News of the Weird

Lead Stories
*At Thailand's national games in June, to select those who would represent the country in the Olympic games, the gold medal in men's volleyball was won by a squad of twelve transsexuals who have developed breasts and who dress as women but who have not yet had genital surgery. Despite the gold medal, none of the players was selected for the Olympic team.

*Latest dysfunctional family: In May the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Hixson, Tennessee, Baptist preacher Don McCary, who had been sentenced to 72 years in prison for thirteen sex offenses against four teenage boys. His twin brother, Ron, had been serving time with him at the prison in Pikeville, Tennessee, for raping a six-year-old boy. Their older brother Richard, a former pastor, is still wanted by authorities after pleading guilty to molesting four boys in the Eighties.

Police Blotter
*From a May crime report in the Huntington, West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch: A seventeen-year-old pizzeria employee was arrested for DUI at night after the store closed, and his boss was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to the boss, "It's hard to pay people. I let him drink beer at the pizzeria so he'll work for free."

*In May Domenico Germano, age 32, was sentenced to four years' probation and ordered to reimburse a bank for more than $5000 in repairs. After becoming frustrated that the bank's ATM would not give him any money, he pulled a gun and pumped four shots into it.

*In June a judge in Anderson, Indiana, first set bail at $10,000 for Virldeen Redmon, age 67, who had been arrested for public intoxication and driving with a suspended license. He then raised the bail to $100,000 when he saw Redmon's record: He has been arrested nearly 400 times on alcohol charges since 1947, had his driver's license suspended 33 times, and had his license suspended for life in 1977.

*Life imitates magazine ads: In March David Lee Smith, age 41, was charged with burglary in North Knoxville, Tennessee, after he broke into a home and demanded milk to drink. The occupant complied with the request and then discreetly called the police. A few minutes later, officers arrived and easily distinguished Smith from the occupant, they later said, because of Smith's milk mustache.

*In June, according to La Vergne, Tennessee, police Sgt. Carl McMillen, a man called 911 to summon officers to his home to prevent his wife from pouring out all of his beer after a domestic dispute.

The Weirdo-American Community
*In May Stanford University won the right, over the University of California at Berkeley, to house the literary legacy of the late Pulitzer- and Oscar-winning writer William Saroyan, apparently because it also agreed to accept Saroyan's nonliterary property. Because Saroyan was a compulsive collector, his nonliterary archives include hundreds of boxes of rocks, matchbook covers, old newspapers (numbering in the thousands), labels peeled from cans, and a plastic bag filled with thousands of rubber bands.

*In June a grand jury on Long Island, New York, returned indictments against three men who allegedly plotted to poison Suffolk County officials with radioactive substances in their food. The three men, John J. Ford, Joseph Mazzuchelli, and Edward Zabo, believe that the crash of a UFO on Long Island in 1995 was being covered up by the government; the three men believed that eliminating the officials would make it easier for them to gain power and expose the crash.

-- By Chuck Shepherd

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Chuck Shepherd