Man kills self, fails to burn down house after death

David Moore, 47, of Belmont, N.H., committed suicide sometime after Thanksgiving using a homemade guillotine. But his plans for his death went far beyond that. He had placed homemade Molotov cocktails in the walls of his home, and wired them up to electric power on a timer, set to go off shortly after he killed himself, to burn down his house.

The two bomb squad officers who came determined that they weren’t exactly bombs – they were Molotov cocktails made out of 12-oz. Aquafina water bottles that each contained about two ounces of gasoline. Whereas a bomb would cause an explosion, Molotov cocktails are simply incendiary, [state police bomb squad Sgt. Andy] Parsons said. Instead of blowing up, they would ignite with a loud pop or boom and start a fire, probably destroying the man’s house but not endangering any neighbors. . . .

“He had literally punched holes in the Sheetrock walls of his house and stuffed the bottles in there, but he had also punched holes in the bottom portion of the walls and stuffed them with newspaper,’ he said.

The bottles were connected to wires that were plugged into an electric device timer, Parsons said. The timer was plugged into a power strip, like many people use for their computers. The power strip was plugged into an outlet, but the devices never ignited because the power strip was switched off. — Concord Monitor

That’s right, Moore’s plan for a posthumous house fire, which I can only speculate would be to cover up his suicide, failed, all due to not checking one simple little detail. And for that, Moore posthumously becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

If you have regular thoughts of committing suicide, please call someone first. Even if you think they can’t understand what you’re going through. There is someone out there who does understand because they’ve been through something like it before. Everybody has problems, and suicide doesn’t make the problems go away; it makes you go away, which — even if you can’t see it — is going to hurt someone very much.

Reports of death greatly exaggerated

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier ran an obituary last week for Daniel “D.J.’ Reddout, 17, saying that he had died from complications from surgery Dec. 24, after receiving the information from a man who said he was the teenager’s father. The only problem is, D.J. was quite alive and well.

His mother, Mary Jo Jensen, had “jokingly’ told her boyfriend, James Snyder, that Reddout had died.

She said it was a case of bad communication.

“I had let my boyfriend know he was doing very, very badly at the hospital, and jokingly I said that he had passed away, and he took upon himself to put the obituary in,’ Jensen said.

“It was a mistake, and I apologize for that,’ she said. — Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

There’s humor, and then there’s stupidity. Mary Jo Jensen doesn’t seem to have figured out the difference, and thus becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Two die from eating fireworks

Two men in Manila, Philippines, became the first Stupid People of the Day for 2006 after killing themselves by ingesting fireworks.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said two other people have died from ingesting a deadly brand of fireworks several days prior to New Year’s eve and appeared to be cases of suicide. — DPA

The two fatalities were both mentally disturbed adult males who swallowed firecrackers, it said. — AFP

You’re supposed to light the fireworks and then get away fast, rather than eating them.

Woman tries to hire hitman for cheese

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, of Memphis, Tenn., saw a block of queso fresco cheese at the house of four acquaintances when she got the bright idea to have them killed.

In an unusual case of mistaken identity, a woman who thought a block of white cheese was cocaine is charged with trying to hire a hit man to rob and kill four men. The woman also was mistaken about the hit man. He turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, was arrested over the weekend and remains in jail with bond set at $1 million on four charges of attempted murder and four counts of soliciting a murder.

According to police, Booth was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims last week when she mistook a block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine — inspiring the idea to hire someone to break into the home, take the drugs, and kill the men. . . .

A search of the home with the permission of the occupants revealed no drugs — only the white, crumbly cheese common in Mexican cuisine.

“Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese,’ said Lt. Jeff Clark, who heads Project Safe Neighborhoods. — Associated Press

If you’re going to hatch a scheme like this, beware that most hitmen are actually undercover police officers. You aren’t likely to be able to afford a real hitman. And Jessica Sandy Booth, for mistaking cheese for cocaine, becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Man goes off medication, tells air marshals he has a bomb

Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, of Maitland, Fla., had just boarded a flight from Miami to Orlando when he suddenly jumped up and claimed he had a bomb in his backpack. Federal air marshals pursued him when he tried to run off the airplane.

According to a witness, the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication.

The passenger indicated there was a bomb in his bag and was confronted by air marshals but ran off the aircraft, Doyle said. The marshals went after him and ordered him to get down on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said.

The plane, Flight 924, had arrived in Miami from Medellin, Colombia, just after noon, and the shooting occurred shortly after 2 p.m. as the plane was about to take off for Orlando with the man and 119 other passengers and crew, American spokesman Tim Wagner said. . . .

Gardner said she heard the woman say her husband was bipolar — a mental illness also known as manic-depression — and had not had his medication. — Associated Press

Thanks to our friends at The Jawa Report for the tip. This story is also being covered at Homeland Stupidity.

