HAPPY 1ST DECEMBER! I’m going to be honest, I’ve been celebrating Christmas since September, but at least now I can do it without being shouted at…
I asked on my instagram stories what sort of christmassy content anyone would like to see on my blog, and I loved all of the suggestions SO so much. So I decided to make my first post of December a list of things you can do to get into the festive spirit this christmas season (side note: if EVER you are struggling to feel festive, please speak to me! This lil elf has got your back.) For the rest of December I will be making my way down the list and sharing my experiences on my blog and on my instagram (coc0chanelblogs), so that I am spreading christmas spirit and inspo as much as I possibly can. I would love love love to see if you get up to anything on the list as well! Now let’s get ready for the most wonderful time of the year...and here’s how:
1. Visit a Christmas Market (or two, or three, or four or more…)
Visiting Christmas Markets is one of my very favourite things to do. Whether you pop down to a market after uni or work one evening, or if you dedicate a whole day to explore the stalls and trying all the tasty treats, you are sure to be feeling festive after a christmas market day. I will be sharing lots of photos of the markets I visit this year, including Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, Winter Wonderland Nottingham and Leeds Christkindelmarkt
2. Visit the Reindeer
One of my favorite memories as a child was visiting a garden centre that had reindeer, and I think it is a festive activity that will never ever get old! Although I haven't visited any reindeer yet this year, I have been to see some deer at Wollaton Hall which you can read about here.
3. Have a Christmas movie marathon
You cannot beat a good Christmas movie, any time and day of the week! A cold Sunday afternoon? Christmas movie. Bad day at work? Christmas movie. In fact you don’t even need an excuse...the answer to everything this season is CHRISTMAS MOVIES! I will be sharing a post soon with all of my favourite Christmas movies - and would love to hear your recommendations too!
4. Do some Christmas baking
Something that was suggested a few times on instagram was christmas baking, and that is something i am so so excited to do! My mum and I do a lot of baking on Christmas eve, but I will for sure be baking all throughout the season and sharing some of my favourite recipes and treats with you. Sanchez and I are even going to attempt a gingerbread house this year...good luck to us!
5. Christmas shopping
I absolutely adore choosing gifts that I think people will love, so Christmas shopping is always something I look forward to. If you have any unique gift ideas please do share them down below - it would be great to help each other out!
6. Make your own DIY Christmas gifts
Choosing gifts that people will love definitely does not mean they have to be bought from the shops. In fact, homemade presents often make some of the very best presents you can both give and receive! I will be sharing a post soon with some DIY gift ideas that you can make for the loved ones in your life..and I hope you will have a great festive time making them too!
7. Go on a garden centre tour
I know I know, I sound like I am 90, but you honestly cannot beat a good garden centre at Christmas time haha! Going around and looking at all the Christmas displays, buying cute little ornaments and having a nice hot chocolate in the cafe, going on a garden centre tour is a guaranteed way to get you into the festive spirit.
8. Gift Wrapping
Anyone who knows me will know that gift wrapping is one of my favorite things ever ever EVER! I find it so exciting choosing new designs each year, and am really looking forward to sharing my ideas with you this year as well. I am always looking for more presents to wrap purely for the enjoyment, so if anyone who knows me genuinely wants some presents wrapping PLEASE send them my way!
9. Deck the Halls
Okay, I can’t lie I have had my Christmas decorations up for a while now, but if you aren't feeling festive yet then you need to go ahead and DECK THE HALLS! Put a christmas movie or christmas music channel on, get dressed into your favourite christmas pyjamas, grab your tub of christmas chocolates and spend the day decorating your house. It really is so much fun and makes the house feel so cosy afterwards...win win!
10. Have a very merry Christmas ♡
And finally, the most important thing of all is to have a very merry Christmas. Although Christmas is portrayed as the most magical time of the year, it is so important to remember that for some people it can be a really difficult time. The best gift you can give this year is kindness - look out for one another, and let's all help each other in having the merriest Christmas possible. Sending lots of love and hugs to anyone who needs it right now, and I really do hope you can have a happy christmas this year ♡
Thank you so much for reading! I would absolutely love to see if you get involved with any of the ideas, and if you have anything to add please do share them in the comments below! Happy December everyone!
♡ Hello! Today’s blog post is a bit of Christmassy one; and whilst I didn’t plan to start on the Christmas content until 1st December, I just could not wait for this one. This post is all about my visit to Wollaton Hall and Deer Park...♡
One of my favourite things to do at Christmas time is to go and visit all of the christmassy displays, garden centres and markets. I find this is the perfect activity to feel inspired and to get into the festive spirit (although lets be honest, I’ve been feeling festive since September haha!). This year I decided to take a trip down to Wollaton Hall and Deer Park. I had never visited here before and purposely wanted to wait until Christmas time because I felt that was when it would be the most magical. And it was honestly one of the most festive and magical days ever…
Wollaton Hall and Deer Park is an Elizabethan country house in Nottingham from the 1580s. It is surrounded by the most beautiful grounds (and deer of course!) and is the perfect spot for a magical day with the ones you love. So what is it about Wollaton Hall and Deer Park that makes it SO special?
Wollaton Hall, Natural History Museum and Industrial Museum
The Elizabethan prodigy house itself is a must-see for anybody in the Nottingham area; especially for those with an interest in history and/or architecture. We visited the house to look around the Natural History Museum, which was just wonderful (especially for the self-confessed history geek that I am!), but you couldn’t help but admire the architecture around you as well. The house was decorated for Christmas, with the most beautiful doors and archways, which made it all the more special. It truly felt like I had stepped back in time and entered winter wonderland of the past. I would definitely recommend anyone should visit here, as well as the Natural History Museum and Industrial Museum, to experience it for themselves...♡
Wollaton Deer Park is of course home to the most beautiful deer. I went with the hopes that I would get to see maybe one or two, so I really couldn’t believe my luck when we saw a whole herd. This was made even better when we carried on walking and found a single deer happily having a little grassy snack, with not a care in the world, that we were able to get really quite close to. Of course you cannot touch or get too close to the deer, but I couldn’t believe how content they were just to have people around them. They are such beautiful animals and of course made me feel very, very festive. I think just walking around the deer park would make the most perfect date, family day out, or even a fantastic way to introduce your little ones to new animals. (Top tip: at first we couldn’t see any deer, but we were advised to walk towards the lake and this was indeed where we found them!)
Christmas Halls and Courtyard Stalls
Something that I didn’t expect to find at Wollaton Hall and Deer Park was the beautiful christmassy shops and stalls. We actually stumbled across these whilst looking for the exit, as the beautifully decorated archways caught my eye. We went over to the archways to take some photos, and that is when I spotted the cutest christmassy stalls. I decided to get a deer christmas tree ornament so that I always have a reminder of this day, but I really could have bought so much as the decor for sale was so, so lovely. I thought this was the loveliest festive touch and a great way to end the day. (We were going to end the day in the cafe, but we decided to go home and make my boyfriend’s famous cinnamon hot chocolate instead…but I am sure the cafe is lovely as well!)
