This week one of my former co-workers announced that someone had broken into his apartment and stolen two pairs of his shoes. However, the daffy bastard left behind his coat with his booking slip from when he was arrested over the weekend. Now, I know there are checks and balances to the system of judgment with trial, but I think a half-way decent defense attorney will simply point out that the guy who’s booking slip was in the jacket just loaned someone his coat.
Still, I thought it would fun to once again cull through a list of stupid criminals and crazy defenses posed for the crimes they allegedly committed. I’ll try not to post any repeats from Friday Funnies of the past.
Thanks as usual to Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird that allows me to grab snipets.
Here is a heavy helping of incompetent criminals from the past few months:
Mostafa Hendi was charged with attempted robbery of the We Buy Gold store in Hendersonville, N.C., in December, but clerk Derek Mothershead stopped him. As Hendi reached for the money, Mothershead punched him in the face, momentarily knocking him out cold. He held Hendi down with one hand and called 911 with the other, and as the two waited for police, Mothershead handed Hendi cleanser and paper towels and ordered him to clean up his blood off of the floor.
Police in London stepped up their search for the man who tried to rob the Halifax bank in October but escaped empty-handed. He had demanded 700,000 pounds from a bank employee and then, intending to hand over the bag that he had brought for the money, instead absent-mindedly handed over his gun. Realizing his mistake, he dashed out the door. [Daily Telegraph, 1-5-2012]
Verlin Alsept, 59, was arrested in Dayton, Ohio, in January and charged with trying to rob a Family Dollar store. He had demanded all the money in a cash register and, apparently as an attempt to intimidate the clerk, he pulled out a .38 caliber bullet from his pocket and showed it to her. She was, of course, undaunted, and he walked away (but was arrested nearby). [Dayton Daily News, 1-11-2012]
An unidentified man fled and is still at large after attempting to break into the change machine at the Busy Bubbles laundromat in Winter Haven, Fla., in January. The surveillance video showed the man shooting at the machine four times with a handgun, but no money came out. Two men were arrested in Albuquerque in January after being caught in the act of a home burglary by a neighbor, who called the police. The men were apprehended with various burglarized goodies as they made their getaway in a grocery store shopping cart. [Winter Haven News Chief, 1-19-2012] [KOAT-TV (San Antonio), 1-18-2012]
Keith Savinelli, 21, was arrested in Gallatin County, Mont., in December and charged with attempted burglary involving a woman’s underwear. When the resident caught Savinelli in the act, he attempted to talk her out of reporting him by apologizing and handing her his voter registration card, but she called police, anyway. [Bellingham Herald, 12-13-2011]
A 25-year-old man was rescued by fire crews in Tranent, Scotland, in December and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. According to police, four men were attempting to steal an eight-ton steamroller when the 25-year-old got his leg trapped underneath. The other three fled. [STV (Glasgow), 12-19-2011]
The unidentified eyeglass-wearing robber of an HSBC Bank in Long Island City, N.Y., in December fled empty-handed and was being sought. Armed with a pistol and impatient with a slow teller, the man fired a shot into the ceiling to emphasize his seriousness. However, according to a police report, the gunshot seemed to panic him as much as it did the others in the bank, and he immediately ran out the door and jumped into a waiting vehicle. [New York Daily News, 12-9-2011]
Thomas Love, 40, was arrested in New Castle County, Del., in October after he had walked out of a WSFS Bank empty-handed. According to police, Love had presented a demand note to a teller, who couldn’t make out the writing and handed it back, provoking Love to flee. [Delaware Online, 10-11-2011]
Henry Elmer, 56, was arrested in Yuma, Ariz., in October where he had just sat down to enjoy a beer at the Village Inn Pizza Parlor. Police identified Elmer as the man who just moments earlier had robbed the Wells Fargo bank in the same block and “fled” the few steps to the Village Inn (which is also just across the street from the Yuma Police Station). [Yuma Sun, 10-11-2011]
Now for those questionable legal defenses…
Bryan Hathaway, 20, was arrested in Superior, Wis., in October and charged with molesting a deer carcass that he said had sexually aroused him when he saw it in a ditch. (Hathaway’s lawyer has raised the defense that the anti-bestiality law only applies to sex with live animals.) [Daily Telegram (Superior, Wis.), 10-19-06; Duluth News Tribune, 11-15-06]
