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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Law/Police/Crime
Quick Links: Dec. 12, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 13, 2007
Sextuplet husband gets three years Remember that couple who pretended they had sextuplets last year? The guy has now been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. His wife is still at large. Pregnant lawyer made up abduction "pregnant Ohio attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock confessed Monday to fabricating a story about being kidnapped by three people at gunpoint in Toledo last week." I'm going to start keeping track of these fake abduction cases. There are so many of them! Fake office assumed role of government A fake government office in northern India was collecting taxes, providing…
Operation Lucky Bag
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 06, 2007
If you saw a wallet lying on the ground, what would you do? A lot of people might, out of curiosity, pick it up to examine it. They might even walk away with it. But if they did, they could find themselves surrounded by police and facing arrest. This happened to Carlos Alayo who picked up a wallet he saw laying on a New York City subway platform. When he went to get on the train, police stopped him. WNBC.com explains: The 32-year-old had been ensnared in Operation Lucky Bag, an initiative from the New York City Police…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (13)
Photoshopped Kitten in Defamation Suit
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 05, 2007
Stewart Bright lived with Marjorie Hervey, founder of the Hervey Foundation for Cats, a charity for injured cats. But when Bright and Hervey had a falling out, "Bright accused Ms Hervey of needlessly killing kittens and emailed about 600 supporters of the charity with an attached picture showing a hand with a gun pointing at a kitten with its front paws up as if surrendering." That's pretty damning evidence, though not in the way Bright hoped. The picture was recently entered into evidence in court to prove that Bright was guilty of sending phoney emails, and also needed a psychiatric assessment.
Categories: Animals, Law/Police/Crime Comments (6)
Quick Links: Dec. 4, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 04, 2007
Tickle Me Counterfeit Authorities are warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake Tickle Me Elmos showing up on store shelves this Christmas. How can you tell the difference between the real and the fake? For a start, the fake Elmo is called "The Laughing Doll." Also, oddly enough, the fakes are more expensive than the real thing. Phony Doo-Wops Doo-wop groups from the 1950s and '60s, such as the Drifters, Coasters and Platters, are complaining that they're going broke. They can't compete against all the phony groups pretending to be them who perform for less. Underwater Scottish Gnomes At the bottom of Loch…
Quick Links: Nov. 27, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 27, 2007
Ocean's 11 Conman "It was one of the most audacious jewel thefts in history. In the middle of a crowded room, the famed Star of the Empress Sisi was stolen from its high-security case and replaced with a replica." (Thanks, Joe) Turkey Mystery Turkeys mysteriously show up in a town, and then wander away. "After entertaining residents of Harborview Drive on Thanksgiving morning, 15 turkeys departed - in single file - about 1 p.m. Thursday and have not been seen since, residents said Friday." FEMA not the only agency to hold fake press conferences Apparently Immigration and Customs Enforcement does it too. (Thanks, Gary)…
Quick Links: Megan Meier, fake lawyer, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 21, 2007
I'm on the road up to Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving, but here's a few quick links I've been meaning to post. Online hoax leads to girl's suicide The case of Megan Meier is attracting lots of attention, both online and offline. Megan believed that a young guy on MySpace was interested in her, but when Josh started to send her nasty messages, she committed suicide. Later it was discovered that "Josh" was a fake alias created by adults in Megan's neighborhood. A bizarre case, and one that underlines how important it is for kids to learn to be skeptical about information (and people) they find online. Man Accused of…
Categories: Death, Law/Police/Crime, Pranks Comments (25)
Searches for gold—Finds ammonia
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 18, 2007
Here's a case that could be described as what you get when you cross Mythbusters with the Darwin Awards. A 16-year-old boy living in the Tampa area heard a legend that a pipe that ran under the U.S. 301 bridge was filled with gold. Other people told him that it was actually an ammonia pipe leading to a fertilizer company. So the kid decided to test it out for himself and find out what the truth was: The anhydrous ammonia that flows through the pipeline from the port to fertlizer companies in Polk County is highly caustic. It…
Coin-Sucking Criminal
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 08, 2007
