I will never live in Florida.

Never say never, I know. But jeez louise:

28-year-old Broward woman found dismembered by alligator in canal

Abducted while jogging! See what exercise can do to a person?!

“She was pulled in, in my opinion,” said Joshua Perper, chief medical examiner for Broward County. “If she had been dragged I would have expected to see grazing marks.” She died quickly, Perper said, of massive blood loss after the alligator broke one of her legs, ripped off one arm, and then the other. She didn’t drown — Perper didn’t find much water in her lungs.

I don’t know whether to be grateful that the story didn’t explain what “grazing marks” are, vis-a-vis alligator feeding. Worst single detail, for me:

Alligators tend to wander in May, the peak of mating season.


Posted at 10:53 am in Same ol' same ol' |

27 responses to “I will never live in Florida.”

  1. brian stouder said on May 12, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Speaking of Florida and ill-tempered reptiles – how’s this for a news item:

    “Coulter, who appears to have committed a third-degree felony by knowingly giving an incorrect address on her voter registration form in Palm Beach, Florida, and then knowingly voting at the incorrect polling place last March, could face up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison if convicted.”

    I think I’ll shed a few crocodile tears for her inevitable championing of liberalized voting requirements….

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  2. Danny said on May 12, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Funny, a related headline from The Onion this week is

    Study: Alligators Dangerous No Matter How Drunk You Are

    And the photo caption is: Alligators exhibit the potential to inflict serious harm, regardless of the blood-alcohol levels of their victims.

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  3. Danny said on May 12, 2006 at 11:55 am

    ‘Nother excerpt:

    McCrory said the study yielded statistics that speak for themselves.

    “In 10 out of 10 documented cases of violent alligator–drunkard encounters, the reptile was not influenced by the fact that the victim was ‘just kidding’ or ‘just having some fun,'” McCrory said.

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  4. 4dbirds said on May 12, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    k, I would be devastated if this happened to anyone I know but there is some stupidity involved.

    “Suarez’s mother told WFOR-TV she last spoke to her daughter by phone Tuesday night when she was sitting under a bridge by a canal.

    Witnesses saw a woman matching Suarez’s description dangling her feet over the water’s edge, but no one saw an attack, said Officer Jorge Pino, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission”

    Uh, dangling your feet in an canal? At night, when there are alligators around?

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  5. brian stouder said on May 12, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    “Uh, dangling your feet in an canal? At night, when there are alligators around?”

    I recall years ago seeing Peter Benchley in an interview, and he told a story about how a person wrote him to complain that their favorite thing – swimming in the ocean at night – had been ruined by the movie based on his book….. and he says he wrote back “GOOD! Because that’s crazy!”

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  6. 4dbirds said on May 12, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    “Uh, dangling your feet in an canal? At night, when there are alligators around?�?

    Of course that should read in a canal. Sorry.

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  7. Michael G said on May 12, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    Brian, should those be alligator tears you’re shedding for La Coulter?

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  8. Rich B said on May 12, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    She died quickly, Perper said, of massive blood loss after the alligator broke one of her legs, ripped off one arm, and then the other. She didn’t drown

    I’d rather drown.

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  9. brian stouder said on May 12, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    “I’d rather drown.”


    On the subject of Terrible Deaths In The News – the local morning wrag is getting criticism (at least here, around the office water cooler) over the lurid front page pictures of a truly awful crash on the Indiana toll road.


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  10. 4dbirds said on May 12, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Brian, what a horrific crash. I drive regularly on the D.C. beltway and it is a daily occurance for a big rig to come speeding down on my back bumper. They scare the you know what out of me. I look in the rear view and hope their brakes are in good working order.

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  11. Kath said on May 12, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    If I had to choose between being eaten by an alligator and dying in a car accident, I’d choose the alligator. Scarier, but probably less painfull. Plus, it would give my friends a good story to tell.

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  12. Connie said on May 12, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    After nursing my then 57 yr old mother through end stage breast cancer I have asked to be struck by lightning on a street corner.

    This horrible crash was very local news here as well, and I had a carload of employees trying to get Toledo for a meeting, who found themselves lost in the rural wilds of LaGrange County.

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  13. ashley said on May 12, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    The previous post reminded me of a Carl Hiaasen novel; this post reminds me of a Carl Hiaasen novel. Whassup, Nance?

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  14. mary said on May 12, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    At least there are no alligators in LaGrange county, rural and wild as it is.

