The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25 This week of gruesome Germans, righteous popes, and criminally depraved rock stars kicks off with cooperative crime-fighting in Seattle, where tonight a group of Metro bus riders fought and conquered an armed robber. As KOMO reports, the action commenced around 6 p.m. when a man wearing a nylon stocking over his face (?!) boarded a Metro bus at Third and Pike, sat down, and kept to his stocking-faced self until the bus reached West Seattle, when he allegedly pulled out a handgun and started robbing passengers. "The gunman had already robbed at least three people when a group of men on the bus decided to do something," reports KOMO. "Police say the men tackled the robber and held him down until officers arrived." The 19-year-old suspect was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of three counts of armed robbery.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26 In much worse news, the week continues in the United Kingdom, where the lead singer of a popular rock band has pleaded guilty to a plethora of child sex offenses. Horrifying details come from the BBC, which identifies our subject as Ian Watkins, the 36-year-old singer for the Welsh band Lostprophets, which formed in 1997, released five albums, and sold around 3.5 million records worldwide. After months of strenuously denying all sex-crime allegations, Watkins dodged a trial this week by pleading guilty to many horrible deeds, including attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13; conspiring to rape a child; three counts of sexual assault involving children; seven counts of taking, making, or possessing indecent images of children; and one count of "possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal," reports the BBC. Watkins's sentencing will take place on December 18.
•• Speaking of child rape, the week continues with the Catholic Church, which continues to help the world look past its history of shielding child rapists via the glorious things that fall from the mouth of Pope Francis, who today issued an 84-page apostolic exhortation attacking the "idolatry of money," blasting unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny," and imploring politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education, and health care." "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?" wrote the 76-year-old pontiff in his Republican-brain-exploding address. "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills... I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor."
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 In worse news, the week continues with another installment of 2013's worst new trend, wherein an American citizen is surprised by someone in need and responds by fatally shooting the needy someone "in self-defense." The latest such scene went down early this morning in Walker County, Georgia, where Ronald Westbrook, a 72-year-old air force veteran with advanced Alzheimer's disease, had spent a good portion of the night wandering around with his two dogs wearing only a light jacket and a straw hat in below-freezing temperatures. After picking up mail from a home where he lived long ago (nearly three miles from where he currently resides), Westbrook walked to another residence where he rang the doorbell and turned the doorknob, waking up 34-year-old Joe Hendrix and his fiancée, who had moved in two weeks earlier. "Hendrix's fiancée, whose name [Sheriff Steve] Wilson declined to give, called 911 and stayed on the phone with an emergency dispatcher who sent two sheriff's office patrol cars en route," reports the Times Free Press. "After a 9- to 10-minute wait—and before deputies arrived—Hendrix went outside armed with a .40-caliber handgun and saw the elderly man in silhouette behind the house, the sheriff said." As Hendrix told police, he gave Westbrook several verbal commands when Westbrook began walking toward him, and, "fearing for his safety," fired four shots, hitting and killing Westbrook. As of yet, no charges have been filed, plus Georgia has a "stand your ground" law, so who knows how this tragic shitshow will end. But let us simply note how nobody fears for his life like the holder of a loaded gun. Funny how that works. Good luck sleeping, Joe Hendrix.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28 The week continues with Thanksgiving, the heartwarming American holiday born of deadly betrayal and centered on big dead turkeys. Speaking of disgusting meat rituals, tomorrow in Germany, Dresden police will report the arrest of a 55-year-old police officer accused of fulfilling the wishes of a man who wanted to be killed and eaten. "Investigators believe that the two men met via an internet site for cannibalism fetishists," the BBC reports. "Police say that the victim was killed and dismembered, and that his body parts were buried on a piece of land in the mountainous region that belonged to the alleged killer... Police say that body parts of the victim were missing, and it is possible that cannibalism may have taken place." Identified only as Detlev G., the accused officer is a handwriting analysis expert for Saxony's State Office of Criminal Investigation who "denies eating body parts and says he killed the man at his request." As for the victim, the unnamed 59-year-old "had fantasized about being murdered and eaten since his youth," said Dresden police chief Dieter Kroll at a news conference, noting how "people with the most gruesome fantasies can get together on the internet and live out their perversions in an ever starker form."
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29 Speaking of cooperative suicide, the week continues on Seattle's Capitol Hill, where early this morning a man in a second-floor apartment on 23rd Avenue East fired shots from a rifle at Seattle police, inspiring Seattle police to fatally shoot the man. Condolences to all.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 Nothing happened today.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1 The week ends with slow-moving slapstick in Puget Sound, where today a 33-year-old man allegedly commandeered the (passenger-free) Victoria Clipper ferry from the Seattle waterfront in hopes of traveling to West Seattle, but instead wound up booked into King County Jail on charges of burglary, malicious mischief, reckless endangerment, and, uh, failure to register as a sex offender. ("KIRO 7 uncovered that he is a level-3 sex offender," reports KIRO 7.)