With heroin too expensive for many African addicts, some ask an addicted friend for a temporary fix–withdrawing a teaspoonful of the friend’s heroin-tinged blood and injecting it into their own bloodstream. Evidence of this practice (called “flashblood”) comes from anecdotes from health officials in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya, reported in the New York Times in July. Doctors said they question the euphoria-producing quality of such tiny amounts of heroin, but are certain that flashblood will potently deliver any HIV present in the donor’s blood.
MOTHERS OF THE YEAR
(1) Ranay Collins, 49, was arrested in Las Vegas in June and charged with beating her 16-year-old daughter with a cane. The arresting officer quoted Collins’s explanation: “That [expletive] owes me $50 for rent.” (2) Police arrested Christina Muniz, 29, in Surprise, Arizona, in June, after being summoned to the home by Muniz’s son, 11. Muniz had just informed the boy and his brother, 6, that she was abandoning them to move to California with her boyfriend to fulfill her dream of becoming a stripper. With police watching, the older boy approached Muniz for a hug, but Muniz slugged him in the stomach.
Jammie Harms, 34, who had been executive assistant to CEO John Smith of the developer Hearthstone Homes, filed a lawsuit against the Omaha, Nebraska, company in June for wrongful firing. According to the lawsuit, Smith told Harms that, after consulting with psychics, he was troubled by her pregnancy. He said he was feeling “negative energy” from her fetus, sensing that it was “hostile” toward him and causing him to be reminded of his own unpleasant experience as a fetus.
IT’S A LEAGUE GAME, SMOKEY
Youth worker Cherie Beekman, 33, took a group of her kids to a bowling alley in Didsbury, England, in April for a diversion but got her thumb stuck in her bowling ball. She was taken to a fire station, where, for over two hours, rescuers used an electric saw, hacksaw and chisel to free her.
ATTENTION ALL PERVS: MOVE TO FLORIDA
David Lowe, 47, was convicted in Brooksville, Florida, last year of “lewd or lascivious exhibition” after he sat in his car, masturbating, outside a convenience store while ostentatiously holding a large dildo to his mouth in front of a woman and her child. In July 2010, a Florida appeals court reversed the conviction and freed Lowe, pointing out that conviction under that particular statute requires “sexual activity,” which is defined as occurring between two or more persons.
THE MESSED UP APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE ABUSIVE TREE
Mark Seamands, 39, went to trial in May in Port Angeles, Washington, accused of second-degree assault and two lesser charges for the hot-iron “branding” of his three children, aged 13, 15 and 18. Each of the kids bore the mark “SK,” for “Seamands’s Kids.” At trial, however, the kids testified that they not only consented to the branding but thought it was cool (despite the second-degree burns), and as a result, the jury dismissed the assault charge and deadlocked on the two lesser ones.
YOUR NEXT OLYMPIC EVENT
In July, Mike Morateck, 46, a self-described “man of science,” won the Jefferson (Wisconsin) County Fair’s annual cricket-spitting contest with a hock of 21 feet, 2 inches. His two main “scientific” secrets (he told Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel): “pick a big cricket” and “feet first on its back with the head pointing out because you don’t want the legs dragging on the way out.”
(1) Allen Dawes, 28, and Jimmy Lee, 43, were charged as burglars in, respectively, York, Pennsylvania (June), and Blackburn, England (July), after having inexplicably left clues behind. For reasons unreported, Dawes had left his birth certificate at the scene and Lee his DNA-laden false teeth. (2) Officials at the Synergy Credit Union in Lashburn, Saskatchewan, have the surveillance video but not the perp. On April 13, a man in black with a curved sword jabbed at the ATM, then smashed his way through the glass front door, then roamed around, leaping over counters and jabbing at more things with the sword before departing empty-handed (and bleeding).