[NEWS OF THE WEIRD]
More Tennessee Super- Breeders
Update: Last week’s News of the Weird gave serial impregnator Desmond Hatchett, of Knoxville, Tenn. Chuck Shepherd too much credit. It is true that he has fathered at least 24 kids by at least 11 different women (and has no hope of meeting child-support obligations), but he is hardly Tennessee’s most prolific. A June summary by the Daily Mail of London (citing WMC-TV and WREG-TV in Memphis) revealed that Terry Turnage of Memphis has 23 children by 17 different women, and Richard M. Colbert (also from Memphis) has 25 with 18 women. Courts have ordered the men to pay the various mothers monthly support ranging from $259 to $309, but one woman said the most she had ever seen from Turnage was $9.
To the Ninth Ring of Hell
• Debbie Stevens, 47, filed a claim before the New York Human Rights commission in April alleging that she was fired in November by Ms. Jackie Brucia, a controller of the Atlantic Automotive Group of West Islip, NY after Stevens failed to recover quickly enough from major surgery in August. Stevens had donated a kidney to Brucia, who apparently could not understand why Stevens was still in pain by Sept. 6 so that she needed more time off. (Actually, since Brucia and Stevens were not perfect matches, Brucia had Stevens donate to a woman ahead of Brucia on the waiting list, which created an opening for Brucia. Brucia’s husband told a New York Post reporter in April that Stevens’ claims were “far from the truth,” but would not elaborate.)
• In April, a jury in Charlotte convicted Charles Hinton, 47, for a break-in at the Levine Children’s Hospital in 2010, where he had been charged with stealing 10 video gaming systems that sick children relied on for entertainment while they received cancer treatment.
• A CNN investigation revealed in May that the Disabled Veterans National Foundation had collected almost $56 million in donations over four years but given nearly all of it to two direct-mail fundraising companies. CNN was able to locate a small veterans charity in Birmingham, Ala. that received help, but mainly in the form of 2,600 bags of cough drops, 2,200 bottles of sanitizers, 11,520 bags of coconut M&Ms and 700 pairs of Navy dress shoes. Another, in Prescott, Ariz., received hundreds of chef’s coats and aprons, cans of acrylic paint and a needlepoint design pillowcase. Said the manager of the Birmingham charity, “I ask myself what the heck are these people doing.”
• Andrea Amanatides suffered a boo-boo in May while being booked to begin a six-month jail sentence in Albany, NY for a probation violation. As she was being placed in a holding cell, a cache of drugs fell onto the floor. Deputies soon figured out that a condom Amanatides had placed into a bodily orifice had burst. The final inventory: 26 OxyContins, 10 Ambiens, 50 Valiums, 37 Adderalls plus 133 more prescription pills and four baggies containing heroin. The sequence was captured on surveillance video.
• Weekend WTMW-TV (Portland, Maine) news anchor Meghan Torjussen was called on to deliver breaking sports news on June 3, the score of a playoff game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Time had run out in the fourth quarter with the score tied, 89-89. “I guess the game just ended,” Torjussen announced. “This is what my producer is telling me right now.” “There’s the score [on the screen], 89- 89. Uh, went down to the wire… ended in a tie. [A]ll right, let’s move on to professional baseball.” (Boston eventually won, in overtime, 93-91.)
The Continuing Crisis
• Things people believe: Seattle attorney Andrew Basiago told Huffington Post in April that he “time-traveled” eight times as a child as part of the secret Project Pegasus staged by the Pentagon’s notorious Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Another lawyer, Alfred Webre, recently explained, matter-of-factly, to a seminar audience in Vancouver, British Columbia that teleportation is an “inexpensive, environmentally friendly means of transportation” and was used most recently by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “to transport troops to battle.” Basiago said, in a flourish of detail, that he was at Ford’s Theater the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated but did not witness it, and said that twice, he ran into himself while back in the past.
• In June, the North Carolina Senate passed a state House of Representatives bill (House Bill 819) that orders scientists to use the “correct” way to predict weather in North Carolina. The bill requires that only historical analogies back to 1900 be used to predict sea-level rise — meaning that scientists must ignore “feedback loops” in which recent, consistent heat and violent atmospheric conditions suggest more radical weather. For example, nine of the hottest 10 years on record have occurred since 2000, but NC scientists must not be swayed by that fact because only patterns of the more stable 20th century can forecast 21st century sea levels. (Many NC coastal property owners believe the 40-or-more-inch rise in sea level by 2100 that is predicted by most scientists would threaten property values and would rather believe the perhaps-8-inch rise that House Bill 819 would dictate.)
Sounds Like a Joke
• In testimony at an extortion trial in New York City in June, Anthony Russo (alleged Colombo family associate) told prosecutors that a mob war was narrowly averted after another Colombo hand learned that a new Staten Island pizza parlor (run by an alleged Bonanno associate) featured pies that suspiciously resembled those of the top-rated L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, which has Colombo ties. Representatives of the families had a “sit-down” (at a neutral site — a Panera Bread restaurant!) and worked out a payment plan to satisfy L&B.
• Seattle police reported that a woman had been walking her dog in Plymouth Pillars Park at about 2 a.m. on May 10 and allegedly making noise that disturbed another man. Both were carrying pooper scoopers, and it is unclear which of the two started it, but the woman claimed the man jousted his toward her off and on in a “30-minute” duel, as she used hers to block his assaults. Police said a search failed to turn up suspects.
• Good to know: Five hikers on holiday from Miami got lost overnight on May 3 high in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, NY and endured a night of rain with temperatures in the 40s before they were rescued. One or more of the hikers (number unclear in the news report) got to test one theory of body-warming, but learned that its benefit was illusory. That is, warming up a cold body by urinating on it provides only momentary, if any, relief.
• Serial flasher-alcoholic Michael McShane, 55, of Workington, England, seems well aware of the serious problem he has. He has been arrested 283 times (190 convictions) for indecent exposure and public drinking, and was apparently trying to keep himself out of trouble one night in April by dressing in two pairs of pants, so that if he shed one, he would still be within the law. However, on that night, police picked up a passed-out McShane outside a bar where he had already managed to pull both pairs of trousers down past his buttocks, and in May, he garnered conviction number 191, in Carlisle Crown Court.
People Different From Us
Earlier this year, Tokyo artist Mao Sugiyama, 22, had elective surgery to remove his genitals, underscoring his commitment to an “asexual” lifestyle in which his behavior and attitude are supposedly completely irrelevant to whether he is male or female. Then, on April 8, he solicited diners to a meal (for the equivalent of about $250 each) in which his genitals were cooked and served, garnished with button mushrooms and Italian parsley. One applicant was a no-show, but five dined with him on April 13. According to a May report on Huffington Post, the well-photographed story “went viral” in Japan, and authorities repeatedly assured journalists that no law had been violated.
© 2012 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate.