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March 2001

7 March 2001

Ishrat Ali Lalljee claims to have been hypnotised as she stood at a Bank of India branch in Mumbai. The 37-year-old woman reported feeling helpless after a man approached her and mumbled into her ear. After she withdrew her salary, she gave it to the man. Once she was no longer 'spellbound' after the man escaped with the equivalent of $150, 'it was too late'. Other reports in the region describe robbers' antics such as spraying a victim wiith itching powder.

I reported in the past on Kevin Artz, the Michigan man who allegedly killed his wife and cooked her body at the family's restaurant. Artz, approaching trial, has stated that, after 12 years of marriage, he looked at his wife and saw the devil staring back. The defence is calling witnesses who claim that Artz's brain surgery led to the murder.

A Parkman, Maine, man asked that his dog stand with him in court. Frank Buble, 71, is charged with attempting to kill his son Phillip with a crowbar. The father, who reportedly attacked his son because of the younger Buble's attraction to a dog, will, however, not have to see his son's 'significant other' during the sentencing. Phillip's request, denied by the court, said, in part, that he wanted 'Lady' to 'attend by my side if possible as she was present in the house during the attack, though not an eyewitness [...] I've been informed your personal permission is needed given that my wife is not human, being a dog of about 36 pounds weight and very well behaved'.
Bestiality is not a crime in Maine, but the last year has seen 'sexual animal abuse cases' involving two dogs, two horses, and two cows.

According to news reports from Romania, Mircea Rau bought necklaces for his wife and his mistress, each bearing the relevant woman's initial, but accdientally gave his wife the parcel with the wrong necklace. After his wife threw an ashtray at him as he tried to flee his wife's wrath, Rau fell unconscious and was taken to hospital in Focsani, County Vrancea. In the meantime, his wife has reportedly asked for a divorce.

Massachusetts State Police have been ordered not to automatically roust out people who are believed to be having sex in public places such as roadside rest areas, beaches, and parks. Such activity is only to be considered illegal if it is not adequately hidden from view. THe order was part of a settlement with the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, who sued on behalf of a gay man who was baned from Cape Cod's rest stops after, among other things, being convicted for having gay sex in the woods near a rest stop.
Spokesman Captain Robert Bird said the police 'don't want to infringe upon anybody's rights'. GLAD spokesman Mary Bonauto said that 'troopers need to be aware that just because they see something doesn't mean it's public activity'. Gary Buseck, GLAD's executive director, said: 'People should feel free to call [GLAD] if they have been forced out of a public area simply because they are gay.'

The World Boxing Organisation has been updating their rankings faithfully, including super middleweight Darrin Morris's increasing rating. Morris, who has been elevated in the rankings twice since his death from meningitis - this was nothing to do with boxing, as far as we know - as of October, has now moved into the #5 slot. Morris last fought in July.

In Columbia, Tennessee, county emergency telephone service technicians were kept busy by a nine-year-old prankster who played with a mobile phone for over six hours. Freddie Rich said that 'eventually, as we saw that number [...] repeatedly displayed, we didn't give it priority, but the possibility was still there' that there was an actual emergency. The boy sometimes burped into the device and sometimes said he wanted to order a pizza.
A dispatcher was kept busy during the busiest hours on the busiest night of the week. Susan Mitchell, the 911 supervisor, was unable to obtain information from the mobile phone company until Maury County Magistrate Jimmy Ussery issued a subpoena demanding the information. 'We were then able to figure out where the house was and go there with two police officers', said Rich. The boy's mother said her son had indeed been playing with the phone all day long.

A rancher in southern Utah was asked to remove his cattle from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument land. Gregg Christensen, a monument conservation officer, said 'We'll impound the cows and whatever it costs to impound them [which he claims is more than the cattle are worth] we'll charge to him'. So Quinn Griffith chose a cheaper option. He decided to hire a helicopter pilot and rifleman to shoot 27 cattle from his grazing allotment. Monument manager Kate Cannon said Griffin's action was probably legal. During the last several weeks' drought, the Bureau of Land Management has been transporting cattle to federal pastures in the centre of the state, leaving behind the carcasses of starved cows. Griffin leaving his cows' carcasses appears to violate federal law.

