Odd Side – December 4, 2018

Expert: Rare Snake With 2 Heads Found in Virginia Has Died

WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) — A wildlife expert says a rare, two-headed snake found several months ago in Virginia near the nation’s capital has died.

The Washington Post reports state herpetologist J.D. Kleopfer said in a social media post this week that the snake had died. He says it passed away peacefully last week for no apparent reason.

The copperhead snake was found in a northern Virginia neighborhood in September.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia previously said in a statement that an examination of the reptile found it had two tracheas and two esophagi, but shared one heart and a set of lungs. Biologists believe both heads were capable of biting and distributing venom.

Kleopfer says two-headed snakes are rare because they don’t live long in the wild.

Romanian Man Returns $100,000 Found in Secondhand Cabinet

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian man was surprised to find 95,000 euros ($107,000) stashed inside a secondhand cabinet he’d bought — and promptly returned the money.

Adela Stanici told The Associated Press last Tuesday that her husband, a construction worker, had recently bought the cabinet from a popular online site. Days later, as she was making dinner, husband Samuel yelled: “Come and see what I’ve found,” and showed her a metal box in the cabinet stuffed with 500-euro notes.

She said the pair counted the money together: “We were shocked. We couldn’t sleep all night.”

“We thought it might be a trap, a setup, and we knew we had to get the money back to where it came from,” the mother of four said by telephone.

The husband traveled from their home, in the western village of Bichigi, to the city where the owner lived. The man revealed the cabinet had belonged to his recently deceased father.

Stanici said the man, who requested anonymity, “had no idea” about the money.

He traveled to their village without knowing how much money there was. “When he saw [it], he couldn’t believe it.”

She said he rewarded them for their honesty, without saying how much he gave them.

FBI Recreates Decoy Heads Alcatraz Inmates Used in Escape

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Half a century after a notorious prison escape from Alcatraz Island, the FBI has created replicas of decoy heads that inmates used to distract guards from a plan that still captivates researchers and tourists.

Authorities on Thursday unveiled 3-D-printed copies of the decoys that the inmates constructed using soap, plaster and human hair.

The inmates placed the decoys in their beds as decoys to make it appear they were in their cells, and climbed through a wall to escape the island prison in San Francisco Bay. The men were never found.

Another inmate also created a head but never made it out of the maximum-security prison that housed dangerous criminals and offenders with a history of escaping.

Authorities said they made the replicas to share with the public because the original decoys are fragile and are evidence in the still-open investigation into the escape by the U.S. Marshals Service.

“We understand the original items can’t be out here — they’ve got to be archived,” said John F. Ben-nett, FBI special agent in charge in San Francisco. “But we recognize that those items are also part of the rich and historic fabric and the landmark of this city.”

Bennett said a team from the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, traveled to San Francisco to scan the original decoys.

Employees at the lab donated their own hair to accurately re-create the original masks, which included human hair that the inmates had collected from the prison barber shop.

“The hair and the paint on here is exactly what the prisoners did,” Bennett said, showing the replicas brought to the island in black, waterproof cases.

The FBI investigated the prison break for 17 years before it was turned over to the Marshals Service.

The FBI hopes the public will soon be able to view the agency’s replicas, which were unveiled to some media outlets along with “Wanted” signs for the long-escaped inmates.

Authorities are investigating any and all credible leads, said Don O’Keefe, U.S. marshal for the Northern District of California.

“Some may believe that we’re chasing shadows, but our efforts are meant not just to perform due diligence, but to be a warning to other fugitives, that U.S. Marshals don’t give up because of the passing of time,” he said in a statement.