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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it. http://www.darwinawards.com


    Past Darwin Award Winners

    Dumb Drunk

    (February 2001, Connecticut) A woman arrested on a drunken driving charge made an odd choice when calling a for a ride home. Sandra called on Mike, her drinking companion prior to her arrest, who was visibly drunk when he staggered into police headquarters.
    Mike failed a sobriety test. More surprisingly, a routine background check revealed that Sandra had previously obtained a restraining order against him. Sgt. Alan Fournier said, "We can't allow him to come into contact with her, even if she says it's okay." Mike was charged with violating a restraining order and driving while intoxicated.
    One question remains -- was Sandra or Mike more foolish?



    Trash Compactor

    (8 May 2001, Canada) Yet another unfortunate man has learned that sleeping in a Dumpster is far less attractive than it sounds. A 36-year-old Saskatchewan resident was dumped from his aromatic nest into a compactor and taken to a landfill, where his soft moaning alerted workers to his plight. Police and firefighters rescued him from the pile of garbage, and he was taken to a hospital and treated for a fractured jaw, arm, and ribs. "I'm amazed he survived. They usually don't come out alive," said a spokesperson for Canada Waste Services. The compressor reduces loads to one-fifth their original size. "It's a four-meter drop onto a steel floor and then you are squeezed."


    (14 April 2000, Utah) A man whose domestic tranquility had been marred by a quarrel with his wife decided to sleep in the relative peace of a garbage Dumpster behind a church. But his private slumber was interrupted on Wednesday morning when he was dumped into a garbage truck and caught in its hydraulic compactor. He was "collected" from behind the church at 6AM, and the truck proceeded on to gather more rubbish at a high school. The driver had just engaged the truck's compactor when he heard a frantic pounding on the walls of the truck bay. Fire Battalion Chief Brad Wardle commented, "Apparently, he and his wife had an argument. Who knows why he didn't just go to a hotel?"


    Woman Disarmed by Tiger

    (22 May 2000, Colorado) A twenty-eight-year-old wildlife volunteer at the Prairie Wind Animal Refuge was demonstrating the gentility of a captive Siberian tiger to visitors when the tiger demonstrated a more familiar trait of its species and ripped her arm off.
    The woman had been a volunteer for two years. When a group of visitors enquired whether the refuge had problems with people sticking their hands in the cages, she placed her arm inside the tiger cage and beckoned a full-grown two-year-old animal. The tiger, which was new to the facility, sauntered over and began to lick the woman’s hand in an apparent display of affection. When the woman playfully scratched the tiger’s nose, the animal recoiled and closed its jaws around her hand.
    The woman discovered that the tiger did not intend to return her arm, and pulled away in a panic. Another tour guide reported that the beast worked its way up her shoulder in two seconds and tore her arm off at the socket. He said he tried to retrieve the arm, but “the tiger did not want to give it back.”
    Though the arm was not found, the remaining woman was airlifted to a nearby hospital and treated for an accidental amputation. But the tender-hearted tour guide bore no ill will toward the cat, and begged authorities from her hospital bed not to put down the animal as punishment for for its unsavory meal choice.

    M*U*L*E

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    No Smoking? Ha!

    (20 May 1998, Louisiana) A respiratory patient in an oxygen tent at a New Orleans hospital sneaked a pack of cigarettes into his room. One morning in the quiet dawn, the sixty-one-year-old patient ignored the nurses’ lectures, ignored the warning signs, and surreptitiously lit his last cigarette.
    In the presence of extra oxygen, even a small spark can ignite a flash fire. Before he could even draw a breath of nicotine, the cigarette set his clothes on fire and the flames began to spread. The man, afraid of being caught, tried to extinguish the blaze without sounding an alarm. A hospital employee walked by his room and noticed the man, standing in the midst of a conflagration, quietly trying to pat out the flames.
    An orderly carried the patient into the hallway and extinguished his hospital gown with a blanket, while nurses used fire extinguishers to beat back the flames enough to reach the valve and turn off the oxygen supply. Twenty-one patients were evacuated, and seven others were treated for smoke inhalation.
    The cause of the blaze was airlifted to the Baton Rouge burn unit with third-degree burns over forty percent of his body, where he died five days later. Was the patient cured of his addiction by his experience? Apparently not. A pack of Kool cigarettes and a lighter were found hidden in his sock at the burn unit.

