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Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg (/ˈswiːdənbɔːrɡ/, Swedish: [ˈsvêːdɛnˌbɔrj]; born Emanuel Swedberg; 8 February [O.S. 29 January] 1688 – 29 March 1772) was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic. He became best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758).

Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions, notably on Easter Weekend, on 6 April 1744. His experiences culminated in a “spiritual awakening” in which he received a revelation that Jesus Christ had appointed him to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity. According to The Heavenly Doctrine, the Lord had opened Swedenborg’s spiritual eyes so that from then on, he could freely visit heaven and hell to converse with angels, demons and other spirits and the Last Judgment had already occurred the year before the 1758 publication of De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti [Concerning the new Jerusalem and its heavenly doctrine], in 1757.

Over the last 28 years of his life, Swedenborg wrote 18 published theological works—and several more that remained unpublished. He termed himself a “Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ” in True Christian Religion, which he published himself. Some followers of The Heavenly Doctrine believe that of his theological works, only those that were published by Swedenborg himself are fully divinely inspired. Others have regarded all Swedenborg’s theological works as equally inspired, saying for example that the fact that some works were “not written out in a final edited form for publication does not make a single statement less trustworthy than the statements in any of the other works”. The New Church, a new religious movement originally founded in 1787 and comprising several historically-related Christian denominations, reveres Swedenborg’s writings as revelation.

Early life

Swedenborg’s father, Jesper Swedberg (1653–1735), descended from a wealthy mining family, the first known paternal ancestor being Otte Persson from Sundborn parish, mentioned 1571. He traveled abroad and studied theology, and on returning home, he was eloquent enough to impress the Swedish king, Charles XI, with his sermons in Stockholm. Through the king’s influence, he would later become professor of theology at Uppsala University and Bishop of Skara.

Jesper took an interest in the beliefs of the dissenting Lutheran Pietist movement, which emphasized the virtues of communion with God rather than relying on sheer faith (sola fide). Sola fide is a tenet of the Lutheran Church, and Jesper was charged with being a pietist heretic. While controversial, the beliefs were to have a major impact on his son Emanuel’s spirituality. Jesper furthermore held the unconventional belief that angels and spirits were present in everyday life. This also came to have a strong impact on Emanuel.

In 1703–1709, Swedenborg lived in Erik Benzelius the Younger’s house. Swedenborg completed his university course at Uppsala in 1709, and in 1710, he made his grand tour through the Netherlands, France and Germany before reaching London, where he would spend the next four years. It was also a flourishing center of scientific ideas and discoveries. Swedenborg studied physics, mechanics and philosophy and read and wrote poetry. According to the preface of a book by the Swedish critic Olof Lagercrantz, Swedenborg wrote to his benefactor and brother-in-law Benzelius that he believed he might be destined to be a great scientist.

Scientific period

In 1715 Swedenborg returned to Sweden, where he devoted himself to natural science and engineering projects for the next two decades. A first step was his meeting with King Charles XII of Sweden in the city of Lund, in 1716. The Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem, who became a close friend of Swedenborg, was also present. Swedenborg’s purpose was to persuade the king to fund an observatory in northern Sweden. However, the warlike king did not consider this project important enough, but did appoint Swedenborg to be assessor-extraordinary on the Swedish Board of Mines (Bergskollegium) in Stockholm.

From 1716 to 1718, Swedenborg published a scientific periodical entitled Daedalus Hyperboreus (“The Northern Daedalus”), a record of mechanical and mathematical inventions and discoveries. One notable description was that of a flying machine, the same he had been sketching a few years earlier.

In 1718, Swedenborg published an article that attempted to explain spiritual and mental events in terms of minute vibrations, or “tremulations”.

Upon the death of Charles XII, Queen Ulrika Eleonora ennobled Swedenborg and his siblings. It was common in Sweden during the 17th and 18th centuries for the children of bishops to receive that honor, as a recognition of the services of their father. The family name was changed from Swedberg to Swedenborg.

In 1724, he was offered the chair of mathematics at Uppsala University, but he declined and said that he had dealt mainly with geometry, chemistry and metallurgy during his career. He also said that he did not have the gift of eloquent speech because of a stutter, as recognized by many of his acquaintances; it forced him to speak slowly and carefully, and there are no known occurrences of his speaking in public. The Swedish critic Olof Lagerkrantz proposed that Swedenborg compensated for his impediment by extensive argumentation in writing.

New direction of studies ahead of his time

During the 1730s, Swedenborg undertook many studies of anatomy and physiology. He had the first known anticipation of the neuron concept. It was not until a century later that science recognized the full significance of the nerve cell. He also had prescient ideas about the cerebral cortex, the hierarchical organization of the nervous system, the localization of the cerebrospinal fluid, the functions of the pituitary gland, the perivascular spaces, the foramen of Magendie, the idea of somatotopic organization, and the association of frontal brain regions with the intellect. In some cases, his conclusions have been experimentally verified in modern times.

In the 1730s, Swedenborg became increasingly interested in spiritual matters and was determined to find a theory to explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborg’s desire to understand the order and the purpose of creation first led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself. In the Principia, he outlined his philosophical method, which incorporated experience, geometry (the means by which the inner order of the world can be known) and the power of reason. He also outlined his cosmology, which included the first presentation of his nebular hypothesis. (There is evidence that Swedenborg may have preceded Kant by as much as 20 years in the development of that hypothesis.)

In 1735, in Leipzig, he published a three-volume work, Opera philosophica et mineralis (“Philosophical and mineralogical works”) in which he tried to conjoin philosophy and metallurgy. The work was mainly appreciated for its chapters on the analysis of the smelting of iron and copper, and it was the work that gave Swedenborg his international reputation. The same year, he also published the small manuscript de Infinito (“On the Infinite”) in which he attempted to explain how the finite is related to the infinite and how the soul is connected to the body. It was the first manuscript in which he touched upon such matters. He knew that it might clash with established theologies since he presented the view that the soul is based on material substances. He also conducted dedicated studies of the fashionable philosophers of the time such as John Locke, Christian von Wolff, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and Descartes and earlier thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and Augustine of Hippo.

In 1743, at the age of 55, Swedenborg requested a leave of absence to go abroad. His purpose was to gather source material for Regnum animale (The Animal Kingdom, or Kingdom of Life), a subject on which books were not readily available in Sweden. The aim of the book was to explain the soul from an anatomical point of view. He had planned to produce a total of 17 volumes.

Journal of Dreams

By 1744, Swedenborg had traveled to the Netherlands. Around the time, he began having strange dreams. Swedenborg carried a travel journal with him on most of his travels and did so on this journey. The whereabouts of the diary were long unknown, but it was discovered in the Royal Library in the 1850s and was published in 1859 as Drömboken, or Journal of Dreams.

Swedenborg experienced many different dreams and visions, some greatly pleasurable, others highly disturbing. The experiences continued as he traveled to London to progress the publication of Regnum animale. This process, which one biographer has proposed as cathartic and comparable to the Catholic concept of Purgatory, continued for six months. He also proposed that what Swedenborg was recording in his Journal of Dreams was a battle between the love of himself and the love of God.

Visions and spiritual insights

In the last entry of the journal from 26–27 October 1744, Swedenborg appears to be clear as to which path to follow. He felt that he should drop his current project and write a new book about the worship of God. He soon began working on De cultu et amore Dei, or The Worship and Love of God. It was never fully completed, but Swedenborg still had it published in London in June 1745.

In 1745, Swedenborg was dining in a private room at a tavern in London. By the end of the meal, a darkness fell upon his eyes, and the room shifted character. Suddenly, he saw a person sitting at a corner of the room, telling him: “Do not eat too much!”. Swedenborg, scared, hurried home. Later that night, the same man appeared in his dreams. The man told Swedenborg that he was the Lord, that he had appointed Swedenborg to reveal the spiritual meaning of the Bible and that he would guide Swedenborg in what to write. The same night, the spiritual world was opened to Swedenborg.

Scriptural commentary and writings

In June 1747, Swedenborg resigned his post as assessor of the board of mines. He explained that he was obliged to complete a work that he had begun and requested to receive half his salary as a pension. He took up afresh his study of Hebrew and began to work on the spiritual interpretation of the Bible with the goal of interpreting the spiritual meaning of every verse. From sometime between 1746 and 1747 and for ten years henceforth, he devoted his energy to the task. Usually abbreviated as Arcana Cœlestia or under the Latin variant Arcana Caelestia (translated as Heavenly Arcana, Heavenly Mysteries, or Secrets of Heaven depending on modern English-language editions), the book became his magnum opus and the basis of his further theological works.

The work was anonymous, and Swedenborg was not identified as the author until the late 1750s. It had eight volumes, published between 1749 and 1756. It attracted little attention, as few people could penetrate its meaning.

His life from 1747 to his death was spent in Stockholm, the Netherlands and London. During the 25 years, he wrote another 14 works of a spiritual nature; most were published during his lifetime.

One of Swedenborg’s lesser-known works presents a startling claim: that the Last Judgment had begun in the previous year (1757) and was completed by the end of that year and that he had witnessed it. According to The Heavenly Doctrine, the Last Judgment took place not in the physical world but in the World of Spirits, halfway between heaven and hell, through which all pass on their way to heaven or hell. The Judgment took place because the Christian church had lost its charity and faith, resulting in a loss of spiritual free will that threatened the equilibrium between heaven and hell in everyone’s life.

The Heavenly Doctrine also teaches that the Last Judgement was followed by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which occurred not by Christ in person but by a revelation from him through the inner, spiritual sense of the Word through Swedenborg.

In another of his theological works, Swedenborg wrote that eating meat, regarded in itself, “is something profane” and was not practiced in the early days of the human race. However, he said, it now is a matter of conscience, and no one is condemned for doing it. Nonetheless, the early-days ideal appears to have given rise to the idea that Swedenborg was a vegetarian. That conclusion may have been reinforced by the fact that a number of Swedenborg’s early followers were part of the vegetarian movement that arose in Britain in the 19th century. However, the only reports on Swedenborg himself are contradictory. His landlord in London, Shearsmith, said he ate no meat, but his maid, who served Swedenborg, said that he ate eels and pigeon pie.

In Earths in the Universe, it is stated that he conversed with spirits from Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and the Moon as well as spirits from planets beyond the solar system. From the “encounters”, he concluded that the planets of our solar system are inhabited and that such an enormous undertaking as the universe could not have been created for just one race on a planet or one “Heaven” derived from its properties per planet. Many Heavenly societies were also needed to increase the perfection of the angelic Heavens and Heaven to fill in deficiencies and gaps in other societies. He argued: “What would this be to God, Who is infinite, and to whom a thousand or tens of thousands of planets, and all of them full of inhabitants, would be scarcely anything!” Swedenborg and the question of life on other planets has been extensively reviewed elsewhere.

Swedenborg published his work in London or the Netherlands because of their freedom of the press.

In July 1770, at the age of 82, he traveled to Amsterdam to complete the publication of his last work. The book, Vera Christiana Religio (The True Christian Religion), was published there in 1771 and was one of the most appreciated of his works. Designed to explain his teachings to Lutherans, it is the most concrete of his works.

Later life

In the summer of 1771, he traveled to London. Shortly before Christmas, he suffered a stroke and was partially paralyzed and confined to bed. His health improved somewhat, but he died in 1772. There are several accounts of his last months, made by those with whom he stayed and by Arvid Ferelius, a pastor of the Swedish Church in London, who visited him several times.

There is evidence that Swedenborg wrote a letter to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in February. Swedenborg said that he had been told in the world of spirits that Wesley wanted to speak with him. Wesley, startled since he had not told anyone of his interest in Swedenborg, replied that he was going on a journey for six months and would contact Swedenborg on his return. Swedenborg replied that that would be too late since Swedenborg would be going to the spiritual world for the last time on March 29. (Wesley later read and commented extensively on Swedenborg’s work.) Swedenborg’s landlord’s servant girl, Elizabeth Reynolds, also said that Swedenborg had predicted the date and that he was as happy about it as if he was “going on holiday or to some merrymaking”:

In Swedenborg’s final hours, his friend, Pastor Ferelius, told him some people thought he had written his theology just to make a name for himself and asked Swedenborg if he would like to recant. Raising himself up on his bed, his hand on his heart, Swedenborg earnestly replied,

“As truly as you see me before your eyes, so true is everything that I have written; and I could have said more had it been permitted. When you enter eternity you will see everything, and then you and I shall have much to talk about”.

He then died, in the afternoon, on the date he had predicted, March 29.

Swedenborg House in London

He was buried in the Swedish Church in Princes Square in Shadwell, London. On the 140th anniversary of his death, in 1912/1913, his remains were transferred to Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden, where they now rest close to the grave of the botanist Carl Linnaeus. In 1917, the Swedish Church in Shadwell was demolished, and the Swedish community that had grown around the parish moved to Marylebone. In 1938, Princes Square was redeveloped, and in his honor the local road was renamed Swedenborg Gardens. In 1997, a garden, play area and memorial, near the road, were created in his memory.

Veracity

Swedenborg’s transition from scientist to revelator or mystic has fascinated many people. He has had a variety of both supporting and critical biographers. Some propose that he did not have a revelation at all but developed his theological ideas from sources which ranged from his father to earlier figures in the history of thought, notably Plotinus. That position was first taken by Swedish writer Martin Lamm who wrote a biography of Swedenborg in 1915. Swedish critic and publicist Olof Lagercrantz had a similar point of view, calling Swedenborg’s theological writing “a poem about a foreign country with peculiar laws and customs”.

Swedenborg’s approach to proving the veracity of his theological teachings was to use voluminous quotations from the Old Testament and the New Testament to demonstrate agreement with the Bible, and this is found throughout his theological writings, since he rejected blind faith and declared true faith to be an internal acknowledgement of the truth. The vast use of these Biblical confirmations led a Swedish Royal Council in 1771 to examine the heresy charges of 1770 against two Swedish supporters of his theological writings: “there is much that is true and useful in Swedenborg’s writings”. Victor Hugo felt that Swedenborg had “lapsed into madness” in Chapter 14 of Les Misérables.

Scientific beliefs

Swedenborg proposed many scientific ideas during his lifetime. In his youth, he wanted to present a new idea every day, as he wrote to his brother-in-law Erik Benzelius in 1718. Around 1730, he had changed his mind, and instead believed that higher knowledge is not something that can be acquired, but that it is based on intuition. After 1745, he instead considered himself receiving scientific knowledge in a spontaneous manner from angels.

From 1745, when he considered himself to have entered a spiritual state, he tended to phrase his “experiences” in empirical terms, to report accurately things he had experienced on his spiritual journeys.

One of his ideas that is considered most crucial for the understanding of his theology is his notion of correspondences. But, in fact, he first presented the theory of correspondences only in 1744, in the first volume of Regnum Animale dealing with the human soul.

The basis of the correspondence theory is that there is a relationship among the natural (“physical”), the spiritual, and the divine worlds. The foundations of this theory can be traced to Neoplatonism and the philosopher Plotinus in particular. With the aid of this scenario, Swedenborg now interpreted the Bible in a different light, claiming that even the most apparently trivial sentences could hold a profound spiritual meaning. Swedenborg argued that it is the presence of that spiritual sense which makes the Word divine.

Prophetic accounts

Four incidents of purported psychic ability of Swedenborg exist in the literature. There are several versions of each story.

Fire anecdotes

On Thursday, 19 July 1759 a great and well-documented fire broke out in Stockholm, Sweden. In the high and increasing wind it spread very fast, consuming about 300 houses and making 2000 people homeless.

When the fire broke out Swedenborg was at a dinner with friends in Gothenburg, about 400 km from Stockholm. He became agitated and told the party at six o’clock that there was a fire in Stockholm, that it had consumed his neighbor’s home and was threatening his own. Two hours later, he exclaimed with relief that the fire had stopped three doors from his home. In the excitement following his report, word even reached the ears of the provincial governor, who summoned Swedenborg that same evening and asked for a detailed recounting.

At that time, it took two to three days for news from Stockholm to reach Gothenburg by courier, so that is the shortest duration in which the news of the fire could reach Gothenburg. The first messenger from Stockholm with news of the fire was from the Board of Trade, who arrived Monday evening. The second messenger was a royal courier, who arrived on Tuesday. Both of these reports confirmed every statement to the precise hour that Swedenborg first expressed the information. The accounts are fully described in Bergquist, pp. 312–313 and in Chapter 31 of The Swedenborg Epic. According to Swedenborg’s biographer Lars Bergquist, however, this event took place on Sunday, July 29 – ten days after the fire.

(Bergquist states, but does not document, that Swedenborg confirmed his vision of the fire incident to his good friend, Consul Christopher Springer, “one of the pillars of the church, … a man of enviable reputation for virtue and intelligence”, and that Swedenborg’s innkeeper, Erik Bergström, heard Swedenborg affirming the story.)

It seems unlikely that the many witnesses to Swedenborg’s distress during the fire, and his immediate report of it to the provincial governor, would have left room for doubt in the public eye of Swedenborg’s report. If Swedenborg had only received news of the fire by the normal methods there would have been no issue of psychic perception recorded for history. Instead, “when the news of Swedenborg’s extraordinary vision of the fire reached the capital, public curiosity about him was very much aroused.”

A second fire anecdote, similar to the first one, but less cited, is the incident of the mill owner Bolander. Swedenborg warned him, again abruptly, of an incipient fire in one of his mills.

Queen of Sweden

The third event was in 1758 when Swedenborg visited Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden, who asked him to tell her something about her deceased brother Prince Augustus William of Prussia. The next day, Swedenborg whispered something in her ear that turned the Queen pale and she explained that this was something only she and her brother could know about.

Lost document

The fourth incident involved a woman who had lost an important document, and came to Swedenborg asking if a recently deceased person could tell him where it was, which he was said to have done the following night.

Although not typically cited along with these three episodes, there was one further piece of evidence: Swedenborg was noted by the seamen of the ships that he sailed between Stockholm and London to always have excellent sailing conditions. When asked about this by a friend, Swedenborg played down the matter, saying he was surprised by this experience himself and that he was certainly not able to do miracles.

Kant’s view

In 1763, Immanuel Kant, then at the beginning of his career, was impressed by accounts of Swedenborg’s psychic abilities and made inquiries to find out if they were true. He also ordered all eight volumes of the expensive Arcana Cœlestia (Heavenly Arcana or Heavenly Mysteries). One Charlotte von Knobloch wrote to Kant asking his opinion of Swedenborg’s psychic experiences. Kant wrote a very affirmative reply, referring to Swedenborg’s “miraculous” gift, and characterizing him as “reasonable, agreeable, remarkable and sincere” and “a scholar”, in one of his letters to Mendelssohn, and expressing regret that he (Kant) had never met Swedenborg. Joseph Green, his English friend, who investigated the matter for Kant, including by visiting Swedenborg’s home, found Swedenborg to be a “sensible, pleasant and openhearted” man and here again, a scholar.

However, three years later, in 1766, Kant wrote and published anonymously a small book entitled Träume eines Geistersehers (Dreams of a Spirit-Seer) that was a scathing critique of Swedenborg and his writings. He termed Swedenborg a “spook hunter” “without official office or occupation”. As rationale for his critique, Kant said he wanted to stop “ceaseless questioning” and inquiries about Dreams from “inquisitive” persons, both known and unknown. Kant’s friend Moses Mendelssohn thought there was a “joking pensiveness” in Dreams that sometimes left the reader in doubt as to whether Dreams was meant to make “metaphysics laughable or spirit-seeking credible”. In one of his letters to Mendelssohn, Kant refers to Dreams less-than-enthusiastically as a “desultory little essay”.

Kant never closed off the possibility of mysticism or spirits in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, and the exact relationship of his thought to Swedenborg’s remains unclear, according to contemporary scholars.

Theology

Swedenborg claimed in The Heavenly Doctrine that the teachings of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ were revealed to him.

Swedenborg considered his theology a revelation of the true Christian religion that had become obfuscated through centuries of theology. However, he did not refer to his writings as theology since he considered it based on actual experiences, unlike theology, except in the title of his last work. Neither did he wish to compare it to philosophy, a discipline he discarded in 1748 because, he claimed, it “darkens the mind, blinds us, and wholly rejects the faith”.

The foundation of Swedenborg’s theology was laid down in Arcana Cœlestia (Heavenly Mysteries), published in eight Latin volumes from 1749 to 1756. In a significant portion of that work, he interprets the Biblical passages of Genesis and Exodus. He reviews what he says is the inner spiritual sense of these two works of the Word of God. (He later made a similar review of the inner sense of the book of Revelation in Apocalypse Revealed.) Most of all, he was convinced that the Bible describes a human’s transformation from a materialistic to a spiritual being, which he calls rebirth or regeneration. He begins this work by outlining how the creation myth was not an account of the creation of Earth, but an account of man’s rebirth or regeneration in six steps represented by the six days of creation. Everything related to mankind in the Bible could also be related to Jesus Christ, and how Christ freed himself from materialistic boundaries through the glorification of his human presence by making it Divine. Swedenborg examines this idea in his exposition of Genesis and Exodus.

Marriage

One often discussed aspect of Swedenborg’s writing is his ideas on marriage. Swedenborg himself remained a bachelor all his life, but that did not hinder him from writing voluminously on the subject. His work on Marriage Love (Conjugial Love in older translations) (1768) was dedicated to this purpose.

A central question with regard to marriage is whether it stops at death or continues into heaven. The question arises due to a statement attributed to Jesus that there is no marriage in heaven (Luke 20:27–38, Matthew 22:23–32, and Mark 12:18–27). Swedenborg wrote The Lord God Jesus Christ on Marriage in Heaven as a detailed analysis of what he meant.

The quality of the relationship between husband and wife resumes in the spiritual world in whatever state it was at their death in this world. Thus, a couple in true marriage love remain together in that state in heaven into eternity. A couple lacking in that love by one or both partners, however, will separate after death and each will be given a compatible new partner if they wish. A partner is also given to a person who loved the ideal of marriage but never found a true partner in this world. The exception in both cases is a person who hates chaste marriage and thus cannot receive such a partner.

Swedenborg saw creation as a series of pairings, descending from the Divine love and wisdom that define God and are the basis of creation. This duality can be seen in the pairing of good and truth, charity and faith, God and the church, and husband and wife. In each case, the goal for these pairs is to achieve conjunction between the two component parts. In the case of marriage, the object is to bring about the joining together of the two partners at the spiritual and physical levels, and the happiness that comes as a consequence.

Trinity

Swedenborg rejected the common explanation of the Trinity as a Trinity of Persons, which he said was not taught in the early Christian church. There was, for instance, no mention in the Apostolic writings of any “Son from eternity”. Instead he explained in his theological writings how the Divine Trinity exists in One Person, in One God, the Lord Jesus Christ, which he said is taught in Colossians 2:9. According to The Heavenly Doctrine, Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world due to the spread of evil here.

Swedenborg spoke in virtually all his works against what he regarded as the incomprehensible Trinity of Persons concept. He said that people of other religions opposed Christianity because of its doctrine of a Trinity of Persons. He considered the separation of the Trinity into three separate Persons to have originated with the First Council of Nicaea and the Athanasian Creed.

Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

The Heavenly Doctrine rejects the concept of salvation through faith-alone (sola-fide in Latin), since he considered both faith and charity necessary for salvation, not one without the other, whereas the Reformers taught that faith-alone procured justification, although it must be a faith which resulted in obedience. The purpose of faith, according to The Heavenly Doctrine, is to lead a person to a life according to the truths of faith, which is charity, as is taught in 1 Corinthians 13:13 and James 2:20.

In other words, Swedenborg spoke sharply against the faith-alone doctrine of Luther and others. He held that justification before God was not based solely upon some imputed righteousness before God, and was not achievable merely by a gift of God’s grace (sola gratia), granted without any basis in a person’s actual behavior in life. Sola-fide was a doctrine averred by Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli and others during the Protestant Reformation, and was a core belief especially in the theology of the Lutheran reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon.

Although the sola-fide doctrine of the Reformers also emphasized that saving faith was one that effected works (by faith-alone, but not by a faith which is alone), Swedenborg protested against faith-alone being the instrument of justification, and held that salvation is only possible through the conjunction of faith and charity in a person, and that the purpose of faith is to lead a person to live according to the truths of faith, which is charity. He further states that faith and charity must be exercised by doing good out of willing good whenever possible, which are good works or good uses or the conjunction perishes. In one section he wrote:

It is very evident from their Epistles that it never entered the mind of any of the apostles that the church of this day would separate faith from charity by teaching that faith-alone justifies and saves apart from the works of the law, and that charity therefore cannot be conjoined with faith, since faith is from God, and charity, so far as it is expressed in works, is from man. But this separation and division were introduced into the Christian church when it divided God into three persons, and ascribed to each equal Divinity.— True Christian Religion, section 355

Later history

Swedenborg made no attempt to found a church. A few years after his death – 15 by one estimate – for the most part in England, small reading groups formed to study his teachings. As one scholar states, The Heavenly Doctrine particularly appealed to the various dissenting groups that sprang up in the first half of the 18th century who were “surfeited with revivalism and narrow-mindedness” and found his optimism and comprehensive explanations appealing.

A variety of important cultural figures, both writers and artists, were influenced by Swedenborg’s writings, including Robert Frost, Johnny Appleseed, William Blake, Jorge Luis Borges, Daniel Burnham, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Flaxman, George Inness, Henry James Sr., Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Honoré de Balzac, Helen Keller, Czesław Miłosz, August Strindberg, D. T. Suzuki, and W. B. Yeats. His philosophy had a great impact on the Duke of Södermanland, later King Carl XIII, who as the Grand Master of Swedish Freemasonry (Svenska Frimurare Orden) built its unique system of degrees and wrote its rituals. In contrast, one of the most prominent Swedish authors of Swedenborg’s day, Johan Henric Kellgren, called Swedenborg “nothing but a fool”. A heresy trial was initiated in Sweden in 1768 against Swedenborg writings and two men who promoted them.

In the two and a half centuries since Swedenborg’s death, various interpretations of his theology have been made, and he has also been scrutinized in biographies and psychological studies. Swedenborg, with his claimed new dispensation, has been considered by some to suffer from mental illness. While the insanity explanation was not uncommon during Swedenborg’s own time, it is mitigated by his activity in the Swedish Riddarhuset (the House of the Nobility), the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Additionally, the system of thought in his theological writings is considered by some to be remarkably coherent. Furthermore, he was characterized by his contemporaries as a “kind and warm-hearted man”, “amiable in his meeting with the public”, speaking “easily and naturally of his spiritual experiences”, with pleasant and interesting conversation. An English friend of Kant’s who visited Swedenborg at Kant’s behest described Swedenborg as a “reasonable, pleasant and candid man and scholar”. Of note here is Swedenborg’s statement that he was commanded by the Lord to publish his writings and “Do not believe that without this express command I would have thought of publishing things which I knew in advance would make me look ridiculous and many people would think lies”.

Works

Copies of the original Latin version in which Swedenborg wrote his revelation are available from the following sources.

List of referenced works by Swedenborg and the year they were first published.

Within parenthesis is the common name used in a New Church listing. Then follows the title in its original publication. All the titles listed were published by Swedenborg, except one, The Spiritual Diary, which was not. Various minor reports and tracts have been omitted from the list.

1716–1718, (Daedalus Hyperboreus) Swedish: Daedalus Hyperboreus, eller några nya mathematiska och physicaliska försök. (English: The Northern inventor, or some new experiments in mathematics and physics)

1721, (Principles of Chemistry) Latin: Prodromus principiorum rerum naturalium: sive novorum tentaminum chymiam et physicam experimenta geometrice explicandi

1722, (Miscellaneous Observations) Latin: Miscellanea de Rebus Naturalibus

1734, (Principia) Latin: Opera Philosophica et Mineralia (English: Philosophical and Mineralogical Works), three volumes

(Principia, Volume I) Latin: Tomus I. Principia rerum naturlium sive novorum tentaminum phaenomena mundi elementaris philosophice explicandi

(Principia, Volume II) Latin: Tomus II. Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de ferro

(Principia, Volume III) Latin: Tomus III. Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de cupro et orichalco

1734, (The Infinite and Final Cause of Creation) Latin: Prodromus Philosophiz Ratiocinantis de Infinito, et Causa Finali Creationis; deque Mechanismo Operationis Animae et Corporis.

1744–1745, (The Animal Kingdom) Latin: Regnum animale, 3 volumes

1745, (The Worship and Love of God) Latin: De Cultu et Amore Dei, 2 volumes

1749–1756, (Arcana Cœlestia (or Caelestia) (Heavenly Mysteries) Latin: Arcana Cœlestia, quae in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini sunt, detecta, 8 volumes

1758, (Heaven and Hell) Latin: De Caelo et Ejus Mirabilibus et de inferno. Ex Auditis et Visis.

1758, (The Last Judgment) Latin: De Ultimo Judicio

1758, (The White Horse) Latin: De Equo Albo de quo in Apocalypsi Cap. XIX.

1758, (Earths in the Universe) Latin: De Telluribus in Mundo Nostro Solari, quæ vocantur planetæ: et de telluribus in coelo astrifero: deque illarum incolis; tum de spiritibus & angelis ibi; ex auditis & visis.

1758, (The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine) Latin: De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti

1763, (Doctrine of the Lord) Latin:Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Domino.

1763, (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture) Latin: Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Scriptura Sacra.

1763, (Doctrine of Life) Latin: Doctrina Vitæ pro Nova Hierosolyma ex præceptis Decalogi.

1763, (Doctrine of Faith) Latin: Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Fide.

1763, (Continuation of The Last Judgement) Latin: Continuatio De Ultimo Judicio: et de mundo spirituali.

1763, (Divine Love and Wisdom) Latin: Sapientia Angelica de Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia.

1764, (Divine Providence) Latin: Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia.

1766, (Apocalypse Revealed) Latin: Apocalypsis Revelata, in quae detegunter Arcana quae ibi preedicta sunt.

1768, (Conjugial Love, or Marriage Love) Latin: Deliciae Sapientiae de Amore Conjugiali; post quas sequumtur voluptates insaniae de amore scortatorio.

1769, (Brief Exposition) Latin: Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ Novæ Ecclesiæ, quæ per Novam Hierosolymam in Apocalypsi intelligitur.

1769, (Interaction of the Soul and the Body) Latin: De Commercio Animæ & Corporis.

1771, (True Christian Religion) Latin: Vera Christiana Religio, continens Universam Theologiam Novae Ecclesiae

1859, Drömboken, Journalanteckningar(Journal of Dreams), 1743–1744

1983–1997, (Spiritual Diary) Latin: Diarum, Ubi Memorantur Experientiae Spirituales.

Utsuro-bune

Utsuro-bune (虚舟, ‘hollow ship’), also Utsuro-fune, and Urobune, was an unknown object that allegedly washed ashore in 1803 in Hitachi province on the eastern coast of Japan. When defining Utsuro-bune, the bune part means “boat” while Utsuro means empty, or hollow. Accounts of the tale appear in three texts: Toen shōsetsu (1825), Hyōryū kishū (1835) and Ume-no-chiri (1844).

According to legend, an attractive young woman aged 18-20 years old, arrived on a local beach aboard the “hollow ship” on February 22, 1803. Fishermen brought her inland to investigate further, but the woman was unable to communicate in Japanese. She was very different from anyone else there. The fishermen then returned her and her vessel to the sea, where it drifted away.

Historians, ethnologists and physicists such as Kazuo Tanaka and Yanagita Kunio have evaluated the “legend of the hollow boat” as part of a long-standing tradition within Japanese folklore. Alternatively, certain ufologists have claimed that the story represents evidence for a close encounter with extraterrestrial life.

Historical sources

The best-known versions of the legend are found in three texts:

Toen shōsetsu (兎園小説, “tales from the rabbit garden”), composed in 1825 by Kyokutei Bakin. The manuscript is today on display at the Mukyū-Kai-Toshokan at Machida (Tokyo prefecture).

Hyōryū kishū (漂流紀集, “diaries and stories of castaways”), composed during the Edo period in 1835 by an unknown author. It is today on display at the library of the Tenri University at Tenri in the Nara prefecture.

Ume-no-chiri (梅の塵, “dust of the apricot”), composed in 1844 by Nagahashi Matajirō. It is today on display at the private library Iwase-Bunko-Toshokan (岩瀬文庫図書館) at Nara.

Description in all three books bear similarity, thus they seem to have the same historical origins. The book Toen shōsetsu contains the most detailed version.

Legend

Toen shōsetsu

On February 22, 1803, local fishers of the Harayadori (はらやどり) shore in the Hitachi province saw an ominous “ship” drifting in the waters. Curious, they towed the vessel back to land, discovering that it was 3.30 meters (10.83 feet) high and 5.45 meters (17.88 feet) wide, reminding the witnesses of a Kōhako (Japanese incense burner). Its upper part appeared to be made of red coated rosewood, while the lower part was covered with brazen plates, obviously to protect it against the sharp-edged rocks. The upper part had several windows made of glass or crystal, covered with bars and clogged with some kind of tree resin. The shape of the hollow boat resembled a wooden rice pit. The windows were completely transparent and the baffled fishermen looked inside. The inner side of the Utsuro-bune was decorated with texts written in an unknown language. The fishermen found items inside such as two bed sheets, a bottle filled with 3.6 liters of water, some cake and kneaded meat. Then the fishermen saw a beautiful young woman, possibly 18 or 20 years old. Her body size was said to be 1.5 meters (4.92 feet). The woman had red hair and eyebrows, the hair elongated by artificial white extensions. The extensions could have been made of white fur or thin, white-powdered textile streaks. This hairstyle cannot be found in any literature. The skin of the lady was a very pale pink color. She wore precious, long and smooth clothes of unknown fabrics. The woman began speaking, but no one understood her. She did not seem to understand the fishermen either, so no one could ask her about her origin. Although the mysterious woman appeared friendly and courteous, she acted oddly, for she always clutched a quadratic box made of pale material and around 0.6 m (24 in) in size. The woman did not allow anyone to touch the box, no matter how kindly or pressingly the witnesses asked.

An old man from the village theorized, “This woman could be a princess of a foreign realm, who married at her homeland. But when she had an affair with a townsman after marriage, it caused a scandal and the lover was killed for punishment. The princess was banned from home, for she enjoyed lots of sympathy, so she escaped the death penalty. Instead, she might have been exposed in that Utsuro-bune to leave her to destiny. If this should be correct, the quadratic box may contain the head of the woman’s deceased lover. In the past, a very similar object with a woman was washed ashore on a close-by beach. During this incident, a small board with a pinned head was found. The content of the box could therefore be the same, which would certainly explain why she protects it so much. It would cost lots of money and time to investigate the woman and her boat. Since it seems to be tradition to expose those boats at sea, we should bring the woman back to the Utsuro-bune and let her drift away. The townspeople were frightened. In a different version, the lady from the hollow boat stays where she landed and grows to old age. From human sight it might be cruel, but it seems to be her predetermined destiny.” The fishermen reassembled the Utsuro-bune, placed the woman in it, and set it to drift away into the ocean.

Ume no chiri

On March 24, 1803, at the beach of ‘Harato-no-hama’ (原舎浜) in the Hitachi province, a strange ‘boat’ was washed ashore. It reminded the witnesses of a rice cooking pot, around its middle it had a thickened rim. It was also coated with black paint and it had four little windows on four sides. The windows had bars and they were clogged with tree resin. The lower part of the boat was protected by brazen plates which looked to be made of iron of the highest western quality. The height of the boat was 3.33 m (10.83 ft) and its breadth was 5.41 m (17.75 ft). A woman of 20 years was found in the boat. Her body size was 1.5 m (4.92 ft) and her skin was as white as snow. The long hair dangled smoothly down along her back. Her face was of indescribable beauty. The dress of the woman was of unknown style and no one could recognize it. She spoke an unknown language. She held a small box no one was allowed to touch. Inside the boat two unusually soft carpets of unknown style and fabric were found. There were supplies such as cake, kneaded food and meat. A beautifully decorated cup with ornaments no one could identify was also found.

Similar traditions

There are several further documents about Utsuro-bune sightings in Japan, for example ‘Hirokata Zuihitsu’ (弘賢随筆) and ‘Ōshuku Zakki’ (鶯宿雑記). The investigation started in 1844, and continued in 1925, and 1962. In 2010 and 2012 two rare ink printings were found and investigated by Kazuo Tanaka. In 1977 they contained stories about Utsuro-bune with very similar content to that of the Hyōryū kishū, although they claim a different location for the events: ‘Minato Bōshū’ (港房州) (harbour of Bōshū).

Other legends concerning Utsuro-bune

A well known Japanese legend is that of the origin of the Kōno clan of the Iyo Province. In the 7th century, a fisherman named ‘Wakegorō’ (和気五郎) from Gogo island found a 13-year-old girl inside an Utsuro-bune drifting at sea. He brought her to land, where she told him that she was the daughter of the Chinese emperor and that she had been forced to flee to escape her stepmother. The fisherman named her “Wake-hime” (和気姫) (“princess Wake”) and raised her, before she married an imperial prince of Iyo province and gave birth to a son named “Ochimiko” (小千御子), the ancestor of the Kōno clan. A part of this folktale held that she was responsible for bringing the first silk cocoons to Japan. Princess Wake is still worshiped at the Funakoshi Wakehime Shinto shrine in the village of Funakoshi on Gogo island.

There are more myths that share many similarities to Utsune-Bune. Toen shosetsu, which translates to “rabbit in the garden”, a book written by Kyokutei Bakin, tells the story of a few castaways marking their journey and end up in the same situation. Another story written by an unknown author Umi-nu-chiri, which translates to “dust of the apricot” is another story that shares many similarities to Utsuro-Bune.

Interpretations

Historical investigations

The first historical investigations of the Utsuro-bune incident were conducted in 1844 by Kyokutei Bakin (1767–1848). Kyokutei reports about a book called Roshia bunkenroku (魯西亜聞見録, ‘Records of seen and heard things from Russia’), written by Kanamori Kinken. The book describes traditional Russian clothes and hairstyles and mentions a popular method to dust hair with white powder. It also mentions that many Russian women have natural red hair and that they wear skirts, similar to that of the lady of the legend. Based upon the book, Kyokutei suggests that the woman of the Utsuro-bune incident could have been of Russian origin. He writes that the stories are similar to each other, as they differ only in minor descriptions (for example, one documents says “3.6 liters of water”, another says “36 liters of water”). He also questions the origin of the alleged exotic symbols found in and on the boat. Because he is convinced that he saw similar signs on a British whaler stranded shortly before his writing, Kyokutei wonders if the woman was a Russian, British or even American princess. Furthermore, he expresses his disappointment about the drawings of the Utsuro-bune, because they obviously do not fully match the witness descriptions.

Modern investigations

Further investigations of the Utsuro-bune incident were done in 1925 and in 1962 by ethnologist and historian Yanagida Kunio. He points out that circular boats were never anything unusual in Japan since early times; only the western-like details, such as the windows made of glass and the brazen protective plates, make the Utsuro-bune look exotic. He also found out that most legends similar to that of the Utsuro-bune sound alike: Someone finds a strange girl or young woman inside a circular boat and rescues the stranded or sends her back to the ocean. Yanagida also points out that the eldest versions of Utsuro-bune describe humble, circular and open log-boats without any dome atop. Yanagida assumes that the details of the brazen plates and windows made of glass or crystal were added because skeptics would question the seaworthiness of a humble log-boat on the high seas. A steel reinforced Utsuro-bune with glass windows would more easily survive traveling on the ocean than an open, unreinforced wooden boat.

Dr. Kazuo Tanaka (田中 嘉津夫), Japanese professor for computer and electronics engineering from Gifu University at Tokyo (東京), investigated the original scripts in 1997. He considers the popular comparisons of the Utsuro-bune with modern UFO sightings to be far-fetched. He points out that the Utsuro-bune of the legends never flies or moves on its own, nor does it show any signs of extraordinary technologies. It simply drifts motionless on the water. Tanaka concludes that the tale of the Utsuro-bune was a literary mixture of folklore and imaginations. He bases his assumptions on the 1925 investigations of the Japanese historian Yanagida Kunio, who had also studied the tales of the Utsuro-bune.

Dr. Tanaka himself found out that the locations “Haratono-hama” and “Harayadori” are fictitious. To make the anecdote sound credible, the author designated the beaches as personal acreages of a Daimyō named Ogasawara Nagashige. This daimyō actually lived during the Edo period, but his acreages were placed at heartland and it seems sure that Ogasawara never had any contact with the fishermen of the Pacific coast. The Ogasawara clan served the famous Tokugawa clan, who held power over the most north-eastern part of Japan until 1868 and their main acreages were placed in the Hitashi province, geographically very close to the eastern beaches. Tanaka finds it very odd that no incident of such alleged importance was commented on in the curatorial documents, since strangers leaving the shore had to be reported at once. But the only remarkable incident during the late Tokugawa clan happened in 1824, when a British whaler was stranded at the north-eastern coast of the Hitachi district. Tanaka also found out that, during the rulership of the Tokugawa clan, the Ogasawara family and the Tokugawa started mapping their territories and acreages. And both names of “Haratono-hama” and “Harayadori” are missing. They also do not appear on the maps of the first complete mappings of the whole of Japan in 1907. If the name of a village, city or place had changed in history, this would have been noted in some curatorial documents, but it is not. Tanaka thinks it rather unlikely that important places such as “Haratono-hama” and “Harayadori” actually could have been forgotten in records.

The peculiar European appearance of the woman, the upper part of the Utsuro-bune and the unknown writings lead Tanaka and Yanagida to the conclusion that the whole story was based on the historical circumstance that people of the Edo period totally encapsulated Japan against the outer world. To bedizen a stranded woman with European attributes showed how much the peoples were afraid of bad cultural influences from the western world, especially North America and Great Britain. The story of the Utsuro-bune is significantly constructed in a way that makes the tale sound incredible at one site, but self-explaining at the same time (the woman and her craft are sent away so no one could ever consult her personally).

Furthermore, Tanaka and Yanagida point out that the people of Edo period shared great interests in paranormal things such as yūrei, onibi, hitodama and yōkai, so it would not be surprising to find stories of exotic boats like the Utsuro-bune.

In his conclusions, Tanaka points to the difficulty in the correct reading of the place names. In modern transcriptions, the Kanji 原舎 have to be read as Harasha. But in Toen Shōsetsu the signs are written in Kana and they have to be read as Hara-yadori. In Ume no chiri they are written in Furigana making the place to be named as Haratono-hama. Alternatively, the kanji for Haratono could be read as Hara-yadori. According to Tanaka’s investigations, the transcription of 原舎ヶ浜 in the Hyōryū Kishū as “Harasha-ga-hama” is therefore a typo based on a misreading and should originally be read as “Haratono-ga-hama”. Thus, all writings describe the same place. Tanaka also points out that the word Utsuro means “empty” or “abandoned” and that the word Utsubo means “quiver” and describes the bags in which hunters and archers once carried their arrows. But both words also describe old, hollowed tree trunks and branch holes of sacred trees. The word Fune/Bune simply means “boat”. Altogether, the word Utsuro-bune means “hollow ship”.

On May 26, 2014, The Ibaragi Shimbun (茨城新聞, Ibaragi Shinbun) reported Tanaka found Jinichi Kawakami’s palaeography (ja:古文書, Komonjyo) regarding Utsuro-bune strange story (うつろ舟奇談, Uturobune kidan) and place name Hitachihara Sharihama (常陸原舎り濱)(as of 2014, Hasakisharihama, Kamisu (神栖市波崎舎利浜)) where coast surveyed in 1801 and on Dai Nihon Enkai Yochi Zenzu (ja:大日本沿海輿地全図 maps of Japan’s coastal area) by Inō Tadataka.

Ufological

In Ufology, the legend of the Utsuro-bune has been described as an early case of a documented close encounter of the third kind based on the similarities between the drawings of the vessel from the Edo period and 20th century descriptions of flying saucers. Some Ufologists suggest the Utsuro-bune could have been an unidentified submarine object (USO). They note the mysterious symbols which were reportedly found on the object that regularly appear as addenda within the depictions. They are suggested by some to be similar to the symbols reported at the Rendlesham Forest Incident in England, which was used by the United States Air force. The same writing is also found in caves. Caves also show many drawings of odd figures along the symbols. UFO proponents further point to the ominous box held by the woman as well as her physical appearance and unusual dress as evidence of an extraterrestrial encounter. The assumptions of any historian and ethnologist about those items are repeatedly ignored.

Utsuro-bune in manga and anime

Utsuro-bune are popular motifs in manga and anime. A prominent example appears in the television series Mononoke (2007), which revolves around the tales told by a traveler known as the “medicine seller” (薬売り). In episodes 3–5, the protagonist tells the story of Umibōzu, in which a sunken Utsuro-bune features prominently. Here it is depicted as a decorated, sealed, hollow tree trunk, and contains the corpse of a young woman who had been sacrificed to sea demons.

In the third season of Mysterious Cities of Gold, an Utsuro-bune coming from the sunken third City has ended up in the forest near Kagoshima. When activated, it reveals a water-like hologram of a woman that tells the protagonists of the next key item to find.

Grey Aliens

Grey aliens, also referred to as Zeta Reticulans, Roswell Greys, or Grays, are purported extraterrestrial beings. According to journalist C. D. B. Bryan, two percent of all reported alien encounters in the United States describe Grey aliens, a significantly higher proportion than other countries. Such claims vary widely, but typically Greys are described as being human-like with small bodies with smooth grey-colored skin, enlarged hairless heads, and large black eyes. The Barney and Betty Hill abduction claim, which purportedly took place in New Hampshire in 1961, popularized Grey aliens. There are precursor figures described in science fiction and similar descriptions appeared in early accounts of the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.

The Grey alien has emerged as an archetypal image of an intelligent non-human creature and extraterrestrial life in general, as well as an iconic trope of popular culture in the age of space exploration.

Appearance

Greys are typically depicted as grey-skinned diminutive humanoid beings that possess reduced forms of, or completely lack, external human body parts such as noses, ears or sex organs. Their bodies are usually depicted as being elongated, having a small chest, and lacking in muscular definition and visible skeletal structure. Their legs are depicted as being shorter and jointed differently from humans with limbs proportionally different from a human.

Greys are depicted as having unusually large heads in proportion to their bodies with no hair on the body, and no noticeable outer ears or noses, sometimes with small openings or orifices for ears, nostrils, and mouths. In drawings, Greys are almost always shown with very large opaque black eyes. They are frequently described as shorter than average adult humans.

In popular culture

History

The precise origin of the Grey as the stereotypical extraterrestrial being is difficult to pinpoint. In the 1893 article “Man of the Year Million”, science fiction author H. G. Wells envisioned the possibility of humanity transformed into a race of grey-skinned beings who were perhaps one meter tall, with big heads and large, oval-shaped pitch-black eyes. In his 1901 book The First Men in the Moon, Wells described Selenites (natives of the Moon) as having grey skin, big heads, and large black eyes. He also briefly describes aliens resembling Greys brought down to Earth as food for the Martians, who were the antagonist characters in his 1898 novel The War of the Worlds.

In 1933, the Swedish novelist Gustav Sandgren, using the pen name Gabriel Linde, published a science fiction novel called Den okända faran (“The Unknown Danger”), in which he describes a race of extraterrestrials who wore clothes made of soft grey fabric and were short, with big bald heads, and large, dark, gleaming eyes. The novel, aimed at young readers, included illustrations of the imagined aliens.

In 1965, newspaper reports of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction made the archetype famous. The alleged abductees, Betty and Barney Hill, claimed that in 1961, alien beings had abducted them and taken them to a flying saucer. Under hypnosis, Betty Hill produced a “star map” which she claimed located the home planet of her abductors in the Zeta Reticuli star system (allegedly the third planet of one of the stars of the Zeta Reticuli binary system). Betty thereafter began to refer to them as Zeta Reticulans. According to science writer and skeptic Brian Dunning, the Hill’s alleged abduction introduced the gray alien into popular culture, although popular use of the term “greys” would follow years later.

In his 1990 article “Entirely Unpredisposed,” Martin Kottmeyer suggested that Barney’s memories revealed under hypnosis might have been influenced by an episode of the science fiction television show The Outer Limits titled “The Bellero Shield” which was broadcast about two weeks before Barney’s first hypnotic session. The episode featured an extraterrestrial with large eyes who says, “In all the universes, in all the unities beyond the universes, all who have eyes have eyes that speak.” The report from the regression featured a scenario that was in some respects similar to the television show. In part, Kottmeyer wrote:

Wraparound eyes are an extreme rarity in science fiction films. I know of only one instance. They appeared on the alien of an episode of an old TV series The Outer Limits entitled “The Bellero Shield.” A person familiar with Barney’s sketch in “The Interrupted Journey” and the sketch done in collaboration with the artist David Baker will find a “frisson” of “déjà vu” creeping up his spine when seeing this episode. The resemblance is much abetted by an absence of ears, hair, and nose on both aliens. Could it be by chance? Consider this: Barney first described and drew the wraparound eyes during the hypnosis session dated 22 February 1964. “The Bellero Shield” was first broadcast on 10 February 1964. Only twelve days separate the two instances. If the identification is admitted, the commonness of wraparound eyes in the abduction literature falls to cultural forces.

Depictions of grey aliens appear in a number of films and television shows, such as the benevolent aliens in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

1980–1991

During the early 1980s, Greys were linked to the alleged crash-landing of a flying saucer in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. A number of publications contained statements from individuals who claimed to have seen the U.S. military handling a number of unusually proportioned, bald, child-sized beings. These individuals claimed, during and after the incident, that the beings had over-sized heads and slanted eyes—but scant other distinguishable facial features.

In 1987, novelist Whitley Strieber published the book Communion, which, unlike his previous works, was categorized as non-fiction, and in which he describes a number of close encounters he alleges to have experienced with Greys and other extraterrestrial beings. The book became a New York Times bestseller, and New Line Cinema released a 1989 film adaption that starred Christopher Walken as Strieber.

In 1988, Christophe Dechavanne interviewed the French science-fiction writer and ufologist Jimmy Guieu during a weekly French TV Live Show which, at the time, was entitled “Ciel, mon mardi !”. It was broadcast by TF1, one of the three national TV channels in France. Besides mentioning Majestic 12, Jimmy Guieu described the existence of what he called “the little greys” which, later on, became better known in French under the name: les Petits-Gris.

In the early 1990s, the same ufologist Jimmy Guieu wrote two docu-dramas, using as a plot the Grey aliens / Majestic-12 conspiracy theory as described by John Lear and Milton William Cooper: the series “E.B.E.” (for “Extraterrestrial Biological Entity”): E.B.E.: Alerte rouge (first part) (1990) and E.B.E.: L’entité noire d’Andamooka (second part) (1991).

1992–present day

During the 1990s, popular culture began to increasingly link Greys to a number of military-industrial complex and New World Order conspiracy theories. A well-known example of this occurring as a form of entertainment was the FOX television series The X-Files, which first aired in 1993. It combined the quest to find proof of the existence of Grey-like extraterrestrials with a number of UFO conspiracy theory subplots, in order to form its primary story arc. Other notable examples include the X-COM video game franchise (where they are called “Sectoids”), Dark Skies, first broadcast in 1996, which expanded upon the MJ-12 conspiracy, and Stargate SG-1, which in the 1998 episode “Thor’s Chariot” introduced the Asgard, a race of benevolent Greys who visited ancient Earth masquerading as characters from Norse Mythology. Greys, referred to as “visitors”, appear in two episodes of South Park, and Roger Smith, a regular character on the animated comedy series American Dad! since its debut in 2005, is a Grey-like alien. On Babylon 5, the Greys were referred to as the Vree, and depicted as being allies and trade partners of 23rd-century Earth.

In 1995, filmmaker Ray Santilli claimed to have obtained 22 reels of 16 mm film that depicted the autopsy of a “real” Grey supposedly recovered from the site of the 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico. However, in 2006 Santilli announced that the film was not original, but was instead a “reconstruction” created after the original film was found to have degraded. He maintained that a real Grey had been found and autopsied on camera in 1947, and that the footage released to the public contained a percentage of that original footage.

During the 2000s, William J. Birnes published numerous accounts of encounters with Greys in UFO Magazine.

The 2011 film Paul tells the story of a Grey who attributes the Greys’ frequent presence in science-fiction pop-culture to the US government deliberately inserting the stereotypical Grey alien image into mainstream media so that if humanity came into contact with Paul’s species, there would be no immediate shock as to their appearance.

Analysis

In close encounter claims and ufology

Greys are often involved in alien abduction claims. Among reports of alien encounters, Greys make up approximately 50 percent in Australia, 73 percent in the United States, 48 percent in Continental Europe, and around 12 percent in the United Kingdom. These reports include two distinct groups of Greys that differ in height.

Abduction claims are often described as extremely traumatic, similar to an abduction by humans or even a sexual assault in the level of trauma and distress. Research has shown that the emotional impact of perceived abductions can be as great as that of combat, sexual abuse, and other traumatic events.

The eyes are often a focus of abduction claims. Claims often describe a Grey staring into the eyes of an abductee when conducting mental procedures. This staring is claimed to induce hallucinogenic states or directly provoke different emotions.

Psychocultural expression of intelligence

Neurologist Steven Novella proposes that Grey aliens are a byproduct of the human imagination, with the Greys’ most distinctive features representing everything that modern humans traditionally link with intelligence. “The aliens, however, do not just appear as humans, they appear like humans with those traits we psychologically associate with intelligence.”

The “Mother Hypothesis”

In 2005, Frederick V. Malmstrom, writing in Skeptic magazine, vol. 11 issue 4, presents his idea that Greys are actually residual memories of early childhood development. Malmstrom reconstructs the face of a Grey through transformation of a mother’s face based on our best understanding of early childhood sensation and perception. Malmstrom’s study offers another alternative to the existence of Greys, the intense instinctive response many people experience when presented an image of a Grey, and the act of regression hypnosis and recovered-memory therapy in “recovering” memories of alien abduction experiences, along with their common themes. It has also be proposed that the “Greys” are actually distorted memories of traumatic experiences, faded with time, especially according to studies by Malmstrom and similar researchers. “It’s easier to imagine being abducted by alien creatures than to face the traumatic memories of being bullied by peers or assaulted by an aggressive man.”

Evolutionary implausibility

According to biologist Jack Cohen, the typical image of a Grey, assuming that it would have evolved from a world with different environmental and ecological conditions from Earth, is too physiologically similar to a human to be credible as a representation of an alien.

Some ufologists explain such implausible coincidences as evidence that extraterrestrial beings may have had influence on the evolution of life on Earth in the distant past (the theory of ancient astronauts), specifically that extraterrestrials were involved in the evolution of primates, including humans.

Conspiracy theories

Some conspiracy theorists believe that Greys represent part of a government-led disinformation or plausible deniability campaign, or that they are a product of government mind control experiments.

Son of Sam: David Berkowitz

David Richard Berkowitz (born Richard David Falco, June 1, 1953), also self-proclaimed with the name Son of Sam and christened by the media as the .44 Caliber Killer due to the weapon he used, is an American serial killer who pleaded guilty to eight separate shooting attacks that began in New York City during the summer of 1976.

Berkowitz grew up in New York City and served in the United States Army before committing his crimes. Using a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, he killed six people and wounded seven others by July 1977. The killing spree terrorized New Yorkers and gained worldwide notoriety. As the number of victims increased, Berkowitz eluded the biggest police manhunt in the history of New York City while leaving letters that mocked the police and promised further crimes, which were highly publicized by the press.

On the night of August 10, 1977, Berkowitz was taken into custody by New York City Police Department homicide detectives in front of his Yonkers apartment building; he was subsequently indicted for eight shooting incidents. He confessed to all of them, and initially claimed to have been obeying the orders of a demon manifested in the form of a dog belonging to his neighbor “Sam.” Despite his explanation, Berkowitz was found mentally competent to stand trial. He pled guilty to second-degree murder and was incarcerated in state prison. He subsequently admitted that the dog-and-devil story was a hoax. In the course of further police investigations, Berkowitz was also implicated in many unsolved arsons in the city.

Intense coverage of the case by the media lent a kind of celebrity status to Berkowitz, which he seemed to enjoy, as noted by some observers. In response, the New York State Legislature enacted new statutes, known popularly as “Son of Sam laws”, designed to keep criminals from financially profiting from the publicity created by their crimes. The statutes have remained law in New York despite various legal challenges, and similar laws have been enacted in several other states.

Berkowitz has been incarcerated since his arrest and is serving six consecutive life sentences. During the mid-1990s, he amended his confession to claim that he had been a member of a violent Satanic cult that orchestrated the incidents as ritual murder. A few law enforcement authorities have said that his claims might be credible, but he remains the only person ever charged with the shootings. A new investigation of the murders began in 1996, but was suspended indefinitely after inconclusive findings.

Early life

David Berkowitz was born Richard David Falco on June 1, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Broder, grew up as part of an impoverished Jewish family, and was a waitress. She married Tony Falco, an Italian American, in 1936. m After a marriage of less than four years, Tony Falco left her for another woman.

In 1950, Broder started a relationship with a married man named Joseph Klineman. Three years later, she became pregnant with a child to whom she chose to give the surname Falco and, within a few days of Richard’s birth, Broder gave the child away. Although her reasons for doing so are unknown, writers have surmised that Klineman threatened to abandon her if she kept the baby and used his name.

The infant boy was adopted by Pearl and Nathan Berkowitz of the Bronx. The Jewish-American couple were hardware store retailers of modest means, and childless in middle age. They reversed the order of the boy’s first and middle names and gave him their own surname, raising young David Richard Berkowitz as their only child.

Journalist John Vincent Sanders wrote that Berkowitz’s childhood was “somewhat troubled”. Although of above-average intelligence, he lost interest in learning at an early age and became infatuated with petty larceny and starting fires. Neighbors and relatives would recall Berkowitz as difficult, spoiled, and a bully. His adoptive parents consulted at least one psychotherapist due to his misconduct, but his misbehavior never resulted in a legal intervention or serious mention in his school records. He attended Public School #123 and Public School #77.

Berkowitz’s adoptive mother died of breast cancer when he was 14 years old, and his home life became strained during later years, particularly because he disliked his adoptive father’s second wife. He lived with his father while attending Christopher Columbus High School (graduating in 1971) and college in a four-and-a-half-room apartment at 170 Dreiser Loop in Co-op City in the Bronx from 1967 to 1971.

In 1971, at the age of 17, Berkowitz joined the United States Army and served in Fort Knox in the United States and with an infantry division in South Korea. After an honorable discharge in June 1974, he located his birth mother, Betty. After a few visits, she disclosed the details of his birth. The news greatly disturbed Berkowitz, and he was particularly distraught by the array of reluctant father figures. Forensic anthropologist Elliott Leyton described Berkowitz’s discovery of his adoption and birth details as the “primary crisis” of his life, a revelation that shattered his sense of identity. His communication with his birth mother later lapsed, but for a time he remained in communication with his half-sister, Roslyn. He attended Bronx Community College for one year, enrolling in the spring of 1975. In 1976 he went to work as a driver for the Co-Op City Taxi Company. He subsequently had several non-professional jobs, and at the time of his arrest was working as a letter sorter for the United States Postal Service.

