Weird News 11/6/16
Weird news of the week.
These are the crimes stories making headlines today, November 4, 2016…
- A Pennsylvania man is in jail after police say he beat his roommate to death during an argument over beer. Allegheny County Police said they are charging Justin Vankirk, 34, in connection with the death of his roommate Charles Parker on Halloween night. When investigators searched Vankirk’s cell phone, they reportedly found a photo of the victim lying on the dining room floor — a day before Vankirk called police to report his death. Police say that Vankirk confessed that he became upset that Parker allegedly stole beer from him, and hit him several times before going to bed. [CBS News]
- A Syracuse, New York, man has been sentenced to 23 years behind bars for killing a man following a gun battle that started over a stranger singing a rap song.The incident took place on New Year’s Day 2015 when a man began playfully singing and another group took offense. Prosecutors say that Charquell Judge, 23, fired the fatal shot that killed the singing man’s stepbrother, 23-year-old Kendell Williams. The singing man, Stephen Grimes, 20, pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal weapon in the shootout. He is expected to be sentenced to two years in prison after cooperating with authorities. [Syracuse.com]
- Police in Shenzhen, China, have reinstated a controversial punishment for drivers who improperly use their high beams at night, and will force offenders to stare straight into the lights for a full minute. The Shenzhen police official account warned motorists that those caught driving with their brights on illegally would also be fined 300 yuan, lose points on their license, and be made to recite regulations on the proper use of headlights. [Shanghaiist]
- Authorities are searching for the suspects who stole the remains of two people who died nearly 90 years ago from a Queens, New York, cemetery Halloween night. The human remains were stolen from the Acacia Cemetery sometime after 4 P.M. on Monday, when the suspects broke into a mausoleum and stole two sets of remains, which have been identified as Lewis Hambro, born in 1865, and Marilan Hollan, born in 1900. Both died in 1928. Eight other crypts sustained damage due to the fact that they were moved, according to police. So far, no arrests have been made. [WREG]
- A drunken 63-year-old Russian man allegedly murdered and dismembered his friend over an insult to his accordion skills. Local police said the man attacked his 66-year-old friend during a drunken argument. The perpetrator beat his friend in the head and legs, later finishing him off by smashing him with a sledgehammer. Later, he allegedly dismembered the body and smuggled out pieces in trash and suitcases. Police arrested the perpetrator in a village near the city of Cheboksary, where he confessed to the murder after several hours of resisting arrest with a pitchfork. [Daily Caller]
- Transgender Muslim woman Raina Aliev was killed in Russia just days after marrying her husband Viktor. The complete circumstances of her death are unclear, but the horrific incident allegedly took place after Raina Aliev’s father, Alimshaikh Aliev, called for his daughter’s execution while repeatedly misgendering her in an announcement to a Russian TV station. Although the exact motivation behind Aliev’s death is still under investigation, U.K. media have reported that Aliev’s body was hacked into pieces. [Mic.com]
- A Mississippi man is accused of biting off a piece of another man’s ear during a fight and bragging about it on Twitter. Police in Hancock County arrested Michael Cuevas, 21, Thursday on an aggravated-assault charge. Authorities began investigating after a man went to a hospital September 25 with part of his ear missing and told deputies a man bit his ear during a fight at a bar in Kiln. During their investigation, detectives discovered someone had posted a tweet, bragging about biting a man’s ear off during a fight. Detectives traced the tweet to Cuevas, who was identified in a lineup. [WPTV]
- A Facebook predator in the U.K. who had sex with two 14-year-old girls has been jailed for 10 years. Prosecutors allege that Daniel Thomas, 24, from Llandrindod Wells in Wales, got in touch with the two 14-year-old girls on the social-media site and pressured them into sending naked selfies. Cardiff Crown Court heard he then went on to have sex with the schoolgirls despite a formal warning from police to stay away. Prosecutors said that one victim’s mother tried to stop contact between them, but the girl still became pregnant with his baby and later had an abortion. [DailyMail.com]
Main photo: Justin Vankirk [Allegheny County Police]
A South Carolina woman who had been missing since August was found alive on Thursday. Police discovered Kala Brown, 30, chained up inside a storage container on property belonging to registered sex offender Todd Kohlepp.
