Sofa King Podcast
Big IDEAS, Big OPINIONS, Big MOUTHS… The world famous Sofa King Podcast! The Sofa King Podcast is a weekly podcast dedicated to popular culture, recent events, and whatever topics the hosts find interesting. From conspiracy theories and technology to the mass media and the future, this podcast explores two interesting topics per week in a way that is simultaneously informative, critical, and humorous. The podcast hosts have big ideas, big opinions, big mouths, and give their take on weekly topics in a way that is both cynical and educational. Adult content, themes, and language. Listen below.
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- Episode 519: Frank Matthews: The Black CaesarSeptember 25th, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life of the African-American drug kingpin Frank Matthews: The Black Caesar. Matthews went from stealing chickens to running a numbers game in the back of his barber shop to being the top non-Mafia drug importer in the nation, in just a couple of years. He organized small drug dealers to take on the Mob; he ran the control of cocaine and heroin to 21 states; he was the first person to tap into the South American drug cartels; he went to war with the Black Mafia. He disappeared at age 29, having already formed a drug empire that bested everyone from Al Capone to Pablo Escobar.He was born in North Carolina and raised by his aunt when his mother died. When he was only 14, he formed a gang to steal chickens from local farms and sell them locally. A farmer caught them one day, and Matthews beat him. With a brick. A year later, he was out of prison and started running numbers. Eventually, he moved to Philadelphia and then New York and did his numbers racket out of the back of a barber shop. However, this wasn’t enough for the ambitious Frank Matthews. He wanted in on the drug trade.He tried to get friendly with some of the big Mafia families, but they all declined. So, he forged his own way. He befriended "Spanish Raymond" Márquez, who put him in touch with "El Padrino", Cuban Mafia godfather of New York. This contact allowed him to get the drugs directly from Corsica, the same supplier as the mob used. And Matthews was now an international player.He started to make so much money he would forget that he gave someone a million dollars, and he ran out of room to store his stacks of cash. He would fly to Vegas to have the casinos launder his money. He saw the potential to really move things, though, and he called a meeting in Atlanta with all big drug dealers cut out by the mob. They created a network, and the drug game changed for America thanks to Matthews.However, he got sloppy, and eventually there were federal and local warrants for his arrest. He was pinched in Vegas and extradited to New York where he silently slipped away on bail. He was never seen again. So where did Frank Matthews go? Why does one author thing this has to do with the CIA? Why did mob boss Carlo Gambino put a hit on him, and what made him retract it? Who was Major Coxson, and what did he have to do with the Black Mafia? Why was he so much more powerful than Jemeker Thompson, Crack Queen of LA? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Matthews_(drug_trafficker)https://themobmuseum.org/blog/did-frank-matthews-get-away-with-it/https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/dn-community/article10277654.htmlhttps://ganglandgazette.com/what-happened-to-drug-lord-frank-matthewshttps://www.ozy.com/true-and-stories/the-black-godfather-who-rose-fell-and-vanished/82420/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Coxson
- Episode 518: The Three Stooges: Moe, Larry, the Cheese!September 22nd, 2020On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we crack wise about the greatest comedy trio to have ever been put on film—The Three Stooges. Their short films were so popular that they single handedly saved the genre from dying for years and years. They poked fun at Hitler in the 1940s, and were so good at it that they made his personal death list. Though they started as a small vaudeville act in New York, they became the biggest game in comedy for multiple studios and for several decades.The keystone of the Stooges was one family—the Horowitz brothers. Shemp, Moe, and Jerome (aka Curley) Horowitz were all high school drop outs who had a love of acting and theater and quit school to pursue it. Shemp and Moe did various small roles, worked at the theaters and movie companies, and paid their dues. Curley hung out where they did, learned the business back stage, and did his own thing as well, such as studying dance. Eventually, a childhood friend named Ted Healy created a successful vaudeville show, and he needed stooges.He would play the straight man and try to sing and talk to the audience, but three bumbling stooges would come out and interrupt him. Though, it was a rotating cast, Shemp and Moe were the best at it. They hired a violin player named Larry Fine, and the rest was history. As they became more and more popular on stage and some small film roles, Shemp quit because he hated Healy. They added Curley to the act, and they blew up.Their films became so successful, that the movie companies could force theaters to take on B movies and stinkers they made or hold back the latest Three Stooges films. When they were at their peak, however, Curley had a series of health problems and strokes (that some