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Friday, January 27, 2006

"We think it was pirates"

We haven't had a good pirate story in a while... From France:

Frustrated detectives had been trying to identify the woman, said to have been in her 30s, for two years without success. Her skeleton was found in December 2003 during an exceptionally low tide near the Brittany seaside town of Plouezoc'h. Police reckoned a 14 cm gash to the skull suggested she had been bludgeoned to death with a hatchet or other sharp object.
No luck with missing persons or DNA or, well, anything. Then they radio carbon dated the skeleton - and found that she'd died sometime in the first half of the 15th century.
Fran├žois Gerthosser of the local police said the case was now closed. "We are satisfied because at least we know the date now. We think it was pirates," he said.
D'oh! Now that's a cold case... [via Charles Stross]

3 Comments:

Anonymous Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) said...

"We think it was pirates"? Sounds kind of like a cop-out. "15th century? What the heck do we know about things back then? Whatever. Must've been pirates."

I'm sure had the skeleton dated back a thousand years, they would've blamed dinosaurs.

Incidentally, pirates today are simply not cool or exciting. They suck. They're just Indonesians on crappy old boats toting around cheap Russian automatics. Where's the romance in that?

1/28/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

"Incidentally, pirates today are simply not cool or exciting. They suck. They're just Indonesians on crappy old boats toting around cheap Russian automatics. Where's the romance in that?"

I dunno... The 1930s and early 1940s produced some good pirate fiction that, honestly, wasn't all that different. What's the diff between Chinese opium warlords with Mausers and Laotian heroin warlords with Makarovs? Filipino pirates attacking tramp steamers with machetes and bolt-action Springfields vs. Filipino pirates attacking tramp steamers with machetes and AK-47s? If you have a motley and exotic crew on a rickety dhow attacking a ship in the Indian Ocean, does it matter what their weapons are?

Our tastes have changed - Orientalism is out of vogue, the acceptable racial and ethnic stereotypes have changed - but the pirates are still pretty much the same.

1/28/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

Oh, and yeah... I do think the French cops were taking an easy out with the whole 'it was pirates' thing. Coz', you know, the Middle Ages were so non-violent.

1/28/2006 11:11:00 PM  

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