Raymond Bassett was an avid collector of insects and arachnids from around the world. At the age of 16, he had amassed an impressive collection of identified and – according to his parents – dead creatures. His father, who suffered from a severe phobia of anything with more than two legs, refused to enter Raymond’s room, and stated he would ‘burn the bugs out’ should they ever escape.
The fact that the bugs were already dead did not stop him from repeating this threat constantly.
On November 26, 1941, Raymond received a package from an African dealer of rare insects. What the bugs were, Raymond didn’t say, nor did anything later examined reveal where exactly the creatures had originated from.
When Mr. and Mrs. Bassett retired for the evening, Raymond was in his room, examining his new collection. Raymond was at his happiest when he had a creature to devote his attention to.
At 6:34 AM, November 27, Mrs. Bassett went to wake Raymond up for breakfast, and when he didn’t answer she opened his door. Her scream brought Mr. Bassett rushing out of the bathroom, and when he peered into their son’s room, he fainted.
When the police arrived on the scene, Mrs. Bassett had succeeded in dragging her husband outside. The skeletal remains of Raymond were found in his room, and unknown beetles were devouring the marrow in his bones.
Despite an intense fumigation, the house could not be saved.
A short time later, the structure was soaked in kerosene and set ablaze.
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