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Departments : It's a Jungle Out There

Bulletproof Potion Fails Test Trials...Tragedy Ensues

December 01, 2004  |  by Commander Gilmore

I've reported incidents where African ju-ju men have sold customers bullet-proofing amulets, spells, and something like protective sheep-dip treatments. And I've just as regularly reported on the failure of these anti-ballistic prophylactics. Now the latest report is in from Nigeria...

The government isn't releasing a lot of details because, they say, they don't want to encourage more experimentation. But at the same time, they want to get the word out to prospective bullet-proofing customers. This time, Nigerian officials cite the case of a witch doctor named Ashi Terfa, who apparently couldn't recruit any new test subjects, so he tried his latest potion on himself.

Not one of several bullets was reported to have been in any way prevented from ventilating ol' Ashi. So if somebody wants to sell you a refreshing after-shower body gel that'll stop 9mm hollowpoints, you might check with me first. I'll be first in line when it's perfected.

Educationally Challenged Crooks Strike Again

A lot of crooks presume they don't need stuff like "literacy" to make good in the field of crime, but you know how wrong they are. Here's another one for your scrapbook of examples:

At a freight warehouse near Johannesburg, South Africa, six heavily armed guys executed a picture-perfect entry and surprise raid, getting the drop on armed guards and several employees. The crooks blindfolded, gagged, and tied up their victims, then stood back to survey all the loot at their disposal.

Police later suggested the robbers couldn't read the manifest labels on all these sealed crates of goods. And oh, some of 'em were really "good-goods," too, that could have been pretty lucrative for the thieves. But the bad guys were short of education and time, so they loaded up 21 pallet-loads of likely looking hefty crates, stacked 'em in a big truck, and were outta there before dawn.

Their "take" turned out to be about $14,000 (retail) worth of cheap "Chappies" chewing gum. Now, how many big-time fences specialize in chewing gum?

Officers say the suspects probably worked hard through the night for minimum wage. Better than they'll get for labor in a South African prison, but still, probably not what they envisioned.

Drug Running, Back Stabbing All in the Family

Blood may be thicker than water, but apparently it's not thicker than dope. Three dudes and a dad were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in Britain after investigators learned that a bloody assault and robbery of a dope-dealing son was planned and paid for by his competition in the cocaine trade: his father.

Martin Williams, 60, hired three drug-world thugs to bushwhack his son Shane, 36, after Daddy Dearest found out sonny boy was sittin' on 76 kilos of fine coke worth 4.5 million pounds. The robbery featured B-movie touches like shocking Shane with a stun gun while his associate was repeatedly hammered on the noggin with a crowbar. It seems daddy only wanted Shane and his pal roughed up enough to make 'em cooperative.

What the crooks-all of 'em-didn't know was that the police already had 'em under surveillance, and the whole affair was witnessed. Bad breaks all around, lads... Dad and son probably won't be exchanging gifts this Christmas.

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