John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Unsolved Connecticut: The Murder of Baby Doe: Was it a Ritual Killing?

Unsolved Connecticut: The Murder of Baby Doe: Was it a Ritual Killing?

John William Tuohy

On the cold and rain filled morning March 14, 1986, a road crew found the body of infant boy, perhaps only several hours old. He had been strangled, his jaw was broken, and his face mutilated. Yet he was wrapped in white blood stained blankets. Someone had laid coins, pieces of fruit, and other objects around the body and a burlap altar was placed near the body as well. Close by the corpse, police found bloody pajama top and bottom that probably belonged to the infant’s mother. Because of that, in a case without almost any leads at all, the police do have a full DNA profile of the baby's unknown mother.

Whoever butchered the child made no attempts to hide the body which told investigators several things; the murderer left the corpse out in the open near the banks of Lake Mohegan in Fairfield, Connecticut where they knew it would be discovered.

In what might be a related incident, the police learned that just 18 hours before the baby was found dead on the lake shore that someone had delivered a baby in a bathroom stall of a building that then housed a bank data-processing center. Someone who worked there read about the baby at the lake and notified investigators but “Unfortunately” an investigator said “the cleaning crew cleaned it up. We didn't find out about it until two days later, when someone from the building read about the baby found at Lake Mohegan."

The coins, pieces of fruit, and other objects lying around the baby’s body seemed to indicate that the baby was part of a ritual involving Palo Mayombe or perhaps the secrecy surrounded Santeria, a combination of religious traditions drawn from the Yoruba faith, with roots in Africa and South America, and the worship of Catholic saints. Both Santeria and Palo Mayombe (An offshoot of Santeria) are known to ritually use human remains.
The organizational structure of both Santeria and Palo Mayombe follows the model of a family, a left over from the days of slavery when blood families often were broken up by slave holders, this model was particularly significant and taken literally. 

Considering that fact, it was odd that years after the killing, police detectives followed a clue about a local drug gang called "Number One Family" which led the police to a home in Bridgeport, Connecticut where foster children were living in 1986. "We discovered” an investigators said “there were a lot of complaints of sexual abuse that were happening in the home" but the clues led to nowhere. The case is still open.

Santeria is said to be widely used by Caribbean dope dealers operating in the United States and investigators have reported finding Santeria altars in drug dealer’s homes on numerous occasions. So was the murder related to a dope deal?

“They wanted him to be found” the cops said “it was probably a message killing” and the killer knew that such a horrific murder would get plenty of press coverage. The location of the body also told the police that the killer or killers knew were familiar with the area because "The north end of the lake is not a place you would stumble upon."

But there have been other ritual related cases in the nutmeg state. On April 22, 2007 Imani Joyner, died and been buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Stamford. Born by an emergency Caesarean section, at 27 weeks Imani weighed only 2 pounds and 12 ounces. Doctors determined that she had semilobar holoprosencephaly, a condition that causes babies to die before birth or shortly after. However Imani survived until she was 2 and half years old. She had been considered a miracle baby by her doctors.

In 2009, two men were fishing in Passaic River in Clifton, NJ and found Imani Joyner body in a sealed plastic garbage bag at the shoreline. Police were able to identify the corpse from a bracelet on the girl's wrist from the hospice where she was being treated when she died which led them to Imani’s grave. When they exhumed the site all they found was an empty coffin that had been broken into.

"The casket was broken and smashed in and it looks like the body was pulled up through that hole," an investigator said. State Police think that the child’s corpse was stolen for use in ritual to capture her "fighting spirit."

Good words to have

The exact origins of the word hoodlum are not known, but one theory is that the word derives from hudelum, an adjective that means "disorderly" in dialects of German spoken in and around the region of Swabia.

A young troublemaker is sometimes called a hooligan, it most likely derives from the name of Patrick Hooligan, an Irish youth purported to have wreaked havoc in the streets of Southwark, England, in the late 19th century.

English speakers created acerbic in the 19th century by adding -ic to the adjective acerb. Acerb had been around since the 17th century, but for most of that time it had been used only to describe foods with a sour taste. (Acerb is still around today, but now it's simply a less common synonym of acerbic.) Acerbic and acerb ultimately come from the Latin adjective acerbus, which can mean "harsh" or "unpleasant." Another English word that comes from acerbus is exacerbate, which means "to make more violent or severe."

Gemutlich: (guh-MOOT-lik, -MUT-likh)  Cozy; comfortable; pleasant; friendly. From German gemüetlich (cozy, comfortable, etc.), from Gemüt (nature, mind, soul) + -lich (-ly).

