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 V.15 No.39 | September 28 - October 4, 2006 

Odds & Ends

Eric Garcia

Dateline: Nigeria--A murder suspect accused of killing his brother with an ax has offered a unique defense. The man, whose name was not released, told police that he actually killed a goat, which only later magically transformed into his brother’s corpse. The incident occurred on a farm in Isseluku village in southern Nigeria. “He said the goats were on his farm and he tried to chase them away. When one wouldn’t move, he attacked it with an ax. He said it then turned into his brother,” Police Commissioner Udom Ekpoudom told the Associated Press. Black magic is routinely offered as a defense in Nigeria. In 2001, eight people were burned to death after one person in their group was accused of making a bystander’s penis magically disappear.

Dateline: IllinoisWhich would you rather do: stand in line or eat a live roach? The Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee is giving visitors the option during its Halloween-themed FrightFest. Customers willing to down an entire 3-inch Madagascar hissing cockroach will be granted unlimited line-jumping privileges for four during their visit. The promotion runs from Oct. 7 through Oct. 29. Park officials insist it’s safe to eat the bugs, but county health officials are cautioning participants. According to Lake County Health Department’s community health director, consuming live roaches might increase gastrointestinal illness and allergies.

Dateline: California--You can’t can’t say that Jon Houston Eipp failed to take advantage of his situation. Eipp, 39, was recently convicted of various theft charges in Marin County after prosecutors say he stole computers from the courthouse where he was on trial for stealing computers. “It just amazed me that someone could be in the middle of a jury trial for burglary involving computers and immediately get involved in another burglary at Civic Center,” sheriff’s Sgt. Jerry Niess told the Marin Independent Journal. Eipp, who was free on bail, went on trial last week for stealing computers and equipment from Portal Publications in Novato. After last Wednesday’s hearings, Eipp hid somewhere on the courts floor until everyone went home, then broke into Room C-10, an area containing numerous clerical workstations and reams of legal files. Eipp then tried to steal six computers and monitors by rolling them out of the Civic Center in a recycling bin. Maintenance workers became suspicious and stopped him, but sheriff's deputies on duty that night were not able to confirm the source of the equipment or that Eipp stole it. Fortunately for police, Eipp was soon back in custody. Shortly after leaving the Civic Center that night, he was arrested by San Rafael police on suspicion of trying to steal a 1996 Volkswagen. Investigators later confirmed Eipp as the computer thief after reviewing courthouse surveillance video. In an interview Monday night at the county jail, Eipp said he stole the computers “for personal reasons.” Earlier that day, Eipp pleaded guilty in all three cases--the computer theft, the auto theft and the courthouse burglary.

Dateline: Florida--When a $20 bill blew out of his hand, 47-year-old Mark Giorgio did the most logical thing he could--he leaped off the U.S. 41 bridge over the Manatee River to retrieve it. After plunging more than 50 feet, Giorgio spotted his bill floating on the river, which is about a mile wide at that point. He swam about 100 yards over to it and tried to make his way to the shore. He was eventually picked up by a passing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission boat. “I got my money back, hell yeah!” a soaking wet Giorgio said as paramedics checked his pulse just after noon last Monday. “Twenty bucks is a lot of money when you’re broke.” According to the Herald Tribune, Giorgio suffered several cuts, but refused medical treatment after his jump. Giorgio, who told the newspaper he is homeless, was not arrested.

Dateline: Wisconsin--A county supervisor from Wisconsin Rapids resigned last Tuesday after he was accused of trying to hire an exotic dancer for sex while attending a government convention in La Crosse. James E. Gignac, 64, said he contacted police Monday after the woman demanded money, but did not deliver on the promise of sex. Not so surprisingly, police arrested him on a misdemeanor for patronizing prostitution. Gignac, who was in La Crosse for the Wisconsin Counties Association annual convention, reportedly paid 21-year-old Nicole C. Vangeertruy $200 to have sex, but she insisted on a condom and left to buy one, according to the police report. When she did not return, Gignac called police. “I wanted them to know what was going on in their community,” Gignac said Tuesday in an interview with the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. “I was trying to do the right thing, and I got cited for it.” Gignac was eventually released on a $250 signature bond. Vangeertruy was later arrested and charged with prostitution and bail jumping.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

 

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