The Darwin Award Nominees
The Darwin Awards are awarded to individuals who through acts of extreme stupidity kill themselves and thus remove their defective gene from the human gene pool. Here are some of the nominees:
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.
A 34-year-old white male found dead in the basement of his home died of suffocation, according to police. He was approximately 6'2" tall and weighed 225 pounds. He was wearing a pleated skirt, white bra, black and white saddle shoes, and a woman's wig. It appeared that he was trying to create a schoolgirl's uniform look. He was also wearing a military gas mask that had the filter canister removed and a rubber hose attached in its place. The other end of the hose was connected to a one end of a hollow wooden tube approx. 12" long and 3" in diameter. The tube's other end was inserted into his rear end for reasons unknown, and was the cause of his suffocation. Police found the task of explaining the circumstances of his death to his family very awkward.
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
A police officer in Ohio responded to a 911 call. She had no details before arriving, except that someone had reported that his father was not breathing. Upon arrival, the officer found the man face down on the couch, naked. When she rolled him over to check for a pulse and to start CPR, she noticed burn marks around his genitals. After the ambulance arrived and removed the man - who was declared dead on arrival at the hospital - the police made a closer inspection of the couch, and noticed that the man had made a hole between the cushions. Upon flipping the couch over, they discovered what caused his death. Apparently the man had a habit of putting his penis between the cushions, down into the hole and between two electrical sanders (with the sandpaper removed, for obvious reasons). According to the story, after his orgasm the discharge shorted out one of the sanders, electrocuting him.
A 27-year-old French woman lost control of her car on a highway near Marseilles and crashed into a tree, seriously injuring her passenger and killing herself. As a commonplace road accident, this would not have qualified for a Darwin nomination, were it not for the fact that the driver's attention had been distracted by her Tamagotchi key ring, which had started urgently beeping for food as she drove along. In an attempt to press the correct buttons to save the Tamagotchi's life, the woman lost her own.
A 22-year-old Reston, VA man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. "The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground", Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was "Major trauma".
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend - no doubt, a future Darwin Awards candidate - was hospitalized.
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked (you can see what's coming, can't you?). Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object, that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as 'bright' by his peers.
James Brian Wise, 20, of 390 Davenport Ave., Valparaiso, was twirling a gun at some friends' house in Fort Walton Beach on Friday night when it went off and shot him in the head, according to a report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
The incident occurred at 1821 Whispering Oaks Lane, Fort Walton Beach. The Sheriff's Office responded at about 9:40 p.m. Jessica Nicole James, 18, was the primary witness cited in the report.
According to the report, James said Wise was in the kitchen of her home when she noticed a gun sticking out of his waistband. When she commented about it, he unloaded the gun and handed it to her for examination. She gave it back; he reloaded it and began twirling it in his right hand. The gun went off and shot him in the head. Wise died the next day. Wise, an employee at Brooks Auto Body in Crestview, was born in Tampa and graduated from Niceville High School this year.
A Jacksonville, Florida woman recently had to summon emergency help after dragging her husband down the street behind their pickup truck. Chief Petty Officer Roman Styles, U.S. Coast Guard Station Jacksonville, was treated and released with a slight concussion and scrapes and bruises. It seems that Styles decided to repair damaged shingles on his house himself, instead of paying a contractor to do it for him. Prior to climbing up on his steep roof, Officer Styles tied a safety rope to the trailer hitch of his truck. Once on the peak of his roof he secured the other end of the line around his waist. He then slid over the top of the roof to repair the shingles. As luck would have it, right after he started to work, his teenage son called for a ride home from a Boy Scout trip. Jane Styles yelled to her husband she'd be right back and pulled away. "I didn't see the rope," Mrs. Styles said, "until I saw it in the rear-view mirror. By then I was half-way down the street." Bill Schlimm, a next door neighbor, said, "I'll never forget the look on Roman's face as he came sailing over the peak of that house. If it hadn't been for that tall cedar tree he would have been really hurt."
A would-be shoplifter in London attempted to steal two lobsters. The ingenious felon stuffed the lobsters into his trousers and headed for the door of the supermarket. Near the exit, our larcenous Londoner doubled over in excruciating pain and lay on the floor screaming. It seems that the lobster's claws were not tied down and one of the tasty crustaceans decided to have the thief's family jewels for lunch. The paramedics were called in to remove the carnivorous crustacean from the very sensitive portion of this thief's anatomy. After they stopped laughing, a pair of pliers successfully accomplished the removal much to the relief of our suffering suspect. No information was available on the extent of the member's (sic) injuries or his future fatherhood potential.
