Weirdness  - 9Jan98
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 98 12:37:24 -0800
Subject: Weirdness  - 9Jan98
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.518 (News of the Weird, January 9, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* In November, dentist W. Stephen Randall, 41, was charged with 26
drug-related counts in Bristol, Conn. According to the prosecutor, Randall
had a drug habit and in various ways managed to appropriate patients'
prescriptions. In one instance he made a rare house call on a patient, but
while in the house, he raided the patient's medicine chest of valium and
other drugs, and in another case, he copped a root-canal patient's
painkiller and left her instead over-the-counter acetaminophen.
* In June, Lake Zurich High School teacher Douglas Petrovitch, 28, was
indicted in Waukegan, Ill., on six counts related to a scheme of awarding
some students good grades if they would allow him to shoplift at stores in
which they worked after school. In two instances, said the grand jury,
Petrovitch arranged with students to pay about $100 for merchandise worth
* Police in Edmond, Okla., issued an arrest warrant in July for Edward M.
Jennings, 37, as the man who toured flea markets, pawn shops, and swap meets
over the last two years attempting to sell his homemade box, rigged with
computer parts, as an "atomic bomb" for $1 million. Because Jennings was
on the lam, he was unavailable to tell why he thought someone at a flea
market might have $1 million to spend on an atomic bomb.
* In November, John Michael Harris, 17, escaped from a Wetherby, England,
correctional institution, and police warned he might be dangerous, though
his mother June called him a "good boy" and blamed "the system [for letting]
him down." Harris is known in the press as "Blip Boy," because his 17-page
criminal record, with 103 convictions since age 9, has by itself noticeably
increased the juvenile crime rate.
* The Times of London reported in July that a telephone had gone on sale in
England with a built-in stress-linked lie detector and a retail price of
about $4,500. The manufacturer said the most promising sales market is
executives, who would use the device to gather business information. In a
test, a Times reporter called a used-car dealer, who consistently registered
a high (probably lying) reading but also phoned a notorious London nightclub
owner to talk about his public claim that he had had sex with more than
2,000 woman--and found the man scored low (probably truthful).
* In November, two professors from Wilkes University, Wilkes- Barre, Pa.,
announced that, based on their study of 10 journalists at the local Times
Leader newspaper, having Muzak on in the background at work not only reduced
stress but slightly improved the journalists' immune systems.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1998 Peter Langston