October 16, 2013

Countdown - 15 days - Post Mortem Photography

Have you ever heard of this?  It was common in Victorian times to call in a professional photographer to take photos of your deceased loved-one as a momento. 

Cameras weren't common then, so it was often the only time a family might be recorded in photo-form together. The creepy part is that the body was often arranged to appear alive; using elaborate stands, pillows , flowers or hidden mothers.  Some look extremely good, you'd have no clue that someone is dead.  Others are much more obvious, with painted cheeks & eyes. 

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

(via Pinterest)

Judging by the visible wounds, this looks like there had been a bad accident. 


Info  (and some great pics!)


  1. I guess it's not much different than going to view a dead person in a coffin prior to burial, which I also find morbid :)

  2. The family (woman, child, man, child, child) that you said there must have been a bad accident were actually murdered.

    On Friday, October 12, 1906, a murder occurred just outside Houston which would become part of Houston's history and a piece of local folklore. The event involved a man by the name of Joseph Hamilton (known locally as Jodie) and a sharecropper named Carney Parsons. Jodie had grown up in the Ozarks but had moved with his family to Kansas as a youth. He returned to the area in 1906 and began working for Parsons. The scuffle which would end in the death of Parsons, his wife, and children began with a trade agreement over a stolen saddle. Parsons offered to trade Hamilton twenty-five dollars cash and a single-barreled shotgun for the saddle. Hamilton agreed but later began to feel as though he had been cheated in the deal.[11]

    Parsons then loaded up his family in a wagon and headed for Miller County where he had purchased some farmland. Hamilton, growing more and more furious over the deal, headed out to catch up with them less than an hour after their departure. Parsons and Hamilton had an argument resulting in Parsons heading on toward Miller County. Hamilton waited and then determined to catch up with them again. At the second meeting, Hamilton fired the shotgun he had traded for at Carney Parsons, striking him in the right knee. The gun broke into three pieces. Hamilton then took the barrel portion of the gun and struck Carney Parsons in the head. Carney's wife Minnie then tried to wrest the barrel from Hamilton and Hamilton struck her as well. Hamilton then killed two of the Parson's three sons, Frankie and Jesse, by striking them on the head with the barrel and then cutting their throats with a knife Carney had produced in the scuffle. Hamilton then returned to Minnie, who had not yet died, and struck her with an ax after covering her head with a blanket. Hamilton then dealt the final death blow to the remaining infant son of Carney and Minnie with a swing of the gun barrel.[11]

    After concealing the wagon, Hamilton took one of the Parsons' mules and fit it with the saddle he had traded to Parsons and headed back into town. He then went to the home of his fiancee, Mae Thompson, and they departed to attend a revival. That night, Jodie returned alone to the crime scene with borrowed animals and pulled the wagon, containing the bodies of his victims, to the Piney River. He dumped the bodies into the river and headed back to town, planning to leave for Cabool the next day and board a train to Kansas.[11]

    Fishermen discovered the bodies of Jesse and the infant Edward floating in the river on Saturday morning. Authorities immediately suspected Hamilton because of the mule he had been seen riding into town. Having determined that Hamilton had departed for Cabool, ex-Sheriff James Cantrell phoned the Cabool general store and asked they try to detain Hamilton until they could arrive to arrest him. The store owner managed to get Hamilton to stay for coffee until Cantrell arrived. Hamilton quickly confessed to the murders and assisted authorities in finding the other three bodies.[11][12]

    Mobs immediately began to form around the Texas County jail in Houston where Hamilton was being held. Fearing mob violence, Hamilton was moved to Carthage until his trial on October 23. On Monday, November 12, Hamilton was tried for murder. Though he admitted to the crime, Jodie attempted to plead insanity due to a kick received from a mule as a child. Doctors examined Jodie and found him to be sane. He was sentenced to be executed on December 21. At 11:02 am in Houston, Jodie's execution was attempted but was unsuccessful. The rope had failed. Two minutes later, after tying another noose on the same rope, Jodie was hanged again. His death was pronounced at 11:15. Jodie was buried outside Raymondville.[11][13]


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