    Killing Time

    (2001, Scotland) Electric trains in Glasgow collect power from the overhead cable, and transmit any excess through the rails to a solid copper cable that routes it to a power redistribution box.
    Copper is a favorite target for thieves. One enterprising fellow with a good knowledge of the electrical system planned to cut the copper cable during the time between trains, when no electricity was travelling through it. His plan might have worked… but for one small flaw.
    In the pocket of his charred overcoat, police found an out-of-date rail timetable. The train arrived ten minutes before he thought it would, sending hundreds of volts of electricity through the thief's hacksaw and into his body, and putting an untimely end to his career.


    Count Your Chickens

    (31 August 1995, Egypt) Six people drowned Monday while trying to rescue a chicken that had fallen into a well in southern Egypt. An 18 year old farmer was the first to descend into the 60-foot well. He drowned, apparently after an undercurrent in the water pulled him down, police said his sister and two brothers, none of whom could swim well, went in one by one to help him, but also drowned.
    Two elderly farmers then came to help. But they apparently were pulled by the same undercurrent. The bodies of the six were later pulled out of the well in the village of Nazlat Imara, 240 miles south of Cairo. The chicken was also pulled out. It survived.

    Fast Food Fatality

    The felonious antics of two fast-food managers ended tragically when their robbery cover-up scheme went up in smoke. Lisa, 22 year-old night manager of Burger King, conspired with the 34-year-old day manager to heist over $4000 from the restaurant.
    They staged an elaborate fake robbery/arson, in which Lisa acted the part of the victim bound with duct tape and trapped in the walk-in cooler, while her co-conspirator started a small fire and walked off with a duffel bag of cash. A key part of their plan was a quick "rescue" of Lisa by the local fire department.
    Unfortunately the wastebasket fire went unnoticed until the morning shift arrived to find a slow-burning smolder that had never erupted into the desired blaze. The air from the open door caused the smolder to burst into flames, and firefighters were summoned. They found Lisa in the freezer, chilled and semi-conscious, and rushed her to a hospital where she died from hypothermia.
    When police nabbed her bungling 34-year-old accomplice with the cash stashed in a Burger King bag, she tearfully confessed the details of the crime, implicating Lisa in her own death. Her account was verified by the fact that Lisa’s body showed no signs of forced restraint, the duct tape was loose, and she could have easily freed herself from her bindings and escaped from the unlocked refrigerator.


    M*U*L*E

  3. #3
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    The Daily Grind

    He really got caught up in his work."
    (01 March 2000, Maine) The owner of the Carrier Chipping Company inadvertently reproduced the chilling climactic scene in the movie Fargo, and was rent asunder by his own wood chipper.
    The chipper, affectionately known as the "Hog," will take birch or maple logs up to 24 inches in diameter and reduce them to 3/4" chips of wood. Employees were working late to make up for time spent repairing equipment malfunctions earlier in the day. When the Hog jammed, Michael climbed the conveyor belt feeding the chipper and used a rake to break up the bark jam in the chute.
    Director C. William Freeman of the Bangor Occupational Safety and Health Administration said, "Generally, our experience (of fatal accidents involving chippers) has found two causes: inadequate machine guarding, or a failure to institute an effective lockout-tagout program when someone is unjamming pieces of equipment." Apparently Michael was not a proponent of lockout-tagout procedures. His efforts were directed against a machine that was still in operation.
    The Skowhegan resident was somewhat the worse for the wear after his passage through the Hog. Police Chief Butch Asselin said that the remains would be subjected to DNA analysis for a positive ID, and added "I hope I never, ever see anything like this, ever again. I had a hard time sleeping last night."


    Human Popsicle

    24 January 2000, Ohio) The Los Angeles Police Department contacted Ohio police hoping to locate a missing truck driver and his load of broccoli. The stalled truck was located four days later and towed to a local mechanic. They thawed and refueled the truck and found that, apart from an empty gas tank, the vehicle had no mechanical problems. The driver's personal effects and seven bricks of marijuana were discovered in the cab of the vehicle.
    The trucking company and the police were both interested in the whereabouts of the errant driver, and a search was initiated. Shortly thereafter a patrolman noticed two feet protruding between the pallets of broccoli -- feet which belonged to the missing man.
    The broccoli was unloaded as quickly as possible in the cold Ohio winter, leaving the frozen body of the driver standing precisely upside down, attached to the floor of the trailer by his head. He was surrounded by space heaters and eventually pried off the floor, but his frozen corpse had to be turned on its side to load it into a rescue squad vehicle, as his arm was sticking out and wouldn't fit through the door.
    The Cuyahoga County coroner's office determined that the man was trying to retrieve a stash of cocaine from between the pallets of broccoli when he fell and knocked himself unconscious. He soon suffered from a fatal case of hypothermia and died in the icy air. Perhaps he should have confined his drug smuggling to the more clement climate of California.

