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Ironies; Least Competent Criminals

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Oct. 2, 2014

Ironies; Least Competent Criminals

In August, a criminology professor at Rome's La Sapienza University arranged a two-hour guest lecture on "emergency practices" by an "experienced" hand -- Francesco Schettino, the captain currently on trial in Italy for his role in the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012, when 32 people died. Said the captain: "I was called to speak because I am an expert. ... I know what to do in these sorts of situations." (Schettino will have to refute alleged evidence that "what to do" included running straight for the nearest lifeboat.) [Associated Press via News.com.au (Sydney), 8-7-2014]

Bright Ideas: (1) Bradley Hardison, 24, on the lam in the Elizabeth City, North Carolina, area from two break-in charges, nonetheless decided to enter a newsworthy contest in August -- a public "doughnut-eating" competition, in which police officers and firefighters were his competitors. Hardison managed to win, downing eight doughnuts in two minutes, thus attracting even more attention. After one officer recognized him, he fled but was easily caught. (2) Recurring Theme: Raymond Betson became the most recent perp (in July in Swanley, England) to intend to break into a store (this time, a money-lending store) by ramming the wall with a digger -- but broke through the wrong wall (and then another wrong wall after that). Police were summoned by the commotion and arrested him. [Reuters, 8-8-2014] [ThisIsLocalLondon.co.uk, 7-21-2014]

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