Category:
Stupid Criminals

Robber warns of robbery

Jan 1995: Raymond Cuthbert warned an employee at Nolan's Pharmacy that he would be back in half an hour to rob the store. Sure enough, he returned a half hour later with a friend who was carrying a concealed weapon. The two were arrested by the waiting police.

The Vernon Morning Star - Jan 6, 1995



Perhaps Raymond had in mind the law proposed in Texas in 1973 that would have required criminals to give their victims advance notice before committing a crime.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 24, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 5

Suicide is self-murder, and offing oneself because your murderous insurance scam has come unraveled seems a bit more unlikely than accepting the punishment. Extra points given for swallowing poison in front of the cops. How did he have it so handy?



Source: The Daily Journal (Commerce, Texas) 09 Nov 1956, Fri Page 1

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 19, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Suicide, Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny, Stupid Criminals, 1950s

Another Misunderstanding

Following up on Paul's recent post, "All a Misunderstanding," here's another case that is doubtless just an innocent case of a misunderstanding.

Convicted drug offender Declan Butcher was picked up by police and found to have a bag containing cocaine between his buttocks. This seemed to be a blatant violation of his previously imposed bail conditions. But Butcher explained to the judge that it wasn't his fault because the cocaine "had been put there by someone else without his knowledge".

Belfast Telegraph

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 13, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals

Spray-Paints face as a disguise

2009: in order to disguise himself while robbing a phone store, Thomas James spray-painted his face gold. He later began having trouble breathing and died.

It's not clear to me if he actually died because of the spray paint, though it must have been a contributing factor. His accomplice, who also spray-painted his face, was apparently fine.

Either way, spray-painting your face doesn't seem like much of a disguise. It reminds me of those guys who tried to conceal themselves from surveillance cameras by rubbing lemon juice all over their faces.

source: wistv.com

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 02, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Stupid Criminals

Frestonia

CHAZ? Nothing new in the world.



Good article here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Government, Stupid Criminals, Unauthorized Dwellings, 1960s, United Kingdom

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

Bugs Bunny and the Pirate

Could you make an effective cartoon with sound only? See what you think.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 29, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Stupid Criminals, Cartoons, 1950s

The Lemon-Juice Bandits

In January 1995, Macarthur Wheeler and Clifton Johnson robbed a bank in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. However, they had a plan to avoid detection: they rubbed lemon juice on their faces. Their reasoning was that lemon juice can be used to make invisible ink, so surely it would conceal their faces from surveillance cameras as well. They even tested this hypothesis by taking polaroid pictures of each other smeared with lemon juice, and it seemed to work.

Unfortunately, they showed up just fine on the bank's cameras, and they were identified and arrested several months later when the footage of the robbery was broadcast on a local news show.

This odd crime has an interesting postscript. The psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University read about it, and it inspired them to start thinking about the problem of stupidity: this being that stupid people often don’t realize they’re stupid. In fact, they think they’re quite smart, which leads them to do incredibly dumb things. This phenomenon (of dumb people not being able to recognize the limits of their competence) is now known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. In the journal article in which they introduced the concept, Dunning and Kruger cited the lemon-juice bandits as their inspiration.

Tyrone Daily Herald - Jan 8, 1996



Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Mar 21, 1996

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 26, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Stupid Criminals, Psychology, 1990s

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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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