This has been the wildest of my nearly 50 year existence. Australia was on fire. Kobe died. A freaking pandemic. The west coast is burning. Ten US named storms (with almost two months left in hurricane season). Worldwide protests. A rogue president. Bounties on the heads of American soldiers. These are all events with a mass effect- stuff felt all over the nation and the world.
Personally, I was almost evicted. “May” have had Covid-19 (before testing was widely available in the States). Lost at least 10 family members and friends since April. Traumatized from watching the deaths of Black men at the hands of the police. Can’t get my anxiety and blood pressure meds refilled because I’m POOR. EVERYTHING is triggering- simple things- like social media notifications literally- OVERWHELM me. Last week, I had an allergic reaction to something- I’m still not sure what.
But, guess what?
You and I? We’re still here! We all could compose a list of just how crazy this year has been- yet, we’re still striving and surviving. There’s less than 90 days left in 2020, we just have to hold on. Things have got to get better.
This isn’t just a pep talk for me. If you are anxious, depressed, sick, tired, sick and tired, or all of the above -just take a breath. First, know you aren’t alone. Second, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Dawn is coming.
This has been such a roller coaster. Looking forward to the ups is truly how I am surviving the downs. We got this. Everything that we have overcome the first 9 months of this year has prepared us for this moment. So, start a countdown. We’re less than three months away from a new year and clean slate. Stay the course!
I’m not sure who needed this- God knows I did! I hope my ramblings are helping someone. ((Here’s a hug to go with them)).
Now let’s get out there and SLAY the final quarter!
As you all know, 2020 has been a wild ride. I wish it would be over, already. I recently lost an aunt- like my FAVORITE aunt. That stung. The following week, we got the Chadwick Boseman news, which really bummed me out. This past Thursday, my dad’s wife (who I still have a problem calling “stepmother” because she is only a couple of years older than me) was in a horrific car accident that has left her with staples in her head, among other things. Add to that the ever-present coronavirus, the state of unrest in the US, and the looming presidential election that may be the most important of my lifetime. I’m burned out. I can’t recover from one thing before another rears its head. I haven’t finished a script in weeks. I feel like talking about murder and mayhem is not helping with my mental health. I’m just an anxious, depressed shell of a person at present. I have been working on my other show, After The Snap, because it’s more light in nature. I can almost just talk without having to prepare as much. But, I want to get back to Sinister Silhouettes- just not right now.
When I do make my return, I will focus more on the “conspiracy” side of content. While that can also be a bit sinister, it’s not rooted in murder and real life pain. Hopefully, you will stick with me while I am battling the mental demons that 2020 has unleashed on me. In the meantime, if you just can’t get enough of Tasha Pierce, join me on After The Snap Podcast. I will get back to business soon. Thanks for your support!
In early 20th century France, two young sisters capture the attention of the entire country after participating in a heinous double murder. Did the women suffer from undiagnosed mental illnesses or were they simply sick and tired of being sick and tired? We’ll find out what the French courts decided but, if you’re like me, you may come to a different conclusion.
Christine and Lea Papin were sisters- born to Clemence Derre and Gustave Papin. There was an older sister, Emilia, who was thought to have been conceived by way of an affair Clemence had with her employer. When she got pregnant, Gustave and Clemence married. Five months later, in March of 1902, Emilia was born. Gustave became convinced the child wasn’t his. The marriage went to hell, but Clemence sent Emilia away to a Catholic orphanage. While there, Emilia found her calling and became a nun.
Christine was born in March of 1905. Clemence sent her to live with her father’s sister and her husband, where she thrived for seven years. From there, she was also sent to the Catholic orphanage. When she decided to follow in her older sister’s footsteps her mother was having none of that. See, in those days, a parent could place their children in employment and would receive the child’s pay leaving the kid with a small allowance. This is what Clemence did with Christine and her next daughter, Lea who was born in September of 1911. Lea was raised by her mother’s brother until his death. Then she went- you guessed it- to the Catholic orphanage.
It seems like a horrible thing to do to your child, but there are reasons a parent would send their children away. For instance, in the cases of the Papin children, Clemence may have been trying to protect them from their father. Once the marriage between them began to breakdown, Gustave became a raging alcoholic. It was also proven that he had molested Emilia. So maybe Clemence was just a horrible parent, but it’s also possible she sent them away for noble reasons.
Christine and Lea had very different personalities, but both were hard workers. Christine could be a bit mouthy while Lea was quiet and obedient. Christine’s work ethic gave her a little sway with her employers and she would petition for her sister to come work with her. In 1926, they found employment as live-in maids at the home of the Lancelin family: Rene, Leonie, and Genevieve.
Leonie, the wife of Rene, was the woman of the house. She was quite particular about the way she wanted her home to be cared for and she could be cruel when things weren’t up to her expectations. Christine and Lea sometimes were abused if Leonie wasn’t satisfied with their performance. This abuse got worse over the years because of Leonie’s deteriorating mental health.
