Bones and Cars

_MG_6644In the movie, Silence of the Lambs, one of the signatures of the killer was the pupae of the death’s head moth. I know nothing about moths and I really don’t have much of a desire to learn anything about moths or butterflies. I enjoy looking at them and taking their pictures, but that’s about as far as my interest in them goes.

Skulls, the skull and crossbones, pirate flags and other images of skeletons are common around Halloween or on pirate ships, but it isn’t every day that you see them painted on the hood of a car.

During the warm summer in Livermore, CA, (I mention the warm weather because I’m ready for some right now – the forecast high for Atlanta this coming Tuesday is just 28!) we attended the car show and there was a car there with numerous skulls on it. It was actually pretty neat art, so I took some pictures of them and thought I share this one with you today. Just, don’t be scared, OK?  It’s just a piece of art!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1981, the Yorkshire Ripper was finally apprehended by British police, ending one of the largest manhunts in history. For five years, investigators had pursued every lead to stop the serial killer who terrorized Northern England, but the end came out of pure luck. Peter Sutcliffe was spotted in a stolen car with a prostitute and arrested by Sergeant Robert Ring. Sutcliffe asked to urinate behind a bush before being taken into custody. When Ring later returned to the scene, he found a hammer and knife, the Yorkshire Ripper’s weapons of choice, behind the shrubbery. Sutcliffe confessed when confronted with this evidence.

Peter Sutcliffe’s first victim was Wilma McCann, who was beaten about the head with a hammer and stabbed multiple times on October 30, 1975. Initially, he focused his attacks almost exclusively on prostitutes, killing seven young women in Northern England between February 1977 and May 1978. Many of the victims were mutilated after they were killed.

As part of the manhunt, authorities interviewed more than 250,000 people and searched thousands of homes. Sutcliffe himself was interviewed nine times but always convinced detectives he wasn’t involved. In 1979, a tape recording purportedly from the Yorkshire Ripper was sent to the police, who were sidetracked by what later turned out to be a hoax.

The public really began to panic when the Yorkshire Ripper stopped going after prostitutes and started targeting college students. When Peter Sutcliffe was finally convicted, after an unsuccessful insanity defense, he had killed 13 women, far more than his namesake, Jack the Ripper. Sutcliffe received a sentence of life in prison.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  When Ben Franklin was living in England, he used the breast stroke during his regular swims across the Thames River – the same stroke used by Matthew Webb in 1875 when he became the first person to swim the English Channel.

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