Category Archives: Today In Death

TODAY IN DEATH – July 22nd

Since man’s evolutionary trajectory diverged from our ape ancestors a few million years ago, billions upon billions of our kind have bitten the dust. Tens of thousands of people die every single day, each one peculiar and unique. Here are 5 of them.

John Dillinger was the most notorious of the depression-era, bank-robbing gangsters—so crazy and ruthless that he and his gang were a major inspiration for the formation of the FBI. His first robbery (fifty bucks from a grocery store) landed him in prison for 4 ½ years. Records show he had gonorrhea at the time of admission, and he vowed “I will be the meanest bastard you ever saw when I get out of here.” Just three months after his parole he made good on his promise, and embarked with his gang upon an insane, epic streak of bank robberies, prison breaks, police station robberies, cop killings, and attending Chicago Cubs baseball games. It was an extraordinary, violent “fuck you” to the world that lasted just over a year. He was shot and killed by FBI agents on this date in 1934 at the age of 31.

Gar Samuelson was the jazz-influenced drummer who played on Megadeth’s first—and best—two albums: Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good and Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, both stone-cold metal classics. ‘Nuff said. Sadly, he did too much damage to himself via drug abuse and died on this date in 1999 at the age of 41.

King Charles VII of France owed his crown to French victories against the British led by the lunatic godbot and warrior, Joan of Arc. He believed she was truly touched by the divine, but nevertheless pulled a dick move and failed to intervene when Joan was later captured by the Duke of Burgundy and burned at the stake by the English, though he likely could’ve had her released. But karma’s a bitch, if a slow one, because 27 years later King Chuck contracted a nasty and pernicious infection in a sore on his leg. He became so sick and feverish over the next three years that he lost his mind. Worse still, a tumor or abscess formed in his mouth and swelled so much he was unable to eat. He died mad and starved on this date in 1461 at the age of 58.

Uday Hussein was the sadistic, dirtbag son of Iraqi dictator and extreme neck-stretching champ, Saddam Hussein. He was a murderer, torturer, rapist, and psychopath, and it’s doubtful a tear was shed anywhere when he–alongside his asshole brother Qusay–got his face exploded for him on this date in 2003 at the age of 39.

Estelle Getty is best known for playing Dorothy’s (Bea Arthur) mom, Sophia, on the sitcom Golden Girls (even though she was the younger of the two actresses). Apparently it was a role she could sink her dentures into because she played it a lot throughout her career, acting as mother to Harvey Fierstein, Barry Manilow, Cher, and Sylvester Stallone, among many others. Estelle was a political conservative but proved a compassionate one when, in 1991, she took on the real-life roll of caregiver to her 29-year-old nephew, who was dying of AIDS. She worked as a Gay Rights and AIDS activist until a lesser known disease called Lewy Body Dementia made it impossible for her to continue. This affliction combines all the shitty elements of Parkinson’s with all the fucked up attributes of Alzheimer’s, and by the early part of the oughts Estelle had no memory of the Golden Girls or the people she worked with on the show. She died—as oblivious and helpless as the day she was born—on this date in 2008, three days shy of her 85th birthday.

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TODAY IN DEATH – June 28th

Since man’s evolutionary trajectory diverged from our ape ancestors a few million years ago, billions upon billions of our kind have bitten the dust. Tens of thousands of people die every single day, each one peculiar and unique. Here are 5 of them.

Billy Mays was perhaps the world’s most famous TV pitchman. As a young huckster on the Atlantic City boardwalk in the 1980s, he learned and perfected an old-fashioned sales technique called “yelling” that he then used to sell everything from bullshit to horseshit. Inexplicably, this technique, combined with a forced, lunatic smile, made him a household name and an assload of cash. He unwisely used some of that cash to buy cocaine–a substance that mixed badly with his hypertensive heart disease–and he died on this date in 2009 at the age of 50.

Rod Serling was aTV producer, screenwriter, novelist, and all-around upstanding dude. Unless you’re very young or very out of touch, you know him as the host of The Twilight Zone, but he was also a war hero and a liberal activist who was passionate about fighting against war and racial inequality. Unfortunately, Rod cared too much. All the horror and injustice of the world made him angry and tense much of the time. His heart couldn’t take it, and he died on this date in 1975 at the age of 50.

Robert Byrd was the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate (D) and a lifelong fiddle player. For quite a while in his 20s and 30s, he was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He later denounced the group and racism, but he let some of the old bigoted Bob out a few times in subsequent years, referring in 1996 to homosexuality as “aberrant behavior”, and nonchalantly mentioning he’d seen a lot of “white niggers” in his time during a 2001 interview. He died on this date in 2010 at the age of 92.

GG Allin was a hateful, filthy, punk-rock outlaw whose birth name was actually Jesus Christ Allin. He became infamous for being a dude that seriously just did not give a fuck, and for his live performances in which he’d hurt himself and others–often without pants and covered in his own excrement. A degenerate life of shit-eating, cutting himself, and heroin abuse proved unsustainable though, and he died on this date in 1993 at the age of 36.

James Madison was, of course, the 4th President of the United States, and the lucky husband of a woman known for making pies. He also wrote The Bill of Rights and is thought of by many as the “Father of the Constitution.” And, like most rich, white assholes back then, James bought and sold other human beings like cattle throughout his entire life. In his twilight years, he got so worried about what people would think of him after he was gone that he started going through his documents and letters, editing and embellishing, making himself ill with anxiety. In the end, he was the last Founding Father to go, dying on this date in 1836 at the age of 85.

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