In 1933, shit finally hit the fan.
On February 2, 1933, the Lancelin’s were planning to attend a dinner party. Leonie and Genevieve went shopping to prepare for the evening. Rene Lancelin would pick them up from home and they would travel to the friend’s home together.
When he returned as expected, he noticed that the house was completely dark. He assumed that his wife and daughter had gone ahead to their friend’s house. When he arrived to the party, he quickly noticed that they weren’t there. Along with his son-in-law, Rene went back to the family home, which was still bathed in darkness except for the light in the maid’s quarters.
The door was bolted from the inside- which was just as odd as the total darkness of the house. The men galloped off to summon the police. The officer who returned with them gained entry to the home via climbing a wall in the garden. What he found was the stuff of nightmares. I will attempt to describe the scene in detail without being gory.
The Lancelin women, Leonie and Genevieve, lay on the floor, pools of blood around them. They had been victims of a gruesome bludgeoning and their eyes had been gouged from their heads. The elder woman’s eyes were found in a scarf she had worn around her neck. She had also been stabbed a number of times, leaving her nearly unrecognizable.
Genevieve’s eyes were found in separate locations- one underneath her body and the other on the staircase. Upon seeing the state of his family, Rene’s thoughts then turned to his maids. The men were certain that another grisly scene awaited them, and they went throughout the home looking for the girls.
The policeman approached the door to their quarters and found it locked. He knocked several times to no avail. Instead of just kicking the door in, he called a locksmith who arrived and opened the door. There, the group was horrified to find the Papin sisters, naked and huddled together in bed. On a chair in the room was a hammer- streaked in blood and the hair of the victims. When asked if they had killed the Lancelin women, the sisters readily admitted they did. And thus began what can only be described as the O.J. case of early 20th century France.
The murders- not only the HOW but also the WHY- captivated the entire country. The Lancelin family employed these young women for 7 years. What could have caused them to snap? It turns out, the young ladies had just about had it with Mrs. Lancelin’s abuse.
When Leonie and Genevieve were out shopping, Lea and Christine were doing their chores. Christine went to plug in the iron and it knocked the power out. The iron had a short in its plug. Shortly afterward, the Lancelin women returned home to a dark house. When the sisters explained what happened with the iron, it pissed Leonie off. She attacked Christine, as she had done many times before, but this time was different. Christine. Fought. Back.
When it appeared Genevieve intended to step in, Lea attacked her. They, for all intents and purposes, whipped the crap out of the mother and daughter. And, this may have been a case of defending themselves had they just stopped at whipping their asses. Unfortunately, this turned into a literal bloodbath. With what I can only assume was years of pent up frustration, the girls unleashed their fury long after the Lancelin’s were dead. It is presumed that the attack continued for at least two hours, with the sisters finding a multitude of weapons in the course of the murders.
The revelations of the events leading up to the killings split the community right down the class lines. Some people believed the young ladies had lost their minds after years of abuse by Leonie Lancelin, others thought of the attack as cold-blooded murder. Then there was the business of the Papin’s being found nude in bed together. Was this some type of incestuous relationship? Many of the citizens of LeMans couldn’t fathom why these girls would be naked- in bed- together.
The rumors of an incestuous affair ramped up even more when Christine begged to see her sister. When finally allowed to see her, Christine ran to Lea and ripped at her blouse screaming, “Please say yes!” After being separated again, Christine had to be placed in a straight jacket after attempting to gouge her own eyes out.
Lea didn’t seem as disturbed about the separation as Christine, but she was the more timid of the two. It was also thought that she was not as intelligent as her sister so Christine was extremely protective of her.
After being found guilty, the shy and naïve nature of Lea may have played in her favor during sentencing. She received a ten-year sentence in prison. On the other hand, Christine- who many believed to be the ringleader- received the death penalty. Her sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Life wouldn’t turn out to be long for Christine- being separated from her sister drove her insane. She stopped eating, then was transferred to a mental institution. She died May 18, 1937.
Lea served eight of her 10 years. She was released from prison and reunited with her mother, Clemence. They moved to a town called Nantes, where Lea took on an assumed name. She supported herself by working as a maid in a hotel.
She lived a long life on the straight and narrow after serving her time. She passed away in either 1982 or 2001- a filmmaker is certain he visited her in a nursing home in 2000. The sisters had not been insane at the time of the murders according to their psychological exams, but modern psychologists believe they suffered from “Shared Paranoid Disorder”. Also known as Folie a deux, shared paranoid disorder is an unusual mental disorder characterized by sharing a delusion among two or more people who are in a close relationship. We may want to keep that definition in our pocket for next week’s crime.
