Lead Story

Life imitates Caddyshack: Christopher Lehan, 36, was arrested in September at the Sedgewood Golf Club in Kent, New York. Police found Lehan, a club employee, sitting on the course in a golf cart one night with a flashlight and a 20-gauge shotgun; he’d allegedly shot three skunks that had been damaging the grounds. He was charged with several hunting violations and with carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

Bad Week in Louisiana for Barnyard Animals

Austin Gullette, 45, was arrested on August 30 in West Monroe, Louisiana, after his sister allegedly caught him having sex with P-Pie, her Vietnamese potbellied pig. Three days later, about 100 miles away in Florien, Louisiana, Timothy Garner, 35, was arrested after being spotted inside a henhouse allegedly having sex with a chicken.

Compelling Explanations

High school teacher Sonia Ornelas and her husband, of Pearsall, Texas, were charged with providing alcohol to minors after police found their son and about 60 other Pearsall High students–mostly football players, band members, and cheerleaders–drinking at a postgame party at the Ornelases’ home in September. The Ornelases defended themselves by saying that they had no idea alcohol was being served and they were upstairs asleep the whole time.

Latest “Rights,” Explained

Laws adopted in some states to protect tenants have had the unintended consequence that in some cases hosts cannot legally force houseguests to leave without going through an eviction procedure. This issue surfaced recently in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Joyce Hadl, a 71-year-old retired social worker, had taken in Susan Sachs, a 39-year-old homeless woman. In August Hadl called the police and asked them to remove Sachs, who she said was exhibiting erratic, hostile behavior; Sachs refused to go, and police said in the absence of a clear safety risk they lacked authority to make her. Eight days later Sachs was arrested for Hadl’s murder.

Creme de la Weird

The Oklahoma press has suggested recently that the state’s U.S. Senate race may be so close that independent candidate Sheila Bilyeu, 60, could wind up being a factor. A mid-October poll had Bilyeu at 4 percent, with Tom Coburn leading Brad Carson 42 percent to 39 percent and 14 percent undecided. Bilyeu has filed numerous lawsuits against the federal government (all eventually dismissed) demanding the removal of a radiolike device she says the military implanted in her head in the 1970s that allows authorities to transmit messages to her. In a 2001 suit she alleged that Bill Clinton had ordered gas attacks against her and the theft of her dog. She’s also brought unsuccessful suits against Dan Rather and Alex Trebek.

Least Competent Criminals

In July, Ian Fleming, 33, allegedly cashed two bogus checks in the amounts of $350 and $1,300 at a bank in Queens, New York. Apparently this was a test run; Fleming was arrested less than a week later after going to the same bank and allegedly attempting to deposit checks for $5 billion and $6 billion. And Jason Belmer, 25, on the run for six weeks avoiding arrest on drug charges, was finally caught early this month in Pittsfield, Maine. The manhunt ended when Belmer, fleeing police, allegedly jumped into a car parked outside a house and started the engine without noticing that its owner had left it up on jacks.


In June 2002 News of the Weird recapped a Wall Street Journal piece claiming that in the late 80s Fidel Castro, hoping to remedy Cuba’s chronic milk shortage, pushed scientists to create a strain of superproductive milk cows small enough to be kept in an apartment. About a month later reports appeared about a farmer in Rockwell, Iowa, who had successfully bred three-foot-tall cows; he said they could produce two gallons of milk daily but were (at 300 to 500 pounds) still too large to live indoors. This September an Associated Press dispatch from San Juan y Martinez, Cuba, reported that rancher Raul Hernandez has lowered the bar with a herd of 23- to 28-inch-tall cows, each of which, he says, can deliver about five quarts of high-quality milk a day.

Readers’ Choice

Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Denney was wounded in late September when random gunfire hit the Indians’ bus on its way to the airport after a game in Kansas City. Team trainers, who removed the bullet from Denney’s right calf, later suggested it might have penetrated deeper had he not been wearing knee-high white leather boots. Denney was dressed as a cheerleader as part of a traditional end-of-the-season hazing ritual for rookies.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.