Just the Facts?: Was Miami Cannibal Under Vodou Curse? -- Spacecraft Killing Antelopes? -- Mini-me Trapped!
Was Miami Cannibal Under Vodou Curse?
Friends and family say he was a nice guy who carried a Bible around, loved quoting scripture, and wanted to become a better person. Police records show he was a repeat offender who once allegedly threatened to kill his mother while smashing up her home.
And because his life ended in a hail of bullets as he crouched naked on a busy causeway off-ramp, savagely gnawing off the face of a homeless man, it's likely 31-year-old Rudy Eugene will not be remembered the way those who knew him would prefer.
"He was a fine man," stepdad Melimon Charles told Miami New Times. "He was working very hard to make his life better."
Friends insist it's impossible to reconcile the former high school football player they knew with the gruesome, bloody assault Saturday in broad daylight on the MacArthur Causeway -- so much so that his girlfriend, who asked to remain nameless, said she now believes he was either drugged unknowingly or was under a Haitian Vodou curse.
“I don’t know how else to explain this,” she told the Miami Herald, insisting that though Eugene did smoke marijuana he never touched other recreational drugs and didn't even take over-the-counter medication.
(Though Charles can't explain what did happen, he gave the Vodou theory no weight: "Nobody went to Haiti and did anything to him.")
"His last words to me were that he wanted to get his life right and that he wanted to get closer to God. And he wanted to stop smoking pot. That’s it," friend Bobby Chery, who attended a Bible Study with Eugene Thursday night, told CBS Miami. “It had to be some sort of drug that somebody must have slipped on him, because Rudy wouldn’t so much as pop a Tylenol pill."
Police reportedly suspect Eugene may have been suffering from drug-induced delirium -- possibly from an amphetamine cocktail called "bath salts" -- which often causes people to overheat and take off their clothes. Toxicology reports are pending.
Records show Eugene had been arrested 8 times since the age of 16, including a battery charge which was later dropped and 4 instances involving marijuana. He earned the dubious distinction of being the first person tased by North Miami Beach Police during the battery incident in 2004, during which, police said, he told his mother "I'll put a gun to your head and kill you" and told police officers he would "kick your ass."
"She told me that her son had broken several items within the home and pushed her out of the kitchen area," wrote an arresting officer in a report obtained by New Times. "[Eugene's mother] stated 'Thank God you're here, he would have killed me.'"
An ex-wife told Local10 earlier this week that Eugene became violent during their short-lived marriage.
"I wouldn't say he had [a] mental problem but he always felt like people was against him type of attitude," said ex-wife Jenny Ductant. "No one was for him, everyone was against him."
Ductant has since refused all requests for interviews, and declined to elaborate.
Eugene's victim, 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Gruesome photos circulating the web suggest that if he survives, he may do so without much of his face and only one eye.
“Something happened out of the ordinary that day. I don’t want him to be labeled the Miami Zombie,” Eugene's girlfriend told the Herald. “He was a person. I don’t want him to go down like that.” - THP
Haitian Vodou: An Introduction to Haiti's Indigenous Spiritual Tradition
Haitian Vodou: Spirit, Myth, and Reality
Are Spacecraft Killing Thousands of Antelopes In Kazakhstan?
Three years ago, 12,000 rare and endangered antelope carcasses were mysteriously found in Kazakhstan. Nobody knew what happened to them. Exactly one year later, people found 450 new dead bodies. No causes were found. Now, they have found another 1,000 corpses and nobody knows what is killing them yet.
But some scientists think they know the answer: a spacecraft killed them all.
According to ecologist Musagali Duambekov, the cause of the death of these antelopes—called saigas—may be the chemicals from launches at the Baikonur space-launch site in central Kazakhstan:
My personal opinion is that it is connected with human activity [and] that it is due to an anthropogenic factor. It could be from chemical elements left from space rockets that fly over this place, or from other chemical factors, such as the extensive use of fertilizers, which are very harmful.
These ones were found near the site of a recent Soyuz landing, which may suggest a potential connection. However, other scientists don't have it so clear yet. Officials at the Qostanai Oblast's Department of Forestry and Hunting are still looking for a cause. They don't rule out the spacecraft chemicals, but it may be something else.
The Chairwoman of the Saiga Conservation Alliance, researcher Eleanor Milner-Gulland, declares that it may just be a digestive disorder caused by forage that is too rich and wet:
What happens is that the females give birth and they are under great nutritional stress because they're producing milk and they've just given birth. So they seek out very rich pastures and that's why the females are particularly suffering. And then the babies tend to die later from starvation.