This is a really old case, and I am struggling to find a nugget of wisdom to take away from it all. I’m stretching here, because I have no way of knowing if things would have turned out different if Leonie had treated those girls better. I know the Papin sisters worked in several other homes and never killed the families. The sisters only ever had each other. Their mother kind of sucked, their dad definitely sucked. They worked 14-hour days with a half-day off per week, so I’m going to imagine they didn’t have many friends. In my opinion, this is cruel. Perhaps there’s something to the idea that being of a lower station and regularly abused contributed to their delusions. The moral of this story is possibly to treat others as you would like to be treated.
That’s it, that’s all.
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There are several tales, both ancient and modern, which spoke of sibling rivalry that turned deadly. Today’s story details how one such situation shocked a family and community to their core.
The family at the center of our story lived in Pittsworth, a rural town in Queensland, Australia. They were the Rowlingson’s- John and Wendell, with their three children-one daughter and two sons.
Pittsworth had a very small and close-knit population in 2007- in fact, as far as I can gather, there were only three homicides reported in the entire Darling Downs district where the town is located.
This will make what we learn occurred on July 15, 2007, even more unbelievable.
The Rowlingson family lived on a farm in Pittsworth. Robert was the older of the two sons. His many friends described him as popular and outgoing. He was an outdoorsman who loved rugby.
As it sometimes is, Anthony was quite the opposite of his brother. He was rather introverted and withdrawn. He and his brother weren’t particularly close. Robert had a robust social life, but Anthony was more of a homebody. In fact, he wasn’t close to anyone except his favorite teacher and mentor, Graeme McNeil. While a lot of alarm bells go off in retrospect- why does this kid spend so much time with his teacher?- I can almost understand why the parents didn’t put an end to this questionable relationship. Their youngest son was lonely and misunderstood by his peers. Mr. McNeil was a trusted educator and showed an interest in Anthony- what could possibly go wrong?
It turns out, lots. See, the harmless teacher had some pretty radical ideas. He shared his ideologies with the young boy. Was he recruiting him? Anthony already entertained dark thoughts- it’s said that he fantasized about hurting people. He had a rather morbid fascination with the Columbine massacre. This led to him making a “hit list” that included students from his school. He was entertaining killing them all- including his brother’s friends.
You’re probably wondering what kind of evil thoughts Mr. McNeil could have shared with Anthony. I’m glad you asked! Apparently, by day he was a teacher, but off the clock, he became one of the evilest motherfuckers in the world. Mr. Graeme McNeil was a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan- which I had no idea was a thing in Australia.
Aside from the Ku Klux Klan in Canada, there have been various attempts to organize KKK chapters outside the United States.
In Australia in the late 1990s, former One Nation member Peter Coleman established branches throughout the country, and circa 2012 the KKK has attempted to infiltrate other political parties such as Australia First.
It has also reported recruitment activity in the United Kingdom.
In Germany, a KKK-related group (“Knights of the Fiery Cross”), was established in the 1920s. After the Nazis took over Germany, the group disbanded and its members joined the Nazis. Another German KKK-related group, the European White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, organized and gained notoriety in 2012 when the German media reported that two police officers who held membership in the organization could keep their jobs.
A Ku Klux Klan group was even established in Fiji in the early 1870s by white American settlers, although its operations were quickly put to an end by the British who, although not officially yet established as the major authority of Fiji, had played a leading role in establishing a new constitutional monarchy that was being threatened by the activities of the Fijian Klan.
In São Paulo, Brazil, the website of a group called Imperial Klans of Brazil was shut down in 2003, and the group’s leader was arrested.
Growing up in the US and Indiana, I always knew the Klan was “too close for comfort”, but I was not aware of the reach this shitty group had. You learn something new every day.
After some time, this secret life of McNeil hit Robert’s radar. Being an inclusive and upright young man, he made it clear to his brother that he would report what he knew to administrators. This is presumably what set the events of July 15, 2007, into motion.
The Sunday began with the elder Rowlingson’s at church, Robert at a rugby match, and Anthony at home. After his match, Robert returned home to work on his car. As he looked under the hood, Anthony quietly crept up behind him. He brought with him his father’s .243 rifle he had taken from a gun safe inside the house. He raised the weapon and pulled the trigger. The shot knocked his older brother to the ground. What happened next is heartbreaking to think about: Anthony stood over his own brother and shot him in the head.
The next thing on Anthony’s murderous agenda was disposing of the body- his brother’s body. He got the family’s forklift, using it to place Robert in the trunk of the very car he was working on at his time of death. He then drove around thinking of a site to dump the body. Upon realizing he might need help, he drove to the only person he could count on- Mr. McNeil.
No one else really knows how the conversation between them went, but it ended with the responsible Mr. McNeil packing Anthony in his car and taking him directly to the police.
Actually, he didn’t. Remember? Grand Pooba of the KKK? This was his opportunity to prove he was about that life. With that, Anthony and Mr. McNeil dumped Robert Rowlingson, aged 19, off a bridge near Clifton. They left his vehicle and Mr. McNeil took the emotionless Anthony home.
