In September, sheriff’s officials in Buffalo, N.Y. said Thomas Montgomery murdered a 22-year-old workplace colleague in a love triangle involving a West Virginia woman, except that two of the three triangle characters were nonexistent. Montgomery, 47, was pretending to be a young Marine in online conversation with the woman, 45, who was pretending she was her 18-year-old daughter. The murder victim had also struck up an online conversation with the woman, apparently making Montgomery jealous, but the victim, ironically, was the only one in the triangle who wasn’t someone else.
For two months late last year after a pair of convicted murderers escaped from Sudbury prison in England, the local Derbyshire police refused to release their pictures. According to the police, “Photographs of named people that are in police possession are classed as data, and their release is restricted by law” to instances where there is a “proper policing purpose.” Derbyshire authorities said that since the escapees had probably left the area, there was no such purpose, and the photographs should be kept confidential.
After Emmalee Bauer, 25, was fired by the Sheraton hotel company in late 2006, she sought unemployment compensation from the Iowa agency that offers benefits to employees terminated through no fault of their own. However, the judge noted that Bauer had written a 300-page journal, during office hours, chronicling her efforts to avoid work. Among her entries: “This typing thing seems to be doing the trick. It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important,” and, “Once lunch is over, I will come right back to writing to piddle away the rest of the afternoon,” and, “Accomplishment is overrated, anyway.” Her claim was denied.
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT
In December, the principal of a preschool in Bellmead, Texas, issued an in-school suspension to a four-year-old boy after he hugged his female teacher’s aide with his face in her chest, which was termed “sexual contact and/or sexual harassment,” though after complaints, the offense was changed to “inappropriate physical behavior.”
THE CONTINUING CRISIS
Daring young men use the danger of moving cars for attention, especially if there’s a video camera rolling. An 18-year-old Topeka, Kan., man became the latest Jackass-imitating casualty when he bailed out of a car going 35 mph in October and suffered a serious head injury. Other video performers go “ghost riding the whip” (letting their cars coast in neutral while they climb onto the roof to dance), with at least two deaths reported. In the newest craze, Jonathas Mendonca, 22, was hospitalized in critical condition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in January after “skiing” (holding onto the back of a car) on Interstate 95 at 65 mph.
MODERN HEALTH CARE
In January, a hospice in Britain run by Sister Frances Dominica approved the wish of a 22-year-old man born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who wanted to lose his virginity before he died. The Douglas House hospice arranged for a prostitute to visit him at his family’s home. “It was not emotionally fulfilling, but the lady was very pleasant,” the man said afterward. MTW