The Week in Review
MONDAY, MARCH 5 This week of crimes against children, clubfooted marriages, and oral horrors kicks off with one of my top five nightmares, fresh off the number 7 bus. "I thought the man in the seat next to me was chewing gum," begins Hot Tipper Alison. "Until he reached into his mouth and pulled out a bloody incisor." Alison, who was trapped in a window seat, reports that the on-board tooth extraction "made a slurping sound, like when you pull your foot out of a mud pit." Also: "It smelled like concentrated morning breath." Alison says that rather than keep his treasure, the man tossed the dislodged tooth on the floor as he exited the bus (so finders keepers!).
TUESDAY, MARCH 6 Answering the age-old question "How many DUIs is too many?" today a Virginia court sentenced 39-year old Tracy Michael Decker to seven years in prison after he leisurely racked up 25 DUIs across Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia. Details come from WVEC.com, which reports that among Decker's most memorable arrests was his 21st DUI, earned after he tried to haggle with a tollbooth employee. The cops were called, Decker huffed a blood alcohol content of .28 (the legal limit is .08), and an open container of alcohol was discovered in his car along with "two four-year-old children that were not in safety seats or seat belts." It's unclear whether the toddlers were his designated drivers.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7 In other news, taking LSD on a semiregular basis "could help alcoholics give up drinking," reports BBC News (and is totally safer than booze for long road trips).
THURSDAY, MARCH 8 Today in mail-order parenting (and further bus horrors), a 5-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were discovered living alone in a broken-down bus outside of Houston, Texas, while their parents, Mark and Sherrie Shorten, serve out concurrent federal prison sentences for hurricane-related fraud. When reached in prison, Sherrie insisted that her children were fine—an aunt was checking in on them at night—and that she had even continued homeschooling her daughter from jail over the past year. "Every week, I would mail her a new set of lessons and return the graded ones," she told the Houston Chronicle. "We'd talk on the phone when she had questions. Last week, she was having trouble understanding exponents." Mark told reporters that his daughter "can even do tax returns." But according to the mail carrier who discovered the children living in apparent squalor, the 11-year-old couldn't even sign her name to receive packages, so the kids were promptly taken into custody by Child Protective Services. To the bus's credit, it had air conditioning and working electricity, and to the parents' credit, "When we left, that bus was clean and did not reek of anything," Sherrie said.
••Speaking of reeky situations, today brings reports of Pennsylvania police arresting a man for bugging his estranged wife's bed. Police say that 66-year-old Wayne Cripe was still sharing a home with his estranged wife, Suzanne, 49, but the couple had been living separate lives "for some time." According to Cripe, his wife's separate life included habitually loud sex with her new boyfriend. After Suzanne found a transmitter under her mattress, Cripe admitted to police that he placed it under her bed "so he would know if his wife and her boyfriend were having sex" because he was "sick of hearing [it]," according to court documents obtained by the Smoking Gun. Cripe continues to live with his estranged, hump-happy wife while awaiting his court hearing for a misdemeanor charge of invasion of privacy and "illegally intercepting communications," a felony.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9 The parade of first-world problems continues here in Washington State with news that Alan O'Neill, a Pierce County corrections officer, faces felony bigamy charges after a woman on Facebook discovered that she and a potential new "friend" were both married to him, reports KOMO News. More details come from the Associated Press, which reports that O'Neill (né Fulk) married his first wife in 2001. Then, in 2009, Fulk changed his name to O'Neill and, according to the AP, married his second wife without divorcing his first. This alleged matrimonial doubling down went happily undetected until today, when Facebook suggested wife number 1 make friends with wife number 2 via the "People You May Know" feature. "Wife No. 1 went to wife No. 2's page and saw a picture of her and her husband with a wedding cake," explained Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist to the AP. O'Neill now faces up to a year in jail if convicted but remains free until his court date later this month. "About the only danger he would pose is marrying a third woman," Lindquist gleefully explained. (Cue sad trombone.) No word on whether any wives are now planning divorces.
SATURDAY, MARCH 10 In genuinely horrifying news, today numerous international media outlets report that at least 14 Iraqi youths have been stoned to death for sporting hipster haircuts and wearing western-style "emo" clothes—e.g., Hot Topic staples such as tight-fitting jeans, nose rings, and skull-adorned clothing. Some civil rights activists claim that as many as 100 gay and emo teens have been killed since February, reports CNN, but this weekend's horror focuses on the 14 teen bodies delivered to hospitals in eastern Baghdad "bearing signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks," reports Reuters. Ratcheting the horror up a notch, Shiite militants say more deaths will follow unless all teenagers stop dressing like "satanists." A leaflet distributed in eastern Baghdad today had 24 additional names of youths targeted for death by stoning and read: "We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen." Another leaflet distributed in nearby Sadr City bore 20 more names: "We are the Brigades of Anger. We warn you, if you do not get back to sanity and the right path, you will be killed." It's official: Hormones are illegal drugs in Iraq and angst is a killing offense.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 Brace yourself: Today a Fort Lewis soldier stationed in Afghanistan turned himself in after allegedly executing 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, in a bloody midnight rampage through a nearby village. Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Times will report that the attacks "come less than a month after American military personnel were found to have burned Korans at Bagram Air Base, and two months after a video surfaced showing four US Marines urinating on the corpses of three Taliban fighters." Doctors, military officials, and armchair psychiatrists will soon be cawing with theories to explain the brutal murders—head injury! PTSD! Government conspiracy!—and media outlets will soon report that the soldier could face the death penalty in US court for his alleged, horrific actions. Condolences to the Afghan families who will take small, if any, comfort in that fact.
Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.This week's cover photo is by Kelly O.