This horrifying clown mannekin was reportedly placed on a hiking trail deep in the Oleta River in Aventura, Florida by a park employee who got it from the Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park in North Miami.
A man has been convicted of extortion in a bizarre scheme that involved collecting the loot while wearing a clown suit and riding a miniature bicycle. Frank Salvador Solorza targetted his immigrant cousins in Redwood City, sending letters and calling them, posing as an immigration officer who threatened to deport them unless they paid him $50,000 to ensure that their papers "would be good forever." The family called the police, who worked with them to arrest the blackmailer, who called and told them that the money would be collected by "a man in a clown suit and riding a small bicycle."
Solorza was arrested after picking up a bag which he believed contained $50,000, wearing "a clown suit, a clown glitter wig, a Pirates of the Caribbean hat (complete with dreadlocks), and sunglasses." He was riding a small bicycle. He was carrying a receipt for the outfit from the House of Humor costume store in Redwood City. Perhaps he intended to return it after the caper.
Solorza is a cousin of the alleged victims, who emigrated from Mexico. The father of four said three Norteno gang members had put him up to the scam.
The feds didn't buy that.
"Nortenos always dress in their colors; they don't use disguises, let alone engage in crimes wearing clown suits," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Barry and Denise Marie Barton wrote in a sentencing memo filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland.
NK Guy sez, "Every year dozens of clowns gather in a London church to celebrate the life of Joey Grimaldi, the father of modern clowndom, who died in 1837. They also mourn the passing of any fellow clowns who may have died that year."
I used to have an office around the corner from Exmouth Market, Grimaldi's former home, and I loved to stop and admire his blue disc (alas, my landlords went batshit and I had to move; luckily I found new digs right under the marvellous London Hackpspace).
Born of an Italian father and an English mother in 1778, Grimaldi lived and worked in the world of London theatre. His talent for physical comedy made him a massive superstar of his age, though Grimaldi's life fell into a predictable pattern of tragedy, and he died broken and crippled in Islington, age 58.
Since the war, British clowns have been holding a special memorial service each February to celebrate the life of this founder of British clowndom. And since the 60s Holy Trinity Church in Hackney has permitted them to attend in full clown regalia. The event is organised by the Clowns International group, who also maintain a small clown museum in Wookey Hole.