96 Darwin Awards
It is once again time to vote for the Darwin Award nominees for 1996.
know these nominees will not be contributing to the gene pool
You may recall last year's Darwin Award winner: The man who found out
moments before making a 300 MPH dent in an Arizona cliff that the JATO
assist take off) rocket unit he'd strapped to his car could not be turned
once it was turned on....
the 1996 nominees are:
NOMINEE #1 [San Jose
An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a
former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when
gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.
NOMINEE #2 [Kalamazoo Gazette,
James Burns, 34, of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was
trying to repair what police described as a "farm-type truck." Burns got
friend to drive the truck on a
highway while Burns hung underneath so that
he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught
something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive
NOMINEE #3 [Hickory Daily Record 12/21/92]
Ken Charles Barger,
47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C., when,
awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached
the phone but grabbed instead a Smith&Wesson .38 Special, which
when he drew it to his ear.
NOMINEE #4 [UPI, Toronto]
Police said a
lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto
crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his
A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the
Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the
the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had
conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police
reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson,
the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest"
members of the 200-man association.
NOMINEE #5 [Bloomberg News Service, 25
A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the
death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his
but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet
consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things).
was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in
sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed.
he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been
But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. According to the
article, "He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly
gas." Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.
[1/29/96 The News of the weird.]
Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the
Weird posthumously in 1989. He had spent several years awaiting South
Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his
reduced to life in prison. In March 1989, sitting on a metal toilet in
cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was
NOMINEE #7["The Indianapolis Star", Wed., Dec. 4, 1996].
Cigarette lighter may have triggered fatal explosion Dunkirk,
Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel
muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his
sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his
rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning
..54-caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using
lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
[AP, St. Louis]
Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St.
Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a
dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police
found him unconscious in front of the store: paramedics removed the
wiener from his throat, where it had choked him to death.
To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag standing above him on
an overhanging rock-and was killed instantly when it fell on him.
#10 [Associated Press, Kincaid, W. VA]
Blasting Cap Explodes in Man's Mouth
at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit
down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth and tongue,
police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting
as a prank during a party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D.Payne.
man had it in an aquarium, hooked to a battery, and was trying to
it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this guy said, 'I'll show you
set it off."
AND FINALLY, NOMINEE #11!!! [Arkansas Democrat Gazette], July
Two local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left
the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early
morning. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident
after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray
38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical
Center. The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc
a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck
headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse
the older model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not
available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullet from his pistol
perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. Upon
the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two
proceeded on east-bound toward the White River bridge. After traveling
approximately twenty miles and just before crossing the river, the bullet
apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle.
vehicle swerved sharply to the right exiting the pavement and striking a
tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but
will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken
clavicle and was treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that
when Thurston shot his _____ off or we might both be dead" stated Wallis.
"I've been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but this
first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this
happened", said Snyder. Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia,
wife asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them