Well, it's that time of year again. Specifically, the time of year when we make you shit your pants with stories that sound like they must have been made up, but are actually terrifyingly true. We have done this five times before, and somehow humanity keeps topping itself ...
#7. The Homemade Self-Decapitation Machine
As humans, we're pretty emotionally attached to our heads, which probably explains why there are so many urban legends that incorporate accidental or intentional decapitation ("Then the man fell out of the elevator ... WITHOUT HIS HEAD!"). But if some guy around the water cooler were to insist that he once heard about a guy who TOTALLY committed suicide by BEHEADING HIMSELF with a COMPLICATED SAW-LIKE BOOBY TRAP DEVICE and that he TOTALLY SAW IT ON THE NEWS, DUDE, you'd tag him as one of those people who can't separate reality from low-budget torture porn.
Well, buckle up.
Don't let the picture fool you -- there's nothing wacky or cute about what you're about to read.
Usually, when cops get a call about a domestic disturbance, it's just another day at the office. You show up, make Cletus put his pants back on, confiscate the bath salts, the usual. Not for the poor guys who responded to a disturbance in Yorktown, Virginia, in 2011. For one thing, the guy they were there to help was sitting in a car with a trailer attached. A flaming trailer. For another, the guy in the car attached to the burning trailer refused to get out, not for the police or for the firemen or for the promise of a Big Gulp, a trick that usually works with these types.
"Come on out so we can have sex with you. We love arsonists, and we're totally not cops."
And that's when one of the firefighters noticed the wire around the driver's neck ... the wire that went out the back window and was snugly tied to a tree 10 feet away. This was no ordinary domestic disturbance. This dude wasn't just a troubled soul having a freakout at the trailer park; he was going out like the shiniest star in the crazysphere.
Before anyone could stop him, the driver stepped on the gas, the car zoomed forward and the wire snapped. The unnamed victim was whipped out the rear window and his head was removed. And the whole ordeal wasn't even over -- the trailer detached from the truck and kept rolling, flames sky high in the air, head and body both left behind. Here's the ABC News link if you don't believe us. Welcome to the goddamned Cracked Halloween Real Urban Legends list, baby.
Fuck off, buddy. Nothing you do can ever top the horrors of reality.
#6. The Engagement Ring and the Grave
Getting buried alive happens so much in fiction that it has its own TV Tropes page and comes up even more frequently in spooky campfire stories ("And when they finally dug her up, they found SCRATCH MARKS ON THE COFFIN LID, and her dead face was FROZEN IN A SCREAM!"). The only things more implausible are the stories where the victims dig their way out (like in the second Kill Bill). Hell, Ryan Reynolds starred in an entire movie with that exact premise. That's Hollywood for you.
If you picture him as his character from Waiting ..., you find yourself cheering inversely.
A Polish man named Marcin Kasprzak decided that his girlfriend of six years, Michelina Lewandowska, wasn't pretty enough for him. But instead of letting her find him in bed with her sister like most men would do, he took a more terrifying and infinitely more complicated route. He and a buddy shot her with a Taser, taped her hands and feet, stuffed her in an old television box and loaded her up in the trunk of his car. Kasprzak and his friend then buried his fiancee alive in a secluded part of the woods and promptly withdrew 500 pounds with her ATM card, because hey, that wouldn't look suspicious at all.
"It's the perfect crime because these things are totally untraceable!"
Fortunately, Kasprzak was as bad at murder as he was good at buying jewelry. Lewandowska used her engagement ring to cut through the tape binding her and clawed her way to freedom through the dirt and branches that her boyfriend had slipshoddingly buried her under. Ladies, let this be a lesson -- make sure you get a nice, big, sharp diamond out of him. Especially if he has a television box he just doesn't want to get rid of for some reason.
#5. The Very Unhappy Ending
A man falls passionately in love with a beautiful, exciting woman. After a whirlwind romance, he permanently seals the deal with a wedding. It's only then that he discovers that he has married THE DEVIL.
Wait, we're going to say that there is such a thing as marrying a she-devil? Read on.
"Honey, do you have a cold? You sound like the lead singer for Cannibal Corpse."
Newlyweds Shriya and Bimal Patel had spent most of their first year as man and wife with him in Austin and her in Dubai. You'd think that once they were reunited, some freaky sex stuff would get started. That's probably what Mr. Patel pictured when his wife offered to give him a hot oil massage in the bathtub. She even set the scene -- romantic candles, a faint scent of gasoline ...
"Don't worry, it's just diesel!"
The hopeless romantic was already in the tub when he realized that the oil she was pouring wasn't so much oil as it was gas, and the candles weren't there for ambience. For all we know, he didn't figure it out until he found himself bathing in a roaring tub of hellfire.
Shriya fled the scene, jamming the bathroom door on her way out. If Mr. Patel had been paying attention, he would have noticed that the fire alarm was off the wall and the apartment sprinklers were wrapped in plastic bags. In other words, this wasn't a spontaneous "douse my husband in gas and burn him alive" impulse that had hit her in the heat of the moment -- she had planned it out to the last detail, and during the entire process never stopped to think that maybe there were easier ways to break it off. Shriya was, as you can imagine, charged with murder.
And for letting hair that pretty go to waste by not hiring a stylist.
#4. The Milwaukee Mangler
Every day, millions of us put our lives in the hands of skilled physicians, dentists and white van tattoo artists. Whether we're getting wisdom teeth removed or our boobs corrected so they're the same size, we're working under two assumptions: A) The doctor in charge knows what he's doing and B) he's not a psychopath who just went through medical school so he'd have an excuse to mutilate people.
"No, I'm not the devil, don't be silly. Why do you ask?"
Glen Tucker was a terrible plastic surgeon. In fact, he was worse than that -- he was sadistically incompetent and left a trail of mangled patients behind him wherever he went. Like the man who came to see him with arm spasms and ended up having his arm amputated. Or the woman who went in for breast implants and somehow, against all odds and laws of physics, ended up with square breasts, covered in Frankenstein-like scars.
So Tucker's faults went far beyond just being a crappy doctor. Take the story of Jan Lehman, who had nothing more than a broken nose when she came to see Tucker. Midway through surgery, she WOKE UP to find the "doctor" wheeling her into a strangely dark and deserted operating room. She then passed out, but awoke again as Tucker brutally tore tubing from her nose, destroying her stitches. Later, after filing a complaint against Tucker, Lehman reported seeing him following her in his car. He wasn't just inept -- he was Cape Fear crazy.
"NO, WAIT, IT'S JUST CHLAMYDIA!"
The complaints and lawsuits mounted, and then one day Tucker tragically drowned in a boating accident. Except of course he didn't actually drown, and even if he did, it probably wouldn't have been that tragic. No, he just flew the coop to Florida, leaving numerous barely stitched together patients in his wake. Years later, a TV producer tracked Tucker to Florida, and the doctor gave this eerie statement: "If I get driven too far into a corner, if it got to the point where life was no longer worth living, then I would not want to go alone."
He didn't. Several years later, Tucker loaded his .45 and killed his wife, himself and, yes, even the cat.
Jesus, you expect the guy to look like Hannibal Lecter, but it's just every person's grandpa.