5 Creepy AF Deaths That Popped Up In The News
When you're a police officer and have to respond every time someone finds a dead body, it can get a little routine after a while. Every death is dramatic to someone, but they eventually tend to run together. Except for, you know, when they're really weird.
The following recent cases of bodies turning up are all creepy enough to get you looking over your shoulder, in case the conspirators are coming after you next (or in case the vengeful ghosts are near).
Someone Keeps Killing The Butterfly Men
Some professions are fraught with danger, but if you settle on just the right job, you should be able to live into old age suffering zero stress and no harm. A job like kitten comforter, cloud whisperer, rainbow watcher, or butterfly manager. The last of which is a real thing, as shown through the case of Homero Gomez Gonzalez, manager of Mexico's El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve. Millions of monarch butterflies come to the Mexican state of Michoacan annually as part of their winter migration, and El Rosario is a good place to be surrounded by them, like in the below video. Gonzalez was posting videos like that right up until January 13, when he went missing. His body was found two weeks later.
He had been dropped down a well near the Preserve, his head having been beaten in before he drowned. Which sounds like a bit of a cautionary tale on just how dangerous Mexico is, how just about anyone can be randomly murdered by passing robbers. Or maybe this was a kidnapping gone wrong -- Homero's family had received calls from alleged kidnappers, asking for ransom money. Except, Homero's body was found with $500 in pesos still on him. Money had not been the motive here, unless the killers were really incompetent.
Within a week of Homero's body turning up, so did the body of a second Butterfly Preserve employee. This one was Raul Hernandez Romero, a tour guide. He'd been missing for the past weekend, and his body wound up not down a well but up a mountain, at the very highest part of the Preserve. He too had been beaten, and the cause of death in his case had something to do with his being stabbed in the head.
Both murders are unsolved so far, officially, but people who aren't the police are pretty confident about what's going on here. The Butterfly Preserve has enemies in the criminal fields of logging and avocado farming. That's not a joke -- Mexican cartels are in a war over who controls the avocados, and farmers and loggers have been responsible for majorly reducing the butterflies' habitat. Homero had been a logger himself years ago then became an anti-logging mayor, and as Defender of the Monarch, his activism mainly consisted of fighting illegal agriculture. If you get in their way, loggers will straight-up murder you, apparently. Captain Planet and all those movies about land developers bulldozing the kids' camp were right.
Seven Found Dead In Cult. Demons Possibly Involved.
Locals in the Panamanian village of El Terron didn't worry when they heard strange noises coming from a church in the jungle. This church had been built by a sect calling itself The New Light of God, and they were known for their loud rituals. Even the eventual screams coming from the compound didn't attract much attention, since those could have just been signs of religious fervor, maybe. People only realized something was wrong when congregants reached authorities after escaping from the complex by breaking out of the ropes binding them.
As survivors later explained, the sect (or cult ... let's go ahead and call it a cult) had been holding perfectly normal prayer meetings for a while. But then one member received a vision and realized God had chosen them to kill all unbelievers. So one day, all members received new instructions: they had to come to the evening's meeting whether they liked it or not. This all might remind you of how the Jonestown Massacre went down -- Panama seems vaguely in the same neck of the woods as Guyana, where Jamestown was -- but this little massacre happened just a couple weeks ago instead of in the '70s.
The cult leaders told the members to close their eyes and accept their beatings. As one escapee, Dina Blanco, describes it, "When I came to, they kept telling me not to open my eyes. I heard drums, an accordion, screams, crying. I was tied up." This may or may not have been even more scary than having to walk naked across hot coals, which is what some of the cult members had to go through, but it was after Blanco and the others escaped and police raided the compound that we found the really horrifying bit: seven bodies in a mass pit, having been beaten to death with Bibles. Bibles, and machetes.
The murder had been an exorcism gone wrong -- or possibly gone exactly as intended; we don't know. Elsewhere in the compound, authorities found a naked woman and a slaughtered goat, and also open discarded Bibles and musical instruments, all of which sounds like an amazing party but only under totally different circumstances. The cult leaders may have thought the victims were possessed by demons, but locals now say the murders themselves were the work of the devil, and they've wised up now and decided to be hostile to any religion that tries poking its way into the region.
A Woman Was Killed After Emerging Victorious From A Shoot-Out (That Might Not Have Happened)
Last October, Adrienne Quintal went to visit her family cabin outside Traverse City, off Lake Michigan. The building had been in the family for 75 years, and she was going there to take care of the place and make sure it was ready for the winter. We don't know exactly what happened in that cabin. But on October 17, at 2:45 in the morning, a friend in a nearby town got an emergency call from Adrienne, who said she heard people approaching from outside. "Oh my God, there's somebody out there," she said, reaching for a gun. Then: "Oh my God, I shot him in the face."
The friend called the police of course, who managed to get to the cabin within 15 minutes. They saw signs of a shoot-out ... sort of. Shell casings from multiple firearms littered the floor. Bullet holes also indicated that someone had definitely fired from inside the house, but there weren't any clear signs of bullets actually hitting anyone, or of the blood stains or piles of brains that you might associate with shooting someone in the face. Adrienne's family speculated hopefully that she'd never been in danger at all but had made up the whole action/horror movie situation to cover up running away and starting a new life.
