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Hi! Welcome to Vertigo's Fun House. Here, you'll find write-ups on unsolved mysteries and serial killers. Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Canceled Cinema 3: B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations

B.O.O. was a DreamWorks film that was roughly 60% complete when it was canceled thanks to corporate restructuring (roughly 500 animators were laid off thanks to the underperformance of films like 2014's How To Train Your Dragon 2). Originally slated for a release in June 7, 2015, the film was sent back to being "in development" seven months prior to its release. Below, you'll discover what this film could have been.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mini Mystery 14: The 3X Killer

This mystery will be covered more extensively and thoroughly in A World of Terror towards the end of next year. Nevertheless, this entry will cover everything there is to see that's necessary to get the picture of the killer who called himself 3X.

When I began planning A World of Terror, I knew I wanted a roughly 25-75 split of unsolved and known serial killers respectively. This split was so I had a larger focus on the minds of those we know—whether they be those the public knows or a more obscure name—and a smaller focus on the names that chill the everyman, torment detectives, and captivate the amateur sleuths of the world. With this mindset, I got to work finding names that truly defined those three categories.

Two that instantly sprang to my mind were the Zodiac and the Monster of Florence. The former is known around the world as one of the most infamous unsolved crimes—and mysteries as a whole—in history, rivaling the likes of Jack the Ripper in popularity. The latter meanwhile is the European counterpart to the Zodiac, but a significantly more sexually motivated killer. He's also believed by some to also be the Zodiac; the idea being that he fled the United States and went to Italy to continue his rampage.

As I went through numerous stories, lists, and files on unidentified serial killers, I realized something. Many of these individuals echoed any other madman with a gun or knife. There was little to separate them from the sea of other unidentified person who terrorized a neighborhood or city. This forced me to make a decision: either I changed my 25-75 split or I had to dig deeper into the pool of serial killers I'd amassed for stranger stories that I'd otherwise save for a lazy, rainy day to write about.

I contemplated this a bit before deciding that the idea of reducing the split would hinder my ultimate point, which is that while law enforcement can end the terrible reigns of truly evil people, not all will be caught. There are instances in which local police are ill equipped to handle a situation like a serial killer, the killer themselves is one step ahead (the Zodiac falls into this category as an example), or the killer may in fact have law enforcement training and knows how to leave behind little to no evidence.

With that in mind, I got to work digging through what I call my bag of strange. The mysteries and crimes that are more enigmatic than they are chilling or creepy. Stories like the Prophecy of the Popes fall into this category. Their nature is something that I try my best to save for once in a blue moon as they I believe minimize the subjects that I wish to present when discussing a mystery.

Today's mystery is one that fell into that category, but has slowly moved out of it. Known as the 3X Killer (known from here on out as 3X), this mystery is one that I've very rarely seen talked about. The YouTube channel Criminally Listed has covered it, which pleased me and there is a Reddit post on these murders. On the flip side, this story lacks a Wikipedia page. This actually led Tyler—this blogs coauthor—to outright ask me if this mystery was even real, though the details to the mystery itself didn't help matters. It wasn't until he found a New York Times article from back in the 1930s that he realized I wasn't joking about any of this and everything regarding 3X wasn't a joke or exaggeration.

I don't blame him for that skepticism either. Most serial killers are people who murder for the thrill—be that sexual or not—they get from taking another person's life or for extreme hatred towards another gender or race. In the case of 3x, neither of those are applicable. His actions and motivations are much closer to those of a hitman that was hired by an organized crime syndicate.

This isn't terribly uncommon given the time period. The 3X murders happened back in 1930 and as we'll learn, America back then, especially in New York City, had a very real and serious problem with the Mafia. Someone like 3X wasn't necessarily abnormal to everyday life. What him stand out however was how he treated what he did. You see, most hitmen do their job and collect their pay. Should a cop or federal agent have come their way, they'd what they could to make sure they looked the other way. The Shotgun Man is someone who fit this description should you believe the stories of him. Hush money was powerful back then and as we've seen in cases like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, it's still powerful.

