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ABSURD !

Some Absurd Crimes and Their Outcomes

Kentucky (where else?): Two men tried to pull the front off a cash
machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup
truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they
pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove
home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still
attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to
the bumper.

South Carolina: A man walked into a local police station, dropped a bag
of cocaine on the counter, informed the desk sergeant that it was
substandard cut, and asked that the person who sold it to him be arrested
immediately.

Indiana: A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and demanded all
the money in the register. When the cashier handed him the loot, he
fled--leaving his wallet on the counter.

England: A German "tourist," supposedly on a golf holiday, shows up at
customs with his golf bag. While making idle chatter about golf, the
customs official realizes that the tourist does not know what a "handicap"
is. The customs official asks the tourist to demonstrate his swing, which
he does--backward! A substantial amount of narcotics was found in the golf
bag.

Arizona: A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for Western
movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47-year-old woman, who
wanted to have her husband killed. She got 4-1/2 years in jail.

Texas: A man convicted of robbery worked out a deal to pay $9600 in
damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the
court a check--a *forged* check. He got 10 years.

(Location Unknown): A man went into a drug store, pulled a gun,
announced a robbery, and pulled a Hefty-bag face mask over his head--and
realized that he'd forgotten to cut eyeholes in the mask.

(Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a bank after hours and
stole--are you ready for this?--the bank's video camera. While it was
recording. Remotely. (That is, the videotape recorder was located
elsewhere in the bank, so he didn't get the videotape of himself stealing
the camera.)

(Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a bank's basement
through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the
process. He then realized that (1) he could not get to the money from
where he was,(2) he could not climb back out the window through which he
had entered, and (3) he was bleeding pretty badly. So he located a phone
and dialed "911" for help ...

Virginia: Two men in a pickup truck went to a new-home site to steal a
refrigerator. Banging up walls, floors, etc., they snatched a refrigerator
from one of the houses, and loaded it onto the pickup. The truck promptly
got stuck in the mud, so these brain surgeons decided that the refrigerator
was too heavy. Banging up *more* walls, floors, etc., they put the
refrigerator BACK into the house, and returned to the pickup truck, only to
realize that they locked the keys in the truck--so they abandoned it.

(Location Unknown): A man walked into a Circle-K (a convenience store
similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change.
When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for
all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man
took the cash from the clerk and fled--leaving the $20 bill on the counter.
The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.

1994's Most Bizarre Suicide
At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for
Forensic Science, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in
San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the
story.

"On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and
concluded that he died from a shotgun wound of the head. The decedent had
jumped from the top of a ten- story building intending to commit suicide
(he left a note indicating his despondency). As he fell past the ninth
floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which
killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a
safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some
window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his
suicide anyway because of this."

"Ordinarily," Dr. Mills continued, "a person who sets out to commit suicide
ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he
intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below
probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide.
But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused
the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands. "The room
on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an
elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with
the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he
completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the a window
striking Opus.

"When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one
is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with this charge, the
old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun
was loaded. The old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his
wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her -
therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun
had been accidentally loaded.

"The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's
son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal
incident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial
support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the
shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father
would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of
the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

There was an exquisite twist. "Further investigation revealed that the son
[Ronald Opus] had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his
attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the
ten-story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast
through a ninth story window.

"The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide."

Really Stupid People
* - Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport
hotel after he tried to pass two (counterfeit) $16 bills.

* - A man in Johannesberg, South Africa, shot his 49-year-old friend in
the face, seriously wounding him, while the two practiced shooting
beer cans off each other's head.

* - A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record
showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety
goggles on the job. According to Industrial Machinery News, the film's
depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that twenty-five
workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave the screening
room. Thirteen others fainted, and one man required seven stitches
after he cut his head falling off a chair while watching the film.

* - The Chico, California, City Council enacted a ban on nuclear
weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within city
limits.

* - A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in St. Louis, but by
the time police arrived on the scene, fourteen pedestrians had boarded
the bus and had begun to complain of whiplash injuries and back pain.

* - Swedish business consultant Ulf af Trolle labored 13 years on a book
about Swedish economic solutions. He took the 250-page manuscript to
be copied, only to have it reduced to 50,000 strips of paper in
seconds when a worker confused the copier with the shredder.

* - A convict broke out of jail in Washington D.C., then a few days
later accompanied his girlfriend to her trial for robbery. At lunch,
he went out for a sandwich. She needed to see him, and thus had him
paged. Police officers recognized his name and arrested him as he
returned to the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.

* - Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a
metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy
machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police
pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't
telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the
suspect confessed.

* - When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to
hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to
call the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police
and was arrested.

* - A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking," stole a
steamroller and led police on a 5 mph chase until an officer stepped
aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop.


A Nominee for the Darwin Awards:

There are many transmission lines that crisscross Connecticut. These
are held up by Transmission Towers of various constructions. Those most
commonly installed near urban areas are called "metal Ornamental Towers"
(supposedly prettier than wood towers). Sometimes adventurous folks climb
the towers in order to enjoy the view and the night air. Most stay away
from the wires, and when they get bored, come back down.
Apparently, a man who was forlorn after a ...


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