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Author Topic: Oww, my eyes!
snopes
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Comment: I was wondering if this story was true or an urban legend. In
England in the early 60's a 16 year old girl recieved an unusual and
deadly birthday present. A package, addressed to her, arrived during her
birthday party. It contained a large pair of binoculars. Her father was
looking at them and attempted to adjust the lenses. As he did so six inch
pointed steel rods shot our from the eye pieces. Had he been looking
through the lenses he would of course have been killed. The way I heard
the story is that the binoculars had been hand made. The police never
found who sent the horrible gift.

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Little Pink Pill
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Why would you try to adjust the lenses without looking through them?

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candycane from strangers
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That's what I was thinking, LPP. This would make a cool scene in a movie if the dad got stabbed.

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qualli
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There was an old fairy tale about a prince that recieved a telescope that had a knife in it.

Oddly enough, I was just thinking about this story the other night

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Felessan
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OK...

Somewhere in my true crime collection is a book that mentions this story, but states that the trap would have blinded, not killed. Time to go looking...

I think just such a trap featured in a film once - I recall a short clip (used to promote a series on horror films) showing a woman clutching her bloodied eye sockets. Also in shot was a pair of field glasses with bloodstained spikes sticking out of the eyepieces. Unfortunately the film was not named. "The Phantom" (the Billy Zane version) included a variant on this - a spike-trapped microscope with which the chief villain punishes a double-dealing henchman.

John Dickson Carr, I think, featured a murder by dart hidden in binoculars in his short story compilation "The Third Bullet and other stories".

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pob14
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quote:
Originally posted by candy from Ron Mexico:
That's what I was thinking, LPP. This would make a cool scene in a movie if the dad got stabbed.

It WAS a cool scene in a movie -- the very movie Felessan was referring to -- Horrors of the Black Museum. Haven't seen it in years, but man, that binocular scene stays with you.

ETA: Also reminds one of the "Little Wonder" in Oklahoma!, although that one didn't stab you in the eye.

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jimmy101
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quote:
The way I heard the story is that the binoculars had been hand made.
Hmmm, which is a better response;
  • Rats, I was hoping I could get a pair at Kmart.
  • No shit Sherlock.

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qualli
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quote:
Originally posted by pob14:

ETA: Also reminds one of the "Little Wonder" in Oklahoma!, although that one didn't stab you in the eye.

ooh. I forgot about that. I thought it did stab you in the eye though? Or was it the hand?

--------------------
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candycane from strangers
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quote:
posted by pob14
It WAS a cool scene in a movie -- the very movie Felessan was referring to -- Horrors of the Black Museum. Haven't seen it in years, but man, that binocular scene stays with you.

Ooh, thanks! I'm going to rent that now [Smile] .

--------------------
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A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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pob14
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quote:
Originally posted by qualli:
ooh. I forgot about that. I thought it did stab you in the eye though? Or was it the hand?

IIRC, it had a blade that would pop out the bottom when you looked through it, so your "friend" could slam it down and stab you in the chest.

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Patrick

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Pseudo_Croat
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Just out of curiosity, would a spike/rod that sprang out of something that you put next to your eye really kill you? If it didn't, what kind of damage could a person expect to receive (other than a poked-out eye)?

- Pseudo (another nasty DM trick needed) Croat

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Hans Off
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Depends how long the spike is.

2 foot should do it!

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
quote:
The way I heard the story is that the binoculars had been hand made.
Hmmm, which is a better response;

    [*]Rats, I was hoping I could get a pair at Kmart.
    [*]No shit Sherlock.

In the account that I read (but still haven't found yet, dammit) the binoculars weren't a modified pair, but had been carved from wood with great care and then lacquered and/or varnished to look like metal. The whole arrangement took immense care and thoroughness to construct - implying immense and sustained hatred of the target.

I wonder what the FBI profilers at Quantico would have thought of it?

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eternalsaturn
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I remember seeing a variation on this on a movie (of which I naturally can't recall the name or even anything about the plot) a long time back, only instead of killer binoculars, they were spike-equipped headphones that would basically impale your head on two long spikes through the ears.

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Pseudo_Croat
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quote:
Originally posted by Hans Off:
Depends how long the spike is.

2 foot should do it!

Well, a 2-foot-long spike (that's practically a dagger, for goodness' sake!) wouldn't fit in a pair of binoculars or a pair of headphones. I'm talking about a spike that could fit in one of those - say, something a few inches long. Could soemthing like that kill a person, and if not, what kind of damage could it cause?

- Pseudo (my sadistic DM side is waiting) Croat

--------------------
"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
quote:
Originally posted by Hans Off:
Depends how long the spike is.

2 foot should do it!

Well, a 2-foot-long spike (that's practically a dagger, for goodness' sake!) wouldn't fit in a pair of binoculars or a pair of headphones. I'm talking about a spike that could fit in one of those - say, something a few inches long. Could soemthing like that kill a person, and if not, what kind of damage could it cause?

- Pseudo (my sadistic DM side is waiting) Croat

It really depends on the length and circumfrence of the binoculours, but I think a 2 foot telescoping spike can easily hide inside. What's more tricky is the mechanism that will drive the spike. Maybe a high-tension spring loaded inside the spike will do it.

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Joseph Z
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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
quote:
The way I heard the story is that the binoculars had been hand made.
Hmmm, which is a better response;

    [*]Rats, I was hoping I could get a pair at Kmart.
    [*]No S*** Sherlock.

Shouldn't cussing be filtered out on here to keep kids from saying it?

--------------------
Joseph Z

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Brandi
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Swearing is not filtered on snopes: if you want to call a spade a fucking shovel you can, although it's generally agreed-upon that we don't.

