He was a rape suspect and trying to elude police during a freeway chase in Southern California. Then he poisoned himself. Police say the pursuit began during yesterday's morning commute in Ventura County when officers tried to pull the man over and he sped away. The car drove onto the right shoulder of US 101, drifted across all northbound lanes and then came to a stop after crashing into the center median. Officers found the guy dead inside the car - from an apparent self-inflicted poisoning. The suspect's name was not released but he was described as a man who was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department for his possible involvement in a rape. (Newser)
Another Dead Treasure Hunter
Yet another person is dead from trying to find an alleged hidden cache of gold and jewels that has inspired thousands to hunt in vain across remote corners of the Western US. This time 53-year-old Jeff Murphy of Batavia, Illinois fell to his death in Yellowstone National Park while looking for the treasure that antiquities dealer and author Forrest Fenn claims he stashed somewhere in the Rocky Mountains several years ago. The investigation by Yellowstone officials into Murphy's death was kept private, but KULR TV obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request. Murphy's wife told park authorities that her husband was looking for the treasure when she called to report him missing. Murphy's body was found June 9, 2017. He had fallen about 500 feet down a steep slope. The lure of the treasure, which is said to be worth nearly $2 million, has prompted thousands to comb areas of New Mexico, Yellowstone National Park, and elsewhere. Murphy is one of several people who have died while looking for the treasure; the deaths have led some to call for an end the treasure hunt. Besides the danger to the treasure hunters, they note that search and rescue efforts for missing treasure hunters are costly. Those who have lost their lives to the hunt include a 54-year-old grandfather, a pastor whose body was found in a river, and a 31-year-old whose raft flipped in another river. Fenn has called the hunt "out of control." (KULR-TV News)
He's 28... and Has 16 Kids!
The son of a Japanese IT billionaire reportedly wanted a big family and set out to make it happen via surrogate mothers. Now, 28-year-old Mitsutoki Shigeta is about to gain custody of all 16 kids he is known to have fathered. Shigeta grabbed headlines in 2014 when his Bangkok apartment was raided, turning up a "baby factory" - nine babies, a pregnant surrogate, and 24-hour nannies - over fears of a human trafficking operation. The truth, argued his lawyer, was just that Shigeta wanted plenty of kids and had the means to do so. He reportedly earns at least $3 million a year from his stock holdings. He sued for custody and a Thai court agreed with that premise, after hearing from Thai officials who traveled abroad to verify he had sufficient resources to raise the 13 children. Shigeta secured custody of the three other kids in 2015, and media reports say it's possible he has fathered even more children in other locations. The Thai surrogate mothers gave up any rights to the children. The children, most around age 4, will not immediately enter his custody but will be transferred gradually out of foster care. (BBC)
KFC CRISIS?? Really?
The other day we told you how about half of the 900 KFC stores in the UK have been closed since Monday over "operational issues" with its new delivery firm DHL. Basically DHL can't get the chickens to them. So our British friends have responded by calling the police - nonstop. And the police are asking for them to please STOP! London police tweeted that the chicken shortage was "not a police matter." Fans of the fast food chain have been in an uproar on social media using the hashtag # KFCcrisis to complain they were left feeling peckish. Sadly, the "crisis" looks set to continue with hundreds of outlets remaining closed, while others will have a reduced menu or shortened hours. (BBC)
Another Reason to Stop Heavy Drinking
Another reason to lay off the heavy drinking. A new study suggests that it raises your risk for dementia, especially the early-onset variety. The research, published in Lancet Public Health, looked at 1.1 million French hospital patients diagnosed with dementia from 2008 to 2013. Of those patients, 16.5% of the men and 4% of the women had alcohol use disorders - about twice the rate of those without dementia. The stats for early-onset dementia were worse. Of 57,000 cases, 38% were "alcohol related by definition" and another 18% featured an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorder. The bottom line: "Alcohol use disorders were a major risk factor for onset of all types of dementia, and especially early-onset dementia" per the study. "Thus, screening for heavy drinking should be part of regular medical care." Study author Michael Schwarzinger says that while the rate of alcohol use disorders is lower in the US than in France, "it remains substantial enough to be considered [a] major risk factor for dementia onset." (Lancet Public Health)
The Wrong Way to Get Rid of Skunks
Authorities say the guy found skunks in the crawl space of his suburban Detroit home. He thought he'd try a smoke bomb to get them to leave. He ended up burning down his house. Ferndale Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan says the house was a complete loss and the blaze quickly spread from the crawlspace to the first floor. The fire eventually spread through the walls and attic of the rental property. The kicker: No skunk carcasses were found. Sullivan says the department advises that people hire pest control professionals, but if someone is "an absolute die-hard do-it-yourselfer," he should at least read warning labels. (Detroit Free Press)
What the What?
In Florida, DeLand High School was but on lockdown over what turned out to be a cellphone case. Granted, it was a cellphone case that looked just like a gun. A 14-year-old student was initially suspected of carrying a handgun to school and taken into custody without incident. Police Chief Jason Umberger said, "Just boggles my mind when I think about these cell phone companies manufacturing look-a-like guns. It's just shame on them, when you think about it. What is the purpose of making something like that?" (Click Orlando)