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 V.23 No.6 | February 6 - 12, 2014 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: California

William Fredrick Buchman, an elementary school teacher, was arrested on charges of animal cruelty when police discovered roughly 400 snakes inside his home. Responding to neighbors' complaints of an unpleasant odor, authorities found the Santa Ana house overrun with snakes—both living and dead—some in crates and boxes, others slithering loose on the floor. Strangely, the house was also infested with rats and mice.

Dateline: Colorado

In the dead of night, a Denver woman received a missed call and 48 texts to her cell phone over the course of two minutes, all from different numbers and all containing the message, “Satan.” A Google search of the sinister phone numbers, all out of service, reveals reports from other phone prank victims. “I thought maybe I was dreaming at first,” said Jenn Vest, “and then I stayed up the rest of the night praying that nothing happened.” Apparently nothing happened.

Dateline: Missouri

Owls are landing on people's heads in Springfield. There have been nearly a dozen reports of owl attacks, though the owls are reportedly gentle and simply landing to perch on their victims' craniums. Authorities believe multiple owls are involved in the perchings rather than a single perpetrator but have not yet confirmed it. Naturalists have provided no explanation for the phenomenon.

Dateline: Montreal

Porn actress Heidi Van Horny is planning to celebrate her 23rd birthday by having sex with 23 men. According to the Toronto Sun, her casting call quickly produced over 500 male applicants to be screened for both health issues and Ms. Van Horny's approval. Those unable to attend her celebration in person will be able to enjoy the festivities online courtesy of AD4 Distribution, a digital purveyor of adult entertainment. One can only imagine what Heidi's 70th birthday bash will be like.

Dateline: Kentucky

Amy Herbst, a mezzo-soprano with the Nashville Opera Company, has filed a $2.5 million suit against the federal government for injuries she claims threaten her career. According to the complaint, an episiotomy performed by a nurse-midwife at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Ky., has resulted in uncontainable flatulence and incontinence when she sings. The procedure was allegedly performed without her consent in order to surgically enlarge her birth canal during childbirth. Attempts to repair the incision have been unsuccessful. The Federal Tort Claims Act waives the principal of sovereign immunity and allows the government to be sued for the actions of federal employees. It's not confirmed whether the suit's response will attempt to mitigate damages in light of her other opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Dateline: New York

Tropical fish merchant Joel Rakower confessed to smuggling over 39,000 piranhas into New York, one of 26 states which prohibit them. He then mislabeled the fish as common aquarium species and sold them to pet retailers in several states. Only 850 of the fish have been recovered. Rakower pled guilty to the charges and is subject to a $73,000 fine. In a statement to Newsday, Rakower's attorney said that the 66-year-old fish wholesaler had made an error in judgment and will now face the consequences.

Dateline: Arizona

A Scottsdale reverend now offers online exorcisms via Skype. Reverend Bob Larson, who claims to have performed more than 20,000 exorcisms—many of which are documented on YouTube—will offer his 60-minute service for an affordable $295 fee, tax deductible as a donation to the International Missions Program. Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, says that exorcisms cannot be performed via the internet.

Compiled by Carl Petersen. Email your weird news to

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