Thursday, November 20, 2008

Most Disturbing Headline Ever

I just read what could easily be deemed as "The Most Disturbing Headline You'll Read All Year". Easily. The hands down winner. Now that I've said that, consider yourself warned. Here we go:

Man cuts off his own head with chainsaw after home was repossessed

No, it's not a headline from the National Enquirer or from World News Weekly alongside some story about that Bat Boy creature. No, that was the headline in The Daily Mail over there across the pond in not so jolly ol' England. That headline easily trumped my second choice "Man gets $300,000 for evaporating genitals". (Disturbing, yes. Equally disturbing? Hardly. Even if you're the one who has (or would it be 'had'?) the evaporating genitals, it still pales in comparison.) No need to fret, however. I'm sure you'll be hearing about the evaporating genitals soon enough.

But back to the man who cut off his own head. I thought that had to be a misprint. I wasn't even sure how that would be possible. And me, being the one who questions everything (the exact moniker is still in questionable negotiations), continued to read to find out if it was possible. Come to find out, it sure the hell is. But there are conditions. Two conditions must be met. One, you must have the inescapable desire and determination to end your own life. Two, you must be very, very mentally ill. If you don't meet the second requirement, there's no way that you're going to be able to carry out the first requirement. I don't care how badly you want to die, you cannot cut your own head off with a chainsaw unless you are at the far, far end of 'disturbia' on the 'mentally ill' scale.

Here's the scoop: A one David Phyall, of Southampton, Hampshire (again, in England) had been living in an apartment (that's a 'flat' if you're all uppity and English) that had been scheduled for demolition. All residents of the complex had been given a notice to move out on April 18. Mr. Phyall did not want to leave and the company that wanted to demolish the buildings had to take him to court to get the power to evict him So they did and they did. He didn't go quietly. Or neatly.

According to the article, (That's foreshadowing talk for 'I'm about to give some pretty sickening details here. Consider yourself warned.' That's one thing about the European press. They're not as touchy-feely as the US press. No, no, no. They tell it like it is. Or was. And they usually spare no detail.) Mr. Phyall, who was 50, "plugged the electric chainsaw into the mains and attached a timer to the socket.He then wrapped sellotape around the machine's trigger to secure it in the 'on' position and tied the handle of the saw to a table leg to hold it steady." Jesus! It's like Rube Goldberg meets Dr. Kevorkian.

He then "...rested the saw on his neck and waited for the timer to go off. The Black and Decker chainsaw sliced through his neck in an instant but kept going for a further 15 minutes." I'm sure the Black and Decker folks are less than appreciative for the plug. I know they say that 'all publicity is good publicity', but I can't imagine any part of this being 'good'. (And being as how this is very hard to imagine, not to mention extremely off-putting, I've recreated something that is probably nowhere near what we're really talking about, but it's still close enough that it'll creep you out a bit.)

The officer who discovered the 'scene' was a one Sgt. Mark Carter, who described what he found by stating, "I could see an electric chainsaw embedded in the man's neck - the blade was three quarters of the way through his neck. The handle of the chainsaw had been tied by white string to a table leg and the trigger had been tied up by sellotape.The lead was connected to a timer switch which was plugged into the wall." Oh. My. God.

And then, in the winner of the "Stating the Obvious Statement of the Year" award he said, "I have never come across an incident quite this graphic." Dude, I don't know if I've even read about an "incident quite this graphic" let alone found one! So, yeah, I'm sure you hadn't! You win! (By the way, I am in no way making fun of that dude. You walk in on something like that and you can say whatever the heck you want for the rest of your life. Provided you can actually regain the power of speech and stop rocking back in forth in a corner where you've been curled up in a ball for that past X-number of years.)

Another officer, a one Detective Sergeant Mark Huxford described what he saw by stating, "The head was still attached by the right shoulder and his head was lying to the left. A large area of carpet had blood splattered all over it because of the way the Black and Decker chainsaw had been spinning around." Oh. My. God.

So you've got a semi-headless guy lying there and a chainsaw attached to a table leg has cut through his neck and the saw is still going (because really, who's there to turn it off?) and it's flinging around blood and, I'm assuming, flesh all over the room and that's when you, the officer, walk in. I don't think I'd be able to return to work after something like that. Hell, I don't think I'd be able to go to sleep after something like that. Ever.

Do you want to know that they think it was about two days before they found his body? No? Me neither. Let's see...what else? Oh, of course his father said what the relatives of someone who does something heinous always say. John Phyall said that "...he had no idea his son had any plans to harm himself." "We had seen him a week prior to his death and he had appeared cheerful and had been making jokes. His death was totally unexpected." WHO could have expected this?!? I'm not thinking very many people could have, sir! My condolences for the loss of your son, but don't blame yourself for not seeing this one a-comin'.

The coroner on the case had said that "...Mr Phyall had killed himself in a bid to 'make a statement'." Oh, he did! That he did. The coroner also added his version of the obvious by stating, "The scene was clearly an appalling one.... it is the most bizarre case I have seen." And while I don't doubt that to be true for one second, might I just add, "Well, good!" Because I certainly wouldn't want to hear "This is the most bizarre case I have seen. Oh! Wait. Except for that one time. At band camp..."

"Mr Phyall had thought through how he was going to commit suicide very carefully - he went to a great deal of trouble to rig up the chainsaw knowing full well the result would be fatal. It was death in the most dramatic way imaginable. I find he did so to draw attention to the injustice he felt at being asked to move out of his flat." Well, it's unfortunate that he didn't think about the "injustice" that those who had to find him would feel, not to mention the 'injustice' that his relatives would feel after learning of his dramatic exit. And guess what dude? You still had to move! You still don't get to live there! Everyone else still had to move! Moron. Crazy, masochistic moron.

Sorry about the graphic nature of this. I haven't done one of these in a while. Don't worry. I'll get the post about the disappearing penis up shortly and we'll all be amused again. Back to happy! Back to happy! Unicorns! Leprechauns! Puppies! Thank God for the penis! (There's a phrase I never thought I'd say.)

The housing crisis. Who'd a thunk it would be responsible for beheadings as well?

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