When an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, girl was recently found nearly frozen in her backyard, some reporters commented that it is too easy to blame the mother in such cases. The girl's mother, Leyla Nordby, is making this easier though. She is also being charged with assaulting a seven-year-old boy who she claims 'came at me with a fork'. In addition, Nordby's own mother, a Canadian senator, is suing for the return of one of Nordby's other children to his natural father. Senator Thelma Chalifoux said she had been giving food money to Nordby so the boy 'would not go hungry', yet Nordby has a sixth child on the way.

Mount Rushmore, which bears the faces of former US Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevele, and Lincoln, has often been described as a dignified monument to greatness. Well, Ronald Reagan now has his own monument in the form of a 6-foot-tall portrait made from 14,000 jelly beans. The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project explains that it aims to have 'at least one tangible landmark' in each of 3097 counties nationwide. 'Someone 30 to 40 years from now who may never have heard of Reagan will be forced to ask himself, "Who was this man to have so many things named after him?"', said former project director Michael Kamburowski. Project members also hope to get the 90-year-old's portrait on the ten-dollar bill, replacing that of Alexander Hamilton.

Do you remember Huntington Beach (California)'s naked burglar, who entered three homes but left with nothing? He was found at his mother's house after she contacted police. As far as police know, the mother of Fady Elbouhy had not discussed the incidents with her son. She was mostly concerned that he has a drug problem and that 'I've been calling for help all the year, and they did nothing'. Elbouhy didn't tell police why he entered the homes naked.

According to the AFP, a Malaysian woman, whose name was not released, is suing the 'Ngan Yin Groundnut Factory', the company that packaged peanuts she and her six-year-old daughter planned to eat. The mother and daughter claim that touching and smelling the dead rat inside the package was traumatic. This would be just another dead rat story except that the woman also blames the rat for problems ranging from appetite loss to a skin infection on one of her fingers to the flu and cough that sent her daughter to hospital. Ngan Yin denied negligence, saying that they use modern machinery and regularly check that the packaging process is hygienic.

The Quality Health Care Center, in Sarasota, Florida, is being sued by the family of a woman who died in her bed. Having chewed through one of the nursing home's walls, fire ants attacked 87-year-old Mary Gay. State regulators join the family in condemning staff for not caring adequately for the stings. The suit doesn't cite specific damages.

13 March 2001

An Australian woman has sued her local butcher for selling her a joint with an 'obscenely shaped bone'. Sarah Johnson, a lesbian, was awarded AUS$4,500 in damages after she told the court how she had to quit her job in the same shopping centre as the offending branch of Michael's Meats. A federal magistrate ruled that she was the victim of unlawful sexual harassment.

Brooklyn, New York, 16-year-old Lisa Small hid her pregnancy from her mother. Several days after delivering her baby, she (allegedly) threw the child into the yard behind her flat. Police, who were alerted when a neighbour was concerned by a 'newborn being eaten by a dog', arrived to find a pit bull/Rottweiler mix gnawing on a corpse of indeterminate sex. Fire Lieutenant Dennis Murphy said 'the infant was already dead' by the time 'rescuers' successfully used fire tools and Mace on the animal. The dog, described by neighbours as half-starved, was taken to a pound.
Police have not yet decided whether or not to believe Small's claim that the baby had been stillborn.

James Twomey described what befell his child as 'an elementary school teacher's worst nightmare'. A teacher at Roosevelt School, in Kenosha, Milwaukee, tried to show her third-grade class the last part of a dinosaur videotape they had begun watching before the weekend. Instead, after 10 to 15 seconds of naked people had elapsed, the teacher managed to hit the Stop button.
A cleaner had watched the porn video while he was supposed to be working, but he then took the wrong tape back home with him. School board member John Bechler said that the cleaner has resigned.

