Back in 1984, in Rogers Park, Chicago, there existed (and still exists today) a Jewish preschool on Touhy Avenue, the street where I currently live.

It happened that a woman was picking her four-year-old daughter from school, and as they were walking through the hall, a janitor tried to tickle the little girl, and the girl told him to leave her alone.

So the mom asks the girl about it later, and the girl alleged that the janitor had previously tickled her private parts.   The allegations were reported to the police, who then interviewed something like 80 kids at the school.  Some of the kids apparently reported that there were satanic rituals going on at the school.  Some kids claimed they had seen the teachers there kill a baby, cook it in a kettle, and then eat it.

Ultimately, there was an investigation, the janitor was charged with molestation and the school closed down for a while.  Eventually, the janitor was acquitted, and two-hundred-something charges against the school and various teachers were dropped, because of either lack of evidence or a bumbled investigation, depending on who you ask.

In case you were wondering because of the superficial similarities, A Nightmare on Elm Street was also released in 1984.

I discovered this today because we published an article about a couple in Texas who just had their 20-year-old convictions tossed in a similar satanic ritual abuse situation.

And that led me to an article one of my co-workers wrote back in 1987 about the Rogers Park case.

Here’s the most authoritative version I’ve been able to find in my brief research.  It appears from this that the judge in the case felt like there was a real possibility that sexual abuse had occurred, but because it had become this satanic cult witch hunt, the investigation had been compromised, and thus there was reasonable doubt, requiring the acquittal.

Interesting story, eh?

It's pretty, but is it art? Photo via DNAInfo.com

It’s pretty, but is it art? Photo via DNAInfo.com

My neighborhood is weird.

A partially decomposed, severed deer head with antlers was found stuck on a bamboo stake — resembling a sort of morbid scarecrow — at Loyola Park Beach Monday.

“I was up there on the sand and I thought, ‘What in the heck is that? Is that a real deer head?’ ” said Steve Browne, who had been out on a morning walk Monday when he made the discovery. “I went out to it, and it sure was.”

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Liquid Slam?! AWESOME!

Liquid Slam’s ad campaign for their “Big Game” line of snacks and sugary beverages was pulled almost immediately. Directed by – Dez Dolly Follow: @dezdolly E…

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He Took His Skin Off For Me from Ben Aston on Vimeo.

More romantic than you’d expect.

Back in 2013 we posted about “He Took His Skin Off For Me,” a strange short film by Ben Aston about a man who removes his skin in an effort to please his girlfriend. At the time, the film was in pr…

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Fascinating!

The lake’s water – turned from clear blue to a deep red by iron churned up from its bottom – became a symbol of the event’s violence.

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“The marks on his arms weren’t the tell-tale signs of heroin addiction; they came from where his captor, a ruthless modern-day vampire and also a local dairy farmer and respected landowner named Papu Yadhav, punctured his skin with a hollow syringe. He had kept the man captive so he could drain his blood and sell it to blood banks. “

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Images of Sufi hell. Fascinating collection of some newly-translated fragments of a 19th c. manuscript, regarding the fate of sinners after their deaths.

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Send us your bones, dummy!

Send us your bones, dummy!

Today, Kat and I went to view the wonders on display at the International Museum of Surgical Science, here in Chicago.

What an excellent way to spend an afternoon.  They have piles and piles of bonesaws.  Was everybody into amputation back in the olden days?

Other highlights — a full recreation of a 19th century apothecary, an iron lung, and a human skull elongated by binding.

Photo gallery here. Also accessible from my Photos page on the menu above.

The Sun-Times is reporting that a beggar beat a woman with a 12″ stone crucifix, after the woman refused to give the beggar any money.

Pamela Johnson didn’t have cash for a woman seeking donations Saturday night, but the beggar had something for her: a beating. With a crucifix.

Johnson, 50, of the 2200 block of Tennessee Street, told police she was returning to her car about 10 p.m. when an unidentified woman approached her in the 200 block of East 5th Avenue, Cmdr. Richard Allen said.

“She said she didn’t have any money,” Allen read from the police report.

In response, the woman produced a foot-long crucifix made of stone and started hitting Johnson over the head.