The Weird

JUST ABOVE SUNSET offers, in special arrangement with Andrew J. Hewett and his site WEIRD, BIZARRE and UNUSUAL (chewednews.com), the best of the weird, bizarre and unusual. As noted at his site, Andrew publishes, via e-mail, a growing archive of true events compiled from a variety of sources, covering “every conceivable subject.” You can submit your own favorite “strange story” – including a verifiable source, of course. He’s sent over 1,200 of these out to the distribution list, and you too can sign up to be on the list. Here’s the latest. Visit his site for more, and the archives. And note that Volume I of Weird, Bizarre and Unusual [Kindle Edition] is available on Amazon.com – Volume II will be coming soon, with Volume III, IV and V to follow.

Monday, September 29, 2014

FEEL SORRY FOR THIS MURDERER?

Poor, poor Joseph Randolph Wood. It took 15 separate injections of 50-milligrams of hydromorphone, and 15 separate injections of 50 milligrams of midazolam, for a total of 750 milligrams of each drug… during 1 and 1/2 hours, to end his life during an Arizona execution. Wood was sentenced to death for murdering both his ex-girlfriend and her father. During those injections, though, he was totally sedated, suffering no conscious pain what-so-ever. (The AP, 8-2-14)

THESE LOVE SYMBOLS STINK

Farmer Dick Kleis of Zwingle, Iowa, loves his wife so much, for her birthday he plow-arranged more than 60 tons of manure in a pasture to spell out “Happy Birthday, Love You” in shorthand. Bruce Andersland, at his farm near Albert Lea, Minnesota, created a half-mile-wide, arrow-pierced heart plowing manure for his wife. (WTTG-TV/Washington, D.C., 1-5-10 – Albert Lea Tribune, 2-11-10)

TO HELL WITH THIS CHURCH

The Palm Beach Post reports the First Baptist Church of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., “caught” a man seeking assistance putting $2.25 worth of cookies in his pocket while he waited, called police and had him arrested. (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/homeless-man-jailed-after-stealing-cookies-from-ch/nghbS/)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A PORKY PATIENT

Pure oxygen was being used inside a hyperbaric chamber at Nanxiong People’s Hospital (China) to treat Liu Hung, 65, when he decided to smoke a cigarette. This caused a huge explosion and Hung’s death, leaving his son to later say “My father’s whole body was scorched; he looked just like a roasted pig.” (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/crafty-cigarette-costs-patient-life-3942594#ixzz39HIfgQI3)

SHE DIDN’T CELEBRATE RIGHT

When friends and family arrived at the Harris County, Texas, home of Jaime and Sandra Melgar to help them celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary, they found Sandra tied up in one closet, while her husband was found stabbed to death in another. Sandra told police she blacked out in the bathroom, then woke tied up. Some two years later, she has been charged with his murder. (The AP. 8-2-14)

PROBABLY NO HEAVENLY HANGOVERS

If the day comes when your doctor says you are dying, you might wish to finish your last days at the French Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital Center. There, the terminally ill may party-down with family and friends at that hospital’s barroom. Where “a few drinks” are suggested, when your life is almost over… (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/hospital-open-wine-bar-terminally-3952102)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

PLAYERS BIGGER THAN THE SPORT

Today in professional sports, with the millions and millions paid, players can become more god-like than ball handlers. A prime example is LeBron James, who left NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers to play for Miami’s Heat in 2010, causing fans to call him the lowest scum on earth. Now, returning home, he’ll be paid $20.6 million for the 2014 season. Also, Ohio lawmakers want license plates made to honor his already overly-inflated ego. (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58173904-77/cleveland-james-return-boothe.html.csp)

EDUCATIONALLY, HIS BOSS SUCKED

Tim Torkildson, a social media specialist for a Utah language school that teaches English to non-native speakers, says he was fired for writing a blog post about homophones (words that sound the same, but have different meanings). Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger fired him, “(fearing) now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.” (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58236366-90/says-english-homophones-language.html.csp)

HE DIDN’T FAIL EITHER WAY

Miami Beach homicide Detective Reinaldo Casas was fired after testing positive for cocaine. He was rehired, however, after appearing before an arbitrator, convincing him he had no idea the cream his girlfriend rubbed on to help with erectile dysfunction contained any illegal drug. (http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/08/01/3227251/detective-blames-positive-dru)

Friday, September 26, 2014

STOOD UP FOR WHAT SHE WANTED

Living in a Florida retirement community (The Village), Peggy Klemm, a married 68-year-old grandmother with 14 grandchildren, was arrested along with David Bobilya, 49. They were caught with their pants down on June 12, 2014, behind a bait shack… having sex. (Watch her in court: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbOwSN5ji1A)

