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More Darwin Awards

The Darwin Awards


2000 Darwin Award

Confirmed True by Darwin

On Thursday afternoon, 29-year-old Michele was working with her young and spirited Arabian horse, which she had won in a lottery the previous year. The animal was only partially trained, and still a bit spooky. Every time Michele tried to don its bridle, the horse threw back its head and frustrated her efforts.

Then Michele had the brilliant idea of tying a rope around the Arabian's head, and fastening the other end around her waist to keep the horse from throwing its head back. That way, she would have both hands free to fasten the bridle.

But horses are 500 times stronger than people, according to Deputy Sheriff Lance Modispacher, who reported that the horse spooked again, threw Michele off her feet, and began running around its paddock, dragging its erstwhile trainer by the rope around her waist. And the rope was short, so she was trampled right under the horse's feet as it ran.

Her father noticed the commotion and ran to help. Unfortunately his two dogs came with him, and started chasing the horse, nipping at its heels. This did not improve Michele's situation. He finally managed to lock the dogs away and fetch a knife from the house. With the help of a neighbor, he chased the horse down and cut the rope, freeing the lacerated lass.

But Michele had already spent ten minutes under the hooves of her horse, and she died a few hours later at a local hospital, a victim of internal injuries and head trauma, the result of her lamentable decision to tie herself to a skittish horse.


1999 Darwin Award
Confirmed True by Darwin

Robert was 45 years old and boasted a string of arrests and several criminal convictions. You would be stretching the truth if you called him an exemplary citizen. But even worse, he was an abusive husband. Charges of battery and false imprisonment had been leveled against him for allegedly tying his common-law wife to their bed with an extension cord in 1997.

According to the police report, he told her "he was not going to let her out, feed her or allow her to go to work." Rosemary managed to free herself and crawl out a window to summon police. Robert was jailed for two months, which he spent writing poems and drawing pictures of the couple in wedding finery, before Rosemary begged a judge to send him home because she couldn't afford the rent alone.

On Thursday, Robert doused Rosemary with gasoline and set her on fire. Then he wrenched a gas line loose, apparently to make her death like an accident. But his mislaid plan backfired, when the gas line ignited and blew him up, putting an end to his boorish behavior.


2000 Honorable Mention
Confirmed True by Darwin

Justin had some trouble when he attempted to steal a utility trailer from the Home Depot store in Albuquerque. He drove in and hitched a trailer onto his Toyota pickup, then drove off quickly - only to crash on Griegos Road. He then returned to the home improvement store and hitched up a second trailer, then drove off - only to have it come loose and crash 75 yards away from the first stolen trailer.

Deputy Sheriff Scott Baird noticed the two trailers on the side of the road, and stopped to investigate. Just then, Detective Bill Webb said, Justin "drives by with the third stolen trailer, and the fender of the trailer clips the deputy's patrol car." A 25-mph chase ensued; the leisurely pace set by Justin, who ""probably knows that trailers at high speeds don't stay on very well," Webb elaborated.

The would-be thief was finally pulled to a stop, arrested by Albuquerque police officers, and charged with three counts of motor vehicle theft. Hurrah for Justin! If all criminals had a modus operandi as feeble as his, the species would die out from an excess of convictions.