Category Archives: Articles

The Shocking Crimes Of Velma Barfield, The “Death Row Granny”

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“You know, it’s the saddest thing but it seems like everybody my mother ever gets close to dies,” Velma Barfield’s son Ronnie Burke once said. “How could the good Lord allow this to happen to a faithful Christian like Velma Barfield?”

It was a question a lot of people wanted to ask. Even after the truth had come out and Velma Barfield was waiting to become the first woman to be executed in America in 22 years, many couldn’t understand how she’d gotten there.

She was a grandmother, a church-goer, and was so devoutly religious that even the Reverend Billy Graham sang her praises. She had the world so charmed that they were protesting for her freedom.

On the outside, she seemed like a perfect angel. And maybe that’s how she got away with murdering six people.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

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What Was Life Like in Sumer, History’s First Civilization?

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Life went through some incredible changes when the first cities were built. Up until then, nearly every person had to work as a farmer or a hunter, moving from place to place in a constant struggle to survive.

All that changed about 7,000 years ago, when Sumer, the first civilization, began. For the first time in human history, people moved into the safety of a walled city. For the first time, they didn’t have to hunt or farm. They could become builders, astrologers, and teachers. They could develop things that, until then, no one had ever even dreamed of.

 It was the dawn of history; the greatest change humans have ever undergone.

The Chinese Emperor Who Built A Lake of Wine and a Forest of Meat

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The last ruler of China’s Shang Dynasty knew how to relax. When he and his Queen wanted to unwind, they would head to his pleasure palace and take a dip in their lake of wine.

That wasn’t just a cute name. King Zhou Xin’s lake of wine, it’s said, stretched more than two kilometers across in each direction. It was big enough that the emperor could take a canoe out and paddle his way around a sea of liquor.

[Read the full article at Ancient Origins.]

The Heinous Crimes Of Henry Lucas And Ottis Toole, The Confession Killers

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Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole are either the worst serial killers in American history or the worst liars. They were a pair of star-crossed lovers who traveled across America murdering, raping, burning, and even cannibalizing everyone who crossed their paths. And if Henry Lucas is be believed, they killed thousands.

It’s one crime’s strangest and most unnerving stories. The truth is as murky as it comes but the things we know for sure are twisted enough to turn anyone’s stomach.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

Death By Tire Fire: A Brief History Of “Necklacing” In Apartheid South Africa

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Necklacing was a horrible way to die. Mobs would put a car tire around the arms and neck of their victim, wrapping them up in a twisted parody of a rubber necklace. Usually, the massive weight of a tire was enough to keep them from running, but some took it even further. Sometimes, the mob would chop off their victim’s hands or tie them behind their back with barbwire to ensure they couldn’t get away.

Then they would set their victims on fire. While the flames rose and seared their skin, the tire around their necks would melt and cling like boiling tar to their flesh. The fire would still burn on, even after they’d died, incinerating the body until it was charred beyond recognition.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

By the Rivers of Babylon: Life in Ancient Babylon’s Thriving Jewish Community

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In the 6th-century BC, the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. They tore down the city walls, burned the temples, and ran down every person who tried to escape. The few survivors were dragged out of their homeland and forced to live in Babylon as vassals to the men who butchered their children.

And yet, when the Jews in exile won their freedom, most of them didn’t leave. They stayed in Babylon – and kept a thriving community that lasted for more than 2,000 years.

[Read the full article at Ancient Origins.]