Crimes begin (late 1975–early 1977)

During the mid-1970s, Berkowitz started to commit violent crimes. He bungled the first attempt at murder using a knife, then switched to a handgun and began a lengthy crime spree throughout the New York boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. He sought young female victims. He was purportedly most attracted to white women with long dark wavy hair. All but one of the crime sites involved two victims; he infamously committed some of his attacks while the women sat with boyfriends in parked cars. He exhibited an enduring enjoyment of his activities, often returning to the scenes of his crimes.

Forman stabbing (December 1975)

Berkowitz claimed that when he was 22 years old he committed his first attack on Christmas Eve, 1975, when he used a hunting knife to stab two women in Co-op City. One alleged victim, a Hispanic woman, was never identified by police, but the other was 15-year-old Michelle Forman, a sophomore at Truman High School, whom he attacked on a bridge near Dreiser Loop and whose injuries were serious enough for her to be hospitalized for seven days. Berkowitz was not suspected of these crimes, and soon afterward he relocated to an apartment in Yonkers, New York, just north of the New York City border, 20 to 25 minutes from Co-Op City.

Lauria and Valenti shooting (July 1976)

The first shooting attributed to the Son of Sam occurred in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx. At about 1:10 a.m. on July 29, 1976, Donna Lauria, an emergency medical technician, 18, and her friend Jody Valenti, a nurse, 19, were sitting in Valenti’s double-parked Oldsmobile, discussing their evening at Peachtree’s, a New Rochelle discotheque. Lauria opened the car door to leave and noticed a man quickly approaching the car. Startled and angered by the man’s sudden appearance, she said, “Now what is this…” The man produced a pistol from the paper bag that he carried and crouched. He braced one elbow on his knee, aimed his weapon with both hands, and fired. Lauria was struck by one bullet that killed her instantly. Valenti was shot in her thigh, and a third bullet missed both women. The shooter turned and walked away quickly.

Valenti survived her injury and said that she did not recognize the killer. She described him as a white male in his thirties with a fair complexion, about 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and weighing about 200 lb (91 kg). His hair was short, dark, and curly in a “mod style”. This description was repeated by Lauria’s father, who claimed to have seen a similar man sitting in a yellow compact car parked nearby. Neighbors gave corroborating reports to police that an unfamiliar yellow compact car had been cruising the area for hours before the shooting.

Denaro and Keenan shooting (October)

On October 23, 1976, a similar shooting occurred in a secluded residential area of Flushing, Queens, next to Bowne Park. Carl Denaro, a Citibank security guard, 20, and Rosemary Keenan, a Queens College student, 18, were sitting in Keenan’s parked car when the windows suddenly shattered. “I felt the car exploded [sic],” Denaro said later. Keenan quickly started the car and sped away for help. The panicked couple did not realize that someone had been shooting at them, even though Denaro was bleeding from a bullet wound to his head. Keenan had only superficial injuries from the broken glass, but Denaro eventually needed a metal plate to replace a portion of his skull. Neither victim saw the attacker.

Police determined that the bullets embedded in Keenan’s car were .44 caliber, but they were so deformed that they thought it unlikely that they could ever be linked to a particular weapon.

Denaro had shoulder-length hair, and police later speculated that the shooter had mistaken him for a woman. Keenan’s father was a 20-year veteran police detective of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), causing an intense investigation. As with the Lauria–Valenti shooting, however, there seemed not to be any motive for the shooting, and police made little progress with the case. Many details of the Denaro–Keenan shooting were very similar to the Lauria–Valenti case, but police did not initially associate them, partly because the shootings occurred in different boroughs and were investigated by different local police precincts.

DeMasi and Lomino shooting (November)

High school student Donna DeMasi, 16, and Joanne Lomino, a student at Martin Van Buren High School, 18, walked home from a movie soon after midnight on November 27, 1976. They were chatting on the porch of Lomino’s home in Floral Park, when a man dressed in military fatigues who seemed to be in his early 20s approached them and began to ask directions.

In a high-pitched voice he said, “Can you tell me how to get…” but then quickly produced a revolver. He shot each of the victims once and, as they fell to the ground injured, he fired several more times, striking the apartment building before running away. A neighbor heard the gunshots, rushed out of the apartment building, and saw a blond man rush by gripping a pistol in his left hand. DeMasi had been shot in the neck, but the wound was not life-threatening. Lomino was hit in the back and hospitalized in serious condition; she was ultimately rendered paraplegic.

Freund and Diel shooting (January 1977)

At about 12:40 a.m. on January 30, 1977, Christine Freund, a secretary, 26, and her fiancé John Diel, a bartender, 30, were sitting in Diel’s car near the Forest Hills LIRR station in Queens, preparing to drive to a dance hall after having seen the movie Rocky. Three gunshots penetrated the car. In a panic, Diel drove away for help. He suffered minor superficial injuries, but Freund was shot twice and died several hours later at the hospital. Neither victim had seen their attacker.

Police made the first public acknowledgment that the Freund–Diel shooting was similar to earlier incidents, and that the crimes might be associated. All the victims had been struck with .44 caliber bullets, and the shootings seemed to target young women with long dark hair. NYPD sergeant Richard Conlon stated that police were “leaning towards a connection in all these cases.” Composite sketches were released of the black-haired Lauria–Valenti shooter and the blond Lomino–DeMasi shooter, and Conlon noted that police were looking for multiple suspects, not just one.

Voskerichian shooting (March 8)

At about 7:30 p.m. on March 8, 1977, Columbia University student Virginia Voskerichian, 19, was walking home from school when she was confronted by an armed man. She lived about a block from where Christine Freund had been shot. In a desperate move to defend herself, Voskerichian lifted her textbooks between herself and her killer, but the makeshift shield was penetrated, the bullet striking her head and killing her.

Press and publicity (March 10)

In a March 10, 1977, press conference, NYPD officials and New York City Mayor Abraham Beame declared that the same .44 Bulldog revolver had fired the shots that killed Lauria and Voskerichian. Official documents were later revealed, however, saying that police strongly suspected that the same .44 Bulldog had been used in the shootings, but that the evidence was actually inconclusive.

The crimes were discussed by the local media virtually every day. Circulation increased dramatically for the New York Post and Daily News, newspapers with graphic crime reporting and commentary. Foreign media featured many of the reports as well, including front page articles of newspapers such as the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano, the Hebrew newspaper Maariv, and the Soviet Izvestia.

Crimes continue (April–July 1977)

Esau and Suriani shooting (April)

At about 3:00 a.m. on April 17, 1977, Alexander Esau, a tow truck operator, 20, and Valentina Suriani, an aspiring actress and model, 18, were sitting in Suriani’s car near her home in the Bronx, only a few blocks from the scene of the Lauria–Valenti shooting, when each was shot twice. Suriani died at the scene, and Esau died in the hospital several hours later without being able to describe his attacker(s).

Police said that the weapon used for the crime was the same as the one which they had suspected in the earlier shootings.

Crime-scene letters (May)

Son of Sam letter

Police discovered a handwritten letter near the bodies of Esau and Suriani, written mostly in block capitals with a few lower-case letters, and addressed to NYPD Captain Joseph Borrelli. With this letter, Berkowitz revealed the name “Son of Sam” for the first time. The press had previously dubbed the killer “the .44 Caliber Killer” because of his weapon of choice. The letter was initially withheld from the public, but some of its contents were revealed to the press, and the name “Son of Sam” quickly replaced the old name.

The letter expressed the killer’s determination to continue his work, and taunted police for their fruitless efforts to capture him. In full, with misspellings intact, the letter read:

Final page of the first Son of Sam letter

I am deeply hurt by your calling me a wemon hater. I am not. But I am a monster. I am the “Son of Sam.” I am a little “brat”. When father Sam gets drunk he gets mean. He beats his family. Sometimes he ties me up to the back of the house. Other times he locks me in the garage. Sam loves to drink blood. “Go out and kill” commands father Sam. Behind our house some rest. Mostly young—raped and slaughtered—their blood drained—just bones now. Papa Sam keeps me locked in the attic, too. I can’t get out but I look out the attic window and watch the world go by. I feel like an outsider. I am on a different wave length then everybody else—programmed too kill. However, to stop me you must kill me. Attention all police: Shoot me first—shoot to kill or else. Keep out of my way or you will die! Papa Sam is old now. He needs some blood to preserve his youth. He has had too many heart attacks. Too many heart attacks. “Ugh, me hoot it urts sonny boy.” I miss my pretty princess most of all. She’s resting in our ladies house but I’ll see her soon. I am the “Monster”—”Beelzebub”—the “Chubby Behemouth.” I love to hunt. Prowling the streets looking for fair game—tasty meat. The wemon of Queens are z prettyist of all. I must be the water they drink. I live for the hunt—my life. Blood for papa. Mr. Borrelli, sir, I dont want to kill anymore no sir, no more but I must, “honour thy father.” I want to make love to the world. I love people. I don’t belong on Earth. Return me to yahoos. To the people of Queens, I love you. And I wa want to wish all of you a happy Easter. May God bless you in this life and in the next and for now I say goodbye and goodnight. Police—Let me haunt you with these words; I’ll be back! I’ll be back! To be interrpreted as—bang, bang, bang, bank, bang—ugh!! Yours in murder Mr. Monster

At the time, police speculated that the letter-writer might be familiar with Scottish English. The phrase “me hoot it urts sonny boy” was taken as a Scottish-accented version of “my heart, it hurts, sonny boy”; and the police also hypothesized that the shooter blamed a dark-haired nurse for his father’s death, due to the “too many heart attacks” phrase, and the facts that Lauria was a medical technician and Valenti was studying to be a nurse.

The killer’s unusual attitude towards the police and the media received widespread scrutiny. Psychologists observed that many serial killers gain gratification by eluding pursuers and observers. The feeling of control of media, law enforcement, and even entire populations provides a source of social power for them. After consulting with several psychiatrists, police released a psychological profile of their suspect on May 26, 1977. He was described as neurotic and probably suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and believed himself to be a victim of demonic possession.

Letter to Jimmy Breslin

On May 30, 1977, Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin received a handwritten letter from someone who claimed to be the .44 Caliber Shooter. The letter was postmarked early that same day in Englewood, New Jersey. On the reverse of the envelope, neatly hand-printed in four precisely centered lines, were the words: Blood and Family – Darkness and Death – Absolute Depravity – .44. The letter inside read:

Hello from the gutters of N.Y.C. which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood. Hello from the sewers of N.Y.C. which swallow up these delicacies when they are washed away by the sweeper trucks. Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of N.Y.C. and from the ants that dwell in these cracks and feed in the dried blood of the dead that has settled into the cracks. J.B., I’m just dropping you a line to let you know that I appreciate your interest in those recent and horrendous .44 killings. I also want to tell you that I read your column daily and I find it quite informative. Tell me Jim, what will you have for July twenty-ninth? You can forget about me if you like because I don’t care for publicity. However you must not forget Donna Lauria and you cannot let the people forget her either. She was a very, very sweet girl but Sam’s a thirsty lad and he won’t let me stop killing until he gets his fill of blood. Mr. Breslin, sir, don’t think that because you haven’t heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. No, rather, I am still here. Like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest; anxious to please Sam. I love my work. Now, the void has been filled. Perhaps we shall meet face to face someday or perhaps I will be blown away by cops with smoking .38’s. Whatever, if I shall be fortunate enough to meet you I will tell you all about Sam if you like and I will introduce you to him. His name is “Sam the terrible.” Not knowing what the future holds I shall say farewell and I will see you at the next job. Or should I say you will see my handiwork at the next job? Remember Ms. Lauria. Thank you. In their blood and from the gutter “Sam’s creation” .44 Here are some names to help you along. Forward them to the inspector for use by N.C.I.C: “The Duke of Death” “The Wicked King Wicker” “The Twenty Two Disciples of Hell” “John ‘Wheaties’ – Rapist and Suffocator of Young Girls. PS: Please inform all the detectives working the slaying to remain. P.S: JB, Please inform all the detectives working the case that I wish them the best of luck. “Keep ’em digging, drive on, think positive, get off your butts, knock on coffins, etc.” Upon my capture I promise to buy all the guys working the case a new pair of shoes if I can get up the money. Son of Sam

Underneath the “Son of Sam” was a logo or sketch that combined several symbols. The writer’s question “What will you have for July 29?” was considered an ominous threat: July 29 would be the anniversary of the first .44 caliber shooting. Breslin notified police, who thought that the letter was probably from someone with knowledge of the shootings. The Breslin letter was sophisticated in its wording and presentation, especially when compared to the crudely written first letter, and police suspected that it might have been created in an art studio or similar professional location by someone with expertise in printing, calligraphy, or graphic design. The unusual writing caused the police to speculate that the killer was a comic letterer, and they asked staff members of DC Comics whether they recognized the lettering. The “Wicked King Wicker” reference caused police to arrange a private screening of The Wicker Man, a 1973 horror movie.

The New York Daily News published the letter a week later (after agreeing with police to withhold portions of the text) and Breslin urged the killer to surrender himself. The dramatic article made that day’s paper the highest-selling edition of the Daily News to date—more than 1.1 million copies were sold. Police received thousands of tips based on references in the publicized portions of the letter, all of which proved useless. All the shooting victims to date had long dark hair, and thousands of women in New York acquired short cuts or brightly colored dyes, and beauty supply stores had trouble meeting the demand for wigs.

Lupo and Placido shooting (June)

On June 26, 1977, there was another shooting. Sal Lupo, a mechanic’s helper, 20, and Judy Placido, a recent high school graduate, 17, had left the Elephas discotheque in Bayside, Queens, and were sitting in Lupo’s parked car at about 3:00 a.m. when three gunshots blasted through the vehicle. Lupo was wounded in the right forearm, while Placido was shot in the right temple, shoulder, and back of the neck, but both victims survived their injuries. Lupo told police that the young couple had been discussing the Son of Sam case only moments before the shooting.

Neither Lupo nor Placido had seen their attacker, but two witnesses reported a tall, dark-haired man in a leisure suit fleeing from the area; one claimed to see him leave in a car and even supplied a partial license plate number.

Moskowitz and Violante shooting (July)

The first anniversary of the initial .44 caliber shootings was approaching, and police established a sizable dragnet that emphasized past hunting grounds in Queens and the Bronx. However, the next and final .44 shooting occurred in Brooklyn.

Early on July 31, 1977, Stacy Moskowitz, a secretary, and Robert Violante, a clothing store salesman, both 20, were in Violante’s car, which was parked under a streetlight near a city park in the neighborhood of Bath Beach, on their first date. They were kissing when a man approached within three feet of the passenger side of Violante’s car and fired four rounds into the car, striking both victims in the head before he escaped into the park. Violante lost his left eye; Moskowitz, the only blonde victim of Berkowitz, died from her injuries.

That night, Detective John Falotico was awakened at home and told to report to the 10th Homicide Division at the 60th Precinct station house in Coney Island. He was given two weeks to work on the Moskowitz and Violante case as a normal murder investigation—if it could not be solved in that timeframe, it was to be given to the Son of Sam task force.

Suspicion and capture (August 1977)

Suspicion (August 9)

Local resident Cacilia Davis was walking her dog at the scene of the Moskowitz and Violante shooting when she saw patrol officer Michael Cataneo ticketing a car that was parked near a fire hydrant. Moments after the traffic police had left, a young man walked past her from the area of the car and seemed to study her with some interest. Davis felt concerned because he was wielding in his hand some kind of “dark object”. She ran to her home only to hear shots fired behind her in the street. Davis remained silent about this experience for four days until she finally contacted police, who closely checked every car that had been ticketed in the area that night.

Berkowitz’s 1970 four-door yellow Ford Galaxie was among the cars that they investigated. On August 9, 1977, NYPD detective James Justis telephoned Yonkers police to ask them to schedule an interview with Berkowitz. The Yonkers police dispatcher who first took Justis’ call was Wheat Carr, the daughter of Sam Carr and sister of Berkowitz’s alleged cult confederates John and Michael Carr.

Justis asked the Yonkers police for some help tracking down Berkowitz. According to Mike Novotny—a sergeant at the Yonkers Police Department—the Yonkers police had their own suspicions about Berkowitz in connection with other strange crimes in Yonkers, crimes that they saw referred to in one of the Son of Sam letters. Yonkers investigators even told the New York City detective that Berkowitz might be the Son of Sam.

Arrest (August 10)

The next day, August 10, 1977, police investigated Berkowitz’s car that was parked on the street outside his apartment building at 35 Pine Street in Yonkers. They saw a rifle in the back seat, searched the car, and found a duffel bag filled with ammunition, maps of the crime scenes, and a threatening letter addressed to Inspector Timothy Dowd of the Omega Task Force. Police decided to wait for Berkowitz to leave the apartment, rather than risk a violent encounter in the building’s narrow hallway; they also waited to obtain a search warrant for the apartment, worried that their search might be challenged in court. The initial search of the vehicle was based on the rifle that was visible in the back seat, although possession of such a rifle was legal in New York State and required no special permit. The warrant still had not arrived when Berkowitz exited the apartment building at about 10:00 p.m. and entered his car. Detective John Falotico approached the driver’s side of the car. Falotico pointed his gun close to Berkowitz’s temple, while Detective Sgt. William Gardella pointed his gun from the passenger’s side.

A paper bag containing a .44-caliber Bulldog revolver of the type that was identified in ballistics tests was found next to Berkowitz in the car. Berkowitz then stated flatly, “Well, you got me.” As described in Son of Sam (1981) by Lawrence D. Klausner, Detective Falotico remembered the big, inexplicable smile on the man’s face:

“Now that I’ve got you”, Detective Falotico said to the suspect, “who have I got?”

“You know,” the man said in what the detective remembered was a soft, almost sweet voice.

“No I don’t. You tell me.”

The man turned his head and said, “I’m Sam.”

“You’re Sam? Sam who?”

“Sam. David Berkowitz.”

An alternate version claimed that Berkowitz’s first words were reported to be, “Well, you got me. How come it took you such a long time?” Detective John Falotico was officially credited by the NYPD as the arresting officer of the Son of Sam.

Police searched Apartment 7-E and found it in disarray, with Satanic graffiti on the walls. They also found diaries that he had kept since he was 21 years old—three stenographer’s notebooks nearly all full wherein Berkowitz meticulously noted hundreds of arsons that he claimed to have set throughout New York City.[90] Some sources speculate that this number might be over 1,400.

Soon after Berkowitz’s arrest, the address of the building was changed from 35 Pine Street to 42 Pine Street in an attempt to end its notoriety. After the arrest, Berkowitz was briefly held in a Yonkers police station before being transported directly to the 60th Precinct in Coney Island, where the detectives’ task force was located. At about 1:00 a.m., Mayor Abraham Beame arrived to see the suspect personally. After a brief and wordless encounter, he announced to the media: “The people of the City of New York can rest easy because of the fact that the police have captured a man whom they believe to be the Son of Sam.”

Confession (August 11)

Berkowitz was interrogated for about 30 minutes in the early morning of August 11, 1977. He quickly confessed to the shootings and expressed an interest in pleading guilty. The investigation was led by John Keenan, who took the confession.

During questioning, Berkowitz claimed that his neighbor’s dog was one of the reasons that he killed, stating that the dog demanded the blood of pretty young girls. He said that the “Sam” mentioned in the first letter was his former neighbor Sam Carr. Berkowitz claimed that Harvey, Carr’s black Labrador Retriever, was possessed by an ancient demon and that it issued irresistible commands that Berkowitz must kill people.

A few weeks after his arrest and confession, Berkowitz was permitted to communicate with the press. In a letter to the New York Post dated September 19, 1977, Berkowitz alluded to his original story of demonic possession, but closed with a warning that has been interpreted by some investigators as an admission of criminal accomplices: “There are other Sons out there, God help the world.” At a press conference in February 1979, however, Berkowitz declared that his previous claims of demonic possession were a hoax. Berkowitz stated in a series of meetings with his special court-appointed psychiatrist David Abrahamsen that he had long contemplated murder to get revenge on a world that he felt had rejected and hurt him.

Sentencing and prison

Sentencing

Three separate mental health examinations determined that Berkowitz was competent to stand trial. Despite this, defense lawyers advised Berkowitz to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but Berkowitz refused. He appeared calm in court on May 8, 1978, as he pleaded guilty to all of the shootings.

At his sentencing two weeks later, Berkowitz caused an uproar when he attempted to jump out of a window of the seventh-floor courtroom. After he was restrained, he repeatedly chanted “Stacy [his last victim] was a whore” and shouted “I’d kill her again. I’d kill them all again.” The court ordered another psychiatric examination before sentencing could proceed. During the evaluation, Berkowitz drew a sketch of a jailed man surrounded by numerous walls; at the bottom he wrote, “I am not well. Not well at all”. Nonetheless, Berkowitz was again found competent to stand trial.

On June 12, 1978, Berkowitz was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for each murder, to be served consecutively. He was ordered to serve time in Attica Correctional Facility, an Upstate New York supermax prison. Despite prosecutors’ objections, the terms of Berkowitz’s guilty plea made him eligible for parole in 25 years.

Detention

After his arrest, Berkowitz was initially confined to a psychiatric ward in Kings County Hospital where the staff reported that he seemed remarkably troubled by his new environment. On the day after his sentencing, he was taken first to Sing Sing prison, and then to the upstate Clinton Correctional Facility for psychiatric and physical examinations. Two more months were spent at the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy before his admission to Attica prison. Berkowitz served about a decade in Attica until he was relocated (c. 1990) to Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, where he remained for many years until he was transferred to Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County. Berkowitz described life in Attica as a “nightmare.”

In 1979, there was an attempt on Berkowitz’s life in which the left side of his neck was slashed from front to back, resulting in a wound that required more than 50 stitches to close. Berkowitz refused to identify his assailant, and he only claimed that he was grateful for the attack—it brought a sense of justice or, in Berkowitz’s own words, “the punishment I deserve”.

Born-again Christianity

In 1987, Berkowitz became an evangelical Christian in prison. According to his personal testimony, his moment of conversion occurred after reading Psalm 34:6 from a Bible given to him by a fellow inmate. He says he is no longer to be referred to as the “Son of Sam” but the “Son of Hope.”

Soon after his imprisonment, Berkowitz invited Malachi Martin, an exorcist, to help him compose an autobiography, but the offer was not accepted. During later years, Berkowitz developed his memoirs with assistance from evangelical Christians. His statements were released as an interview video, Son of Hope, during 1998, with a more extensive work released in book form, entitled Son of Hope: The Prison Journals of David Berkowitz (2006). Berkowitz does not receive any royalties or profit from any sales of his works. He has continued to write essays on faith and repentance for Christian websites. His own official website is maintained on his behalf by a church group, since he is not allowed access to a computer. Berkowitz stays involved with prison ministry, and regularly counsels troubled inmates. While in the Sullivan facility, he pursued education and graduated with honors from Sullivan Community College.

Parole hearings

Berkowitz is entitled to a parole hearing every two years as mandated by state law, though he has consistently refused to ask for his release, sometimes skipping the hearings altogether. Before his first parole hearing in 2002, Berkowitz sent a letter to New York Governor George Pataki demanding that it be canceled. He wrote, “In all honesty, I believe that I deserve to be in prison for the rest of my life. I have, with God’s help, long ago come to terms with my situation and I have accepted my punishment.” Officials at the Sullivan facility rejected his demand.

In his 2016 hearing at Shawangunk, New York, Berkowitz stated that while parole was “unrealistic,” he felt he had improved himself behind bars, adding: “I feel I am no risk, whatsoever.” His lawyer, Mark Heller, noted that prison staff considered Berkowitz to be a “model prisoner.” Commissioners denied a parole.

In 2018, the board again denied the release of Berkowitz on parole. His next hearing was scheduled for May 2020. The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 delayed his hearing until further notice.

Other activities

In 2002, during the D.C. sniper attacks, Berkowitz wrote a letter telling the sniper to “stop hurting innocent people.” Berkowitz made his comments in a three-page letter to Rita Cosby, senior Chicago correspondent for Fox News Channel, after Cosby wrote to him seeking his comment on the sniper attacks.

During June 2005, Berkowitz sued one of his previous lawyers for the misappropriation of a large number of letters, photographs, and other personal possessions. Hugo Harmatz, a New Jersey attorney, had represented Berkowitz in an earlier legal effort to prevent the National Enquirer from buying one of his letters. Harmatz then self-published his own collection of letters and memorabilia—Dear David (2005)—which he had obtained from Berkowitz during their consultations. Berkowitz stated that he would drop the lawsuit only if the attorney signed over all the money he made to the victims’ families. In October 2006, Berkowitz and Harmatz settled out of court, with Harmatz agreeing to return the disputed items and to donate part of his book profits to the New York State Crime Victims Board.

Satanic cult claims

In 1979, Berkowitz mailed a book about witchcraft to police in North Dakota. He had underlined several passages and written a few marginal notes, including the phrase: “Arliss [sic] Perry, Hunted, Stalked and Slain. Followed to Calif. Stanford University.” The reference was to Arlis Perry, a 19-year-old North Dakota newlywed who had been murdered at Stanford on October 12, 1974. Her death, and the notorious abuse of her corpse in a Christian chapel on campus, was a widely reported case. Berkowitz mentioned the Perry attack in other letters, suggesting that he knew details of it from the perpetrator himself. Local police investigators interviewed him but they “now [2004] believe he has nothing of value to offer.” The Arlis Perry case has since been solved.

After his admission to Sullivan prison, Berkowitz began to claim that he had joined a Satanic cult in the spring of 1975. In 1993, Berkowitz made these claims known when he announced to the press that he had killed only three of the Son of Sam victims: Donna Lauria, Alexander Esau, and Valentina Suriani. In his revised version of the events, Berkowitz said that other shooters were involved and that he fired the gun only in the first attack (Lauria and Valenti) and the sixth (Esau and Suriani). He said that he and several other cult members were involved in every incident by planning the events, providing early surveillance of the victims, and acting as lookouts and drivers at the crime scenes. Berkowitz stated that he could not divulge the names of most of his accomplices without putting his family directly at risk.

Among Berkowitz’s alleged unnamed associates was a female cult member whom he claims fired the gun at Denaro and Keenan, both of whom survived, Berkowitz said, because the alleged accomplice was unfamiliar with the powerful recoil of a .44 Bulldog. Berkowitz declared that “at least five” cult members were at the scene of the Freund–Diel shooting, but the actual shooter was a prominent cult associate who had been brought in from outside New York with an unspecified motive—a cult member whom he identified only by his nickname, “Manson II”. Another unnamed person was the gunman in the Moskowitz–Violante case, a male cult member who had arrived from North Dakota for the occasion, also without explanation.

Berkowitz did name two of the cult members: John and Michael Carr. The two men were sons of the dog-owner Sam Carr, and they lived on nearby Warburton Avenue. Both of these other “sons of Sam” were long dead: John Carr had been killed by a shooting judged a suicide in North Dakota during 1978, and Michael Carr had been in a fatal car accident in 1979. Berkowitz claimed that the actual perpetrator of the DeMasi–Lomino shooting was John Carr, and he added that a Yonkers police officer, also a cult member, was involved in this crime. He claimed that Michael Carr fired the shots at Lupo and Placido.

Case reopened

Journalist John Hockenberry asserts that, even aside from the Satanic cult claims, many officials doubted the single-shooter theory, writing, “what most don’t know about the Son of Sam case is that from the beginning, not everyone bought the idea that Berkowitz acted alone.” John Santucci, Queens District Attorney at the time of the killings, and police investigator Mike Novotny both expressed their convictions that Berkowitz had accomplices. NYPD officer Richard Johnson, involved in the original investigations, has opened that unresolved discrepancies in statements from witnesses and surviving victims indicate Berkowitz did not act alone: “Why are there three [suspect] cars, five different [suspect] descriptions, different heights, different shapes, different sizes of the perpetrator? Somebody else was there.”

Other contemporaries have voiced their belief in the Satanic cult theory including Donna Lauria’s father, and Carl Denaro who stated his opinion that “more than one person was involved” but admitted he could not prove the cult theory. Denaro’s conclusion rests on his criticism of Berkowitz’s statement to police as “totally false.” John Diel’s recollection is that he physically bumped into Berkowitz outside the Wine Gallery restaurant as he and Christine Freund departed and walked to his car where the shooting occurred; Berkowitz, in contrast, told police that he passed within a few feet of Diel and Freund shortly before they entered the car. Diel contends he and Freund passed no one on their way to the car and further that the placement of the car parked at the curb would have made it impossible for Berkowitz to have snuck up on them in the few minutes between their encounter outside the restaurant and the shooting at the car. Diel thus reasons he was shot by someone other than Berkowitz.

Hockenberry’s own report was broadcast by network news and given much exposure by Dateline NBC (2004). In it, he discusses another journalist, Maury Terry, who had begun investigating the Son of Sam shootings before Berkowitz was arrested. Terry published a series of investigative articles in the Gannett newspapers in 1979 which challenged the official explanation of a lone gunman.

Vigorously denied by police at the time, Terry’s articles were widely read and discussed; they were later assembled in book form as The Ultimate Evil (1987; expanded second edition 1999). Largely impelled by these reports of accomplices and Satanic cult activity, the Son of Sam case was reopened by Yonkers police during 1996, but no new charges were filed. Due to a lack of findings, the investigation was eventually suspended but remains open.

From prison Berkowitz continues to assert and expand upon his claims of demonic possession. He stated in a series of nine videos in 2015 that the “voice” he heard was that of Samhain, a druid devil and the true origin of “Son of Sam”. He added that it never was a dog, saying that detail was fabricated by the media.

Skeptics

Berkowitz’s later claims are dismissed by many. Breslin rejected his story of Satanic cult accomplices, stating that “when they talked to David Berkowitz that night, he recalled everything step by step by step. The guy has 1,000 percent recall and that’s it. He’s the guy and there’s nothing else to look at.”

Skeptics include a former FBI profiler, John E. Douglas, who spent hours interviewing Berkowitz. He states that he was convinced Berkowitz acted alone and was an “introverted loner, not capable of being involved in group activity”. NYPD psychologist Dr. Harvey Schlossberg states in Against The Law, a documentary about the Son of Sam case, that he believes that the Satanic cult claims are nothing but a fantasy concocted by Berkowitz to absolve himself of the crimes. In his book Hunting Humans (2001), Elliott Leyton argued that “recent journalistic attempts to abridge—or even deny—Berkowitz’s guilt have lacked all credibility.”

Legacy

Decades after his arrest, the name “Son of Sam” remains widely recognized as that of a notorious serial killer. Many manifestations in popular culture have helped perpetuate this notoriety, while Berkowitz himself continues to express remorse on Christian websites.

Neysa Moskowitz, who previously had not hidden her hatred of Berkowitz, wrote him a letter shortly before her own death in 2006, forgiving him for killing her daughter, Stacy. In a sad twist of fate, Moskowitz lost all her children at young ages (Jody, nine, in a possible suicide in 1968; Stacy; and Ricky, 37, in 1999 of scleroderma). She had no survivors, except, according to the New York Post, her daughter’s murderer.

Legal impact

After rampant speculation about publishers offering Berkowitz large sums of money for his story, the New York State Legislature swiftly passed a new law that prevented convicted criminals (and their relatives) from making any financial profit from books, movies, or other enterprises related to the stories of their crimes. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the so-called “Son of Sam law” for violating the First Amendment’s right of free expression in the 1991 case of Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Crime Victims Board, but New York produced a constitutionally revised version of the law in the following year. Similar laws have since been enacted in 41 states and at the federal level.

In popular culture

Literature

Jimmy Breslin, in collaboration with writer Dick Schaap, published a novelized account of the murders, .44 (1978), less than a year after Berkowitz’s arrest. The highly fictionalized plot recounts the exploits of a Berkowitz-based character dubbed “Bernard Rosenfeld”. Outside of North America, the book was renamed Son of Sam.

The 2016 young adult novel Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina is set in New York during 1977, and depicts how fear of being one of the Son of Sam victims affected the daily lives of people. He’s also referred to by Lee Child in his Jack Reacher Series short novella High Heat (2013).

TV and film

The Spike Lee drama Summer of Sam was released in 1999 with actor Michael Badalucco in the role of Son of Sam. The film depicts the tensions that develop in a Bronx neighborhood during the shootings, and Berkowitz’s part is largely symbolic. A minor character in the script, he functions “mostly as a berserk metaphor for Lee’s view of the seventies as a period of amoral excess.” Berkowitz was reported to be disturbed by what he called exploitation of “the ugliness of the past.”

Other movie portrayals of Berkowitz include Ulli Lommel’s Son of Sam (2008; direct-to-video) and the CBS television movie Out of the Darkness (1985). The character of Son of Sam played a significant minor role in the miniseries The Bronx Is Burning (2007). Oliver Cooper portrayed him in the TV series Mindhunter (2019).

In the Seinfeld episode “The Diplomat’s Club”, Kramer uses the mailbag of David Berkowitz, owned by Newman, as collateral for a bet on airplane arrival times. In another Seinfeld episode, Kramer proposes the name “Son of Dad” as a nickname for a new serial killer, a reference to Berkowitz’s nickname “Son of Sam”.

Music

Son of Sam has been popularly (and mistakenly) associated with the contemporaneous song “Psycho Killer” (1977) by Talking Heads. Likewise, Elliott Smith has stated that his song “Son of Sam” is not literally about Berkowitz. Compositions more directly inspired by the events include:

“Son of Sam” (1978) by The Dead Boys;

“Son of Sam” by Chain Gang; and

“Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” (1989) by the Beastie Boys.

Krizz Kaliko released an album in 2013 titled “Son of Sam”

Guitarist Scott Putesky used the stage name “Daisy Berkowitz” while playing with Marilyn Manson in the 1990s, and the band’s song “Son of Man” conspicuously describes Berkowitz. Several other rock musicians established a full ensemble named Son of Sam during 2000. A cartoon composite of Berkowitz and the breakfast cereal icon Toucan Sam was featured in Green Jellÿ’s comedy-rock video Cereal Killer (1992) by the name of “Toucan Son of Sam”, but it was later removed under threat of a copyright lawsuit by the Kellogg Company.

What Does the Bible Really Teach? Chapter 13

Chapter 13: A Godly View of Life

How does God view life?

How does God view abortion?

How do we show respect for life?

“JEHOVAH is truly God,” said the prophet Jeremiah. “He is the living God.” (Jeremiah 10:10) Furthermore, Jehovah God is the Creator of all things. Heavenly creatures said to him: “You created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) In a song of praise to God, King David said: “With you is the source of life.” (Psalm 36:9) Life, t hen, is a gift from God.

Jehovah also sustains our lives. (Acts 17:28) He provides the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the land we live on. (Read Acts 14:15-17.) Jehovah has done this in a way that makes life enjoyable. But to enjoy life to the full, we need to learn God’s laws and obey them.–Isaiah 48:17, 18.

  1. Who created all living things?
  2. What does God do to sustain our lives?
  3. How did God view the murder of Abel?

Showing Respect for Life

God wants us to have respect for life—both our own and that of others. Back in the days of Adam and Eve, for example, their son Cain became very angry with his younger brother Abel. Jehovah warned Cain that his anger could lead him to serious sin. Cain ignored that warning. He “assaulted his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:3-8) Jehovah punished Cain for murdering his brother.–Genesis 4:9-11.

Thousands of years later, Jehovah gave the people of Israel laws to help them to serve him acceptably. Because these laws were given through the prophet Moses, they are sometimes called the Mosaic Law. Part of the Mosaic Law said: “You must not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17) This showed the Israelites that God values human life and that people must value the lives of others.

What about the life of an unborn child? Well, according to the Mosaic Law, causing the death of a baby in its mother’s womb was wrong. Yes, even such a life is precious to Jehovah. (Read Exodus 21:22, 23; Psalm 127:3.)

Having respect for life includes having the right view of fellow humans. The Bible says: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life remaining in him.” (1 John 3:15) If we want everlasting life, we need to root out of our heart any hatred for our fellow man, because hatred is the root cause of most violence. (1 John 3:11, 12) It is vital that we learn to love one another.

  1. In the Mosaic Law, how did God stress the proper view of life?
  2. How should we view abortion?
  3. Why should we not hate our fellow man?
  4. What are some practices that show a disrespect for life?

What about showing respect for our own life? People normally do not want to die, but some risk death for the sake of pleasure. For example, many use tobacco, chew betel nut, or take drugs for recreational purposes. Such substances harm the body and often kill the users. A person who makes it a practice to use these substances does not view life as sacred. These practices are unclean in God’s eyes. (Read Romans 6:19; 12:1; 2 Corinthians 7:1.) To serve God acceptably, we have to give up such practices, even though doing so might be very hard. Jehovah can give us the needed help, and he appreciates the effort we make to treat our life as a precious gift from him.

If we have respect for life, we will keep in mind the need to be safety conscious. We will not be careless and will not take risks just for pleasure or excitement. We will avoid reckless driving and violent or dangerous sports. (Psalm 11:5) God’s Law for ancient Israel stated: “If you build a new house [with a flat roof], you must also make a parapet [or, low wall] for your roof, so that you may not bring bloodguilt on your house because of someone falling from it.” (Deuteronomy 22:8) In harmony with the principles set out in the law, keep such things as stairs in your home in good condition so that someone does not trip, fall, and get badly hurt. If you own a car, make sure that it is safe to drive. Do not let either your hoe or your car be a danger to you or to others.

What about the life of an animal? That too is sacred to the Creator. God permits the killing of animals to obtain food and clothing or to protect people from danger. (Genesis 3:21; 9:3; Exodus 21:28) However, being cruel to animals or killing them just for sport is wrong and shows utter disregard for the sacredness of life.–Proverbs 12:10

WE SHOW RESPECT FOR LIFE

  • by not taking the life of an unborn child
  • by giving up unclean habits
  • by rooting out of our heart any hatred for our fellow man
  1. Why should we keep in mind the need to be safety conscious?
  2. If we have respect for life, how will we treat animals?
  3. How has God shown that there is a link between life and blood?

Show Respect for Blood

After Cain killed his brother Abel, Jehovah told Cain: “Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) When God spoke of Abel’s blood, he was speaking of Abel’s life. Cain had taken Abel’s life, and now Cain would have to be punished. It was as if Abel’s blood, or life, were crying out to Jehovah for justice. The connection between life and blood was again shown after the Flood of Noah’s day. Before the Flood, humans ate only fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. After the Flood, Jehovah told Noah and his sons: “Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you.” However, God set this restriction: “Only flesh with its life—its blood—you must not eat.” (Genesis 1:29; 9:3, 4) Clearly, Jehovah links very closely the life and the blood of a creature.

We show respect for blood by not eating it. In the Law that Jehovah gave the Israelites, he commanded: “If one of the Israelites . . . is hunting and catches a wild animal or a bird that may be eaten, he must pour its blood out and cover it with dust . . . I said to the Israelites: ‘You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh.’” (Leviticus 17:13, 14) God’s command not to eat animal blood, first given to Noah some 800 years earlier, was still in force. Jehovah’s view was clear: His servants could eat animal meat but not the blood. They were to pour the blood on the ground—in effect, returning the creature’s life to God.

  1. What use of blood has God forbidden since the days of Noah?
  2. What command regarding blood was given by holy spirit in the first century and still applies today?

A similar command rests upon Christians. The apostles and other men taking the lead among Jesus’ followers in the first century met together to decide what commands had to be obeyed by all in the Christian congregation. They came to this conclusion: “The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled [“what is killed without draining its blood,” footnote], and from sexual immorality.”

Does the command to abstain from blood include blood transfusions? Yes. To illustrate: Suppose a doctor were to tell you to abstain from alcoholic beverages. Would that simply mean that you should not drink alcohol but that you could have it injected into your veins? Of course not! Likewise, abstaining from blood means not taking it into our bodies at all. So the command to abstain from blood means that we would not allow anyone to transfuse blood into our veins.

What if a Christian is badly injured or is in need of major surgery? Suppose doctors say that he must have a blood transfusion or he will die. Of course, the Christian would not want to die. In an effort to preserve God’s precious gift of life, he would accept other kinds of treatment that do not involve the misuse of blood. Hence, he would seek such medical attention if that is available and would accept a variety of alternatives to blood.

  1. Illustrate why the command to abstain from blood includes blood transfusions.

14, 15. If doctors say that a Christian must have a blood transfusion, how would he react, and why?

Would a Christian break God’s law just to stay alive a little longer in this system of things? Jesus said: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) We do not want to die. But if we tried to save our present life by breaking God’s law, we would be in danger of losing everlasting life. We are wise, then, to put our trust in the righteousness of God’s law, with full confidence that if we die from any cause, our Life-Giver will remember us in the resurrection and restore to us the precious gift of life.–John 5:28, 29; Hebrews 11:6..

Today, faithful servants of God firmly resolve to follow his direction regarding blood. They will not eat blood for medical reasons.” They are sure that the Creator of blood knows what is best for them. Do you believe that he does?

If your doctor told you to abstain from alcohol, would you have it injected into your veins?

  • For information o alternatives to blood transfusions, see pages 13-17 of the brochure How Can Blood Save Your Life? Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  1. What do God’s servants firmly resolve regarding blood?
  2. In ancient Israel, what was the one use of blood that was acceptable to Jehovah God?

The Only Proper Use of Blood

The Mosaic Law emphasized the one proper use of blood. Regarding the worship required of the ancient Israelites, Jehovah commanded: “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have given it on the altar for you to make atonement for yourselves, because it is the blood that makes atonement.” (Leviticus 17:11) When the Israelites sinned, they could obtain forgiveness by offering an animal and having some of its blood put on the altar at the tabernacle or later at God’s temple. The only proper use of blood was in such sacrifices.

18. What benefits and blessings can we gain from the shedding of Jesus’ blood?

True Christians are not under the Mosaic Law and therefore do not offer animal sacrifices and put the blood of animals on an altar. (Hebrews 10:1) However, the use of blood on the altar in the days of ancient Israel pointed forward to the precious sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. As we learned in Chapter 5 of this book, Jesus gave his human life for us by letting his blood be shed as a sacrifice. Then he ascended to heaven and once for all time offered the value of his shed blood to God. (Hebrews 9:11, 12) That laid the basis for the forgiveness of our sins and opened the way for us to gain everlasting life. (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16) How extremely important that the use of blood has proved to be! (1 Peter 1:18, 19) Only by means of faith in the merit of Jesus’ shed blood can we gain salvation,

We can be so grateful to Jehovah God for the loving provision of life! And should that not motivate us to tell others about the opportunity to gain everlasting life on the basis of faith in Jesus’ sacrifice? Godly concern for the lives of fellow humans will move us to do this with eagerness and zeal. (Read Ezekiel 3:17-21.) If we diligently fulfill this responsibility, we will be able to say, as did the apostle Paul: “I am clean from the blood of all men, for I have not held back from telling you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:26, 27) Telling people about God and his purposes is a fine way to show that we have the highest regard for life and blood.

How can you show regard for life and blood?

  1. What must we do in order to be “clean from the blood of all men”?

What the Bible Teaches?

  • Life is a gift from God.–Psalm 36:9; Revelation 4:11.
  • Abortion is wrong, since the life of an unborn child is precious in God’s eyes.–Exodus 21:22, 23; Psalm 127:3.
  • We show respect for life by not endangering it and by not eating blood.–Deuteronomy 5:17; Acts 15:28, 29.

Joseph Smith Translation: Matthew–Chapter 1

An extract from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet in 1831: Matthew 23:39 and chapter 24.

Chapter 1

Jesus foretells the impending destruction of Jerusalem—He also discourses on the Second Coming of the Son of Man, and the destruction of the wicked.

1 For I say unto you, that ye shall not see me henceforth and know that I am he of whom it is written by the prophets, until ye shall say: Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord, in the clouds of heaven, and all the holy angels with him. Then understood his disciples that he should come again on the earth, after that he was glorified and crowned on the right hand of God.

2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him, for to hear him, saying: Master, show us concerning the buildings of the temple, as thou hast said—They shall be thrown down, and left unto you desolate.

3 And Jesus said unto them: See ye not all these things, and do ye not understand them? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here, upon this temple, one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

4 And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the cend of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?

5 And Jesus answered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;

6 For many shall come in my name, saying—I am Christ—and shall deceive many;

7 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations, for my name’s sake;

8 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another;

9 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many;

10 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold;

11 But he that remaineth steadfast and is not overcome, the same shall be saved.

12 When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.

13 Then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains;

14 Let him who is on the housetop flee, and not return to take anything out of his house;

15 Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes;

16 And wo unto them that are with child, and unto them that give suck in those days;

17 Therefore, pray ye the Lord that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day;

18 For then, in those days, shall be great tribulation on the Jews, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, such as was not before sent upon Israel, of God, since the beginning of their kingdom until this time; no, nor ever shall be sent again upon Israel.

19 All things which have befallen them are only the beginning of the sorrows which shall come upon them.

20 And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened.

21 Behold, these things I have spoken unto you concerning the Jews; and again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe him not;

22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.

23 Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect’s sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet.

24 Behold, I have told you before;

25 Wherefore, if they shall say unto you: Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not;

26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.

28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.

29 Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.

31 And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked;

32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.

33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

34 Verily, I say unto you, this generation, in which these things shall be shown forth, shall not pass away until all I have told you shall be fulfilled.

35 Although, the days will come, that heaven and earth shall pass away; yet my words shall not pass away, but all shall be fulfilled.

36 And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;

37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

38 Now learn a parable of the fig tree—When its branches are yet tender, and it begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh at hand;

39 So likewise, mine elect, when they shall see all these things, they shall know that he is near, even at the doors;

40 But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.

41 But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;

42 For it shall be with them, as it was in the days which were before the flood; for until the day that Noah entered into the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage;

43 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

44 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that in the last days, two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left;

45 Two shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left;

46 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; watch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come.

47 But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up, but would have been ready.

48 Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.

49 Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

50 Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing; and verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

51 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord delayeth his coming,

52 And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken,

53 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

54 And shall cut him asunder, and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

55 And thus cometh the end of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by.

Doctrine & Covenants: Section 16

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Peter Whitmer Jr., at Fayette, New York, June 1829 (see the heading to section 14). Peter Whitmer Jr. later became one of the Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

1–2, The Lord’s arm is over all the earth; 3–6, To preach the gospel and save souls is the thing of most worth.

1 Hearken, my servant Peter, and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer.

2 For behold, I speak unto you with sharpness and with power, for mine arm is over all the earth.

3 And I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone—

4 For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.

5 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given unto you according to my commandments.

6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.

2 Nephi: Chapter 7

Jacob continues reading from Isaiah: Isaiah speaks messianically—The Messiah will have the tongue of the learned—He will have His back to the smiters—He will not be confounded—Compare Isaiah 50. About 559-545 B.C.

1 Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

2 Wherefore, when I came, there was no man: when I called, yea, there was none to answer. O house of Israel, is my hand shortened at al that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst.

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh by morning. He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.

5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

6 I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.

9 For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.

10 Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light?

11 Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow.

Mark: Chapter 15

1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.

3 And the chief priests accused hi of many things: but he answered nothing.

4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee.

5 But Jesus yet answered nothing so that Pilate marvelled.

6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

7 And there was one name Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto the King of the Jews?

10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.

14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, wo passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

28 And the scripture fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days.

30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.

36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

47 An Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

Genesis: Chapter 44

1 And he committed the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth.

2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?

5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? Ye have done evil in so doing.

6 And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.

7 And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing:

8 Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold?

9 With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let them die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.

10 And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.

11 Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.

12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.

13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.

14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.

15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?

16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are y lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, got you up in peace unto your father.

18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.

19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother?

20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father,, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.

21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.

22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.

23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.

24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.

25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.

26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man’s face, except our youngest brother be with us.

27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Yet know that my wife bare me two sons:

28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:

29 And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life.

31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.

32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.

33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the land be not with me? Lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.

Acts 2:36-38

Acts 2:36-38—Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Daily Bible Devotion

Daily Bible Verse

For so is the will of god, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.~1 Peter 2: 15-16

Daily Inspiration

Peter was perhaps better placed than many to understand being humble. Born into a poor family as a lowly fisherman, it was through Christ’s word that he first found divination. Though he may have been by the conventions of his time thought to be ignorant, his willingness to listen to Christ’s teaching and to further become a servant to the Lord has earned him one of the highest seats within Heaven. No matter who you are or your starting position within society, Christ wants you to join him. Join him and rejoice. It is up to us to leave our own prejudices aside and accept any who are willing to listen.

Daily Prayer

In the name of Christ and His Heavenly Father, accept me into Your faith. Unworthy as I am, take me, O Lord, into Your arms and care, accept me as on of Your children. Extend to me this gift Lord, and enable me to do the same for any who wish to hear Your word, for Yours is the truth, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

All we need is JESUS!!!!!

Discouraged about your work

The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. ~Psalm 126:3

When you feel no one is on your side

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:32

When you grow bitter and critical

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. ~1 Corinthians 13: 1

Happy Birthday: March 6, 2021

David Gilmour, 75

Rob Reiner, 74

Tom Arnold, 62

D. L. Hughley, 57

Connie Britton, 54

Millicent Simmonds, 18

Carmen de Lavallade, 90

Joanna Miles, 81

Ben Murphy, 79

Hugh Grundy, 76

Anna Maria Horsford, 73

Kiki Dee, 74

John Stossel, 74

Armen Keteyian, 68

Jackie Zeman, 68

Skip Ewing, 57

Shuler Hensley, 54

Moira Kelly, 53

Amy Pietz, 52

Chris Broderick, 51

Trent Willmon, 48

Shan Farmer, 47

Beanie Sigel, 47

Bubba Sparxxx, 44

Shaun Evans, 41

Chris Tomson, 37

Eli Marienthal, 35

Tyler, the Creator, 30

Shaquille O’Neal, 49

Michelangelo (March 6, 1475-February 18, 1564)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (March 6, 1806-June 29, 1861)

Lou Costello (March 6, 1906-March 31, 1959)

Ed McMahon (March 6, 1923-June 23, 2009)

The Young and the Restless Spoilers: March 8-12, 2021

Will Ashland Locke live up to all the hype….

Elena and Devon struggle with their feelings, a powerful new alliance targets Billy, and Kyle goes on high alert as ruthless mogul Ashland Locke rolls into Genoa City… perhaps with his son in tow.

Victoria (Amelia Heinle) makes a power move…

Young & Restless spoilers for Friday, March 5:

Victoria makes a bold move, Billy reaches out to Jill, and Kyle interrupts Sally and Jack.

When Victor finds himself in a position to deliver bad news, will he be smugly lording a victory over Billy Boy Abbott? Or will the Mustache be revealing a somber development to someone?

Will love or business be on the agenda when Lily makes a move to set the record straight with Victoria? Something tells us that either way, Lily might be in for a chilly reception.

When Chelsea celebrates a win, will it mean that she’s making progress toward regaining her mobility and speech or that she’s managed to strike back at those who have wronged her?

Young & Restless spoilers week of March 8:

Y&R Restless Rant: desperately hoping Ashland Locke will live up to the hype, and talks Chelsea’s revenge, Devon’s deflated drama, Phyllis vs. Sally and much more!

Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) stands…

Young & Restless spoilers for Monday, March 8:

Something so strange happens today that pigs must be flying and hell must be freezing over: Victor and Adam form an alliance to compete against Billy. How will Lily and Victoria react to this development, and what will it mean for Chancellor Communications?

As Chelsea continues her subterfuge, the situation in the penthouse is bound to get sticky. But we can’t think of anyone better than her BFF, Chloe, to come to her rescue when the going gets tough.

Other men have tried and failed to exorcise Adam from Sharon’s heart, but Rey remains determined to save his marriage. Will their first couple’s-therapy sesh be on the agenda when he and his wife take steps to to do just that?

Devon (Bryton James) struggles with his feelings for Amanda, his late wife’s sister, and Elena…

Young & Restless spoilers for Tuesday, March 9:

No one knows better than Jack how quickly romance can turn to heartache — and there has been no shortage of warnings about getting involved with Sally. So when he decides to take a risk, will it be for love?

Torn between his former love and his new lover (who just happens to look exactly like his late wife), Devon finds himself at a crossroads. Will he be forced to choose between them in order to move forward in his life?

Kyle’s suddenly found himself in the middle of an intensely volatile situation, what with having fathered a child with the wife of a ruthless mogul. Will lovemaking be in the cards when Summer makes a move to distract her boo from his troubles?

Hunter King as Summer Newman

Young & Restless spoilers for Wednesday, March 10:

With his eye on the prize — that being revenge on Billy Boy Abbott — Victor prepares for battle. Does the tycoon’s archenemy stand a chance?

Will love or business be up for discussion when Nikki questions Victoria’s decision-making? And will the exec’s mom be able to set her down the right path?

With Summer helming a division while supporting Kyle, and Mariah focused on getting pregnant for Abby, someone has to be there for their younger sister. Watch for Lola, who — let’s face it — has precious little else going on, to step up for Faith.

Young & Restless spoilers for Thursday, March 11:

With Victor and Adam teaming up to take on Billy, it’s no surprise when the legendary Newman/Abbott feud is reignited. Will cooler heads put out the fire before it rages out of control?

When Kyle is forced to cover his tracks, will he have been trying to make contact with his son, Harrison, while remaining under the radar? There’s a good chance that’s the case, what with the tot’s terrifying father being in town.

When Ashland Locke arrives in Genoa City, presumably it’s to do business with Victor Newman. But will new information come to light that brings the fabled “Locke Ness Monster” to life?

Young & Restless spoilers for Friday, March 12:

There could be anything in the cards, from contracts and wills to baby shopping sprees, as Abby plans for her future. Wonder whether Chance will look a little different if/when he returns to be a part of it.

Having recently acknowledged that the love between them wasn’t extinguished by her cheating with his cousin — and, in fact, reignited during a night of passion — Elena and Devon struggle to find closure. Maybe what they should really be looking for is a way to start over?

It could be anything from delivering bad business news to an unexpected kiss when Victoria catches Billy off guard.

The Bold and the Beautiful Spoilers: March 8-12, 2021

Lawrence St. Victor as Carter Walton

As Paris falls deeper in love with Zende, she finds herself dealing with an angry Zoe once again. Also, Finn must race against time to get to Steffy fast after an encounter with Vinny and Thomas…

Kiara Barnes as Zoe Buckingham

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Friday, March 5:

Carter lets loose on Zoe, Zende makes a declaration about Paris, and Brooke and Ridge discuss Zoe’s trustworthiness.

We’d advise caution as Paris begins to fall ever harder for Zende when he surprises her with a “getaway.” Charming as he is, we still don’t know the reason his marriage to Nicole ended. Just sayin’.

Meanwhile, Zoe goes big in arranging a romantic scene in which to prove her love to Carter. But can anything truly make him forget the way that she hurt him by throwing herself at Zende?

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for week of March 8:

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Monday, March 8:

Putting the drama with Zoe in the rearview mirror, Zende and Paris fall head over heels in love. He even gifts his sweetheart with a gown as a token of his affections. In return, Paris offers up a song.

In a heartbreaking moment, a once-promising relationship comes to an end. Could this be the finish line for Hope and Liam’s marriage in the aftermath of his one-night stand with his ex, or will Carter remain firm and break things off with Zoe for good?

Delon De Metz as Zende Forrester-Dominguez

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Tuesday, March 9:

When Vinny doubles down on his claim about Steffy’s paternity test, Thomas grows ever more suspicious. Will the reformed Forrester heir be forced to revert to his cunning old tricks to get the truth out of his slippery best pal?

When Zoe verbally attacks Paris, trying to blame her for all that is wrong in her own life, something tells us her little sister isn’t going to take it — especially now that she’s happily ensconced at Forrester and riding the high of a new romance with Zende.

Tanner Novlan as Dr. John “Finn” Finnegan

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Wednesday, March 10:

To trust or not to trust — is it even a question at this point? Emotionally exhausted by Liam’s betrayal, Hope leans on her mother for help. Will Brooke finally stop urging her daughter to reconcile with the serial cheater?

Considering all the drama surrounding her latest pregnancy, it probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Steffy is thinking about her future choices. Nonetheless, Ridge is stunned when his daughter announces a life-changing decision.

When Finn finds himself in the middle of the fray between Vinny and Thomas, will the truth about the paternity test finally come out? Or will it just be another near miss?

Thorsten Kaye as Ridge Forrester

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Thursday, March 11:

A shocking secret that comes to light changes the Forrester, Spencer and Logan families’ lives. Hmm… could the baby that Steffy is carrying be Finn’s and not Liam’s after all?

Upon learning of her plan from Ridge, Finn races against time to stop Steffy from leaving Los Angeles. But will he be too late to stop the woman he loves from getting the heck outta Dodge?

Flo Fulton-Logan (Katrina Bowden) is welcomed into the Logan family and receives a job at Forrester Creations…

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Friday, March 12:

As Thomas recounts his fight with Vinny, Hope grows concerned. Will her onetime obsessor share his suspicions, or will he actually be on the scene to deliver late-breaking news that could change Hope’s outlook on her marriage?

In a magical moment, Finn implores Steffy not to leave their love behind. Will she have a change of heart about taking flight from the City of Angels?

General Hospital Spoilers: March 8-12, 2021

Kirsten Storms as Maxie Jones West; Wes Ramsey as Peter August aka Heinrich Faison

A plan is made, a crime is revealed, confrontations ensue and someone fesses up to their mistakes.

Opinion! This week’s episodes of General Hospital were some of the best in a long time, and the payoff of the double wedding drama was worth the wait. As enjoyable as it was watching Peter go down, Maxie still has us saying, “What the heck girl!”

General Hospital spoilers week of March 1:

GH Soapbox: Hoping Obrecht takes Peter down, wondering if someone closer to home sent Ava the roach, and hoping Jackie doesn’t do what we fear she will.

Peter abducted….

General Hospital spoilers for Monday, March 1:

Someone is abducted, Franco makes an admission, and a plan is finalized.

Anna and Valentin put their heads together and come up with a plan, while Obrecht reaches out with a message for Maxie. At the same time, Dante — whom you’ll remember has been programmed by Obrecht to deal with Peter — pays Maxie’s babydaddy a little visit!

Jackie and Gregory come to the same conclusion.

When Franco’s tumor makes things complicated, will it be in a low-key way or the way that means people should probably fear for the safety of their loved ones?

Amanda Setton returns to General Hospital very soon as Brook Lynn, but will she bring more (a baby bump?) back to Port Charles than her sassy self?

Dominic Zamprogna as Dante Falconeri; Kelly Monaco as Sam McCall Morgan

General Hospital spoilers for Tuesday, March 2:

Dante rescues Peter, as the kidnappers are revealed, plus Obrecht crashes the double wedding.

Maxie is ready to start her new life with Peter, but it seems that he’s been delayed. Could this have something to do with the in-progress crime that Dante has come across? Or the fact that Jordan and Chase suddenly find their workloads a bit heavier?

Wedding Preview: Will Dante kill Peter on Maxie’s big day?

Finola Hughes as Anna DeVane; Michael Easton as Dr. Hamilton “Finn” Finn

General Hospital spoilers for Wednesday, March 3:

The truth is revealed at the wedding, Finn walks out on Anna, and Ava encourages Nina to make peace.

When Finn is in need of support, Chase is there for him.

If you think Nina has forgotten about her anger toward Carly, you can rest assured… that ain’t happening! Today, Crimson‘s top exec turns to Ava for a little Carly-related venting.

