Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weird Crime Wednesday: Step 1 for getting a job--don't show up to the interview naked

(photo @ sodahead.com)

On February 25, 2012, Chris Johnson was spending his Saturday morning working in his Sacramento, California welding shop.  At about the same time, a man named Jose Ayala had come to the conclusion that he would like to be employed at a welding shop.

What is unclear just how much methamphetamine Jose had ingested before he came to this decision.  Whatever the amount may have been, it was enough to convince him that he would make a first impression that no employer could ever forget.  He would march right down to his local welding shop, explain that he had the skills necessary for the type of employment that they offered, and ask for a job.  He would also do this while being completely naked.

While this is yet another example of how 
meth is terribly destructive, one still had to commend Jose for having the fortitude to go out there and try to get himself a job on a Saturday morning while he was tripping out of his mind and not wearing any pants.

Meth should be avoided at all costs, 
but  Chewbacca playing baseball doesn't require drugs to be awesome.

When Jose showed up to the shop, he greeted Chris Johnson by saying that he was looking for work and that he was "good with his hands."  Jose had obviously not considered the fact that most people would be absolutely terrified by a naked man walking up to them and using that phrase.

Chris called the police and his brother (presumably because a naked man wandering into your place of business requires family support).  While they waited for the police to arrive, Jose wandered around outside of the welding shop entrance, incoherently babbling and probably questioning many of his life decisions.

Once the law enforcement arrived, Jose was not pleased about having his impromptu job interview so rudely interrupted.  He wrestled fiercely with the police officers, eventually grabbing the female officer's hair in an unbreakable meth-enhanced grip.

I will use this trophy to feed the spiders that live under my skin!

That's when some bystanders (who were already getting quite a show) and the shop owner's brother decided to get involved.

"HE'S GOT HER HAIR!"  one of them yelled as they rushed over to free the officer's scalp.  They dove (very carefully) onto Jose and held him down (being very mindful of where their hands were) while the police handcuffed him.  One of these heroes even managed to hold on to his half eaten cheeseburger while the group awkwardly wrestled Jose to the ground.

Thank goodness that someone had the good sense to have their phone out to record this awesome confrontation.  A few warnings about the following video:

1.  Jose's junk is blurred out, but it's still pretty obvious that he's naked.

2.  When one of the men wrestling Jose to the ground requests that the camera man take the burger out of his hand, it is one of the greatest moments in civilian heroics that you may ever witness.

Jose Ayala is currently in jail facing charges for resisting arrest, trying to escape arrest, assaulting a police officer, and indecent exposure.  

In case you were wondering, he didn't get the job, either.

Actual mugshot photo @ wtsp.com
Jose also had to wear this ridiculous cap, but 
he is probably impervious to embarrassment by this point.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: Swedish twins go crazy, developsuperpowers, and kill a man; no drugs or explanation found.

(photo @ realfoodfreaks)

Ursula and Sabina Erickson are twins that were born in western Sweden in 1967.  In 2003, the two women left their homeland for different countries; Sabina settled in Ireland with her husband and two children, while Ursula went to the United States.

On May 16, 2008, the twins met up in Ireland and headed to Liverpool, England.  Sabina did not leave a note behind for her husband and two children.  The two women were concerned about the kids, however, because at 8:30 AM on May 17, they went into a police station in Liverpool to report their "concerns" about the children's well being.  

Why they went to a police station in Liverpool about the welfare of Sabina's children in Ireland....or what they were actually concerned about...is unknown.  No record exists as to what those concerns actually were.

Actual mugshot of Sabina Eriksson
photo @ dailymail.co.uk
Here's a vaild concern:  Their mom is crazy.

After the police got done with what was probably a very awkward and confusing conversation, the sisters decided to take a train ride to London.  They disembarked during an unscheduled stop and began walking down the M6 motorway.

Inexplicably, the two women began trying to dart over 6 lanes of traffic.  CCTV cameras and a small camera crew filming an episode of Motorway Cops captured some bizarre video of the two women causing massive traffic issues and nearly getting themselves killed.  Police tried to intervene and talk to the women about the dangers of attempting a real life game of 'Frogger.'

