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News of the Weird



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Engineering student Tyler Ing, 20, told the Free Press of London, Ontario, in October that his parents "looked at me real weird for a few minutes" at first but "now they're proud. My mom shows the book to all her friends." The volume in question is the 2006 edition of Guinness World Records, in which a 3.5-inch hair on Ing's right nipple is cited as the longest nipple hair in the world.

In September 19-year-old student Sarah Sevick filed a formal complaint with the Justice Department, accusing Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by not letting her keep her service animal, Lilly, a ferret. Sevick says that she suffers from a number of mental disorders and that Lilly is trained to calm her in case of an anxiety or panic attack. Forced for the time being to attend school without Lilly, Sevick said, "I'm surviving, but I'm walking on really thin ice. I don't think I can make it at this point without her."

Police Blotter

From the Union Democrat of Tuolumne County, California, October 17: "1:33 p.m. A man came to the Sheriff's Department to 'find out how to legally kill' a person who was harassing him."


In a September court proceeding in Glasgow, Scotland, Adam Taylor, an administrator at Strathclyde University, admitted to having fired an air rifle in a city park at three in the morning but said he couldn't explain the incident and suggested that someone might have spiked his drink that night. His lawyer pointed out that it simply made no sense that "a 38-year-old man with his background would suddenly take an air rifle and fire it in the park for no reason whatsoever." Police testified they had traced the perpetrator back to Taylor's apartment, where Taylor reportedly asked them, "I have not hit anyone, have I? I hope I have not hit anyone."

Cliches Come to Life

During a September trial in Manhattan for attempted rape, prosecution witness Roberto Suarez, asked by a district attorney to identify the men he had seen with the victim at the crime scene, looked past the defendants and pointed to juror number eight and alternate juror number three. The New York Daily News reported that some jurors laughed so hard they cried.

Well, of Course

The Times-Dispatch of Richmond, Virginia, reported in August that Monica Renee Champion, a 34-year-old convicted prostitute and self-identified transsexual, had twice in the previous month been arrested for indecent exposure--as a woman on one side of Richmond and as a man on the other. (In five misdemeanor cases last year, Champion was convicted three times as a female, twice as a male.) And 33-year-old Tyrone D. McMillian, who was arrested after a high-speed chase through several towns near Troy, New York, in August, allegedly told officers, "I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto and NASCAR on PlayStation. I thought I could get away."

Senior officials in the British army told the Telegraph in July that recent supply shortages would almost surely have a bad effect on morale: "There is nothing more dispiriting than soldiers having to go on exercise and shout 'bang, bang' because there is not enough blank ammunition."

People Different From Us

In July police, acting on a tip that a crime had been committed, confiscated a severed foot from a house in Lawrence, Kansas. The foot turned out to in fact be the property of a resident, 21-year-old artist Ezekiel Rubottom. He'd had the chronically infected foot amputated three weeks earlier and, after getting clearance from a pathologist at the hospital, had been keeping it in a five-gallon bucket of formaldehyde on his front porch.

Least Competent Criminals

In September 52-year-old Anthony Martin of Belleville, Illinois, became the latest person to call the police and complain that someone (in this case, a hostile neighbor) had stolen his illegal drugs (in this case, marijuana plants). When Martin led an investigating officer to the room where he'd kept the plants, however, they were found to still be there. Martin suggested that whoever had taken them must have returned them. He was charged with growing marijuana.

The Classic Middle Name (all new)

Recently arrested and charged with murder: Kenneth Wayne Keller (Denton County, Texas, August), Ronald Wayne Lail (Burke County, North Carolina, September), Timothy Wayne Condrey (Caroleen, North Carolina, September). Sentenced to 20 years for murder: Tyler Wayne Justice (Jim Wells County, Texas, September; his victim was his father, Jackye Wayne Justice, who in 1977 had himself been charged with killing his stepfather). Apparently committed suicide just after apparently committing murder: Michael Wayne Baxter (Edgewater, Maryland, October). Died of a heroin overdose while serving two life sentences for murder, was cremated, and, being a Vietnam veteran, had his ashes interred at his sister's request in Arlington National Cemetery: Russell Wayne Wagner (Jessup, Maryland, February; Arlington, Virginia, July).

Unclear on the Concept

In June, Maria Julia Mantilla of Peru, the reigning Miss World, denied the claims of a plastic surgeon (with whom she'd at one point had a promotional agreement) that he had given her buttock implants and reshaped her ears: "I'm not the creation of a surgeon--he just did my bust and my nose."

At his August arraignment for the murder of two Albuquerque policemen, 48-year-old John Hyde complained to the judge about his treatment while in custody: "I've been put in a red jumpsuit like Elvis Presley. . . . My hair looks stringy and it's moppy. . . . I was not allowed to groom myself and appear as I should be allowed to appear before a court of law in the United States of America. Thank you, your honor."

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

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