©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.
A woman suspected of shoplifting at a Value Village store in Detroit ran from security guards and hid in the mall's trash compactor. She was crushed to death when workers returning from a break started the machine.
LITTLE SHACK OUT BACK
Police say a 92-year-old Madrid woman locked her son up in a 7-by-7 outbuilding after a psychiatrist said his mental disorder was incurable. Police discovered the 72-year-old after he'd been locked up for 30 years.
TOPPING THE RAIN SCALE
Peasant farmers in drought-stricken southern Ethiopia were pelted by millions of fish that fell from the skies. An expert says a heavy storm in the Indian Ocean churned up the fish blew them inland.
STOP & GO
Miami police busted two people who were advertising a device called a Go Box that turns red lights green. Johnnie Green and Lisa Moon were allegedly hawking the product on the internet. Such a device exists for emergency vehicles, but only in a handful of states. Many who paid up to 150 dollars on the website received nothing more than plans to build a flashlight.
A well-dressed man who sneaked onto a private plane flight which orginated in Rhode Island shocked passengers by stepping out of the rest room and announcing he was highjacking the plane to Hartford. Then the passengers began chuckling. The flight was heading for Hartford. The pilot and passengers decided not to turn the man in - he was unarmed and stressed out about getting back to Connecticut before his wife had a baby. His rental car had been stolen in Providence.
HUSBAND MAKES HEADLINES TAKING OUT GARBAGE
A woman in Appleton, Wisconsin wrapped 11 thousand dollars she and her husband had saved in a white plastic bag. Her husband mistook it for trash and it wound up buried under tons of garbage in a landfill. The couple had been able to save the money by working minimum wage jobs, so their community rallied and donated 35 grand to a fund at their credit union. Chao Vang and her husband donated the excess amount to help the immigrant Hmong community.
Doctors who thought they were removing an odd growth from from a Cape Cod man discovered that the object was a .25-caliber bullet. John Algeo of Brewster, Massachusetts had been shot by a sniper during the war with Japan in 1945. Algeo said it hurt more coming out than it did going in.
LOOKING UP YOUR NUMBER
The L.A. Times reports that crooks are turning to the mail for their crimes. Stealing identities by snagging account numbers from bills & bank statements in mailboxes has become appealing because it's non-confrontational, it requires no weapons and it's not usually caught on camera. Garbage is a source of information, too - detectives warn you to never throw out anything containing an account number without shredding it first.
A sister and brother in their 50s couldn't bear to be separated from the corpse of their mother, so they went to court in Reunion, France. They wanted to keep their mom in a glass-fronted freezer in their basement. The court - and an appeals court - denied their request.
An experienced pilot lifted off in a helicopter at a Norwood, Massachusetts airport without incident. He stole the chopper. It was found covered with blankets 30 miles away in a cornfield. No one listening to the pilot's voice on a control tower tape recognized the thief.
The St. Louis real estate ad read:Lavish 2-story residence, all brick, renovated bathroom, theater/entertainment room, finished basement, intercom system, tennis court and indoor pool.It was listed at 550 thousand dollars and the calls started pouring in ... to the high school described in the ad. Principal Brad Heger said it was one of the best pranks he'd ever seen in his 26 years at the school.
WHILE THE DAD'S AWAY HIS KID WILL PLAY
A Carlisle, Ohio man who came home to a totally trashed house wound up testifying against his own son. 10 adults and 27 juveniles were arrested in connection with the week-long party, which left an antique desk demolished and walls covered with graffiti and food stains. Police said the man's son - who lives with his mother - broke into the house to use it for partying.
Three men assaulted a prominent taxidermist and began robbing his house in Joannesburg, South Africa. But when the crooks went into one of the rooms they came face to face with two leopards, dropped their weapons and ran off. They were stuffed leopards.
An elite Italian alpine military unit was ready for Nato war games - with field packs, weapons, camouflage and battle plans. Unfortunately, their transport plane dropped them at Kristianstad instead of Kristiansand. In Sweden instead of Norway.
