On Death Row

There was a German, an Italian and a Redneck on death row. The warden gave them a choice of three ways to die:

  1. to be shot
  2. to be hung
  3. to be injected with the AIDS virus for a slow death.

So the German said, “Shoot me right in the head.” Boom, he was dead instantly.

Then the Italian said, “Just hang me.” Snap! he was dead.

Then the Redneck said, “Give me some of that AIDS stuff.” They gave him the shot, and the redneck fell down laughing.

The guards looked at each other and wondered what was wrong with this guy.

Then the Redneck said, “Give me another one of those shots,” so the guards did. Now he was laughing so hard, tears rolled from his eyes and he doubled over.

Finally the warden said, “What’s wrong with you?” The Redneck replied, “You guys are so stupid….. I’m wearing a condom.”

How to Rob a Bank

According to the FBI, most modern-day bank robberies are “unsophisticated and unprofessional crimes,” committed by young male repeat offenders who apparently don’t know the first thing about their business. This information was included in an interesting, amusing article titled “How Not to Rob a Bank,” by Tim Clark, which appeared in the 1987 edition of The Old Farmers Almanac. Clark reported that in spite of the widespread use of surveillance cameras, 76 percent of bank robbers use no disguise, 86 percent never study the bank before robbing it, and 95 percent make no long-range plans for concealing the loot. Thus, he offered this advice to would-be bank robbers, along with examples of what can happen if the rules aren’t followed:

  1. Pick the right bank. Clark advises that you don’t follow the lead of the fellow in Anaheim, Cal., who tried to hold up a bank that was no longer in business and had no money. On the other hand, you don’t want to be too familiar with the bank. A California robber ran into his mother while making his getaway. She turned him in.
  2. Approach the right teller. Granted, Clark says, this is harder to plan. One teller in Springfield, Mass., followed the holdup man out of the bank and down the street until she saw him go into a restaurant. She hailed a passing police car, and the police picked him up. Another teller was given a holdup note by a robber, and her father, who was next in line, wrestled the man to the ground and sat on him until authorities arrived.
  3. Don’t sign your demand note. Demand notes have been written on the back of a subpoena issued in the name of a bank robber in Pittsburgh, on an envelope bearing the name and address of another in Detroit, and in East Hartford, Conn., on the back of a withdrawal slip giving the robber’s signature and account number.
  4. Beware of dangerous vegetables. A man in White Plains, N.Y., tried to hold up a bank with a zucchini. The police captured him at his house, where he showed them his “weapon.”
  5. Avoid being fussy. A robber in Panorama City, Cal., gave a teller a note saying, “I have a gun. Give me all your twenties in this envelope.” The teller said, “All I’ve got is two twenties.” The robber took them and left.
  6. Don’t advertise. A holdup man thought that if he smeared mercury ointment on his face, it would make him invisible to the cameras. Actually, it accentuated his features, giving authorities a much clearer picture. Bank robbers in Minnesota and California tried to create a diversion by throwing stolen money out of the windows of their cars. They succeeded only in drawing attention to themselves.
  7. Take right turns only. Avoid the sad fate of the thieves in Florida who took a wrong turn and ended up on the Homestead Air Force Base. They drove up to a military police guardhouse and, thinking it was a tollbooth, offered the security men money.
  8. Provide your own transportation. It is not clever to borrow the teller’s car, which she carefully described to police. This resulted in the most quickly solved bank robbery in the history of Pittsfield, Mass.
  9. Don’t be too sensitive. In these days of exploding dye packs, stuffing the cash into your pants can lead to embarrassing stains, Clark points out, not to mention severe burns in sensitive places — as bandits in San Diego and Boston painfully discovered.
  10. Consider another line of work. One nervous Newport, R.I., robber, while trying to stuff his ill-gotten gains into his shirt pocket, shot himself in the head and died instantly. Then there was the case of the hopeful criminal in Swansea, Mass., who, when the teller told him she had no money, fainted. He was still unconscious when the police arrived.

In view of such ineptitude, it is not surprising that in 1978 and 1979, for example, federal and state officers made arrests in 69 percent of the bank holdups reported.

Frivolous Lawsuits by Inmates

America’s jailbirds don’t give up. Disappointed by the criminal justice system, this plucky lot still has faith in the civil side. Last year, the states spent $81 million defending what state attorneys general called frivolous lawsuits. Here are a few favorites:

  • A Virginia inmate tried to sue himself for $5 million on the grounds that he had gotten drunk and caused himself to violate his religious beliefs by committing a crime. Because he had no money, he wanted the state to pay the $5 million.
  • A convicted New York rapist sued the state, claiming he lost sleep and suffered headaches and chest pains after being given a “defective haircut” by an unqualified barber.
  • A Nevada inmate sued when he ordered two jars of chunky peanut butter at the Nevada State Prison canteen and received one chunky and one creamy.
  • A San Quentin death row inmate sued California, claiming his civil rights were violated because his packages were sent via UPS rather than the U.S. Postal Service.
  • An Oklahoma inmate alleged his religious freedoms were violated but could not say just how, because the main tenet of his faith was that all its practices were secret.
  • An Arizona inmate sued when he was not invited to a pizza party that prison employees held for a guard leaving his job.
  • An Indiana prisoner sued because he wanted to obtain Rogain for his baldness.
  • An Ohio inmate sued for being denied possession of soap on a rope.
  • An Oklahoma inmate sued because he was forced to listen to country music.
  • A Colorado con sued for early release because “everyone knows a con only serves about three years of a 10-year sentence.”