NASAL CANINE SOCIALIZING

Ever wonder why dogs sniff each other so much? According to the American Chemical Society, canines’ noses are 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than humans (depending on the smell), and glandular secretions released by their glands tell much: emotional state, diet, mating need and more; allowing them to analyze the sniffee’s anal sac, without poopy smell getting in the way… thanks to a secondary olfactory system known as the Jacobson’s organ. (The Huffington Post, 07-28-14)

ROUGH-N-TOUGH DAINTY TROOPS

Concerning the Middle East, seeing such words as anti-government and Taliban fighters, creates an image of rugged individuals. But one Syrian anti-government rebel leader shown in a video, instructed his troops using a “Hello Kitty” notebook. And, after Taliban fighters where abruptly withdrawn from North Waziristan, a shopkeeper said he no longer had customers to buy his large inventory of Dove soap, Head & Shoulders shampoo, white underwear (briefs or Y-fronts), and Secret Love and Blue Lady perfumes. (BBC News, 7-12-14)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES

Restrictions and abuse suffered by women and girls around the world, especially in Africa and the Middle East, are common. Recently, after Bulent Arin, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, said “women should not laugh aloud in public,” women there took to the streets, snapped photos of themselves laughing, then shared all with the media. (The AP, 7-31-14)

PAINTED INTO A BIGOTED CORNER

In June of 2014 Clinton Tucker sued Benjamin Moore paints in Essex County, New Jersey, for wrongful firing. Being an African-American, Tucker said he had tolerated years of workplace racial insults. He blamed the company for naming two new paint shades “Tucker Chocolate” and “Clinton Brown,” causing on-the-job ridicule. (Courthouse News Service, 6-27-14)

JUST ANIMALS TRYING TO SURVIVE

Only one small exit from a rap concert in the West African country of Guinea cost the lives of almost three dozen people, some as young a 10-years-old. During a late night exit after the show was over, a stampede shoved so many through one door so violently at once, a total of 33 lost their lives. (The AP, 7-31-14)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ALCOHOL? DRUGS? STUPID?

Albuquerque, N.M. – Freddy Shelby went to the refrigerator, got himself a Sprite, got naked and went to bed. The only problem occurred when the home’s owners returned and called police, unable to figure out who he was. Shelby told officers he thought he was at his girlfriend’s house. (The AP, 7-28-14)

ENOUGH TO TIDE-HIM-OVER

A former pharmacist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital in New York City, Anthony D’Alessandro, is accused of stealing nearly 200,000 oxycodone-strength pain pills over five years. And, while still able to, the day after investigators accused him, D’Alessandro swiped an additional 1,500 pills. (The Republic/Columbus, Ind., 7-8-14)

WALK YOUR DOG IN ETERNITY

Want to be with your pet in the hereafter? A Houston company, Celestis Inc., which already sends cremated human remains on memorial space flights, will now make your four-legged family member a true soul-mate. Prices start the same as humans, about $995. (http://www.kcci.com/entertainment/company-now-offering-space-funerals-for-pets/27229572#!bshKjR)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO KILLED

(1) Star of the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Matthew Broderick, driving on the wrong side on an Ireland road, in 1987, killing a mother and daughter. (2) Boxing promoter Don King killed two men. The first in self-defense; the second, an employee owing him $600, he stomped to death. King served less than 4 years in jail. (3) While still a school girl, First Lady Laura Bush ran a stop sign, killing a classmate. (http://www.teennewz.com/gallery/6952/celebrities-who-have-killed-people)

BRAVO MARY KAY ASH

Mary Kay Cosmetics was founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963, because men refused to take her advice. As of 2011, it was the sixth largest direct selling company in the world, with net sales of USD 2.9 billion. Bonuses given top selling U.S. beauty consultants over 45 years have totaled 22,000 pink Cadillac’s. And, if not for a car salesman telling ‘Mrs. Ash’, those many years ago, “Little lady, go home and get your husband,” those cars would probably all be pink Ford Lincolns. (The Dallas Morning news, 7-30-14)

SHE STRUCK-OUT WITH THE JUDGE

Theresa Washington told a Will County, Illinois, judge she’d hired Kimberly Williams, 46, simply to take pictures of her naked while she did house work. Instead, she said, Williams became “master” and dragged her by the hair of her head. But the judge ruled she’d beaten up Williams with a baseball bat… for calling another person she’d met on Christian Singles. (New Lenox Patch, 4-30-14)

