Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
DECEMBER 7, 1998:
Dateline: Germany--Wolfgang Dircks, a divorced, disabled
loner was found dead in his apartment last week--five years after
he passed away. Dircks apparently died in 1993 at age 43 while
watching television. Since then, neighbors in the Bonn, Germany,
apartment complex where Dircks resided hardly noticed his absence.
Dircks, a former toolsmith, had reportedly threatened to whip
anyone who asked after him. The dead man's mailbox, which should
have overflowed and raised alarms, had been emptied on occasion,
though no one knows by whom. The landlords only came knocking
after the bank account from which Dircks' rent and bills were
paid ran dry. A TV listings magazine was still sitting on the
lap of Dircks' skeleton and was open to the page for December
5, 1993--the presumed date of his death. The television set had
long since broken, but the lights on Dircks' 1993 Christmas tree
were still twinkling away.
Dateline: Thailand--A Thai man, depressed that his three
wives were not getting along, committed suicide last week. Twenty-six-year-old
Amornthep Kongkham jumped off the sixth floor of a hospital Saturday,
just hours after unsuccessfully attempting to kill himself with
poison. Police say Kongkham was distraught after his wife refused
to permit two women he brought home on Friday to live with them.
Kongkham insisted the women were also his wives.
Dateline: Nevada--When the firefighters of Station 20 in
Las Vegas, Nev., got an emergency call during dinner, they quickly
performed their duty--rushing immediately out the door to help
save lives. Unfortunately, the fleet-footed firemen forgot about
the chicken fingers cooking on their stove. The five firefighters
have been temporarily relocated while the smoke damage to their
own stationhouse is repaired.
Dateline: Washington--The woman police say organized a
trio of teenage bank robbers refused to admit she pressured the
all-female gang into the crime. Virginia Marie Kay, the 33-year-old
mother of 14-year-old bankrobber Tiffany Sullivan, took the witness
stand last week but maintained her innocence. Prosecutors believe
that Kay, inspired by the Hollywood movie Set It Off, recruited
three teenage girls, decided the role each should play and then
waited in the woods while they netted $1,089 from the Anchor Savings
Bank in Olympia, Wash., on July 31. Kay, who was sentenced last
month to 10 years in jail, was testifying at her daughter's trial.
Dateline: Georgia--A little theft prevention measure wasn't
going to deter one Atlanta bank robber from spending his ill-gotten
gains. When the clerk at a movie theater box office received a
bright red $50 bill, he turned it over to the theater's manager.
When the manager got wind of a second red-stained $50 from the
concessions stand, he called police. David Flood, 23, was arrested
shortly thereafter. Flood had robbed a bank the previous week.
A red dye pack attached to the stolen money exploded in Flood's
back pocket as he ran from the bank, effectively ruining the loot.
"This guy's not as smart as most," said Atlanta police
detective Ed Christian.
Dateline: California--A Monterey, Calif., judge has ordered
a woman to swear off Beanie Babies. Self-confessed "Beanie
addict" Tamara Dee Maldonado, 25, was sentenced on Nov. 20
to six months in jail for using stolen credit card numbers to
buy $8,000 worth of the tiny stuffed animals. Maldonado convinced
her ex-husband to give her discarded credit card receipts from
the hotel where he worked so she could use the purloined credit
card numbers to buy rare and hard-to-find Beanies. Along with
the jail term, Judge Jonathan Price ordered Maldonado to steer
clear of Beanie Babies for five years. The judge gave police the
right to conduct future spot searches of Maldonado's home to ensure
she is Beanie free.