Issei Sagawa

*Warning – The information you are about to read may include discussions of true crimes, graphic details, and crime scenes, this may be too graphic for some people, please use discretion when reading*

There are things in life we all want to try. Skiing, traveling on a camel in the desert, or trying the unique cuisine of international locations. Some cuisine we may not want to try, such as the cuisine that Issei Sagawa had a taste for in 1981.

Issei Sagawa was born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan in 1949 to wealthy parents. Due to childhood illness, he was rather small and introverted. Because of this, he developed a strong interest in literature. When he was in the first grade it is reported he first experienced cannibalistic desires after seeing a male’s thigh. In an interview in 2011 Issei reported that as a youth, he partook in bestiality with his dog, and experience cannibalistic desires for women.

In 1977, Issei moved to France to pursue his Ph.D in literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Every night he tried to shoot the prostitute that he brought home, but he froze up and was never able to pull the trigger.

While in the Sorbonne, Issei Sagawa met and befriended his classmate, Renee Hartevelt. She was a Dutch woman, who Issei felt was beautiful and healthy; two things he felt he was lacking. Issei purposely invited her over with the intention of killing and eating her. He wanted to absorb her essence. After she arrived to his apartment, Issei shot her in the neck with a rifle, and claims to have passed out. After waking, he carried out the rest of his morbid plan.

Issei had sex with her corpse, but was unable to bite into her skin because his teeth were not sharp enough. He butchered her body, and consumed various parts of her, eating most of her breasts and face either raw or cooked. Other parts were saved in his refrigerator. He took various pictures each time he ate her. He attempted to dump the rest of her body in a lake. He carried her body in two suitcases but was caught in the act and arrested by French Police four days later.

Because his family was wealthy, Issei’s father paid for a defense lawyer. He was held for two years before his trial, and found legally insane and unfit to stand trial. He was ordered by the French judge to be held indefinitely in a mental institution.

After meeting with an author, his account of the crime was published in Japan under the title In The Fog. His macabre celebrity contributed to his deportation from France back to Japan. While examined by Japanese psychologists, who all declared him sane, Issei was able to check himself out of the mental hospital he was originally sent to, and as the charges in France were dropped, he’s been free since August 12, 1986.

Issei has been able to appear in movies, writing books of his crimes, and also reviewing local restaurants. In 2005 his parents passed away and he was prevented from attending their funeral. As he is unable to support himself, he has had to accept welfare benefits. In 2013 he was hospitalized for a cerebral infarction, and now lives alone, dependent on daily assistance from his younger brother or other caregivers.

Issei Sagawa has said that being forced to make a living while being known as a murderer and cannibal was a terrible punishment. I think Renee Hartevelt would disagree, there are somethings that are worse.

Be safe, be strong, make good choices

The Ultimate in Grilled Cheese

There are certain foods that you just turn to when you need comfort, or convenience; Grilled Cheese is one of these foods. However there is only so much you can do with a grilled cheese right? Bread, cheese, grill, done. BUT, what if I told you some new variations on this old favorite that will make you eager to try them for your family tonight? Well challenge accepted, here are a few options for you.

Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese

  • You start out with your normal, bread, butter, cheese, but between the cheese you add a scoop of your favorite mac and cheese. Put the top on and let it grill like normal. The sandwich is more substantial than a normal grilled cheese, but continues to have that traditional taste and flavor.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

  • Instead of using American cheese, use mozzarella cheese and add your favorite pizza toppings in the middle. A swipe of sauce, some pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, onions or green peppers. Whatever you prefer on your pizza you can put between the slices of bread. If you wish to dunk your sandwich in the pizza sauce that is also a great option.