Then this happened:
(Warning:  This video is a bit graphic and a little long.  There is a handy recap posted below).

Here is a shorter version of the video that should be up if the one above is down (which seems to randomly happen once in a while).

So to recap:

-Ursula runs into an oncoming semi truck and survives (albeit with major injuries)

-Sabina runs in front of a car and is knocked into the air.  She also survives, but is knocked unconscious.

-Despite her entire lower body being crushed, Ursula tries to get up.  As police tend to her, it becomes evident that she is very pissed off.

"BULL #$&%!  I know I moved my joystick in time!

-Ursula screams and spits at the police officers attempting to assist her.  She continually declares that she knows "they are not real."

-Sabina wakes up

-A police officer attempts to restrain Sabina from running away and promptly gets punched in the face.

-Sabina runs across even more traffic, but is finally caught by emergency workers and members of the public.

-It takes six people to restrain her, but Sabina still is able to resist (until being sedated).  As the group tried keep her restrained, she also yelled that they are "not real" and want to "steal her organs."

It gets weirder

While Ursula was taken to the hospital for her injuries and kept there overnight (and for a few weeks afterwards), Sabina spent a few hours there before heading off with the police.

Unlike her last encounter with officers of the law, however, she was very calm and incredibly friendly...like, creepy friendly.  She even tried to flirt with one of the officers.

She and her sister (who she never even asked about while in police custody) were also both tested for drugs.  I'm guessing that most of you (like myself) figured that drugs would have been the primary cause for Sabina and Ursula going completely psycho and exhibiting near superhuman levels of strength and pain tolerance

As Wayne Brady would say:  "That's PCP..."

Well not only was it not PCP, but they both tested clean for any sort of drugs or alcohol in their systems.  The police said that Sabina appeared to be a "bit odd," but she was deemed harmless.  After being charged with trespassing on a motorway and assaulting a police officer, she was released on time already served in custody.

When they called Sabina's husband to inform him of what had happened, he had no idea where she was or why she had left.

In case you want to feel your skin crawl, the clip of Sabina calmly speaking/flirting with police officers and worrying about how her shoes look is embedded below.

Oh wait, it gets even weirder

At around 7:00 that evening, two local men, Glenn Hollinshead and Peter Molloy, noticed Sabina walking down the street and looking very confused.  She carried her possessions (a red coat, laptop, and phone) in a clear plastic bag from the police station and was incredibly worried about her sister, who was still in the hospital.

Glenn offered to have her back over to his house to get some food (she hadn't eaten all day).  That's when things got a little strange.  Sabina continuously looked out the window as if she was hiding from someone.  She offered cigarettes to the men, then quickly snatched them away, stating that they may be "poisoned."
Peter decided to go home, while Glenn offered to let Sabina stay that night because he was concerned for her well being...and not at all because she was a blonde Swedish woman.

The next morning, Glenn called the hospital to ask about Ursula.  He then went next door to ask his neighbor for some tea.  A little over a minute later, he staggered back outside with multiple stab wounds, proclaimed "she's stabbed me," and died very soon afterward from his wounds.  Sabina fled the house as Glenn's neighbor called the police.

As Sabina fled from the house, multiple witnesses observed her periodically hitting herself over the head with a hammer.  She then jumped 40 feet from a bridge onto the road below, breaking multiple bones and earning a trip to the hospital...after which she was arrested charged with the murder of Glenn Hollinsworth.

But wait, there's more...

During extensive police questioning and her trial, Sabina repeatedly answered "no comment" and claimed "diminished responsibility" for her actions due to her mental state at the time of the killing (though she seemed perfectly sane during the trial).  

Due to legal complexities involving a person's psychological state at the time of a murder, and the fact that she had been determined to no longer show any signs of mental illness, the sentence ended up being incredibly light.

Sabina was sentenced on September 2, 2010 to 5 years in prison, with 439 days already served.  She is currently still in touch with her sister, Ursula.  She is also scheduled to be paroled...last year.

So if a deranged Swedish woman asks to stay at your house for the night, ask yourself if you really feel like you could survive an attack from a psychotic with super strength...and where you keep your hammers.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how much I suck more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weird Crime Wednesday: Do you need a hunting license to shoot down an animal rights sponsored aircraft?

