Wilma Jean Kanflee, 28, of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, went to Turner Gwyn's front door in January to apologize for having robbed him twice, but he refused to let her in, claiming that, as per the Bible, he had already forgiven her. Demanding to face him, the hefty woman broke the door down. Gwyn grabbed a gun and shot Kanflee three times. Kanflee then fled, but police picked her up later.
A 23-year-old woman, nine months pregnant and freshly arrested for shoplifting jewelry in Madison, Wisconsin, was rushed to the hospital in January when it appeared she had gone into labor. Doctors found that she was not in labor, but rather that some jewelry she had hidden in her vagina had moved dangerously into her birth canal.
Among the items the venerable Stanford University was accused of billing the federal government for recently in an expense-account rigmarole (as uncovered by the General Accounting Office) were the enlarging of president Donald Kennedy's bed, the purchase of special sheets for the bed, and $6,000 to line his bedroom closet with cedar. (Kennedy stood by his interpretation that federal regulations permitted the expenses.)
Eugene Roscoe, 55, was indicted by a grand jury in Houston in February for defrauding prospective employers in at least 38 states out of travel expenses by going to interview for jobs he didn't intend to take. He apparently avoided landing the jobs by feigning ignorance at crucial points in the interviews. Said one investigator, "He was making very good money"--more than $100,000 a year--"doing job interviews as a career."
According to a lawsuit filed by a former Fordham University student in October, Dr. Julio M. Soto (affiliated with the school) told her two and a half years ago that she had herpes and somehow managed to convince her that a "secret" vaccine could be administered most effectively if it were immediately preceded by sexual intercourse with the administerer.
Salviano Williams, 29, was convicted in New Bern, North Carolina, in September of defrauding the government by claiming to be a "hermaphrodite" married to a male U.S. Army sergeant so the sergeant's military pay would be at the higher married rate. A government physician said Williams is male, but Williams insisted that he (or she) is female.
David A. Brown was found guilty of murdering his wife in Los Angeles last June, despite a confession four years ago by his daughter, Cinnamon, then 14. Cinnamon served nearly four years in reform school before turning her father in. Brown's motive was that he wanted to marry his wife's sister, then 17, who also ended up going to jail for being part of the murder plot. Brown convinced Cinnamon to be the hitwoman by arguing that her youth would nearly excuse her from punishment. He allegedly plotted the subsequent murders of three other people.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Police in Williamson County, Texas, flooded an area with squad cars in November after a woman reported seeing a car drive off with a body partially sticking out of the trunk. When police located the car, an auto mechanic said he was riding there to locate a rattling noise for the driver.
Amanda Guild, 30, got her name and photo in the Saginaw (Michigan) News in October for bowling a 587 series and earning "bowler of the week" honors. An IRS agent recognized her as wanted on drug charges (from an incident in Jackson, Tennessee, earlier in the year), and she was arrested at her league team's weekly match.
Kharl Fulton of Louisville, Kentucky, wanted on a 1986 drug charge, came to officers' attention in February when a former coworker said she had seen him several months before as a contestant on The Price Is Right. (Police were able to track him down from biographical information he had given the show's producers.)
Repeat offender Isaac Peterson, in jail in Birmingham, Alabama, happened to have his bail hearing set for the morning (in February) after district judge Jack Montgomery had become fed up with criticism from the mayor that he sets bail too low. Peterson's bail was raised from $5,000 to $9 trillion.
Israeli prison inmate David Hagnazer, 35, asked the supreme court last year to move convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk ("Ivan the Terrible"), who was being housed in the cell formerly reserved for conjugal visits, thus preventing Hagnazer from conceiving a child with his wife.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.