Category:
Crime

Rent-a-Thief

Incentive your employees to be honest by surreptitiously hiring a thief whom you can ‘catch’ and publicly shame.

Pomona Progress Bulletin - July 23, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 07, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Crime, 1970s

A great moment in criminal defense

"The mere fact that you're holding up McDonald's with a gun doesn't mean you give up your right to be protected from somebody who wants to shoot you."
-Attorney for Timothy Ray Anderson who was shot by a security guard while robbing a McDonald's in 1991.

I'm curious to know what happened to Anderson's case, but haven't been able to find any follow-up about it.

Wisconsin State Journal - May 29, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 24, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Lawsuits

The Mad Clipper

He briefly terrorized the housewives of Charleston in the Summer of 1969:

Police files show the man frequently tells women in a door-to-door campaign that he is opening a new beauty salon. He offers the lady of the house a sampling of his work. Those who agree have wound up bald.

Beckley Post-Herald - June 24, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 07, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Crime, 1960s, Hair and Hairstyling

Sky Riders



Probably the apex of the hang-glider craze.

Robert Culp plays Bracken, whose life seems perfect until his wife Ellen and their children are kidnapped by terrorists one day. After failed attempts to capture them back by the police, Ellen's ex husband enters the fray and plans his own rescue attempt. James Coburn plays McCabe, Ellen's ex-husband who hires a crew of professional hang gliders to help him rescue her and the kids from the terrorist's mountain top lair.


Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 03, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Crime, Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Movies, 1970s

Unauthorized Dwellings 5



Keeping one's lover in the attic, hidden from the resident husband, has to require some chutzpah.

Full story here.

Dolly Oesterreich, 33 at the time, first became friendly with 17-year-old Otto Sanhuber (Jul 16, 1888 - ?)around 1913 and described him as her "vagabond half-brother." The two quickly became lovers and met clandestinely at Sanhuber's boarding room or at a nearby hotel. They also arranged trysts at Dolly's home but, when neighbors began noting Otto's increasingly frequent comings and goings and alerted her husband, Dolly suggested to Otto that he quit his job and secretly move into the Oesterreichs' upstairs attic to allay any further suspicions. He readily agreed to the arrangement. Not only would this put him in closer proximity to his lover but it would also give him time to pursue his dream of writing pulp fiction stories. Sanhuber would later describe himself as Dolly's "sex slave".

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 30, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Unauthorized Dwellings, Death, Sexuality, Twentieth Century

Sobriety, sobriety, sobriety…

They thought forcing him to write would teach him sobriety, and yet so many writers are alcoholics.

Indianapolis Star - Oct 23, 1933

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 08, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Writers, 1930s

Karl-Heinz Wemhoff, Master Check-Kiter

Here is an account of a bold check-kiting scheme that probably would not be possible nowadays. As with many of these crimes, it sounds like it was more work than making an honest living.

Original article here.





Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 26, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Money, 1960s, Europe

Swallowed the evidence

In November 1965, Walter Cunningham was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a jewel robbery. The police picked him up two days after the robbery, loitering outside a pawn shop. He didn't have the jewels on him, but when he later complained of a stomach ache, the police realized he had swallowed all the evidence: about 91 diamonds, a 20-karat ruby, and an emerald chip.

Police Lt. Carl Schumacher told reporters, "We figure he must have swallowed the gems while he was being booked. He was probably standing there chomping away while our backs were turned."

Doctors subsequently recovered the jewels. Cunningham pleaded guilty to a federal charge of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Nov 19, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 29, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, 1960s

Librarian Strikes Back

In February 1961, Harold Roth, director of the East Orange Library in New Jersey, made news by having arrest warrants made out for 14 people with overdue books. The degree of overdueness ranged from four months to one year. But what really attracted attention was the manner of the arrests. The police showed up at many of the houses around midnight to rouse the scofflaws out of bed and drag them down to jail.

I think this 1961 case remains the largest mass round-up of people with overdue library books, but people still occasionally get arrested for not returning their library books in a timely fashion. The site publiclibraries.com has an article about "Jail time for overdue library books" that lists some more recent cases.

Life - Feb 17, 1961



Green Bay Press-Gazette - Feb 8, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 24, 2018 - Comments (10)
Category: Crime, Libraries, 1960s

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

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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