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  #1  
Old 14 October 2010, 05:32 PM
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Flame Woman dies in oven

Comment: In the summer of 1983 a woman was found burned to death in her
kitchen oven. The police originally called it a homicide until they found
a videotape showing a woman turning on the oven and crawling in, 45
minutes later the tape ended. They found the tape in the bottom of a dried
up well outside her home. What they never figured out is why the remains
of the woman in the oven didn't even remotely resemble the ones of the
woman on the tape.

I've read this on a few different websites and want to know if anyone
knows whether it's real or not?
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  #2  
Old 14 October 2010, 05:47 PM
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As presented, it does not even make sense. It would be virtually impossible for someone to exercise the self-control needed to kill hemselves by baking. Immolation, yes, because it is quick and largely irrevocable once done. To cook oneself would require also taking drugs to force you to pass out after you get in. Also, the story does not work without an explanation for how the tape got to the well.

And as a further consideration, women rarely kill themselves in ways that leave an ugly corpse, as self-cooking would.
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Old 14 October 2010, 05:58 PM
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Here's another telling:

-----------------------------------

During the summer of 1983, in a quiet town near Minneapolis, Minnesota, the charred body of a woman was found inside the kitchen stove of a small farmhouse. A video camera was also found in the kitchen, standing on a tripod and pointing at the oven. No tape was found inside the camera at the time.

Although the scene was originally labeled as a homicide by police, an unmarked VHS tape was later discovered at the bottom of the farmís well (which had apparently dried up earlier that year).

Despite its worn condition, and the fact that it contained no audio, police were still able to view the contents of the tape. It depicted a woman recording herself in front of a video camera (seemingly using the same camera the police found in the kitchen). After positioning the camera to include both her and her kitchen stove in the image, the tape then showed her turning on the oven, opening the door, crawling inside, and then closing the door behind her. Eight minutes into the video, the oven could be seen shaking violently, after which point thick black smoke could be seen emanating from it. The camera then continued to stationary point at the oven for another 45 minutes until the batteries apparently died.

To avoid disturbing the local community, police never released any information about the tape, or even the fact that it was found. Police were also not able to determine who put the tape in the well Ö or why the physical stature of the woman on the tape did not in any way resemble the stature of the woman found in the oven.
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Old 14 October 2010, 05:59 PM
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Not to mention that the statement "What they never figured out is why the remains
of the woman in the oven didn't even remotely resemble the ones of the
woman on the tape." is wrong too - any competent investigator would say "the victims are not the same, this is some kind of cover-up of a legit murder - the tape is fake" and go on with a homicide investigation.

That and due to what ATMC just said about there being no explanation of how the video got to the well.
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  #5  
Old 14 October 2010, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
And as a further consideration, women rarely kill themselves in ways that leave an ugly corpse, as self-cooking would.
Do you have a cite for that, or are you just repeating "common wisdom"?
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Old 14 October 2010, 06:47 PM
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Lainie, here's your cite. The majority of female suicide victims poison themselves (39.1%). After that is firearms (31.0%). Gun shots don't have to be at the head to be fatal. Though gun shots to the head is the most common form of suicide by means of a firearm. Compared to males who overwhelmingly use firearms to kill themselves. (57.6%) Now, this does not speak to why men and women chose different forms of suicide. But clearly there is a different perference by sex.
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Old 14 October 2010, 06:51 PM
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I'm surprised no one has made the Hansel and Gretel joke yet.
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Old 14 October 2010, 06:53 PM
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Thanks, Mama Duck. I think I'd heard similar statistics before. As you say, though, we can't know why they choose the methods they do. I wonder if women in general aren't simply less likely to own/use firearms than men are. Or maybe women who poison themselves are trying not to leave a mess -- that seems at least as likely as choosing a suicide method based on looks.