San Jose, CA. March 26, 1999: 1923hrs. Police, Fire and ambulance respond on a call for unknown medical emergency - turns out to be a DOA. Further investigation reveals it to be a suicide. Quite successful. Further investigation reveals this sequence of events:
27 yr old male gets a circular saw blade, cuts holes in the side to fit the lug nuts on his car. He mounts the saw blade to one of the front wheels in place of the tire.
Jacks the car up with a hydraulic jack.
Starts the motor and puts something on the accelerator to spin the front wheels.
Lays down below the spinning saw blade, which is above his neck.
Reaches out and unlocks the hydraulic jack.
You can guess the rest.
Thanks to Dave Larton
An Iraqi terrorist , Khay Rahnajet, didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was killed in the resulting explosion.
BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian first division soccer player Mario Bugeanu and his girlfriend died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his car after making love, police said Tuesday. Gloria Bistrita midfielder Bugeanu, 24, and his 23-year-old girlfriend Mirela Iancu died after having sex Sunday in a garage with the car running, police colonel Dumitru Secrieru said. "They appeared to be unaware of the dangers of carbon monoxide," Secrieru said. The couple was discovered by the player's father Monday morning.
In Van Nuys, California, Anita French, an aspiring zoo keeper, loved reptiles. She kept 10 deadly snakes and six piranhas as pets in her mobile home. She wasn't afraid of them; apparently she had been bitten several times without fatal consequences. Finch trusted her snakes so much that she would let them loose as she cleaned their cages.
Her reptilian friends included a Gabon Viper, a Hog-Nosed Sand Viper a 3-foot Western rattler, two 4-foot Eastern diamondback rattlers, a South Pacific rattlesnake, considered extremely rare, one King snake, a gopher snake, and two copperheads.
Anita Finch, 33, was found dead in her mobile home by a friend and the lot manager Wednesday, Dec 15, evening. Charlene McMorris, manager of the Vicabob Trailer Park Village at 7560 Woodman PLace, said her tenant loved her snakes and feared city inspectors would confiscate them. She believes Finch was searching for a missing snake because her home was turned "upside down", with the refrigerator moved and pans scattered around the kitchen.
"The government must crack down on this disgusting craze of 'Pumping'", a spokesman for the Nakhon Ratchasima hospital told reporters. "If this perversion catches on, it will destroy the cream of Thailand's manhood."
He was speaking after the remains of 13 year-old Charnchai Puanmuangpak had been rushed into the hospital's emergency room. "Most 'Pumpers' use a standard bicycle pump," he explained, "inserting the nozzle far up their rectum, giving themselves a rush of air, creating a momentary high. This act is a sin against God."
It appears that the young Charnchai took it further still. He started using a two-cylinder foot pump, but even that wasn't exciting enough for him, so he boasted to friends that he was going to try the compressed air hose at a nearby gasoline station. They dared him to do it, so, under cover of darkness, he snuck in. Not realizing how powerful the machine was, he inserted the tube deep into his rectum, and placed a coin in the slot. As a result, he died virtually instantly, leaving passers-by still in shock.
One woman thought she was watching a twilight fireworks display, and started clapping. "We still haven't located all of him", say the police authorities. "When that quantity of air interacted with the gas in his system, he nearly exploded. It was like an atom bomb went off or something."
"Pumping is the devil's pastime, and we must all say no to Satan," Ratchasima concluded. "Inflate your tires by all means, but then hide your bicycle pump where it cannot tempt you."
Ljubljana, Slovenia - A passionate angler at an eastern Slovenian lake caught a fish so big that he drowned trying to reel it in, the state-run news agency reported Tuesday.
Determined to land the sheatfish, a typoe of catfish, the 47-year-old fisherman walked into the lake after hooking it and refused to let go when it pulled him under, the STA news agency, quoted a friend of Franc Filipic as saying.
The friend, who was not identified, said Filipic's last words before he drowned were: "Now I've got him!"
Police and divers found his body after a two-day search. The fish was not found.
