MONDAY, APRIL 5 This week of death threats, troubled entrepreneurs, and tragically accidental coups kicks off today in the United Kingdom, where BBC News reports on the two women arrested after attempting to smuggle a dead relative's corpse onto a plane at the Liverpool John Lennon Airport. According to the BBC, the drama began last Saturday, when two German women—66-year-old Gitta Jarant and her 41-year-old daughter Anke Anusic—showed up at the airport for a flight to Berlin. With the mother/ daughter pair was their 91-year-old husband/stepfather, Curt Jarant, who was rolled up to the check-in counter in a wheelchair and wearing sunglasses before airport officials discovered he was dead. Arrested on suspicion of failing to give notification of a death, Curt Jarant's widow and stepdaughter insisted they thought he was just asleep. "Of course we did not know he was dead," said Anusic, informing the BBC that her stepfather suffered from Alzheimer's and had just been released from the hospital after a bout of pneumonia. "He was fine. If he was not fine, the hospital wouldn't release him. He was pale, but he wasn't dead." As for the allegations of corpse smuggling, Anusic smacks them down: "A dead person you cannot carry to Germany, there are too many people checking and security. How can you bring a dead person to Germany?" On Friday, British police will reveal that Curt Jarant died of natural causes roughly 12 hours before his would-be plane trip. His wife and stepdaughter remain free on bail.
TUESDAY, APRIL 6 The week continues closer to home, where this morning, 63-year-old Charles Alan Wilson of Selah, Washington, was charged with threatening a federal official after allegedly leaving more than a dozen aggressively menacing phone messages for U.S. senator/health-care- reform supporter Patty Murray, whom Wilson repeatedly denounced as a "Pike Street whore" who deserves to be murdered. For more on the charges against Wilson, see Eli Sanders's report from the Central Washington scene.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7 Nothing happened today, unless you count the arrest of another ragin' Caucasian accused of threatening another politician who supported the health-care overhaul. Today's arrested threatener: Gregory Giusti, a 48-year-old San Francisco man who allegedly made numerous menacing phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Tomorrow, Giusti will be charged with one felony count of making obscene, threatening, or harassing phone calls to a member of Congress, and on Friday, Giusti's mother will tell San Francisco's ABC 7 News that her mentally ill son was made increasingly radical by the fair-and-balanced fearmongering of Fox News.
THURSDAY, APRIL 8 The week continues with the suddenly dramatic saga of Michael McConnell, the Seattle restaurateur/ entrepreneur best known as the man behind Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali until today, when he was reintroduced as the guy charged with assault, hit and run, and DUI after allegedly crashing into and attacking another motorist last week on First Hill. The story in full comes from SeattleCrime.com: "According to a police report, a man told police he was sitting in his car waiting for the light at James Street and Broadway at about 6:00 p.m. on March 31 when a black Mercedes, apparently occupied by Mc- Connell, crashed into him from behind. Both drivers pulled off of the road but, the report says, McConnell refused to give the victim his information. The report notes the victim smelled alcohol on McConnell's breath. McConnell's attorney—who was driving another vehicle behind McConnell—tried to intervene, the police report says, and told the victim 'they would give him $1,500 to pay for the vehicle damages and not call police.' McConnell then 'refused to pay any money,' the report says, and walked away from the scene. According to the report, McConnell returned a short time later, grabbed the victim, and punched him 'with both fists in the chest.' McConnell then walked off toward the Seattle University campus, leaving his Mercedes at the scene." Upon his arrest, McConnell refused a Breathalyzer test; at his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty on all charges. He's next due in court on May 3. Fun facts: In addition to owning Vita and Tribunali, McConnell is an investing partner in the Capitol Hill Block Party and the Crocodile, where last year he cohosted a fundraiser for Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and City Attorney Pete Holmes. As a result, Holmes has recused himself from the case. Stay tuned.
FRIDAY, APRIL 9 Nothing happened today, unless you count the ridiculous "protest against police brutality" that transpired this afternoon on Seattle's Capitol Hill, where one protester attempted to tip over the Dumpster behind Rancho Bravo, another punched a police horse, and five were arrested on charges ranging from trespassing to inciting a riot. Infuriating protest souvenirs: pamphlets praising Christopher Monfort—the accused cop killer currently awaiting trial in King County Jail—as a "hero" and "the bravest among us." (Dear God: Why do you so rarely send fatal lightning strikes where they belong?)
SATURDAY, APRIL 10 In much worse news, today the president and first lady of Poland—along with the president of the national bank, Poland's national-security chief, and a good portion of the high command of the Polish military—died in a plane crash. As the Wall Street Journal reports, a total of 97 people died in today's crash near Smolensk, Russia, which is being blamed on an ill-advised landing attempt in heavy fog. Condolences to Poland.
SUNDAY, APRIL 11 The week ends with another summation of the ongoing implosion of the Catholic Church. Things started off with a bang on Thursday, when a Catholic bishop in Spain blamed the church's sex-abuse problem on irresistibly sexy kids: "There are 13-year-old adolescents who are underage and who are perfectly in agreement with, and what's more wanting it," said Tenerife bishop Bernardo Alvarez to La Opinión de Tenerife. "If you are careless, they will even provoke you." Things peaked the following day with the Associated Press's discovery of letters signed by then–Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, confirming that the man who would be Pope Benedict XVI aggressively protected a known sex-predator priest for "the good of the universal church." Today brought the cherry on top, as the UK Telegraph reported on atheist authors Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens's plan to have the pope arrested during his forthcoming UK visit for crimes against humanity. Stay tuned, this shit only gets more and more ridiculous. (By the end of next week, we expect to have seen a sex tape showing the pope masturbating to photos of Justin Bieber.)
Attention, talented folk and those who love to gawk at them: On Saturday, May 1, the Stranger Gong Show hits the stage at the Crocodile. Talents will be shared, minds will be blown, and one lucky winner will walk away with $300 cash (along with an avalanche of other prizes). For full info, see here. (And send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.)