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  15. Danny said on May 12, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Speaking of ways to go, I’ve often wondered when it is said of someone that they passed peacefully in their sleep. I bet they don’t, but wake up gasping for their last breath. Sure, if it happens quickly and quietly enough, everyone else gets a peaceful night’s sleep.

    I’m with you, Connie. Lightening. Or live translation into heaven via a whirlwind works for me too.

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  16. Connie said on May 12, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Don’t be so sure about that no alligators in LaGrange County. I was a fresh HS grad when the farmer who owned the fields near our house saw what he thought was an alligator on the banks of the creek that eventually becomes Black River / Lake Macatawa. He called in the deputies who didn’t want to have anything to do with it. They called in the Grand Rapids Zoo who captured it and announced that it was actually a (6 foot long) South American Cayman. Theory was one of those “souvenir” live alligators had been released or flushed.

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  17. alex said on May 12, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    Now, now. Lighten up on the wilds of Lagrange County. I’d rather travel those backroads than the Tollway any day. In fact spending the entirety of next weekend there in the company of an old history buff who’s gonna show me Underground Railroad houses.

    Been meaning to write PBS’s “History Detectives” about the sloppy work they did on their recent segment on an abolitionist flag found in a trunk in the town of Ontario. “Oh, that came from back east somewhere where people were involved in the antislavery movement,” they concluded. No, it came from the town where Oberlin’s sister college existed briefly from the 1830s to the 1870s before it sputtered out. The flag was owned by people whose kids went to school there. And I’m about to get my own copy of the school’s entire student roster. What’s online is only the male students and only through the letter “D” so far.

    This document may well be the Rosetta Stone of the Underground Railroad in northern Indiana. Everybody whose kids were in school there was either sympathetic to the movement or a part of it. Those are some hallowed roads your co-workers traveled, Connie. I hope they were properly reverential and didn’t pitch their McDonald’s bags out the windows until they were back on the Interstate.

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  18. BillsFace said on May 13, 2006 at 12:13 am

    that reminds me of the old Richard Pryor routine, he talked about his father (I think) dying while having sex with a prostitute. He says people say that’s bad, but he asks, how would you rather die? Screwing (he used another word) a whore, or get hit by a bus?

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  19. Danny said on May 13, 2006 at 9:44 am

    I hope they were properly reverential and didn’t pitch their McDonald’s bags out the windows until they were back on the Interstate.

    Classic… BTW, Alex, sounds like an interesting field trip. Have fun. I’ll be working this weekend, but may squeeze in a ride and a swim.

    Speaking of tollways, I’ve always had a vague disdain for them, but the last few years my gripe has become more solid. Here in So Cal, there has been a growth of tollways and commuter lanes where one can pay tolls to drive solo. What the state and local governements are doing is taking our taxes, particularly gas taxes that are supposed to be used for building and maintaining roads, and putting thme in some black hole of a general fund. Then the shortfall for roads is made up by bond measures and these extortionistic tollways.

    Man, talk about pissin’ down one’s back and tellin’ them it’s raining. The appellation of ‘wretched hive of scum and villiany’ comes to mind. Are the PTB doing this elsewhere in the country?

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  20. alex said on May 13, 2006 at 10:39 am

    Danny, as Nance may have mentioned here before, Indiana’s governor (whose disapproval rating is actually lower than Bush’s) leased our tollway to a foreign consortium for 75 years so the state could have a short-term infusion of cash — just short of $4 billion. The vote broke straight along party lines. It’s such a bad deal and people are so angry that in the primaries the longtime state senate majority leader got ousted in a landslide by an absolute nobody, and the rest of our legislature on the GOP side of the aisle is on red alert that they have hell to pay for this one.

    What the gov and his cronies want to do with this money is build more tollways, of course. There are a couple of lawsuits pending that may scrap the deal, although I’m not holding out much hope. I have a feeling this governor never intended to serve more than one term. I don’t think it would be cynical to believe he’s preparing for a fabulous retirement on kickbacks from this deal.

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  21. brian stouder said on May 13, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    “And I’m about to get my own copy of the school’s entire student roster. What’s online is only the male students and only through the letter “D�? so far.”

    You know, this reference would have sailed right past me if I’d read it a month ago, but to my great good fortune Pammy bought me an excellent book (about which I gushed hereabouts a few weeks ago) called The Rise of American Democracy; Jefferson to Lincoln by Sean Wilentz.