In unincorporated Fox Lake, Illinois, 28-year-old Daniel Wyman drowned after he and a companion inadvertently blew a hole in the bottom of their boat with an M-250 firecracker. The M-250 firecracker is the equivalent of one-fourth of a stick of dynamite. Daniel Wyman and his friend threw the firecracker into the water near their 14-foot aluminum rowboat. The boat was caught by a gust of wind that pushed the boat over the explosive. The boat was not equipped with life preservers; Wyman, who could not swim, drowned when the boat sank. His companion swam to shore and was taken to Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry for observation.
Fox Lake Fire Capt. Thomas Preidis said that the device probably had floated back to the surface when it exploded; otherwise the cushion of water between the explosive and the boat probably would have prevented a breach of the hull.
"We really don't know why it happened," Preidis said. "It's getting close to the 4th of July, and people like to blow off fireworks. When you throw an M-250 in the water it makes a nice big geyser. Then again, they may have been trying to scare fish to the surface."
BUXTON, N.C. A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones,21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach on the Outer Banks used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, Va., but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital. You just wouldn't believe the outpouring of concern, people digging with their hands, using pails from kids," Dare County Sheriff Bert Austin said.
In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, Calif., as he fell face-first through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the large flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) crammed against the base of his skull as he hit the floor.
According to police in Dahlonega, Ga., ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was wearing.
Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in February in Selbyville, Del., as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.
In February, according to police in Windsor, Ont., Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.
A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off of a 200-foot-high cliff on his daily run.
In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing headfirst through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.
A 7-year- old boy fell off a 100-foot-high bluff near Ozark, Ark., after he lost his grip swinging on a cross that marked the spot where another person had fallen to his death in 1990.
A WWII-vintage bomb dug up from under a house in the Philippines exploded Monday, December 7, 1998, killing the owner of the house and three others. Philippine police said that carpenters were installing a septic tank 15 DAYS AGO when the found a bomb under the house in Tacloban, 360 miles southeast of Manila. The 1,000-pound bomb went off as they were tinkering with it, instantly killing the four and destroying the house.
When someone "tinkers" with a 1,000 pound bomb for 15 days they deserve to be removed from the gene pool, and the great news is that four geniuses were removed!
Police in George, WA issued a report on the events leading up to the deaths of Robert Uhlenake (24) and his friend, Ormond D. Young (27) at the Metallica concert last Friday. Uhlenake and Young were found dead at the Gorge Amphitheater after the show. Uhlenake was in pickup that was on top of Young at the bottom of a 20 ft drop. Young was found with severe lacerations, numerous fractures, contusions, and a branch in his anal cavity. He also had been stabbed and his pants were in a tree above him, some 15 ft off the ground; adding to the mystery of the heretofore unexplained scene.
According to Commissioner-In-Charge Inoye Appleton, Uhlenake and Young had tried to get tickets for the sold-out concert. When they were unable to get any tickets, the two decided to stay in the lot and drink. Once the show began, and after the two had consumed 18 beers between the two of them, they hit upon the idea of scaling the 7 foot wooden security fence around the perimeter of the site and sneak in. They apparently moved the truck up to the edge of the fence and decided that Young would go over first and assist Uhlenake later. They had not counted on the fact that while it was a 7 foot fence on the parking lot side, there was a 23 foot drop on the other side.
Young, who weighed 255 lbs and was quite inebriated, had jumped up and over the fence and promptly fell about half the 23 foot distance before a large tree branch broke his fall AND his left forearm; unfortunately, he also managed to get his shorts caught on the branch. Since he was now in a lot of pain and with no way to extricate himself and his shorts from the tree, he decided, seeing bushes down below, to cut his shorts off and fall to the ground. Upon cutting the last bit of fabric from himself, he suddenly plummeted to earth, losing grip of the knife. The "soft" bushes were actually holly bushes and landing in them caused a massive number of cuts. He also had the misfortune of landing squarely on a holly bush branch; effectively impaling himself. The knife, which he had accidentally released 15 ft up, now landed and stabbed him in his left thigh. Apparently, he was in a lot of pain.
Enter his friend Robert. Uhlenake had apparently observed the last bit of this and, despite his inebriated state, realized that Young was in trouble. He hit upon the idea of lowering a rope to his friend and pull him up and over the fence. This was complicated by the fact that Uhlenake was outweighed by his friend by a good 100 lbs. Again, despite his state he realized he could use their truck to pull Young out. Unfortunately, because of his state, Uhlenake put the truck in reverse, rather than drive, broke through the fence, landed on Young (killing him), was thrown out of the truck and subsequently died of internal injuries.
