News of the Weird

Lead Stories
*Doug and Veronica Wright celebrated their first wedding anniversary on the U.S.-Canadian bridge at Niagara Falls because it's the only place they can meet. Doug, an American, is barred from Canada because of a criminal record that includes illegal entry into the country; Veronica is barred from the United States because of a 1997 drug conviction. The couple's six-month-old son lives with her and plays with both on the bridge.

*In April a camera shop employee in Royal Oak, Michigan, called police to report that someone dropped off a roll of film containing shots of naked women and an underage boy. Police confiscated the photos and questioned the man who had dropped them off. A 23-year-old dwarf showed up at the police station with identification papers and proved he was the "boy" in the photos.

Calling Dr. Krafft-Ebing
*In Phoenix James Joseph Zanzot, age 37, was ordered to prison for four years for repeatedly video- and audiotaping women urinating in bathrooms. Zanzot called the sentence "unjust," asserting that his behavior was "immoral" and "repulsive" but "not illegal." He once agreed to therapy, then installed video equipment in the therapist's bathroom.

Competition for the East River
*In Haridwar, India, at what is probably the planet's largest religious gathering, about ten million people jumped into the Ganges River in April to purify themselves at the end of the Kumbh Mela celebration. Hindus continue to regard the Ganges as pure despite the fact that more than 600 sewer systems flush 300 million gallons of waste into it every day.

Which One's the Kid?
*A police report in Martinez, California, described a one-car accident. A man was playing "What's That Color?" with his small son while driving and held his breath in an attempt to turn red or blue. He held his breath too long and passed out; the car ran off the road. Neither was badly hurt.

Wedded Bliss
*In December Manuel Borrego, Jr., age 32, and his new wife Kimberly were en route from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they had just been married, to Joliet, Illinois, when they began arguing about the volume of the radio. After a screaming match, Manuel stopped to walk around; Kimberly took the wheel and allegedly tried to run him over. And in March in Port Jervis, New York, Luis Deleg, age 27, stabbed his bride of ten hours to death at the reception because he thought she was flirting too much.

Injudicious Judges
*In April Nebraska's judicial qualification commission recommended that Omaha Judge Richard "Deacon" Jones be fired for various misdeeds, including lying, using epithets against females in the courthouse, and performing duties after he had been suspended. Other charges against him included signing official court papers with names like "A. Hitler" and "Snow White," setting ludicrous amounts as bail (thirteen cents, "a zillion pengos"), personally and closely supervising a young male probationer's urine test, and setting off a firecracker in the office of a judge with whom he had been feuding.

*In March a court in British Columbia ordered a 46-year-old millwright on Vancouver Island to give up two-thirds of his wages every month to satisfy a judgment of about $30,000 he was ordered to pay for using a baseball bat to attack the man who had molested his fifteen-year-old daughter.

-- By Chuck Shepherd

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Chuck Shepherd