While researching something in the online archives of the New York Times, I spotted this story, published on December 21, 1940, about a very unusual form of petty theft: Odd Subway Thefts Are Bared In Arrest ------- Prisoner Sucked Out Coins From Turnstile, Court Is Told ------- An ingenious method of pilfering nickels from a subway turnstile was revealed in Bridge Plaza Court, Brooklyn, yesterday, when Magistrate Charles Solomon held Chester Madzenski, 24 years old, of 35 Diamond Street, Brooklyn, in $1000 bail for Special Sessions on a petit larceny charge and $1000 bail for sentence…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (9)
Undercover Agent Shuts Down Bradbury Play
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 25, 2007
Joe Littrell forwarded me this strange news story posted at scifidimensions.com. I can't tell if it's real or a joke. Supposedly a man identifying himself as "Agent Egan," a California "undercover investigator," halted a performance of Ray Bradbury's play Dandelion Wine at the Fremont Center Theatre, half an hour into the performance. Bradbury himself was in the audience. The play, one of Bradbury’s most autobiographical works, includes performances by several young actors, and when the announcement was made from the stage about the cancellation 30 minutes after the scheduled start time, reference was made to an obscure California…
Vending Machine Camouflage
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 22, 2007
The New York Times reports about a Japanese designer, Aya Tsukioka, who has designed clothes that transform into vending-machine costumes. The idea is that if you're being pursued by a criminal, you can quickly transform yourself into a vending machine, and the criminal will hopefully run right past you.Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (10)
Man Attacks Inflatable Pumpkin
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 16, 2007
Do you ever feel like if you see just one more fake giant inflatable pumpkin, that you're going to go mad and attack something? Apparently this guy did: LLOYD, N.Y. -- A woman says a neighbor attacked her inflatable Halloween lawn display of three ghosts and a giant pumpkin, then apparently smashed his head through her window in a fit of rage. State Police said officers found a drunken John Odee, 43, inside Dawn Garcia's house in the Hudson Valley town of Lloyd on Thursday night, arrested him after a brief struggle and charged him with burglary. …
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (8)
Cat Urine Criminal
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 10, 2007
Big Gary sent me a link to this story with the comment, "I'm not sure who was haoxing whom, but something strange is going on here. If there's a hot black market for cat urine, I think I may be rich." From Yahoo! News: Cynthia Hunter spent almost two months in jail over a vial of cat urine. Hunter, 38, was arrested Aug. 15 on a charge of petty theft after she was accused of stealing from a Wal-Mart store. Deputies added charges of possession of a controlled substance after finding a vial containing a yellow substance in her purse. A…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (7)
Hypnotist Robbers
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 02, 2007
A New Hampshire convenience store clerk claims that he was robbed. However, the thieves didn't use any weapons or threats. Instead, they used hypnosis and mind control to make the clerk not notice that they were taking more than $1000. First coast news reports: It started with a simple mind game. Think of a wild animal, they say, and we'll write down what's in your mind. but it escalates quickly to very personal information about a former girlfriend, and finally, says Patel, mind control. Even investigators are persuaded. Patel says that the…
Cops Writing Cops
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 28, 2007
Cops Writing Cops claims to be a site created by a bunch of police officers in order to publicize the problem of cops who give other cops tickets for traffic violations. They invite cops who have been ticketed by other cops to write in with their stories. In their "About Us" section, they write: Our mission is to try and bond our community by bringing the stories of how our brothers and sisters are sometimes mistreated by other brothers and sisters. Maybe after visiting this site and reading how much it really does affect…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (10)
Real-Life “Killer in the Backseat”
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 14, 2007
A real-life version of the "killer in the backseat" urban legend has been reported. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand gives the following description of this classic tale in his Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: "Would-be killer lurks in back, detected by motorist or gas-station attendant." In all versions, the intended victim is a woman. In the versions in which another motorist spots the assailant, the driver notices that the car or truck following her keeps blinking his lights or shifting them to the high beam. When she reaches home -- still followed by…
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