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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Apr. 13, 2012
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A Criminally Bad Break

According to police in Lake Ariel, Pa., alleged burglar Christopher Wallace had loaded his van with goodies from a home's first floor. But instead of calling it a night, he re-entered the house to check out the second floor. Reportedly, Wallace was later rushed to the hospital after falling out a second-floor door that led to the outside of the house—an accident that resulted in a broken back, hip and arm.

Least Competent Criminals

In March, Canadian Jasmin Klair pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle to smuggling nearly 11 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. She had been arrested upon arrival at a bed and breakfast called the Smuggler's Inn, located about 100 feet from the border in Blaine, Wash.

Controlling the Waters

A February bill in the Wyoming Legislature to prepare the state for possible secession authorized a task force to consider establishing a state army, navy, marine corps and air force, and one amendment added the consideration of purchasing an aircraft carrier. Wyoming is, of course, landlocked. It does have the 136-square-mile Yellowstone Lake, though that body of water is high up in the Teton mountains. (The aircraft-carrier amendment was defeated, but only by a 30-27 margin.)

Hot Commodity in Pennsylvania

(1) In January, police in Bridgeville, Pa., investigated a series of vehicle break-ins, including one of a car belonging to Kathy Saunoras, who reported that only her dentures were taken. (2) Two weeks later, health worker Marlene Dupert, 44, was charged with yanking dentures out of the mouth of one of her charges at a nursing home in Selinsgrove, Pa. (3) Also in February, Evelyn Fuller, 49, was charged with robbing the First National Bank in Waynesburg, Pa.—a crime that took place, she told a police officer, because she needed money for new dentures.

Regulation: A Good Thing

Like most states with active trade associations of barbers and beauticians, Iowa regulates those professions, requiring 2,100 hours of training plus continuing education. But also like many other states, Iowa does not regulate body piercers. Thus, the puncturing of body parts and insertion of jewelry or other objects under the skin can be done by anyone, with or without formal training. (A few cities have ordinances that require a minimum age to get pierced.) Said one professional piercer to the Des Moines Register for a March report, "The lack of education in this industry is scary."

People With Issues

Only the Lonely: Adrian Baltierra, 51, was charged with solicitation in February in Bradenton, Fla. According to police, he approached an undercover female officer who was posing as a prostitute and agreed to a transaction. In exchange for $15, Baltierra would be granted the opportunity to take a whiff of the prostitute's genital aroma.

Undignified Deaths

On March 3, police in Kantale, Sri Lanka, found the body of Janaka Basnayake, 24, who with the help of friends had buried himself in a 10-foot-deep trench in an attempt to set a "world record" for the longest time buried alive. His six-hour-plus attempt proved too ambitious, and Basnayake did not survive. An Associated Press report noted that it was "unclear" whether an "official" record exists in this category.

Great Art!

In March came word from Taiwan that the prominent Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts had awarded a prize worth the equivalent of $13,500 to student Wong Tin Cheung for creating the face of a man by using the artist's own urine. His piece, Blood Urine Man, presented to judges in a toilet bowl, used urine of different colors, supposedly to match the pigments of the Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man.

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd


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