Anyway, back to the binocs: the book Murder, Ink. mentions the wooden fakes as an actual exhibit in Scotland Yard's "Black Museum" (their crime museum, which is, alas, not open to the public); presumably they were the inspiration for the movie's gimmick.

It is, BTW, a rather silly movie, but there's plenty of enjoyable thick-sliced ham from Michael Gough as the lead villain.

The sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Dr. Phibes Rises again, features a spiked phone handset.

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Joe Bentley
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A 1959 horror movie Horrors of the Black Museum features a set of binoculors that have a set of spike hidden in them in the style of the OP.

 -

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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christmas tree kitapper
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quote:
Originally posted by Felessan:
John Dickson Carr, I think, featured a murder by dart hidden in binoculars in his short story compilation "The Third Bullet and other stories".

He had 2 different short stories dealing with boobytrapped binoculars, but they both had spikes in them and killed people.

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Siawasi
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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
Hmmm, which is a better response;

    [*]Rats, I was hoping I could get a pair at Kmart.
    [*]No shit Sherlock.

Yomank! [Razz]

--------------------
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SuperDog2984
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This happens in The Phantom but with a microscope
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masterchief
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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
quote:
Originally posted by Hans Off:
Depends how long the spike is.

2 foot should do it!

Well, a 2-foot-long spike (that's practically a dagger, for goodness' sake!) wouldn't fit in a pair of binoculars or a pair of headphones. I'm talking about a spike that could fit in one of those - say, something a few inches long. Could soemthing like that kill a person, and if not, what kind of damage could it cause?

- Pseudo (my sadistic DM side is waiting) Croat

Id imagine for a start the victim would suffer MASIVE blood loss,Blindness and if the blade was long enough it could possibly pierce the brain causing death or a severe condition.Mind you im no docter [Smile]
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Esprise Me
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A spike through the brain won't necessarily kill you. The repurcussions depend entirely upon which part of the brain gets hit. Phineas Gage is an interesting case.

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bab5nutz
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I did see a variant on that in one of the Vincent Price Dr Phibes movies. A guy picks up a phone to answer it ... and this great metal bolt comes out of the earpiece, and goes through his ear.

Ouch!

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Kindly Wise
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Wasn't it Loki who devised a pair of lenses for Odin to allow him to see the future, and then the lenses gouged out Odin's eyes? Or was that on Zena, Warrior Princess...

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Barbara R.
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I'm curious. What could possibly trigger the spikes inside the lenses?

In a Sherlock Holmes movies of the 1940s, Pearl of Death (based on a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, "The Six Napoleons") Holmes's nemises, Gyles Conover, places a dagger inside a carved-out crevis against a spring in a large book that he delivers incognito to Dr. Watson, who doesn't open it of course. When Holmes returns home he senses something is wrong and opens the book from a distance using a long pole or cane. The dagger flies up into the ceiling instead of Holmes's heart.

What I am trying to say is: if daggers could be place inside a pair of bonoculars, how could the daggers spring out? The spring action in the Sherlock Holmes story was caused by opening the book. Get it?

Barbara R.

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skippytoe
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Maybe the focus mechanism is the trigger. You could also put poison on the spikes or replace them with syringes. Why do I feel paranoid typing this?

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by Kindly Wise:
Wasn't it Loki who devised a pair of lenses for Odin to allow him to see the future, and then the lenses gouged out Odin's eyes? Or was that on Zena, Warrior Princess...

In Norse mythology, Odin plucked out his own eye in exchange for wisdom. I don't remember the exact details, but I think that is pretty accurate.

quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Why would you try to adjust the lenses without looking through them?

I do it all the time. I hold the binoculars and adjust, making sure that I am doing it correctly (that the part that I am moving actually is the focuser), then I put them up to my eyes to focus.

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Pseudo_Croat
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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
A spike through the brain won't necessarily kill you. The repurcussions depend entirely upon which part of the brain gets hit. Phineas Gage is an interesting case.

So, what kind of brain damage would ensue if the area of the brain directly behind one's eyes were damaged? I've seen a few general maps of the brain on the 'net, but nothing so specific as to let someone know exactly damaging what would affect what...I could (as always, it seems) be wrong....

- Pseudo "inquiring DM's want to know" Croat

--------------------
"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Why would you try to adjust the lenses without looking through them?

To figure out where the moving parts are.

(Sometimes you can't tell what's a hinge and what's the adjustment nob)

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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When I read the OP I thought of a couple of movies that have already been mentioned here. I think the question I have is, was this ever actually done? Whether it was what inspired certain stories, or someone was copying the story, did anyone actually make a pair of binoculars (or telescope/microscope/phone/future seeing device) in an attempt to kill someone? It would require a good bit of ingenuity, time, and alot of animosity towards one person when I'm sure there are many easier ways to go about getting revenge. Why would someone go through that kind of trouble?
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Samantha Vimes
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Spring loaded spike trap, 1d6+2 damage, would take out a lot of first level types, while allowing that not all brain damage is lethal. The blindness would be serious enough for even a high level character to worry about it.

And as for Loki, please don't add that to things he stands accused of! Although he was chased into Asgard by a giant in the form of an eagle, and once the eagle was killed, Odin took out the eyes and set them as stars in the sky. That's the closest thing tot he two of them being involved in an eye loss story together.

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Brad from Georgia
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There's another play/movie with this device...the well-known horror musical Oklahoma! Judd attempts to mutilate his rival with (IIRC) a spiked peep-show type viewer.

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Missie
I Saw Three Shipments


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Loki tied his testicles to a goat once.

Not eyes, but a weird story nonetheless.

I don't really have much else to add. I just wanted to throw in a random 'Loki being really weird' comment.

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