Odds & Ends: Silk Tie Insurance Fraud, Mac Battle, The “Big-Bellied Rapist,” Strippers Distract Witnesses

Odds & Ends: Silk Tie Insurance Fraud, Mac Battle, The “Big-Bellied Rapist,” Strippers Distract Witnesses

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Washington— According to a report in the Seattle Times , a Lynnwood man has been charged with insurance fraud after falsely reporting the theft of 212 silk neckties worth an estimated $33,000. So what tipped off investigators? This was the third time 49-year-old Carlton Wopperer has reported the ties being stolen. The case began on Jan. 5, 2009, when Wopperer told the Mill Creek Police Department his vehicle had been broken into. He reported that four plastic containers filled with 212 of his pricey silk neckties had been stolen. According to Wopperer, he was taking the ties to a quilt shop to see about having them sewn into a quilt for display. Following the theft, Wopperer purchased $33,370 worth of replacement ties from Nordstrom, Butch Blum, Barneys New York and Mario’s of Seattle. His insurance company covered the cost. Six months later, Wopperer told the Everett Police Department his vehicle had again been burglarized, this time while he was moving. The 212 replacement ties he’d purchased after the January theft? Gone. The insurance company paid out another $35,000 to restock the closet of their tieless client. Unfortunately, an adjuster with the insurance company checked up on the claim, only to find that most of the replacement ties Wopperer purchased in January had been returned to the stores almost immediately. Wopperer allegedly held onto the receipts and filed the second claim six months later. After the crime was reported to the Insurance Commissioner’s Special Investigation Unit and referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, it was discovered that way back in 2000, Wopperer told the Lynnwood Police department that his collection of—you guessed it—“212 silk ties” had been stolen from his vehicle while parked at a mall. His insurer at the time paid out $16,900. Wopperer is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Snohomish County Superior Court on two counts of insurance fraud. But will he be wearing a tie to court?

Dateline: Washington— An argument between a brother and sister over whether to use butter or margarine in macaroni and cheese resulted in a violent attack. On June 6, a 21-year-old man called East Wenatchee Police to say his 17-year-old sister had just attacked him and tried to cut his throat with the serrated edge of a metal barbecue spatula. The sister told responding officer Carrie Knouf she was making mac and cheese when her brother asked if she was using butter. “They began to argue over the difference of real butter to margarine,” wrote Knouf in her police report. The culinary argument escalated into shoving, which ended with the sister being accused of trying to slash her brother. The girl was charged with fourth-degree felony assault June 10. She did not show up for a subsequent hearing. According to the Wenatchee World newspaper, Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss has issued a warrant for the sister’s arrest.

Dateline: Tennessee— Bruce Tuck, nicknamed the “Big-Bellied Rapist,” has filed a petition saying interrogators coerced a confession out of him with junk food. Tuck pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape, kidnapping and robbery charges earlier this year but is now trying to get his conviction overturned on the grounds that law enforcement officials tricked an involuntary confession out of him. The 275-pound convict, who filed the petition on his own behalf, admits to “insanity,” “extreme paranoia towards law enforcement” and “acting in a bizarre and violent manner”—all of which allegedly renders his conviction invalid. Tuck also says in the 10-page petition that officials at the Weakley County Jail placed him on “a diet of lettuce only upon incarceration.” When they offered him “a bag of chips and a cold drink,” Tuck quickly confessed to 19 felony charges, which led to his 60-year sentence. Tuck’s public defender told WMC-TV in Memphis this kind of plea is common after a conviction. The lawyer also said he had no idea what his client ate in jail.

Dateline: Illinois— The Chicago Sun-Times reports that one man was shot and another was forced to jump out of a window when a gunman walked into a “stripper party” and opened fire in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago’s north side. Witnesses told police an assailant entered the third floor apartment armed with a gun and began shooting. One man jumped out of a window, falling for two stories, while another was struck in the arm by a bullet. Area detectives have few leads. Attendees of the party later told investigators they did not see the shooter because they were busy “watching the stripper” at the time.

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

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