2005 Darwin Award Nominee
Confirmed True by Darwin
(19 March 2005, Michigan) "Unusual" and "complicated" is how the Missaukee County sheriff described the mysterious death of 19-year-old Christopher, who called 911 at 1:22am and calmly informed the police dispatcher that his neighbor had stabbed him. Suddenly he began screaming and begging for help. A woman was heard shouting in the background, "Why did you do this?" Deputies arrived quickly, only to find that Christopher had bled to death from stab wounds to his chest.
After an evening spent imbibing large quantities of alcohol, Christopher noticed a shortage in his liquor supply that could not be attributed to his own depredations. He concluded that his neighbor had stolen a bottle of booze! He menaced said neighbor with a knife, to no avail, whereupon he retired to his own apartment to brood about revenge.
Finally he figured out the perfect way to get back at that conniving bottle-thief: he would stab himself and blame the neighbor!
A witness saw Christopher enter the bathroom while he called police. When he emerged from the bathroom, he looked perfectly fine, but a moment later he began screaming as gouts of blood spewed from his chest. He ran to the door of the apartment, and collapsed.
The evidence pointed to self-inflicted wounds. Deputies found the knife that killed him in the kitchen, and an autopsy concluded that he had stabbed himself in the chest twice. The first wound may not have looked dangerous enough to him, so he took the knife and tried again, this time plunging it into his left ventricle. This wound was plenty dangerous: he had only two minutes to live.
Christopher died in vain. His deathbed accusation fell on deaf ears, as a witness stated that the neighbor was not in the apartment, and the neighbor offered to take a lie-detector test to demonstrate his innocence. All Christopher got for revenge was an accidental death sentence.
(17 April 2005, Indiana) Late one night, 26-year-old Joseph was blazing down the road in the Chain O'Lakes district of Syracuse on his Yamaha moped. When he saw flashing lights in his rear-view mirror, well... with the wind whistling through his ears, he must have concluded that he could outrun a mere police cruiser. This hard-boiled candidate for the Heck's Angels revved his engine and roared off. The speedometer needle flashed past 10 mph...20...30...and within less than a minute, it was hitting the red zone at a blinding 40 mph.
But no matter how fast Joseph went, he was unable to shake the pursuing police officer from his tail. If only he had a spare JATO strapped to his machine! The two-stroke engine was buzzing like a hummingbird from the strain of the chase.
Was he thinking, "You'll never get me alive, copper!" as he sped through the intersection with County Road 800E? The answer will never be known. Joseph lost control of his would-be road rocket, crashed into a tree, and died instantly of massive head injuries.
(7 March 2005, Hanoi, Vietnam) Nguyen, 21, had been drinking with friends in the Tu Liem district of Hanoi, when he pulled out an old detonator he had found. The detonator was about six centimeters long and 8 centimeters in diameter, with two wires hanging out of the end. Because it was old and rusty, he said, it couldn't explode. His friends disagreed.
To prove his point, Nguyen put the detonator in his mouth and asked his friend to plug the dangling wires into a 220-volt electrical receptacle. Nyugen was wrong!
The victim had little time to reflect on how he could have been so mistaken, or whether 220 volts alone could have been fatal. According to police, "the explosion blew out his cheek and smashed all his teeth." Nguyen died on the way to the hospital.
(3 January 2005, St. Maurice, Switzerland) It was the first week of a weapons refresher course, and Swiss Army Grenadier Detachment 20/5 had just finished training with live ammunition. The shooting instructor ordered the soldiers to secure their weapons for a break.
The 24-year-old second lieutenant, in charge of this detachment, decided this would be a good time to demonstrate a knife attack on a soldier. Wielding his bayonet, he leaped toward one of his men, achieving complete surprise.
But earlier that week, the soldiers had been drilled to release the safety catch and ready their guns for firing in the shortest possible time. The surprised soldier, seeing his lieutenant leaping toward him with a knife, snapped off a shot to protect himself from the attack.
The lesson could not have been more successful: the soldier had saved himself and protected the rest of the detachment from a surprise attack. The lieutenant might have wished to commend his soldier on his quick action and accurate marksmanship. Unfortunately, he had been killed with one shot.