"God Hates Fags"
Demonstrations Continue
by Chuck Shepherd
sources: Columbus Dispatch; Pryor Daily Times

April 7, 1993

After two years of staging anti-gay demonstrations at funerals of AIDS victims in Kansas, Baptist Rev. Fred Phelps staged one in Kansas City, Missouri. Last year, Kansas put a stop to Phelps's tactics by making such demonstrations illegal. (The Topeka, Kansas, minister routinely pickets with signs such as "God Hates Fags: Romans 9:13" and publishes a "Save the Gerbils" pamphlet.) Kansas City was considering a similar ordinance but did not enact it soon enough. Earlier this year, Phelps admitted he had made up a rumor that a Topeka city council member had AIDS.

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Save the Gerbils, Jr.

"God Hates Fags"
For School Credit?
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Topeka Capital Journal

October 12, 1994

The grandson of Rev. Fred Phelps, the Topeka, Kansas, preacher who routinely pickets with harsh anti-gay signs at the funerals of AIDS victims, petitioned the Topeka school district to be allowed to participate in the district's "public service" program designed to encourage high school students to volunteer time to improve the community. The grandson's "public service" would be to picket alongside Phelps to help rid the community of homosexual behavior.

[As of mid-March, 1995, the district had still not decided whether to grant the petition.]

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Prayer and Naked Paddling

Police Stop School's
Biblical Discipline
by Chuck Shepherd
scource: Arizona Republic

March 22, 1995

Phoenix, Arizona, police arrested a Christian school headmaster, Michael William Wetton, and charged him with child abuse. A woman and her 15-year-old daughter had met with Wetton to consider enrolling the girl, and, according to police, Wetton demonstrated the school's Christian discipline by forcing the girl to strip and submit to a paddling while reciting the Lord's Prayer.

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Aum Shinri Kyo Leader
Collected Pubic Hairs
From His Followers
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Reuter

September 13, 1995

According to current and former members of Japan's Aum Shinri Kyo cult (accused of the subway gas attacks) quoted by Reuters News Service, leader Shoko Asahara collected a souvenir pubic hair from each of the 30 to 40 female followers with whom he had slept. Asahara reportedly placed the strands of hair in small plastic bags inside bottles, each labeled with the woman's name.

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He Spared Her From
Losing Her Virginity

Court: Religious Values
Mitigate Sodomy of Child
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Globe and Mail

January 15, 1994

In Montreal, Quebec, Judge Raymonde Verreault sentenced a 37-year-old man to only 23 months in prison for a series of sexual assaults from 1989 to 1991 on his stepdaughter, who was nine years old when the attacks started. Verreault, who is female, said the mitigating factor for the light sentence was that the man had "spared the victim." Said Verreault, because the assaults had been by sodomy and not "normal" intercourse, "[the victim] retained her virginity, which seems to be a very important value in their religion [Islam]."

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Pastors Engage
In Power Struggle
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Bangkok Post, Reuters

March, 1994

A pastor in Libungan, Philippines, accused another pastor of biting off his ear and spitting it out during a fight this spring over which of the two would be in charge of their church.

[Mike Tyson's office could not be reached for comment. -- cw]

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Undesirable Christian Sects

Klan Attire Requested
During Trial
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Houston Post

February 13, 1994

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, accused murderer Donald Leroy Evans, 38, filed a pre-trial motion asking permission to wear a Ku Klux Klan robe in the courtroom and to be referred to in legal documents by "the honorable and respected name of Hi Hitler." According to courthouse employees interviewed by the Associated Press, Evans thought Adolf Hitler's followers were saying "Hi Hitler" rather than "Heil, Hitler."

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Saint Rescues Souls

Mentally Ill Still
Chained To Gravesites
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Des moines Register

February 1, 1994

An Associated Press dispatch from Pakistan reported on a tradition dating from around C.E. 750 of chaining a mentally ill person to a tree near the graveyard of saint Haji Sher so that the saint will rescue his soul. Typical waiting time is nine days, but some stay longer. One man has been chained to a tree for six years.

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Jesus-Amen Ministries

Church Members Beat
Woman to Death
by Chuck Shepherd
source: San Francisco Chronicle

March 17, 1995

According to police, Kyung-A Ha, 25, was beaten to death by five members of the Emeryville, California, Jesus-Amen Ministries, who allegedly acted on a report by Ha's sister, Kelly, that Ha was possessed by demons. Kelly Ha, 21, told police after the death that there were several telltale signals of possession: "She couldn't sleep at night. She didn't talk much to people. And sometimes she was aggressive."

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Unclear on the Concept

Catholic Abortion Foe
Strangles Her Newborn
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 13, 1995

A New Jersey judge sentenced Karen Dobrzelecki, 20, to 13 years in prison for strangling her newborn baby. According to the judge, the woman had earlier refused to abort the fetus because of her Catholic beliefs.

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Mondo Enema Ritual

Child Dies From
"Purification" Rite
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Montreal Gazette

March 11, 1995

Michael Beaudin, 36, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Montreal for negligently causing the death of his 5-year-old son Jonathan. Beaudin, a member of the Rose and the Cross religious sect, had said the son needed to be "purified" and had given him enemas with over 400 times the recommended dosage of water.