If you tell federal air marshals you have a bomb in your backpack, and then reach into it, they’re going to shoot you. That should be fairly obvious, and what’s why Rigoberto Alpizar is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Man falls from balcony, dies in spitting contest

A man in Mount Prospect, Ill., fell over his second-story balcony and died Tuesday during a spitting contest, according to local police.

Bartosz Drobek, 23, of the 1700 block of West Palm Drive was on the balcony of his apartment smoking cigarettes with his brother and a friend about 12:30 a.m. Monday. As Drobek was getting ready to spit, he lost his balance and fell about 20 feet, hitting his head on the pavement, said Mt. Prospect Police Officer Dirk Ollech.

Drobek was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge in critical condition. He was pronounced dead shortly after noon Tuesday.

Although his fall is believed to be accidental, police are investigating it. An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday. — South Florida Sun-Sentinel

No word yet on whether alcohol was involved, though I wouldn’t doubt it. Bartosz Drobek posthumously receives today’s Stupid Person of the Day award.

Three die on thin ice

In the northern latitudes, when winter comes, one can expect ice to form on top of local rivers and lakes. Many people enjoy going out on the ice to walk, skate, fish, and even drive across them. However, when you go out too early, and the ice isn’t thick enough to support your weight, then you run the risk of breaking the ice, falling through, and not being able to get out.

Three people died Friday in two separate accidents on ice-covered ponds in eastern Wisconsin.

In Cedar Grove, Wis., about 40 miles (64km) north of Milwaukee, Megan Obbink, 9, was skating on the ice on a local pond when she fell through. Her father, Brian Obbink, 44, went out to try to save her, but he too fell in. Both drowned, and rescuers pulled out their bodies Friday evening.

The ice was reported to be less than 3 inches (76mm) thick.

In a separate accident in Lyndon, Wis., about 10 miles (16km) northwest of Cedar Grove, Cody Lechler, 12, was riding an all-terrain vehicle across an ice-covered pond when he and the vehicle fell through. Rescuers recovered his body late Friday. He had been out hunting with an adult neighbor who was unnamed in news reports.

Today we have two Stupid People of the Day: Brian Obbink, who allowed his daughter to die needlessly, and then died himself; and the unnamed adult who will have to live with Cody’s death for the rest of his life.

“There is no such thing as safe ice,’ said Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Opgenorth.

Smoker attempts to open plane door mid-flight

Today’s Stupid Person of the Day is a French woman who has admitted attempting to open a plane door mid-flight in order to smoke a cigarette.

Sandrine Helene Sellies, 34, who has a fear of flying, had drunk alcohol and taken sleeping tablets ahead of the flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane.

She was seen on the Cathay Pacific plane walking towards a door with an unlit cigarette and a lighter.

She then began tampering with the emergency exit until she was stopped by a flight attendant. — BBC News

She pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of the aircraft and has been given a 12 month good behaviour bond.

As she is currently at the beginning of a 3 week holiday with her husband in Australia it is unclear whether or not she will be allowed on the plane on the way home!

Driver hits, kills man, drives with body on windshield

An unnamed suspect in St. Petersburg, Fla., is in custody after allegedly hitting and killing a homeless man, and driving several miles with the man’s body impaled on his windshield.

The driver was stopped at the southbound Interstate 275 tollbooth of the Sunshine Skyway, police said.

The man had been hit more than three miles away at 46th Avenue South and 34th Street South, police said. He apparently was struck by the car while crossing 34th Street. The impact severed one leg and wedged him through the windshield.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., [Wednesday] the car pulled into a middle tollbooth lane where motorists pay $1 to cross the bridge.

Police said the driver was detained and an a ambulance was called. The driver, identified only as an elderly man, was taken to a hospital. — Tampa Tribune

Today’s unnamed Stupid Person of the Day had not yet been charged with a crime at the time this article was published.

“Extreme Makeover’ sued over suicide

When Deleese Williams, 30, of Conroe, Texas, was thrown off the television show Extreme Makeover at the last minute, her sister killed herself. Now Williams is suing ABC.

She claims a TV crew tricked her sister Kellie McGee into making cruel remarks about her looks before the makeover.

ABC cancelled the appearance, saying her jaw would take too long to heal, and her sister was left distraught about making the remarks, she claims.

Extreme Makeover follows people having drastic plastic surgery and Mrs Williams was due to have work on her teeth, eyes and breasts.

Her legal action said “Deleese Williams is considered ugly’ and said a doctor promised her “a Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford’.

Programme-makers visited the contestant’s family in Texas before the makeover was due to start in January 2004.

The legal action claims they manipulated Ms McGee into saying unkind things about her sister’s looks on camera.

But the contestant was told hours before the makeover was due to begin that it had been cancelled.

When she returned home from Los Angeles unchanged, Ms McGee became so upset over what she had said that she killed herself, the legal action states.

“Sometimes Deleese blames herself for Kellie’s death,’ it says. ABC was unavailable for comment. — BBC News

Suing won’t bring your sister back, and you’ve become today’s Stupid Person of the Day.