The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 The week begins with the lethal object lesson of Louis Dethy, the vengeful, fiendishly clever 70-year-old retiree in Charlerois, Belgium, who was found dead in his home earlier this month. Contemplating the gunshot wound in Mr. Dethy's neck, police initially deemed Dethy's death a suicide. But after an investigating officer in Dethy's home opened a wooden chest and triggered a booby-trapped shotgun, police decided to take a closer look. With the aid of military mine-clearing experts, Belgian detectives soon learned that Louis Dethy's three-story, chalet-style, brick and timber home was a diabolical deathtrap, housing a total of 19 booby traps designed to inflict mortal damage on all who entered. Soon into their investigation, detectives rejected their initial ruling of suicide, revealing instead that Louis Dethy had been killed, tragically but hilariously, by one of his own inadvertently triggered death traps. According to Australia's The Age, Dethy's traps--scattered throughout the house's walls and ceilings--were intended for his family, consisting of one estranged wife and 14 estranged children. Relatives told reporters how Dethy spent the past 20 years hating his wife for divorcing him and taking the kids (after walking in on him banging another woman). But when Dethy's own mother turned against him, bequeathing the family home (he lived in it, she paid for it) away from the increasingly batty Dethy to one of his estranged daughters, Dethy's bitterness grew into a hunger for revenge, and he set about installing death traps throughout the house. Police say most of Dethy's traps employed concealed 12-bore shotguns rigged to be triggered by fishing line; in addition to the traps in the walls, ceilings, and wooden chest, detectives found a seemingly benign but lethal pile of dinner plates, an exploding TV, and an exploding crate of beer. "It was all fiendishly clever," said one of the mine-clearance experts to The Age. Dethy's family takes a darker view. "He hated us," said daughter Jeanne. "He wanted to kill us all, but instead he was caught out by one of his own traps." In the words of Nelson Muntz, "HA-ha!"
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 The yuks keep coming with today's story of Aaron Price, a sophomore at Atlanta's Morehouse College, charged last week with beating a fellow student with a baseball bat after the victim allegedly looked at him in the shower. Today the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered details on the excessively stupid attack, which occurred at the private, all-male jewel of black academia on November 3, as the victim was preparing for a shower in the first-floor bathroom of Morehouse's Brazeal Hall. Then came the alleged look, which inspired Aaron Price to grab a bat and repeatedly fracture the alleged looker's skull. The next day Price was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and held on $10,000 bail; the day after that, he was expelled from Morehouse. Despite unequivocal denunciations from both the legal and educational sectors, Morehouse students viewed the attack as less of a crime and more of an unfortunate fact. "A lot of people believe he deserved to get beaten up if he was looking in the shower stall," said sophomore Mubarak Guy, who identified himself as a friend of Aaron Price, but conceded that "everyone thinks the bat was a little extreme. Nobody deserves to get beaten with a bat." Word.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 Today in Santa Maria, California, Michael Jackson appeared in court as the defendant in a $21 million breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against the heartrendingly disturbed pop tragedy by German concert promoter Marcel Avram. Upon being called as a hostile witness, Jackson took the stand and prepared for his oath. Upon being instructed by the judge to remove his surgical mask, Jackson obeyed--and revealed a visage so mind-numbingly bizarre it will be forever burned in the brains of all who saw it. Disseminated over the globe via the miraculous Internet, The Photo (see here) delivered a stomach-churning jolt that caused men to weep, women to miscarry, and children to run for cover. Unsurprisingly, a key component of the horror was Jackson's nose, that much-beleaguered wisp of flesh and plastic, poking from his face like a sickly moth from a skeleton pupa. As regular readers know, Last Days considers the saga of Michael Jackson, an artist of otherworldly talent who willfully and violently morphed himself into a good-for-nothing freak (and likely pedophile), to be one of the essential American stories. Following the publication of The Photo, this story gained several fascinating new chapters from a variety of plastic surgeons tapped by a variety of news outlets to offer their professional opinions of Michael Jackson's nose. "What he's done is to go from Negroid or black nose, which is round and broad and flat, to a Caucasian nose that's narrow and projecting," said Dr. Harvey Zarem to the Los Angeles Times. "To do that, you have to put cartilage or silicone or bone in the nose like a tent stake to make the nose stick out." But as Dr. Richard Fleming told Reuters, with every nose job, the blood circulation to the affected area decreases and the risk of scarring and infection increases. So, as Last Days sees it: In his relentless pursuit of nasal perfection, undergoing operation after operation, Michael Jackson no longer has enough living, breathing skin on his nose to support new skin grafts, thus leaving the "tent stake" of his nose job to poke through his barely-there skin, and requiring poor Jacko to spend the rest of his sick, stupid life filling in the blanks of his nose with provisional blends of makeup and putty. Please excuse us as we alternately sob and vomit.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Nothing happened today (unless you count Miss Cleo's $505 million settlement with her cheated customers and the FTC).
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15 Today brought an absolutely freakish amount of news about kiddie-porn busts. Down in Hollywood, two reasonably well-known actors--Jeffrey Jones (aka Principal Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman in a variety of delights)--were charged with child sex offenses. Both Jones, 56, and Reubens, 50, were accused of possessing child pornography, while Jones faces an additional charge of taking sexually explicit photos of a 14-year-old boy. (Principal Rooney will fess up and beg forgiveness, while Pee-wee will insist on his innocent possession of an "expansive erotic art collection.") Earlier in the week, Seattle got in on the act with the arrest of an alleged grade-A pedophilic sicko to put those Hollywood wusses to shame. On Monday, Glenn Northrop, "prominent Northwest businessman" and president of Woodinville's pcToys, was arrested for allegedly trying to buy sex with a 12-year-old girl. Fortunately, the girl's mother/ broker was an undercover cop, who arrested the prominent CEO inside a Sea-Tac motel for the attempted rape of a child. We need a shower.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 Nothing happened today (unless you count the Hot Tip from Debra in Denver, who one-upped last week's tale of "puke and The Ring" with her story of seeing a screening of Ghost Ship, during which an unlucky audience member died in his seat).
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Nothing happened today.
Confidential to the Pink Door: You RULE.
Confidential to Superstar Tattoo: You rule, too.
Confidential to Ana Saskia: Best of luck to you in NYC.
Everyone else, send Hot Tips to lastdays@ thestranger.com.