News of the Weird

Lead Stories
*In a procedure denounced by the Association of Professional Piercers, Phoenix piercer's apprentice Joe Aylward recently had a metal plate implanted under the skin of his skull so he can screw decorative spikes into his head.

*Incriminating fingers: In Amsterdam in August and Miami in June, men were arrested based on fingerprints from their own severed (bitten off and shot off, respectively) fingers that they abandoned at crime scenes. And Victor Arreola, age 23, was arrested at the Scripps Hospital in Chula Vista, California, in November, where he went after losing his finger in a slammed door in what police say was a carjacking. (According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the police asked Arreola if the finger they had was his. When he said yes, they arrested him. Arreola then asked to take another look at the finger and decided, no, come to think of it, it didn't look like his. By then it was too late to reattach the finger.)

Police Blotter
*In August twelve men were arrested near Szczecin in northern Poland as they were digging up a road. They had heard a rumor that it was built with a stockpile of police-confiscated hashish; the hashish had indeed been sold to a chemical plant to be converted to ash for road construction.

*In July police in Dayton, Ohio, said Janet Denise Hailey, age 40, climbed into a Wells Fargo truck and had such excellent sex with the driver, Aaron McKie, that he didn't immediately notice that she left clutching a bag containing $80,000.

*Police in Sanger, Texas, said four kids, including the police chief's son, broke into a funeral home in September intending to steal embalming fluid so they could dip their cigarettes in it. When they couldn't find any, they cut the finger off a corpse and took turns trying to smoke it to draw out the absorbed fluid.

Can't Stop Myself
*Paul Carthy, age 25, pleaded guilty in Exeter, England, in September to theft subsequent to his original charge of shoplifting from a liquor store. In the second theft, he stole the magnetic letters from the name board held in front of his face when his mug shot was taken.

*In October police in Tokyo arrested Ms. Teruko Hamakawa, age 52, for illegal interference with a man's business, charging her with calling him on the phone at work and then hanging up -- 16,000 times in a one-year period. She was angry that, after they had exchanged photos seeking a romantic introduction, he failed to call, which she thought was "impolite."

*In September, according to police in Junction City, Kansas, David Bell, age 30, just released from jail for car theft, walked out the door and stole another car to get home. And in October William B. Singleton, age 24, just released from jail in Belton, Missouri, on a larceny charge, allegedly broke into a vending machine in the lobby of the police station and stole a 60-cent Strawberry Twisteroo while he waited for his ride.

Undignified Deaths
*In October a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker who "totally zoned when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off a 200-foot-high cliff. And in September in Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing headfirst through an eighteen-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys. And in September a seven-year-old boy fell off a 100-foot-high bluff near Ozark, Arkansas, after he lost his grip swinging on a cross that marked the spot where another person had fallen to his death in 1990.

-- By Chuck Shepherd

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