In any case, if women committing suicide really are choosing poison because they think it will leave a non-ugly corpse, I suspect they're fooling themselves. "Free of gunshot wounds != "not ugly." The aftermath of poisoning can, I imagine, be quite ugly.
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Old 14 October 2010, 06:54 PM
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Oooo, good point. Did anyone check to see if her house was made of gingerbread?
I'm sorry that's awful, I know. I agree with those upthread. I can't find any news on it, which given its age, isn't terribly surprising. But if the stature of the victim in the over and the stature of the woman on the tape aren't the same, no one is going to think "I wonder how that corpse morphed like that." No, even some tiny little town ME would know that it isn't the same woman. Really, what you have here is a plot to a horror movie even SciFi would reject.
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Old 14 October 2010, 06:57 PM
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Assuming that the "the physical stature of the woman on the tape did not in any way resemble the stature of the woman found in the oven" implies that the murderer taped herself getting into the oven, got out, put in the body of the victim, then edited the tape to make it look like the murderer put herself in the oven; it doesn't make sense that the murderer would go through the effort to make such a tape and then throw it in a well. Wouldn't it make sense for her to put the tape back in the recorder? It might be a tad more believable if the tape was found in the recorder
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
They found the tape in the bottom of a dried
up well outside her home.
A bit off topic, but how many farms actually have open wells anymore? I'm pretty sure that these days they mostly have drilled wells connected to pumps, all sealed up to prevent contamination.

This sounds like maybe someone is thinking of how farms are in old movies, not real farms.
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  #12  
Old 14 October 2010, 07:05 PM
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I suppose the reasoning of leaving an attractive corpse would pretty much have to be supposition, women tend to use less violent, less gruesome methods. In addition to MD's cite, there is:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11079640

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/F5B8C66A112B4165CA2571EA00212A8A/$File/agemeth.pdf - This one showed relatively comparable rates amongst moth methods, except that men were far more likely than women to choose firearams, while women were far more likely to use poisons (including CO) and drowning.

Here's one from rural India, which shows a high rate for both to hang themselves, but showed a high rate also for women self-immolating - I wonder if that is related to the tradition of Sati/suttee. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00004/art00034


ETA: I had wondered if the 'less violent means' might also be due to a fear of the few minutes of pain from a violent death - with pills or carbon monoxide, you should just go to sleep and not wake up, if done right. I am sure that is often a factor amongst those of either gender who choose poisoning. However, the higher rate of women to choose drowning suggests fear of violent feelings as one died (maybe not strictly painful, but inability to breathe is hard-wired into us as a terrifying thing) is not an overwhelming consideration for women particularly.

The trend to self-immolation amongst women in rural India suggests to me that socialization is a major factor in choosing how to commit suicide. Committing suicide 'the right way' is a last statement that 'I wasn't crazy, I just wanted to die'. Men choose firearms because it is acceptable for men to do so (there may also be some more or less conscious copying of those men who die 'glorious' deaths, like war heroes and cops dying in the line of duty). A woman in rural India who dies by Sati is respected in her death, so the idea of dying by self-burning has a measure of social acceptance for women. There are other examples of 'going crazy the right way' socialization - different cultures have predominant ways of people having a breakdown. There comes to be a socially accepted way for a person to act bizarrely which somehow conveys that the person just cannot deal with circumstances for a while. Similarly, the rates and displays of sympathetic pregnancy appear to be a matter of cultural acceptance.

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 14 October 2010 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Here's one from rural India, which shows a high rate for both to hang themselves, but showed a high rate also for women self-immolating - I wonder if that is related to the tradition of Sati/suttee. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00004/art00034
I don't trust that many of the "self-immolating" cases are suicides. A lot of those cases are probably the husband's family burning the woman for not being able to afford a dowry. They probably bribe to local law enforcement to record the death as a suicide
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:16 PM
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Some appliance doors have catches and can only be opened from outside. If that was the case with the oven then self-control wouldn't be necessary - just the ability get inside and slam the door shut. If you can't open the door from inside, then you can't change your mind.
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:23 PM
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But are they self-latching catches? The only ovens I've seen with a catch are manual catches (used for self-cleaning so you can't open the oven when it is that hot).
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
In any case, if women committing suicide really are choosing poison because they think it will leave a non-ugly corpse, I suspect they're fooling themselves.
Actually, very few people leave behind an attractive corpse. Whatever managed to kill a person usually isn't nice. Even the carbon monoxide victims don't look like they're just sleeping; they look dead. A corpse in a morgue looks very differen from a corpse in a funeral home. Decomposition begins the moment you die and the reason Grandma looked so at peace in her casket was because the undertaker was very talented.
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:30 PM
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I think the newer ovens latch automatically when self-cleaning is on. She could have started self-cleaning on a timer, got inside the oven and wait for the cleaning cycle to start
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:36 PM
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My oven is just a slam-door. Too small to get into, but the door could be pushed open from inside.
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  #19  
Old 14 October 2010, 07:42 PM
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She might not have made an attractive corpse, but I bet she was really hot!
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Old 14 October 2010, 07:51 PM
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Smokin' hot even.
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