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News » News of the Weird

Compelling Explanations

A weekly roundup of international news oddities



Compelling Explanations
In June, Connecticut State Police investigating a December armed robbery outside the Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant in Norwich arrived at the Corrigan Correctional Center in Montville to obtain a DNA sample from Gregory Blue, 38, who first accused police of planting his DNA at the scene of the robbery before telling them "a phlebotomist who took his blood years ago dropped his DNA at the scene via airplane," according to authorities. Investigators had found blood at the scene of the robbery and on hats the unidentified 45-year-old victim said had been left by the assailant. The Connecticut Post reported the DNA samples matched, according to the arrest warrant, and on Sept. 25, Blue was charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

News That Sounds Like a Joke
• Larry Stothers, 41, and Jayson Rappa, 31, were arrested on Sept. 26 in Largo, Florida, and charged with strong-arm robbery after allegedly stealing a prosthetic leg, according to The Smoking Gun. Police say they were called by the victim after Stothers and Rappa confronted him over a stolen backpack, "and in the course of the fight, a prosthetic leg was taken from the victim." Court records did not reveal the whereabouts of the leg.

• An aggressive Muscovy duck named Bob in Mansfield, England, has terrorized postman Steve Hinds to the point that Hinds has refused to deliver mail to the duck's owners until they contain him, The Scottish Sun reported. Hinds told the Sun that on Oct. 3, "The duck started hissing at me and ... it ran me up the path snapping its beak." The apologetic owners left a Crunchie candy bar as a peace offering for Hinds and a note reading, "He used to be lovely and cuddly. Now he is a vicious sex-maniac! We have fenced him in and hopefully he won't escape." But two days later, Bob escaped the fence and came after Hinds again. At press time, the standoff continues.

Anger Management
Justin Anthony Garcia, 30, of Lehigh Acres, Florida, landed in the Lee County Jail on Sept. 27 on charges of aggravated battery following a heated argument over which is better: whole milk or almond milk, reported Fox 23 News. Deputies of the Lee County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene after the disagreement between two cousins escalated from verbal to physical, according to court documents, eventually ending with Garcia drawing a pocketknife and chasing his cousin through the front yard, cutting him on the torso. An uncle intervened and separated the two until deputies arrived, but the arrest complaint does not say which type of milk Garcia prefers.

Least Competent Criminals
• Three men are on the run in Philadelphia after a botched ATM burglary on Oct. 2, the Associated Press reported. The men entered a Chinese takeout restaurant and ordered food, then set off an explosive device while they waited that damaged an ATM, but they couldn't remove the cash box inside the machine, police said. They escaped empty-handed on foot and bicycle, and police are still searching for them.

• Alice Lavern Henry, 47, of Lake Wales, Florida, told a clerk at Griner's Jewelry in Winter Haven that she had found the ring she brought in to sell while treasure-hunting on a beach. The clerk became suspicious when she noticed the ring, valued at more than $1,000, had no damage, and investigators later determined it was part of a collection that had been stolen from the store in a July burglary, according to the Winter Haven Police Department. The Ledger reported that police also learned Henry had visited another jewelry store on several occasions in September, attempting to sell other rings from Griner's collection. She was arrested Oct. 4 on charges of felony grand theft.

Great Art!
Passersby were in awe as 32 tons of raw carrots were dumped from a large truck onto a road running through the University of London campus on Sept. 30. The carrots were an art installation presented as part of the Goldsmiths art college Master of Fine Arts degree show by student Rafael Perez Evans, who titled his work "Grounding" and said it is designed to raise awareness about food waste, United Press International reported. The show ran from Oct. 2-6, and "Rafael has arranged for the carrots to be removed at the end of the exhibition and donated to animals," a university spokesperson said.

Recent Alarming Headlines
In White Marsh, Maryland, a person driving past the closed Rustic Inn bar on the morning of Oct. 7 saw what they thought was a Halloween decoration in the parking lot, WJZ reported. After doubling back, the driver determined it was a dead body, and "the body has suffered some sort of trauma," said Jennifer Peach of the Baltimore County Police Department. Peach went on to appeal for tips from the public: "We don't have a lot of information at this point."

Entrepreneurial Spirit
• Two young men soliciting residents in Covina, California, for donations for the Covina High School football team ran into a problem when they appeared at the door of a resident who quickly questioned them: "It's funny you bring that up, because I know for a fact that you guys don't go to Covina because I teach there ... I'm a football coach." When neither of the alleged scammers could name the head coach, they left, Fox11 reported on Oct. 7, and the football team tweeted confirmation that the two were not with the program. is offering one lucky customer the opportunity to "live under a rock" to escape "election stress disorder" during election week Nov. 2-7, United Press International reports. The accommodations in a human-made cave 50 feet below ground in New Mexico will cost just $5 per night. "Political fatigue is real, regardless of the year or election," said Josh Belkin, vice president of "Who knows what else 2020 has in store for us."

Wait, What?
A Japanese buyer with very precise requirements has paid a record $14,000 for a 22-pound traditional Iberian ham, Oddity Central reported. Julio Revilla, president of Sierra Mayor Jabugo, in Corteconcepcion, Spain, said the ham was produced according to the buyer's strict instructions: It had to come from an Iberian pig at least 2 years old that had grazed on a diet of only acorns and herbs in the mountains of Sierra Mayor for at least 100 days. The pig was slaughtered in 2015 and the ham was then cured for five years and twice the amount of time for a typical premium ham. It was delivered to the buyer in September, who was also awarded with a Guinness World Record certificate.

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