Neotibicen Canicularis


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The genus Neotibicen comprises large-bodied Cicadidae appearing in late summer or autumn in North America. Many colloquial names exist for Neotibicen, including locust, and dog-day cicada. Until recently, these species were all in the genus Tibicen, which was redefined so as to include only a few European species, while species from the Western US and Mexico are now placed in a separate genus, Hadoa.

Neotibicen species are the most common cicada in the Eastern United States. Unlike periodical cicadas, whose swarms occur at 13- or 17-year intervals, Neotibicen species can be seen every year, hence their nickname “annual cicadas”. The life-cycle of an individual, however, is more than a year. Nymphs spend two or three years feeding on tree roots before they emerge. Their annual reappearance is due to overlapping generations.

Neotibicen cicadas are 1–2 inches (25–51 mm) long, with characteristic green, brown, and black markings on the top of the thorax, and tented, membranous wings extending past the abdomen. The fore pair are about twice the length of the hind pair. Adults feed using their beak to tap into the xylem of plants; nymphs feed from the xylem of roots.

Communication

Like other members of the subfamily Cicadinae, Neotibicen species have loud, complex songs, even (in many cases) distinct song phrases.

Males produce loud calls in the afternoon or evening (depending on the species) to attract females. These sounds, distinctive for each species, are produced by organs below the abdomen’s base. These calls range from a loud buzz to a long rattling sound.

Many animals feed on cicadas, which usually occurs during the final days when they become easy prey near the ground. One of the more notable predators is the cicada killer. This is a large wasp that catches the dog-day cicada. After catching and stinging the insect to paralyze it, the cicada killer carries it back to its hole and drags it underground to a chamber where it lays its eggs in the paralyzed cicada. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae feed on the paralyzed, but still living, cicada.

Shanda Renee Sharer


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Shanda Renee Sharer (June 6, 1979 – January 11, 1992) was an American girl who was tortured and burned to death in Madison, Indiana, by four teenage girls. She was 12 years old at the time of her death. The incident attracted international attention due to both the brutality of the murder and the young age of the perpetrators, who were aged between 15 and 17 years old. The case was covered on national programs such as Dr. Phil and has inspired a number of episodes on fictional crime shows.

Shanda Sharer

Shanda Renee Sharer was born at Pineville Community Hospital in Pineville, Kentucky, on June 6, 1979, to Stephen Sharer and Jacqueline Vaught. After Sharer’s parents divorced, her mother remarried and the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Sharer attended fifth and sixth grades in Louisville at St. Paul School, where she was on the cheerleading, volleyball and softball teams. When her mother divorced again, the family moved in June 1991 to New Albany, Indiana, and Sharer enrolled at Hazelwood Middle School. Early in the school year, she transferred to Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, a Catholic school in New Albany, where she joined the female basketball team.
Events prior to murder

In 1990, 14-year-old Melinda Loveless began dating another young girl named Amanda Heavrin. After Loveless’ father left the family and her mother remarried, Loveless behaved erratically. She got into fights at school, and she felt depressed. She received professional counseling. In March 1991, Loveless disclosed her lesbian orientation to her mother, who was initially furious but eventually accepted it. As the year progressed, though, Loveless’ relationship with Heavrin deteriorated.

Heavrin and Shanda Sharer had met early during the fall semester when they got into a fight; however, they became friends while in detention for the altercation. Loveless immediately grew jealous of Heavrin and Sharer’s relationship. In early October, Heavrin and Sharer attended a school dance, where Loveless found and confronted them. Although Heavrin and Loveless had never formally ended their relationship, Loveless started to date an older girl.

After Heavrin and Sharer attended a festival together in late October, Loveless began to discuss killing Sharer and threatened Sharer in public. Concerned about the effects of their daughter’s relationship with Heavrin, Sharer’s parents arranged for her to transfer to a Catholic school in late November, and the girls started drifting apart by December.
Girls involved in the murder
Melinda Loveless

Melinda Loveless was born in New Albany, Indiana on October 28, 1975, the youngest of three daughters, to Marjorie and Larry Loveless. Larry was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and he was treated as a hero upon his return. His wife later described him as a pervert who would wear her and her daughters’ underwear and makeup, was incapable of staying monogamous, and had a mixture of jealousy and fascination with seeing her have sex with other men and women. They lived in or near New Albany throughout Melinda’s childhood.

Larry worked irregularly for the Southern Railroad after his military service; his profession allowed him to work whenever most convenient for him. In 1965, Larry became a probationary officer with the New Albany Police Department, but he was fired after eight months when he and his partner assaulted an African-American man whom Larry accused of sleeping with his wife. In 1988, Larry briefly worked as a mail carrier but quit after three months and did very little work, having brought most of his mail home to destroy it.

Marjorie had worked intermittently since 1974. When both parents were working, the family was financially well off, living in the upper-middle-class suburb of Floyds Knobs, Indiana. Larry did not usually share his income with the family and impulsively spent any money he earned on himself, especially firearms, motorcycles and cars. He filed for bankruptcy in 1980. Extended family members often described the Loveless daughters as visiting their houses hungry, apparently not getting food at home.

Through most of their relationship, Larry was unfaithful to his wife and they often had an open marriage. They would often visit bars in Louisville, where Loveless would pretend to be a doctor or a dentist and introduce Marjorie as his girlfriend. He would also “share” her with some of his friends from work, which she found disgusting. During an orgy with another couple at their house, Marjorie tried to commit suicide, an act she would repeat several times throughout her daughters’ childhoods. When Melinda was nine years old, Larry had Marjorie gang raped, after which she tried to drown herself. After that incident, she refused him sex for a month, until he violently raped her as their daughters watched. In the summer of 1986, after she would not let him go home with two women he met at a bar, Larry beat Marjorie so severely that she was hospitalized; he was convicted of battery.

The extent of Larry’s abuse of his daughters and other children is unclear. Various court testimonies claimed he fondled Michelle as an infant, molested Marjorie’s 13-year-old sister early in the marriage, and molested the girls’ cousin Teddy from age 10 to 14. Both older girls said he molested them, though Melinda did not admit this ever happened to her. She slept in bed with him until he abandoned his family when she was 14. In court, Teddy described an incident in which Larry tied all three sisters in a garage and raped them in succession; however the sisters did not confirm this account. Larry was verbally abusive to his daughters and fired a handgun in Michelle’s direction when she was seven, intentionally missing her. He would also embarrass his children by finding their underwear and smelling it in front of other family members.

For two years, beginning when Melinda was five, the family was deeply involved in the Graceland Baptist Church. Larry and Marjorie gave full confession and renounced drinking and swinging while they were members. Larry became a Baptist lay preacher and Marjorie became the school nurse. The church later arranged for Melinda to be taken to a motel room with a 50-year-old man for a five-hour exorcism. Larry became a marriage counselor with the church and acquired a reputation for being too forward with women, eventually attempting to rape one of them. After that incident, the Loveless parents left the church and returned to their former professions, drinking, and open marriage.

In November 1990, Larry was caught spying on Melinda and a friend, and Marjorie attacked him with a knife, sending him to the hospital after he attempted to grab it. She then attempted suicide again, and her daughters called authorities. After this incident Larry filed for divorce and moved to Avon Park, Florida. Melinda felt crushed, especially as Larry remarried. He sent letters to her for a while, playing on her emotions, but eventually severed all contact with her.
Laurie Tackett

Mary Laurine “Laurie” Tackett was born in Madison, Indiana, on October 5, 1974. Her mother was a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian and her father was a factory worker with two felony convictions in the 1960s. Tackett claimed that she was molested at least twice as a child at ages five and twelve. In May 1989, her mother discovered that Tackett was changing into jeans at school, and, after a confrontation that night, attempted to strangle her. Social workers became involved, and Tackett’s parents agreed to unannounced visits to ensure that child abuse was not occurring. Tackett and her mother came into periodic conflict; at one point, her mother went to Hope Rippey’s house after learning that Rippey’s father had purchased a Ouija board for the girls. She demanded that the board be burnt and that the Rippey house be exorcised.

Tackett became increasingly rebellious after her fifteenth birthday and also became fascinated with the occult. She would often attempt to impress her friends by pretending to be possessed by the spirit of “Deanna the Vampire”. She began to engage in self-harm, especially after early 1991 when she began dating a girl who was involved in the practice. Her parents discovered the self-mutilation and checked her into a hospital on March 19, 1991. She was prescribed an anti-depressant and released. Two days later, with her girlfriend and Toni Lawrence, she cut her wrists deeply and was returned to the hospital. After treatment of her wound, she was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and confessed that she had experienced hallucinations since she was a young child. She was discharged on April 12. She dropped out of high school in September 1991.

