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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Aug. 11, 2011
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Locked In, Locked Up

In July, Ryan Letchford, 21, and Jeffrey Olson, 22, were arrested in Radnor, Pa., after they allegedly broke into a police van for the purpose of taking gag photos of themselves as if they were being placed under arrest. However, the men ended up locking themselves inside the van, and neither they nor a friend outside the van could figure out how to open the doors. Finally, they were forced to call 911. Police arrived, unlocked the van, arrested the men, and locked them back up—inside a cell.

Latest Religious Messages

  • The Envy of U.S. Televangelists: In July, after India's Supreme Court ordered an inventory, a Hindu temple in Trivandrum was found to contain at least $22 billion worth of gold, diamonds and jeweled statues given as offerings to the deity by worshippers over the past five centuries. Authorities believe the $22 billion figure is conservative.
  • The notorious Santa Croce monastery in Rome was closed in May on orders from the Vatican following reports about Sister Anna Nobili, a former lap-dancer who taught other nuns her skills and who was once seen lying spread-eagled before an altar clutching a crucifix. Santa Croce was also an embarrassment for its luxury hotel, which had become a mecca for celebrities visiting Rome.

Questionable Judgments

When Roy Miracle, 80, of Newark, Ohio, passed away in July, his family honored him and his years of service as a prankster and super-fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes with a commemorative photo of three of Miracle's fellow obsessed fans making contorted-body representations of "O," "H" and "O" for their traditional visual cheer. In the photo, Miracle assumed his usual position as the "I"—or, rather, his corpse did. (Despite some criticism, most family and friends thought Miracle was properly honored.)

Cultural Diversity

"Hundreds" of blondes paraded through Riga, Latvia, on May 28 at the third annual "March of the Blondes" festival designed to lift the country's spirits following a rough stretch for the economy. More than 500 blondes registered, including 15 from New Zealand, seven from Finland and 32 from Lithuania, according to a woman who told Agence France-Presse that she was the head of the Latvian Association of Blondes. Money collected during the event goes to local charities.

Recurring Themes

In June, Eric Carrier, 23, of Hooksett, N.H., became the most recent person arrested for running a scam on a home-health-care worker by pretending to be disabled and in need of someone to change his adult diapers. Reportedly, Carrier told the health-care worker that he was the father of a man disabled by a brain injury. When the worker reported for duty, it was Carrier himself wearing the diaper. Allegedly, he demanded changing and indecently exposed himself.

News of the Weird Classic

Two undercover policewomen running a prostitution sting in Dothan, Ala., in October 1999 declined to arrest a pickup-truck-driving john, around age 70, despite his three attempts to procure their services. He first offered the women the three squirrels he had just shot, but they ignored him (too much trouble to log in and store the evidence). A few minutes later, he sweetened the offer with the used refrigerator in the back of his truck, but the officers again declined (same reason). On the third trip, he finally offered cash: $6 (but no squirrels or refrigerator). The officers again declined. They later said they had resolved to arrest him if he returned, but he did not.

© 2011 Chuck Shepherd


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