    Father Knows Best

    (13 March 2000, New Jersey) It started out like a scene from The Brady Bunch. Andrew and his fiancée were living together with his three children and her three children in Dover Township, when an argument over chocolate cake icing erupted.
    Andrew accused his ten-year-old son of taking the missing container, and the two became embroiled in a heated disagreement. Andrew took the boy out to the garage for a private discussion, and there the conversation became even more emotional. Then the man made his fatal mistake.
    He handed a five-inch kitchen knife to his angry son, and challenged the boy to stab him if he hated him so much. The boy put the knife down, but Andrew picked it up and placed it in his hand again. In the heat of the moment the outraged boy took him up on the offer and plunged the knife into his chest. The deadly blow happened so fast that no one could stop it.
    Andrew was pronounced dead at Community Medical Center. His last words were "Would you believe the kid did that?"
    The fourth grader, charged with manslaughter and illegal possession of a weapon, faces up to three years imprisonment. But Ocean County prosecutor E. David Millard said it was unlikely that he would serve jail time, as the boy had been provoked.

    Gun Safety Training

    (28 February 2000, Texas) A Houston man earned a succinct lesson in gun safety when he played Russian roulette with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Rashaad, nineteen, was visiting friends when he announced his intention to play the deadly game. He apparently did not realize that a semiautomatic pistol, unlike a revolver, automatically inserts a cartridge into the firing chamber when the gun is cocked. His chance of winning a round of Russian roulette was zero, as he quickly discovered.

    Crappy Driving Award

    (9 October 1999, Maine) Some men die peacefully in bed, while others suffer less pleasant ends. 23-year-old Benjamin lost his life in one of the most unappetizing manners possible when he careened into a 400,000-gallon tank of raw sewage on Friday night. Police speculated that he was driving his 1998 Mazda pickup much too fast to make the sharp right turn in front of the wastewater treatment plant. He was apparently exceeding the speed limit by a generous margin, as his momentum carried him through a chain link fence, across an easement, and through a low post-and-rail fence surrounding the tank of decomposing sewage. Divers located his body beside his upright pickup on the bottom of the 16-foot deep tank. The autopsy failed to provide a conclusive cause for death, but we speculate they will find he died from "taking too much crap".
    (3 March 2000, Pennsylvania) In a related event, Andrew died in a messy farming accident at Crooked Creek Farm when he slipped into a manure spreader. Rescue crews failed to revive him (and who can blame them?) The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

    M*U*L*E

  4. #4
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    Kiss of Death

    23 March 2000, California) A 36-year-old biochemist who was dying to see the legendary rock band KISS on their farewell tour got his wish. Shawn traveled from Calistoga to the Oakland Coliseum, and was enjoying the show, except for one little problem. He was dissatisfied with his seat in the top row of the stadium. He climbed a 7-foot wall to gain a better view of the stage - only to inadvertently discover a new seat three stories below.
    The group he had traveled to the concert with had no idea he was missing, until the show ended and the police began asking questions. That's when they learned that Shawn had mistaken a curtain for a solid wall, leaned back, and fallen to his death on an escalator 100 feet below.
    A police spokesman said the site of the accident was "a good place to obtain a better view."

