Qualifying for a Darwin Award in Wisconsin


Charged with suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle

Just as they have for the past several summers, Shawn Swanson and his buddies from St. Paul Johnson High School headed to northwestern Wisconsin for a weekend of boating, fishing and hanging around the bonfire.

On Saturday night they took up car surfing — and it cost the 21-year-old Swanson his life and leaves one of his friends facing the prospect of going to prison…

The 21-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. He was released from jail after posting bond Monday and awaits charges.

My last text to [Shawn] before he left was don’t do anything dumb . . . I told him I love him, have a good time and be safe,” said Swanson’s mother, Renee, before sending him on his way to “the highlight of every summer with him.”

Shawn Swanson was on his stomach atop the SUV — his four friends below inside — and they were “going faster than they should’ve been,” his mother said, when he fell off and hit his head on the pavement…

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that its analysis of news media reports identified 58 car-surfing deaths and 41 people injured in the United States from 1990 to August 2008. The agency added that most of the car-surfing reports came from the Midwest and the South, and most involved males and those ages 15 to 19.

The usual problem with Darwin Award candidates can’t be avoided. The victim was a nice kid on his way to a holiday weekend with his best friends. Doesn’t make the risk to his life any less – nor the deadly result.

Banker died after a little failed erotic asphyxiation in the woods

Colin Birch, 44, a former assistant vice-president of Deutsche Bank, had been turned down for a job on the same day that he paid the women to taunt him and call him a “loser” as he stood on a ladder with a noose around his neck.

Mr Birch told them he was wearing a safety harness and asked them to kick away the ladder so that they could carry out a mock execution. The women refused and walked away laughing. One of the women, worried for Birch’s safety, returned moments later to find him dying. The harness he had assured them he was wearing failed, the inquest heard. Mr Birch, a married father of two, had been made redundant in 2009 and was having trouble finding new work.

Louise Howard, who runs Katie’s Lovely Escorts, told the inquest that she received a call from Mr Birch on the morning of July 30 asking to arrange the “execution”…

The court heard that Mr Birch, who had been contacting Ms Howard regularly to see if the execution was arranged, sent her a text saying: “Just to clarify the role play. I will wear a harness to support me but will also have a noose round my neck for show. Girl will ask for execution fee and I will go to my place of execution. My crime is being a loser.

“Girl kicks away stool and laughs and walks back to car without looking back so to show she has no feelings. Important stick to the role…”

…Miss Sturley said it “didn’t feel right” and the pair left as she “laughed loudly” as had been ordered. But worried for his safety she went back to check on the former banker.

She found him turning blue and screamed for help from Mr Bowyer and the pair cut him down and tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A life-ending “Oops!” Or was it?

Man blows himself up trying to burn ex-girlfriend’s body

An explosive south Fulton County fire was apparently started last month by a man trying to burn his ex-girlfriend’s body…Sarone Bridges perished in the ensuing blaze, but not immediately after the blast that started the quick-burning fire, Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few said.

“Based on how his body was positioned, I think (the) explosion took its toll on him,” Few said. “The concussion from the blast could have made him disoriented where he fell, and he received the thermal burns afterwards.”

Investigators from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said Bridges died of burns and smoke inhalation.

Bridges’ ex-girlfriend, Beverly Bland, 34, was strangled before the fire, police said…

Few said Bridges, 35, doused a sleeping bag with gasoline and laid Bland’s body on the bag to set it on fire. But his plan literally blew up in his face.

“When he threw that match, the vapors of gasoline are what ignited,” Few said. “There was an immediate fireball that blew the windows out…”

Sometimes you get what you deserve.

Klutzy burglar goes for Darwin Award

A man found dead in a University District apartment this afternoon apparently was a burglar who broke out a window with his arm, then bled to death after he severed an artery, police said.

Columbus police were called to Apt. C at 119 Chittenden Ave. shortly before 2 p.m. by three Ohio State University roommates who had just returned back to their apartment after a long Labor Day weekend at home.

They came inside to find a man dead in the living room and blood everywhere.

“By all accounts, it looks like a burglary,” said Sgt. Steven Little of the Columbus police homicide squad. Little said it appears the man severed an artery in his arm on glass after he broke out a window in the apartment with his fist…

Police…didn’t release the names of the Ohio State students who live in the apartment. This afternoon, the three men – all seniors at Ohio State – were still talking with police behind crime tape. Little said the men had just moved into the apartment last week.

The sergeant said the burglar had attempted to stem the bleeding by wrapping paper towels from the kitchen around his arm.

Holiday weekends are always a great time to rob students. Or die trying.