Weird news 2/12/17
Weird news of the week.
ASTORIA, NEW YORK — A Queens museum has announced plans to close the anti-Trump art installation conceptualized by actor Shia LaBoeuf because it has become a “flashpoint for violence.”
LaBeouf’s art collective LaBeouf, Ronkko, and Turner introduced the HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS project on January 20.
The project involved asking people to say the words “He will not divide us” into a camera mounted on a wall outside the Museum of Moving Image.
The plan was to keep the webcam in place for the duration of Trump’s presidency.
But ironically, altercations between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators have created what a museum official described in a statement as “a public safety hazard,” according to the New York Post.
In addition, neighbors complained about noisy, all-night visitors loitering, urinating, and smoking marijuana.
The statement revealed that the installation began “constructively,” but “deteriorated markedly” after an arrest at the site.
LaBeouf himself was handcuffed at the site last month after a screaming match with a 25-year-old man who voiced support for Nazis turned physical.
This reportedly led to more arrested and round-the-clock police patrols.
Gilberto Valle, the former NYPD officer nicknamed “Cannibal Cop” by the media, has revealed that he still visits flesh-eating fetish websites “on occasion.”
He said: “It’s not a crime to fantasize about people you know. It’s not a crime to fantasize about committing crimes against people you know. It’s action [that’s illegal]. There were no actions taken, period.”
In 2012, Valle’s wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, discovered her husband spending time in online chat rooms where shared detailed ideas about to how he would abduct, rape and cannibalize women.
Kathleen then told authorities that her husband was actively plotting to kill and eat more than 100 women, including herself.
Acting on the tip, the FBI found a “target list” of names, addresses, and photographs of women on Valle’s computer.
Valle was convicted in 2013 for kidnapping conspiracy, but the verdict was overturned 21 months later.
Now Valle has penned a new book, Raw Deal: The Untold Story of NYPD’s “Cannibal Cop,” to tell his side of what transpired.
Valle insists that he never intended to carry out the dark deeds he fantasized about online, and says his function as “The Chef“‘ on the fetish website was to create role-play scenarios for people interested in cannibalism fantasies — and to help his writing.
In an excerpt published by the New York Post, Valle attempts to compare his fetish to BDSM, which has bee brought into the mainstream by the Fifty Shades of Grey book series and their movie adaptations, one of which, Fifty Shades Darker, opens today.
In addition, Valle reveals that he tried for years to hide his dark secret and felt freedom when he found an online community of like-minded enthusiasts.
He maintains that many people are too “embarrassed” to admit to their true desires, and says women have contacted him online to talk about his interest in the cannibal kink.
On the website of his book’s publisher, WildBlue Press, Valle states: “The issue of thought crimes is one reason I wanted to write this book.”
He further elucidates: “Maybe a more important reason for me, personally, is the feeling that I owe it to myself and everyone who wholeheartedly believed in my innocence from the day I was arrested to finally get the accurate, true story out there.”
Though a court acquitted him, Valle’s fetish cost him his law enforcement career. The NYPD fired Valle following his arrest. He now works at a friend’s construction company.
Kathleen Mangan-Valle divorced the ex-cop and has reportedly moved to Nevada with their infant daughter.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Matthew Stager, a tattoo-covered convicted sex offender wanted by U.S. Marshals, was captured in Washington D.C. Wednesday.
Police say the 45-year-old was released Thursday from the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, and was due to check in to a transitional center in Texas.
After he failed to show up, U.S. Marshals issued a wanted alert, describing him as having distinctive tattoos on his face, head, and neck.
A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals told the Washington Post that Stager was convicted in 1999 in North Carolina for indecent liberties with a minor, a charge that forced him to register as a sex offender. He was then convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in 2013.
Authorities say Stager has a history of drug abuse and mental-health issues.
“Thanks to the extensive media coverage, U.S. Marshals received numerous [tips] throughout the day with several reported sightings of Stager in Washington D.C,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Leuer. “U.S. Marshals followed up on all tips, and worked with the Metropolitan Police Department to canvass D.C. in an effort to locate Stager.”
At around 4 P.M. Stager was observed walking down the street near the D.C. Superior Court by two Metropolitan Police Department officers, who took him into custody without incident.
LONDON, UK — An off-duty policeman arrested a suspected shoplifter while he was on a bar-crawl night out with a group of friends — all dressed as giraffes.
