Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They’ll Never Know

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They'll Never Know

It had long been considered a backwoods version of an urban legend, but in March the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reported its first documented case of a deer hunter who attempted to avoid detection after illegally shooting a doe by gluing antlers onto its head. Marcel Fournier, 19, used epoxy and lag bolts to attach the antlers, according to a game warden, but the finished product looked awkward because of the angle of placement and the size of the antlers. (In addition to a 10-day jail sentence and a fine, Fournier had his license revoked.)

Recurring Themes

Criminals Not Keeping Low Profiles: (1) Motorist Christopher Cadenhead, 39, was stopped in Osceola County, Fla., in January for having an expired tag. Inside his car, police found 200 pounds of marijuana. (2) In January, deputies from Douglas County, Neb., stopped Jose Melendez, 54, along with his wife and daughter, after their RV was seen driving on the shoulder of Interstate 80. Discrepancies among the three family members as to where they were headed and which "relatives" they were "visiting" aroused a deputy's suspicion, and a search of the vehicle revealed $2.5 million worth of cocaine under a floorboard.

Compelling Explanations

In March, Christos Kokkalis, 19, allegedly doing 65 mph in a 30 mph zone, was charged with assault in Framingham, Mass., for reacting badly to a pedestrian's hand gesture suggesting he slow down. According to a police report, Kokkalis swerved across a street into the man's path, drove by, turned around and did it again. The report said Kokkalis denied fault, claiming that his car "turns on its own" because of an "alignment" problem.

Herman Rosenblat, whose best-selling "memoir" of his love affair with his future wife during the Holocaust was yanked off the market by the publisher when parts were proven false, insisted to ABC News in February that he never lied. Of his heartbreaking, well-worn story that his love-to-be tossed apples to him over a fence at his concentration camp (which physically could not have happened, according to historians), Rosenblat said: "It wasn't a lie. … Even now, I believe it, that she was there and she threw the apple to me. In my imagination, it was true."

Fine Points of the Law

(1) New Zealand's Employment Relations Authority ruled in February that an angry worker who tells his boss to "stick his job up his arse" has not officially resigned unless he follows up the incident with a formal notice. (2) Two competitors vying to sell similar types of iPhone applications that provide an array of farting sounds are embroiled in a trademark dispute, according to a March Denver Post report. The developers of Air-O-Matic's "Pull My Finger" claim that InfoMedia's "iFart" application improperly uses "pull my finger" in its own marketing. InfoMedia said that the phrase is generic and cannot be trademarked.

n The following is from an advertisement in the News Reporter of Whiteville, N.C., placed by attorney C. Greg Williamson on Jan. 5, 2009, to give legally required pre-adoption notice to the unknown father of a girl (apparently, the mother doesn't recall too many details): The father "was about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a light brown complexion and 'funny' shaped eyes," and the "date and place of conception" occurred during December 2002 "at a house in Bolton, N.C., thought to be the second house on the left after turning left on the street just past Bubba's Club as you head east from Lake Waccamaw." Under state law, the man fitting this description had 40 days from the placement of the ad to challenge the adoption of the child, now age 5.

Ironies

In February, Angel Galvan-Hernandez, 26, facing a long prison term after being convicted in a Seattle court, begged the judge to execute him. Galvan-Hernandez said he'd rather die "a thousand times" than be jailed. The reason, he added, was his fear of being raped in prison because of his petite frame and his history of being attacked as a youth. His crime, however: He had pleaded guilty to raping two women. (He received 20 years in prison.)

Undignified Deaths

Karma: (1) In Houston in February, a 25-year-old male passenger was killed when he was thrown from a car driven by an intoxicated friend. That incident came seven months after the victim had been charged with DUI in a crash that killed two people. (2) Two brothers driving a stolen car and being chased by police on Interstate 70 near St. Louis in November were killed when they accidentally crashed into another car. That car had also been stolen.

© 2009 Chuck Shepherd