Brown’s boyfriend, Charles Carver, 30, who disappeared at the same time she did, remains missing. Searchers did find Carver’s car on Kohlepp’s property, however.
Acting on a tip regarding an unrelated sex crime, police were searching Kohlepp’s 95-acre property when they heard loud banging come from inside a metal storage container. Officers pried open the door and found Brown conscious, alert, and breathing. She also seemed to have been fed regularly.
As Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright noted, “She looked good for somebody who’d been chained up a like a dog for two months.”
Brown told the rescuers she had been held in the 30-by-15 foot container for two months. She also said that the man who kidnapped her claimed to have buried four bodies on the surrounding grounds.
Officers arrested Kohlepp, 45, for kidnapping. Kohlepp is registered as a sex offender in South Carolina due to a kidnapping charge he incurred when he was just 15 years old.
Neighbors expressed shock and described Kohlepp as “quiet, if sloppy.” Manfred Lewis, an agent at the real estate firm where Kohlepp worked, had no idea about his coworker’s past and said, “This is a nightmare.”
Early reports indicate that Kohlepp and Brown might have known each other. It’s thought Kohlepp may have hired Brown to clean properties before he showed them to clients.
The hunt remains on to locate Charles Carver. Sheriff Wright said that the search would continue for “two days, two weeks” or however long was necessary to get an answer. Crews have already been scouring Kohlepp’s grounds for clues and other evidence, including other potential victims.
Wright added, “We have no intentions of leaving this property until we’re finished… We’re trying to make sure we don’t have a serial killer on our hands.”
At the time of their disappearance, Brown and Carver were living together in an Anderson, South Carolina, apartment complex. After neighbors expressed concern, the complex manager entered the couple’s residence and found that their dog, who was normally extremely well cared for, apparently hadn’t had food or water for days.
Complicating the situation was that someone appeared to be updating from Carver’s Facebook page in September, indicating that the missing couple had gotten married.
Kohlepp is scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon.
Main photo: Kala Brown [Find Kala and Charlie Facebook page]
Having to plan the funeral of a parent is perhaps the most stressful time in someone’s life. And police in Randolph County, Indiana, have arrested a local funeral director for allegedly taking advantage of a woman during this trying time.
A 22-year-old woman was at Oswalt Funeral Home to make the arrangements for her mother’s funeral. According to her, funeral director Thomas Oswalt, 42, touched her inappropriately, twice, while she was there.
She further claims that after she’d left the funeral home, Oswalt sent her lewd text messages.
Randolph County Sheriff Ken Hendrickson remarked, “It is a shame. You’re in your grieving process getting ready to bury your mother and something like this has been alleged that happens to you. It’s despicable.”
Oswalt has denied all the charges. There have been no previous complaints against either him or the Oswalt Funeral Home.
Thomas Oswalt was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He posted $5,000 and has been released from the Randolph County Jail.
Main photo: Thomas Oswalt [Randolph County Sheriff’s Office]
Cannibalism is one of humanity’s ultimate taboos, so when it gets officially reported and discussed in the news, the world tends to stop, take notice, and reach for something to combat nausea. “Frat Boy Cannibal” Austin Harrouff has made headlines once again, but he’s not the only manmeat-eater in the news recently.
Florida Teen Kills Couple, Bites Dead Off Man’s Face, Says: “I Ate Something Bad”
College student Austin Harrouff, 19, of West Palm Beach, Florida, has been charged with the murder of John Stevens, 59, and his wife, Michelle Mischon, 53, outside their home.
Deputies pulled Harrouff off of Stevens’s body as the young man was in his underpants, making animal noises, and biting the victim’s face before begging, “Shoot me, I deserve to die!”
