Read the whistleblower complaint about Donald Trump

The House Intelligence Committee posted the Ukraine whistleblower's letter [Direct PDF link], detailing a complaint that President Trump was soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

Following below is a quick and uncorrected OCR of the letter, which was posted in typical government fashion as nine JPG images in a PDF file. Read the rest

Idiot soccer hooligan arrested for punching horse

A gentleman was arrested in Portsmouth, England after punching a police horse during a riot following a soccer game. He apparently was angry that Portsmouth lost to Southampton. It isn't clear why he blamed the horse though. From The Telegraph:

In the footage of the aftermath of the first match in seven years between bitter rivals Southampton and Portsmouth, the supporter then attempts to run from the horse, but his path is blocked as he ends up in the arms of a group of police officers with riot shields.

Hampshire Constabulary said a 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and attempted criminal damage. He was later released but remains under investigation.

Read the rest

Man scares off porch pirates with booby-trapped box

Joshua Garnes of Huntington, West Virginia had an ongoing problem with porch pirates swiping boxes outside a house he's renovating. Read the rest

Suspect in New Mexico auto thefts arrested on suspicion of auto theft in New Mexico

A man already awaiting trial on charges of auto theft was arrested again, this week. The new charge? Auto theft. The Gallup Independent, via the AP:

Justin Villa was arrested Sunday after a witness reported seeing the 37-year-old driving a stolen Chevrolet pickup. According to a criminal complaint, Villa was spotting in the stolen truck around Gallup, New Mexico, before being confronted by a police officer. Court documents show Villa has two stolen vehicle cases pending in McKinley County and one pending in Cibola County.

Read the rest

Thieves steal golden toilet

Two years ago, I informed you of the fully-functional golden toilet created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, then available for use at the Guggenheim. The installation, currently on tour, was stolen last night from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. One man was arrested; police are hunting for the rest of the gang—and for the precious pissoir.

A gang broke into the Oxfordshire palace at about 04:50 BST and stole the artwork, Thames Valley Police said.

The working toilet - entitled America, which visitors had been invited to use - has not been found but a 66-year-old man has been arrested.

The burglary caused "significant damage and flooding" because the toilet was plumbed into the building, police said.

The toilet was previously assailed by a yarn bomber.

Read the rest

"Huge drug bust" at Gatwick Airport was actually vegan cake mix

Last week, police at London's Gatwick Airport turned up a suitcase filled with bags of white powder. Further testing revealed that the pile of evidence was actually vegan cake mix on its way to a restaurant in Brighton.

According to a statement from the British Transport Police, the bags "were soon reunited with the owner, who has promised officers and staff a slice of cake in return."

(CNN) Read the rest

Seagull helps man avoid weed bust

When two plain-clothes police officers approached a woman smoking a joint at the Gothenburg Cultural Festival in Sweden, they noticed a fellow sitting nearby toss what they say was a bag of weed. As they were moving in for the bust, a seagull snatched the bag and flew away. While the police were distracted by the bird, the man reportedly took off.

“What the policemen did not expect was that a third party would interfere,” explained police spokesperson Stefan Gustafsson.

My hope is that the man and the seagull were in cahoots.

(The Leaf Desk)

image: Ring-billed Gull photographed by Jiyang Chen (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Thieves attempt to sell off stolen comic book collection... at the victim's own comic shop

In Saint Louis, thieves broke into Martin Casas's storage locker and snatched his comic book collection. Then they took the comics to a local comic shop to sell them. Thing is, Casas owns the shop. From the Riverfront Times:

...A Chesterfield woman called within days of the storage locker burglary and asked if Apotheosis might want to buy a box of her comics. Encouraged by a store employee, she dropped off the box on Friday for review and left her name and phone number. Casas arrived shortly after she left to see what she had brought. As soon as he saw the box, he knew.

He had written "Cap" on the side, designating it as a box of Captain America comics. Inside, he searched for one particular comic, the third installment of the Captain America Truth series. He had gotten it years ago and knew his copy had a small red mark on the corner.