(photo @ sodahead.com)

The Bronxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, South Carolina is an exclusive hunting venue that offers a wide variety of hunting and sporting events throughout the year. These include equestrian camps, bass fishing, and wild hog hunts. 

If you have $375 to burn in early February, you can participate in the annual Flyer Shoot.  What target is worth that much money, you might ask?  Here are a few hints:

1. They hang out in large groups.
2. They like to poop on your car.
3. One pooped on my head last year as I was walking into work.

No, not people that still tune into Glenn Beck.  I'm talking about pigeons.

You hadn't recently washed your car,
so I decided to take a giant crap on your scalp instead

 But a group called SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) was having none of that.  They were outraged and very much opposed to a "cruel and inhumane live pigeon shoot."

Despite the fact that their acronym is derived from the name of a large predatory fish, SHARK took the protection of the pigeons over Bronxton Bridge Plantation very seriously...so serious that they actually built a pretty cool remote control aircraft to get some in your face video of the horrific carnage in the skies that would be occurring during the shoot.

On February 12, 2012, members of SHARK showed up to the plantation and were met by police and an attorney for Bronxton Bridge.  The attorney tried to say that it was illegal for them to film the air space above the private property, even though they were not going to be filming down onto the property itself.  But as it turns out, being insanely rich does not mean that you own the sky as well.  


Harumph!  We'll make sure this is taken care of at the next Bilderberg Meeting...

Once the customers and clients of Braxton Bridge found out that their hunt was going to be filmed by animal rights activists, they decided to leave.  For some reason, SHARK thought it would still be a good idea to send up their aircraft while a bunch of pissed off people with guns (and who paid $375 to not get to use them) were still in the area.

The following video shows two angles of what happens next, but here's a brief synopsis:

0:00-1:19  Test flight.  The thing actually works!

1:20-2:00  Take off and flight over Braxton Bridge Plantation

2:01  What's that popping sound?

2:03  Are those gunshots?


2:16  Engine wire has been severed!  We're going down!

2:18-2:34  This is ground control to Major Tom!  CAN YOU HEAR ME, MAJOR TOM?!

2:35  Tell my wife I love her...she knows...

2:40  IMPACT

2:47  Same thing, but from the view of the people on the ground.  The video isn't great, but you can hear the gunshots much more clearly at 3:35.

4:20-End  Like a scene out of Deliverance, members of SHARK stalk and taunt the hunters in the woods, yelling things like "C'MON BOY!" and making chicken noises as the gunmen flee or hide.

SHARK is still seeking to find out who shot down their aircraft so that they can press charges.  They have also vowed to take "considerably upscaled action" in 2013 against Braxton Bridge Plantation.

I'm not sure why they need to wait almost an entire year, but if it's to add air to surface weapons onto their next aircraft, SHARK's acronym may be a heck of a lot more intimidating and appropriate.  I'm all for animals being treated humanely, but I'm not sure I can get behind a group sponsored by PETA with that type of technology.

 After Skynet takes over, you'll long for the days that 
it was just pigeons dropping bombs on your head.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fun with the public school system: When committee meetings devolve into talking about the smell of urine

Near the beginning of the school year, I discovered that I had been put on the "Wellness Committee" for my school.  This was a group dedicated to promoting proper exercise and healthy eating among the faculty and students.

Believe it or not, this group actually wasn't pointless.  There were changes made to the school cafeteria (like taking out the fryer and baking food instead) and events like fitness challenges and tennis tournaments.  There are even plans to try and get our school a "learning lab", where students can exercise while reviewing their studies.


 Unlike other committees and initiatives that plague public school systems across the country, this one was actually doing things to make the quality of life and education for students better.   I'm all for initiatives like this to help improve the health of students...I just didn't want to have to stay after school for meetings about it.

Unfortunately, the Wellness Committee would meet after school dismissed every few Wednesdays to discuss our plans and initiatives.  Since many of my  own personal plans involve eating massive amounts of chicken wings and/or burritos (and the fact that I hate tennis), I felt a bit out of place being part of a group like this.

