The Old Grey Mare She Ain't
What She Use To Be
In 1872, veteran prospectors Philip Arnold and John Slack bought $35,000 worth of diamonds in Europe and scattered them on land in Wyoming. They managed to convince the Bank of San Francisco they had discovered a diamond field and made $700,000.
Starting in 1921, Oscar Merril Hartzell began a scam selling fake shares in the estate of Sir Francis Drake. He contacted as many families as he could find with the surname Drake and was eventually accused of defrauding 270,000 people. The hoax netted him over $2,000,000.
When J. Bam Morrison arrived at Wetumka, Oklahoma in 1950, he claimed to be the advance publicity man for Bohn's United Circus, which, he maintained, was due to hit town in three weeks. He allegedly sold advertising space to local traders...
For a circus that didn't exist.
By forging signatures, James Addison Reavis was able to claim he was the legal owner of 17,000 square miles of Arizona. The enterprise raked in $300,000 a year until he was arrested in 1895 and he was sentenced to six years in prison.
Joseph Weill, who inspired the movie "The Sting," rented abandoned banks and convinced businessmen that he had set up a genuine bank. He waited for them to deposit large sums of money before shutting down and moving on to the next town. This, plus some of his other scams, earned him over $6,000,000.
-- Virginia Woman Wages Private War on Parking Violaters ---
She's called "The Boot Lady." Drivers unfortunate enough to park in Cat Crosby's assigned parking spaces in Alexandria, Va., likely will meet her because she watches for violations from her monitor camera in her office and when she spies one,
She attaches one of those parking boots on the car -- so it cannot be moved. The Washington Post reports several times a week there is a confrontation -- drivers who don't believe a private citizen can boot a vehicle and Crosby, who won't remove the boot until the offender pays her a $25 fine. Police are called, the paper says, to smooth things over and to tell angry drivers it actually is legal for Crosby to boot their vehicle. Crosby, who runs Kiniko Industrial Corp., works at an office complex where parking is scarce. Businesses are assigned a specific number of spaces. Police say her efforts are turning into a regular pain.
Australia's Newest Guard Animal - the Mini Camel
SYDNEY, Australia - Australian farmers have found the ultimate guard animal - the alpaca, a miniature camel from the high Andes. Alpacas are known for being extremely protective and like a good guard animal, they often sacrifice themselves to save their charges. When they see an enemy approach, for
instance a fox, they emit an ear-piercing shriek that alerts the sheep and farmer. Generally the fox become intimidated by the noise and simply leave. But alpaca breeder Geoff Fysh said, "Usually a fox is too quick and will get over a fence... but there are a handful of anecdotes of alpacas actually catching up with a fox and they will kill them if they get a chance. That's usually by trampling on them with their front feet which would be a pretty slow death...they don't
Have a hoof or anything."
Cab Driver Gives Thieves a Ride to the Police Station
MONTVILLE, Connecticut - Cab drivers often meet... Colorful characters, and Wednesday night was no different for Yellow Cab driver Dan Ricketts. He picked up two people, Gloria Smith, 49, and Reginald Corey, 44, from Dunkin' Donuts, and the patrons asked him to pick up their friend from a nearby
Gas station. Ricketts became alarmed when their "friend", Calvin Branham, 33, jumped in the cab and yelled "Go, go go!" instead of giving a new destination. "I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach," said the driver. Fortunately, Ricketts heard a startling announcement on his police scanner. Police indicated there had just been a
robbery at a gas station and that a cab had been seen in the area, but the three customers didn't hear it. Ricketts cleverly drove the three stooges to the police station, where Smith and Corey were easily arrested. Branham managed to escape but was arrested after a half-hour chase through the woods. They are now being held on several charges.
Owner Discouraged By Dog's Cigarette Habit
MIDDLESBROUGH, England - Yvonne Stubbs has decided to give up smoking not for health reasons, but to help cure her pet dog's 20-a-day addiction to cigarettes. Her dog Patch, a Jack Russell, immediately attacks the ash tray when she puts
out a cigarette. He is addicted to chewing the tobacco and likes to spit out the filters. If Patch goes for too long without a cigarette, he whines and makes begging noises until he gets what he wants. His owner has even considered getting him a nicotine patch. "I don't begrudge anybody a fag, but this is ridiculous. He doesn't like whole cigarettes, just the ends. I would try nicotine patches on him, but I don't know where I'd put them and he'd just scratch them off," said Stuffs. In the meantime, she and her daughter are trying to stop smoking to encourage Patch to give up the habit as well.
Toddler Hits the Road at 4 AM to Search for Parents
SAN JOSE, California - Little three-year-old Lupita woke up in the middle of the night to a dark, quiet house. Instead of panicking when she couldn't locate her parents, she put on her backpack, and wearing only pajamas, hit the road in search of her loved ones. Tow-truck driver Ken Pinkham was returning home at 4:00 am when he saw the toddler walking
on the side of the road all by herself. As he passed her, Pinkham says Lupita shot him dirty looks. Trying not to frighten her, he quietly went back to his truck and called the police, keeping an eye on her all the while. When officers arrived at the scene, Lupita kicked one of them in the genitals, yelling in Spanish. They found her address in the girl's backpack and took her home. That's when the real story unfolded - Lupita's mother was pregnant, and her parents had to suddenly leave for the hospital. But they didn't leave the girl unsupervised. They told a roommate that they were leaving, but the roommate promptly went back