- Amber Roberts, 30, a resident of the unit for the criminally insane at Eastern State Hospital in Spokane, Wash., informed officials in November that "I (just now) murdered someone, but you're going to have to find him." As staff members searched the facility, Roberts offered to help by shouting "hot," "cold," "you're getting warmer," and so forth. Roberts yelled "Hot!" as they closed in on the room containing the body of a 56-year-old patient that Roberts then admitted strangling. (However, a few days later in court, she pleaded not guilty.)
- Gary Medrow, 68, has periodically surfaced in News of the Weird since 1991 for his unique behavior of using a false identity to persuade Milwaukee-area strangers over the phone to lift other strangers off the ground -- behavior for which he has occasionally been jailed and ordered to psychiatric care. After a recent period of calm, Medrow slipped in November and was charged with impersonating a photojournalist to convince two Cedarburg (Wis.) High School students to hoist each other on their shoulders (and four similar incidents were under investigation). At an earlier hearing, Medrow said that his "addiction" helps him to relieve tension and anxiety.
The Continuing Crisis
- Floyd Johnson pleaded guilty to attempted murder in an odd scene in a New York City courtroom in November. Johnson has only one leg, and had been charged with stabbing a fellow homeless shelter resident who has no legs. Johnson's public-defender lawyer (who caught the case at random) has only one leg, also. Johnson said he was taking the plea in part because of excruciating leg pain -- in the leg he doesn't have ("phantom leg" syndrome), and Johnson's lawyer said he suffers from the same thing. (The lawyer subsequently filed to withdraw the guilty plea because the pain had clouded his client's judgment.)