Friday, October 2, 2009
BRING ME THE HEAD OF...TEDDY BALLGAME
One of Needtovent's favorite movies is BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. Directed by the incomparable Sam Peckinpah in 1974, the film was recently selected by none other than Stephen King as one of his favorites also. Needless to say, during the course of this often-overlooked gem poor Alfredo's noggin receives more abuse than the average Comal County taxpayer.
(Warren Oates -- with Alfredo's head in a paper bag. No seat belt?)
But when it comes to depraved head games, Peckinpah is more than trumped according to a recent article by Nathaniel Vinto, a New York Daily News Staff Writer. Since we at Needtovent can not possibly embellish the shocking revelations presented by Mr. Vinto we have elected to simply re-print just some of what Vinto has written.
("Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer." -- Ted Williams)
From the New York Daily News, Friday, October 2 -----
Workers at an Arizona cryonics facility mutilated the frozen head of baseball legend Ted Williams - even using it for a bizarre batting practice, a new tell-all book claims.
In "Frozen," Larry Johnson, a former exec at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., graphically describes how "The Splendid Splinter" was beheaded, his head frozen and repeatedly abused.
The book, out Tuesday from Vanguard Press, tells how Williams' corpse became "Alcorian A-1949" at the facility, where bodies are kept suspended in liquid nitrogen in case future generations learn how to revive them.
Johnson writes that in July 2002, shortly after the Red Sox slugger died at age 83, technicians with no medical certification gleefully photographed and used crude equipment to decapitate the majors' last .400 hitter.
Williams' severed head was then frozen and even used for batting practice by a technician trying to dislodge it from a tuna fish can.
The chief operating officer of Alcor for eight months before becoming a whistle blower in 2003, Johnson wrote his book while in hiding, fearful for his life.
He told the Daily News then he had received death threats and was moving from safehouse to safehouse. Johnson plans to come out of the shadows Tuesday, with his book and an appearance on ABC's "Nightline."
The book describes other atrocities at Alcor's facility in Arizona, including the dismembering of live dogs that were injected with chemicals in experiments, and a situation in which human blood and toxic chemicals were dumped into a parking lot sewer drain.
Nothing in the book is as gruesome as Johnson's descriptions of what happened to Williams' body after it was sent to Alcor at the direction of Williams' son, John Henry Williams, who died of leukemia in 2004.
Johnson writes that holes were drilled in Williams' severed head for the insertion of microphones, then frozen in liquid nitrogen while Alcor employees recorded the sounds of Williams' brain cracking 16 times as temperatures dropped to -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
Johnson writes that the head was balanced on an empty can of Bumble Bee tuna to keep it from sticking to the bottom of its case.
Johnson describes watching as another Alcor employee removed Williams' head from the freezer with a stick, and tried to dislodge the tuna can by swinging at it with a monkey wrench.
The technician, no .406 hitter like the baseball legend, missed the can with several swings of the wrench and smacked Williams' head directly, spraying "tiny pieces of frozen head" around the room.
Johnson accuses the company of joking morbidly about mailing Williams' thawing remains back to his family if his son didn't pay his outstanding debt to the company.
Reprints of invoices show that Alcor president John Lemler charged $120,000 for the honor of "suspending" Teddy Ballgame's body.
("Ted Williams studied hitting the way a broker studies the stock market." -- Carl Yastrzemski)
Johnson said he hopes his book will help fulfill the wishes Williams expressed in his will - that his body be cremated and the ashes "sprinkled at sea off the coast of Florida, where the water is very deep."