Weirdness  - 28Mar97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 97 01:04:42 -0700
Subject: Weirdness  - 28Mar97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.477 (News of the Weird, March 28, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* In February, a California Court of Appeal upheld the 1995 ruling of a
judge in Marin County that admitted to probate the will of Sam Zakessian,
leaving $2 million to his girlfriend rather than to relatives. The lower
court was persuaded that scribblings on a 4"x 4" piece of paper contained
the deceased's instructions, despite their being hard to read in the first
place and then overwritten with what appear to be obliterations. The court
said the overwrites were Mr. Zakessian's initials written 21 times (some
rotated, some sideways, some upside-down), three different dates (one
sideways over three lines of text), and two signatures written diagonally.
The appeals court conceded that the will "is not easily described."
* In March, the New York Times reported on a recent spate of what it called
really bad Japanese TV shows, among them one in which bikini-clad young
women attempt to crush aluminum cans by squeezing them between their breasts
and another in which a young child was brought on stage and told that his
mother had just been shot to death--for the purpose of seeing how many
seconds would elapse before he started crying. Said a leading TV critic,
"The more nonsensical [the programs] are, the more interesting I find them."
* In February, credit union manager Cathleen Byers, charged with 83 counts
for embezzling $630,000 over a six-year period, told a Eugene, Ore., jury,
through her lawyer, that her hands may have taken the money but that her
"heart, mind, and spirit" were innocent, because some other personality
within her did it. According to the prosecutor, only a handful of
multiple-personality cases have ever been diagnosed in Europe, versus "tens
of thousands" in the U. S.
* Jeremy Dean and his parents, of Burney, Calif., filed a lawsuit in January
against Shasta County for at least $700,000 for Jeremy's total disability
that resulted from a car crash. Dean and some friends had been out
drinking. Dean was in the back seat of a car and had stuck his head out
the window to vomit just as the driver veered off the road ramming Dean's
head into a tree. The lawsuit claims that it was the county's fault that
the tree was so close to the road.
* 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
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1997 Peter Langston