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News of the Weird

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Lead Story

In December and January, at least 80 San Francisco officials and civic leaders received packages containing used men's underwear and rearview nude photographs of a white-haired man in "disgusting" poses. Police suspect it is the work of a man disgruntled with city services.

Smooth Reactions

Alcide Chaisson, 69, who lives in a trailer home in the flight path of an airport and apparently despairs at the noise that disrupts his radio playing, was arrested in Llano, California, in December after he allegedly took a four-foot mirror outside and attempted to blind pilots by reflecting sunlight into their eyes.

In Pensacola, Florida, in November, neighbors Gary R. Goodrich and J.B. Bloodsworth pulled guns and fired, sending each other to the hospital, in a dispute over whether one was raking leaves into the other's yard.

In Lansing, Michigan, James Carter, 44, upset that Pamela Bonds, 31, did not drive fast enough out of a parking lot after Christmas shopping, honked three times. After Bonds drove out and Carter passed her, Bonds rammed his car three times, the final time causing it to spin around, after which she rammed the driver's-side door and pushed the car a half block down the street. After the cars came to a stop, Bonds leapt from her car with a 20-ounce ball-peen hammer and attacked Carter before he could take it from her.

Well Put

Thom Robb, Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, said he knew nothing about the organization claiming responsibility for recent letter-bomb deaths and that attempts to link that group to the Klan were just attempts "to give the Klan a bad name."

During a December public meeting on community garbage disposal, William T. Stevenson, president of the Sussex County (Delaware) Council, said the county could save on a new incinerator if women would return to being housewives. Working women, he said, "always have to run to the store for something they have to cook in the microwave. I don't see much wrong with canning fruits and vegetables."

Kansas City civic leader Adele Hall, 43, on the activities of the Women's Public Service Network: "I think this is a yeasty time in our community, and it's a yeasty time for women."

Tammy Faye Bakker told a congregation in Lakeland, Florida, in December that her lawyer estimated her husband's chances of winning a reversal of his fraud conviction to be "77 percent."

Fetishes on Parade

In several November incidents near Quince Orchard High School in Bethesda, Maryland, female students waiting at a bus stop were asked for their panty hose by a man who claimed his car had just broken down.

Walter Knieriemen, 29, was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina, in November after a home owner returned to find him parading around the house nude except for the home owner's wife's underpants and long evening gloves.

Illinois authorities suspect that William Grove, 33, a business professor at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, stole shoes from students at universities in two states over a five-year period by snatching them in libraries when students left their tables for short breaks. Grove told police he donated the shoes to the homeless, but police found 80 pairs in his apartment. An apparently unrelated rash of shoe thefts (one shoe at a time) occurred in the Boston Public Library earlier last year.

Creme de la Weird

Blanche Taylor Moore was charged in August with the attempted murder by poison of her husband, the Reverend Dwight Moore, in Burlington, North Carolina, and with two other murders in 1973 and 1986. A former son-in-law said he had become ill several times while living with Ms. Moore and that she might have tried to poison him, too. Ms. Moore made the local news previously for an incident in which she walked out of a department store clutching a man's trousers and underpants, claiming they were proof the man tried to expose himself, and for an incident in which she claimed someone had broken into her home, piled her clothes on a bed, and set fire to them.

In October Dr. Janis Ashley told a newspaper in Sedalia, Missouri, that she was getting a sex-change operation so she could find a wife and raise a family. She had been a woman only since her first sex change, 11 years ago.

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

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