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Stranger than fiction



Curses, foiled again

Parole absconder Robert Lewis Crose, 47, managed to evade California authorities for 12 years but then led them right to him when he complained on his Facebook page about the cold weather in the northern Montana town of Cut Bank. A fugitive task force in California notified Glacier County, Mont., sheriff's Sgt. Tom Siefert, who arrested him. "He said he'd worked cutting up here, harvesting, for the last 10 years," Siefert said. (Montana's The Billings Gazette)

Cincinnati police reported that when Rufus Bowman, 16, pulled a gun on a 6-foot-1, 290-pound prostitute "wearing a pink halter top and pumps," the victim resisted. The 5-foot-7, 230-pound Bowman shot the victim in the arm and chest but couldn't stop the prostitute from taking away the gun, grabbing him by the hair and administering what Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor Ryan Nelson termed a "beat down." Identifying victim Joshua Bumpus as a "a transvestite prostitute," Nelson noted that Bowman "picked the wrong prostitute to rob." (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Irony of the century

Smoking pot may slow or halt Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at California's Scripps Research Institute. Reporting in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, they discovered that marijuana's active ingredient — delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — helps preserve brain function. "Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation," the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's, said the study, whose authors point out it "provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease." (MSNBC)

Techno world

When Las Vegas voters complained after they'd been awakened during the night by automated phone calls urging their support for a ballot measure to change how state judges are selected, the California company that the campaign's organizers hired to make the calls apologized — with another robo-call. The voice of Paul Stone of Campaign Solutions blamed "human error and computer error" for mixing up a.m. and p.m. (KTNV-TV)

The telecom company Ncell launched high-speed Internet service on Mount Everest by erecting a transmission tower at the 29,035-foot peak's base camp. Ncell said the new service lets climbers surf the Web faster, send video clips and e-mails, and make phone calls cheaply. (Reuters)

Slight provocation

Frederick Wilkes, 54, beat his wife after he started to prepare lasagna for dinner and found leftover beans inside a ricotta cheese container, according to Massachusetts authorities. "He threw the container of beans at her, and they became involved in an altercation," said Jake Wark of the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Dinner guest Mario Donnarumma, who offered to go to the store for ricotta cheese but returned with only beer and vodka, told police that Wilkes grabbed his wife and threw her outside their Chelsea apartment, along with a bean-splattered couch. Police found the lifeless body of Theresa Kenna Wilkes, 50, in her driveway the next morning. (Boston Herald)

Authorities said Steven N. Cowan, 66, fired a shotgun at his television, then aimed it at his wife, who fled their home outside Black Earth, Wis., and called 911. Cowan held sheriff's deputies at bay for 15 hours before surrendering. According to the criminal complaint, Cowan and his wife were watching "Dancing With the Stars" when Bristol Palin appeared. He flew into a rage, complained about "the (expletive) politics" of Palin's appearing on the show because he didn't think she was that good a dancer and then went for his gun. (Wisconsin State Journal)

Mother of the year

While Karen Remsing, 42, was visiting her terminally ill 15-year-old son at a Pittsburgh hospital, police said she temporarily disconnected an intravenous tube that had been providing a sedative to the boy, then stole syringes from a hospital tray to siphon the drug, which she injected into herself. Police added that when Remsing reconnected the tube, an air bubble formed that further threatened the boy's life. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Really odd threats

Larry Franklin, 16, tried to rob a convenience store in DeLand, Fla., by pointing a bottle of salad dressing at the clerks. Police said one of the clerks responded by pulling a gun and calling police. (Orlando's WFTV-TV)

Police arrested Adyan Sanchez, 30, in Bradenton, Fla., after she assaulted her boyfriend with a plate of tamales when he called her a "bitch" in front of their year-old son. Officers said they found alleged victim Roberto Olvera with "tamale sauce all over his pants." (The Smoking Gun)

Authorities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, accused two Cleveland-area residents of robbing a convenience store by threatening the clerk with a bacterial infection. The official report explained that two of the robbers, Caroline Slusher, 32, and Austin Tenerove, 27, were taking candy off the shelf when the clerk confronted them. Slusher pulled up her sleeve and showed the clerk her arm, stated that she was infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and warned the clerk to get away from her. She and Tenerove then fled in a waiting van, driven by Michael Slusher, 27. (Northern Ohio's The News-Herald)

Police in Takoma Park, Md., charged Oritse Ayu, 29, with assault after he walked past a woman at a college library while masturbating and struck her arm with his semen. He fled, but investigators tracked him using his DNA. (Baltimore's WJZ-TV)

Second-hand hair

British hairdresser Edwina Phillipson, 51, said that inhaling tiny hair clippings for 35 years caused a hole in her septum that required surgery to repair. Phillipson explained that her troubles started 12 years ago when her nose began to get irritated from hairs in the air at work, and scratching eventually created an open wound that became infected. Eventually, her nose collapsed and had to be rebuilt. She now wears a surgical mask at the unisex salon she owns in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. "As a hairdresser, you're working with tiny clippings of short hair, so you end up hoovering [vacuuming] them up your nose inadvertently," Phillipson said. "It's not just the hair. It's the dead skin cells, gel on people's hair and other particles they bring in with them." (Britain's Daily Mail)

Hop in

Witnesses told police investigating a bank robbery in Capitola, Calif., that the crook offered bystanders outside the bank $1,000 for a ride to Santa Cruz. Besides hunting the robber, police announced they're looking for whoever may have accepted the offer. "That $1,000 belongs to the bank," Sgt. Mark Gonzalez said. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

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