Thank goodness he had remembered to cover up evidence of the murder! Before dumping his brother over the bridge, he covered the blood with dirt. His mom and dad beat him home and they’re looking for Robert. He told them he didn’t know where he was. The parents weren’t too worried at that moment because Robert was a social butterfly. It wasn’t odd for him to be out- they just knew he was supposed to be working on his car. Had he changed his mind and decided it could wait? That is the assumption his parents probably went with at the time.
Unfortunately, you and I know what happened to Robert. Now, his parents got their first inkling that something sinister was afoot. The police had just located Robert’s car. There were signs of foul play found at the scene.
Sunday, July 15, had started, for this family, like any other Sunday. Sadly, after this Sunday, nothing about life would ever be the same. Every murder investigation usually starts the same- work from the inside out. Always begin with the closest person or people to the victim. The police talked to the shocked and grieving parents first. Mr. Rowlingson answered all of their questions and explained that he did not understand who would want to hurt their son. Had his wife Wendell answered that question, the response would have been different. She had an idea of who hurt Robert, but she hoped it wasn’t true.
The police next spoke to Anthony. He claimed that he hadn’t seen his brother. After continuing their investigation by speaking to Robert’s friends, they swung back around to Anthony. He was the only known person who would want to get rid of his brother. Maybe Robert reminded him of all the things he was not. Maybe he was consumed by jealousy. It’s also quite possible that he was just an evil mother fucker. Everyone pointed back to him as the culprit.
When the police talked to him two days later, they came at him from the angle of knowing he was involved in his brother’s disappearance and death. Anthony found it funny when they attempted to appeal to his love of his parents as a reason to disclose the location of the body. He denied and denied until one time he didn’t.
That’s right- he eventually confessed to brutally murdering his brother. He asked that the police destroy a laptop with evidence of Mr. McNeil’s KKK activities. Once they agreed he told them where he threw Robert over the bridge.
Anthony was arrested, leaving his parents reeling. In three days, they had, in essence, lost two sons. Sadly, they never got a motive for the murder. It has been argued that Anthony was attempting to protect Graeme McNeil, but evidence existed that proved the plot to kill Robert began before he found out McNeil’s secret. The Rowlingson’s also found out about Anthony’s other murderous plans. Anthony was sentenced to life in prison. He is eligible for parole in 2022.
In 2010, McNeil pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after the fact. He received an eight-year sentence but was eligible for parole after three years.
In 2013, he was released from prison. The town wasn’t happy about this, and many were afraid that because of his extreme beliefs, he was still a danger to their community.
I think the biggest threat to the community is still in prison. If 2020 doesn’t kill us all, he can be out in two years.
As 2020: the Movie continues to roll on, many of us are learning to roll with the punches. Punches that seem delivered from every angle. Precision punches that never seem to miss their target. This has been a strange ride.
So, last week, when I called an Uber at 4 in the morning to take me to work, I was looking forward to a mundane, ordinary commute. From my apartment to work is about five or six minutes, but those blips on time’s radar were anything but ordinary.
The driver was young and friendly. Those traits serve him well in his line of work. We joked a little about life. You know- work, rest, repeat. We chatted about 2020 being quite the learning experience. Then he inquired what I do for fun. I casually mentioned my podcast, Sinister Silhouettes, and explained that I talked about true-crime and conspiracies.
Then, this stranger did something I didn’t expect- he asked me why I liked those topics. I’ve been interested in this subject for over thirty years! He asked me if I like “love”. What the fiddlesticks? Of course I like love! “So why not talk about that?” he asked.
That made me think. It made me think about what I’m putting into the universe. It made me wonder why I intentionally inundate myself with misery and suffering and- EVIL. I tell myself that there are stories that need to be told, that there is an audience for these conversations, that I may be HELPING someone in the world. All of that is true. I don’t have any plans to quit talking about crimes and conspiracies. But, is that all I can talk about?
The answer to that is a resounding and emphatic NO!! I am an informed person by nature- I’m curious about history, politics, social issues, science, sports, movies, the universe- God, so many things really interest me.
I started a different podcast in 2018- a full year before Sinister Silhouettes. The name of it is After The Snap. On it, I discuss sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies and TV. I kind of abandoned it last year, but I’ve started it back up- in part, because of this conversation. I also am considering lending my voice to other topics that interest me- I want to be a positive inspiration to people. I want to add some happiness to the world. I want to answer questions that I didn’t ever think to ask. I want to improve someone’s day- teach them something- in the space of sixty minutes.
I’d love to say that I was on this trajectory of my own volition. That I just “decided” to inspect what I expect. The truth of the matter is, this epiphany came about because of that conversation.
