Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Mozambique

Agence France-Press reports that police in the southern African nation of Mozambique are warning bald men to beware of ritual attacks from superstitious people who believe their heads are filled with gold. Police say five men have been killed recently, allegedly for their body parts. Two suspects were arrested in the central district of Milange, where the killings occurred. “The belief is that the head of a bald man contains gold,” said Afonso Dias, a police commander in Mozambique’s central Zambezia province. The BBC’s Jose Tembe, reporting from the capital of Maputo, said police think the notion of a bald head containing gold is a ruse by witchdoctors to get clients to take a person’s head to them. “Their motive comes from superstition and culture. The local community thinks bald individuals are rich,” Commander Dias said during a press conference in Maputo. The suspects arrested earlier this month were two Mozambicans, aged around 20. A regional security spokesman, Miguel Caetano, told AFP that one of the victims had his head cut off and his organs removed. The organs were used in rituals to advance the wealth of clients in Tanzania and Malawi, Mr. Caetano said, citing the suspects.

Dateline: Georgia

Several residents were trapped on the second floor of an apartment complex in suburban Atlanta after the complex’s owners removed the stairs. WSB-TV News reports residents of the Maple Walk Apartments in DeKalb County woke up to the stairs being dismantled and removed on the morning of Monday, June 5. Notices were placed on the apartment doors telling people they would not have access to the stairs until Thursday, June 8. Management said they warned residents about the shaky stairs the previous week and recommended people vacate until they were fixed. Residents of the upstairs apartments were clearly surprised by the sudden disappearance of the stairs, however. “They were already taking the stairs down when we got the notice this morning,” resident Shawnta Tiller told the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Firefighters were eventually called, and crews helped residents down with ladders. Fire Marshall Joseph Cox said the complex could get cited for code violations.

Dateline: California

A San Jose woman was killed in a freak accident after she was flung off a golf cart and impaled by the two wine glasses she was holding. According to the California Highway Patrol, 58-year-old Debra Bedard was being driven by her partner, 57-year-old Richard Clarke, through a private olive orchard in an E-Z-GO golf cart. After Clarke made a left turn, Bedard was unable to “stabilize herself” and tumbled from the cart. The two wine glasses she was holding shattered, and Bedard fell on the fragments. She died at the scene. Clarke was initially arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. A preliminary investigation indicated Bedard was “the cause of the collision” and that “the driver’s actions did not cause the collision or fatal injuries,” CHP Officer Rebecca Myers told the San Jose
Mercury News. The olive orchard, located southeast of Sacramento in the town of Wallace, was a vacation residence of the couple, who had been together for 17 years.

Dateline: Oregon

Every week Portland’s
The Oregonian newspaper reports on the police log from the rural Forest Grove Police Department, a small-town community 25 miles west of Portland. According to the June 3 police log, “A man notified police that he had just attended the Renaissance Fair in town and wanted to report it was Satanic. Officers had already completed walk-thrus at the festival and did not notice any Satanic activity.” No follow-ups were reported.

Dateline: Illinois

At least he didn’t have to pay. A man who skipped out on a restaurant bill and tried to swim away was found dead in the Fox River. According to Algonquin police, the body of 29-year-old Ernest Prentic of Carpentersville was found at about 6:30pm on Friday, June 2. Preliminary autopsy results indicated Prentic’s cause of death was drowning, according to a statement from the Kane County coroner’s office. The
Chicago Sun-Times reported officers had been called at about 9:20pm on the night of June 1 to Nero’s Restaurant in Algonquin for a complaint of a man running out of the restaurant without paying his tab. The man, later identified as Prentic, was last spotted by a fisherman jumping into the Fox River near Route 62 and North River Road. Dive teams scouted the area until midnight before calling off the search. It was resumed the next morning at 7:15am.

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

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