"Sure enough, there's that book," Casas says. "It's my box."

He called the cops first, and then the woman. She apparently had no idea she was trying to sell the comics back to their rightful owner, so Casas played dumb.

"This is a great collection," he told her on the phone. "You've got at least a couple hundred dollars in comics there."

He arranged a meeting for 10 a.m. the next morning, Friday. But before he hung up, he asked if she might have any more, as he was interested in buying whatever he could for the shop.

Read the rest

Charles Manson's deeply dark and twisted interpretation of The Beatles' "White Album"

Fifty years ago today, the Manson Family carried out the grisly Tate-Labianca murders that essentially crushed the hippie dream with a tragic nightmare starring failed songwriter and psychopath Charles Manson. At Manson's trial, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi argued that the cult leader was inspired by his misreading of The Beatles' White Album. Indeed, "Healter Skelter” [sic] had been smeared in blood on the LaBiancas’ refrigerator. Over at Rolling Stone, Kory Grow does a track-by-track analysis of Manson's bizarre misinterpretation of The White Album. From Rolling Stone:

Although he would deny being into the Beatles years later (“I am a Bing Crosby fan,” he declared in 1985 – despite inmates at a prison Manson stayed at in the early Sixties claiming he was obsessed with the Beatles), Manson discussed the group enough with his followers that his warped reading of the Fab Four’s most adventurous album resounded throughout the trial. Bugliosi interviewed several Manson Family members, including those who were not facing criminal charges, and found consistency in their descriptions of his mythology surrounding the White Album and the garbled connections he made between it and the Book of Revelations, which depict end-times.

“This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the establishment,” Manson told Rolling Stone in 1970. “The Beatles know [what’s happening] in the sense that the subconscious knows.”

“From the beginning, Charlie believed the Beatles’ music carried an important message – to us,” Manson Family member Paul Watkins wrote in his book, My Life With Charles Manson.

Read the rest

Judge orders man not to brag that he threw an iguana at a Perkins restaurant manager

Earlier this year in Painesville, Ohio, police arrested a gentleman after he took out his pet iguana, named Copper, swung her around by her tail, and hurled her at the manager of a Perkins restaurant. Arnold Teeter, 49, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. A judge has just sentenced Teeter to 90 days in jail with 77 days suspended, five years of probation, and he must also pay restitution to the Lake Humane Society that cared for Copper who lost part of her tail. But that's not all:

The judge also entered a handful of other stipulations. Tetters is not allowed to publicize about what he did or why he did it. He’s not allowed to seek media attention about the case and he can’t brag about what happened.

"Judge tells man who threw iguana at fellow Painesville Perkins manager to stop bragging about it" (Cleveland.com) Read the rest

Man ordered to retrieve the refrigerator he threw down a cliff

A man in Almeria, Spain, disposed of an old fridge by throwing it down a steep incline. Thinking it amusing, he had video recorded of the act and posted to social media. It went viral, the authorities found out about it, and he has now been fined—and ordered to retrieve the fridge.

He was fined €45,000 (£41,000; $50,000) and made to dispose of the appliance appropriately. An associate of the man filmed the fly-tipping incident and is heard in the clip joking about recycling as the fridge tumbles down the cliff. "We're going to recycle it!" he said. "How many twists and turns has it done?"

Fifty thousand dollars for fly tipping! Not fucking around in Spain, are they? Read the rest

Nice woodchipper stolen, replaced with cheaper model

The nice woodchipper in West Pittston, Pa., was replaced in the night with a less nice model. Police say they don't know who stole the nice one, but if you do, they'd like to hear from you.

If anyone can identify the owner of this wood chipper please contact the West Pittston Police. They dropped this wood chipper off at the West Pittston Public Works Department and stole the Borough’s wood chipper. If you know the person(s) who owned this wood chipper please call the West Pittston Police Chief Michael Turner at 570-655-7780 ext. 306 or you can send a Facebook message and you will remain anonymous. Thank you.

