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July 26, 2003

Alleged serial killer formally charged
KOMO-TV 4 Seattle | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Robert Pickton, a former pig farmer accused of being Canada's worst serial killer, will stand trial on 15 counts of first-degree murder, a provincial court judge ruled Wednesday. The deaths in which the 53-year-old Pickton is charged are part of a long list of women who disappeared mysteriously over the past 20 years, most from Vancouver's seedy Downtown Eastside. ... Police conducted a massive raid on Feb. 6, 2002, at a farm owned by Pickton and his brother and sister. Pickton was charged with the first two murder counts on Feb. 22, 2002. ... Pickton is charged in the deaths of: Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Diane Rock, Jacqueline McDonell, Heather Bottomley, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Jennifer Furminger, Helen Hallmark, Patricia Johnson, Georgina Papin, Heather Chinnock, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall."

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Alleged serial killer's farm demolished
Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A lone brick chimney is all that remains of a British Columbia pig farm owned by serial murder defendant Robert Pickton. A solitary excavator demolished the last structure on the farm on Saturday morning, as family members of many of Vancouver's missing women looked on. ... Police will now begin searching the ground beneath the demolished farmhouse for more DNA evidence, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Const. Catherine Galliford."

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Coup attempt underway in Philippines
CNN | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Armed men have seized the financial center of Manila, setting up booby traps, hours after the administration announced a crackdown on 'rebellion' soldiers. About 30 men were involved in rigging-up the area, which includes the Gorietta shopping mall, at 3.30 a.m. local time Sunday (1900 GMT). ... The move comes after a week of coup rumors in the Philippines. The government Saturday confirmed that 'a small band of rogue officers' walked off their posts, an act the president considers a 'mutiny' and 'rebellion' in the ranks."

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Professor turns out to be multiple thrill-killer
Philadelphia Inquirer | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"When the Pennsylvania [parole] board notified Penn State recently about the professor's past, jaws started dropping on the University Park campus. 'The university is still in a state of shock,' Penn State spokesman Tysen Kendig said yesterday. 'By all accounts, he was a model faculty member.' ... Penn State officials said they do not normally conduct criminal-background checks when hiring new faculty, and did not do so in Krueger's case. That policy is under review."

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Disruptive bible thumper gets stungunned in church
Biblical Recorder | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A protester was arrested at McGill Baptist Church in Concord on July 13 after he stood up at the end of a worship service and started shouting. ... The protester, Steven Borchert of Lafayette, Ind., was at the church with several other people from 'Operation Rescue -- Operation Save America.' The group opposes homosexuality, abortion and Islam... [Borchert] stood up and started shouting over and over, 'This is a den of iniquity! This is an abomination before the Lord!' Two deacons tried to get the man to be quiet or leave, but he refused. Police officers, who were monitoring the protest outside, came in and tried to get the man to leave, but had to use a stun gun three times to subdue him."

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Woman sues skateboard company over gay ad
WLS-TV 7 Chicago | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Naperville middle school teacher is suing a skateboard company over an ad that portrays her as being gay. ... According to the lawsuit, parents and fellow teachers who did not know the unidentified woman was a lesbian have questioned her about the photo since students first noticed the ad in a skateboarding magazine. The advertisement is for a skating video and uses the catch phrase 'I am gay in a happy way not a sexual one.'" [Really rolls off the tongue.]

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Northern Ireland prisoners smear shit on cell walls
Guardian UK | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Dissident republicans in a Northern Irish jail are engaged in a 'dirty protest' which their supporters and the authorities fear could escalate into a hunger strike. Twenty inmates at Maghaberry, near Lisburn, Co Antrim, have been smearing their cells with excrement for three weeks in an attempt to be segregated from loyalists and non-paramilitary criminals, who they claim are putting their lives at risk."

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Another drug you shouldn't take
AZ Central | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a nationwide alert about a legal hallucinogenic herb from Mexico that is more intense than LSD and can cause debilitating, out-of-body trances. ... Salvia divinorum, popularly known as diviner's mint, is most powerful when smoked, but it also can be chewed or taken orally in an extract version." [There must be a catch somewhere.]

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Guy gets heart transplant, turns into jerk
News of the World | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Kevin Craig was such a nice lad -- until he was fitted with a bionic heart and turned into a wayward hellraiser. ... Kevin was dubbed the Bionic Boy a year ago after the News of the World chronicled the incredible story of how he became the first patient to survive the revolutionary procedure at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. Two robotic metal pumps were inserted into his chest and kept him alive for three months until a suitable human donor heart could be found. But since those life-saving operations Kevin has landed in court twice for car crimes and tormented neighbours with anti-social behaviour."

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