Anna’s been dancing around the truth to the best of her ability, but something tells us that when she’s confronted by Peter, she may have to be more forthcoming than she’s been so far.

To whom is Michael extending an olive branch… and will it be accepted?

Lucy is in for a surprise!

Remembering a beloved soap vet , Gil Rogers, who passed away at 79.

Maxie shocked by reveal of truth….

General Hospital spoilers for Thursday, March 4:

Maxie is devastated after Anna and Valentin reveal the truth about Peter, leaving everyone in shock. Finn feels betrayed by Anna, and Willow is left in tears after Nina’s visit with Wiley.

Anna is feeling apologetic, while Valentin admits to Peter that he cares about him.

With everything Nina’s been going through, Jax wants nothing more than to be by her side. Instead, all he can do is lament the fact that he simply can’t get through to her.

Perhaps it’s reporter’s instinct that allows Jackie to prove insightful today.

Franco makes a discovery.

Franco (Roger Howarth) realizes the truth about Peter…

General Hospital spoilers for Friday, March 5:

Franco figures things out, Peter is attacked, Maxie is rushed to the hospital, and Nina upsets Willow.

Anna must admit to Robert that she’s made a mistake or two of late.

Dante — who has been spending a fair amount of time with Sam of late — wonders what her next move is going to be. Meanwhile, we wonder WTH is going on with her latest plot twist.

Carly — who knows a thing or two about butting in where she’s not wanted — finds Nina’s behavior intrusive. (Hello, Pot? This is kettle calling… )

Franco gains new insights today… but into what or who?

General Hospital spoilers week of March 8:

General Hospital spoilers for Monday, March 8:

For months, Maxie has been ignoring both the warning signs and the words of wisdom from those closest to her. As she prepares to walk down the aisle and marry Peter, will she listen to Britt’s advice?

Jason’s not the kind of guy to color outside the lines, so he makes it clear today that he simply can’t ignore the facts. While we’re on the subject of Stone Cold, let’s examine, why he’s benefiting from a sexist double standard.

How will Jackie respond when she’s called to the carpet by Gregory?

As Anna deals with Mac, Finn finds time to bond with his daughter.

General Hospital spoilers for Tuesday, March 9:

Liz wants nothing more than to be there for someone in their hour of need, but will she be able to help?

Jason makes a discovery, but what will he do with what he uncovers?

Alexis asks Valentin to come clean with her. Hmm… is there some kind of twisted Cassadine code that will require him to be forthcoming?

Jordan gets confrontational with Robert.

What will it mean for the double wedding when Maxie decides she has to do what’s in her own self-interest?

General Hospital spoilers for Wednesday, March 10:

With threats all around them and Cyrus on the warpath, Laura reminds Carly that she must, at all cost, keep her guard up.

Will Maxie come to regret the decision she’s made?

Proving they are mother and son, Liz and Cameron are each taking meetings today. While Jordan confabs with Liz, Joss finds time to check in on her pal Cam.

What’s got Scotty seeing red?

General Hospital spoilers for Thursday, March 11:

Given everything she’s been through over the years, it’s hard to imagine what could possibly leave Sam in a state of disbelief. But something does today!

Anna and Jackie suddenly find that they have more in common than either of them might originally have thought.

Depending on how you look at things, Chase is either in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. In either case, he definitely sees something he wasn’t supposed to!

As Terry reaches out to her longtime gal pal Elizabeth, Joss and Trina try to help Cam solve a mystery.

General Hospital spoilers for Friday, March 12:

Willow finds herself having to issue an apology… but for what, and how will it be received?

Jason takes Michael into his confidence.

When Nina and Valentin connect over the things they regret, could this be the first step toward the former couple reuniting?

Anna places a call to Frisco! Meanwhile, Peter has to come to terms with his fate.

Days of Our Lives Spoilers: March 8-12/15-19, 2021

Marci Miller as Abigail Devereaux DiMera; Camila Banus as Gabi Hernandez DiMera

A shocking discovery is made in the creepiest of places, someone reaches their breaking point, another prepares for murder and a Salemite returns to crash a party!

Days of Our Lives spoilers week of March 8:

Abigail back from underground tunnels where Gwen is being held.

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Monday, March 8:

Abigail and Gabi’s plot against Gwen may hit a major stumbling block when Anna discovers Gwen captive in the tunnels beneath the DiMera mansion. (Of course, that begs the question… what the heck is Anna doing lurking around in those creepy tunnels?) Meanwhile, Chad, too, gets suspicious when he finds Abigail and Gabi hanging out together. Because let’s face it, they’re not exactly best buds!

Apparently, Belle still thinks of Sami as someone who will tell the truth when a lie will serve her better. Well, Belle’s about to find out just how wrong that notion is.

Ava is about to meet her grandson when Allie brings Henry to visit his grandma. How awkward is this going to get?

Lamon Archey as Eli Grant; Jackee Harry as Aunt Paulina Price; Sal Sowers as Lani Price Grant

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Tuesday, March 9:

It’s been a rough couple months for Abigail, who finally reaches her breaking point today. Given that in the past, stressful situations have caused her to don a wig and call herself Gabby with a “y”, not an “i”, it should be interesting to see what happens this time!

Anna does everything she can to prevent Chad from going where he’s not wanted. Meanwhile, Jake and Kate once again find themselves arguing about — who else? — Gabi.

When Paulina has a proposal for Abe, will he accept it?

Victoria Konefal as Ciara Brady Weston

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Wednesday, March 10:

Ciara’s been held captive for months, but today it’s her true love and would-be rescuer Ben who winds up in jeopardy when Evan prepares to kill him.

Paulina has only been in town a week, but she’s already stirring up trouble for Eli and Lani, even if it is inadvertently!

Just when Claire might need him most, Theo returns to Salem. Will he stick around longer this time?

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Thursday, March 11:

How will Sarah react to the shocking discovery she makes?

Apparently, Evan has really taken to the whole “holding hostages” thing. Today, it is Claire whom he holds against her will. At the same time, Ciara once again finds herself in deep trouble.

Kristen decides that perhaps she’s been handling the Chloe situation entirely wrong. Will shifting gears help Kristen achieve her goals?

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Friday, March 12:

Xander and Jack are ready to have a good time during their two-man bachelor party. But a newly-returned Rex is about to prove that every party has a pooper by putting a damper on the festivities.

Apparently not realizing just how dangerous Brady’s girlfriend really is, Chloe decides she wants to tell the hunk just how much she cares for him. At the same time, Kristen does what she has to do in order to keep her secret from coming to light.

Ben’s been moving heaven and earth to find Ciara, yet today he fears he’s too late. Will he really lose her forever?

Days of Our Lives spoilers week of March 15:

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Monday, March 15:

Xander has been looking forward to making Sarah his wife… but first, he may have to find her! The would-be groom becomes increasingly worried upon realizing Sarah seems to officially be missing!

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Tuesday, March 16:

Is the nightmare really over? It seems to be the case when Ciara is finally reunited with her friends and family.

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Wednesday, March 17:

From the moment Charlie’s dead body was discovered, Sami was the prime suspect. But Rafe finds himself looking in someone else’s direction today!

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Thursday, March 18:

Kristen has a plan and as Sarah’s about to find out, the only word to describe it is “dastardly.” How far is Brady’s girlfriend willing to go?

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Friday, March 19:

Xander’s ready for his wedding, but what he’s going to get instead is a big ol’ shock!

How will Jack react when he learns that Abigail was responsible for abducting Gwen? Is there any way this fractured family can ever come together after this?

Hot Topic: Days fans come to the defense of Ciara, Marlena and other Salem women. Plus, if Sami didn’t kill Charlie, who did?

Mark: Chapter 14

1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone, why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me.

7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.

11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how hee might conveniently betray him.

12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? And another said, Is it I?

20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! God were it for that man if he had never been born.

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

29 But Peter said unto him,Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death: tarry he here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?

38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

46 And they laid their hands on him, and too him.

47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut of his ear.

48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as a against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?

49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and within him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

59 But neither so did their witness agree together.

60 An the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee?

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Genesis: Chapter 43

1 And the famine was sore in the land.

2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.

3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:

5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tel the man whether ye had yet a brother?

7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? Have ye another brother? And we told him accordingly to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?

8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.

9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:

10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.

12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:

13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:

14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

15 And the men took the present, and they took the double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.

17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.

18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.

19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house.

20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:

21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.

22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.

23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.

24 And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.

25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.

31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.

32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him; but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of their’s. And they drank, and were merry with him.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

2 Timothy 3:15-17—And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Devotion: Misfortune

Daily Bible Verse

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. ~Romans 13:1

Daily Inspiration

Never forget, that the stress and worry, the intimidation or fear one may experience in one’s own life at the hands of others are never beyond the supreme Creator’s control.

Daily Prayer

Lord of All Things, I surrender my soul to Thee. Grant me passage into Thy Almighty Kingdom, as I submit myself to Your Ultimate Power. I am but a lamb, naked in Your Light, awaiting Your Compassion. All me to follow, meek as I am, in the footsteps of Your Divine Ordinance. Amen.

All I need is You, Lord!

Misfortune

By Frances Taylor

Misfortune: God does not bring about our misfortunes and yet so many people believe that either God does it, or that there is no God. ~Job 1:20-21

Job is the ultimate example of praising God and not blaming Him for his misfortunes. Job had just learned that all of his flocks, all his servants, his wife and his children had been destroyed. He still refused to blame God. His friends will badger him for days trying to convince him to turn his back on God but he resists and refuses. There may be some among you who have suffered much in this world, all have suffered some. What was your response? I have lost jobs because of the lies of others. I have lost parents, grandparents, a child and grandchildren. I have been poor and dependent on the generosity of others. I, like you, know what it means to suffer. Now, I’m no Job and I admit I wasn’t too happy with God. If you are reading this, then you, too, haven’t turned your back on God either. God does not bring about our misfortunes and yet so many people believe that either God does it, or that there is no God. I admit that I wouldn’t want to believe in a God who caused us pain. It would have been easier for the people of Job’s time to believe that God was behind Job’s problems because that was what the people believed of their gods who demanded constant sacrifices to appease them. They also believed that those who suffered must have done something to offend the gods, or God. We can sometimes be guilty of that kind of thinking as well. God is good, all the time and all the time God is good. This is one of the favorite sayings of many of my friends. Bad things happen to us just as they did to Job. May we have the same attitude as Job and be thankful that God brings us through it.

Prayer: Loving God, You give us everything that is good and You help us work through the bad things that we must endure. May we bless You as Job did all the days of our lives! Amen.

With God all things are possible!

Happy Birthday: March 5, 2021

Dean Stockwell, 85

Penn Jillette, 66

Charlie Reid, 59

Craig Reid, 59

Paul Blackthorne, 52

Eva Mendes, 47

Kevin Connolly, 47

Niki Taylor, 46

Dominique McElligott, 35

Paul Sand, 89

James B. Sikking, 87

Fred Williamson, 83

Samantha Eggar, 82

Michael Warren, 75

Eddie Hodges, 74

Eddy Grant, 73

Alan Clark, 69

Marsha Warfield, 67

Adriana Barraza, 65

Talia Balsam, 62

John Frusciante, 51

Rome, 51

Jolene Blalock, 46

Kimberly McCullough, 43

Karolina Wydra, 40

Sterling Knight, 32

Jake Lloyd, 32

Micah Fowler, 28

Momofuku Ando (March 5, 1910-January 5, 2007)

Happy Birthday: March 4, 2021

Emilio Estefan, 68

Catherine O’Hara, 67

Patricia Heaton, 63

Steven Weber, 60

Paula Prentiss, 83

Adrian Lyne, 80

Chris Rea, 70

Ronn Moss, 69

Kay Lenz, 68

Mykelti Williamson, 64

Jason Newsted, 58

Stacy Edwards, 56

Grand Puba, 55

Patrick Hannan, 55

Evan Dando, 54

Patsy Kensit, 53

Andrea Bendewald, 51

Fergal Lawler, 50

Jason Sellers, 50

Jason Marsalis, 44

Jessica Heap, 38

Scott Michael Foster, 36

Whitney Port, 36

Audrey Espanza, 35

Margo Harshman, 35

Josh Bowman, 33

Andrea Bowen, 31

Jenna Boyd, 28

Antonio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678-July 28, 1741)

Knute Rockne (March 4, 1888-March 31, 1931)

Richard DeVos (March 4, 1926-September 6, 2018)

Happy Birthday: March 3, 2021

Julie Bowden, 51

David Faustino, 47

Jessica Biel, 39

Camila Cabello, 24

Mike Pender, 80

George Miller, 76

Hattie Winston, 76

Jennifer Warnes, 74

Tim Kazurinsky, 71

Robyn Hitchcock, 68

Robert Gossett, 67

John Lilley, 67

Miranda Richardson, 63

Laura Harring, 57

Duncan Phillips, 57

Tone Loc, 55

Brett Warren, 50

Jason Crabb, 44

Ronan Keating, 44

Lil’ Flip, 40

Joe “Blower” Garvey, 37

Brett Hite, 35

Thomas Barbusca, 18

Reylynn Caster, 18

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 59

Herschel Walker, 59

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847-August 2, 1922)

Happy Birthday: March 2, 2021

Jon Bon Jovi, 59

Daniel Craig, 53

Rebel Wilson, 41

Bryce Dallas Howard, 40

Nathalie Emmanuel, 32

Luke Combs, 31

John Cullum, 91

Barbara Luna, 82

Laraine Newman, 69

Jay Osmond, 66

John Cowsill, 65

Larry Stewart, 62

Alvin Youngblood, Hart, 58

Richard Ruccolo, 49

Chris Martin, 44

Heather McComb, 44

Mike “McDuck” Olson, 38

Robert Iler, 36

Becky G, 24

Mikhail Gorbachev, 90

Sam Houston (March 2, 1793-July 26, 1863)

Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808-December 6, 1889)

Theodor Suess “Ted” Geisel aka Dr. Suess (March 2, 1904-September 24, 1991)

Happy Birthday: March 1, 2021

Roger Daltry, 77

Ron Howard, 67

Catherine Bach, 66

Javier Bardem, 52

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, 47

Lupita Nyong’O, 38

Kesha, 34

Justin Bieber, 27

Robert Clary, 95

Harry Belafonte, 94

Mike D’Abo, 77

Dirk Benedict, 76

Janis Gill (Janis Oliver Cummins), 67

Tim Daly, 65

Jon Carroll, 64

Bryan Batt, 58

Maurice Benard, 58

Russell Wong, 58

Chris Gigman, 56

John David Cullum, 55

George Eads, 54

Jack Davenport, 48

Ryan Peake, 48

Jensen Ackles, 43

Donovan Patton, 43

Sammie, 34

Frederic Chopin (March 1, 1810-October 17, 1849)

Henry Caray (March 1, 1914-February 18, 1998)

Robert Conrad (March 1, 1935-February 8, 2020)

Alan Thicke (March 1, 1947-December 13, 2016)

Cryptids: Mothman

In West Virginia folklore, the Mothman is a creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area from November 15, 1966, to December 15, 1967. The first newspaper report was published in the Point Pleasant Register dated November 16, 1966, titled “Couples See Man-Sized Bird … Creature … Something”. The national press soon picked up the reports and helped spread the story across the United States.

The Mothman was introduced to a wider audience by Gray Barker in 1970 and was later popularized by John Keel in his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, claiming that there were supernatural events related to the sightings, and a connection to the collapse of the Silver Bridge. The book was later adapted to a 2002 film, starring Richard Gere.

An annual festival in Point Pleasant is devoted to the Mothman legend.

History

On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, told police they saw a large grey creature whose eyes “glowed red” when the car’s headlights picked it up. They described it as a “large flying man with ten-foot wings”, following their car while they were driving in an area outside of town known as “the TNT area”, the site of a former World War II munitions plant.

During the next few days, other people reported similar sightings. Two volunteer firemen who saw it said it was a “large bird with red eyes”. Mason County Sheriff George Johnson commented that he believed the sightings were due to an unusually large heron he termed a “shitepoke”. Contractor Newell Partridge told Johnson that when he aimed a flashlight at a creature in a nearby field its eyes glowed “like bicycle reflectors”, and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog on the creature. Wildlife biologist Robert L. Smith at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the sandhill crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven-foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes, and that the bird may have wandered out of its migration route. This particular crane was unrecognized at first because it was not native to this region.

At the time, Batman was a popular TV show, and soon after the first reports, newspapers coined the name “Mothman”, inspired by a comic book enemy of Batman called Killer Moth.

After the December 15, 1967, collapse of the Silver Bridge and the death of 46 people, he incident gave rise to the legend and connected the Mothman sightings to the bridge collapse.

The Mothman Prophecies (2002) is a major motion picture, loosely based on the 1975 book of the same name by John Keel.

According to Georgian newspaper Svobodnaya Gruziya, Russian UFOlogists claim that Mothman sightings in Moscow foreshadowed the 1999 Russian apartment bombings.

In 2016, WCHS-TV published a photo purported to be of Mothman taken by an anonymous man while driving on Route 2. Science writer Sharon A. Hill proposed that the photo showed “a bird, perhaps an owl, carrying a frog or snake away” and wrote that “there is zero reason to suspect it is the Mothman as described in legend. There are too many far more reasonable explanations.”

Analysis

Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand notes that Mothman has been widely covered in the popular press, some claiming sightings connected with UFOs, and others claiming that a military storage site was Mothman’s “home”. Brunvand notes that recountings of the 1966–67 Mothman reports usually state that at least 100 people saw Mothman with many more “afraid to report their sightings” but observed that written sources for such stories consisted of children’s books or sensationalized or undocumented accounts that fail to quote identifiable persons. Brunvand found elements in common among many Mothman reports and much older folk tales, suggesting that something real may have triggered the scares and became woven with existing folklore. He also records anecdotal tales of Mothman supposedly attacking the roofs of parked cars occupied by teenagers.

Conversely, Joe Nickell says that a number of hoaxes followed the publicity generated by the original reports, such as a group of construction workers who tied flashlights to helium balloons. Nickell attributes the Mothman stories to sightings of barn owls, suggesting that the Mothman’s “glowing eyes” were actually red-eye effect caused from the reflection of light from flashlights or other bright light sources. Benjamin Radford points out that the only report of glowing “red eyes,” was secondhand, that of Shirley Hensley quoting her father.

According to University of Chicago psychologist David A. Gallo, 55 sightings of Mothman in Chicago during 2017 published on the website of self-described Fortean researcher Lon Strickler are “a selective sample”. Gallo explains that “he’s not sampling random people and asking if they saw the Mothman – he’s just counting the number of people that voluntarily came forward to report a sighting.” According to Gallo, “people more likely to visit a paranormal-centric website like Strickler’s might also be more inclined to believe in, and therefore witness the existence of, a ‘Mothman’.”

Some pseudoscience adherents (such as ufologists, paranormal authors, and cryptozoologists) claim that Mothman was an alien, a supernatural manifestation, or a previously unknown species of animal. In his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, author John Keel claimed that the Point Pleasant residents experienced precognitions including premonitions of the collapse of the Silver Bridge, unidentified flying object sightings, visits from inhuman or threatening men in black, and other phenomena.

Festival and statues

Point Pleasant held its first Annual Mothman Festival in 2002. The Mothman Festival began after brainstorming creative ways for people to visit Point Pleasant. The group organizing the event chose the Mothman to be center of the festival due to its uniqueness, and as a way to celebrate its local legacy in the town.

According to the event organizer, Jeff Wamsley, the average attendance for the Mothman is an estimated 10–12 thousand people per year. A 12-foot-tall metallic statue of the creature, created by artist and sculptor Bob Roach, was unveiled in 2003. The Mothman Museum and Research Center opened in 2005. The festival is held on the third weekend of every September, hosting guest speakers, vendor exhibits, pancake-eating contests, and hayride tours of locally notable areas.

In June of 2020, a petition was started to replace all Confederate statues in the United States with statues of Mothman. As of July 2020, the petition has garnered over 2,000 signatures.

Mark 16:16

Mark 16:16—He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 2:22-42—Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefor did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand. Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2 Peter 3:15-16—And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

John 14:25-26—These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you al things, and bring al things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Colossians 4:16—And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistles from Laodicea.

Matthew 28:16-19—Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Genesis 1:27—So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Devotion: Your Righteousness

Daily Bible Verse

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. ~1 John 3:11

Daily Inspiration

The simplest and also the most difficult decree: love one another.

Daily Prayer

I do not always love my neighbor as myself, my enemies, and even myself, my Lord. Forgive me for these sins. I want to be better: more loving, compassionate, strong, and an I pray that You help me achieve these qualities. Help me to turn the other cheek and think selflessly, as Jesus Christ showed during His life on earth. In His name I pray these things. Amen.

Better days are coming!

Your Righteousness

By Frances Taylor

Your Righteousness: How will you “fast” this Lent? ~Isaiah 58:6-7

Perhaps these sound familiar? If so, you remember that Jesus said much the same in Matthew’s Gospel, in his parable of the Last Judgment and the separation of the sheep and the goats. If anyone thinks that God’s teachings concerning justice begin in the New Testament, this is just one of the passages from Isaiah that would disprove that. It’s kind of interesting to me, but Lent and Advent seem to be the two seasons of the year that turn people’s hearts to God. During Advent we see a spirit of generosity that extends to those who have less, particularly to children. Although it’s easy to think that all the talk about Santa Claus, or whatever name is given to him in different traditions, people are more willing to serve in soup kitchens, or knit for the homeless, or donate toys to community organizations. Lent brings out another spirit, that of increased introspection that encourages us to see where we have failed and where we can do better. Churches often add services because they know that more people will make the time to attend them or that people are more willing to think about Jesus’ sacrifice and look for ways of helping the less fortunate. How will you “fast” this Lent? You can give up time to help someone who might need a visit, or phone call to let them know someone is thinking about them. Maybe, there’s a community issue that can use your support. Maybe it’s just taking more time to pray for peace in this world or for an end to violence in the home. Whatever you choose, whatever I choose, may all that we do be pleasing to God.

Prayer: Lord, You showed us how to live and You showed us the way to work for justice and peace in our world. Be with us during these forty days as we renew our efforts to live as we should. Amen.

God is the reason why I remain strong today!

Desperate Passions: A Todd Manning FanFiction (Updated)

EPISODE 1

Todd Manning woke up in a mental hospital in a strait jacket. The last thing he remembers is making love to Carly Jacks. He was headed to the Metro Court’s kitchen to find some food after their night of passion. He was just headed back up to his room with some leftover hot n spicy wings, mozzarella sticks, quesadillas, and some sodas, when he felt a sharp blow from a blunt object hit his head, before passing out. After coming to, and realizing that he is in a strait jacket, Todd struggles to free himself from the strait jacket when his captor comes in. It is none other, than his mother, Irene Manning! Now, Todd is extremely confused, because he thought he killed her and dumped her body in the river after she tried to kill him and his family with that bomb she had planted in his penthouse.

“Well, hello, Todd Dear.” Irene says.

“Mother?”

“Yes, Todd, it’s mommy! Did you think you could get rid of me so easily?”

“How did you survive?”

“Mitch Laurence!”

“Mitch Laurence? Add: Todd said. “But John and Natalie killed him?”

“Well, guess he survived too.”

“Geez, doesn’t anyone die in Llanview?” Todd questions. “So, what do you want?”

“I need you to help me get rid of Mitch and Alison Perkins.”

“What? Alison is involved?”

“Yes, she fished your brother out of the river after you shot him and kept him captive for months. Now Victor Jr. is alive and snuggling up to Blair.”

“Blair?” Todd almost chokes.

“Yes, Todd, your brother is in Blair’s bed. Are you going to help me with MItch and Alison?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I’ll get back to you. I’m still working on the details.”

Irene leaves Todd in the secret room at the mental institution she had set up for Todd.

Todd is worried about what his mother wants, and even more worried what Mitch and Alison want too. Even more disturbing is that his twin brother, Victor, Jr. is alive. . .after he shot him and threw his body in the rive

“Yes, Todd, your brother is in Blair’s bed. Add: give me more of the personality of this women. I wann a hear more dialouge from her. I like it! 😀 Are you going to help me with MItch and Alison?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I’ll get back to you. I’m still working on the details.”

Irene leaves Todd in the secret room at the mental institution she had set up for Todd.

Todd is worried about what his mother wants, and even more worried what Mitch and Alison want too. Even more disturbing is that his twin brother, Victor, Jr. is alive. . .after he shot him and threw his body in the river.

Episode 2

Todd wakes up in his secret room at the mental institution, but no longer in the strait jacket. There is a tray with breakfast of hot coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. The sun is coming in the small window in his room; the only source of light in this dreary room. Todd is still wondering what his mother wants from him, as he gulps the breakfast down before the staff come in and grab the tray. Todd knows to eat what is brought in quick or some staff member will take the tray from you.

Back at Irene Manning’s penthouse suite at Llanview Hotel…

“Max, how did it go?” Irene asks, sounding worried.

“Relax, Ms. Manning. Everything is going to plan.” Max replies, reassuring her.

“This plan can’t backfire. It’s imperative that we get Victor, Jr. away from that pesky Alison Perkins. I need Victor, Jr. back here now to keep Carly Jacks out of Todd’s life.”

“Yes, Ms. Manning. Victor, Jr. will be back in Llanview later today. I have a meeting set with Alison to make the trade.”

“See to it that it doesn’t go awry, or I’ll have your head.”

Meanwhile……..

Todd has found a way to escape the mental institution that his mother had him put in. He just has to wait until the right moment to make his escape. He has to get back to Port Charles. Carly must be going out of her mind wondering where he is. Todd remembers the night of lovemaking he and Carly had before his mother took him away and put him in this institution. What is it with his mother to keep everyone he loves from him? First, Blair and his children, now it’s Carly. Well, his mother won’t win this time. He won’t let her ruin his happiness with Carly like she did with Blair.

Episode 3

Victor Jr. has managed to free himself from the shackles that Allison Perkins tied him to the bed in, while Allison busied herself in the kitchenette preparing their dinner.

“Just where do you think you are going?” Allison asks Victor Jr. just as he is about to sneak out of Allison’s hotel room.

“I’m blowing this joint!” Victor Jr. blasts at her.

“Oh, no you’re not!”

Allison hits Victor Jr. over the head with a lamp, knocking him out cold and sending him to the floor. Allison ties Victor Jr. up and settles him in her car.

“You naughty boy, Victor. Now you’ll be sorry for trying to escape!” Allison tells an unconscious Victor Jr.

Meanwhile….

Todd has just escaped the mental institution where Irene Manning put him just as Irene decides to pay him another visit.

Unlocking the door to Todd’s room, “How the hell did he managed to escape?”

Irene is livid as Todd has made his way back to Port Charles and Carly’s room at the Metro Court.

“Hello beautiful!” Todd says as Carly answers her door.

“Todd, where have you been?” Carly asks him.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“I was so worried when you disappeared after we made love.”

“My crazy mother had me locked away at a mental institution.”

“OMG! Why would she do that?”

“She wanted me to find my twin brother.”

“I thought he was dead?”

“Apparently he’s alive and Allison Perkins has him. Now I need to find my brother and warn him.”

“When will you go?”

“Right away.”

Todd kisses Carly before he leaves her hotel room.

Episode 4

Todd heads to Llanview in search of Alison Perkins. Todd is tired of playing these games with his mother. All he wants is to find his brother, and get back to Port Charles and to Carly. He stops by his sister, Viki’s house at Llanfair. He figures Viki may know something about Alison’s whereabouts. But when he arrives at Llanfair, he walks in on a crisis just as he is about to ring the doorbell.

“Hello? Viki? Anyone here?” Todd walks inside the open door at Llanfair.

Todd hears a man’s voice barking orders. It sounds much like Mitch Laurence’s voice. He hears the voice coming from the sitting area and walks in only to find Mitch holding his niece Jessica in his arms. Mitch is here to claim his daughter and her two children, Bree and Ryder.

“I’m taking what is mine. My daughter, Jessica, and her two children, Bree and Ryder, my grandchildren.” Mitch states.

Clint Buchanan adds, “But Jessica is my daughter. Viki and I had DNA tests re-run after Alison let it slip that I, not you, am Jessica’s father.”

“Alison let it slip out that you’re Jessica’s father?”

“Yes, Mitch. I am Jessica’s father. Not you.”

Todd chimes in, “So why don’t you just mosey on out of here before I throw your ass out of here.”

After all the commotion has died down, Todd asks to speak with Viki. They go out onto the patio to talk.

“So, Viki, have you seen Alison Perkins?” Todd asked her.

“No, I haven’t seen here since she let slip about Clint being Jessica’s father.” Viki replied back.

“Well, Irene is back. . .back from the dead.”

“What? But Todd, you shot her dead?”

“Yes, I know. . .Mitch saved her. Irene is on a mission to find my twin brother, Victor, Jr., and she wants me to find him.”

“Victor, Jr. is alive too?” Viki asks, bewildered.

“Yes, and Alison has him hidden somewhere. I need to find my brother and warn him about our mother.”

“I think she wants Victor to ruin my relationship with Carly Jax. They way she tried to ruin my relationship with Blair and the kids by having Victor, Jr. pose as me to get Victor’s inheritance. Victor, Jr. has always been Irene’s favorite son, the one ousted by the Great Victor Lord.”

“Oh, wait, I think I remember now. I saw Alison coming from the Llanview Hotel just a few days ago.” Viki added.

“Great sis! You’re a lifesaver!” He kisses his sister on the forehead and heads out.

Todd waits outside the Llanview Hotel waiting for Alison to come into the hotel. He didn’t have to wait long as she was coming back to the hotel within twenty minutes of arriving at the hotel.

Episode 5

Todd used his charm to get housekeeping to let him into Allison’s suite. He was waiting inside as he heard the key turn in the lock. Allison was surprised to see Todd waiting inside her suite.

“Well, it’s about time you returned.” Todd said as soon as Allison got inside her suite.

“What are you doing here? How did you get in?” Allison queried, surprised.

“I have my connections. That’s all you need to know.”

“So, Todd, what do you want?”

“So, where do you have my brother hidden?”

“What makes you think I know where Victor, Jr. is?”

“A little birdie told me. . . . Seriously, where are you hiding my brother?”

“I don’t have your brother, and I never did.”

“C’mon Allison. I have proof that you kept my brother hidden in this suite.”

“Well, your proof is wrong. Now get out of my suite before I call security.”

“Okay. But I’m watching you, Allison.”

Todd leaves Allison’s suite. He gives his henchman, Steve, the order, with a wink to take down Allison. Then calmly leaves and lets things go down as planned. Steve and his partners nab Allison and take her off to a out-of-the way mental institution.

Meanwhile, back in Llanview…..

Todd shows up at La Boulee, to see Blair. He is surprised by what he sees in the window. Blair is in a liplock with his own brother, Victor, Jr. He knocks on the door, interrupting the kiss.

Answering the door, “Todd?” Blair looks surprised.

“Hello, Blair. How did Victor get here?”

“He’s been in Llanview since you left.”

“You’ve been sleeping with my brother for weeks now?”

“Well, you took off and hooked up with Carly. So when Victor showed up, things just reignited for us.”

“I took off because John McBain had me arrested for Victor’s murder.”

“You jumped bail and took off to Port Charles to go after Cole for taking Starr and Hope away.”

“Well, I had to get Starr and Hope back and make her realize that Cole was wrong for her.”

“Well, you got your wish when Cole and Hope were killed in that car crash set by Johnny Zaccara.”

Victor chimes in, “Johnny Zaccara killed Cole and Hope?”

“Yes, after months of thinking it was Connie Falconeri, we all learned that it was Johnny that did it.”

“I got to go, Blair” he kisses her before leaving.

“What, no hug for your bro—-?” as Victor runs out of La Boulee.

As Todd and Blair finish their conversation, Victor got in his car and drove to the prison where Johnny Zaccara was serving his time. He had to have a talk with Johnny. He had to make sure that he wasn’t fingered as the mastermind behind the shooting that killed Cole and Hope. Victor had to make sure that everyone in Llanview never found out that he was behind Johnny shooting the car that killed Cole and Hope.

Episode 6

Allison gets a text from Mitch Laurence:

“My suite. N 30 minutes. It’s urgent.”

What was she going to tell Mitch? She couldn’t face Mitch knowing that Victor Jr. escaped from her suite. Mitch was going to be so mad. Allison decided to just go over to Mitch’s suite and face the music.

Allison knocked on Mitch’s door. Mitch answered the door.

“Get in here, now!”

“Gee, who got your knickers in a bunch?!”

“How the hell did you manage to let Victor get away?!”

“He somehow broke free of his handcuffs.”

“Plan A is ruined, Alison. Now we have to go to Plan B.”

“No, not Plan B!”

“Yes. You let Victor escape. Now you must pay. You need to get Todd to marry you.”

“Not Todd. He’ll never go for it.”

“Well, it’s the only way, Allison.”

“How am I suppose to get Todd Manning to marry me?”

“You’ll come up with something. You’re sly and crafty. Do it before Todd leaves Llanview for Port Charles and goes back to Carly Jacks.”

“Yes, Mitch.”

Mitch sees Allison out the door. When he closes it behind her, Allison wonders how she will convince Todd Manning to marry her? It was going to be a challenge to get Todd to the altar.

Meanwhile……

Todd makes a call to Carly to tell her how much he misses her.

“Hello, Todd.” Carly says, pushing the green button on her cell.

“Hi, Carly. I miss you so much.”

“How are things going?”

“Not good. I have been looking for my brother. He seems to be keeping his distance from me.”

“Well, you did shoot him thinking you killed him.”

“Well, apparently I need to find Allison Perkins. She had him hidden in her suite for months before anybody knew he was still alive.”

“Gee, she sounds like a psycho.”

“She is. She’s also working for that evil Mitch Laurence. Somehow he’s behind this mess.”

“Well, be careful Todd. I couldn’t take it if anything happened to you.”

“I will Carly. I love you.”

Each ends the call telling each other how much they love each other. Just as Todd has ended the call, he is grabbed from behind as someone places a rag doused in chloroform. The mysterious figure then places Todd’s body into the back of the van, then climbs into the driver’s seat and drives off.

Episode 7

Todd wakes up in Allison’s hotel suite dressed in a tuxedo and a ring on his left third finger and a little woozy. Allison is no where in her suite.

“Where the hell am I?” Todd asks, looking at the wedding band on his finger. “What the hell is this?”

Coming into her suite, Allison cheerfully gives Todd a kiss, “Hello, husband dear! How was your nap?”

“We’re married?” a shocked Todd shrieks. “How the hell did that happen?!”

“Well, you took me to Vegas in your jet, we drank a whole lot. . .and the next thing I knew, you had popped the question and placed this ring on my finger and we were at the Las Vegas chapel saying our ‘I do’s.’ “ Allison chides Todd.

“You’re joking?” Todd questions her.

“Well, yes, about those details.” Allison jokes. “Actually, . . .”

“Never mind.” Todd interrupts her. “I don’t want to know the details. I just want an annulment.”

“Well, husband dear, that’s not possible.” Allison informs him.

“And why is that?”

“Well, you see, Todd, we both signed statements saying we would be married for one year before ending this marriage.”

Todd jumps up from the bed. “One year?!”

“Yes, Todd dear, we have to show that we are a happy couple for one year.” Allison revels in telling Todd.

“I want to see these papers I signed. I don’t remember signing any papers.” Todd demands.

“Well, you were pretty drunk when you signed them. But I’ll give our attorney a call in the morning and ask him to give you a copy.”

“Yes, Allison, you do that.”

“Well, look at the time. I need to go see someone right now. I trust you’ll be here when I return?” Allison says, as she darts out the door.

Todd just gives Allison a look as she is leaving. How the hell did he get married to Allison Perkins? And what was he going to tell Carly? One thing was for certain, Todd was going to get out of this marriage, even if he had to kill Allison to do it.

Episode 8

Allison shows up at Mitch’s office flaunting the ring on her finger.

“Well, boss, it’s done!”

“You managed to get Todd Manning to marry you?! Mitch asks. “How did you manage to do it?”

“Never mind the details, boss! I am Todd Manning’s wife and that’s all that matters.”

“Well, congratulations, Allison. Now for your next assignment.”

“Yes, boss.”

“Kidnap Carly Jacks!” Mitch demanded. “I have a plan to snare Todd and I need Carly Jacks here as bait.”

“Yes, boss.” Allison agreed.

“I have rented you a car to drive to Port Charles and get the job done.” Mitch handed Allison the keys to the rental car. “Leave tonight.”

“So much for a honeymoon?!” Allison joked, not that she was looking forward to one. “Yes, boss, I’ll leave tonight.”

Allison left Mitch’s office and headed for the rental car. She dialed Todd’s cell but it went to voicemail:

Hey, Todd, sorry to ruin our lovely wedding night, but duty calls and I need to make a sudden business trip. I’ll be out of town for a few days. Good-bye husband dear.”

But Todd was on his way to Port Charles to see Carly. But he doesn’t get there as he is his car is hit by another car and goes off the side of the road, leaving Todd unconscious.

Episode 9

As Allison realized that he had just hit Todd’s car, she headed straight to Port Charles and did as Mitch asked.

Meanwhile,

Todd woke up and realized he had just been hit and his car was on the side of the road in a ravine. He picked up his cell to see that he had a voicemail. He pushed the icon to listen to the voicemail and heard that Allison was going “out of town on business.”

He got out of his wrecked car and walked up the side of the ravine. He walked along the side of the road hoping to hitch a ride to Port Charles.

Within fifteen minutes, he managed to get a ride from someone also on their way to Port Charles. It was Franco. Todd discovered him and Franco had one thing in common: their dislike for Sonny Corinthos.

When Franco and Todd had arrived in Port Charles, Todd asked Franco to drop him off at The MetroCourt so he could talk to his girlfriend, Carly. But not before getting Franco’s cell just in case he needed an ally.

Todd went up to Carly’s room to talk to Carly, but to his surprise, Carly wasn’t there. Then he went to his room that Carly promised she would hold whenever he came back to Port Charles. But she wasn’t there either.

He dialed her son, Michael’s number: “Hello?” Michael answered his cell.

“Michael, it’s ‘Todd Manning.”

“Yes, Todd, what do you want?”

“Have you seen your mother?” Todd asked. “It’s imperative that I talk to her.”

“Sorry, Todd, but I haven’t spoken to my mother today.” Michael told him.

“Okay, thank you Michael.” Todd said and ended the call.

Todd thought it funny that Carly hadn’t checked in with Michael. She always checked in on her children. Something was up and he figured Sonny Corinthos had something to do with it.

Todd did the next thing he could think of: He dialed Franco’s cell.

Episode 10

Todd agreed to meet Franco at Kelly’s in Port Charles. As he waited, he saw Sonny Corinthos meeting with his henchman, Shawn. Todd assumed he was discussing where he took Carly and he fumed inside, his fists clenched.

Just then Franco arrived to meet Todd, who also saw Sonny with Shawn.

“Doesn’t that man ever quit?” Franco asked, sitting in the booth across from Todd.

“Apparently not!” Todd answered him.

“I’m glad you agreed to meet me, Todd. I feel we could become real good friends.”

“I just want to take Sonny down.” Todd told Franco. “It’s time Sonny was brought to his knees!”

“I agree. What better way than to take down Sonny’s territory?”

“Yes, Sonny needs to go!” Todd agreed with Franco.

“He can’t get away with what he did?”

“What did Sonny do?” Franco asked Todd, but Todd was vague in answering him.

“He took away my girlfriend! And he won’t get away with it!”

“You’re right. I want Sonny to pay for what he did to me too.”

“So why are you so hot to ruin Sonny?”

“He took away my girlfriend too?” Franco answered Todd vaguely as well.

“So we’re both agreed? We take down Sonny and his territory?”

“That’s the plan!” Franco told Todd, as they shook hands on the deal.

Meanwhile. . .

Carly had woke up in Llanview in Mitch’s secret room, Allison had brought her after she arrived back in Llanview.

Episode 11

“Oh my god! My head hurts!” Carly calls out.

Mitch holds Carly’s hand as she wakes up. His face is the first she sees.

“W-w-who are you?” Carly asked, confused.

“Well, nice of you to wake up, Gorgeous!” Mitch said.

“Where am I?” Carly asks.

“You’re in my care, Ms. Jacks.” Mitch explains.

“I’m sorry. I don’t seem to recognize you.” Carly says.

“Just relax Gorgeous.” Mitch tries to make Carly stay in bed.

“I can’t. I have to find Todd.”

“Todd? You aren’t talking about Todd Manning?” Mitch asks.

“Yes, he’s my boyfriend.” Carly tells him. “I was supposed to meet him.”

“Well, I think Todd will come looking for you.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I had you kidnapped to trap Todd.” Mitch explains. “I’m sure he’s looking for you at this moment.”

Meanwhile. . .

Todd and Franco were headed to Sonny’s warehouse to plant some cocaine and frame Sonny for cocaine possession. But they hit a snag. Michael was there at the warehouse looking over some shipments that were delivered. Todd and Franco had to hide out until Michael left so they could plant the cocaine in the warehouse.

It seemed like hours waiting for Michael to leave, but after an hour, Michael was headed out. As soon as Michael left, Franco and Todd put the cocaine into one of the boxes that Michael had been inspecting.

Then they left the warehouse where Franco put in an anonymous call to the PCPD to report the ‘drug possession’ at Sonny’s warehouse.

Episode 12

“Oh my god, my head hurts!” Carly says, with Mitch standing over her.

Carly jumps up, her head pounding. “Who the hell are you?”

“No, wonder Todd adores you so much.” Mitch says, maniacally.

“Who are you and where the hell am I?” Carly asks, shaken up.

“I’m your worst nightmare. . .come true!” Mitch tells her, with a laugh.

“I asked who you are?” Carly shrieks.

“Don’t worry your pretty little head, Carly.” Mitch tells her, rubbing her back to soothe her.

“Don’t touch me!” Carly says, as she backs away from him.

“Relax, Carly!” Mitch orders her. “All in good time! All in good time, will you know what is going on! That is, if Todd does as he’s told!”

“Todd!” Carly shrieks again. “What have you done with Todd?”

“Nothing, Carly.” Mitch explains. “You’ll be free as soon as I get word that Todd has done as he is instructed.”

Mitch kisses Carly on the lips, but she resists, pulling away.

“You just rest here and wait.” Mitch orders. “I’ll let you know when the time is up.”

Mitch walks out of the room leaving Carly alone.

Meanwhile. . .

PCPD has been dispatched to Sonny’s warehouse after Todd’s 9-1-1 call to the PCPD. There are cops all over the warehouse when Sonny’s right hand man, Shawn, arrives on scene.

“Sonny, we have a problem at the warehouse.” Shawn says, when Sonny answers his cell.

“What kind of problem?” Sonny demands.

“Cops are all over the place.”

“What? What are the looking for?”

“Excuse me, Sonny, there’s a cop coming over to talk.” Shawn says, as he puts his hand over the phone. “Yes, officer, what can I do for you?”

“Sir, who are you and what are doing here?” the officer asks.

“I am reporting to work.” Shawn says, covering. “I am an employee here at the coffee house.”

“Well, you have to stay outside while we conduct a search.”

“Search? What are you looking for?”

“We got a report that there are drugs located inside.” the officer informs him. “We’ll let you know when you can go inside.”

As the officer walks away, Shawn continues his call with Sonny.

“Boss, the officer just told me they got a report that there are drugs in the warehouse.” Shawn informs Sonny.

“Drugs! How the hell can that be?!” Sonny rages. “Okay, Shawn, you can go. I’ll take care of this!”

“Okay, boss!” Shawn says, as the call ends.

Todd and Franco watch from a distance as Shawn heads out, shaking hands at their success.

“On to plan B!” Todd says.

“Agreed!” Franco adds.

Episode 13

Sonny Corinthos arrives at his warehouse, against Dante’s orders, Sonny starts towards the warehouse. But Shawn manages to pull him back.

A few minutes later, the warehouse blows up.

Sonny screams, “Michael!” and heads towards the burning building, just as Dante pulls him back.

“Are you crazy, Sonny?” Dante yells.

“Your brother was in there doing inventory.” Sonny informs him.

“Michael was in there?” Dante asks, confused.

“Yes, I asked him to go to the warehouse and do inventory on my supplies.”

“Omigosh, Michael!” Dante cries out.

As firefighters put out the flames from the explosion, and do an extensive search for any bodies, they come out emptyhanded.

“I’m sorry, sir.” the firefighter says to Sonny. “There was no indication of any bodies in that warehouse.”

“What do you mean? Where is my son?” Sonny grills the firefighter.

“I don’t know sir, but put in a report with the police.”

“Don’t worry, Sonny. I already put in an APB on Michael.” Dante told his father.

Todd and Franco are headed back to Llanview with an unconscious Michael in the back seat of their car.

Episode 14

Todd is watching over a comatose Michael as Franco is working on the ransom note for Sonny and Carly. Todd just hopes that Carly won’t be mad that he partook in this scheme to kidnap Michael.

Meanwhile, Franco is emailing Sonny with the ransom note for Michael in an undisclosed email that can’t be traced back to him but Todd. With a sly smile, Franco hits the “send” button and waits for the sparks to fly once Sonny reads the email.

Ten minutes later, Sonny is logging into his email and notices the email. He reads it then forwards it to Damien Spinelli so he can run a trace on the sender.

Within minutes, Spinelli is emailing Sonny with the news that Todd Manning is the sender.

Back in Llanview, Carly is busy fighting off the advances of Mitch when Allison walks in, just as Mitch is about to plant a kiss on Carly, Carly slaps him.

“Hey, hey, hey!” Allison says. “Why the hostility?”

“Keep this man away from me!” Carly shrieks.

“Why? Whatever did he do?”

“He tried to kiss me!”

Turning his attention to Allison, “So, what has your husband been up to?”

“Well, how should I know?” Allison said. “I haven’t seen him.”

“Because I had you marry Manning to keep an eye on him!”

“Well, we don’t see each other much!”

“Well, you had better start keeping a better eye on Manning or you’ll be back in St. Ann’s before you know it!” Mitch ordered. “Do I make myself clear?!”

“Yes, boss!”

As Mitch leaves Allison with Carly, Carly grills Allison, “You’re married to Todd? How can that be?”

“Easy.” Allison says. “We went before a judge and said our vows. Just like any couple in love.”

“Please. Todd’s in love with you?” Carly says, not taking Allison seriously. “Don’t make me laugh.”

“Well, it’s true. Todd and I are in love. That’s why we are married.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Well, believe it, Carly. Todd is mine now. You are out of luck.” Allison says, leaving Carly in the room and locking the door.

“Damn you, Mitch!” Allison says. “How could you let Carly know I was Todd’s wife?”

Allison is headed home to see Todd, but all she finds in his pad is Franco.

“Who the hell are you?” Allison asks the intruder in Todd’s penthouse.

“I’m Franco. Todd and I just met and are working together on a project.” Franco informs her.

“Project?” Allison inquires. “Todd never told me about any venture?”

“Well, it’s top-secret. No is to know.” Franco says. “And who the hell are you?”

“I’m Todd’s wife.” Allison informs him. “So you can include me in on all Todd’s business plans.”

“No he can’t, Allison.” Todd says, walking downstairs, where he just come from the secret room where he placed Michael. “You are only my wife because you got me drunk. So you have no part in this venture.”

Fuming, Allison heads upstairs to her room where she notices a lock on the room down from Todd’s room, wondering why there is suddenly a lock on that door. Allison vowed to find out just what Todd was up to with this Franco.

Episode 15

Allison was determined to find out why Todd locked the room down from their room. They only slept in the same room for appearances. Todd and Allison never consummated their marriage, and Todd had no intention on ever doing so.

When Todd left with Franco, Allison used her skills and picked the lock on the door that Todd had locked. She was about to enter when Franco came up behind her.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Franco yelled.

“The lock was unlocked, so I thought I would go in.” Allison lied.

“You’re lying.” Franco said, catching her in her lie. “I strictly remembering locking it before I left.”

“Please tell me what you are doing with Todd?” Allison said, cozingly sidling up to Franco.

“Never.” Franco said, resisting Allison’s seduction.

“I’ll make it worth your while.” Allison said, seductively, but to no avail.

Franco wasn’t budging with his plot between him and Todd. And Allison was mad.

“I have to find out what Todd and Franco are up to.” Allison said to herself. “If I don’t, Mitch will have my head.”

Just then, Allison’s cell began ringing. It was Mitch.

“Well, Allison, did you find out anything?” Mitch said, angrily.

“No, not yet.” Allison told him. “They’re not divulging any information as to what they are doing.”

“Well, you had better find out, and find out now!” Mitch ordered.

“Yes, boss.” Allison said obediently.

As Mitch hung up, Allison thought of the perfect plan to find out what Todd and Franco was up to.

Episode 16

Todd and Franco found themselves locked inside their secret room that they had locked. Todd couldn’t remember what happened or how they got here. He wondered what Allison did that got them locked inside their secret room?

Franco was coming to and nearly freaked out when he discovered where they were and that he and Todd were handcuffed together with their hands behind them.

As Todd struggled to free them from Allisons’ clutches once again, Franco was beginning to doubt helping Todd with his plan.

Meanwhile, Allison looked at the ring on her finger before heading into the secret room to let Todd know that they were now husband and wife. She smiled a sly smile as she recalled what happened that finally got her in front of the justice of peace to marry Todd Manning per Mitch’s orders.

Franco and Todd heard the door unlock and Allison come inside.

“Well, good morning gentlemen!” Allison greeted them with breakfast.

“Thanks for the breakfast, but how do you propose we eat when we’re handcuffed together?” Todd angrily yelled at her.

“Well, I can feed you and your friend, husband dear.” Allison told him.

“Husband?” Todd railed. “What the hell are you talking about?!”

“Oh, did I forget to mention, hubby dear?” Allison taunted him, flashing the ring on her third left finger. “We’re married!”

“Well, it’s obviously a hoax because I certainly agree to this sham of a marriage!” Todd yelled at her.

“Well, believe it husband dear, but we are legally married.”

“Well, enjoy it while it lasts because when I get out of here, I’m going to annul this marriage!”

As Allison was taunting Todd with stories of how they got married, Franco had managed to free himself of the handcuffs and quietly got up and picked up the lamp and knocked Allison over the head with it.

After Allison went down, Franco unlocked Todd’s handcuffs and the two bolted from the room and locked Allison inside after they had retrieved Michael.

Before Todd and Franco could get Michael back to Port Charles, they ran into Blair.

Episode 17

“Blair?” Todd asked his ex-wife. “What are you doing here?”

“Nice rock you have on your finger.” Blair said eyeing the ring on Todd’s third finger on his left hand.

“It’s nothing.” Todd told her.

“It’s nothing?” Blair laughed. “It says you’re married? So who’s the lucky woman?”

“I’m not married.” Todd told her.

“So, you just wear the thing to keep the crazy women away?” Blair laughed again.

“No, the woman in question was playing a game with me.” Todd said.

“So who is this woman playing games with you?”

“<ahem>Allison Perkins<ahem>” Todd said, coughing.

“I’m sorry, did you say, ‘Allison Perkins’?” Blair laughed in disbelief.

Just as Todd was about to continuing his explanation, someone had drug Allison from the room. Todd left Blair to see who it was. That was when he ran into Helena Cassadine.

“Who are you?” Todd asked the queen of the Cassadine castle.

“I’m sorry, you’re in my home and you’re asking me who I am?” Helena laughed.

Blair came in to see what was going on when she found Helena with Todd.

“What’s going on in here?” Blair asked, shocked to see Helena with Todd and Franco.

“Blair, I told you to wait in your room.” Helena told her.

“I was hungry. I came down for a snack and ran into my ex-husband and his friend.” Blair explained.

“Well, go back up and I’ll bring you something to eat later.” Helena told Blair.

As Blair did as she was told, Helena called on the intercom her boys to take Todd and Franco down to the dungeon.

Franco and Todd were tossed into a cell next to a drugged Michael. They were interrupted by the sound of a woman in the next cell. Todd looked into the cell to discover it was Irene Manning—his mother.

Episode 18

“Hello, mother!” Todd said irritated.

“Is that anyway to greet your loving mother.” Irene said sarcastically.

“Sorry, mommy.” Todd said, reverting back to a little boy. Irene had a way of making Todd feel inferior since she had him drugged for years, so his twin brother could steal his life. “I thought I was finally free of you!”

“Todd, dear, you should know that you’ll never be free of mother.”

“Yes, mommy.”

“So how have you been?”

“Fine, mommy.”

“Well, I have to go. Just checking in with my boy.” Irene told Todd before hanging up.

Irene tossed the cell on the bed next to Victor, Jr, “you stupid little…….”

“I’m sorry, you’re plan backfired.” Victor, Jr. apologized.

“Well, since you messed it up, you’re going to fix it!” Irene screamed at her son, she cherished.

“Okay.”

Victor, Jr. was left alone when Irene stepped out of Victor’s tiny motel room. Now what was he going to do? Then there was a knock on the door.

“Mother, I’m….” Victor said, and was shocked to see a blonde woman at the door.

“Hi! I’m Carly Benson.”

“Well, Ms. Benson, what can I do for you?”

“I need to find Todd Manning.” Carly begged.

“Excuse me, how do you know my brother?”

“Todd Manning is your brother?”

“My identical twin brother, to be exact.”

“Identical? But you don’t look alike?”

“My mother had plastic surgery done on me.”

“That’s odd.”

“Well, you don’t know Irene Manning, do you?”

“So, you need to find my brother?”

“Yes, we had a falling out and I wanted to tell him something.”

“Are you dating my brother?”

“Yes.”

Victor Jr. saw his chance to horn in on his brother’s life once again and fix what went wrong and make his mother happy.

“Well, Ms. Benson, today is your lucky day.” As Victor took her hostage and tied her up.

Episode 19

Carly was having a hard time with Victor Jr.’s claim that he was Todd Manning’s identical twin brother when they looked nothing alike.

Carly would get a chance to ask Victor for an explanation as he walked in the door where he had her chained.

“Victor, tell me, how is that you and Todd are identical twins?”

“It’s a long story!” Victor said agitated with Carly’s questioning. “One I don’t care to get in right now!”

“Okay?” Carly said as she buttoned her lips…for the time being. But she would get the truth out of Victor.

Meanwhile, Todd was looking for Carly and ran into Blair Cramer instead.

“What are you doing here?” Todd asked his ex.

“I had a meeting with Carly.” Blair said, making herself comfortable at Metro.

“Well, as you can plainly see, Ms. Corinthos isn’t here.”

“Well, then why would she schedule a meeting with me if she was going to run out on it?”

“I don’t know, but I have to be on my way.”

“Wait. Todd. Don’t go.” Blair pleaded.

“I don’t have time for games, Blair!”

“Can we talk?”

“About what?”

“Jack?”

“Jack? What’s he done now?”

“He’s been expelled from the private school in Switzerland we put him in.”

“Expelled? How? What’d he do?”

“Some female student claims he raped her?” Blair explained.

Todd’s worse fears came to light as he thought to himself, “Not my son too?”

“That can’t be? Jack couldn’t have done this?” Todd said irately, sure Jack was innocent.

“Well, he’ll be home in Llanview tomorrow. I expect you to be there to discuss things with him.” Blair told him.

“Oh, you can bet I will.” Todd said as Blair picked up her handbag and walked out of the Metro Court.

Why did this have to happen? And when Carly was missing. As Todd headed up to his room at the Metro Court, Victor Jr intercepted him.

“Todd!”

“Victor?” Todd said, flabbergasted. He thought Victor was dead when he killed him.

“No, brother dear, you’re not seeing a ghost.”

“How did you survive the drowning I gave you?”

“That’s not important. What is, is that I have your girlfriend, Carly Corinthos.”

Episode 20

So it was Victor Jr., who had Carly, Todd thought to himself.

Here he thought he had killed his twin brother and Victor, Jr., had managed to survive. And now he had to deal with his son’s expulsion from boarding school in Switzerland.

Todd arrived at Llanfare to find Jack was up in his room when Blair answered the front door.

“Where’s Jack?” Todd asked Blair.

“He’s upstairs in his room.”

“Jack!” Todd called upstairs. “Get down here!”

Jack came down when he heard Todd calling him.

“What’s going on?” Todd asked. “Rape?”

“Dad, I’m innocent!” Jack pleaded.

“What do you mean, innocent?”

“I never had sex with the girl in question, let alone rape her.”

“Then what happened?”

“I think the girl lied.” Jack told Todd and Blair.

“Why would the girl lie about rape?”

“I don’t know. I’m just as confused as you are?” Jack said bewildered.

“Well, your mother and I will get to the bottom of this. Go up to your room for now.”

“Well, we need to call the school and find out who this girl is?” Blair told Todd.

Todd dialed the school in Switzerland to talk with the principal about Jack’s expulsion. He was blown away when the girl in question was Carly’s own daughter, Josslyn.

Dangerous Secrets: A Steve “Patch” Johnson FanFiction (Updated)

Episode 1

Kayla Johnson missed her husband Steve so much. It didn’t matter that Steve claimed to have fallen out of love with her, she knew deep in her heart it wasn’t true. They had been through so much together. She managed to hold onto their love for nearly 20 years when she thought he had perished in Bo Brady’s boat explosion. She just didn’t understand why Steve would leave a note claiming to have fallen out of love with her. It broke her heart.

Meanwhile, in Stockholm, Switzerland…

Steve Johnson had woken up to the gentle touching of a woman’s soft hands caressing his body. He dreamed of Kayla, his beloved wife. The woman kissed him passionately on the lips which woke him from his dream. Only it wasn’t his wife, Kayla, kissing him……

To his horror, it was Britta Englund……..

“Britta!” Steve screamed in shock.

“Yes, Steve dear, it’s me.”

“But how? I thought Victor Kiriakis shot and killed you?”

“He did…only I didn’t die. Stefano Dimera fitted me with a bullet-proof vest and he helped me fake my death.”

“But why?”

“I agreed to help him with a favor…now Stefano insists I pay up. . .or else. . .” Britta explains, sobbing.

“What does he want you to do?”

“Break up your marriage to Kayla Johnson.” Britta explain, lying to him. “I came to Salem and abducted you on Stefano’s orders. I left your dear sweet Kayla a note saying you had fallen out of love with her and was leaving.”

“Kayla!” Steve cries out. “My Sweetness!”

“Yes, Steve, Kayla thinks you left her.” Britta tells him. “Well, I gotta go.”

Britta gets out of Steve’s bed and leaves him before he can say anything else. She has to go check on her other victim, down the hall. Steve doesn’t even know the half of what is really happening to him.

As Britta enters the room, she narrowly misses the knife that is thrown in her direction.

“Why, Bo Brady, that is some greeting this morning?” Britta says.

“I don’t appreciate having to lie to Hope about being on a secret mission.”

“You didn’t lie to Hope. You are on a secret mission.” Britta explains.

“But I had to tell John Black that I would be gone for a whole year.”

“Relax Bo. Everything will come to fruition soon. Soon you’ll know exactly what is going on. I have to go fetch your breakfast for you and my other houseguest.”

“Your other houseguest? What other…..”

But Britta is out the door before he can finish the question. He has know idea the real trouble he is in for nor that Stefano Dimera is the mastermind behind this whole mess.