Detectives were open to that idea but also had to do their usual thing, looking at Adrienne's boyfriend as a person of interest and combing the area for any signs of the missing woman's body. Two months went by without any signs turning up, though they did find her boots and her phone, both somehow on the cabin's roof. And then the family found her, just a short walk from the cabin. Search teams, drones, and teams of dogs had already searched, but this area was too flooded to look at properly until the family drained it. The coroner's totally unsatisfying initial assessment just said "no foul play."
A couple months after that, and the medical examiner released the toxicology report. Adrienne had died of drugs, he said, a combination of meth and anti-anxiety meds. Exactly how this ties into everything else is a mystery that authorities are no longer pursuing. Did she fake the shoot-out and her disappearance, like her family had thought, but then succumbed to drugs and hypothermia? Was this suicide? Were there multiple shooters after all, as the initial ballistics evidence suggested? Or had the meth and some spectacularly ineffective anti-anxiety drugs genuinely convinced Adrienne that imaginary figures were shooting at her?
Whatever the answer, the lesson here is clear: When you do meth, always bring a buddy, for safety.
A Couple Found Two Dead Septuagenarians Hugging In The Front Yard
This past winter saw some big snowstorms for the town of Ash Fork, Arizona, home to 400 residents and the historical Ash Fork Bar & Brothel. After one blizzard dropped ten inches that seemed in no hurry to melt, Mike and Diane Haas hunkered down to stay comfortable in their house. Then when the snow finally began to shrink away, Mike went outside and saw something newly exposed in the front yard: two bodies, one on top of the other. "Sir, sir!" he said at first, in hopes of stirring the man on top, but it was pretty clear both were dead and it was time to call 911.
Authorities identified the two as Richard and Elizabeth Alexander, aged 74 and 79. Their car had broken down a mile away. They'd abandoned it in the blizzard and lit out in search of help, and the closest sign of life they were able to see was Mike and Diane's porch light. The managed to traverse that mile on foot, but then they stopped and they died just a hundred yards from their warm destination, just like in the old song. Their bodies had been in the front yard under a thin layer of snow, and they'd been there while the Haas family were inside celebrating Thanksgiving.
It doesn't look like the old couple suddenly collapsed in exhaustion. Richard seemed to have positioned himself purposely on top of his wife to keep her warm. In truth, lying down in a blizzard is a distinctly terrible way to get warm when there's an indoor alternative only one minute away, but hey, that's snow madness for you. You might even say that dying in the arms of your longtime spouse is a pretty decent way to go. But then Mike had to ruin it for us, pointing out to a reporter how exposed Richard must have died first, leaving Elizabeth for some time pinned down by her husband's freezing corpse.
With this story too, there's a clear lesson: When you're stranded with a buddy, always bring some meth. Wait, that's not it. Always keep moving? Yeah, that's better. Or, better still: When you're caught in a blizzard, stay in your car. Try walking through a howling snow, and you'll quickly get disoriented. If you do make it even as far as Elizabeth and Richard, that would make you one of the lucky ones.
This Millionaire Witness To A Russian Money-Laundering Scandal Totally Killed Himself, Claim Authorities
Let's say right off that as far as we know, maybe Aivar Rehe really did kill himself. Authorities claim he did, say they saw no signs of foul play when they found the man's body in his backyard, and describe no circumstances that make suicide impossible. But when Rehe first went missing in September, police had said "there's reason to suspect Rehe's life may be at risk," and they didn't mean risk of suicide. Because Rehe had been the CEO of the Estonian branch of Danske bank, and he'd been providing information about maybe the largest money-laundering operation in history.
It's hard to keep all these Russian scandals straight, so maybe this one passed you by. In 2013, it came out that Danske had been laundering billions for Russia, including a large amount for Vladmir Putin's family. As investigators dug further in, the case kept growing, covering more than $200 billion laundered for dozens of countries. Rehe was not a suspect, just a man who knew a thing or two about what was going on. Police have not revealed exactly how he died (other than claiming it was suicide) and haven't said why it took days to find him when he went missing if his body was in his own yard.
You don't have to be suspicious about this death. Only thing is, people related to this scandal seem to have had a bad habit of dying suspiciously. Russian central banker Andrei Kozlov tried to tell the international community what was going on back in 2006, and he was murdered within months of speaking out. In 2010, Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy tried to blow the whistle about the theft of hundreds of millions from the national treasury (his company sent the money to the Estonian bank later implicated in the larger laundering scandal). He was found dead while jogging, and his insurance company detected a Chinese toxin in his system that caused cardiac arrest.
Perepilichnyy's lawyer had been Sergei Magnitsky, and by the time Perepilichnyy was off'd, the lawyer was already dead. Magnitsky had been investigating the theft, but Russia put an end to that by arresting him and throwing him into prison for a year without trial. Eight days before even Russian law said they had to release him, his dead body was found in his cell following a prison beating by guards. Magnitsky's own lawyer fell out of a fourth-floor window in what Russian media said was an accident involving lifting a bathtub and a long rope, but the victim (who survived, by the way) referred to it as attempted murder.
The only way to avoid getting whacked is probably to avoid all contact with money altogether. You might soon starve, but at least that's a straightforward death everyone can understand.
Top image: Gdvcom/Shutterstock