MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 This week of spooky horror, DIY dismemberment, and parental punishment gone medieval kicks off in Thurston County, Washington, where last night a 39-year-old man was asleep in bed when he was fatally shot in the back of the head by his 13-year-old son. As KING 5 reports, the boy's family maintains that the fatal shooting was an accident, but that didn't stop Thurston County detectives from today arresting the boy for investigation of the second-degree murder of his father, Jimmie Asher Jr. On Wednesday, detectives will recommend upgrading the charge to first-degree murder, alleging the boy planned the crime and citing a sheriff's report that "prior to the shooting, there was some discord between father and son" and after the shooting, "[the boy] took steps to conceal evidence." Despite the recommendation, prosecutors will this week stick with the charge of second-degree murder, which means killing with intent, but not premeditation. (One week from today, the charges will be upped to first-degree murder.)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 In lighter but still bad news involving family members taking up arms against each other, today brings a story from Yelm, Washington, where today 38-year-old Fremon Seay pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault involving domestic violence and a weapon, after allegedly forcing his teenage daughter to dress in old-timey armor and fight him with a big wooden sword. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the "medieval aficionado" father and his 42-year-old wife Julie were both arrested after the alleged sword fight, in which a 16-year-old girl was reportedly dressed in padding and a helmet and made to sword-fight her father for two hours in the front yard until she collapsed. Fremon Seay told investigators "she was disobedient and since she was 16 years old he was going to fight her," reports the Times. Today, both Fremon and Julie Seay appeared in a Thurston County court to plead not guilty to charges of assault—stepmother Julie for "failing to intervene" and father Fremon for the aforementioned two-hour sword battle, as well as for allegedly whipping his daughter's legs with a willow switch. The 16-year-old and another child in the home have been placed with relatives.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 Nothing happened today, unless you count formal acknowledgement of the failure of Netflix, the staggeringly successful movies-by-mail service that recently suffered two major stumbles: a vastly unpopular price hike, followed by a lunkheaded attempt to steer its DVD business toward a new, stupidly named service called Qwikster (a plan that was subsequently abandoned). This week brought the release of Netflix's latest profit report, which laid bare just how much the company had suffered for its stumbles, with over 800,000 customers canceling their memberships after the price hike/attempted service split. And it continues: "[Netflix] stock—already down 60 percent since the company announced a disastrous price hike in July, dropped another 35 percent today," reports ABC News. "Netflix stock briefly hit $300 per share on July 13. Today, it closed at $77.37." And even though "Netflix managed to make the kind of mistake so massive that people will study it at business schools for generations to come," as ABC puts it, the company still has 23 million serviceably satisfied customers, one of whom is Last Days, who has grown to appreciate the odd arbitrariness of the still-limited streaming selections. (Without it, would we ever have encountered the awesome horror of Isn't She Great? We think not.)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 Speaking of ill-advised maneuvers, the week continues in Bellingham, Washington (the Pacific Northwest is bringing it this week), where today a man cut off his arm with a homemade guillotine. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the DIY guillotine was composed of wooden planks and a 2-foot-by-3-foot construction-grade cutting device, which the man ultimately used to sever his right arm just below the shoulder. "The homeless man—described as at least 40 years old—was known to police and had apparently intended to harm himself because gauze and tapes were found next to the guillotine," reports the Times. Upon presenting himself and his severed arm at a Bellingham medical clinic, the man and both of his arms were airlifted to Harborview, where he remains, his condition unknown.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 Speaking of critically injurious tomfoolery, today we travel to Missouri, where a Halloween attraction became a scene of actual horror after a haunted-house employee was found last night hanging from what was supposed to be a prop noose. Details come from the Daily Mail, which identifies the haunted house as Fenton, Missouri's Creepyworld, and the victim as a 17-year-old girl who'd been working as an actress at the attraction for two weeks. As Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told KTVI News, "It appears as though the individual stood up on the sides of the bathtub and for whatever reason, put their head in this noose. It looks like her feet may have slipped." Creepy twist: Numerous Creepyworld visitors may have walked past the hanged girl thinking she was a scary prop. Silver lining: The girl remains alive and hospitalized in critical but guarded condition. "Our only concern is that she's going to be okay," said a Creepyworld spokesman to the Daily Mail. The attraction remains open.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 Speaking of horror: Today brought the publication of a joint investigation by the Los Angeles Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which determined that US and Canadian Boy Scout officials not only failed to stop an admitted child molester in their ranks, but helped him cover his tracks. As the LA Times reports, today's findings drew on confidential records, court files, and interviews with victims and their families, and confirm that Scout leader Rick Turley molested at least 15 children over nearly two decades, meeting most of his victims through American and Canadian Scouting beginning in the 1970s. After Turley admitted to molesting three boys in Orange County in 1979, Boy Scouts of America officials decided against calling police. "You do not want to broadcast to the entire population that these things happen," said a former Orange County Scouting executive to the Times. "You take care of it quietly and make sure it never happens again." It happened again: Turley returned to British Columbia, signed on with Scouts Canada, and continued his abuses for at least a decade, with his various molestations eventually earning him seven years in prison. Speaking to the Times, the now 58-year-old Turley expressed amazement at how simple it was to molest Boy Scouts and get away with it. "It was easy," said Turley, claiming that one call to police by Scouting officials in 1979 "probably would have put a stop to me years and years and years ago." Instead, he "went back to the Scouts again and again as a leader and offended against the boys," said Turley, who told the Times he has since learned to control his impulses.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 In better news, nothing happened today, unless you count the official commencement of the unraveling of dubious GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, which we'll deal with next week.
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