Ben Perkins spotted the alleged thief running out of a TK Maxx store in Brixton, south London, and chased him along with two friends.
PC Perkins tweeted a photo of the bizarre incident online, which has been re-shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter.
One colleague cheekily commented: “Always good to see officers sticking their necks out.”
Perkins wrote under the photo: “Not sure if this is a #LifeGoal or not, but just assisted @LambethMPS detain shoplifter whilst dressed as #Giraffe in #Brixton #NeverOffDuty.”
Other Twitter users praised PC Perkins for his productive night out. Patrick Shanley wrote: “Perhaps my favorite tweet ever.”
When news broke that a sex offender had been arrested after his girlfriend’s torso, arms, and legs were found at a trash facility in the Bronx, many horrified online commenters wondered how it was possible for a body to be dumped in such a densely populated area.
Police say that a sanitation worker was strong-armed into helping convicted sex offender Somorie Moses get rid of the remains of 32-year-old Leondra Foster, according to the Daily News. If an eagle-eyed bulldozer operator had not spotted her remains, Foster’s body could easily have disappeared forever among mountains of trash.
It may seem hard to believe in a city of more than 8 million people, but urban graveyards are hiding in plain sight.
Here are five more that have made headlines:
1. Ocean Parkway/Gilgo Beach, Long Island
It’s been six years since police discovered more than 10 bodies around Gilgo Beach on Long Island while investigating Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old escort who disappeared in May 2010 after meeting a client she had arranged via Craigslist.The case remains unsolved, but it’s clear that the “Long Island Serial Killer” chose this desolate stretch of highway for a reason: It’s remote, and the thick vegetation means that a body left there could be invisible from the highway even if it was only dumped a few feet away.
In 2011, clinical and forensic psychologist Barbara Kirwin told the Daily News: “That desolate stretch of Gilgo Beach is a haunted graveyard, and what holds it all together is that it is an unpatrolled, completely private and deserted place where you can dump a body.”
While searching for bodies, rescuers in the LISK case battled pine trees infested with poison ivy and had their clothes — and skin — torn by the prickly underbrush.
2. The East River
New York City’s East River has long been a dumping ground for dead bodies — and, sadly, a popular suicide site.According to New York Magazine, bodies dumped in the river during the winter months often stay underwater and don’t resurface until April, when decomposition speeds up. The New York Daily News refers to the phenomenon, when the river’s waters warm, as the “Rites of Spring.”
Notorious serial killer Joel Rifkin dumped body parts of at least two of his victims in the East River. Between 1989 to 1993, it is believed that Rifkin murdered and dismembered between nine and 17 bodies.
3. Fountain AvenueFountain Avenue is a street in Brooklyn that runs from Atlantic and Conduit Avenues in the north to the Belt Parkway in the south. It’s a desolate, industrial area where vacant lots and abandoned brick buildings are juxtaposed with landfill and swamplike forest growth.
Fountain Avenue has been infamous as a dumping ground for bodies of the Mob since the 1930s, when a group known as Murder, Inc. used the area as a dumping round.
Later Roy DeMeo, a Gambino soldier, was said to have disposed of as many as 200 bodies in the area. The most recent body discovered was Imette St. Guillen, a John Jay College graduate student, on February 25, 2006. Her body was wrapped in a blanket with packing tape around the eyes and mouth, and lying on a bank overlooking Jamaica Bay.
4. Pelham Bay Park
Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City and extends from the upper Bronx into Westchester County. From 1986 to 1995, at least 65 bodies were discovered in the park, according to the New York Times. The park’s remote location, accessibility from a nearby highway, and complete darkness also made the area a hotspot for ritualistic animal sacrifices. In the early 1990s, a young police officer saw two men exit the woods late at night, and when he stopped to question them, he noticed their blood-stained hands. Thinking that the men may have been shooting animals in the woods, he questioned them. They insisted that the officer would not find any dead animals in the woods, so he let them go — and later discovered a dead human.
5. The Meadowlands
Though technically located in New Jersey, the swampy Meadowlands area has long been known as another area where corpses simply disappear. The Mob used the area to dump toxic materials as well as dead bodies in the area, which has remained a vital home to birds and other waterfowl. Rumor has it that Jimmy Hoffa’s body is buried in the area, but no trace of his remains have ever been found.