One could be forgiven for believing that every crime is a Machiavellian scheme acted out by masterminds or a twist-laden story that turns out to be a tragic miscarriage of justice by an evil state perpetrated against “the little guy.” Thanks, Netflix.
The truth is that most crimes are quite simple, both in the action and in the resolution—a guy punched another guy then got caught. A woman stole stuff from another person and was let off with a warning. It’s true that more Hollywood-worthy crimes occur from time to time, but there is a subsection of crimes that don’t reach the wider public consciousness—weird crimes.
Here’s a list of such wacky, shocking, and hard-to-believe crimes that’ll leave you questioning how mankind ever became the dominant species on Earth.
10 An Awful Keepsake
Convicted murderer Jaime Osuna had a bit of a bad rep. Not only was he in prison on a life sentence for the torture and murder of 37-year-old Yvette Pena at a Bakersfield, California, motel in 2011, not only did he have a long record of violence against his cellmates, but Osuna is also covered in tattoos all over his body, including his face—all dedicated to his love for Satan. So, in the words of the dearly departed Norm MacDonald, “He sounds like a real jerk.”
So much of a jerk, in fact, that on March 9, 2019, he proceeded to torture and murder his cellmate, Luis Romero, using a makeshift knife. He then mutilated the body by decapitating Romero and slashing the corners of his mouth to form a grim, Joker-esque smile. But, most shockingly of all, Osuna removed one of Romero’s eyeballs, a finger, and a portion of lung tissue, forming the bits into a necklace—a necklace guards found him wearing.
On being moved to Salinas Valleys State Prison’s psychiatric ward, physicians offered a diagnosis that may constitute the understatement of the millennium—Osuna has an antisocial personality disorder.
Staying on the subject of incredibly gory crimes (lamentably), consider the tragic case of 25-year-old Michigander Kevin Bacon (not the star of Friday the 13th). His roommate, Michelle Myers (not Michael Myers…this case has too many ‘80s slasher flick references), told officials that he had gone on a date he’d arranged on the popular dating app Grindr on Christmas Eve in 2019.
Bacon had been matched to Mark Latunski, possibly the worst match any man could hope for. Latunski, now 51 years old, brutally murdered Bacon by first stabbing him in the back of the neck then, realizing he wasn’t dead, slitting his throat. He then hoisted Bacon’s body from the ceiling of his Shiawassee County home. Next, Latunski cut Bacon’s dead body, allowing his blood to drip onto some dirt beneath a trapdoor to “fertilize the plants outside the house.” He then removed Bacon’s testicles and fried them before consuming them.
According to Latunski, this gruesome murder was consensual. Further, he had more plans for Bacon’s body, plans he would have carried out had the police not uncovered his crime. According to an article in the Lansing State Journal: “He would use bone meal to plant tulips, his intestines to grow chestnuts or peach pits, and he would use his muscles to make jerky,” he said. The U.S. Postal Service intercepted a package for Latunski containing a dehydrator after the murder.
8 Heist of the Century…Or Maybe Just the Weekend
On a much-needed lighter note, a very organized gang of motivated criminals recently pulled off a daring, film-worthy heist in Scotland. So intricately planned, flawlessly executed is this crime that George Clooney is rumored to be seeking the rights to the story. Hang on to your seats; this one is a real white knuckler. Or not.
A group of thieves using a “convoy of lorries” stole £280,000-worth (around $380,000) of blue WKD alcopops (known as “hard soda” in the USA). The popular party drink, the go-to for underage drinkers, is synonymous with sticky-floored nightclubs and urine-soaked bandstands in grotty urban parks. So, how did these master criminals do this?
They broke into Caledonian Bottlers, just loaded the booze, and left. Not exactly robbing Fort Knox. One of the containers was discovered on the A76 near Mennock, burned out and still smoldering. The rest remains unaccounted for. Rumors of 280,000 illegal raves in the area remain unproven.
7 Expensive Hairdos
Officials in India uncovered a smuggling ring that used a really ingenious technique in March 2021, although their scheme was rather poorly executed. Magroob Akbarali (39), Syed Ahamedulla (22), Santhosh Selvam (33), Abdullah (35), and Zubair Hassan Rafiyutheen (26) were stopped before they exited Chennai International Airport. Customs officials became suspicious when they noticed that Magroob and Zubair’s hairstyles looked a bit off. A bit bulging.
When asked to remove what turned out to be hairpieces, officials recovered three packets of gold paste glued onto their shaved heads. Further packets of gold and foreign currency were discovered in their socks and underwear. The haul was valued at around $380,000…just about enough to buy a truckload of blue alcopops. Coincidence? Yes.
Indian officials warned against this sort of smuggling, claiming that people had better think twice or there’d be “hell toupee.” OK, no, they didn’t.
6 Catch Me If You Can…Read
Robbing a bank carries a certain level of romance along with it—depression-era gangsters with bandanas around their faces, rushing out of the bank with their haul, throwing their loot and their Tommy guns in the back of their Ford Model 730, hightailing it to their safe house in the dustbowl while a squad of feckless cops get lost along the way. This is not one of those stories.
