It appears mom and son are back on speaking terms. Ruth Madoff, wife of disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, granted 60 Minutes an interview to help promote the release of her son Andrew’s new book, Truth and Consequences, which hit stores today.

In a teaser published yesterday in the New York Times, Madoff revealed that the couple attempted suicide in the aftermath of the scandal for which her husband Bernie was sentenced to 150 years in prison for stealing billions while running history’s largest Ponzi scheme. She describes a Christmas evening in 2008 with her husband spent wrapping up various jewels and valuables and mailing them to friends and relatives before taking a handful of Ambien and lying down together.

They didn’t take enough.

Earlier this year, daughter-in-law Stephanie Madoff Mack published her own account of life inside the family. Her book, The End of Normal: A Wife’s Anguish, A Widow’s New Life, details bizarre letters Bernie wrote her from prison, Continue reading

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Stephanie Moreland of Bloomington, MN made our list of 10 FAVORITE CRIMINAL BAD-ASSES OF 2011 (so far) post last week. Yesterday the 46-year-old woman pleaded guilty to stealing the mink coat from a Twin Cities store and then hiding the coat in her underwear.

Stephanie Moreland snatched a $6,500 fur coat — then hid it between her legs in a pair of barely-there underwear where it remained for three days while she was in jail, according to Bloomington, Minn. police.

A store employee said Moreland was acting suspiciously. When the worker confronted the 270-pound Moreland, she lifted up her skirt and exposed her rear end, but no sign of the jacket.

Police arrested her when they found a coat hanger in her car, but no outerwear. It was three days later in jail that she retrieved the contraband from her panties and handed the mink coat over to cops. She will be sentenced on August 8.

No information was available regarding the fate of the coat. (Source: AP)

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BOULDER, Colo. June 21-A woman who stepped inside a portable toilet at a yoga festival in Colorado discovered a man hiding in the tank below when she lifted the toilet lid.

Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel says the woman told authorities she noticed something moving inside the tank and asked a man to check it out. The man reported seeing someone covered in a tarp inside the tank.

A festival security supervisor said the suspect eventually emerged from the toilet – covered in human waste – and slipped away. Police say the suspect is thought to be in his 20s and is being sought on charges of criminal attempt to make unlawful sexual contact.

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Time Warp: From Gulf Shores With Love

The following unedited newspaper story was written in July 2010 at the height of the BP Gulf coast oil spill disaster. The story was killed, as happens sometimes, but holds resonance now as the summer tourist season kicks off on America’s Redneck Riviera. Or, perhaps Alexander Pope said it better: How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!/ The world forgetting, by the world forgot./ Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!/ Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d.

by Chadwick Moore

The landscape flattens dramatically on Highway 59 as you approach Gulf Shores, Alabama heading southeast from Mobile. A decade ago was the last time I found myself in this part of the country. As you near the Gulf of Mexico brand new strip malls, golf courses, and neat rows of freshly-planted crepe myrtle trees are interspersed with tracks of abandoned gas stations, roadside shacks selling boiled peanuts, and dirt roads that shoot off gracefully from the main highway.

The sights here in this small part of the state are unlike anything encountered on the eight hour drive from Nashville, Tennessee that as I child I made every summer with my family. The contrast of sparkling new developments timidly pop up among great stretches of crumbling and forgotten properties are a constant reminder that hurricanes have always been the bane of existence for life on the Gulf and oil spills just a minor nuisance. Continue reading

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REXBURG, Idaho – At night, Ben and Amber Sessions would lie awake and listen to slithering inside the walls. During the day, the family often had to eat out because their well water was polluted with a foul-smelling musk.

Among locals, the property was known simply as the “snake house.” And the snakes were so numerous that Ben Sessions once killed 42 in a single day.

Shortly after buying their dream home, Sessions and his wife discovered it was infested with thousands of garter snakes. For the next three months, their growing family lived in constant terror. More than a year after they abandoned the property, the home briefly went back on the market, and they fear it could someday attract another unsuspecting buyer. Continue reading

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Lovelorn Jan Rudnicki, 40, is now facing five years behind bars for aggravated burglary after his ill-conceived move to covet divorcee Gosia Domoslawska.

The 36-year-old called the police when her drunken suitor – stripped to the waist – galloped up her garden path and smashed his way through the front door like a battering ram.

Domoslawska said: ‘He’s a loon. I was at home watching TV with my daughter when I heard this deafening crash and suddenly this half-naked man on a horse appeared in my front room.”

