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So, the ghost tour was fun. We had us some cowboy goth kid named Maverick, friend of Lifto, as a guide, and he took us around, told us all about the history of the town, and showed us all the hotels and theaters and houses over by the gravel pits and stuff that are supposed to be haunted. The governor's mansion and the capitol building, too. All spooooky and stuff. We got a good deal of walking in, and he was a great little story teller, and we had us a good old time. The thermoses full of coffee and whiskey and baileys and kahlua and amaretto and such didn't hurt none, either.
Me, I'm not so big on the ghost thing. I suppose I used to be into all that occult and paranormal stuff when I was younger, but I'm pretty much resigned to the Region of Thud these days, and I reckon what you see is what you get. Fun stories, though, especially the scary serial killer type stuff. I mean, there's no debating about the reality of that stuff, and there's not a lot of getting around it. Here in Austin, we had the first string of murders that you could really say were the work of a "serial killer".
This was around 1884, 1885, a good three years before Jack showed up in London to re-educate some of the girls on the street. Over the course of a bit over a year, the Servant Girl Annihilator (as the papers called him) did his business with a dozen or so young ladies here in River City. This business of his was pretty nasty. He caught the first one in bed with her husband - he usually struck while his victims were sleeping. The husband was a big guy, who could probably put up a good fight, so he took him right out of the picture by splitting his face open with an axe. Then he knocked the girl upside the head with the blunt end of the instrument, and dragged her outside, back behind the outhouse. Sometimes people will draw parallels between the Annihilator and Jack the Ripper, because they both apparently had some kind of medical knowledge. Our killer here would incapacitate the unconscious woman further by driving a metal rod into her temple, through the forebrain, and back out the other side. Even if the pain snapped her awake, his messy little proto-lobotomy would keep her warm, but unable to struggle too much, while he raped her, and then mutilated her by carving up her arms and torso. When he was done, the Annihilator would finish the job by slitting the girl's throat ear to ear, leaving a pretty ugly sight to be found by whoever happened by the next morning.
They never caught him.
The other fun story was about Charles Whitman sniping from the UT clock tower in 1966. Maverick told us that his father was on campus when the shooting began. In true Texas fashion, he got the hell out of the way of danger, went home, got his deer rifle, and headed back to the tower to return fire. I don't know if that's really true or not, but if it's not, it should be.(October 28, 2003 08:41 AM)