Not only did Michael Harrel, 54, forget the first rule of bank robbery—wear a mask of sorts—but he went one step further in ensuring that he was 100% going to get identified. Back in 2019, Harrel walked into a Cleveland, Ohio, bank and handed the teller a menacing note. He demanded cash, or there would be trouble. The teller complied and handed the robber the princely sum of $206 before Harrel escaped…by going home.
But the note contained more than just threats; Harrel’s name and contact details were to be found on the other side of the piece of paper. He had used the note earlier while running some errands at the local BMV. He was promptly arrested.
5 (Fore)heading for Trouble
The eternal search for the ultimate “Florida Man” story has finally come to an end. No, it is not a case where a bank was robbed by a PCP-fueled naked cowboy riding an alligator before getting eaten by a python in the Everglades—it’s a lot simpler than that. More elegant, if you will.
Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Leatham’s crime doesn’t rank highly amidst the carnage and craziness found in this list (or, indeed, usually found in Florida). In fact, his crime was quite mundane; he made two calls to 911 in order to find a ride home. He then proceeded to become belligerent and very rude with the operator when he was informed that his call was a misuse of the emergency line. However, the police did respond to his calls, promptly arresting and charging him with misuse of the 911 system and cannabis possession. So why is this the classic Florida Man yarn?
His forehead is tattooed with a black-colored depiction of the state itself, a state that Homer Simpson once called “America’s wang”…
What a dick(fore)head.
4 Dark Deeds Done Due To a Djinn
When a murderer claims that “supernatural being made me do it,” one often expects a tall tale about the devil or a demon, replete with fanciful insertions of the egomaniacal perpetrator into the broader lore of demonology—a bit like a James Wan film come to life. Either that or, occasionally, the killer is genuinely suffering from a religiously tinged psychotic or schizophrenic disorder.
What’s weird in the case of 51-year-old Shabaz Khan of Burnley, England, is that the two djinn (supernatural spirits in the Islamic faith) who made him murder Dr. Saman Mir Sacharvi, 49, and her daughter Vian Mangrio, 14, were named “Robert” and “Rita.” So, no esoteric Babylonian or Aramaic names here, just plain ol’ Bob and Rita—they were the ones who made him murder Sacharvi and Mangrio before setting their house ablaze. Sounds legit.
Turns out, to nobody’s surprise, this excuse turned out to be nonsense. Khan originally pleaded not guilty in court but dropped the claims about the involvement of the djinn and changed his plea. He went on to claim that he was now “taking 8 to 10 tablets a day” and that his “brain feels slightly better.”
3 A Different Sort of “Smash and Grab”
Here’s a story that’ll make you think, “Maybe it can be OK to ‘kink shame’ people from time to time.”
Back in 2014, Lonnie J. Hutton, 49, had drunk a few too many flagons of what we can only assume to be crazy juice. He then proceeded to wander into a bar in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He walked up to an ATM machine and, as one expects, withdrew some money before tipping his cap to the bartender on his way out and bidding everyone present “good day”…oh, wait, no. He actually tried to have sex with the ATM.
Hutton didn’t appreciate it when staff escorted him outside, so, not one to countenance being cock-blocked, he proceeded to have sexual intercourse with a picnic table. He was arrested and charged with public intoxication…that’s it.
So, you think he called the ATM in the morning?
2 Giving Too Much of a Sh*t
More bar-based buffoonery…in Tennessee again. Who knew that their nickname—The Volunteer State—means they voluntarily act like assholes in bars.
Police the world over are having a pretty tough time of late—sometimes for perfectly understandable reasons, sometimes for ideological, illegitimate reasons. Amidst all this chaos, we forget the day-to-day challenges that police face, the fact that a routine encounter can quickly escalate into a pretty sticky situation (that turn of phrase becomes gross when you finish this entry—apologies).
Take the case of 39-year-old Nicholas Newhart in Nashville, Tennessee – the man had imbibed a little too much of the devil’s mouthwash at the (rather word salad-y) “Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock ‘N Roll Steakhouse.” Security staff had no luck removing the drunken patron, who was blocking an emergency exit and acting threateningly, so they called the Metro Police.
Two officers tried to coax Newhart to leave. Newhart felt threatened, so he decided to defend himself against these evil coppers…with his colostomy bag. He swung the plastic poop pouch, dousing the officers with his excrement before being arrested. Newhart faces several charges and will doubtlessly spend some time behind bars. But not to worry—he seems to be a neo-Nazi, given the presence of certain tattoos he has on his person, so he’ll get a chance to make some new pals while serving time.
1 Brushing Scam or Agroterrorism? Whatever, It’s Weird
Back during the early days of the pandemic in 2020, Texans found themselves pushed further into a state of paranoia when around 187 citizens received unsolicited packages from China labeled as “jewelry.” The packages actually contained clear plastic baggies full of seeds that looked like a cross between pumpkin seeds and cardamom pods.
Despite this probably being a brushing scam—the act of sending out products to unwitting people to bypass terms and conditions on sites like Amazon on generating fake reviews, thus boosting a seller’s rating on sites like Amazon—Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Millar issued a pretty stark statement: “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents,” adding that Texans should “treat them like they’re radioactive or like kryptonite.”
Could it be that Chinese Communist Party operatives were trying to destroy Texan agriculture, or is it just a case of dodgy online retailers trying to boost their ratings? Or both? As if these past couple of years weren’t weird enough…