Fortean Times - - Reader Info -

Daniel Bran­don, 31, died from as­phyx­i­a­tion on 25 Au­gust at his home in the Hamp­shire vil­lage of Church Crookham. He is thought to be the first per­son in Bri­tain to be killed by a python. His mother Babs dis­cov­ered him un­con­scious in his bed­room on the night of his death and later found a fe­male 8ft (2.4m) African rock python named Tiny out of her vi­var­ium and coiled un­der a cabi­net near his body. She called paramedics, but her son could not be saved. Coro­ner An­drew Bradley recorded a ver­dict of mis­ad­ven­ture, mak­ing it clear he did not be­lieve Tiny had been ag­gres­sive to­wards her owner, but had prob­a­bly been coil­ing around him in an af­fec­tion­ate way. He did not be­lieve she had wrapped around Bran­don for warmth – as is thought to have hap­pened when a python killed two boys in Canada in 2013 [ FT308:20]. As well as Tiny, Bran­don’s bed­room was home to an­other nine snakes and 12 taran­tu­las. He had kept snakes for 16 years and the python was “his baby”. She used to be small enough to fit in his hand. BBC News, 24 Jan; Guardian, D.Mail, 25 Jan 2018.

For­mer zoo worker Arslan Valeev, 31, from St Peters­burg let his Black Mamba snake bite him and then live-streamed his sui­cide. He begged fans of his an­i­mal YouTube chan­nel to ask his ex-wife Katya Py­atyzhkin to visit him as his breath­ing quick­ened and his eyes rolled. A viewer called an am­bu­lance and Valeev was taken to hos­pi­tal, but the Rus­sian blog­ger could not be saved. Metro, D.Star, 27 Sept 2017.

Yuthapong, 30, an en­gi­neer from Saraburi in In­done­sia, was found dead un­der a slab of con­crete next to a de­serted beach restau­rant. He was dressed in a pur­ple shirt and no trousers, with a bed sheet nearby. Po­lice sug­gested that he had gone to the beach and dozed off only to be hit by de­bris brought in by waves; but they ad­mit­ted they were baffled by his miss­ing trousers, which were nowhere to be found. There was no sign of a strug­gle or ap­par­ent in­juries to the body. Lo­cals said the area was haunted by a par­tic­u­larly nasty ghost that clearly en­ticed the man to his death. Yuthapong was from out of town and would have been un­aware of the risk., 8 Dec 2017.

Ivo Poppe, 61 – sus­pected of killing at least 10 peo­ple by in­ject­ing air into their blood, caus­ing a fa­tal em­bolism – has gone on trial in Bel­gium. The of­fences took place at a clinic in Me­nen, where he worked as a nurse – and later, af­ter be­ing or­dained, in a pas­toral role. Bel­gian news­pa­pers have dubbed him the “dea­con of death”. He was ar­rested in 2014 af­ter telling his psy­chi­a­trist that he had “eu­thanised” dozens of el­derly pa­tients, but sub­se­quently de­nied the charges against him. Among his al­leged vic­tims are sev­eral rel­a­tives: two great-un­cles, his fa­ther-in-law, and his mother, who died in 2011. Prose­cu­tors say at least 50 deaths are sus­pi­cious. BBC News, 22 Jan 2018.

Sergei Terekhov, 64, hunt­ing with his brother in a re­mote part of the Sara­tov re­gion on the banks of the Volga in south­west­ern Rus­sia, was shot dead by one of his own dogs. He let his two Es­to­nian hounds out of the boot of his Lada car. Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal news web­site Re­gion 64, “the paw of one of the an­i­mals got on the trig­ger of the hunt­ing ri­fle, the butt of which was on the ground, and the bar­rel was aimed at the man’s stom­ach.” His brother drove him to hos­pi­tal, where he died of his in­juries. In­de­pen­dent (on­line), 23

Jan 2018. We have re­ported many cases of hunters shot by their faith­ful hounds – see FT3:3, 25:14, 52:22, 63:33-34, 289:8.

A Rus­sian man died af­ter he pulled the pin out of a hand grenade and posted pho­to­graphs of him­self hold­ing it. Alexan­der ‘Sasha’ Chechik was killed in­stantly in the in­ci­dent in the city of Labinsk in south­west Rus­sia. He had sent a text to a friend, in­clud­ing a pic­ture of the grenade in his hand with the pin pulled from the de­vice ly­ing nearby. In­de­pen­dent, 28 Nov 2017.

A Rus­sian in­dus­trial climber was found dead, dan­gling from the roof of a snow­cov­ered stu­dent dor­mi­tory. There are no sug­ges­tions 26-year-old dare­devil Yevgeny Tikhonov took his own life. Ici­cles were hang­ing from his feet and his head was cov­ered with snow. The macabre sight 40ft (12m) above the ground was spot­ted by a young girl in Anzhero-Sudzhensk, a town 65 miles (105km) north of the Siberian city of Ke­merovo. His body ap­peared to have been dan­gling from the build­ing for a long pe­riod, but lo­cal re­ports sug­gested he died only two hours be­fore he was spot­ted. Tem­per­a­tures had plunged to mi­nus 27˚C at night in the hours be­fore the tragedy. Tikhonov was a well-known and ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­trial climber, who had worked re­pair­ing many tall build­ings. D.Mail (on­line), 16 Jan 2018.

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