife Ann, and their 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth went on a family holiday on the French Riviera. On the night of August 4th, they camped out by the banks of the Durance river in Provençal, a region in southern France. The following morning, Gustave Dominici, a son of the nearest family that lived in the area, discovered Elizabeth’s body near the river. Her skull had been battered in by a rifle butt. Drummond and his wife’s bodies were found near-by. They had been shot, but as their autopsies would show, by two different weapons. Parts of one of the guns used to kill them was found in the river. It was identified as a Rock-Ola M1 Carbine, a model popular with the American military. Gustave alerted a cyclist passing by, and police arrived on the scene about a half-hour later.

Gustav and his family gave conflicting reports about their contact with the Drummonds the night before. They said they heard gunshots around 1 AM, but assumed they had come from poachers. After a relative reported to the police that he saw Ann and Elizabeth at the Dominici farm the night before their murder, the family’s story fell into further doubt. After being questioned again, Gustave and his brother Clovis admitted that their father, Gaston, killed the Drummonds. Gaston, a frail 75-year-old illiterate farmer who used a walking stick to get around, eventually confessed to the crime. He said that he and Ann had been caught having sex by Sir Drummond, and in a panic shot them both. He then found Elizabeth and beat her to death as she tried running away.

Despite retracting his statement later on, claiming he only confessed to try to protect his family, Gaston was found guilty and sentenced to death. A great protest was made over his conviction, and he was eventually pardoned and released by President Charles De Gaulle in 1960.

Gaston’s absurd confession got a number of things wrong about the crime scene. He was very likely innocent, and his family continues fighting to this day to clear his name. They point out that the rifle found in the river wasn’t Gaston’s, and he had no idea how to use one. Secondly, other locals who passed by the area that night the Drummonds went camping reported seeing several men near the their car, none of whom resembled Sir Jack or Gaston and his sons. Lastly, Drummond’s camera was missing, and has never been found.

Gaston’s grandson, Alain, believes the Drummonds were killed by KGB agents. Investigator Raymond Badin finds this idea credible as well, believing Drummond was on an espionage mission for the British secret services. “The Dominicis’ strange behaviour indicates they knew a lot more about the crime than they ever let on,” Badin told The Guardian in July 2002, ‘But they were not guilty of the murders. I think they plainly got caught up in something far bigger than themselves.’

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/nottingham/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9402000/9402414.stm

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jul/29/humanities.artsandhumanities

http://www.crime-mystery.info/crime-stories/murder_of_sir_jack_drummond/the_missing_pieces

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The Inokashira Park Dismemberment Incident

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Park

Today we’ll be talking about one of Japan’s many incidents of “barabara satsujin” (scattered murder) , a method of killing so seemingly popular in the country that it has its very own page on the Japanese Wikipedia.

On April 23, 1994, a cleaning staff member of Tokyo’s Inokashira Park found a garbage bag in the park’s trash can. She thought the bag contained raw fish, but when her colleagues opened it to see what was inside, they found a human ankle. The police were called in, and the bag was found to contain a total of 24 pieces of human flesh, including two feet, two hands, and a shoulder. At an autopsy conducted at Kyorin University Hospital, the cause of death was deemed unknown. The parts had been completely drained of blood, and to make the case even weirder, each piece was cut exactly to the length of 20 centimeters (about 7.8 inches). Although a third of the body was never found, including the head, the pieces were identified three days later as belonging to a 35-year-old architect named Seiichi Kawamura.

Kawamura lived less than a mile from the park, and was last seen on April 21st. He ate dinner with his family that evening, and afterward went out to karaoke with an old coworker. He left his friend around 11 PM, but never returned home. His family reported him missing the next day.

Despite police questioning some 37,000 people, the case has never been solved. There were reports of two suspicious men walking in the park and carrying a plastic bag around 4 am on the day Kawamura’s body was discovered, but they have never been identified. Other witnesses said that they heard the sound of a car colliding with something in the very early hours of the 22nd. It’s been suggested that Kawamura was struck by a car, and that his killers cut him up to get rid of the body. One popular rumor even claimed that Kawamura had been a member of a religious cult, and was brutally murdered after trying to leave it.

Whether the murder was the attempt to hide a tragic accident, or the work of a deranged surgeon, perhaps we’ll never know. Prior to 2010, Japan had a statue of limitations on murder for fifteen years. Unfortunately, the case missed the country’s abolition of the limitation by only a year.

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Sources:

http://fumibako.com/kowai/story/case/27.html

http://yabusaka.moo.jp/inokasirabarabara.htm