Lead Story

In March, Air Force pilot Craig Fisher lost a $19 million F-16 jet fighter when he was unable to handle both the controls and his “piddle-pack,” a sponge-filled pouch for in-flight urination. He had attempted to raise himself up for a better urinating position when his foot hit the wrong pedal. Fisher was ejected safely.

Creme de la Weird

Australian lesbian Lisa Ptaschinski, 25, was convicted in February of assisting her lover, Tracey Wigginton, in the murder of Edward Baldock. Wigginton preferred blood to solid food and occasionally seduced Ptaschinski to cut her wrists in the name of love. (Ptaschinski said, “If you are going out with someone, you do whatever you can to please them.”) Ptaschinski said Wigginton went into a “feeding frenzy” after the murder of Baldock and looked afterward as though she had eaten a huge meal.

Police in Logan, Ohio, charged Charles Hess, 49, with cruelty to animals in February after they found four wolves living in his car. On the backseat was a layer of straw, covered with blood, feces, and urine.

Wanda Webb Holloway, 36, was arrested in January for putting out a murder contract on a Channelview, Texas, woman. Holloway wanted to ensure that her daughter was chosen for her junior high cheerleading squad and thought the best way to keep her daughter’s main rival out of the competition was to kill the girl’s mother so the grief-stricken daughter would drop out. Holloway reportedly first considered killing the woman’s daughter, too, but discovered she couldn’t afford both contracts.

Dr. Herbert L. Borison, 68, a professor and neurophysiologist at Dartmouth Medical School, was found dead recently of apparent suicide. He had been a leading authority on vomiting.

A 12-year-old girl is under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences because ants emerge from her right eye. Doctors have used medication to reduce the number from 50 to 60 per day to 6 or 7 per day. They believe small holes in an eyelid may be hosting ant eggs, but surgery and X rays have been inconclusive. The girl reports that the condition is irritating but not painful.

In Connecticut’s second such incident in a year, Gary A. Ecsedy turned himself in to park rangers in Hamden, confessing that he had crawled under an outhouse in a state park in January in order to peer up at women using the toilet.

First Things First

In December in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Roger L. Compton, 38, pleaded no contest to neglecting his 16-month-old child. The child disappeared after being left alone in its room while Compton watched television. Compton said he had planned to report the child missing but was waiting for the end of the Packers game.

A recent survey of 500 couples in Jiangsu Province, China, found that a higher number than expected view sex as a means of expressing love rather than simply as a means of producing more workers for the family. Surveyors noted an increase in interest in sex manuals and techniques.

A judge in Borsad, India, granted a divorce to a woman in October because her husband wanted to marry another woman, but with the provision that before the final decree, the man would have to submit to a public beating by his wife.

In August, Chile’s supreme court ordered the private Providencia Clinic to release a newborn baby that had been withheld from his parents for 11 days as collateral for $1,000 in unpaid medical bills.

Undignified Deaths

Both brides in a double wedding ceremony were among 13 people killed in Ramtha, Jordan, in September when the dance floor in the reception hall collapsed and dumped guests into a cesspool. Both grooms survived.

A 31-year-old commercial laundry worker in Boston was killed in November when he was knocked into a huge dryer by a 100-pound load of wet clothing. The man was trapped inside for the six-minute cycle.

A 31-year-old delivery man was killed in April in Tampa when 500 pounds of Nutty Buddies ice cream cones he was delivering fell on him.

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