As you may have noticed, things have been quiet for me over the past month. I have released a few “timely” episodes, but the truth is, I was starting to feel the burn. Talking about the underbelly of society has sometimes left me feeling “some type of way” and every now and then a sister needs a break. I haven’t been wasting this time away from the podcast. I have put a lot of effort into improving my content to reach a wider audience.
I have done a few technical things, a few aesthetic changes, and a whole lot of listening to the best podcasts out there. I am preparing to release video versions of the show along with the audio only version. I’ve got a YouTube channel- Sinister Silhouettes. My plan is to make it impossible for my show to be ignored!
At this point in history, a lot is being made of being inclusive and allowing Black and POC voices to be amplified in all mediums, including podcasting. I want to be sure that Sinister Silhouettes is the best show I’m capable of producing so I’ll get some recognition. I want my unique way of storytelling to be noticed, not only because marketers need to fill some “quota”, but because I belong in the conversation.
Being totally candid, I am not formally educated by any institution of higher learning. I write for fun, and to ensure that I am using everything I learned in K-12 to stay sharp. I listen to audiobooks, watch videos, and listen to podcasts for entertainment and to also learn things I wasn’t taught in school. I learn new words, new philosophies, new skills- all of this because I believe information is POWER. I don’t horde what I learn because everyone with a desire to improve should be able to.
I struggle with the topics I speak about at times- true crime isn’t for the feint of heart. The goal is to inform and leave my audience with something to think about. Some meaningful way they can apply what they learn from whatever sordid tale we may be discussing. Because I sometimes feel the mental load is heavy, I believe wholeheartedly that the struggle should be rewarded!
I don’t think I’m going to quit my day job or ever be able to tour the country like other well known hosts. Those are things that may be out of my reach. I do believe that I should be invited to the conferences. Representation matters, in all things. I want the piece of the pie that I pay for in research, writing, editing, and producing a piece of free, but quality, entertainment.
All that being said, I really enjoy doing this. I LOVE when the audience reaches out to tell me how episodes make them feel. I light up when my work is shared and reviewed. I’m proud to feel like I am making a difference to people all over the world. So, be prepared for level 3 of Sinister Silhouettes next week- I’ve planned 12 weeks of shows (including Saturday LIVE streams).
I hope that you enjoy the Level Up and will share my content with friends, family, associates, and enemies. I want to be amplified over the next three months. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, and watch at least one video. I hope I can count on your help and continued support. Before I get out of here, let me remind you-
So, the world is a strange place in 2020! The latest in organized crime news (yeah, I said it) is a seriously frightening story of a family coming face-to-face with an assassin.
On July 19 at approximately 5pm, a FedEx delivery person visited the home. The judge, Esther Salas, was home at the time of the visit, but her husband, Mark Anderl, answered the door. At that time, the delivery person opened fire on the husband. Upon hearing gunshots, Daniel Anderl- the couple’s 20-year-old son -rushed to assist his dad and was killed by the shooter. The shooter fled and, at the time of this piece, is still at large. Judge Salas was not injured in the attack but she is undoubtedly traumatized by the assault on her family.
It is still very early in the FBI investigation. In fact, they are asking for neighbors to assist in filling out pieces of the timeline. Everything I am adding at this point is conjecture- just my thoughts on a possible motive.
Five days ago, Judge Salas was assigned to hear a case that involves financial crimes. A group of investors are suing Deutsche Bank, contending that the firm failed to flag questionable transactions that were made from the account of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died last August while in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. While she has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, the timing of this attack leads me to believe it is connected to this current case.
Of course, I will continue to follow this story and keep us updated. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this very sad situation?
AP: Shooter posed as FedEx delivery person
Den Hollander is accused of going to the Anderl-Salas family’s door posing as a FedEx delivery person, according to the Associated Press. Hollander was an “anti-feminist” attorney and reportedly had terminal cancer. He is now deceased, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
ABC News reports that Dan Anderel answered the door and was shot first. His father was shot moments later. Salas was in the basement at the time and remained unharmed, the outlet reported.
Have you ever been convinced that something is a particular way only to discover you’ve remembered it all wrong? If so, it sounds like you’ve experienced the phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect.
This form of collective misremembering of common events or details first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was actually freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people’s claims they remember clips of his funeral on TV.
Paranormal consultant Fiona Broome coined the term “Mandela Effect” to explain this collective misremembering, and then other examples started popping up all over the internet. For instance, it was wrongly recalled that C-3PO from Star Wars was gold, actually one of his legs is silver. Likewise, people often wrongly believe that the Queen in Snow White says, “Mirror, mirror on the wall”. The correct phrase is “magic mirror on the wall”.
Broome explains the Mandela Effect via pseudoscientific theories. She claims that differences arise from movement between parallel realities (the multiverse). This is based on the theory that within each universe alternative versions of events and objects exist.
