Still Life…Real Life

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Have you ever given much thought to how much love goes into working around the kitchen sink? I know us guys probably don’t appreciate it nearly enough. I think I’ve only known one person in my life who truly liked doing dishes. Yet, for years, my wife has done most of the cooking and dish washing (except for when we have had an automatic dishwasher). I don’t appreciate those things, or her, nearly enough. 

This morning I took this shot with my cell phone camera of the kitchen sink. As you can see, it’s at the northeast corner of the house with windows on a 90 degree angle. She has her mother’s day flowers from one of our sons and his family there, soaking up the golden sunlight and turning more beautiful with the light. The tomatoes are ripening in the sun, too. And on the windowsills are some of her Goebel bird collection (yes, my wife is a bird fan). 

For all the times I never said, “Thank you!” or “I love you!” or “I appreciate you!” hon, I’m sorry. You have certainly deserved to hear those things far more often from me. You make our house, and my life, a beautiful thing.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1948, three-year-old June Devaney, recovering from pneumonia at Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn, England, is kidnapped from her bed. Nurses discovered her missing at 1:20 a.m. the next day, and police were immediately summoned to investigate. Two hours later, her body was found with multiple skull fractures. The medical examiner determined that Devaney had been raped and then swung headfirst into a wall.

Two significant clues were found in the children’s ward that would prove helpful in catching the killer: footprints on the freshly cleaned floor and a water bottle that had been moved. Although there were several fingerprints on the bottle, police were able to account for all but one set. These prints also failed to match any of those in the police’s database of known criminals.

Investigators fingerprinted over 2,000 people who had access to the hospital. Still, they couldn’t find a match. Detective Inspector John Capstick then went even further: He decided that every man in the town of Blackburn, a city with more than 25,000 homes, would be fingerprinted.

A procedure such as this would be impossible in the United States where Fourth Amendment protections prevent searches without probable cause. But the plan went into effect in Blackburn on May 23, with police assurances that the collected prints would be destroyed afterward. Two months later, the police had collected over 40,000 sets of prints yet still had not turned up a match. Checking against every registry they could find, authorities determined that there were still a few men in town who hadn’t provided their prints.

On August 11, police caught up with one of these men, Peter Griffiths. His footprints matched the ones found at the scene. When his fingerprints also came back a match, he confessed to the awful crime, blaming it on alcohol.

Griffiths was found guilty of murder and was executed on November 19, 1948.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: lumberjacks are thirty times more likely to die on the job than an average worker. It is considered the most dangerous job in America. 

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