the finger power of Cyclops

Throughout history weightlifters have performed some amazing feats.

The early Roman Emperor, Cains Maximus, who was reputedly 8 foot tall, was said to be able to squeeze stones into powder with his fingers. In the middle ages, a Richard Joy from Kent, England could tear apart a rope which had a breaking strain of over 35 hundredweights with his bare hands.

Beckham on a rope

One of the most famous early English strongmen was Thomas Topham (1710- 1749), a publican living in London. He was not a huge man, being about 5 ft. 10 inches and around 14 stone. Topham could snap pipe stems in his outstretched fingers, could crush pipe bowls by squashing them with his first and second fingers with just lateral pressure, bend thick pokers by stroking them in a blow across his forearm and would bend thick iron bars around his neck. He is also credited with being able to lift 224 lbs. (101.6 kgs) overhead “easily” with just his little finger.

pipe found here

Less than a handful of men have been capable of bending or breaking coins by the pure power of their fingers alone. Peter The Great, first Czar of Russia was said to be able to break silver coins with the strength of his tough hands and fingers. John Marx (Grunn) the Luxembourg strongman (1868-1912) better known for his ability to break horseshoes was also reputed to have broken American coins in front of witnesses of repute. Polish strongman Franz Bienkowski whose stage name was “Cyclops” was known as “The Coin Breaker” busting coins apart, again in front of expert witnesses.

Learn how to bend coins here

It’s difficult to find photos of Franz Bienkowski, but Oldtime Strongman has some here. While trawling for photos I got waylaid reading about actor   Albert Dekker whose most famous role was playing a mad scientist in the movie Dr Cyclops

image

Albert Dekker, still dapper at sixty-three, and his longtime fiancée, Geraldine Saunders, made a distinguished couple. On Thursday evening, May 2, 1968, they attended the opening of Zero Mostel’s new play, The Latent Heterosexual. “He was in fine spirits,” Ms. Saunders said later. “We were going to go out again on Friday, but my numerous phone calls to him that evening went unanswered.”


First thing Sunday morning, she went to his Hollywood apartment only to find his door covered with notes from friends who were also trying in vain to contact him. She slipped a note of her own under the door. When she returned that evening and found it still in place, she went to the manager. He opened the front door (which had been locked but not bolted) and found the bathroom door was chained from the inside. He then forced it open — and Saunders passed out. “It was so horrible,” she said.

The 6 feet 3 inch, 240-pound Dekker was kneeling nude in the bathtub, a dirty hypodermic needle sticking out of each arm. A hangman’s noose was around his neck but not tight enough to have strangled him. A scarf was tied over his eyes and something like a horse’s bit was in his mouth. Fashioned from a rubber ball and metal wire, the bit had chain “reins” that were tightly tied behind his head. Two leather thongs were stretched between the leather belts that girded his neck and chest. A third belt, around his waist, was tied with a rope that stretched to his ankles, where it had been tied in some kind of lumber hitch. The end of the rope, which continued up his side, wrapped around his wrist several times and was held in Dekker’s hand. Both wrists were clasped by a set of handcuffs. Written in lipstick, above two hypodermic punctures on his right buttock, was the word “whip” and drawings of the sun. Sun rays had also been drawn around his nipples. “Slave” and “cocksucker” were written on his chest. On his lower abdomen was drawn a vagina. He had apparently been dead since Friday.

image

During the brief investigation, detectives noted that there were no signs of forced entry or a struggle. They labeled the death “indicated suicide – quite an unusual case.” Finding no convincing evidence for suicide, the coroner rejected that theory. His final report said “accidental death, not a suicide.”

The police toyed with a theory that Dekker was a closet homosexual who practiced his eccentricities very discreetly with anonymous male prostitutes, and that this time, something had gone wrong and the frightened partner had quietly let himself out. They made inquiries, but Dekker had no reputation among male hustlers. Nor did any of his friends consider him the least bit kinky. County Coroner Thomas Noguchi’s theory was autoerotic asphyxia.

image

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44 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very common for people to have secret fetishes they manage to conceal completely from other people. It’s only when something goes wrong as in this case that their secret is discovered.

    Hard to see how he could have been so elaborately kitted out without someone else being involved though.

    • One supposes that the secrecy is very much the point of it all? The fear of discovery adds to the titillation? Poor fella, a bit of an undignified death.

  2. Poor Dekker – so much fetish, but not actually a Tory MP. I wonder if his pals had a whip round for him?

    • “whip round…” Funny.

  3. I could break a rope like that…just have to pull out each strand individually.

  4. That image of Beckham is wonderful. He could pose for anatomical illustrations of musculature. I’m not sure that the tattoos actually enhance him, for me they distract from the total beauty of his body.

