Culture

The 5 Weirdest Crime Stories of the Week

5. Albino Toddler Kidnapped by Witches (Tanzania) 

On Saturday the 14th an 18-month-old albino toddler was kidnapped from a home in Northern Tanzania. According to the father, who was nearby during the attack, two bandits armed with machetes stormed the house, slashed the mother to death, and kidnapped their baby son. Their motive: to use the child’s body parts as part of a witchcraft ritual. Sound fishy? It’s not. Since the year 2000 at least 74 albinos have been murdered in East Africa because, due to the rarity of albinos, their severed limbs are believed to have spiritual powers. Their body parts sell for $600 and an entire albino corpse sells for $75,000. There’s a Tanzanian election in October of this year and political hopefuls often turn to sorcery to give their campaign an edge.

4. Woman Stabs Herself on Valentine’s Day (South Carolina)

On Saturday the 14th 29-year-old Heather Freeman likely realized how lonely she was on Valentine’s Day morning, and devised a plan to draw some attention to herself. She called police with a report of being attacked and sexually assaulted by a Hispanic male who fled the scene. She had stab wounds on her neck, face, and near her vagina to prove it. At the hospital she changed her story and reported the assailant to be her black friend named Phil. The investigating officers’ suspicions were eventually confirmed when Freeman later admitted to making the entire story up and stabbing herself. She’s been charged with filing a false police report.

3. Vanilla Ice Charged with Burglary (Florida)

1990s rapper Vanilla Ice is trying to make a comeback on an upcoming show for the DIY Network called “The Vanilla Ice Project.” On this show the cameras roll as Vanilla Ice (a.k.a. Robert Van Winkle) and his crew renovate multi-million dollar houses. Unfortunately the discovery of stolen furniture in the house Van Winkle was renovating, taken from the foreclosed estate next door, was, according to the ex-rapper, “blown out of proportion.” He’s been charged with burglary and is currently out on bail. Ice awaits word back from the DIY Network whether or not this will affect the airing of his show.

2. Psychic Fulfills His Murder Prophecy (Kansas)

Daniel Perez (55) was a self-proclaimed psychic and leader of a commune made up of voluntary members of various ages. This Wednesday Perez was found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of member Patricia Hughes (26). Apparently Perez predicted Hughes would die, and then several days later staged her death to appear as if she had drowned. After reporting this incident, the commune proceeded to collect $1.24 million in a life insurance pay-out. Eleven years later, one of the commune members, who had been sexually molested by Perez multiple times, came forward to officials and reported the truth behind Hughes’ death.

1. Police Chief Collecting Pension While Behind Bars (Georgia)

Savannah-Chatham County’s former Police Chief Willie Lovett was recently convicted of extortion and illegal gambling, which apparently doesn’t prevent him from collecting his retirement pension. Lovett’s pension is $130,000 per year – spread out over a 7 ½ year sentence means he’ll be getting paid nearly $1 million to serve time. Local city council members are outraged because a state law that forces convicted public employees to give up a chunk of their pensions was enacted “after” the police chief was hired. In other words, Lovett’s upper tax-bracket status as a professional inmate has been “grandfathered in.” Even the mayor admits that “there may be nothing we can do.”