Odds & Ends
According to a report in the weekly Bild am Sonntag newspaper, German customs officials intercepted a shipment of hard drugs bound for the Vatican. Back in January officers at the Leipzig airport found 12 ounces of cocaine packed into 14 condoms inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America. The package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any one of the Catholic mini-state’s 800 residents could have claimed it. The paper reported that a sting operation, made in coordination with Vatican police, failed to nab the intended recipient. The package was sent on to the Vatican post office, but no one picked it up, leading police to believe the recipient was tipped off about the plan. The drugs were estimated to have a street value of tens of thousands of euros. According to Vatican police, the investigation remains open.
The corpse of a 66-year-old woman was found inside her home, sitting in front of the television, more than six months after she died. The Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper reported that the woman, who lived in the town of Oberursel near Frankfurt, died of natural causes while wearing her nightgown and sitting in front of the television. A program guide from September was found near the body. The television was still on. The body was described by the paper as “partially mummified.” Police said residents in the 30-apartment building had noticed an unpleasant smell in the staircase, but no one informed the authorities. The woman’s apartment was finally opened by the landlord, who realized her mailbox was filled with uncollected letters.
On the night of Tuesday, March 25, police in Lakewood responded to a call of a naked man riding a children’s tricycle through the parking lot of the Crossroads Apartment complex. When they arrived, they found 31-year-old Jermaine Jones naked under a stairwell, chewing glass and cigarette tobacco. Sgt. Greg Staffordsmith of the Lakewood police told The Star-Ledger that the Trenton resident admitted to ingesting cocaine. Jones was transported to Kimball Medical Center, where he was treated for minor cuts to his mouth. He was eventually charged with disorderly persons offenses and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
There’s something to be said for never giving up. Police in New Jersey say a man walked out of prison after 15 years for robbing a children’s shoe store and headed straight back to the shoe store to rob it again. Back in 1999 then-25-year-old Christopher M. Miller was arrested after he forced employees into the back room of the Stride Rite shoe store on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, tied them up and made off with the store’s cash. After spending 15 years in jail for the crime, Miller was released on Friday, March 21, from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton. Police say Miller, now 40, took a bus the very next day from Atlantic City to Toms River—a distance of about 50 miles. He went back to Stride Rite, ordered employees into the back room and made off with $389 in cash. He was arrested a few blocks away. “Maybe that’s the only life he knows,” Toms River Police Chief Mitchell Little told NBC-4 News in New York. “The only thing he could think of was going back to the same store and doing the same crime again—getting caught and going back where he was taken care of and told what to do and getting meals and shelter and everything else.” Miller was charged with robbery and is being held on $100,000 bail.
A “dead” man who was not actually dead has died. Walter Williams, 78, made national headlines last month when he woke up in a body bag in a Lexington funeral home. His kicking alerted morticians mere moments before he was to be embalmed. Williams had been receiving hospice care at home for end-stage cardiovascular disease and other ailments before his brush with death on Feb. 27. The coroner mistakenly declared him dead after neither he nor nurses could find a pulse. After Williams escaped from the funeral home, hospital officials determined he was suffering from severe hypoglycemia, which—combined with his medications—would have made it difficult to detect a pulse. Unfortunately Williams passed away for real two weeks after the incident. “I think he’s gone this time,” Williams’ nephew, Eddie Hester, told 16 WAPT News.