It may not be the oldest fruitcake still (mostly) uneaten, but it could be the most beloved. The Detroit News reported that the Ford family of Tecumseh, Mich., has been cherishing Fidelia Ford's fruitcake since 1878 — over five generations. Julie Ruttinger, great-great-granddaughter to Fidelia, inherited the confection from her father, Morgan Ford, who kept it in an antique glass compote dish in his china cabinet until his death in 2013. It doesn't much look, or smell, like a fruitcake anymore ("Smells like old people," Morgan once said), but Ruttinger is determined to keep Fidelia's legacy alive. Each year, Fidelia made a cake that was meant to age until the next Christmas season. But in 1878, she died before her cake could be enjoyed. When Morgan was buried, the family tucked a piece of the cake into his jacket pocket. "He took care of it to the day he left the Earth," Ruttinger said.
Last year during the holiday season, former NASA engineer Mark Rober of Santa Clarita, Calif., created a glitter bomb exploding package in response to having a package stolen from his front porch. This year, Rober has an improved version: When it is touched, the BBC reported on Dec. 17, the box explodes in glitter and emits an unpleasant odor along with a soundtrack of police chatter. It also takes a video of the thief and uploads it to the cloud. One of the sponsors for Rober's project is "Home Alone" actor Macaulay Culkin. "I have literally spent the last 10 months designing, building and testing a new and improved design for 2019," Rober said.
No good deed
Virginia Saavedra, 37, ran to a home in Sophia, N.C., on Dec. 11, telling the resident she had just escaped being kidnapped by a stranger. When the man let her sit in his truck to warm up while he called 911, Saavedra allegedly stole the truck, according to the Randolph County Sheriff's Office. Officers responding to the 911 call spotted the truck and engaged in a 26-mile high-speed chase before trapping the truck. The Associated Press reported Saavedra then rammed a patrol car before trying to flee on foot. She was charged with more than a dozen crimes.
Government in action
A sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted an unexpected country on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Tariff Tracker list: Wakanda. The fictional country from the "Black Panther" film made the list of free trade agreement partners. USDA spokesperson Mike Illenberg told NBC News on Dec. 18 the agency had used Wakanda to test the tracking system and had forgotten to remove it from the list. "The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down."
Police in Tooele, Utah, conducting a welfare check on 75-year-old Jeanne Souron-Mathers on Nov. 22, found the woman dead of natural causes in her apartment, but as they searched further, they came upon the body of her husband, Paul Edward Mathers, in a freezer chest. With his body was a notarized letter, signed by Mathers and dated Dec. 2, 2008, stating that his wife didn't kill him. "We believe he had a terminal illness," police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen told Fox13. Paul was last seen alive on Feb. 4, 2009, at a doctor's appointment at the Veterans Affairs hospital. Investigators are probing whether the couple made the plan so that Jeanne would continue to receive her husband's government benefits. A neighbor, Evan Kline, said: "The story ... was her husband walked out on her. ... It was probably the plan for her to keep the money because it was her only source of income." Officials believe she received at least $177,000 in benefits over 10 years.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.