Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 14, 1998: 

Dateline: Brazil--Santa Claus is a jolly old elf--and now we know why. Police in Rio de Janeiro discovered a stash of Santa dolls stuffed with cocaine and Christmas tree ornaments filled with marijuana in a shantytown near the city's center. Police foot patrols found the Christmastime contraband in an abandoned backpack with wrapping paper in it at the Coroa Residents' Association headquarters. The neighborhood headquarters is used as a center for wrapping and distributing toys during the holidays. The cocaine, bundled in clear plastic bags, was stashed inside the Santa dolls and under their fuzzy red hats. At Easter time, police found chocolate eggs laced with the drug.

Dateline: Belgium--Detectives in Brussels have come under fire for dissolving a human body in cleaning fluid while investigating an alleged serial killer. Belgian police, investigating allegations that a Hungarian clergyman murdered as many as 20 people and dissolved their bodies in a cleaning agent, performed an experiment on a dead body to see if the heinous crimes were possible. The body, which had been donated to medical science, was submerged in a vat of "Cleanest." Within 24 hours, it disappeared without a trace. Early last week, several area newspapers lambasted the detectives for having no respect for the dead. Daily tabloid Het Laatste Nieuws quoted two professors of ethics who said they had "serious reservations" about the grisly experiment.

Dateline: Germany--A German policewoman summoned to help a man cope with his brother's suicide threats ended up shooting both men dead last week. The unnamed, 23-year-old policewoman from Munich shot twice at a 48-year-old man who stormed toward her through his flat, brandishing a knife. One of the shots passed through the paranoid schizophrenic and hit the head of his brother, who had earlier phoned police for help. Authorities say the officer fired in self-defense and have cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Dateline: South Africa--A famed ewe that helped raise a wild elephant has been killed in Johannesburg, South Africa--most likely by her adopted son. "Skaap"--the Afrikaans name for sheep--was found dead last week in the shed she shared with Jabulani, a two-year-old elephant she raised as one of her own. Skaap gained national fame by raising the orphaned Jabulani at the Hodespruit Breeding and Research Center for Endangered Species. According to the evidence, the ungrateful child crushed his adoptive mother to death--possibly by mistakenly pinning her in his sleep. "He was gradually becoming more independent of the sheep anyway," said Peter Rogers, the veterinarian who performed the autopsy. Jabulani is scheduled to be released back into the wild early next year.

Dateline: The Netherlands--The manager of a McDonald's restaurant in Bodengraven, Netherlands, showed up to work late last Monday and was promptly besieged by a police SWAT team. When the fast food joint failed to open on time, Happy Meal-crazed Netherlanders called police, prompting fears of a hostage-taking situation within the restaurant. Several dozen police staked out the premises for around an hour before a special team was drafted to storm the building. Right about that time, the manager sauntered in. The tardy employee told authorities that he thought he was scheduled for the late shift.

Dateline: The Netherlands--Meanwhile, hairdressers and hookers in the southern Dutch town of Goes teamed up to raise money for World AIDS Day. For the special "knippen en wippen" (cutting and boinking) campaign, stylists and streetwalkers donated a portion of their weekend's earnings to local AIDS charities. World AIDS Day fell on Tuesday, Dec. 1. It is assumed that the extremely giving escorts from Goes' Sexclub Buro Karin practiced safe sex.

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