IJMC The 1996 Darwin Awards

                       IJMC - The 1996 Darwin Awards

These need little introduction. If anyone knows who actually does these, 
drop me a line and let me know...                                  -dave

The Darwin Awards

You may recall last year's Darwin Award winner:  The man who found out
moments before making a 300 MPH dent in an Arizona cliff that the JATO
(jet assist take off) unit he'd strapped to his car could not be turned
off once it was turned on.

Darwin Awards are (by definition) granted posthumously.
This citation is bestowed upon (the remains of) that individual, who
through single-minded self-sacrifice, has done the most to remove
undesirable elements from the human gene pool.

The 1996 nominees are:

[San Jose Mercury News] An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club
to break a former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to
death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in
his gut.

[Hickory Daily Record 12/21/92]  Ken Charles Barger, 47,
accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C., when,
awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached
for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith &Wesson .38 Special, which
discharged when he drew it to his ear.

[Unknown, 25 March] A terrible diet and room with no
ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his
own gas.  There was no mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts
of methane gas in his system.His diet had consisted primarily of beans and
cabbage (and a couple of other things).  It was just the right combination
of foods.It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing from the
poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed.  Had he been outside or had
his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been
fatal.  But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. He was ". . .
 a big man with a huge capacity for creating [this deadly gas]." Three of
the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.

[Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario]  Man slips, falls 23 stories to his death.
A man cleaning a bird feeder on his balcony of his condominium apartment
in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death, police
said Monday.  Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair Sunday
when the accident occurred,
said Inspector D'Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police."It appears the
chair moved and he went over the balcony," Honer said."It's one of those
freak accidents.  No foul play is suspected."

[UPI, Toronto] Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in
a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and
plunged24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell
into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening
as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting
law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window
strength according to police reports.  Peter Lauwers, managing partner of
thefirm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was"one
of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.

[AP, Cairo, Egypt, 31 Aug 1995 CAIRO, Egypt (AP)] 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.

[Times of London] A thief who sneaked into a hospital was
scarred for life when he tried to get a suntan.  After evading
security staff at Odstock Hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and
helping himself to doctor's paging devices, the thief spotted a
vertical sunbed.  He walked into the unit and removed his
clothes for a 45-minute tan.  However, the high-voltage UV
machine at the hospital, which is renowned for its treatment of
burns victims, has a maximum dosage of 10seconds.  After lying
on the bed for almost 300 times the recommended maximum time,
the man was covered in blisters.Hours later, when the pain of
the burns became unbearable, he went to Southampton General
Hospital, 20 miles away, in Hampshire.  Staff became suspicious
because he was wearing a doctor's coat.  After tending his
wounds they called the police. Southampton police said: "This
man broke into Odstock and decided he fancied a quick suntan.
Doctors say he is going to be scarred for life.

"More intelligence-challenged people"

45 year-old Amy Brasher was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a
mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed
in the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the
mechanic for an oil change.  According to police, Brasher later said
that she didn't realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood
to change the oil.

Portsmouth, R.I.Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string
of vending machine robberies in January when he:
1.  fled from police inexplicably when they spotted him
loitering around a vending machine and
2.  later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.

Karen Lee Joachimi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida, for
robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel.  She was armed with only an
electric chainsaw, which was not plugged in.

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into
Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50 am, flashed a gun and
demanded cash.  The clerk turned him down because he said he
couldn't open the cash register without a food order.  When the
man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available
for breakfast.  The man, frustrated, walked away.

In case you've forgotten about the 1995 awardees, some of them are
listed below:

*       James Burns, 34, of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he
was trying to repair what police described as a "farm-type truck."
Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung
underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise.
 Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found
Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft." [Kalamazoo Gazette, 4-1-95]

*       Same thing up here in MI.  Seems some poor fella thought it would
be a good idea to "move" a downed wire from his car.  Newspaper reports it 
took a FULL MINUTE of neighbors whacking away at him with a 2x4 to free 
their freshly fried former friend from the fatal flashing.

*       Bowling Green, Ohio, student Robert Ricketts, 19, had his head
bloodied when he was struck by a Conrail train.  He told police he was
trying to see how close to the moving train he could place his head
without getting hit.

*   In Wesley Chapel, Florida, Joseph Aaron, 20, was hit in the leg
with pieces of the bullet he fired at the exhaust pipe of his car.
When repairing the car, he needed to bore a hole in the pipe. When
he couldn't find a drill, he tried to shoot a hole in it.

IJMC March 1997 Archives