Read the rest

A true crime book for every US state

If you appreciate the true crime genre, this New York Times feature is a fantastic checklist of books to read. Tina Jordan and Ross MacDonald selected one true crime book to represent each of the fifty United States. I live in California and really enjoyed Jeffrey Toobin's “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst." But even having grown up in Ohio, I hadn't heard of the heinous crimes of Billy Mulligan who “became the first person in this country’s history to be declared not guilty by reason of insanity on the grounds of a psychiatric diagnosis of ‘multiple personality.’” Here are a few more from the article that I've now added to my reading list:

Utah

Mikal Gilmore, “Shot in the Heart”

“A compelling volume that traces the sad, violent history of the Gilmore family and shows, in its author’s words, ‘how its webwork of dark secrets and failed hopes helped create the legacy that, in part, became my brother’s impetus to murder.’”

Louisiana

Ethan Brown, “Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?”

The women — “all prostitutes and drug addicts, which made them vulnerable and defenseless, expendable in a jurisdiction that’s centrally positioned along the route of the Gulf Coast drug trade” — were killed between 2005 and 2009.

Oklahoma

David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”

“Grann’s book, about how dozens of members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s were shot, poisoned or blown to bits by rapacious whites who coveted the oil under their land, is close to impeccable.

Read the rest

Man with selfie stick films pickpockets, who get nabbed by cops

A man with a selfie-stick recorded a video of himself and his wife as they strolled through a park in Mallorca, Spain. He also inadvertently recorded another man and a woman (dressed in white) attempting to pick their bags and pockets. At the end of the video, undercover cops arrest the pickpockets.

Side note: I think the video recording software digitally erases the selfie stick. You can see the shadow of the stick but not the stick itself.

[via Reddit] Read the rest

No jail time for man who sexually assaulted 11-year-old girl and infected her with STD

Joseph Meili, a Missouri man who admitted sexually molesting an 11 year old girl, received five years' probation and has a shot at getting the charge expunged. KFOR reports that his semen was found in the girl's underwear, she tested positive for chlamydia after their encounter, and that he claims she "catfished" him.

Prosecutors recommended Meili serve 120 days in a sex offender treatment program and up to seven years in prison. But Judge Calvin R. Holden sentenced him to just five years of supervised probation

His attorney, Scott Pierson, not only blames the child but suggests Meili himself is a victim of injustice.

Pierson told HuffPost that the girl had reached out to his client online and “catfished” him by claiming to be older than she was.

“He felt horrible about the entire incident,” Pierson said. “He’s going to be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life ... It’s a tough case. Neither side is really going to get justice here.”

There's evidently a problem with the judge, Calvin R. Holden, who has a longstanding reputation for letting men convicted of violent sex crimes walk free. Read the rest

Scammer in silicone mask fooled world's rich into thinking he was French cabinet minister

Ceci n'est pas une ministre. It's a scammer in a silicone mask.

"Everything about the story is exceptional," said Delphine Meillet, lawyer to Mr Le Drian, who is now France's foreign minister. "They dared to take on the identity of a serving French minister. Then they called up CEOs and heads of government round the world and asked for vast amounts of money. The nerve of it!"

Why Jean-Yves Le Drian was chosen has not been fully explained.

A well-respected local politician is elevated to one of the most powerful positions in France, but keeps his head down and gets on with the job instead of making an international media personality of himself. The perfect target for a most audacious identity theft. Read the rest

Meme-obsessed gunman killed after opening fire in Dallas courtroom

22-year-old Brian Isaack Clyde reportedly opened fire in Dallas's federal courthouse today and was killed by cops shortly thereafter.

From his Facebook feed, a few months ago: a photo of a man posing with a rifle in medieval armor, his anime waifu bodypillow nestled in one arm.

An initial search of public records did not uncover a criminal history.

There is nothing in The Onion that will not be made literally true as the dark enlightement encroaches. Read the rest

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