HEADS YOU LOSE
Police in KwaMakhutha, South Africa denied they didn't persue a criminal because they were afraid of him. Residents reported that a teenager was forcing bypassers to kiss a severed head that was dripping with blood. Police said the incident never took place.
MAKING NEWMAN'S OWN THEIR OWN
Thieves who heisted a large truck filled with various salad dressings certainly had a preference. Only Paul Newman's brand had been removed when the truck was found abandoned in Oregon. Newman joked that it was an honor to be the choice of thieves. He noted that the perps were environmentalists, too - 4 cases of empty bottles showed up at a recycling center.
HIGHWAY TO HELL?
Police in central Italy stopped a convoy of speeding bishops who were late for an annual Catholic Church meeting. After a bishop asked if they could be let off because they were late, a policeman told him that not even the Madonna could spare him from traffic fines.
The New York Police Patrol Guide has banned cops from watching X-rated cable and videos in station houses. Officers are also banned from leafing through nudie magazines in their patrol cars.
A protester dumped a huge truckload of horse manure on the front lawn of the Henrico County, Virginia government center, and posted four cryptic signs - so cryptic, county officials had no idea what was being protested.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
A Pawtucket, Rhode Island deli worker who was fired for having a gambling problem obviously didn't seek help. Police say they arrested him for returning to the store with a copy of his employee key and buying 15 hundred bucks worth of lottery tickets.
A man apprehended for attempted murder after being featured on America's Most Wanted had an unusual connection with host John Walsh. The Jacksonville, Florida restaurant cook unknowingly prepared a meal for Walsh two weeks before the broadcast.
TOUCHE, TRIPLE K
Missouri lawmakers found a way to express displeasure with a Ku Klux Klan chapter that won the legal right to join the Adopt-A-Highway program. The stretch of I-55 along which the KKK pledged to pick up trash was renamed the Rosa Parks Highway.
BENDS IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES
A female contortionist managed to steal a Fort Worth, Texas police car after being detained in a car theft case. She squeezed through the 1-by-1½-foot hole in the plexiglass separating the back and front of the cruiser. Officers recovered the car and arrested the perp after a high-speed chase.
Passengers on a bus in Mexico City took the law into their own hands when a bandit took out an ice pick and demanded cash and valuables. The 20 passengers rushed the crook and killed him with his own weapon.
CAUTION! STUDENT DRIVER
A Portland, Oregon man flunked his driving test as soon as he put the car into gear and hit the curb. When instructor Ruth Ramos refused to give him another chance, police say the 44-year-old man drove off with her. She was able to jump out of the car when he stopped at an intersection. Roberto Padilla was charged with second-degree kidnapping.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PROOF
A study has found that drinking is the common factor in crime and accidental death in Russia. Of men aged 20 to 55, nearly all murderers, murder victims, suicide committers, drowning victims, heart attack victims and accidentally-killed drivers and pedestrians die drunk.
TIME FOR TREATS
A volunteer at a wild life park in Colorado was asked if a Bengal tiger had ever bitten anyone. To show it was tame, she reached into its cage to pet it ... and the tiger tore off her arm and ate it. The animal let out a huge belch as the woman was being taken away on a stretcher.
I DID IT
A homeless man was arrested in Tampa, Florida after he and his friends tried to collect a 30-thousand-dollar reward for the conviction of a serial arsonist. Police said the man set a vacant house on fire and had his friends turn him in. Officials say he's not the serial arsonist.
A 15-year-old boy faced criminal mischief charges after setting off a fire sprinkler in a Pottstown, Pennsylvania department store. Police say the teenager made a million-in-one shot, throwing a dime 25 feet and striking the glass rod in the sprinkler's fire detector. 15 hundred items and a wooden floor sustained 140 thousand dollars worth of damage.
CONNECTING THE OUTPUT TO THE INPUT
City workers in Pineville, Louisiana mistakenly hooked a sewer line to a neighborhood's water supply. For three months, residents drank and bathed in contaminated water. A stringy white substance which clogged water filters in refrigerators and dishwashers turned out to be toilet paper.
