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Medical Sleuths Discuss the Forensics of Death (Lenin, Lincoln, Custer, etc.)
Washington Post ^ | May 6 | Manuel Roig-Franzia

Posted on 05/07/2012 1:52:47 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Death never dies here.

It just keeps getting more interesting, more beguiling. More, well, alive. Alive in every cringe-worthy detail, in every clue about its causes, in every shard of evidence waiting to be spliced to another shard . . . and another shard until a picture starts to form, an image assembled from nuggets of information collected decades or centuries ago.

Death, at least for the doctors and history buffs who gather each year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is the coolest of puzzles, leading them to the coolest of theories. Could Abraham Lincoln have been saved? (Yes.) Was George Custer as much a victim of a personality disorder as the Indians he was fighting? (You betcha.) What turned Florence Nightingale into a recluse? (She might have been bipolar.)

They’ve been at it for 18 years, poring over autopsy records, consulting historical texts and lobbing questions at nationally recognized experts who fly in for an annual conference hosted by the school’s Medical Alumni Association that has turned into a melange of old gore, old guts and old glories. Death might scare you, but to Philip Mackowiak, the professor who dreamed up the conference, mulling human expiration — no matter how ancient — can be “a tremendous amount of fun.” These folks were House way before House was House, but unlike the riddle-solving television doctor, their preoccupation is with the dead rather than the living.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: abrahamlincoln; bolivar; columbus; custer; godsgravesglyphs; kingtut; lenin; maryland
What Killed Lenin? Poison Called Possibility
1 posted on 05/07/2012 1:52:50 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

.


2 posted on 05/07/2012 2:02:01 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: nickcarraway

Trotsky knew the truth. “Who killed Lenin?” he said, smirking, “Just axe me.”


3 posted on 05/07/2012 2:11:52 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: nickcarraway

Interesting. Thanks for posting! (Love your username, too).


4 posted on 05/07/2012 2:23:41 PM PDT by Student0165 ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: unkus

I think Custer Killed himself rather than be captured by the Indians.


5 posted on 05/07/2012 2:24:01 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Billthedrill
Far more likely this vile little POS died from complications due to syphillis.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/6406447/Vladimir-Lenin-died-from-syphilis-new-research-claims.html

In the first report I saw of this explanation, many years ago, it was stated Lenin was moved to a private facility and all the dogs in the neighborhood had to be shot because their howling in concert with his constant mad howling would create too much of a din.

The only group of nurses who would care for him in this final period of his evil life were some Orthodox nuns who did so out of Christian compassion. For their kindness the nuns were all killed after Lenin died to insure their silence.

That report, as I recall, appeared in a Swiss publication some years ago and despite a search, cursory at best, I could not find it.

6 posted on 05/07/2012 2:26:51 PM PDT by Robwin
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

He might have. He had a bullet wound to one of his temples. The Indian women did some nasty things to his body.


7 posted on 05/07/2012 2:29:24 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

“I think Custer Killed himself rather than be captured by the Indians.”

Best evidence from Indian testimony is he was hit early in the battle, most likely at the river crossing. This probably led to the failure of the initial attack and eventual breakdown in unit cohesion.


8 posted on 05/07/2012 2:30:44 PM PDT by balch3
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To: balch3

Best evidence from Indian testimony is he was hit early in the battle, most likely at the river crossing. This probably led to the failure of the initial attack and eventual breakdown in unit cohesion.


The Indians out gunned the soldiers.They had better weapons. Unit cohesion wouldn’t have mattered.


9 posted on 05/07/2012 2:34:30 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: unkus
I find this sort of smart aleck BS from the likes of some little flake at the Pest to be really aggravating:

Was George Custer as much a victim of a personality disorder as the Indians he was fighting? (You betcha.)

George Custer was a number of things. A glory hunter certainly but one of the outstanding commanders of mounted troops in US military history he was without doubt. As one with a pretty extensive Confederate ancestry and a very long Southern family history I am not given to loosely praising federal leaders in the War Between the States (or CSA leaders either for that matter. There were more than a few clinckers in the GO ranks of the CSA, Braxton Bragg foremost in that depressing cadre.) That said, George Custer was the true thing as a cavalry leader. When units he led attacked they hit with crushing force. If they were repulsed they made a fighting withdrawal and reformed to hit again. If they achieved success they never let go. Custer's cavalry actions are the embodiment of what the phrase ‘offensive exploitation’ means. As a battlefield leader I consider Custer and Wade Hampton (yes I know that is blasphemy to many Southrons) to be the two outstanding commanders in the Eastern Theater. Sheridan operated at a different level something like an army level operational commander.