Tackett stayed in Louisville in October 1991 to live with various friends. She met Melinda Loveless but the two did not become friends until late November. In December, Tackett moved back to Madison on the promise that her father would buy her a car. She still spent most of her time in Louisville and New Albany, and, by December, most of it with Melinda Loveless.
Hope Rippey

Hope Anna Rippey was born in Madison, in June 1976. Her father was an engineer at a power plant. Her parents divorced in February 1984, and she moved with her mother and siblings to Quincy, Michigan, for three years. She claimed that living with her family in Michigan was somewhat turbulent. Her parents resumed their relationship in Madison, Indiana, in 1987. She was reunited with friends Laurie Tackett and Toni Lawrence, whom she had known since childhood, although her parents saw Tackett as a bad influence. As with the other girls, Rippey began to self-harm at age fifteen.
Toni Lawrence

Toni Lawrence was born in Madison, in February 1976. Her father was a boilermaker. She was close friends with Hope Rippey since childhood. She was abused by a relative at age nine and was raped by a teenage boy at age 14, although the police were only able to issue an order to keep the boy away from Lawrence. She went into counseling after the incident but did not follow through. She became promiscuous, began to self-harm, and attempted suicide in eighth grade.
Events of January 10–11, 1992
Pre-abduction

On the night of January 10, 1992, Toni Lawrence (age 15), Hope Rippey (age 15), and Laurie Tackett (age 17) drove in Tackett’s car from Madison to Melinda Loveless’ house in New Albany. Lawrence, while a friend of Tackett, had not previously met Loveless (age 16), though Rippey had met her once before and had gotten along with her; however, upon arrival, they borrowed some clothes from Loveless, and she showed them a knife, telling them she was going to scare Shanda Sharer with it. Only Loveless had ever met Sharer, although Tackett already knew of the plan to intimidate the 12-year-old girl. Loveless explained to the two other girls that she disliked Sharer for being a copycat and for stealing her girlfriend.

Tackett let Rippey drive the four girls to Jeffersonville, Indiana, where Sharer lived, stopping at a McDonald’s restaurant en route to ask for directions. They arrived at Sharer’s house shortly before dark. Loveless instructed Rippey and Lawrence to go to the door and introduce themselves as friends of Heavrin (Loveless’ former and Sharer’s current girlfriend). They should invite Sharer to come with them to see Heavrin, who was waiting for them at “The Witch’s Castle”, a ruined stone house, also known as Mistletoe Falls, located on an isolated hill overlooking the Ohio River.

Sharer said that she could not go because her parents were awake, and she told the girls to come back around midnight. Loveless was angry at first, but Rippey and Lawrence assured her about returning for Sharer later. The four girls crossed the river to Louisville, Kentucky, and attended a punk rock show at the Audubon Skate Park near Interstate 65. Lawrence and Rippey quickly lost interest in the music and went to the parking lot outside the skate park, where they engaged in sexual activities with two boys in Tackett’s car.

Eventually, the four girls left for Sharer’s house. During the ride, Loveless said that she could not wait to kill Sharer; however, Loveless also said that she found Sharer attractive and would like to have sex with her and that she just intended to use the knife to frighten her. When they arrived at Sharer’s house at 12:30 a.m., Lawrence refused to retrieve Sharer, so Tackett and Rippey went to the door. Loveless hid under a blanket in the back seat of the car with a dull knife.
Abduction

Sharer was waiting for the girls. Rippey told her that Heavrin was still at the Witch’s Castle. Sharer was reluctant to go with them yet agreed after changing her clothes. As they got in the car, Rippey began questioning Sharer about her relationship with Heavrin just to trigger off Loveless. Loveless, having heard enough, sprang out from the back seat and put the knife to Sharer’s throat and began interrogating her about her sexual relationship with Heavrin. They drove towards Utica, Indiana, and the Witch’s Castle. Tackett told the girls that legend said the house was once owned by nine witches and that townspeople burned the house to get rid of the witches.

At Witch’s Castle, they took a sobbing Sharer in and bound her arms and legs with rope. There, Loveless taunted that she had pretty hair and wondered how pretty she would look if they were to cut it off, which frightened Sharer even more. Loveless began taking off Sharer’s rings and handed each to the girls. At some point, Rippey had taken Sharer’s Mickey Mouse watch and danced to the tune it played. Tackett, sick of the childish games, started describing the dungeon to Sharer, claiming that it was filled with human remains and Sharer’s would be next. Subsequently, Tackett went back to the car where Lawrence followed her to retrieve her cherished smiley face sweater. She returned and lit it on fire but immediately feared that the fire would be spotted by bypassing cars, so they left. During the car ride, Sharer continued begging them to take her back home. Tackett turned on a boom box sitting on her lap that played opera and mimicked Sharer, acting like she was crying, and laughed what she called her “devil laugh”. Loveless ordered Sharer to slip off her bra, which she then handed over to Rippey, who slid off her own bra and replaced it with Sharer’s while steering the car. They became lost, so they stopped for directions at a gas station, where they covered Sharer in a blanket. While Tackett went inside to ask for directions, Lawrence called a boy she knew in Louisville and chatted for several minutes to ease her worries, but did not mention Sharer’s abduction. They returned to the car but became lost again and pulled up to another gas station. There, Lawrence and Rippey spotted a couple of boys and talked to them before once again getting back into the car and leaving, arriving some time later at the edge of some woods near Tackett’s home in Madison, Indiana.
Torture

Tackett led them to a garbage dump off a logging road in a densely forested area. Lawrence and Rippey were frightened and stayed in the car. Loveless and Tackett made Sharer strip naked; then, Loveless beat Sharer with her fists. Next, Loveless repeatedly slammed Sharer’s face into her knee, which cut Sharer’s mouth on her own braces. Loveless tried to slash Sharer’s throat, but the knife was too dull. Rippey came out of the car to hold down Sharer. Loveless and Tackett took turns stabbing Sharer in the chest. They then strangled Sharer with a rope until she was unconscious, placed her in the trunk of the car, and told the other two girls that Sharer was dead.

The girls drove to Tackett’s nearby home and went inside to drink soda and clean themselves. When they realized Sharer was screaming in the trunk, Tackett went out with a paring knife and stabbed her several more times, coming back a few minutes later covered with blood. After she washed, Tackett told the girls’ futures with her “runestones”. At 2:30 a.m., Lawrence and Rippey stayed behind as Tackett and Loveless went “country cruising”, driving to the nearby town of Canaan. Sharer continued to make crying and gurgling noises, so Tackett stopped the car. When they opened the trunk, Sharer sat up, covered in blood with her eyes rolled back in her head, but unable to speak. Tackett beat her with a tire iron until she was silent.

Loveless and Tackett returned to Tackett’s house just before daybreak to clean up again. Rippey asked about Sharer, and Tackett laughingly described the torture. The conversation woke up Tackett’s mother, who yelled at her daughter for being out late and bringing home the girls, so Tackett agreed to take them home. She drove to the burn pile, where they opened the trunk to stare at Sharer. Lawrence refused. Rippey sprayed Sharer with Windex and taunted, “You’re not looking so hot now, are you? Now let’s take her pants off and get to it ladies!”
Burned alive

The girls drove to a gas station near Madison Consolidated High School, pumped some gasoline into the car, and bought a two-liter bottle of Pepsi. Tackett poured out the Pepsi and refilled the bottle with gasoline. They drove north of Madison, past Jefferson Proving Ground to Lemon Road off U.S. Route 421, a place known to Rippey. Lawrence remained in the car while Tackett and Rippey wrapped Sharer, who was still alive, in a blanket, and carried her to a field by the gravel country road. Tackett made Rippey pour the gasoline on Sharer, and then they set her on fire. Loveless was not convinced Sharer was dead, so they returned a few minutes later to pour the rest of the gasoline on her.

The girls went to a McDonald’s restaurant at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast, where they laughed about Sharer’s looking like one of the sausages they were eating. Lawrence, horrified, phoned a friend and told her about the murder. Tackett then dropped off Lawrence and Rippey at their homes and finally returned to her own home with Loveless. She told Heavrin that they had killed Sharer and arranged to pick up Heavrin later that day.

A friend of Loveless’, Crystal Wathen, came over to Loveless’ house, and they told her what had happened. Then, the three girls drove to pick up Heavrin and bring her back to Loveless’ house, where they told Heavrin the story; although she did not believe it was true, Heavrin comforted the hysterical Loveless. Both Heavrin and Wathen became convinced when Tackett showed them the trunk of the car with Sharer’s bloody handprints and socks still there. Heavrin was horrified and asked to be taken home. When they pulled up in front of her house, Loveless kissed Heavrin and told her she loved her and pleaded her not to tell anyone. Heavrin promised she would not before entering her house.
Investigation

Later on the morning of January 11, 1992, two brothers from Canaan, Indiana, were driving toward Jefferson Proving Ground to go hunting when they noticed a body on the side of the road. They called the police at 10:55 a.m. and were asked to return to the corpse. David Camm, who was later acquitted of his own family’s murders, was one of the responding officers. Jefferson County Sheriff Buck Shippley and detectives began an investigation, collecting forensic evidence at the scene. They initially suspected a drug deal gone wrong and could not believe the crime had been committed by locals.

Stephen Sharer noticed his daughter missing early on January 11. After phoning neighbors and friends all morning, he called his ex-wife, Shanda’s mother, at 1:45 p.m.; they met and filed a missing person report with the Clark County sheriff.