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

  • Similarly to the Mac and Cheese version. Simply put in a small scoop of sloppy joe sauce and meat and continue to grill as normal. Again this version provides you the option to have a more substantial sandwich but continue to have that comfort food feeling.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

  • Combine 3 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, 2 TBSP of diced jalapeno (or to taste), 2 TBSP of parmesan cheese, in a small bowl. Spread a portion of the mixture on your slices of bread followed by your preferred sliced cheese. Grill as normal. *You can add bacon if you desire

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

  • This one is a family favorite in our house and we can customize each sandwich to the person’s preference. Here is the guide:
  • You will need at least 5 different types of sliced cheese (try not to use American). We usually use: Cheddar, Colby Jack, Havarti, Swiss, Provolone, and Pepper Jack. You will put one of each slice of cheese between the two slices of bread.
  • Hard boil 1 egg per sandwich. Fry one pound of bacon. Fry, 1 medium to large onion until well caramelized. Slice tomatoes. Please use Texas bread as it is thicker and able to support the sandwich.
  • For the ultimate grilled cheese, place your cheese on both sides of the bread, 2-3 on each side. Slice the egg and place the slices on one side of the sandwich, top with bacon. On the other slice of bread add the fried onions and tomato. The sandwich will be really thick when you join both sides, so ensure your cheese is melted before you add the extra toppings.

When looking to make your grilled cheese the next time you need it’s comfort, consider trying one of these options as well. They are still a comfort, but allow some variety. Most you can still dunk into your tomato soup as well.

Happy Eating!

B-Rated Movies

Hello again my lovelies. Today is a laid back day, beautiful weather, and a time to enjoy all of life’s pleasures. One of them being, movies. Now I have worked in a movie store in the past and I love movies! I’ve watched all types of movies, sub-titled, comedy, drama, science fiction, cartoons, and horror. There are those movies that are classics for a reason; excellent story, director, acting etc. There are movies that are cult classics, maybe they are so bad that they are good. However we have all watched those 1980’s movies that we all know and love to hate; B rated movies.

What movies are B rated favorites? My list may be different than yours, but here are some that I love:

Rocky Horror Picture Show – Tim Curry, Meatloaf, a singing Susan Sarandon, and some of the catchiest music in a movie. What isn’t to love?

House on Haunted Hill (1959) – Vincent Price stars in his goofiest role ever. This is a 1950’s movie that today is not even remotely frightening, however the remake may have made more of an impact.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – When this first came out it set the standard for the franchise that no other remakes or sequels were able to reproduce. But it set a precedence for all slasher films that followed in the 1980’s.

Spice World – Ok, this is probably the cheesiest movie of the list, but I just enjoy this movie. It has the 90’s soundtrack in by the Spice Girls, and it’s one that can play in the background while I clean my house. I’m not proud, but I’m not sorry either.

Nothing But Trouble – I am a big Dan Aykroyd and John Candy fan. This movie has both, plus; Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, and a cameo by Tupac. The movie is ridiculous but hilarious. Check it out if you want to learn about Valkenvania.

A Fine Mess – Howie Mandel, Ted Danson, Richard Mulligan, a doped up horse named Sorry Sue, and a player piano, all make this a hilarious movie that is entirely a fine mess.

Hackers (1995) – Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie lead this movie as high school computer hackers who take on a corrupt corporate IT department. The story line is slim, and the character development is limited, however it also has Fisher Stevens, Matthew Lillard and see if you can find Marc Anthony and Penn Jillette.

The Running Man – This movie was inspired by Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman. But this is a future dystopian environment, where a popular TV show where those sentenced to death have the option to try and make it through an execution gauntlet (rigged of course). Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, and Jesse Ventura.

St. Elmo’s Fire – A Brat Pack movie that stars, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, and Judd Nelson. Recent college graduates try to make in the world, dealing with love, heart ache, careers, and all that makes us adults. If you are up for cheesy 80’s costumes, awesome music, and Rob Lowe playing a saxophone, then check it out.

What Women Want – Mel Gibson being able to hear women’s thoughts, and still manages to do something wrong. Dealing with a teenaged daughter and trying on Pantyhose, Mel thinks he knows what women want, but he learns he doesn’t know anything.

We could have this list continue indefinitely, however I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with these movies being B listed? Do you have others that you think are worthy of watching? Please tell me! I would love to hear your recommendations!

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

Colette, Kimberley, Kristen

*Warning – The information you are about to read may include discussions of true crimes, graphic details, and crime scenes, this may be too graphic for some people, please use discretion when reading*

Before John List, before Chris Watts, before Ronald Gene Simmons, there was Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald. Jeffrey was convicted of murdering his wife, Colette, and his two daughters, Kimberley and Kristen in 1970. His case remains one of the most litigated cases in American criminal history. Here is the story of the MacDonald familicide.

