Todd Farthing is yet another bizarrely specific lunatic who was caught shooting darts at random people. He lanced the arms of two students on the University of Illinois campus and was promptly arrested, which was probably the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Too Many People Have Tried To Build Death Rays
20th Century Fox
The death ray is the ultimate in villainy -- a weapon capable of subjugating entire populations thanks to the inherent ferocity of a giant laser beam. Most sane people dismiss it as a product of fiction, something that can only exist in three out of seven Star Wars movies. But that hasn't stopped villains around the globe from trying to create their own ghastly humanity-enslaving laser cannons.
The first nefarious plot we found came from New York:
You probably didn't hear about it at the time, as it was only the tenth-most shady, evil thing being done in the state that week. Glendon Crawford and Eric Feight, who really should've spent some time developing supervillain names, were caught by the FBI while they were trying to construct a mobile X-ray device to silently kill what has been reported as a number of different groups, including "undesirables," "enemies of Israel," and Muslims. The device was designed to be turned on remotely and emit an extremely dangerous level of radiation, which the target wouldn't even realize they had been subjected to until days later.
Remarkably confident in his own ability, Glendon (seriously, get an evil pseudonym, dude) thought the creation would be "Hiroshima on a light switch," capable of killing anything that breathes within a day or so. Basically, the design boiled down to driving around in a truck and pointing an X-ray at people -- an idea that Feight took straight to the KKK for donations. Luckily, he and his partner were arrested by the FBI before they got a chance to build anything.
Enjoy a Mister Frostee as your insides slowly melt from the radiation.
A death ray comprised of sunshine, which is not as whimsical as it sounds, had a period of running rampant across London, destroying cars and starting fires. It was caused by light reflected off a skyscraper built by Rafael Vinoly, a Uruguayan architect based in New York (the Maniacal Scheme capital of the world). This death ray was no accident, though -- Vinoly has a penchant for buildings that double as destroyers. At a hotel he designed in Las Vegas, the rays reflected by the structure were searing the hair of swimmers by the pool. It seems the Death Star was built by a distant relative of his.
"Tell me where the Rebel Base is, or all of Alderaan's cars will have melty hinges!"
Death rays aren't exclusively the obsession of modern lunatics, either. Like music, the cream of the crop comes from the 1970s. The U.S. had banned a cancer drug which was found to be bogus, which led to a bunch of "get rich quick" scam treatment centers popping up in Mexico. This gave James R. Lewis, a Republican congressman who also wanted to get rich, the idea to build his own shady treatment center in South America. But he needed to raise money for the project, which he did in the sanest possible manner: He attempted to hire a laser expert to construct a giant, blinding death ray which he could sell to a Guatemalan military colonel for investment capital. Lewis's plan was ultimately foiled by the FBI, but he might've simply been ahead of his time. Ragingly evil politicians are so hot right now.
Hoss is currently live-tweeting the progress of his own death ray @M_Hossey.
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