News of the Weird: Least Competent Criminals; Usual consequence for an unqualified student
Marissa Mark, 28, was indicted in March in Allentown, Pa., for hiring a hit man in 2006 via the then-active website HitManForHire.com, agreeing to pay $37,000 to have a California woman killed (though prosecutors have not revealed the motive).
Mark allegedly made traceable payments through the PayPal service (which in recent years has righteously refused to process transactions involving online gambling or the WikiLeaks document dumps, but which in 2006 did in fact handle payments for HitManForHire.com).
The hit man site was run by an Egyptian immigrant, who told the Las Vegas Sun in 2008 that he would never contract for murder but sought to make money by double-crossing clients and alerting (for a fee) the intended victims. [Allentown Morning Call, 3-22-2011; Las Vegas Sun, 7-20-2008]
Tonya McDowell, 33, an off-and-on homeless person in Bridgeport, Conn., was arrested in April by police in nearby Norwalk and charged with felony theft -- of $15,686 worth of "services" from the city.
McDowell's crime was enrolling her 6-year-old son in Norwalk's Brookside Elementary School when she actually "resided" (as much as a sporadically "homeless" person can "reside") in Bridgeport.
McDowell has also "resided" at times in a Norwalk shelter, but was crashing at a friend's apartment in Bridgeport when she registered her son. The head of the Norwalk Board of Education acknowledged that the usual consequence for an unqualified student is merely dismissal from school. [Stamford Advocate, 4-16-2011]