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In The Mean Time...

Sumter, SC – A South Carolina man has been accused of cutting off a person’s hand so he and two others could collect an insurance payout.

Back in May of 2008, the recession had kicked into high gear. People were losing their jobs, watching their investments dwindle and losing their homes. Perhaps the resulting desperation motivated the plan hatched by 34-year-old Gerald Hardin and two unnamed cohorts.

Federal investigators allege that Hardin used a pole saw, a small chain saw attached to a pole normally reserved for removing tree limbs, to saw off the hand of an accomplice. After a trip to the local emergency room, doctors unsuccessfully tried to reattach the extremity.

Conveniently, a member of the trio had the foresight to take out three death and dismemberment policies on their now-one-handed co-conspirator. After cashing in on these policies, along with a homeowners insurance policy settlement, the group netted over $671,000 which they divided between them.

It is unclear what spurred the investigation by the FBI, but sufficient evidence was gathered to result in them charging Hardin with six crimes, including mail fraud.…

Vinhedo, Brazil – I don’t normally post stories out of Brazil, but like animal attacks, I am morbidly fascinated by amusement park accidents. This probably stems from the film ROLLERCOASTER and my own experience with a Myrtle Beach roller coaster called The Black Witch that claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl.

In this case, a 14-year-old girl plummeted to her death after falling out of a ride at the Hopi Hari theme park in the Brazilian city of Vinhedo.

The teen, identified as Gabriela Yokuri Michelari, was on the ride “La Tour Eiffel” with her family when the incident occurred. The ride is a free-fall type ride in which five people are seated side by side, hoisted up a 224-foot tall tower and then dropped 129 feet. After reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour, the riders are slowed down by electromagnetic brakes.

Witnesses say the instant these brakes were activated to stop the fall, the security catch of the girl’s seat opened, causing the girl to fall forward out of the ride, landing face down on the pavement at the base of the tower 80-90 feet below.…

Joanna RamosLONG BEACH, CA – An 11-year-old girl died on Friday, hours after she got into an after school fight with another girl over a boy.

Joanna Ramos and another girl had gotten into an altercation the day before, but had decided to settle their grievances in a prearranged fight to take place after school Friday, in an alley near Willard Elementary.

Witnesses say the about seven people attended the meet and watched as the two girls took off their backpacks, put their hair up and then started hitting each other. A friend of Ramos said that some attempted to break up the fight, but others there would not let them.

The altercation wasn’t especially serious and lasted only a minute. Police say no weapons were used and neither girl were knocked to the ground. Ramos walk away with no bruises or scratches, but did suffer a bloody nose.

After returning to her after school program, Ramos complained that she was not feeling well. Her family picked her up and took her home where she complained about a headache and began vomiting.…

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – A woman in Ohio has been charged with hiring a hit man to kill a random person wearing fur at a public library.

Police say 27-year-old Meredith Lowell, a self-proclaimed animal rights activist, created a fake Facebook profile under the alias Anne Lowery to help her find someone willing to kill a person in cold blood to draw attention to the crimes she says are being committed by the fur industry. Using this profile, she posted the following request:

“I would like to create an online community on facebook which would allow me to find someone who is willing to kill someone who is wearing fur toward the end of October 2011 or early November 2011 or possibly in January 2012 or February 2012 at the latest.”

It didn’t take long before she got a taker; an undercover FBI agent who had been alerted to the post. The agent contacted Lowell and through emails, she was able to provide more details on the job she wanted done.…

Upper Chichester, PA – No matter what your age, hearing one of your parents in the throes of love-making is an unnerving experience. But imagine being a 14-year-old awakened by the sounds of your mother in the throes of passion and then finding her having sex with your 15-year-old friend in the living room.

That’s exactly what happened to a young man in Pennsylvania, after he and a teenage friend spent some time with his mom, 34-year-old Teri Mezzatesta (aka Mrs. Free). After the trio drank some alcohol and smoked some pot, Mezzatesta’s son got tired and crashed in his room. He woke up later to the sound of his mother’s voice.

When he walked into the living room, he found his friend balls deep inside his 5 feet 9, 260 pound mother. After regaining his site, he punched his friend in the face and told him to get out. His mother begged him not to say anything or she would go to jail. The teen returned later that night because he had nowhere to go, and he was allowed to stay.…

Fishers, IN – Sarah E. Rust, 28, has been arrested by police as a result of an incident on January 24 when her boyfriend’s dog was allegedly thrown from the balcony of their apartment. The dog, Raider, died from the injuries suffered on impact.

Police first received a tip that Rust’s boyfriend had told both a neighbor and a veterinarian who had been unable to revive the dog that Rust had thrown the dog from the second story balcony during an argument. When police questioned the man later, he reportedly told them instead that the dog’s falling from the balcony had been an accident.

During the course of the investigation, the ex-girlfriend of the man – who reportedly shared ownership of Raider – visited Raider’s gravesite only to find a letter to the dead dog written by Rust. It began:

Dear Raider,
First and Foremost Forgive me, but also forgive me and your daddy for fighting. We brought your life into our quarrel. You did not deserve to be any part of our combat.