    Human Hitching Post

    (8 March 2000, Nevada) On Thursday afternoon, 29-year-old Andrea was working with her young and spirited Arabian horse, which she had won in a lottery the previous year. The animal was only partially trained, and still a bit spooky. Every time Andrea tried to don its bridle, the horse threw back its head and frustrated her efforts.
    Then Andrea had the brilliant idea of tying a rope around the Arabian's head, and fastening the other end around her waist to keep the horse from throwing its head back. That way, she would have both hands free to fasten the bridle.
    But horses are 500 times stronger than people, according to Deputy Sheriff Lance Modispacher, who reported that the horse spooked again, threw Andrea off her feet, and began running around its paddock, dragging its erstwhile trainer by the rope around her waist. And the rope was short, so she was trampled right under the horse's feet as it ran.
    Her father noticed the commotion and ran to help. Unfortunately his two dogs came with him, and started chasing the horse, nipping at its heels. This did not improve Andrea's situation. He finally managed to lock the dogs away and fetch a knife from the house. With the help of a neighbor, he chased the horse down and cut the rope, freeing the lacerated lass.
    But Andrea had already spent ten minutes under the hooves of her horse, and she died a few hours later at a local hospital, a victim of internal injuries and head trauma, the result of her lamentable decision to tie herself to a skittish horse.

    Baby Drives Me Crazy

    (7 May 2000, Italy) Full speed ahead!
    A young couple was killed in a freak car accident in Chieti this weekend. Germano and Franciska were discovered almost completely naked, and investigators assume they were having sex in their small Italian vehicle while it raced along Abruzzan roads at upwards of 80mph. Italian youngsters commonly use their cars for romantic trysts when parents forbid sex before marriage. But it is a mystery why this pair chose sex in a car travelling at high speeds over country roads. Germano lost control of the car in a bend, and the 27-year old man and his 20-year-old paramour were killed by the impact.

    Niagara Falls

    (1 October 1995, Canada) Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Over a decade ago, a daredevil named Robert equipped himself with a homemade rocket-parachute contraption and rode a jet ski over Horseshoe Falls at full throttle. He planned to ignite the rocket to propel him clear of the falls, then deploy the parachute and float down to the river below, where he would be fished out by the Maid o' the Mist tour boat.
    But the water had a dampening effect on his equipment. The rocket failed to ignite and the parachute failed to deploy. However, the third phase of his scheme did work according to plan. His corpse was recovered from the river below by the Maid o' the Mist staff.
    Robert was married but had no children, making him a perfect Darwin contender.

    M*U*L*E

  5. #5
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    Donor

    Funny stuff [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dan Halen:
    Funny stuff [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I've always enjoyed reading these stories.
    M*U*L*E

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    More Darwins:

    Hanging Around Jail

    (2 April 1998, Wisconsin) Correctional institutions abound with "jailhouse lawyers" who will play any legal angle to improve their situations. Joseph, a twenty-year-old inmate of the Stevens Point Jail, planned a circuitous route to freedom. He would pretend to be crazy in order to be transferred to the minimum-security mental health facility, from which it would be easier to engineer an escape.
    What would a crazy person do if he were trapped in jail? Joseph pondered the question, then decided to hang himself with a bed sheet until he was unconscious, while his bunkmate alerted officials, who would cut him down and hopefully send him to the nuthouse.
    Joseph’s escape plan worked more quickly than he had anticipated. He hanged himself and was taken to the freedom of a grave the very next day.

    Good Trumps Evil at Church

    (08 March 1999, Kenya) A middle-aged thief sat quietly through the Sunday service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi. But when the offering basket was passed, fellow worshippers were astonished to see him stashing handfuls of the money in his pockets.
    Realizing he had been spotted, the thief fled from the church and onto a busy highway, where a speeding bus killed him. The cause of death? An act of God. The moral? Don't annoy the ruler of the universe, or you just may wind up a Darwin Award.

    Hard Work Rewards

    (8 February 1999, Georgia) Fred Brooks of Forest Park, a 46 year old plumber seeking employment, used shovels to remove a manhole cover on a street and entered the aperture. In Fred's haste to identify the source of a sewer blockage, he neglected to set orange warning cones. Upon exiting the manhole, he was struck by the undercarriage of an oncoming car, and was killed.

    Silenced by the Lambs

    (28 January 1999, England) A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff to her death. Betty Stobbs, 67, was charged by dozens of sheep as she brought them a bale of hay on the back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle, knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant 100' quarry near Durham, in northeastern England. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The next thing she was tumbling down the incline," neighbor Alan Renfry told reporters. Her husband is being comforted by friends.