May I be excused to go to the vending machine, please?

So during these long meetings after school had ended, I would mostly offer to do manual labor (put up posters, distribute information, etc) or just sit quietly, waiting for it to finally reach its conclusion.

On this particular day, myself and a group of 8 others were discussing a school wide initiative to get students to try eating fruits and vegetables during lunch.  I was the only male in the group, so the meeting mostly sounded to me like an episode of 'The View,' but with a lot more fiber and nutrients.

As the discussion dragged on, someone brought up trying to add in asparagus to the menu for the students.  This of course led to someone bringing up the fact that asparagus affects the smell of its consumer's urine.

   Everyone skips over the part where it tastes terrible

Teacher 1: You know, if we have everyone eating asparagus, a lot of people are going to have funky smelling pee.

Teacher 2: Oh trust me, I know how that is...

Teacher 3: Not necessarily.  It never does that to me.

Teacher 4: It actually doesn't affect everyone's urine.  Some people don't experience any smell....

Teacher 5: Well, I know that when I eat asparagus, I definitely can smell the effects from it.

Shut Up,  Shut Up,  SHUT UP!!!

Realizing that I was sitting in an after school committee meeting with a group of women discussing what their urine smelled like, I finally snapped.

Me:  SERIOUSLY?  Is this really even an issue that needs debate.  I know that when I pee, I don't linger around to take in the aroma.

At this point, my friend Nadine (who shares my passion for saying exactly what is on her mind no matter what the setting is) spoke up.

Nadine:  Well Nick, of course you don't have to smell it like we do.  You get to stand when you have to pee.  Us ladies have to sit right over it and deal with the smell.

Me:  Nadine, I got my first smart phone years ago.  It has been a very long time since I actually stood to pee.

          To say nothing of the time spent when I actually should be sitting

At this point, I was bombarded with screams of horror and disgust for what I had just said.

Teacher 7:  Nick, that is so gross!!!

Teacher 4: That's disgusting!

Teacher 3: Yeah, Nick!  T.M.I.!

Me: Oh really?  It's gross for me to say I take my phone into the bathroom with me...to a room full of women who were JUST DISCUSSING WHAT THEIR PEE SMELLED LIKE?


After a bit of a stunned silence (and a hearty laugh from my girl, Nadine), there was no more talk of stinky urine or my bathroom phone habits.  The meeting was officially back on track and heading towards its merciful conclusion...

...though I did excuse myself once to go to the bathroom.

I, uh...may have to poop and pee during this trip.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: If you hear voices in your head, they might actually be real

(photo @ realfoodfreaks)

On January 30, 2003, Donald Friedman walked into an F.B.I field office in California and handed the clerk behind the front desk a letter.  It read in part (emphasis mine):

"This is to inform you of my intention to torture one or more of your San Francisco agents if I do not immediately (today) get everything that I am entitled to related to the records that the U.S. Secret Service has related to me. 

Agents of the U.S. Secret Service, as you already know, have been committing very serious crimes against me and other members of my family for a very long time, and I'm taking more direct action to prevent it from continuing. 

I am going to get an admissible confession from at least one of your agents one way or the other, and if I don't get what I am demanding from you today, I will use the method of torture described in the attached pages to obtain that confession and to punish the agent for his or her involvement in the illegal acts that your agents have perpetrated against me and my family. 

I have been more than reasonable, and more than patient, but I am going to get the admissible information one way or the other, and if it takes violence directed at your agents by me, so be it. I won't kill any of them, but during the torture they will wish they were dead.

Have a nice day,
[signed] Donald M. Friedman"

The clerk behind the desk asked Friedman repeatedly if he was serious about the contents of the letter and if he was aware that it would constitute a federal crime to make such a threat.

 I'm going to ask you one time; do you really
want to make me have to deal with this today?

Friedman answered each time that he was sure and that he knew he would be going to jail that day.  Sure enough, he was arrested and charged with one count of threatening federal officers.

During the court proceedings for Friedman, the crazy got kicked up a few notches.  He apparently believed that the United States Secret Service had arranged to have him molested at age 13, fired an electromagnetic radiation-based weapon at his father that caused him to develop prostate cancer (that eventually killed him), and fired a similar weapon at him that caused his shoes to melt.