Friday, September 19, 2014

A BLESSED YOUNG LADY

Sabina Altynbekova, 17, a volleyball player from Kazakhstan is coming under fire for a reason most girls her age would love to “suffer.” Nurlan Sadikov, coach of her team’s 2014 Asian Junior Women’s Volleyball Championship, complains “The crowd behaves like there is only one player at the championship.” Why? All because of her “perfect body and gorgeous features.” (See her at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opQhHvTzpFQ)

A WOMB WITH A VIEW, TOO

For some unknown reason, the architect who designed the restaurant area in the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin thought the toilets should be placed next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel, which offers spectacular views of the Berlin Zoo, allows full view of a toilet and anyone sitting on it. (See at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/guests-using-toilet-posh-hotel-3930693)

TO HELL WITH HIM

Don’t you just hate it when, trying to do your job, somebody or something keeps getting in the way? Father Marian Rajchel, from Jaroslaw, Poland, said he was attempting to perform an exorcism on a teenage girl, when Lucifer started sending him texts on his cellphone, stating: “She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine,” “Shut up, preacher!” and “You cannot save yourself. Idiot. You pathetic old preacher.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/priest-devil-text_n_5630958.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SHE WAS ON A ROLL

Elizabeth Neufeld, 85, backed from her driveway in Bel Air, California, in June of 2014, tipping her car on the curb and rolling it onto its side. Her husband, Benjamin, 87, managed to climb out but Elizabeth remained inside. Next, according to witness Ryan Steinberg, she grabbed her cellphone and started texting people and taking a “selfie.” FYI: Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, retired, is one of the world’s most prominent genetics researchers, winning awards at the National Institutes of Health, University of California, Berkeley and UCLA. (ABC News, 6-26-14)

ILLEGAL MONKEYING AROUND

One night in July of 2009, security cameras recorded theft of some 40 plants (worth about $300) from a Richardson, Texas, gardening store by two thieves. And, strangely, the only one to actually enter the building was about 2-feet tall, wearing a fur coat… he was a monkey. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes10.htm)

THREE ODD WAYS TO DIE

(1) In 2007, a car going down a street in Oakland, Calif., hit a fire hydrant, sending it airborne, hitting and killing Humberto Hernandez, age 24. (2) In 2012, Edward Archbold won a cockroach eating contest in West Palm Beach, FL, then choked to death on “arthropod body parts.” (3) In 2013, in Okazaki City, Japan, Takuya Nagaya, 23, acting violently, told his parents he was possessed with a snake demon. This caused his father to bite and beat him to death, trying to remove the serpent from his body. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CELLMATES COULD TORTURE SAME?

How much would it matter if you were a parent and thought your child was gay? For one 25-year-old mother, Jessica Dutro, it must’ve been awfully important? With no evidence except from watching her son, Dutro beat him so badly his intestines tore. Jessica’s boyfriend, Brian Canady, 25, also beat little Zackery Dutro-Boggess, who died from abuse… at age 4. (http://www.oregonlive.com/tigard/index.ssf/2014/04/jessica_dutro_convicted_of_mur.html)

NO BODY FOR HIM UNTIL 2077

In February 2002, in Noble, Ga., Tri-State Crematorium operator Ray Brent Marsh was caught doing something unusual with bodies. Instead of cremains, he was giving relatives urns containing cement dust, and would have empty coffins buried after standard funerals. A total of 334 bodies were found. He pleaded guilty to 787 charges, receiving 12 years in jail and 75-years’ probation. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes9.htm)

HOPE SHE LIKES COTTON CANDY

British lawyer Gary Stocker, 30, with his Oxford education and six-figure salary, was a huge success… until he walked away to create a 1920’s-themed style circus with his friend Mark Foot. Changing his name to The Great Herrmann, Stocker, who performs his act as a human cannonball in Chaplin’s Circus under a 1,400-seat tent, explains “Perhaps I only went to Oxford to please my mum.” (Daily Mail/London, 5-22-14)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HIS NICKNAME CHANGE: JAIL BIRD

Ego and opinion have been the downfall of many. And that’s what happened to Jacob Close, 25, who jumped bail in New York on a drug charge, then let his name and photo appear in the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise’s “Your Opinion” feature. There, he expressed his opinion the Washington Redskins football team should choose another nickname… and back to jail he went. (http://www.newsoftheweird.com/archive/index.html)

WEAKEST HUMAN FLAW: EGO

Divorce can be expensive, especially if you are American Australian businessman Rupert Murdock. After his wife of 32-years, Anna, found he was having an affair, she filed for divorce in 1999, settling for $1.7 billion (Inflation-adjusted: $2.2 billion). Seventeen days later, Murdock, age 69, married Wendi Deng, age 30. (FYI: In 2013, Rupert initiated divorce proceedings against Wendi. Next please…?)