Episode 2

Stefano Dimera has a new plan to get back at the Brady’s and the Horton’s. He has always hated the two families. No one has ever figured out the true reason why Stefano has hated the Brady’s for years. And now he can’t stand the Horton’s. He wants to bring down those two families and he will stop at nothing to do it. Now Stefano has a plan that will bring down the two families and it will involve Steve Johnson, the husband to Kayla Brady Johnson and long-time friend, Bo Brady, who is married to Hope Williams Brady, the daughter of Doug Williams and the late-Addie Horton.

Stefano revels in his new-found pawn, Britta Englund, the sexy spy who turned Steve and Bo against each other and resulted in Steve’s lost eye and him having to wear a patch the rest of his life. It was ingenious of him to lead everyone in Salem to believe that Britta was dead for over twenty years. It was smart of Britta to tell Steve that Stefano had given her a bullet-proof vest to protect her from her from that Victor Kiriakis. But thanks to the genious Dr. Ivan Rolf, managed to freeze Britta’s body with the help of cryonics until she could be unfrozen and given the mind-altering implant chip in her brain. Stefano couldn’t wait to flip the switch that would send Britta on a mind-blowing rampage and wreak havoc in Salem. But first, he had to get Britta to gain the trust in her unsuspecting victims, Bo Brady and Steve Johnson, so he can have the same chip put into their brain and bring back the dastardly threesome that caused so much trouble for the ISA.

Stefano pours himself a scotch and takes a seat in his favorite chair in his secret room. He remembers years earlier when he attempted the same thing on an unsuspecting John Black by implanting the same chip in his brain. Stefano was so angry that it didn’t work and made John fight back against what Stefano was doing to him. But now, Rolf, assures him that it will work in Britta now.

Episode 3

Britta enters Steve’s room where she sees him still sleeping. She snuggles close to him and starts to kiss him. Steve immediately wakes up.

“What the hell are you doing?” Steve asks, not fully awake.

“Trying to make love to you, lover.”

“Sorry, Britta, I’m married and still in love with Kayla.”

“Oh forget Kayla! I’m sure she’s moved on and forgotten about you.”

“No! Our love is strong! She waited for nearly 20 years for me, even when it look like I was dead.”

Britta got out of bed. “Fine. If that’s the way you want it! Have it your way!”

Just as Britta was leaving Steve’s room, she got a call on her cell. It was Stefano.

“Hello, Stefano.”

“How is everything going, Britta?”

“Not according to plan. I can’t seduce Steve into sleeping with me. He’s still in love with that Kayla.”

“Britta. . .Britta. . .Britta. . .must I think of everything for you? Drug him if you have to. It is imperative you salvage this bond between Bo and Steve.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll get right on it.”

“Good girl. Let me know when all is set.”

After Stefano hung up his cell, Britta set out to find the drugs she needed to seduce Steve and Bo.

Back home in Salem. . . . .

Kayla is still missing Steve. She runs into Hope and Aiden at The Brady Pub. The threesome decide to have lunch together. Jonathon comes out to take their order.

“So Kayla, have you heard from Steve?” Hope inquires.

“No. All that was left was a text from him saying he was leaving me for another woman.” Kayla replies back.

“Gee, Kayla, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be, the text is a hoax to make me believe Steve no longer loves me. He’ll be back as soon as he gets out of the trouble he’s in.” Kayla says, trying to sound optimistic. “So, have you heard from Bo?”

“John told me he was stuck in Paris for a year on a some secret mission.” Hope responds.

“I’m so sorry.”

Jonathon brings out their order and the three friends eat in silence. No one can bear to speak during this time. Kayla does notice Aiden, who notices her too.

Episode 4

Britta is fixing Bo and Steve’s meals and getting them ready to bring to them. She put the sedatives in both their teas per Stefano’s orders. And as soon as both Bo and Steve were out cold, Stefano would bring in Dr. Rolf to do his wonders and brainwash the two men.

Britta enters Bo’s room with his meal.

“Hello Bo, I brought you some dinner.”

“What is it? Your usual Swiss slop?”

“Ha ha, Bo. That’s funny.” Britta laughs.

“Thanks, Britta, I’m famished. I can’t remember if you even brought me anything all day.” Bo says, jokingly.

“You know I did.”

“Do I?” Bo questions her.

“Why would I starve you, dear Bo?”

“Gee, I don’t know?”

“Well, I’ll leave you to your dinner.”

And she leaves Bo with his meal and tea laced with sedative. The drugs that Britta has been feeding Bo must be working. He can’t even remember the last time he ate a meal. She heads down the hall to bring Steve his meal.

“Hello, Patch. I have your meal.”

“I’m not hungry. I refuse to eat until you let me out.”

“Now Patch, you know I can’t do that. Besides, what’s the point? Your sweetness thinks you ran off with another woman.”

“That’s why I need to get back to Salem. I have to tell her I was set up.”

“Well, get used to your new home, Patch. You aren’t getting out anytime soon.”

“Then I refuse to eat.”

“Suit yourself. I’ll leave it her in case you change your mine.”

Britta leaves Steve with his meal. He takes the tea from the tray and throws the rest of the tray at the door.

“You’ll have to clean up the mess you made, Patch. I’m not your damn maid.” Britta yells through the door.

Britta receives a call on her cell. It is Stefano.

“Yes, Stefano?”

“Is Bo and Steve out cold. They just got their meals. So whenever they drink the tea you should be able to do what you need to.”

“Good girl, Britta. I’ll have Dr. Rolf come in about an hour. They should be out cold by then.”

“I’m going to bed now. Doing your dirty work is making me tired.”

“Yes, Britta, get some rest. I’ll need you soon.” Stefano urges her.

Britta ends the call and goes to her suite and draws the water in her bathtub. She is exhausted and just wants to relax. She is sickened that she couldn’t seduce either Bo and Steve. She always had a soft spot for the two men back in their mercenary days. Those were some good times; except when Bo and Steve had their fights over her. She remembers when Bo put out Steve’s eye fighting over her.

Back at Stefano’s lair……..

Stefano gives Dr. Rolf a call to let him know to be at the mansion in an hour to take care of the operation to implant the chips in Bo and Steve’s brains. He can’t wait to program Bo and Steve to do havoc on both the Brady and Hortons. Stefano has always hated the Bradys. His agenda has always been against the Brady family. He never intended to involve the Horton family in his plan, until Bo and Hope nosed around to find out his secret about Alice Horton. Thank goodness he made a plausible excuse to Hope that threw her off the trail of his hidden secret affair with Alice Horton. He couldn’t allow that pesky Hope from finding out the secret affair he’d been having with the lovely Alice and how he drugged her into having the affair. He always wanted Alice as his “Lady of the Night.” It was his original plan. But her husband, Dr. Tom Horton foiled that plan. So that’s when he set his sights on Dr. Marlena Evans. But his pawn, John Black, foiled his plans with that exorcism.

So Stefano’s new plan is to use Bo and Steve as his new pawns.

Episode 5

Dr. Rolf came into Stefano’s lair to let him know that the operation was a success and that he should be able to start the brainwashing in a few days when Bo and Steve have recuperated from their operations. Stefano thanked Rolf for his successful procedure. Now he must find a way to get Maggie Horton Kiriakis to his dungeoness lair to enable her to become his new “lady of the night.”

Meanwhile…..

Hope is outside the Horton Square when she spots Aiden with Kayla on what appears to be a “date.” Inside, Hope is seething. Kayla said she wasn’t interested in Aiden; that she was so sure Steve would be coming back; exactly what Hope told Kayla, that her Bo would be coming back too. But deep down, Hope knows that Bo will not be coming back. Hope is upset that Kayla lied to her. She walks over to Aiden and Kayla to let Kayla know what she thinks:

“Well, well, well!” Hope says to Kayla. “I thought you weren’t interested in Aiden?”

“I’m not, Hope.” Kayla reassures her.

“Looks like you two are on a date?” Hope questions, enviously.

“This is a business matter, Hope.” Aiden tells her.

“Yes, Hope, we are discussing matters for the fundraiser.” Kayla adds.

“Then why was Aiden holding your hand?”

“I was just giving Kayla some friendly comfort.”

“Oh, was that all it was?” Hope inquires.

“Yes, I’m still in love with Steve.”

“Well, then, Aiden, you won’t mind having dinner with me tonight?”

“Sure, Hope. What time and where?”

“How about 7:00 PM at Chez Rouz?”

“Great! I’ll meet you there.”

“I’ll see you at 7.” Hope confirms. “I gotta go. I have an appointment withCiara’s school teacher for a conference.”

Hope walks off leaving Kayla and Aiden very confused as to her behavior.

Back on the island….

“Britta, I have the jet ready and waiting for you to board for Salem in an hour.” Stefano informs her.

“Yes, Stefano. I’ll get a few things packed quickly.” Britta tells him. “What is it I will be doing there?”

“Convince Maggie Horton Kiriakis to come back with you to the island.”

“Okay. I will do that.”

“Then once Maggie is here on the island, you will return back to Salem and wait for my instructions on your next assignment.”

“Okay, Stefano.”

Stefano leaves Britta to her packing and heads back to his lair. He can’t wait for Maggie to get here to start his next vendetta project. And he also can’t wait to start his brainwashing manipulation on Steve and Bo and have them wreak havoc in Salem. Stefano lets out a maniacal laugh…….

Episode 6

Steve and Bo have recovered from the brain-chip operation and are seated in chairs in adjacent rooms. Stefano is in another room monitoring them via video monitor from his lair. He is feeding their memory with post hypnotic suggestions that will enable Stefano to make suggestions via a remote that will trigger the chip inside their brains.

Stefano has his henchmen bring Steve and Bo back to their rooms to rest. Then Stefano makes a call to Britta to ask how things in Salem are going.

“I just got into Salem an hour ago.” Britta informs Stefano when she answers her cell.

“Your flight was due in at noon?” Stefano say, sounding agitated.

“The pilot hit a minor snag that threw the flight off course. I will be heading over to the Kiriakis mansion tomorrow to see Maggie.”

“Great. Let me know when you will be arriving at the Kiriakis’.”

“Yes, Mr. Dimera.”

“And Britta, don’t let me down, or you know what happens.”

II

The next day, Britta went to see Maggie Horton per Stefano’s request. Britta pretended she was an paralegal working with Maggie’s long-lost aunt Gertrude Collins attorney. She convinces Maggie that she is needed in Greece for the reading of Ms. Collins will. Britta informs Maggie that they are set to board a flight for the next day.

Back on the Greek Island, Stefano is visiting with Steve and Bo and asking questions to see how the chip implants are working inside their heads. After talking and asking a few questions, Stefano is pleased with his and Dr. Rolf’s work. Stefano is convinced that all is well and he should be able to get Steve and Bo back to Salem and do Stefano’s business.

III

Dr. Rolf is back home in Vienna, studying his procedure he performed on Bo and Steve. As he was going over the procedure with his fine-tooth comb, he suddenly realizes that he missed a crucial step in the operation. He tries to dial Stefano’s cell, but all he gets is Stefano’s voicemail. Dr. Rolf leaves a voicemail instructing Stefano to call him back as soon as possible, informing him that it is imperative he call him back.

Stefano is busy making arrangements to have Steve and Bo flown back to Salem on the Dimera jet as soon as Britta arrives on the island with Maggie. Stefano is pleased when he gets a call from Britta telling him that all went well with Maggie Horton and theywill be arriving on the island in the morning.

Stefano calls the pilot to let him know that he needs to have Steve Johnson and Bo Brady on board the jet in the morning as soon as he arrives with Britta and Maggie Horton. The pilot confirms flight with Stefano. All is set for his plan to be set in motion in Salem. Stefano pours himself a drink and relaxes in his chair in his lair. He can’t wait for the fireworks to start in Salem.

Episode 7

Steve and Bo are relaxing near the pool when Stefano enters the courtyard. He relishes having to tell them of their new destination.

“Well, boys, you have your wish. You two are able to go back home to Salem and your loved ones.”

“Really, Stefano. Just like that? What’s your angle?” Steve asks him, with a questioning look.

“I’ve thought about what it has done to you and your family and decided I’ve kept you “prisoner” long enough.” Stefano adds.

“So you let us go…just like that?” Bo responds.

“Yes. In fact, I have a instructed the Dimera jet to take you to Salem in an hour and the chauffeur will be here to take you to the airport.”

“Well, Bo, what do you think?” Steve asks.

“I think we should take Stefano’s generosity and get out of this place now!” Bo says, matter-of-factly.

“Ok. I’m in. Let’s get out of here.” Steve agrees.

Back in Vienna, Dr. Rolf is desperately trying to get a hold of Stefano before he embarks on his next plan. But Stefano keeps refusing his calls and goes to voicemail and he is ignoring his texts to call him back ASAP. With no time to waste, Dr. Rolf decides he must go to Greece and confront Stefano before he begins his plans. It is imperative that he reach Stefano before he gets Steve and Bo back to Salem.

Steve and Bo are settled on Stefano’s jet waiting to fly back to Salem and their families’. The pilot has called Stefano and informed him that Steve has passed out and has been unconscious for several minutes. Stefano instructs the pilot to wait while he packs his bag as he will be going to Salem with his passengers.

Dr. Rolf has just landed at the Athens airport and waiting for a cab to take him to Stefano’s villa. He slips the cabbie a $100 bill to make it quick, telling the cabbie that it is imperative he get to his destination quick.

Stefano has just gotten into his limo and is on his way back to the airport to get on the Dimera jet as Dr. Rolf’s cab pulls into to the driveway of Stefano’s villa. He walks up to the door and knocks, but gets no answer. He picks up the key in Stefano’s secret key place and lets himself inside the villa, thinking that Stefano is just busy and cannot hear the door. He searches the villa for Stefano but cannot find him. He must have decided to go to Salem with Steve and Bo. Dr. Rolf sends Stefano a text informing him that he is coming to Salem and needs to speak to him immediately. But all Dr. Rolf gets is a “no signal” alert on his cell.

Dr. Rolf heads back out to the cab that has been waiting for him. He tells the cabbie to take him back to the airport and hands him another $100 bill for his trouble.

Episode 8

Steve and Bo have landed in Salem on Stefano’s jet. Still skeptical about Stefano’s generosity, Bo and Steve shirk it off for now. They just want to get back to their families. But they get a shock when they decide to go to Brady’s Pub.

“So, Kayla, I thought you weren’t interested in Aiden?” Hope challenges her.

“I’m not. I’m still in love with Steve.” Kayla replies. “I’m trying to move on from Steve leaving me for another woman.”

“Then why did I just see you kissing Aiden?”

“Are you jealous, Hope?” Kayla asks, calling her out on her apparent jealously.

“No, I’m not. I’m not interested in Aiden. I have no feelings for him.” Hope lies to her.

“Well, then why are you so mad that I kissed Aiden?”

“I’m not mad. You said you weren’t interested in him.” Hope reminds her.

“Well, I have to be getting back to the hospital.” Kayla says before leaving Hope behind.

“Well, have a nice day, Kayla.” Hope calls after her.

As Hope and Kayla leave, Steve and Bo can’t believe that Hope and Kayla are fighting after some guy in their absence.

“Well, Britta did force me to write that note telling Kayla I had left her for another woman.” Steve reasons, aloud. “I guess part of me can’t blame her for trying to move on.”

“Yeah, but Hope knew I was coming back.” Bo adds.

“Well, Bo, old buddy, we just have to convince our wives that we never gave up on them.” Steve says, confidently.

“You’re right, Steve. We have to make Hope and Kayla understand and somehow get the best of Stefano DiMera.” Bo says, agreeing with Steve.

As Steve and Bo face the challenge of making things up to their wives, they don’t know the lengths that Stefano has gone to tear the couples apart.

Episode 9

Kayla is sitting at a booth inside Brady’s Pub when Steve enters the restaurant. Steve decided it was time to confront Kayla with the truth, despite the letter that he was forced to write by Britta.

“Hello, Sweetness!” Steve says. “May we have a talk?”

“Why would I want to talk after the letter you sent me?” Kayla asks, with hurt in her voice.

“That’s what I wanted to explain.”

“What could you possibly explain. You cheated on me!”

“But, Sweetness, that’s just it. I didn’t cheat on you. I was forced to write the letter.”

“Oh, come on, Steve. Don’t pull that on me!”

“Britta had me write the letter!” Steve tries to explain.

“Britta! You expect me to believe that a dead woman forced you to write the letter!” Kayla raged, slapping him.

“I know it sounds lame, but it was Stefano. He had Britta on ice waiting to bring her back to wreak havoc on Salem.”

“I know Stefano has been evil, but this……….” Kayla asks.

“Bo thinks that Stefano has a new agenda.”

“Bo? You know where Bo is?”

“Stefano had him too.” Steve informs her.

“Oh my gosh! Hope was devastated when John came back and told her that Bo wouldn’t be coming back!”

“That was all Stefano and Britta is his lackey.”

“Bo and I are working to find a way to beat Stefano at his own game.”

“Well, I hope you and Bo find something, because Stefano is playing a sick, twisted game!”

“Well, one thing’s for sure, Stefano isn’t going to get away with it.”

“Well, I hope so.”

Steve was giving Kayla the look that she just couldn’t resist. She leaned in and kissed him. He held her tight and kissed her back.

“Does this mean you forgive me?”

Kayla didn’t answer him. She just kissed him again.

Episode 10

Just when Kayla had Steve back in her life, all was not right. After two weeks, Steve didn’t seem like himself. He was edgy, and volatile―almost like every little thing set him off. It just wasn’t like Steve to be this way.

Kayla was texting her daughter, Stephanie, who was away at school, when she bumped into Hope, who was on her way in to The Brady Pub.

“Oh, Hope, I’m sorry.” Kayla apologized. “I was texting Stephanie and didn’t see you.”

“That’s okay, Kayla.” Hope said. “How is Stephanie.”

“She’s doing okay.” Kayla said, excitedly. “4.0 GPA. I’m so proud of my little doctor.”

“Stephanie’s studying to become a doctor?” Hope inquired. “That’s great! Salem needs more doctors!”

Hope looked perplexed, Kayla noticed. “Is anything wrong, Hope?”

“Kayla, can we talk inside The Brady Pub?” Hope asked.

“Sure, Hope, I was on way in for Caroline’s famous Vanilla Latte.” Kayla announced. “I just can’t start the day without Caroline’s Vanilla Latte.”

As soon as Kayla and Hope got inside The Brady Pub, they went to their usual booth.

“Kayla, have you noticed anything different with Steve since he and Bo came back?” Hope asked.

“Now that you brought it up, Steve has been more edgy and more volatile.” Kayla confessed.

“Yeah, so has Bo.” Hope also confessed.

“I don’t understand it? It’s not like Steve to be that way.”

“Nor Bo either.”

As Kayla and Hope commiserate on their husbands, Bo and Steve have received their assignments from Stefano via text.

Episode 11

“Hello?” Victor says, answering his cell.

“Victor, I’m afraid I have some very bad news for you!” Roman Brady says.

“What is it, Roman?”

“Titan Publishing has been blown up.” Roman informs him.

“Titan’s been what?!” Victor rages.

“Some has planted a bomb in Titan.”

“Just how the hell did that happen?”

“We don’t know, Victor, as of yet. I have my detectives at the scene investigating the damage.”

“Thank you, Roman.” Victor tells him. “I’ll be on my way.”

As Victor calls for Henderson to take him to Titan Publishing. When Henderson pulls up to Titan, Victor gets out to survey the damage.

Just then, a scream comes from the second floor.

“Help me!” Lucas Horton yells toward firefighters and police. “Brady Black is up here too. He’s unconscious!”

Rescue workers run to the second floor where Lucas is and tends to Brady’s injuries. When Brady’s injuries have been assessed, rescue workers place him on the gurney and motion to Lucas to follow them down.

Victor has called Kate about Lucas and is arriving on the scene as Lucas is brought down to safety.

“Lucas, are you alright?” a frantic Kate hugs her son.

“I’m okay mom.” Lucas tells her.

“He seems to be alright, ma’am, but just to be safe, I’d like to have him admitted for observation.” the paramedic suggests.

“Yes, Lucas, go with them.” Kate agrees.

The paramedics put both Brady and Lucas into the ambulance and drive off to Salem University.

Bo and Steve have just come from their walk and happen upon the scene, not having a clue that they are the ones who’ve blown up Titan Publishing per Stefano’s orders.

“What is going on here?” Bo asks.

“Titan Publishing has been blown up.” Victor tells his son.

“Who would do such a thing?” Steve asks, bewildered.

Just then Hope and Kayla arrive after Victor informed them of what happened.

“Steve, I’m so glad you’re okay!” Kayla says, hugging her husband.

“Me too.” Hope says, also hugging Bo.

As everyone is hugging each other, Britta comes out from her walk, who has witnessed Bo and Steve plant the bomb in Titan.

“I can tell you all who did this.” Britta says.

“Britta?” Steve asks. “Where did you come from?”

“I was going for a walk when I happened upon you all.” Britta lied.

“You know who did this to my company?” Victor questioned her.

“Yes, I do.” Britta said. “It was Lucas Horton who planted the bomb.”

“Lucas?” Kate asked, confused. “Why would Lucas do this?”

“I don’t know why he would, but I saw him do it.” Britta lied.

“Britta, are you positive you saw Lucas Horton do this?” Roman asked her.

“Yes, I’m positive he did.”

“Well, thank you, Britta for your statement.” Roman said. “We will get to the bottom of this.”

“Roman, you aren’t going to arrest Lucas tonight, are you?” Kate asked him, worried.

“No, I will wait until I get clearance from his doctor.” Roman promised.

As the Salem PD seal off the Titan grounds for further investigation, Stefano lurks by unnoticed to survey the damage of what his pawns, Bo and Steve have done.

“Well done, boys!” Stefano says to himself.

Episode 12

Kayla takes Steve back to the Brady Pub after the Titan explosion. Seeing his Sweetness worry didn’t make Steve happy. So he kissed her to help her forget what happened. The two fell onto the bed and made passionate love like they had never been apart.

“Are you happy, Sweetness?” Steve asks her.

“I’m just happy you are back.” Kayla tells him, snuggling closer to him.

The two just laid there feeling safe in each others arms, unbeknownst to them what was really going on.

Stefano was working on the next phase in his plan to ruin the Brady’s and the Horton’s.

The next day. . .

“You were wonderful last night.” Kayla said to Steve as she wrapped her arms around him after waking up.

“I’m so glad, Sweetness.” Steve said, kissing her good morning.

Just when Steve and Kayla were getting romantic, Steve gets a violent headache and falls to the bed.

“Steve, are you okay?” a concerned Kayla asks.

Steve just continues to hold his head.

Five minutes later, it appears that Steve is fine and leaves Kayla’s side without an explanation.

Victor Kiriakis is at a Titan board meeting to discuss rebuilding when Bo and Steve show up, apparently uninvited.

“What are you two doing here?” Victor questions the two.

“What kind of question is that to ask your own son?” Bo asks him.

“I’m sorry, Bo, but may I remind you that you were never interested in my business dealings?”

“Well, maybe I changed my mind.”

“Then why are you here, Patch?” Victor asks, turning his attention to Steve.

“I’m just along for the ride.” Steve replies.

“Suit yourselves.” Victor says.

As Victor calls the meeting to order, Steve puts his hand inside his pocket and accidentally bumps the button on the remote that sets off a major explosion.

Episode 13

Steve made it out of the rubble from the explosion at Titan, but he didn’t recall what happened. Bo on the other hand, didn’t fair much luck. Steve wandered aimlessly and found himself on the pier, while emergency crews arrived on the scene to pull victims from the explosion.

Kayla and Hope were watching the televised event together and began to worry about Bo and Steve.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Kayla and Hope each thought as they grabbed their purses and ran out of the Brady Pub.

Arriving at Titan where the explosion was, Kayla and Hope looked on horrified, watching rescue crews and hoping that Bo and Steve were alright.

As rescue crews pulled an unconscious Bo from the wreckage and began life-saving measures on Bo, a distraught Kayla went up to another rescue worker.

“Steve?” Kayla asked with worry. “Have you found my husband?”

“I’m sorry, ma’am.” The rescue worker said sadly. “I’m afraid we pulled the last one from the wreckage.”

“No!” Kayla screamed, as she found herself barely able to stand.

Hope managed to leave Bo’s side and go to Kayla.

“Kayla, maybe it’s a sign that Steve got out.” Hope said, trying to reassure her.

“You think so.” Kayla said, as Hope hugged her friend.

“Ma’am, are you going with the victim?” the paramedic asked Hope as they were about to take Bo to Salem University Hospital.

“Yes, I am.” Hope said, after Kayla gave her an approving nod.

“I’ll be alright.” Kayla gave a nod to Hope, as she went to get into the ambulance with Bo.

As Kayla sat there at the demolished remains of Titan wondering what happened to Steve, an amnesiac Steve found himself at the pier with a waiting Stefano.

Chapter 14

“You made it.” Stefano said to a confused Steve.

“I’m sorry, but who are you?” Steve asked the man.

“Steve, don’t jerk me around.” Stefano told him getting irate.

“I don’t know who you are, mister.”

“So, you have no idea if the plan worked?”

“What plan?”

“Oh, brother. Now I have an amnesiac who doesn’t remember who he is.” Stefano said, as Britta appeared.

“The Titan building is in ruins.” Britta said confirming Stefano’s plan.

“And what happened to Bo?”

“Sadly, he was left at the Titan ruins and taken away by ambulance with his wife, Hope.” Britta said.

“So, Steve is the only one in my employ and he doesn’t remember who he is?”

“I can help with that.” Britta told Stefano, hoping she can work Steve’s amnesia into her plot to win him away from Kayla.

“Take him away and let me to my scheme to ruin Salem.” Stefano said as Britta whisked Steve away.

Back in Salem, Kayla wondered where Steve was, if he was okay.

Hope Springs Eternal: A Hope & Liam [Lope] Romance (Updated)

Scott Clifton as Liam Spencer; Kim Matula as Hope Logan

Prologue

Hope Logan Fuller-Spencer should have been happy newly married to her handsome husband, Wyatt Fuller-Spencer, but she couldn’t help but think that something was missing. After all, she was engaged to none other than Wyatt’s half-brother Liam Spencer, the man she hoped she would spend the rest of her life with. Hope was confused now more than ever—all because Liam never showed up for their date in Paris at their favorite spot. To make matters worse, Hope can’t stand seeing Ivy hanging all over Liam. Did she jump the gun and marry Wyatt out of fear of rejection from Liam? And was it too late for her and Liam?

Chapter 1

“Good morning Mrs. Spencer.” Wyatt said, as he kissed Hope, the day after they got back from their wedding in Monte Carlo.

“Good morning husband dear.” Hope kissed him back.

As Wyatt tried to make love to Hope, she glanced over at the time, “10 a.m.? Oh my gosh, Wyatt, I have got to go! I’m late for a meeting at Forrester!”

“Ah c’mon, Hope! They’ll wait for you. Just a quickie before we start our day!” Wyatt pleaded with Hope.

“I’m sorry, Wyatt. I just can’t.” Hope told him, as she quickly got dressed and headed out of their suite.

“Can’t we at least have some breakfast?” Wyatt said, following her.

“Sorry love, I have to go. Duty calls.” Hope said, as she kissed Wyatt good-bye.

Hope jumped in her car and headed for Forrester. When she got there she couldn’t help but notice Ivy and Liam casually having coffee on the Forrester balcony. She also couldn’t help but notice how Ivy was draped all over Liam, hanging on his every word. It just sickened her that Liam seemed to trust Ivy. Liam was hers—her fiance. What had happened between her and Liam? Why didn’t he show up at their spot in Paris? Was he even in Paris? Well, Hope couldn’t think about it now. She was late for a HFTF meeting. She had to get inside.

When she got inside Forrester and to the conference room, she was greeted by disapproving eyes from Aly Forrester.

“How could you marry Wyatt and hurt Liam?” Aly asked her as soon as Hope came into the meeting.

“I waited for Liam to show up in Paris. He never showed up.” Hope said, defending herself. “Why am I the bad guy?”

“Liam was there, in Paris, looking for you.” Aly told her. “He was hurt when Bill called him to inform him that you were in Monte Carlo marrying his brother.”

“Well, I waited for Liam. When Wyatt proposed marriage and Liam never showed. . .it just seemed right.” Hope told her. “Besides, Liam doesn’t seem to be hurting now, with Ivy hanging all over him!”

“Well, serves you right, Hope!” Aly retorts, looking at her with disdain. “I hope Liam never forgives you! I hope he is done with you forever! You and Wyatt deserve each other!”

Just then Pam and Charlie come in after hearing the spat between Hope and Aly.

“Hey you two! What’s going on here?” Pam asks. “We could hear the two of you from outside the room.”

“I was just telling Hope how much I despise her after what she did to Liam by marrying Wyatt.” Aly says, looking at Hope with disgust.

“Now girls, let’s all get along like adults.” Pam cheerfully says to them.

“Yes, I thought we had a meeting to run. Where is everyone? And I thought I was late?” Hope asks.

Just then, in walked Ivy clinging to Liam’s arm, which made Hope sick to watch.

“Oh, Hope, we saw you walk by. Why didn’t you stop and say hi?” Ivy asked her.

“I didn’t have time. I was already running late for the meeting.” Hope replies back.

“Oh, congratulations on your wedding to Wyatt!” Ivy tells her.

“Yes, Ivy, thank you.” Hope says, not even looking at her.

Liam couldn’t even look at Hope. He was stunned by her wedding to his brother Wyatt. He was so mad he couldn’t even speak to her. He just wanted to be done with her and let her live her new life with Wyatt.

He kissed Ivy on the cheek and told her he would see her later. Then he left for his own job at Spencer Publications.

Chapter 2

Hope was livid when Liam kissed Ivy on the cheek. How could Liam move on so fast? Didn’t their relationship mean anything to them? She only married Wyatt because he never showed up at their favorite place. All she ever wanted was to be Liam’s wife, but when he never bothered to show, she did what she thought best: She married Wyatt. Now she was committed to Liam’s brother forever. Damn you, Liam! If only you had shown up!

Ivy walked Liam to the front entrance of Forrester to escort him out. She took his hand and held it tight in hers. Hope witnessed the kiss just before Liam left Ivy to head to Spencer Publications.

As soon as Ivy returned to the conference, Hope confronted Ivy.

“I don’t like how you latched onto Liam so fast!” Hope scolded her.

“It was just an innocent kiss, Hope. What’s your problem?” Ivy questioned her.

“I want you to stop seeing Liam!” Hope demanded. “Liam is brokenhearted. He doesn’t need you helping him through this!”

“FYI, Hope! Liam is a grown man! He doesn’t need you to babysit him!” Ivy shot back.

“Just leave Liam alone. . . or else!” Hope retorted.

“Or else what, Hope? Just what are going to do?”

“I’ll have you thrown out of Forrester!” Hope angrily warned her.

“Ha! You’ll have me thrown out? I’m more a Forrester than you are! Just how would you do that?!” Ivy asked.

“I have more pull with Forrester than you think. I am ‘Hope For The Future’ and Eric admires me for who I am and what I stand for!” Hope reminded Ivy.

“Well, go ahead, Hope! I will leave the decision up to Liam. If he wants to see me, then I won’t run away. Unlike what you did to him—running to Wyatt’s arms when things look grim.”

Ivy didn’t want to hear it anymore, so she excused herself from the conference, but not before Hope called after her, “We’ll see about that, Ivy”

“Well, done, Hope.” Brooke commended her, for looking out for Liam’s interests. “You keep an eye on her. She’s sneaky! She’ll hurt Liam.”

“Thank you mother.” Hope told her.

Hope wanted Liam single because she would find a way out of this marriage to Wyatt. She knows she jumped the gun and married him. Liam just has to hold on long enough for her to find a way out of this marriage, Hope thought to herself. He just had to. Wasn’t their love worth it?

Chapter 3

Liam dropped Ivy off at Forrester as Ivy gave Liam a peck on the cheek, to Hope’s chagrin. Ivy smiled at Hope as if to tell her “He’s mine, now!”

Hope couldn’t take Ivy’s non-nonchalance at having landed Liam just because she was now married to Wyatt. She grabbed Ivy by her hair.

Ivy fought back and slapped Hope back. The two had a drag-out fight right in the foyer of Forrester. Pam and Charlie, as well as Eric and Brooke came out to see what the commotion was.

Wyatt came out after them, and seeing his wife fighting with Ivy, he ran and pulled Hope off Ivy.

“What has gotten into you, Hope?” Wyatt asked her.

“Ivy!” Hope shouted back to Ivy. “She’s dating Liam after I told her to leave him alone!”

“I am not dating Liam, Hope! As if it should matter to you!” Ivy told her. “I spent the night on Liam’s sofa, and was a little to tipsy to go home. Liam was a complete gentleman the entire night.”

“What about the kiss I saw you give him?” Hope shot back.

“I was thanking Liam for all he did for me.” Ivy reminded her. “Why should you care? It’s none of your business anyway, Hope!”

“I care a lot for Liam and I don’t’ want you hurting him.” Hope lied.

“Oh save the talk, Hope! We both know the real reason!” Ivy said, completely on to her.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about?” Hope continued to lie.

“Yeah, whatever. Go to your husband, Hope, where you belong.” Ivy told her.

Hope was just going to go into the conference room to do some work, when Wyatt grabbed her arm.

“What do you want, Wyatt? I have work to do.” Hope told him.

“Is what Ivy was saying true?” Wyatt demanded from her.

“You too, Wyatt? Don’t you believe how much I love you?” Hope asked.

“Tell me, Hope! Do you still want Liam?” Wyatt asked her.

“Wyatt, dear! You are my husband! You are all I want!” Hope still continued to lie to him.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that! I can’t live without you, Hope!” Wyatt told her. “I don’t know what I would do if you left me.”

“That’s not going to happen, Wyatt!” Hope assured him, cringing at the thought of remaining as his wife. “I’m completely committed to you, Wyatt.”

Satisfied, Wyatt moved in for a kiss from Hope, who quickly managed to brush off his kiss.

“Wyatt, please, I have work to do.” Hope said. “There’ll be time for that when we get home tonight.”

“Hmmmmm…I can’t wait until we get home.” Wyatt told her.

After Wyatt left to do his own work at Forrester, Hope wasn’t’ looking forward to going home tonight. She logged into her laptop to find a way to get out of this marriage to Wyatt and back in Liam’s arms, where she belonged and keep Ivy away from Liam for good.

Chapter 4

Hope called the Forrester in-house attorney about how to get out of her marriage. The attorney’s paralegal made an appointment for the next day to counsel Hope on her marriage.

Hope received a text on her cell. It was from Wyatt.

“Hey there Hope! R U up 4 lunch n a few?”

Hope was in no mood for lunch with Wyatt. She couldn’t stand to look at him anymore.

“Sorry, Wyatt! Really swamped rite now! No time 4 lunch!”

“Oh, sorry dear! Can I swing by with something quick?”

“Yeah, sure. . .but make it quick!” Hope text back.

“Ok! Will go out 4 ur fave! Love U.”

“Yeah. Love U 2!” Hope lied back in a text.

Hope was trying to focus on the HFTF designs, but she lost concentration when she saw Ivy out in the lobby with Liam. Liam gave Ivy a kiss good-bye as he dropped her off at Forrester after their lunch date.

Hope’s jealously was over the top. She text Liam on his cell.

“Need to talk. ASAP!”

Liam just ignored the vibration in his pocket. But Ivy stopped the kiss.

“Whoa, Liam, slow down!” Ivy said, backing off from him.

“I’m sorry. Am I moving too fast?” Liam asked.

“Yes. You’ve just got your heart broken by Hope.” Ivy said. “Shouldn’t we take it slow? Besides, I need to get back to work.”

“Okay.” Liam relented. “How about you come over to the beach house for dinner?”

“Alright.” Ivy agreed.

They kissed good-bye. Then Ivy went back to work. Liam took his cell out of his pocket. He saw the text from Hope. He didn’t want to hear from her.

“Sorry, Hope. I’m busy! Have 2 get back 2 Spencer.”

Hope was crushed. She needed to talk with Liam. She decided to meet him at the beach house after work.

Wyatt arrived with Hope’s lunch. Hope’s favorite–a Chef’s salad from Jake’s Diner. Wyatt was really sweet to bring her lunch. But she was not in any mood for making out, especially at work.

“Wyatt, please!” Hope said, pulling away from him.

“Okay, I’ll see you at home.” Wyatt told her.

“Sorry, I have something to do after I finish here. I’ll be late getting home tonight.”

“Okay. I’ll have dinner ready for you when you get home.”

Wyatt gives her a kiss and leaves to do his own work.

Hope felt bad lying to him, but she had to see Liam after she finished up at Forrester. They really needed to talk.

Chapter 5

Liam was getting ready for his dinner with Ivy when the doorbell rang. He was shocked to find it was Hope standing on his front doorstep instead of Ivy.

“Hi, Liam. Can we talk?” Hope asked.

“What is there to talk about, Hope?” Liam replied to her question.

Hope walked into his beach house, without waiting for an invitation.

“Thank you Liam for the invite.” Liam said, mocking himself.

“Liam, we need to talk.” Hope said.

“What about, Hope?”

“You and Ivy?”

“What about me and Ivy?”

“Liam, why did you move on so fast? And with Ivy, of all people?”

“Hope, last I checked, you’re a married woman now. So I moved on. If that happens to be Ivy?”

“Liam, I still love you. I still want you. Please, just wait til I get out of this marriage to Wyatt!”

“What? You’re going to leave Wyatt? I’m supposed to wait for you to get out your marriage to Wyatt?”

“Yes, I still want to be your wife. I jumped the gun when you didn’t show up, but …”

“I’m sorry, Hope, you had your chance, and you blew it by marrying Wyatt. I’m with Ivy now.” Liam told her, cutting her off.

While Liam and Hope where talking, Ivy was waiting in the foyer, when she saw that Liam’s door was still open. She heard the conversation between Liam and Hope. She was pleased when she heard Liam’s last remark to Hope.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Hope Logan Fuller-Spencer!” Ivy said, as she came in from the foyer.

“What are you doing here, Ivy?” Hope demanded.

“Well, unlike you, Hope, I was invited. Liam asked me to dinner and a movie here, at his beach house.” Ivy said, as she put her hand through Liam’s arm.

“Get away from him, Ivy!” Hope shoved Ivy into the wall.

“Hope, I think you should go home to your husband!” Liam told her.

“Please, Liam, stay away from her.” Hope pleaded as Liam walked her to the front door and shut it behind her when she was outside.

As Liam was enjoying his night with Ivy, Wyatt was pacing the floor wondering where Hope was.

Hope no sooner got to her car than someone came up from behind her and knocked her unconscious then loaded her up in the back of a van.

Chapter 6

Hope woke up in a musty-smelling room. She heard someone unlocked the door. It was Quinn, her mother-in-law.

“Well, well, well. . .look who finally woke up!” Quinn smirked as she came inside the dingy room.

“What do you want now, Quinn?” Hope asked.

“I kidnapped you to make sure you understand how much I want you to stay married to my son.” Quinn said.

“Well, I’m not. As soon as I get back home I’m getting an annulment!” Hope told her.

“Like hell you are, Hope!” Quinn said.

“You tricked me into marrying your son by making sure Liam didn’t make it to our favorite spot in Paris.” Hope reminded her. “If you think I’m stayin………….”

Just then Quinn grabbed Hope’s arm and injected her with a needle she had hidden behind her back.

“Ouch!” Hope cried out. “Why did you do that for?”

But before she could get Quinn’s answer, she slipped into unconsciousness.

“Now, Hope, you will remain married to my son, if it’s the last thing you do!” Quinn says to an unconscious Hope.

Leaving her lying there, Quinn leaves and locks the door.

“You can come out when you come to your senses and agree to stay married to my son.” Quinn says to the door that Hope is locked in.

Just then, Quinn feels a vibration in her pocket and takes out her cell. It is a call from Wyatt.

“Yes, Wyatt, Momma is here. What is it, dear?” Quinn answers her cell.

“Mom, Hope hasn’t gotten home and I’m worried.”

“Omigosh, Wyatt! Are you sure?” Quinn feigns worry.

“Yes, mother.” Wyatt says. “She said she was going to work late, but that was hours ago.”

“Well, I’ll go to Forrester to check on her. Maybe she’s still there.” Quinn says, trying to cheer up her son.

“Okay, thanks mom.”

“Anything for my baby.” Quinn gushes.

As they end their call, Quinn almost feels guilty, but quickly snaps out of it.

“Sorry, baby, but I am only doing this for you, Wyatt. Momma will make sure Hope never leaves you.” Quinn says to herself.

Chapter 7

Wyatt was beside himself not knowing where Hope was. Why wasn’t she home? He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t home. He took out his cell and dialed Hope’s cell, but he got no answer.

Then he dialed his mother’s cell, but he got no answer either. What was going on?

Hope woke up to find Quinn standing over her.

“Quinn, what do you want?” a groggy Hope asked.

“I want you to sign this!” Quinn demanded, throwing a pack of papers in her face.

“What is it?” Hope asked, confused.

“It’s an agreement not to divorce Wyatt.” Quinn told her. “It also says you will be pregnant within two months.”

“Sorry, Quinn, I’m not agreeing to these terms.” Hope flat out told her. “I’m not ready for children yet.”

“You will agree to these terms if you want to go home.” Quinn demanded.

“No, I won’t!” Hope shot back.

“Fine! Have it your way!” Quinn said, as she left the room and locked Hope fuming inside.

Suddenly, Hope saw that her cell came on with cell service. She dialed Wyatt’s number.

“Hope! O my gosh! Where are you? I’ve been frantically worried about you!” Wyatt said, relieved he finally heard from his wife.

“Wyatt, you need to help me!” Hope said. “Your mother has me locked in some room. She refuses. . .”

Hope’s cell went dead.

“Darn it!” Hope whispered.

But little did Hope know, the call lasted long enough to allow Wyatt to get a signal on where Hope was from her GPS on her cell that Wyatt had turned on from his cell.

He immediately got into his car and drove to the Big Bear location that located Hope from her cell.

Chapter 8

As Wyatt was well on his way to rescue Hope from his mother, Hope was desperately trying to make her escape. She couldn’t believe that Quinn demanded her to get pregnant. There was no way she would do that. She was determined to get out of this marriage and back with Liam where she belonged.

She saw her chance when Quinn accidentally left the window unlocked. She crawled out of the window and snuck out before Quinn got back to check up on her.

Hope was on the side of the house when she saw Wyatt pull up in his car. She waited for Wyatt to go inside to make her escape. When Wyatt was well inside the house, she ran to Wyatt’s car and sure enough, he had left the keys in the ignition. She started the engine and drove off before Wyatt or Quinn knew she was gone.

Quinn notice Wyatt’s car leave the driveway, and both ran outside to see that Hope had driven off. Both Quinn and Wyatt jumped into the van that Quinn had drove Hope in and chased her.

Hope was determined not to let Quinn and Wyatt catch her and sped up. But Quinn sped up to continue following Hope, who was just as determined to catch Hope and bring her back to make her sign the agreement.

Quinn had been on Hope’s tail until they came to the city limits of Los Angeles, when Quinn was pulled over by a police car. The time spent with the officer made Quinn furious as she lost sight of Wyatt’s car and Hope got away.

No longer being tailed by Quinn and Wyatt, Hope drove to Liam’s beach house. She wanted to have a heart-to-heart with him.

Hope knocked on Liam’s door, then let herself in, only to discover Liam in a compromising position with Ivy.

“Liam, I need. . .” Hope began when she came into Liam’s living room.

“Geez, Hope, don’t you bother to knock!” Liam yelled, grabbing his pants, as he was in the middle of making out with Ivy.

“Liam, I’m sorry! We need to talk.”

“Can’t you see I’m busy!”

“Please, Liam!” Hope pleaded.

Ivy pulled on her blouse and skirt, obviously embarrassed by Hope’s entrance.

“I thought I told you, Hope, that I’ve moved on.” Liam said. “You married Wyatt and I moved on with Ivy.”

“Please, Liam!” Hope began. “I just got away from Quinn. She had me locked up in some cabin in Big Bear. She tried to demand I stay married to Wyatt.”

“Well, you should have listened to her, Hope!” Liam told her.

“But she wanted me to get pregnant, too.” Hope went on. “I told her I would never do that. Liam, I only want you. To be a wife and mother with your child.”

“Well, you should have thought of that before you so hastily married my brother!” Liam told her. “I haven’t forgiven you, Hope, and I don’t think I can ever forgive you for marrying my brother!”

“Please, Liam, just give me another chance.” Hope begged.

“Just go, Hope!” Liam ordered her out of his home. “I can no longer stand the sight of you anymore!”

Hope grabbed her purse and left, but not before one last word, “I’ll win you back, Liam! I’m not giving up on us!”

Liam shoved her out of his house, “Good riddance, Hope! I never want to see you again! Stay away from me and go back to your husband!”

As he slammed the door he spat out to Ivy, “Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?”

“I’m sorry, Liam, but I need to leave.” Ivy told him. “I can’t be with you until you solve things between you and Hope!”

Then Ivy walked out of Liam’s beach house, leaving Liam bewildered.

Chapter 9

As Ivy was about to get into her car, Wyatt had pulled in behind her with Quinn right behind him. Hope looked horrified to find that Wyatt and Quinn had managed to follow her to Liam’s beach house.

Ivy honked her horn to get Wyatt and Quinn to move out of the way, but neither did it. Wyatt got out of his car and ran to Hope just as Liam opened his door to see all the commotion.

Liam was shocked to find Quinn holding a gun as she managed to pull Ivy from her car and hold her hostage.

“I don’t want no trouble. I just want Hope to sign the agreement I gave her.” Quinn demanded.

“I won’t sign no agreement that says I must get pregnant, Quinn.” Hope told her.

“Then I have no choice but to end this one’s life.” Quinn told them as she held the gun to Ivy’s head.

“Mom, please.” Wyatt urged. “Please put the gun down. I don’t need your help.”

“Shut up, Wyatt!” Quinn told him. “I’m only thinking of your best interests!”

Liam held up his cell to show that he was calling the police, “Everyone get off this property before I call the police and have all you arrested!”

“Do it and Ivy dies!” Quinn screamed.

Finally, Hope relented, “Okay, Quinn, you win! I’ll sign the agreement.”

“Well, it’s about time Hope!” Quinn smiled. “That’s all you had to do, Hope! Why do you always have to make things so hard?!”

“Just give me the damn papers, Quinn, before I changed my mind!” Hope demanded.

Quinn handed Hope the agreement to which Hope signed on the dotted line, as she tearfully glanced at Liam, as if to say good-bye.

Liam didn’t even look at her. He ran to Ivy’s side to see if she was alright.

Wyatt hugged his wife as she tearfully watched Liam tending to Ivy.

But Hope was about to get the greatest shock of her life.

Chapter 10

The next morning, Hope woke in Wyatt’s arms after her ordeal with Quinn when she suddenly had the urge to vomit.

As she hastily got up out of bed to run to the bathroom, Wyatt woke up alarmed.

“Hope! Is something wrong?” Wyatt asked concerned.

“Just feeling a bit nauseous, Wyatt.” Hope said, as she snuggled under the blankets next to him. “Nothing serious.”

“You look a little pale.” Wyatt said, feeling her forehead. “And a slight temp too.”

Wyatt gets out bed and puts on his trousers and shirt.

“C’mon, Hope, I’m taking you to the hospital.” Wyatt urged.

“Don’t be silly, Wy—–.” Hope said, not sounding worried at all.

“Hope, humor me. You need to go to the hospital.” Wyatt told her. “No telling what my nut-crazy put you through the last week.”

“Okay, Wyatt. But I’m only doing this for you.” Hope says, giving him a kiss on the lips.

On the drive to the hospital, Hope was feeling nauseous again.

“Wyatt, pull over.” Hope said.

“What?” Wyatt said. “Again?”

“Just pull over! Please?”

“Okay.”

Wyatt pulled over to the side of the road where Hope quickly opened the car door and vomited on the street.

“Thank you.” Hope said. “I guess you’re right. Maybe I should be going to the hospital.”

Wyatt pulled into the parking lot and pulled into a parking spot. He got out of the car and went over to the passenger’s side and helped Hope out, who was looking a little sick by now.

As Wyatt escorted Hope inside the hospital building, he felt his cell vibrate, but ignored it.

Wyatt, dear, it’s momma. Call me. Now. It’s important!” Quinn said, as she left a voicemail.

Hope requested to see Dr. Bridget Forrester, her half-sister.

Bridget came in to the hospital room when she was summoned in her office.

“Well, sister, dear, what seems to be the matter?” Bridget asked.

“I’m feeling a little nauseous this morning.”

“Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?” Bridget joked.

“Quite sure.” Hope said. “Wyatt and I have been using birth control. I thought maybe it had to do with what Wyatt’s mother did to me the last week.”

“Well, let’s take a look.” Bridget said.

Bridget ran every test she could do, even a pregnancy test just to rule out everything.

An hour later, Bridget came back with the test results.

“Hope, I thought you said you and Wyatt were using birth control?” Bridget asked, concerned.

“We are. Why?”

“Well, I hate to tell you this.” Bridget explained. “Every test came back alright but one.”

“Oh, really?” Hope asked, a little worried. “Which one?”

“Hope, I’m afraid you’re pregnant.” Bridget said, matter-of-factly.

Hope’s face dropped. “Pregnant? But Wyatt and I were so careful?”

“Are you sure Wyatt is the father?”

“Who else could be?”

“Because you’re about two months along.”

Then it all came back to her. Wyatt was not the father. Liam was. She was married to Wyatt, pregnant with his brother’s child.

Chapter 11

Hope was glad to be carrying Liam’s child. She had to calmly and tactfully inform Wyatt so she could end this marriage. She couldn’t be married to Wyatt now that she was having Liam’s baby. Hope wondered if the agreement would still stick if she were carrying another man’s child. And what would Quinn do if she knew she wasn’t having Wyatt’s baby?

But unbeknownst to Hope, Quinn was lurking in the closet when she was having her tests done.

“So, Hope is pregnant after all!” Quinn muttered to herself, but she forgot that Deacon was sleeping on the divan in her room.

“Hope is pregnant?” Deacon said, confused. “How do you know that?”

“Uh, Hope and Wyatt said I could come along with them for their pregnancy test.” Quinn lied.

“So, my little girl is gonna have a baby.” Deacon said. “Oh gosh! I’m going to be a grandfather!”

“Yep, congratulations, grandpa.” Quinn said.

“Well, I have to go see Hope.”

“No! You can’t let Hope and Wyatt know that you know!” Quinn warned.

“But why, you were at the doctor’s visit, so what’s the problem?”

“Please, just let Hope come to you to tell you.” Quinn pleaded.

“Okay, I’ll wait for Hope to tell me, but it will be hard not to go see her.”

Meanwhile…..

“Wyatt, we need to talk.”

“I’m afraid it will have to wait, Hope, mother sent a text saying she need to see me, ASAP.”

“Tonight, then?”

“Yes, I’ll make us a special dinner to celebrate the baby.” Wyatt said, ecstatically.

“Yes, dear, I can’t wait.” Hope said, trying to sound excited.

Hope was glad not to talk to Wyatt. She thought that maybe she should tell Liam the news first, since he was the father. Hope headed out to her car and drove over to Liam’s to talk with him.

She didn’t get far when she realized that she was being followed by the police. She pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the officer to come to her car.

“Mrs. Hope Fuller-Spencer?” the officer said when Hope rolled down her car window.

“Yes, officer, is there anything wrong?”

“I need you to get out of the car, ma’am.”

Hope opened the car door and did as the officer requested.

“Hope Fuller-Spencer, you are under arrest…” the officer said, as he continued to give Hope her Miranda Rights.

“What am I being taken in for?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.” the officer said, as he placed her in his unmarked car.

Little did Hope know, the officer was an impersonator hired by Quinn and have Hope brought to her, making sure Hope would make good on their agreement.

Chapter 12

“Where are you taking me, officer?” Hope demanded to know. “I was on my way to talk someone when you stopped me.”

“You’ll find out soon enough, miss.” was all the fake officer told her.

Hope sat back in the seat and waited to see where she was being taken to, since they had passed the police station. “Damn, these handcuffs sure were uncomfortable.” Hope thought to herself.

Fifteen minutes later, the fake cop pulled into an abandoned building that Hope didn’t recognize. The fake cop opened Hope’s door and grabbed her arm as he led her to an empty room with just a chair. He told her to sit.

Ten minutes later, the door opened, and Quinn walked in.

“Well, well, well, Hope.” Quinn said. “I got the news that you’re pregnant.”

“How do you know that, Quinn?” Hope demanded. “I haven’t even told anyone yet.”

“I was hiding in the closet when you and my son were at the doctor having your pregnancy test done.” Quinn admitted.

“Why you bitch!”

“I’m glad I did, because it would be a shame if I never knew about my grandchild, because you cut me out off.”

“You’re crazy, Quinn, and I don’t want you around my child!” Hope said, angrily.

“Listen up, girl! Over my dead body will you keep my son or my grandchild from me!”

“I don’t want you around this baby, Quinn!” Hope told her. “Besides, Wyatt isn’t even the baby’s father!”

As soon as Hope admitted that Wyatt wasn’t the baby’s father, she instantly regretted after seeing the look of horror on Quinn’s face.

“What?!” Quinn shrieked. “How the hell can that be?!

Hope was silent not wanting to tell Quinn who the father was.

“It’s Liam! You cheated on my son and now you’re pregnant with Liam’s child!”

Hope just looked at her.

“Yes, Quinn, I am pregnant with Liam’s child, and I want a divorce from Wyatt. I can’t be married to your son when I am having someone’s else’s child!”

“Over my dead body will you ever leave Wyatt!” Quinn shrieked again. “You signed a contract and you will pass that baby off as Wyatt’s!”

“Fine, Quinn, you win!” Hope said, lying to her, so she could just leave and tell Liam the truth.

“Good. I’m glad you came to your senses.” Quinn said, unlocking the cuffs on Hope’s wrists.

“Now, can I go and celebrate the news with Wyatt?” Hope lied again.

“Yes.” Quinn said. “And Hope, I’ll be watching you.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Hope said back.

“Bitch!” Hope said, under her breath.

When Hope walked far enough away from the warehouse and away from Quinn, Hope dialed Liam’s cell.

“Liam, it’s Hope.”

“Yes, Hope, what is it?”

“Can you come get me at the park? We need to talk.”

“Sure, Hope, I’m on my way.”

As Hope waited for Liam to pick her up, she wondered how Liam would take the news that she was pregnant and he was the father.

Chapter 13

“I’m sorry to tear you away from whatever you were doing, but we need to talk.” Hope confessed.

“About what, Hope?” Liam inquired. “You know I’ve moved on with Ivy.”

“About this baby I’m carrying.”

“You want to talk to me about Wyatt’s baby?” Liam asked, confused.

“That’s just it, Liam.” Hope explained. “I’m not carrying Wyatt’s baby.”

“If this is not Wyatt’s baby, then——” as Liam stopped, mid-sentence.

“Yes, Liam, this baby is yours.” Hope admitted.

“You’re sure the baby is mine!” Liam asked confused.

“It can’t possibly be Wyatt’s because I’m farther along than I thought.” Hope explained.

Liam couldn’t deal with Hope’s news just yet.

“I have to be alone for awhile, Hope.” Liam told her.

“Okay, Liam, just know that I love you and I intend to divorce Wyatt.” Hope said. “I can’t be married to one man knowing I’m carrying anothers.”

Hope gives Liam a kiss on the cheek before leaving Liam’s beachhouse. Liam is confused now that he has moved on with Ivy. He wonders if he should end things with Ivy and go back to Hope, or let Hope go? Too many things have happened now and he just isn’t the same person he was. Liam is just not that sure he still loves Hope at this point.

Liam is interrupted with his thoughts by his doorbell. When he goes to answer it, it is Ivy.

“Hello, Ivy.” Liam says, shocked.

“Well, may I come in?” Ivy asks him.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, come in.”

“I made a tacos and knew you loved them, so I brought some over.” Ivy said.

“Gee, Ivy, that was nice of you, but I’m just not that hungry at the moment.”

“What’s wrong, Liam?” Ivy asked, concerned.

“I just received some news and I’m not sure how to deal with it.” Liam confessed.

“What’s that?”

“Hope just told me that I am the father of her baby, not Wyatt.”

“You’re the father?” Ivy asked, confused. “Is she sure?”

“She says she is sure that I am the father, and she intends to leave Wyatt and that she still loves me.”

“So, Liam, just what does that mean for us?”

“I don’t know at this point.” Liam confessed.

“Well, when you find the answer, Liam, feel free to let me know.” Ivy says, obviously upset, and on her way out of Liam’s beachhouse.

“I’m sorry for all this, Ivy. I really do care for you.” Liam tells her.

“I don’t want to keep you from your issues.”

Ivy leaves Liam’s in tears, fearing she may lose Liam to Hope. As she gets into her car, and drives off, Ivy can’t see the road through her tears and doesn’t see the car coming toward her.

Chapter 14

Liam was worried about Ivy when she left his place in tears. He decided to leave and make sure Ivy got home safely. But as he was driving down the road, he came upon an accident and stopped the vehicle to see who it is. He was shocked to discover it was Hope and Ivy involved.

First checking for a pulse for both the unconscious Hope and Ivy, Liam dialed 9-1-1 on his cell and alerted the dispatcher about Hope and Ivy’s condition.

The dispatcher told Liam that help was on the way.

While Liam was waiting for help, Hope woke up for a few seconds and looked into Liam’s eyes. She spoke just two words, “The baby.” and fell back into unconsciousness.

By then, emergency vehicles had arrived and immediately tended to Hope and Ivy’s injuries. Liam informed the paramedic that Hope was pregnant, though he didn’t know how far along she was.

Still unconscious when paramedics put Hope on a gurney and into the ambulance, Liam struggled with whom to ride with, and opted to ride with Hope.

While en-route to the hospital, Liam dialed Wyatt’s cell, “Wyatt, it’s Liam.”

“Yeah, bro, what do you want?!” Wyatt said, sounding agitated.

“There’s been an accident. Hope and Ivy are being transported to the hospital.” Liam informed his brother.

“Is Hope alright?”

“I don’t know the extent of her injuries.”

“I’m on my way.” Wyatt said.

After arriving at the hospital, paramedics bring Ivy and Hope to the ER where doctors rush to tend to the victims, as it’s been an unusually slow period for the ER.

While Liam waits for word on both Hope and Ivy’s conditions, Wyatt shows up to hear more about his wife.

While Liam and Wyatt wait, an unseen Quinn is watching them. Quinn is worried that Hope will lose the baby after what she did to make Ivy slide off the road. An unseen hand grabs Quinn from behind and pulls her into the supply closet.

Chapter 15

“What are you doing here, Quinn?” Deacon asks. “If Hope and Liam find you here. . .”

“I just wanted to find out if Hope and the baby were okay?” Quinn said.

“Leave now, before you cause more trouble.” Deacon ordered her. “I’ll let you know what happens.”

“Okay.” Quinn agrees, as she quickly leaves before being noticed.

Deacon heads to the nurses’ station to check on Hope, but runs into Liam.