In honor of Mr. Rudnicki’s grand gesture, we’ve sorted through the mugshots and put together a list of our 9 Favorite Criminal Bad-Asses of 2011 (So Far).

Continue reading

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – She was a tough country girl who left a trail of five dead husbands in five states over decades and a longer trail of questions for survivors of her spouses that might never be answered.

Betty Neumar, 79, a grandmother, died late Sunday or early Monday in a hospital in Louisiana after an illness, her son-in-law Terry Sanders reported.

“[She] fought through a lot of pain,” said Sanders, who has been married 38 years to Neumar’s daughter.

Authorities in North Carolina said they planned to look into her death. She was free on $300,000 bond on three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in the 1986 death of her fourth husband, Harold Gentry. Her trial was postponed numerous times since her arrest in 2008. Continue reading

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MONROE, Ohio — Construction has started on a giant Jesus statue to replace one destroyed last year by lightning in southwest Ohio. And this time, it will have defense against Mother Nature.

The Solid Rock Church in Monroe says construction began Wednesday on the 51-foot-tall statue. It will show Jesus standing with outstretched arms.

Church officials say the new statue will have a lightning-suppression system. It will have a steel substructure and be finished with a top coat that resembles limestone. Continue reading

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Junrey Balawing spoke to reporters on Sunday after he broke the record.

SINDANGAN, Philippines JUNE 12 – A Guinness World Records representative has declared the son of a poor Filipino locksmith who measured 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall as the world’s shortest man.

Junrey Balawing, who turned 18 on Sunday, broke the record of Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal, who is 26.4 inches (67 centimeters) tall. The shortest person ever recorded, Gul Mohammed of India, stood 22 inches (56 centimeters) and died in 1997.

The announcement drew a loud applause from Balawing’s parents and townmates in Zamboanga del Norte’s remote Sindangan township in the southern Philippines, who showered the new celebrity with a feast, a cake, balloons and cash gifts. MORE, and SLIDESHOW Continue reading

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Court: State Gets Piece of the Ass, and Our 10 Favorite Nudie Bar Signs

ALBANY, N.Y. – Going to a titty bar is not the same as the ballet, a New York court ruled today, and therefore strip clubs do not deserve tax-exempt status.

The court said lap dances and private room performances at Nite Moves in suburban Albany–which does not serve alcohol–don’t qualify for a state tax exemption as “dramatic or musical arts performances.”

The club even tried to bolster its artistic argument with testimony from a cultural anthropologist who has studied exotic dance and visited Nite Moves, and who said the lap dances should be considered choreographed performances. The court, however, disagreed noting that the club’s dancers aren’t required to have formal dance training and “often rely upon videos or suggestions from other dancers to learn their craft.”

In lieu of this, and in support of dancing girls everywhere, Murder of the Week has compiled a list of our Top Ten Favorite Nudie Bar Signs, click here to view Continue reading

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Today in Crime History: Witchcraft, and Baby Farming

Amelia Dyer

On June 10, 1632 Bridget Bishop became the first of 72 people to be tried and executed for witchcraft during what would later be known as the Salem witch trials.  

Also on this day in criminal history in 1896, Amelia Dyer–the most prolific baby farm murderer of Victorian England–was put to death by hanging in Newgate Prison in London.

Dyer was keen to make money from baby farming, and alongside taking in expectant women, she would advertise to nurse and adopt a baby, in return for a substantial one-off payment and adequate clothing for the child. In her advertisements and meetings with clients, she assured them that she was respectable, married, and that she would provide a safe and loving home for the child. Continue reading

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Man with Dead Weasel Assaults Other Man UPDATE

The pine marten, a member of the weasel family.

HOQUIAM, Wash- Police say a man was carrying a dead weasel when he burst into an apartment and assaulted a man in Washington state.

The victim asked, “Why are you carrying a weasel?” Police said the attacker answered, “It’s not a weasel, it’s a marten,” then punched him in the nose and fled, leaving the carcass behind.

The attacker was apparently looking for his girlfriend and had gone to her former boyfriend’s apartment Monday where the victim was a guest.

Police later found the 33-year-old Hoquiam man arguing with his girlfriend at another location and arrested him after a fight. He said he had found the marten dead near Hoquiam, but police don’t know why he carried it with him.

A marten is a member of the weasel family. [AP]

UPDATE: On Friday police Chief Jeff Myers told KXRO that martens haven’t been seen in the area for 50 years, and that the dead animal was a mink. Both minks and martens are members of the weasel family.

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