Baroque came to English from the French word barroque, meaning "irregularly shaped." At first, the word in French was used mostly to refer to pearls. Eventually, it came to describe an extravagant style of art characterized by curving lines, gilt, and gold.

Peregrinate. PAIR-uh-gruh-nayt  1: to travel especially on foot : walk 2: to walk or travel over : travers. Latin word peregrinatus, the past participle of peregrinari, which means "to travel in foreign lands." The verb is derived from the Latin word for "foreigner," peregrinus, which was earlier used as an adjective meaning "foreign."That term also gave us the words pilgrim and peregrine, the latter of which once meant "alien" but is now used as an adjective meaning "tending to wander" and as a noun naming a kind of falcon.

Refurbish was borrowed into English in the 14th century from Anglo-French furbiss-, a distant relative of Old High German furben, meaning "to polish." In its earliest uses furbish also meant "to polish," but it developed an extended sense of "renovate" shortly before English speakers created refurbish with the same meaning in the 17th century.

Myriad (MIR-ee-ehd) A large number. From Greek myriás (ten thousand, countless)

Nugatory (NOO-guh-tor-ee, NYOO-)  Of little value; trifling.From Latin nugatorius (trifling), from nugari (to trifle). In Greek mythology, Lethe was the name of a river in the underworld that was also called "the River of Unmindfulness" or "the River of Forgetfulness." Legend held that when someone died, he or she was given a drink of water from the river Lethe to forget all about his or her past life. Eventually this act of forgetting came to be associated with feelings of sluggishness, inactivity, or indifference. The name of the river and the word lethargic, as well as the related noun lethargy, all derive from lēthē, Greek for "forgetfulness."

Au courant (o koo-RAN) 1. Up-to-date; fully-informed. 2. Fashionable.From French au courant (literally, in the current, i.e. knowledgeable or up-to-date), from Latin currere (to run). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kers- (to run), which also gave us car, career, carpenter, occur, discharge, caricature, cark, discursive, and succor.

Plethora (PLETH-uhr-uh)  An abundance or excess. From Latin plethora, from Greek plethore (fullness), from plethein (to be full). In the beginning the word was applied to an excess of a humor, especially blood, in the body.

Satellite Images May Have Solved the Mystery of Peru’s Nazca Lines

I’ve been there several times and although I am the furthest thing a man can be from an engineer, even I knew I was a water system for the farms. The area flood, so the water systems were moved season by season, hence the large number of “drawing”, well that, and boys will be boys.

Satellite Images May Have Solved the Mystery of Peru’s Nazca Lines
By Alanna Martinez

Lovers of ancient wonders and viewers of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, I have bad news for you. One of the Earth’s great mysterious man-made monuments may not be the handiwork of visitors from a galaxy far, far away after all, much to the chagrin of conspiracy theorists. Stories about ancient hot air balloons and snapshots of alien visits recorded in stone may be convenient for the sake of explaining Nazca’s incredible images of geometric plants and animals, a well-preserved, large-scale series of geoglyphs carved into the Peruvian desert which can only be seen in their entirety from above. But now, new satellite imagery may shed light on the UNESCO World Heritage site’s true purpose: water irrigation.
In a recent episode of Motherboard’s podcast “Science Solved It,” senior researcher Rosa Lasaponara of the National Research Council in Rome tells Vice that satellite images of the site link the unusual designs—which are believed to have been created between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D.—to a series of spiral-shaped holes nearby called puquios. The holes, she says, were used for irrigation, and fed into an intricate underground aqueduct system that allowed the Nazca “to transform the desert into a garden.”
Further evaluation of the satellite imagery, which can detect not only existing formations on the surface but the remnants of former structures as well, suggest that the Nazca built a sophisticated system of settlements and canals in the region, and that the landscape would have appeared far more cultivated and lush than the arid desert it is today.
On the million dollar question—why did the Nazca create their giant designs, and for whom?—Lasaponara believes that the imagery may have been a way to show thanks to the gods for bringing water to the valley.
Also appearing on Motherboard’s podcast is Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras, who provides background on three of the more outlandish, but still widely popular, theories about the lines. The theories mentioned propose that the imagery may have been a marking system for astrological phenomenon, meditative ceremonial walking paths or an artistic collaboration between the Nazca and visiting aliens.
“If you only look at it in one framework, that it’s a giant carving to be seen from above, you get completely hung up on trying to figure out how it was possible,” Thuras told Vice. “But if you understand its relation to water sources, it doesn’t seem so impossible.”
Alas, Lasaponara and her colleagues’ findings suggest an even more exciting possibility than aliens, if such a thing is possible: that the Nazca were a far more sophisticated civilization than previously believed.