Strange & Scary Mysteries of the Month is a compilation of the weird, disturbing and downright baffling stories currently happening in our world. From UFOs to serial killers, ancient sites, mysterious creatures and even ghosts – these are the strange & Scary Mysteries of the month for Nov. 2018.
5. US Tourist vs Reclusive Tribe
Sitting close to the Bay of Bengal in the vast Indian Ocean lies the small island of North Sentinel. Mostly comprised of lush, untouched forests, it’s home to the Sentinelese Tribe – one of the last remaining uncontacted tribes in the world.
Entry to the island is strictly forbidden by the Indian Coast Guard. In fact, even the coast guard themselves are sometimes attacked by the vicious tribes folk because they don’t want any foreigners coming on their land. In the best interest of protecting the natives from 21st century diseases and the encroachment of modern man, the coast guard regularly patrols the area – keeping fishermen and others from getting too close.
But earlier this month, 27-year old, John Chau, an American tourist and self described “adventurer,” refused to heed the warnings. Those who know Chau said he was a missionary, although most media outlets are unsure if missionary work was his primary intention for heading to the island.
It’s believed that he tried to reach the island before but for some reason didn’t make it the first time around. However, he paid a local fisherman to take him to the North Sentinel Island again and once close to it, he transferred to a canoe in order to reach the shores.
Fishermen from the boat said the tribal natives immediately attacked Chau with arrows the moment he reached the beach. But still, he continued walking toward them. Afterwards, the fishermen said they saw the tribe place a rope around Chau’s neck and then dragged his body. The fishermen got scared and left but returned the following day where they found Chau’s body on the seashore.
According to the Indian press, the fishermen told a local preacher in Port Blair and it was the preacher who reached out to the Chau family in the United States. Because of what happened, it has renewed focus on the uncontacted tribe. A spokesman for the US Consulate in Channai said they had received reports of an American travelling around the islands in the area, so they were aware of what was happening.
The area is strictly protected. In fact, the Andamans, is also home to the 400-strong Jarawa tribe who are extremely protective of their island as well. Activists say the tribe is in threat of coming in contact with outside people which could be detrimental to their survival. It’s been noted tourists have tried paying bribes in order for them to reach the group.
In the meantime, the Sentinelese are believed to consist of around 150 people. They are also fiercely protective of their island and In 2006, for instance, two Indian fishermen moored their boat but it drifted loose and headed to close to the tribe and they were immediately killed. Moreover, when a Coast Guard helicopter flew over the island, a photographer captured tribesmen firing arrows towards the them.
Indian authorities are unsure what to do. They did arrest the fishermen who helped Chau reach the island. Currently, they are consulting anthropologists and tribal welfare experts what to do in order to retrieve the American’s body.
4. China’s Genetically Engineered Human Babies
The world of modern genetics was rocked the past few months after a scientist in China claimed he had successfully created the world’s first genetically edited babies.
According to He Jiankui, a researcher from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzen, China, he altered the embryos of seven couples during a run of fertility treatments. Out of the seven, one resulted in a pregnancy. The researcher said his sole aim wasn’t to cure or prevent inherited disease but to infuse the possible child with a trait few people have – the capacity to resist HIV infection.
However, it’s hard to verify the researcher’s claims since the identity of the parents haven’t been confirmed and none of his peers have vetted his work. Jiankui said the parents didn’t want their information divulged.
Recently The researcher made the bold claim that he successfully edited human genes in Hong Kong during an international conference about gene editing. But instead of applause and praise, many of the scientists who attended were surprised and even condemned the claim.
For Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a gene-editing expert from the University of Pennsylvania, it was “unconscionable…” while Julian Savulesco, a professior of Practical Ethics from Oxford University said, “If true, this experiment is monstrous.”
Over the years, scientists have figured out an easy way to edit genes. A tool called Crispr-Cas9, operates on the DNA to either supply a missing gene or to disable one that is known to cause problems. It’s only recently that this form of gene editing had been used on adults in order to treat fatal disease. The danger however is that in editing the sperms and embryos, the edited genes could then be inherited genetically. And if there are issues or unforeseen mutations caused by the editing, then this could potentially lead to the unthinkable.
He Jianku once studied in Stanford and Rice University prior to returning to China and establishing two genetics companies. Initially, he experimented editing on mice, then monkeys before moving to human embryos. The reason why he chose to edit out the HIV trigger gene is because the infection is widespread in China. According to him, he disabled the CCR5 gene because it serves as the protein doorway that allows the HIV virus to enter a living cell.
Other scientists say his work is unreasonable since there are other ways to prevent HIV infection and the disease is even treatable when found early. What’s more, by editing the CCR5 gene, the resulting person would be more susceptible to other forms of diseases like the flu or West Nile Virus.
Many also question if the people experimented on actually understood the possible consequences of the gene editing. However, the researcher said he will take full responsibility for what happens and the future children would be covered with insurance.
It’s crucial to note that as of now, no one has reviewed the researcher’s work and it hasn’t been published in any peer-reviewed journal. For many, it’s reckless to use the CRISPR technology on humans since it’s still so new. Even more, if confirmed true, it also poses a serious ethical question about the researchers and scientists involved. After all, they are toying with the very fabric that makes up humans.
3. Cleveland Reporter and Uncle Found Dead
For many Cleveland locals, 30 yr old reporter Nikki Delamotte was a familiar face on television. However, In November of 2018, instead of reporting the news, she was the subject of it when her dead body was found inside a trailer alongside her uncle, Robert J. Delamotte who was 67.