"So that's how a dead 255 lb man with no pants on, with a truck on top of him and a stick up his ass came to be" said Commissioner Appleton.
[AP, Mammoth Lakes, CA] A San Anselmo man died yesterday when he hit a lift tower at the Mammoth Mountain ski area while riding down the slope on a foam pad, authorities said. Matthew David Hubal, 22, was pronounced dead at Centinela Mammoth Hospital. The accident occurred about 3 a.m., the Mono County Sheriff's Department said. Hubal and his friends apparently had hiked up a ski run called Stump Alley and undid some yellow foam protectors from the lift towers, said Lieutenant Mike Donnelly of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. The pads are used to protect skiers who might hit the towers. The group apparently used the pads to slide down the ski slope and Hubal crashed into a tower. It has since been investigated that the tower he hit was the one with its pad removed.
[AP, St. Louis, MO] Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police found him unconscious in front of the store: paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat, where it had choked him to death.
[UPI, Spain] To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag standing above him on an overhanging rock - and was killed instantly when it fell on him.
[Associated Press, Kincaid, W. VA] Man Loses Face at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth and tongue, state police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Dincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during a party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D. Payne. "Another man had it in an aquarium, hooked to a battery, and trying to explode it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this guy said, "I'll show you how to set it off." "He put it in his mouth and bit down. It blew all his teeth off, his tongue and his lips." Payne said. Stromyer was listed in guarded condition Wednesday with extensive facial injuries, according to a spokesman at Charleston Area Medical Division. "I just can't imagine anyone doing something like that," Payne said.
[UPI, Portland, OR] Doctors at Portland's University Hospital said that Wednesday an Oregon man shot through the skull by a hunting arrow is lucky to be alive, and will be released soon from the hospital. Tony Roberts, 25, lost his right eye last weekend during an initiation into a men's rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous, in Grants Pass, Ore. A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow entered Roberts' right eye. Doctors said had the arrow gone 1millimeter to the left, a major blood vessel would have cut and Roberts would have died instantly. Neurosurgeon Dr. Johnny Delashaw at the university Hospital in Portland said the arrow went through 8 to 10 inches of brain, with the tip protruding at the rear of his skill, yet somehow managed to miss all major blood vessels. Delashaw also said had Robert tried to pull the arrow out on his own he surely would have killed himself. Roberts admitted afterwards he and his friends had been drinking that afternoon. Said Roberts, "I feel so dumb about this." No charges have been filed but the Josephine County district attorney's office said the initiation stunt is under investigation.
[AP, Arkansas] Pillsbury DoughBoy Wanted for Attempted Murder. A woman named Linda went to Arkansas last week to visit her in-laws, and while there, went to a store. She parked next to a car with a woman sitting in it, her eyes closed and hands behind her head, apparently sleeping. When Linda came out a while later, she again saw the woman, her hands still behind her head but with her eyes open. She looked very strange, so Linda tapped on the window and said "Are you okay?" The woman answered "I've been shot in the head, and I am holding my brains in." Linda didn't know what to do; so she ran into the store where store officials called the paramedics. They had to break into the car because the door was locked. When they got in, they found that the woman had bread dough on the back of her head and in her hands. A Pillsbury biscuit canister had exploded, apparently from the heat in the car, making a loud explosion like that of a gunshot, and hit her in the head. When she reached back to find what it was, she felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She passed out from fright at first, then attempted to hold her brain in!
Unknown, 25 March - A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing from the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. He was 22...a big man with a huge capacity for creating this deadly gas. Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.
Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario - Man slips, falls 23 stories to his death. A man cleaning a bird feeder on his balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death, police said Monday. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair Sunday when the accident occurred, said Inspector Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police. It appears the chair moved and he went over the balcony, Honer said. One of those freak accidents. No foul play is suspected.
UPI, Toronto - Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lauwers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was one of the best and brightest members of the 200-man association.
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded into the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. The lab finally figured out what it was and what had happened.
It seems that a guy had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. Then he attached the JATO unit to his car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!
The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the prominent scorched and melted asphalt at that location. The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20-25 seconds. The driver, soon to be pilot, most likely would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, basically causing him to become insignificant for the remainder of the event. However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20) seconds before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.
Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable; however, small fragments of bone, teeth and hair were extracted from the crater and fingernail and bone shards were removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of the steering wheel.