News of the Weird 

Lead Story

Two New York state maintenance workers were fired in December for having sex numerous times on the desk of an office worker, including one stretch in which they had sex "repeatedly" over a 14-hour shift. When the office worker complained that his desk smelled as if it were being used for sex at night, supervisors set up a video camera that recorded the pair.

Police Blotter

Gilbert T. Nettles, 26, was killed in December near Rochester, New York, apparently by hit-and-run driver James A. Vandermeer, 25. A police officer nine miles from the point of collision noticed Vandermeer driving down the road with Nettles's body still lodged in the windshield.

Richard D. Smith, 30, who won the Washington state lottery four years ago and now receives $40,000 a year, was arrested in Everett, Washington, in November and charged with the armed robbery of a grocery store.

Nashville police pursued and then dismissed a rape charge against Mr. "Millissa" Fox, 26, in December. Fox was performing oral sex on a man who thought Fox was a woman. Upon discovering his error, the man ejected Fox from his car and filed the rape charge.

Five Los Angeles housewives, members of a Granada Hills bowling league, were arrested in October for betting a total of $8 during their regular weekly match. Police learned of the bets through a tip from a disgruntled former league member. Two vice squad officers staked out the bowling alley for two hours, watching money change hands.

Two elderly women were killed in Arlington, Virginia in November when their car was struck by a driver who appeared to be drunk. Inside his car were 153 empty canisters of commercial laughing gas, his substance of choice.

Kevin L. Jones, 20, was arrested in Richmond, Virginia, in December. When he walked into a police station to post bail for a friend, he and his girlfriend stared a little too long at the wanted poster of Kevin L. Jones, drawing the attention of officers.

Police in Homestead, Florida, finally apprehended the robber whose signature was biting victims on the hand, arm, ear, or shoulder. One victim's finger was bitten off at the knuckle, and another victim reported that the robber walked away seemingly oblivious to the blood dripping from his mouth. One police officer could not understand why no one fought back. She asked, "How can they just stand there and go 'ow'?"

Odds and Ends (Mostly Odds)

A California state medical board is seeking to revoke the license of Dr. Jorge R. Burrell, a Canoga Park urologist, who claims to have treated 5,000 patients for allergies by injecting them with a remedy that contains their own urine. A board spokesman admits no deaths or hospitalizations have resulted.

Despite a reported $500,000 fee for his role in Harlem Nights, Redd Foxx claims he needs contributions from friends and fans to keep his Las Vegas home from being auctioned off to pay $755,000 in back taxes. He lamented recently that he had received "only" $200 from a neighbor, $83 from local high school kids, and $10 from a recent audience.

Pennsylvania state representative Joseph Petrarca introduced a bill in December to modify the maximum penalty for anyone convicted of assault in the state: the ordinary maximum is ten years and $25,000, but if the person beaten up was burning a U.S. or state flag at the time, the maximum is no jail and $1.

Bobbie Ann Bowens, 21, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for stabbing her common-law husband to death in April near Birmingham, Alabama. She had been arrested twice before in stabbing incidents she said arose because of her husband's affairs. The most damaging evidence in the trial was the arresting officer's testimony that, when he asked how many times she had stabbed the man, she answered, "You mean today?"

A Japanese company paid $60,300 at a December auction in Hohokus, New Jersey, for the marital bed of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.

The China Youth News agency reported that schoolchildren responded to a recent government crackdown on pornography by turning in such "contraband" as bare-bottomed baby pictures and mildly erotic volumes from their parents' bookshelves.

Axel Hanson, 88, retired from driving in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, in October after 72 years on the road with no accidents and no tickets.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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