What do René Descartes, Joseph Haydn, and Oliver Cromwell have in common? All three lost their heads after death. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast, we’ll run down a list of notable corpses whose parts have gone wandering.
We’ll also hear readers chime in on John Lennon, knitting, diaries and Hitchcock, and puzzle over why a pilot would choose to land in a field of grazing livestock.
Sources for our feature on posthumously itinerant body parts:
Bess Lovejoy, Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, 2013.
Edith Sitwell, English Eccentrics, 1993.
Barney Snow’s documentary about Gerald and Linda Polley is Where Has Eternity Gone?
Douglas Martin, “Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89,” New York Times, Oct. 29, 2007.
Listener Christine Fisher found Charles Thomas Samuels’ interview with Alfred Hitchcock in Sidney Gottlieb’s 2003 book Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews. It appeared originally in Samuels’ 1972 book Encountering Directors.
This week’s lateral thinking puzzle is from Kyle Hendrickson’s 1998 book Mental Fitness Puzzles.
Enter coupon code CLOSET at Harry’s and get $5 off their starter set of high-quality razors.
Please consider becoming a patron of Futility Closet — on our Patreon page you can pledge any amount per episode, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. You can change or cancel your pledge at any time, and we’ve set up some rewards to help thank you for your support.
You can also make a one-time donation via the Donate button in the sidebar of the Futility Closet website.
Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.
If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at email@example.com. Thanks for listening!