At 8:20 p.m., a hysterical Toni Lawrence went to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office with her parents. She gave a rambling statement, identifying the victim as “Shanda”, naming the three other girls involved as best she could, and describing the main events of the previous night. Shippley contacted the Clark County sheriff and was finally able to match the body to Shanda Sharer’s missing person report.

Detectives obtained dental records that positively identified Shanda Sharer as the victim. Loveless and Tackett were arrested on January 12. The bulk of the evidence for the arrest warrant was Lawrence’s statement. The prosecution immediately declared its intention to try both suspects as adults. For several months, the prosecutors and defense attorneys did not release any information about the case, giving the news media only the statement by Lawrence.
Judicial process
Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana
Timeline
January 11, 1992     Body of Shanda Sharer found in rural Jefferson County, Indiana
April 22, 1992     Lawrence accepts plea bargain
September 21, 1992     Loveless and Tackett accept plea bargains
January 4, 1993     Loveless sentenced to 60 years
December 14, 2000     Lawrence released on parole
November 3, 2004     A judge reduces Rippey’s sentence to 35 years
April 28, 2006     Rippey released on parole

All four girls were charged as adults. To avoid the death penalty, the girls accepted plea bargains.
Mitigating factors

All four girls had troubled backgrounds with claims of physical or sexual abuse committed by a parent or other adult. Hope Rippey, Toni Lawrence, and Laurie Tackett had histories of self-harming behavior. Tackett was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and suffering from hallucinations.

Melinda Loveless, often described as the ringleader in the attack, had the most extensive history of abuse and mental health issues.
Sentences

In exchange for her cooperation, Lawrence was allowed to plead guilty to one count of Criminal Confinement and was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.

Tackett and Loveless were sentenced to 60 years in the Indiana Women’s Prison in Indianapolis. With maximum time reduced for good behavior, they could be released in 2020.

Rippey was sentenced to 60 years, with ten years suspended for mitigating circumstances, plus ten years of medium-supervision probation. On appeals, a judge reduced the sentence to 35 years.
Appeals

In October 2007, Loveless’ attorney, Mark Small, requested a hearing to argue for his client’s release. He said that Loveless had been “profoundly retarded” by childhood abuse. Moreover, she had not been represented competently by counsel during her sentencing, which caused her to accept a plea bargain in the face of exaggerated claims about her chances of receiving the death penalty. Small also argued that Loveless, who was 16 years old when she signed the plea agreement, was too young to enter into a contract in the state of Indiana without consent from a parent or guardian, which had not been obtained. If the judge accepted these arguments, Loveless could have been retried or released outright.

On January 8, 2008, Loveless’ request was rejected by Jefferson Circuit Judge Ted Todd. Instead, Loveless will be eligible for parole in 15 years, thus maintaining the original guilty plea.

On November 14, 2008, Loveless’ appeal was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals, upholding Judge Todd’s ruling. Small stated that he would seek to have jurisdiction over the case moved to the Supreme Court of Indiana.
Incarceration

Both Loveless and Tackett are currently serving their original sentences. Given Indiana’s policy of reducing sentences by a day for every day served with good behavior, both women could possibly be released from prison in 2022, when Loveless is 46 and Tackett is 47 years old.
Releases

Toni Lawrence was released on December 14, 2000, after serving 9 years. She remained on parole until December 2002.

On April 28, 2006, Hope Rippey was released from Indiana Women’s Prison on parole after serving 14 years of her original sentence. She remained on supervised parole for 5 years.
Aftermath

During Melinda Loveless’ sentencing hearing, extensive open court testimony revealed that her father, Larry Loveless, had abused his wife, his daughters, and other children. Consequently, he was arrested in February 1993 on charges of rape, sodomy, and sexual battery. Most of the crimes occurred from 1968 to 1977. Loveless remained in prison for over two years awaiting trial; however, a judge eventually ruled that all charges except one count of sexual battery had to be dropped due to the statute of limitations, which was five years in Indiana. Loveless pleaded guilty to the one count of sexual battery. He received a sentence of time served and was released in June 1995.

A few weeks following his release, Loveless unsuccessfully sued the Floyd County Jail for $39 million in federal court, alleging he had suffered cruel and unusual punishment during his two-year incarceration. Among his complaints—he was not allowed to sleep in his bed during the day and he was not allowed to read the newspaper.

Shanda Sharer’s father, Stephen Sharer, died of alcoholism in 2005 at the age of 53. He was extremely depressed following the death of his daughter, and so, according to his wife, “drank himself to death”.

The Shanda Sharer Scholarship Fund was established in January 2009. The fund plans to provide scholarships to two students per year from Prosser School of Technology in New Albany; one scholarship will go to a student who is continuing his or her education, and the other scholarship will go to a student who is beginning his or her career and must buy tools or other work equipment. According to the rules of the fund, the scholarship recipient will also be given a plaque or document of some type that tells Shanda Sharer’s story.

In 2012, Shanda Sharer’s mother, Jacque Vaught, made her first contact with Melinda Loveless since the trials, although indirectly. Vaught donated a dog for Loveless to train for the Indiana Canine Assistance Network program (ICAN), which provides service pets to people with disabilities. Loveless has trained dogs for the program for several years. Vaught reported that she has endured criticism over the decision, but defends it saying, “It’s my choice to make. [Shanda]’s my child. If you don’t let good things come from bad things, nothing gets better. And I know what my child would want. My child would want this.” Vaught stated that she hopes to donate a dog every year in honor of Shanda.

Carl Tanzler


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Carl Tanzler, or sometimes Count Carl von Cosel (February 8, 1877 – July 3, 1952), was a German-born radiologic technologist at the United States Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida who developed a morbid obsession for a young Cuban-American tuberculosis patient, Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos (July 31, 1909 – October 25, 1931), that carried on well after the disease had caused her death. In 1933, almost two years after her death, Tanzler removed Hoyos’s body from its tomb, and lived with the corpse at his home for seven years until its discovery by Hoyos’s relatives and authorities in 1940.
Name

Tanzler went by many names; he was listed as Georg Karl Tänzler on his German marriage certificate. He was listed as Carl Tanzler von Cosel on his United States citizenship papers, and he was listed as Carl Tanzler on his Florida death certificate. Some of his hospital records were signed Count Carl Tanzler von Cosel.

Early life

He was born as Karl Tänzler or Georg Karl Tänzler on February 8, 1877 in Dresden, Germany. Around 1920 he married Doris Anna Shafer (1889–1977) and he was listed as “Georg Karl Tänzler” on the marriage certificate. Together they had two children: Ayesha Tanzler (1922–1998), and Crystal Tanzler (1924–1934), who died of diphtheria.

Tanzler grew up in Germany. The following “Editorial Note“ accompanying the autobiographical account “The Trial Bay Organ: A Product of Wit and Ingenuity” by “Carl von Cosel,“ in the Rosicrucian Digest of March and April 1939, gives details about his stay in Australia before and during World War I and his return to Germany after the war:

Many years ago, Carl von Cosel travelled from India to Australia with the intention of proceeding to the South Seas Islands. He paused in Australia to collect equipment and suitable boats, and to become acquainted with prevailing weather and sea conditions. However, he became interested in engineering and electrical work there, bought property, boats, an organ, an island in the Pacific—so that he was still in Australia at the end of ten years. He had just begun to build a trans-ocean flyer when the war broke out and the British military authorities placed him in a concentration camp for ‘safe-keeping’ along with many officers India and China who were prisoners of war. Later he was removed to Trial Bay to a castle-like prison on the cliffs, and there the work in this narrative was accomplished. At the end of the war no prisoner was permitted to return to his former residence, but all were shipped to the prisoner’s exchange in Holland. When Carl von Cosel was released he set out to find his mother from whom he had not heard since the beginning of the war. Finding her safe, he remained with her for three years, witnessing the chaos that followed in the wake of the war. … Finally, she suggested that her son return to his sister in the United States …

Tanzler’s account of Trial Bay Gaol, his secret building of a sailing boat, etc., is confirmed by Nyanatiloka Thera, who mentions that he planned to escape from the Gaol with ”Count Carl von Cosel” in a sailing boat, and provides other information about the interment of Germans in Australia during WWI.

Tanzler emigrated to the United States in 1926, sailing from Rotterdam on February 6, 1926 to Havana, Cuba. From Cuba he settled in Zephyrhills, Florida, to where his sister had already emigrated, and was later joined by his wife and two daughters. Leaving his family behind in Zephyrhills in 1927, he took a job as a radiologic technologist at the U.S. Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida under the name Carl von Cosel.

During his childhood in Germany, and later while traveling briefly in Genoa, Italy, Tanzler claimed to have been visited by visions of a dead ancestor, Countess Anna Constantia von Cosel, who revealed the face of his true love, an exotic dark-haired woman, to him.
Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos

On April 22, 1930, while working at the Marine Hospital in Key West, Tanzler met Maria Elena “Helen” Milagro de Hoyos (1909–1931), a local Cuban-American woman who had been brought to the hospital by her mother for an examination. Tanzler immediately recognized her as the beautiful dark-haired woman that had been revealed to him in his earlier “visions.” By all accounts, Hoyos was viewed as a local beauty in Key West.

