Crime is not pretty

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An "ugly robber" plaguing the Phoenix area was arrested in July in Peoria, Ariz. Karen Marie Tribby, 33, reportedly confessed to 12 robberies, crimes described in police bulletins as having been perpetrated by a "very ugly woman." A police spokesman justified that description by pointing out that "every victim who has seen her" had described her as "very ugly."

I'm OK, you're an EKG

For an August feature on Rhonda Lenair, a Newbury, Mass., "medical intuitive," a Boston Globe editor confirmed that Lenair had discerned his various bodily problems with "75-80 percent" accuracy, all on the basis of a mere telephone call. Lenair (whose fee was $275) said she is like an ultrasound machine in that she can mentally scan a patient's body and tap into his or her energy field, sometimes even feeling the subject's pain by transference. A Harvard-clinic psychiatrist testified that "Sitting in front of her is like being in front of an X-ray machine," adding that it was "almost embarrassing" how well she could read him.

Worse for wear

Among the men's fashions introduced in Paris in July: a crocheted face mask (reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter's) and a flower-print jacket and matching headscarf, both by Belgian designer Walter Van Bierendonck; a white full skirt for men to wear over blue jeans, by Dutch designer Dries Van Noten; and (also to be worn with blue jeans and a white shirt) a formal black dorsal wing extending five feet out on each side, by a designer unidentified in an Associated Press dispatch.

Stick 'em up

Ex-Marine Stanley Heiserman, 41, pleaded guilty in Allentown, Pa., in May to six convenience-store robberies, four of which he pulled off while naked. Heiserman told police that during a previous stint at robbery, he had been identified by his clothing, and was determined not to let that happen again.

Folding under questioning

Driver Lamarn Williams, 27, and his three passengers were arrested in August near Washington, Pa., by a state trooper who had intended only to warn Williams he was driving too fast. However, when the trooper obligatorily asked if the car contained any guns or drugs, passenger Marlon Martez Lee's eyes rolled back in his head, and he fainted. The trooper called for drug-sniffing dogs, and about 10 kilograms of cocaine (value: $1 million) were found in the trunk.

Blind justice

From the Police Blotter column of the State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill., July 29: A 41-year-old man reported that another man who lives at the same residence on East Adams Street may have stolen his glass eye. Both men have glass eyes, but the alleged victim said his had vanished from his pocket, with another one left in its place. The victim admitted he "did not see the exchange."

A man trapped in a woman's prison

Patricia McGrath, 65, was arrested in Philadelphia in July and charged with robbing the First Federal Bank. According to police, McGrath -- a suspect in at least five other bank robberies -- was dressed as a man during the job, but fled the scene in women's clothing. During a strip search at the police station, McGrath was revealed to possess physical characteristics of both sexes. Though classified as male, he insisted on being called Patricia and was confined in the women's section. Said the arresting detective: "I definitely have to commend his professionalism. He's pretty good at `bank robbery`."

Going to war for the halibut

The United States and Canada recently and aggressively disputed the rights to the popular walleye fish that roam rivers and lakes near the Manitoba-Minnesota border. Canada bars U.S. anglers from its side of the lakes unless they stay at Canadian resorts; President Clinton says that policy violates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Minnesotans on a U.S. peninsula attached to Manitoba have threatened to secede and join Canada in order to enjoy better access to walleyes. In retaliation, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura threatened to block the Canadian National railroad, which makes a short dip into Minnesota on its way around one of the lakes.

Diamond rivalry

In August, the Pikeville, Ky., City Commission granted permission to the McCoy family for a three-day reunion in June 2000, to which members of the Hatfield family have been invited for a McCoy-Hatfield softball game. (During the 1870s and 1880s, the Appalachian families fought one of the most notorious feuds in U.S. history, a conflict marked by 12 deaths.)

Copping a feel

In April, Nashville, Tenn., police officer Clinton Lien was fired after superiors discovered he was running an on-premises sex club for swingers in his spare time. And in May, officer Shayne Simmons was fired from the Carl Junction, Mo., police force after superiors found out he and his wife were the principals in a nude-dancing club just north of town.

Voter recognition

Dorothy Joyner, 57, who evaded a warrant for burglary in Baltimore, was spotted by a police officer as she was being interviewed on TV in connection with her candidacy for the city's mayoral post. (The subject of the interview: crime prevention.)

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