They come to take away your innocence, 
your family, and your footwear...in that order

Despite the urging of his counsel to plead insanity (which probably involved a lot of fake coughing while saying the word "CRAZY"), Friedman refused to say he was playing with anything less than a full deck.

This stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when:

1.  He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes.

2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic.

Stop saying that about me!  We are not schizophrenic!

Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:

"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect,  microwave hearing effect,  Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or   causes  such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"

This FOIA request, however, was much more successful.  The document (which was verified by wired.com in 2008 through the US Army Intelligence And Security Command Freedom Of Information/Privacy Office), contained quite a bit of interesting/terrifying information.  

 Contained within was official government documentation of research and development on a telepathic ray gun, fever lasers (that slowly heated a person's body to the point of disorientation), and all types of other crazy, mad scientist stuff.  The worst of it, however, was most likely contained in this passage (emphasis mine):

 Because the frequency of the sound heard is dependent on the pulse characteristics of the RF energy, it seems possible that this technology could be developed to the point where words could be transmitted to be heard like the spoken word, except that it could only be heard within a person’s head. 
In one experiment, communication of the words from one to ten using "speech modulated" microwave energy was successfully demonstrated. Microphones next to the person experiencing the voice could not pick up the sound. Additional development of this would open up a wide range of possibilities.

….This technology requires no extrapolation to estimate its usefulness. Microwave energy can be applied at a distance, and the appropriate technology can be adapted from existing radar units. Aiming devices likewise are available but for special circumstances which require extreme specificity, there may be a need for additional development. Extreme directional specificity would be required to transmit a message to a single hostage surrounded by his captors. Signals can be transmitted long distances (hundreds of meters) using current technology. Longer distances and more sophisticated signal types will require more bulky equipment, but it seems possible to transmit some of the signals at closer ranges using man-portable equipment.

In other words, the United States Army had successfully developed the technology to transmit voices into a person's head.

Oh yeah, I should also probably mention that the technology being discussed was documented in 1998.  While there is no further evidence of it being tested or developed in the last 14 years, I would be willing to bet that much like the cell phones I had in 1998 and in 2012, things have moved forward quite a bit.

While it's still almost certain that Donald Friedman was crazy/schizophrenic, it is certain, that the United States government successfully developed the technology to make people hear voices in their heads during the last century...and that's from officially documented information that wasn't still classified, redacted, or destroyed.

Field Test No. 177:  Make mass amounts of the populace 
think the show 'Two And A Half Men' is actually funny.

But don't worry too much about it.  It's not like the government has a history of mind control testing or anything...now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go curl up in the fetal position and suck on my thumb for a few hours.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weird Crime Wednesday: Taking a hostage doesn't mean you get to make really weird demands

(photo @ sodahead.com)

When Ignacio Gabriel Munoz woke up on the morning of May 10, 2011, he decided that it would be the first day of the rest of his life.  I know that sounds cliche, but it's not if you're going to do something that will end up with you obtaining the objects of your wildest/craziest dreams....or in jail.  Ignacio was going to take a hostage and use the leverage of innocent human life to make some pretty outrageous demands.

Sometime around noon, Ignacio headed over to the Whittier Public Library in Whittier, California (a place that he most likely spent quite a lot of time in studying philosophy and/or sleeping), got a hold of a pair of scissors, and took a school teacher hostage by holding her on his lap while pointing the blades at her neck.  


It was a situation she may have been familiar with, but only with safety scissors

Just to make sure that everyone was clear on what was happening, Ignacio began screaming that he had taken a hostage.  Along with kidnapping and assault, he had now added "excessive noise in a public library" to his list of crimes being committed that day.  There truly was no going back now.

With an innocent victim firmly in his grasp, Ignacio had the world's attention...or at least that of the immediate occupants in the library and the local police.  With all eyes on him, (including a room full of terrified students who were there with the teacher), he made his demands:

1. A pound of very potent marijuana called kush.
2. A car 
3. A Play Station 3...which had to be attached to the car
4. The Mexican Army to come pick him up at the library

"We aren't picking anyone up until this stupid 
soccer mom gets her minivan out of the drop off area!"