Elena was the daughter of local cigar maker Francisco “Pancho” Hoyos (1883–1934) and Aurora Milagro (1881–1940). She had two sisters, Florinda “Nana” Milagro Hoyos (1906–1944), who married Mario Medina (c.1905–1944) and also succumbed to tuberculosis; and Celia Milagro Hoyos (1913–?). Medina, Nana’s husband, was electrocuted trying to rescue a coworker who hit a powerline with his crane at a construction site.

On February 18, 1926, Hoyos married Luis Mesa (1908–?), the son of Caridad and Isaac Mesa. Luis left Hoyos shortly after Hoyos miscarried the couple’s child, and moved to Miami. Hoyos was legally married to Mesa at the time of her death.

Hoyos was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis, a typically fatal disease at the time, that eventually claimed the lives of almost all of her entire immediate family. Tanzler, with his self-professed medical knowledge, attempted to treat and cure Hoyos with a variety of medicines, as well as x-ray and electrical equipment, that were brought to the Hoyoses’ home. Tanzler showered Hoyos with gifts of jewelry and clothing, and allegedly professed his love to her, but no evidence has surfaced to show that any of his affection was reciprocated by Hoyos.
Morbid obsession

Despite Tanzler’s best efforts, Hoyos died of terminal tuberculosis at her parents’ home in Key West on October 25, 1931. Tanzler paid for her funeral, and with the permission of her family he then commissioned the construction of an above ground mausoleum in the Key West Cemetery, which he visited almost every night.

One evening in April, 1933, Tanzler crept through the cemetery where Hoyos was buried and removed her body from the mausoleum, carting it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transporting it to his home. He reportedly said that Elena’s spirit would come to him when he would sit by her grave and serenade her corpse with a favorite Spanish song. He also said that she would often tell him to take her from the grave. Tanzler attached the corpse’s bones together with wire and coat hangers, and fitted the face with glass eyes. As the skin of the corpse decomposed, Tanzler replaced it with silk cloth soaked in wax and plaster of paris. As the hair fell out of the decomposing scalp, Tanzler fashioned a wig from Hoyos’s hair that had been collected by her mother and given to Tanzler not long after her burial in 1931. Tanzler filled the corpse’s abdominal and chest cavity with rags to keep the original form, dressed Hoyos’s remains in stockings, jewelry, and gloves, and kept the body in his bed. Tanzler also used copious amounts of perfume, disinfectants, and preserving agents, to mask the odor and forestall the effects of the corpse’s decomposition.

In October, 1940, Elena’s sister Florinda heard rumors of Tanzler sleeping with the disinterred body of her sister, and confronted Tanzler at his home, where Hoyos’s body was eventually discovered. Florinda notified the authorities, and Tanzler was arrested and detained. Tanzler was psychiatrically examined, and found mentally competent to stand trial on the charge of “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization.” After a preliminary hearing on October 9, 1940 at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West, Tanzler was held to answer on the charge, but the case was eventually dropped and he was released, as the statute of limitations for the crime had expired.

Shortly after the corpse’s discovery by authorities, Hoyos’s body was examined by physicians and pathologists, and put on public display at the Dean-Lopez Funeral Home, where it was viewed by as many as 6,800 people. Hoyos’s body was eventually returned to the Key West Cemetery where the remains were buried in an unmarked grave, in a secret location, to prevent further tampering.

The facts underlying the case and the preliminary hearing drew much interest from the media at the time (most notably, from the Key West Citizen and Miami Herald), and created a sensation among the public, both regionally and nationwide. The public mood was generally sympathetic to Tanzler, whom many viewed as an eccentric “romantic”.

Though not reported contemporaneously, research (most notably by authors Harrison and Swicegood) has revealed evidence of Tanzler’s necrophilia with Hoyos’s corpse. Two physicians (Dr. DePoo and Dr. Foraker) who attended the 1940 autopsy of Hoyos’s remains recalled in 1972 that a paper tube had been inserted in the vaginal area of the corpse that allowed for intercourse. Others contend that since no evidence of necrophilia was presented at the 1940 preliminary hearing, and because the physicians’ “proof” surfaced in 1972, over 30 years after the case had been dismissed, the necrophilia allegation is questionable. While no existing contemporary photographs of the autopsy or photographs taken at the public display show a tube, the necrophilia claim was repeated by the HBO Autopsy program in 2005.
Later life and death

In 1944, Tanzler moved to Pasco County, Florida close to Zephyrhills, Florida, where he wrote an autobiography that appeared in the Pulp publication, Fantastic Adventures, in 1947. His home was near his wife Doris, who apparently helped to support Tanzler in his later years. Tanzler received United States citizenship in 1950 in Tampa.

Separated from his obsession, Tanzler used a death mask to create a life-sized effigy of Hoyos, and lived with it until his death on July 3, 1952. His body was discovered on the floor of his home three weeks after his death. He died under the name “Carl Tanzler”.

It has been recounted that Tanzler was found in the arms of the Hoyos effigy upon discovery of his corpse, but his obituary reported that he died on the floor behind one of his organs. The obituary recounted: “a metal cylinder on a shelf above a table in it wrapped in silken cloth and a robe was a waxen image”.

It has been written (most notably by Swicegood) that Tanzler had the bodies switched (or that Hoyos’s remains were secretly returned to him), and that he died with the real body of Elena

 

elena2
Maria Elena Milagro de Hayos corpse

 

Sir Jeffrey Hudson


(c) National Trust, Hardwick Hall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) National Trust, Hardwick Hall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Sir Jeffrey Hudson (1619 – circa 1682) was an English court dwarf at the court of Queen Henrietta Maria. He was famous as the “Queen’s dwarf” and “Lord Minimus”, and was considered one of the “wonders of the age” because of his extreme but well-proportioned smallness. He fought with the Royalists in the English Civil War and fled with the Queen to France but was expelled from her court when he killed a man in a duel. He was captured by Barbary pirates and spent 25 years as a slave in North Africa before being ransomed back to England.

Early life and rise to prominence

Jeffrey was baptised in Oakham in Rutland on 14 June 1619. His parents, three brothers, and a half-sister were all of typical size. Hudson’s father John was keeper of the baiting bulls for George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Jeffrey’s marvellous smallness and normal proportions became apparent in early childhood. Various theories existed for his size, including that his mother choked on a gherkin while pregnant, but he in fact suffered from a growth hormone deficiency caused by a misfiring pituitary gland.

On his seventh birthday, in 1626, Jeffrey Hudson was presented to the Duchess of Buckingham as a “rarity of nature” and she invited him to join the household. A few months later, the Duke and Duchess entertained King Charles and his young French wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, in London. The climax of the lavish banquet was the presentation of Jeffrey to the Queen, served in a large pie. When the pie was placed in front of the Queen, Jeffrey arose from the crust, 18 inches (45 cm) tall and dressed in a miniature suit of armour. The Queen was delighted and the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham offered Hudson to her as an amusing gift.
Jeffrey at the Queen’s court

Jeffrey moved into Denmark House in London in late 1626, where the Queen maintained her royal household, with its many French attendants and Catholic priests. He was one of several natural curiosities and pets, among whom were a giant Welsh porter named William Evans, two disproportionate dwarfs, and a monkey called Pug. He later developed a routine with Evans in which the porter pulled Jeffrey out of his pocket along with a loaf of bread, and proceeded to make a sandwich. As he “grew up” in years, if not in inches, Jeffrey learned to amuse and entertain with his wit and courtly behaviour as well as his appearance. Dwarfs were not rare in the courts of Europe but Jeffrey’s fine proportions and tiny size made him uniquely famous. His size was repeatedly described as 18 or 19 inches and he is reported to have grown little between 7 and 30 years of age. He was often cast in picturesque roles in the elaborate costumed masques which were staged by Inigo Jones for the amusement of the court.

Although the courtiers mixed for common events, King Charles I and his young wife maintained separate courts and households in London. Henrietta was French, and Roman Catholic, and her presence in London was a potential source of tension despite the value of the marriage in maintaining a friendly relationship with France. There were political disputes over the size of her court, especially the number of priests. She was allowed to have a chapel constructed in Denmark House for Roman Catholic church services, the only place in the kingdom where this was permitted. Over the years the relationship between Henrietta and Charles grew stronger as the relationship between Charles and much of England grew worse.

In 1630, at about 10 years of age, Jeffrey was included in a mission to France. Although the principal purpose of the mission was to return with a midwife for the Queen’s first pregnancy, it is likely that Jeffrey was sent for the appreciation of the French court. On the return journey across the channel their ship was captured by Dunkirk pirates, who plundered the ship but eventually released them to return to England. Hudson’s second trip across the Channel occurred in 1637, at age 18, when a group of courtiers travelled to the Netherlands to observe the siege of Breda, as the Dutch were attempting to expel the Spanish army.

