xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In May, independent arson experts reported that the 2004 Texas execution of Cameron Todd Willingham was based on evidence that has now been scientifically disproved (and which had probably been repudiated earlier in 2004, when another Texas arson convict had had his death sentence overturned). According to a Chicago Tribune story, the fire marshals whose testimony cinched Willingham’s sentence relied on out-of-date, discredited tests, leaving no reliable evidence for the jury that the fire that killed Willingham’s three kids was deliberately set. According to the report (commissioned by the Innocence Project), no formal training (only training “on the job”) is required of Texas fire marshals.
New Scientist magazine reported in May that the Pentagon’s cutting-edge research agency, DARPA, was considering a human-launching device that works like a cannon, to blast special-forces troops (and maybe firefighters and police officers) at just the right trajectory so that they land on hard-to-reach locations, such as rooftops.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD