New York City – Gruesome Killings from the Past

Over the years, gang related violence and unexpected killings have become a part of New York’s history. Many of these have been well publicized, even though the killers may never have been brought to justice, and include:

The Murders at The Park Sheraton Hotel

Now known as Park Central Hotel, The Park Sheraton was a hotspot for many known gangsters, with at least two meeting their demise on the hotel’s grounds. In 1928, as he was entering Room 349, Arnold Rothstein was shot in the stomach. The Jewish gangster is reported to have seen his killer clearly, but refused to name him. Rothstein died two days later, leaving behind over $300,000 in gambling debts.

In October 1957, founder of the Gambino Crime Family, Albert Anastasia, was in the hotel’s barbershop getting a shave. The afternoon’s peace was shattered when four men entered and riddled him with bullets. Even though it was rumoured that the hit had been ordered by rival gang member, ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo, nobody was ever charged with his murder. The hotel barbershop has now been converted to a Starbucks.

The Assassination of Joey ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo

While celebrating his 43rd birthday on April 7, 1972, at Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy, Joey Gallo was attacked and shot five times by members of a rival gang. After the shooting, a gunfight between Gallo’s bodyguard and the assassins continued in the streets. Gallo dragged himself outside and collapsed on the sidewalk, later dying in hospital. The shooters escaped in a waiting vehicle and nobody was ever arrested for the crime. Gallo’s assassination became the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s song ‘Joey,’ and the site has become home to another restaurant.

The Kew Gardens Killing

A quiet suburb in Queens, Kew Gardens became the scene of a random criminal act one night in March 1964. As 28 year-old Kitty Genovese was returning home from a busy day, she was stabbed in the back by a stranger. Her screams alerted her neighbours, and scared off the attacker. Shortly after, however, he returned to finish the gruesome murder.

A New York Times article, published a couple weeks after Genovese’s death, stated that there were at least 38 witnesses to the murder without one person attempting to intervene. The circumstances surrounding the death became a popular case study for social scientists, and they are now referred to as the ‘Genovese Syndrome’ or bystander effect.

Killing of a Classic Stalker

When Lucien Carr moved to New York, he was followed by his former friend turned stalker, David Kammerer. As Carr began socialising more, Kammerer became desperate to win the object of his desire’s affection. On August 13, 1944, as he and a couple friends were taking a walk through Riverside Park, Kammerer made unwanted sexual advances towards Carr. The victim stabbed him with a boy scout knife, and dumped his body in the Hudson River. Carr later confessed to the killing and dumping of the body, and spent two years in jail for the crime.


The Struggle with Amnesia – Bizarre Cases of Memory Loss

People can develop amnesia for different reasons, but most occur because of brain trauma or being in a stressful situation. The memory loss will manifest in different ways and can be either partial or complete. There have been documented cases of amnesia that occurs unexpectedly, as well as very strange cases. These include:

Clive Wearing

The most common form of memory loss is retrograde amnesia, where the person affected is unable to remember past events. Anterograde amnesia occurs when a person becomes unable to form new memories, although they can remember their past. Clive Wearing, a British musicologist, began to suffer from both, after contracting a rare form of herpes, in March 1985. The virus attacked the central nervous system and caused severe damage to his hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that transfers short-term memories into long-term ones.

Wearing can now only store memories for a few minutes before they are forgotten, and cannot remember details of his life before 1985. He knows that he loves his wife, but often forgets that they are married. He is aware that he has children from a previous marriage, but their names elude him. Wearing can still work, however, as his procedural memory still functions and he remembers how to play the piano, even though he is unaware of his musical background and training.

Michelle Philpots

Michelle Philpots’ memory loss began after she was involved in two serious accidents, one suffered on a motorcycle in 1985 and another five years later. Both accidents resulted in head injuries, and the combined brain damage caused her to begin having seizures, and she was later diagnosed with epilepsy. Surgery was performed to repair some of the tissue damage, and stop the seizures.

By 1994, her condition had escalated to anterograde amnesia and Philpots became unable to form new memories. Every night when she goes to sleep, she forgets everything that happened that day, and in the morning she wakes up thinking she is still in 1994. Even though she was with her husband before ’94, they didn’t get married until 1997. To remind her of the vows they took, he shows her the photographs of their wedding day every morning.

Anthelme Mangin / Octave Monjoin

On February 18, 1918, a young man was found wandering on the platform at the Brotteaux train station in Lyons, France. He was unable to recall anything about himself, except his name, which he told officers was Anthelme Mangin. The man was put into several institutions, over a period of twelve years, and his photograph widely circulated. Hundreds of families came to ‘take him home,’ but he recognised none of them, and they could not prove their relationship.

In 1930, he was correctly identified as a waiter named Octave Monjoin, who had left to fight in WWI and never returned. He had been wounded in 1914 and taken prisoner, by the enemy, along with 65 others. When the soldiers were sent back to France in January 1918, Monjoin’s paperwork had been misplaced and his family was not aware of his return. It is believed that he had developed amnesia as a result of the traumas he faced during war.

Do Angels Watch Over Us?

The belief in guardian angels as our divine protectors is widespread, and extends over many religions and spiritual practices. The difference between guardian angels and other angels is that guardians are focused only on the person they are assigned to protect. Many individuals even believe that there may be more than one guardian angel for each of us. They manifest in different ways in our life, but most people agree that their main job is our protection. This means that, in many instances, they prevent ‘bad’ things from happening to us. A popular theory is that one of the reasons why other unwanted events happen in our lives is to prepare us for other things that are going to happen in our future.

Our guardian angels are alleged to be highly evolved, spiritual beings that have never been in human form. Our human limitations make it hard for us to directly experience the divine energy from our Source, and our guardian angels act as messengers between us and God. In addition to the roles they play as protectors and messengers, they are also responsible for teaching us about and strengthening our connection to the divine. Our busy lifestyles make it hard for many of us to read the signs that they are giving. This causes us to lose our way, and often times experience unnecessary hurt and anguish. To connect with our guardians, quieting the mind and focusing on the spirit should be practiced regularly.

As our constant companions on Earth, guardian angels inspire and help us achieve our highest goals. They do this by revealing the truth in certain situations to us, healing, answering our prayers and helping us to transition to the spiritual world at the moment of death. Even though providing us with divine guidance, they respect our free will and step back when we indicate that we would rather go through an experience in our chosen way. Asking our guardian angels for help when we need it, and paying attention to their instructions when they have provided them will help us get through stressful periods in our life.

We communicate with our guardian angels through our thoughts, feelings, words and actions. They love us unconditionally, and have no expectations, but guide us through experiences and situations. Even though they are always with us, we may not be aware of them. Conscious awareness of these beings of unconditional love brings about feelings of peace, safety, compassion and clarity. Guardian angels understand everything about us but respect our free will to choose. They will only take complete control in a threatening situation. We can strengthen the connection with our guardian angels by asking them for help, handing everything over to them, expressing our appreciation and enjoying each moment that exists knowing that they are here to guide us and everything will be alright.

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The Statue of Liberty – America’s Greatest Symbol of Freedom

Located on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, is an artefact that is known worldwide as a symbol of freedom, The Statue of Liberty. It was a gift to the United States from France, and was dedicated to the country on October 28, 1886, at a ceremony on Bedloe’s Island which was attended by a crowd of more than one million Americans, in spite of the rainy weather. In 1956, Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island in honour of the statue, which had become a national monument in 1924. 

The idea to honour the United States with a gift, in the form of The Statue of Liberty, came in 1865 after the Civil War. French politician and authority on the US Constitution, Edouard de Laboulaye, believed that this gift, which would become a symbol of freedom and democracy, would help to strengthen the democratic movement in France. It was designed by French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and built by Gustave Eiffel. France then shipped the statue to the United States in 1885, where it was placed in storage for a year while the pedestal was completed.

The statue is made of copper and its signature green colour is a result of the metal’s natural weathering. The imposing figure weighs approximately 450,000 lbs and its height, from the base of the pedestal to the tip of the torch, is 305ft 6in. The face of the statue, which represents the Roman goddess, Libertas, is more than 8ft tall and has a crown of seven rays. Each of these is 9ft in length, weight 150lbs, and represents a continent.

Lady Liberty has a torch held high above her head, which was restored in 1986 and covered in a thin layer of 24k gold. She also holds a tablet in her left hand, which is inscribed with the United States Independence Day, July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals. The broken chain at her feet symbolises the country’s breaking away from oppression. Shortly after its erection, the statue became a symbol of hope and freedom for immigrants arriving into the country seeking their own freedom, and continues to inspire those that live in the city.

While the statue has been closed to the public at various times, due to the possibility of a terrorist attack, it is still one of the most popular attractions in the world. The Statue of Liberty Exhibit opened on the second floor of the pedestal in July 1986, and tourists can use this to trace the statue’s history and symbolism. The exhibition includes museum objects, prints, photographs, videos and oral descriptions. There is also a bronze plaque which is dedicated in memory of Emma Lazarus’ contribution to the pedestal and affixed to its inner wall since 1900.

Twisted Lies – Available to pre-order

Twisted Lies, the second book in The Carter Legacy, is now available to pre-order on amazon. Release date is 1st December!

Chloe Carter has spent the last twenty years as a ghost, hiding in the shadows, letting the world believe she was dead and all the while she was running from the nightmares of her childhood.

Now finally able to re-join the living once again and with her sister Cassandra back in her life, she desperately wants to leave her past firmly behind her. However, they have two half-sisters, one very much dead and one possibly a psychopath. Things were not looking up.

Starting with Parker Evans, a man she should want absolutely nothing to do with, a man whose own father caused her family nothing but pain. However, Parker refuses to be ignored and however much she wants to loathe him, they need each other. They both have secrets, a legacy of misery left by their fathers and if they ever want to be free, together they must uncover the truth.

When the body of a little girl is accidentally unearthed, they find themselves following a trail of cold case murders leading back decades and once they start digging they find something far more dark and sinister than they could’ve possibly imagined.

Released 1 December 2017

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An Unexplained Phenomenon – Strange Connections between Twins

Many twins experience connections that may cause them to feel their twin’s pain, or know when the other is extremely happy or sad. There are several situations that go much deeper than these, and the connections can sometimes even seem to be a bit creepy. These include:

  1. Simultaneous Insanity

Ursula and Sabina Eriksson were born in Sweden, but both had migrated to separate countries and were living with their respective families. One of Ursula’s visits to her sister in Ireland prompted a morbid, baffling series of events.

During the visit, the women boarded a bus to London, without telling anybody where they were going. The twins were so disruptive on the journey, that the driver stopped on the highway to let them out. The sisters began to walk in the middle of the highway, paying no attention to the speeding traffic that surrounded them. Their walk took them unto the set of a real life police programme, and their strange interaction with the cops was subsequently caught on film.

To the shock of the officers, while they were conversing with the sisters, Ursula spontaneously sprinted into the road. She was directly in the path of the wheels of a truck, and sustained multiple injuries including breaking both her legs. Within seconds, Sabina had also run into moving traffic, getting hit by a car. Despite the accident, she began attacking officers and could only be restrained when six of them joined forces. Ursula, with her broken legs, was also screaming angrily at the police. Sabina was locked up, but released the next day, facilitating her killing a man that had offered her a room and attempting to throw herself from a 40-foot bridge. She miraculously survived, and was tried for murder.

Sabina was sentenced to only five years imprisonment, as lawyers were able to prove that she had been temporarily insane when the murders had been committed. Neither sister had taken any drugs or alcohol, nor had a history of mental illness. Psychologists have theorised that Sabina had become temporarily insane and, because of the strength of their bond, Ursula was also affected. Both women have since been tested and declared sane.

  1. Similar Lives in Separate Places

It has been suggested that similarities in twins occur because they live in the same environment and are raised in the same way. The story of James…and James…proves that this is definitely not so.

James Edward Lewis had been adopted as a baby. When he grew up, James married a woman named Linda. He then divorced her and married another named Betty. He and Betty had a son whom they called James Alan. Separated from his twin at birth, Lewis met him for the first time when the brothers were in their 30s. His twin, James Arthur Springer, had also married a woman named Linda. Had also gotten divorced and has also remarried a woman named Betty. When they had a son, he was also called James Allan (spelt slightly differently).

The similarities between the two men, that had never met each other before, did not stop there. They both worked in law enforcement, both like Math and Carpentry in school and hated Spelling, both got headaches at the same time of the day and both had dogs named Toy as children.