CONE ZONE CONFRONTATION
A Vancouver, B.C. constable was suspended for abuse of authority after he pepper-sprayed a road crew worker. Authorities say the two had a shouting match over the way the crew was directing traffic in a construction zone.
MAD TO THE MAX
Lance Corporal Justin Phelps of Camp Lejeune was arrested after police were led on a high-speed chase through Beaufort, North Carolina. The vehicle ran several police cars off the road before the chase ended in a dead-end parking lot. The suspect was driving a military Humvee.
A knife-wielding man in Mainichi, Japan was detained by passengers after he chased his date from the prior evening into a crowded commuter train. The suspect had wooed his date for most of the evening at his apartment - eventually finding out that he was a she.
THEORY & PRACTICE
A 35-year-old Kenner, Louisiana man allegedly found a novel way to teach himself to be a big rig driver. Police say they found 10 stolen truck cabs in his neighborhood. They'd been stolen - minus their cargo - from trucking companies in three states over a five-month period. Authorities found applications to several trucking schools at his home.
Two women were flying a six-foot stunt kite in New Forest, England when a gust of wind caused it to slip from their grasps. After searching for a few hours with no success, they drove back home to Colehill, 16 miles away. One of the women was shocked to find the missing kite caught in a tree in front of a neighbor's house.
REPORT TO THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY
A Glynn County, Georgia high school student couldn't imagine why she'd been summoned to the principal's office. It was even scarier to find police officers waiting for her. But it was good news - Stacy LaKeesha Davis had won a Pontiac Sunfire from the police's Operation Cool program. The award was for staying in school, staying out of trouble and driving safely.
James Newsome of Fort Smith, Arkansas was sentenced to 10 years for robbing a convenience store. Police didn't have much trouble finding Newsome - he committed the robbery wearing an orange hard hat with his name on it.
NOTE OR SWATCH?
A Wimbledon, London man left a note for a decorator describing which color he'd like to have his Victorian home painted. But when Christian Fraser returned home, he found that his house had been painted the bright yellow color of the paper on which he'd written the note.
THAT'S A SPICY MEATBALL
The Massachusetts Attorney General asked a judge to order Maria's Food Products to destroy five thousand pounds of pasta. An inspector found rats and droppings throughout the plant, in direct contact with raw food materials.
POSSESSION OF SOURDOUGH
A Belleville, Illinois man had drug-possession sentencing dropped at the last minute when the police lab results came back. The baggie officers had confiscated from James McCain contained sandwich crumbs. McCain had pleaded guilty so he wouldn't miss workdays at a new job.
Women bathers at a nudist beach in Varberg, Sweden had been plagued by a peeping tom who used binoculars and a camera. A suspect was taken into custody when some of the women recognized a photo of the suspect in a local newspaper. It was a 50th birthday tribute, placed in the paper by the suspect's wife.
BIGGER THAN THE WAR ON ANTS
Moreau, New York park users didn't realize they had picked D-Day for a quiet, relaxing picnic by the lake. Suddenly, M16-toting GIs in camoflage came crashing out of the woods firing blanks as part of a major simulated National Guard battle. The Guard had been given a permit for the war games, but no one remembered to tell the civilians.
PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE
An Athens, Georgia woman got two days in jail for lying to get out of jury duty. Leigh Wooten was replaced by an alternate juror after claiming her father had died. A suspicious judge put an investigator on the case, who found Wooten's father alive and well at a mobile home park.
A judge in Troy, Michigan threw a lawyer in the slammer for ten days for using his cell phone in court. The judge had ordered Michael Steinberg to turn off his phone three times. The fourth time it rang in court, the judge cited Steinberg for contempt and the court confiscated his phone.