Pinellas Park, FL – By anyone’s standards, 20-year-old Danielle Maudsley’s day was already off to a bad start. An earlier chain of events had led to her being handcuffed and sitting in a detention room in a Florida Highway Patrol substation. Maudsley (pictured) was a suspect in two hit-and-run crashes and reportedly had drugs in her system. Her arresting officer, Trooper Daniel Cole, was sitting nearby busy completing paperwork.

Maudsley’s day became infinitely more complicated when she made a run for it. She got out the door and into the parking lot. It was then that Cole – only a few steps behind – leveled his Taser on Maudsley’s back and fired. In a single motion, Maudsley would spin around, fall, and strike her head squarely on the asphault.

Oddly and conveniently, dashcam video from a nearby cruiser recorded the incident. Maudsley is seen on the video recording clutching her head and struggled to rise.

She then reportedly said “I can’t get up.” Those would be her final words. Maudsley has been in a vegetative state ever since.…

Munich, Germany – Remember your shock and dismay when, as a teen, you first ran across the strap-on that your mom used on your dad? If so, you have an idea of the trauma that has been caused to a 15-year-old German girl who – while flipping television channels – saw her parents on a program about swingers and sex clubs.

After reportedly stumbling upon the television program, the girl had the displeasure of seeing her mother wearing stockings and suspenders in a cage with her father nearby dressed as Batman while holding a sex toy. The resulting ‘emotional upset for their daughter’ prompted the couple to file a lawsuit against the German station RTL for ‘massive damages.’

An inquiry established that the production company responsible for producing the report for RTL was supposed to pixelate the couple’s faces – but reportedly ‘forgot.’ “Forgot,” of course, is television industry shorthand for “the pixelation process is really difficult with a donut in one hand and your johnson in the other.”

Despite the hard evidence, the parents were disappointed when told by the presiding judge that, in order to proceed with the lawsuit, the girl would have had to appear in court to testify and describe her shock – further deepening her trauma.…

St. Louis, MO — An 18-year-old man who reportedly asked a friend to shoot him in the head at point-blank range earlier this week has died.

According to police, Matthew Pellegrini, 21-year-old Kevin Beindorff, and another person were sitting in a car outside Beindorff’s home late Tuesday evening when Beindorff showed his friends a revolver. For whatever reason, Pellegrini apparently asked Beindorff to shoot him. Being a real gem of a friend, Beidorff complied, firing one shot directly into Pellegrini’s forehead.

Police say Beindorff then drove his friend to a local hospital for treatment.

Initially charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action, Beindorff’s charges were upgraded to murder Thursday, after Pellegrini was taken off life support. Bond has been set at $300,000.…

Iowa City, IA — Natasha Kriener, 26, turned herself in last week on child endangerment charges after doctors discovered her toddler had a BAC of .097.

The 22-month-old boy was apparently crying and unsteady on his feet when his father picked him up for visitation on February 15. Dad had the boy seen in the emergency room, and was more than likely expecting doctors to tell him the kid had an ear infection. Instead, doctors told the man the kid was sh*tfaced.

As previously stated, the 45-pound child’s BAC was .097 – the legal limit in the state of Iowa is .08.

When police made contact with Kreiner later that day, they learned she, too, was intoxicated. Police say Kreiner’s BAC was .251. And after failing to explain how her son got hold of the alcohol, one of her other children stepped up to the plate and told police the toddler “drank pop and got sick.”

Kriener is now being held in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of $ 20,000 cash-only bail.…

New Castle, IN — A 56-year-old woman is facing battery charges after her two young grandsons claimed she burned their tongues with a heater, causing blisters.

The injuries were discovered late last month after the boys, ages 6 and 3, were returned to their foster parents after a visit with their grandmother.

The older child reportedly told police he and his brother were ordered to line up with their tongues sticking out. Grandma then used a screen from the front of a heater to burn them.

After an investigation that spanned nearly a month, Shirley Hagerman was taken into custody on two felony counts of battery. Police say she bonded out the day after her arrest.

No word on the motive behind the alleged incident, but I’m going with crazy.…

GADSDEN, ALA. –  The grandmother and step-mom of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin are currently in jail, both accused of forcing the girl to run for three hours straight until she had a seizure and later died.

According to police, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard and 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, were punishing the girl for eating candy bars and then lying about it. They forced her to run around their double-wide trailer until she eventually collapsed. Her mother called 911 but Savannah would die days later at the hospital.

Her father was working overseas when he found out that his daughter was in the hospital and took eight flights to be with her. Four hours later, Savannah would be taken off the ventilator.

A state pathologist ruled Savannah’s death a homicide after finding she was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level at the time of her death, suffering from a condition common in marathon runners.

Joyce Hardin Garrard and Jessica Mae Hardin

“Basically she was caused to undergo physical exertion to the point in time where she just got dehydrated and her electrolyte levels got to the point where she couldn’t survive life,” Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp said.…

BREMERTON, Wash. – An 8-year old girl is in critical condition after a gun being carried by a 9-year-old classmate accidentally discharged shot her in the stomach.

