90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (9/7/19)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (9/7/19)

Here is a look at some of the strangest and most original stories that hit the headlines this week. If you missed the previous offbeat list, you can check it out here.This week, we explore a few unusual crimes that range from horrifying to bizarre. There is a look at historical child sacrifices and a modern rivalry between two pastor’s wives. The Holiday Bandit is finally apprehended, and a TV helicopter unwittingly uncovered a rooftop weed plantation.In non-crime news, scientists find a new mineral and marvel at a weird planet. An island is on the lookout for a Napoleon impersonator, and a man pays a fortune for one beer.

10Sacrifices For El Nino

Photo credit: AFP
Archaeologists in South America have made an incredibly disturbing but significant discovery in Peru—the largest child sacrifice site in the world.Teams of researchers have been digging near the beach town of Huanchaco since last year. In that time, they have uncovered the skeletal remains of 227 children aged between four and 14, and it doesn’t look like they will be the last. Chief archaeologist Feren Castillo with the National University of Trujillo described the situation last Tuesday as “uncontrollable,” as everywhere they dig, they find another skeleton.The victims belonged to the Chimu culture. Experts believe that the sacrifices were performed in an attempt to appease the gods at a time when the Peruvian coastline was being thrashed by El Nino. The skeletons were all posed facing the sea, and there were signs that they were killed during wet weather.[1]The details get even more disturbing. Tiny footprints that have survived indicate that the children were marched to their doom from the large, ancient city of Chan Chan. Lesions on the breastbones suggest that they were killed with a blade, likely a ceremonial knife. Their rib cages were subsequently dislocated, perhaps in order to extract their hearts.

9Bathtub Opera

Photo credit: AFP
Opera lovers from Prague got to enjoy a unique experience last Thursday night—Mozart’s Don Giovanni was played on the roof of the Lucerna Palace in the historic city center to an audience who watched it while sitting in bathtubs.The initiative belonged to cafe owner Ondrej Kobza, who likes the challenge of presenting culture in unique, innovative ways. This specific idea came from an anagram—in Czech, “Don Giovanni” can be turned into “John do vany,” which means “John into the tub.”[2]The performance included selected arias instead of the whole opera but was played by top opera singers, including soloist Adam Plachetka from the Vienna Opera, who enjoyed trying something that had never been done before. Spectators arrived dressed in full evening attire but didn’t mind getting soaked for this unusual experience. Fortunately, the water was warm, and the weather was pleasant.

8Wanted: French Emperor. Suit Provided

Photo credit: Franz Josef Sandmann
The tourism board of the island of Saint Helena is looking for a Napoleon impersonator to attend multiple events for the next few years in anticipation of the 200-year anniversary of the emperor’s death.Saint Helena is a tiny British overseas territory in the South Atlantic with a population just over 4,500 people. It is mainly notable for being the place where the famed French emperor spent his last years after being exiled and where he died in 1821. Unsurprisingly, Napoleon plays a big part in the island’s tourism, and officials would like a good impersonator to attend events for the next two years, culminating with a big bicentennial bash.The ideal candidate has to be shortish, male, well-presented, and have the ability to “engage with individuals at all levels, especially dignitaries.”[3] Moreover, the candidate has to fit in the Napoleon suit that the tourism board already owns. Saint Helena used to have a different impersonator, but he has left the position. The deadline for applicants is September 27.

7The Holiday Bandit Is Caught

New York authorities have finally caught the so-called “Holiday Bandit,” who could be responsible for a decade-long burglary spree of luxury apartments in Manhattan. The perpetrator is 81-year-old Florida man Samuel Sabatino.When New Yorkers left the city for warmer climates, Sabatino drove up from the Sunshine State and targeted their apartments. He was always careful and methodical: He would stake out buildings before robbing them and would pay for everything in cash to avoid leaving a paper trail. He focused mainly on affluent areas in the Upper West and Upper East Sides. After picking the lock of an apartment, he would typically steal small, valuable items, such as watches and jewelry. Sabatino was finally caught after failing to sneak by a doorman, who reported him to the police.[4] Authorities believe he has stolen around $400,000 worth of goods since 2014. Moreover, he remains a suspect in other crimes that go back a decade, and investigators are still working to connect him with multiple burglaries.

6The Real Pastor Wives Of Oak Hill

Photo credit: New Life Apostolic Church
The rivalry between two pastor’s wives escalated to the point where one of them was arrested after accidentally discharging her gun during an argument.Melinda Frye Toney (pictured above) is the wife of Earl Toney, the pastor at the New Life Apostolic Church in Oak Hill, West Virginia. Lori Haywood is the wife of David Haywood, the youth pastor at the same church. For an unspecified reason, these two ladies do not get along.According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, the two pastors thought that it would be a good idea to get the...

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