Anyone that has seen 'Dog Day Afternoon' knows that hostage takers never actually get what they want.  These demands are crazy enough that I have to wonder if he knew that hostage negotiators will say whatever they have to in a negotiation to keep things from going off the rails.

Maybe Ignacio was just doing a social experiment to see how much police negotiators would lie to keep him calm.  I imagine the negotiation would have gone something like this:

Police Negotiator:  Ignacio, we almost have everything you've asked for, but we need  some more time.

Ignacio:  Really?  You have "almost everything" I've asked for?

Police Negotiator:  Yes, we just need a few more hours...

Ignacio: Where did you get the drugs from?

Police Negotiator: The police evidence locker.

Ignacio: What type of car did you get?

Police Negotiator: A modified Honda Civic with chrome tail lights and after market rims.

Ignacio: I didn't even ask for that!  It's pretty racist for you to assume I'd even want that sort of vehicle...but very well done. Thank you.

Police Negotiator: We're trying our best to work with you, Ignacio.

Ignacio: And what about the Mexican Army?  Are you actually going to tell me you got them to come up here to California to give me a lift?

Police Negotiator: ...um, yeah....but they said you have to let the sergeant drive the car while you ride in the tank.

Ignacio: ...fine.  And what about the Play Station 3?

Police Negotiator:  Oh yeah, that was the easiest thing to get.

Ignacio: And did you get it installed in the car?

Police Negotiator: It's being done as we speak; that's why we need more time.

Ignacio: Where are you having the installation done?

Police Negotiator:  Best Buy.


Fortunately for the teacher and all involved, the police took another negotiation route; shooting a high powered bean bag round into Ignacio's face.

Here's what a bean bag round can do to someone's neck/shoulder area, in case you need a point of reference:

As anyone would be after taking a shot like that, Ignacio became a bit irritable.  While being taken into custody, he screamed a string of obscenities at the police while ranting about drug cartels.

Ignacio Munoz is currently still in jail awaiting trial.  He has pleaded not guilty to the crimes listed above...on the very believable grounds that he is completely insane.

                                                                                       CBS Lost Angeles: Actual Mug Shot
But still not crazy enough to get a 
custom installation done at Best Buy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: 12 girls from same NY high school suddenly develop Tourette's Syndrome

(photo @ realfoodfreaks)

Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes its victims to have a series of uncontrollable physical and/or vocal "tics."  These tics can simply be weird facial expressions and sounds, but they can also take the form of violent outbursts and uncontrollable body movements.  

For someone that suffers from Tourette's, the tics can sometimes be temporarily suppressed, but ultimately are beyond the victim's control.   It can be a very frustrating and embarrassing affliction to live with.  It is also generally believed to be a genetically inherited disorder, with only vague theories existing about it having any sort of environmental origins.

One thing that no one has ever seen before is the mass onset of Tourette's Syndrome-like symptoms in a closely linked yet unrelated group of people...unless you count what happened to everyone that watched the series finale of 'Lost', but that's completely understandable.

"That's it?!  How did Ben control the smoke monster?  
Where is Jack's dad's body?  WHAT ABOUT WALT?! ADLKADSFLKJK!"

But apparently it is possible, because 12 girls from the same high school in Le Roy, New York suddenly began having Tourrette's Syndrome-like symptoms at around the same time.  2 of the girls claim that after waking up from a nap, they suddenly began having uncontrollable physical tics and verbal outbursts.  Both of these girls' symptoms began in October. 

Thera Sanchez, who was an honor roll student, cheerleader, and aspiring artist, has been unable to attend classes anymore due to how bad her condition has become.

School and government officials claim that all 12 girls are showing symptoms of  conversion disorder, or "mass hysteria".  They also claim that symptoms the girls are suffering from are purely psychological and not the result of "infection or communicable disease...and there’s no evidence of any environmental factor[s]."

That's right: 12 girls from the same area, but not related and not all of them well known to each other, suddenly develop severe Tourette's Syndrome, and it's all in their heads.  Right....

