Strangely Apropos…

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Charleston, SC is on a peninsula that is bounded on two sides by fairly large rivers that dump out into the Atlanta that is visible in the distance. Being a seaport, it has had a colorful history that goes way back.

On the very tip of the peninsula is a park, called Battery Park by some. That end of the peninsula has seen its share of pirates and brigands. Did you know that the fearsome pirate, Edward Teach (or Edward Thatch as some claim) roamed those waters? Edward Teach lived between about 1680-1712 when he was killed in a battle in 1718 after being slashed across the throat when others rushing in and finished him off. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Edward Teach was better known as Blackbeard.

According to Wikipedia, there are no confirmed accounts of him ever having murdered anyone, but he may have. He certainly had opportunity. But his history with Charleston was fairly extensive. At one point, his ships entered the harbor and held the entire city hostage. What was his demand for ranson? One chest of medicine. Some believe it was for himself (he apparently had an STD), but he didn’t ask for gold or anything else. Once the medicine chest was delivered, he stopped the siege.

But back to the park: when pirates were captured, they would be tried and hung by the neck (if found guilty) from the trees in the park…and they’d be left to rot there hanging by their necks as warnings to any other pirates who might happen to come around.

That’s maybe why I thought the photo of the skeleton on the motorcycle was apropos (that’s one of the rivers in the background). Of course, it was nearly Halloween, but I thought more of the pirates!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1971, John Emil List slaughtered his entire family in their Westfield, New Jersey, home and then disappeared. Though police quickly identified List as the most likely suspect in the murders, it took 18 years for them to locate him and close the case.

John List was an outwardly normal and successful father. A Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout troop leader, List was a strict disciplinarian who insisted his children follow extremely rigid rules.

On November 9, seemingly out of the blue, List shot his mother Alma (above her left eye), his wife Helen (in the side of the head), and two older children in the back of their heads; he shot his youngest child, a son, several times in the chest and face. He then left the murder weapon alongside their carefully laid-out corpses. List had methodically devised a plan so that the bodies would not be discovered for quite a while, cancelling newspaper, milk, and mail delivery to his home in the days leading up to the murder. He then called the children’s schools to say that the family was going to visit a sick relative out of town. By the time authorities discovered the bodies, List had vanished without a trace.

Local law enforcement officials had essentially given up looking for List when the television show America’s Most Wanted began airing in the late 1980s. After a segment about the List murders aired on May 21, 1989, calls began flooding in. Although most of them proved to be unhelpful, one viewer claimed that John List was living in Virginia under the alias Robert Clark.

Indeed, List had assumed a false identity, relocated to the South, and remarried. In 1989, he was returned to New Jersey to face charges for the death of his family. The following year, he was convicted of five counts of murder and received five consecutive life sentences.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Holiday retailers use music to attract potential shoppers. For example,  if shoppers like the type of music retailers are playing, they will be more likely to enter the store and like the products. Additionally, the slower the tempo of the music, the slower people will walk through the store, and the more they will buy. A faster tempo will encourage shoppers to walk faster and, consequently, they won’t buy as much.

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