At a special session of Arizona’s Court of Appeals in April, judges heard arguments on whether a bag of methamphetamine had been legally seized by police, who had a search warrant but not the authority to inspect body “cavities.” The bag had been partially protruding from a certain cavity, and an officer pulled it out. The defense lawyer argued that the only legal precedent involved items hidden between posterior “cheeks” (i.e., where contraband would not be so secured), and thus that pulling it out was an invasion of privacy. However, the prosecutor, claiming that the bag was in plain sight and would have fallen out eventually, asked rhetorically, “Where does the butt end and the anus begin? … The buttocks is just the bell end of the trumpet, and I don’t think you (judges), for constitutional reasons, want to go there.” [Sierra Vista Herald, 4-25-07]
Australian Marcus Einfeld (a lawyer, former federal judge and prominent Jewish community leader) was once decorated as a national “living treasure,” but he suffered a total downfall in 2006 by choosing to fight a (Aus.)$77 speeding ticket. By March 2009, he had been sentenced to two years in prison for perjury and obstructing justice because he had created four detailed schemes to “prove” that he was not driving that day. His original defense (that he had loaned the car to a friend who had since conveniently passed away) was accepted by the judge, but dogged reporting by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph revealed that lie, plus subsequent elaborate lies to cover each successive explanation. Encouraged by those revelations, the press later uncovered Einfeld’s bogus college degrees and awards and an incident of double-billing the government. [The Australian, 3-20-09]
In a Palmerston, New Zealand, court in March, lawyer Janet Robertshawe was called as a witness on behalf of an “alternative health” practitioner who had been charged with taking indecent liberties with female clients, and Robertshawe (a long-time client) agreed to help demonstrate the man’s massage technique. Just feet from the jury, she removed her top and lay on a massage table while he gave her a vigorous, deep mashing, which shook her chest-covering towel off several times. Robertshawe later testified (while clothed) that the man’s treatments had worked wonders for her: “I guess the treatments aren’t for the faint-hearted.” [The Australian-AAP, 3-19-07]
Benoit Derosiers, 51, who police said was so inebriated that he could barely speak when stopped for DUI and who had trouble standing, beat the charge in Provincial Court in Sudbury, Ontario, in April when he proved to the judge a “legal necessity” for driving drunk: He had just attempted suicide and thus was forced to rush himself to the nearest hospital in order to get psychiatric care to head off another attempt. [Globe & Mail, 4-18-07]
A patient reporting for an appointment with dentist Norman Rubin in Smithtown, N.Y., in March told the New York Post that Rubin was in the otherwise-empty office, passed out, drooling, with a gas mask on his face. (Rubin later told the Post, in defense, that it was, after all, his lunch hour.) [New York Post, 3-20-08]
In April, a judge in Ocala, Fla., sentenced a 27-year-old man to probation-only for having sex with his then-girlfriend’s rottweiler (with the man admitting that he had a “lifelong problem”) and lamented that under state law, the man could not be forced to register as a sex offender, since the victim was a dog. Also in April, authorities in Nashville, Tenn., charged Metro News with violating the state’s Sunday-closing law for adult businesses, but the owner said he would fight it since he had recently tried to avoid the law by occupying most of his floor space with a Sunday-law-acceptable retail furniture and garden business (although his sign still said customers had to be age 18 or older to shop for furniture). [Ocala Star-Banner, 4-15-04] [Tennessean, 4-15-04]
In April, a New York appeals court ruled that Leon Caldwell was entitled to a $50,000 state worker-compensation death benefit on behalf of his son, Kenneth, who died at age 30 at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, even though Leon had abandoned Kenneth shortly after birth and had seen him only twice since. The court said that Leon “met the legal definition of a parent” (but ordered him to pay Kenneth’s mother her long-overdue $20,000 in child-support). [New York Daily News, 4-3-04]
In November, Powhatan County, Va., prosecutors dismissed charges against five corrections officers despite evidence that they were involved in inappropriately fondling a K-9 service dog. During training, officers are expected to “bond” with their dogs, and one of the men was seen “touching the dog’s penis with his hand,” according to a prosecutor. However, Virginia law requires that the state prove “cruelty” to the dog, and the prosecutor, after consulting with veterinarians, concluded that he could not win the case. [WRC-TV (Washington, D.C.), 11-19-09]
I will end with a fun bit of trivia on criminals. From FunTrivia.com:
- In which of these U.S. States were Bonnie and Clyde shot by the police in 1934?