THIS “JOKE” JUST NOT WORTH IT

Many folks play pranks, especially young people, doing harm without meaning to. One too common “joke” is adding laxatives to the ingredients in baked deserts such as cake. Some teachers end up going to hospitals after eating treats provided by students. Often, only days from graduation, these young people face potential jail time and a permanent mark on their records. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes8.htm)

Monday, September 15, 2014

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW UNTIL…

Are you sure the airbags in your car are actually there? Costing over $1,000 each, and removable from a car in less than two minutes, thieves in the United States steal around 50,000 airbags yearly, for a total net loss of about $50 million. Some repair shops steal customer’s airbags while their cars are in for repair. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes7.htm)

HE CAN LEAVE THE LID DOWN

Johnny Lee Banks Jr., 56, who is disabled, apparently doesn’t keep up with details very well? But he did hire attorney John Graves to sue Baptist Medical Center, Simon-Williamson Clinic, Urology Centers of Alabama and two doctors over surgery performed in 2014. He didn’t recall the precise date but believed it was in June. Claiming he’d only agreed to have a circumcision, he was later surprised to find his “fifth-member” removed. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/25/us-usa-alabama-circumcision-idUSKBN0FT24T20140725)

WRONG JOB FOR THESE TWO

March 15, 2014 – Feeling numbness on her right side and fearing a stroke, Rose Preston called 911. But after the ambulance arrived and she was placed inside, the two attendants began arguing, causing her to exit the vehicle, walk to a metro station, and take a train to the VA hospital by herself. (WRC-TV/Washington, D.C., 3-24-14)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

“TANKED” BEFORE STEALING TANK?

In May 1995, Shawn Nelson, 34, stole a tank from San Diego’s National Guard Armory and became destructive. Operating the 57 ton vehicle, he crushed 40 cars, knocked down telephone poles, broke-off numerous fire hydrants and destroyed electricity pylons, stopping power to over 5,000 homes. Police, using bolt cutters, opened the tank’s hatch and shot Nelson. He died shortly after. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes6.htm)

HE GOT “BULLIED”

Bill Hillmann, 32, an authority on Spain’s bull-running and author of a chapter in “How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona,” learned more in July 2014. During that run he was gored. The horn passed through his thigh, missing the femoral artery by a centimeter. (Chicago Tribune, 7-9-14)

UNUSUAL DEATHS

(1) In 1974, Basil Brown, 48, a Croydon, England, health food advocate, drank 10 gallons of carrot juice in ten days, overdosing on vitamin A, causing his death from liver damage. (2) In 1978, when mathematician Kurt Gödel‘s wife was hospitalized, his extreme paranoia forbade him to eat and he starved to death. (3) In 2007, Jennifer Strange, 28, of Sacramento, California, died of water intoxication after participating in a KDND107.9 radio contest named “Hold Your Wee for a Wii,” drinking large quantities of water without urinating. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

TOO REAL FOR REALITY SHOW

The Lifetime Network had planned to introduce a new reality TV show in August 2014 called Good Grief, focused on the Johnson Family Mortuary, in Ft. Worth, Texas, until several unattended corpses were found rotting at that funeral home (Fort World Star-Telegram, 7-25-14)

HE WAS BARRED FROM A JAIL

While it’s not uncommon for prisoners to attempt escaping jail, almost nobody would attempt to break into one, but James Merrill DeVore, 28, did. Distraught over his mother’s death, drunk and high on marijuana, he went to a local jail in the wee hours seeking help, but could not enter. Caught later trying to scale a fence, he was taken to a sobriety center and placed on a mental health program. (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/police-women/lists/10-weird-crimes3.htm)

MAYBE MATCHED HIS UNIFORM?

David Keith Hathaway, 59, a Millersburg, Indiana, law enforcement Marshal, faces charges for giving into a personal fetish. He was charged with two counts of criminal conversion, a class A misdemeanor, allegedly for stealing panties belonging to his son’s girlfriend, who lived in his house. The victim told police she first suspected something when she found a pair of her panties in a gallon-sized bag, with several other pairs of female underwear. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/david-hathaway_n_5605857.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

INTERNATIONAL IGNORANCE

While the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is acceptable in some African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, due to modern migration even “civilized” countries report sufferers. According to City University London and human rights group Equity Now, “137,000 women in England and Wales have undergone genital mutilation.” (The New York Times, 7-23-14)

HE SHOULD SUE HIMSELF

Gainesville, Florida, resident Joseph Carl, 48, was drinking when he drove his pickup into a vehicle stopped at a red light. Apparently hating to take the blame under his condition, he next jumped from his vehicle and began banging on the female driver’s car, leaving his own vehicle in gear… causing it to run him over. Later, after being treated at a hospital for a fractured hand and foot, Carl was charged with DUI and DUI property damage. (The Gainesville Sun, 7-22-14)

WAS HE PLAYING CALL OF DUTY?

