Romance on Extraordinary Intelligence??? Surely not! This site is dedicated to the serious subject of paranormal encounters, high strangeness, and vast conspiracy. We don’t have room for fluff around here!
Unless…. there are love stories so strange, disturbing, and even macabre that they warrant the coveted title of Extraordinary. Yes indeed. These tales may involve romance, but they are anything but romantic. In some cases, they are downright creepy. Which is what Natalina likes. The creepier the better, I say! And with the added bonus that each of these stories are frighteningly true…. well, hell. Let’s do this!
The Crazy Love story of Linda Riss and Burt Pugach
In 1959, one of the most notoriously bizarre stories of love and betrayal began. Linda Riss was 20 years old, living in East Bronx. She was beautiful by anyone’s standard. Riss met an older man named Burt Pugach, a lawyer and somewhat shady character. Pugach became enamored with Riss, and pursued her relentlessly. Riss fell for his charms, and they began dating exclusively.
Within a year of their courtship, Burt proposed and Riss accepted. Then, things took a dramatically twisted turn. Linda discovered to her horror that the man she had agreed to marry was already married and had a child. When she confronted him, he admitted to the deception, and swore he’d get a speedy divorce. Linda told him she’d consider taking him back as soon as he could produce the divorce papers. He did. But wary after already having been fooled, Linda did a little investigating, and found the divorce papers to be phony.
As it turned out, Pugach’s wife Francine refused to grant him a divorce. Their daughter Caryn had severe learning difficulties, and Francine was not about to be left without a husband to provide for them. Allowing all of this to sink in, Linda called off the wedding, and started dating other men. Burt obsessively pursued her, even stalked her, saying “If I can’t have you, no one else will.”
Finally, the whole thing came to a head when Pugach hired 3 men to carry out a horrific plot. On June 15, 1959, Linda’s mother answered the door at their apartment in the East Bronx, and was told there was a delivery for Linda. As soon as Linda appeared at the door, the man threw chemical Lye in her face causing her to lose her hair and the vision in one of her eyes. As time went on, Linda went completely blind. And although Pugach wasn’t the person at the door, it was clear that he was behind the attacks. His goal? To maim Linda to the point where no one else would want her. Pugach was sentenced to 30 years in prison, 14 with good behavior.
Linda traveled Europe with some friends, always hiding behind very dark glasses. Although her skin was restored and her appearance was mostly as lovely as before, her eyes were left horribly disfigured. At one point she fell for a man who she thought might be the one. One night, she let him see her eyes. She never heard from him again. Her self esteem was terribly damaged.
In 1974, Burt was nearing the end of his sentence, and he once again began sending love letters to Linda. They proclaimed that “No one will love you the way I do”. He asked his lawyer to visit Linda, and ask if there was anything she needed. “Tell him I need some money” is what she said. She was broke having been so limited in the work she was able to do, and Burt commenced sending her $50 a week. When he was released, Linda was put under police protection. Even with all that had happened, Linda’s friends started encouraging her to meet up with Burt. They believed that she needed a husband. Considering herself to be damaged goods, she decided that Burt really did love her, and soon…. they were engaged to be married. The headlines in the paper read, “Blinded bride-to-be weds her attacker.”
Linda and Burt have been married ever since, and by all accounts have a normal and happy marriage. Linda says she’s forgiven Burt. He says he loves her still after 30+ years together. Although he stalked her, harassed her, and eventually had her blinded and disfigured for life with acid… she says that the moment she agreed to marry him 1974, she never made him explain why he did it. She thinks that would be unfair. Burt claims he was temporarily insane, and that the action he took against Linda all those years ago was not the real him.
It is interesting to note that in 1997, Burt Pugach was arrested for stalking and harassing his Filipino secretary, with whom he’d been having an affair. When it came time for him to go on trial, the star witness who got Pugach acquitted was his wife, Linda, who testified, “Burt is a wonderful, devoted husband.”
The twisted tale of Burt and Linda Pugach was made into an award winning documentary Crazy Love, which explores the relationship in detail. This doc was what first brought this insane story to my attention. And of course, the Pugach’s were at the premiere.
Crazy Love Trailer Below
Juan Baptista dos Santos, born in Portugal in 1843, had a very unique condition. He was born with a couple of extra appendages. He was known as the “three legged man”, well, because he had a three legs. But this wasn’t the end of his extras. Juan also was born with two penises. Seriously. And both of his….tools…were fully functional. I know all of you fellas out there are thinking this one over. I’ll give you a moment.
Now, as you might expect from a man with….ummm…double endowments, he reportedly had a voracious appetite for l’amore. At the risk of further creeping you out, it has been documented that when he was….finished… he was able to immediately start over. Ok, I’ll give you another moment to process.
I believe in destiny, and the proof is in this story. At the very same time that Juan was searching for love, there was someone else with a similar condition, along with a similar appetite. Her name was Blanche Dumas. Ms. Dumas was a highly paid prostitute in Paris, and was widely known for her unique attributes. Like Juan, she was born with an extra leg that hung between her two functional legs. She also had four breasts and two sets of fully functional genitalia.
The story goes that the two met, and had a passionate love affair. One can only imagine….one should probably try not to imagine…but one does.
Count Carl Von Cosel and his dead lover
Count Carl Von Cosel was a doctor who immigrated from Germany. He became obsessed with Elena Hoyos, a 20 year old tuberculosis patient. In an effort to save her life, he subjected her to all of the experimental treatments of the day, including electro-shock treatment and cold water shock therapy. Sadly, his efforts proved fruitless, and his beloved passed away. Carl paid for a lavish funeral and mausoleum for his love, and visited her every night for two years in her tomb.
At some point, Carl decided that the crypt was no place for darling Elena. In the dark of night, he stole her body from the grave yard, and brought her back to his home, dragging her corpse on a toy wagon. In an effort to restore Elena to her former beauty, he used wire coat hangers, wax and plaster to reconstruct her features. I know. Holy crapballs.
Lovely Elena Before
For the next seven years, Carl kept Elena’s dead body in his home. People began to become suspicious and after an investigation, Carl was arrested. But, because of the statute of limitations on his crime, good old creeper Carl was let off the hook. In a strange twist that makes the judicial system of the time look nearly as wackadoodle as Carl himself, Elena’s body was put on display so that gawkers could have a good look at Carl’s handiwork with his Foxy Fräulein. And gawk they did. Elena received over 7,000 visitors before she was finally laid to rest in an undisclosed location.
Carl, now somewhat of a celebrity, built a giant effigy of Elena, and began charging tourists for an opportunity to tour his home which had once served as a love shack for he and the corpse bride.
Ain’t love grand?