Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News: Giant Crocodile, Priest Hires Hitman and Bizarre Court Appearence

A man measures the distance between the two back feet of a suspected crocodile that could be over 8 metres in length at Normanton

8m Crocodile Lurks in River in Queensland, Pastor Says

A PASTOR says he has evidence that an 8m croc lurks in a river in Queensland's Gulf country.

Pastor Elton Thompson said he took pictures of slide marks from the crocodile last Wednesday on the Norman River at Normanton.

"I haven't actually seen the crocodile but it was the slide marks that was left behind,'' Pastor Thompson said.

He said he took his measuring tape down to the bank.

It's paw imprint spanned 25cm, and some claw marks went into the mud 2.5cm deep.

It measured 1m between its two back feet.

"We're predicting the croc is 1.5m to 2m across its girth,'' he said.

"There's a possibility that the croc is 8m.''

Normanton is famous for its love affair with crocs.

An 8.64m alleged replica of a croc shot in the area in the 1950s sits proudly on the town's main street.

Pastor Thompson said the latest find is just as big.

"It's a big croc,'' he said.

"A few people have seen it in water. They're all saying it's about that size, if not bigger. It's pretty much the biggest croc they've ever seen.''

Crocodiles are regularly seen in the Gulf country and Pastor Thompson said locals aren't spooked.

"It doesn't bother anyone. There are crocs in the rivers up here everywhere. It is part of the country.''

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Priest in sex case now charged with trying to hire hitman

chron - A Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in 2008 in the rural parish where he worked west of here was rearrested last week in Dallas and charged with trying to hire someone to kill his alleged victim.

Father John M. Fiala, 52, was in Dallas County Jail on one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, officials said. A judge set bail at $700,000.

The sexual assault charges were part of indictments handed up last week in Howard County, which brought to six the number of charges Fiala faces that involve the boy, who was 16 at the time of the alleged offenses.

The Texas Rangers and Department of Public Safety troopers arrested Fiala on Thursday after he negotiated a murder arrangement with an undercover officer at his residence in Garland, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said.

A DPS investigation began Nov. 11, when a neighbor of Fiala tipped off Edwards County Sheriff Don Letsinger. "I received a call from an unnamed informant who was having problems with the way Fiala was acting," the sheriff said.

The neighbor "had been solicited (to commit the murder) himself, and he didn't want anything to do with that," Letsinger said. Fiala reportedly offered the neighbor $5,000 to kill the teen, the sheriff said.
Boy relieved

Attorney Tom Rhodes, who is representing the boy in a lawsuit in Bexar County, said his client is relieved that Fiala is again in custody.

"Fiala had threatened him with physical violence and threatened to kill him before, and he was very afraid of that," Rhodes said.

In September, the priest was indicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault by threat in Edwards County, where Fiala is accused of raping the teen at gunpoint.

Fiala's attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

Fiala had been living in Dallas County since he was released from Edwards County Jail after posting $100,000 bail Sept. 27. A fugitive task force arrested him in Kansas on the Edwards County charges, and he was extradited to Texas in September.

Rhodes filed the lawsuit last spring over the sexual assault allegations, also naming the archdioceses of San Antonio and Omaha, Neb., and Fiala's religious order, the Robstown-based Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

The lawsuit claims all three entities covered up Fiala's record of abuse, which they have denied. Former San Antonio Archbishop José Gomez and Fiala's religious order removed the priest from active ministry in October 2008.

In a hearing here Monday, a judge rejected the Omaha archdiocese's argument that Texas was not a proper jurisdiction for the lawsuit.

The sexual assault charges stem from Fiala's time as administrator of Sacred Heart of Mary in Rocksprings, which is about 110 miles west of San Antonio. Fiala was working for the Archdiocese of San Antonio but was still a member of the religious order.

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Pro-Google Vigilantes Throw Eggs At Houses That Opt Out Of Street View

businessinsider = This is deeply weird: Google fans in Germany are throwing eggs at the houses of people who choose to have their home blurred out in Street View, Search Engine Land reports.

