martha early


River Jude Phoenix


         “Why do you have to carry the burden of someone else’s life?”


There was meant to be a scene, in the movie, where Danny Pope (River Phoenix’s character) is interrupted while practicing a classical, piano solo. In the script, when he’s caught, he breaks into a jazz riff to cover the embarrassment of doing something serious. River fought against this, saying his character wouldn’t ever be embarrassed about playing something classical on the piano. The film’s director, Sidney Lumet, was so impressed that River made such a point, he ended up shooting the scene the way River wanted it.


Sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s, Martha Rendall moved in with Thomas Nichols Morris after he separated from his wife. Thomas was in custody of the five children from the failed marriage and Martha would force them to call her mother and began to abuse the children. She once beat one of the kids so bad that the young girl could not walk for weeks. The investigating officer of the incident said that Martha “delighted in seeing her victims writhe in agony, and from it derived sexual satisfaction.” Her first intended victim was 7 year old Annie. Martha’s m.o was to give the child something to drink that would give them a sore throat, then she would swab the back of their throats with hydrochloric acid. This would inflame the child’s throat causing them to be unable to eat leading to a long slow death from starvation. Annie died on July 28th 1907 with a death certificate stating she died of diphtheria. Next she would turn to the next daughter, who died on October 6th 1907, again with a death certificate stating it was diphtheria. In the winter of 1908 Martha then poisoned the third son. He was a bit older and it took longer to for him to succumb to her treatments. He died on October 6th 1908. Even after an autopsy nothing was found to incriminate Martha. In April of 1909 she turned her attention to George, the second son. He soon began to complain of a sore throat which Martha coated with her special syrup. He then ran away to his mothers house. His disappearance caused neighbors to ask questions about his location, eventually going to the police. Inspector Harry Mann began his investigation and heard lots of stories of the children having their throats swabbed with syrup. One of the neighbors claimed he often peeked into the windows and saw Martha standing in front of a screaming victim, rocking back and forth as if in ecstasy. Inspector Mann located George, the second son, who claimed that Martha had killed his brothers and sisters and was trying to kill him with spirits of salts, otherwise known as hydrochloric acid. When inspector Mann found out that Martha had purchased large quantities of spirits of salts during the time of the children’s illnesses it gave him enough information to get permission for an autopsy on the already deceased young ones. When the autopsy was done, a diluted hydrochloric acid trace was found on the throat tissue. At first both Martha and Thomas were charged with the murder however Thomas was soon acquitted as it was plain to see he had no part in Martha’s sadistic torture games. Although she proclaimed her innocence throughout she would be eventually found guilty and sentenced to death. She was executed October 6th at Fremantle Prison becoming the only woman to be hanged legally in Western Australia. Pictured above: Martha Rendell, some newspaper clippings about the case, Inspector Harry Mann and Martha’s grave, plot 409 at Fremantle Prison.


This is Paşabahçe, he is named after a Turkish glass store. 

Likes include: Summer, drinking out of the bathroom sink, scratches under the chin, peanut butter (crunchy), America’s Next Top Model.

Dislikes: Blankets, jam, watching golf on TV, the patriarchy.

On the fence abt: Our neighbor’s cat Martha, early morning dew on the grass, snails.