    "Bleating and Babbling, they fell on his neck with a scream.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers
    March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream."
    (from Sheep by Pink Floyd)


    Dum Dum Boutique

    (10 April 1999, New York) Perhaps, as people get older, some folks really should retire from their careers, or so it would seem for one 55-year old burglar. You see, Terrence found new meaning in the term "Hanging around late at the bar" when he never returned home one night.
    It turned out that he was actually trying to break through the roof's window of a shop, called the Dum Dum Boutique -- a catchy name for a clothing shop -- by bending back bars on the window. From this vantage point, he made a commanding move, and jumped into the store through this hole.
    Unfortunately, his sweater apparently didn't like all that fashion, and, refusing to join him, caught on one of the bent bars, which subsequently strangled him to death. He was found dead at the scene on Saturday morning.


    M*U*L*E

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    Rob Your Neighbor

    (25 April 1999, Craigie Australia) Darren John Cowley was trying to break into a neighbor's house as safely and unobtrusively as possible when he wrapped his jacket around his arm and bashed in the window. But the jagged shards tore through the protective cloth and severed an artery in his arm. The 32-year-old stumbled away from the house and through a park and collapsed 800 meters away from the crime scene.

    The home owner returned from a nightclub early that morning to find a broken window, a bloody jacket, and a trail of blood. He searched the jacket and found that it belonged to an acquaintance who he recalled seeing at a tavern on Friday. He telephoned a friend and they drove to the perpetrator's house to give him a stern reprimand.
    When they arrived, they spotted him sleeping in the park nearby. As they approached him, they recognized with alarm noted a trail of blood and his nearly-severed arm, and realized that it was too late to lecture him. He had bled to death.

    Next time try wrapping your arm in a Kevlar bullet-proof vest, Darren!

    Fatal Footsie

    (22 March 1999, Phnom Penh) Decades of armed strife has littered Cambodia with unexploded munitions and ordnance. Authorities warn citizens not to tamper with the devices.
    Three friends recently spent an evening sharing drinks and exchanging insults at a local cafe in the southeastern province of Svay Rieng. Their companionable arguing continued for hours, until one man pulled out a 25-year-old unexploded anti-tank mine found in his backyard.
    He tossed it under the table, and the three men began playing Russian roulette, each tossing down a drink and then stamping on the mine. The other villagers fled in terror.
    Minutes later, the explosive detonated with a tremendous boom, killing the three men in the bar. "Their wives could not even find their flesh because the blast destroyed everything," the Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper reported.

    Couple Dies in Hearse

    (21 March 1999, Bucharest) First division Romanian soccer midfielder Mario Bugeanu, 24, and Mirela Iancu, 23, couldn't wait to make love on Sunday. As soon as the car was parked, they consummated their passion. They died from carbon monoxide poisoning shortly thereafter, inside the vehicle they left running in the garage during their liaison.
    The couple was discovered by Mario's father Monday morning. "They appeared to be unaware of the dangers of carbon monoxide," police colonel Dumitru Secrieru said.


    (9 May 1999, Mexico) A young Mexican couple were found dead in the back of a hearse. Jose, 23, employed by the Perez Diaz funeral home in Campeche, met Ana Maria on Saturday for a romantic tryst in his hearse. He parked in a warehouse and left the engine running to provide air conditioning.
    In the enclosed location, the carbon monoxide-laden exhaust fumes seeped into the vehicle, fatally poisoning the couple. Their bodies were found when Ana Maria's mother initiated a search for her missing daughter.

    Laughing Gas

    (16 April 1999, Washington D.C.) We can thank our lucky stars that there are two fewer paramedics around. Carol and Mark were found dead in their suburban home by Mark's 14-year-old son. The couple were wearing respiratory masks attached to an empty canister of nitrous oxide.
    Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, produces a short-lived high, and is often used as a relaxant in dental offices and outpatient clinics. Like every other pure gas, it must be mixed with air or oxygen, lest it cause suffocation. Needless to say, Carol and Mark did not mix the nitrous oxide with air.
    What makes this story a true Darwin Award candidate is that both of the deceased had enough medical training to have known better. Mark was a 10-year veteran paramedic with the District of Columbia Fire Department. Carol was studying to become an emergency medical technician in a suburban fire department.
    Even more amusing is a quote from the Washington D.C. Fire Department's public information officer, who said that Mark was "one of the most educated and highly trained people we had." That must alleviate the concerns of thousands of D.C. residents!

    What's New Pussycat?

