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News of the Weird



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A state appeals court in Santa Ana, California, upheld a lower court in December by granting Sheryle Ulyate an increase in child-support payments from $2,000 to $6,000 a month. Ulyate said their 15-year-old daughter's monthly expenses included $2,000 for clothing, $300 for jewelry, and $1,600 for entertainment. The ex-husband had made a fortune selling mini blinds.

Fetishes on Parade

Last winter police in Fort Worth, Texas, stopped a car when they received reports that a bound and gagged blond woman had been spotted in the passenger seat. After deputy sheriff David McPherson stopped the car, he found that the "woman" was a blow-up doll and that the driver had been engaged in a "joke." The man was released after he was scolded.

In May Kenosha, Wisconsin, police arrested a 40-year-old, heavyset man inside a women's rest room at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and charged him with disorderly conduct. He was bound and handcuffed and dressed as a French maid, and police said he had been arrested before for a similar incident. Police said he paid a female student to tie him up, claiming it was part of a fraternity prank.

In July a woman in Jackson Center, Pennsylvania, reported that someone had used a ladder to climb into the second story of her home, but all she reported missing was $10 worth of diapers, even though jewelry and antiques had been in the same room.

In August police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, charged Redmond McGee, 25, with breaking into a woman's house to burglarize it and brushing the woman's hair against her will.

In Toms River, New Jersey, William Radice Jr., 20, pleaded guilty in November to forcing a woman to give him one of her black loafers. He had accosted her in her driveway as she was unloading groceries.

In Little Rock, the hometown of notorious toe-sucker Michael Wyatt, a couple reported that a man not fitting Wyatt's description had forced the woman at knife point to submit to a toe sucking as they left work late one night in July. The couple were also robbed.

Pet Projects

A dog in Knoxville, Tennessee, came home in December carrying in his mouth a bag of cocaine with a street value of $16,000. His owner resisted police efforts to recruit the dog.

London's Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in November announced guidelines to discourage vets from routinely shortening dogs' tails, especially poodles' and bulldogs'. About 20 percent of Britain's dogs have been so "docked," and more than 25 percent of registered breeds get their tails shortened by tradition.

In July, seconds after Pat Lees' prize pigeon Percy won a homing race from France to Sheffield, England, beating out 900 other birds, a cat pounced on it and ate it. By the time Lees could retrieve Percy's tag to prove that it had finished the race, two other pigeons had landed, leaving the late Percy in third place.

In December a Saint Louis domestic-relations judge decreed that a divorcing couple, Tony and Carla Julius, were each entitled to custody of one of their two dogs, but that each Sunday the dogs must play together for four hours with Tony and four with Carla.

In September a court in Henley, England, upheld a local decision to deny a license for an outdoor music festival because the field was too close to a pig-breeding center. The magistrates thought the noise would upset the pigs.

The Weirdo-American Community

In January a 42-year-old man was found not guilty by reason of insanity in Gainesville, Florida, on charges that he set fire to 22 churches in Florida, Colorado, and Tennessee in a ten-month period. The man said he set the fires because he thought church computers were sending him painful signals to be homosexual.

Least Competent Person

David D. Cousins, 22, was arrested for bank robbery in Quincy, Illinois, in November after being tricked by the bank's executive vice president, Louis McClelland, into surrendering after a six-hour standoff. McClelland had faked a heart attack and told Cousins that if he died, the robbery would be too gruesome to be acceptable for movie rights, but that if he got medical treatment, he could help Cousins sell the story so they could both achieve fame and fortune.


The Tass news agency reported in December that Olga Frankevich, who fled Soviet security police in 1947 during Stalin's purges, surfaced in a house in western Ukraine, where she had been hiding under a bed for 45 years. Her slightly bolder sister roamed the house but never left it.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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