I honestly had the most lovely, festive day at Wollaton Hall and Deer Park and I cannot wait to visit again. I have heard from so many people that it is really lovely in the summertime (there is also gardens at the park, which I can imagine are absolutely beautiful at this time), so I will be visiting again then for sure…and of course, before! I would recommend it as a day out for anybody of any age. There are a bunch of festive events going on at Wollaton which I thought I would share below too so that you can plan your visit around the things you might like to get involved with (you can also find more details on their website here):
♡ Christmas Trails (Saturday 30th November - Sunday 5th January)
♡ Visit Father Christmas (Saturday 30th November - Sunday 5th January)
♡ Christmas Lantern Adventure Tour (Saturday 30th November - Sunday 22nd December)
♡ Woodland Christmas - Christmas markets and festive fair (Saturday 30th November - Sunday 5th January)
♡ Breakfast with Father Christmas (Various dates)
♡ Mirabilé Sings Christmas (Sunday 8th December)
Thank you so much for reading! I would absolutely love to hear about any visits you have to Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, and also any other festive places you will be visiting throughout this Christmas season. I hope you all have a really lovely rest of your day!
*This post is in no way sponsored by Wollaton Hall and Deer Park…I just truly loved it that much.*
♡ Happy World Mental Health Day ♡
Today (Thursday 10th October) is World Mental Health Day. Mental health is important every single day of the year, however this is a day especially dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and the ways you can support yourself and loved ones around you ♡ If you want to find out a little bit more about World Mental Health Day then I found a really useful article from The Mix and one from Mind - I would definitely recommend reading them both.
I've been researching some of the things that help people through difficult times, and something that came up time and time again was music - and you know they say "music makes the world go round". That's why I have been asking for everybody's "happy songs" or "calm songs" - songs that can always make any day that little bit better. I have put these all together into the ultimate feel good playlist so that when you are having a bad day I hope you can dance around to this playlist and feel your mood instantly improve :)
I have absolutely loved learning about the songs that make people happy and I really hope you do too! I will leave the spotify link and track list down below for all to enjoy. Thank you so so much to anyone who contributed to this playlist - you are all AMAZING! Happy World Mental Health Day 2019 everyone - and always remember, it's cool to be kind ♡
It's Cool to be Kind (to yourself) ♡
Spotify - Click Here!
1. Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys
2. Have A Nice Day - Stereophonics
3. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
4. Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles
5. Would You Be So Kind - Dodie
6. Better Together - Jack Johnson
7. Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson
8. Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
9. Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
10. Rollercoaster - Jonas Brothers
11. I Like Me Better - Lauv
12. Stupid Deep - Jon Bellion
13. Orinoco Flow - Enya
14. Your Body Is a Wonderland - John Mayer
15. September - Earth, Wind & Fire
16. You Make My Dreams - Daryl Hall & John Oates
17. Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runnres
18. Come and Get Your Love - Redbone
19. Lost - Demot Kennedy
20. Waiting On the World to Change - John Mayer
21. All For You - Janet Jackson
22. What Baking Can Do - Jessie Mueller
23. A.M. - One Direction
24. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
25. Falling - Ebony Day
26. breathin - Ariana Grande
27. Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
28. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
29. Everybody Dance - CHIC
30. Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
31. Your Song (Moulin Rouge)- Ewan McGregor, Alessandro Safina
32. Lean on Me - Bill Withers
33. Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
34. Feeling Good - Michael Buble
35. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
36. It's Been a Long, Long Time - Harry James
37. At Last - Etta James
38. Thank You For The Music - Amanda Seyfried
39. Ordinary People - John Legend
40. Soarin' - Jerry Goldsmith
41. Lip Up Fatty - Big Manners
42. Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
43. Be Our Guest - Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach
44. Happy Days - Pratt & McClain
45. 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
46. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
47. Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
48. Only You - Kylie Minogue, James Cordon
49. Hymn for the Weekend - Coldplay
50. Pencil Full of Lead - Paolo Nutini
51. Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi
52. Glorious - Ella Henderson
53. Defying Gravity - Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel
54. Friend Like Me - Will Smith, DJ Khaled
55. Rainbow - Kacey Musgraves
56. If I Could Fly - One Direction
57. Cool Blue - The Japanese House
58. All Too Well - Taylor Shift
59. Girl Crush - Little Big Town
60. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
61. People Should Smile More - Newton Faulkner
62. Rather Be - Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne
63. Proud - Heather Small
64. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
65. Keep On Keeping On - Travie McCoy, Brendon Urie
66. Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers
67. Moving Along - 5 Seconds of Summer
68. Runaway - Sebastian Yatra, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, Jonas Brothers
69. New Light - John Mayer
70. Big And Chunky - will.i.am
71. Agadoo - Black Lace
72. With Or Without You - U2
73. Happy - Pharrell Williams
74. Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
75. Love Shack - The B -52's
76. Stronger - Kanye West
77. Touch The Sky - Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco
78. Amen - Todrick Hall 🌈
79. Ugly - Sugababes
80. Bring It All Back - S Club 7
Happy Monday Everyone!
Today’s blog post is something a little bit different to my usual content, but I came across a really great challenge that I’m going to get involved with- and I would absolutely love for you to get involved as well. Alfie Deyes has started a #30DaysofFutureSelf challenge, which is essentially making and keeping a promise (or promises) to yourself for 30 days to better your future self. You can watch Alfie’s video here for more information.♡ I thought this was such a lovely idea, and as I see September as a mini “new year”, I thought this would be the perfect thing to get involved with. So what promises am I making to my future self?
Read More Books
I am someone who has always absolutely loved reading, but as life gets busier reading seems to become something I “don’t have time for”. However I’m sure if I have time to spend thirty minutes scrolling through my phone before I go to sleep, I can absolutely spare those thirty minutes for reading instead. So I’ve decided that I am going to read three books in thirty days - ten days per book. I am first reading “Calm the F**ck Down (A No F*cks Given Guide - Sarah Night), followed by “The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz - Jeremy Dronfield”. The third book is undecided, but I most definitely want to read some sort of horror/thriller - so keep an eye out on my stories for whatever book I choose from the library. I’m going to promise a blog post reviewing these books as an extra incentive to keep this promise. Reading is the most calming, restoring and enjoyable thing for me so I am so excited to get back into it. I think this is quite a popular promise in the #30DaysofFutureSelf but I think that’s lovely - we can all encourage each other!
30 Days of Self Care
For my next promise, I am promising myself 30 Days of Self Care. It just so happens that #30DaysofFutureSelf has started really close to the time I move back to university for my final year - a super stressful time that makes this promise even more important. I am someone who constantly loves to be busy; and when balancing university, work, two volunteer jobs, socialising and time for myself, it’s safe to say there’s never a problem with keeping busy. However, sometimes one of those things has to give and I’m sure you can guess which one that is…time for myself. So often I have said things like “I don’t have time to rest” when I feel poorly, or I’ve said yes to things to please others, even though that was the one time I had planned to have time for myself. And this is how you burn out. So for these 30 days - and I hope beyond - I’m going to work on putting myself first. I’m going to listen to my body when it needs rest and focus on what makes me happy. I got you, future Chanel ♡
Be More Present
Finally, and tying in nicely with my 30 Days of Self Care, for the next 30 days I promise to really work on being present. I'm going to try my hardest to stop worrying about things that haven’t happened, or that only might happen, and just enjoy living in the present. It’s okay to visit the future sometimes to be able to plan and prepare, but absolutely do not spend too much time there - it just takes away the beauty of the now. This was hugely inspired by David Gibbs who speaks so much about the power of now, positivity and appreciating every little thing in life - so thank you David! He’s currently working on a book called called “Lessons in being Alive” (@lessonsinbeingalive) so I would for sure recommend following that account, and also his personal instagram @davidsamgibbs and family youtube channel here (the cutest family EVER) for some really great inspiration. I’m looking forward to spending more time with you, Present ♡
And that sums up my #30DaysofFutureSelf. I think this is such a lovely idea and I would 1000% encourage everyone else to get involved. It started on Sunday 8th September and everyone is documenting their 30 days using the hashtag 30DaysofFutureSelf - so I will be too!