Harrouff was also said to be chewing on a piece of flesh and, upon spitting it out, said, “Help me, I ate something bad!” When asked what it was, Harrouff answered, chillingly: “Humans!”
Harrouff has been charged with first-degree murder. The motive for his attack is still unknown. Media outlets have nicknamed him the “Frat Boy Cannibal.” [New York Post]
Teen Talks About Surviving Attack by the “Cannibal Rapist”
On June 5, 2012, John Hinton, then 23, went on a one-night rampage in Peterborough, England, in which he savagely raped a 15-year-old girl and attacked and attempted to rape two other teenagers.
After his arrest, Hinton’s diary was revealed to contain descriptions of sexual torture and murder fantasies, along with lines such as “I am the devil” and “I want to kill and eat someone.” As a result, Hinton came to be known as the “cannibal rapist.”
Abi Color, who was 18 at the time, narrowly escaped Hinton’s rage when he tackled her, beat her, and attempted to sexually violate her. Fortunately, Color’s screams attracted passersby who rushed to help.
Now 22, Color says in a new interview that she attempted suicide six months after the attack and felt as though she had to move away from Peterborough when others “blamed” her for being victimized.
However, Abi Color reports now that she is standing strong, telling the Daily Mail, “That cannibal rapist really was the devil, he wasn’t wrong about that. But, I won’t let him break me.” [Daily Mail]
Verdict Overturned for German Ex-Cop Who Killed Date He Met on Cannibal Site
Last year, a German Federal Court convicted former police officer Detlev Günzel, 58, for the 2013 murder of Wojciech Stempniewicz, 59. The two men met on a website dedicated to cannibal fetishism billed as “the #1 site for exotic meat.”
During the trial, prosecutors played a video of Günzel that depicted him in his underwear, chopping up Stempniewicz’s corpse while pop music plays in the background.
The court found that Günzel killed Stempniewicz in the ex-cop’s basement BDSM torture chamber, then buried the victim’s dismembered body parts in a backyard garden. Günzel was sentenced to eight and a half years, less than the minimum of 15, because the defense team proved that Stempniewicz acutally wanted to die.
The verdict has now been overturned, though, as defense lawyers successfully argued on appeal that the notion that Stempniewicz strangled himself to death needs to be further investigated. Günzel will receive a new trial. [International Business Times]
Museum of Colorado Prisons Hosts “Cannibal Buffet”
At a benefit dinner for the Museum of Colorado Prisons, about 120 guests enjoyed a “cannibal buffet” that consisted of, among other treats, “elbow macaroni salad, eyeball meatballs … and lady fingers for dessert.”
The inspiration for the Halloween-season fundraiser came from Alferd Packer, one of America’s most notorious cannibals, who spent 15 years in the Colorado State Penitentiary for murder after eating his traveling companions to survive a winter storm in 1874.
An Alferd Packer imitator even walked around posing for photos and sizing up the nutritional value and approximate tastiness of the visitors.
Museum Director Stacey Cline said, “One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to support the museum.” [Canon City Daily Record]
Venezeula Investigates Prison Cannibal Murders
Earlier this month, Venezuela resident Juan Carlos Herrera grabbed international attention after claiming his 25-year-old son, Juan Carlos Herrera, Jr., was murdered, butchered, and eaten by a self-confessed cannibal and other inmates during a month-long prison uprising.
The victims’s family members allege that serial killer and cannibal Dorangel Vargas, known to Venezuelans as “People-Eater,” dismembered the bodies, then “cooked the flesh and gave it to the rest of the inmates with rice.”
Venezuelan authorities have gotten involved, confirming two deaths but not the specific details. Six policemen have been accused of helping prisoners during the rebellion.
Congressmen Franklyn Duarte said he has a video and other evidence proving the cannibalism. Prisons Minister Iris Varela said, “The criminal investigation bodies must say what happened, based on scientific proof.” [Reuters]
Main photo: Austin Harouff [Martin County Sheriff’s Office]