Saturday Morning Open ThreadPosted: June 2, 2012
It’s a rainy day in Boston. I don’t know if it’s from the tropical storm or what, but it’s nasty out there, and I guess it’s going to rain all night and tomorrow too. It’s a good day to curl up with a good book. Or maybe just surf the internet for weird news….
There have been so many cases of people eating other people lately, that New York Magazine decided to do some research on the topic. It turns out this behavior is fairly common.
In just the past week, a naked man ate a homeless guy’s face in Miami, a New Jersey man threw his intestines at police, a Canadian porn star killed a man and ate parts of his body before mailing other parts to government officials, a Maryland man killed his roommate and ate his heart and brain, and a Staten Island pizza parlor owner nommed a dude’s ear. It seems clear that this sudden burst of zombie activity points inexorably to the beginning of the end for mankind. But we started to wonder this morning — from inside our fortified, WiFi enabled, mountainside bunker — whether the only thing that’s changed is that, in the wake of the headline-grabbing Miami incident, we’ve suddenly started paying a lot more attention to zombie-esque stories than we had in the past. After digging around, we found that while the frequency of cannibal stories over the past week is unusual, this kind of stuff happens fairly regularly.
Go read the examples if you dare!
The victim of the face-eating attack in Miami was a homeless man who had abandoned his family years ago and was presumed dead.
“I tried to reach him, but I just thought he killed himself,” said Ronald Poppo’s sister, Antoinette. “And we really thought he was no longer on this earth.”
Antoinette Poppo said the family hasn’t heard from Ronald, 65, in 30 years. Details of his life after he attended New York’s prestigious Stuyvesant High School in the 1960s remain scarce, traced in a string of mostly petty arrests, hospital records, and a call to the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust last week from the Jungle Island zoo, where Poppo had been sleeping on the roof of the parking garage.
According to the Miami Herald, Stuyvesant’s records show Poppo enjoyed an above-average IQ of 129, and a former homeroom classmate said he enrolled at nearby City College before the pair lost touch.
Arrest records show Poppo spent some time in New Orleans before making his way to Miami, where he was shot in Bayfront Park by an unknown “John Doe” in 1976, spending five days at Jackson Memorial Hospital — the same place he now lies in critical condition with much of his face gone and only one remaining eye.
Poppo will need a complete facial reconstruction if he survives. There is a fund for people who wish to donate to help him.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: The Jackson Memorial Foundation has set up a fund to assist Ronald Poppo in his recovery, which experts in facial reconstruction have said will include lengthy treatment, staged reconstruction, and psychological care. Donations can be made by check or online at jmf.org.
Janice Poppo DiBello, 44, told the New York Daily News that Ronald abandoned her family when she was just 2-years-old. She said she was stunned to find out her absentee father was the homeless man who was attacked and eaten by the Causeway Cannibal.
“Since I was like two-years-old, him and my mom got divorced and there was no – like how normal divorces are, where you see your father,” DiBello told the NY Daily News. “Nobody ever heard anything from him, so I’ve never met him. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead.”
DiBello told the Daily News she knows Ronald is in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital and he’s missing between 75 and 80 percent of his face. DiBello called her mom to confirm the details about the victim, which her mother did.
“It was a complete shock, because like I said, I’ve never had a relationship with my biological father,” DiBello told the Daily News. “I have never heard from him. I have no idea what happened to him.”
What’s happening where you are?