News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In 2003, Bryn Mawr College student Janet Lee had apparently not watched enough movies or television to understand that drug smugglers often use condoms (swallowed by human “mules”) to get cocaine and heroin into the country. Lee attempted to board an airliner with several flour-filled condoms that she said her classmates and she employed to squeeze as stress relievers and said she was astonished to be arrested at the Philadelphia airport and jailed for three weeks until the lab could verify that the substance was flour. In January 2007, the city of Philadelphia agreed to pay her $180,000 to settle her lawsuit for her wrongful detention.
Britain’s National Phobics Society said it would launch a campaign to help the estimated 4 million people in the U.K. who are fearful of using public restrooms. According to the NPS, in serious cases, sufferers intentionally avoid liquids and even deprive themselves of good jobs because the workplace restroom situation is unsatisfactory. “(I)t’s certainly no laughing matter,” said a spokesman.
Texas judge Keith Dean, recently defeated for re-election, decided as he was cleaning out his desk in December that he would order the release of a man that he controversially sentenced to life in prison in 1990. Tyrone Brown was 17 when he committed a $2 robbery, and Dean put him on probation but changed it to life in prison when Brown shortly afterward tested positive for marijuana. (The Dallas Morning News in a series of 2006 articles had reported that Dean had failed to additionally punish a murderer who had tested positive for cocaine several times after his release on probation.)
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD