The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Following last week's healthy-parent extravaganza, the week begins with some catch-up on news items that didn't fit last week's theme--most notably the debut, collision, and indictment of the Northwest's answer to Windshield Wanda: 29-year-old Olympia resident Troy Hagen, who followed in the bloody tire tracks of Houston's notorious murder-nurse Chante Mallard by plowing into a pedestrian with his car, then driving with the fatally injured victim lodged in his windshield before dumping the body on a South Seattle street. Like the Ecstasy-lovin' Chante Mallard, Troy Hagen had done some drugs prior to his deadly crash, with his blood testing positive for methamphetamine. Unlike Mallard, Hagen had the decency to call the cops--eventually. The Associated Press reports that, after accidentally driving into 47-year-old Kirkland resident William High outside Rainier Avenue's Royal Esquire Club on November 2, Troy Hagen drove approximately four blocks with High's body in his windshield before dumping High in the westbound lane of South Angeline Street. Twenty minutes later, Hagen used his cell phone to call 911, informing authorities that he'd been in a collision and blaming the lag time in his reporting of the accident on poor cell-phone reception. Medics raced William High to Harborview, where he was soon pronounced dead. Troy Hagen has been charged with vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run.
--Speaking of careless people suddenly becoming criminals: Today the Seattle Times reported the unfortunate saga of an unnamed lady in Lynnwood, arrested this morning after an accidental fire at her house led authorities to the small-scale marijuana-growing operation in the woman's Snohomish County home. Cops found nearly 45 pot plants inside the 45-year-old woman's burning house, whose blaze was reportedly started by "misplaced smoking material," resulting in $170,000 in damage. Adding insult to injury, the woman was booked into Snohomish County Jail for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11
As local news outlets buzzed with prurient indignation over Pioneer Square's "naked sushi" (see page 73), Reuters offered a far more upsetting collision of women and seafood. The scene: an upscale restaurant in Irvine, California, where 48-year-old Laila Sultan and three friends were dining when a spoonful of Sultan's clam chowder produced a surprise. "I thought it was calamari or shrimp or something," Sultan told Irvine's KCAL-TV. "So I chewed once more. It felt rubbery. I told my friends, 'My God, there's something in my mouth.'" The rubbery culprit: a condom, the discovery of which drove the unlucky Sultan to ralph in the restroom, then sue the restaurant for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. "There is absolutely no evidence to suggest the restaurant was the source of the condom," said an attorney for eatery McCormick & Schmicks to the Los Angeles Times. "Either it came from (the four women) or it was thrown in as a practical joke by another patron at the restaurant." The case is expected to go to trial early next year.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Speaking of trials: Today good old Reuters shed some fresh light on spousal abuse with the story of Kevser Babutcu, the Turkish woman accused of locking her husband naked in a bathroom for three years. "Her goal was to make me sick so that I'd die and she'd inherit my fortune," said husband Orhan Babutcu, 41, who'd enjoyed a career as a successful industrialist before he was allegedly forced to spend three years crouching naked by the toilet with a bowl on the floor for his food. For her part, Mrs. Babutcu said it was obvious her husband was mad because he took three showers a day, and that she would soon be seeking a divorce. The husband will receive psychiatric help, while his wife awaits criminal charges.
-- Also today: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Susan Paynter revealed that beloved KOMO 4 weathercaster Steve Pool has become the first African American member of the Seattle Golf Club. "It's about fucking time," said the ghost of Frederick Douglass via Ouija board.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13
Today brought the publication of a new Stranger, featuring Last Days' aforementioned Decent Parents column, which inspired this insightful missive from reader Laurie: "Your column this week claimed to avoid 'parents doing horrible things to kids. Did you fail to note that the subject of Friday, November 7--the toddler who came back to life--is named 'Mackayala'? I cannot concede that this child's parents are responsible adults. P.S. While dining at the elegant Nell's Restaurant on Sunday, November 9, my companions and I were subjected to the sight of a young woman at the next table clipping her fingernails into her napkin."
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Nothing happened today (unless you count the Pentagon's horrifying new data revealing that U.S. military casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom have topped 9,000).
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15
Speaking of horrifying news: Today the Associated Press reported the spine-tingling story of Iowa's devil-worshipping babysitter--better known as Melissa Fernandez, a 20-year-old freelance childcare provider in Des Moines, accused of serving booze to eight-year-old twin sisters then leading the girls in a makeshift blood ritual. "I can completely understand the charges for distributing alcohol to a minor," said Melissa Fernandez. "I will fess up to that. Anything else, I completely do not understand." Fernandez, who admits that she studies Satanism as a religion and habitually cuts herself, but denies she practices witchcraft, has been charged with one count of child endangerment.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16
It's official: Racists are stupid. The week ends with what appears to be scientific evidence that people with racial prejudices have reduced brain function. Today Ananova News reported on the study conducted at Dartmouth College, where scientists claim to have developed a brain scan that "identified race bias among white people." Unfortunately, closer investigation reveals the study to be a theoretical swamp, involving brain-wave measurements of racially homogenous control groups exposed to positive and negative racial concepts and "the performance of cognitive tasks after actual interracial interactions." Still, it's hard to deny the conclusion that "harbouring racial prejudice, even unintentionally, stirred up an inner struggle that exhausted the brain."
As this column went to press, Santa Barbara authorities were executing a search of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch "as part of an ongoing criminal investigation." Tune in next week for full explication of Jacko's latest, just-in-time-for-sweeps-week meltdown. Plus, meet Cienna! Until then, send Hot Tips to lastdays@ thestranger.com.