think came from the beatings he took on set). He had to quit, and Shemp came back from a very successful solo act.It was a wild time in Hollywood. Healey was found dead, likely beaten to death by one of Lucky Luciano’s men. Larry at one point had to get paid more for fear that someone would bomb their stage acts. And their horrible producer screwed them out of millions of dollars by permanently convincing them that their movies weren’t making any money. When Shemp suddenly died of a heart attack, they considered quitting, but their evil producer held them to the final four films they had to make.So, how did this lead to fake Shemp? What was Joe, and who was Curley Joe, and why weren’t they the same person? Why did Larry live in a hotel until middle age? What were our personal experiences watching them as we grew up? Listen, laugh, and learn. Visit Our Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Stoogeshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaudevillehttps://www.threestooges.com/https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/three-stooges/https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/curly-howard-grandson-three-stooges-tells-allhttps://www.mentalfloss.com/view?id=three-stooges-facts-mm&src=facebookhttps://screencrush.com/didnt-know-about-three-stooges/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moe_Howardhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curly_Howardhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemp_Howardhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Fine
- Episode 517: Arthur Dozier School: A Curriculum of MurderSeptember 18th, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look into the horrible history of Florida’s school for juveniles called the Arthur Dozier School. It opened in 1900 and ran until 2011. It was the subject of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Nickel Boys. The Dozier school was (in)famous for housing children who often did nothing worse than smoke a cigarette at school, be truant, or run away from home. But as punishment, they endured life in leg irons, torture, illegal restraints, beatings till they bled, rape, and even murder. Estimates are that there are a total of 98 bodies buried on the site, and one group alleges there is a cover up by the local and Florida investigation teams.So, based on a law in the late 1800s, this school found funding and opened a couple years later. It was a large 159 acre campus with several buildings. It was segregated, so half the facilities were for black inmates and half for white. It was renamed a few times, and it switched hands as far as what governmental agency ran it. It was built to house 104 boys, aged 13 to 21. But that expanded to as young as 9, and at the height of its population, there were over 500 crammed into this space.It as a place of tragedy and dark history. A fire killed several boys and staff. Almost a dozen died to the Spanish Flu. And in its first remodel, they built a structure that the boys called the White House. It was where they took you if you were going to be beaten. Or tortured. Or raped. Because apparently in the 1950s and 60s, the people who ran the place were sadistic. Hundreds of boys who call themselves the White House Boys came forward in the 2000s to report their bloody beatings (lashed hundreds of times till their underwear was interwoven in their flesh, and they passed out—at the hands of an ominous one armed man), their rape, and even dead boys they saw from time to time.The White House Boys tried to get restitution or legal justice, but the statute of limitation had run out on any abuse they suffered, so it was shot down. But there were hundreds of them, so word must have gotten out, right? It did. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran an investigation which said they could find no forensic proof of abuse and no witnesses who would talk.The White House Boys think this might have been a cover up. And an article called “For Their Own Good” that came out of St. Petersburg kept it in the nation’s attention. Eventually, the Department of Justice and the and the University of South Florida each did their own investigations with rather different results. So, how many bodies did they find? What did the surviving boys recall of their tortures here? Why did nobody ever get in legal trouble? What finally got the victims a chance to legally exhume bodies of their relatives? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources:https://www.npr.org/2012/10/15/162941770/floridas-dozier-school-for-boys-a-true-horror-storyhttps://www.tampabay.com/investigations/2019/08/18/they-went-to-the-dozier-school-for-boys-damaged-they-came-out-destroyed/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_School_for_Boyshttps://www.abandonedfl.com/arthur-g-dozier-school-for-boys/https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/08/16/boys-were-beaten-abused-florida-reform-school-now-colson-whitehead-fictionalizes-that-history/https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/a-type-of-justice-florida-reform-school-yields-evidence-of-more-graveshttps://dartcenter.org/content/for-their-own-good-0
- Episode 516: Roald Dahl: From Ace to Spy to Oompa LoompaSeptember 15th, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at the very interesting life of a man named Roald Dahl. You may think you’ve never heard of him, but we promise that you have. For one, he was a world famous and beloved children’s author. He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many other stories. What you don’t know is that he was an adventure-starved, globetrotting, WWII fighter pilot ace. He survived a crash, shot down enemy aircraft, and was eventually stationed to Washington where he met Ian Fleming and did work for the spy agency MI6.Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents who were wealthy. His father died when he was young, but his mother opted to stay in the UK because that’s where the best schools were. So, he attended school there, getting kicked out of one or two and being beaten by a headmaster here and there. He was also behind the Great Mouse Plot of 1924 which involved a dead rodent and a jar of gobstoppers. He eventually got through school, and when his mom said she’d pay for him to attend Oxford and be anything he wanted, he declined. He’d rather see the world. And see the world he did. He hiked around for a while and then got a job for an oil company in the Middle east.While there, he was drafted by England to help round Germans up in the city of Dar-es-Salaam where he was stationed. After that, he joined the Royal Air Force, and soon, his country was at war. After extensive training, he was given a really bad and outdated aircraft. Once, while piloting on his own, he was given the wrong directions and crashed in the middle of the desert. He sustained major injuries and was temporarily blind, but the kept on.Eventually, he fought in several dog fights, including the Battle of Athens, but he had to quit flying because of the injuries from the crash. He was such as smooth talker, however, that he was sent to Washington DC to be a diplomat and try to get the US into the war. While there, he doubled as a spy, meeting people like Ian Fleming and doing tasks directly for MI6.During the war, his friends got him to start writing, and people loved his work. He began with short stories and a tale about his own air crash, but he soon drifted to the fantastical children’s stories he is so beloved for now. He wrote James and the Giant Peach first, and the rest was history. His books were hits. He wrote 19 in all, saw several get adapted to film, and he even wrote the scripts for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and You Only Live Twice.There isn’t much bad to say about this man. He was a war hero. A national patriot. He is beloved by children all over the world. Even Queen Elizabeth considered him one of the most influential people in British culture. Oh, but he was an anti-Semite, so there is that. Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources:https://www.biography.com/writer/roald-dahlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Dahlhttps://www.famousauthors.org/roald-dahlhttps://www.notablebiographies.com/Co-Da/Dahl-Roald.html#:~:text=Roald%20Dahl%20was%20born%20September,himself%20skilled%20at%20finding%20trouble.https://www.roalddahlfans.com/about-dahl/dahl-biography/https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahlhttps://www.natgeokids.com/uk/kids-club/entertainment/books/roald-dahl-facts/https://www.huffpost.com/entry/roald-dahl-words_n_57d74c2de4b09d7a687f6b35?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAANNqHUXwNhr2kYfOLAqioxTzln2hiR0gtJSVg8E4wN2pWc677atsmGGp1F8J7guUwxDTauiMAjzHnlH4LXX7bxhUvNaQ8cyS9rsGGMx1E3HNBukSFzUiJ4glE6iFdWmjl9ihTwuf3NTLV9tT-BCrbTFg7QHYxY_l3b01AEYw6XNGhttps://qz.com/779365/six-of-roald-dahls-made-up-words-have-been-added-to-the-oxford-english-dictionary-to-celebrate-his-centenary/
- Episode 515: Uruguayan Flight 571: Tragedy, Cannibalism, and SurvivalSeptember 11th, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at an infamous case of Cannibalism, the crash of Uruguayan Flight 751. In October of 1972, a plane crashed carrying 40 passengers and 5 crew. As the plane bounced off the side of the mountain, it lost its wing, then it’s tail, then it’s other wing. All the while, people fill out and littered the snowy mountain side. Much like the Donner Party, after several weeks, they were out of food and lost on a glacier. Over two horrible months, they resorted to cannibalism and had no hope of rescue.The scene: October 13th, 1972. An amateur rugby club from Uruguay headed to Santiago, Chile to play a match. They rented an air force plane to take them there, and they had extra seats, so friends and family could come along. The co-pilot was put in charge of the flight, and he got lost in the fog and reported the wrong position. He crashed. While he was trying to pull up and avoid the mountain that suddenly emerged from the fog, it was too late. Uruguayan Flight 751 tore itself apart as it struck the summit of the mountain, until finally the fuselage slid down the mountain for over 2000 feet.They stacked the dead outside of the fuselage, and they sorted out the food. There was hardly any because it wasn’t a typical passenger plane, and the galley had broken off when the tail fell away. On day eleven, the search was called off. It was just them on a mountain with no vegetation or animal life. They were all starving, and people were dying every few days. There was a blizzard. An avalanche killed more of them. They finally made the horrible decision to eat human flesh even though most thought it was a sin.Eventually, Roberto Canessa and Antonio Vizintin decided to make the trek across the deadly