Thank you so much for reading. It would be great to hear if you too are getting involved - what promises are you going to make to your future self?
Hope everyone has a really lovely day!
William Heirens: Background
William Heirens was born 15th November 1928 to parents Margaret and George Heirens. He was raised in Chicago and was born into numerous family problems, all caused by financial difficulties. This was of course soon to be exacerbated by the Great Depression. Both Margaret and George worked constantly to provide an income, and when they were at home William Heirens only vividly recalled their constant arguments. Sourced from an interview in Talking with Serial Killers - Christopher Berry-Dee, Heirens reported “As long as I could remember, money was the source of all arguments...I became conscious of money when I was small. It became the “root of all evil” - evil if you didn’t have it...Ours was not a very happy home.”
In seventh grade, prompted by boredom and a desire for escapism, Heirens turned to theft. He discovered how easy this was when he accidentally short changed himself during a grocery delivery; which led to him stealing clothes, jewellery and other valuable objects. Heirens admitted he found the adrenaline of this much more exciting than his home life. A few years later, William’s exceptional intelligence was recognised and he was offered a place at the University of Chicago at just sixteen years old. During his time on campus Heirens never felt the urge to steal, however whenever he returned home to his toxic environment this desire came right back. Going into his second year at university, Heirens began thieving more frequently in order to fund his university fees. He also found he became interested in girls and dating, so sought the money to be able to go on dates. This very habit led to a day that would change William Heirens’ life forever. Wednesday 26th June 1946, the day William Heirens earnt his name as The Lipstick Killer.
The First Murder
Let’s rewind the case a little to where things really began on 5th June 1945 when Josephine Ross was tragically murdered in her own apartment. Josephine Ross was a single mother and widow and had recently got engaged to fiance Oscar Nordmark. Like many cases, Tuesday 5th June 1945 started off as any normal day for Josephine. She made breakfast for daughters, Mary Jane and Jacqueline, and then went back to bed as the girls headed off to work. When Jacqueline returned home for her lunch at around 1:30pm, she found their entire apartment had been ransacked; and to her complete and utter horror, her mother was lying on the bed with brutal stab wounds, her throat gashed and blood sprayed all around the walls, and her head had been tied in a red dress and a stocking. Bizarrely, Josephine’s killer had dressed her wounds using adhesive tape. In the bathroom she found Josephine’s clothing in a pool of bloody water. Only a couple of dollars were missing. The police were called immediately, however a thorough investigation found no evidence alluding to the killer’s identity. Oscar Nordmark had an extremely clean alibi, leaving the case with extremely limited leads. Police believed Josephine was not targeted, but that this was an opportunist crime, as two witnesses saw a male with dark hair and a white sweater aimlessly roaming the building earlier that day - potentially seeking an unlocked door. This man could not be identified leaving the case somewhat cold. This was until December 10th 1945, when the killer struck again.
"For heaven's sake, catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself."
At 9:30pm on 10th December 1945, Frances Brown returned to her apartment less than a ten minute walk from Josephine Ross’. She was told by the night receptionist that a man had been looking for her earlier that day and left without leaving a name. It appeared Brown was expecting a visit as she was in no way alarmed, and simply headed back to her apartment. On this particular night Frances Brown would be sleeping alone as her roommate, Viola Butler, was spending the night at a friend’s house, so she decided to have an early nights sleep. At 9am the next day an apartment housemaid, Martha Engels, peered into Frances’ room to see why the radio was playing so loud - and was met by a scene she would never forget. Eerily similar to the case of Josephine Ross, Frances Brown was found laying over the bathtub with pyjamas wrapped around her head, with several stab and shot wounds, blood splashed all around the walls and a bullet penetrating her skull and shoulder. The apartment had been ransacked and no money had been taken. This time the killer had written on the living room wall using a red lipstick “For heaven’s sake catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself.” This had potential to be a hugely significant piece of evidence, and encouraged the title of “The Lipstick Killer”. However following forensic investigation, no fingerprints or identity clues were retrieved from this scene.
The police believed that Josephine Ross and Frances Brown’s killers were in fact the same person/people, due to the striking similarities between the scenes. The night receptionist reported a sighting of a man between the age of 35-40 around 5’6 who stumbled out of the lift at around 4am, shortly after other witnesses heard gunshots, looking extremely nervous and sketchy. This description in no way fits 17 year old William Heirens; however it did match a man called George Catraboni who actually confessed to the murder of Frances Brown. George Catraboni was a butcher and was already under arrest for thirteen murders. However, the police eventually decided that Catraboni told too many lies that they could not trust anything he said - so they rejected his confession and removed him from the suspect list. An extremely questionable move in my opinion...
“Get $20,000 ready and wait for word.”
Only a few weeks later on 7th January 1946, six year old Suzanne Degan was found missing from her family apartment in Edgewater, Chicago. The police found a ladder against Suzanne’s window, which bizarely showed no evidence that it had been used for entry, and a ransom note reading “Get $20,000 ready and wait for word. Do not notify the FBI or police. Bills in 5’s & 10’s. Burn this for her safety”. That same evening, investigators found Suzanne’s body parts scattered in various sewers - all body parts wrapped in a rag and placed in a bag. Toxicologists revealed her body was cut in a way that only a skilled butcher would know how to do, reinforcing the confession of Catraboni. If not a butcher, the perpetrator was predicted to be an embalmer, a physician or a medical student - all professions with absolutely no relevance to Heirens. Over 800 suspects were questioned, with 170 recieving lie detector tests. 7,000 sets of handwriting were compared to the ransom note. There was even a critical sighting reported by several neighbours of two men who had previously tried to get Suzanne into their car a few months ago, only escaping after neighbours came to Suzanne’s screams. What is strange is that Suzanne’s family never reported this attempted abduction; and crucial information with this sighting is that Heirens did not have a car at this time. Additionally, witnesses heard Suzanne say she was “still sleepy” around the expected time of abduction. To be calmly speaking rather than screaming in fear, it might be hypothesised that Suzanne knew the abductor(s). There were absolutely no links between Suzanne and William Heirens, further questioning his association.
William Heirens Arrest
Now let’s fast forward to the beginning of the case, where William Heriens’ life changed forever. A few months after Suzanne’s murder, on Wednesday 26th June 1946, William Heirens left his uni dorm and headed for the post office in Skokie. He was going to cash $500 as his university fees were due, so for the journey he stashed a loaded pocket revolver in his jacket. He later reported he wasn’t actually sure if the gun worked or not, and that he was solely carrying it for protection when carrying significant amounts of money.
