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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Law/Police/Crime
Quick Links: January 22, 2008 — Hiding in plainview A police officer agreed to escort a car containing a pregnant woman to the hospital only to find the car was stolen - and the woman wasn't pregnant. An honest politician? Ed Hamilton is running for the position of Kerr County treasurer. His campaign promise is that, if elected, he won't serve. He won't even take a paycheck. Sounds like the right man for the job. More men opting for chest implants At least, that's what the headline claims. The article itself gives…
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008.   Comments (0)

Is Mad Money based on the Brassiere Brigade? — Happy New Years everyone! My apologies for the absence of posts for the past week. I was on vacation, visiting family on the east coast and in Arizona. One month ago I posted about a group of female criminals from the 1950s called the "Brassiere Brigade." They stole money from the counting room of a telephone company, where they worked, by smuggling rolls of quarters out in their bras. I only discovered the story of these women by accident when I came across a reference to them in an…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (14)

Quick Links: Dec. 17, 2007 — My 61 Memorable Games A special updated edition of Bobby Fischer's book, "My 60 Memorable Games," is up for auction on eBay, and bidding has already reached $3,050. The New York Times Chess Blog wonders whether the book is real. Giant Skeleton photo doing the rounds again National Geographic has an article about the Giant Skeleton photo, which dates back to 2004. The article says it's now enjoying a revival. I'm even quoted, though I don't remember talking to National Geographic.…
Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007.   Comments (2)

Quick Links: Dec. 12, 2007 — Sextuplet husband gets three years Remember that couple who pretended they had sextuplets last year? The guy has now been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. His wife is still at large. Pregnant lawyer made up abduction "pregnant Ohio attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock confessed Monday to fabricating a story about being kidnapped by three people at gunpoint in Toledo last week." I'm going to start keeping track of these fake abduction cases. There…
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007.   Comments (4)


Operation Lucky Bag — If you saw a wallet lying on the ground, what would you do? A lot of people might, out of curiosity, pick it up to examine it. They might even walk away with it. But if they did, they could find themselves surrounded by police and facing arrest. This happened to Carlos Alayo who picked up a wallet he saw laying on a New York City subway platform. When he went to get on the train, police stopped him. WNBC.com explains: The 32-year-old had been ensnared in Operation Lucky Bag, an…
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007.   Comments (13)

Photoshopped Kitten in Defamation Suit — Stewart Bright lived with Marjorie Hervey, founder of the Hervey Foundation for Cats, a charity for injured cats. But when Bright and Hervey had a falling out, "Bright accused Ms Hervey of needlessly killing kittens and emailed about 600 supporters of the charity with an attached picture showing a hand with a gun pointing at a kitten with its front paws up as if surrendering." That's pretty damning evidence, though not in the way Bright hoped. The picture was recently entered into…
Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: Dec. 4, 2007 — Tickle Me Counterfeit Authorities are warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake Tickle Me Elmos showing up on store shelves this Christmas. How can you tell the difference between the real and the fake? For a start, the fake Elmo is called "The Laughing Doll." Also, oddly enough, the fakes are more expensive than the real thing. Phony Doo-Wops Doo-wop groups from the 1950s and '60s, such as the Drifters, Coasters and Platters, are complaining that they're going broke. They can't…
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007.   Comments (0)

Quick Links: Nov. 27, 2007 — Ocean's 11 Conman "It was one of the most audacious jewel thefts in history. In the middle of a crowded room, the famed Star of the Empress Sisi was stolen from its high-security case and replaced with a replica." (Thanks, Joe) Turkey Mystery Turkeys mysteriously show up in a town, and then wander away. "After entertaining residents of Harborview Drive on Thanksgiving morning, 15 turkeys departed - in single file - about 1 p.m. Thursday and have not been seen since, residents said…
Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007.   Comments (4)

Quick Links: Megan Meier, fake lawyer, etc. — I'm on the road up to Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving, but here's a few quick links I've been meaning to post. Online hoax leads to girl's suicide The case of Megan Meier is attracting lots of attention, both online and offline. Megan believed that a young guy on MySpace was interested in her, but when Josh started to send her nasty messages, she committed suicide. Later it was discovered that "Josh" was a fake alias created by adults in Megan's neighborhood. A bizarre case, and one that…
Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007.   Comments (25)

Searches for gold—Finds ammonia — Here's a case that could be described as what you get when you cross Mythbusters with the Darwin Awards. A 16-year-old boy living in the Tampa area heard a legend that a pipe that ran under the U.S. 301 bridge was filled with gold. Other people told him that it was actually an ammonia pipe leading to a fertilizer company. So the kid decided to test it out for himself and find out what the truth was: The anhydrous ammonia that flows through the pipeline from the port to fertlizer…
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007.   Comments (9)