mountain. They were hit by another blizzard and thought they weren’t going to make it. Eventually, after days of climbing and hiking with no snow gear or food, they found civilization. How many survived? How many refused to eat flesh and died of starvation? What is a muleskinner, and how did it help them get rescued? How long can one chocolate covered peanut last a man? Why didn’t they just radio for help? What did they discover the best way was to eat human flesh? Listen, laugh, learn.Visit Our Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_Air_Force_Flight_571https://historycollection.com/how-the-uruguayan-air-force-flight-571-crash-drove-a-rugby-team-to-cannibalism/https://www.npr.org/2019/06/09/731044367/story-of-the-1972-andes-plane-crash-in-out-of-the-silencehttps://historydaily.org/uruguayan-air-force-flight-571-cannibalshttps://america.cgtn.com/2017/12/20/survivor-roberto-canessa-relives-1972-plane-crash-in-the-andeshttps://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/04/160403-andes-uruguay-rugby-cannibal-plane-crash-canessa-ngbooktalk/
- Episode 514: South Park: The Legend of Trey and MattSeptember 8th, 2020On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the creation of South Park and the many movies, awards, and plays of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. From trying to show Mohamed on TV in spite of death threats (5 times…) to going in drag on acid to the Academy Awards, these two push every boundary they can. And somehow, they manage to make a show that has become a touchstone of global popular culture. In fact, they make the show in as little as four days, usually sending it over satellite the night it is due to air. Love them or hate them, their vulgar humor somehow manages to wow critics who credit them for their intuitive ability to say exactly what needs to be said in any given moment.The creators of South Park are Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They met in college at the University of Colorado, and though Trey had already pioneered his cut out animation style on previous projects, the two of them kept using it in small pieces they rolled out on VHS. In fact, one of these, called Jesus Vs. Santa, was one of the first truly viral videos on the internet. The two of them started a production company and produced a musical about a cannibal which was eventually bought by Troma Entertainment and rebranded as Cannibal! The Musical! This was the start of their entrance into Hollywood (and the start of their love for musicals).After a couple of failed pilots they pitched at Fox, they finally landed on South Park. It took them three months to film the pilot with crude cutouts and stop motion animation. Comedy Central picked it up, and it was an overnight success. South Park made Comedy Central go from being a small time network to a major television presence.Parker and Stone had a rough couple of seasons at the start of the show, and they were signed to do more if they agreed to make a movie. They did. It almost won an Oscar. They made more shows, and they made hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandising alone. Then, one time, they decided to write a musical play. They did. It won the Tony for best play as well as 8 others. They win Emmy after Emmy and a Peabody Award (somehow) using the most crass and often offensive comedy on all of television. If you want to know more about their background, what they did before South Park, their insane process of creating episodes, or just the truth about why Chef left the show (was it Scientology?!?), give this one a listen. Visit Our Sources:6 Days to Air Documentaryhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trey_Parkerhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Parkhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Stonehttps://paleymatters.org/20-years-of-south-park-a-raunchy-retrospective-d15e555160b0https://screenrant.com/south-park-facts-trivia/https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/65262/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-south-park
- Episode 513: The 761st Tank Battalion: The Original Black PanthersSeptember 4th, 2020On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time to World War Two and look at the outstanding story of the 761st Tank Battalion. Known as the Black Panthers (no, not those Black Panthers), they were the first ever all black tank battalion. They met with racism and even a race riot during training the states, but they won a Medal of Honor, 11 Silver Stars, and just under 300 Purple Hearts.This group was created to help get more troops in tanks, but rules at the times said that African Americans couldn’t integrate with white troops. So, the 761st was created to be led by white officers but have no white soldiers serving on the front lines with them. They trained Louisiana where the baseball legend Jackie Robinson got in trouble for refusing to get to the back of a bus while he was in the battalion. Their training went so well, and they had such high marks that General Patton wanted them as part of his fighting force.He famously gave them a very inspiring speech about the need for African American troops and how important this was for their race, but then he also famously turned around and said that blacks were too slow witted to be good in a tank. But they excelled. They helped the troops of the 101st Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge. They