Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
(Scott Rickson)
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Dateline: Ukraine— A Christian, apparently attempting to test his faith in God, threw himself to the lions last Sunday evening at the Kiev Zoo and was promptly mauled to death. Ukrainian TV channel NTN broadcast interviews with witnesses who said the man told them he believed God would not allow the lions to hurt him. According to Reuters, an official said, “The man shouted: ‘God will save me if he exists,’ lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions.” A lioness seized the man by his throat, severing his carotid artery and killing him instantly.

Dateline: Austria— A farmer who accidentally chopped off his own hand on a piece of farm equipment calmly packed it away in his lunchbox, hopped on his tractor and drove three miles home. His wife put the severed hand in the refrigerator and it was later reattached by surgeons at a nearby hospital. Gerhard Frank, 64, had been using an automatic log splitter in a field three miles from his farm in the village of Steeg when the accident occurred. A spokesperson at Innsbruck Hospital, where the severed limb was successfully reattached, said Frank acted with “remarkable calm and good sense.”

Dateline: New York— A vandal who knocked over gravestones in a Cayuga County cemetery ended up fingering himself for the crime. Police investigating the Memorial Day damage at the cemetery located a severed finger stuck between two of the 53 toppled headstones. Police later arrested a man who happened to be missing that particular finger. He has been charged with criminal mischief, criminal trespass and cemetery desecration, reports 13WHAM-TV.

Dateline: Utah— A Salt Lake City criminal did a very poor job of pulling off the crime of the century last Friday: stealing a packet of Pop-Tarts from a convenience store. George King, 20, allegedly pocketed the toaster treats and tried to leave the store without paying for them. The store’s clerk confronted him. She grabbed at his shirt, which ripped off as the two struggled. King then punched the clerk in the stomach and made it out of the store. Unfortunately (for him), the topless Tart-napper was struck by a pickup truck in the parking lot. Police said he got up and kept running–into the path of a minivan while he was crossing the street. He managed to get up a second time, but didn’t make it very far. Responding police officers caught up to him a short distance later, and he was taken into custody. King refused medical treatment and was booked for investigation of robbery. … But, hey, free Pop-Tarts.

Dateline: Missouri— A woman, angry that her new puppy had died, pushed her way into a dog breeder’s home and repeatedly hit her on the head with the dead Chihuahua. The 33-year-old woman told police she had taken the puppy to a veterinarian, who said it was only four weeks old and needed to be returned to its mother. But before she could return the puppy, it died. Early last Wednesday, the woman went to the breeder’s home in St. Peters, pushed her way inside and began fighting with the breeder as she tried to make her way to the basement to get another puppy, police said. The breeder wrestled the woman out of her house to the front porch, where the woman then hit the breeder over the head numerous times with the dead puppy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Police said they are considering felony burglary charges and misdemeanor assault charges.

Dateline: Florida— Some high school criminology students in Fort Lauderdale ended up stumbling across a real dead body while investigating a fake crime scene. Students at St. Thomas Aquinas High School were studying a mock crime scene set up by their teacher at Holiday Park. The students were supposed to bag evidence, take pictures of the scene and try to solve the fake crime. In the course of their “investigation,” the students discovered the body of 45-year-old David Wayne Bodie on the north side of War Memorial Auditorium. The students did not immediately know the body was real. “The first thing we thought was, ‘That’s a real good dummy she set up,’” 15-year-old Juan Cantor told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel . Once they realized the body was real, the students notified their teacher, Sue Messenger. “I think they kind of went into shock and disbelief, but also, you have to say it’s completely bizarre,” said Messenger . “I mean … what are the odds that we would be out here?” Bodie was later identified as a homeless man who frequently slept in the park. His body showed no signs of trauma and police do not suspect foul play.

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

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