Broome also draws comparisons between existence and the holodeck of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. The holodeck was a virtual reality system, which created recreational experiences. By her explanation, memory errors are software glitches. This is explained as being similar to the film The Matrix.
Other theories propose that the Mandela Effect evidences changes in history caused by time travellers. Then there are the claims that distortions result from spiritual attacks linked to Satan, black magic or witchcraft. But although appealing to many, these theories are not scientifically testable.
Where’s the science?
Psychologists explain the Mandela Effect via memory and social effects – particularly false memory. This involves mistakenly recalling events or experiences that have not occurred, or distortion of existing memories. The unconscious manufacture of fabricated or misinterpreted memories is called confabulation. In everyday life confabulation is relatively common.
False memories occur in a number of ways. For instance, the Deese-Roediger and McDermott paradigm demonstrates how learning a list of words that contain closely related items – such as “bed” and “pillow” – produces false recognition of related, but non presented words – such as “sleep”.
Memory inaccuracy can also arise from what’s known as “source monitoring errors”. These are instances where people fail to distinguish between real and imagined even. US professor of psychology, Jim Coan, demonstrated how easily this can happen using the “Lost in the Mall” procedure.
This saw Coan give his family members short narratives describing childhood events. One, about his brother getting lost in a shopping mall, was invented. Not only did Coan’s brother believe the event occurred, he also added additional detail. When cognitive psychologist and expert on human memory, Elizabeth Loftus, applied the technique to larger samples, 25% of participants failed to recognise the event was false.
When it comes to the Mandela Effect, many examples are attributable to so called “schema driven errors”. Schemas are organised “packets” of knowledge that direct memory. In this way, schemas facilitate understanding of material, but can produce distortion.
Frederic Bartlett outlined this process in his 1932 book Remembering. Barlett read the Canadian Indian folktale “War of the Ghosts” to participants. He found that listeners omitted unfamiliar details and transformed information to make it more understandable.
This process is called “effort after meaning” and occurs in real world situations too. For instance, research has previously shown how when participants’ recall the contents of a psychologist’s office they tend to remember the consistent items such as bookshelves, and omit the inconsistent items – like a picnic basket.
Schema theory explains why previous research shows that when the majority of participants are asked to draw a clock face from memory, they mistakenly draw IV rather than IIII. Clocks often use IIII because it is more attractive.
Other examples of the Mandela Effect are the mistaken belief that Uncle Pennybags (Monopoly man) wears a monocle, and that the product title “KitKat” contains a hyphen (“Kit-Kat”). But this is simply explained by over-generalisation of spelling knowledge.
Back to reality
Frequently reported errors can then become part of collective reality. And the internet can reinforce this process by circulating false information. For example, simulations of the 1997 Princess Diana car crash are regularly mistaken for real footage.
In this way then, the majority of Mandela Effects are attributable to memory errors and social misinformation. The fact that a lot of the inaccuracies are trivial, suggests they result from selective attention or faulty inference.
This is not to say that the Mandela Effect is not explicable in terms of the multiverse. Indeed, the notion of parallel universes is consistent with the work of quantum physicists. But until the existence of alternative realities is established, psychological theories appear much more plausible.
More on articles about memory, written by researchers:
Please, for the sake of the kids, stand up and take back your streets. The next huge crime weeekend is upon us: Independence Day. Last year over the Independence Day weekend, close to 70 people were shot, six of them fatally. We’re heading into July, and it’s only going to get hotter.
Before I get into this special report, I’d like to thank Indie Drop-In for sponsoring today’s episode. A special thanks to Always Angry 94, Mack Tape, and Paige 87 for your very kind reviews. If you haven’t yet, please send your five star reviews to Apple Podcasts. They really help the show get noticed.
I can remember being a kid in Gary, IN. Gary sits right outside of Chicago- a kind of unofficial suburb of the Windy City. We had a blast in the summers. We played outside the whole day and part of the evening. Hide and seek, kickball, double dutch, and my favorites- football and basketball. That was many years ago, but in my mind, it was yesterday. I watched my son make the same type of memories- hanging out with the boys who would become like brothers to him. It saddens me to think that those memories are out of reach for this generation of Chicago’s youth. It is becoming difficult for today’s children to have a sense of innocence- they are increasingly being caught in the crossfire between the feuds of young adults. They have to be hyper-vigilant about their own safety. It’s literally a matter of life and death, and it isn’t fair.
In this season of protest against the brutality many people of color face from police, it is only right to shed a light on the many victims of inner-city violence, particularly in Chicago. Please, don’t mistake my message as getting on a soapbox, spouting the “black-on-black” crime rhetoric. The truth is, I want us to care about us. Our enemy is not only the subset of law enforcement who abuse their power- but it is also the cowards who are robbing our children of a future.