liberated a concentration camp. They inflicted 130,000 German casualties.The 761st had epic soldiers and tank commanders in their crew from Ruben Rivers who won the medal of honor to John Long and Roy King who helped liberate a city. And the star of the show as a man named Wayne Crecy. He won the silver star for a particular day of combat, but the group historian estimates that he killed between 300-400 Germans in their push to Berlin. So if you want to learn what earned this man the title of “the baddest man of the 761st” or just have a love of World War Two, give this one a listen. Visit Our Sources:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/761st_Tank_Battalion_(United_States)https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/crecy-warren-gamaliel-hardinghttps://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/warren-crecy-baddest-man.htmlhttps://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/black-panthers-761st-tank-battalionhttps://www.benning.army.mil/armor/earmor/content/issues/2014/Oct_Dec/GunnersSeat.htmlhttps://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/41821/Crecy-Warren-Gamaliel-Harding.htm?c=awhttp://www.blerdsonline.com/2017/02/black-captain-america-sgt-warren-gh.html
- Episode 512: Robin Williams: The Restless GeniusSeptember 1st, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the comedy, drama, acting, drugs, life, and death of the one and only Robin Williams. He was said to be funny since childhood, and as he grew, so did his personality and laughs. He blew up with the once-in-a-lifetime hit Mork and Mindy in the late 1970s, and he moved on to a series of massive hit films. From Popeye to Dead Poet’s Society and Goodwill Hunting to Aladdin, his scope and range won him three Oscar nominations and endless awards. And don’t forget the standup. His insane half improved comedy routines were stuff of legend, and according to one story, they are the reason David Letterman got out of the stand-up business.He was born to an upper class family in Chicago, and his family moved around a lot. After an early retirement, they settled in Tiburon, California (where he still owned property when he died). He went to a couple of colleges to study acting, and eventually found himself at the world famous Juilliard School. After a few years, he was told he should leave the school because there was nothing left for them to teach him—not accents, not drama, not comedy, no methods. He was just that good.After college, he started doing standup in San Francisco and LA. He was discovered while on stage in LA and started doing small appearances on TV. Eventually, he was called in to play the alien Mork in a really bad episode of Happy Days, and he turned it into such comedy gold that he got his own show based on the character. It exploded as one of the most popular shows of the 70s and 80s and put him on the map. From there, he jumped to feature films with Popeye and spent decades doing amazing comedies and devastating dramas. All the while, he still did stand up and released comedy specials. Oh, and he did drugs. A lot. He quit and went back to them and quit again, but all the cocaine is said to have started his health decline later in life with heart problems.After four decades of hits, Robin Williams ended his own life on August 11, 2014. The common belief was that he battled from secret depression. His wife, however, revealed that he had Lewy Body Disease. The Lewy Body proteins in his brains were the worst his doctors had ever seen, and they made him miserable, paranoid, depressed, and anxious to the point where he could no longer function. After his death, he still released several films, so we like to think he’s actually alive and well and living on Tupac Island. Listen, laugh, learn.Visit Our Sources:https://www.biography.com/actor/robin-williamshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williamshttps://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/05/robin-williams-death-biography-dave-itzkoff-excerpthttps://n.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308https://www.investopedia.com/articles/wealth-management/010516/look-robin-williams-net-worth-and-what-happened-his-estate.asp
- Episode 511: Dean Corll: The Candyman KillerAugust 28th, 2020On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk some true crime and look at the life, murders, and death of Dean Corll. Called the Candyman or the Pied Piper, Corll had a reputation in Houston for giving candy to teenage boys from his family candy shop. He was loved by his community, and he didn’t seem to have anything in his background that was typical to trigger a serial killer. A divorce and some suppressed homosexuality were in his background, but none of the madness that usually forces one to kill. However, he became one of the most prolific killers, racking up at least 28 deaths in his time. Oh, and he had two teenage accomplices.Corll was raised by middle class parents and moved around a bit since his father was in the military. His folks divorced, remarried, divorced again. His mom eventually took the advice of a traveling pecan salesman (like you do) and started a candy company in her garage. A teenaged Corll worked there after school, and it eventually became big enough to move to a proper factory.Corll was drafted during Vietnam but served stateside as a radio repairman. He was discharged early on the grounds of