The two were found in Perrysburg Township in Ohio, approximately 10 miles southeast of Toledo where she worked.
Apparently, Nikki had recently reconnected with her father’s brother after her maternal grandmother died. She started meeting with him and the two made plans to meet again at a bar on Sunday in order to watch football. According to her mother, JoAnne Ullman, Nikki didn’t even like football but she still went because she wanted to bond with her uncle. But by Sunday night, her boyfriend called her mother and told her Nikki hadn’t come home. Her mother also didn’t get any reply from her so she then reported her daughter missing.
Ullman said she went to the trailer and saw her daughter’s car with her cellphone and wallet still inside. She knocked on the door and all the windows of the trailer but no one answered. She then asked for police and when they arrived, they opened up the trailer. When they came out, police told her both of them were dead from gunshot wounds to their heads. The deaths are suspicious and being treated as homicides.
Those who knew her say Nikki was a loveable and kind person. She was also praised for her work ethic, reporting and writing skills and many were in disbelief after news of her death broke out. There are no named suspects so far but Police don’t believe their deaths had anything to do with her job as a reporter.
2. Peru’s Ex-Police Chief Arrested
Raul Becerra, a former national police chief in Peru, was arrested earlier last month when he was found inside a home raided by police as a part of an alleged baby trafficking ring. He was arrested together with his partner, Cintia Tello.
Becerra served on Peru’s national police force in 2010 but it’s believed his partner, Cintia Tello, is the head of the ring. She is also known as Caroline Preciado, a known model and events producer.
His home, along with several others, has been on the police’s radar for months. Both Becerra and his partner are believed to be a part of a group of a dozen people, including a gynecologist and pediatrician, who take babies from poor women and sell them. Approximately 18 houses were raided in the town of Arequipa, Peru. Over a hundred police officers and prosecutors searched each home and were able to rescue a 5-month old baby.
Police said many hospital workers were involved in the opertation. It was them that targeted poor mothers and convinced them that instead of getting an abortion, they should just accept money in exchange for their babies. Police also found out the babies fetched up to 4,000 Peruvian soles or approximately $1200 usd. Meanwhile, some members of the organization took in and cared for the babies in different homes while the leaders served as the intermediary for possible clients.
It’s still being investigated whether the babies were sold to foreign couples or to an organ trafficking group instead. Becerra served as Peru’s chief of police in 2010 and 2011, but retired after being accused of sexually harassing a subordinate.
The name Samuel Little may not be a household fixture but that could soon change because he could be one of the deadliest serial killers who ever lived.
The 78-year old was first arrested in 2012 in Kentury and then extradited to California on a narcotics charge. When police entered his DNA in the database, it matched to three unsolved murders in the area, going back as far as 1987. He was charged with three back-to-back life sentences for this without any chance of parole in 2014.
Shortly after he was arrested, Little became a focal point of investigation for various detectives since he was suspected of being involved in over 60 murders in different states. For a long time, Little kept mum on the murders but later on started talking when a Texas officer approached him for a murder that occurred in Odessa in 1994. Little confessed to that crime, in exchange for extradition to Texas, where he is currently imprisoned.
It was here, one by one, that Little finally began confessing to his crimes, admitting involvement in dozens of murders. Now police believe he may have committed as many as 90 murders spanning 14 states between 1970 and 2005.
By November 2018, the FBI announced that a Violent Criminal Apprehension Program team had already managed to connect 34 of Little’s confessions to actual murders.
Several criminal agencies including detectives from Maryland have travelled to Texas just to interview the killer. The detectives are hoping he may have more to offer about the identity of one of the longest unidentified homicide victims from Prince George.
The Maryland detectives were told to not tell Little, “Let’s do this for the family” because Little has no remorse or concern for them and often would shut down when reminded of that.
Surprisingly, despite the years, Little managed to offer plenty of details. He told detectives the signs he saw including the dirt roads he used. He even detailed the U-turn he used before pointing to the exact location of where the unidentified victim’s body was found. As a result, that case was finally closed.
It seems Little has a photographic memory and recalled he met the woman at an old Greyhound Bus Station on New York Avenue in the District. The two had known each other for just three days when they both went for a drive on Interstate 295 and the woman asked that they pull off the Maryland Route 197, to head to a dirt road for consensual sex. And that’s where he claimed to have killed her and dumped her body.
When detectives checked their case, it was a near match to what Little had said. He even provided details detectives didn’t know before about the woman. That she was from Massachusetts, had children and was celebrating a recent divorce from her husband.
Little was a one time boxer who has had a history of violence for years, starting in 1950. During the 80s, he was already charged for a murder and charged for assaulting various women, however, no strong evidence was ever brought up to link him to the specific crimes.
It seems Little had a type of victim he targeted. These were often “vulnerable and marginalized” women who were tied to prostitution and drugs. Many of the bodies found were unidentidentied and most of the crimes happened even before DNA collection became a standard practice.
Investigator Texas Ranger, James Holland has continued to speak with Little, hoping he will shed more information about other crimes police may have not known about… or at least admit to several cold cases that may have been by his hand. If all 90 murders are tied to little, then he will becoe the most prolific serial killer the United States has ever seen.
So there the Strange & Scary Mysteries of the Month – December 2018
Every day, we encounter strange and mysterious stories that most of us don’t know what to make of. These are just a handful, but there’s still so much more to uncover.
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LINKS AND SOURCES:
5. US tourist killed by reclusive tribe
4. China’s Genetically Engineered human Babies
3. Nikki Delamotte, (reporter and uncle found dead)
2. Peru’s Police Chief Arrested