    • I have never thought I liked Beckham, but that was definitely an arresting picture. Quite a specimen.

  5. The coins thing reminds me of the American Criminal Justice system. Instead of coins they bend the rules. If you are a minority and/or poor you get minimum 5 years for dealing a little crack. If you destroy the lives of 500,000 people by using fraud and Ponzi schemes to steal their pension funds you get 10 months. Money “bends the rules.” I see by the post I must be more discreet about my secret sex and romantic adventures. I have been secretly in love with sunrises all my life and have had affairs with sculpture, painting, and poetry.

  6. Yikes Dekker’s death reminds me of Stephen Milligan, the Tory MP who died of autoerotic asphyxiation in 1995…

  7. Interesting that you would finsih the post with pictures of David Carridine and Michael Hutchence (sorry for the misspelling).

    Their immediate family members and friends had/have an immposible time believing that autoerotic asphyxia was the cause of death.

    I think that there’s still some kind of taboo over that and quite possible that most families would perfer the cause of death to be listed as “suicide” as opposed to “autorerotic asphyxia.

  8. I didn’t get past the first picture.

  9. Wow,

    Incredible Dekker story!

  10. break a silver coin with your fingers? yeah… whatever… but can they shoot a ping pong ball across a room from the ol’ va-jay-jay?

    (and the Dekker story? foul play? you think?)

  11. I’m not sure how in the world that could be a suicide. Not sure how someone could physically manage all of that just by themselves.

  12. Did they ever figure out how David Carradine died?

  13. That Beckham pic is soooo photoshopped.

    • every little pixel has been tidied up for that one

  14. I’ll take three Beckhams on a rope, please.

    (What can I say, I’m a germophobe.)

  15. Speaking as someone who likes to chuck big weights around I can attest that it cultivates a taste for extremes, but I think anything involving lipsticks and hypodermics is just random. Leg raises hanging from a bar by canvas wrist straps seem like quite enough in the autoerotic line. (Give it a try…)

  16. Minus the needles and the dying, this sounds like one hell of a party.

  17. So much to contemplate! Silver coins snapped in half? And the death? Tis so sad yet so surprising at the same time.

  18. I wouldn’t mind having those two girls pull my chariot.

    • Bring your chariot to Australia. I’ll pull it for you RF

  19. I’ve never met a coin-bender, but I have known a few ball-breakers over the years.

  20. That was a fantastic read. Seems a particularly elaborate way to get yr rocks off….

  21. Dekker must have forgot his safeword.

  22. Yesterday, while D-Man was grounded, he striped the elastic from his old boxer shorts and used them to launch arrows in the backyard. I think I’ll get him started on coin bending today.

  23. i still dont get it why weight-lifting gets to be in the Olympics and squash not.
    but i do like the pic of Beckham on the rope.
    would hv been more suggestive with Antonio Banderas around it 🙂

  24. I actually felt horrible about David Carradine being found that way. He seemed like a decent, cool guy. And that being the last memory the public has of you… that would suck.

    • I’ll always remember him as he was in Kill Bill

      • I’ll always remember him as he was in Kung Fu (back when I was a kid).

  25. A scarf was tied over his eyes and something like a horse’s bit was in his mouth. Fashioned from a rubber ball and metal wire, the bit had chain “reins” that were tightly tied behind his head. Two leather thongs were stretched between the leather belts that girded his neck and chest. A third belt, around his waist, was tied with a rope that stretched to his ankles, where it had been tied in some kind of lumber hitch. The end of the rope, which continued up his side, wrapped around his wrist several times and was held in Dekker’s hand. Both wrists were clasped by a set of handcuffs.

    Used to be a pretty common thing around here, at least until I got married…

    • haha…. if you weren’t married I’d introduce you to Mitzi 😉

      • Dammit, she’s in the wrong time zone!

  26. Well, there’s a lot to learn in this post. Quite what I do with this knowledge may take longer to ponder. I shall especially ponder over the picture of Mr. Beckham and forbid M. DeFarge to ponder over the picture of the two nice young ladies.

    • I’ve always admired your attitude Madame

  27. That’s Beckham???? Hot, hot, hot! Ssssss. I’m titillated over here!

  28. I am continually amazed by your blog! Where in the world (all over apparently), do you get your IDEAS! And then all the supporting info and photos?? Just fascinating……

  29. If he had a syringe in each arm, surely there must have been someone else involved – once he’d got one in one arm, how could he have bent that arm enough to put the other syringe in the other one? I’m probably being too literal.

  30. i guess he died doing what he loved.
    or something like that.

  31. So many stories of guys dying while doing private sex stuff. I have a rule, nothing shall be used that hinders my breathing.


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