“Deacon, I’m glad you’re hear.” Liam says. “Hope was in an accident.”

“Is she all right?” Deacon asked, worried.

“She and Ivy are in the ER now.” Liam informed him. “I have yet to hear word.”

“Ivy? What does Ivy have to do with this?” Deacon asks, confused.

“Ivy was the other victim in the accident.” Liam told him.

“Ivy hit my daughter?” Deacon said, angrily.

“I don’t know what happened. I was following Ivy after I gave her some bad news to make sure she got home alright.” Liam said.

“Ivy was in no condition to drive.” Deacon retorted. “If anything happens to Hope, I’ll make Ivy pay.”

“I’m sure it was just an accident.” Liam said, trying to reassure Deacon.

Meanwhile, an unseen Quinn ignored Deacon’s warning and hid so she could spy on them and find out about Hope. No one could find out that she was the one that caused Ivy to slide off the road and hit Hope. Quinn just hoped that Hope and the baby was alright.

Just then, Quinn spied the doctor confront Liam and Deacon.

“Gentlemen, I just got through examining Hope after the accident.” the doctor began. “Everything appears to be fine and Hope is being taken to a private room to rest. You can go see her in a few minutes.”

“Thank you, doctor.” Deacon tells the doctor.

“Is Ivy alright?” Liam asks the doctor.

“Since you aren’t family, I can’t divulge that information. But I can tell you that she is also resting in a hospital room too.”

As much as it tugged at his heart to go see Hope, Liam couldn’t go see Hope after she revealed she was carrying his baby, not Wyatt’s. So he decided to go see how Ivy was instead.

“Hey, can I come in?” Liam asked as he peeked his head inside Ivy’s hospital room.

“Liam!” Ivy said, obviously still hurt since he told her Hope’s news.

“Are you okay?” Liam asked, with concern.

“Yeah, the doctor says I’ll make a full recovery.”

“I’m so sorry this happened!” Liam apologized.

“Yeah, but that’s the funny thing.” Ivy said with confusion. “I wasn’t driving too fast and I never slid off the road.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“I mean, I didn’t cause this accident.” Ivy said. It was the other driver.”

“Hope caused the accident?” Liam asked confused.

“No. It wasn’t Hope either.” Ivy confessed. “There was a third car that forced Hope’s car off the road and hit mine.”

“Really!” Liam said, suddenly getting the full picture of who it could be. “I got to go, Ivy. I’ll see you later. Thanks for letting me know this.”

Liam gave Ivy a peck on the cheek and rushed out of her hospital room. He headed over to Quinn’s to give her a piece of his mind.

Chapter 16

Quinn had just gotten back to her apartment when Liam knocked on her door.

“Liam, what brings you by?” Quinn asked, surprised.

“How could you do it, Quinn?!” Liam demanded.

“What are talking about?” Quinn asked.

“You were the one who caused the accident that Hope and Ivy were in!”

“You’re deluded!” Quinn exclaimed, defending herself, knowing he was right.

“I was just talking to Ivy who gave me some information about the accident.”

“And just what was that information, Liam?”

“That there was a third party involved.”

“Oh, really. And you think that it was me?”

“I know it was you, Quinn.”

“Well, you’re wrong!” Quinn defended herself. “I was with Deacon when Hope collided with Ivy.”

“Well, then, you won’t mind me calling Deacon then.” Liam said, as he pulled out his cell.

“Sure, go ahead.” Quinn said, worriedly.

But just as Liam was about to hit “send call” to Deacon, Quinn knocked Liam’s cell out of his hand and sent it flying across the room. As Liam rushed to pick it up, Quinn beat him to the cell and threw it against the wall.

“You, bitch!” Liam called Quinn.

Then the next thing Liam knew, he was knocked unconscious as he fell to the floor, as Quinn grabbed a book that was laying on the counter and hit Liam over the head with it.

“That will teach you to come after me!” Quinn said to an unconscious Liam.

Just then, Deacon had just entered Quinn’s apartment to find her standing over Liam’s unconscious body.

“What the hell happened, Quinn?”

“I don’t know?” Quinn said, covering. “He was standing here accusing me of being involved in the accident that Hope and Ivy were in, and then he suddenly collapsed.”

As Deacon called paramedics to have Liam taken to the ER, Quinn hoped no one found out that she was the one who caused the accident that Hope and Ivy were in.

Chapter 17

As paramedics arrive at the hospital with Liam, Quinn disobeys Deacon and hides in the back seat of his car while he is following the paramedics to the hospital.

Bill is there waiting after Deacon phoned him from his cell on his way to the hospital.

“How is my son?” Bill asks the paramedics as Liam is rushed into the ER.

“You’ll have to wait for the doctor to make his examination, sir.” the paramedic tells Bill.

“Deacon, what happened?” Bill asks him.

“I don’t know?” Deacon explains. “I found Quinn standing over Liam’s body when I arrived at Quinn’s.”

“Quinn did this to Liam?!” an irate Bill says. “I’ll kill her!”

“Bill! Wait!” Deacon says, calling after him. “Please go easy on her!”

But Bill was out the hospital doors before Deacon could stop him.

When Bill arrived at Quinn’s, Quinn was nowhere to be found. So he headed back to the hospital.

“Deacon.” Quinn said to a shocked Deacon. “How is Liam?”

“Quinn? What are you doing here? Bill is looking for you!”

“I’m sorry. I snuck into your car before you took off.”

“Just go before Bill gets back!” Deacon tried to persuade her.

But it was too late. Bill had just gotten back to the hospital to find Quinn talking with Deacon.

“Quinn!” Bill said, irately.

Quinn turned to see Bill heading her way. She ducked behind the nurses’ station hoping Bill didn’t see her, but he did. Grabbing Quinn by the collar, Bill pulled her out from behind the nurses’ station.

“So help me god, if you hurt Liam—–!” Bill began, but was interrupted by Deacon.

“Bill, leave her alone. I’m sure Quinn didn’t mean to hurt Liam.” Deacon said in Quinn’s defense.

“Please, Bill, I didn’t mean to do it!” Quinn pleaded.

Bill let go of Quinn just as the doctor came out from the ER.

“Mr. Spencer.” the doctor said.

“Yes, doctor, how is Liam?”

“He’s going to be okay. It’s just a concussion.”

“Can I go see him?”

“Yes, he’s being taken to a private room overnight for observation.”

“Thank doctor.” Bill said. “We will talk later, Quinn.”

As Bill rushes off to see Liam, Quinn starts after him, but Deacon pulls her back.

“Quinn, I think you’ve done enough damage.”

But a mysterious person was watching from a distance, “Just wait, Quinn! You’ll get your comeuppance!”

Chapter 18

Hope rushed to the hospital as soon as she heard word about Liam. Wyatt was shocked when Hope left their home to see Liam.

“Liam, I had to see you when I heard you were hurt.” Hope exclaimed as she entered his hospital room.

“Hope, I’m fine.” Liam reassured her. “You can go back to Wyatt now!”

“Liam, look at me.” Hope demanded.

Liam looked at Hope as she requested. “Why did you come, Hope?”

“I still love you Liam.” Hope said. “I want desperately to be with you.”

“But you’re still married to my brother.”

“Liam, I wanted to tell you that I was leaving Wyatt. I can’t be with him if I’m having you’re baby.”

“Well, let’s throw a party!” Liam said sarcastically.

“Liam, I’m serious.” Hope tried to convince him. “I was trying to let Wyatt know when I got the news of your accident.”

“So, you still haven’t told Wyatt you’re pregnant?” Liam asked just when Wyatt stormed into Liam’s room.

“Hope’s pregnant?!” Wyatt fumed.

“Wyatt?!” Hope said, surprised he had followed her. “Are you following me now?”

“Well, we were in the middle of a discussion when you left to go see Liam!” Wyatt continuedhis rage. “What the hell do you mean, you’re pregnant?!”

“That’s what I was trying to tell you when I had to see Liam.” Hope confessed.

“Is the baby mine?”

“No, Wyatt. Liam is the father.” Hope said, regretfully.

“I don’t believe this!” Wyatt said, incredulously. “You were messing around with my brother while married to me?”

“I’m sorry Wyatt?” Hope tried to apologize.

“Well, sorry doesn’t cut it, Hope!” Wyatt fumed. “We’re through!”

Turning to Liam in his hospital bed, “As for you brother dear, watch out!” Wyatt said before storming out of Liam’s hospital room, where he bumped into Ivy on the way out.

“Hey, Wyatt, what’s wrong?” Ivy said with concern.

“I’m an idiot! That’s what’s wrong!”

As Ivy ran after Wyatt, Hope and Liam were kissing as they celebrated her separation from Wyatt, but the mysterious person was watching them.

“You think you have Liam, Hope? Think again!” Steffy smiles slyly.

Chapter 19

Wyatt couldn’t believe that Hope was pregnant and the worse thing was that Liam was the father. How could Hope do this to him? Cheat on him?

As Wyatt was feeling sorry for himself, Ivy finally caught up to him.

“Wyatt?” Ivy asked with concern. “Are you okay?”

“Do I look okay?!” Wyatt railed at her.

“I’m so sorry, Wyatt?” Ivy told him. “I’m here, if you need a shoulder.”

“I don’t need your pity!” Wyatt said bitterly, hurt by Hope’s indiscretion.

Ivy extended her hand to Wyatt who accepted and pulled her close to him as they embraced. The embrace turned into a passionate kiss as Wyatt and Ivy gave into passion and made love to each other.

When they were done, Wyatt felt bad, realizing what he had done and backed off from Ivy.

“Wyatt!” Ivy called after him.

But Wyatt needed to be alone. He didn’t want to hurt Ivy and now he had just did by sleeping with her.

Later, back at Quinn’s apartment, Quinn was seething and now vowed revenge against both Hope and Liam for Wyatt’s pain. She vowed that neither would know a moment’ s peace for what they did to Wyatt.

Unbeknownst to Hope and Liam, who were blissfully happy celebrating their reunion and the baby, Liam made passionate love to Hope when he got her to his beach house after they left the hospital.

It was a night that neither would forget.

Chapter 20

Quinn was up to her old tricks again. She was a mama bear protecting her young. Nobody would get away with hurting Wyatt! Hope would regret reuniting with Liam, Quinn would make sure of it.

Later, at the doctor’s office, Liam and Hope anxiously waited for the doctor to tell them about the baby, but unknown to them, the “doctor” was none other than Quinn under a mask. Blissfully happy, neither Hope or Liam didn’t recognize the “doctor” incognito.

“Hope Logan, the doctor will see you now.” Nurse Bradley called out as she escorted Hope and Liam into the doctor’s examination room.

Liam could tell Hope was nervous so he held her in his arms while they waited for the doctor.

The “doctor” came into the examination room, disgusted by seeing Hope in Liam’s arms.

“Well, what seems to be the matter?” Quinn said, disguising her voice so Hope and Liam wouldn’t recognize her.

“Doctor, we’re here to see the ultrasound.” Hope said nervously.

“Well, then let’s take a look then.” Quinn said, still disguising her voice.

As Quinn pulled up Hope’s gown and placed the gel on Hope’s stomach, she put on rubber gloves and placed the instrument on Hope’s stomach. Liam and Hope is in awe as they watched their baby. The thought made Quinn sick, but continued on with the examination.

“Do you want to know the sex of the baby?” Quinn asked, still incognito.

“What do you think, Liam?” Hope asked.

“Sure, why not!” Liam said with excitement.

As Quinn further examined the ultrasound, she said, “It looks as if you’re having a boy.” Quinn pointed to the proof that showed Hope was having a boy.

“Wow!” Liam exclaimed. “A son!”

“The Spencer name will live on.” Hope replied.

“Dad will be happy.” Liam said proudly.

“Okay, I will let you get dressed and send the results in for the paternity test.” Quinn said.

“Paternity test?” Hope asked confused. “I didn’t ask for a paternity test?”

“I’m sorry.” Quinn apologized. “This sheet says you asked for one?”

“Well, can you not send it in?” Hope asked, as Liam looked upset that Hope apparently lied to him. “I’m pretty sure Liam is the father.”

“Sorry, Hope, but the order is already being sent.” Quinn said as she pressed send on the computer kiosk.

Quinn left Hope to get dressed. Liam was silently fuming as he watched Hope get dressed. Quinn was satisfied as she watched Liam’s face from excitement to anger in a matter of minutes. “Just wait until the paternity test results come back, Hope!” Quinn said to herself with a sly smile on her face.

Back at home, Liam let out his anger at Hope, “Why did you have a paternity test done, Hope!”

“I never asked for a test to be done!” Hope said in her defense.

“I can’t believe that you lied. Wyatt could be the father, can’t he?!” Liam said angrily.

“No, Liam!” Hope tried to reason with Liam. “I know your are!”

“I can’t talk right now!” Liam said as he stormed out of the beach house, leaving Hope alone, wondering what just happened.

Chapter 21

Bridget Forrester hated what she was about to do to Hope, her own sister. But she didn’t want Quinn to expose her own secret. Their mother couldn’t know the truth about Deacon being the father of her own daughter, Sylvia, who was just 2-years-old. Bridget needed Nick to know he was the father. She didn’t want Hope to know that she was an aunt to her own daughter.

“Hope, I have the results of the paternity test.” Bridget said in a voicemail on Hope’s cell. “If you could come in at your convenience, I’ll give you the results of your baby’s father.”

Then she called Quinn, “Quinn, you got your wish. Wyatt is indeed the father of Hope’s baby.”

Quinn smiled when Bridget told her exactly what she wanted to hear…Hope would be leaving Liam and going back to her son…..

At the hospital, Hope showed up at Bridget’s office to hear the results of a test she never wanted…she just knew that Liam was the father of her unborn baby….

“Bridget, I got your message on my voicemail….” Hope said, coming into her sister’s office.

“Hope, I’m glad you’re here.” Bridget said, knowing she was going to lie to her sister.

“You have the results of the paternity test?”

“Yes.”

“So, who is the father?”

“It’s Wyatt.”

“No! It can’t be?!” Hope said, knowing it just couldn’t be true.

“I’ve checked and rechecked.” Bridget continued the lie because of Quinn.

“Thank you, sis.” Hope said, giving her a hug anyway.

“Congratulations, sis.”

“Yeah. Now I have to go back and report to Liam that he was right. Wyatt is the father?”

Hope left Bridget’s office and headed to her car. But she was stopped by Quinn who demanded to know when Wyatt would be informed about the baby.

“Quinn, Wyatt will be told as soon as I tell Liam about the baby!” Hope said irately to her mother-in-law.

“You better! If you know what is good for you!”

“Don’t worry. Wyatt will know the truth soon!” was all Hope would say. “Now let me break the news to Liam!”

Hope got into her car and drove out, wondering how she was going to tell Liam the news about the baby.

But she wouldn’t get to tell Liam the news, or Wyatt either, for that matter…as an oncoming car was swerving into her lane……..

Chapter 22

Hope couldn’t believe what Quinn expected of her?! Tell Wyatt the baby was his—she was sure that Liam was the father—but the test said Wyatt was?

As Hope pondered how she was going to tell Liam about the baby, she didn’t see the oncoming car swerve into her lane before it was too late as the car smashed into the front of Hope’s car as the car went flying onto the shoulder and over the ravine.

Meanwhile, Quinn pulled into the driveway to Spencer Publications to see her son Wyatt.

“Wyatt, have you seen Hope?” Quinn asked when she barged into Wyatt’s office.

“No, mother. And I’m in the busy of a conference call with a client right now.” Wyatt said, exasperated by his mother’s constant interference in his life.

“I’m sorry but this can’t wait.” Quinn said.

“Mr. Januskowski, can I call you back at a more convenient time. There seems to be a bit of a disturbance.” Wyatt apologized.

After Wyatt thank the client and ended the call, Quinn lamented, “Have you talked with Hope?”

“No, mother, I haven’t seen Hope since she confessed to being pregnant with Liam’s child.”

“Oh, so she hasn’t told you?” Quinn asked, as she began to get worried.

“Told me what?” Wyatt asked.

“Well, I guess Hope isn’t going to tell you so I should?” Quinn debated.

“Tell me what?”

But Quinn didn’t get the chance when Liam came in with news that Hope was on her way to the hospital after having been in a car accident.

Hope was in the ER when Liam, Wyatt and Quinn arrived at the hospital and were met with Bridget.

“Bridget, how is she?” Liam asked concerned about Hope and the baby while Wyatt and Quinn waited to hear the news.

“Hope is in ER getting examined by the doctor.” Bridget told them. “As soon as I hear word on Hope’s condition, I will let you know.”

Liam, Wyatt and Quinn sat down in the waiting room as Brooke and Ridge arrived.

“Have you heard anything on my daughter?” Brooke asked Liam.

“We’re still waiting for word on her condition.” Liam informed Brooke and Ridge.

It seemed like an eternity, but after about 20 minutes, Bridget finally came into the waiting room with news on Hope.

“Bridget, how is Hope? Is she okay?” Brooke asked her oldest daughter.

“Hope is in critical condition and being rushed to surgery,” Bridge informed them.

“And the baby?” Quinn asked for all of them.

“I’m sorry, but the baby didn’t make it.” Bridget said sadly.

Quinn feared Wyatt was gonna lose Hope now that the baby didn’t survive. She went after him when he walked out of the hospital.

Bridget pulled Liam aside after Quinn went after Wyatt, “Liam I have to tell you something.”

“What could you possibly tell me? The baby wasn’t mine!” Liam lashed out.

“That’s just it! The baby was yours!” Bridget confessed.

“What? How?”

“I was forced by Quinn to change the paternity test to make it look like Wyatt’s.” Bridget continued.

“So, the baby was mine?” Liam said, confirming what Bridget told him.

Happy Birthday: February 28, 2021

Gavin Macleod, 90

Kelly Bishop, 77

Bernadette Peters, 73

Gilbert Gottfried, 66

John Turoturro, 64

Ali Larter, 45

Jason Aldean, 44

Quinn Shephard, 26

Sam the Sham, 84

Tommy Tune, 82

Frank Bonner, 79

Stephanie Beacham, 74

Mike Figgis, 73

Mercedes Ruehl, 73

Ilene Graff, 72

Cindy Wilson, 64

Rae Dawn Chong, 60

Maxine Bahns, 52

Robert Sean Leonard, 52

Pat Monahan, 52

Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), 51

Tasha Smith, 50

Rory Cochrane, 49

Geoffrey Arend, 43

Melanie Chandra, 37

Michelle Horn, 34

Michael Mealor (2/29), 29

True O’Brien, 27

Madisen Beaty, 26

Bobb’e Thompson, 25

Frank Gehry, 92

Mario Andretti, 81

Bugsy Siegel (February 28, 1906-June 20, 1947)

Zero Mostel (February 28, 1915-September 8, 1977)

TPKs Stories on Anchor Podcast

Cryptids: Chupacabras

The chupacabra or chupacabras (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃupaˈkaβɾas], literally ‘goat-sucker’; from Spanish: chupar, ‘to suck’, and cabras, ‘goats’) is a legendary creature in the folklore of parts of the Americas, with its first purported sightings reported in Puerto Rico in 1995. The name comes from the animal’s reported vampirism—the chupacabra is said to attack and drink the blood of livestock, including goats.

Physical descriptions of the creature vary. It is purportedly a heavy creature the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.

Eyewitness sightings have been claimed in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, as far south as Chile, and even outside the Americas in countries like Russia and the Philippines. Many of the reports have been disregarded as uncorroborated or lacking evidence. Sightings in northern Mexico and the southern United States have been verified as canids afflicted by mange. According to biologists and wildlife management officials, the chupacabra is an urban legend

Name

Chupacabras can be literally translated as ‘goat-sucker’, from chupar (‘to suck’) and cabras (‘goats’). It is known as both chupacabras and chupacabra throughout the Americas, with the former being the original word, and the latter a regularization of it. The name is attributed to Puerto Rican comedian Silverio Pérez, who coined the label in 1995 while commenting on the attacks as a San Juan radio deejay.

History

The first reported attack eventually attributed to the creatures occurred in March 1995 in Puerto Rico. Eight sheep were discovered dead, each with three puncture wounds in the chest area and reportedly completely drained of blood. A few months later, in August, an eyewitness named Madelyne Tolentino reported seeing the creature in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas, when as many as 150 farm animals and pets were reportedly killed. In 1975, similar killings in the small town of Moca were attributed to el vampiro de Moca (‘the vampire of Moca’). Initially, it was suspected that the killings were committed by a Satanic cult; later more killings were reported around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. Each of the animals was reported to have had its body bled dry through a series of small circular incisions.

Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is credited with coining the term chupacabras soon after the first incidents were reported in the press. Shortly after the first reported incidents in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, the United States, and Mexico.

In October and December 2018, there came many reports of suspected chupacabras in Manipur, India. Many domestic animals and poultry were killed in a suspicious manner similar to other chupacabra attacks, and several people reported that they had seen chupacabras. However, forensic experts opined that street dogs were responsible for mass killing of domestic animals and poultry after studying the remnants of a corpse.

In October 2019, a video recorded by Mundo Ovni showed a supposed attack on chickens in the Seburuquillo sector of Lares, Puerto Rico.

Reputed origin

A five-year investigation by Benjamin Radford, documented in his 2011 book Tracking the Chupacabra, concluded that the description given by the original eyewitness in Puerto Rico, Madelyne Tolentino, was based on the creature Sil in the 1995 science-fiction horror film Species. The alien creature Sil is nearly identical to Tolentino’s chupacabra eyewitness account and she had seen the movie before her report: “It was a creature that looked like the chupacabra, with spines on its back and all… The resemblance to the chupacabra was really impressive”, Tolentino reported. Radford revealed that Tolentino “believed that the creatures and events she saw in Species were happening in reality in Puerto Rico at the time”, and therefore concludes that “the most important chupacabra description cannot be trusted”. This, Radford believes, seriously undermines the credibility of the chupacabra as a real animal.

In addition, the reports of blood-sucking by the chupacabra were never confirmed by a necropsy, the only way to conclude that the animal was drained of blood. An analysis by a veterinarian of 300 reported victims of the chupacabra found that they had not been bled dry.

Radford divided the chupacabra reports into two categories: the reports from Puerto Rico and Latin America, where animals were attacked and it is supposed their blood was extracted; and the reports in the United States of mammals, mostly dogs and coyotes with mange, that people call “chupacabra” due to their unusual appearance.

In late October 2010, University of Michigan biologist Barry O’Connor concluded that all the chupacabra reports in the United States were simply coyotes infected with the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei, whose symptoms would explain most of the features of the chupacabra: they would be left with little fur, thickened skin, and a rank odor. O’Connor theorized that the attacks on goats occurred “because these animals are greatly weakened, [so] they’re going to have a hard time hunting. So they may be forced into attacking livestock because it’s easier than running down a rabbit or a deer.”

Although several witnesses came to the conclusion that the attacks could not be the work of dogs or coyotes because they had not eaten the victim, this conclusion is incorrect. Both dogs and coyotes can kill and not consume the prey, either because they are inexperienced, or due to injury or difficulty in killing the prey. The prey can survive the attack and die afterwards from internal bleeding or circulatory shock. The presence of two holes in the neck, corresponding with the canine teeth, are to be expected since this is the only way that most land carnivores have to catch their prey.

There are reports of stray Mexican hairless dogs being mistaken for chupacabras.

Appearance

The most common description of the chupacabra is that of a reptile-like creature, said to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. It is said to be approximately 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a fashion similar to that of a kangaroo.

Another common description of the chupacabra is of a strange breed of wild dog. This form is mostly hairless and has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, fangs, and claws. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabra is said to drain all of the animal’s blood (and sometimes organs) usually through three holes in the shape of a downwards-pointing triangle, but sometimes through only one or two holes.

Related legends

The “Ozark Howler”, a large bear-like animal, is the subject of a similar urban legend.

The Peuchens of Chile also share similarities in their supposed habits, but instead of being dog-like they are described as winged snakes. This legend may have originated from the vampire bat, an animal endemic to the region.

In the Philippines, another legendary creature called the Sigbin shares many of the chupacabra’s descriptions.

In popular culture

The popularity of the chupacabra has resulted in it being featured in many types of media.

The critically acclaimed debut album of Imani Coppola is titled Chupacabra.

Following an incident in Cuero, Texas, the popularity of the chupacabra myth received global attention. Phylis Canion, who was responsible for retrieving the alleged specimen, claimed that T-shirts highlighting the event were shipped to locations such as Italy, Guam, and Iraq. The publicity that Cuero received following this event has led to some suggesting making the chupacabra the town’s mascot.

The myth of the chupacabra is mocked in the 2012 episode “Jewpacabra” of the cartoon series South Park in which antisemitic main character Eric Cartman claims to have seen a Jewish Chupacabra that kills children on Easter.

The Magic: The Gathering set Rivals of Ixalan introduced a card named “Ravenous Chupacabra” in January 2018.

The Chupacabra was included as one of several vinyl figurines in Cryptozoic Entertainment’s Cryptkins blind box toy line in 2018. A redesigned series of figurines, including an updated Chupacabra, was released in August 2020.

The search for a chupacabra was featured in the 1997 The X-Files episode “El Mundo Gira”.

In the Jackie Chan Adventures episode “The Curse of El Chupacabra”, Jackie Chan’s friend El Toro gets scratched and infected by a Chupacabra, causing him to transform into another Chupacabra every night, much like a werewolf.

“Chupacabra” was the title of the mid-season finale of season 4 of the supernatural drama television series Grimm in December 2014.

The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie is a children’s book by Frederick Luis Aldama and Chris Escobar about a polite 10-year-old chupacabra who yearns for adventure beyond the edge of los Estados Unidos (‘the United States’). It was published in 2020.

Cryptids: Kraken

The kraken (/ˈkrɑːkən/) is a legendary sea monster of gigantic size and cephalopod-like appearance in Scandinavian folklore. According to the Norse sagas, the kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors. Authors over the years have postulated that the legend may have originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 13–15 meters (40–50 feet) in length. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works. The kraken has been the focus of many sailors passing the North Atlantic and especially sailors from the Nordic countries. Throughout the centuries, the kraken has been a staple of sailors’ superstitions and mythos.

Etymology

The English word kraken is taken from the modern Scandinavian languages, originating from the Old Norse word kraki. In both Norwegian and Swedish Kraken is the definite form of krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank). In modern German, Krake (plural and oblique cases of the singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary kraken. Kraken is also an old Norwegian word for octopus and an old euphemism in Swedish for whales, used when the original word became taboo as it was believed it could summon the creatures.

History

After returning from Greenland, the anonymous author of the Old Norwegian natural history work Konungs skuggsjá (c. 1250) described in detail the physical characteristics and feeding behavior of these beasts. The narrator proposed there must be only two in existence, stemming from the observation that the beasts have always been sighted in the same parts of the Greenland Sea, and that each seemed incapable of reproduction, as there was no increase in their numbers.

There is a fish that is still unmentioned, which it is scarcely advisable to speak about on account of its size, because it will seem to most people incredible. There are only a very few who can speak upon it clearly, because it is seldom near land nor appears where it may be seen by fishermen, and I suppose there are not many of this sort of fish in the sea. Most often in our tongue we call it hafgufa (“kraken” in e.g. Laurence M. Larson’s translation). Nor can I conclusively speak about its length in ells, because the times he has shown before men, he has appeared more like land than like a fish. Neither have I heard that one had been caught or found dead; and it seems to me as though there must be no more than two in the oceans, and I deem that each is unable to reproduce itself, for I believe that they are always the same ones. Then too, neither would it do for other fish if the hafgufa were of such a number as other whales, on account of their vastness, and how much subsistence that they need. It is said to be the nature of these fish that when one shall desire to eat, then it stretches up its neck with a great belching, and following this belching comes forth much food, so that all kinds of fish that are near to hand will come to present location, then will gather together, both small and large, believing they shall obtain their food and good eating; but this great fish lets its mouth stand open the while, and the gap is no less wide than that of a great sound or bight. And nor the fish avoid running together there in their great numbers. But as soon as its stomach and mouth is full, then it locks together its jaws and has the fish all caught and enclosed, that before greedily came there looking for food.

In the late-13th-century version of the Old Icelandic saga Örvar-Oddr is an inserted episode of a journey bound for Helluland (Baffin Island) which takes the protagonists through the Greenland Sea, and here they spot two massive sea-monsters called Hafgufa (“sea mist”) and Lyngbakr (“heather-back”). The hafgufa is believed to be a reference to the kraken:

[N]ú mun ek segja þér, at þetta eru sjáskrímsl tvau, heitir annat hafgufa, en annat lyngbakr; er hann mestr allra hvala í heiminum, en hafgufa er mest skrímsl skapat í sjánum; er þat hennar náttúra, at hon gleypir bæði menn ok skip ok hvali ok allt þat hon náir; hon er í kafi, svá at dægrum skiptir, ok þá hon skýtr upp hǫfði sínu ok nǫsum, þá er þat aldri skemmr en sjávarfall, at hon er uppi. Nú var þat leiðarsundit, er vér fórum á millum kjapta hennar, en nasir hennar ok inn neðri kjaptrinn váru klettar þeir, er yðr sýndiz í hafinu, en lyngbakr var ey sjá, er niðr sǫkk. En Ǫgmundr flóki hefir sent þessi kvikvendi í móti þér með fjǫlkynngi sinni til þess at bana þér ok ǫllum mǫnnum þínum; hugði hann, at svá skyldi hafa farit fleiri sem þeir, at nú druknuðu, en hann ætlaði, at hafgufan skyldi hafa gleypt oss alla. Nú siglda ek því í gin hennar, at ek vissa, at hún var nýkomin upp.

Now I will tell you that there are two sea-monsters. One is called the hafgufa [sea-mist], another lyngbakr [heather-back]. It [the lyngbakr] is the largest whale in the world, but the hafgufa is the largest monster in the sea. It is the nature of this creature to swallow men and ships, and even whales and everything else within reach. It stays submerged for days, then rears its head and nostrils above surface and stays that way at least until the change of tide. Now, that sound we just sailed through was the space between its jaws, and its nostrils and lower jaw were those rocks that appeared in the sea, while the lyngbakr was the island we saw sinking down. However, Ogmund Tussock has sent these creatures to you by means of his magic to cause the death of you [Odd] and all your men. He thought more men would have gone the same way as those that had already drowned [i.e., to the lyngbakr which wasn’t an island, and sank], and he expected that the hafgufa would have swallowed us all. Today I sailed through its mouth because I knew that it had recently surfaced.

The famous Swedish 18th century naturalist Carl Linnaeus included the kraken in the first edition of its systematic natural catalog Systema Naturae from 1735. There he gave the animal the scientific name Microcosmus, but omitted it in later editions.

Kraken were extensively described by Erik Pontoppidan, bishop of Bergen, in his Det første Forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie “The First Attempt at [a] Natural History of Norway” (Copenhagen, 1752). Pontoppidan made several claims regarding kraken, including the notion that the creature was sometimes mistaken for an island and that the real danger to sailors was not the creature itself but rather the whirlpool left in its wake. However, Pontoppidan also described the destructive potential of the giant beast: “it is said that if [the creature’s arms] were to lay hold of the largest man-of-war, they would pull it down to the bottom”. According to Pontoppidan, Norwegian fishermen often took the risk of trying to fish over kraken, since the catch was so plentiful (hence the saying “You must have fished on Kraken”). Pontoppidan also proposed that a specimen of the monster, “perhaps a young and careless one”, was washed ashore and died at Alstahaug in 1680. By 1755, Pontoppidan’s description of the kraken had been translated into English.

Swedish author Jacob Wallenberg described the kraken in the 1781 work Min son på galejan (“My son on the galley”):

Kraken, also called the Crab-fish, which is not that huge, for heads and tails counted, he is no larger than our Öland is wide [i.e., less than 16 km] … He stays at the sea floor, constantly surrounded by innumerable small fishes, who serve as his food and are fed by him in return: for his meal, (if I remember correctly what E. Pontoppidan writes,) lasts no longer than three months, and another three are then needed to digest it. His excrements nurture in the following an army of lesser fish, and for this reason, fishermen plumb after his resting place … Gradually, Kraken ascends to the surface, and when he is at ten to twelve fathoms, the boats had better move out of his vicinity, as he will shortly thereafter burst up, like a floating island, spurting water from his dreadful nostrils and making ring waves around him, which can reach many miles. Could one doubt that this is the Leviathan of Job?

In 1802, the French malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort recognized the existence of two kinds of giant octopus in Histoire Naturelle Générale et Particulière des Mollusques, an encyclopedic description of mollusks. Montfort claimed that the first type, the kraken octopus, had been described by Norwegian sailors and American whalers, as well as ancient writers such as Pliny the Elder. The much larger second type, the colossal octopus, was reported to have attacked a sailing vessel from Saint-Malo, off the coast of Angola.

Montfort later dared more sensational claims. He proposed that ten British warships, including the captured French ship of the line Ville de Paris, which had mysteriously disappeared one night in 1782, must have been attacked and sunk by giant octopi. The British, however, knew—courtesy of a survivor from Ville de Paris—that the ships had been lost in a hurricane off the coast of Newfoundland in September 1782, resulting in a disgraceful revelation for Montfort.

Appearance and origins

Since the late 18th century, the kraken has been depicted in a number of ways, primarily as a large octopus-like creature, and it has often been alleged that Pontoppidan’s kraken might have been based on sailors’ observations of the giant squid. The kraken is also depicted to have spikes on its suckers. In the earliest descriptions, however, the creatures were more crab-like than octopus-like, and generally possessed traits that are associated with large whales rather than with giant squid. An ancient, giant cephalopod resembling the legendary kraken has been proposed as responsible for the deaths of ichthyosaurs during the Triassic Period.

In popular culture

Although fictional and the subject of myth, the legend of the Kraken continues to the present day, with numerous references in film, literature, television, and other popular culture topics. Examples are Alfred Tennyson’s 1830 irregular sonnet The Kraken, references in Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick (Chapter 59 “Squid”), the novel The Kraken Wakes, the Kraken of Marvel Comics, the 1981 film Clash of the Titans and its 2010 remake of the same name, and the Seattle Kraken professional ice hockey team. Krakens also appear in video games such as Sea of Thieves and Return of the Obra Dinn. The kraken was also featured in two of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, primarily in the 2006 film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as the pet of the fearsome Davy Jones, the main antagonist of the film. The kraken also makes an appearance in the film’s sequel, “At World’s End”.

Christmas 1994: Air France Flight 8969

Air France Flight 8969 was an Air France flight that was hijacked on 24 December 1994 by the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA) at Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers, Algeria. The terrorists murdered three passengers and their intention was to blow up the plane over the Eiffel Tower in Paris. When the aircraft reached Marseille, the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), a counter-terror unit of the French National Gendarmerie, stormed the plane and killed all four hijackers.

Background

Algeria was in a state of civil war at the time of the hijacking. Aircraft flying to Algeria faced the possibility of missile attacks. As a result, Air France’s flights to Algeria had crews entirely made of people who volunteered for the route. Air France had asked government officials if it absolutely had to continue flying to Algeria; by the time of the hijacking, they had not received a reply. 51-year-old Bernard Delhemme was the captain of the flight. Jean-Paul Borderie was the copilot, and Alain Bossuat was the flight engineer. The Airbus A300B2-1C, tail number F-GBEC, had first flown on 28 February 1980.

Hijacking

24 December

On 24 December 1994, at Houari Boumedienne Airport in Algiers, four armed men boarded Air France Flight 8969 which was due to depart for Orly Airport, Paris at 11:15 am. The men were dressed as Algerian presidential police; they wore blue uniforms with Air Algérie logos. Their presence originally did not cause any alarm. Two of the men began inspecting the passengers’ passports while one went into the cockpit and the fourth stood guard. Claude Burgniard, a flight attendant, recalled noticing that the “police” were armed and one of them had dynamite showing, which she considered to be unusual as the Algerian police were not normally armed when carrying out checks. The Algerian military felt suspicious on noticing that the Air France flight appeared to have an unauthorized delay, so they began surrounding the aircraft. Zahida Kakachi, a passenger, recalled seeing members of the Special Intervention Group (GIS), known as “ninjas”, outside the aircraft. Kakachi recalled hearing one of the “police” say “taghut,” an Arabic word for “infidel”, upon seeing the GIS men gathering outside the A300; she then realized that the four men on board the plane were terrorists. The four hijackers then revealed that they were not police, but mujahideen seeking to establish an Islamic state in Algeria. They had hijacked the aircraft because the national airline Air France was a symbol of France, which they viewed as infidel foreign invaders.

The leader, Abdul Abdullah Yahia, already a notorious murderer, and the other three members of the Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamique Armé, or GIA) brandished firearms and explosives and announced their allegiance to the GIA, demanding co-operation from the 220 passengers and 12 flight crew. The hijackers had Kalashnikov assault rifles, Uzi sub-machine guns, pistols, homemade hand grenades and two 10-stick dynamite packs. Later, at one point during the flight, the men placed one pack of dynamite in the cockpit and one pack under a seat in the middle of the aircraft, then linked them with detonator wire. They also took the uniforms of the pilots to confuse Algerian army snipers.

Allah has chosen us to die and Allah has chosen you to die with us. Allah guarantees our success, Insha’Allah.— Abdul Abdullah Yahia

Burgniard recalled that the hijackers, in particular one called “Lotfi”, disliked seeing a lack of adherence to their Islamic beliefs; according to Burgniard, the hijackers objected to men and women sitting together and sharing the same toilets and women having their heads uncovered. Once they had taken control of the aircraft, the hijackers forced the women to cover their heads, including the cabin crew members. Women who did not have veils used aircraft blankets as head coverings. An elderly Algerian man told the TF1 network that the hijackers “had a kind of art in their terror. Twenty minutes of relaxation and twenty minutes of torture. You never knew what was next.”

The men stated over the aircraft’s cockpit radio:

We are the Soldiers of Mercy. Allah has selected us as his soldiers. We are here to wage war in his name.— Abdul Abdullah Yahia

Abderrahmane Meziane Chérif, the Minister of the Interior of Algeria, came to the airport control tower to begin negotiating with the hijackers, who were using the captain to speak for them. They demanded the release of two Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) political party leaders, Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj, who were under house arrest; the FIS was banned in Algeria in 1992. Chérif demanded that the hijackers begin releasing children and the elderly if they wanted to talk to the Algerian government. The media began arriving at the airport to cover the crisis.

At noon, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, organized a crisis team, and Charles Pasqua, Interior Minister of France, met his aides. French Prime Minister Édouard Balladur was recalled from his Christmas holiday in Chamonix, France, and other government officials were also summoned from their vacations. Balladur recollected spending the entire afternoon on the telephone, trying to determine what was happening and feeling confused. According to Balladur, the Algerian authorities wanted to crack down on the terrorists and Balladur himself encountered difficulties discussing the events. At one point, the hijackers dropped the demand for the release of the FIS party leaders. Two hours into the hijacking, the men told the captain to depart for Paris so that they could hold a press conference there. The captain could not take off because the aircraft boarding stairs were still attached to the plane and the Algerian authorities were blocking the runway with parked vehicles. When the hijackers forced the captain to ask for the boarding stairs to be removed, the Algerian authorities refused, determined not to give in to any of the hijackers’ demands. The GIA men announced that they would detonate the aircraft unless the Algerian authorities followed their orders.

During the passport check, the hijackers had noticed that one of the passengers on the flight was an Algerian police officer. In order to force the Algerian government to comply with their demands, the hijackers approached the police officer and told him to follow them. Kakachi remembered that the police officer, seated two rows behind her, was hesitant as he did not know what they were going to do. Several passengers recalled him pleading “Don’t kill me, I have a wife and child!” The hijackers shot the police officer in the head at the top of the boarding stairs. The pilots and most of the passengers were not aware at first that the man had been killed. Captain Delhemme recalled that his first contact with the passenger cabin during the hijacking was when a flight attendant, allowed into the cockpit, asked the pilots if they needed anything. According to Delhemme, he asked for a glass of water from the attendant to ease the pilots’ parched throats. At this point, the attendant whispered to Delhemme that the hijackers had killed a passenger.

The Algerian authorities still refused to agree to the hijackers’ demands. Burgniard recalled that he and the other occupants began to realize that “things were going wrong”when the hijackers came to collect another passenger. They selected 48-year-old Bui Giang To, a commercial attaché at the Embassy of Vietnam in Algeria. Burgniard described To as “the real foreigner on this plane”. She remembered that To was not intimidated by the hijackers and she believed that this attitude upset the hijackers. The Vietnamese diplomat thought he was about to be released because he was a foreigner; instead he was shot dead on the boarding stairs. Delhemme recalled that when the flight attendant next appeared with refreshments, she whispered to him that two passengers, not one, had died.

The French government wanted to bring French military personnel into Algeria to safely resolve the hijacking, but the Algerian government would not allow foreign military to land on Algerian soil to resolve an Algerian political crisis. Prime Minister Balladur said that he asked the Algerian government “extremely forcefully and urgently” to give permission for the aircraft to take off. He felt that the French government held responsibility for solving the problem as the aircraft belonged to a French airline and almost a third of the passengers were French.

Seven hours into the hijacking, the cabin was calm but tense; at that point, few of the passengers knew that two people had been killed. It had grown dark outside and the aircraft was surrounded by spotlights. The pilots now attempted to defuse the situation by talking to the hijackers and trying to gain their trust. Delhemme explained that the beginning of a hijacking is violent, so the role of the pilot is to keep the participants calm, “buy time”, show the hijackers who the crew are as people, and find out details about the hijackers; then the pilot has to try gaining the trust of the hijackers.

During the night, Spanish authorities allowed the French military to send its forces to Majorca, Spain, which was as close to Algeria as was possible without being accused of interfering in the situation. At 8:00 pm, Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) operatives boarded an Airbus A300 aircraft similar to F-GBEC, the hijacked plane, at a military base in France. En route to Majorca, the GIGN operatives were able to familiarize themselves with the A300 in preparation for storming the aircraft. After the GIGN’s plane arrived at Palma de Mallorca Airport, the Algerian government made it clear that French forces were not welcome in Algeria.

25 December

Captain Delhemme made a tour of the cabin at about 2:00 am the next morning to check on the situation; he said that the cabin was “calm” during that time. He noticed two of the hijackers asleep on the floor. In the morning, French Prime Minister Édouard Balladur flew to Paris.

New information arrived at the Consulate General of France in Oran, Algeria, via a mole in the GIA:

We received this information directly from members of the Algerian secret service. And this information was very worrying. The terrorists’ true aim was to crash the plane in Paris.— French Minister of the Interior Charles Pasqua

Police confirmed this plan after a raid on a safe house.

The hijackers released some of the passengers, mainly women with young children and those with severe medical conditions. Over 170 people still remained on board the plane. The hijackers offered to release the remaining Algerian passengers, but the Algerians refused to leave the aircraft. Delhemme recalled that one passenger who was refusing to leave said that he thought the crew would be killed if he did, and Delhemme believes that the passengers’ motives were sincere. By the end of 25 December, the hijackers had freed a total of 63 passengers.

The Algerian police used night vision devices to identify the lead hijacker, who was Abdul Abdullah Yahia. The French government sent Yahia’s mother to plead for him to release the passengers, in the hope that she could persuade her son to give in, but the tactic backfired. One passenger, Kakachi, recalled Yahia becoming enraged by this move. At this point, the hijackers began targeting the French passengers; there were two staff members of the French Embassy in Algiers on board the flight, a secretary and a chef. The hijackers forced the chef, Yannick Beugnet, to plead into the microphone. Through Beugnet, they demanded that unless the Algerian government cleared the A300 for takeoff before 9:30 pm, they would kill one passenger every 30 minutes, starting with Beugnet. They threatened to shoot him and throw him out of the door. The Algerian passengers assured him that the hijackers were bluffing while the French passengers were demanding that the aircraft be allowed to take off. When the 9:30 deadline passed, the hijackers shot the chef and threw his body outside. The door open warning light in the cockpit indicated to the pilots that another passenger had been murdered. Enraged, Captain Delhemme yelled at the Algerian authorities, “See what you get when you play tough?!” The airline knew that the chef had been murdered as it was listening in on the conversations between the aircraft and the control tower. Philippe Legorjus, a former Air France security adviser, said in an interview that the airline employees “lived through [the event] with great emotion”. Zahida Kakachi recalled Lotfi calmly trying to convert her and another stewardess to Islam, though Kakachi was only pretending so that she would not enrage him.

The French government were informed of the events. Balladur spoke on the telephone to the Prime Minister of Algeria, Mokdad Sifi; he told him that the French government would hold the Algerian government responsible for the outcome if it did not authorize them to intervene in the situation. Just before midnight, Balladur told the President of Algeria, Liamine Zéroual, that France was ready to receive the Air France flight. As a result of Balladur’s demands, 39 hours after the start of the hijacking, Zéroual allowed the aircraft to leave Algiers. Flight attendant Claude Burgniard recalled that everyone was relieved when the aircraft departed because they thought the crisis was over.

There was insufficient fuel on board the plane to reach Paris, because the auxiliary power unit had been running since the hijackers took over the plane, so a refueling stop was scheduled at Marseille Provence Airport. Delhemme confronted Yahia to find out whether he planned to blow up the aircraft between Algiers and Marseille. Yahia insisted that the plane would fly to Marseille, take on fuel, then fly to Paris for the press conference; reassured, Delhemme prepared for takeoff. In an interview, Delhemme suggested that the hijackers would probably have said this anyway to prevent the crew from taking action against them. Burgniard recalled that the hijackers, in the cockpit, seemed excited and “like kids”.

26 December

The aircraft approached Marseille during the early hours of 26 December. The hijackers did not know that Major Denis Favier’s GIGN squad was already in Marseille, having flown from Majorca to a military base near Marseille, and planned to storm the aircraft while it was in Marseille. The GIGN squad practiced entering the A300 before Flight 8969 arrived in Marseille. Favier explained in an interview that the enemy was arriving in friendly territory, and the power difference would be a key element in the struggle. The Flight 8969 aircraft landed at 3:33 am.

Steward Claude Burgniard said that the hijackers felt that the landing in Marseille was a “magic moment” as they had arrived in France. Burgniard recalled that the airport was dark and that she only saw the lights of the A300 and a car that the A300 followed. The French authorities deliberately led the aircraft away from the terminal and into a remote corner of the airport. By 26 December, the French government had received information stating that the hijackers had planned to attack Paris. Favier planned to appear conciliatory and prolong the negotiations as long as possible. He believed that the hijackers were tired, so he planned to wear them down. Alain Gehin, the Chief of Police of Marseille, spoke to the group of hijackers in the control tower. Gehin implemented Favier’s strategy.

While using Delhemme to speak for them, the hijackers asked for 27 tons of fuel; the aircraft needed approximately 9 tons to fly to Paris from Marseille. The request indicated to the French authorities that the aircraft was going to be used as a firebomb or to fly the aircraft to an Islamic country sympathetic to the hijackers’ cause. Hours later, the authorities received word of the firebomb plot. Passengers who were released in Algiers stated that the A300 had been rigged with explosives. Demolition experts determined that the plane was likely rigged in a way that would cause it to explode. Charles Pasqua said in an interview that the French government had decided that the aircraft was not going to leave Marseille, regardless of the consequences.

At around 8:00 am, the hijackers demanded that the forces let the aircraft take off by 9:40 am. The negotiators delayed the ultimatum by giving the aircraft additional food and water, emptying the toilet tanks, and providing vacuum cleaners. The GIGN operatives servicing the aircraft were disguised as airport personnel. They discovered the aircraft doors were not blocked or booby trapped. The men planted eavesdropping devices while others trained long-range “cannon” microphones on the A300’s fuselage and windows. Favier’s group asked the hijackers if they would rather do a press conference in Marseille instead of Paris, since all of the major media outlets had bureau in Marseille. The hijackers agreed to hold a press conference on the A300. The negotiators requested that the front of the aircraft be cleared for the press conference. This was to create an area for the GIGN during the storming of the aircraft. Favier explained in an interview that the press conference was an important tactic as it allowed the passengers to be moved to the rear of the aircraft. The hijackers did not realize that the doors of the A300 could be opened from the outside.

Twelve hours after the A300 arrived at Marseille, the GIGN knew how many hijackers were on board and their location on the aircraft with the help of eavesdropping devices, infrared vision equipment, and “cannon” microphones. It intended to wait until sunset to take advantage of the darkness. The occupants of the aircraft were unaware of the GIGN’s true motives, and the militants were confused about why the press had not yet arrived. Yahia, frustrated by the absence of the press and sensing the authorities were up to something, ordered the pilot to move the aircraft. Dellemme parked the aircraft at the foot of the airport control tower and in close proximity to the terminal and other aircraft. An explosion in this position would result in many more casualties than in the earlier, remote location.

This was a tactical disadvantage for the GIGN; the positions were based on the aircraft being parked where the French authorities ordered the placement of the A300. When the aircraft moved, the GIGN had to quickly reorganize its forces. Favier placed snipers on the roof so they would have a view of the cockpit. He organized a group of thirty men with three passenger boarding stairs to rush the aircraft and take it over. Favier planned to have two teams, each with 11 people, open the rear left and rear right doors of the A300. A third team of eight would open the front right door. The forces planned to isolate the cockpit, with Yahia, from the rest of the aircraft.

By 5:00 pm, the authorities had not delivered any amount of fuel to the A300. Yahia entered the cabin to choose a fourth person to kill. He selected the youngest member of the Air France crew, who had told the hijackers that he was an atheist. Yahia felt reluctant to kill a fourth passenger at that point, saying “I don’t want to do this. But I have no choice.” Burgniard stated in an interview that she did not know whether Yahia had decided not to execute the crew member; she knew that he kept delaying the execution. Instead, the hijackers opened the door and fired around the aircraft. Zahida Kakachi, a passenger, recalled that the hijackers began reciting verses from the Quran on the public address system. The verses were prayers for the dead. According to Kakachi, the passengers were silent and began to feel panicked. The hijackers knew the negotiators were in the control tower, so through the side window of the cockpit, they began to fire automatic machine guns towards the control tower. Philippe Legorjus, who at the time was the airline’s security adviser, recalled that glass shattered all around the negotiators. Captain Delhemme said that throughout the time in Marseille, there had been tension, but “nothing like what seemed to be about to happen”. Balladur allowed Favier to take whatever actions he felt were necessary; after the hijackers fired at the control tower, Favier decided to begin the raid.

Raid

Once the hijackers noticed the boarding stairs moving towards them, they recognized the imminent assault. Through the cockpit window, a hijacker fired upon the stairs containing the forward GIGN team. As the first stairs reached the front starboard (right) door, it became apparent that it was elevated too high relative to the door frame for a uniform entry into the aircraft. The GIGN had trained on an empty aircraft, in which the suspension system of the plane was not as compressed, leading to an overestimation of the necessary height of the boarding stairs.[citation needed] After a short delay in repositioning the stairs, GIGN forces were able to enter. The hijackers returned fire, attacking the GIGN forces. One hijacker was killed instantly. Then, the two other units entered the rear of the aircraft. The participants fired hundreds of bullets. The hijackers fired through the skin of the aircraft. Grenades erupted and smoke went through the cabin. The GIGN’s concussion grenades temporarily blinded and deafened occupants, allowing the GIGN to storm the aircraft. One of the hijackers’ homemade grenades detonated, causing limited damage. The snipers on the tower could not get a clear shot into the aircraft as the copilot, Jean-Paul Borderie, blocked their view. Through a window, Borderie jumped out of the cockpit and staggered away. With the view unobstructed, the snipers began firing into the cockpit, while the GIGN evacuated passengers in the rear of the aircraft.

Flight attendant Claude Burgniard described the firefight as “the apocalypse”. Christophe Morin, a flight attendant, recalled that the GIGN ordered passengers and crew to get down as low as possible with their hands over their heads, hide, and then to not move. Morin described the situation as “violent”. He recalled putting his overcoat over his head so he would not see the tracer bullets and other occurrences during the raid. Morin said that he tried to help a female passenger next to him escape, but she was too large and Morin was unable to move her, so the two held hands. Pilot Bernard Delhemme said that he was in “a rather bad spot”, so he crouched and made himself “as small as possible”.

A few minutes after the beginning of the assault, most of the passengers had escaped. At that point, three of the four hijackers were fatally shot. Delhemme recalled that the cockpit only had himself, the flight engineer, and the last hijacker. Delhemme said that the hijacker could have killed him and his colleagues out of spite, but did not. In an interview, Denis Favier explained that there likely was a mutual recognition and “respect” between the hijackers and the hostages. He believes the bonds between the hijackers and hostages helped save lives of passengers and crew in the conflict.

GIGN commando Philippe Bardelli was leading a column up the front right stairs, as that team was tasked with throwing stun grenades in the cockpit, when a 7.62 × 39 mm bullet from an AK-47 hit his drawn pistol and detonated the cartridges; Bardelli later remarked that his pistol which was hit saved his life since such AK-47 rounds were able to penetrate the GIGN’s helmet visors. The remaining hijacker kept the GIGN at bay for 20 minutes, but he eventually ran out of ammunition and died from a gunshot wound. Meanwhile, the GIGN operatives were not sure which men were the hijackers and how many were still alive, so they considered all male passengers as potentially being hijackers. The flight engineer, Alain Bossuat, radioed the tower stating that the hijackers were dead and that there were no more left. This signaled to GIGN forces that a final clearing of the A300 could begin. Delhemme said that when the forces entered the aircraft, they ordered him to put his hands on his head. Delhemme said that, after the hijacking ordeal had run its course, he refused to leave with his hands on his head and be “punished like a child”. Burgniard said that when she saw Bossuat handcuffed, the cabin crew told the forces to let him go as the individual was the flight engineer. At 5:35 pm, Favier radioed to the tower that the incident was over; the incident unfolded in 54 hours.

All of the hijackers had been killed. The remaining passengers and crew survived the 20-minute gun battle. Of the remaining passengers, 13 received minor injuries. Nine of the 30 GIGN operatives received injuries; of them, one received serious wounds. Three crew members received injuries. Delhemme was hit by bullets in his right elbow and thigh. Bossuat received minor injuries; the dead bodies of two hijackers had shielded Delhemme and Bossuat from gunfire. Borderie, the most seriously injured, fractured his elbow and thigh from the 5-meter (16 ft) drop. Favier said that he determined that the operation was a success since none of the GIGN received fatal injuries. French Prime Minister Édouard Balladur said that the events unfolded “exceptionally well”.

Aftermath

As a result of the damage to the aircraft, the A300 was written off.[ Several hours after the incident ended, the Armed Islamic Group, which had claimed responsibility for the event, killed four Roman Catholic priests in retaliation in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Three of the priests were French, while one was Belgian.

The crew of the A300 and the GIGN forces received high national honors. Charles Pasqua, then the Minister of the Interior, said that throughout the ordeal the crew “rose to the occasion”. Bernard Delhemme returned to flying and worked for Air France for nine years before retiring. Flight attendant Claude Burgniard said that she “kept seeing the faces” of the three passengers who had been executed; when she received her medal she realized that she had helped save 173 people; this allowed her to mourn and get over the incident. Burgniard said that she does not wear the medal, but that she felt like she deserved it. Burgniard, who also received a message of thanks from the airline, never again worked for Air France. Flight attendant Christophe Morin stopped working for Air France and began to work for a charitable organization.

A former militant group leader admitted that the men had planned to detonate the aircraft over the Eiffel Tower. The militant group never again attempted this plot. Pasqua said that if the militants crashed an aircraft on the Eiffel Tower or the Élysée Palace, they would have committed what they would believe to be “an extraordinary feat.”

Flights between Algiers and Paris are now Flights 1555, 1855, 2155, and 2455 (operating to Charles de Gaulle instead of Orly). Flight number 8969 is now a codeshare flight number for Delta Air Lines flight number 1584 between Greater Rochester International Airport and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Passengers and crew

Most of the passengers were Algerians; 138 of the passengers were Algerian citizens. A significant number of the passengers were French people leaving Algeria. Captain Bernard Delhemme said that the hijackers, who had extensively planned the operation, did not anticipate that most of the passengers would be Algerians. The hijackers recited Quran verses and tried to reassure the Algerian passengers. Witness accounts said that they “terrorized” non-Algerians.

Hijackers

25-year-old Abdul Abdullah Yahia, also known as “The Emir”, was a petty thief and greengrocer from the Bab El Oued neighborhood of Algiers. The negotiators said that Yahia spoke “approximate” French and always ended his sentences in “Insha’Allah” (“God willing”). Several passengers said all but one of the hijackers had no beards and closely cropped hair. A woman said that the men “were polite and correct” and that they “had the determined air of cold-blooded killers”. Another passenger said the hijackers “seemed excited, very euphoric” and that they told the occupants that they would teach the French and the world a lesson and show what they were capable of doing.

As the hijacking progressed, the passengers recognized the personalities of the hijackers. Claude Burgniard, a flight attendant, recalled that the crew and passengers gave nicknames to the hijackers “to make things simpler”. Yahia, the leader, had given his name, so the passengers called him by that name. According to Burgniard, Lotfi had a “peculiar” character, “was always on a knife edge”, and “the most fanatic” and “the most fundamentalist” of the hijackers. Therefore, he received the nickname “Madman” from the passengers. According to Burgniard, Lotfi was the hijacker who insisted that the passengers follow Islamic law. Lotfi found women having their heads uncovered “intolerable”, making him very angry. One hijacker did not give his name to the passengers, so they called him “Bill”. Burgniard stated that Bill was “a little bit simple” and “more of a goatherd than a terrorist.” She said his role as a hijacker was “an error in casting”. Burgniard remembered that the occupants wondered why Bill was there and that they saw Bill appearing as if he wondered why he was there, as well. The hijacker nicknamed “The Killer” shot the hostages whom the hijackers had targeted.

In popular culture

The events of Flight 8969 were featured in “The Killing Machine”, a Season 2 (2004) episode of the Canadian TV series Mayday (called Air Emergency and Air Disasters in the U.S. and Air Crash Investigation in the UK and elsewhere around the world). The dramatization was broadcast with the title “Hijacked” in the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia; and in the United States as “Hijack Rescue”. The episode uses a mix of re-enactments and actual footage. Flight 8969 captain Bernard Delhemme and Colonel Denis Favier, then a major who was head of the GIGN counter-terrorist unit assigned to the flight, gave their first television interviews for Mayday, appearing in silhouette, as both felt under threat after the events and that members of the public believed that the militants were offering a reward for Favier’s assassination. Elie Gemael, a Canadian actor of Jewish and Lebanese heritage, played lead hijacker Abdul Yahia.

The incident was also featured in an episode of the Zero Hour television series called “Shoot-Out in Marseille”. Using a mix of real footage and reenactment, it suggests that two of the terrorists were killed by the GIGN snipers. Gemael reprises his role as Yahia for this dramatization.

A one-hour documentary, episode 3 of the UK BBC Two television series The Age of Terror, was transmitted on 29 April 2008. This showed an in-depth reconstruction of the hijacking, and included interviews with passengers, crew, GIGN commando and government official eyewitnesses, including the co-pilot who jumped out of the cockpit window. It was stated explicitly that a mole with the GIA terrorists informed the French, but not Algerian, authorities that the intention was to use the aircraft as a missile to attack Paris.

