Author Archives: Shaun Smillie

About Shaun Smillie

Journalist, with a love of bones, fossils and other things dug up. Fisherman and occasional beer maker.

My afternoons with Aubrey-the monster, the madness that was Dr Levin

Someone gasped. The fat doctor sitting in the big office in the mental institution had just said something disturbing. Dr Aubrey Levin, who one day would be caught on spy cam sexually assaulting a patient, had just finished telling us … Continue reading

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Crime scene belly laughs

Originally posted on Smillie's People:
A shoot out on Alexandra’s East Bank. A couple of bad guys hit a business in nearby Kew then high tailed to a flat on South Africa Boulevard. The problem, the flying squad were…

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I spent last week embedded with the South African army. Nine SAI, a mechanised division, with whom we ate rat packs, slept in cramped armoured troop carriers and experienced censorship that an African despot would have been proud to claim. … Continue reading

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Hunting Johannesburg’s first serial killer.

Mavis Davids struck a deal with the stranger in the big black car. Then she opened the passenger door, got in, and disappeared into the night. It was 1937 and in Europe Hitler’s land grab continued, South Africa still struggled … Continue reading

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Crime stories and tales cops tell

Originally posted on Smillie's People:
Empty bullet casings litter Sauer street, blue lights flash and a dejected robber sits handcuffed in the back of a police van. Cops and robbers had had a shoot out in the centre of…

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The archaeology of palaeontology

Verdigrised and old. These plates and screws once held fossils in place. They were put there by Edwardian scientists as they pieced together these giant bone jigsaws, that science then was just getting into. Some of these pieces of bent … Continue reading

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The Beryl street yoga club mystery

It goes like this Tweeta tweeta tweeta. No, throw back your lips and let that weeee go, so it comes out Tweeeeta tweeeta tweeeeta. Now you have the call of the mystery bird of Observatory. Always heard but never seen. … Continue reading

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The outlaws of the Nuweveld.

Long before the lion took to the Nuweveld mountains another outlaw hid out in these remote borderlands between the Northern and Western Cape. His name was Stefaans Coetzee and he was responsible for the Worcester mall bombings in 1995. According … Continue reading

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This ancient liquor popular among Vikings may be the answer to antibiotic resistance

Originally posted on Ancientfoods:
? Scientists in Sweden are launching their own mead — an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mix of honey and water — based on old recipes they say could help in the fight against antibiotic…

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PREHISTORIC PEOPLE IN BULGARIA’S YABALKOVO HAD DOMESTICATED CHICKENS, ‘ATE EUROPE’S FIRST OMELETTE’ 8,000 YEARS AGO, ARCHAEOLOGIST REVEALS

Originally posted on Ancientfoods:
?? A 2010 photo of the excavations of the Early Neolithic proto-city near Bulgaria’s Yabalkovo. Photo: 24 Chasa daily The prehistoric people inhabiting the Early Neolithic settlement near today’s town of Yabalkovo, Dimitrovgrad Municipality, in Southern…

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