THEY KEEP YOUR LEGS FROM FRAYING AT THE ENDS
Following a court declaration of fraud, authorities arrested the charismatic leader of a Tokyo cult that claims it can heal people by inspecting their feet. Hogen Fukunaga and 11 other senior leaders warned members they would die or get cancer unless they had the soles of their feet analyzed.
MOUNTAIN OF CASH
A couple skiing in the Alps found 6 thousand dollars worth of bank notes imbedded in the snow, and turned it over to Interlaken, Switzerland police. The owner says he'd lost the money when he dropped it in heavy fog while walking to a post office bank. The couple got an 800-dollar reward.
21-year-old Sammie Lee Davis of Little Rock may be a modern-day Houdini. Police can't figure out how Lee - who was handcuffed and locked in the back of a state police car - managed to escape. The back of the car is virtually a jail - it has no door handles; bars separate the back from the front; all access to the trunk has been sealed off. No windows were broken during the escape.
Tough drug-smuggling sentences in the United Arab Emirates have forced some smugglers to take extreme measures. Officials in Dubai say they arrested a woman who was carrying the corpse of a little girl which was filled with codeine. Officials say the girl had been kidnapped and murdered solely for use as a drug vessel. An airport official became suspicious when he tried to play with the dead child.
GAMES UNDER A FIVE-LEAF FLAG
Police turned a blind eye to the Australia Hemp Olympix, organized by the cannibis-growing town of Nimbin. Gold medals were given for bong-hurling, joint-rolling and most artistic joint. The judges in the Fastest Joint-Rolling Contest were so stoned, they forgot to bring their stopwatches.
SAVED BY THE WEB
A Breaux Bridge, Louisiana police officer escaped injury by the skin of his hand when a suspect got ahold of his gun. In a struggle, Officer David Benoit avoided being shot by wedging the skin between his thumb and index finger between the pistol's hammer and firing pin.
LOCK ME UP! PLEASE, LOCK ME UP!
A convicted burglar in St. Helens, Merseyside, England spent 20 days trying to get locked up. Dean Wilson was unhappy with being outfitted with an electronic manacle, so he tore off the device and asked authorities to give him a normal prison term. Prison officials told him they could do nothing. At the police station, he was laughed at and told to go home. After a few more attempts over the next two weeks, the police gave in and took Wilson into custody.
WEEKEND AT EDINBURGH
A man whose father-in-law died while they were attending an Edinburgh rugby final found a novel way to get the body home to England. Police say he dressed up the body and dragged it onto a passenger bus. No one noticed the man's co-passenger was dead. But the man called his wife to tell her what he'd done and she summoned police to head off the bus and collect her father's body.
'SNOT TRUE, IS IT?
16-year-old James Walton of Doylestown, Pennsylvania was told he was stupid, but not a criminal, when a judge dismissed a disorderly conduct charge against him. Walton had picked his nose and spread it on the window of a Doylestown restaurant as grossed-out patrons looked on. Walton said that from now on, he'd keep his nose clean.
FIGHTING FIREFIGHTER'S FIRES
Rotterdam fire officials say they were shocked when the suspect in a series of arson fires turned out to be one of their own. The suspect was a professional and volunteer firefighter - meaning he worked nearly every blaze in the city, including those that were allegedly his own.
THIS TACO STINKS
A Los Angeles man was charged with willful endangerment and felony assault after getting even with an irate customer at a drive-through taco restaurant. Police say Antonio Ferrar admitted to defecating in the customer's taco.
BADGERED BY A BUS
A double-decker bus driver frightened his passengers when he burst into a case of road rage after being cut off by a car in Clifton, England. Passengers said the bus driver wouldn't heed their pleas to stop chasing the car at high speeds on a steep, curvy downhill road. The driver - who refused to give his name - worked for the appropriately-named Badger Line.
Two adults and two young children died when a Kenyan hospital let them out to see an American evangelist's faith-healing show. They had hoped to be cured during Benny Hinn's Miracle Crusade in Nairobi.
ED NORTON, HE'S NOT!