When Heirens arrived at the post office at around 3pm he read a notice to say that it was closed. This was extremely frustrating for Heirens as he had just made a long journey there on a hot summer's day. Heirens needed the money desperately, not only for the university but also as he was soon to be taking a girl on a date, so he decided to turn to burglary. He was near the Wayne Manor apartments where he had targeted many times before, so he knew the ropes well. Heirens accessed the building and simply wandered around until he found an unlocked door,, this time on the third floor. He grabbed a wallet, took it outside to take any valuable contents, and then returned the wallet to the room. Richard O’Gorman, a neighbour, spotted Heirens going in and out of the apartment so told his wife to go and check on whether Mrs Pera (the apartment occupant) was home. O’Gorman’s wife ended up running straight into Heirens, causing a runaway tackle all the way down the stairs between Heirens, Richard O’Gorman and cleaner, Franis Hanley. Without thinking, William Heirens grabbed his gun as a threat to O’Gorman and Hanley, allowing for time to dart as far away as possible. When catching his breath, William was approached by Mrs Pauline Willett wondering about his distressed state. She fetched him a drink and told him to come inside for a sit down, where Heirens proceeded to explain that he had a heart problem so simply needed rest. Willett did not believe this story, so privately phoned the police whilst Heirens was inside her home. The police arrived and cornered Heirens immediately - so he decided his only option was to turn with his gun in hand towards the nearest officer. Heirens later reported he had absolutely no intention of firing, but hoped it would provoke the officers to move out of the way to allow for an escape. Instead, three flower pots were dropped onto Heirens’ head until he was unconscious, and he was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary.
Whilst under arrest, Heirens reported violent questioning whilst he was slipping in and out of consciousness - he was later taken to Bridwell Hospital next to the Cook County Jail. He claims he was interrogated for six days, refused food and water, and was not allowed to see his parents for four days, nor speak to a lawyer for six days. Psychiatrist Doctor Haines and Roy Grinder dosed Heirens with sodium pentothal without a warrant or consent, in preparation for a three hour interrogation. Under this influence, Heirens reportedly confessed to all three murders through an alternate personality named George. Interestingly, this transcript has entirely disappeared - and in 1952 Dr Grinker admitted Heirens never actually implicated himself in any of the murders.
Despite previous investigations claiming no fingerprints were left at the scene, police now claimed that a bloody smudge left on Frances Brown’s door handle matched fingerprints of Heirens. On 30th June 1946, Heirens was then cleared from this suspicion as it was revealed the fingerprint did not actually match him, however twelve days later it was decided once again that it did belong to Heirens (a sketchy investigation if you ask me…). Additionally, a fingerprint from William Heirens left baby finger matched nine points of comparison in the ransom note. However, the notes of comparison were loops meaning 65% of the population could also match - and twelve points of comparison are required for a positive identification.
Strikingly, Mary Jane Blanchard, Josephine Ross’ daughter, actually commented that she “cannot believe that young Heirens murdered my mother. He just does not fit into the picture of my mother's death ... I have looked at all the things Heirens stole and there was nothing of my mother's things among them”. This was prompted by William Heirens denying any involvement in the murders, a few days after he had confessed. Not only did Heirens not match the picture according to Mary Jane, but 17 year old Heirens also looked far from the witness descriptions of a 35-40 year old man.
Despite this, William Heirens took full responsibility for the murders of Josephine Ross, Frances Brown and Suzanne Degan on August 7th 1946. That same night Heirens attempted suicide in his cell. He later reported this was driven by despair that “Everyone believed I was guilty...If I weren't alive, I felt I could avoid being adjudged guilty by the law and thereby gain some victory. But I wasn't successful even at that. ...Before I walked into the courtroom my counsel told me to just enter a plea of guilty and keep my mouth shut afterward. I didn't even have a trial.” William Heirens remained incarcerated until he passed away due to health implications, March 5th 2012 aged 83.
This entire case blows my mind. It is extremely heartbreaking for all involved - but also so incredibly frustrating as I believe William Heirens was innocent. I believe there is very little evidence to suggest William Heirens was the killer in any of these cases; and he was likely taken advantage of due to his class background, and used as a scapegoat being pressured into a confession that would resolve three major cases. William Heirens was a thief, absolutely. But in terms of murder...I truly believe he was innocent.
Thank you so much for reading! I realise this was a much longer post than usual but there is just so much involved in this case that I felt needed to be shared. As always I would absolutely love to hear your personal opinions on the case, and do let me know if there are any other cases you would like me to cover in the future. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to have a discussion with you in the comments below!
Hello everyone! I’ve just got back from my first visit to the Dominican Republic, and as it’s one of my new favourite places I thought I would write a little blog post to document it. It’s going to be more of an update/reflection than a travel guide, but if you do have any questions feel free to leave a comment or message me privately! Enjoy xxxx
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the second largest island in the Caribbean and is known for its beaches, resorts and ocean waters...and I can most definitely see why. In terms of resorts, we stayed in Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, and it was honestly one of the best resorts I have ever stayed in by far. Not only were the grounds absolutely beautiful (the most gorgeous weddings were taking place every day, perfect location!), but the people were so lovely and showed so much love for their jobs..and there was SO much to do!
It’s an all inclusive resort, which is perfect considering how delicious the food was. There was a mixture of the main buffet, beach bars and grills, pizza bars and a la carte restaurants. The breakfast in the main buffet was especially delicious...I ate nutella and banana crepes form the crepe station for ten mornings in a row LOL. There is also a cafe that serves the yummiest cakes, sandwiches (apparently...my sweet tooth obviously never ventured past the cake counter) and drinks, which we made a habit of going to at 5pm every day to get out of the sun before getting ready for the evening. And of course, plenty of bars for cocktail o clock.
The staff were so friendly and really made an effort to remember everyone and always make sure everyone is okay (or “happy happy” and “excellente” as they would say). In particular, the hotel porter (I so wish we knew his name!) was the loveliest and most helpful staff member in the world - I hope he gets the praise he deserves. The entertainment was fantastic...beach zumba, water aerobics, bingo, dance lessons, cocktail making, watersports, aqua spin...the list goes on and on and on! No matter your age and no matter how much or how little you wish to do, there’s something for absolutely everyone.
And of course, I couldn’t not mention the resort’s flamingos and parrots. The parrot loved to have chat, and I found it the funniest thing when the flamingos just wandered themselves down to the pool haha. CUTIES ♡
But we didn’t just stay in the resort. We also went on a couple of trips, including one of my favourite experiences ever...snorkelling with sharks and stingrays!!!
Snorkelling with Sharks and Stingrays
Anyone who knows me will know how much I love to be in the water, so to swim alongside some of the most beautiful creatures in the world was just an absolute dream come true. The entire day was so much fun. Starting with a little boat trip out far into the ocean, we then hopped off the boat and began snorkelling with the most beautiful fish and coral reefs. I really liked that each family on the trip had their own guide looking after them - ours was great at pointing out everything to make sure we didn’t miss a thing! Then was the most exciting part, for we swam round to the other side and found the sharks and stingrays...WOW! The stingrays were so much bigger than I ever imagined, and so so beautiful. The sharks were absolutely stunning! We swam with nurse sharks, considered one of the least dangerous sharks in the world, and they really were so friendly docile. I just could not believe what was happening, and I don’t think it has sunk in yet.
The rest of our time in the ocean made the day even more perfect. With a health bar and fresh fruit to nibble on, a free massage, kayaking and paddle boarding, it was just the best day ever. It’s a day I will never forget - and to any water babies visiting the Dominican Republic, I would recommend this experience 100000%.
