Alibi V.23 No.37 • Sept 11-17, 2014 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Austria

Psych! A group of students sitting down to take university entrance exams had all the right answers—because they were printed on the tests. The University of Salzburg says 144 would-be psychology students were given the wrong envelopes earlier this month. Instead of the normal entrance exams, they were handed copies of the tests with the answers already filled in. These copies were supposed to be delivered to the school’s professors to grade the tests. The error was quickly noticed, and the tests were taken back by examiners. A spokesperson for the university’s psychology department said the students will be retested next month.

Dateline: Florida

Three people barely escaped after being held hostage by a group of home invaders for nearly three hours—except that, according to police, the kidnappers never actually existed. WMBB-13 reports that at around 3:45am on Aug. 24, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a newspaper delivery person on Little Dothan Road in the northeast portion of Jackson County. The caller reported three people yelling for help from the second floor of a residence. Representatives from the sheriff’s office arrived and made contact with 30-year-old Matthew Tyler McDaniel, 21-year-old Damian Joseph Hines and 18-year-old Madison Star Douglas. All three claimed they had been shot at and held hostage for several hours. Douglas told deputies she had been stabbed with a knife, and the blade had broken off in her abdomen. Paramedics determined Douglas only had a small scratch, and it was self-inflicted. Further investigation revealed there was never anyone in the home other than the three individuals calling for help and that they were all hallucinating on methamphetamine. The remnants of a meth lab were found in the residence, along with several ingredients used to manufacture the drugs. A small amount of finished product and several straws and pipes used to injest the meth were also found by sheriff’s deputies. Investigators concluded that the three imagined the attack while in an “altered mental state.” During the illusionary standoff, the three residents armed themselves with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle, and pumped more than 40 rounds of ammunition into the home’s walls. The group completely removed a large rear window from the second floor of the house and threw the bathroom sink out of it in an attempt to ward off the kidnappers. According to WMBB chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside—including the toilet. In total, more than $10,000 damage was done to the home. The trio was taken to Jackson County Correctional Facility and charged with possession of methamphetamine, attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony criminal mischief.

Dateline: Oregon

Veterinarians were shocked when stomach surgery on an ailing Great Dane yielded an unusual find—43 1/2 socks. The 3-year-old dog was brought in to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland earlier this year for repeated vomiting. An X-ray revealed what a hospital spokesperson described as “a lot of foreign material in his stomach.” The dog quickly underwent surgery, and after nearly two hours, doctors removed an entire garbage bag’s worth of socks. The dog apparently survived his bad meal, and the hospital submitted the story to the “They Ate WHAT?” contest sponsored by Veterinary Practice News. It came in second behind a frog who ate more than 30 ornamental rocks from its cage.

Dateline: Massachusetts

A 20-year-old woman has been charged with driving with a suspended license and attaching false plates after a state trooper spotted her fake license plate. According to The Republican, the plate was made out of cardboard, and the numbers were scrawled on by hand in red marker. The word “Massachusetts” and the phrase “The Spirit of America” were done in blue pen. “That’s a big no-no,” trooper Nicole Morrell told the newspaper. Jahanna Baez-Rodriguez was spotted driving with the paper plate on Interstate 391 in Chicopee. She could face a fine of up to $100 and no more than 10 days in jail.

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