A man claiming to have a grenade ducked into an L.A. sewer to avoid a police chase. Officers stuffed school benches into manhole covers for several blocks to prevent his escape. Several hours later, the suspect worked his way into a tunnel which was too small for a human. He handed a note of surrender to police through a sewer vent at an intersection.
A senior construction engineer was missing after Chinese officials determined that a major dam project was failing due to embezzlement of funds. Jin Wenchao allegedly pilfered 120 milion dollars from Chinna's biggest hydro-electric project.
THOSE NEW CARS ARE SURE BIG AND POINTED
An 80-year-old man drove his car onto an airport runway, forcing a Fokker-50 to accelerate and take off early. Authorities were at a loss to explain how the confused senior drive through a normally-locked gate, past a hangar and onto the runway.
DON'T MIND THE WOUND, YOU'LL LIVE ON
A lecture on life-after-death at a Vancouver, B.C. public library was so mesmerizing, no one noticed that an audience member was stabbed and hobbled away to phone authorities. Police found the suspect still in the audience listening to the lecture.
GIVIN' IT UP
Authorities say a New York City court officer who was arrested trying to smuggle cocaine out of Haiti said it was her 15th smuggling trip. Police say Jessie Mae Thompson offered the names and addresses of several Haitian and American trafficking associates.
Two men in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina pulled off a robbery at Community First Bank by warning that a gift box they were carrying contained a bomb. Following the heist, a bomb squad determined the package contained a box of Graham Crackers.
A 19-year-old man set off a panic in Toronto when he told authorities his highly-poisonous viper was missing from his apartment. Police sent out warnings that the snake's venom could kill a human, and launched a massive search of the man's neighborhood. 30 hours later, the viper was found just feet from its tank, enjoying the warmth underneath a radiator. The owner was cited for possession of 20 illegal exotic pets.
A San Francisco Fed Ex driver was suspended without pay after he flunked a sobriety test while driving home from church. But he hadn't consumed alcohol. Police say he was under the influence of an herbal tea. The Highway Patrol says it decided to prosecute the man for a DUI because the Kava tea impaired his driving.
WOMAN GETS SHORT END OF HER OWN FRAUD
A New York woman was convicted of forgery and fraud after charging her boyfriend's penile implant to her insurance company, claiming he was her husband. Jeane Lewis' husband found out when he opened mail concerning the operation from a urologist. The boyfriend fled to Haiti after his operation.
Shelly Klug was late for an interview for a job at a Wisconsin emergency room - because she was demonstrating her skills. After witnessing an accident, she broke out a car window, crawled inside and stabilized a critically-injured driver until an ambulance could arrive.
COVETING THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE?
A woman was arrested in Covington, Louisiana after fellow members of St. James Baptist Church said she tried to hit her husband with a car three times ... succeeding on the last attempt. Police say Sedonia Renee Martin was infuriated because her husband was looking at another woman during the church service.
THE HUMAN HACK
A 24-year-old Glens Fall, New York cab driver would climb buildings in the overnight hours for exercise and relief from boredom. But a concrete ledge broke loose, and James Yates broke a leg in a 20-foot fall. Authorities say they hope the cabbie's accident serves as a warning.
The owner of Valley Glass Company in Roswell, New Mexico got a 285-dollar fine from the IRS after sending them a quarterly check for over 20 thousand dollars. The IRS penalized him because his check was one cent short.
IN THE PINK
Larry Goodwin - who prefers to be called Sissy - said a Salt Lake City hotel discriminated against him when they physically ejected him because of his clothes: he's a cross-dresser. Management at the Little America hotel says they didn't mind that Goodwin was a she-male, but guests had complained that he kept bending over and exposing his pink panties.
CRYING FELONY WOLF
A Philadelphia man received up to 23 months in prison plus 5 years probation for making prank 911 calls - five thousand of them. 20-year-old Thomas Crawley has also been ordered to spend 100 hours telling children what he did and how stupid it was.
HEADS OR TAILS
A Louisville, Kentucky judge declared a mistrail when he found out the jury had chosen a murderer's sentence by tossing a coin. Word of the coin toss spread by gossip until it finally reached the judge.
