Year in Review, The Most Unbelievable Stories of 2018

Year in Review, The Most Unbelievable Stories of 2018 December 29, 2018

Without a Crystal Ball has covered some incredible, unbelievable, disgusting, infuriating, and scandalous stories in 2018. Stories uncovering secret worlds, pseudoscience, religious crimes, and children dying for senseless reasons have been the most read stories. Our views and followers have increased with several viral stories. A story on a stillborn death due to free birth started a global discussion about the dangers of unassisted childbirth. If you missed my top stories of the year, we count down the top ten stories of 2018 on Without a Crystal Ball.

10. Woman Left With Massive Hole in Nose from Black Salve

A disturbing trend is happening in the world of cancer treatment. Individuals that do not want to seek traditional cancer treatment are reaching for black salve. Unfortunately, black salve as a cancer treatment is not only dangerous but can lead to permanent disfigurement and death. In a post shared on Instagram by Medicalpedia, a woman applied black salve to her nose after believing she found skin cancer. What happened next left the woman permanently disfigured and required major reconstructive surgery.

Read the rest here.

9. Amber Teething Necklaces Linked to Toddler’s Death

An 18-month-old died from strangulation after falling asleep wearing an amber teething necklace. After the death was reported to the FDA, the FDA responded with a warning that teething necklaces are dangerous and should not be used. The FDA issued the warning on Thursday and provided alternatives to help with teething related pain.

In a warning letter issued on Thursday, the FDA outlined numerous issues related to the necklaces. The warning letter followed a report that an 18-month-old baby died from strangulation after wearing the necklace during a nap.

Read the rest here.

8. Ohio Woman Suspected of Killing People with Cabbage Juice

Photo Credit Facebook

A poop cult is taking over social media. Cult leader Jillian Epperly has convinced her followers that pooping is the only way to rid the body of disease. Jillian Epperly encourages her followers to drink fermented cabbage to rid their body of every illness. She has written a few “books” on her protocol. She claims her protocol is the answer for all disease. Her followers are encouraged to abandon all pharmaceuticals, medications, treatments, adhere to a strict diet, and stop all supplements. Jillian Epperly is not a doctor or scientist. She is a dangerous con-artist that is hurting people and has been linked to several suspected deaths.

Read the rest here.

7. Former Top 10 Retailer at LuLaRoe Spills Dirty Details in Lawsuit

Photo Credit Yahoo Images.

A former top Retailer for LuLaRoe has come out swinging in a declaration filed supporting a lawsuit against the company. Tiffany Ivanovsky alleges that LuLaRoe owes her thousands of dollars, changed policies with little to no notice, and fired her for no reason in August 2018. Ivanovsky’s statement is in support of Providence Industries’ lawsuit alleging LLR owes them close to $49 million for goods and services.

Read the rest here.

6. Mother Charged with “Inflicting Starvation” on 9-month-old Son

A Minnesota mother is facing felony child endangerment charges related to an investigation that revealed she was inflicting starvation on her son. Authorities in Ramsey County say Megan Kafer searched the terms, “how to make a baby really sick,” “Child salt death,” and “Miralax Overdose.” The case was first reported to police by Children’s Hospital of Minnesota. Doctors at Children’s believed Kafer was forcibly starving her son and causing poor weight gain.

Read the rest here.

5. I Planned to be a “Crunchy Mom,” Then My Baby Was Born Sick


I use to believe vaccines were toxic and GMOs caused cancer. Cabinets in my house were filled with oils, balms, and rubs to treat various illnesses. My husband and I ate organic food from trendy co-ops. During my pregnancy, I planned to be a natural, crunchy mom. However, my child was born with several brain abnormalities and congenital heart disease. In order to save his life, I had to throw away my crunchy beliefs and start trusting science.

When I got pregnant, I wanted to use a midwife and have a doula. My husband and I discussed homebirth options instead of hospital birth. I believed medications given during labor could damage his brain. In order to reduce that exposure, I decided I wanted to have a natural childbirth.

Read the rest here.