In addition to the best day ever, I always think it’s really important to explore the actual country itself as well - and “Outback Adventures” was the perfect trip for this. In an open truck we explored the countryside of the Dominican Republic and it was so much fun. From seeing the local schools and homes, to swimming in the river, from wine and rum tasting, to learning so much about coconuts, cocoa, sugarcanes and so much more, this trip was so much fun. Even fainting didn’t ruin my day haha! Again, the tour guides and everyone we met were just the loveliest people with a real love for their country. Amazing day that I would recommend to anybody visiting Punta Cana ♡
Overall, I had so much fun in the Dominican and absolutely fell in love with the place. I’d recommend it to anybody 1000%.
Thank you so much for reading! If you have any questions, or have ever been yourself, I would love to hear about it in the comments! Hope everyone has a lovely summer☀
♡Hello everyone! I'm here with a very different type of post for me as today I am answering the 73 Questions with Vogue Parody tag. I don't usually do tags but I thought this one had some really interesting questions so it was really fun to do. I also got a few new followers following my first solved case so thank you SO much for the response - and I hope this is a good way for my new readers to get to know me! Thank you so much Millie (@msblife_) for the tag! ♡
♡ What is your usual Starbucks order?
I actually prefer Starbucks’ food to drinks, so quite often I will actually just get food and a tap water haha! In fact, that’s exactly what I have done right now as I am writing this in Starbucks. If I do get a drink it is either an iced coffee or tea with coconut milk.
♡ What does your workstation look like?
In terms of where I do my uni work, that can be a few places. I either work at my desk in my room, in the library, in the students union or in a coffee shop. As long as it’s a tidy and open space, I’m happy.
♡ Favourite Food?
I change my mind on this ALL the time. I really love churros with melted chocolate. Or anything coconut…cannot get ENOUGH!
♡ Favourite Author?
I’m not sure I can choose a single favourite author - rather I feel I have a favourite genre as anything historical I absolutely love. I also love book recommendations so so much, so if you have any please do let me know.
♡ What do you think of open relationships?
People can love whoever and however they want. I personally wouldn’t be in an open relationship, but that doesn’t mean I am against other peoples’. You do you♡
♡ What is your favourite video game?
I’m not a video game kinda gal. Loved Just Dance though…what a game.
♡ Guilty pleasure treat?
Homemade waffles with melted cadburys chocolate spread and sliced banana. Guilty because of the amount of chocolate I pour onto it…but it is SO good!
♡ Favourite movie?
I am the WORST at watching movies…but I’m going to say The Grinch. It’s my favourite Christmas film and I start watching Christmas films in around September LOL. I also love Mamma Mia.
♡ Favourite book?
My all time favourite is A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens. I can remember the first time I read it so clearly and I have loved it ever since. I also really love Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks, and The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris.
♡ Twitter or Instagram?
Twitter…I think. I love Instagram as I love photos and I think when used right it can be a great place for inspiration. But I do think Twitter is a more relaxed, supportive and positive platform.
♡ Desktop or Laptop?
Laptop. I especially love smaller laptops and being able to work from anywhere.
♡ Best advice you have ever received?
My dad always says “there’s nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about” and I love that. I have always been a little worrier but I am definitely getting better at not worrying about things that haven’t actually happened.
Also, I will always remember my media teacher telling me “it’s better to get a B that made you happy than an A that made you miserable.” She told me this on my last day of year 11 and I have carried this advice all throughout A-Levels and University. I’m a gal with big aspirations - but it’s a lovely little reminder to always be kind to myself at the same time.
♡ What project are you working on right now?
Most of my time is going into volunteering at the moment with The Mix. We are currently in a project with VO5 encouraging people to talk about mental health, and I am absolutely loving being a part of it. I am also learning to drive so that’s very exciting!
♡ Favourite colour?
♡ Did you get good grades in school?
I was happy with my grades! But then I actually really loved school haha…lil geek.
♡ Dream job?
The specific job changes all the time for me, but 100000% something in counselling or safeguarding with children. It’s absolutely my biggest passion.
♡Play any sports?
Exercising I love, but sports I am SO bad at…so that’s a no.
♡ Do you have a degree?
I am currently doing a degree in Psychology.
♡ What is your favourite kind of blog post?
Bias, but I do love reading True Crime posts. Also book reviews.
♡What do you like to collect?
I always love taking souvenirs home from my favourite days. Usually I will go for a postcard or saving any tickets. I also collect pandora charms - almost every charm I own has a story behind it so they’re really special to me.
♡ Describe yourself in three words?
These questions always make me cringe incase people don’t agree haha! But I would say caring, motivated and smiley/giggly…I am SUCH a giggler.
♡ If you were a rapper what would your stage name be?
I asked Sanchez and he said MC CM (CM are my initials, see what he did there). I like MC Coco. Much to think about.
♡ Who was the last person you DMed?
My friend, Zoe.
♡ What’s on top of your wish list right now?
For da planet to be saved. Also for my interview on Friday to go well!
♡ Sorting house?
Hufflepuff. I always say I wish I was in a house with more rigour but if we are being honest…I am SUCH a Hufflepuff.
♡ How many tattoos do you have?
♡ What are you most grateful for this year?
Aside from cliche wellness answers, I’m also so grateful for the opportunities I have had with Childline and The Mix this year…love love love.
♡ What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?
I think doing well in my driving lessons…turning something I used to dread into something I am excited for has been great for me.
♡ What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?
One of my best friends, Zoe, got her uni results back and she did so well! I’m very proud and it made my day.
♡ What’s the best thing ever?
Being in the water!! I think I should have been born a mermaid.
♡ Favourite season?
Autumn, soooo cosy.
♡ Favourite holiday?
Christmas. It’s my favourite time of the whole year…I LOVE Christmas!
♡ What fictional character do you relate to the most?
A mix between Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. If you google their name followed by personality, it pretty much sums me up.
♡ Do you like surprises?
Yes! I think surprises are really thoughtful.
♡ What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?
When I was around 4 years old we went to Disneyland and I was surprised to find my best friend Mia and her family were there. I remember it so clearly and we had the best time!
♡ Which surprise made you cry?
I’m not much of a happy tears kinda gal so I’m not sure…
♡ What’s the best surprise you’ve given someone else?
I think getting Sanchez a WWE Championship along with a selection of wrestling gifts and a handmade wrestling annual. He adores wrestling so I was so excited to see his reaction, and he loved them!
♡ Do you like muffins?
This is something really strange about me. I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world but muffins really aren’t my thing. Cupcakes are okay but muffins…they’re just too much.
♡ Do you cook often?
Not really. Sanchez is an incredible cook and he really enjoys it, so he mostly does the cooking and I do the cleaning.
♡ What’s your favourite dessert?
Ohhh I love so many. I really love apple crumble and custard though.
♡ Is there a dessert you don’t like?
Cheesecake!!! Also anything salted caramel, millionaire/billionaire shortbread etc. Way too sickly.
♡ Cake or pie?
♡ What’s your least favourite food?
Cheese or eggs. Unpopular opinion but I don’t know HOW people enjoy them so much!
♡ What’s your favourite condiment?
I don’t love condiments, but any type of hot sauce is beaut.