The Asahi Television Network apologised after comedian Takahito Nishina lost the tops of all his fingers on his left hand during the filming of a 'torture TV program'. As part of 'Night in Night Quiz Shinsuke-kun', he wore fingerless gloves while carrying a frozen fish through deep snow from Nagano to Toyama Prefecture. Nishina, who complained of numbness shortly after beginning the trek, will need skin grafts to repair the frostbite damage. A network spokesman said: 'We will re-think the way we look after performers and teach staff to take even more care with safety issues. We will sincerely approach any discussion of compensation.'

In Syracuse, New York, Christopher Ariola beat his father to death with a baseball bat. The 17-year-old told police that he had turned on the television set and two radios before getting into the shower. He said a fight over the loud music occurred after his father came home drunk. The teenager said he hit his father three times, whereupon the elder Ariola stopped breathing. After wrapping his father's body in a blanket and dragging it to the basement, he went bowling. After he got home, he failed in an attempt to slit his wrists and then crashed his father's Jeep but was not seriously injured.

After Jarrett Pence became depressed, he decided to wear his dead mother's scarves to work instead of neckties. Pence, who has been a school psychologist for 20 years, also wore nail polish. When the Punta Gorda, Florida, school district told him to stop, he complained of gender and disability discrimination, according to the Associated Press. Pence said the medicine Paxil has allowed him to be freer with his dress 'in the full bloom of spring'.

Robert Malone and Johnny Hernandez were hospitalised Tuesday night in Los Angeles after attempting to mug an FBI agent. After parking his FBI vehicle, the agent was set upon as he walked to his home with a gun case containing an MP5 rifle. At gunpoint, the agent turned over his wallet, as requested, but he didn't fire his concealed weapon until one of the attackers felt it while frisking him. Hernandez fell to the ground and was found later. Malone - the armed one - took off running and wasn't injured until he allegedly prepared to shoot the agent, whose name was not released.

A Laval, Quebec, man whose name was not released was at an Ontario Petro-Canada plant dropping off 'oil byproducts' from a tank. Trying to ascertain how empty his tank was, the 39-year-old used his cigarette lighter. Although the explosion burned off his eyebrows and threw him four metres, he was able to walk away. Constable Heather Andrews said: 'I think it was one of those things where just before the explosion happened he said, "Uh-oh. What did I do?".'

A Loomis Fargo armoured truck crashed in Lovington, New Mexico on 6 February. Authorities believe they found all the banknotes but not all the coins. The company offered local schools a share of whatever coins students could find. Taylor Middle School students jumped at the chance, and 8 or 9 of them will share $1,855.16. Scarlet Bromley, mother of one of the students, said the crawling in the dirt was a 'neat experience for the kids. How many times do you get to pick up change from a wrecked armored truck?'

India's eunuchs (hijras) are known for showing up and dancing at special events and not leaving untli being given sufficient donations. They typically do this in festive saris and gaudy makeup. Well, their fashion flair is now being shown more widely. On Friday, over 100 eunuchs are expected to converge on Bhopal (in central India) to compete in a beauty pageant. The Ms (hijras are referred to as female) World 2001 pageant is timed to coincide with Holi. Organiser Narendra Chaurasia told Reuters that participants would celebrate the Hindu festival by sprinkling colour on each other as they walk the catwalk.

19 March 2001

A couple of these stories occurred just after the Clippings were sent out last time, so you may have seen some already, such as this first item. Reuters reports that a Ghanaian man was shot dead when a bulletproofing magic spell failed. Lambu's Aleobiga Aberima was one of about 16 men who had asked a jujuman to make them immune to bullet wounds. After two weeks' use of special roots and grasses, Aberima volunteered to test whether or not the spell had worked. He died instantly with one rifle shot from one of the other 'immune' men. Afterward, villagers beat the jujuman severely.

Here are a couple other things you may already have seen.
Jeremy Benjamin Mauri was arrested after he stripped naked during the safety demonstration as an Olympic Airways flight prepared to take off from Athens. The 23-year-old French passenger said: 'I did it for a joke. I can't get an erection.'
In corporate 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' news, the Safeway pharmacy chain is being sued by the parents of a three-year-old whose grandmother was allowed to get her anti-depressant without a childproof cap (older people raised an uproar when they were forced to contend with the childproof caps). To fend off a counter-suit, the parents are also suing themselves in the name of the child, whose name is Kaydon.