A 2011 French film called L’Assaut was made with the collaboration and advice of the GIGN.

Flight attendant Christophe Morin and passenger Zahida Kakachi co-authored the book Le vol Alger-Marseille: Journal d’otages, recalling the events of the attack and how it had affected their lives.

The Michael Peterson Story

Michael Iver Peterson (born October 23, 1943) is an American novelist who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson, on December 9, 2001. After eight years, Peterson was granted a new trial after the judge ruled a critical prosecution witness gave misleading testimony. In 2017, Peterson submitted an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to time already served and freed.

Peterson’s case is the subject of the documentary miniseries The Staircase, which started filming soon after his arrest in 2001 and followed events until his eventual Alford plea in 2017. In 2019, he released his own account of his life since his wife’s death in an independently published memoir, Behind the Staircase.

Personal and professional life

Michael Iver Peterson was born near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Eugen Iver Peterson and Eleanor Peterson (née Bartolino). He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While there, Peterson was president of Sigma Nu fraternity and was editor of The Chronicle, the daily student newspaper, from 1964–1965. He attended classes at the law school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After graduating, Peterson took a civilian job with the U.S. Department of Defense, where he was assigned to research arguments supporting increased military involvement in Vietnam. That year he also married Patricia Sue, who taught at an elementary school on the Rhein-Main Air Base in Gräfenhausen, West Germany. They had two children, Clayton and Todd. In 1968, Peterson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War.[citation needed] In 1971, he received an honorable discharge with the rank of captain after a car accident left him with a permanent disability.

Years later, during a mayoral campaign, Peterson claimed he had won a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Valor, and two Purple Hearts. He had all the medals, but said he did not have the documentation for them. Peterson claimed he had received one Purple Heart after being hit by shrapnel when another soldier stepped on a land mine, and the other when he was shot. He later admitted his war injury was not the result of the shrapnel wound in Vietnam, but was the result of a car accident in Japan, where he was stationed after the war as a military policeman. The Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer said records did not contain any mention of the two Purple Hearts that Peterson said he had received. However, military files verified that he received a Silver Star and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.

Peterson and his first wife Patricia lived in Germany for some time. There they befriended Elizabeth and George Ratliff and their two children, Margaret and Martha. After George’s death, the Peterson and Ratliff families became very close. When Elizabeth Ratliff died in 1985, Michael became the guardian of her two children. After Michael and Patricia divorced in 1987, Clayton and Todd lived with Patricia, and Margaret and Martha stayed with Michael, who then moved to Durham, North Carolina. Clayton and Todd later also joined their father.

Peterson wrote three novels based “around his experiences during the Vietnamese conflict”—The Immortal Dragon, A Time of War, and A Bitter Peace. He co-wrote the biographical Charlie Two Shoes and the Marines of Love Company with journalist David Perlmutt, and co-wrote Operation Broken Reed with Lt. Col. Arthur L. Boyd. Peterson also worked as a newspaper columnist for the Durham Herald-Sun, where his columns became known for their criticism of police and of Durham County District Attorney James Hardin Jr. Hardin was the prosecutor of Peterson for the murder of his second wife, Kathleen.

In 1989, Michael moved in with Kathleen Atwater, a successful Nortel business executive. They married in 1997, and Kathleen’s daughter Caitlin joined the extended family that now consisted of Clayton, Todd, Martha, and Margaret.

Murder trial

Kathleen’s death

On December 9, 2001, Peterson called an emergency line to report that he had just found Kathleen unconscious in their Forest Hills mansion and suspected she had fallen down “fifteen, twenty, I don’t know” stairs. He later claimed that he had been outside by the pool and had come in at 2:40 am to find Kathleen at the foot of the stairs. Peterson said she must have fallen down the stairs after consuming alcohol and Valium.

Toxicology results showed that Kathleen’s blood alcohol content was 0.07 percent (70 mg/100mL). The autopsy report concluded that the 48-year-old woman sustained a matrix of severe injuries, including a fracture of the thyroid neck cartilage and seven lacerations to the top and back of her head, consistent with blows from a blunt object, and had died from blood loss ninety minutes to two hours after sustaining the injuries. Kathleen’s daughter, Caitlin, and Kathleen’s sister, Candace Zamperini, both initially proclaimed Michael’s innocence and publicly supported him alongside his children, but Zamperini reconsidered after learning of Peterson’s bisexuality, as did Caitlin after reading her mother’s autopsy report. Both subsequently broke off from the rest of the family.

Although forensic expert Henry Lee, hired by Peterson’s defense, testified that the blood-spatter evidence was consistent with an accidental fall down the stairs, police investigators concluded that the injuries were inconsistent with such an accident. As Peterson was the only person at the residence at the time of Kathleen’s death, he was the prime suspect and was soon charged with her murder. He pleaded not guilty.

The medical examiner, Deborah Radisch, concluded that Kathleen had died from lacerations of the scalp caused by a homicidal assault. According to Radisch, the total of seven lacerations to the top and back of Kathleen’s head were the result of repeated blows with a light, yet rigid, weapon. The defense disputed this theory. According to their analysis, Kathleen’s skull had not been fractured by the blows, nor was she brain damaged, which was inconsistent with injuries sustained in a beating death.

The trial drew increasing media attention as details of Peterson’s private life emerged. Hardin and his prosecution team (among them Mike Nifong) attacked Peterson’s credibility, focusing on his alleged misreporting of his military service and what they described as a “gay life” he led and kept secret. The prosecution contended that the Petersons’ marriage was far from happy, suggesting that Kathleen had discovered Michael’s alleged secret “gay life” and wanted to end their marriage. It was the main motive that the prosecution offered at trial for Kathleen’s alleged murder (the other being a $1.5 million life insurance policy). According to Assistant District Attorney Freda Black, Kathleen would have been infuriated by learning that her husband, who she truly loved, was bi-sexual and having an extramarital relationship—not with another woman—but a man, which would have been humiliating and embarrassing to her. We believe that once she learned this information that an argument ensued and a homicide occurred.

The defense argued that Kathleen accepted Michael’s bisexuality and that the marriage was very happy, a position supported by Michael and Kathleen’s children and other friends and associates.

The prosecution said that Kathleen’s murder was most likely committed with a custom-made fireplace poker called a blow poke. It had been a gift to the Petersons from Kathleen’s sister but was missing from the house at the time of the investigation. Late in the trial the defense team produced the missing blow poke, which they said had been overlooked in the garage by police investigators. Forensic tests revealed that it had been untouched and unmoved for too long to have been used in the murder.[citation needed] A juror contacted after the trial noted that the jury dismissed the idea of the blow poke as the murder weapon.

Suspicion surrounding Elizabeth Ratliff’s death

Elizabeth Ratliff, the friend of the Petersons who died in Germany in 1985, had also been found dead at the foot of her staircase with injuries to the head. Her death had been investigated by both the German police and U.S. military police. An autopsy at the time of her death concluded Ratliff died from an intra-cerebral hemorrhage secondary to the blood coagulation disorder Von Willebrand’s disease, based on blood in her cerebrospinal fluid and reports that she had been suffering severe, persistent headaches in the weeks leading up to her death. The coroner determined that the hemorrhage resulted in immediate death followed by Ratliff falling down the stairs after collapsing. The Petersons had dinner with Ratliff and her daughters, and Peterson had stayed and helped Ratliff put the children to bed before going home. The children’s nanny, Barbara, discovered the body when she arrived the next morning. Peterson was the last known person to see her alive.

Before Peterson’s trial, the Durham court ordered the exhumation of Ratliff’s embalmed body, buried in Texas, for a second autopsy in April 2003. Arrangements were made for the Durham medical examiner, who had initially performed Kathleen’s autopsy, to perform this reevaluation, over the objections of defense counsel who argued that the autopsy should be performed by Texas medical examiners. The body was then transported from Texas to Durham. The Durham M.E. found sufficient evidence drawn from the results of the second autopsy, along with new witness statements describing the scene, to overturn the earlier findings and list Ratliff’s cause of death as “homicide”.

The prosecution declined to accuse Peterson of Ratliff’s death, but introduced the death into the trial as an incident giving Peterson the idea of how to “fake” Kathleen’s accident. Despite police reports that there was very little blood at the scene of Ratliff’s death, the nanny, who was the first to discover Ratliff’s body in 1985, took the stand at Peterson’s trial and testified that there was a large amount of blood at the scene. Another witness testified to spending much of the day cleaning blood stains off the wall. The admissibility of the Ratliff evidence in court was one of the grounds for the subsequent appeal against his conviction, lodged by Peterson’s lawyers in 2005.

In October 2002, acting as administrator of Kathleen’s estate, Caitlin filed a wrongful death claim against Peterson. In June 2006, he voluntarily filed for bankruptcy. Two weeks later, Caitlin filed an objection to the bankruptcy. On February 1, 2007, Caitlin and Peterson settled the wrongful death claim for $25 million, pending acceptance by the courts involved; finalization of the settlement by the court was announced on February 1, 2008. In the settlement, Peterson did not admit that he murdered Kathleen.

Verdict

On October 10, 2003, after one of the longest trials in North Carolina history, a Durham County jury found Peterson guilty of the murder of Kathleen, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Denial of parole requires premeditation. Despite the jury accepting the murder was a “spur-of-the-moment” crime, they also found it was premeditated. As one juror explained it, premeditated meant not only planning hours or days ahead, but could also mean planning in the seconds before committing a spur-of-the-moment crime. Peterson was housed at the Nash Correctional Institution near Rocky Mount until he was released on December 16, 2011.

Appeal

Peterson’s appeal was filed by his defense counsel, Thomas Maher, now serving as his court-appointed attorney, and was argued before the North Carolina Court of Appeals on April 18, 2006. On September 19, the Court of Appeals rejected Peterson’s arguments that he did not get a fair trial because of repeated judicial mistakes. The Appeals’ ruling said the evidence was fairly admitted. The judges did find defects in a search warrant, but said they had no ill effect on the defense. Because the ruling was not unanimous, under North Carolina law, Peterson had right to appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court, which accepted the case. Oral argument was heard on September 10, 2007. On November 9, the Court announced that it affirmed the decision of the Appeals. Absent a reconsideration of the ruling or the raising of a federal issue, Peterson had exhausted his appeal of the verdict.

On November 12, 2008, attorneys J. Burkhardt Beale and Jason Anthony of Richmond, Virginia, who were now representing Peterson, filed a motion for a new trial in Durham County court on three grounds: that the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence about the blow poke, that the prosecution used an expert witness whose qualifications were disputed, and that one juror based his judgment on racial factors. On March 10, 2009, Peterson’s motion was denied by the Durham County Superior Court.

Owl theory

In late 2009, a new theory of Kathleen’s death was raised: that she had been attacked by an owl outside, fallen after rushing inside, and been knocked unconscious after hitting her head on the first tread of the stairs. The owl theory was raised by Durham attorney T. Lawrence Pollard, a neighbor of the Petersons who was not involved in the case but had been following the public details. He approached the police suggesting an owl might have been responsible after reading the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) evidence list and finding a “feather” listed. Peterson’s attorneys had determined that the SBI crime lab report listed a microscopic owl feather and a wooden sliver from a tree limb entangled in a clump of hair that had been pulled out by the roots found clutched in Kathleen’s left hand. A re-examination of the hair in September 2008 had found two more microscopic owl feathers.

According to Pollard, had a jury been presented with this evidence it would have “materially affected their deliberation and therefore would have materially affected their ultimate verdict”. Prosecutors have ridiculed the claim, and Deborah Radisch, who conducted Kathleen’s autopsy, says it was unlikely that an owl or any other bird could have made wounds as deep as those on her scalp. However, Radisch’s opinion was challenged by other experts in three separate affidavits filed in 2010.

Despite interest in this theory among some outside advocates, no motion for a new trial was filed on this point in 2009. On March 2, 2017 (following his Alford plea), Peterson’s attorney filed a motion to allow him to pay for a bird expert at the Smithsonian Institution to examine feather fragments found in Kathleen’s hair to determine if she was attacked by a raptor.

Retrial hearing

In August 2010, following a series of newspaper articles critical of the SBI, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper led an investigation which resulted in the suspension of SBI analyst Duane Deaver, one of the principal witnesses against Peterson, after the report found his work among the worst done on scores of flawed criminal cases. Pollard subsequently filed affidavits to support a motion that Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson order the state Medical Examiner’s Office to turn over all documentation related to Kathleen’s autopsy to Peterson’s attorneys. However, Judge Hudson barred Pollard from filing further motions on behalf of Peterson because he did not represent him. A new motion was filed in August 2010 by David Rudolf, one of Peterson’s original attorneys, who acted pro bono in proceedings challenging the SBI testimony.

Deaver was fired from the SBI in January 2011, after an independent audit of the agency found he had falsely represented evidence in 34 cases, including withholding negative results in the case of Greg Taylor, a North Carolina man who spent seventeen years in prison on a murder conviction based on Deaver’s testimony. A bloodstain-analysis team that Deaver had trained was suspended and disbanded. In the 2003 Peterson trial, Deaver testified that he had been mentored by SBI bloodstain specialist David Spittle, had worked 500 bloodstain cases, written 200 reports, and testified in 60 cases. During the retrial hearing, SBI Assistant Director Eric Hooks testified that Deaver had written only 47 reports. Spittle testified that he could not recall mentoring Deaver who, since completing a two-day training course in the 1980s, had testified in only four cases, the Peterson case being the third. The SBI cited the bloodstain analysis given in the fourth case as the reason for firing Deaver.

On December 16, 2011, Peterson was released from the Durham County jail on $300,000 bail and placed under house arrest with a tracking anklet. His release on bond followed a judicial order for a new trial after Judge Hudson found that Deaver had given “materially misleading” and “deliberately false” testimony about bloodstain evidence, and had exaggerated his training, experience, and expertise. Former North Carolina Attorney General Rufus Edmisten said that any evidence gathered after Deaver arrived at the scene might be deemed inadmissible in a new trial. In July 2014, Peterson’s bond restrictions were eased.

In October 2014, the court appointed Mike Klinkosum to represent Peterson, replacing David Rudolf, who had been working pro bono on the case since Peterson’s conviction was overturned. Rudolf had stated that he could no longer afford to represent Peterson without being paid. On November 14, 2016, Peterson’s request for the second trial to be dismissed was refused, and a new trial was scheduled to begin on May 8, 2017. However, a news report on February 7, 2017, indicated that a resolution had been negotiated by Rudolf (once again representing Peterson) and the Durham County District Attorney.

Alford plea

On February 24, 2017, Peterson entered an Alford plea (a guilty plea entered because sufficient evidence exists to convict him of the offense, but the defendant asserts innocence) to the voluntary manslaughter of Kathleen. The judge sentenced him to a maximum of 86 months in prison, with credit for time previously served. Because Peterson had already served more time than the sentence (98.5 months), he did not face additional prison time.

Media

Films about the case

The court case generated widespread interest in part because of a televised documentary series variously named Soupçons (Suspicions), Death on the Staircase, and The Staircase, which detailed Peterson’s legal and personal troubles. Eight 45-minute episodes of the documentary were assembled from more than 600 hours of footage. It was directed by French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and released by Maha Productions in October 2004. The documentary offers an intimate depiction of defense preparations for the trial. It also examines the role and behavior of the press as it covered aspects of the case. The filmmakers started their project within weeks of Kathleen’s death and Peterson’s murder indictment; jury selection took place in May 2003 with the case itself going to trial in July 2003.

Following the guilty verdict, de Lestrade interviewed the jurors to find out why they reached their verdict. By and large, the jurors were swayed by the amount of blood Kathleen lost and the number of lacerations, which indicated to them it could not have been an accident. Henry Lee, however, had testified at the trial that the amount of blood was irrelevant, as the blood spatter indicated most of it was coughed up rather than from the wounds themselves. He also suggested some of the blood could have been diluted with urine. Lee had also duplicated blood spatter from coughing for the jury by drinking ketchup and spitting it out.

In November 2012, de Lestrade released a sequel, The Staircase 2: The Last Chance, which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The film documents Peterson’s family and his legal team’s arguments in seeking a retrial, in which they succeed.

Television productions about the case

The Staircase, a French miniseries which got new episodes through Netflix

“A Novel Idea” Forensic Files

“Debut” Cold Case

“Written in Blood” The New Detectives

“Blood on the Staircase” American Justice

“Murder, He Wrote” Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice

“Staircase Killer” True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

“Stairway to Hell” The Devil You Know

“Reversal of Fortune” Dateline NBC

“Death on the Staircase” Storyville

“The Staircase II: The Last Chance” Storyville

“Down the Back Staircase” Dateline NBC

Trial and Error Season One – Loosely based

Radio productions about the case

Criminal: “Animal Instincts”

The Generation Why Podcast: “The Staircase”

BBC Radio 5 Live: “Beyond Reasonable Doubt?”

My Favorite Murder “The 100th Episode”

Literary output

Novels written by Peterson

The Immortal Dragon (New American Library, 1983) – historical fiction LCCN 2009-665719

A Time of War (Pocket Books, 1990) – Vietnam War fiction LCCN 89-49197

A Bitter Peace (Pocket Books, 1995) – Vietnam War fiction LCCN 94-37559

Charlie Two Shoes and the Marines of Love Company, Peterson and David Perlmutt (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998) – biography LCCN 98-30090

Operation Broken Reed, with Lt. Col. Arthur L. Boyd (Da Capo Press, 2007) – Korean War autobiography

Views of Civil Rights Activist Fred Phelps

Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. (November 13, 1929 – March 19, 2014) was an American minister and civil rights attorney who served as pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church and became known for his extreme views against homosexuality and protests near the funerals of gay people, military veterans, and disaster victims who he believed were killed as a result of God punishing the U.S. for having “bankrupt values” and tolerating homosexuality.

The Westboro Baptist Church, a Topeka, Kansas-based independent fundamentalist ministry that Phelps founded in 1955, has been called “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America”. Its signature slogan, “God Hates Fags”, remains the name of the group’s principal website.

In addition to funerals, Phelps and his followers—mostly his own immediate family members—picketed gay pride gatherings, high-profile political events, university commencement ceremonies, live performances of The Laramie Project, and functions sponsored by mainstream Christian groups with which he had no affiliation, arguing it was their sacred duty to warn others of God’s anger. He continued doing so in the face of numerous legal challenges—some of which reached the U.S. Supreme Court—and near-universal opposition and contempt from other religious groups and the general public. Laws enacted at both the federal and state levels for the specific purpose of curtailing his disruptive activities were limited in their effectiveness due to the Constitutional protections afforded to Phelps under the First Amendment. Gay rights supporters denounced him as a producer of anti-gay propaganda and violence-inspiring hate speech, and even Christians from fundamentalist denominations distanced themselves from him.

Although Phelps died in 2014, the Westboro Baptist Church remains in operation. It continues to conduct regular demonstrations outside movie theaters, universities, government buildings, and other facilities in Topeka and elsewhere, and is still characterized as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Early life and education

Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. was born on November 13, 1929, in Meridian, Mississippi, the elder of two children of Catherine Idalette (née Johnston) and Fred Wade Phelps. His father was a railroad policeman for the Columbus and Greenville Railway and a devout Methodist; his mother was a homemaker. In 1935, Catherine Phelps died of esophageal cancer at the age of 28. Her aunt, Irene Jordan, helped care for Fred and his younger sister Martha Jean until December 1944, when the elder Phelps married Olive Briggs, a 39-year-old divorcee.

Fred distinguished himself scholastically and was an Eagle Scout. He also was a member of Phi Kappa, a high school social fraternity, president of the Young Peoples Department of Central United Methodist Church and was honored as the best drilled member of the Mississippi Junior State Guard, a unit similar to the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He graduated high school at 16 years old, ranking sixth in his graduating class of 213 students, and was the class orator at his commencement. After graduating from high school he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point; but after attending a tent revival meeting, decided to pursue a religious calling instead.

In September 1947, at the age of 17, he was ordained a Southern Baptist minister and moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, to attend Bob Jones College (now Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina). A combination of Phelps’ failure to retain the West Point appointment (which his father had worked hard to obtain), his abandonment of his father’s beloved Methodist faith, and his father’s remarriage to a divorcee (Phelps would later become an outspoken critic of divorcees) precipitated a lifelong estrangement from his father and stepmother—and by some accounts, from his sister as well. Phelps apparently never spoke to his family members again, and returned all of their letters, birthday cards, and Christmas gifts for his children, unopened.

Phelps dropped out of Bob Jones College in 1948. He moved to California and became a street preacher while attending John Muir College in Pasadena. The June 11, 1951 issue of Time magazine included a story on Phelps, who lectured fellow students about “sins committed on campus by students and teachers”, including “promiscuous petting, evil language, profanity, cheating, teachers’ filthy jokes in classrooms, and pandering to the lusts of the flesh.” When the college ordered him to stop, citing a California law that forbade the teaching of religion on any public school campus, he moved his sermons across the street. In October 1951, Phelps met Margie Marie Simms and married her in May 1952.

In 1954, Phelps, his pregnant wife, and their newborn son moved to Topeka, Kansas, where he was hired by the East Side Baptist Church as an associate pastor. The following year, the church’s leadership opened Westboro Baptist Church on the other side of town, and Phelps became its pastor.

Although the new church was ostensibly Independent Baptist, Phelps preached a doctrine very similar to that of the Primitive Baptists, who believe in scriptural literalism — that Christian biblical scripture is literally true — and that only a predetermined number of people selected for redemption before the world was created will be saved on Judgment Day. His vitriolic preaching alienated church leaders and most of the original congregation, who either returned to East Side Baptist or joined other congregations, leaving him with a small following consisting almost entirely of his own relatives and close friends.

Phelps was forced to support himself selling vacuum cleaners, baby strollers, and insurance; later, some of his 13 children were reportedly compelled to sell candy door-to-door for several hours each day. In 1972, two companies sued Westboro Baptist for failing to pay for the candy being peddled by the children.

Legal career

Civil rights cases

Early civil rights career

Phelps earned a law degree from Washburn University in 1964, and founded the Phelps Chartered law firm. However, in 1969, upon a finding of professional misconduct, authorities suspended him from practicing as a lawyer for two years.

Phelps’ first notable cases were related to civil rights, and his involvement in civil rights cases in and around Kansas gained him praise from local African-American leaders.

“I systematically brought down the Jim Crow laws of this town”, he claimed. Phelps’ daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper was quoted as saying, “We took on the Jim Crow establishment, and Kansas did not take that sitting down. They used to shoot our car windows out, screaming we were nigger lovers.” She added that the Phelps law firm made up one-third of the state’s federal docket of civil rights cases.

Phelps took cases on behalf of African-American clients alleging racial discrimination by school systems, and a predominantly black American Legion post which had been raided by police, alleging racially based police abuse. Phelps’ law firm obtained settlements for some clients,

Johnson vs. Topeka Board of Education, et. al.

Phelps’ national notoriety first came from a 1973 lawsuit (settled in 1978) on behalf of a 10-year-old African-American plaintiff, Evelyn Renee Johnson (some sources say Evelyn Rene Johnson), against the Topeka Board of Education (which had, in 1954, famously lost the pivotal racial discrimination case of Brown vs. Board of Education, ending legal racial segregation in U.S. public schools), and against related local, state and federal officials. In the 1973 case, Phelps argued that the Topeka Board of Education, in violation of the 1954 ruling, had not yet made its schools equal, and by attending Topeka’s east-side, predominantly minority schools, the black plaintiff had received an inferior education.

Initially, Phelps attempted to file the case as a class action, in the U.S. District Court for Kansas. Asking the court to order an end to the alleged discrimination and suggesting that busing might be at least one remedy, Phelps also sought $100 million in actual damages, plus another $100 million in punitive damages — or, alternatively, $20,000 for each of the 10,000 students he claimed were in the aggrieved class of victims. Nevertheless, the federal district and appellate courts denied the class action filing, limiting the case to Phelp’s initial plaintiff, Evelyn Johnson, alone.

The case fueled a national debate about racial integration of schools, and prompted the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, by 1974, to order the Topeka board to develop corrective remedies.

While Topeka’s school board essentially offered no contest to the charges, it did not confess to them, either. However, it claimed to settle the matter on the guidance of the Board’s insurance provider, for $19,500, ($12,400 of which went to Phelps). While the settlement drew some praise, some controversy arose when the judge, at the request of the school board’s insurance company, which paid the settlement — with the apparent acceptance of the plaintiff and her attorney, Phelps — ordered the settlement amount kept secret (though it leaked out to the media, anyway). Phelps claimed he would file more such cases, as class actions, though the insurance company stated it would not pay for any more of them.

Later civil rights career

In 1986, Phelps sued President Ronald Reagan over Reagan’s appointment of a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, alleging this violated separation of church and state. The case was dismissed by the U.S. district court.

Phelps’ law firm, staffed by himself and family members, also represented non-white Kansans in discrimination actions against Kansas City Power and Light, Southwestern Bell, and the Topeka City Attorney, and represented two female professors alleging discrimination at Kansas universities.

A defeat in his civil rights suit against the City of Wichita and others, on behalf of Jesse O. Rice (the fired Executive Director of the Wichita Civil Rights Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), among other causes, would lead to further legal actions ending in Phelps’ disbarment and censure.

In the 1980s, Phelps received awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs branch of the NAACP, for his work on behalf of black clients.

However, in 1994, a self-published book by Jon Michael Bell averred that, although Phelps worked on behalf of many black clients, he reportedly expressed racist views. One of his sons, Nate, stated that Phelps largely took civil rights cases for money rather than principle. Nate said that his father “held racist attitudes” and he would use slurs against black clients: “They would come into his office and after they left, he would talk about how stupid they were and call them dumb niggers.” His sister, Shirley, denies Nate Phelps’ account and claims he never used racist language.

Disbarment

A formal complaint was filed against Phelps on November 8, 1977, by the Kansas State Board of Law Examiners, due to his conduct during a lawsuit, against a court reporter named Carolene Brady, who had failed to have a court transcript ready for Phelps on the day he asked for it. Although it did not affect the outcome of the case, Phelps sued her for $22,000.

In the ensuing trial, Phelps called Brady to the stand, declared her a hostile witness, and then cross-examined her for nearly a week, during which he accused her of being a “slut”, tried to introduce testimony from former boyfriends whom Phelps wanted to subpoena, and accused her of a variety of perverse sexual acts, ultimately reducing her to tears on the stand.

Phelps lost the case. According to the Kansas Supreme Court:

The trial became an exhibition of a personal vendetta by Phelps against Carolene Brady. His examination was replete with repetition, badgering, innuendo, belligerence, irrelevant and immaterial matter, evidencing only a desire to hurt and destroy the defendant. The jury verdict didn’t stop the onslaught of Phelps. He was not satisfied with the hurt, pain, and damage he had visited on Carolene Brady.

In an appeal, Phelps prepared affidavits swearing to the court that he had eight witnesses whose testimony would convince the court to rule in his favor. Brady obtained sworn, signed affidavits from those eight people in question, all of whom said that Phelps had never contacted them and that they had no reason to testify against Brady.

Phelps was found to have made “false statements in violation of DR 7–102(A)(5)”. On July 20, 1979, Phelps was permanently disbarred from practicing law in the state of Kansas, although he continued to practice in federal courts.

In 1985, nine Federal judges filed a disciplinary complaint against Phelps and five of his children, alleging false accusations against the judges. In 1989, the complaint was settled; Phelps agreed to stop practicing law in Federal court permanently, and two of his children were suspended for a period of six months and one year, respectively.

Family life

Phelps married Margie M. Simms in May 1952, a year after the couple met at the Arizona Bible Institute. They had 13 children, 54 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.

Nathan Phelps, Fred Phelps’ estranged son, claims that the elder Phelps was an abusive father, that he (Nate) never had a relationship with him when he was growing up, and that the Westboro Baptist Church is an organization for his father to “vent his rage and anger.” He alleges that, in addition to hurting others, his father used to physically abuse his wife and children by beating them with his fists and with the handle of a mattock to the point of bleeding. Phelps’ brother, Mark, has supported and repeated Nathan’s claims of physical abuse by their father. Since 2004, over 20 members of the church, mostly family members, have left the church and his family.

Religious beliefs

Phelps described himself as an Old School Baptist, and stated that he held to all five points of Calvinism. Phelps particularly highlighted John Calvin’s doctrine of unconditional election, the belief that God has elected certain people for salvation before birth, and limited atonement, the belief that Christ only died for the elect, and condemns those who believe otherwise. Despite claiming to be an Old School Baptist, he was ordained by a Southern Baptist church, and was rejected and generally condemned by Old School (or Primitive) Baptists.

Phelps viewed Arminianism (particularly the views of the Methodist theologian William Elbert Munsey) as a “worse blasphemy and heresy than that heard in all filthy Saturday night fag bars in the aggregate in the world”.

In addition to John Calvin, Phelps admired Martin Luther and Bob Jones Sr., and approvingly quoted a statement by Jones that “what this country needs is 50 Jonathan Edwardses turned loose in it.” Phelps particularly held to equal ultimacy, believing that “God Almighty makes some willing and he leads others into sin”, a view he said is Calvinist. However, many theologians would identify him as a Hyper-Calvinist (“hyper” meaning “beyond” or “above” not “extreme”).

Phelps opposed such common Baptist practices as Sunday school meetings, Bible colleges and seminaries, and multi-denominational crusades. Although he attended Bob Jones University, and worked with Billy Graham in his Los Angeles Crusade before Graham changed his views on a literal Hell and salvation, Phelps considered Graham the greatest false prophet since Balaam. He also condemned large church leaders, such as Robert Schuller and Jerry Falwell, as well as all Catholics.

Church protest activities

All of Phelps’ demonstrations and other activities during the last 50 years of his life were conducted in conjunction with the congregation of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an American unaffiliated Baptist church known for its extreme ideologies, especially those against gay people. The church is widely described as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. It was headed by Phelps until his later years when he took a reduced role in the activities of the church and his family. In March 2014, church representatives said that the church had not had a defined leader in “a very long time,” and church members consist primarily of his large family; in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members. The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of November 27, 1955.

The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church. In 2001, Phelps estimated that the WBC had held 40 pickets a week for the previous 10 years. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to gain media attention. Protests have also been held against Jews, and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag.

Lawsuit against Westboro Baptist Church

On March 10, 2006, WBC picketed the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder, who died in combat in Iraq on March 3, 2006. The Snyder family sued Fred Phelps for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On October 31, 2007, WBC, Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis, were found liable for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A federal jury awarded Snyder’s father $2.9 million in compensatory damages, then later added a decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and an additional $2 million for causing emotional distress (a total of $10.9 million).

The lawsuit named Albert Snyder, father of Matthew Snyder, as the plaintiff and Fred W. Phelps, Sr.; Westboro Baptist Church, Inc.; Rebekah Phelps-Davis; and Shirley Phelps-Roper as defendants, alleging that they were responsible for publishing defamatory information about the Snyder family on the Internet, including statements that Albert and his wife had “raised [Matthew] for the devil” and taught him “to defy his Creator, to divorce, and to commit adultery”. Other statements denounced them for raising their son Catholic. Snyder further complained the defendants had intruded upon and staged protests at his son’s funeral. The claims of invasion of privacy and defamation arising from comments posted about Snyder on the Westboro website were dismissed on First Amendment grounds, but the case proceeded to trial on the remaining three counts.

Albert Snyder, the father of LCpl Matthew A. Snyder, testified:

They turned this funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family. They wanted their message heard and they didn’t care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside.

In his instructions to the jury, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett stated that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements, and that the jury must decide “whether the defendant’s actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection”. (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, a case in which certain personal slurs and obscene utterances by an individual were found unworthy of First Amendment protection, due to the potential for violence resulting from their utterance). WBC sought a mistrial based on alleged prejudicial statements made by the judge and violations of the gag order by the plaintiff’s attorney. An appeal was also sought by the WBC. On February 4, 2008, Bennett upheld the ruling but reduced the punitive damages from $8 million to $2.1 million. The total judgment then stood at $5 million. Court liens were ordered on church buildings and Phelps’ law office in an attempt to ensure that the damages were paid.

An appeal by WBC was heard on September 24, 2009. The federal appeals court ruled in favor of Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church, stating that their picket near the funeral of LCpl Matthew A. Snyder is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member’s family, reversing the lower court’s $5 million judgment. On March 30, 2010, the federal appeals court ordered Albert Snyder to pay the court costs for the Westboro Baptist Church, an amount totaling $16,510. Political commentator Bill O’Reilly agreed on March 30 to cover the costs, pending appeal.

A writ of certiorari was granted on an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the oral argument for the case took place on October 6, 2010. Margie Phelps, one of Fred Phelps’ children, represented the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Court ruled in favor of Phelps in an 8–1 decision, holding that the protesters’ speech related to a public issue, and was disseminated on a public sidewalk. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, for the majority, “As a nation we have chosen … to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.” Justice Samuel Alito, the lone dissenter, wrote, “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”

Efforts to discourage funeral protests

On May 24, 2006, the United States House and Senate passed the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act, which President George W. Bush signed five days later. The act bans protests within 300 feet (91 m) of national cemeteries – which numbered 122 when the bill was signed – from an hour before a funeral to an hour after it. Violators face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

On August 6, 2012, President Obama signed Pub.L. 112–154 (text) (pdf), the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 which, among other things, requires a 300-foot (91 m) and 2-hour buffer zone around military funerals.

As of April 2006, nine states had passed laws regarding protests near funeral sites immediately before and after ceremonies:

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Michigan

Missouri

States that are considering laws are:

Nebraska

Ohio

Oklahoma

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Vermont

Virginia

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Florida increased the penalty for disturbing military funerals, amending a previous ban on the disruption of lawful assembly.

On January 11, 2011, Arizona passed an emergency measure which prohibits protests within 300 feet (91 m) of any funeral services, in response to an announcement by the WBC that it planned to protest at 2011 Tucson shooting victim Christina Green’s funeral.

These bans have been contested. Bart McQueary, having protested with Phelps on at least three occasions, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky’s funeral protest ban. On September 26, 2006, a district court agreed and entered an injunction prohibiting the ban from being enforced. In the opinion, the judge wrote:

Sections 5(1)(b) and (c) restrict substantially more speech than that which would interfere with a funeral or that which would be so obtrusive that funeral participants could not avoid it. Accordingly, the provisions are not narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest but are instead unconstitutionally overbroad.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Missouri on behalf of Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church to overturn the ban on the picketing of soldier’s funerals. The ACLU of Ohio also filed a similar lawsuit.

In the case of Snyder v. Phelps, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “distasteful and repugnant” protests surrounding funerals of service members were protected by the First Amendment. But attorneys for the service member’s family appealed the decision on the grounds that such speech should not be allowed to inflict emotional distress on private parties exercising their freedom of religion during a funeral service. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on October 6, 2010 and ruled 8–1 in favor of Phelps in an opinion released on March 2, 2011. The court held that “any distress occasioned by Westboro’s picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message conveyed, rather than any interference with the funeral itself” and thus could not be restricted.

People targeted by Phelps

Beginning in the early 1990s, Phelps targeted several individuals and groups in the public eye for criticism by the Westboro Baptist Church.

Prominent examples include President Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, National Football League star Reggie White, Sonny Bono, comedian George Carlin, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, atheists, Muslims, murdered college student Matthew Shepard, children’s television host Fred Rogers, Australian actor Heath Ledger, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, political commentator Bill O’Reilly, film critic Roger Ebert, Catholics, Australians, Swedes, the Irish, and US soldiers killed in Iraq. He also targeted the Joseph Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts, center of the David Parker controversy.

In 2006, they planned a protest at the funeral for the five girls murdered during the West Nickel Mines School shooting in Pennsylvania, but called it off, opting to spread their messages on a local radio station instead. In 2007 he stated that he would target Jerry Falwell’s funeral.

Phelps’ daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, has appeared on Fox News Channel, defending the WBC and attacking homosexuality. She and her children have also appeared on the Howard Stern radio show attempting to promote their agenda and church. Phelps’ followers have repeatedly protested the University of Kansas School of Law’s graduation ceremonies.

In August 2007, in the wake of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse, Phelps and his congregation stated that they would protest at the funerals of the victims. In a statement, the church said that Minneapolis is the “land of the Sodomite damned”.

Political activities

Anti-gay

In the movie Hatemongers, members of the Westboro Baptist Church state their children were being “accosted” by homosexuals in Gage Park, about 1⁄2 mile (800 m) from the Phelps’ home (and a mile (1.6 km) northwest of the Westboro Church). Shirley Phelps-Roper says that, in the late 1980s, Fred Phelps claimed to have witnessed a homosexual attempting to lure her then five-year-old son Joshua into some shrubbery. After several complaints to the local government about the large amount of homosexual sex occurring in the park, with no resulting action, the Phelpses put up signs warning of homosexual activity. This resulted in much negative attention for the family. When the Phelpses called on local churches to speak against the activity in Gage Park, the churches also lashed out against the Phelps family, leading to the family protesting homosexuality on a regular basis.

In 2005, Phelps and his family, along with several other local congregations, held a signature drive to bring about a vote to repeal two city ordinances that added sexual orientation to a definition of hate crimes and banned the city itself from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Enough signatures were collected to bring the measure to a vote. Topeka voters defeated the repeal measure on March 1, 2005, by a 53–47% margin. In the same election, Phelps’ granddaughter Jael was an unsuccessful candidate for the Topeka City Council, seeking to replace Tiffany Muller, the first openly gay member of the Council.

Electoral politics

Phelps ran in Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15 percent of the vote in 1998. In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31 percent of the vote. Phelps ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.

Phelps supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic Party presidential primary election. In his 1984 Senate race, Gore had opposed a “gay bill of rights” and stated that homosexuality was not something that “society should affirm”, a position Gore had publicly changed by 2000 as his official position. Phelps stated that he supported Gore because of these earlier comments.

In 1996 Phelps opposed Clinton’s (and Gore’s) re-election because of the administration’s support for gay rights; the Westboro congregation picketed a 1997 inaugural ball.

Saddam Hussein

In 1997, Phelps wrote a letter to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, praising his regime for being “the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets”.

Arrests and traveling restrictions

United States

In 1994, Phelps was convicted of disorderly conduct for verbal harassment, and received two suspended 30-day jail sentences.

Phelps’ 1995 conviction for assault and battery carried a five-year prison sentence, with a mandatory 18 months to be served before he became eligible for parole. Phelps fought to be allowed to remain free until his appeals process went through. Days away from being arrested and sent to prison, a judge ruled that Phelps had been denied a speedy trial and that he was not required to serve any time.

United Kingdom

On February 18, 2009, two days before the Westboro Baptist Church’s first UK picket, the United Kingdom Home Office announced that Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper would be refused entry and that “other church members could also be flagged and stopped if they tried to enter Britain”. In May 2009, he and his daughter Shirley were placed on the Home Office’s “name and shame” list of people barred from entering the UK for “fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence”.

In the media

In 1993, Phelps appeared on a first-season episode of the talk show Ricki Lake, alleging that homosexuals and “anyone who carries the AIDS virus” deserved to die. When Phelps and his son-in-law Charles Hockenbarger (married to Phelps’ daughter Rachel) became increasingly belligerent, Lake ordered the Phelps family to leave the studio. During a commercial break, the two were forced off the set and escorted out of the building by security. After Phelps died, Lake tweeted that when he had been on the show, he had told her that she worshipped her own rectum — a remark that led her to take action off-stage to have Phelps removed from the set.

The Phelps family was the subject of the 2007 TV program The Most Hated Family in America, presented on the BBC by Louis Theroux. Four years after his original documentary, Theroux produced a follow-up program America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis, which was prompted by news of family members leaving the church. Phelps’ son Nate has broken ranks with the family and in an interview with Peter W. Klein on the Canadian program The Standard, he characterized his father as abusive and warned the Phelps family could turn violent. Writing in response to Phelps’ death in 2014, Theroux described Phelps as “an angry bigot who thrived on conflict”, and expressed the view that his death would not lead to any “huge changes” in the church, as he saw it as operating with the dynamics of a large family rather than a cult. Theroux returned for a third documentary in 2019, titled Surviving America’s Most Hated Family.

Kevin Smith produced a horror film titled Red State featuring a religious fundamentalist villain inspired by Phelps.

Phelps appeared in A Union in Wait, a 2001 Sundance Channel documentary film about same-sex marriage, directed by Ryan Butler after Phelps picketed Wake Forest Baptist Church at Wake Forest University over a proposed same-sex union ceremony.

Excommunication and death

Fred Phelps preached his final Sunday sermon on September 1, 2013. Five weeks later, sermons resumed from various members.

On March 15, 2014, Nathan Phelps, Phelps’ estranged son, reported that Phelps was in very poor health and was receiving hospice care. He said that Phelps had been excommunicated from the church in August 2013, and then moved into a house where he “basically stopped eating and drinking”. His statements were supported by his brother, Mark. Church spokesman Steve Drain declined to answer questions about Phelps’ excommunication, and denied that the church had a single leader. The church’s official website said that membership status is private and did not confirm or deny the excommunication.

Phelps died of natural causes shortly before midnight on March 19, 2014 at the age of 84. His daughter, Shirley, stated that a funeral for her father would not be held because the church does not “worship the dead”. According to Nathan Phelps, Fred Phelps’ body was immediately cremated and no information about the disposition of his ashes has been released.

Phelps had been reportedly suffering from some form of dementia in his final year, and started behaving very irrationally. This led to church members believing that God had condemned him. It has been claimed that Phelps “had a softening of heart at the end of his life,” according to accounts published in a memoir written by Phelps’ granddaughter Megan Phelps-Roper, and reporting from The New Yorker citing former members of the church. This includes an incident in 2013, in which Phelps is said to have stepped outside the church and called over to members of Planting Peace, a nonprofit that bought a house on the other street and painted it with an LGBT rainbow, saying: “You’re good people!” In an interview with NPR, Megan Phelps-Roper said this outburst was “the proximate cause” of Phelps being excommunicated, a claim that the church has denied. According to Phelps’ grandson and former church member Zach Phelps-Roper, Phelps’ actions were regarded as “rank blasphemy” by the church members.

Electoral history

Democratic primary for Governor of Kansas, 1990

Joan Finney: 81,250 (47.18%)

John Carlin: 79,406 (46.11%)

Fred Phelps: 11,572 (6.72%)

Democratic primary for United States Senate, Kansas 1992

Gloria O’Dell: 111,015 (69.20%)

Fred Phelps: 49,416 (30.80%)

Democratic primary for Governor of Kansas, 1994

Jim Slattery: 84,389 (53.02%)

Joan Wagnon: 42,115 (26.46%)

James Francisco: 16,048 (10.08%)

Leslie Kitchenmaster: 11,253 (7.07%)

Fred Phelps: 5,349 (3.36%)

Democratic primary for Governor of Kansas, 1998

Tom Sawyer: 88,248 (85.28%)

Fred Phelps: 15,233 (14.72%)

The Murder of Artemus Ogletree

On January 5, 1935, a man who had given his name as Roland T. Owen, later identified as Artemus Ogletree, died at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, United States of beating and stabbing injuries. His death was preceded by a two-day stay in Room 1046 at the Hotel President in what is now the city’s Power & Light District marked by communication with someone named “Don”, and unusual behavior and incidents noted by the hotel’s staff, before he was found wounded in his room the morning of his death. When no next of kin could be located, leading to suspicions that his name was an alias, his body was stored in a local funeral parlor for almost two months. A planned burial in the city’s potter’s field was averted when an anonymous donor provided funds for a funeral and a floral arrangement signed “Louise”.

The man’s true identity remained unknown for a year and a half until Ruby Ogletree, an Alabama woman who had seen a photo of a distinctive scar on his head in the news, identified him as her son Artemus. She said he had left Birmingham in 1934 at the age of 17 to hitchhike to California. Later she received two letters purportedly from him, some from as far away as Egypt. In August 1935 a caller claiming to be from Memphis, Tennessee told her that Artemus was in Cairo. The letters had also been sent after Artemus’ death. Records kept by shipping companies found no records that Ogletree had gone to Egypt. No other suspect has ever been identified.

The letters later were used to link the killing to a 1937 murder in New York, but no charges were filed against the man arrested in that case, one of whose aliases had been “Donald Kelso”. The FBI later investigated but was unable to produce any new leads.

In 2012, a historian at the Kansas City Public Library wrote two posts on the library’s blog about the case. At the end of the last one he revealed that in 2003 or 2004, he had taken a call from someone out of state related to the case. The caller said that they had been helping to inventory the belongings of a recently deceased elderly person when they found a box with newspaper clippings about the Ogletree case and an item mentioned repeatedly in the stories, but they refused to say what that item was. The Kansas City police continue to investigate.

Biography

Artemus Ogletree was born in Florida in 1915, one of three children. During his childhood an accident with some hot grease left a sizable scar on his head above his ear, which remained hairless afterward. In 1934 he left his family, by then living in Birmingham, Alabama, to hitchhike to California. He kept them updated on his progress by mail; they wired him money.

President Hotel stay

Early on the afternoon of January 2, 1935, Ogletree walked into the Hotel President, in what is now the Power & Light District of Kansas City, Missouri, and asked for an interior room several floors up, giving his name as Roland T. Owen, with a Los Angeles address. Staff remembered him as dressed well and wearing a dark overcoat; he brought no bags with him.

Ogletree paid for one night. The staff noted that in addition to the visible scar on his temple, he had cauliflower ear, and concluded he was probably a boxer or professional wrestler. They believed him to be in his early 20s.

Randolph Propst, a bellhop, accompanied Ogletree up in the elevator to the 10th floor. On the way, Ogletree told him that he had spent the previous night at the nearby Muehlebach Hotel but found the $5 ($100 in current dollars) nightly rate too high. Propst opened Room 1046, which per the guest’s request was on the inside, overlooking the hotel’s courtyard rather than the street outside. He watched as Ogletree took a hairbrush, comb and toothpaste from his overcoat pocket, the extent of his unpacking.

After Ogletree put those items above the sink, he and Propst left the room. The bellboy returned to lock it, and gave Ogletree the key. After returning to the lobby, he saw Ogletree leave the hotel. A short time afterward, Mary Soptic, one of the hotel maids, returned from a day off to work the afternoon shift. She went into Room 1046 and was surprised to find Ogletree there, since the previous night a woman had been in the room. She apologized, but he said she could go ahead and clean the room.

While she did, she noticed that he had the shades drawn and left only one dim lamp on. This would remain the case when she encountered Ogletree in the room on other occasions during his stay. “He was either worried about something or afraid” in addition to this preference for low light, she told police later. After she had been cleaning for a few minutes, Ogletree put his overcoat on and brushed his hair. He then left, but asked her to leave the room unlocked as he was expecting some friends in a few minutes.

Soptic did as he asked. At 4 p.m., she returned to the room with freshly laundered towels. Inside, the room was dark. She saw Ogletree lying on the bed, fully dressed. Visible in the light from the hallway was a note on his bedside table that read “Don: I will be back in fifteen minutes. Wait”.

January 3

The next morning, Soptic returned to Room 1046 around 10:30. The door was locked, which led her to assume that Ogletree was out since it could only be locked from the outside, but when she opened it with her own key Ogletree was present, sitting in the dark just where he had been the previous afternoon. The phone rang and he answered it. “No, Don, I don’t want to eat. I am not hungry. I just had breakfast … No, I am not hungry”, he said.

Still holding the phone, Ogletree asked Soptic about her job as she cleaned. He wanted to know if she was responsible for the entire floor, and if the President was residential. He repeated his complaint about the Muehlebach’s exorbitant rates, after which she finished cleaning, and left.

Again at 4 p.m., Soptic returned with fresh towels. Inside Room 1046, she could hear two men talking, so she knocked. A voice she described as loud and deep, probably not Ogletree’s, asked who it was. She responded that she had brought fresh towels, to which the voice said “We don’t need any”. Yet Soptic knew there were no towels in the room, as she had taken them herself in the morning.

Two hours later, Jean Owen of Lee’s Summit, near Kansas City, checked into the President after having shopped in the city for a few hours. Feeling sick, she had decided not to drive back home that night. She was given Room 1048; her boyfriend, who worked in a flower shop in the city, came to visit her there at 9:20 p.m. and stayed for two hours. Later that night, she told police, she heard men and women talking loudly and profanely all over the floor.

Owen was not the only person to note unusual late night activity on the President’s 10th floor. Elevator operator Charles Blocher, who began his shift at midnight, reported later that he was fairly busy until 1:30 a.m. After that time, most of the hotel quieted down for the night, except for a loud party in Room 1055.

Blocher recalled one visitor in particular, a woman he had seen at the hotel visiting male guests in their rooms on other occasions and thus believed to be a prostitute, a conclusion shared by other hotel staff who were familiar with her. She came in first sometime during his first three hours; he took her to the 10th floor where she asked about Room 1026. Five minutes later, the elevator was summoned there again; it turned out to be the same woman, who expressed puzzlement that her client was not in Room 1046 since, she said, he had called her and on previous visits with him he had always been present. She wondered if, in fact, he was in Room 1024 since she could see through the room’s transom window that the light was on in there. She remained on the floor after the conversation.

A half-hour later, Blocher got another signal to take the elevator back to the 10th floor. The woman was waiting again and he took her down to the lobby. An hour later he took her, and a different man, to the 9th floor. At 4:15 a.m., a call from that floor turned out to be the woman; he took her to the lobby and she left the hotel for the night. Another call to the 9th floor 15 minutes later turned out to be the man who had come up with her. He told Blocher he could not sleep and was going out for a walk.

Possible encounter outside hotel

Whether these activities are related to the Ogletree case has not been established. He may not have been at the hotel earlier that night. At 11 p.m. Robert Lane, a city worker driving on 13th Street near Lydia Avenue, saw a man dressed in only an undershirt, pants and shoes run into his path and flag him down. When Lane stopped, the man apologized, saying he had taken Lane’s car for a taxi.

The man asked Lane if he could take him to somewhere he might be able to get a taxi. Lane agreed and let the man in. “You look as if you’ve been in it bad”, he observed; the man swore he would kill someone else tomorrow, presumably in retaliation for whatever had been done to him. In the mirror Lane saw a deep scratch on the man’s arm; he also noticed that he was cupping his arm, possibly to catch blood from a more severe wound.

At the nearby intersection of 12th Street and Troost Avenue, where taxi drivers often waited for fares during the overnight hours, Lane stopped and let the man out. The man thanked him, got out, and honked the horn of a taxi parked nearby, drawing the driver from a nearby restaurant, after which Lane drove away.

After Ogletree’s death, Lane went to view the body. He saw the same scratch on the arm and went to the police, telling them he believed Ogletree had been the man he picked up.

January 4

At 7 a.m., a new switchboard operator, Della Ferguson, came on shift. She was preparing to make a requested wakeup call to Room 1046 when she noticed a light indicating that the phone there was off the hook.

Propst, who had led Ogletree there two days earlier, was on shift again and drew the assignment. The door to Room 1046 was locked, with a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging from the doorknob. After several loud knocks, a voice from inside told him to enter; however he could not as the door had been locked. The same voice told him, after another knock, to turn on the lights, but he still could not enter. Finally, Propst just shouted through the door to hang the phone up, and left.

Propst told Ferguson that the guest in Room 1046 was probably drunk and she should wait another hour. At 8:30 a.m., the phone had still not been hung up. Another bellboy, Harold Pike, was sent to the 10th floor. The “Do Not Disturb” sign was still on the door, and it was still locked, but Pike had a key and let himself in. Inside he found Ogletree in the dark, lying on the bed naked, apparently drunk. The light from the hallway showed some dark spots on the bedding, but rather than turn on the room light Pike went to the telephone stand, where he saw the phone had been knocked to the floor. He put it back on the stand, replacing the handset.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., another operator reported that the phone in Room 1046 was once again off the hook. Again Propst was sent to the room to see what was going on; the “Do Not Disturb” sign remained on the knob. This time he had a key, and after his knocks drew no response, he opened the door and found Ogletree on his knees and elbows two feet (60 cm) away, his head bloodied. Propst turned the light on, put the phone back on the hook, and then noticed blood on the walls of both the main room and bathroom, as well as on the bed itself.

Propst went downstairs immediately for help. He returned with the assistant manager, but when they did they could only open the door six inches (15 cm), as Ogletree had in the interim fallen on the floor. Eventually Ogletree got up and when the two hotel employees were able to enter the room, he went and sat on the edge of the bathtub.[a] The assistant manager called the police; they were joined by Dr. Harold Flanders of Kansas City General Hospital.

Ogletree had been bound with cord around his neck, wrists, and ankles. His neck had further bruising, suggesting someone had been attempting to strangle him. He had been stabbed more than once in the chest above the heart; one of these wounds had punctured his lung. Blows to his head had left him with a skull fracture on the right side. In addition to the blood Propst had seen, there was some additional spatter on the ceiling.

Dr. Flanders cut the cords from Ogletree’s wrist and asked him who had done this to him. “Nobody”, Ogletree answered. Asked, then, what had caused these injuries, he said he had fallen and hit his head on the bathtub. The doctor asked if he had been trying to kill himself. After saying no, Ogletree lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. He was completely comatose by the time he arrived and died shortly after midnight on January 5.

Investigation

The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) began investigating immediately by interviewing Jean Owen, whose identical last name and proximity to the dead man overnight struck them as interesting. They detained her while she told them what she had heard the night before. After her boyfriend came to the police station and corroborated her account, she was released and returned to Lee’s Summit.

Cause of death

Doctors performed an autopsy on Ogletree and determined he had died from his wounds. Dr. Flanders had examined not just the body but the bloodstains in the room. Since much of it had dried by the time he had arrived, he estimated the wounds had been inflicted between 4 and 5 a.m. that day, consistent with what Pike had seen and before Propst’s first visit.

Detectives searching Room 1046 took note as much of what they did not find as what they did. Consistent with what Propst had observed, there were no clothes in the closets or drawers. The only evidence of anything other than what Ogletree had been wearing was the tag of a necktie, indicating it had been made by a New Jersey company. Also missing from the room were the soap, shampoo, and towels provided by the hotel to every room.

There were no knives, which led to the dismissal of suicide as a cause of Ogletree’s death since the stab wounds in his chest could not be accounted for; the cords tying him up also suggested the involvement of others. One of the room’s two glasses was found in the sink, missing a piece; the other was on the shelf. Detectives found some other items that might have been evidence: a hairpin, safety pin, unsmoked cigarette, and a full bottle of diluted sulfuric acid. Four fingerprints, small enough that detectives believed they had been a woman’s, were found on the room’s phone; they could not be matched to Ogletree or to any of the hotel employees who had been known to have entered the room.

The police sought help through the press. Both of the city’s evening newspapers carried the story on their front pages the next day. “There is no doubt that someone else is mixed up in this”, Detective Johnson told reporters, confirming that the case was considered a homicide.

Identity

It soon became apparent that “Roland T. Owen” was in all likelihood an alias. Officers in Kansas City contacted the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to notify next of kin, but were informed that they could find no record that anyone under that name was living in the California city at the time. The dead man’s fingerprints were sent to what was at the time the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI) to find a possible match in their collection.

A woman called the Hotel President that night to ask what “Roland T. Owen” looked like. She told the desk that he lived in Clinton, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Kansas City. On January 6, the Sunday newspapers reported that the man in Room 1046 had died under an assumed name, and tips began coming in. Members of the public went to the local funeral home where he had been laid out, leading Lane to tell police of his encounter with the man. After interviewing Lane, Johnson was not as certain as Lane was that the man had been Ogletree, since none of the hotel staff had reported seeing him leave or return during the night of January 3–4. Police were able to establish one sighting of Ogletree outside the hotel, a report that he had been seen with two women at several “liquor places” on 12th Street.

Wire services began picking up the story, and it ran in newspapers and on radio around the country, with requests to send photographs to Kansas City. More leads on the man’s identity came in as a result, and the KCPD had to devote considerable time to corresponding with police all over the country via mail and telegram to follow up on leads. Eventually they were able to eliminate many.

In Kansas City, an early lead proved false when a bloodied towel found at the hotel turned out to have been used to clean up Room 1046 after the police had left. Officers recalled Propst’s account that on his way there after he checked in, the man had said that he had left the nearby Muehlebach Hotel after one night due to their high rates, and checked with that hotel’s staff. No Roland T. Owen had checked in there, but staff recalled a man of Ogletree’s appearance checking in under the name Eugene K. Scott, also giving Los Angeles as his address, and requesting a room on the interior of the building. Again, after investigating, the LAPD reported that there was no one by that name in their city.

The mystery seemed solved when a man identified the body as his cousin, but then when the man’s sister came to view the body, she confirmed that the cousin had in fact died five years earlier; the resemblance between the two had been very strong. A week into the investigation, Toni Bernardi, a wrestling promoter from Little Rock, Arkansas, said after viewing the body that the man, identifying himself as Cecil Werner, had approached him around the beginning of December 1934 about wrestling some matches. Bernardi had referred him to another promoter in Omaha, Nebraska, but that promoter did not recognize Ogletree.

Within a few days, two new homicides in the city drew detectives’ attention away from the case, even as more were assigned to the homicide squad. Leads were still followed, but less vigorously than they had been in the week after the case, and none of them yielded any significant information. Newspaper coverage likewise dwindled.

Funeral

The case returned to the newspapers on March 3, when the funeral home where the body had been kept announced it would be burying the man in the city’s potter’s field the next day. That day, the funeral home received a call from a man who asked that the funeral be delayed so they could send the funeral home the money for a grave and service at Memorial Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas, so, the caller said, the dead man would be near his sister. The funeral director warned the caller he would have to tell the police about the call; the caller said he knew and that did not bother him.

The caller was slightly more forthcoming when the funeral director asked why Ogletree had been killed. According to the caller, Ogletree had had an affair with one woman while engaged to marry another. The caller and the two women had apparently arranged the encounter with him at the President in order to exact revenge. “Cheaters usually get what’s coming to them!” the caller said, and hung up.

The service was postponed per the anonymous caller’s request. On March 23, the funeral home received a delivery envelope, the address carefully lettered using a ruler with $25 ($500 in current dollars) wrapped in newspaper; it was enough to cover the expenses. The sender was unknown.

Two additional envelopes with $5 each were sent to a local florist for an arrangement of 13 American Beauty roses to go with the grave, after a similar call was made to them; both phone calls turned out to have been made from pay phones. Included with this payment was a card, with disguised handwriting, reading “Love Forever – Louise”. The funeral was held shortly afterwards. Besides the officiating minister, the only attendees were police detectives, some of whom served as pallbearers. Other detectives, posing as gravediggers, staked out the grave for the next several days, but no one came to visit.

Several days after the funeral, a woman called the Kansas City Journal-Post’s newsroom to inform them that their earlier story that the dead man from Room 1046 would be buried in a pauper’s grave was incorrect, that he had in fact been given a formal funeral. She said the funeral home and flower shop could verify this. Asked to identify herself, she said “Never mind, I know what I’m talking about”, Pressed for what that was, she responded, “He got into a jam”, and ended the conversation.

Identification

Images of the dead man continued to be circulated nationwide in the hope of identifying him. One of these finally did, when a friend of Ruby Ogletree in Birmingham, Alabama, showed her an issue of The American Weekly, a Sunday newspaper supplement published by the Hearst Corporation, with an article about the case. The unidentified man looked a great deal like her son Artemus, whom the family had not seen since he left to hitchhike to California in 1934, although he had kept up correspondence with them.

