Category:
Crime

Tarantula Pie, and other ways to kill a husband

In 1977, Carol Louise Hargis was convicted of killing her husband by beating him over the head with a lead weight. She was helped by an accomplice, Terry DePew. Apparently their plan was to split the insurance money.

But what made the case unusual was the various ways the duo had earlier tried to off the husband, without success:

  • feeding him pie containing tarantula venom
  • throwing a live electric cord into the shower with him
  • shooting air into his vein
  • lacing his toast with LSD
  • Putting a poisonous snake into his bed
  • Putting bullets in the carburetor of his truck


San Francisco Examiner - Dec 2, 1977



LA Times - Dec 8, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 24, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Stupid Criminals, 1970s

Colonel Barker



Wikipedia says:
Victor Barker, born Lillias Irma Valerie Barker (1895–1960), who also went by the pseudonyms John Hill and Geoffrey Norton, was a transgender man who is notable for having married a woman. He was an officer of the National Fascisti, a bankrupt and a convicted criminal.


Good article here.

A contemporary report from 1933:



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 24, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Gender-bending, Twentieth Century

Man-Catching Tank

Stanley Valinski's "man-catching tank," for which he received a patent in 1921 (#1,392,095), looked a bit like a dalek prototype.

He imagined it would be used in banks for catching and holding burglars. It consisted of an armored watchbox concealing an armed watchman who could peer out through peep holes. The entire device moved on electric-driven wheels, which the watchman could steer. Upon spotting a burglar, he would maneuver the tank into position and then grasp the criminal with six enormous steel claws attached to the side of the machine.



Wichita Daily Times - Dec 18, 1921

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 14, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Inventions, 1920s

The man whom bullets bounced off of

In 1976, King Dixon of Miami was shot five times at close range in the head during a bar fight. Not a single bullet penetrated his skull. He was hospitalized overnight for observation, and then released the following day in satisfactory condition.

Alexandria Town Talk - May 10, 1976



Casper Star-Tribune - May 12, 1976



It seemed at the time like he must have been bulletproof, but a follow-up by Miami Herald crime reporter Edna Buchanan, in her book Never Let Them See You Cry, reveals that he was affected by bullets after all:

Dixon was treated at a hospital and sent home, where I talked to him the next day. "My ears are still ringing," he said. "The gun was right at my ear. Those shots were really loud." Other than that, he felt fine. "I guess you have to ask the good Lord why I'm still alive."
But the bullets did kill him. I found King Dixon at the morgue eight years later. Since the shooting he had suffered seizures, and one of them killed him.
The medical examiner blamed the old bullet wounds and ruled the death a homicide.
King Dixon became Miami's only murder victim in 1984 killed by bullets fired in 1976.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 12, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Human Marvels, 1970s, Weapons

Guard Pig

We recently posted about tarantulas used to guard jewelry. Another unconventional security animal was CP, the guard pig, trained to attack by animal trainer Marcel Leblanc:

The thin, tanned Leblanc said he has trained attack dogs for Canadian police departments for 17 years.
Leblanc said he bought CP—which stands for Canadian Pig—"to fatten up and slaughter for a friend's party."
But he said he noticed the 150-pound, 6-month-old, pink and white Yorkshire pig learned tricks quickly. So he placed the animal among the Doberman pinschers and German shepherds in a police canine training program.
"The pig performed better than the dogs," said Leblanc.

If a 150-pound pig was charging at me, I'd sure run away!

Orlando Sentinel - Sep 23, 1979



El Paso Times - Oct 10, 1979





Fort Worth Star Telegram - Oct 10, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 28, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Crime, 1970s

The gunman who wasn’t there

"Oakland police spent two hours last night trying to convince a mentally disturbed gunman holed up in his apartment to surrender—only to discover that he was standing next to them helping to direct the police."

San Francisco Examiner - June 16, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, 1970s

Tarantula security guards

In the mid-1970s, there was a fad among jewelry stores to use tarantulas as security guards. Stores claimed it helped prevent thefts, although tarantulas aren't going to do much to stop a thief, besides looking scary. Rattlesnakes, I imagine, might work better.

La Crosse Tribune - July 19, 1975



Posted By: Alex - Fri May 08, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Insects, 1970s

Family Feud

Source.

More on the Dyotts, here and here.


Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Family, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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