Reuters reports that a Hong Kong court sentenced three men to jail terms for kidnapping a friend and forcing him to eat fast food. The men in their 20s, was kidnapped after Au Chi-yung tried to get one of them to repay a debt of HK$7500 (the equivalent of US$960). The men kept him in a flat for 17 days, shooting him with airguns and at least twice making him eat 'a large number of cooked eggs in a single sitting'. He was also taken to McDonalds and forced to eat four Big Macs, two bags of fries, and a large soft drink. He escaped when the men took him out again later.

North Bergen, New Jersey, teacher Debbie Noonan was suspended after an investigation of what went on in her basement classroom while she was going over paperwork. Some of her nine students merely watched the game of 'I dare you to'. Others participated; for example, a 14-year-old girl performed oral sex on a boy and allowed two boys to kiss her breasts. At one point the students reportedly suspended the game when Noonan left her desk and asked why they were giggling. The investigation continues.

The story of a 40-year-old Pennsylvania man's death continues to unfold. The at-least-sixth spouse of a transsexual known as "Tammy/Tommy", James John Felbaum was originally believed to have overdosed on his wife's pain pills. It is unclear whether Felbaum's penis was mutilated before or at the time of death. Police are cataloguing the evidence, which includes bloody rags in the yard of the couple's mobile home and IV drip equipment and various surgical tools in the trailer's operating room.
Following the death, Tammy was arrested for activities involving the killing of deer, hogs, birds, and cats. Neighbours described Tammy as killing her animals with a baseball bat and issuing death threats. Dogs, finches, seven cats, a mouse, turtles, and a parakeet were removed from the house after they were found to be dehydrated and living in faeces.
Neighbour Susan Badaracco said: 'The people on my road are scared to death of her.'

Police arrested a Beverly, Massachusetts, man who threatened to shoot his girlfriend with a homemade potato launcher. The woman alleges that Sean McGrath told her he would 'put a potato through' her head with the spud gun. He also got into fisticuffs with her teenaged daughter. The woman found the spud gun in the basement of McGrath's block of flats. He was arraigned in Salem District court for charges including making threats and possession of an infernal machine.

In Samsala, Florida, a parachutist interrupted proceedings during a coleslaw wrestling match that was part of the 'Bike Week' bikers' festival. The sky diver had been hired to parachute into the cabbage areng before the female wrestlers began to fight, but he was blown off course and landed on beer vendor Sherri Lee, seriously injuring her. Biker Dave Paul told the Orlando Sentinel that 'We yelled "Move, dummy!" but she never looked up because it happened so quick'.

[IMG: Marijuana smuggler article]Brian O'Dea is receiving lots of interest in the 'employment wanted' advert that he ran in a Toronto-based newspaper. After 10 years in prison for marijuana smuggling, he sold himself as someone who 'participated in the executive-level management of 120 people worldwide, in a successful pot smuggling venture with revenues in excess of US$100-million annually'. O'Dea notes in the advert that the district attorney's office will provide a reference.

In southern Minnesota, Julie Mae Terrell was charaged with shooting her 16-year-old daughter Lauralee before quickly moving to Mason City, Iowa with the partially dismembered body in the boot of her car. Police were alerted to the case when the elder Terrell's boyfriend, Michael Scott Hansen, reported that Julie rang him to get help in getting rid of the body. Terrell told authorities that she cut off her daughter's legs and wrapped the body in a blanket before putting it in the car boot.
Lauralee's employer at Pet Expo said Julie, who had come to the shop and 'caused problems' in the days leading up to the girl's disappearance, tried to collect the girl's pay.

