News of the Weird, December 7, 2014

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M400, December 7, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Kansas lawyer Dennis Hawver was disbarred in November for his comically bad (24 separate deficiencies) defense of double-murder suspect Phillip Cheatham in 2005 (which led to a new trial for Cheatham). Hawver had admitted to the jury that his client was a “shooter of people” (a previous manslaughter conviction) who, as an “experience[d]” criminal would never have left that third victim alive with multiple gunshot wounds. A confident Hawver had virtually invited the jury to execute “whoever” the killer was. (At a September hearing to keep his license, he dressed as Thomas Jefferson, banging the lectern and shouting, as reverse psychology, “I am incompetent!”--leading the blog Lowering The Bar to muse that by then, the argument was wholly unnecessary.) Cheatham told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Hawver is “a good dude [but] just in over his head.” [Topeka Capital-Journal, 11-14-2014] [Lowering The Bar, 9-18-2014]

Names in the News

Arrested in October for burglary of a Kohl’s department store in Alhambra, Calif.: Ms. Josephine Crook, 49. Passed away on October 15th in Marietta, Ga.: Ms. Ida Gbye, 81. Arrested in October and charged with stabbing two men in Regina, Saskatchewan: Ms. Danielle Knife, 24. Charged in Mississauga, Ontario, in October with sexually assaulting three male patients: psychologist Dr. Vincent Hung Lo. Arrested in November in Gainesville, Fla., on sexual assault charges but then exonerated three days later when accuser Jeremy Foster was caught lying: Mr. Phuc Kieu, 58. [KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), 10-26-2014] [Marietta Daily Journal, 10-23-2014] [CTV News (Regina), 10-16-2014] [The Star (Toronto), 10-7-2014] [First Coast News (Jacksonville), 11-26-2014]

The Continuing Crisis

The Creative Class: To spark interest in the new leisure centre opening in Spring 2015 in Selby in North Yorkshire, England, the management company WLCT sponsored a contest to name the centre, with the prize a year’s free membership. On November 5th, General Manager Paul Hirst announced that Steve Wadsworth was the winner, proclaiming, “Well done to Steve on winning the competition.” The winning entry: “Selby Leisure Centre.” [Selby District Council press release, 11-5-2014]

A German woman who identifies herself only as “Anna Konda” described to Vice Media in October her Female Fight Club in Berlin, now three years old, for women to test themselves in all-out wrestling matches. While some are fetish-motivated dominants, others display no particular sexuality--like Anna, herself, who, she admits, simply likes to “crush” men’s and women’s skulls between her massive thighs. Anna says she is a product of East Germany’s cliched development of tough, muscular female athletes. [, 10-20-2014]

Questionable Judgments

Those Frightening Alabama Schools: (1) In October, a mother charged that officials at E.R. Dickson School in Mobile, Ala., first detained her daughter, 5, for pointing a crayon at another student as if it were a gun, and then pressured the girl to sign a paper promising not to kill anyone or commit suicide. “What is suicide, Mommy?” the girl asked when her parents arrived. (2) In a 2010 incident at Sparkman Middle School near Huntsville, Ala., an administrator coaxed a special-needs girl, 14, into a boys’ bathroom to “bait” a 16-year-old boy who had previous sexual-misconduct issues into committing a prosecutable offense--and then failed to protect the girl. (The girl’s family sued and won a summary judgment, but the school board appealed, and in September 2014 the U.S. Justice Department formally endorsed the family’s lawsuit.) [WPMI-TV (Mobile), 10-10-2014] [ (Huntsville), 9-18-2014]

The West Briton newspaper reported in October that a darts team composed of blind men was ready for its inaugural match at an inn in Grampound, England, sponsored by the St. Austell Bay Rotary Club. The inn’s landlord acknowledged that the game-room door would be closed “just in case” a dart strays off course. (The blind darters will be aided by string attached to the bull’s eye that they can feel for guidance.) [West Briton (Truro), 10-21-2014]

Police Report

Twice in September, police in North Kingstown, R.I., reported that women had complained of a motorist who would stop female strangers on the street to tell them jokes about blonde women. The jokes were not sexual but still made the women “uncomfortable.” A high school girl told her mother of a similar episode. Based on a license plate number, police visited the man at home, and he agreed to stop. [ (North Kingstown), 9-12-2014]

Unclear on the Concept

Update: In some countries, a sex “strike” organized by women is often the only hopeful tactic for convincing husbands and lovers to take grievances seriously. However, in November, Mr. Nderitu Njoka, head of a “Global Men Empowerment Network” in Nairobi, Kenya, announced that his organization would commence a “sex boycott” for five days, denying men’s “services” to their wives--to protest “tyrannical” female domination. According to Njoka, hundreds of Kenyan men are physically assaulted by females every year (including at least 100 whose wives vengefully castrate them). (Referring to a notorious U.S. incident, Njoka offered support to the singer Jay Z after he was punched by his sister-in-law Solange Knowles.) [Washington Post, 11-14-2014]

First, Do Harm: In November, according to the deputy police commissioner in Calcutta, India, a group of student doctors at Nilratan Sarkar Medical College cornered, beat, maimed, and eventually killed a man they suspected of rummaging through their belongings and stealing their mobile phones. The incident followed a series of phone and laptop thefts, and some of the enraged medical students slashed the man’s genitals before leaving him to die. [Agence France-Presse via BBC News, 11-17-2014]