family hardship since he needed to run the factory. Once home again, he put a pool table in the back of the factory and would often take batches of boys to the beach as a sort of “Scout Leader” persona. Eventually, the candy competition was too fierce, and the candy shop closed. Somehow in the year or so after this, he went from a model citizen to a maniacal sex crazed serial killer.He recruited two youths to help Dean Corll scout and bring him teenage boys for $200 a pop. They were David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. They saw him as a father figure and thought that the sex that was happening with Corll and their recruits was consensual. At least at first. Eventually, the rape and murder started. And eventually, Henley and Brooks helped hide the bodies and got involved at every part of the killings.This one leaves a lot of unanswered questions. First off, what set Dean Corll off? He went from mild mannered to monster in merely months. Second, how did they get so many teenage boys to come over to the house? Why didn’t the police start to investigate this crazy wave of teenage murders? Was Corll part of a nation wide teenage sex trafficking ring? Why did Henley eventually shoot Corll? What pushed him too far and made him say “enough”? Where did they hide the bodies? What kind of sentences did Henley and Brooks get? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources:https://murderpedia.org/male.C/c/corll-dean.htmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Corllhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmer_Wayne_Henleyhttps://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-lost-boys/https://rare.us/rare-news/history/dean-corll-candy-houston-texas/https://www.oxygen.com/candyman-killer-dean-corll-elmer-henley-real-killers-behind-netflix-mindhunterhttps://heavy.com/news/2018/01/pedophile-serial-killer-candyman-houston-sadist/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Owen_Brooks
- Episode 510: The Batavia: Maritime Mutiny and Mass MurderAugust 25th, 2020On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the greatest maritime disasters in history, the wreck of the Batavia. I know what you’re thinking. It’s like the Titanic but back in time. No, not at all. This one involved mutiny, hanging a young girl off the side of the boat, a shipwreck, murder, sex slaves, more murder, and a war between the survivors on small islands in the East Indies.The Batavia was the newly build flagship of the Dutch East Indies Company (not to be confused with their rival the British East India Company). It set sail on its maiden voyage with a fleet loaded with silver and gold. Their job was to make it around the world on a very dangerous 8 month voyage to buy spices in Java. It was said that only one in four sailors would make it back from such a trip, but all would be sharing in a split of the riches if they did.This particular trip started off poorly. The skipper of the ship was named Ariaen Jacobsz. He had to take his order from the fleet commander Francisco Pelsaert. But, based on pervious encounters at sea, they hated each other’s guts. Toward the end of the journey, the animosity grew so much that Jacobsz and a merchant named Jeronimus Cornelisz planned for a mutiny. They had a poor woman named Lucretia Jansz get assaulted in the night on the ship. They knew the Commander would over react, and they could use this as an excuse to mutiny. Then, they could take the gold and silver and go start a new island nation, like you do.But the dumb asses ran ashore the next day in dangerous waters and wrecked the ship. 40 passengers died in the wreck, and the rest reached shore. The Commander got a ship and some of the heartiest of the men and headed out to find water. It took them 33 days to make it back due to a series of bad luck at island after island. In the meantime Cornelisz took over and lost his marbles. He started to orchestrate murders of the healthy and those who could stop him. He consolidated power, boats, and weapons and sent those loyal to the company off to “Find water,” so he had no competition. Throats were slit, people were pushed off boats, he even planned to poison a baby. There were sex slaves and starvation, and pretty much the worst depravity you could imagine.So, how did the banished soldiers end up fighting back? What type of inter-island war started between these groups? How did the soldiers survive the fights when they had no weapons? What became of the the Batavia's Commodore, and how was he able to return at the helm of a big new ship? What happened to the mutineers and murderers? Why do they think this wreck was the first time Europeans colonized Australia? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources:https://www.sea.museum/2016/06/04/barbarism-and-brutality-surviving-the-batavia-shipwreckhttps://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/12/new-mass-grave-batavia-shipwreck-murder-australia-history/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batavia_(1628_ship)http://museum.wa.gov.au/research/research-areas/maritime-archaeology/batavia-cape-inscription/bataviahttps://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/wreck-of-the-bataviahttps://listverse.com/2018/06/15/10-punishments-of-the-royal-navy-during-the-age-of-sail/#:~:text=By%20the%201800s%2C%20this%20was,death%20was%20slow%20and%20painful.
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