NewsQuirks 553

Desperate for AttentionTyson Marshek, 15, walked into the Iowa City, Iowa, police station and asked dispatchers if he happened to be wanted. According to Sgt. Bill Campbell, when a computer check showed that he indeed was, an officer searched him and found several bags of cocaine, one of which Marshek swallowed before it could be confiscated.After police in Syracuse, N.Y., charged Shondell J. Paul, 18, with firing a stolen .25-caliber handgun at another man, they released him. About 30 minutes later, Paul flagged down a police car and asked them for a ride home. Officers told him they had to search his shopping bag before they could let him in the cruiser. When they did, they found a .357-caliber handgun and 73 rounds of ammunition.Not-So-Great PretendersWilliam McMullen, 58, impersonated former professional football player and college All-American Nick Eddy for more than 20 years while serving as the assistant football coach at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High in Rochester, Mass.The impersonation was discovered when the real Nick Eddy, now an insurance executive in Modesto, Calif., read an old newspaper story about McMullen and called the school. McMullen, who resigned, said he began the deception while looking for a job at a New Bedford clothing factory whose manager was a fan of Notre Dame, where the real Eddy played college ball.Christopher Michael Camp, 21, persuaded officials at an elementary school in Panama City, Fla., that he was a pitcher for the Florida Marlins named Bill Jones. He offered to bring some teammates to speak to pupils in grades three through six, but when he showed up alone and couldn't answer their questions, principal Joel Armstrong called the Marlins and determined Camp was an impostor. "He seemed a little dense," Armstrong said, "but you know, that's not unusual with some ballplayers."Miami police identified Reinaldo Silvestre, 58, as the fake doctor who left at least three clients grossly disfigured, including champion bodybuilder Alexander Baez, 47, who told investigators that he went to Silvestre to have his pectoral muscles enhanced and awoke with female breasts. In addition, police Capt. Charles Press said Silvestre used a veterinary anesthesia on Baez, who woke up three times during the procedure and each time was told to go back to sleep while Silvestre jammed the implants into the patient's chest with "a spatula-type thing that you'd see in a kitchen."Authorities in Republic, Wash., charged Dave Pace, 51, with impersonating a fire chief to trick a Pennsylvania fire department into giving him a 100-foot hook-and-ladder truck, which was shipped across the country to Ferry County. "He advised me that the county had promoted him to fire chief and assigned him the task of rebuilding the department," said Mike Triboli, chief of the Cornwall Borough, Pa., Community Fire Company, explaining that Pace had responded to the company's ad to sell its truck, but when he said his department was too poor to pay the $20,000 asking price and nobody else responded to the ad, Cornwall officials donated the truck.Television executives from Britain, Europe and the United States, meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, to debate the growing problem of fake guests on TV talk shows, discovered that one of the "expert" panelists was herself a fake. The woman, who was billed as a researcher for the Jerry Springer show, turned out to be an actress hired to underscore the problem, an organizer told Reuters news agency.Most of the men claiming to be Vietnam veterans, Vietnam heroes and Vietnam post-traumatic stress psychos who panhandle for money with signs that proclaim, "Vietnam Vet -- Will Work for Food," are frauds, according to B.G. "Jug" Burkett, a successful Dallas stockbroker who has spent the past 13 years unmasking hundreds of such men around the country. Thanks to these men's fraudulent claims, Burkett told the San Francisco Chronicle, many Americans, reputable news organizations, politicians, military generals, police departments and federal agencies have regarded Viet vets as jobless, homeless, addicted, suicidal or deranged "victim-heroes."Kola Venkat Krishnamohan, 45, who announced he had won $20 million in a European lottery and was treated as a celebrity, possibly the biggest lottery winner in India's history, was revealed as a fraud a year later. He was charged with cheating banks, financial institutions and friends by borrowing large sums of money, which he promised to repay when his winnings arrived from a London bank.One of Teddy Roosevelt's most famous portraits, showing the former president happily sitting on a rock near Oregon's Crater Lake in 1911, isn't really him. Questions about the man's identity arose when the National Park Service began plans to celebrate Crater Lake National Park's centennial and took a closer look at the photo, according to Linda Milano, assistant director of the New York-based Theodore Roosevelt Association, who declared, "It's just a guy with a mustache and glasses."Washington, D.C., police charged Harry Rudolph Green Jr., 28, with impersonating a police officer when he showed up at his security job wearing a city police uniform. Chief Charles H. Ramsey admitted that Green may have been involved in making as many as 10 arrests. "It's just bizarre," Ramsey told the Washington Times, explaining Green's uniform, gun and badge were privately purchased. "We're trying to increase our numbers, but not like this."Litigation NationConvicted killer Robert Kosilek, 50, who is serving a life sentence in a Massachusetts prison, filed a federal lawsuit to force the state to pay for a sex change. He claimed that preventing him from becoming a woman constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Insisting he is a woman trapped in a man's body, Kosilek noted that since his conviction in 1993 for killing his wife, he has been denied the hormones and surgery that would allow him to "assume some level of psycho-sexual congruity."Don't Stand on CeremonyPolice in Lynn, Mass., charged Romiro Manendez with being drunk when he lost control of his car and plowed into a crowd of people gathered for a memorial to a shooting victim. The mourners attacked and beat Menendez, who fled chased by a man with a leashed pit bull. Police found him hiding nearby.Three senior citizens died and 10 more were injured when a tractor-trailer hauling produce slammed into the church van they were riding in as it prepared to turn into a cemetery in Tinnie, N.M., for a funeral.Send clippings, citing source and date, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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