When artist Nicolino's 'Bras Across the Grand Canyon' project failed, he offered 20,000 bras to a worthy art project. Emily Duffy, whose work deals with 'female body image and gender issues', contacted him and described her idea for the two to work together on a Bra Ball made of undergarments. Nicolino then issued a press release stating that his Bra Ball idea's development was aided by Duffy. He has an exhibition ready. Nicolino described Duffy's approach as too 'intellectual and complex'.

26 March 2001

A Jefferson, Kentucky, judge ruled that 23-year-old Tony Gene Wilson's sexual intercourse with his 16-year-old niece does not count as incest. Judge Stephen P. Ryan had 'a little bit of disbelief' that he had to make this decision, but he said the law only covers lineal blood relationships (ancestors, descendants, brothers, and sisters). Legislators may consider bringing the law in line with the current prohibition of marriage between people who are 'nearer of kin to each other [...] than second cousins'. Such marriages are described in the law as 'incestuous and void'.
The niece told police that Wilson forced her to have sex with him, but he denied using force. Rape charges may be filed.

In Stuart, Florida, a St. Patrick's Day marriage got off to a good start when new bride Kathryn Marie Patrick, 36, hit her husband with the wedding cake and kicked him when he was on the floor. The husband, Brett, told police he and his wife began to argue after coming home from the wedding. In light of the bruises, scratches, and icing on Brett's body, Kathryn is being charged with battery.

And in other wedding news, Fox News reports that a Stupava, Slovakia, couple's Wild-West-themed wedding got a little bit out of hand. Three guests fired celebratory rounds from their pistols after the couple exchanged wedding vows, and one of the bullets lodged in the bride's ankle. Tereza Surname-unreleased's wedding day included a couple hours of surgery.

This isn't another story about a baby freezing to death after being left in a car overnight. Five-month-old Ethan Fletcher fried in his car seat as the temperature in his mother's car in Dallas, Texas, reached about 100 degrees. When the single mother's shift at a nearby restaurant ended five hours later, she returned to the car and started screaming. She told police that she was sure she remembered taking the boy to day care. The woman, unlike her name, was released. Deputy police chief Alfredo Saldana said: 'It's a tragic example of how quickly these things can happen.'

Authorities at San Francisco International Airport asked Noe Tavar Gonzalez if he had any metal objects in his bag. He maintained that he didn't, but on further questioning offered the comments 'I forgot. It's a little .22 in the cheese', according to the police. He was trying to smuggle the unloaded weapon from Mexico to Oregon in a hunk of cheese. Oddly enough, x-ray scans showed the pistol anyway. The gun went undetected for the first leg of Gonzalez's journey.

London secondary school teacher Mike Coles decided to make Bible stories more interesting by rewriting them in Cockney rhyming slang. According to Reuters, Coles translated the Gospel of Mark and nine Old Testament stories and got the Archbishop of Canterbury to write a foreword to the book of stories. Coles said: 'I hope the book will be read by people who would never really even consider touching the Bible. But because they see this comical slant to it, they may actually pick up a copy and maybe take an interest in it.' Coles's version of the Lord's Prayer ends 'You're the Boss, God, and will be ever, innit? Cheers, Amen.'

The High Court denied that a seven-year-old girl has the right to wear earrings while playing sport at Cwmfelinfach Primary School (near Caerphilly, Wales). She had originally objected to the school governors' 'health and safety' ban of the wearing of jewellery during physical exercise. Justice Richards said that the rule's objectives were reasoanble, and he explained to the parents that the exclusion of the earring-wearing girl, whose name was not released to the public, was not a punishment. He suggested that the school cover girls' studs with tape in order to avoid such exclusion. The family plans to appeal the ruling.

Kessels Kramer, a Dutch company, is producing a line of baby clothes called 'Potty Mouth'. The clothes, sized for children up to age five, feature swear words. Children's charity Barnardos are urging parents to boycott the company and its t-shirts, whose statements include, 'I'm proof that my mom likes to fuck' and 'Dad only hits me when I'm real bad'. Kessels Kramer's Chad Rea said of the shirts, 'There aren't many options for parents. Their kids end up looking exactly the same as the neighbours' kids - there aren't any alternative clothes'. He said the product is an experiment.

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