No, what made 3X stand out was his vocal nature. He sent many letters to the press explaining what he did, why he did it, and what could be done to end his reign of terror before he claimed more lives. This action is something I've rarely, if ever, seen done. 3X seemed to hold the entirety of New York City for ransom and his demands were centered on one man and one many only. This paints a very peculiar picture for the psyche and profile of the man, which we'll discuss after we've covered the story itself. All I'll say for now is that I don't believe that 3X was a man who didn't know what he was doing.

All of this and more is why for this Halloween, we'll take a look at what I consider to be one of the most bizarre serial killers in the world; a crime spree that reads more like a hybrid of a Mission: Impossible film and David Fincher's Zodiac. The final thing I'll note is that, as stated at the very beginning this story will be expanded upon when I get to the World of Terror entry for 3X. That entry will expand upon the journalistic, psychological, and other criminological elements of the case—to the best of my amateurish ability anyways. For the time being, let's go over the case.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Mini Mystery 13: J'ba Fofi

Theraphosa blondi—better known as the Goliath Birdeater or Goliath Bird-eating Spider—is the largest spider on Earth, which legs that can reach up to a foot in length. The Huntsman Spider can be larger however and is typically considered the largest spider by leg-span.

The image of those two spiders alone is enough to invoke nightmares. However, both aren't dangerous to humans. The Huntsman Spider can cause swelling and be painful, but it won't kill you. The Goliath Birdeater on the other hand can barely break through your skin and may not even release venom when it does so. Nonetheless: the size of those two spiders alone is enough to trigger a panic attack. That is, until you wonder: could there be spiders that are even larger?

Earth's a mysterious place. Each year, we discover many new species of animals and plants, which is a good reminder that we don't know anywhere near as much as we think we do about our home. Coupled with the history of reports of giant earwigs, birds, ants, octopi, squids (which turned out to be true), sharks, and so on: the concept of a giant spider isn't too far fetched—is it?

Maybe, maybe not. There is a cryptid that's said to be a giant spider: J'ba Fofi. It's associated act is Mokele-Mbembe; the names of both cryptids hail from the same the native Baka people. Unlike the latter however, J'ba Fofi didn't appear in 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Decemystery 2019 Preview

Last December, I did a daily blog series called Decemystery. Although there were a few days I missed, I did ultimately conclude the month with a total of 32 mysteries. In hindsight. They're rather rough and could've been significantly better. Still, I'm proud of it and loved doing it.

That's why this year. in doing it again! Only this time, instead of 32 mysteries, I've got a collection of 75—I think. I could be wrong as my math talent is absolutely awful. I digress, the normal Decemystery is still 32 mysteries. The other 43 are gifts to some of my closest friends. This'll definitely hinder the progress of A World of Terror, however I still anticipate having the first entry released this year.

But Vertigo, you promise so much and never follow through with it! How can we know that this won't end up like that?

This is something that I've not been told, but rather that I repeatedly think about. Admittedly, I have more ideas than I can realistically handle. I'd argue that this entire series will be me compiling nearly every unused idea into one massive series, but that's besides the point. This blogpost alone will light a fire under me to make sure I don't ignore it. Stress level be damned!

Now then: allow me to show you some of what will be in store this December!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Mini Mystery 12: Lucid Dreaming

My first truly paranormal/supernatural mystery blog. I hope it came out well!

Dreams are, to put it very lightly, something of an enigma. They can reflect the previous day or recent events, bring to life come of your greatest desires or wishes, or show you some of your greatest fears.

To some, dreams hold a very deep, significant meaning that can help shed light on oneself. To others, they are nothing but fragmented memories that happen while we sleep. Either way, they're interesting to me—even if I fall on the side of the latter when it comes to a deeper meaning.

There is, however, one thing related to dreams that I can't deny doesn't make sense to me. Something that doesn't feel like simple “fragmented memories” from the day prior or recent events.

It's simply known as lucid dreaming.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

A World of Terror: Prologue

As children, we're told that monsters don't exist; that we have nothing to fear as nothing lurks beneath our bed or within our closets. While such a fact may be true, the statement that “monsters don't exist” is something that I'll argue isn't true.

Sure, monsters may not reside in our bedrooms, but they exist. It's just that they walk among us.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Preview – A World of Terror

This is a preview to something that I've been working on for the past 7 months. I don't know when this specific entry will be done, but I want to share the opening of it. I hope you all like it.