The weeks continue to get more and more deadly. In fact, Chicago has surpassed the most deaths on a single day since they have kept records of this statistic. The last day of May recorded 18 homicides, the most in 5 decades. In fact, throughout May, 2020, there were over 1100 victims of gun violence. Eleven hundred in just the first five months of the year. If history is our guide, there will be an increase in homicides and shootings as the weather gets warmer.
Father Michael Pfleger, a longtime activist against gun violence, has always had his ear to the ground on the South and West sides of the city. He told the Chicago Sun Times that the word on the streets on that deadly weekend in May was that the police weren’t out patrolling. Remember, that weekend was the beginning of the George Floyd protests. Simultaneously, there were groups of crusaders marching for a worthwhile cause, and would-be murderers seeking their adversaries.
There are areas that are over-policed- usually inner cities and disadvantaged neighborhoods. I understand that a police presence may loom over these communities like a dark cloud- almost like they are just looking for a reason to pounce. There are also neighborhoods like the South and West sides of Chicago. It seems that these communities need an increased police presence because they can’t be trusted to police themselves. How many children need to die?
********Indie Drop-in******** .
I am from a place that believes in the “no snitches” rule. I can also remember when, as a teenager, a group of us were heading to the corner store to get snacks on our way to play basketball. A well-known drug dealer was in the parking lot. He basically told us to keep it moving because some shit was about to go down at the store. Without question, we continued on our way. Am I putting this thug on a pedestal for giving us a heads up? In a way, I guess I am. Those were guys who lived by a code- if they knew you weren’t about that life they didn’t aim to make you part of it. Another time, a different drug dealer came to a group of us who were hanging out under the streetlight after dark. He told us to go in the house. I wanted to argue, because we were having a great conversation, but the look on his face told me that something was about to go down in the street and I didn’t want to present for it.
I never found out why either of these men had warned us to leave the area, but I lived to play another day. These “so-called” gangsters and drug dealers today have no code. They have no scruples. They are ruining lives and destroying families with impunity. These are NOT the type of people the hood needs to protect. The hood needs to take its streets back- even if that means calling the police to your hood.
A toddler and a 10-year-old child were killed in two separate incidents of gun violence in Chicago this weekend.
The 10-year-old girl died from her injuries on Sunday after she was shot in the head by a stray bullet that came through the window of her Logan Square home Saturday night, Chicago police said. She was transported to John H. Stroger Hospital where she later died, police told CNN.
Separately, a 20-month-old boy was fatally shot in the chest and his 22-year-old mother was grazed by a bullet while the two were driving home from the laundromat Saturday afternoon, according to Chicago Police and reports from CNN affiliate WBBM.
As of June 14, there have been 268 murders in Chicago, a 22% increase from last year’s total but slightly below the murder totals of 2017 and 2016, according to Chicago Police data. Over Father’s Day weekend, 11 people were killed, including four children, and 67 others were wounded in shootings.
Brown on Saturday urged the public to offer any information they have on the shooting.
“We cannot compartmentalize the violence that is tearing families and communities apart. Someone knows something,” Brown said. “For the sake of Chicago’s children, please come forward to help bring the trigger pullers to justice.”
While we are discussing gun crime in Chicago, please be reminded that there are zero gun merchants in the city. The question on many people’s mind is: where are these guns coming from? As of 2018, 95% of the weapons used to commit crimes are not owned by the original purchaser. In fact, Illinois’ gun laws are among the toughest in the country. The state requires citizens to have a permit to buy firearms and to report stolen or lost guns. Residents who want to sell their guns privately are also required to solicit a background check from state officials and to submit documentation of the sale.
This is where lax laws in other states come into play- namely, my home state of Indiana. It is relatively easy to obtain a weapon in Indiana. Any Illinois resident can quickly go over the state line and purchase a gun illegally from gun traffickers. Gun shops also routinely get robbed- those guns are then distributed on the streets. When they are eventually used to commit crimes, the roads never lead back to the black market sellers. In most cases, the gun has changed hands several times before law enforcement gets ahold of it.
Then, finally, the criminal organizations in Chicago may have help from the inside. It is not unusual for some officers to have gang affiliations. This isn’t a conspiracy theory- it is a fact that there are some officers who serve two masters. To further compound things, the NRA and other super-PACs have tremendous sway over politicians. Our federal laws are terribly weak when it comes to gun control. Even with the ever-present threat of gunmen attacking children at school, little is done to ensure weapons don’t get into the wrong hands.
Going into the conspiracy theory realm, there are many who believe that the ATF or CIA are dropping guns off in poor neighborhoods. It’s said that they are hopeful that they can catch someone with one of these illegal weapons and make them a full time employee of the penal system. There is no evidence that this is true- unless you take into account the following case, as reported by the Chicago Sun Times:
John Thomas, a resident in his 30s resorted to setting up illegal gun sales to help provide for his daughter.
Working through an informant, the ATF enticed Thomas to set up small gun deals by offering to buy weapons for a high price. All of the guns Thomas brokered deals for were actually purchased by the ATF.