Coin-Sucking Criminal — While researching something in the online archives of the New York Times, I spotted this story, published on December 21, 1940, about a very unusual form of petty theft: Odd Subway Thefts Are Bared In Arrest ------- Prisoner Sucked Out Coins From Turnstile, Court Is Told ------- An ingenious method of pilfering nickels from a subway turnstile was revealed in Bridge Plaza Court, Brooklyn, yesterday, when Magistrate Charles Solomon held Chester Madzenski, 24 years old, of 35 Diamond…
Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007.   Comments (9)

Undercover Agent Shuts Down Bradbury Play — Joe Littrell forwarded me this strange news story posted at scifidimensions.com. I can't tell if it's real or a joke. Supposedly a man identifying himself as "Agent Egan," a California "undercover investigator," halted a performance of Ray Bradbury's play Dandelion Wine at the Fremont Center Theatre, half an hour into the performance. Bradbury himself was in the audience. The play, one of Bradbury’s most autobiographical works, includes performances by several young actors, and when…
Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007.   Comments (6)

Vending Machine Camouflage — The New York Times reports about a Japanese designer, Aya Tsukioka, who has designed clothes that transform into vending-machine costumes. The idea is that if you're being pursued by a criminal, you can quickly transform yourself into a vending machine, and the criminal will hopefully run right past you.Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By…
Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007.   Comments (10)

Man Attacks Inflatable Pumpkin — Do you ever feel like if you see just one more fake giant inflatable pumpkin, that you're going to go mad and attack something? Apparently this guy did: LLOYD, N.Y. -- A woman says a neighbor attacked her inflatable Halloween lawn display of three ghosts and a giant pumpkin, then apparently smashed his head through her window in a fit of rage. State Police said officers found a drunken John Odee, 43, inside Dawn Garcia's house in the Hudson Valley town of Lloyd on Thursday night,…
Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007.   Comments (8)

Cat Urine Criminal — Big Gary sent me a link to this story with the comment, "I'm not sure who was haoxing whom, but something strange is going on here. If there's a hot black market for cat urine, I think I may be rich." From Yahoo! News: Cynthia Hunter spent almost two months in jail over a vial of cat urine. Hunter, 38, was arrested Aug. 15 on a charge of petty theft after she was accused of stealing from a Wal-Mart store. Deputies added charges of possession of a controlled substance after finding a…
Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007.   Comments (7)

Hypnotist Robbers — A New Hampshire convenience store clerk claims that he was robbed. However, the thieves didn't use any weapons or threats. Instead, they used hypnosis and mind control to make the clerk not notice that they were taking more than $1000. First coast news reports: It started with a simple mind game. Think of a wild animal, they say, and we'll write down what's in your mind. but it escalates quickly to very personal information about a former girlfriend, and finally, says Patel, mind…
Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007.   Comments (11)

Cops Writing Cops — Cops Writing Cops claims to be a site created by a bunch of police officers in order to publicize the problem of cops who give other cops tickets for traffic violations. They invite cops who have been ticketed by other cops to write in with their stories. In their "About Us" section, they write: Our mission is to try and bond our community by bringing the stories of how our brothers and sisters are sometimes mistreated by other brothers and sisters. Maybe after visiting this site and…
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007.   Comments (10)

Real-Life “Killer in the Backseat” — A real-life version of the "killer in the backseat" urban legend has been reported. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand gives the following description of this classic tale in his Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: "Would-be killer lurks in back, detected by motorist or gas-station attendant." In all versions, the intended victim is a woman. In the versions in which another motorist spots the assailant, the driver notices that the car or truck following her keeps blinking his lights or shifting…
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007.   Comments (9)

Vicious attacks by girls increasing or decreasing? — Joe Littrell alerted me to an amusing piece on slate.com which takes the air out of a Boston Globe story about the disturbing trend of "Vicious Attacks By Girl Cliques Seen Increasing." Jack Shafer points out that the article contradicts its premise in its own subtitle, where it admits, "Despite Police Statistics, Violence Causing Worries." In other words, police statistics show that girl-on-girl violence is decreasing, but the article tries to spin it the other way, presumably because…
Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007.   Comments (3)

Detective Poses As Corpse — Here's a story about a detective who had to go deep undercover, posing as a corpse in order to catch a man who was vandalizing hearses belonging to a funeral home: The funeral directors contacted the Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership which hired a team of private detectives. They spent five days posing as members of the public and using cameras to stake out the firm. But cars continued to be damaged under their noses so security firm Storewatch decided one of their team…
Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007.   Comments (2)

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