Alibi V.26 No.46 • Nov 16-22, 2017 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Saudi Arabia

A government agency in Saudi Arabia held sessions to provide training in the “development of scientific skills in the fight against witchcraft.” According to The New Arab, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice—the country's religious police—concluded a training session last week that taught participants how to “scientifically” battle witchcraft. The program took place in Ramada al-Hada in the city of Taif, and 27 people attended. Those who took the training course received a certificate from the head of the Taif Governorate, who said that they would now be able to “apply and develop their new skills in their field capabilities.” In May 2009, Saudi Arabia instated an “Anti-Witchcraft Unit,” charged with apprehending sorcerers and reversing their evil spells. Penalties for practicing witchcraft in Saudi Arabia can include prison time and even death.

Dateline: Texas

A boxing coach faked his own death after his wife reportedly hired a hitman to kill him. Ramon Sosa, of Houston, Texas, was seen in recently released photographs lying in a hole in the ground with what appears to be a gunshot to his head. The photographs were staged by the man and law enforcement agents as part of a plan to snare his wife. According to reports, Maria “Lulu” Sosa attempted to hire a hitman to kill Sosa for $2,000. Unfortunately for her, the man she approached had been one of Sosa's former students. The man told Sosa about his wife's request, and the two men decided on a plan to catch her in the act. The former student wore a wire during a subsequent meeting with the wife and recorded her offering money for her husband's murder. The tapes were turned over to police, and agents with the FBI and the Texas Rangers then used makeup effects to make it look as though Sosa had been shot through the temple. They took him to a hole they had previously dug and staged photos of his “corpse.” An undercover officer pretending to be a hitman later met with Sosa's wife and showed her the photos. According to police, she laughed when she saw them. Court records confirm that Mrs. Sosa pled guilty to the offense of solicitation of murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Dateline: South Dakota

The fast food chain who commissioned a painting to reward a clever customer is being accused of masterminding a conspiracy. Mike Edgette, of Sioux Falls, S.D., made an unexpected discovery last month, tweeting that Kentucky Fried Chicken's Twitter account only followed 11 people: 5 members of the Spice Girls and 6 men named Herb. The tweet received thousands of likes and retweets. A few weeks later, Edgette posted a photo of a painting that KFC had sent him with the caption “Dreams DO come true.” The painting, which had been commissioned by KFC, depicted Edgette riding piggyback on the fast food chain's mascot, Colonel Sanders, as the two cavort through a tranquil meadow alongside wildlife. Edgette claims that the image of his face found in the painting doesn't seem to be based off of any of his available social media photos and that he has no idea where it came from. Following the incident, a number of amateur investigators on Reddit accused Edgette of working for KFC. The company and Edgette deny the allegations.

Dateline: California

A young CEO is offering $10,000 to anyone who can find him a girlfriend. He is also offering $2,000 to anyone who can “introduce him to someone else who introduces him to a woman.” Joseph Cohen, a 30-year-old who owns a company called SelfHacked, published a lengthy blog post last week offering the romantic rewards to anyone who can introduce him to a woman who will stay in a relationship with him for at least four months. In the blog post, he details his personal history and outlines his past failures in the dating world. He also lists the “requirements” he has for “qualified applicants,” including high intelligence, an easy-going nature and open-mindedness. Although Cohen is based in southern California, he says he is willing to fly in possible candidates. “This is a multi-level marketing scheme at its finest,” writes Cohen.

Dateline: Texas

“The Father of Nachos” died last week—only a day before National Nachos Day. Frank Liberto, 84, of San Antonio, Texas reportedly died of natural causes on Sunday, Nov. 5. Liberto is credited with introducing the nation's first “concession nachos” at Arlington Stadium for the Texas Rangers in 1976. Using a secret recipe, Liberto developed a “cheese sauce” that was pumpable and shelf-stable—the same nacho sauce found in convenience stores and concession stands today—earning him the nickname “The Father of Nachos.” The snack became popular at sporting events, where Liberto's innovations made it possible for concession servers to deliver food quickly to spectators. Liberto reportedly died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at his home only a day before Nov. 6, National Nachos Day.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.