    In that book, the Tappan brothers pop up time and again. They were newly wealthy silk merchants from Manhattan (and they created the Mercantile Agency, the forerunner of the firm Dunn & Bradstreet), and they were immersed in various social reform causes – most especially including abolitionsim – and the backers of several reform-minded publications…but they were also adamantly opposed to labor unions(!).

    Anyway, Arthur Tappan and his brother Lewis founded an evangelical seminary (Lane) in Cincinnati , which they intended as a training ground for the American Anti-Slavery Society (which they supported and had charge of) – right across the Ohio River from legal slavery. Lyman Beecher ran the school, and a student named Theodore Dwight Weld (from Oneida Institute in upstate New York) organized demonstrations there in favor of immediate abolition (known as “immediatism” – and viewed as radical) Cincy had a rough history of attacks on anti-slavery advocates and so forth…but the faculty and students of Lane endorsed Weld’s agenda of forming an anti-slavery society which would (among other things) provide reading instruction to the black residents of Cincinnati.

    Quoting Wilentz (page 405):

    “Leading Cincinnati businessmen pressured the seminary’s trustees into ordering the rebels to disband their anti-slavery society. President Beecher, proclaiming his devotion to free speech and discussion, tried to mediate, but to no avail. “Shall those who are soon to be ambassadors for Christ….,” Weld declaimed, “shall THEY refuse to think, and feel, and speak, when that accursed thing…wags its impious head, and shakes its blood-red hands at heaven?” Although the abolitionist efforts received wide publicity, the trustees were adamant, and the anti-slavery sectarians eventually decamped to a new home in the small town of Oberlin, where the Tappans founded yet another college and pursuaded the charismatic Finney [Charles Finney – another story! bs] to join the faculty. (Weld turned down a similar offer and became a full-time traveling antislavery lecturer.) The new college became the first American institution of higher learning to open its doors to men and women, blacks and whites – and soon became what Lane was supposed to have decom, the nerve center of abolitionism in the Old Northwest”

    I have enjoyed every page of Wilentz’s book. He leads the reader across a rich tapestry of American social, cultural and political history – with an emphasis on the political dynamics; he has a talent for building the narrative clearly, and setting things in motion; he reminds the reader that things that DID happen weren’t inevitably going to happen – the inescapable contingency of things

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  22. colleen said on May 13, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Back to ways to die….my Grams passed peacefully in her sleep. Really. Gramps was in the room doing a crossword puzzle while she napped. He didn’t know anything was wrong until he couldn’t wake her.

    Put me down for that.

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  23. alex said on May 13, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    It sounds like an excellent read, Brian! Charles Finney was a close associate of Nathan B. Jenks, originally from Ontario County, NY, for which the town of Ontario in Lagrange County, IN, was named. Jenks founded the Lagrange Collegiate Institute in Ontario, its charter modeled verbatim on that of Oberlin.

    Abolitionists were all over the map in terms of what they believed, and many who found slavery abhorent also found people of color abhorent just the same. Oberlin was on the radical/integrationist end of the spectrum. In fact, it’s known as “the school that started the Civil War.”

    The nascent Republican party was more immediatist than the Whigs, Free-Soilers, etc. but even it had its rifts. Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania represented the most radical element of the party. He cohabited openly with a black woman and got by with it largely because the public wanted to believe she was a servant. I read recently in the Smithsonian or somewhere that his house is being restored and was a major Underground Railroad station right under the noses of a public that had absolutely no clue.

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  24. Ricardo said on May 13, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    We visited my mom after she first moved from MI to FL in 1980. The neighbor told a story of a man and his 9y old daughter swimming in a canal nearby. After the gator played tug-of-war with the dad, all the dad had left was an arm of his daughter.

    They finally moved a patient’s bed in my 98y old grandmother’s nursing home not far from there. They found an enormous fire ant nest that came right up through the floor. These aren’t urban legends, folks.

    I won’t live in FL because I have been there in the summer.

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  25. Connie said on May 13, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    I see on the news they’ve caught and killed that alligator, and found two arms inside it.

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  26. nancy said on May 13, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    And the alligator was only doing what comes natch-rul. (sigh.)

    As for what Ashley said about Carl Hiaasen — one of the first things I read about his fiction was a quote from the author. Paraphrasing, it went something like, “Most book critics call my books wild satire. Florida residents know they’re documentaries.” I’ll say.

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  27. Amy Alkon said on May 16, 2006 at 8:48 am

    Please don’t disparage whores. They’re working very hard to run our country.

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