Stupid Criminal Hall of Shame

Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper.

South Carolina:
A man walked into a local police station, dropped a bag of cocaine on the counter, informed the desk sergeant that it was substandard cut, and asked that the person who sold it to him be arrested immediately.

A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and demanded all the money in the register. When the cashier handed him the loot, he fled–leaving his wallet on the counter.

A German “tourist,” supposedly on a golf holiday, shows up at customs with his golf bag. While making idle chatter about golf, the customs official realizes that the tourist does not know what a “handicap” is. The customs official asks the tourist to demonstrate his swing, which he does–backward! A substantial amount of narcotics was found in the golf bag.

A company called “Guns For Hire” stages gunfights for Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47-year-old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got 4-1/2 years in jail.

A man convicted of robbery worked out a deal to pay $9600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the court a check–a *forged* check. He got 10 years.

(Location Unknown):
A man went into a drug store, pulled a gun, announced a robbery, and pulled a Hefty-bag face mask over his head–and realized that he’d forgotten to cut eyeholes in the mask.

(Location Unknown):
A man successfully broke into a bank after hours and stole–are you ready for this?–the bank’s video camera. While it was recording. Remotely. (That is, the videotape recorder was located elsewhere in the bank, so he didn’t get the videotape of himself stealing the camera.)

(Location Unknown):
>A man successfully broke into a bank’s basement through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the process. He then realized that:

    1) he could not get to the money from where he was,
    2) he could not climb back out the window through which he had entered, and
    3) he was bleeding pretty badly.

So he located a phone and dialed “911” for help …

Two men in a pickup truck went to a new-home site to steal a refrigerator. Banging up walls, floors, etc., they snatched a refrigerator from one of the houses, and loaded it onto the pickup. The truck promptly got stuck in the mud, so these brain surgeons decided that the refrigerator was too heavy. Banging up *more* walls, floors, etc., they put the refrigerator BACK into the house, and returned to the pickup truck, only to realize that they locked the keys in the truck–so they abandoned it.

(Location Unknown):
A man walked into a Circle-K (a convenience store similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled–leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.

Criminally Stupid

FLORIDA: A man stole a 2001 Toyota Camry and in what can only be described as “not a bright move” proceeded to park in a handicapped spot with the stereo blasting.

In his continuing stupidity, after a cop pulled up and told him to move he told the officer he was paying for a phone card and would only be a minute.

While he was in the store the cop ran the plate and then called for backup. The man fought being arrested but was eventually subdued.

Oh yeah, they also found him possession of cocaine. According to jail records, he already was out on bond for nine other charges, including two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

I’m surprised he didn’t just go ahead and hold up the store while he was there.

Advice to Dumb Criminals

(based on what other dumb criminals have done)
  • If you plan to commit a crime and run from the police on foot… *Do* pick a more subtle color to wear than bright yellow pants.
  • *Don’t* invite a uniformed police officer into your home to chat about a crime you witnessed if you have dope on the table in plain view.
  • When you go on a burglary spree *Do* ensure you have enough gas in your vehicle to drive away from your crime scene.
  • “But I know the people who live here” is *Not* a valid justification for burglarizing a neighbors house when they are out of town.
  • When an officer is demonstrating a field sobriety test *Don’t* say, “Well, I can’t do that sober!” on camera, and then plead not guilty.
  • If you are going to steal a car *Do* pick one that will blend in traffic better than a pearl white six door limo.
  • *Don’t* answer a question with the phrase, “Who me?” when you and the officer are the only people in a ten mile radius.
  • *Don’t* repeat the question that the officer just asked. It’s considered a stall technique and it gives away the fact you are getting ready to lie through your teeth.
  • *Don’t* say, “I ain’t got no dope. Why you wanna search my car?” before the officer even introduces himself/herself on the traffic stop.
  • *Do* pick an alias you can spell before you lie to the police about your name.
  • *Do* ensure the birthday you give matches the age you give when lying about your birthday.
  • When you attempt to drop your dope on the ground when approached by an officer, *Don’t* bounce said dope off the toe of the officer’s boot.
  • *Do* come up with something better to say than, “These aren’t my pants” when the officer finds dope or any other contraband in your pocket.
  • If you are going to jump into a stranger’s fenced back yard *Do* make sure a police K-9 vehicle is not parked in the driveway.
  • *Don’t* ask an off duty plain clothes officer in his privately owned vehicle for a ride away from your crime scene.
  • If you leave your pants, car, and ID at a crime scene, the cops *Will* probably be able to figure out who dunnit