On the plains Custer certainly had significant behavioral lapses. One, to his eternal discredit led to the destruction of Lt. Kidder's patrol. But again he and Carr were the two commanders who did find and defeat parties of hostiles. In this context I would rate Carr somewhat above Custer but finding and defeating a large hostile force in the dead of winter and escaping to tell the tale is no small achievement. Custer at the Big Horn was using his tried and true offensive template. Unfortunately he discarded the estimates of enemy force size from his scouts because the number were so large as to be exceeded only by the number of Indians that gathered for the signing of the Treaty of Ft. Laramie in some 25 years before.

To claim an officer has a ‘personality disorder’ because he is an aggressive battle captain is classic media BS. Custer may not have been a nice man according to today's PC mantras but one doesn't become a Major General at age 26 by being a fool or a head case.

10 posted on 05/07/2012 2:41:46 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: Robwin
Lenin was moved to a private facility and all the dogs in the neighborhood had to be shot because their howling in concert with his constant mad howling would create too much of a din.

Doubt that.



Howling dogs would cover Lenin's uncontrollable rantings

Makes more sense the dogs were shot BECAUSE their howls were disturbing a man made mad by the effects of the disease..


11 posted on 05/07/2012 2:58:18 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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To: robowombat

Asking as the descendant of one of Custer’s scouts at the Washita River, was that a battle or a massacre in your opinion?


12 posted on 05/07/2012 3:03:16 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: nickcarraway
Could Abraham Lincoln have been saved? (Yes.)

Possibly, with today's medicine and significant potential for major brain damage.

At the time, no way.

A large bullet entered the rear of his skull, traveled diagonally across his brain and came to rest behind his right eye.

Way too much damage to repair then, and quite possibly too much to repair today.

13 posted on 05/07/2012 3:03:16 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: robowombat

Don’t forget that the quality of his soldiers was also not high. They had nothing like the discipline, etc. of the Federals he commanded before.


14 posted on 05/07/2012 3:06:40 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: robowombat

Excellent analysis of Custer.

As his more recent biographer, Jeff Wert, put it, “He was a damn fine horse-soldier.”


15 posted on 05/07/2012 3:07:49 PM PDT by schurmann
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To: Scoutmaster
No, I have always thought that ‘The Custer massacre’ was about as stupid a title for a battle as could be. Custer's force were regularly organized elements of the US Army conducting offensive operations. What ensued is correctly called the ‘Battle of the Little Big Horn’ or more informally ‘Custer's Defeat’. Calling it the ‘Custer Massacre’ is akin to calling the defeat of the 24th Division at Taejon as ‘Dean's Massacre’.
16 posted on 05/07/2012 3:07:55 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: achilles2000
Yes you are correct. Many US Army units in the Indian Wars were surely ‘Uncertain Trumpet’ outfits. The commissioned officer force pretty much acted as what NCO’s do today . The men in shoulder straps were the troop leaders at all levels. The one exception seems to have been the Buffalo Soldiers who were reliable if not self starters.
17 posted on 05/07/2012 3:11:27 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: unkus; balch3
The Indians out gunned the soldiers.They had better weapons. Unit cohesion wouldn’t have mattered.

Au Contaire!

Better weaons doesn't necessarily mean winning in battle.

In many Civil War battles where Union troops were better armed than their Confederate counterparts, the rebs won against the odds.

And unit cohension was important too.

However, in this case the indians were better armed, more of them and had the greater motivation.

Custer let his "bravado" overcome his scouts warnings of large troop of Indians ahead. And leaving behind an unit under Benteen and Reno attacking without cordination didn't help their odds against an combined Cheyenne and Sioux force.

Had Custer been able to fall back and get reinforced by either commands, and Renos didn't panic while retreating, the Little BigHorn would be just another river in Montana.
18 posted on 05/07/2012 3:32:16 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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To: robowombat
To claim an officer has a ‘personality disorder’ because he is an aggressive battle captain is classic media BS.

Exactly.

