xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
(CORRECTION: Previously, I misinterpreted a BBC News report and implied that the punk rock group Bouncing Souls is politically conservative and supporting President Bush. However, according to its Web site, Bouncing Souls is eager to defeat President Bush. — CHUCK SHEPHERD)
In a murder trial about to conclude at press time in Martinez, Calif., the circus-like cast of characters included Glenn Helzer (already convicted of several bizarre murders designed to vault him to power as the one true Mormon prophet), his brother Justin (charged in Glenn’s crimes and described as one who takes his meals on the kitchen floor on all fours), Dawn Godman (a self-described “good witch” who pleaded guilty as Glenn’s helper and then, as the government’s star witness, described Glenn’s plot to recruit Brazilian orphans to go to Utah and kill Mormon elders, thus hastening the apocalypse), and a former Playboy centerfold (September 2000), not charged with a crime, who was Glenn’s girlfriend and took the stand to vouch for Justin’s good character.
In April, a New York appeals court ruled that Leon Caldwell was entitled to a $50,000 state worker-compensation death benefit on behalf of his son, Kenneth, who died at age 30 at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, even though Leon had abandoned Kenneth shortly after birth and had seen him only twice since. The court said that Leon “met the legal definition of a parent” (but ordered him to pay Kenneth’s mother her long-overdue $20,000 in child-support).
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or Weird@compuserve.com
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD