Here’s a Thanksgiving edition from the world of the odd:
NEWS: FBI officials say an elderly, thin, gray-haired man nicknamed the “Geezer Bandit” is responsible for holding up five San Diego-area banks since summer.
According to the Associated Press, investigators say the man, pictured at right, appears to be in his 70s. Officials say that in the most recent robbery nine days ago, he approached a Bank of America teller in La Jolla, displayed a handgun and asked for cash. He fled on foot.
FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth says investigators believe the man is also responsible for robbing four other San Diego County banks since Aug. 28.
VIEWS: Have to kind of chuckle about the “fled on foot” line. Can’t picture this guy darting through crowded streets, clutching money in one hand and a pistol in the other, dodging horrified women and children, and eluding Starsky and Hutch. I can see some senior citizen group blaming these heists on the decision by the Social Security Administration to not apply a cost-of-living increase to benefits.
NEWS: A federal judge in Boston has denied a convicted murderer’s request for more hair removal treatments as she waits to find out if she can get state-funded sex change surgery.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Michelle Kosilek failed to prove “irreparable harm” or a “serious medical need” to continue electrolysis treatments. Kosilek was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek, and was convicted of murdering her in 1990.
Kosilek’s lawyers have argued that having facial hair is “intensely personally stressful” to her. The state Department of Correction said Kosilek has already received “significant hair removal” and remaining hair can be removed by shaving or using depilatories.
VIEWS: Let’s see, this guy/gal was convicted of killing his/her wife, and now he/she wants the government to pay for a sex change operation and for hair removal to ease his/her stress. No easy button required here. “No. Next case.”
NEWS: The Honolulu Police Department is creating a virtual wall of shame by posting mug shots of drunken driving suspects on its Web site. At 10 a.m. local time each Wednesday, the photos of those arrested in the previous week will be posted for 24 hours under the headline, “Oahu’s Drunk Drivers.” After six months, the department will evaluate the results of the program.
Supporters say the experiment in public humiliation should be used elsewhere in the nation if it reduces the number of drunks on the road. Critics counter the photo gallery is a heavy-handed tactic that threatens to violate constitutional rights and stain reputations without court convictions.
Recently released DUI mug shots in Hawaii include lawmakers and several stars of the ABC drama “Lost,” which is filmed in the state. Mothers Against Drunk Driving said it hasn’t found any research on whether posting online photos of suspected drunken drivers would reduce offenses. It said an estimated 11,773 people died in drunken driving crashes in the U.S. in 2008.
VIEWS: If the threat of going to jail, paying a big fine, losing driving privileges, facing humiliation or killing yourself or somebody else isn’t enough to deter drunken driving, then I’m not sure having photos posted on the Web is going to tilt the scales. But I’m all for trying.