Jeffrey was educated in the Queen’s household and learned the manners of the court. He was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church of her household. He learned to ride a horse and shoot a pistol. He was celebrated in a variety of poems and narratives of the day. However, despite his wit and intelligence, it was the novelty of his shortness that was most prized and all understood that if he had been of normal height he would have had no place at court. This is explicitly acknowledged in one of several adulatory poems.
The coming of the Civil War and the dissolution of the court

By 1640 the relationship between King Charles and the Parliament had deteriorated to the point of plots and attempted arrests. Armed conflict broke out between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians in 1642. As Charles led the Royalist army, the Queen took a small number of her retinue, including Hudson, to the Netherlands to raise money and support for him. By selling articles from her palace she raised enough to buy some supplies for the Royalist army but was unsuccessful in obtaining official support from the Protestant Dutch government. She returned to England with her courtiers and they found themselves in the middle of a civil war.

They were able to join Royalist forces at Oxford. The Queen appointed Hudson a “Captain of Horse.” It is not known whether he commanded troops or saw combat in one of Prince Rupert’s cavalry raids, but he considered the appointment an honour rather than a joke and later in life continued to style himself Captain Jeffrey Hudson.

As it became apparent that the war was broadening rather than concluding, the Queen fled to France in 1643 with a small group of courtiers and household staff, again including Hudson. Although they were warmly received in France and provided with space in the Louvre palace, the Queen was ailing after a difficult delivery and she soon moved her court in exile to the spa at Nevers.
Duel and disaster

Royalist courtiers collected around the Queen, but Hudson apparently had no interest in resuming his role of pet or clown and let it be known he would suffer no more jokes or insults. There is no record of the precise offence offered, but in October 1644, Hudson challenged the brother of William Crofts to a duel. Crofts arrived at the duel brandishing a large squirt, but his flippancy would lead to his death, as Hudson fatally shot him in the forehead. Crofts’ death was a disaster for Hudson. Duelling had been outlawed in France and this could be considered a transgression against hospitality, in addition to the fact that William Crofts was a powerful figure as the Queen’s Master of Horse and head of her lifeguard. He was initially sentenced to death, but the Queen had this commuted to exile, and he was sent back to England.
Slavery and redemption, poverty and death

Hudson’s movements after leaving the Queen’s court in late 1644, aged 25 years, are unknown. Within months he was on a ship captured by the Barbary pirates. Hudson was taken to North Africa as a slave, where he spent perhaps his next 25 years labouring. The date and circumstances of his rescue or redemption are not known but it was in the 1660s that several missions were sent from England to Algeria and Tunis to ransom English captives, and his first documented presence back in England was in 1669. No details of his captivity were recorded except one fact: he claimed to have grown to 45 inches during this time, doubling his height after 30 years of age, which he attributed to the buggery he had regularly suffered at the hands of his captors.

The few contemporary records of Hudson’s years between 1669 and his death in 1682 consist of a few receipts for grants of money from the Duke of Buckingham and the new King. He did not return to the Queen’s court, even after the royal Restoration in 1660 and her return at the invitation of her son, Charles II. She resided in London only 5 years, fleeing to France during the London plague of 1665. She died in France in 1669, the year Hudson first reappeared in English records.

Jeffrey Hudson lived in Oakham for several years, where he was interviewed and a short record of his life made, by an antiquarian named James Wright. In 1676 Hudson returned to London, perhaps to seek a pension from the royal court. He had the misfortune of arriving at a time of turbulent anti-Catholic activity, which included the “Popish Plot” of Titus Oates (also from Oakham), and was imprisoned “for a considerable time” at the Gatehouse prison. Being a “Roman Catholick” was his only recorded offence, but he was not released until 1680. He died about two years later on an unknown date, in unknown circumstances, buried in an unmarked Catholic paupers’ grave

The Siege of Antioch


Siege-Antioch

The Siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim-held city, lasted from 21 October 1097 to 2 June 1098. Antioch lay in a strategic location on the crusaders’ route to Palestine. Supplies, reinforcements and retreat could all be controlled by the city. Anticipating that it would be attacked, the Muslim governor of the city, Yaghi-Siyan, began stockpilling food and sending requests for help. The Byzantine walls surrounding the city presented a formidable obstacle to its capture, but the leaders of the crusade felt compelled to besiege Antioch anyway.

The crusaders arrived outside the city on 21 October and began the siege. The garrison sortied unsuccessfully on 29 December. After stripping the surrounding area of food, the crusaders were forced to look farther afield for supplies, opening themselves to ambush and while searching for food on 31 December, a force of 20,000 crusaders encountered a relief force led by Duqaq of Damascus heading to Antioch and defeated the army. However, supplies dwindled and in early 1098 one in seven of the crusaders was dying from starvation and people began deserting in January.

A second relief force, this time under the command of Ridwan of Aleppo, advanced towards Antioch, arriving on 9 February. Like the army of Duqaq before, it was defeated. Antioch was captured on 3 June, although the citadel remained in the hands of the Muslim defenders. Kerbogha began the second siege, against the crusaders who had occupied Antioch, which lasted from 7 June to 28 June 1098. The second siege ended when the crusaders exited the city to engage Kerbogha’s army in battle and succeeded in defeating them. On seeing the Muslim army routed, the defenders remaining in the citadel surrendered.

Background

There are a number of contemporaneous sources relating to the Siege of Antioch and the First Crusade. There are four narrative accounts: those of Fulcher of Chartres, Peter Tudebode, and Raymond of Aguilers, and the anonymous Gesta Francorum. Nine letters survive relating to or from the crusading army; five of them were written while the siege was underway and another in September, not long after the city had been taken.

While there are many sources the number of people on crusade is unclear because they fluctuated regularly and many non-combatants on pilgrimage accompanied the soldiers. Historian Jonathan Riley-Smith offers a rough guide, suggesting that perhaps 43,000 people (including soldiers, armed poor, and non-combatants) were involved in the Siege of Nicaea in June 1097, while as few as 15,000 may have taken part in the Siege of Jerusalem in July 1099.

Lying on the slopes of the Orontes Valley, in 1097 Antioch covered more than 3.5 square miles (9 km2) and was encircled by walls studded by 400 towers. The river ran along the city’s northern wall before entering Antioch from the northwest and exiting east through the northern half of the city. Mount Silpius, crested by a citadel, was the Antioch’s highest point and rose some 1,000 feet (300 m) above the valley floor. There were six gates through which the city could be entered: three along the northern wall, and one on each of the south, east, and west sides.

The valley slopes made approaching from the south, east, or west difficult, so the most practical access route for a large number of people was from the north across flatter ground. The city’s defences dated from the reign of the Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. Though Antioch changed hands twice between then and the arrival of the crusaders in 1097, each time it was the result of betrayal rather than inadequacy of the defences.

After the Byzantine Empire reconquered Antioch in 969 a programme of fortification building was undertaken in the surrounding area to secure the gains. As part of this, a citadel was built on Mount Silpius in Antioch. High enough to be separate from the city below, historian Hugh Kennedy opined that it “[relied] on inaccessibility as its main defence”. At its fall to Seljuk Turks in 1085, Antioch was the last Byzantine fortification in Syria. Yaghi-Siyan was made Governor of Antioch in 1087 and held the position when the crusaders arrived in 1097.

Yaghi-Siyan was aware of the approaching crusader army as it marched through Anatolia in 1097; the city stood between the crusaders and Palestine. Though under Muslim control, the majority of Antioch’s inhabitants were Christians. Yaghi-Siyan had previously been tolerant of the Christian populace, however that changed as the crusaders approached. To prepare for their arrival he imprisoned the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, John the Oxite, turned St Paul’s Cathedral into a stable and expelled many leading Christians from the city. Yaghi-Siyan then sent out appeals for help: his request was turned down by Ridwan of Aleppo because of personal animosity, however Yaghi-Siyan was more successful in his approaches to other nobles in the region and Duqaq of Damascus, Toghtekin, Kerbogha, the sultans of Baghdad and Persia, and the emir of Homs all agreed to send reinforcements. Meanwhile, back in Antioch Yaghi-Siyan began stockpiling supplies in anticipation of a siege.

Knowing they had to capture Antioch, the crusaders considered how best to go about the task. Attrition suffered during the army’s long journey across Anatolia meant the leaders considered leaving an assault until reinforcements arrived in spring. Tatikios, the Byzantine advisor to the crusade, suggested adopting tactics similar to those used by the Byzantines themselves when they moved to capture Antioch in 968. They had installed themselves at Baghras some 12 miles (19 km) away and from there conducted a blockade of the city by cutting of its lines of communication. Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, was alone in advocating assaulting the city. In the end, the crusaders chose to advance on Antioch and establish a siege close to Antioch.
First siege
Starting the siege

On 20 October 1097 they reached a fortified crossing, known as Iron Bridge, on the Orontes River 12 miles (19 km) outside Antioch. Robert II, Count of Flanders and Adhemar of Le Puy led the charge across the bridge, opening the way for the advancing army. Bohemond of Taranto took a vanguard along the river’s south bank and headed towards Antioch on 21 October and the crusaders established themselves outside the city’s north wall. The crusaders divided into several groups. Bohemond camped outside Saint Paul’s Gate near the northernmost corner of the city walls and immediately to the west were Hugh I, Count of Vermandois; Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy; Robert II, Count of Flanders; and Stephen II, Count of Blois. Adhemar of Le Puy and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, took up positions outside the Dog Gate either side of where the Orontes penetrated Antioch’s defences. Godfrey of Bouillon was stationed west of the Duke’s Gate in the northwest of the city walls. The bridge across the Orontes outside Antioch’s west walls remained under Yaghi-Siyan’s control at this point. The ensuing nine-month siege has been described as “one of the great sieges of the age”.