Jeffrey MacDonald was born in 1943 in New York. He met Colette Stevenson in eighth grade, and eventually they married in 1963, Colette was pregnant with their first child, who was born in 1964, named Kimberley. Colette left college to raise their child, and Jeffrey became the sole supporter of the growing family. Their second child was born in 1967, while the family resided in Chicago for Jeffrey to attend medical school.

Kristen Left and Kimberley

In 1969, Jeffrey joined the army and opted to become a Green Beret physician. Jeffrey was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and had his wife and children join him, they resided at 544 Castle Drive, a section of the base reserved for married officers. Near Christmas of that year, Colette was three months pregnant with their third child, and first son. She had written letters to college friends stating that her life, was “never (being) so normal or happy.”

February 17, 1970, at 3:42 am, dispatchers received an emergency phone call from Jeffrey, who spoke faintly: “Help! Five forty-four Castle Drive! Stabbing! Five forty-four Castle Drive! Stabbing! Hurry!” Then the phone clattered to the wall or floor.

Within 10 minutes, military police arrived and found the house dark and locked. There was no answer at the door, so they went to the back of the house and found the screen door closed but unlocked. The back door was wide open. The police entered the home.

They discovered Colette in the master bedroom, sprawled on the floor, one eye open and one breast exposed. She had been repeatedly clubbed about her body, both forearms were found to be broken. Colette was stabbed 21 times in the chest with an ice pick, and 16 times about the neck and chest with a knife, her trachea was severed in two places.

Jeffrey was found lying face down, alive but wounded, with his head on Colette’s chest and one arm around her neck. His first words were whispered: “Check my kids! I heard my kids crying!”

Five year old Kimberley, and two year old Kristen were found in their beds, they were stabbed a total of 58 times between the two of them.

Jeffrey was taken to the Womack Army Medical Center. Medical staff discovered that the wounds Jeffrey had suffered were much less numerous and severe than those inflicted on his wife and children. He had cuts, bruises, and fingernail scratches to his face and chest. He also had a mild concussion, a “clean, small, sharp” incision between two ribs that caused his lung to partially collapse. He was released from the hospital, nine days later.

Questioned by investigators with the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Jeffrey relayed the events that happened on February 17, 1970:

  • Around 2am he had washed the dinner dishes before deciding to go to bed.
  • He moved his daughter Kristen to her bed, and as she had wet his side of the bed, took a blanket and went to sleep on the living room couch.
  • He was later awakened by Colette and Kimberley’s screams, and heard Colette shout; “Jeff! Jeff! Help! Why are they doing this to me!” As he rose to go to their aid, he was attacked by three male intruders, one black and two white. A fourth intruder was a woman.
  • He was knocked unconscious after fighting the intruders and being attacked.
  • He regained consciousness and attempted mouth to mouth resuscitation on each of his daughters to no avail, before discovering his wife.
  • Then he phoned for help.

During the investigation, CID quickly came to disbelieve Jeffrey’s account. The evidence they found did not support his version of the events. As Jeffrey was trained in unarmed combat; the area he claims to have fought for his life, showed little signs of a struggle. There were no hairs, fibers, fingerprints, or blood from the intruders. And after attempting resuscitation on his children, who were found on their sides in their beds, there was no blood on the phone that Jeffrey used to call for help.

Based on the evidence, this is what investigators believe occurred that night:

  • An argument between Jeffrey and Colette began in the master bedroom, which may have turned physical.
  • Kimberley may have walked into the room hearing the commotion and may have been struck at least once in the head, possibly by accident.
  • Believing Colette dead, Jeffrey carried the mortally wounded Kimberley back to her bedroom. After stabbing her, Jeffrey then proceeded to Kristen’s room.
  • Before attacking Kristen, Colette, after regaining consciousness, and covered her daughter with her own body to protect her. After killing them both, Jeffrey carried Colette back into the master bedroom.
  • Disposing of evidence and cleaning up, Jeffrey then stabbed himself in the chest before calling for help and laying beside Colette.

April 6, 1970, Jeffrey was relieved of his duties and placed under restriction, pending further inquiries. The following day he was assigned an army lawyer. He also retained a civilian defense attorney. On May 1, the Army formally charged Jeffrey with three counts of murder.

In October 1970, the charges were dismissed against Jeffrey as insufficient evidence existed to prove his guilt. He was honorably discharged from the Army and then moved to California, practicing medicine at the emergency room of St. Mary Medical Center. Originally Jeffrey had the support of Colette’s parents, however after his dismissive demeanor and casual attitude, their suspicions grew, and they publicly turned against him.

The case went back to court in 1979. Jeffrey was tried in a civilian court. The trial lasted over a month, and after six and a half hours of deliberation, the jury found Jeffrey guilty of first degree murder in the death of Kristen, and second degree murder in the deaths of Colette and Kimberley.

During the lengthy appeals process, Jeffrey was released on bail in 1980. His appeal was later denied, and he was returned to prison to serve his original term. He continued to appeal his case on various grounds, and is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Cumberland, Maryland. In 2002, Jeffrey remarried a woman named Kathryn Kurichh, she lives in Maryland, where Jeffrey is incarcerated.

That my friends, is the brief story of the MacDonald familicide. What are your thoughts? Do you think Jeffrey did the crime? Do you think he had gotten away with murder for ten years before being sentenced to life in prison? Leave your comments below and share any ideas you may have.

Please be ever alert, make good choices, and stay safe

Mystery – Delphi

We never want to hear about someone who is taken from us too early. And we absolutely never want to hear when it happens to kids. In this case, two girls were murdered, and the murderer still has not been identified.

Libby German (Left) and Abby Williams

Between Indianapolis and Chicago, his the city of Delphi, Indiana. Population 2893 as of 2010. It is your average small town America, only becoming well known for the double murder in 2017.

Last photo of Abby, by Libby German

Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13 years old; and Liberty Rose, “Libby” German, 14 years old; were enjoying the Delphi historic trails in February 2017. At 2.07pm Libby posted a picture of Abby walking along the Monon High Bridge, and after that they weren’t heard from again. They were reported missing after they failed to meet Libby’s father, the families and police searched for the girls, but they weren’t found until noon the following day.

Monon High Bridge, over the Deer Creek

Abby and Libby were both in the 8th grade at Delphi Community Middle School, and in honor of their memory, the L&A Park Foundation was created to oversee the construction of a $1 million park, including three ball fields, an amphitheater and playgrounds. Sadly, Abby and Libby’s killer has not been identified. It has been four years and the families feel “like it happened yesterday”.

The area in which, Abby and Libby’s bodies were found.

What is unique about this case is that Libby, may have gotten a picture of her killer on her cellphone camera. He has not yet been identified. But, Libby, being only 14, had the uncanny foresight and fortitude to record the exchange that they had with this man on her smartphone. There is an audio recording, where the man is heard to say, albeit muffled, “Down the hill.”

Sadly we don’t have many details to work with, and Police still have this as an open case, as well as Indiana State Police. There have been numerous suspects since 2017, but no arrests have been made at this time. In April 2021, James Brian Chadwell II, has become the most recent person of interest in the case.

James Brian Chadwell, lower left, images of the suspect from Libby’s phone, and composite sketches from the police.

James Brian Chadwell, 42, is accused of attempted murder, of a 9 year old girl from Lafayette, IN. He is also a person of interest in the murders of Abby and Libby. James’ brother, Ashley Chadwell, has said of his brother; “He’s a monster, exactly. He’s an absolute evil person.” and “Do I think he’s capable of that kind of crime? Absolutely, absolutely. He’s shown numerous times not only to his friends, but his family as well that he has that kind of evil streak to him.”

Libby German and the tattoo on James Chadwell

Chadwell has been in and out of jail since his teen years. His body is covered in tattoos, but another tattoo of a face on his upper arm, is drawing a lot of attention. It has an uncanny resemblance to Libby German. Shown on the right, what do you think? If you have any information about Libby and Abby’s case, please contact the Delphi Homicide Tip Line at 844.459.5786.

Please be ever alert and watch your kids, make good choices, stay safe

Micellar Water

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products or brands mentioned therein*

Hello you lovely beauties! I hope you and your skin are doing amazing! Today I wanted to discuss Micellar Water. What is it, what is it for, and does it work?

Micellar water is a skin care product that can help, cleanse and tone your skin. It is super hydrating, great at removing dirt, oil and makeup. And you can use it on all skin types. This product is packed with tiny structures called “micelles” and these dirt detectives, actively attract make up and impurities so you can easily wipe them away. The best way to apply this product is with a soft, soaked cotton pad or wipe.

I have used this product in the past, and can say it works wonderfully! It takes off eye make easily without irritating your eyes, and can leave your skin feeling clean and cool. You do NOT have to rinse your face, but if you wish to do a deeper cleaning, you certainly can. I prefer to used this product specifically on my eyes, and that of my daughters when they have to have makeup on for their dance recitals.

I have only experienced the Garnier brand of micellar water and can say that I’m very happy with the results. You can use this product in a two step cleaning systems, or even as a toner. Garnier has a variety of micellar water options to help from removing water proof makeup, to skin brightening.

For days when you want to freshen your skin, and are not wearing makeup, put some micellar in a small spray bottle and used it during the day to refresh your skin as well.

Overall, I say it works and is a great way to freshen up through out the day, and to clean up your skin at night. If you haven’t used this before please do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s available online and most department stores. And I believe they have sample/trial sizes now too.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

McPike Mansion

Just north of St. Louis MO, in Alton Il, is the mansion of Henry Guest McPike. Construction started on the home in 1869. The family used this as their country home until 1936. The house has seen many owners, and has been used as a college, and a boarding house as well. The house has not been occupied since the 1950’s.

McPike Mansion

But what’s so special about this neglected house? In paranormal circles, it is readily known for it’s hauntings, not only in the house but on the 15 acres surrounding it as well.

The house is thought to still house many of the spirits that lived there, and many people including psychics and mediums have felt a presence, with the majority of energies being strongest in the cellar. If you choose to research this location, and actually hunt on the property, you may encounter the following:

  • There is a man in old-fashioned clothing, who is suspected to be Paul Laichinger, one of the former owners.
  • Mists and orbs, some appearing in pictures.
  • The sensations of being touched, or smelling a phantom lilac perfume.
  • Hear metal doors scraping across the floor on their own
  • The wine cellar seems to be the hub of the paranormal network.

The house is open for private tours, overnight campouts, and nighttime paranormal research. Who would be willing to explore this location? Of course I would, but it’s always important to hunt together.

You are your own best investment

McPike Wine Cellar

Aokigahara

**Please use caution when viewing the images on this article, some may be too graphic for some people**

There are many things in this world that are amazing for different reasons. It might be the architecture, the lifestyle, the beauty of the location, or the history. One of the places on my bucket list is Japan. I think the country has an amazing history, beautiful architecture, the people are some of the politest you will meet. On top of my list is Kyoto. However there is another place in Japan that is just as beautiful, but has a darker history associated with it as well.

Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees is a forest on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji. It thrives on 12 square miles of hardened lava, that was laid down in 864 CE. The forest has parts there are very dense and the porous lava absorbs sound helping to provide a sense of solitude.

However, the forest has recently become known as “the Suicide Forest” and one of the world’s most used suicide sites, second only to the Golden Gate Bridge. So it has the historical reputation of being home to the ghosts of the dead. Signs at the head of some trails, urge suicidal visitors to think of their families and contact a suicide prevention association. 1.800.273.TALK or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

In 2003, 105 bodies were found in the forest, exceeding the previous record in 2002 of 78 bodies. Annual body searches are conducted by police, volunteers, and journalists, since 1970. However the numbers have no longer been publicized, to help decrease the suicides in the forest.

Due to it’s dark history, the forest is reputed to be haunted by the Yūrei, or ghosts of those left to die. They usually take the form of pale women in white gowns with long black hair. Tradition says that those to take their own lives can’t join the spirits of their ancestors, so the spirits remain in the forest.

What do you think? Would you be willing to visit the forest and potentially find the remains of a person who ended their life? Those who feel their only option is to leave this life, have not made that decision lightly. They have walked through life and experienced things that were too hard for them to overcome, they weren’t able to continue.

For those who have thought of it, but haven’t done it, please don’t. The world needs your light, know that you have people who care, and want you in their lives. Please, with everyone whom you come into contact with; please give them respect, love, and kindness. We don’t know what they are going through and even a small act of kindness could change their day, their life, and their future.