- What was Bonnie’s surname?
- Which of these outlaws was shot by a member of his gang who wanted to claim the reward there was on his head?
- Which of these criminals was betrayed by a woman who had made a deal with the FBI and who, though wearing an agreed-upon orange-and-white dress, was later nicknamed the “Lady In Red”?
- Which of these characters from Charles Dickens “Oliver Twist” was the guy who led the gang of pickpockets Oliver got involved with ?
- “The Godfather” narrates the story of Don Corleone ( played by Marlon Brando). Which of these becomes Don Corleone’s successor ( role played by Al Pacino)?
- Which Mediterranean island was repeatedly in the news from 1943 till 1950 because of a local “Robin Hood-style” outlaw who wanted his island to separate from the mother-country and become a member of the United States of America?
- One of France’s most famous criminals was Henri Landru, a dealer in second-hand goods, who was guillotined on 25 Februray 1922 for the murder of some ten women. How had he selected and contacted those women?
- Which of these was Pope Alexander VI’s supposedly incestuous daughter who also had an incestuous relation with her brother, whom Machiavelli seems to have chosen as the model for his ” The Prince”?
- What was the first name of the Russian monk Rasputin who became notorious for his debauchery and evil influence on Tsar Nicholas II’s wife Alexandra?
3. Jesse Woodson James
4. John Dillinger
Two women were in Dillinger’ company at the time of the police-ambush: Polly Hamilton, Dillinger’s girlfriend, and Ana Cumpanas,a.k.a.Anna Sage, a.k.a. ‘Lady in Red’, a brothel owner who had saved herself from deportation charges by tipping off the FBI.
Fagin is the Jew whom Dickens portrays as the crook who organises (and profits from) the activities of the Artful Dodger and his fellow crime-kids.
6. Michael Corleone
The “outlaw” was Salvatore Giuliano, born in Montelepre, on the 16th of November 1922. He supported and funded the “Movement for the Annexation of Sicily to the American Confederation”. In July 1950 he was murdered in his sleep. Later the police claimed they had killed him in an armed fight.
8. Ads through the lonely hearts column
His system was to promise marriage to rich lonely women, often widows. He won their confidence, arranged some financial transactions to his own advantage, and then killed them off before any actual marriage could take place. He murdered them at his own house and burned the corpses. The French press gave him the nickname “Bluebeard”
9. Lucrezia Borgia
Julia Farnese was married to Orsino Orsini, but became the lover of Cardinal Roderigo Borgia, the later Pope Alexander VI. Their daughter Lucrezia is supposed to have been the lover of both her father and her brother.
Rasputin lived from 1871 till 1916. He claimed he could cure the Tsarina’s son who suffered from hemophilia. He was assassinated by a group of Russian noblemen who saw him as a danger to the nation.
Additional note from FF-LOL Editor and thanks to Ask.com, all the ways that Rasputin was ‘killed’:
Potassium Cyanide poisoning, Shot (three times- one of which to the head), beaten with a weight, then hands tied and thrown into a frozen river.
When the body was recovered a few days later it was discovered that he had most likely been alive when he had entered the water and had tried to free his hands from their bindings. The autopsy results found:
- Alcohol but not poison was found
- Three bullet wounds (first bullet entered the chest on the left, hitting Rasputin’s stomach and liver; the second bullet entered the back on the right, hitting the kidneys; the third bullet entered the head, hitting the brain)
- A small amount of water was found in the lungs