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'She Was a Vampire Devil'

A Mother and Her Son
by Chuck Shepherd
source: USA Today

November 10, 1994

According to Akron, Ohio, police, Henry Heepe, 50, said he murdered his mother and removed several organs, explaining, "She was a vampire devil. I cut out both of her hearts."

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Insight Into Religious Calling

Glue Sniffer Answers Call
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Eugene Register-Guard

November 4, 1993

A man whose name was withheld by reporters was rescued by firefighters after spending the night in the pit of an outhouse at a boat landing near Eugene, Oregon. The man claimed that he had been high after sniffing glue, had heard someone calling for help from the pit, had fallen in while looking for him, and could not get back out.

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Let Your Fingers Do The Walking

Latest Technology
in Penis-Enlargement
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Medical World News, December 1993

October, 1993

The Bangkok Post reported that several charlatan physicians had performed at least 100 bogus penis-enlargement operations recently in Thailand. The procedures involved injections containing a mixture of olive oil, chalk, and various substances to provide bulk. Said a hospital official in the city of Chiang Mai, "I've even seen [victims' penises containing] bits of the Bangkok telephone directory."

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A New One Will Grow

Superstitious Wife
Bobbitizes Hubby
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Chicago Tribune, Reuters

January, 1994

Beijing's official Heilongjiang Legal News publication reported that the wife of Zhang Jingui, following the advice of a fortune-teller on how to improve marital relations, cut off his penis with a pair of scissors.

The fortune-teller had concluded that the problem in the relationship was Zhang's faulty organ and that the wife's only hope was to remove it so that a new one would grow.

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Self-Punishment "God's Will"

Superstitious Inmate
Bobbitizes Self
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Keene Sentinel

April 18, 1994

Clifford A. Roby, 34, sliced his penis off with a Bic razor while in jail in Keene, New Hampshire, and flushed it down the toilet. He said it was God's will that he be punished.

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The Tawana Brawley Ritual

Inmate Isolated Over
Odd Religious Rite
by Chuck Shepherd
suorces: Youngstown Vindicator

January 24, 1994

In Warren, Ohio, Trumbull County Jail inmate Lisa Layne, 33, serving time for destruction of property, was separated from other inmates because of her penchant, for what she said were religious reasons, for removing her clothes and spreading feces over her body.

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Blood Drinker Convicted
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Toronto Star

March, 1993

Donald Kuntz, 25, was convicted of assault in Toronto after participating in the slicing open of the arm of a 21-year-old woman he had just met in a bar. According to testimony at the trial, the woman had agreed in principle to let him drink her blood, but it was Kuntz who opened the wound, causing the woman pain and forcing her to head for the hospital. According to witnesses, Kuntz then dropped to the floor and licked up the spilled blood before fleeing.

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"Cannibal Corn"
Makes A Comeback
by Chuck Shepherd

August, 1997

Herb Cruse, 77, was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, and charged with extortion against the Carmike Cinema chain for a fanciful scheme in which he claimed to have put his aunt's cremated remains into a popcorn machine at a Carmike outlet and threatened to expose the theater for selling "cannibal corn."

Cruse told reporters after his arrest that (1) he didn't really do it, but (2) he did put some ordinary ashes into a Carmike popcorn machine several years ago because he was mad at the company, and (3) he mailed the company a letter of apology in March 1998.

However, federal prosecutors said he had contacted the company again recently to try to extort money and cited a flier in a theater parking lot reprising the "cannibal corn" story and inviting aggrieved patrons to sue the theater.

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A New Twist On Cannibalism
by Chuck Shepherd

October, 1997

Speaking to an audience at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., novelist Kathryn Harrison (who previously had written about her four-year affair with her father) read a letter she had written to her dead grandmother, in which she confessed to sticking her finger into the woman's cremated ashes and licking it off, then doing the same thing with her whole hand.

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"I Need Their Company"

He Can Trust a Cadaver
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Cortland Standard, AP

April 27, 1994

In Rochester, New York, Jeffrey Watkins, 24, was convicted of breaking into five mausoleums and of stealing the skull of a woman who died in 1933. Watkins, who refers to himself as "The Grinch," wrote in a confession that he had slept with remains inside coffins: "I'm a walker of both sides. What I mean is good and evil. I feel safe with the dead, and I can trust them. I need their company to make me peaceful inside."

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Body Shackled at the Feet

Autopsy Examiners
Feared Dahmer Corpse
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Milwaukee Journal

March 17, 1995

According to records released on March 17 of the November 1994 autopsy of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, officials kept Dahmer's body shackled at the feet during the entire procedure, "such was the fear of this man," according to pathologist Robert Huntington.

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Death Warmed Over

Church Recycles
Crematorium Heat
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Reuter

September 6, 1995

The Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kalmar, Sweden, applied for a permit to hook up the crematorium in its memorial park with its other buildings. The Church wants to use the heat from the crematorium to warm the other buildings inexpensively.

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