EGGING ON HER SON
A Wallace, North Carolina woman has been sentenced to counseling and community service after sending harrassing mail to one of her son's athletic rivals in high school. Beth Rich sent mail to the boy calling him Humpty Dumpty. Police tracked her down through salesrecords when she mailed him a Humpty Dumpty doll. The judge let the victim decide whether Rich would get counseling or jail time.
PLEASE MA'AM, MAY I HAVE SOME MORE, MA'AM?
A five-year-old South Yorkshire, England boy has set a national record for being the youngest known mugger. The boy robbed a 75 year old woman in Mexborough. Children under 10 cannot be prosecuted under British law.
NOT A KIDDIE TOY
A Republican who advocated teaching gun safety rather than imposing gun controls had his weapons permit suspended for not practicing what he preached. Attorney Richard Forbes left his cocked and loaded handgun wedged between two seats during a Wellsley, Massachusetts town meeting - which was held in a middle school auditorium.
SAWING IN THE CELL BLOCK
A 22-year-old inmate of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, Ireland was murdered by his cellmate while he slept. Officials say the man's snoring drove his cellmate into a violent rage.
A Cedar Rapids, Iowa woman was arrested on drug charges after allegedly selling crack cocaine to an undercover agent in her maternity room. Police say the 20-year-old woman showed off her 9-hour-old baby and then completed the transaction.
DOG SHOOTS CAT
A hunting dog in Vienna, Australia shot a cat dead by firing his owner's gun. It happened when the dog caught a scent of the cat and leapt on his owner while the gun was being loaded into the trunk of the hunter's car. The bullet passed through the car, exited a passenger door and killed the cat.
SNOW FOUND DURING ALPINE INSTALLATION
Over a million dollars worth of cocaine was found behind a secret sliding door in a car that was having an Alpine stereo installed. Police in Des Moines, Iowa say they don't believe the 16-year-old owner knew about the stash. The boy's parents purchased the 1990 Infiniti at a Chicago police auction.
When an airborne car crashed into a Derby, New Hampshire home, the occupants were saved by their bedroom dresser. The car crashed through the roof and sailed over a couple's bed, with its front end landing on a dresser. The car landed suspended across the bed and just one foot above it. 20-year-old Julie Sarbarnis was arrested on drunk driving and other charges.
A couple in their late 50s were arrested while boarding a flight from Medellin, Colombia to Mexico. Seven pounds of cocaine was discovered hidden in their hollowed-out Holy Bible. The drug was also found in the heels of their shoes.
A thousand students were evacuated from a Wilmington, North Carolina middle school when kids caught with a cardboard fireworks tube wouldn't tell police what it contained. Streets were blocked off and the bomb squad destroyed the tube, only to find it wasn't it bomb. Sheriff's Captain David Smithey announced, What we have here is a B-O-N-G, not a B-O-M-B.
GUIDE TO THE NEVERLANDS
Dutch police have issued a guide to Amsterdam's sin city district. It tells vistors not to buy pot in the street, but from the coffee houses with legal sales permits. It also explains how prostitutes solicit from behind large display windows. And the guide offers this advice: Lots of tourists are taken by surprise when the lady they are visiting turns out to be a gent.
OLLIE OLLIE OXEN FREE ME!
A repairman worked for an hour at extricating an 11-year-old girl from a washing machine - but with no luck. The girl got stuck between the agitator and wall of the washer during a game of hide and seek. The repairman got some more work after she was freed - the Fire Department safely cut her out with the Jaws Of Life.
A man in Dublin, Ohio who tried to steal a 17-thousand-dollar bracelet by swallowing it got it lodged in his throat. When he was caught by police, he challenged them to X-ray his stomach, knowing it wasn't there. But the X-ray was taken at a wide shot, showing the bracelet in his throat. Using coffee and cigarettes, the suspect coughed up the bracelet in about an hour, and was charged with theft.
©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.