Despite a 70-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision to the contrary, six states still have laws exempting parents from homicide charges when they deny a child life-saving medical care because they trust no remedy except prayer. Even among those states, all 12 of the deaths since 1994 under those circumstances have occurred in Idaho, where (according to a November report by no prosecutor seems willing to put a trust-in-God parent before a jury. Children in Idaho have died when simple medical treatments were available (e.g., insulin and fluids for Type I diabetes). Neighboring Oregon, by contrast, now vigorously prosecutes parents who let their children die, including a 13-year-old girl’s parents convicted in November in Albany, Ore. [, 11-17-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Police in Murfreesboro, N.C., announced in November that they had intercepted a shipment of 30 pounds of marijuana that had been loosely packaged and shipped from California by U.S. Mail, and an investigation was underway with arrests expected. Police Chief Darrell Rowe told WTKR-TV that the scent of the packages was so vivid that, even though he had summoned the department’s K-9 unit, “the dog kind of looked at us [as if to say] ‘Do you really need me for this?’” [WTKR-TV (Hampton Roads, Va.), 11-11-2014]

Recurring Themes

(1) Most recent drunk driver to hit a pedestrian with the victim’s body then lodging in the windshield--and the driver’s traveling on, seemingly oblivious: Marcos Ortega, 30, in Ocean Township, N.J., in November (whose 66-year-old victim did not survive). (2) Most recent report of birds in the wild consuming fermenting berries--and then comically crashing into trees and making goofy-looking landings: Bohemian waxwings in Canada’s Yukon, in November (where the Environment Yukon organization set them up an “avian drunk tank”). [WPVI-TV (Philadelphia), 11-12-2014] [Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News, 11-17-2014]

The Classic Middle Name (all new!)

* Arrested recently and awaiting trial for murder: Jason Wayne Autry, Holladay, Tenn. (April); Dennis Wayne Brooks, Robertsville, Mo. (November); Jimmy Wayne Estes, Charlotte, N.C. (June); Jestin Wayne Hooker, Lubbock, Tex. (July); Walter Wayne Howard, Portland, Ore. (November, for 1988 cold-case); John Wayne Mackay, James City County, Va. (indicted January); Thomas Wayne Martin, Huntsville, Ala. (indicted November). Convicted of murder: Allen Wayne Densen, Munford, Ala. (June); Darrell Wayne Frederick, Oklahoma County, Okla. (November). Sentenced for murder: Gregory Wayne Hill, Sydney, Australia (June); Stephen Wayne Jamieson, Sydney, Australia (November); Christopher Wayne Robin, Beaumont, Tex. (March). Execution for murder imminent, pending clemency hearing: Robert Wayne Holsey, Baldwin County, Ga. (November).
[Autry: The Tennessean, 4-30-2014]
[Brooks: Sullivan Independent News (Sullivan, Mo.), 11-25-2014]
[Estes: Charlotte Observer, 6-17-2014]
[Hooker: KJTV (Lubbock), 8-26-2014]
[Howard: KOIN-TV (Portland, Ore.), 11-13-2014]
[Mackay: Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, 1-16-2014]
[Martin: (Huntsville), 11-7-2014]
[Densen: CBS News, 4-15-2014]
[Frederick: The Oklahoman, 11-12-2014]
[Hill: Sydney Morning Herald, 7-31-2014]
[Jamieson: The Age (Melbourne), 11-25-2014]
[Robin: Beaumont Enterprise, 3-19-2014]
[Holsey: WMGT-TV (Atlanta), 11-25-2014]

Thanks This Week to Harry Thompson, Chris Krehbiel, Charles Congre, Chuck Hamilton, Jane Meadus, and Scott McDaniel, and to the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney) and Board of Editorial Advisors (Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Bob McCabe, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Sandy Pearlman, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Peter Smagorinsky, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Dec 07, 2014

"Do you really need me for this?" HA! Love it! 😊
Posted by Phideaux on 12/07/14 at 09:26 PM
Dennis Hawver A crazy lawyer... Now, there's news.

Selby Leisure Centre Dho!

Cured by Prayer It's called 'Thinning the herd'; let them alone!

30Lbs of Weed Wait... Didn't the dude mail 31Lbs?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/07/14 at 11:39 PM
Mobile Alabama - School administrators should all go see psychiatrists, because they are obviously out of touch with reality.

Huntsville Alabama - Tell me someone went to jail for using a 14 yo special needs student for "bait".

Is it really unlawful in Rhode Island to make someone uncomfortable?
Posted by RobK on 12/08/14 at 11:58 AM
lawyer- Funny that the only one with any sympathy for the lawyer is the mis-represented client.

What's in a name?- Ask all those guys with Wayne as a middle name. Ban Wayne as a middle name!!!

Fight club for girls- PMS death matches!

5yr old- Fire everyone involved in that fiasco. Maybe those school officials (make that officious pricks) should have their kids taken to the bank and allowed to sign for loans against their houses. I mean if kids can sign documents and all.

blind darts- OW...LOOK OUT...MEEEEOW!

sex strike- Anything that lowers the birthrate there is ok considering the famine and rampant diseases. Think of all the trouble that could have been averted by a sex strike there 53 years ago.

Calcutta- Its gotten pretty rough there since Sister Theresa passed away.

prayer healing- I watched a woman die from an infection from an untreated broken leg because her religion did not believe in surgery. Or medication so she was without pain meds till close to the end when family conceded to allow Tylenol (only Tylenol) to be administered for pain. By then the woman was incoherent. I can't imagine seeing something similar done to a child. Idaho must be filled with potato heads.

dog- When it is that obvious you do not need to bring in the pros.

Drunk birds- That's gotta be funny to watch!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 12/08/14 at 04:05 PM
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