News of the Weird: some of Chuck Shepherd's favorites

News of the Weird's Chuck Shepherd, celebrating 25 years yesterday of his wonderful column's weekly distribution deal, posted a few of his favorite stories from the archives:

NewImage(1989) In the mid 1980s, convicted South Carolina murderer Michael Godwin won his appeal to avoid the electric chair and serve only life imprisonment. In March, while sitting naked on a metal prison toilet, attempting to fix a TV set, the 28-year-old Godwin bit into a wire and was electrocuted. [Orlando Sentinel, 3-8-89]

(1991 and later) Gary Arthur Medrow, 47, was arrested in March in Milwaukee (the latest of his then-30-plus arrests over 23 years) for once again causing mischief by telephoning a woman and trying to persuade her to physically pick up another person and to carry her around a room. In the latest incident, after repeatedly calling, he told her another woman had been impersonating her, had been in an accident, and had been seen carrying someone away (and that Medrow needed evidence that she should could or could not do that). He had previously talked cheerleaders, motel workers, and business executives into lifting and carrying. [Milwaukee Sentinel, 3-18-91]

(1988) And finally, there was ol’ Hal Warden, the Tennessee 16-year-old who was married at 15 and granted a divorce from his wife, 13. Hal had previously been married at age 12 to a 14-year-old (and fathered children with both), but the first wife divorced Hal because, she told the judge, "He was acting like a 10-year-old." [The precise citation is inaccessible, but various marital reports on the Wardens are available, e.g., Associated Press, 2-21-1987]

News of the Weird (6/8/14)

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  1. The local alt-weekly where I live used to carry News of the Weird. It was a delightful thing to discover when I was in high school. I guess the full archive isn't available online, which is unfortunate because I'd love to be able to refresh my memory on the details of some of my favorites. That would include a story about a former Soviet republic where the government had to turn off the electricity to homes during the day. Too many factory workers were calling in sick so they could stay home and watch the Mexican telenovela "Los Ricos También Lloran".

  2. hear, hear.

    I liked the feature "No Longer Weird," where bizarre things he reported on in the past seemed improbable, but over the course of doing the column, they kept happening with enough frequency that he had to retire them because they just weren't weird anymore. The one I remember was: hoses for the chemical toilet liquid on airliners would leak, then while in flight, the blue liquid (and sewage) would instantly freeze upon contact with the hull due to the cold at that altitude plus the wind effect. Then, when the blue shit-bergs became massive enough, they'd snap off and hurtle towards earth, the frozen shit meteorite punching a hole through some guys roof and ruining his day. seems pretty weird. but this kind of thing happens a lot, apparently.

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