    (May 1999, Spain) Two German tourists were enjoying the last day of vacation at Safari Park, a wild game park in Alacant. Safari Park is a controlled reserve hosting a variety of wild animals living in natural habitats. Visitors driving through the park are cautioned not to open the windows, and to remain within their vehicle at all times. Frequent warning signs were posted in many languages, including German.
    While driving through a tiger grotto, Willhelm and his companion parked the car, emerged from it for reasons that are unclear, and locked the doors behind them. They were set upon by three Bengal tigers lurking in the brush nearby. The big cats, two males and a female 10 to 12 years old, pounced on the unfortunate couple, breaking their necks and quickly silencing their screams.
    Security guards rushed to the scene, arriving to find the woman beheaded and the man disemboweled.


    M*U*L*E

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    Poisonous Pets

    (June 1999, Delaware) Fifteen snakes were found in the vicinity of a decomposed body in Stanton on Tuesday. A neighbor complained about the smell, which led the discovery of eight rattlesnakes, two cobras, and the 3-day-old corpse.
    The 45-year-old owner of the reptiles was found 10 feet from the open cage of a young Diamondback rattler. Apparently the man was feeding the snake when he was terminally bitten. Residents of the apartments were evacuated by the Delaware Animal Rescue team while a search was conducted for missing serpents.
    Neighbors said they had no idea that the weird loner kept poisonous snakes. One neighbor named Leroy claimed, "The snake was standing straight up as it turned toward me. It was a cobra."
    The SPCA notes that it's legal to keep deadly snakes, provided you apply for a permit.

    Maine Chainsaw Romance

    (5 July 1999, Maine) An internet romance blossomed then faded, after a Missouri man traveled to Maine to meet his destiny. In a bizarre merging of "You've Got Mail" with "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," James swung a chainsaw and severed his own neck, in a futile effort to prove his love to the woman who had spurned his face-to-face romance.
    He began his relationship with "Beth" over the internet a year ago, and moved from Missouri to Topsham, Maine on June 23 to further the affair. Instead, she insisted upon ending the relationship. Distraught, James drove to her house on River Road, knocked on the door, and asked her adult son to get his mother. The son refused and locked all the doors. James pulled a chainsaw from his trunk, stood on the lawn, and performed his macho act in a vain attempt to impress the depth of his feelings upon the woman.
    Police arrived to find him barely alive. "There was blood all over. I couldn't see where the wound was," explained William Robbins of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Department. James died in the hospital shortly thereafter.
    Debra, a friend of the deceased, believes that "Beth" abused James' affection. "He spent thousands of dollars on calls, email, computers," she said, "and also helped that woman pay her bills." Debra received a desperate phone call just hours before he took his life. She reported that he begged, "Tell me you forgive me." She did, and then the phone went dead. She attempted to alert authorities but had insufficient information regarding his whereabouts.
    James had attempted suicide five years earlier, and had seemingly recovered his equilibrium. He purchased the chainsaw in Maine a week prior to his sensational death.

    One last oddity: James has two brothers also named James, and the three are distinguished by middle names. Is this clear sign of parental lunacy a coincidence, or the cause of his insanity? You be the judge!

    Firefighters Ignite!

    (15 July 1999, Tennessee) Seven firefighters from the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department, located in rural Hamilton County north of Chattanooga, decided to impress their Chief by surreptitiously setting fire to a house, then heroically extinguishing the blaze. The men apparently hatched the plan in order to help Daniel, a former firefighter, return to duty.
    Unfortunately, Daniel's career plans were irreversibly snuffed when he became trapped while pouring gasoline inside the house. Surrounded by smoke and flames, he was unable to escape, and died inside the burning house on June 26.
    His six accomplices are facing 87 years in prison for conspiracy, arson, and burglary.
    One of our readers, Terry Boese, notes, "What makes me feel this is a genuine candidate, is that not only did he kill himself with an act of stupidity, but he is also no longer able to protect other would-be pyromaniacs from Darwin Awards. Had he been successful in his attempt to regain his position, he may have had a ripple effect in the gene pool."

    Ur-inate-iot

    (2 Aug 1999, Washington) Seattle Police Incident Report: On Saturday morning at 1:55AM, a 19 year old male was urinating off the freeway overpass on Pine Street when he lost his footing and fell approximately 45 feet to his death.

    Intersecting Darwins

    (15 April 2001, Tennessee) The day before the US tax filing deadline, a Memphis Darwin Award winner trying to beat a train drove around the crossing gates -- only to be struck by an oncoming vehicle whose driver had the same mad plan. The occupants of one vehicle were killed, making this monumental stupidity the first instance we have witnessed of a Darwin Award winner crashing into an Honorable Mention. The accident happened to one side of the tracks, so the train passed by unimpeded.