Custer had his faults but nobody gets to the rank of General and notoriety he had without having a certain level talent and bravery.

Of course by today's standards where if anyone has a bad day must be diognoised with some aliment and given a pill, Custer (and a list of notable historical figures) must be mad.
19 posted on 05/07/2012 3:44:26 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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To: robowombat

Thanks for your comments on Custer. Modern historians have been misrepresenting him for years.


20 posted on 05/07/2012 3:48:36 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: nickcarraway
"...speculated that Lenin, even though his health was in precipitous decline because of the strokes, might have been finished off by a poisoning ordered by Joseph Stalin.

Why the need to kill a dying man?
Just look at what stokes did to JFK's father, Joseph P. Kennedy. And nobody's impies he was murdered.


Lenin was well on the way to wearing a wooden suit. Sometimes the facts are just that, the facts. There's no need to "sexy up" the truth.
21 posted on 05/07/2012 4:35:12 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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To: RedMonqey

Custer’s mistake started with his failure to follow Gen. Terry’s orders. He was not supposed to start a general action until Terry and Gibbon’s column approached the Indian village from the north. Custer’s column cut across from the east far north of where he supposed to. Thus he arrived early and from the wrong direction for the planned pincer movement.


22 posted on 05/07/2012 5:35:46 PM PDT by gusty
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To: robowombat
Not the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I'm curious about your outlook on the Washita River. You would call it either the Battle of the Washita River or the Black Kettle Massacre depending on your view. Ostensibly where Custer got his "Son of the Morning Star" sobriquet. 1868.

My ancestor was nowhere near Little Big Horn, but he was a scout for Custer at the Washita River.

23 posted on 05/07/2012 5:43:01 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: robowombat
"To claim an officer has a ‘personality disorder’ because he is an aggressive battle captain is classic media BS. Custer may not have been a nice man according to today's PC mantras but one doesn't become a Major General at age 26 by being a fool or a head case."

The Custer of the Civil War and the Custer of the Indian Wars seems to me to be two very different people. Men who served with him and loved him during the Civil War ended up hating his guts out West. His court martial in 1867 and his abandonment of Maj. Elliot at the Washita come to mind as two examples of actions that seem at odds with the Custer of the Civil War.

Was he a "head case?" Beats me. But when people who had known him for years turned against him that indicates something had definitely changed in the man.

24 posted on 05/07/2012 5:59:37 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Scoutmaster
"You would call it either the Battle of the Washita River or the Black Kettle Massacre depending on your view."

FWIW, I don't believe Custer had a clue that Black Kettle was anywhere in the area. According to Capt. Albert Barnitz, the cavalry cut a trial identified by their scouts as "hostiles" because it lacked any dog tracks. Apparently dogs did accompany hunting parties, but not war parties.

The cavalry column followed the trail through the night to an indian encampment and set up for their attack in the dark. They attacked at first light, so I doubt they even saw Black Kettle's U.S. flag until it was too late. Black Kettle may have been completely peaceful, but there were other hostile bands up and down the same river. Major Elliot could tell you. I don't for a second believe Custer and Co. deliberately set out to destroy a peaceful band of indians.

25 posted on 05/07/2012 6:25:22 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: nickcarraway

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks nickcarraway .

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


26 posted on 05/07/2012 8:13:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Scoutmaster
I misunderstood your question. Why, I don't know. I call it the ‘Battle of the Washita’. There was plenty of fighting and the blow struck did both damage a major group of hostiles due more to killing the horse herd and burning property. Savage warfare as combat against tribal peoples was inadvertently appropriately called in the 19th century inevitably included deaths of numbers of technical non combatants. This was true on the steppes of Central Asia or the dry plains of south Argentina or the expanses of the American West.
27 posted on 05/07/2012 8:21:20 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: gusty
Custer’s mistake started with his failure to follow Gen. Terry’s orders.

Yes, Custer made quite a few mistakes but in his defense, sometimes officers must use initiative to take advantage of ever changing battlefield conditions.

The problem this time, Custer misread, disregarded accurate information and proceeded recklessly.

In my humble opinion, he was frustrated by the Indian guerrilla's tactics and believed wrongly this was his best chance to deliver a devastating blow to enemy and regain his glory of his Civil War years and end his career as the soldier who tamed the savage tribes.

Just my thoughts.
28 posted on 05/10/2012 3:48:05 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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