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 V.17 No.15 | April 10 - 16, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Russia--Several members of an apocalyptic Russian cult, who have been sequestered inside a cave waiting for the destruction of the planet, were forced to abandon their doomsday-proof shelter after it started to collapse around them. Followers of Pyotr Kuznetsov, an engineer-turned-prophet, have been holed up underground in the Penza region of western Russia since November. Last week, several sect members were persuaded to leave their man-made bunker after melting snow caused part of the roof to cave in. Police and Orthodox clergymen had been trying to communicate with followers of Kuznetsov’s True Russian Orthodox Church through a chimney but were chased away last month with rifle shots. The church has apparently been waiting for a rain of brimstone to destroy the earth in May. But many of the church members were beginning to have second thoughts as temperatures climbed above zero with the onset of spring. “The sect members realized their lives could have been in danger if they remained underground during the spring thaw,” a regional spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph. Although 21 of Kuznetsov’s disciples have now left the cave, a determined core of 14 still remains.

Dateline: Spain--A burglar who broke into a funeral parlor tried to fool police by playing dead, but the criminal’s acting skills left something to be desired. Police said they had no idea what a 23-year-old Spanish man was hoping to steal on March 17 when he broke into the Crespo Funeral Home in Burjassot, a small town outside Valencia. Neighbors alerted police when they heard the front door of the business being forced open in the middle of the night. Police arrived with the owner and eventually located the suspect lying on a table in a glassed-in chamber used for the viewing of deceased people during wakes. “The custom here is for dead people to be dressed in suits, in nice clothes that look presentable. This guy was in everyday clothes that were wrinkled and dirty,” said a local police official. “He was trying to fake being dead, but he was breathing,” the officer added. The unnamed suspect has served previous jail terms for robbery.

Dateline: New York--Last week, “Odds and Ends” reported on a carjacker who stole a doughnut truck and was quickly tracked down by a swarm of police officers. This week, officers in Buffalo cracked down on more doughnut-related crime. Officers Ralph Skinner and Chad Maloney were investigating drug activity in the 300 block of Bissell Avenue when they spotted Bernard Fincher, Jr., 35, walk up to a doughnut box, pick up a white object and place it in his pocket. The officers checked the box and found more than 1/8 of an ounce of crack cocaine, packaged for sale. The next time Fincher came back to dip into his doughnut box, they arrested him.

Dateline: South Carolina--Two roommates in Hilton Head got into a bloody argument last Monday night over who ate the last English muffin. According to a Beaufort County sheriff’s report, a 23-year-old man wandered into his kitchen at about 11:30 p.m. for a snack after a night of drinking. Unable to locate any more of the delicious English muffins he was sure remained in the pantry, he confronted his roommate, emphasizing the point by hurling a shot glass at the man. After being struck in the face with a shot glass, the 20-year-old roommate retaliated by smashing a vodka bottle over the hungry drunk’s head. According to the Island Packet newspaper, neither man was willing to press charges against the other. No word on what happened to the English muffins.

Dateline: Louisiana--Police were just trying to help a motor vehicle owner, but ended up having to arrest her after she allegedly asked officers to get her some drugs. The story began when two police officers in Lake Charles pulled over a car for a traffic violation. The driver was unable to produce identification, so the officers suspected the car might be stolen. To make sure, they telephoned the vehicle’s owner, 33-year-old Jill Foreman. She didn’t answer, so officers left a message. Officers eventually determined the vehicle was not stolen and let the driver leave. An hour later, however, Foreman called back, apparently believing the message had been left by a drug dealer. Police spokesperson Sgt. Mark Kraus said the woman “stated that she would like to buy $150 in crack.” Officers Hope Kingery and George Miller agreed to a meeting, which led to the arrests of Foreman and her fiancé, Larry Reick, 49. Both were booked on conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, the sheriff’s office said.

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

 
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