MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 This week of small blessings and enormous horrors kicks off with a pair of updates to Last Days tales of yore. First up, the enormously horrible saga of Bethany Storro, the 28-year-old woman in Vancouver, Washington, who was busted after burning her face with acid and then blaming her injuries on an imaginary African-American attacker. Today brings some long-awaited insight into Storro's motives from the woman herself, courtesy of the transcription of her alleged confession to police, included with a probable-cause affidavit obtained by ABC News. "During her admission, which was 88 pages in length when transcribed, Storro said that she had dabbed acidic drain cleaner to her face with a towel in a park bathroom," reports ABC. "Storro, who now faces charges of second-degree theft for accepting donations in the wake of the fake acid attack, told police that she'd 'purchased dinners for her parents,' 'stuff at Target,' and 'clothes for herself' with the money. She also paid off most of a $620 bill for a laser facial peel that she had had a few weeks before the allegedly faked attack." Which brings us to Storro's mental health, illuminated by confession excerpts supplied by ABC: "When I realized it wasn't killing me, I thought maybe this was the answer to all my problems," said Storro to police. "To have a completely different face." Also: "I thought there would be no evidence of me doing it to myself. I thought that you guys would give up trying to find the person and it would be done." (Storro reportedly also told officers that she "should go to jail.") Storro may get her wish: As deputy prosecutor Tony Golik told ABC affiliate KATU, prosecutors will seek higher-than-usual penalties against Storro because, as one court document put it, "the defendant committed the offense against a victim who was acting as a Good Samaritan."
••Meanwhile, today also brings a heartening update in the previously reported saga of the Hartles, the family that traveled from Montana to get cancer treatment for their 3-year-old son only to have their packed-with-supplies truck stolen from in front of the cancer-supporting charity Ronald McDonald House. Tonight, the stolen truck was found in Burien by an anonymous Crime Stoppers tipster who spotted the truck wedged in some bushes and noticed the Montana plates. Hurrah for all involved.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 Nothing happened today, including the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," after Senate Democrats failed to garner enough votes to advance a defense bill that included a conditional repeal of the odious, Gaga-denounced policy.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 The week continues with an avalanche of support for the theory that anyone who vociferously and obsessively opposes homosexuality is probably a cock-smoking closet case, thanks to Bishop Eddie Long, celebrity pastor of Atlanta megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist, who spent his days denouncing homosexuality as a curable sickness, a "spiritual abortion," and a crime worthy of death before he was hit this week with lawsuits from four young men who claim to have been coerced into sex by the gay-hating pastor. Today brought the third of the lawsuits, with two filed yesterday and one to come on Friday, all four of which allege various bishop-busting acts. "Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," one of Tuesday's suits alleges and CNN reports. "Defendant Long would use Holy Scripture to discuss and justify the intimate relationship between himself and [the plaintiff]." Further details come from the lawsuit filed today: "The suit, similar to two filed on Tuesday, accuses Long of using his power to force the plaintiff into a sexual relationship," reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "In exchange, Long placed [today's plaintiff] and the two other men on the church's payroll, bought them cars and other gifts, and took them on lavish trips, according to the suits filed in DeKalb County Superior Court." The day after tomorrow, a fourth man will join the growing group of accusers, with the MSN blog Black Voices reporting the rumor that "as many as 30 young men have contacted the plaintiff's attorney, B. J. Bernstein, in an effort to file suits of their own or join the existing lawsuit." As for the embattled pastor, he'll hold his tongue until Sunday.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 In much worse news, the week continues in the Highland Park section of West Seattle, where this afternoon a 60-year-old woman methodically gunned down her family, killing her son-in-law and two granddaughters before fatally shooting herself. Details come from the Seattle Times, which identifies today's suicide/murderer as Saroeun Phan, a Cambodian immigrant described as the family matriarch, whose ongoing struggle with schizophrenia and depression today turned deadly. "My mother has gone crazy," said Phan's daughter (who suffered nonfatal shooting wounds) to police at the scene. Condolences to all, especially the completely arbitrary survivors.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 Today brings some much-needed good news, as a federal judge ordered the reinstatement of an openly gay former U.S. Air Force flight nurse dismissed under "don't ask, don't tell." For the full story on Major Margaret Witt's victory, see page 11.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 Nothing happened today, unless you count the final earthly hours of Jimi Heselden, the 62-year-old owner of the Segway corporation, who'll die tomorrow after accidentally driving a Segway off a cliff. (In addition to being someone who died an ironic death, Heselden was a former miner, a beloved husband and father, and an extravagant philanthropist. RIP, Jimi Heselden.)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 The week ends with a long-awaited public appearance by Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta megachurch pastor who devoted his spiritual life to denouncing homosexuals when he wasn't allegedly coercing young male church members into sex. Today, Long took to the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where he vowed to fight the scandalous charges. "I feel like David against Goliath," said the embattled pastor about being accused of the sexual coercion of at least four young men placed in his spiritual care. Is he saying that his sex-abuse accusers are a Philistine giant and he's a normal-sized guy with a rock? Or maybe the press is another component of the giant? Whatever the case, stay tuned. This is gonna get good.
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