♡ It’s 4am on a random Saturday. What are you eating?
Whatever dream me is eating…very unlikely to be awake!
♡ If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?
I don’t know what I’d call it, but it would be centred around supporting yourself and supporting your peers with anything mental health related. I’d love to have an anonymous agony aunt session too.
♡ Best animated film?
Peter Pan, my fave Disney film.
♡ What has a guy said or done to impress you?
Sanchez is a smoooooth guy, it’s hard to choose just one. But before we were together, I went on holiday and accidentally left my coconut spray in my hand luggage so of course it got taken away. We met up out of school for the first time ever when I got back and he surprised me with a new bottle. It was so thoughtful, lil cutie.
♡ Best thing to do on a first date?
Go to a retro diner and order milkshakes. It feels classic, it gives you a good chance to chat aaaand if the date isn’t going well, at least you have good milkshakes.
♡ Worst thing to do on a first date?
Go to the cinema. You can’t chat!
♡ What’s the best pick up line?
“What’s a nice place like you doing in a girl like this”
♡ Best comic book character?
Not sure…not my thing!
♡ Name three things which can always be found in your purse?
Keys, cards and coconut spray.
♡ Favourite drink?
Banana smoothie for non alcoholic, Cherry Bakewell for alcoholic.
♡ If you could play a historical character in a movie who would it be?
Lol, does anyone remember the Boudicca song from Horrible Histories? That was my absolute jam, so I’d play Boudicca just for that very purpose.
♡ Kittens or puppies?
I love both! But I’m a cat mumma
♡ Favourite sushi roll?
I’ve only tried Sushi once! I did like it, but I’m not sure what it was as my friends just ordered me a selection to try.
♡ What lipstick do you use?
At the moment none, I only really like lipstick in the colder months. My go-to is always a red. I used to love MAC’s Betty Boop Red, I now use Zoella’s Colourpop red!
♡What foundation do you use?
Again at the moment, none. In the colder months my favourite is NARS Sheer Glow.
♡ Blow dry or air dry?
Unless I need it to dry ASAP, air dry always wins.
♡ Who is your fashion icon?
♡ Favourite Disney Character?
♡ What are you doing tomorrow?
I have a couple of people collecting the clothes I sold and I will be preparing for my interview! I’m also going to make part of my mum’s birthday gift and send a letter to my penpal.
♡ Movie you laughed the hardest through?
As I said before, I am the WORST at watching movies. So I really can’t remember.
♡ Movie that made you cry?
Movies don’t make me cry. But one film that is SO sad is Bridge to Terabithia…10 year old me was heartbroken
♡ If you could sing a duet with anybody, who would you choose?
Ebony Day. Loveliest girl with the loveliest voice.
♡ If your life was a song what would the title be?
Chanel - Frank Ocean.
♡ What’s your favourite animal?
Orangutans. I also love tigers, whales and sharks.
♡ Favourite illustrator?
My penpal, Alex (https://www.instagram.com/alexandraillustrated98/). Very talented girly!
♡ Person you’d like to have coffee with?
Zoe Sugg. I would LOVE to meet Zoe, she has been my role model since I was around thirteen. Love love love.
♡ What country would you like to visit?
It’s not a specific country as such, but I have always wanted to go on an African Safari.
♡ Best way to decompress?
GO OUTSIDE! So much open space, and really pay attention to your senses. The feel of the wind or rain on your skin, the sound of the birds. Also exercise and talking to somebody you trust.
DONE! If you made it this far, thank you and well done hahaha! Thank you so much for reading and I really hope you enjoyed. I would absolutely love to hear your answers too so please do feel free to leave yours in the comments! Thank you so much again Millie for the tag & I tag:
♡ Meg (@a_mega_life)
♡ Emma (@lifeofemmax)
♡ Katy (@KatyMackenzie19)
♡ Amy (@fleurdubelle)
♡ Abby (@abbyclareblog)
♡ Jade (@jade_allesse)
♡ Emily (@emilygabriellax)
♡ Hannah (@justhannahhhere)
♡ Milly (@EdnaMilly)
♡ Hannah (@han_armstrong99)
♡ Sophie (@Sophlouisep)
Thank you for reading and I hope you have a really good day!
The Heartbreaking Case Of The Mauerova Family : Solved (The Most Disturbing Case I Have Ever Covered)
TW: I just want to start off by saying that this case may be disturbing and may contain triggers concerning physical and sexual abuse. It is absolutely okay to ask me for a little bit more information before reading if you have any doubts about reading this post. Additionally this case may be quite confusing to follow, but please bare with me. The case was first realised when the victims and perpetrators were found in May 2007 so we will start here; but then I will take you back to 2005 where the case heartbreakingly began.
7th May 2007 in Kurim, Czech Republic, a man called Mr Eduard T was installing a baby monitor so that he could watch his newborn baby through the night. Interference meant the TV monitor accidentally picked up the signal from a monitor in house nearby; which is when Eduard saw a young boy laying naked with his hands tied, eating from the concrete floor. Eduard immediately alerted the police who searched door to door until they found single mother Klara and sister Katerina Mauerova with three children - Ondrej (8) and Jakub (9) who were Klara’s biological sons and Klara’s fourteen year old adopted daughter, Anicka. Ondrej was the young boy from the monitor laying naked in a small, dirty chamber, surrounded by his own vomit and faeces. Anicka was the only child who had not been abused, however all three children were immediately taken into custody whilst Klara and Katerina were arrested.
Prior to 2007, Klara Mauerova was a single mother who raised her sons to live a very happy life. She was described as a very caring and giving individual which is why sister Katerina came straight to Klara when she found thirteen year old Norwegian Orphan Anicka, who was on the run from a sex trafficking ring. Anicka required a lot of medical attention as she was suffering from leukaemia, kidney failure and was going blind and deaf. Klara completely took her under her wing and promised to love her like her own. To understand how to care for Anicka at home, Klara received text messages from Anicka’s doctor who was the only person who understood how to care for her. Klara never attended any of Anicka’s hospital visits as Katerina insisted on taking her to every single one, however Klara accepted this without any suspicion. To confirm their identity, the doctor agreed to meet with Klara and presented Anicka’s medical files. This was in a car park at night where it was too dark to see the files or the doctor’s face - however Klara was satisfied and trusted the doctor’s orders.
The first treatment was to rub Anicka’s body all over, focusing on the crotch area as the doctor said this makes Anicka “happy”. Klara agreed to do this, as well as various other treatments, over the next year until she decided she would like to officially adopt Anicka. This alarmed the doctor who insisted the authorities would not allow this as Ondrej and Jakub were being mean towards Anicka. The doctor suggested the only option for Klara was to cure her sons from evil spirits. Treatments included hard discipline and physical punishment, including repeatedly beating the boys and locking them in the tiny chamber every night. Klara trusted the doctor’s orders, and did exactly this.