Please take care of yourself and others, be kind; always.

On The Dinner Table – Taco Soup

A couple years ago I had won an Instant Pot from work. I was so excited, as I had really wanted to get one and be able to make dinners much faster. As I was winning mine, my sister was actually purchasing one online for her family. We then faced the dilemma….what do we cook in this? Thankfully we are both avid Pinterest users and were able to start finding recipes. One that she shared with me is Taco Soup, and it’s one that we LOVE in our family.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 packet of Taco seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 packet Ranch Dressing mix (optional but worth it)
  • 1 – 10oz can of Rotel
  • 1 – 7oz can of Diced Green Chiles, with juice
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 14oz can Black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 14oz can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 14oz can Red Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 14oz can Diced Tomatoes with juice
  • 1 – 14oz can of Corn, drained

Directions:

  • Turn the pressure cooker on to the Sauté setting. Add the meat. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked.
  • Add the Ranch packet, if using, Rotel, green chiles, and chicken broth. Stir, and place a glass lid on the pot to help the broth heat up faster. Once the broth is at a slow simmer, add all of the beans and stir well.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes, but don’t stir. Place the lid on the pot and lock in place. Turn the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
  • Cancel the Sauté setting and then press the Pressure Cook/Manual button (or dial) and the + or – button (or dial) to choose 6 minutes. The pot will take several minutes to build up the pressure before the timer starts.
  • When the cooking cycle has finished, let the pot sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then do a controlled Quick Release of the pressure by turning the knob towards the Venting position.
  • When the pin in the lid drops down, you can open the lid facing away from you. Give the soup a stir, carefully as there could be some hot steam pockets in there.
  • Taste and adjust salt, if needed, then add the corn. Stir well and let sit for a few minutes.

We serve this over corn chips, with cheese and sour cream as garnish. But you can add your favorite flavors, Avocado, Jalapeno, Onion, and Salsa.

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s great to reheat during the week as well. Please give it a try and let me know how you like it. If you have any other Instant Pot suggestions, please share them as well!

Happy Eating!

Chernobyl

Saturday, April 26, 1986. The number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded during a safety test. The test was a simulation of an electrical power outage to help create a safety procedure for maintaining reactor cooling water circulation until the back-up generators could provide power.

During the planned decrease of reactor power, the power dropped to a near zero level, operators were able to only partially restore the specified test power, which put the reactor in an unstable condition. The risk wasn’t clear in the operating instructions, and upon test completion the operators triggered a reaction shutdown; but a combination of unstable conditions and reactor design flaws caused and uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction instead.

Highly radioactive material dubbed “Elephants Foot”

Two explosions ruptured the reactor core and destroyed the building. One explosion was a highly destructive steam explosion from the vaporizing superheated cooling water, the other explosion could have been another steam explosion or a small nuclear explosion. This was immediately followed by and open-air reactor core fire that released considerable airborne radioactive contamination for about nine days.

The town of Pripyat, Ukraine, population approximately 49,000 people, was evacuated and then another 68,000 were further evacuated as the “exclusion zone” was increased. Two of the operating staff were killed with the initial explosion, another 28 staff and firemen later died due to acute radiation syndrome. Approximately 14 suspected radiation induced cancer deaths followed within the next 10 years.

Chernobyl today with the new enclosure

To reduce the spread of radioactive contamination, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus was built in December 1986. It provided protection for the crews of the undamaged reactors at the site, which continued operating. Due to is deterioration, it was further enclosed in 2017, allowing the removal of the sarcophagus and the reactor debris. Nuclear clean up is scheduled to complete in 2065.

Pripyat, Ukraine

Approximately 2 miles north of Chernobyl was the town of Pripyat. It was created in 1970, to provide housing for the workers at the Chernobyl plant. In April of 1986 the town had a population of 49,360.

After the explosion at Chernobyl, Pripyat was evacuated and is now in the Exclusion Zone, and primarily a ghost town. The city has been opened up for group tours, but only if you have the proper permits, and a tour guide.

This event is something that the entire world was affected by, and I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse than it was. The memory of those who helped on the day of the disaster and lost their lives and everyone who has lost the battles they experienced are never forgotten. I would love to visit the Pripyat ghost town, if only to experience the history of it.

You are your own best investment