News of the Weird 

Lead Story

In a July divorce case in Broward County, Florida, Judge Paul Marko forbade Marianne Price, 33, from having boyfriends over to her house because it was formerly joint property, but said her husband could have the "entire [Miami] Dolphins cheerleading squad running through his apartment naked" because it was "his" apartment. Marko then advised Price to start visiting singles bars: "I've been [in them]. I'm a single man. There are all kinds of bimbos . . . and . . . guys running around in open shirts with eagles on their chests. There are great guys out there." Marko said he would order Price's house sold if she allowed a male to live there: "I don't want her all of a sudden taking up with some nice, sweet, little blond from Norway." He later apologized to Price.

Compelling Explanations

Cindy Havens, a 30-year-old waitress in Ottawa, Ontario, had her crime downgraded from trafficking in marijuana to possession after she explained to a judge in July that she had such a large quantity on hand because it seemed to be the only thing her pet iguana, Pogo Longtail, would eat. (The judge then mused aloud whether his ruling would cause a run on iguanas at local pet stores.)

Jerry A. Cameron, missing for five days in August after leaving his home in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to go fishing near Little Rock, called his wife from Denver to announce that he had been "kidnapped by Mexican bandits," robbed, and left in the water near Amarillo.

In August the Miss America pageant ordered an investigation of the director of the Texas pageant, B. Don Magness, who reportedly had a long history of making lewd comments to contestants (such as referring to them as "sluts"). Answered Magness: "While I make an attempt at appearing to be a dirty old man, I make double that attempt to make sure I'm not. Some of the girls just need to be dirtied up a little."

Anthony Zielinski, member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, proposed in May to give the government the authority to sell the vital organs of indigents when they die. "If they can't help society while they're alive, maybe they can help while they're dead." He later withdrew the proposal.

Smooth Reactions

Grocery store manager Abdullah Shaheen was arrested in Fort Lauderdale in July for pulling a loaded .357 Magnum on three young girls when they came up two cents short for some bubble gum.

Gyoung Kim, 35, was charged with assault in July in Edmonton, Alberta, for beating the owner of an adult boutique who would not give him a refund for the inflatable doll he had bought earlier that evening.

Edward Biafore, 29, barricaded himself in his parents' home in Meriden, Connecticut, for three hours one evening in July, holding a SWAT team at bay with a small arsenal, after arguing with his stepsister over a pizza order. Said Biafore's girlfriend, "He didn't want mushrooms."

Former NBA player Allen Leavell pleaded no contest in May to charges that he choked referee Pete Quinn into unconsciousness following a Continental Basketball Association game in March because he disagreed with a foul call.

Two Western Michigan University professors (husband and wife) were under investigation in April following an exam incident. According to reports, when the husband discovered a student cheating, he grabbed the student and held him in a headlock while his wife bit the student.

Won't Take No for an Answer

Marvin Carter, 18, was arrested in Silver Spring, Maryland, in March after he burglarized a sporting goods store. After setting off a burglar alarm, he retreated into an air duct, where he hid for more than 36 hours before testing an exit to see if police had gone. (They hadn't.)

Yu L. Yang, 27, was arrested near Saint Louis last November when he locked a county health inspector inside his restaurant after the inspector said he was going to cite Yang for storing food improperly. Said Yang to the locked-up inspector, "If you are here to give us trouble, we'll give you trouble, too." Yang then proceeded to trim his fingernails with a butcher knife while the inspector watched.

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

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