By August 2006 the doctor decided this treatment wasn’t working and that the boys needed “shock therapy”. Growing up Ondrej and Jakub loved attending summer camps; heartbreakingly, this summer was not quite like the others. Klara took the boys to a cottage in the woods in Veverska Bytyska, where they met Jan Turek and Hana Basova (also known as Aunt Nancy) who they knew from the summer camps, Jan Skrlova and Klara’s sister, Katerina. Here the boys were kept in dog cages; constantly knelt over, eating and doing all physical urges in this cage. Communication was strictly forbidden, including between each other and to their mother. Frequently Ondrej and Jakub were drowned in buckets of water, burnt with cigarettes and forced to beat one another. Jan Skrlova and Jan Turek covered the boys’ heads with bags, tied them and burned them with cigarettes once again. Some reports indicate they burnt tissue from Ondrej’s buttock and forced him to eat it. The adults convinced the boys that Anicka was being tortured as well however in reality she was involved herself; drowning the boys in the bucket and constantly making false accusations that the boys were hurting her, knowing that this would exacerbate their “punishments”. Heartbreaking police interviews with the boys indicate that they truly believed they deserved this.
A month later in September 2006 Ondrej and Jakub were freed from this cottage, however moved in with Katerina so that Klara could begin the adoption process living only with Anicka. During the court case, Klara attempted to justify her ease at separating from her sons claiming “I was swallowed by Anna’s custody. I knew though, they were in good hands.” The adoption process required a DNA sample from Anicka which the doctor refused; claiming it would be too risky in case the authorities realised Anicka was suffering from leukaemia. Katerina convinced local actor Viktor Skala’s daughter to present herself at court acting as Anicka. Skala later confirmed they him and his daughter were entirely used by Katerina and never admitted to any participation in this case; nevertheless it worked and the adoption was approved.
January - May 2007
Fast forward to January 2007 and we are back to where I started this case. Ondrej and Jakub moved back in with Klara; however whilst Anicka had a nice room filled with colour and toys, the boys were frequently locked and tied in the chamber. This is when Mr Eduard. T installed his baby monitor - the connection mistake that turned out to be a blessing. After the police found the Mauerova’s, all three children were placed into a children’s home called Klokanek (Little Kangaroo), but that same night Anicka fled and disappeared. Why? Because this case doesn’t stop there…there is an extremely disturbing twist.
Anicka’s childhood was heart breaking and extremely convincing; explicitly describing her horrific experiences of sexual abuse and trauma in Norway. But what Klara didn’t find out until the trial is that “Anicka” never actually existed. Thirteen year old Anicka was actually thirty-one year old Barbora Skrlova, a good friend of Katerina. Jan Skrlova from the cottage was Barbora’s brother. There is extremely limited information about who Barbora actually is, but what we can conclude is that she was a psychopath who took advantage of her young appearance and manipulated Klara into torturing her sons. To maintain this childlike identity Barbora reportedly had breast reduction surgery and liposuction; and despite the explicit accounts of illness and sexual abuse, Barbora had never experienced anything of the sorts in her life. Throughout “Anicka’s hospital visits”, Klara received “heartbreaking” messages about Anicka’s deteriorating health, including heart failure and blindness, and that she had even been kidnapped from the hospital. It was later proved that all messages were from Katerina or Barbora’s mobile phones. Following Barbora’s flee from the children home, she even adopted a new identity in a Norwegian school as a thirteen year old male named Adam.
Following Barbora’s arrest in Norway, police confiscated her diary containing detailed accounts of her various identities and her preparation to pursue such roles. Evidence suggests she did not suffer from schizophrenia or any similar disorders, but consciously adopted multiple identities to manipulate others. Sexologists concluded she had sadomasochistic predispositions with paedophilic orientation; namely she was sexually aroused by children’s torture. All involved were charged with the following sentences: Katerina Maurerova 10 years, Klara Maurerova 9 years, Jan Skrlova and Hana Basova 7 years, Jan Turek 5 years and Barbora/Anicka/Adam - 5 years. Concluding they are all free now.
I really believe these sentences are an absolute injustice to Ondrej and Jakub; especially considering Barbora was charged with the lightest sentence of all. I also found it extremely frustrating that throughout my research, Klara Mauerova was consistently portrayed as a giving and easily manipulated individual whom we should feel sorry for. Perhaps one might sympathise at the very beginning when “Anicka” came into Klara’s life - she may well have been a vulnerable or easy target. However torturing, abusing and wholeheartedly neglecting your own children is something that I simply cannot sympathise with.
Additionally, reports imply that all involved were trialled and sentenced - but who was the doctor initiating these orders? Investigators worked with the assumption that it was Katerina and Barbora giving all instructions; however in my opinion, this case seems too complex to be randomly initiated solely by two individuals. The most popular theory is that Barbora’s father, Josef Skrlova, was involved. Reports suggest Josef Skrlova was in charge of a Grail Movement cult, and that they may have been presenting Barbora/Anicka/Adam as a child messiah. Media reports distort the nature of this cult quite significantly so I am not going to focus too heavily on this theory, however I do believe a cult formation seems probable when explaining how everybody involved was so connected. Robust psychological research, such as Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, also provides a level of explanation behind how a cult authority could lead to so many people obeying such torturous orders. I am therefore left questioning why Josef Skrlova was not involved in this investigation; but also why Katerina and Barbora were not given longer sentences if investigators were so sure they instigated the instructions.
On a positive note…
However, I do believe it is extremely important to note that fortunately both Ondrej and Jakub have grown up to be confident, happy young men. A journalist found a recent facebook status by Ondrej reading “If you get hurt by someone who took the benefit from you with high hopes, learn to respect him and take him as the biggest teacher of yours, because if your life is going smoothly you become a delicate person, if on the other hand you experience tragic circumstances, you develop inner power and courage to face them.'' ♡
Thank you so much for reading. This is honestly the most disturbing case that I have ever covered but I am so, so thankful Ondrej and Jakub have been able to live a happy life. As usual I would absolutely love to hear what you think - and if you would like to discuss anything more about this case then I am always more than happy to talk. Thank you!
♡ Hello and welcome back to my blog!
I have been away from my blog for a short while however I am now back so decided I would write a little post just to explain where I have been, catch up and get back into things.♡
The Disappearance of coc0chanelblogs: SOLVED
LOL, so excuse the cheesy title but I couldn’t not. If you follow my instagram (coc0chanelblogs) you may have seen a post a while ago explaining that I was going to take a break to focus on my university exams. I am currently a second year Psychology student and I absolutely love the course and am really hoping to do well - so that’s where I have been. My exams have finished now which means I have a nice summer ahead of me with lots of time to focus on my blog!
I realised the posts that I absolutely missed the most over this break were my mystery posts. I love love love researching the cases and talking about so many interesting theories, so I think the main focus will be on unsolved mysteries, true crime and conspiracy theories. I will be posting a few polls on my stories to see which cases you would like the most so keep an eye out for those as I would love to hear what you guys are most interested in.
I also cannot wait to use this time to play around with filming and editing and starting up my youtube channel! My first video will be the disappearance of Madeleine McCann as the blog post that I have written for that case is so incredibly long that I realised I need this to be a chatty sit down video. I could honestly talk about this case for hours so I am so excited for this to finally happen!