The sources emphasise that a direct assault would have failed. For instance Raymond of Aguilers noted that the chaplain of Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, said “[Antioch] is so well fortified that it need not fear attack by machinery nor the assault of man, even if all mankind came together against it”. According to Fulcher of Chartres the leaders resolved to maintain the siege until the city was forced into submission. Though his figures may not be accurate, Raymond of Aguilers gave an account of the army defending the city: “There were, furthermore, in the city two thousand of the best knights, and four or five thousand common knights and ten thousand more footmen”.

One of the problems of camping so close to the city was that it left the besiegers vulnerable to sorties from the garrison and even missiles. For the first fortnight of the siege the crusaders were able to forage in the surrounding area as the defenders chose not to leave the safety of the city walls, however in November Yaghi-Siyan learned that the crusaders felt the city would not fall to an assault so was able to turn his attentions from the defensive to harrying the besiegers. He mobilised his cavalry and began harassing the besiegers. With the immediate area stripped clean, the crusaders’ foraging parties had to search further afield for supplies leaving them more vulnerable and on several occasions were attacked by the garrisons of nearby fortifications. Yaghi-Siyan’s men also used the Dog Bridge, outside the Dog Gate to harass the crusaders. Adhemar of Le Puy and Raymond IV’s men, who were camped closest to the bridge attempted to destroy it using picks and hammers but made little impact on the strong structure while under missile fire from Antioch’s defenders. Another attempt was made to render the bridge unusable, this time with a mobile shelter to protect the crusaders, but the garrison sortied and successfully drove them away. Soon after three siege engines were built opposite the Dog Gate. In the end, the crusaders erected a blockade on the bridge to obstruct potential sorties.

The port of St Symeon on the Mediterranean coast, 9 miles (14 km) west of Antioch would allow the crusaders to bring reinforcements. Raymond of Aguilers mentions that the English landed at the port before the crusade reached Antioch, but did not record whether a battle for control of St Symeon took place. Reinforcements in the form of thirteen Genoese ships reached St Symeon on 17 November, and though the route from Antioch to St Symeon ran close to the city walls, meaning the garrison could impede travel, joined up with the rest of the crusaders. According to the Genoese chronicler Caffaro di Rustico da Caschifellone, the Genoese suffered heavy casualties en route from St Symeon to Antioch. Bohemond’s troops built a counterfort outside Saint Paul’s Gate in Antioch’s northeast wall to protect themselves against missiles from Antioch’s defenders. Known as Malregard, the fort was built on a hill and probably consisted of earthen ramparts. The construction has been dated to around the time the Genoese arrived. The crusaders were further bolstered by the arrival of Tancred, who set up camp to the west of his uncle, Bohemond.
Winter

As the crusaders’ food supply reached critical levels in December, Godfrey fell ill. On 28 December Bohemond and Robert of Flanders took about 20,000 men and went foraging for food and plunder upstream of the Orontes. Knowing the crusaders’ force had been divided, Yaghi-Siyan waited until the night of 29 December before making a sortie. He attacked Count Raymond’s encampment across the river, and though caught by surprise Count Raymond was able to recover and turn Yaghi-Siyan’s men back. He almost succeeded in reversing the attack entirely, forcing a way across the bridge and establishing a foothold on the other side and holding open the city gates. As the crusaders threatened to take the city, a horse lost its rider and, in the ensuing confusion in the dark, the crusaders panicked and withdrew across the bridge with the Turks in pursuit. The stalemate was restored, and both sides had suffered losses.

While Count Raymond was repulsing a sally from Antioch’s garrison, an army under the leadership of Duqaq of Damascas was en route to relieve Antioch. Bohemond and Raymond of Flanders were unaware that their foraging party was heading towards Duqaq’s men. On 30 December news reached Duqaq while his army was at Shaizar that the crusaders were nearby. On the morning of 31 December Duqaq marched towards Bohemond and Raymond’s army and the two met at the village of Albara. Robert was the first to encounter Duqaq’s men as he was marching ahead of Bohemond. Bohemond joined the battle and with Robert fought back Duqaq’s army and inflicted heavy casualties. Though they fought off Duqaq’s army, which retreated to Hama, the crusaders suffered too many casualties to keep foraging and returned to Antioch. As a result of the fight the crusaders lost the flock they had gathered for food and returned with less food than they needed. The month ended inauspiciously for both sides: there was an earthquake on 30 December, and the following weeks saw such unseasonably bad rain and cold weather that Duqaq had to return home without further engaging the crusaders. The crusaders feared the rain and earthquake were signs they had lost God’s favour, and to atone for their sins such as pillaging Adhemar of Le Puy ordered that a three-day fast should be observed. In any case at this time supplies were running dangerously low, and soon after one in seven men was dying of starvation.

Though local Christians brought food to the crusaders they charged extortionate prices. The famine also affected the horses, and soon only 700 remained. The extent to which the crusader army was affected is difficult to gauge, but according to Matthew of Edessa one in five crusaders died from starvation during the siege and the poorer members were probably worse off. The famine damaged morale and some knights and soldiers began to desert in January 1098, including Peter the Hermit and William the Carpenter. On hearing of the desertion of such prominent figures, Bohemond despatched a force to bring them back. Peter was pardoned while William was berated and made to swear he would remain with the crusade.
Spring

The arrival of spring in February saw the food situation improve for the crusaders. That month Tatikios repeated his earlier advice to resort to a long-distance blockade but his suggestion was ignored; he then left the army and returned home. Tatikios explained to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos that Bohemond had informed him that there was a plan to kill him, as they believed Alexios was secretly encouraging the Turks. Those close to Bohemond claimed that this was treachery or cowardice, reason enough to break any obligations to return Antioch to the Byzantines. News arrived that a Turkish army was approaching and Bohemond used the situation to his advantage. He declared that he would leave unless he was allowed to keep Antioch for himself when it was captured. Knowing fully that Bohemond had designs on taking the city for himself, and that he had probably engineered Tatikios’ departure in order to facilitate this, Godfrey and Raymond did not give in to his demands, but Bohemond gained the sympathies and cooperation of the minor knights and soldiers.

Yaghi-Siyan had reconciled with Ridwan of Allepo and the advancing army was under his command. In early February news reached the besiegers that Ridwan had taken nearby Harim where he was preparing to advance on Antioch. At Bohemond’s suggestion, the crusaders sent all their cavalry (numbering about 700 knights) to meet the advancing army while the infantry remained behind in case Antioch’s defenders decided to attack. On the morning of 9 February, Ridwan moved towards the Iron Bridge. The crusaders had moved into position the previous night and charged the advancing army before it reached the bridge. The first charge caused few casualties, but Ridwan’s army followed the crusaders to a narrow battlefield. With the river on one side and the Lake of Antioch on the other, Ridwan was unable to outflank the crusaders and exploit his superior numbers. A second charge had more impact and the Turkish army withdrew in disorder. At the same time, Yaghi-Siyan had led his garrison out of Antioch and attacked the crusader infantry. His offensive was forcing the besiegers back until the knights returned. Realising Ridwan had been defeated, Yaghi-Siyan retreated inside the city. As Ridwan’s army passed through Harim panic spread to the garrison he had installed there and they abandoned the town, which was retaken by the Christians.