Google sends vans through the streets of cities around the world taking photographs for Street View. The company lets home owners request that their houses be blurred out in Street View.

Apparently, some Germans really, really like Street View, and don't appreciate the blurring. Houses that are blurred out have had eggs hurled at them, and notes saying "Google's cool" attached to them.

We're trying to think of some possible motivation for this, but we're coming up empty.

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Zimbabwean man appeared in court with his bowels in his hand

newzimbabwe - A suspected motorcycle thief spent two months in rema-nd prison with his bowels protruding from his belly after detectives shot him as he allegedly tried to disarm them.

The High Court was on Monday shocked when Boas Chiwanza, who was visibly in pain, limped into the courtroom with his bowels hanging out.

As he held them in his palm, Justice Yunus Omerjee ordered prison authorities to immediately take Chiwanza to hospital.

As a self-actor, Chiwanza had come to apply for bail before the judge.

Detectives reportedly shot Chiwanza on his arrest on September 27, 2010 as he tried to disarm them.

Chiwanza, who struggled to speak, told the court that he had not received appropriate treatment since his arrest and most of his doctors’ appointments had failed due to circumstances beyond his control.

The Zimbabwe Prison Service confirmed Chiwanza was on November 2 and 9 this year taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital, but failed to see a doctor.

It was also confirmed that on October 25, there was no ambulance to take Chiwanza to the hospital.

But the ZPS maintained Chiwanza was admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital on September 30 and discharged into custody on October 11.

In its papers, ZPS stated that Chiwanza was getting painkillers and colostomy bags from the prison clinic.

Justice Omerjee immediately directed the officer-in-charge of Harare Remand Prison, Chief Superintendent Billiot Chibaya, to ensure Chiwanza was immediately taken to hospital.

"He should be urgently treated for his protruding intestines and to be held at such hospital for that purpose.

"This court should be advised as to compliance with the form of this court order by relevant authorities," ordered Justice Omerjee.

Yesterday, a prison officer in the bail court handed over to the judge a copy of a letter from prison authorities confirming Chiwanza had been taken to hospital in compliance with the order.

After reading the letter in court, Justice Omerjee said: "I would like to thank Chief Superintendent Chibaya for giving feedback to the court."

Chiwanza almost broke down as he explained his case before Justice Omerjee.

He said each time he was taken to hospital he could not see the doctor and that he had not received proper treatment.

Responding to Chiwanza’s claims, Chief Supt Chibaya wrote to the Attorney-General’s Office on November 17 saying they had made efforts to have the suspect treated.

"Please be advised that the above-named prisoner (Boas Chiwanza) was initially admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital on September 30, 2010 with a gunshot wound.

"He was discharged into prison on October 11, 2010 where he was being treated.

"He was supposed to go for review at Parirenyatwa Hospital on October 25 2010 but did not go because the ambulance was not available . . ."

Chief Supt Chibaya added that on two more occasions, Chiwanza went to Parirenyatwa and failed to see a doctor.

He said Chiwanza was then re-booked for November 23.

"The prisoner is receiving painkillers and colostomy bags at the prison clinic. The main treatment outstanding is closure of the opening which is supposed to be done at Parirenyatwa Hospital," said Chief Supt Chibaya.

Chiwanza’s brother, Thomas, and another alleged accomplice Collen Viano, were on Monday released on US$50 bail each with the State’s consent.

Allegations against the three arose between September 26 and November 2008, when they allegedly connived and stole three motorcycles from Solar Farm in Nyabira.

It is alleged Chiwanza was arrested while riding one of the stolen bikes two months later.

The State says he escaped from police custody and was on the run until September this year when cops received information that he was now back at his home.

On September 27, 2010 detectives raided Chiwanza’s home and arrested him but he was shot when he attempted to disarm them.

The other two were arrested later, but the two motorcycles were not recovered.
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