August 29th, 2010

music, serious face

ANON POST: Human Bodies Burning for Extended Periods of Time

Hello :). I'm writing a story about a man who goes into a castle for inspiration, and finds it is haunted by ghosts. There's a bit more to it then that, but my fear of copyright infringement keeps my descriptions short.

The castle was created in England, in the Middles Ages, probably closer to the 1400s. However, the story itself is set in present day.

My mythology of ghosts has ghosts looking the exact way they died. So, the main character meets a woman who was burned at the stake for being a witch. I'll assume she suffocated from flames in about an hour and a half, (about half the time that experts in the field of burning could keep someone alive.) but I have no idea what she would look like at that point. Since she was burned at the stake, the flames would start from the bottom. I also do not know exactly what the clothing was at the time for prisoners, but it was most likely a peasant dress.

I attempted googling "what happens when the human body burns?" and got linked to an article in NewScientist about Elayne Pope, who did research in this, however, it is a $40 subscription that I cannot afford at this moment.

Any help at all of what this woman might look like would be appreciated. I am a math major- anatomy is not my cup of tea.
elegant lady

Sharpshooting, revolvers and rifles, standard routine of maintenance for rifles in 19th century

About two years ago I submitted a post here about two irish sharpshooters, a man and a woman and the type of rifles and equipment they most likely would use to undertake an assassination job. Well the irish kids are back again but the time period and setting has changed. They are now in London, England between the time periods of 1874-1875. I had gotten an AMAZING wealth of information from one of the folks here and their father on that last post (I don't remember who you are I'm sorry!) but I remember they recommended a Mauser '88 rifle. So I have been doing some research on earlier models of the Mauser

http://www.mauserguns.com/mauserHistory.asp
http://www.militaryrifles.com/Germany/71Mauser.htm
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Mauser_Model_1871

I've googled various combinations of maintenance of rifles and 19th century but so far haven't gotten anything but more modern information about rifle maintenance. Also thinking about checking out the book " The History of Sniping and Sharpshooting " by John Plaster does anyone have any good recommendations for this book?

Anyways my questions are

1) would the earlier Mauser rifles work for their purposes? or is there possibly a better brand of European rifle in the time period that would be more suitable? If it helps the woman's forte is accuracy and the man's forte is quickness. They are both rather small-framed and slight in terms of body build.

2) What would have been the advantages and disadvantages of these rifles in the above situation of assassinating someone?

3) What would have been essential to keep on hand for rifle maintenance and what would have been the typical routine of maintenance with their rifles to keep them in good working order? and if the Mauser is the right rifle for the job could the models of the time period be broken down or were they all one piece?

4) assuming they'd keep a pair of revolvers on hand in case they ever found themselves in a tricky situation what would have been a fairly reliable brand of revolver to have handy for the time period?

thanks so much :)
Sarah in Crystal

Consequences for a minor interfering in a police investigation

My story takes place in modern-day New York state, in a small downstate town. One of the main characters has been arrested for what has been perceived as interfering with the police's investigation of a serial killer. She is 17, and already in hot water with the local law enforcement.

My question is this: What sort of penalties would this character face? Is interfering with the investigation of a rather large and serious matter such as a serial killer at large the sort of crime that would get her jail time, or a large fine, or what? Will her age affect the outcome?

I've already googled the terms "NY state penal code interfering with investigation" and "NY state police interfering penalties." I've gotten several articles about how the laws are defined, but not the penalties for breaking them. Thank you!