4. Mother Sentenced to Prison After Boyfriend Impregnates Her 10-year-old

In August, Nicholas Deon Thrash was convicted of raping and impregnating a ten-year-old girl. A court in Indiana sentenced Thrash to 160 years in prison. Thrash repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend’s daughter. Jennifer Hand aided and assisted in the abuse of her daughter. Shortly after Thrash received the massive prison sentence, Jennifer struck a plea deal with the state of Indiana. The details of plea agreement further detail the mother’s involvement in the horrific crime.

Read the rest here.


3. Mother Decides to have an Unassisted Childbirth and Kills Her Baby

Google images

Freebirth is when a woman goes through an entire pregnancy with no prenatal care, no ultrasounds, no testing, and gives birth without a doctor or midwife at home. Freebirth is an offshoot of unassisted childbirth. In unassisted childbirth, women have babies at home with backup medical plans for an emergency. Recently, a freebirther shared her story online of having an unassisted birth at home. Throughout four days, the woman labored quietly at home. She went online to a Facebook group for support dedicated to helping women with free births. Her outcome was heartwrenching, tragic, avoidable, and hit very close to home. Instead of delivering a healthy baby, the woman killed her infant due to having no assistance during her labor.

Read more here.

2. Cause of Death Determined in Free Birth Gone Bad

yahoo images

Last week we reported on the death of an infant related to a free birth in California. The story has gone viral thanks to many of our readers sharing the article on social media. Today we have updates on the infant cause of death. Additionally, we review if criminal charges can be filed in the case.

Yesterday, the mother took to Facebook to update her friends and family about her status. According to the mother, she and her partner continue to grieve the loss of their daughter, Journey Moon. Mother and father have accepted the death of their child.

Read the rest here.

1. Dead Missionary’s Contact with Tribe Might Cause Their Extinction

Photo Credit John Allen Chau Instagram

Earlier this week a missionary from the United States, John Allen Chau, decided to take his “work” to a remote island off the coast of Myanmar. North Sentinel Island, part of the Andaman Islands, is home to the only remaining undisturbed tribe in the world. Indian law forbids individuals from visiting the island due to a history of hostile and violent exchanges with the Sentinelese. His attempt to bring Jesus’ love to the tribe ended by the tribe killing him. Organizations dedicated to protecting the tribe are now concerned John’s contact with the tribe may lead to their extinction.

Read the rest here.


Thank you to all of my readers for making 2018 my most successful yet. I promise to continue to provide insightful and thought-provoking content in 2019.

Have a fantastic New Year!


*Katie Joy is a blogger and freelance writer. Her work is featured on Upworthy, Huffington Post, Yahoo Parents, Mamamia, Daily Beast, Cafe Stir, Newsweek, Jezebel, and The Daily Mail. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

Communicate with Katie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Individuals wishing to help Katie with her expenses can become patrons. Patrons gain exclusive access to stories, new projects, and future books.

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  • persephone

    One of the aspects of Quiverfull is the secretive behavior of most of the members, the Duggars, Bates, etc. are outliers. Most QF go for home births with midwives, many of whom are not trained, not certified, not licensed, so that they can hide the number of children they have at home, as well as their belief that God is the one who determines if a baby is to be born or not. Babies and mothers often die as a result, but, again, since most of them are living nearly off the grid, the government usually doesn’t know. Or, in some bible belt locations, the local police won’t do anything because it’s religion.

  • igotbanned999

    Without a Crystal Ball has covered some incredible, unbelievable, disgusting, infuriating, and scandalous stories in 1028

    I didn’t know this blog was so old…

  • I know that got changed by grammar – it’s’ updated.

  • Yes, the deaths are under reported

  • Baby died? Mum bled out?

    Meh. It’s God’s Will! /s

  • firebubbles310

    Plus it makes it hard for the kids to escape. No papers means no proof of citizenship or social security number. Harder to leave the fold.

  • persephone

    A lot of people who were born into QF and got out, have had exactly this problem. Their parents won’t cooperate with government requests to get information to help these kids. It’s so ridiculously petty and cruel.

  • B.E. Miller

    Alecia Pennington’s facebook page of “Help Me Prove It” comes to mind. She thankfully had grandparents on the ‘outside’ she could run to.

    But one wonders about kids whom have no one to help if they run away from the QF lifestyle. With no papers, no way to get a job, apply for assistance, etc.