Ruby contacted the KCPD, and was able to provide enough information about the previous pseudonymous corpse, including a description of his head scar, which she explained was the result of a childhood accident in which some hot grease had spilled there. In November, another issue of the supplement carried a story identifying the man as Artemus Ogletree and explaining how his identity had been determined.

While that question had been answered, Ruby’s account raised more questions. She had received several letters purportedly from her son after he had been killed. The first, early in 1935, postmarked in Chicago, aroused her suspicions since it was typewritten, and Artemus as far as she knew did not know how to type. It was also written in a highly colloquial style, with much slang, that was not consistent with his previous letters.

In May 1935, another letter purportedly from Artemus said he was going to Europe. It was followed by a special-delivery letter saying that his ship was sailing that day. Both missives were sent from New York.

Three months later, in August, Ruby received a telephone call from Memphis, Tennessee. A man on the other end of the line told her that Artemus had saved his life in a fight. Artemus himself could not call because he was now living in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, where he had married a wealthy woman and was well. He was unable to write, the caller said, because he had lost one of his thumbs in the fight where he had saved the caller.

Ruby talked with the man for a half-hour. She recalled that he had talked wildly and irrationally, but seemed to have firsthand knowledge of Artemus. She gave the police the name the man identified himself by; it has never been made public.

If Artemus had, at some point before his death, gone to Egypt or anywhere else overseas, he had not done so under his own name. No steamship company at the time had any record that he had traveled with them. The consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was unable to find any evidence he had been there.

Later developments

Information developed through the police’s conversations with Ruby Ogletree helped them establish a third hotel in Kansas City, the St. Regis, where Artemus had stayed. There, he had roomed with another man. Whether that had been “Don” could not be established.

In 1937 the New York City police arrested a man named Joseph Martin on a murder charge, after he had killed a man he roomed with and put the body in a trunk to be shipped to Memphis. Among the several aliases he was found to have used was “Donald Kelso”. According to a story about the case in The New Yorker, the KCPD had matched samples of his handwriting to that in the letters written to Ruby Ogletree.

No charges were filed against the man for the Ogletree case, and the KCPD kept the case open. The files show that different detectives reviewed the case every few years through the 1950s. Each time they noted that they would keep the case open and follow up, but no new evidence was uncovered. Gradually the case went cold.

In 2003 or 2004, John Horner, a local historian at the Kansas City Public Library, fielded a call from someone out of state who said they had been helping to inventory the belongings of an elderly person who had recently died. Among them was a shoebox which turned out to be filled with newspaper clippings related to the case, as well as, according to them, one item mentioned in the newspaper stories. The caller identified neither themselves nor the item. Horner did not make this public until the conclusion of the second of two posts he made on the library’s blog retelling the story in 2012.

Theories

The absence of suspects has not prevented theories about the case from arising. The telephone calls alleging that Ogletree was killed in retaliation for his broken engagement have provided support for that theory. Organized crime has also been considered, since the name “Don” can also be a title for a Mafia boss. Lastly, it has been suggested that “Don”, whoever he was, killed Ogletree for some personal reason, either with the help of the “commercial woman” Blocher saw in the hotel late that night or by himself.

Notes

Some accounts conflate these two events, suggesting that Ogletree was sitting on the edge of the bathtub when the room was opened.

In other accounts the first responders are described as the hotel’s house doctor and detective.

The Sinking of the Costa Concordia

On 13 January 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground, capsized, and later sank in shallow waters after striking an underwater rock off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, resulting in 32 deaths. The eight-year-old Costa Cruises vessel was on the first leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea when she deviated from her planned route at the Isola del Giglio, sailed closer to the island, and struck a rock formation on the sea floor. Although a six-hour rescue effort brought most of the passengers ashore, 33 people died—27 passengers, five crew, and later, one member of the salvage team.

An investigation focused on shortcomings in the procedures followed by Costa Concordia’s crew and the actions of her captain, Francesco Schettino, who left the ship prematurely. About 300 passengers were left on board, most of whom were rescued by helicopter or motorboats in the area. Schettino was later found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the disaster and sentenced to sixteen years in prison. Despite receiving its own share of criticism, Costa Cruises did not face criminal charges.

Costa Concordia was officially declared a “constructive total loss” by the cruise line’s insurer, and her salvage was “one of the biggest maritime salvage operations.” On 16 September 2013, the parbuckle salvage of the ship began, and by the early hours of 17 September, the ship was set upright on its underwater cradle. In July 2014, the ship was refloated by large metal tanks called “sponsons” which were welded to the sides and was towed 320 kilometers (200 miles) to its home port of Genoa for scrapping, which was finished in July 2017.

The total cost of the disaster, including victims’ compensation, refloating, towing and scrapping costs, is estimated at approximately $2 billion, more than three times the $612 million construction cost of the ship. Costa Cruises offered compensation to passengers (to a limit of €11,000 per person) to pay for all damages, including the value of the cruise; 65% of the survivors took the offer.

Collision

Costa Concordia disaster

Costa Concordia (call sign: IBHD, IMO number: 9320544, MMSI number: 247158500), with 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members on board, was sailing off Isola del Giglio on the night of 13 January 2012, having begun a planned seven-day cruise from Civitavecchia, Lazio, Italy, to Savona and five other ports. The port side of the ship struck a reef at 21:42 or 21:45 local time. The reef is charted as an area known as Le Scole, about 800 meters (870 yd) south of the entrance to the harbor of Giglio Porto, on the island’s east coast.

The point of initial impact was 8 meters (26 ft) below water at the “Scola piccola”, the most seaward exposed rock of Le Scole, which tore a 50-meter (160 ft) gash in the ship’s port side below the water line. The impact sheared two long strips of steel from the ship’s hull; these were later found on the seabed 92 to 96 meters (302 to 315 ft) from the main island. A few minutes after the impact, the head of the engine room warned the captain that the hull had an irreparable tear of 70 meters (230 ft) through which water entered and submerged the generators and engines.

Without propulsive power and on emergency electric power, the ship moved through inertia and the settings of its rudders, and continued north from Le Scole until well past Giglio Porto. Schettino has said various instruments were not functioning. Reports differ whether the ship listed to port soon after the impact and when it began listing to starboard. At 22:10, Costa Concordia turned south. The vessel was then listing to starboard, initially by about 20°, coming to rest by 22:44 at Punta del Gabbianara in about 20 meters of water at an angle of heel of about 70°. Schettino attributed the final grounding of Costa Concordia at Punta del Gabbianara to his own effort to manoeuvre the ship there. In contrast, on 3 February, the chief of the Italian Coast Guard testified that the final grounding of the ship at Punta del Gabbianara may not have been related to any attempts to manoeuvre the ship and the ship may have drifted simply due to the prevailing winds that night.

Situation on the bridge

Schettino said that, before approaching the island, he turned off the alarm system for the ship’s computer navigation system. “I was navigating by sight, because I knew those seabeds well. I had done the move three, four times.” He told investigators that he saw waves breaking on the reef and turned abruptly, swinging the side of the hull into the reef. “I have to take responsibility for the fact that I made a judgment error.” “This time I ordered the turn too late.” The captain initially said the ship was about 300 meters (330 yd) from the shore (about the length of the vessel) and hit an uncharted rock. The ship’s first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, told investigators Schettino had left his reading glasses in his cabin and repeatedly asked Ambrosio to check the radar for him.

The captain said that Costa Cruises managers told him to perform a sail-past salute on 13 January 2012. Previously, on 14 August 2011, the ship took a similar sail-past route, but not as close to Le Scole. The 2011 sail-past was approved by Costa Cruises and was done in daylight during an island festival. The normal shipping route passes about 8 km (5 mi) offshore.

Costa Cruises confirmed that the course taken in 2012 was “not a defined [computer programmed] route for passing Giglio.” In an interview with the Italian TV channel Canale 5 on 10 July 2012, Schettino said this was a contributing factor to the accident. In addition, at the captain’s invitation, the maître d’hôtel of the ship, who is from the island, was on the ship’s bridge to view the island during the sail-past. A further person on the bridge was a Moldovan dancer, Domnica Cemortan, who testified that she was in a romantic relationship with Schettino and had just boarded the ship as a non-paying passenger.

Situation on deck

Passengers were in the dining hall when there was a sudden, loud bang, which a crew member (speaking over the intercom) ascribed to an “electrical failure”. “We told the guests everything was [okay] and under control and we tried to stop them panicking”, a cabin steward recalled. Coincidentally, when the ship first made impact with the rock, it was claimed that the Celine Dion Titanic theme song “My Heart Will Go On” was playing in a restaurant. The ship lost cabin electrical power shortly after the initial collision. “The boat started shaking. The noise—there was panic, like in a film, dishes crashing to the floor, people running, falling down the stairs and saying “cazzo”, said a survivor. Those on board said the ship suddenly tilted to the port side. Passengers were later advised to put on their life jackets.

Half an hour before the abandon-ship order, one crew member was recorded on video telling passengers at a muster station, “We have solved the problems we had and invite everyone to return to their cabins.” When the ship later turned around, it began to list approximately 20° to the starboard side, creating problems in launching the lifeboats. The president of Costa Cruises, Gianni Onorato, said normal lifeboat evacuation became “almost impossible” because the ship listed so quickly.

Rescue

After the grounding, passengers and crew were taken ashore from the ship by lifeboats and helicopters or swam to the island, leaving about 40 people missing. Half of these were later found inside the ship, most of them deceased.

Evacuation

In the first contact, made at 22:12, between Italian port officials and Costa Concordia after the impact on the reef, an unidentified officer on board the cruise ship insisted that she was suffering only from an electrical “black-out”. A passenger’s video recorded at 22:20 showed panicked passengers in life jackets being told by a crew member that “everything is under control” and that they should return to their cabins. No lifeboat passenger evacuation drill had taken place for the approximately 600 passengers who had just embarked. A ship’s cook said that Schettino ordered dinner around 22:30. Around the same time, a patrol boat of the Guardia di Finanza made a call to Costa Concordia, but no answer came. Schettino participated in three telephone calls with the cruise line’s crisis management officer.

At 22:26, Schettino told the Port of Livorno’s harbor master that the ship had taken water through an opening in the port side and requested a tug boat. Port authorities were not alerted to the collision until 22:42, about an hour after the impact, and the order to evacuate the ship was not given until 22:50. Some passengers jumped into the water to swim to shore, while others, ready to evacuate the vessel, were delayed by crew members up to 45 minutes, as they resisted immediately lowering the lifeboats. Some sources report that the ship did not list until 23:15 and therefore if Schettino had given the order to abandon ship, the lifeboats could have been launched earlier, allowing the passengers to reach safety. In contrast, one expert stated that a delay might be justified considering the hazards in launching lifeboats while a ship is still moving. Staff or 2nd captain Roberto Bosio, is said to have coordinated some of the deck officers in much of the evacuation. He began to evacuate the ship before Schettino’s order. Many junior officers and crew members who were aware of the severity of the situation also began readying lifeboats and moving passengers from their cabins before the abandon ship orders were given, a move that has been characterized as a “mutiny”.

While the vast majority of the ship’s multinational personnel held positions that did not require a seaman’s qualifications (as they handled services like laundry, cooking, entertainment, cleaning, minding children, and waiting tables), according to a senior shipping official, they had received mandatory training in basic safety to be able to help in situations like this. Although all of them spoke at least basic English, most spoke no Italian.

Several passengers asserted that the crew did not help or were untrained in launching the lifeboats. This allegation was denied by the crew, one of whom stated, “The crew members, whether Filipino or Colombians or Indians, tried to the best of our ability to help passengers survive the shipwreck. Comments by some of the passengers that we were unhelpful have hurt us.” A third engineer officer from the ship’s engine room also pointed out that “Unlike the captain, we were there until the end. We did all we could to avoid catastrophe.” Costa Cruises CEO Pier Luigi Foschi praised the crew and personnel, despite difficulties resulting from the apparent lack of direction from the ship’s officers and problems in communication. Three people reportedly drowned after jumping overboard, and another seven were critically injured. The local fire chief said his men “plucked 100 people from the water and saved around 60 others who were trapped in the boat.” Five helicopters from the Italian Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force took turns airlifting survivors still aboard and ferrying them to safety.

In one telephone call from the Coast Guard to Schettino, Captain Gregorio De Falco, a captain from Livorno, repeatedly ordered Schettino to return to the ship from his lifeboat and take charge of the ongoing passenger evacuation. At one point in the call, De Falco grew so angry at Schettino’s stalling that he raised his voice and told Schettino, “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” (translated as “Get the fuck [back] on board!”, “Get [back] on board, for fuck’s sake!” or “Get on board, damn it!” depending on the source). One of these calls took place at 01:46. Despite this, Schettino never returned to the ship from the lifeboat into which he claimed he had “fallen”.

At 01:04, an Air Force officer who was lowered on board by helicopter reported that there were still 100 people on board. Father Raffaele Malena, the ship’s priest, said he was among the last leaving the ship at around 01:30. The deputy-mayor of Isola del Giglio, Mario Pellegrini, who went on board as part of the rescue operations, praised the ship’s doctor and a young Costa Concordia officer, Simone Canessa, the only officer he met on board, for their help. He and Canessa were “shoulder to shoulder” until 05:30. One of the missing crewmen, a waiter, was last seen helping passengers.

At 03:05, 600 passengers were evacuated to the mainland by ferry. At 03:44, the Air Force officer reported that 40 to 50 people were still on board. At 04:46, the evacuation was noted as “complete” on the Port of Livorno’s Harbour Master log. The next day, the survivors were transported to Porto Santo Stefano, where the first center for coordination and assistance was established. Prime Minister Mario Monti announced his intention to propose to the President of the Republic to grant the gold medal for civil valor to the common people of Isola del Giglio and Monte Argentario for their conduct during the rescue.

Search for missing people

Between 14 and 30 January 2012, rescue divers searched within the ship for missing people. The head of the coast guard diving team described the conditions inside the ship, still perched on a 37-meter (120 ft) ledge, as “disastrous”. Pitch-black conditions with large furniture drifting around made the rescue operation hazardous. Divers would find a path into the ship and tie down obstacles such as mattresses, before making noise to alert trapped people. The divers worked in pairs for safety (which is standard procedure for any diving operations even for leisure) and searched each assigned area slowly in a zig-zag manner. The search dives were planned as 40 minutes in duration, with sufficient extra compressed air in the scuba tanks in case of emergency. The divers had two headlamps positioned on their helmets because underwater visibility varied from approximately 5 to 60 cm. In addition, divers marked their route by trailing a line to be used to lead them back out in low visibility and positioned extra emergency air tanks within the ship. The divers were from the Italian Navy, Coast Guard, and Vigili del Fuoco (fire and rescue service).

On 14 January, divers searched the ship until nightfall. Divers and firefighters continued to search for survivors who might have been trapped in the ship, and rescued a South Korean newlywed couple who slept through the capsizing, only to awake and find that they couldn’t open their cabin’s door, two decks above the water line and the ship’s purser, who had a broken leg.

On 16 January, violent waters shifted the ship about 1.5 centimeters (0.6 in), interrupting rescue work—trap doors were shut and debris fell on rescuers—and giving rise to fear that the ship could be pushed into 68-meter (224 ft) deep waters or that the fuel could leak. Operations resumed about three hours later. Throughout the process, rescuers set off explosives to create holes in the ship’s hull to reach previously inaccessible areas. On 18 January, rescue efforts were suspended again when the ship shifted, but shortly afterwards they were resumed.

On 20 January, the ship began shifting by 1.5 centimeters (0.6 in) per hour, but on 24 January, Franco Gabrielli, the Italian Civil Protection Agency head, said the ship was “stable”. The same day, divers recovered the body of the 16th victim. On 29 January, the operation was suspended because the ship had shifted 3.8 centimeters (1.5 in) in six hours and because of high waves. Gabrielli said, “Our first goal was to find people alive … Now we have a single, big goal, and that is that this does not translate into an environmental disaster.” By the next day, operations resumed.

On 28 January, the 17th body, that of a female crew member, was recovered from a submerged part of the vessel. On 31 January, Italy’s Civil Protection agency terminated the search in the submerged part of the ship because the deformed hull caused unacceptable safety concerns for divers. On 22 February, guided by information from passengers as to where bodies might be, divers found eight additional bodies in the wreck. A “special platform” was assembled to facilitate swift recovery of the bodies, four of which were recovered. On 22 February, the recovery was suspended by inclement weather. On 4 March, officials reported that they would use “sophisticated robot-like equipment” to find the bodies.

On 22 March, another five bodies were discovered in a remote section of the ship that was believed to be inside the hull.

On 15 January 2013, the final two bodies were thought to have been located (those of a female passenger and a male crew member), but they reportedly could not be recovered, because their location near the stern made their recovery inaccessible until the ship could be rotated. However, the companies performing the refloating operation denied finding any bodies.

The search for the two still missing bodies continued after the ship was uprighted on 17 September 2013. On 26 September 2013, unidentified remains were found near the central part of the ship, where they were last seen. The remains were subjected to DNA testing in order to determine their identity. On 8 October 2013, the family of missing crew member Russel Rebello was informed that a body believed to be his was found near the third deck at the stern of the ship. Items on the body were reportedly subsequently identified as belonging to missing passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi instead and on 24 October 2013 it was reported that DNA analysis confirmed it was her body. Additional bone fragments of unknown identity were found in the wreck a few days after the body was found.

On 23 October 2013, it was announced that the search for the missing while the wreck was still in the water was completed as far as was technically possible. Depending on the outcome of identification analyses of remains already found, it was stated that further search activities might be conducted in the wreck for the missing crew member Russel Rebello after it has been removed from the water.

On 6 and 7 August 2014, divers found human remains on the wreck which was then moored in the port of Genoa. On 3 November 2014, the final body was discovered in the wreckage of the ship.

Wreck

Looting

Numerous reports of the wreck site being infiltrated by looters and souvenir hunters were made following the disaster. Items stolen from the wreck include the ship’s bell, cash registers, jewelry, furniture, artwork and various assorted smaller items. Sources at Costa Crociere indicated that the thieves may have gained access to the interior of the ship via entrances cut by search and rescue teams.

Authorities banned all private boats from Giglio Porto and excluded them from a one-nautical-mile (1,852 m) non-navigation zone around the ship.

Poor weather conditions could have caused a spill of oil from the ship. A floating oil barrier was put in place as a precaution. High winds on 1 February lifted the protective barrier, allowing an oily film into the surrounding waters that began spreading from the stern of the ship. The protective boom was redesigned for the weather conditions.

On 7 February, Civil Protection director Franco Gabrielli told the Italian Senate that the waters were not crystal-clear but are “within the legal limits.” Environment Minister Corrado Clini told the Parliament of Italy that the amount of diesel fuel and lubricating oil on board Costa Concordia was about the cargo of a small oil tanker. Clini said any oil leakage would be highly toxic for plant and animal life. In a first step to prevent pollution of the shore and assist in a refloat the ship, her oil and fuel tanks were emptied.

As part of the recovery effort a group of about 200 giant fan mussels Pinna nobilis were manually relocated to a nearby area due to the threat posed by subsequent engineering work.

Giant fan mussel of the type relocated away from the Costa Concordia wreck for fear of the threat posed by subsequent engineering work

Isola del Giglio lies within the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, one of the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance. It is a popular scuba diving destination, with tourism being its leading industry. Island residents were concerned that the wreck would be an eyesore that turned away tourists, disabling the island’s economy. One resident explained, “Environmental damage is what concerns us most. If the oil pollutes the coast, we’re ruined.” Luigi Alcaro, head of maritime emergencies for Italy’s Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), an agency of the Ministry of the Environment, stated that in a worst case, “[W]e could be talking years and dozens of millions of euros”.

EMSA-contracted stand-by oil spill response vessel Salina Bay arrived at the site of Costa Concordia on 28 January and remained on station as a precautionary measure during the fuel removal operation. ISPRA’s Oceanographic Ship Astrea arrived in Tuscany on 29 January to conduct environmental investigations. On 9 February, the CEO of Costa Cruises told residents of Giglio the company would have a plan by mid-March to remove the ship. He also promised to minimize harm to their tourism businesses.

The wreck came to rest on a rock ledge and there were concerns that she might slide into deeper water. The stability and deformation of the ship was monitored by satellite imagery and surface-based instruments. Although the ship was not in “immediate risk” of slipping from its grounded position into deeper water, Environment Minister Clini told the Italian Senate on 8 February that “the risk for a collapse is quite real… The more time passes, the weaker the hull becomes. We cannot guarantee that it has not been compromised already.” On 29 January 2012, scientists had become “very concerned” that the ship had moved 3.5 centimeters (1.4 in) over six hours that day. On 2 February, the ship shifted 8 centimeters (3 in) during seven hours. Shifts and any high winds and high seas caused suspension of recovery and salvage operations.

On 16 February, Civil Protection director Gabrielli “confirmed that the data registered is absent of anomalies.” Another report based on sonar and laser measurements, and an ISPRA underwater video, indicated that the ship might collapse in its midsection because its weight was not supported between the rock spur supporting the bow and the rock spur supporting the stern, and said at the time that both of those rocks had “now started crumbling dramatically”. Civil Protection director Gabrielli stated that report was reassuring in that “It shows that a part of the seabed has got into the hull, basically increasing the ship'[s] stability.” It was also found that the hull was slowly collapsing under its own weight, making salvage more difficult and expensive.

Salvage

All operations planned for the wreck, including defuelling, were conducted jointly by Costa Cruises and the Concordia Emergency Commissioner’s Office. On 12 February 2012, after weeks of weather delays, Dutch salvage firm Smit Internationale, acting jointly with Italian company NERI SpA, started removing the vessel’s 2,380 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. The 15 tanks that contained about 84% of the fuel in the vessel were emptied first and expected to take about 28 days. The second phase involved the engine room, which had “nearly 350 cubic meters of diesel, fuel and other lubricants”. The offloading process required fixing valves to the underwater fuel tanks, one on top, one on the bottom. Hoses were then attached to the valves and as the oil, warmed to make it less viscous, was pumped out of the upper hose and into a nearby ship, replacing it with sea water pumped in through the lower hose to fill the space, so as not to affect the ship’s balance, a technique known as “hot-tapping”.

Removal and clean-up plan

The operation (from June 2013 onwards) was delineated by Costa’s Cristiano De Musso, Head of Corporate Communications, according to the following plan:

Site inspections of the ship and its position;

Securing of the wreck to ensure on-going safety and stability;

Installation of sponsons on port side of vessel and construction of submarine platforms;

Parbuckling of the wreck, rotating it past a critical angle of about 24° from its resting position, beyond which the sponsons would be flooded and the ship would roll into a fully upright position on the underwater platforms;

Installation of sponsons on the starboard side of the ship;

Sponsons are dewatered to raise the ship from the bottom;

Ship delivered to an Italian port for processing according to regulations;

Cleaning and replanting of marine flora.

By 20 February 2012, the tanks in the forward part of the ship, which had held about two-thirds of the fuel, had been emptied, but the following day defuelling was suspended because of poor weather conditions. On 3 March 2012, salvage workers cut a hole in the ship for access to the engine room, the location of the remaining fuel. On the morning of 12 March, defuelling operations resumed and were completed on 24 March.

With defuelling complete, removal of the wreck began. On 3 February, Franco Gabrielli, the head of the Civil Protection Authority, told a meeting of residents of Giglio that the ship would be “refloated and removed whole” and not cut up for scrap on site. The CEO of Costa stated that after the breaches in the hull were sealed, the ship could be refloated, with difficulty, by giant inflatable buoys and then towed away. The company invited ten firms to bid for the contract to salvage the ship. Six bids were submitted in early March and the proposed removal plans were assessed jointly with the Civil Protection Scientific Committee. The salvage operation was expected to commence in the middle of May. The operation, one of the largest ever ventured, was predicted to take from seven to ten months, depending on weather and sea conditions.

By 12 April 2012, Costa Crociere had two consortia in mind: Smit and NERI, or Titan Salvage and Micoperi. On 21 April, it was announced that Florida-based marine salvage and wreck removal company Titan, with its partner company Micoperi, an Italian firm specializing in undersea engineering solutions, had been awarded the contract to refloat and tow Costa Concordia to a port on the Italian mainland. The salvage operation, using the port of Civitavecchia as its base was anticipated to begin in early May, take about 12 months and cost $300 million.[citation needed] Once in port, the ship would be dismantled and the materials sold as scrap. South African freelance Nick Sloane was appointed as “salvage master” to lead the operation. The salvage plan included the following operations:

Secure the hull to the land using steel cables, to stop it falling deeper

Build a horizontal underwater platform below the ship

Attach airtight tanks, called sponsons, to the port side of the hull

Bring the hull to vertical, by winching (or parbuckling) the hull onto the platform

Attach sponsons to the starboard side of the hull

Refloat the hull and tanks

Recovery tow to an Italian port

Parbuckling

Principles of righting and refloating of Costa Concordia

  1. Funnel (chimney) is removed and a submerged platform is built to support the ship. Steel sponsons are attached to the port side and partially filled with water.
  1. Cables roll the ship upright, helped by the water weight in the sponsons
  2. Sponsons are attached to the starboard side
  3. Water is pumped out of the sponsons to lift the ship so she can be towed away

Preparatory work consisted of building an underwater metal platform and artificial seabed made of sand and cement on the downhill side of the wreck and welding sponsons to the side of the ship above the surface. Once this was completed, the ship was pulled upright by cables over the course of two days and settled on the platform, a method called parbuckling. Additional sponsons would then be attached to the other side of the ship; both sets would be flushed of water and their buoyancy would refloat the ship to allow her to be towed away for demolition.

In June 2012, a barge was put in place, and the removal of her radar, waterslide and funnel began before stabilization of the ship to prevent further slippage down the sloped seabed. Concordia’s funnel was cut off in December, and the salvage companies were in the process of building the underwater support structure by mid-January 2013. On 16 September 2013, the parbuckling of the ship began.

The operation to right the ship and free her from the rocks began on 16 September 2013, but started late due to bad weather. Once the ship had been rotated slightly past a critical angle of 24° from its resting position, valves on the sponsons were opened to allow seawater to flood into them and the increasing weight of the water in the sponsons completed the rolling of the ship to the upright position at an accelerated pace, without further need of the strand jacks and cables. The ship was returned to a fully upright position in the early hours of 17 September 2013, shortly before 3 a.m. CET. As of 16 September 2013 the salvage operation had cost over €600 million ($800 million). The final cost of the salvage came to be $1.2 billion.

Images of righting of Costa Concordia

Preparing for righting, July 2013. On the left are the strand jacks (used to pull the cables) mounted on the tops of the retaining turrets.

Operation in progress. On the right are the port side sponsons.

The operation continues but very slowly, at less than 2 degrees per hour

Sponsons are ready to fill with sea water, nearing 24 degrees of rotation.

The ship on the morning after the parbuckling

After parbuckling and before refloat, September 2013

Starboard side of the righted Costa Concordia, showing the crushing effect of the rock spurs upon which she had rested

Refloating and removal

Following the conclusion of the righting operation, the ship was kept on a platform while further inspections were made and the starboard sponsons attached. On 10 October 2013 a $30 million option was taken with Dockwise for the use of the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, to transport Costa Concordia, as an alternative to conventional towing; but the Concordia was instead refloated and towed to Genoa in July 2014.

In December 2013 invitations were issued by Costa to twelve companies to tender for the dismantling of Costa Concordia, in France, Italy, Norway, Turkey and the UK. On 30 June 2014 the Italian Government endorsed Costa’s decision to have the vessel dismantled at Genoa by Italian companies Saipem, Mariotti and San Giorgio.

On 1 February 2014 a Spanish diver working on the Costa Concordia wreck died after cutting his leg on a sheet of metal. He was brought to the surface alive by a fellow diver, but later died. This was the only death to occur during the Costa Concordia salvage operation.

On 14 July 2014 salvage operators re-floated Costa Concordia off its submerged platform and towed the ship laterally a short distance away from the coast. As of 20 July 2014, the ship had re-floated 7.5 meters from its supporting platform, with 6.3 meters remaining. On 23 July 2014, Costa Concordia began her final journey to the Port of Genoa.

On 27 July 2014, Costa Concordia arrived in Genoa where it was moored against a wharf that had been specially prepared to receive the vessel for dismantling. On 11 May 2015 Costa Concordia was removed to another location within the Port of Genoa to ease the access of road vehicles which carried the waste from the wreck. By January 2017, most of Costa Concordia had been completely dismantled and scrapped in Genoa, with all metal being recycled where possible. Final scrapping of the ship was completed in July 2017.

Site remediation

After the wreck of Costa Concordia was towed away, Costa Crociere put Micoperi in charge of the salvage site remediation. This project is also known as phase WP9. Initially, $85 million was assigned to the project, which was to start at the end of 2014, and take about 15 months for its completion. The main activities included ocean floor cleaning, anchor block removal, grout bag removal, and platform removal. The project continued into May 2018. The entities involved regularly published details of the activity.

Loss and compensation

Most of the passengers on board were Italian, German, or French nationals. The crew consisted of citizens of 20 to 40 countries. Some were Italians (including the captain and all the officers), but 202 Indians and 296 Filipinos made up approximately half of the personnel. Other nationalities include 170 Indonesians, 12 British nationals, 6 Brazilians, 3 Russians, and an unspecified number of Colombian, Peruvian, Spanish, Honduran and Chinese. 32 people are known to have died, and 64 others were injured. Three people (two passengers and one crewman) trapped inside the ship were rescued more than 24 hours after the accident. The body of the last missing person, Indian crew member Russel Rebello, was recovered on 3 November 2014.

On 27 January 2012, Costa posted on its website the compensation package offered to uninjured passengers. The compensation comprises a payment of €11,000 per person to compensate for all damages (including loss of baggage and property, psychological distress and loss of enjoyment of the cruise) and reimbursement for a range of other costs and losses, including reimbursement for the value of the cruise, for all air and bus travel costs included in the cruise package, for all travel expenses to return home, for all medical expenses arising from the event, and for all expenses incurred on board during the cruise.

Costa also promised return of all property stored in cabin safes, to the extent recoverable, and to grant passengers access to a programme for “psychological assistance”. Costa stated that these payments would not be offset against or impact any amount an insurance policy pays to the passenger. The offer to uninjured passengers was effective until 31 March; as to the families of the dead and missing, separate proposals were to be offered “based on their individual circumstances.” For a time, Costa permitted its customers to cancel any future cruises booked with them, without penalty. One-third of the passengers have acquiesced to the €11,000 compensation. The trade union representing the crew negotiated compensation packages. Crew members were paid wages for a minimum of two months or, if longer, their full contract term. They also received reimbursement for expenses and up to £2,250 for lost personal property.

As well as compensation, survivors of the Concordia disaster have called for safety improvements to be made. From the evidence available, including expert evidence obtained during the criminal proceedings in Italy, it is clear that the initial grounding of Costa Concordia could have been avoided and that subsequent failings in carrying out the evacuation process made a very bad situation far worse.

On 23 February 2012, the Environment Ministry announced it would be “taking legal action” against Costa Cruises regarding a “possible” claim for “possible environmental damage” and the cost of salvage.

Ship

Industry experts believed the ship to be a constructive total loss early on in the salvage efforts, with damages of at least US$500 million. Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa, told a Senate committee hearing “we believe that the wreck can no longer be put in use.” Shares in the Carnival Corporation, the American company that jointly owns (with Carnival plc) Costa Cruises, initially fell by 18% on 16 January 2012 following a statement by the group that the grounding of the ship could cost Carnival Corporation up to US$95 million (€75 million, £62 million). Carnival Corporation later increased the estimated financial impact in fiscal year 2012 to include a reduction in net income of $85 million to $95 million, an estimated insurance excess of an additional $40 million, and $30–40 million in “other incident related costs”.

The insurance excess on the vessel was $30 million (€23.5 million, £19.5 million). The group of cruise lines jointly owned by Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc comprises 49 percent of the worldwide cruise ship industry and owns 101 ships, of which Costa Concordia represents 1.5% of capacity. Booking volume for Carnival’s fleet, excluding Costa, in the 12 post-accident days was down by “the mid-teens” as a percentage of year-earlier bookings.

Investigations

The Italian Marine Casualty Investigation Central Board (Commissione centrale di indagine sui sinistri marittimi, CCISM), a unit of the Corps of the Port Captaincies – Coast Guard, conducts the technical investigations of maritime accidents and incidents within Italian-controlled waters. On 6 February, the International Chamber of Shipping, representing shipowners’ associations, called for the “earliest possible publication of the Italian accident investigations.” International experts have said that it is too early to speculate on why the vessel capsized despite its watertight compartments but that the size of the vessel is unlikely to have been an issue. Tuscany’s prosecutor general said that the investigation would seek to find causes for various aspects of the event, and beyond Schettino to other persons and companies. By January 2013 the technical investigation report had not yet been released. Lloyd’s List said that the casualty investigation board “roundly” received criticism for not having released the investigation yet. The board said that the investigation was delayed because the Italian prosecuting team had seized important information, including the voyage recorder.

Judge Valeria Montesarchio summoned survivors to testify at a hearing to be convened on 3 March in Grosseto. The European Maritime Safety Agency is the EU agency tasked to develop a common methodology for investigating maritime accidents. The captain tested negative for drug and alcohol use, but one group that is suing Costa Cruises and that leaked the test results, disputed the tests as unreliable. On 24 February 2012, prosecutors alleged that Schettino “slowed down the ship so that he could finish dinner in peace” and to compensate for lost time, subsequently increased the speed to 16 knots (30 km/h) just before the sail-past.

In addition, on 2 February 2012 the prosecutor’s office in Paris, France, opened a preliminary inquiry to question survivors to establish any criminal liability and “assess psychological damage”.

Criminal proceedings against officers

Francesco Schettino (born 1960 in Meta, Naples), who had worked for Costa Cruises for 11 years, and First Officer Ciro Ambrosio were arrested. The captain was detained on suspicion of manslaughter and for violations of the Italian Penal Code and Code of Navigation on three specifications—of his having caused the shipwreck “owing to … imprudence, negligence and incompetence” resulting in deaths; having abandoned about 300 people “unable to fend for themselves”; and “not having been the last to leave” a shipwreck. They were questioned on 14 January.

At the validation hearing of 17 January 2012, the Court of Grosseto charged Schettino and Ambrosio with the results from the records of investigation compiled immediately after the event, including the first report of the coast guard of Porto Santo Stefano of 14 January 2012, the summary testimonial information given by the members of the ship’s crew, the chronology of events of the Harbour Office of the Port of Livorno, the AIS recording on record, and the PG Annotation of the Harbour Office of the Port of Livorno. Schettino was released from jail on 17 January but was placed under house arrest. The house arrest order included an “absolute prohibition against going away or communicating by any means with persons other than his cohabitants.” On 7 February, the Court decided to continue Schettino’s house arrest. On 23 February, two additional charges, of “abandoning incapacitated passengers and failing to inform maritime authorities” were levied against Schettino. His pretrial hearing was scheduled for 20 March. On 5 July 2012, Schettino was released from house arrest but mandated to reside in Meta di Sorrento.

Officials were initially trying to determine why the ship did not issue a mayday and why it was navigating so close to the coast. The delay in the evacuation request was also unexplained.

On 11 February, TG5 broadcast a video of the commotion on the bridge following the collision. In the video, when one officer said, “Passengers are getting into the life boats”, Schettino responded “vabbuò” (a Neapolitan colloquialism which stands for “whatever”, “well” or “it is ok”). The magistrate in charge of the inquiry remarked, “This is new to us—I’ve just seen it for the first time.”

On 19 February, the Associated Press reported that traces of cocaine had been found on Schettino’s hair samples, “but not within the hair strands or in his urine—which would have indicated he had used the drug”. A 2015 report indicated that the ship had been carrying a large amount of mafia-owned cocaine when it sank, although senior officers were likely not aware it was on board.

On 22 February 2012, four officers who were on board and three managers of Costa Cruises were placed formally “under investigation” and “face charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and failing to communicate with maritime authorities”.

Recorded evidence

One of the ship’s voyage data recorders (VDRs), which was designed to float, was recovered. Another, containing different data, was located on 17 January. A third was in a submerged part of the ship, difficult to reach. On 19 January 2012, all the data storage devices from the ship’s control panel, including hard disks, were recovered. One of the hard disks contained videos from cameras located near the control board, which were expected to reveal the movements of the ship’s captain and officers. The chief prosecutor received from the Guardia di Finanza a video, taken from their patrol boat, that filmed the ship between 22:30 and 23:10 or at 23:20.

On 3 March 2012, in Grosseto, judges began a hearing open to all survivors, other “injured parties”, and their lawyers, but closed to the general public and media. Four specialists were ordered to review the VDR data and relate their conclusions at a 21 July 2012 hearing. Prosecutor Francesco Verusio had stated that it could take “a month, two months, three months” for evidence analysis, including of recorded conversations on the bridge, to be completed. The hearing also determined who could “attach lawsuits to the case”. Inhabitants of Giglio and some environmental groups were denied this ability.

Trials

On 20 July 2013, five people were found guilty of manslaughter, negligence and wrecking: Roberto Ferrarini (the company’s crisis director) received the longest sentence at 2 years and 10 months, followed by Manrico Giampedroni (the cabin service director) at two and a half years. Three crew members—first officer Ciro Ambrosio, helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin and third officer Silvia Coronica—were given sentences between 1 and 2 years. Ferrarini, who was not on the ship, was convicted of minimizing the extent of the disaster and delaying an adequate response. Giampedroni, the hotel director, was convicted for his role in the evacuation, which was described as chaotic. The helmsman Bin was convicted for steering the ship in the wrong direction after Schettino ordered a corrective manoeuvre. Reuters cited judicial sources as saying none of these individuals are likely to go to jail as sentences less than 2 years for non-violent offences are routinely suspended in Italy, and longer sentences may be appealed or replaced by community service.

Lawyers for the victims declared the sentences as shameful and said they might appeal to overturn the plea bargains that allowed reduced sentences in return for guilty pleas. The company Costa Cruises avoided a trial in April by agreeing to a €1 million fine, but victims are pursuing damages in a civil case.

In a separate trial for manslaughter and causing the loss of the ship, Captain Francesco Schettino sought a plea bargain agreement. When his trial resumed in October 2013, Domnica Cemortan (a 26-year-old Moldovan) admitted having been Schettino’s lover and having been a non-paying passenger on the ship, after the prosecution alleged that her presence on the bridge “generated confusion and distraction for the captain”. Helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin failed to appear in court in March 2014 to give evidence and was thought to be somewhere in Indonesia. Roberto Ferrarini told the court in April that “Schettino asked me to tell the maritime authorities that the collision was due to a blackout on the ship. But I strongly objected.” Passengers told the court in May that if they had followed the officers’ orders to return to their cabins, they would have drowned. In February 2015, Schettino was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Schettino appealed against the sentence, which was initially upheld in May 2016, then finally in May 2017. He is serving his sentence in Rebibbia Prison, Rome.

Reactions

Costa Cruises and its parent companies

Costa Crociere S.p.A. also does business using the name “Costa Cruises”. Costa Cruises is jointly owned by a dual-listed company comprising the two separate companies Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc. Carnival Corporation announced on 30 January 2012 that its board of directors will engage outside consultants in various disciplines, including emergency response, organization, training and implementation, to conduct a comprehensive review of the accident and the company’s procedures.

Costa Cruises at first offered to pay Schettino’s legal costs but decided later that they would not do so.

Regulatory and industry response

Corrado Clini, Italy’s Minister of Environment, said that saluting, a “custom that has resulted in an outcome visible to all”, should no longer be tolerated. On 23 January 2012, UNESCO asked Italy to reroute cruise ships to avoid sailing too close to “culturally and ecologically important areas”, and on 1 March, Italy excluded large ships from sailing closer than two miles from marine parks.

The European Maritime Safety Agency was in the process of conducting a review of maritime safety when the accident occurred. On 24 January 2012, Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas told the Transportation Committee of the European Parliament that lessons learned from the loss of Costa Concordia would be taken into account. British MEP Jacqueline Foster warned against “trial by television and trial by newspapers”, a view that was backed by fellow British MEP Brian Simpson, who said that it was “good practice to wait for the official report”.

On 18 January 2012, the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure announced that it would hold a hearing, conducted jointly with the committee’s Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, to “review the events of this specific incident, current safety measures and training requirements”. Testimony and statements at 29 February hearing primarily promoted North American cruise ships as being safe.

Gianni Scerni, the chairman of Registro Italiano Navale (RINA), the classification society that issued Costa Concordia a certificate of seaworthiness and safety management in November 2011, resigned on 18 January 2012.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the European Cruise Council (ECC) and the Passenger Shipping Association adopted a new policy requiring all embarking passengers to participate in muster drills before departure. On 29 January 2012, at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Holland America Line made one passenger disembark from the cruise ship MS Westerdam for “non-compliance” during a mandatory muster drill. On 24 April, the CLIA and the ECC introduced new policies: bridge officers must agree on the route before departing; ships must carry more life-jackets; and access to the bridge must be limited.

In an action some parliamentarians said was a reaction to the wrecking of Costa Concordia, the Italian government withdrew proposed legislation that would have reduced current restrictions on mineral exploration and production. On 8 July 2012, CNN reported that the disaster brought changes to safety and evacuation procedures in the cruise industry. Carnival, the parent line of Costa, and several other cruise lines now require safety instruction, referred to as muster drills, before leaving port. The new muster policy consists of 12 specific emergency instructions, which include providing information on when and how to don a life jacket, where to muster and what to expect if there is an evacuation of the ship.

Media

Coverage of the shipwreck dominated international media in the days after the disaster. The New York Times called the incident “a drama that seemed to blend tragedy with elements of farce”. Phillip Knightley called it the “most significant event in modern maritime history” because “every single safety procedure designed to make sea travel safe failed miserably”.

UK’s Channel 4 television commissioned and broadcast two programmes about the disaster. Terror at Sea: The Sinking of the Costa Concordia, broadcast on 31 January 2012, explored how and why the ship went down. The Sinking of the Concordia: Caught on Camera, broadcast on 11 April 2012, provided a minute-by-minute anatomy of the Costa Concordia disaster, made almost entirely from passengers’ mobile phone and video camera footage. The documentary also featured thermal imaging footage of the stricken ship taken by the rescue helicopter, together with pilot commentary, and a recording of the conversation between the Coast Guard and the captain, during which the Coast Guard ordered Schettino to return to his ship.

The parbuckling was a major media operation, and the righting was well documented in video and photographs. News Agencies Getty Images and AP had an extensive coverage, from the day of the disaster to the removal of the wreck with the photographers Laura Lezza, Marco Secchi and Andrew Medichini documenting and capturing all phases.

In 2014, the Smithsonian Channel broadcast Cruise Ship Down: Saving Concordia, detailing the efforts to right the Costa Concordia before she collapsed under her own weight.

In Italy

Newspaper Corriere della Sera stated that Italy owed the world a “convincing explanation” for the wreck and called for harsh punishment of those found responsible. Il Giornale said the wreck was a “global disaster for Italy”. Il Messaggero said there was “anguish over those still missing”. La Repubblica called the event “a night of errors and lies”. La Stampa criticized the captain for not raising the alarm and refusing to go back on board the ship.

Italian commentators reflected on the contrast between Schettino and De Falco and what it said about the national character. They represented “the two souls of Italy”, according to Aldo Grasso in Corriere della Sera. “On the one hand a man hopelessly lost, a coward who shirks his responsibility as a man and an officer, indelibly stained. The other grasps the seriousness of the situation immediately and tries to remind the first of his obligations.”

Some saw parallels between the incident and the country’s recent political upheavals. “To see someone that in a moment of difficulty maintains steady nerves is consoling because that is what we need”, another Corriere della Sera columnist, Beppe Severgnini, told The New York Times. “Italy wants to have steady nerves because we’ve already done the cabaret route.”

De Falco’s exasperated order to Schettino, “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” became a catchphrase in Italy. T-shirts with the phrase were soon printed and sold across the country. It has also been used on Twitter and Facebook.

Honors and memorial

In September 2012, Lloyd’s of London awarded the title of Seafarers of the Year recognizing the best professional sailing and ship to the Costa Concordia crew for their exemplary behavior during the shipwreck which saved most of the ship’s passengers. In January 2013, the municipalities of Isola del Giglio and Monte Argentario were decorated with the highest Italian Civil award: the Gold Medal of Civil Merit granted by the President of the Republic for the commitment of citizens, administrators and local institutions in the rescue of the survivors of the ship Costa Concordia.

The mayor of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli, and Costa Cruises are in agreement that the large boulder to be removed from the side of the vessel should be suitably positioned on the island as a memorial to the 32 people who lost their lives. Ortelli anticipates the boulder will “most likely” be positioned “close to the harbor entrance so that visitors and locals can see it clearly and pay their respects to the victims. What happened that night is something Giglio will never forget and the rock will be a fitting memorial.” The cost of removing the 80-tonne boulder is estimated at £40,000.

On 13 January 2013, a rock was cast into the sea at the site of the disaster with a plaque to commemorate those lost.

Safety regulations

Like all passenger ships, Costa Concordia was subject to two major International Maritime Organization requirements: to perform “musters of the passengers (…) within 24 hours after their embarkation” and to be able to launch “survival craft” sufficient for “the total number of persons aboard … within a period of 30 minutes from the time the abandon-ship signal is given”. Passenger ships must be equipped with lifeboats for 125% of the ship’s passenger and crew maximum capacity, among which at least 37% of that capacity must consist of hard lifeboats as opposed to inflatable ones. Launching systems must enable the lowering of the lifeboats under 20° of list and 10° of pitch.

According to Costa Cruises, its internal regulations require all crew members to complete Basic Safety Training, and to perform a ship evacuation drill every two weeks. Every week, all the lifeboats on one side of the ship are launched for a test. Under the regulations in force in 2006 when Costa Concordia was delivered, the ship had to be designed to survive the flooding of two adjacent compartments caused by an 11-meter (36 ft) breach. The damage caused by impact with the rocks left a 36.5-meter tear (120 ft) in the hull.

Notes

In August 2011, Giglio Porto’s mayor, Sergio Ortelli, had thanked Captain Schettino for the “incredible spectacle” of a sail-past. Mayor Ortelli has now said, “It’s a very nice show to see, the ship all lit up when you see it from the land. This time round it went wrong”. In August and September 2010, Costa Pacifica and Costa Allegra, sister ships of Costa Concordia, came within a mile of the island.

Costa Cruises CEO Pier Luigi Foschi explained that the company’s ships have computer-programmed routes and “alarms, both visual and sound, if the ship deviates by any reason from the stated route as stored in the computer and as controlled by the GPS”, but that these alarms could be “manually” over-ridden.

After certain emergency disembarkations and other events, the cruise ship operator is required to compensate passengers €10,000 each.

Happy Birthday: February 27, 2021

Noah Emmerich, 56

Donal Logue, 55

Josh Groban, 40

Kate Mara, 38

JWoww (Jenni Farley), 35

Lindsey Morgan, 31

Joanne Woodward, 91

Barbara Babcock, 84

Howard Hesseman, 81

Debra Monk, 72

Neal Schon, 67

Adrian Smith, 64

Timothy Spall, 64

Paul Humphreys, 61

Johnny Van Zant, 61

Leon Mobley, 60

James Worthy,60

Adam Baldwin, 59

Grant Show, 59

Chilli, 50

Jeremy Dean, 49

Shonna Tucker, 43

Brandon Beemer, 41

Cyrus Bolook, 41

Jake Clemons, 41

Bobby V, 41

Noam Pikelny, 40

Jared Champion, 38

Ralph Nader, 87

Chelsea Clinton, 41

Constantine I, February 24, 306 A.D.-May 22, 337 A.D.)

Rembrandt Carel Fabritius (February 27, 1622-October 12, 1654)

John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902-December 20, 1968)

Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932-March 23, 2011)

Days of Our Lives Spoilers: March 1-5/8-12, 2021

Alison Sweeney returns as Sami Brady DiMera

Suspicion surrounds one woman, as another is kidnapped. Plus, a deadly plan is revealed and a newcomer arrives in Salem.

Days of Our Lives spoilers week of March 1:

The weekly Days of Our Lives preview, Sami’s prints are all over the gun, and Gabi and Abby take a late-night trip to do laundry?

Stacy Haiduk doing double duty as Kristen DiMera/Susan Banks

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Monday, March 1:

Kristen’s doing her darndest to fool everyone in Salem with her “Susan” act, but someone’s getting suspicious. Worse, it’s the last person Kristen would want figuring out her ruse: Chloe!

Get ready, because Jackée Harry is about to hit Salem when Lani introduces Abe and Eli to her Aunt Paulina. Headwriter Ron Carlivati said that Paulina would play into the next arc of Eli and Lani’s story… the big question now is how! Meanwhile, Lani — who knows Kristen pretty darn well — is starting to get very suspicious. Will she figure out that her gal pal has pulled a switch with Susan Banks… and if so, will she bust the women?

When Abigail first approached Gabi to suggest they team up against mutual nemesis Gwen, she gave the fashionista time to think about the proposal. Now, time’s up as Abigail presses Gabi to join forces with her.

Now that Sami is back, Alison Sweeney warns fans had better buckle up!

Matthew Ashford as Jack Devereaux

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Tuesday, March 2:

Gwen becomes a major bone of contention between Jack and his daughter… or should we say his “other daughter!”

Sarah had not a moment’s hesitation before accepting Xander’s proposal. But Chloe suggests that perhaps Sarah should think twice before becoming Mrs. Kiriakis!

Never one to let an opportunity pass her by, Kristen finds a way to use Philip to her advantage.

Xarah: Linsey Godfrey as Sarah Horton; Paul Telfer as Xander Kiriakis

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Wednesday, March 3:

You had to know when Abigail and Gabi teamed up to get revenge upon Gwen, something big was going to go down. What none of us expected was that the newly-formed scheme team would actually kidnap Gwen! Meanwhile, Jack pulls son-in-law Chad aside and admits that he just had a pretty major blowout with Abigail. Will the men deduce that Gwen could be in trouble?

Awkward encounter alert! Things are uncomfortable as leather pants on a sweltering summer day when Justin and Bonnie cross paths with newlyweds Steve and Kayla.

Only a day after Chloe suggested Sarah think twice where Xander is concerned, the newly-engaged young woman finds her would-be hubby in a compromising position!

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Thursday, March 4:

In perhaps the least surprising development of all time, Sami was back in Salem approximately 12 seconds before she landed in hot water. Today, she hopes to convince Belle — you know, the little sister she once tried to sell on the black market? — to come to her literal defense.

John’s been having wild emotional mood swings — some of which have been on the violent side (right, Jan?) — for months now. Today, he can’t help but wonder if perhaps things have gone too far. Meanwhile, Marlena is approached by Ben, who hopes that she’ll be able to help him.

Jay Kenneth Johnson as Philip Kiriakis; Camila Banus as Gabi Hernandez DiMera

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Friday, March 5:

Things have gone from bad to worse for Ciara ever since we learned that rumors of her death were greatly exaggerated. But today, even as Clyde gives a bit of stunning news to Ben, Ciara learns that if Evan has his way, her true love will soon be dead!

Abigail is 100 percent convinced that her grandmother’s death was no accident. But will she be able to force Gwen to admit that she killed Laura?

Gabi thought she’d taken control of her fate by teaming up with Philip. But today, Kate and Jake score a win over her son and his ex.

Days of Our Lives spoilers week of March 8:

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Monday, March 8:

Abigail and Gabi’s plot against Gwen may hit a major stumbling block when Anna discovers Gwen captive in the tunnels beneath the DiMera mansion. (Of course, that begs the question… what the heck is Anna doing lurking around in those creepy tunnels?)

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Tuesday, March 9:

It’s been a rough couple months for Abigail, who finally reaches her breaking point today. Given that in the past, stressful situations have caused her to don a wig and call herself Gabby, it should be interesting to see what happens this time!

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Wednesday, March 10:

Ciara’s been held captive for months, but today it’s her true love and would-be rescuer Ben who winds up in jeopardy when Evan prepares to kill him.

Paulina has only been in town a week, but she’s already stirring up trouble for Eli and Lani, even if it is inadvertently!

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Thursday, March 11:

How will Sarah react to the shocking discovery she makes?

Kyle Lowder as Rex Brady

Days of Our Lives spoilers for Friday, March 12:

Xander and Jack are ready to have a good time during their two-man bachelor party. But a newly-returned Rex is about to prove that every party has a pooper by putting a damper on the festivities.

General Hospital Spoilers: March 1-5, 2021

Kathleen Gati as Dr. Liesl Obrecht

Things take a dark turn for one, as another seeks the ultimate revenge.

General Hospital spoilers week of February 22:

GH Soapbox: Pondering Nelle as the new Morgan, Britt and Brad as the Valentine’s Day highlight, and the hilarity of Brando’s shooting.

Eden McCoy as Josslyn Jacks; William Lipton as Cameron Webber; Sydney Mikayla as Trina Roberts

General Hospital spoilers for Monday, February 22:

Cam shaves his head with help from Joss and Trina, Jordan’s there when Molly and TJ make it official, and Michael and Sasha agree to start over.

Nikolas vows that he will do whatever it takes to keep Ava safe. That could prove a real challenge given everything going down in Port Charles of late!

When things take a dark turn, Franco tries to make light of the situation.

Jordan hasn’t been terribly popular with the men in her life ever since they found out about some of the lies she told in the line of duty. But today she’s grateful for the chance to spend a little time with TJ.

Michael’s date definitely does not go as planned when it ends up being interrupted. Meanwhile, when Cameron is in need of support, he turns to Trina.

Kirsten Storms as Maxie Jones West; Cynthia Watros as Nina Reeves

General Hospital spoilers for Tuesday, February 23:

Valentin confirms Anna’s worst fears about Peter, Carly and Jax are cleared of Nelle’s death, and Obrecht and Britt plot.

Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Michael and Willow take a few minutes to process everything that’s happened recently. Will it lead to them re-evaluating the decisions they’ve made?

Nina is in need of support, so Maxie tries to be there for her former sister-in-law. At the same time, Anna reaches out to supposed-son-but-actual-nephew Peter, and Britt hopes her pleas to Obrecht will not fall on deaf ears.

General Hospital spoilers for Wednesday, February 24:

Olivia isn’t in a forgiving mood, Peter burns evidence, and Obrecht gets her hands on the USB drive.

In an exclusive February preview, co-headwriter Dan O’Connor recently warned that Maxie was heading for a bit of an awakening where Peter is concerned. When the bride-to-be defends her man to Britt, might the blinders finally begin falling from Maxie’s eyes? Meanwhile, Robert laments to Jason that despite his best efforts, Maxie seems determined to walk down the aisle with Peter.

Olivia recently vowed to essentially destroy Alexis for having slept with Ned. So it’ll be interesting to see how things go when the legal eagle today tries making amends with her new enemy.

Nina has a history of being a tad unpredictable, so it’s no wonder that Carly’s wondering what the editor will do next.

Obrecht somehow manages to do something she’s not particularly good at — avoid a confrontation!

Sam is moving on… find out what that means — and doesn’t mean — where Jason is concerned.

General Hospital spoilers for Thursday, February 25:

Ava sneaks into Ryan’s room, Finn supports Elizabeth, and Curtis makes Sam an offer.

Portia’s only hope of keeping Taggert from being sent to jail is Jordan. When Trina’s mom pleads her case, will the other woman listen?

Curtis is looking to shake things up in his life. When he tells Sam that he’s interested in a change of pace, might she have the perfect solution?

Jenny and Tad — sorry, make that Jackie and Martin (played by former All My Children siblings Kim Delaney and Michael E. Knight) — get closer to tracking down the still-missing Florence.

Ava makes it clear that she’s not about to budge an inch. Meanwhile, Laura tries to help Nikolas navigate his problematic relationship with son Spencer.

Finola Hughes as Anna DeVane; James Patrick Stuart as Valentin Cassadine

General Hospital spoilers for Friday, February 26:

Finn’s DNA test results are in, Anna doesn’t think she can let Maxie marry Peter, and Laura and Lesley stick it to Cyrus.

When Jackie goes to Finn and pleads her case, will she manage to make him see things her way?

Apparently, Valentin is the person everyone’s confiding in these days. First, Peter admitted to Valentin that he was the one who ordered Drew’s death, and now Anna opens up to him. But about what?

Nathan may be gone, but he’s far from forgotten. Maxie and Nina share their memories of the man they both loved.

Jordan and Curtis have an encounter that can best be described as… awkward. Will these two ever get back on the same page?

Cyrus receives a bit of information that pushes all his buttons. But what will the furious baddie be driven to do?

Amanda Setton returns to General Hospital very soon as Brook Lynn, but will she bring more (a baby bump?) back to Port Charles than her sassy self?

Finola Hughes as Anna DeVane; Wes Ramsey as Peter August/Heinrich Faison

General Hospital spoilers week of March 1:

GH Soapbox: Hoping Obrecht takes Peter down, wondering if someone closer to home sent Ava the roach, and hoping Jackie doesn’t do what we fear she will.

General Hospital spoilers for Monday, March 1:

Anna and Valentin put their heads together and come up with a plan, while Obrecht reaches out with a message for Maxie. At the same time, Dante — whom you’ll remember has been programmed by Obrecht to deal with Peter — pays Maxie’s babydaddy a little visit!

Jackie and Gregory come to the same conclusion.

When Franco’s tumor makes things complicated, will it be in a low-key way or the way that means people should probably fear for the safety of their loved ones?

Maurice Benard hints at how he’ll use his birthday today to do a special ‘something for my fans’.

General Hospital spoilers for Tuesday, March 2:

Maxie is ready to start her new life with Peter, but it seems that he’s been delayed. Could this have something to do with the in-progress crime that Dante has come across? Or the fact that Jordan and Chase suddenly find their workloads a bit heavier?

General Hospital spoilers for Wednesday, March 3:

When Finn is in need of support, Chase is there for him.

If you think Nina has forgotten about her anger toward Carly, you can rest assured… that ain’t happening! Today, Crimson‘s top exec turns to Ava for a little Carly-related venting.

Anna’s been dancing around the truth to the best of her ability, but something tells us that when she’s confronted by Peter, she may have to be more forthcoming than she’s been so far.

To whom is Michael extending an olive branch… and will it be accepted?

Lucy is in for a surprise!

General Hospital spoilers for Thursday, March 4:

Anna is feeling apologetic, while Valentin admits to Peter that he cares about him.

With everything Nina’s been going through, Jax wants nothing more than to be by her side. Instead, all he can do is lament the fact that he simply can’t get through to her.

Perhaps it’s reporter’s instinct that allows Jackie to prove insightful today.

Franco makes a discovery.

General Hospital spoilers for Friday, March 5:

Anna must admit to Robert that she’s made a mistake or two of late.

Dante — who has been spending a fair amount of time with Sam of late — wonders what her next move is going to be.

Carly — who knows a thing or two about butting in where she’s not wanted — finds Nina’s behavior intrusive. (Hello, Pot? This is kettle calling… )

Franco gains new insights today… but into what or who?