    Just Say No!

    (29 November 2000, Canada) A police officer who regularly lectured addiction counselors on the dangers of illicit drugs proved that actions speak louder than words when he was found dead of a heroin overdose. He had taken heroin and cocaine from police exhibits "without filing the proper forms" and apparently overdosed while experimenting with the narcotics. He unfortunately didn't heed the creed written on his own patrol car: "Say no to drugs!"


    M*U*L*E

  10. #10
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    Fishing With No Compass

    (March 2001, Ohio) Lake Erie claimed three more victims who were hoping to catch a few fish but caught instead a fatal chill. "Someone noticed tracks leading to a hole and an ice chest floating in the water," said Deputy Sheriff Roger Garn.
    The three men had been driving on a thin sheet of ice surrounded by open patches of water, which they may have overlooked due to poor visibility caused by a morning snowstorm. Suddenly, to no one's surprise but theirs, their all-terrain vehicle plunged through the ice. Hours later divers rescued the bodies from 10 feet of 34-degree water.
    The winters have not been cold enough to allow ice fishing on the lake for at least three years, and authorities have warned the public about the unsafe conditions. In January 21 anglers were rescued from a patch of ice that broke away from shore. Yet even the recent deaths do little to deter fisherman. Deputy Sheriff Garn said bemusedly, "We're taking three people off in body bags, and (dozens) were still going out to fish."

    Sewer Shower

    (January 2001, England) Flooding problems at Tangmere gave an opportunistic young vandal a good idea - or so it seemed at the time. Expecting to create a spectacular fountain of water, he disconnected a drainage pipe - only to have his pride drenched with liquefied human waste, as the drainage pipe he had selected was connected to an overflowing septic tank. Although he survived to tell the tale, his malodorous shower is an indication that this young man may well find a Darwin Award in his future.

    Cigarette Lighter Triggers Fatal Explosion

    (4 December 1996, Indiana) A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzleloader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a .54-caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

    Wild Animal Lesson

    (November 1999, Singapore) A bus full of excited children can drive anyone to the brink of madness. Perhaps the actions of one bus driver can be explained by his proximity to a herd of shrieking kids.
    Xu, 41, was one of 13 tour drivers hired to escort a school tour through the Shanghai World Animals Park. His bus unexpectedly broke down as the convoy passed through a fenced tiger enclosure. You can imagine the hubbub this would cause among a group of students on a wild animal adventure. Needless to say, the park rules clearly forbid leaving the safety of the vehicle.
    I can imagine a circumstance in which such a breakdown would be cause to panic. For instance, if you sneak into the park just before it closes in a convertible with a flimsy cloth covering, and you are accompanied by a date who is chomping rare steak, then waiting in the vehicle for rescue from the tigers would not be an attractive option. But a bus that is part of a convoy of school children is not in imminent danger of being abandoned to the tigers. Xu must have realized that help would come swiftly.
    But instead of waiting inside, besieged by a clamor of children, he climbed out of the bus and began to re-attach the tow rope. A park manager witnessed the deadly incident. The children watched in horror while tigers savagely attacked their driver. Their screams summoned a nearby trainer, who drove the tigers from their victim, but it was too late to save Xu from the deadly effects of bites to his neck.
    As a consolation prize, his death provided a memorable example to the children of the danger of stupidity in action.

    Rappin' on Heaven's Door

    (28 February 2000, London, Ohio) Some artists bleed for their creative work, but usually not literally. That standard changed on Monday, when a gangster-rap video artist put his final effort into his project, and shot himself in the head while the cameras rolled.
    24-year-old Robert created the 10-minute video at his apartment with his brother Michael and a friend named Fred. On camera, Robert reached for a .22-caliber handgun, swung the muzzle of the gun to his temple, and fired the gun.
    The two co-producers hindered efforts to save the injured man. Police were summoned to the scene by complaints from a neighbor who objected to the loud music and violent shouting. But when they arrived, Michael had to be restrained from preventing police from controlling the scene, and Fred struck a paramedic. Both face misdemeanor charges.

    Robert was 24 when he died in a coma at the Ohio State University Medical Center.


    M*U*L*E

 

 

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