Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

MARCH 30, 1998: 

Dateline: Iran--American news media take note: An Iranian court last week fined magazine director Reza Ghanilu 1 million rials ($330) and banned him from his job for six months for publishing photos of U.S. President Bill Clinton's alleged lovers. Ghanilu, director of Tehran's Fakour Weekly, was found guilty of publishing "obscene pictures" after his magazine ran front-page snapshots of Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and other alleged Clinton lovers on its front page. Those photos apparently violated Iran's strict Muslim dress codes for women and were ruled pornographic.

Dateline: New York--As further proof of New York City's slipping hold as crime central, police in the borough of Brooklyn announced last week that they had gone an entire week without a single reported murder. Long known as the murder capital of the United States, the violence-ridden neighborhood in East New York recorded not a single homicide during the seven-day period ending at midnight on Sunday, March 15. This is the longest murder-free period in recent memory. Police Commissioner Howard Safir credited anti-drug trafficking initiatives which he says have taken more guns off the streets. If the current trend continues, 1998's murder rate could plunge as low as 510--the lowest since 1962 when only 506 people were killed in Brooklyn. The historic high water mark came in 1990 with 2,245 murders.

Dateline: New York--A man buying an abandoned car at a New York City junkyard got more than his money's worth when he discovered a dead body in the trunk. Apparently, the car had been purchased for scrap at a sheriff's auction in NYC's Brooklyn borough one week previous. The buyer returned to the junkyard to claim the car last Monday and noticed a foul odor. He unlocked the trunk and found a body wrapped in garbage bags and a blanket. The body was tied up with rope and handcuffs. Ah, Brooklyn.

Dateline: Washington--A Toledo, Wash., construction tycoon by the name of Ray Wallace is offering a $1 million reward to the first person who can bring him a live Bigfoot baby. The 79-year-old Wallace has spent more than 40 years tracking down the elusive Northwestern creature known as Sasquatch. If anyone does respond to Wallace's offer, he plans to raise baby Bigfoot with "care and respect" and would like to train the creature to ride around with him in his pickup truck and help out with chores around his ranch.

Dateline: California--The Oakland Police Review Board determined last Thursday that officers who handcuffed an alleged cookie thief and forced him to listen to "Escape: The Piña Colada Song" were not guilty of racial bias and excessive force. Last June, Julian Aldarondo was accused of swiping a $2.25 ginger pecan cookie from an area cafe. Police followed Aldarondo into a nearby movie theater and handcuffed him. Upon learning the suspect was a singer, officer Anthony Toribio began serenading Aldarondo with the 1970s pop hit "The Piña Colada Song." Aldarondo--who denies stealing the cookie--called his treatment by police "the most degrading and humiliating experience of my life" and accused police of making fun of his Hispanic heritage. Officer Toribio, who initiated the torturous crooning, was born in Spain. According to several reports, the "cookie incident" hearing cost Oakland taxpayers some $20,000.


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