The Mysterious Case of “Lipstick Boy”


On October 2nd 1997, a son and a father set off to make a familial visit to relatives in the Lake District. That was the last time that these two were seen alive. Their bodies were found on October 18th, two weeks after their initial disappearance. After extensive searching, John Lee (52) and Connor (14) were located at the scene of a car crash in difficult terrain near Windermere. The deaths were treated as a tragic accident, which was devastating for the family.


During the post-mortem examinations, something truly intriguing and mysterious turned up to baffle the investigators working on the case. The analysis revealed that fresh traces of lipstick had been found on Connor Lee’s lips. An article from the BBC archives states “Forensic testing indicated that the lipstick, a brand popular with pre-teens, had been applied 10-14 days after the car accident”.

The mystery naturally lies in the manner in which the lipstick came to be on Lee’s mouth. One wonders if there may perhaps be a somewhat necrophiliac side to this case. Tomas Mankovsky created a beautifully eerie short film inspired by and exploring the case.

More on the film can be read about here.


Works Cited
“Lipstick Boy – 1.4.” 1.4. N.p., 24 May 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
Rupertson, Clive. “Father and Son Discovered in Car Crash, Weeks after Initial Disappearance.” BBC News. BBC News, 23 Oct. 1997. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
Valentine, Carla. “The Baffling, Creepy Case of ‘Lipstick Boy'” The Chick and the Dead. N.p., 19 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.



Cases of people crying blood have been reported since the 1500s, a rare disorder which we now call haemolacria- quite literally, “bloody tears”. As suspected, the condition results in tears that are partially or entirely composed of blood. Although this affliction has yet to be fully understood, there are some things that we do know.

First of all, hormonal changes can contribute. In the 16th century, some of the oldest recorded cases are Italian doctor Antonio Brassavola’s statements speaking of a menstruating nun who suffered, as well as a Flemish physician who wrote on a 16-year old girl “who discharged her flow throughout the eyes, as drops of bloody tears, instead of through the uterus.”

Interestingly enough, this is substantiated by modern science. A 1991 study of 125 healthy subjects found that menstruation contributed to traces of blood in tears, a phenomenon called “occult haemolacria”. According to the resulting paper, 18 percent of fertile women’s tears contain blood, whearas only 7 percent of pregnant women, 8 percent of men and no women who were post-menopause displayed signs of bloody tears. The conclusion reached by the scientists was that “Occult haemolacria in fertile women thus seems to be induced by hormones, whereas haemolacria most often is provoked by local factors (bacterial conjunctivitis, environmental damage, injuries).”

Injuries can also cause haemolacria. In March of 2013, a man of Canadian origin was walking along a beach when a poisonous snake bit him, resulting in agonizing swelling and kidney failure…in addition to the man weeping tears of blood. Doctors accredited the bloody tears to the prodigious amounts of internal bleeding brought about by the snake’s venom. In many cases of haemolacria, the blood can be attributed to various illnesses and ailments, including:

  • Severe anemia
  • Head injury
  • A tear in the tear duct
  • Tumors or vascular malformations
  • Various coagulopathies, including haemophila
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Nosebleeds in someone who has “reversed” flow in the nasolacrimal ducts


Works Cited
Holohan, Meghan. “Haemolacria: A Rare Condition That Makes People Cry Blood.” Mental Floss. Mental Floss, 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
“Is It Possible to Cry Tears of Blood, or Have…” Dr. Cranquis’ Mumbled Gripes. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.