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News Of The Weird



Lead Story

Two instances of flying cows were reported in November. A cow fell off a cliff and crashed through the roof of a small house near Yaounde, Cameroon, landing on Marguerite Nomo's dinner table. And the Associated Press reported that high winds in Arkansas killed several cows by carrying them into treetops.

Names in the News

A January Associated Press report from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, revealed that restaurant owner Nikone Unknown, 40, acquired that name when he emigrated from Laos in 1979; afraid to reveal his last name to immigration officials, he listed it as "unknown." He lives with his wife, Ratchanee Unknown, and son, Nick Unknown.

Recent deaths: Gladys Louise White-Black, in Austin; Hallelujah Amen Lee, in Kasilof, Alaska; Kevin C. Tombs, in New York City; Thomas C. Angst, a 31-year-old lawyer who committed suicide after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court disciplinary-board investigation closed in on him; and Eleven Hopson, 74, in Columbus, Ohio, the last of Mary and Thomas Hopson's 11 children.

Recent births (girls): in York, Pennsylvania, Atheist Evolution Rollason (named because her parents believe that God played no role in her creation); and in Portland, Oregon, Surreal Turquoise Spiral Hawthorne.

Recent business news: the announcement of Cupid Network Television's home shopping channel for sexy merchandise was made by the network's president, Offer Assis; a federal grand jury issued an indictment for false corporate tax returns against Bert A. Lies Jr.; and the announcement of Jantzen's new bust-enhancing swimwear for 1995 was made by the company president, Jay R. Titsworth.

Recent arrests: on a prostitution charge in Pisgah, Maryland, Alonda Ann Hoe, 21; on marijuana smuggling charges in Sarita, Texas, George Washington, 40; on murder charges in Miami, Hitler Fleurinord; on trespassing charges at a Fairfax, Virginia, high school, Fonzie Agnew, 20.

Recent sports news: Reverend Jesse Jackson, protesting the hiring of a white man over a black man for head football coach at the University of Colorado, sent a letter to the school's president, Judith E.N. Albino. The point guard for the Florida A&M Rattlers basketball team is freshman Scientific Mapp; and other basketball players researched by the Providence Phoenix include Theatric Ishmon (Jackson State), Fabulous Flournoy (McNeese State), and high school player Summer Erb (Lakewood, Ohio).

People in the Wrong Place

at the Wrong Time

In July at the zoo in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Alexander Perez, 19, suffering from diarrhea, decided in an emergency that the most privacy he could get was behind some bushes in the lion's pen. The lion charged, and Perez, unable to run because his pants were down, was severely mauled before a friend could jump into the pen and hit the lion with a brick.

In October jailers in Lubbock, Texas, put two men arrested in separate incidents in the same cell. Raymond Medellin, 17, and Jesus Garcia, 39, slept peaceably, but in the morning Garcia realized that Medellin had been arrested for killing Garcia's son. Garcia beat up Medellin before jailers intervened.

In October drug dealers in Baltimore, panicking after seeing a police officer on one side of their building, began tossing cocaine packets out the second-story window on the other side. Below were police officers setting up traffic cones to mark off parking spaces for the police commissioner and other officials interested in visiting a drug neighborhood.

In August California Highway Patrol officers caught up to accused speeder K. Stanley Rutkowski when he had to stop on Interstate 5 near Oceanside; the highway had been closed temporarily because a man was theatening to jump from an overpass. And in January near Enfield, Connecticut, a robbery suspect was caught when he was forced to stop on Interstate 91; the highway was blocked because of a long funeral procession for a deceased police officer.

Timothy Weems, 34, was arrested in Fontana, California, in October and charged with attempted theft of a television from John Victor's apartment. Weems allegedly forced his way in and took the TV but encountered police on his way out of the building. The police were responding to a call Victor had made a few minutes earlier, after he was robbed by someone else.

Miscellaneous Eloquence

Accused murderer Bob Russell Williams Jr., allegedly telling a Bakersfield, California, police officer that he didn't deserve the death penalty, which he could be eligible for if the murder occurred in conjunction with other felonies: "I might have killed that lady, but I'm no burglar."

Send your weird news to Chuck Shepherd, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Illustration/Chuck Shepherd.

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