5 Totally Baffling Crimes That Only Raised More Questions
Figuring out the motive is a key element to solving any crime. But some crimes have no evident "why" ... except the one the investigators howl at the sky in impotent confusion. These inexplicable crimes exist as raw, bewildering proof of an uncaring and chaotic universe. Look at how ...
Someone Is Shaving Cats
In 2017, a bizarre crime wave struck the small town of Waynesboro, Virginia. Over the course of four months, at least seven cats were abducted, shaved, and returned to their owners. The cats were completely unharmed ... physically. Rebekah Martin reported that her cat, Tigerlily, had become understandably suspicious of humans after the mystery shave. The culprit remains at large, despite the exasperated signs posted around the neighborhood.
Since the Feline Barber of Fleet Street only shaves the cats' bellies and groin areas, police have speculated that the culprit is checking to see if the cats have been spayed or neutered, but that seems like an awfully long way to go just to not mind your own business. If you ever find yourself so concerned with animal welfare that abducting and violating them starts to sound like a good idea, you're the incredibly weird supervillain of this story. Besides, Tigerlily has been shaved against her will twice, and we'd like to think the Bob Barker Stalker would keep a diligent spreadsheet of those they'd already hit.
Residents have said that they can't conclusively point any fingers, but they do "have theories." This means there's at least one person in the neighborhood being silently shunned as a suspected cat shaver.
The Mystery Pooper Of A High School Track Turned Out To Be The Superintendent
In 2018, someone was serial-shitting on the track field at Holmedel High School in New Jersey. There's just ... no other way to say that. Authorities were baffled, especially because it became a daily occurrence. The poops were too large and appearing too regularly to be from an animal, and since it was a high school, everyone quite reasonably thought the culprit was a teenager.
To flush out the mad pooper, police set up surveillance all around the field. And they caught the culprit right before 6 a.m., trousers down, fertilizing the field. Plot twist: It was the superintendent of the school district. A super pooper, if you will. Thomas Tramaglini lived about three miles away from the school, and had made a habit of running over every morning to shit on the track. Some truly pitiful defenders suggested that he was training at a high intensity and couldn't hold it, and while it's true that this is a thing which sometimes happens to marathon runners, Tramaglini wasn't competing in anything, and did this daily. Maybe he simply really hated that track team. Hey, you tell us.
It truly defies logic, especially since it cost him a $150,000 annual salary and any chance of a reference now that he has such an, ahem, shitty record. But don't let the schadenfreude set in yet -- he still managed to get severance from the school to the tune of about $100,000.
A Thief Stole An Unholy Amount Of Stuff From Cemeteries ... To Refurbish Her Home
Back in 2017, Genesee County, Michigan wrestled with a very different kind of cemetery vandal, one who wasn't content with desecrating caskets for gold teeth or dried-out orifices. They appeared to be pilfering random, seemingly worthless flowers and mementos which people left on the graves.
Over time, the thief raided two local cemeteries for a total of 188 items. Everything was fair game: decorations, flowers, even a homemade memorial bench beside one of the headstones. It was strange, because the amount of effort involved to haul all that stuff away far exceeded the actual value of the loot. Apart from the $500 bench, there was little to monetize, as graveside knickknacks and flowers have precious little resale value.
But our master criminal had no interest in that. She was all about home improvement. Lisa Corcoran was stealing the stuff merely to decorate her own home. That's less of a solid career in crime and more an excellent way to get every single nook and cranny of your house haunted by vengeful spirits looking for their missing floral arrangements, but we have to admit that it's goth AF.
Police discovered Corcoran's questionable taste when an eyewitness noticed her car stuffed to the brim with flowers, and thankfully (if somewhat bafflingly) decided it was an emergency situation. Ironically, those particular floral arrangements weren't from anyone's graves. She had taken them from the porches and backyards of a nearby condo development. So it was probably a good thing that the police ended her one-woman crime spree when they did -- it was clearly only a matter of time before she graduated to aggravated potted plant burglary.
Weird Bandits Stole Address Numbers From Homes
In September 2016, somebody started ripping the address numbers off of houses in a Philadelphia neighborhood. That alone would be weird, but the plot thickens: They were taking only ones and zeroes. The thieves were spotted early on -- one person's surveillance camera caught a woman in the act, and another filmed a man later -- but police couldn't identify either of them, so their rampant digit thievery went on for at least a month. And they didn't stop even after national and international news outlets started to write about them. What was going on? A weird art project? A pair of apostles carrying out orders from a mathematical god? It was a weird art project, wasn't it?
With no answers in sight, people replaced their missing numbers, shrugged, and went on with their lives. But the Binary Bandits later reemerged. Around Christmas, one resident found a white trash bag on their stoop, filled with metal ones and zeroes. There was no note and no clear reason why the numbers were returned, so the neighborhood was just left with more questions.
One neighbor speculated that the Christmas season might have given the bandits a sudden change of heart. Maybe the weird art project didn't pan out. Whatever the case, the owners of the missing numbers presumably either threw them out or tossed them in a drawer as an offbeat keepsake, since they were useless after having been replaced. Wait, was that the weird art project?
Someone Stole Art From MoMA, Then Casually Mailed It Back
It was autumn 2017, and things were about to get 17 kinds of weird at the Museum of Modern Art PS1 building in Queens. To their horror, museum workers found that someone had stolen two photographs with an estimated value of $105,000 from artist Carolee Schneemann's Kinetic Painting exhibit. What's worse, no one seemed to be able to figure out exactly how the theft had taken place. There were no eyewitnesses, no security footage, no signs of forced entry -- not a single clue as to how someone could have waltzed away with six figures' worth of art. For all the world, it looked like some expert thief had managed to pull a perfect crime...
... for about four days. After that, the photographs were anonymously returned to the museum, completely unscathed.
That left everyone even more confused. There was no cheeky "Thanks for letting us borrow these, LOL" note, so it remained a mystery why in the rollerblading hell anyone would do this. The only surveillance footage was from a shipping store in Brooklyn, showing the woman who mailed the package, who was described as being in her 20s and wearing "a dark cap, glasses, and a black overcoat" ... meaning she could be literally anyone in Williamsburg.
To recap, someone pulled off a flawless art heist, got away with it scot-free, and instead of selling or otherwise profiting from the goods, they returned them undamaged and in their entirety. That's the working theory, anyway. The surveillance footage was obviously a dead end, and it's not even clear whether the woman who returned them is the same one who stole the photos or some hipster art vigilante who claimed them from the culprit, returned them, and then stepped out onto the street and disappeared into a sea of bobble hats and wacky glasses. We know which option we're rooting for, though.
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