Guess who Syracuse. N.Y., police officer Robert Harrington, 35, ran into? That would be 51-year-old Detective Edward MacBlane. Harrington was responding to a suspicious person complaint, without his vehicle’s siren or emergency lights on, while looking at his computer, when he ran the red light and hit MacBlane’s unmarked car.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WHAT’S HIS LAWYER’S NUMBER?

The Leader-Post (Regina, Canada) reported recently, when Vancouver, Canada, police asked to search Jason Pauchay’s apartment for drugs, and assured him he was not a suspect, he agreed. But that all changed after noticing how he’d listed himself on his cell phone: “Jason Pauchay Drug Dealer.”

BOW-WOW’S POO-POO EXPENSIVE

Obviously a dog lover, Enric Girona, of El Vendrell, Spain, has invented a pet commode, consisting of a hole in the ground with a flush handle, connected to the sewer system (as well as a drain grid for “tinkling” only). Spain is tough on animal owners who fail to clean up after their pets, with fines in El Vendrell up to the equivalent of $1,000, with Madrid and Barcelona maximums $2,000. (The Guardian\London, 7-2-14)

WORLD IGNORANCE STILL PREVAILS

Honor killings are common in the world. Last month, two Pakistani newlyweds were decapitated for marrying without permission of the bride’s family. CNN reported the bride’s kinfolks lured the couple to Satrah in Punjab province, bound and killed them. The United Nations puts honor killings at 5,000 annually; women’s-rights workers say the number is much higher. North Africa and western Asia have no minimum sentence for honor killings, and they are not classified as murder. Maximum sentences: six months. (http://madworldnews.com/10-year-old-raped-muslim-mullah-danger-killed-family/)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A WEE-BIT WHOPSIDED RULE

After a couple of third-graders at Mill Plain Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash., wet their pants, they said it happened because teachers were too strict when enforcing their classroom’s “rewards” system, one prize being restroom breaks. An investigation showed girls were never “denied” toilet access. (http://www.newsoftheweird.com/archive/index.html)

THEY BETTER GUARD THEIR CASH

USA Today reported in May 2012, during the past five years the U.S. National Guard has spent $136 million to sponsor NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., and so far that money has helped produce some 24,800 recruit prospects. Unfortunately, only 20 met the Guard’s qualifications, and not one of them joined.

SHE SHOULD BE BRANDED S-I-C-K

The mother of a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, Kayla Oxenham, 23, of Port Charlotte, Florida, was arrested for “branding” both her children in June 2014. Her excuses were, to identify them and… she “forgot how much she loved fire.” (WZVN-TV/Fort Myers, 6-18-14)

Monday, September 1, 2014

MIDDLE EASTERN IGNORANCE

If your 10-year-old daughter was raped by a 45-year-old man, what should happen? In this case, it happened in the Afghan village of Alti Gumbad, where village leaders demanded the girl’s father kill the child. Luckily, she was taken to the Women for Afghan Women shelter for her protection. And there, for protecting this child, Nederah Geyah, head of women’s-affairs, was forced to resign and leave town. (The New York Times, 7-19-14)

HOPE “HIS HONOR” GETS CANCER

According to the Daily Mirror: “A Davenport, Iowa, jury convicted terminal-cancer patient Benton Mackenzie, 48, in July on four marijuana-growing felonies, even though his purpose was to harvest cannabis oil to treat his bloody lesions and the grapefruit-sized tumor on his buttocks. The judge barred Mackenzie and his lawyer from mentioning the illness in court.” Mackenzie’s wife, his 73-year-old parents, his son and a friend were also charged. (Des Moines Register, 7-10-14)

PERHAPS ONLY ONCE IN ETERNITY

Texan Joan R. Ginther was labeled ‘the world’s luckiest woman’ after winning lottery jackpots FOUR times. First, she won $5.4 million; then thirteen years later, $2 million; then two years after that $3 million; and finally, in the summer of 2010, a $10 million jackpot. The odds of this are one-in-eighteen-septillion (That’s 18 followed by 24 zeroes.) Bet she loses it all. She moved to Las Vegas. (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/news/2011/08/texas_lottery_winner_genius.php?page=2)

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Volume I of Weird, Bizarre and Unusual [Kindle Edition] is available on Amazon.com – Volume II will be coming soon, with Volume III, IV and V to follow.