News & Current Affairs

September 6, 2008

Police: Gunman kills self after standoff in bank

Police: Gunman kills self after standoff in bank

WHEATON, Illinois (AP) — A gunman who took a dozen hostages in a suburban Chicago bank after wresting a gun from a police officer Friday died after shooting himself in the head, police said.

Hostages were released Friday after a gunman killed himself in suburban Chicago, police say.

Hostages were released Friday after a gunman killed himself in suburban Chicago, police say.

The standoff began around 1:30 p.m., after a Wheaton police officer responded to a call of a hit-and-run accident near the bank.

When the officer arrived, the suspect grabbed the officer from behind, held a knife to his throat and demanded his gun, Deputy Chief Thomas Meloni said.

During an ensuing struggle, the officer was cut on a forearm and the suspect was able to take the gun and run the lobby of the Wheaton Bank & Trust, where he ordered everyone to the floor, Meloni said.

Police in Wheaton, about 20 miles west of Chicago, did not immediately release the gunman’s identity.

As officers evacuated nearby businesses and homes and shut down streets and rail service, hostage negotiators talked to the gunman by phone. They were able to persuade him to release 10 hostages, leaving two behind, Meloni said.

“At one point the suspect began to close the blinds from inside the bank and he disconnected the phone contact with the hostage negotiators,” Meloni said.

Shortly afterward, about 4:15 p.m., officers heard a single gunshot and they rushed in, Meloni said. He said the man was dead of a single gunshot wound to the head.

A spokeswoman for Central DuPage Hospital, Amy Steinbruecker, said the hospital treated and released the police officer who scuffled with the suspect for minor injuries.

Television footage showed dozens of people running from the four-story bank building, which includes other businesses, with their hands above their heads.

“We locked our office door, turned off the lights, drew the blinds,” said Donna Price, 52, of McHenry, who works in the office building. “Then we heard a knock on the door and it was a SWAT guy. He told us to get out right now.

“I said, ‘Let me get my purse.’ He said, ‘No, now.”‘

Price said police held people in a stairwell of the building before ordering them out.

“We all had to put our hands up on the back of our heads and run,” Price said from a convenience store across the street where more than 100 people were crowded.

August 20, 2008

American ‘Bigfoot’ is monkey suit

American ‘Bigfoot’ is monkey suit

The claimed recent discovery of Bigfoot in the US state of Georgia has turned out to be a hoax – it was a rubber gorilla suit in a block of ice.

Two men said last week they had found a 2.3m-tall (7ft 7in), 226kg (500lb) corpse of the legendary ape-like creature in a wood in June.

Two researchers bought the “carcass”, encased in ice, for an undisclosed sum.

But as it thawed it turned out to be a rubber monkey outfit. Bigfoot has been the subject of decades of hoaxes.

Matt Whitton, a police officer, and Rick Dyer, a former prison officer, told a new conference in California last week that they had made the find while hiking.

‘Dinosaurs’

A photograph on the men’s website showed what appeared to be a large, hairy creature.

But Bigfoot experts reacted suspiciously to the men’s claims and the story soon began to unravel.

BIGFOOT BASICS
First documented report was prints found by Canadian trader in 1811
Name dates from 1958 reports of giant footprints found in California
Ray Wallace, who died in 2002, claimed to have faked these
Most famous footage shot in 1967 and contested ever since

Steve Kulls – of squatchdetective.com – observed the thawing and said that as the ice melted, the exposed head was found to be “unusually hollow in one small section”.

As the process continued the feet were exposed – and were found to be made of rubber.

AP news agency reported that telephone calls to Mr Whitton and Mr Dyer were not returned on Tuesday.

But the voicemail recording for their Bigfoot Tip Line – which proclaims they also search for leprechauns and the Loch Ness monster – has been updated. It announced the duo were also looking for “big cats and dinosaurs”.

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