However, they are not ruling out a potential link to chemicals yet.
The saiga is a weird antelope living in the Kazakhstan steppe, near the Urals, and a small area of Russia. It used to live in North America too, during the Pleistocene. They are critically endangered. - rferl
If In Doubt, Blame The Aliens!: A new scientific analysis of UFO sightings, alleged alien abductions, animal mutilations and crop circles
Solving the Communion Enigma: What Is To Come
Angry 'Mini-me' trapped in airplane toilet
Verne Troyer got trapped in an airplane toilet for 20 minutes.
The diminutive Austin Powers star was livid when he couldn't reach the door handle in the toilets of the Virgin Atlantic upper class deck and despite screaming at staff to let him out, he was only freed when a fellow passenger heard his pleas for help.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "After successfully navigating his way into the loo, he was then unable to reach the handle to pull it open again. After a few minutes he began to get a little claustrophobic and panicky.
"He began thumping on the door and screeching for help but sadly no one could hear him because it was the middle of the night and most people were asleep.
"Luckily, a woman seated beside the cubicle eventually heard the banging and went to investigate. She opened the door and was shocked to stumble upon Verne."
However, far from being grateful to the woman, Verne, 43 - who was flying from Los Angeles to London to film a cameo in Keith Lemon's new movie - immediately started swearing about his ordeal.
The source added: "Verne started shouting and swearing, ranting that he had been stuck for 20 minutes. He was clearly very worked up." - nzherald
DOJ: Watergate Wiretap Records Should Remain Sealed
The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal judge in Washington to keep sealed illegal wiretap recordings rooted in the Watergate scandal.
Responding to a Nixon historian's request for the wiretap information, DOJ lawyers in Washington said there is no First Amendment or public right of access to illegally obtained wiretaps.
The historian, Luke Nichter, is seeking access to information that was sealed in the 1972 prosecution of G. Gordon Liddy in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Nichter’s request encompasses grand jury records, too. He is exploring the motive behind the break-in at the Watergate hotel in Washington.
DOJ lawyer Elizabeth Shapiro said in court papers (PDF) filed late Friday that federal wiretap laws do not allow “discretionary disclosures based on historical or scholarly interest.” She urged a trial judge here not to release wiretap information and grand jury records.
Federal law, Shapiro said, “makes such knowing disclosure a crime, and we are unaware of any court that has unsealed previously undisclosed illegal wiretap content for reasons of historical interest.”
DOJ’s legal team said the governing law was meant to safeguard “the privacy of innocent persons who have not consented to the interception of their communication.” One person who was recorded, R. Spencer Oliver, sued Nixon campaign officials and settled for an undisclosed amount, DOJ said. Oliver was in 1972 the executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen.
Nichter, in his request for access to records, pointed to a ruling in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in which a judge granted the press access to wiretap records in the Eliot Spitzer prostitution ring case.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s ruling in favor of public access was overturned by a federal appeals court, DOJ said.
The government said it is not opposed to the release of some court papers that are sealed in the Liddy case. That information, DOJ lawyers said, includes bench conferences about evidentiary disputes and pretrial meetings in chambers.
“With the passage of forty years, these kinds of documents add to the historical record of the trial without negatively impacting on the administration of justice,” Shapiro said. “There is, accordingly, a public interest in their disclosure.”
Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington’s federal trial court, who last year ordered the unsealing of President Nixon’s grand jury testimony, has not ruled on Nichter’s request for documents in the Liddy prosecution.
Lamberth released the Nixon grand jury testimony over the government’s objection, concluding that the historical value of the information trumped any lingering privacy concerns.
DOJ said Friday “the department continues to disagree that courts possess inherent authority to reach outside” the federal rule of criminal procedure that controls grand jury secrecy.
“Whether or not historical interest, as a policy matter, should be considered as a justification to release grand jury information where the need for secrecy demonstrably has waned, presents a question for legislators and policymakers, not for courts,” Shapiro said.
The Justice Department in October proposed changes to the grand jury secrecy rule to allow judges to release historically significant records after the passage of 30 years. But an advisory committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States rejected the DOJ proposal. - legaltimes
All the President's Men
The Great Coverup: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate
Watergate: The Hidden History: Nixon, The Mafia, and The CIA