The shooting occurred yesterday at around 1:30 p.m. inside a third grade classroom at Armin Jahr Elementary School. The gun was inside the boy’s backpack when it discharged, hitting Amina Kocer-Bowman in the abdomen.

Police are investigating how the boy got the gun and why he brought it to school in the first place, but feel the shooting was accidental. Bowman was in critical condition last night after surgery but her friends and family gave reporters a ‘thumbs up’ signal as they left the hospital later that night.

The boy who brought the gun was booked into juvenile detention for investigation of unlawful possession of a gun, bringing a dangerous weapon to school and third-degree assault. KIRO reported that the husband of the teacher who was in the classroom when the shooting happened, said the student who allegedly had the gun was recently transferred to the school and had been a real problem in the classroom.…

North Knox County, TN - Trooper Charles Van Morgan has been terminated, after an incident in which, according to his his supervisor, Van Morgan knowingly passed the scene of a crash of a vehicle he had been pursuing that resulted in the driver’s death. Dashcam video and Van Morgan’s statements and actions after the crash contributed to the case against him.

In November 2011, Van Morgan was in pursuit of Kyle Anito, 20, for speeding. The dashcam video shows the high speed chase in which Anito progressively gains distance on Trooper Van Morgan. About one minute and 20 seconds into the released dashcam video, Van Morgan is seen rounding a corner and passing by a plume of smoke from the burning wreckage of a car that had crashed into a tree. At this instant, Van Morgan slows his car from 51mph to 21ph. He then re-accelerates, radios that he is terminating the pursuit, and pulls off on the side of the road about 1/2 mile up.

Procedure dictates that a trooper remain on the side of the road for at least one minute before shutting off a dashcam.…

Pulpit of Doom Podcast – Episode 19

February 23, 2012 at 9:13 am by  

Here, Now – Thanks to everyone who stopped by last night to listen to our 19th edition of The Pulpit of Doom and thanks to Jaded and Dai Green from for helping me out. You can listen to it by clicking here.

I thought it was a pretty good show even though we all stayed sober throughout. Clocking in at over 90 minutes, we barely had time to cover all the stories on the site from the last few days, including police beating a car with a tree, honor beatings with a shoe, an animal rights group losing an expensive piece of equipment to some hunters (and our first article featured on, naked women beating naked toddlers, a starved, imprisoned teen forced to eat out of the trash, a prostitute who lost some limbs to a pit bull, the dangers of not monitoring your teen’s online activity, couch surfing mayhem, an exploding breast implantracist white girls on video, and a superintendent busted molesting a dog.…

Austin, TX – For renowned police critic and Grits for Breakfast blogger Scott Henson, it could have been so perfect.  On the night in question, the very white Henson was walking his black 5-year-old granddaughter home through a park.  Someone at the park called 911, alleging that a white man was chasing and attempting to kidnap a young black child.  As you might expect, police swarmed the area, and that’s where the drama begins.

The following Saturday, the aggravated Henson took to the blog, crafting a hypercritical version of events titled, “Me, APD and ‘Babysitting While White,’ Part Deux”.  He begins by linking the incident to a question posed on the blog previously:  “Is babysitting while white reasonable suspicion for police questioning?”  It’s every bit as reasonably suspicious as Driving While Black or Painting While Hispanic, if you ask me.

Henson describes being stopped by an officer who asked his granddaughter if she knew him.  When she responded that it was her grandfather, the officer let them continue on their way. …

Rye, NY — A building superintendent previously employed at the Rye Colony apartment complex is presumably hanging his head in shame after a suspicious tenant learned the super had been entering his apartment and buggerin’ his male Labrador Retriever.

The unidentified tenant told investigators he suspected someone had been illegally entering his apartment while he was gone, so he set up a nannycam. On February 8, said cam captured 41-year-old Kujtim Nicaj entering the apartment with his key. Once inside, police say, Nicaj proceeded to sodomize the critter.

After learning of the arrest, property manager Mike May promptly sh*tcanned Nicaj, who had worked at the complex for six years. May also took away all the keys Nicaj had to residents’ apartments.

Nicaj, a married father of two, was arrested on charges of burglary and sexual misconduct. He has since been released on $100,000 bail.

Nicaj’s lawyer, Steven Davidson, said that his client denies molesting the dog. And though he is aware of the videotape, he claims the neither he nor his client have been given the opportunity to view it.…

FORT LEE, N.J. —  Police in New Jersey have arrested a man, accusing him of murdering his girlfriend by repeatedly running her over with his car.

Charles Ann, 26, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after police say he repeatedly ran over his girlfriend of one year, 25-year-old Aena Hong. She and Ann had been walking and arguing just before the incident, apparently over Hong wanting to end their relationship.

Ann allegedly got into his 2011 Hyundai Sonata and intentionally ran Hong down as she crossed the road. Not quite finished, he put the car in reverse and backed over her body before driving forward over Hong again. He did this approximately three more times before fleeing the scene.

Hong was rushed to the hospital but would die from her injuries. Ann was later found hiding at a friends house where he was arrested. The coward had a large amount of cash and his passport with him when he was caught.…