According to Orderic Vitalis an English fleet led by Edgar Atheling, the exiled King of England, arrived at St Symeon on 4 March carrying supplies from the Byzantines. Historian Steven Runciman repeated the assertion, however it is unknown where the fleet originated and would not have been under Edgar’s command. Regardless, the fleet brought raw materials for constructing siege engines, but these were almost lost on the journey from the port to Antioch when part of the garrison sallied out. Bohemond and Raymond escorted the material, and after losing some of the materials and 100 people, they fell back to the crusader camp outside Antioch. Before Bohemond and Raymond, rumours that they had been killed reached Godfrey who readied his men to rescue the survivors of the escort. However, his attention was diverted when another force sallied from the city to provide cover for the men returning from the ambush. Godfrey was able to hold off the attack until Bohemond and Raymond came to his aid. The reorganised army then caught up with the garrison before it had reached the safety of Antioch’s walls. The counter-attack was a success for the crusaders and resulted in the deaths of between 1,200 and 1,500 of Antioch’s defenders. The crusaders set to work building siege engines, as well as a fort, called La Mahomerie, to block the Bridge Gate and prevent Yaghi-Siyan attacking the crusader supply line from the ports of Saint Simon and Alexandretta, whilst also repairing the abandoned monastery to the west of the Gate of Saint George, which was still being used to deliver food to the city. Tancred garrisoned the monastery, referred to in the chronicles as Tancred’s Fort, for 400 silver marks, whilst Count Raymond of Toulouse took control of La Mahomerie. Finally the crusader siege was able to have some effect on the well-defended city. Food conditions improved for the crusaders as spring approached and the city was sealed off from raiders.
Fatimid embassy

In April a Fatimid embassy from Egypt arrived at the crusader camp, hoping to establish a peace with the Christians, who were, after all, the enemy of their own enemies, the Seljuks. Peter the Hermit, was sent to negotiate. These negotiations came to nothing. The Fatimids, assuming the crusaders were simply mercenary representatives of the Byzantines, were prepared to let the crusaders keep Syria if they agreed not to attack Fatimid Palestine, a state of affairs perfectly acceptable between Egypt and Byzantium before the Turkish invasions. But the crusaders could not accept any settlement that did not give them Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Fatimids were treated hospitably and were given many gifts, plundered from the Turks who had been defeated in March, and no definitive agreement was reached.
Capture of Antioch

The siege continued, and at the end of May 1098 a Muslim army from Mosul under the command of Kerbogha approached Antioch. This army was much larger than the previous attempts to relieve the siege. Kerbogha had joined with Ridwan and Duqaq and his army also included troops from Persia and from the Ortuqids of Mesopotamia. The crusaders were luckily granted time to prepare for their arrival, as Kerbogha had first made a three-week-long excursion to Edessa, which he was unable to recapture from Baldwin of Boulogne, who had taken it earlier in 1098.

The crusaders knew they would have to take the city before Kerbogha arrived if they had any chance of survival. Weeks earlier, Bohemond had secretly established contact with someone inside the city named Firouz, an Armenian guard who controlled the Tower of the Two Sisters. Firouz’s motivation was unclear even to Bohemond, perhaps avarice or revenge, but he offered to let Bohemond into the city in exchange for money and a title. Bohemond then approached the other crusaders and offered access to the city, through Firouz, if they would agree to make Bohemond the Prince of Antioch. Raymond was furious and argued that the city should be handed over to Alexios, as they had agreed when they left Constantinople in 1097, but Godfrey, Tancred, Robert, and the other leaders, faced with a desperate situation, gave in to Bohemond’s demand.

Despite this, on 2 June, Stephen of Blois and some of the other crusaders deserted the army. Later on the same day, Firouz instructed Bohemond to feign a march south over the mountains to ostensibly confront Kerbogha, but then to double-back at night and scale the walls at the Tower of the Two Sisters where Firouz held watch. This was done. Firouz allowed a small contingent of crusaders to scale the tower (including Bohemond), who then opened a nearby postern gate allowing a larger contingent of soldiers hiding in the nearby rocks to enter the city and overwhelm the alerted garrison. The crusaders subsequently massacred thousands of Christian civilians along with Muslims, unable to tell them apart, including Firouz’s own brother. Yaghi-Siyan fled but was captured by Armenian and Syrian Christians some distance outside the city. His severed head was brought to Bohemond.
Second siege

By the end of the day on 3 June, the crusaders controlled most of the city, except for the citadel, which remained in hands of Yaghi-Siyan’s son Shams ad-Daulah. John the Oxite was reinstated as patriarch by Adhemar of Le Puy, the papal legate, who wished to keep good relations with the Byzantines, especially as Bohemond was clearly planning to claim the city for himself. However, the city was now short on food, and Kerbogha’s army was still on its way. Kerbogha arrived only two days later, on 5 June. He tried, and failed, to storm the city on 7 June, and by 9 June he had established his own siege around the city.

More crusaders had deserted before Kerbogha arrived, and they joined Stephen of Blois in Tarsus. Stephen had seen Kerbogha’s army encamped near Antioch and assumed all hope was lost; the deserters confirmed his fears. On the way back to Constantinople, Stephen and the other deserters met Alexios, who was on his way to assist the crusaders, and did not know they had taken the city and were now under siege themselves. Stephen convinced him that the rest of the crusaders were as good as dead, and Alexios heard from his reconnaissance that there was another Seljuk army nearby in Anatolia. He therefore decided to return to Constantinople rather than risking battle.
Discovery of the Holy Lance

Meanwhile, in Antioch, on 10 June an otherwise insignificant priest from southern France by the name of Peter Bartholomew came forward claiming to have had visions of St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance was inside the city. The starving crusaders were prone to visions and hallucinations, and another monk named Stephen of Valence reported visions of Christ and the Virgin Mary. On 14 June a meteor was seen landing in the enemy camp, interpreted as a good omen. Although Adhemar was suspicious, as he had seen a relic of the Holy Lance in Constantinople, Raymond believed Peter. Raymond, Raymond of Aguilers, William, Bishop of Orange, and others began to dig in the cathedral of Saint Peter on 15 June, and when they came up empty, Peter went into the pit, reached down, and produced a spear point. Raymond took this as a divine sign that they would survive and thus prepared for a final fight rather than surrender. Peter then reported another vision, in which St. Andrew instructed the crusader army to fast for five days (although they were already starving), after which they would be victorious.

Bohemond was skeptical of the Holy Lance as well, but there is no question that its discovery increased the morale of the crusaders. It is also possible that Peter was reporting what Bohemond wanted (rather than what St. Andrew wanted) as Bohemond knew, from spies in Kerbogha’s camp, that the various factions frequently argued with each other. Kerbogha of Mosul was indeed suspected by most emirs to yearn for sovereignty in Syria and often considered as a bigger threat to their interests than the Christian invaders. On 27 June, Peter the Hermit was sent by Bohemond to negotiate with Kerbogha, but this proved futile and battle with the Turks was thus unavoidable. Bohemond drew up six divisions: he commanded one himself, and the other five were led by Hugh of Vermandois and Robert of Flanders, Godfrey, Robert of Normandy, Adhemar, and Tancred and Gaston IV of Béarn. Raymond, who had fallen ill, remained inside to guard the citadel with 200 men, now held by Ahmed Ibn Merwan an agent of Kerbogha.
Battle of Antioch

On Monday, 28 June, the crusaders emerged from the city gate, with Raymond of Aguilers carrying the Holy Lance before them. Kerbogha hesitated against his generals’ pleadings, hoping to attack them all at once rather than one division at a time, but he underestimated their size. He pretended to retreat to draw the crusaders to rougher terrain, while his archers continuously pelted the advancing crusaders with arrows. A detachment was dispatched to the crusader left wing, which was not protected by the river, but Bohemond quickly formed a seventh division and beat them back. The Turks were inflicting many casualties, including Adhemar’s standard-bearer, and Kerbogha set fire to the grass between his position and the crusaders, but this did not deter them: they had visions of three saints riding along with them: St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Maurice. The battle was brief and disastrous for the Turks. Duqaq deserted Kerbogha and this desertion reduced the great numerical advantage the Muslim army had over its Christian opponents. Soon the defeated Muslim troops were in panicked retreat.
Aftermath

As Kerbogha fled, the citadel under command of Ahmed ibn Merwan finally surrendered, but only to Bohemond personally, rather than to Raymond; this seems to have been arranged beforehand without Raymond’s knowledge. As expected, Bohemond claimed the city as his own. although Adhemar and Raymond disagreed. Hugh of Vermandois and Baldwin of Hainaut were sent to Constantinople, although Baldwin disappeared after an ambush on the way. Alexios, however, was uninterested in sending an expedition to claim the city this late in the summer. Back in Antioch, Bohemond argued that Alexios had deserted the crusade and thus invalidated all of their oaths to him. Bohemond and Raymond occupied Yaghi-Siyan’s palace, but Bohemond controlled most of the rest of the city and flew his standard from the citadel. It is a common assumption that the Franks of northern France, the Provencals of southern France, and the Normans of southern Italy considered themselves separate “nations” and that each wanted to increase its status. This may have had something to do with the disputes, but personal ambition is more likely the cause of the infighting.

Soon an epidemic broke out, possibly of typhus, and on 1 August Adhemar of le Puy died. In September the leaders of the crusade wrote to Pope Urban II, asking him to take personal control of Antioch, but he declined. For the rest of 1098, they took control of the countryside surrounding Antioch, although there were now even fewer horses than before, and Muslim peasants refused to give them food. The minor knights and soldiers became restless and starvation began to set in and they threatened to continue to Jerusalem without their squabbling leaders. In November, Raymond finally gave in to Bohemond for the sake of continuing the crusade in peace and to calm his mutinous starving troops. At the beginning of 1099 the march was renewed, leaving Bohemond behind as the first Prince of Antioch, and in the spring the Siege of Jerusalem began under the leadership of Raymond.