 "Nothing to see here."

Officials also tried to claim that no one else in the school was in danger.  This unfortunately appeared not to be the case when 3 more students from the school began exhibiting the same symptoms, including a male this time.

Fortunately for these 15 victims (and anyone interested in results from people who are not actively trying to cover their own butts), crusader for justice and tight fitting halter tops Erin Brockovich has taken on the case...and made an interesting discovery.

Turns out there was a train derailment in 1970 within 3 miles of the school.  It caused a massive spill of cyanide and very a nasty industrial solvent called trichloroethylene, which can do some serious damage to a person's nervous system.

Hmmm...it looks like it's time to sing this little song from my childhood:

Obviously, this case is a lot more complex than even the victims' at first realized, but I'm glad that they (and their families) aren't taking the lame answers given to them by the state government and the school district.

Here's to hoping that Ms. Brockovich and the people covering this story find some real answers and some help for these girls.

And that Ms. Brockovich dresses appropriately for court.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weird Crime Wednesday: Beware my army of technologically adept drug addicts!

(photo @ sodahead.com)

So let's say that your name is Stanislaus Grzeskowiak of North Pole, Alaska.  You have decided that the state government is at fault for your lack of education, financial distress, and your marital problems.  You feel that society is "asking you to be a terrorist," so you kindly oblige by hatching a diabolical plan to bring the entire state of Alaska to its knees.  You decide to make financial demands that must be met, or you will wreak havoc across the frozen tundra and shut down the entire infrastructure of America's 49th state.

Now let's get one thing clear:  Extortion, especially against your own government, is never a good idea.  But if you are going to commit to it, there are a few things that you need to consider:

1.  This is probably a one shot deal.  You won't be able to make a viable career out of this, as you will be spending the rest of your life in hiding and/or on the run from the law.

2.  You should probably ask for a sizable amount of money; enough that you will be able to live off of for the rest of your life and that will help you travel to countries that aren't very cooperative with extraditing criminals.

Grzeskowiak instead asked the Alaskan government for the surprisingly modest extortion sum of $85,000.  While I understand that this amount won't have taxes or social security taken out of it, why not at least treat yourself a little and bump the amount to a cool $100,000?  Six figures just seems more impressive.

And how would he force the Alaskan government to pay this sum?  What army was behind him to help carry out this act of destruction, revenge, and/or greed?

It could be the Russians.  Palin's not watching for them anymore.

Well, the first part was easy enough that he could handle it on his own; he would simply cut a cord that all oil companies, credit card companies, and cellphone companies were dependent upon to remain operational.  How Mr. Grzeskowiak was able to discover the secret of this one all important piece of wiring still remains a mystery, but it is a question that would not have had time to answer.

While we pondered petty mysteries like why all these companies used one line of wiring for electricity and data that could be cut in one place, Grzeskowiak would have already moved on to Phase 2 of his master plan.  He had somehow learned how to use discarded televisions to make devices that would disrupt and/or shut down police communications, cell phones, televisions, and computers.  

These "electromagnetic distortion devices" would not be unleashed by just one man, though. Grzeskowiak warned police that he was ready to train an army that would wander the streets and country sides of Alaska, shutting down any device that people were using to call for help or to watch hockey.

And who would fill the ranks of this army that would hold Alaska and its residents hostage? 


I'm guessing that Mr.Grzeskowiak didn't consider the fact that "crackheads" are terribly unreliable and would most likely sell all of his painstakingly homemade EMP devices for money to buy drugs. Unfortunately, this lack of foresight still didn't prevent him from calling the police with his demands.

He was met by one Sgt. Jess Carson, who was actually kind enough to listen to these demands without laughing.  In his report, he claimed that Grzeskowiak backed off of his earlier claims once he met him face to face, stating that "he was just trying to explain cause and effect to me and that he suffers from mental illness."


Grzeskowiak was promptly arrested on charges of felony extortion and threatening harm. He is currently behind bars and his bail as been set at $2,500 (which is 3% of his original demand price). If the electrical system at his jail shuts down and gets overrun by inmates who are repeatedly scratching themselves, you know who to blame.