This Week In History News, Feb. 6 – 12

Published February 11, 2022

Headless Roman skeletons found in England, 1980s serial killer identified in Oregon, ancient monument accidentally desecrated in Scotland.

2,000-Year-Old Roman Skeletons Unearthed In England — With Their Heads Cut Off And Put Between Their Legs

Decapitated Roman Remains In Britain

HS2Some experts believe that the headless skeletons may have belonged to criminals or social outcasts, but the true reason for this macabre ritual ultimately remains mysterious.

Approximately 2,000 years ago, the area around what’s now Aylesbury, England was a bustling Roman settlement. Situated along Akeman Street, a key Roman road in the area, this settlement was an important way station for travelers as well as a destination for migrant workers looking for employment. Now, archaeologists working in the area have also found the remains of what are believed to be industrial buildings as well as more than a thousand coins, suggesting that this was an important economic center in Roman Britain.

But in addition to these discoveries, workers at Aylesbury have now uncovered something just as fascinating and far more disturbing: a cemetery filled with dozens of decapitated victims whose skulls were placed between their legs before burial. Experts suggest that the severed heads were placed alongside the body so that the victim was intact enough for their soul to make it into the underworld and not linger on Earth to haunt the living.

See more from this grisly find here.

Police Identify John Charles Bolsinger As The Serial Killer Who Terrorized Oregon In The 1980s

John Charles Bolsinger

Salt Lake County John Charles Bolsinger murdered at least four women in total before taking his own life.

In the late 1980s, a string of seemingly connected murders left police in Eugene, Oregon baffled. While it was clear the victims were female and had been sexually assaulted before dying of “brutal homicidal violence,” their killer was never found — until now.

According to the City of Eugene, renewed investigations by the Eugene Police Department (EPD) and Oregon State Police have finally identified the women’s murderer as John Charles Bolsinger. With the advent of modern DNA testing and genealogy services, investigators have pinned down the killer after nearly 40 years.

Dig deeper in this report.

Anonymous Good Samaritan Accidentally Destroys Ancient Scottish Pilgrimage Site

Clootie Well Munlochy

Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images ImagesThe clootie well was filled with offerings in 2018 (pictured) but has since been cleaned.

For hundreds of years, a patch of trees on the Black Isle peninsula in Scotland has fluttered with colorful rags. These offerings — which range from socks to face masks — are part of an ancient healing ritual. But someone has taken it upon themselves to clear the woods.

In January 2022, locals woke up to find the woods bare. Apparently, an “unidentified woman” had taken it upon herself to tidy up the ancient site, to the fury of many residents.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.