Cases like Thomas’ begs the question of whether or not the ATF is eliminating gun dealers, or creating them. Then there are the often reported claims that the CIA was supplying crack in inner cities in the 80s and 90s. The truth is, the U.S. Justice Department and its agencies were aware of the Nicaraguan Contra-linked drug trafficking operations and allegedly thwarted local police investigations and blocked the prosecution of the Contra-linked cocaine traffickers. Technically, they were complicit. And if the government can do that, is there any wonder that a) black people believe that it would indeed supply weapons to warring gangs to fill prisons and b) we don’t really trust them?
This brings us back around to Chicago- is it shameful that there are innocent lives being lost? Of course it is. It’s even worse when the president of the United States compares the city to Afghanistan. Is Chiraq the most dangerous city in the country?
Although Chicago is probably the first city that springs to mind when you think of crime in Illinois, the Windy City is actually not even the most dangerous place in the state. With a violent crime rate of 1,386 incidents per 100,000 people, Rockford stands as the most dangerous city in Illinois. The murder capital of America isn’t Chicago, but it is in Illinois for the second straight year. With nearly one murder per 1,000 residents, last year’s murder capital is East St. Louis, IL and has a murder rate 17.5 times the national average, and 4 times Chicago’s murder rate.
Of course, the murders in Chicago become big news because it is a major city- and I’m directing most of my comments to the Chi because it’s so close to home. I could easily insert other large cities every time I say Chicago- Stockton, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan- to name just a few.
I am saying this to everyone within the sound of my voice- just like we want to hold law enforcement and elected officials accountable when lives are lost because of their actions; we need to hold our neighbors and ourselves to the same standards. Our children are not only our most precious possessions, they are our future. We are letting them down.
I had to speak on this because the crime rate in Chicago is still astronomical, but with a minimal amount of research, I have found proof that there are cities in worse predicaments. I understand why the communities are frustrated and afraid to speak up. Black people, people of color, and poor people of any race have far too many examples of being let down by not only law enforcement, but the govenment on both the state and national levels. The news will lead you to believe that there is no more dangerous city in the US than Chicago when a quick Google search will shed a unique light on the city.
My challenge to you is to be a change in your community. When you see something, say something. Sometimes, the politicians and police don’t feel how dire your situation is because they don’t live there. You have to know that if your ten-year-old can’t dance in front of a window without catching a stray bullet, there is a huge problem. If a baby is shot while strapped in his car seat, that is an issue. These kids deserve hide-and-seek. They deserve to play kickball and double-dutch. They should be able to chase the ice cream truck without dodging bullets. The safety of your own community starts with you!
My hope is that while we are lamenting the deaths of so many people at the hands of police, we also plan for how we will protect the babies. When these rival factions terrorize neighborhoods with impunity, there is little incentive for them to stop. Please, for the sake of the kids, stand up and take back your streets. The next huge crime weeekend is upon us: Independence Day. Last year over the Independence Day weekend, close to 70 people were shot, six of them fatally. We’re heading into July, and it’s only going to get hotter.
I know that this message is unpopular amongst my brothers and sisters. Many feel like I’m siding with police but that’s the furthest from the truth. I am siding with the young lives that are in danger every day. I’m siding with the parents who are trying to raise children in a pressure cooker. And, yes, I’m siding with officers who take the pledge to serve and protect our community seriously. My words aren’t politically motivated because I have no political affiliation. I am speaking truth, whether or not you want to hear it.
That’s it for my open letter to the Chi- I’m going to give you two things to think about before I get out of here. Crime Stoppers is an effective national program that collects anonymous crime tips. Anyone who wants to report drug activity can contact Crime Stoppers via phone or online. A national tip line is available 24/7, and the program also operates out of local offices. Witnesses to drug crimes can make an anonymous phone call or fill out an online form. What’s more, you can rest easy knowing that all Crime Stoppers workers are trained to protect the caller’s identity and, instead of caller ID, all incoming phone calls are assigned a numerical code. 1-800-222-TIPS
Also, On June 11th, Michael Hickson, a quadriplegic black man with COVID-19 was killed by a hospital in Austin Texas.
Doctors decided he had “no quality of life” and was not worth spending the resources to save.
Now, in this scenario that I read on Twitter, the race of the patient isn’t the most appalling aspect. If true, even more appalling is that America has come to this. The plug is being pulled on some of our most vulnerable citizens based on chance of a quality life. Doctors and hospital staff are being forced to decide who is worth saving. Why? Because people refuse to be socially distant from one another and/or wear masks. The protesters have begun being diagnosed with Covid 19- so have the people who go to the beach, the bar, etc. I’m begging you on behalf of my elderly father and my best friend who suffers from COPD and congestive heart failure- wear your damn masks. Protect your neighbors!