MONDAY, MAY 16 The week of lambasted loudmouths, no-show raptures, and adoption done horribly wrong kicks off with a pair of allegedly criminal creeps right here in the Northwest. Creep #1: The gun-toting goon who's been posing as an undercover Seattle Police Department officer while attempting to steal people's cars. As KING 5 reports, today brought not one but two attempts by the SPD-impersonating carjacker, who first approached a woman at 12th Avenue and East Barclay Court and demanded the keys to her car, which he said he needed to move to avoid spoiling an undercover narcotics raid that was under way nearby. As the woman told police, the alleged officer was happy to display his gun but reluctant to produce a badge, so she refused his order to hand over her keys and soon drove off to safety. Two hours later, the would-be officer struck again, approaching a man near 13th Avenue and East Marion Street to deliver the same routine, complete with ostentatious gun placement and narcotics-raid backstory. This time, the car owner fell for it and watched in horror as the "cop" drove off in his 1992 Mercedes, never to return. Described as a twentysomething white guy with a medium build and facial stubble, the still-at-large suspect will be identified by end of week as 27-year-old Michael Beach, who police say may still be driving the stolen Mercedes and should be considered armed and dangerous.
••Meanwhile in Federal Way, police went public with their search for today's second creep, another twentysomething white guy, this one with shoulder-length reddish-brown hair and a troubling habit of groping women near bus stops. As KIRO reports, there have been six such gropings since January, all of them involving a hairy white guy who approaches women from behind, grabs their butts and crotches, then flees when the women scream and/or fight back. "Five of the victims have ranged in age from 14 to 21 years old and all have had petite builds," reports KIRO. "The latest groping occurred on May 11... Anyone who has been a victim or has information about the gropings is asked to call the Federal Way Police tip line at 253-835-6799."
TUESDAY, MAY 17 As longtime readers are aware, Last Days deplores public-transit-based impropriety and applauds retaliatory justice against all social scofflaws. And so it is with great pleasure that we devote today to Lakeysha Beard, the Amtrak passenger who was hauled off a train and detained by police after spending the entire 16-hour trip from Oakland, California, to Salem, Oregon, yelling into her cell phone. Details come from Portland's KATU News, which reports that Beard's ejection was preceded by numerous complaints about her never-ending loudness, which was made all the more offensive by occurring in one of the train's designated cell-phone-free "quiet cars." When a passenger finally confronted her, Beard reportedly got aggressive, leading conductors to stop the train in Salem and hand Beard over to police on suspicion of disorderly conduct.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 In even better news, the week continues with the relief-unleashing reappearance of Dorothy Parvaz, the Al Jazeera journalist (and former Seattle Post-Intelligencer staffer) who was today released by the Iranian authorities to whom she'd been passed after being detained in Syria on April 29. For the full story, see Eli Sanders's interview with Parvaz here. For updates on the many detained journalists with less luck than Parvaz, see the Committee to Protect Journalists at www.cpj.org.
THURSDAY, MAY 19 Nothing happened today, unless you count the husband and wife in Longview, Washington, who were described by neighbors as "terrific, Christian people" and arrested today for allegedly starving and severely neglecting their five adopted children. Details come from KOMO, which identifies the couple as Jeffrey and Rebecca Trebilcock, whose family consists of three biological children—all of them well nourished, like their parents—and five adopted children, all of them identified by Cowlitz County investigators as neglected and underweight. Worst of the lot: the Trebilcocks' adopted son, who raised red flags in March, when the 13-year-old was treated for broken ribs, severe malnutrition, and hypothermia, weighing in at a mere 49 pounds. A week later, the Trebilcocks' four adopted daughters—ages 8, 10, 11, and 12—were also determined to be underfed and neglected, and placed in protective custody. "The children told detectives their adoptive parents put an alarm in the kitchen that went off if the children went to get food," reports KOMO. "Since they couldn't get any food in the house, the children reported they had to eat dog and goat food and dandelion leaves." Which brings us to today, when even the Trebilcocks' biological children were taken away, as their parents were arrested and jailed without bail. Tomorrow, a Cowlitz County Superior Court judge will find probable cause to charge Jeffrey and Rebecca Trebilcock with criminal mistreatment and felony assault. Their adopted kids are safe and gaining weight.
FRIDAY, MAY 20 In much better news, the week continues with proof of progress in America, as today brought confirmation that a majority of Americans now support marriage equality. "According to Gallup, 53 percent of Americans surveyed in the poll... support legal recognition of same-sex married couples," reports the Washington Post. "A CNN poll from April pegged support for marriage equality at 51 percent. An Associated Press poll from last August showed 52 percent support." Cherry on top: today's announcement by Jim Daly, president and CEO of the rabidly anti-gay group Focus on the Family, who'll admit in an interview with World magazine that the battle to deprive same-sex couples of equal marriage rights is "probably lost." (Bonus: Today was absolutely gorgeous in Seattle.)
SATURDAY, MAY 21 Nothing happened today, including the rapture, the biblically mandated day of reckoning when the Christian faithful will be sucked up to heaven to meet Jesus. According to Harold Camping, the million-year-old radio evangelist who first started incorrectly predicting the rapture back in 1994, the rapture was absolutely, positively due to occur today. So great was Camping's certainty that numerous true believers spent their life savings on billboards and print ads advertising the great day. Alas, Camping was once again wrong, as he'll admit to reporters tomorrow, declaring himself "flabbergasted." Among the day's winners-by-default: Seattle Atheists, the local group behind the Rapture Relief Fund, which, prior to today, was devoted to raising money for a postapocalyptic mail service but will now donate all funds to a children's camp devoted to science and rational thinking.
SUNDAY, MAY 22 The week ends, as it should, in Ballard, where tonight brought a surprising collision of musical pleasure and human pain. Details come from Hot Tipper Marti: "Tonight I was at the Old Pequliar and I'd plugged the jukebox with songs. 'Hello' by Lionel Richie came on, and right when I was really getting into it, some lady marched up to the jukebox, flipped a switch, and cut the song off. 'We aren't listening to this,' she said to everyone at the bar. 'There was a DEATH in my FAMILY!' Maybe Lionel was the murderer? Whatever the case, it was the emotional equivalent of getting kicked in the balls. Richie-blocking is never appropriate. Her correct move would've been to go elsewhere." Agreed. Thank you, Marti.
••Also today: God or whoever the fuck's in charge sent apocalyptic horror to Joplin, Missouri, via a humongous tornado that turned the town of 50,000 into a corpse-ridden rubble pile, with a good portion of the city flat-out decimated and at least 117 people killed.
No rapture, just wind. Send Hot Tips to email@example.com.