Revenge is a lot of things -- a dish best served cold, a double-edged sword, a skillfully placed Whoopee cushion. But most often, it's a knee-jerk reaction. Accidentally bump into the wrong guy on Free Ice Cream Day, and you'll find yourself starring in a supervillain origin story. It might take a more monumental push to make someone go full John Wick, but some people's fuses are ready to blow at the slightest of slights. Like how ...
It takes guts to try to play the FBI. Fish guts, to be exact. To be more exact, the fish guts Timothy David Hershman's roommate put in his truck as a prank. It's not clear when or why or where specifically the guts ended up in the truck, but Hershman was disgruntled, leading him to call the FBI in January 2013 to inform them of a "dangerous man" who was planning to hijack a plane from Hawaii to Alaska. Then he described his roommate, who happened to be on such a flight at that time.
The FBI apparently didn't question how this man had knowledge of this alleged plot, but maybe they didn't really have the luxury to do so. They called in two F-15s from a far-flung Oregon airstrip, and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Seattle, where authorities held the supposed hijacker for two hours of nothing.
Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers/U.S.A.F.
Hershman hadn't made it difficult to trace the call back to him, probably because this was all done on a drunken whim, so he was swiftly and incredibly arrested. So arrested. He was on the verge of getting charged for wasting precious jet fuel, but the judge took pity on him because he was already homeless and living off crumbs and Social Security, so he gave him a shot at a more comfortable life by handing down an 18-month prison sentence.
In 2009, Elayna Katz was disappointed by her dinner at Mambo Nuevo Latino in Ottawa. The service was bad, the food was not what she ordered, and she had to pay twice for sending it back, so she posted her very first online review. She also made the mistake of leaving the restaurant her business card, in case they felt like making it up to her. She had woefully overestimated the maturity of the owner, Marisol Simoes.
Simoes then embarked on a two-year harassment spree, first publishing Katz's contact information on the review site and making some real pot/kettle accusations regarding her mental health. Then, impersonating Katz, she emailed wholly unprompted and fictional details about Katz's sex life to the CEO and everyone on the board of directors at the company where Katz worked. She then set up a profile on dating website using Katz's information and identifying her as a man. Simoes was found guilty of libel and got 90 days in prison for her meddling. Then her restaurant closed, because it turns out it actually was pretty bad.
In May 2018, restaurant employee Chanh Tran was fed up with her slacker boss. She thought it was unfair for him to sit around scrolling through dank memes while his wife did all the legwork. She worried about her well-being, and the safety of two women opening a restaurant by themselves early each morning. So she took charge of her own (and everyone else's) destiny by staging a fake robbery.
Of course, she couldn't do it herself, so with cash in hand and a sob story about a sick parent, she started approaching homeless people on the street with an insane proposition. She eventually found one desperate enough to take the offer: Conan Dehut. The plan, which the co-conspirators rehearsed the night before, was for Dehut to enter the restaurant and hold the owner's wife hostage at knifepoint, at which point Tran would play the hero by slapping him with cold cash. Seems simple, right?
Marion County Sheriff's Office
The airtight scheme fell apart as soon as Dehut approached the restaurant and Tran veered off-script by trying to prevent him from coming inside. In the ensuing struggle, Tran ended up getting stabbed, when she'd only planned on getting kicked a few times. Then incriminating video showed up and she spilled everything to the police, landing them both in jail. The moral of the story is not to do a robbery for anyone, no matter how badly you need the money, because that person is probably not to be trusted.
In 2017, down-on-his-luck Singaporean insurance salesman Ye Lin Myint was intent on exacting revenge upon customers who flaked on him or turned him down. He already had all the addresses of his targets, so he started sending them letters with vague threats about ruining their lives, demanding blackmail payments in cryptocurrency to be made to an email address under the name "Lord Voldermort." Come on, guy. If you're gonna go that nerdy, at least do the proper research.
Warner Bros. Pictures
He earns points for choosing a payment method that couldn't be traced back to him, but then loses them immediately for leaving his DNA everywhere. It didn't take long for police to figure out the common denominator between these people and confirm it with biological samples from the letters. The harassment charges landed him a prison sentence of two years and five months, and probably a lot of wedgies.
Arsalan Khawaja is the brother of a famous cricket player, which was formerly the most interesting thing about him. He seemed to be aware of that hurtful little fact, because he was ragingly jealous of his colleague, Mohamed Nizamdeen. Nizamdeen, who worked with Khawaja at the University of New South Wales, had everything he wanted: a better job, wavy hair that swoops adorably to the side, and a relationship with a particular woman. So enraged was he over his colleague's career, social, and follicular success that he skipped right over the standard "hide his stapler" routine and framed him for terrorism.
Michael Dodge/Getty Images
And for a while, it worked. After Khawaja planted Nizamdeen's "diary" in the university library, which outlined "his" "plans" to assassinate a former Australian prime minister, police arrested Nizamdeen for plotting terrorism and not even being that sneaky about it. The charges were dropped after handwriting experts determined that Nivamdeen did not truly write the diary, but not before he spent some time in solitary at a supermax facility.
The police then finally listened when Nizamdeen told them that he knew exactly who was trying to ruin his life, and subsequently arrested Khawaja. He was initially released on bail, but brought back in for allegedly trying to get a witness in the case on his side. Some people just aren't smart enough for crime.
After Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani left an audition in November 2017, some Rambo villains called him an "enemy of the state" and abducted him. According to Itani, the men took him to an "unofficial detention center," which was a black room with hooks on the wall, and he was tortured and threatened with sexual assault unless he confessed to spying for Israel. After the men had delivered all their bad guy lines, they took Itani to a legit military facility, where he spent the next 54 days in solitary confinement with his wounds left untreated and no idea what was happening, because he was absolutely not spying for Israel.
Itani resurfaced for a trial, where the judge noticed the actor's body had all the telltale marks of torture and ordered an investigation. This led to the arrest of Elie Ghabash, a hacker who admitted he sent the supposed proof of Itani's spy activities to his Facebook Messenger and email -- which someone really should have noticed he never even opened.
Zero Cool eventually coughed up the mastermind: Major Suzan Hobeiche, who was once Lebanon's cybersecurity chief. Apparently she blamed Itani for helping to get her fired by screenshotting a tweet she liked about Saudi women in explosive cars. So she demonstrated her expertise with an extreme test of Lebanon's new anti-torture law.
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