The success at Antioch was too much for Peter Bartholomew’s skeptics. Peter’s visions were far too convenient and too martial, and he was openly accused of lying. Challenged, Peter offered to undergo ordeal by fire to prove that he was divinely guided. Being in Biblical lands, they chose a Biblical ordeal: Peter would pass through a fiery furnace and would be protected by an angel of God. The crusaders constructed a path between walls of flame; Peter would walk down the path between the flames. He did so, and was horribly burned. He died after suffering in agony for twelve days on 20 April 1099. There was no more said about the Holy Lance, although one faction continued to hold that Peter was genuine and that this was indeed the true Lance.

The Siege of Antioch quickly became legendary, and in the 12th century it was the subject of the chanson d’Antioche, a chanson de geste in the Crusade cycle.

Tumen River


tumen river (22)

The Tumen River, also called the Tuman River (Korean pronunciation: [tumanɡaŋ]; called the Duman in South Korea), is a 521-kilometre (324 mi) long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea and Russia, rising on the slopes of Mount Paektu and flowing into the Sea of Japan.

The river flows in northeast Asia, on the border between China and North Korea in its upper reaches, and between North Korea and Russia in its last 17 kilometers (11 mi) before entering the Sea of Japan. The river forms much of the southern border of Jilin Province in Northeast China and the northern borders of North Korea’s North Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces. Baekdu Mountain on the Chinese-North Korean border is the source of the river, as well as of the Yalu River (which forms the western portion of the border of North Korea and China).

The name of the river comes from the Mongolian word tümen, meaning “ten thousand” or a myriad. This river is badly polluted by the nearby factories of North Korea and China; however, it still remains a major tourist attraction in the area. In Tumen, Jilin, China, a riverfront promenade has restaurants where patrons can gaze across the river into North Korea. The Russian name of the river is Tumannaya, literally meaning foggy.

In 1938 the Japanese built the Tumen River Bridge, where the Quan River meets the Tumen River, between the villages of Wonjong (Hunchun) and Quanhe. Important cities and towns on the river are Hoeryong and Onsong in North Korea, Tumen and Nanping  in China.

In 1995, the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, Russia and South Korea signed three agreements to create the Tumen River Economic Development Area.
Noktundo

A former island at the mouth of the Tumen, known as Noktundo, has been a boundary contention between Russia and North Korea. The Qing Dynasty ceded the island to Russia as part of the Primorsky Maritimes (East Tartary) in the 1860 Treaty of Peking. In 1990, the former Soviet Union and North Korea signed a border treaty which made the border run through the center of the river, leaving territory of the former island on Russian side. South Korea refuses to acknowledge the treaty and demanded that Russia returns the territory to Korea.

Illegal crossings

The Tumen has been used for years by North Korean refugees defecting across the Chinese border. Most refugees from North Korea during the 1990s famine crossed over the Tumen River, and most recent refugees have also used it, as it is far easier than crossing the Yalu.

The river is considered the preferred way to cross into China because, unlike the swift, deep and broad Yalu River which runs along most of the border between the two countries, the Tumen is shallow and narrow. In some areas it can be crossed on foot, or by short swims. It also freezes in winter allowing dry crossings.

Defectors who wish to cross the Tumen often ignore its pollutants and dangerous border patrol, and spend weeks if not months or years waiting for the perfect opportunity to cross. “Long, desolate stretches of the Chinese-North Korean border are not patrolled at all”, according to a New York Times article.

Refugees rarely cross the Tumen into Russia. This is because Russia’s short stretch of the river is far better patrolled than China’s stretch. In addition, there is no sizable ethnic Korean community in Russia to receive support from, as opposed to China, which has a larger Korean population.

The Tumen is also crossed illegally by soldiers and others seeking food and money. Some Chinese villagers have left the border area because of North Korean depredations.

The humanitarian crisis along the Tumen River was dramatized in the 2010 dramatic feature-length film, Dooman River.

Oarfish


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Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish belonging to the small family Regalecidae. Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, growing to up to 11 m (36 ft) in length. That is not enough to qualify as the longest fish, however, as some of the cartilaginous fish such as the basking shark and whale shark are even longer.

The common name oarfish is thought to be in reference either to their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the now discredited belief that the fish “row” themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latin regalis, meaning “royal”. The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.

Although the larger species are considered game fish and are fished commercially to a minor extent, oarfish are rarely caught alive; their flesh is not well regarded for eating due to its gelatinous consistency.

Anatomy and morphology

The dorsal fin originates from above the (relatively large) eyes and runs the entire length of the fish. Of the approximately 400 dorsal fin rays, the first 10 to 13 are elongated to varying degrees, forming a trailing crest embellished with reddish spots and flaps of skin at the ray tips. The pelvic fins are similarly elongated and adorned, reduced to one to five rays each. The pectoral fins are greatly reduced and situated low on the body. The anal fin is completely absent and the caudal fin may be reduced or absent, as well, with the body tapering to a fine point. All fins lack true spines. At least one account, from researchers in New Zealand, described the oarfish as giving off “electric shocks” when touched.

Like other members of its order, the oarfish has a small yet highly protrusible oblique mouth with no visible teeth. The body is scaleless and the skin is covered with easily abraded, silvery guanine. In the streamer fish (Agrostichthys parkeri), the skin is clad with hard tubercles. All species lack gas bladders and the number of gill rakers is variable.

Oarfish coloration is also variable; the flanks are commonly covered with irregular bluish to blackish streaks, black dots, and squiggles. These markings quickly fade following death. The giant oarfish is by far the largest member of the family at a published total length of 11 m (36 ft)—with unconfirmed reports of 17 m (56 ft) specimens—and 270 kg (600 lb) in weight. The streamer fish is known to reach 3 m (10 ft) in length, while the largest recorded specimen of Regalecus russelii measured 5.4 m (18 ft).

Oarfish are the longest known living species of bony fish.
Range

The oarfish is thought to inhabit the epipelagic to mesopelagic ocean layers, ranging from 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) and is rarely seen on the surface. A few have been found still barely alive, but usually if one floats to the surface, it dies. At the depths the oarfish live, there are little or no currents and so they build little muscle mass and they cannot survive in shallower turbulent water.
Distribution

The members of the family are known to have a worldwide range. However, human encounters with live oarfish are rare, and distribution information is collated from records of oarfish caught or washed ashore.
Ecology and life history

Rare encounters with divers and accidental catches have supplied what little is known of oarfish behaviour and ecology. Apparently solitary animals, oarfish may frequent significant depths up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft). An oarfish measuring 3.3 m (11 ft) and 63.5 kg (140 lb) was reported to have been caught on 17 February 2003 by Ms Val Fletcher using a fishing rod baited with squid, at Skinningrove, United Kingdom.

A photograph on display in bars, restaurants, guesthouses and markets around Laos and Thailand captioned “Queen of Nāgas was seized by the American Army at Mekhong River, Laos Military Base, on June 27, 1973, with the length of 7.80 metres” is, as far as the caption goes, a hoax. The photograph was taken by Dr. Leo Smith of the Field Museum, of an oarfish found in September 1996 by United States Navy SEAL trainees on the coast of Coronado, California, USA.
Behavior

In 2001, an oarfish was filmed alive in situ: the 1.5-metre (4.9-foot) fish was spotted by a group of U.S. Navy personnel during the inspection of a buoy in the Bahamas. The oarfish was observed to propel itself by an amiiform mode of swimming; that is, rhythmically undulating the dorsal fin while keeping the body itself straight. Perhaps indicating a feeding posture, oarfish have been observed swimming in a vertical orientation, with their long axis perpendicular to the ocean surface. In this posture, the downstreaming light would silhouette the oarfishes’ prey, making them easier to spot.

In July 2008, scientists captured footage of the rare fish swimming in its natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the first ever confirmed sighting of an oarfish at depth, as most specimens are discovered dying at the sea surface or washed ashore. The fish was estimated to be between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) in length.

As part of the SERPENT Project, five observations of apparently healthy oarfish Regalecus glesne by remotely operated vehicles were reported from the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2008 and 2011 at depths within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones. These observations include the deepest verified record of R. glesne (463–492 m (1,519–1,614 ft)).

From December 2009 to March 2010, unusual numbers of the slender oarfish Regalecus russelii ( “Ryūgū-No-Tsukai”,) known in Japanese folklore as the Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace, appeared in the waters and on the beaches of Japan, the appearance of which is said to portend earthquakes.

Scientists claim that oarfish can be the cause for “Nessie Sightings”, because when they are sick or dying, they float near the surface of the water.
Feeding ecology

Oarfish feed primarily on zooplankton, selectively straining tiny euphausiids, shrimp, and other crustaceans from the water. Small fish, jellyfish, and squid are also taken. Large open-ocean carnivores are all likely predators of oarfish.
Life history

The oceanodromous Regalecus glesne is recorded as spawning off Mexico from July to December; all species are presumed to not guard their eggs, and release brightly coloured, buoyant eggs, up to 6 mm (0.24 in) across, which are incorporated into the zooplankton. The eggs hatch after about three weeks into highly active larvae that feed on other zooplankton. The larvae have little resemblance to the adults, with long dorsal and pelvic fins and extensible mouths. Larvae and juveniles have been observed drifting just below the surface. In contrast, adult oarfish are rarely seen at the surface when not sick or injured.