Armed thieves in New Delhi, India, left a craftsman deep in debt after they made off with 500 pounds of wigs and raw hair worth more than $20,000 on July 27, according to the Associated Press. "People think wigs are cheap, but they cost a fortune to make," wig-maker Jahangir Hussain said. In fact, he had borrowed more than $17,000 to buy hair last month from South Indian wholesalers. India exports wigs and hair extensions to the tune of $300 million a year; much of the raw materials are collected at Hindu temples where people shave their heads as a religious sacrifice, a practice called tonsuring.
The list of offenses was long when Franklyn Williams, 32, appeared in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court on July 31 to be sentenced for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and more — including cutting off his ankle bracelet late last year and fleeing to Nebraska, where he claimed he was hit over the head and lost his memory. But it was his courtroom behavior that spurred Judge John Russo to call for an extreme measure: During the hearing, Williams would not stop talking, even interrupting his own lawyers repeatedly over about 30 minutes. Finally, Russo ordered deputies to tape the defendant's mouth shut, reported Fox 8 in Cleveland. Williams continued to talk until deputies applied more tape, and finally Russo sentenced him to 24 years in prison.
Plagued by foul odor
West Valley City, Utah, has a malodorous mystery on its hands. The community stinks, and for the past year, officials have been fielding complaints about the odor, which city communications director Sam Johnson described as "a musty sewer smell ... that you can smell in certain parts of the city stronger," according to Fox 13. The city has now launched a campaign recruiting residents to help pinpoint the source of the odor: "If you smell something, say something." They're hoping more complaints will spur Salt Lake County and Utah's Department of Environmental Quality to investigate and take action.
Zemarcuis Devon Scott, 18, of Texarkana, Ark., really wanted to attend a rap concert in another state, so on July 4 he executed his plan to get there: Scott was seen by Texarkana Regional Airport security officers around 2:30 a.m. jumping a fence and trying to get into an American Eagle twin-engine jet parked there. When police arrived, Scott was inside the cockpit, sitting in the pilot's seat, the Texarkana Gazette reported. Scott, not a licensed pilot, told officers he thought there wasn't much more to flying a plane than pushing buttons and pulling levers. On July 31, he was charged with commercial burglary and attempted theft; he's been grounded at the Miller County jail.
In Bluffton, S.C., 32-year-old Lauren Elizabeth Cutshaw informed police officers she was a former cheerleader, sorority girl, good student and National Honor Society member after they pulled her over at 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 4 for running a stop sign at 30 mph over the speed limit. According to the Island Packet, she also told officers she shouldn't be arrested because she's a "very clean, thoroughbred, white girl." She said she'd had only two glasses of wine, but then allowed, "I mean, I was celebrating my birthday." Police arrested her anyway.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.