MONDAY, DECEMBER 10 Welcome to a week of selfish kidnappers, ungrateful junkies, and not one but two instances of well-armed nutjobs fatally gunning down strangers (20 of them children). We begin in Seattle, where today employees at the East Cherry Street branch of the YWCA ventured into a storage room and discovered that more than $6,000 worth of toys meant for needy kids had been stolen. "It was devastating," said the YWCA's community-resource director, Nichelle Hilton, to the Seattle Times, which soon reported the appearance of a silver lining: "After news of the Grinch-like theft of $6,250 worth of toys was picked up by local media, passers-by began dropping into the center at 2820 East Cherry Street with armloads of stuffed-animal toys, Barbie dolls, toy cars, and puzzles. Rick's Toys for Kids, a nonprofit formed by Seattle Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs and former Mariner Dave Henderson, bought all the original toys and will use its reserve funds to replace the items that were stolen." Thanks for saving the day, Rick's Toys for Kids, and enjoy your lifetime of crap karma, charity toy thief.

•• In lighter news, today in North Carolina, a woman devised a brilliant plan for making some quick Christmas cash: take herself hostage and then demand a $300,000 ransom. The saga began late this evening in Brunswick County, when sheriff's deputies attempted to pull over a car being driven by Jennifer Herring of Myrtle Beach. Instead of stopping, "she began a chase that lasted 15 minutes and reached speeds of 70 miles per hour in 45-mile-per-hour zones," reports WBTW News. "During the chase, dispatchers say Herring called 911 and told them there was no emergency, and that she'd be happy to pull over in exchange for $300,000." Instead, deputies tracked Herring to a dead end and took her into custody for free.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 In much worse news, the week continues just outside Portland, Oregon, where this afternoon a well-armed gunman opened fire on shoppers at the Clackamas Town Center mall, fatally shooting two people and seriously wounding a third before fatally shooting himself. "The shooter was wearing a white hockey mask and a load-bearing vest," reports the Huffington Post. "He was also carrying a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle and several fully loaded magazines. The rifle was stolen from a person known to the suspect, police said." Later today, police will identify the murderous-and-suicidal gunman as 22-year-old Jacob Roberts, and identify Roberts's victims as 54-year-old Cindy Ann Yuille and 45-year-old Steven Forsyth. A third shooting victim—a 15-year-old girl—remains in serious condition at a Portland hospital.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 The week continues with 12/12/12, the notably repetitious date that inspired a million Facebook updates, one humongous benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy, and one upsetting act of alleged domestic abuse in Florida. Details come from CBS Tampa, which reports Orange City woman Debra Watson was watching the star-studded "12-12-12" benefit concert on TV when she was interrupted by her husband. "The two then got into a fight about the frozen pizza that was cooked after [her husband] complained the crust was 'raw' and flung his dinner plate on the floor," reports CBS, barely. "Debra Watson also threw her plate on the floor in response. Police say that is when 47-year-old Richard Watson tackled his wife, grabbed her head, and shoved her face into the dog's water bowl." Lucky for all, Debra was able to break free of the would-be dog-bowl drowning, only to be cornered again by her husband, who allegedly attempted to strangle her. Alerted to the commotion, cops arrived to arrest Richard Watson on charges of attempted murder, battery, and domestic battery by strangulation.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 The week continues in Seattle, where today brought news of the assault charges filed against a heroin-smoking driver who allegedly attempted to run down a bicyclist after the bicyclist suggested that the driver stop smoking heroin in his neighborhood. Details come from, which reports the confrontation went down in the Haller Lake neighborhood on October 3, when an off-duty police officer on a bike noticed Taylor J. Betts sitting in a parked car and smoking heroin. "The officer knocked on the car window to get Betts's attention, then told her to take her drugs elsewhere," reports "According to charging documents, Betts threatened to kill the off-duty officer before driving away. Betts is alleged to have then made a U-turn and sped toward the cyclist. The off-duty officer told investigators he was able to hide behind a parked car to avoid Betts's Toyota Camry. He also said Betts continued to yell threats throughout the assault." As for the charges of second-degree assault: "Betts admitted to smoking heroin... but denied trying to run down the cyclist."

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 In so much worse news, the week continues in Newtown, Connecticut, where today a well-armed gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, fatally shooting 20 children and six adults (including the school's principal) before fatally shooting himself. The murderous and suicidal gunman will be identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. "Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, drove to the school in her car with at least three of her guns, and opened fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m." reports CBS News. Lanza had three weapons with him during the attack: two handguns, a Sig Sauer and a Glock, and a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle. Preliminary information showed that the weapons were purchased legally.

••Also today: In honor of the 2013 World Day of Peace (good one, calendar), Pope Benedict XVI took time out of his busy papal calendar to address the greatest threat to peace currently known to man: same-sex marriage. "There is... a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union," said Italy's preeminent child-rape apologist. "Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace." Whatever, you dick.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 Nothing happened today (unless you count the continuation/escalation of yesterday's furious calls for gun control).


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