The Bold and the Beautiful Spoilers: March 1-5, 2021

Heather Tom as Katie Logan Spencer

Katie makes a pitch to her sisters after a plea from Wyatt, Bill loses no time acting when he sees an opening, Zoe remains laser-focused on getting Carter back, and Zende makes his move with Paris…

Matthew Atkinson as Thomas Forrester; Joe LoCicero as Vinny Walker

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Friday, February 26:

Thomas pushes Vinny to open up about Steffy’s paternity test, Wyatt puts Katie on the spot, and Shauna reminds Flo what ‘a Logan’ would do!

There’s no telling what Wyatt has up his sleeve when he goes to Katie asking for a favor on behalf of an unknowing Flo. Could he be turning to his ex because she found sympathy for Flo after receiving one of her kidneys?

Steffy probably should have seen it comin’. Finally, she’s forced to intervene when Finn and Liam compete for her favor. Is this a sign of more conflict to come?

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for week of March 1:

Tanner Novlan as Dr. John “Finn” Finnegan

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Monday, March 1:

Katie tried to convince Brooke and Donna to forgive Flo in the past, but after a chat with Wyatt, she goes to bat for her niece once again. Will the Logan sisters ever be persuaded to warm up to Felony Flo after her heinous misdeeds involving Hope’s daughter, Beth?

Finn does a double take when he recognizes a familiar face in an unfamiliar place. Could our theory about Finn having a brother in Los Angeles prove to be correct? And if so, will Finn become suspicious about what Vinny’s been up to?

Darin Brooks as Wyatt Spencer

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Tuesday, March 2:

We’re all too aware that Bill will move heaven and earth to get what he wants. So it’s no surprise when he seizes an opportunity for a second chance with Katie — something that’s been eluding him up to this point.

The Logan sisters come full circle in completing their family. Could this mean Storm’s long-lost daughter, Flo, will finally be accepted into the fold?

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Wednesday, March 3:

As the Logan love-in continues, Flo receives an unexpected gift from Brooke, Katie, and Donna. Perhaps it will be something of significance to her late father?

Keeping her eye on the “Forrester-adjacent” prize, Zoe attempts to fix what’s broken between her and Carter. Will the lovable COO of Forrester Creations take the bait that she dangles?

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Thursday, March 4:

Determined to make amends for her past mistakes and lock down Carter, Zoe puts a plan in motion to get her man back. Is she fighting a losing battle?

Zende may have put the embarrassing scene surrounding his flirtation with his workmate, Zoe, behind him, but it didn’t deter him from mixing business with pleasure. Watch for the hot designer to entice Paris with a whirlwind of fun and romance outside of the office.

Bold & Beautiful spoilers for Friday, March 5:

We’d advise caution as Paris begins to fall deeper for Zende when he surprises her with a “getaway.” Charming as he is, he has a reputation as a player for a reason.

Zoe goes big in arranging a romantic scene in which to prove her love to Carter. But can anything truly make him forget the way that she hurt him by throwing herself at Zende?

The Young and the Restless Spoilers: March 1-5, 2021

Mark Grossman as Adam Newman; Alyvia Alyn Lind as Faith Newman; Sharon Case as Sharon Collins Newman Rosales

Victor doles out bad news, Devon is hiding something, Abby takes another hit, and Chelsea plots her revenge.

Young & Restless spoilers for Friday, February 26:

Rey and Sharon have it out over Adam, Chelsea tries to get the attention of a visitor, and Phyllis has a plan.

Well, we’ve known that this moment has been coming for a while. Owing to Sharon’s continued attraction to Adam — and the seeming inevitability of a “Shadam” reunion — she and Rey face a marital crisis. Is it one that they can weather together?

When Sally makes her intentions clear to Jack, will he like what she has to say? Or is the pot-stirring minx about to pull another trick out from up her sleeve?

Adam does what he does best: He covers his tracks. But which of his misdeeds is he trying to keep from coming to light this time?

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra; Peter Bergman as Jack Abbott

Young & Restless spoilers week of March 1:

The weekly Young & Restless preview, Sally is eager to clarify her and Jack’s status, and Ashley is back in town.

Young & Restless spoilers for Monday, March 1:

Poor Abby’s relationships always seem to hit a snag — and her marriage to Chance is no exception. Watch for Victor and Ashley to hold a meeting of the minds when they realize that they both have concerns about their daughter, who is pushing ahead with surrogacy plans despite her husband having left for parts unknown.

Amanda’s past is set to come back to haunt her, and we can only hope that this time around, it’s less deadly than the last, which resulted in Victoria being stabbed by her ex, Ripley!

When Mariah and Tessa get a reality check, will the redhead have a change of heart about serving as Abby’s surrogate?

Young & Restless spoilers for Tuesday, March 2:

Is anyone else loving the battle of the redheads that’s brewing? Watch for things to escalate between Summer’s mother and nemesis when Phyllis turns the tables on Sally.

Uh-oh. Whether Kyle is lying again or meeting with Tara Locke, the possible mother of his child, one thing is certain — his troubles will go from bad to worse when Summer catches him in the act.

We don’t like Adam’s chances if Chloe finds out about the photo of him kissing Sharon, and that’s exactly what could happen when Chelsea connects with her best friend.

Joshua Morrow as Nick Newman

Young & Restless spoilers for Wednesday, March 3:

Back in the saddle again? Victor makes a move to build his empire, which could spell bad news for not only Chance Comm but also Kyle and the Abbotts, if his new acquisition brings Ashland “Locke Ness Monster” Locke to Genoa City.

Still squirreled away in the penthouse in her wheelchair, her resentment growing by the minute, Chelsea dreams of revenge. Does she have Adam, Sharon — or both of them — in her sights?

Nick’s protectiveness has been known to be suffocating for the women in his life, but that’s never stopped him. When he goes all Father Bear in defense of Faith, will the teen appreciate his efforts or tell him he’s only made matters much worse?

Young & Restless spoilers for Thursday, March 4:

No one is happy about Sally dating the considerably older CEO of Jabot, but Jack knows his own mind and can be very formidable when challenged. So watch for “Ol’ Smilin’ Jack” to issue a reminder of that fact when he’s forced to go on the defensive.

It’s been a rough year for Abby, who’s been trying to keep her chin up since Chance’s unscheduled departure from her life. Unfortunately, she’ll need Nina and Christine’s support when things take a nosedive yet again.

We all know the old adage about the cover-up being worse than the crime, yet Devon opts to roll the dice by keeping a secret hidden from someone in his life. Now, the question isn’t whether this decision will come back to haunt him but when.

Amelia Heinle as Victoria Newman

Young & Restless spoilers for Friday, March 5:

When Victor finds himself in a position to deliver bad news, will he be smugly lording a victory over Billy Boy Abbott?

Will love or business be on the agenda when Lily makes a move to set the record straight with Victoria? Something tells us that either way, Lily might be in for a chilly reception. If only Young & Restless were playing our storyline for Victoria; you can read the brand-new Chapter 4 here.

When Chelsea celebrates a win, will it mean she’s making progress toward regaining her mobility and speech or that she’s managed to strike back at those who have wronged her?

The Wreck of the Andrea Doria

Listing ship Andrea Doria in waters off Nantucket. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

SS Andrea Doria pronounced [anˈdrɛːa ˈdɔːrja], was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home-ported in Genoa, Italy, known for its sinking in 1956, where of the 1,706 passengers and crew, 1,660 were rescued, while 46 lost their lives.

Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the ship had a gross register tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and 500 crew. For a country attempting to rebuild its shattered economy and reputation after World War II, Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy’s ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest. Launched on 16 June 1951, the ship began her maiden voyage on 14 January 1953.

On 25 July 1956, while Andrea Doria was approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, the eastbound Stockholm of the Swedish American Line collided with her in one of history’s most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of her lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats could have resulted in significant loss of life, but the ship stayed afloat for over 11 hours after the collision. The calm, appropriate behavior of the crew, together with improvements in communications, and the rapid response of other ships, averted a disaster similar in scale to that of Titanic in 1912. While 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, 46 people on the ship died as a direct consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. This accident remains the worst maritime disaster to occur in United States waters since the sinking of Eastland in 1915.

The incident and its aftermath were heavily covered by the news media. While the rescue efforts were both successful and commendable, the cause of the collision with Stockholm and the loss of Andrea Doria generated much interest in the media and many lawsuits. Largely because of an out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies during hearings immediately after the disaster, no determination of cause was ever formally published. Although greater blame appeared initially to fall on the Italian liner, more recent discoveries have indicated that a misreading of radar on the Swedish ship initiated the collision course, leading to errors on both ships.

History

Features

Andrea Doria had a length of 212 m (697 ft), a beam of 27 m (90 ft), and a gross register tonnage of 29,100. The propulsion system consisted of steam turbines attached to twin screws, enabling the ship to achieve a service speed of 23 knots (43 km/h), with a top speed of 26 knots (48 km/h). Andrea Doria was neither the largest vessel nor the fastest of its day: those distinctions went to RMS Queen Elizabeth and United States, respectively. Instead, the famous Italian architect Minoletti designed Andrea Doria for luxury.

The Ball Room

Dining Room

First class facilities

Because it sailed the southern Atlantic routes, Andrea Doria was the first ship to feature three outdoor swimming pools, one for each class (first, cabin, and tourist). When fully booked, the ship was capable of accommodating 1,241 passengers in three different classes; 218 in First Class, 320 in Cabin Class, and 703 in Tourist Class. As was the rule aboard transatlantic passenger liners, each passenger class was strictly segregated to specific parts of the ship. First Class accommodations were located amidships on the upper decks, Cabin Class accommodations were located just abaft of First Class, and Tourist Class accommodations were divided between the bow and aft ends and were connected by corridors that ran the full length of the ship. Each class had its own separate dining room, lounges, and social halls, designated areas of open deck space and enclosed promenades, and even their own swimming pools with verandas. In addition, 563 crew members were charged with operating and maintaining the ship.  Over $1 million was spent on artwork and the decor of the cabins and public rooms, including a life-sized statue of Admiral Doria.

Safety and seaworthiness

Equipped with a double hull, Andrea Doria was divided into 11 watertight compartments. Any two of these could be filled with water without endangering the ship’s safety. Andrea Doria also carried enough lifeboats to accommodate all passengers and crew. She carried a total of 16 steel lifeboats, eight positioned on each side of the ship, coming in three different designs; two 58-person launches for emergency use, two 70-person motorboats with inboard radio transmitters, and 12 146-person hand-propelled standard boats. Furthermore, the ship was equipped with the latest early-warning radar. However, despite its technological advantages, the ship had serious flaws relating to its seaworthiness and safety.

Confirming predictions derived from model testing during the design phase, the ship developed a huge list when hit by any significant force. This was especially apparent during its maiden voyage, when Andrea Doria listed 28° after being hit by a large wave off Nantucket. The ship’s tendency to list was accentuated when the fuel tanks were nearly empty, which was usually at the end of a voyage.

This stability issue became a focus of the investigation after the sinking, as it was a factor in both the capsizing and the crew’s inability to lower the port-side lifeboats. The bulkheads of the watertight compartments extended only up to the top of A Deck, and a list greater than 20° allowed water from a flooded watertight compartment to pass over its top into adjacent compartments. In addition, the design parameters allowed the lowering of the lifeboats at a maximum 15° list. Beyond this limit, up to half of the lifeboats could not be deployed.

Construction and maiden voyage

At the end of World War II, Italy had lost half its merchant fleet through wartime destruction and Allied forces seeking war reparations. The losses included the scuttling/bombing of Rex, a former Blue Riband holder. Furthermore, the country was struggling with a collapsed economy. To show the world that the country had recovered from the war, and to reestablish the nation’s pride, the Italian Line commissioned two new vessels of similar design in the early 1950s. The first was to be named Andrea Doria, after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria. The second vessel, which was launched in 1953, was to be named Cristoforo Colombo after explorer Christopher Columbus.

These ships were intended to enter use on the Italian Line’s main service between Genoa and New York, which was commonly advertised as the “Sunny Southern Route” alongside Saturnia, Vulcania and Conte Biancamano, which were among the handful of Italian liners to survive the war. However, as popular as these vessels were, all three were more than two decades old and had somewhat slower service speeds. Thus, it was the line’s intention to use the new Andrea Doria and Cristoforo Colombo to establish a new express service to New York. While the three older liners followed a route that meandered throughout the Mediterranean with additional stops at ports including the Azores, Lisbon, Barcelona and Palermo, the two new faster ships would make only three ports of call between Genoa and New York: at Cannes, Naples and Gibraltar.

Construction of Andrea Doria started as Yard No. 918 at Ansaldo Shipyard in Genoa. On 9 February 1950, the ship’s keel was laid on the No. 1 slipway, and on 16 June 1951, Andrea Doria was launched. During the ceremony, the ship’s hull was blessed by Giuseppe Siri, Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, and christened by Mrs. Giuseppina Saragat, wife of the former Minister of the Merchant Marine Giuseppe Saragat.

Initially, Andrea Doria had been scheduled to depart Genoa on her maiden voyage on 14 December 1952, but amid reports of machinery problems during sea trials, the departure was delayed to 14 January 1953. Following the Italian Line’s advertised route, she collected 794 passengers (152 First Class, 157 Cabin Class, 485 Tourist Class) before heading into the open Atlantic for New York. During the ship’s maiden voyage, she encountered heavy storms on the final approach to New York, listing a full 28°. Nevertheless, Andrea Doria completed her maiden voyage on 23 January, only a few minutes behind schedule, and received a welcoming delegation that included New York Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri.

Final voyage

A collision course

The 51st westbound crossing of Andrea Doria to New York began as a typical run on the North Atlantic. Her most recent eastbound crossing from New York had concluded on 14 July, and after a three-day turnaround, the ship was prepared to make another trek across the Atlantic, which was scheduled to begin from Genoa on Tuesday, 17 July. On this run, she was booked to roughly 90% of her total passenger capacity, with 1,134 passengers traveling aboard her: 190 in first class, 267 in cabin class and 677 in tourist class; with a crew of 572, a total of 1,706 persons were aboard.

On the morning of 17 July, boarding at the pier at Genoa began at 8 a.m. as Andrea Doria took on her first batch of passengers. In all, 277 passengers embarked at Genoa; 49 first class, 72 cabin class and 156 tourist class. Among those boarding in first class were Hungarian ballet dancers Istvan Rabovsky and Nora Kovach, who had defected from the Soviet bloc to the United States just three years earlier. Andrea Doria departed Genoa at 11 a.m. on the first leg of her journey.

Her first port of call was at Cannes, on the French Riviera, where she arrived in mid-afternoon that same day. Only a handful of passengers boarded there, 48 in all: 30 first class, 15 cabin class and only three tourist class. Among them was one of Andrea Doria’s most famous passengers, Hollywood actress Ruth Roman, who was traveling with her three-year-old son Richard. The famous songwriter, Mike Stoller, was aboard as well. Unbeknownst to him, Elvis Presley was enjoying his first big hit song with Stoller and Lieber’s “Heartbreak Hotel” during this historic sailing. From Cannes Andrea Doria then proceeded 400 nautical miles (700 km; 500 mi) to the southeast to Naples, where she arrived later the following morning to take on the bulk of her passengers. A total of 744 came aboard at Naples: another 85 in first class, 161 in cabin class and 498 in tourist class. Most of those in tourist class were emigrants from impoverished regions of southern Italy on their way to new lives in America. She departed Naples just after 6 p.m., making her final port of call two days later while dropping anchor off Gibraltar. After collecting her final 65 passengers (26 first class, 19 cabin class, 20 tourist class), she proceeded onto the open Atlantic for New York.

On Wednesday, 25 July, just before noon, Stockholm, a passenger liner of the Swedish American Line, departed New York Harbor on her 103rd eastbound crossing across the Atlantic to her home port of Gothenburg, Sweden. At 12,165 tons and 160 meters (525 ft) in length, roughly half the size of Andrea Doria, Stockholm was the smallest passenger liner on the North Atlantic run during the 1950s. Completed in 1948, Stockholm was of a much more practical design than Andrea Doria. Originally built to accommodate only 395 passengers in two classes, Stockholm was designed more for comfort than the luxury and opulence found aboard Andrea Doria, because the Swedish-American Line was aware that the age of transatlantic passenger travel was coming to an end with the rapid growth of air travel. However, they did not envision the massive surge in tourism that arose during the 1950s. As a result, the Swedish-American Line withdrew Stockholm from service in 1953 for an overhaul that included an addition to her superstructure to provide space for accommodations for an additional 153 passengers, increasing her maximum passenger capacity to 548. This proved to be a successful move, as by 1956 Stockholm had gained a worthy reputation on the North Atlantic. Also, because the Stockholm sailed close to the Arctic Ocean, it was designed with a strong, icebreaking bow, which turned out to be a major factor in her survival, and the fatal damage to Andrea Doria.

Stockholm left New York almost booked to capacity with 534 passengers and a crew of 208. She was commanded by Captain Harry Gunnar Nordenson, though Third Officer Johan-Ernst Carstens-Johannsen was on duty on the bridge at the time of the accident. This was his first time alone on the bridge of a ship, and he had been up since 06:00 that morning supervising baggage-loading and passenger-boarding in New York. Stockholm was following her usual course South of the Nantucket Lightship at a speed of about 18 knots (33 km/h), with clear skies. Meant to save time, this course nonetheless set the Stockholm twenty miles north of the recommended eastbound course for ships leaving the U.S., meaning that the ship sailed straight into incoming westward traffic. This was a clear violation of the 1953 North Atlantic Track Agreement to which the Swedish American Line was a signatory. Carstens-Johannsen estimated visibility at six nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi).

As Stockholm and Andrea Doria were approaching each other head-on in the heavily used shipping corridor, the westbound Andrea Doria had been traveling in heavy fog for hours. The captain had reduced speed slightly from 23.0 to 21.8 knots (42.6 to 40.4 km/h), activated the ship’s fog-warning whistle, and had closed the watertight doors, all customary precautions while sailing in such conditions. However, the eastbound Stockholm had yet to enter what was apparently the edge of a fog bank, and was seemingly unaware of it and the movement of the other ship hidden within the fog. The waters of the North Atlantic south of Nantucket Island are frequently the site of intermittent fog, as the cold Labrador Current encounters the Gulf Stream.

As the two ships approached each other at a combined speed of 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph), in failing light, each was aware of the presence of another ship, but guided only by radar, they apparently misinterpreted each other’s course. No radio communication was made between the two ships at first.

The original inquiry established that in the critical minutes before the collision, Andrea Doria gradually steered to its left, attempting a starboard-to-starboard passing, while Stockholm turned about 20° to its right, an action intended to widen the passing distance of a port-to-port passing. In fact, they were actually steering toward each other, narrowing, rather than widening, the passing distance. As a result of the extremely thick fog that enveloped Andrea Doria as the ships approached each other, the ships were quite close by the time visual contact was established. By then, the crews realized that they were on a collision course, but despite last-minute maneuvers, they could not avoid the collision.

In the last moments before impact, Stockholm turned hard to starboard (right) and was in the process of reversing her propellers, attempting to stop. Andrea Doria, remaining at her cruising speed of almost 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) engaged in a hard turn to port (left), her captain hoping to outrun the collision. Around 11:10 p.m., the two ships collided, Stockholm striking the side of Andrea Doria.

Impact and penetration

Andrea Doria the morning after the collision with Stockholm in fog off Nantucket Island. The hole in her starboard side from the collision with Stockholm is visible near the waterline about one-third aft of the bow.

When Andrea Doria and Stockholm collided at almost a 90° angle, Stockholm’s sharply raked ice breaking prow pierced Andrea Doria’s starboard side about one-third of her length from the bow. It penetrated the hull to a depth of nearly 40 feet (12 m), and the keel. Below the waterline, five fuel tanks on Andrea Doria’s starboard side were torn open, and they filled with thousands of tons of seawater. Meanwhile, air was trapped in the five empty tanks on the port side, causing them to float more readily, contributing to a severe list. The ship’s large fuel tanks were mostly empty at the time of the collision, since the ship was nearing the end of her voyage, worsening the list.

Andrea Doria was designed with her hull divided into 11 watertight compartments, separated by steel bulkheads that ran across the width of her hull, rising from the bottom of the ship’s hull up to A Deck. The only openings in the bulkheads were on the bottom deck, where watertight doors were installed for use by the engine crew and could be easily closed in an emergency. Her design specified that if any two adjacent watertight compartments were breached, she could remain afloat. In addition, following the rules and guidelines set by the International Conference for Safety of Life at Sea of 1948, Andrea Doria was designed to handle a list, even under the worst imaginable circumstances, but not one greater than 15°. However, the combination of the five flooded tanks on one side and the five empty tanks on the other left her with a list that, within a few minutes of the collision, exceeded 20°. While the collision itself penetrated only one of Andrea Doria’s watertight compartments, the severe list would gradually pull the tops of the bulkheads along the starboard side below the level of the water, allowing seawater to flow down corridors, down stairwells, and any other way it could find into the next compartment in line. The collision had also torn into an access tunnel running from the generator room, which was located in the compartment directly aft of where the collision had happened, to a small room at the forward end of the tank compartment containing the controls for the tank pumps. But a fatal flaw in Andrea Doria’s design existed, as at the point where the tunnel went through the bulkhead separating the two compartments, no watertight door was present. This allowed the generator room to flood rapidly, contributing to not only an increase in flooding, but also to a loss of electricity.

Initial radio distress calls were sent out by each ship, and in that manner, they learned each other’s identities. Soon afterward, the messages were received by numerous radio and Coast Guard stations along the New England coast, and the world soon became aware that two large ocean liners had collided.

Andrea Doria sent this SOS call:

“SOS DE ICEH [this is Andrea Doria] SOS HERE AT 0320 GMT LAT. 40.30 N 69.53 W NEED IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE”

Assessing damage and imminent danger

Immediately after the collision, Andrea Doria began to take on water and started to list severely to starboard. Within minutes, the list was at least 18°. After the ships separated, Captain Calamai quickly brought the engine controls to “all stop”. One of the watertight doors to the engine room may have been missing, though this issue was later determined to be moot. Much more importantly, however, crucial stability was lost by the earlier failure, during routine operations, to ballast the mostly empty fuel tanks as the builders had specified. (Filling the tanks with seawater as the fuel was emptied would have resulted in more costly procedures to refuel when port was reached.) Owing to the immediate rush of seawater flooding the starboard tanks, and because the port tanks had emptied during the crossing, the list was greater than would otherwise have been the case. As the list increased over the next few minutes to 20° or more, Calamai realized that no hope was left for his ship unless the list could be corrected.

In the engine room, engineers attempted to pump water out of the flooding starboard tanks, but to no avail. Only a small amount of fuel remained, and the intakes to pump seawater into the port tanks were now high out of the water, making any attempt to level the ship futile.

Aboard Stockholm, roughly 30 feet (10 m) of her bow had been crushed and torn away. Initially, the ship was dangerously down by the bow, but emptying the freshwater tanks soon raised the bow to within four inches (10 cm) of normal. A quick survey determined that the major damage did not extend aft beyond the bulkhead between the first and second watertight compartments. Thus, despite being down at the bow and having her first watertight compartment flooded, the ship was soon determined to be stable and in no imminent danger of sinking.

Rescue operations

On Andrea Doria, the decision to abandon ship was made within 30 minutes of impact. A sufficient number of lifeboats for all of the passengers and crew were positioned on each side of the Boat Deck. Procedures called for lowering the lifeboats to be fastened alongside the glass-enclosed Promenade Deck (one deck below), where evacuees could step out of windows directly into the boats, which would then be lowered down to the sea. However, it was soon determined that half of the lifeboats, those on the port side, were unlaunchable due to the severe list, which left them high in the air. To make matters worse, the list also complicated normal lifeboat procedures on the starboard side. Instead of loading lifeboats at the side of the Promenade Deck and then lowering them into the water, it would be necessary to lower the boats empty, and somehow get evacuees down the exterior of the ship to water level to board. This was eventually accomplished through ropes and Jacob’s ladders. In fear of causing a panic and stampeding of the starboard lifeboats, Captain Calamai decided against giving the order to abandon ship until help arrived. In the meantime, Second Officer Guido Badano made announcements over the loudspeaker system instructing passengers to put on their lifebelts and go to their designated muster stations.

A distress message was relayed to other ships by radio, making it clear that additional lifeboats were urgently needed. The first ship to respond to Andrea Doria’s distress call was the 120-meter (390 ft) freighter Cape Ann of the United Fruit Company, which was returning to the United States after a trip to Bremerhaven, Germany. Upon receiving the message from the stricken Andrea Doria, Captain Joseph Boyd immediately set course for the site of the collision. With a crew of 44 aboard and only two 40-person lifeboats, the assistance Cape Ann could offer was limited, but within minutes, she was joined by other ships heeding the distress call.  The US Navy transport USNS Private William H. Thomas, en route to New York from Livorno, Italy, with 214 troops and dependents also responded to the signal and made immediate progress towards the site. Her captain, John Shea, was placed in charge of the rescue operation by the US Navy and readily ordered his crew to prepare their eight usable lifeboats. Also joining the rescue were the US Navy destroyer escort USS Edward H. Allen.

44 nmi (81 km; 51 mi) east of the collision site, the French Line’s Île de France was eastbound from New York en route to her home port of Le Havre, France, with 940 passengers and a crew of 826 aboard. At 44,500 tons and 225 meters (739 ft) in length, the 30-year-old luxury liner was among the largest passenger liners on the North Atlantic run. On that voyage, having left New York the same day as Stockholm, she was under the command of Captain Raoul de Beaudean, a well-respected veteran of the seas who had served the French Line for 35 years. Upon hearing of the collision and the distress call, de Beaudean was at first skeptical of the thought of a modern ship like Andrea Doria actually foundering, and knew that if he did steer back to the collision site only to find that Île de France was not needed, it would mean having to return to New York to refuel and delaying her passengers, which could have been a financial disaster for the French Line. At the same time, he knew that if his services were needed, the French Line would not question his actions in that case. Captain de Beaudean made an attempt to contact Andrea Doria to learn more about the situation, which was unsuccessful, but after making contact with Stockholm, Cape Ann, and Thomas, he quickly realized the severity of the situation and that the lives of over 1,600 people were at risk. He quickly turned Île de France around and set a direct course for the stricken Andrea Doria.

On board Andrea Doria, the launching of the eight usable lifeboats on the starboard side was yet another calamity of the night, as many of the boats left Andrea Doria only partially loaded with about 200 panicked crewmen and very few passengers.

While other ships nearby were en route, Captain Nordenson of Stockholm, having determined that his ship was not in any imminent danger of sinking, and after being assured of the safety of his mostly sleeping passengers, sent some of his lifeboats to supplement the starboard boats from Andrea Doria. In the first hours, many survivors transported by lifeboats from both ships were taken aboard Stockholm. Unlike the Titanic tragedy 44 years earlier, several other non-passenger ships that heard Andrea Doria’s SOS signal steamed as fast as they could, some eventually making it to the scene. Radio communications included relays from the other ships as Andrea Doria’s radios had limited range. The United States Coast Guard from New York City also coordinated on land.

Arriving at the scene less than three hours after the collision, as he neared, Captain de Beaudean became concerned about navigating his huge ship safely between the two damaged liners, other responding vessels, lifeboats, and possibly even people in the water. Then, just as Île de France arrived, the fog lifted, and he was able to position his ship in such a way that the starboard side of Andrea Doria was somewhat sheltered. He ordered all exterior lights of Île de France to be turned on. The sight of the illuminated Île de France was a great emotional relief to many participants, crew and passengers alike.

Île de France managed to rescue the bulk of the remaining passengers by shuttling its 10 lifeboats back and forth to Andrea Doria, and receiving lifeboat loads from those of the other ships already at the scene (as well as the starboard boats from Andrea Doria). Some passengers on Île de France gave up their cabins to be used by the wet and tired survivors. Many other acts of kindness were reported by grateful survivors.

In all, 1,663 passengers and crew had been rescued from Andrea Doria. The badly damaged Stockholm, through the use of both her own lifeboats and those from the stricken Andrea Doria, took on a total of 545 survivors, of whom 234 were crew members from Andrea Doria; 129 survivors had been rescued by Cape Ann, 159 by Pvt. William H. Thomas, 77 by Edward H. Allen, including Captain Calamai and his officers, and one very fortunate American sailor who slept through the entire collision and evacuation had been lucky enough to be rescued from the abandoned, sinking liner by the tanker Robert E. Hopkins. Île de France undoubtedly played the largest role in the rescue, having taken on a total of 753 survivors.

Shortly after daybreak, a four-year-old Italian girl with head trauma and four seriously injured Stockholm crewmen were airlifted from that ship at the scene by helicopters sent by the Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force. A number of passengers and some crew were hospitalized upon arrival in New York.

Andrea Doria capsizes and sinks

Once the evacuation was complete, Captain Calamai of Andrea Doria shifted his attention to the possibility of towing the ship to shallow water. However, it was clear to those watching helplessly at the scene that the stricken ocean liner was doomed.

After all the survivors had been transferred onto various rescue ships bound for New York, Andrea Doria’s remaining crew began to disembark – forced to abandon the ship. By 9:00 am, even Captain Calamai was in a rescue boat. The sinking began at 9:45am and by 10:00 that morning the Andrea Doria’s starboard side dipped into the ocean and the three swimming pools were seen refilling with water. As the bow slid under, the stern rose slightly, and the port propeller and shaft became visible. As the port side slipped below the waves, some of the unused lifeboats snapped free of their davits and floated upside-down in a row. It was recorded that Andrea Doria finally sank bow first 10 hours after the collision, at 10:09 am on 26 July 1956. The ship had drifted 1.58 nautical miles (2.93 km) from the point of the collision in those 10 hours. Aerial photography of the stricken ocean liner capsizing and sinking won a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for Harry A. Trask of the Boston Traveler newspaper.

Return to New York; families

Because of the scattering of Andrea Doria passengers and crew among the various rescue vessels, some families were separated during the collision and rescue. It was not clear who was where, and whether or not some persons had survived, until after all the ships with survivors arrived in New York. In all, six different ships had participated in the rescue of the passengers and crew of Andrea Doria, including the heavily damaged Stockholm, which was able to steam back to New York under its own power with a United States Coast Guard escort, but arrived later than the other ships.

During the wait, ABC Radio Network news commentator Edward P. Morgan, based in New York City, broadcast a professional account of the collision, not telling listeners that his 14-year-old daughter had been aboard Andrea Doria and feared dead. He did not know that Linda Morgan, who was soon labeled the “miracle girl”, was alive and aboard Stockholm. The following night, after learning the good news, his emotional broadcast became one of the more memorable in radio news history.

Among Andrea Doria’s passengers were Hollywood actress Ruth Roman and her three-year-old son, Richard. In the 1950 film Three Secrets, Roman had portrayed a distraught mother waiting to learn whether or not her child had survived a plane crash. She and her son were separated from each other during the collision and evacuation. Rescued, Roman had to wait to learn her child’s fate, which resulted in a media frenzy for photos as she waited at the pier in New York City for her child’s safe arrival aboard one of the rescue ships. Actress Betsy Drake, wife of movie star Cary Grant, also escaped from the sinking liner, as did Philadelphia mayor Richardson Dilworth and songwriter Mike Stoller (of the team Leiber and Stoller).

Assisted by the American Red Cross and news photographers, the frantic parents of four-year-old Norma Di Sandro learned that their injured daughter had been airlifted from Stockholm to a hospital in Boston, where the previously unidentified little girl had undergone surgery for a fractured skull. They drove all night from New York to Boston, with police escorts provided to their convoy in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When they arrived, the child was still unconscious and the doctors said all that could be done was wait to see if she woke up. The little girl never regained consciousness, and succumbed to her injuries.

Other families also had their hopes of seeing loved ones again dashed, especially those who were meeting members of several young families immigrating to the United States in hope of new lives.

The pier in New York where Stockholm was heading was packed with newsreel photographers and television crews. All the major department stores and shoe stores had booths set up to give the arriving survivors clothing and shoes. Not many of the news-people spoke Italian, so confusion occurred when the survivors were asked to take off the clothing they were just given, to be photographed putting the clothes on. But after just a few minutes, everyone was clothed and had shoes to wear.

The sinking produced a footnote in automotive history, as it resulted in the loss of the Chrysler Norseman, an advanced “one-off” prototype car that had been built for Chrysler by Ghia in Italy. The Norseman had been announced as a major attraction of the 1957 auto show circuit. However, it had not been shown to the public prior to the disaster, and was lost, along with other cars in Andrea Doria’s 50-car garage.

Casualties

The area of Andrea Doria’s hull where Stockholm’s bow penetrated encompassed five passenger decks. On the uppermost of these decks, the Upper Deck, at least eight first-class cabins were destroyed. In all, six first-class passengers lost their lives. In cabin 46, Colonel Walter Carlin had been in the bathroom brushing his teeth at the time of the collision and miraculously survived, while his wife Jeanette was killed. Later aboard Stockholm, crewmen searching the wreckage of the mangled bow sighted the remains of a woman matching Carlin’s description lodged in the wreckage, but before they could recover it debris became dislodged and the body fell into the sea. In direct line of Stockholm’s bow on the upper deck were cabins 52 and 54, which were occupied by Camille Cianfarra, a longtime foreign correspondent for The New York Times, his wife Jane, their eight-year-old daughter Joan and 14-year-old Linda Morgan, Jane’s daughter from her previous marriage to American journalist Edward P. Morgan. Joan was killed instantly, while Camille died from severe injuries moments after the collision. Jane was seriously injured, but was rescued by some other passengers, among them Dr. Thure Peterson, who had been next door in cabin 56. He sustained only minor injuries, while his wife Martha was gravely wounded and was trapped along with Jane Cianfarra. After a long struggle to free her, largely on the part of her husband, Martha succumbed to her injuries a few hours after the collision. One deck below on the Foyer Deck, near the first-class entrance, Ferdinand Melly Thieriot, circulation director of The San Francisco Chronicle, along with his wife Frances (whose grandson is the actor Max Thieriot) were killed, as their suite was in direct line of Stockholm’s bow. Their 13-year-old son Peter, who occupied a cabin further down the corridor, survived.

On the decks below, titled A, B and C Decks, the loss of life was greater, as it was the location of several sections of tourist-class cabins. On A Deck, eleven passengers, consisting of ten women and one elderly clergyman, were all killed. In Cabin 230, three women, Margaret Carola, Christina Covino and Amelia Iazzetta, were killed instantly. Carola had been on board with her elderly mother Rosa Carola, who had also been assigned a berth in the cabin but because she suffered from a variety of health problems, she had been in the ship’s infirmary at the time of the collision and survived. Covino and Iazzetta were both sisters from New York who were returning from a visit to Italy. They were accompanied by Iazzetta’s husband Benevenuto, who had been berthed in another cabin and survived.

In the next cabin forward, Cabin 228, four more women lost their lives. Among them was Laura Bremermann, a young mother of two who was returning home to Fort Worth, Texas after visiting her native Italy. Two days before the disaster Bremermann sent a telegram to her husband Floyd asking him to meet her in New York. When he arrived to find her missing he inquired with the Italian line, who initially reported she was not on the passenger list, which Bremermann refuted using the telegram from his wife as proof. On B Deck, Andrea Doria’s 50-car garage was staved in by the bow of Stockholm, but on C Deck, the worst loss of life occurred. A total of 26 people were killed in the collision section there, mostly Italian immigrant families.

Among those killed in the collision on C Deck was Opera singer Agnes Baratta, who at the time was a leading soprano of Milan’s La Scala Opera House. She and her elderly mother Margherita Baratta had been en route to Redwood City, California, to visit her sister, after which Agnes had intended to audition for the San Francisco Opera House. Maria Theresina Imberlone, like the Barattas, was also bound for the San Francisco Bay Area, and was also killed in the collision. Imberlone’s husband Giacomo and their 13-year-old son Giovanni, who shared another cabin, both survived.

Among the losses was that of Maria Sergio and her four children, 13-year-old Giuseppe, 10-year-old Anna Maria, seven-year-old Domenica, and four-year-old Rocco, who occupied a cabin on the starboard side of C Deck that was in direct line of the collision. She was traveling aboard Andrea Doria with her children on her way to South Bend, Indiana, where her husband, Ross Sergio, and their 17-year-old son Anthony, were waiting for them. Anthony Sergio had in fact sailed to the United States from Italy aboard Andrea Doria the previous April. Also traveling with them were Maria’s sister Margaret and her husband Paul Sergio, who also happened to be Ross Sergio’s brother. Paul and Margaret had emigrated to the U.S. prior to the voyage and had returned to Italy for a visit and to accompany Maria and the children back to Indiana. Both Paul and Margaret survived the sinking, and for years after the disaster, Paul was haunted by the memory of his four-year-old nephew Rocco, the youngest of his brother’s children, who just hours prior to the collision had asked if he could spend the night with his uncle.

Also lost in the collision section of C Deck were Angelina Diana and her two youngest children, eight-year-old Biaggio and six-year-old Victoria. They had been en route to Hartford, Connecticut, where Angelina’s husband Antonio and three of their older children were waiting. In a 2003 episode of the History Channel series Deep Sea Detectives featuring the story of Andrea Doria, show host and wreck diver John Chatterton met with Angelina Diana’s son Gennaro and his daughter, whom he’d named Angelina, after her grandmother, and heard the story of how the disaster came to impact their family so profoundly. In speaking with Chatterton, Gennaro recalled excitedly waking up that morning and driving to New York with his father and two older sisters to meet the rest of their family, but as the survivors from Andrea Doria came ashore, they waited for five or six days until it was confirmed that Angelina, Biaggio and Victoria were among the 51 people who lost their lives in the disaster. Meanwhile, the younger Angelina explained how she grew up with a sense of great pride having been named after her grandmother, which was in turn mirrored with sadness in never having gotten to know her, or her aunt and uncle. She then gives Chatterton a green bottle containing a family jewel, asking him to place it on the wreck to honor their loved ones’ memory, which Chatterton does later in the episode during a dive to the wrecksite.

In addition to the lives lost in the collision, three more of Andrea Doria’s passengers died from injuries and ailments that occurred during and after the evacuation. Norma Di Sandro, a four-year-old Italian girl traveling in tourist class with her parents, Tullio and Filomena Di Sandro, was dropped on her head into a lifeboat by her panicked father. She was taken to Stockholm and subsequently airlifted to Brighton Marine Hospital in Boston, where she died from a fractured cranium without ever regaining consciousness. Carl Watres, a businessman from Manasquan, New Jersey, who was traveling in cabin class aboard Andrea Doria with his wife Lillian, died from a sudden heart attack while en route to New York aboard Stockholm. Angelina Grego, a 48-year-old, broke her back after falling into one of Ile de France’s lifeboats. She was taken to St. Claire’s Hospital in New York City, where she lingered in immense pain until her death six months later.

After the ships had separated, as Stockholm crew members were beginning to survey the damage, a miraculous discovery was made. On the top deck of Stockholm, one of the crew came across Linda Morgan, who had been thrown from her bed on Andrea Doria as the two ships collided, and landed on Stockholm’s deck, suffering moderate but not life-threatening injuries. Others, unfortunately, were not as lucky, as five of Stockholm’s crew perished in the collision.

Aftermath

Litigation and determination of fault: 1956–1957

Several months of hearings were held in New York City in the aftermath of the collision. Prominent maritime attorneys represented both the ships’ owners. Dozens of attorneys represented victims and families of victims. Officers of both ship lines had testified, including the officers in charge of each ship at the time of the collision, with more scheduled to appear later until an out-of-court settlement was reached, and the hearings ended abruptly.

Both shipping lines contributed to a settlement fund for the victims. Each line absorbed its own damages. For the Swedish-American Line, damages were estimated at $2 million, half for repairs to Stockholm’s bow, and half for lost business during repairs. The Italian Line sustained the loss of Andrea Doria’s full value, estimated to be $30 million.

A U.S. Congressional hearing was also held, and provided some determinations, notably about the lack of ballasting specified by the builders during the fatal voyage and the resulting lack of seaworthiness of Andrea Doria after the collision.

While heavy fog was given as the primary cause of the accident, and it is not disputed that intermittent and heavy fog are both frequent and challenging conditions for mariners in that part of the ocean, these other factors have been cited:

Andrea Doria’s officers had not followed proper radar procedures or used the plotting equipment available in the chartroom adjacent to the bridge of their ship to plot and then calculate the course, position and speed of the other (approaching) ship. Thus, they failed to realize Stockholm’s speed and course.

Andrea Doria had not followed the long-established rule that vessels approaching head-to-head both turn towards the right (to starboard). As Stockholm turned to starboard, Andrea Doria turned to port, closing the circle instead of opening it. Beyond a certain point, it became impossible to avoid a collision.

Captain Calamai of Andrea Doria was deliberately speeding in heavy fog, an admittedly common practice on passenger liners. The navigation rules required speed to be reduced during periods of limited visibility to a stopping distance within half the distance of visibility. As a practical matter, this would have meant reducing the speed of the ship to virtually zero in the dense fog.

Stockholm and Andrea Doria were experiencing different weather conditions immediately prior to the collision. The collision occurred in an area of the northern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts, where heavy and intermittent fog is common. Although Andrea Doria had been engulfed in the fog for several hours, Stockholm had only recently entered the bank and was still acclimating to atmospheric conditions. The officer in charge of Stockholm incorrectly assumed that his inability to see the other vessel was due to conditions other than fog, such as the other ship being a very small fishing vessel or a ‘blacked-out’ warship on maneuvers. He testified that he had no idea it was another passenger liner speeding through fog.

Andrea Doria’s fuel tanks were half empty and not pumped with seawater ballast to stabilize the ship, in accordance with the Italian Line’s procedures. This contributed to the pronounced list following the collision, the inability of the crew to pump water into the port fuel tanks to right the ship, and the inability to use the port lifeboats for the evacuation.

Also, a watertight door may have been “missing” between bulkheads near the engine room, which was thought to have contributed to Andrea Doria’s problems.

Stockholm’s navigating officer misread his radar thinking he was on a 15-nautical-mile (28 km) setting when in reality the radar was set for 5 nautical miles (9 km). Thus, he thought he was farther from Andrea Doria than he actually was. He also failed to consult his captain as was required by regulation.

Both lines had an incentive to limit the public discussion of Andrea Doria’s structural and stability problems. Stockholm’s owners had another new ship, Gripsholm, under construction at Ansaldo Shipyard in Italy. Andrea Doria’s designers and engineers had been scheduled to testify, but the hearings were abruptly concluded before their testimony could be heard due to the settlement agreement.

Resulting reforms

The Andrea Doria–Stockholm collision led to several rule changes in the immediate years following the incident to avoid a recurrence. Since this was essentially a radar-assisted collision event, in which over-use was made of poorly handled technology, shipping lines were required to improve training on the use of radar equipment. Also, approaching ships were required to make radio contact with one another. Both ships saw each other on their radar systems and attempted to turn. Unfortunately, one of the radar systems was poorly designed, resulting in the collision. Marine craft today are required to turn to starboard (right) in a head-on situation.

Later investigations and study

Unanswered questions about the tragedy, and questions of cause and blame, have intrigued observers and haunted survivors for over 50 years. The fact that Andrea Doria and Stockholm were speeding in heavy fog (21.8 knots and 18.5 knots, respectively, at the collision) and questions about their seaworthiness arose at the time. Captain Calamai never assumed another command because the Italian Line feared bad publicity. However, largely because the out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies ended the fact-finding that was taking place in the hearings immediately after the disaster, no resolution of the cause(s) was ever formally accomplished. This has led to continued development of information and a search for greater understanding, aided by newer technologies in over half a century since the disaster.

Recent discoveries using computer animation and newer undersea diving technology have shed additional light on some aspects.

Many years later, scientific study of the actions of the two crews indicated a probability that the third mate on Stockholm misinterpreted his radar in the minutes prior to the impact. Recent studies and computer simulations carried out by Captain Robert J. Meurn of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and based on the findings of John C. Carrothers suggest Stockholm Third Officer Carstens-Johannsen misinterpreted radar data and badly overestimated the distance between the two ships. The poor design of the radar settings, coupled with unlighted range settings and a darkened bridge, makes this scenario possible. Some critics have suggested that a simple and available technology, a small light bulb on the radar set aboard Stockholm, might have averted the entire disaster. Instead, he may have unintentionally steered the Swedish ship into a collision with the Italian liner.

Studies of the actions of each ship confirm another factor that was long suspected, that once sight contact was established, Andrea Doria took an evasive action that increased the likelihood of a collision and worsened the situation. In other words, the Italian ship turned to its left, and subsequently the Swedish turned to its right, which in the case of an impending collision meant that they turned towards each other. The best way to avoid a collision is for both parties to turn away, by both going to their “left” or both going “right.” Hence, the rules of the road specify the direction a ship should turn; if both ships follow the same avoidance rules, then they minimize the chance of a collision.

Exploration of Andrea Doria’s impact area revealed that Stockholm’s bow had ripped a much larger gash in the critical area of the large fuel tanks and watertight compartments of the Italian liner than had been thought in 1956. The question of the “missing” watertight door, although still unanswered, was probably moot: Andrea Doria was doomed immediately after the collision.

…In maritime navigation, all collision avoidance manoeuvres are made based on the Collision Regulations COLREG. Although these rules have helped in managing the maritime traffic and also advised every vessel about the collision avoidance manoeuvres that need to be taken in every situation, they have not stopped accidents from happening (Demirel and Bayer, 2015; Lušić and Erceg, 2008). After a deep study of the COLREG a number of issues that can cause a hassle and confusion for the OOW (Officer On Ward) were identified (Belcher, 2002; Demirel and Bayer, 2015; Szlapczynski and Szlapczynska, 2015; Wylie, 1962)…” Extracted from Distance Comparative Review of Collision Avoidance Systems in Maritime and Aviation – Hesham Abdushkour, Osman Turan, Evangelos Boulougouris, Rafet Emek Kurt (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom), a paper addressed to the transfer of TCAS (Traffic and Collision Avoidance System) aerospace technology to maritime navigation.

Wreck site

Due to the luxurious appointments and initially good condition of the wreck, with the top of the wreck lying initially in 160 feet (50 m) of water, Andrea Doria has been a frequent target of treasure divers. It is commonly referred to as the “Mount Everest of scuba diving.” The comparison to Mt. Everest originated after a July 1983 dive on Andrea Doria by Capt. Alvin Golden during a CBS News-televised interview of the divers following their return from a dive expedition to the wreck aboard the R/V Wahoo. The depth, water temperature, and currents combine to put the wreck beyond the scope of recreational diving. The skills and equipment required to successfully execute this dive, such as use of mixed gases and staged decompression, put it in the realm of only the most experienced technical divers. The wreck is located near 40°29.408′N 69°51.046′W.

After Andrea Doria sank, divers Peter Gimbel and Joseph Fox managed to locate the wreck of the ship, and published pictures of the wreck in Life.

In 1968, film director Bruno Vailati, together with Stefano Carletti, Mimi Dies, Arnaldo Mattei, and Al Giddings (an experienced American diver), organized and directed the first Italian expedition to the wreck, producing the documentary titled Andrea Doria -74. The wreck was marked with a bronze plaque with the inscription: “We came here to work because the impossible becomes possible and Andrea Doria return to the light”.

Peter Gimbel later conducted a number of salvage operations on the ship, including salvaging the first-class bank safe in 1981. Despite speculation that passengers had deposited many valuables, the safe, opened on live television in 1984, yielded thousands of American silver certificates, Canadian bank notes, American Express travelers checks, and Italian bank notes, but no other valuables. This outcome apparently confirmed other speculation that most Andrea Doria passengers, in anticipation of the ship’s scheduled arrival in New York City the following morning, had already retrieved their valuables prior to the collision.

Evelyn Bartram Dudas (22) was the first woman to successfully dive onto Andrea Doria. Dudas reached the wreck in June 1967; she and her future husband, John Dudas, retrieved the ship’s compass.  Other well-known divers to explore the Andrea Doria are Steve Belinda, John Chatterton, Gary Gentile, Gary Gilligan, Richie Kohler and John Mattera.

As of 2010, years of ocean submersion have taken their toll. The wreck has aged and deteriorated extensively, with the hull now fractured and collapsed. The upper decks have slowly slid off the wreck to the seabed below. As a result of this transformation, a large debris field flows out from the hull of the liner. Once-popular access points frequented by divers, such as Gimbel’s hole, no longer exist. Divers call Andrea Doria a “noisy” wreck, as it emits various noises due to continual deterioration and the currents’ moving broken metal around inside the hull. However, due to this decay, new access areas are constantly opening up for future divers on the ever-changing wreck.

A 2016 expedition to the wreck by OceanGate revealed that Andrea Doria was decaying rapidly. “When you look at the shape of the hull, it appears a lot has come off,” Stockon Rush, OceanGate’s CEO, said. One of the pieces now broken off the wreck is the ship’s bow.

After years of removal of artifacts by divers, little of value was thought to remain. Significant artifacts recovered include the statue of Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria, for whom the ship was named. It was removed from the first-class lounge, having been cut off at the ankles to accomplish this. Examples of the ship’s china have long been considered valuable mementos of diving the wreck. The ship’s bell is normally considered to be the prize of a wreck. This ship carried three bells: one bell located on the bridge, and two much larger ceremonial bells located on the fore and aft decks. The ship’s stern bell was retrieved in the late 1980s by a team of divers led by Bill Nagle. On 26 June 2010, a diver from New Jersey, Carl Bayer, diving from the Narragansett RI based dive boat EXPLORER, owned by Capt Dave Sutton, discovered the bridge bell lying on the bottom at 73 m (241 ft). He recovered it with assistance from Ernie Rookey, also from New Jersey. The bell, 410 mm (16 in) tall and weighing 33.3 kg (73.5 lb), was possibly used to signal fog on the night of the collision. The forward bell remains undiscovered. It has for years been thought to be in the ship’s paint locker where it was stored during ocean crossings, but recent reports indicate that this part of the ship has collapsed in on itself and the forward bell may never be found.

Deaths

Artifact recovery on Andrea Doria has resulted in additional loss of life. At least 22 scuba divers have lost their lives diving on the wreck, and diving conditions at the wreck site are considered very treacherous. Strong currents and heavy sediment that can reduce visibility to zero pose serious hazards to diving this site. Dr. Robert Ballard (who found the wrecks of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and the American aircraft carrier Yorktown and torpedo boat PT-109) who visited the site in a US Navy submersible in 1995, reported that thick fishing nets draped the hull. An invisible web of thin fishing lines, which can snag scuba gear, increases danger. The wreck is slowly collapsing; the top of the wreck is now at 58 meters (190 ft), and many of the passageways have begun to collapse.

The wreck site is nicknamed “The Everest of Wreck Diving” because of the number of deaths exploring the site.

1956: William Edgerton, 23, part of an effort to photograph the recently sunk Andrea Doria, died shortly after one of the valves on his breathing apparatus became partially closed.

1981: John Barnett drowned while diving on Andrea Doria.

1984: Frank Kennedy surfaced unconscious after a dive on Andrea Doria and died on board RV Wahoo before help arrived.

1985: John Ormsby drowned after being caught in wires.

1988: Joe Drozd died during a dive on Andrea Doria.

1992: Mathew Lawrence and Mike Scofield drowned while diving on Andrea Doria.

1993: Robert Santuli died while diving on Andrea Doria.

1998: Craig Sicola, Richard Roost, and Vincent Napoliello all died diving on Andrea Doria.

1999: Christopher Murley and Charles J. McGurr both died of apparent heart attacks preparing for a second dive.

2002: William Schmoldt died from decompression sickness.

2006: Researcher David Bright died from decompression sickness.

2008: Terry DeWolf of Houston, Texas, died during a dive on the wreck site; the cause of death was not determined.

2011: Michael LaPrade of Los Angeles died during a dive on the wreck.

2015: Tom Pritchard, 64, is presumed dead after diving on the wreck.

2017: Steven Slater, 46, of Gateshead, England was pulled from the water unconscious and could not be revived.

Legacy

Stockholm’s bow was repaired at a cost of $1 million. Today, the former Stockholm sails as MV Astoria and is registered in Portugal.

Survivors

Survivors went on with their lives with a wide range of experiences. Captain Calamai never accepted another command, and lived the rest of his life in sadness “as a man who has lost a son”, according to his daughter. Most of the other officers returned to the sea. Some survivors had mental problems for years after the incident, while others felt their experience had helped them value their lives more preciously. A group of survivors remains in contact with each other through a web site run by the family of Anthony Grillo, an Andrea Doria survivor. Some stay in touch through a newsletter, and reunions and memorial services have been held.

In culture

Artwork

Two bronze medallions, commissioned by survivors Pierette Domenica Simpson and Jerome Reinert and survivor’s daughter Angela Addario, are in the South Street Seaport Museum of New York, and in the Museo del Mare of Genova, Italy.

California sculptor Daniel Oberti created the two works called The Greatest Sea Rescue in History.

A large-scale painting, The Andrea Doria Crosses the World Trade Center by Ronald Mallory, was commissioned by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for Windows on the World at the World Trade Center. The painting hung on the 107th floor since 1982, and was lost with the destruction of the towers on 11 September 2001.

An oil painting, The Andrea Doria in Genoa Harbor by Michael E. Von Drak, commissioned June 1986 by Bruno P. Pella for his Ristorante Grifone, San Francisco, California.

Music

In 1973, German singer Udo Lindenberg published an album titled Alles klar auf der Andrea Doria (All’s Well on the Andrea Doria), containing a song of the same name.

The liner is also referenced in the Steely Dan song “Things I Miss The Most” from their 2003 album Everything Must Go.

In 1986 Brazilian rock band Legião Urbana recorded the song “Andrea Doria” in their second album Dois.

Books

The liner is mentioned in more than 500 of the many written biographies of Elvis Presley, because one of the survivors was Mike Stoller of the songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. As Stoller reached the port of New York, Leiber informed him at the main dock that their 1952 composition “Hound Dog”, a number one R&B record for Big Mama Thornton, was once more and right there and then, the number one record in the nation in all three charts: R&B, Pop and C&W, albeit this time “by a young Mississippian by the name of Elvis Presley”. Stoller, who had been in Europe for over 10 months, did not know who Presley was, so he asked Leiber the now famous “Elvis who?”. They would go on to write several more number one hits, including two written exclusively for Presley, “Don’t”, a number one in early 1958, as well as the title song and most of the soundtrack for Presley’s third movie, the 1957 MGM production of the mega hit “Jailhouse Rock”.

Fiction

In Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, a Victor-class submarine stakes out a New York-to-Europe convoy to reinforce NATO against a Soviet attack by sitting next to the wreck of Andrea Doria – hoping to confuse magnetic anomaly detector readings. USS Reuben James and HMS Battleaxe, working in conjunction, use their helicopters to find and destroy the submarine.

In Clive Cussler’s Serpent (1999), the Andrea Doria was purposely sunk by the secret organization called the “Brotherhood” to hide the fact of pre-Columbian contact of Mayans and Europe made by Phoenicians. The liner was carrying a large stone tablet that was essential to find out the long lost Phoenician treasure.

I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s was written by survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson.

Non-fiction

Several books have been written about Andrea Doria. Each presented information not contained in the others, thereby providing varying perspectives.

The story of the accident was retold by Alvin Moscow in his book Collision Course: The Story of the Collision Between the ‘Andrea Doria’ and the ‘Stockholm, published in 1959.

Ile de France’s Captain Raoul de Beaudéan’s memoirs were translated and published in the US in 1960, under the title Captain of the Ile by McGraw Hill Book Company; its Chapter 12, titled “A Tragic Night”, covers the rescue of the passengers of the Andrea Doria.

Author William Hoffer’s Saved: the Story of the Andrea Doria – The Greatest Sea Rescue in History was published in 1979.

The 2002 book Deep Descent: Adventure and Death Diving the Andrea Doria ISBN 0-74-340063-1, by Kevin F. McMurray recounts diving the wreck and some of the incidents that have led to divers’ deaths.

In 2003, Richard Goldstein wrote Desperate Hours: The Epic Rescue of the Andrea Doria.

In 2004, Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson, provides accounts of wreckage divers at the site as a precursor to the book’s main story.

The 2005 book “The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard” by Robert Ballard, and Rick Archbold (with paintings by Ken Marschall) has a chapter about the liner and its sinking.

The most recent, Alive on the Andrea Doria: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History, is by survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson in 2006.

Onscreen and online

Films and videos

Several documentaries have been produced. These include works by National Geographic Channel, PBS Secrets of the Dead, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and others.

A seminarian from the Archdiocese of Chicago interviewed two priests and a retired bishop, survivors of Andrea Doria, and subsequently produced an oral history presentation titled Voices from the Andrea Doria, which can be accessed online.

On the Waterfront (1954, by Elia Kazan) is the only film in which Andrea Doria is visible; in a scene, Terry Malloy (played by Marlon Brando) watches the ship as she descends the Hudson River.

The 144th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld featured Andrea Doria as a plot device when the character George goes up against an Andrea Doria survivor to become the lessee of an apartment.

In the episode “Spanakopita” of the animated series The Venture Bros., a safe from Andrea Doria is shown housed within a ship, owned by the villain, Augustus St. Cloud, among other various movie memorabilia such as the golden idol and stone pedestal from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

In the Night Gallery episode “Lone Survivor”, the crew of the RMS Lusitania picks up a lifeboat from the RMS Titanic on 7 May 1915, three years after Titanic sank. A man in the lifeboat claims to have supernaturally survived the wreck as a kind of human Flying Dutchman and tries, without success, to convince Lusitania’s captain to alter course to avoid the torpedo attack he foresees. On 26 July 1956, the man is found again in a Lusitania lifeboat, this time by the crew of the Andrea Doria.

The 2002 horror film Ghost Ship features the fictional Italian luxury liner Antonia Graza, whose design was based on that of Andrea Doria. This was mentioned in the special feature clips on the film’s DVD release.

Luca Guardabascio directed the 2016 docufilm Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved? based on Pierette Domenica Simpson’s non-fiction book, Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History.

The action-adventure video game, Tomb Raider II, features a cluster of levels set in the wreck of an Italian cruiser named The Maria Doria, supposedly based on the Andrea Doria.

Photography

Photographer Robert F. McCrystal, from the Providence Journal, was the first to photograph the fatally struck Andrea Doria from an airplane. One of his photographs ran on the cover of LIFE Magazine.

Boston newspaper photographer Harry Trask, who arrived at the scene in a small airplane after many media people had left, took a series of photographs of Andrea Doria’s final moments above water, which won a Pulitzer Prize.

Online and film

Andrea Doria – Tragedy and Rescue at Sea (23 July 2005). AndreaDoria.org.

Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History and

Andrea Doria – The Sinking of the Unsinkable Gare Maritime

Andrea Doria. Lost Liners: PBS Online.

Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria on PBS Online and also shown on The History Channel – see Secrets of the Dead The Sinking of the Andrea Doria (TV episode 2006) – IMDb

Night Gallery Kurson, Robert (2015). Pirate Hunters. Random House. ISBN 9781400063369. Season 1, Episode 5, “Lone Survivor” (TV episode 1971) – IMDb

“What Happened to the Andrea Doria” Casual Navigation, 2019 (YouTube Video)

Catastrophe (1977), hosted by William Conrad

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