And a side note: Talking about Mental Health
Whilst I won’t go into details of my non-blog related plans I have for the summer, something I did want to mention was a little opportunity I have started with The Mix. I am currently a volunteer discussion boards counsellor with The Mix, the UK’s leading support service for young people (you can find them here♡). Very excitingly we have collaborated with vo5 working on a little project to promote talking about mental health. Each week a few of us will be starting discussions around a mental health "theme of the week" to normalise and raise the importance of talking about our feelings, asking for help when we need it and working together to form some of the very best advice. I will be starting new discussions every Wednesday over on the discussion boards; so if you do feel affected by anything raised or simply wish to talk and share some of your advice in general, please do feel free to join in the conversation. It’s good to talk ♡
So that’s all I really wanted to share - just a brief catch up to get back into the blogging life. Thank you so much for reading and if you have any suggestions of cases you’d like me to cover please do feel free to share them in the comments below. I hope you all have a really nice rest of your day and I will see you soon with a new unsolved mysteries post.
What is the The Bermuda Triangle?
The Bermuda Triangle refers to a triangle region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean where many ships and aircrafts have simply vanished with no real explanation. It’s vertices are said to be between Miami, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Bermuda, covering 500,000 square miles of ocean..a lot of ocean. The Bermuda triangle is one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, and yet what happens to anyone and anything that disappears remains unknown. These cases date back to Christopher Columbus times, where in 1492 he first reported strange lights and strange compass readings. Since then, there has been numerous unsolved disappearances.
There are so many conspiracy theories behind the Bermuda Triangle, from science to mythology. Regardless of the cause, I find the Bermuda Triangle extremely fascinating. Therefore, I am going to be discussing some of the most interesting cases from the Bermuda Triangle and some of my favourite theories. Enjoy ♡
1918 - USS Cyclops (AC-4)
One of the most famous ships to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle was the USS Cyclops in 1918. Sometime after March 4th 1918, this extremely large ship (542 ft long) with over 300 passengers on board vanished without a single trace. The USS Cyclops was sailing towards Baltimore; and after departing from a shortstop in the island of Barbados the ship and the 300+ passengers were never seen again. With even no debris left behind, this enormous ship had vanished completely.
1945 - Flight 19
Flight 19 refers to the collective of five TBM Avenger bombers who vanished when flying over the Atlantic on December 5th 1945. According to schedule they were due to go east from Florida Naval for 120 miles, north for 73 miles and finally a 120 mile route to return to the naval base. However, they never came back. Not only were no traces ever discovered; but when two rescue Martin Mariner aircrafts with a 13 man crew went to search for the flights, one of the Martin Mariners itself never returned and also disappeared without a trace.
1967 - Witchcraft
On December 22nd 1967, the Witchcraft cabin cruiser departed from Miami with captain Dan Burack and friend, Father Patrick Horgan. This was a 23-foot luxury yacht, setting off to enjoy the view of Miami’s Christmas lights. Just one mile from offshore the coast guard received a call from Burack; a warning that his ship had been hit and that they needed help towing to the shore, however said there was no substantial damage. The coast guard set off immediately, taking only 19 minutes to arrived. Upon arrival he found absolutely nothing. Not only were Witchcraft and the gentleman not there, but there was absolutely no signs of any ships having ever been present there previously. Of course, we know there was a ship there literally 19 minutes ago. Even more bizarre is that this particular type of cruiser is essentially unsinkable. As for Burack and Horgan, there was substantial life-saving equipment on board...so what happened?
2017 - Mitsubishi MU-2B-40
Finally, I wanted to include a more recent one to highlight unexplained incidents of the Bermuda Triangle are still happening today. On May 15th 2017 a small private aircraft called the Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 was flying from Puerto Rico to South Florida. At around 2:10pm the air traffic control at Miami lost radar with the aircraft for unknown reasons. Despite absolutely no weather warnings or anything out of the ordinary, this plane and the four passengers on board simply vanished...still to this day it has never been found.
I couldn’t possibly discuss Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories without including one of the most popular theories for any unexplained event- aliens. A very, very popular theory about the Bermuda Triangle is that the disappearances are caused by alien abductions. I personally have no doubt that there are other life forms; so whilst I don’t really believe this theory, I will say it probably isn’t as crazy as it may initially sound. Many people believe that in order to learn more about human life, aliens around the Bermuda Triangle literally abduct people out of thin air. This is said to explain why there is never any evidence, traces or remains. I mentioned earlier that reports of the Bermuda Triangle date back to Christopher Columbus time, and some theorists believe what Columbus saw at this time may have been a UFO. An entry into his log written October 11th, 1492 read ““The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana, although the Admiral at ten o’clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutierrez, groom of the King’s wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it.” “The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was not near…”. Explorers believe that this sighting was in fact a UFO. Although I do think this theory may be a little too fantasy, I would absolutely love to believe in an alien explanation. What are your thoughts?
This second theory is another one that I don’t necessarily believe in however I do find it extremely fascinating; and that is the theory of Atlantis. The theory goes that there is a “lost city” known as Atlantis dating back to the Ice Age. It is said that Atlantis disappeared in 8016 BC when the Ice Age ended in Finland and the ice melted away. Atlantis was said to be controlled by crystals; therefore people believe that this city may have sunk to right beneath the Bermuda Triangle, and that spontaneous bursts of energy and the strength from these crystals are causing these unexplainable disappearances. I think this is the most interesting theory as it actually adds to the mystery in that we still don’t know whether Atlantis was ever a real location in the first place. What do you think?
The Gulf Stream
This theory I found particularly interesting because it has been suggested as an explanation of the Witchcraft case I discussed earlier. The Gulf Stream is an ocean current originating in the Gulf of Mexico. It moves through Florida into the North Atlantic and then passes through the Bermuda Triangle. The reason this is a theory for the missing ships/planes/people is that the Gulf Stream is essentially a river with warm water within an ocean which can easily carry floating objects down its flow. Therefore any ships coming into engine troubles, or planes making water landings, can be carried away in an instant. People believe this is what happened to the Witchcraft cruiser after coming into trouble with the hit.
Whilst our knowledge of the ocean is extremely limited, something we do know is that very large waves can appear suddenly at any time, even in the calmest of seas. These waves are said to be up to 30m high and extremely capable of taking ships within moments. They can be so strong that one wave caused the largest offshore platform, the Ocean Ranger, to completely capsize in 1982. However, one flaw I find with this theory is that these waves are extremely rare. It therefore seems too coincidental to me to say that these rare waves are occurring all within the same area...don’t you think?
Finally, the theory I think I believe in the most. Some theorists believe disappearances within the Bermuda Triangle are due to intense micro-bursts. To my understanding, micro-bursts are sudden currents of wind from storm clouds; and these winds can exceed 120mph. These can be observed by weather satellites, and evidence from this suggests the unusual cloud formations observed around the Bermuda Triangle are in fact micro-bursts. Microbursts arguably aren’t as rare as some of the other theories discussed; though still uncommon, micro-bursts have definitely been known to cause planes to crash before. It therefore follows that as the ones around the Bermuda Triangle are significantly stronger, this could cause significantly more planes to disappear. Tying into the rogue wave theory, it is said that these micro-bursts can contribute to waves, forming waves over 40ft high, hence why things appear to simply “vanish”.
Whilst I would love to discover evidence for a lost city or alien abductions, I do personally believe some of the more scientific theories slightly more in this case. However something I find really interesting about the Bermuda Triangle is that there are so many theories that make sense; and yet at the same time we truly have no idea what causes so many disappearances - literally without a trace.
Thank you so much for reading. As usual, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on what theories you believe, and whether there are any more theories that I didn’t discuss that you are particularly interested in.
21 year old Psychology student, running a blog to satisfy my love for writing and debating.