Saturday, December 18, 2010

600 years apart






1402
Welsh ruler Owain Glyn Dŵr (c. 1354 - c. 1416) had reconciled with his kinsman Hywel Sele after a disagreement. They went hunting together in a park in Llanfachreth (3rd image, map) and - while pretending to shoot at a deer - Sele turned around suddenly, aimed his arrow at his cousin's breast, and shot him. Glendower (as his name has been anglicized) was furious, but was unharmed thanks to the armor he wore under his clothes. He seized Sele on the spot, killed him, and stuffed his body into a hollow oak. Some 40 years later, a skeleton matching Sele's stature was discovered in the hollow (1st image). The tree gained the reputation of being haunted by the ghost of the murdered man, and became known as the "Haunted Oak," the "Tree of the Ghost," or the "Goblin's Hollow Tree." It measured 27 1/2' in girth when it fell down from natural causes (decay or lightning) in 1813.

2010
On November 10th, 32-year-old Tina Herrmann, her kids Sarah and Kody Maynard, 13 and 11, and family friend Stephanie Sprang, 41, disappeared in Ohio. Sarah was found 4 days later, bound and gagged in the basement of Matthew J. Hoffman's house. After he was arrested for kidnapping, Hoffman, 30, told authorities where to find the stabbed and dismembered bodies of Tina, Kody, and Stephanie in the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area (4th image, map). Using equipment he owned, the out-of-work tree trimmer had dropped garbage bags containing the remains into a hollow at the top of a 65' beech tree (2nd image). An opening was created at the base of the tree to remove the bodies, after which it was cut down out of respect for the family and to avoid it becoming a destination for sightseers.

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Donations for surviving victim Sarah Maynard may be sent to:Sarah Maynard Benefit Fund
Fifth Third Bank
21 E. State St.
Columbus, OH 43215

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