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Crime Stories

Contents: 
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Mall Abductions/Killer In The Back Seat/Flat Tire Killer

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Violent Gang Initiations

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Louisiana Serial Killer stories

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"Flashing headlights" gang story

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A New Way to Carjack

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Personal Information on Hotel Card Keys

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Criminals Using Fake Perfume to Knock People Out

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Will Dialing #77 or *677 On A Cell Phone Get Emergency Help?

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Are There Date-Rape Drugs Called Progesterex That Produce Sterility?

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Some REALLY BAD Anti-Rape Advice

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Two child killers in the U.K. (who were 10 years old when they killed a toddler) are to be released from prison without their names ever having been revealed to the public.  Will it help to protest this?

 

Mall Abductions & Killer In The Back Seat & Flat Tire Killer Stories

Here's one of the popular messages that seems to get around every Christmas shopping season.  Inside Edition did do a story a few years ago about how easy it would be to abduct women from shopping areas in these manners.  This somehow evolved into real stories.  Women (and everyone) certainly ought to be warned to always be alert at all times, but must we use lies to achieve this?  There are several versions of the "flat tire killer" story.  Below is the one I've seen the most.  The "killer" either has a butcher knife, a hatchet and rope or duct tape in the briefcase.  Ever notice how the victims are ALWAYS female?  If anyone asked me to do this (unless I knew them), I'd offer to call the police to help them and wouldn't wait for an answer.  In fact, if a stranger approaches you, it's not bad advice to have your cell phone in hand.  Most of these tales go back to a time when there were no cell phones. 

 

Original Message

With the Holidays coming, I  thought you would appreciate this.

The notice below was posted on JCPenney's e-mail  this morning to all Female Associates.  I wanted to pass the information  on to you.

 Recently on Inside Edition there was an article  about several new scams to abduct women.  In one, a man comes up to a woman in a Mall or  Shopping Center and asks if she likes pizza.  When she says she does, he  offers her $10000 to shoot a commercial for Pizza, but they need to go  outside  where the lighting is better.  When the woman goes out of the mall she is  abducted and assaulted.

 Another ploy is a very nicely dressed man asks a  woman if she would be in a Public Service announcement to discourage drug  use.  The man explains that they don't want professional actors or  celebrities; they want the average mother to do this. Once she leaves the  mall, she is a victim.

 The third ploy, the most successful, a frantic man  comes running in to the mall and asks a woman to please help him, his baby  is  not breathing. She runs out of the mall following him and also becomes a  victim.

 These have been happening in well-lit parking  areas, in daylight as well as night time, all over the country. The  abductor  usually uses a van to abduct the woman.

 'Inside Edition' set up a test in a Mall and 10 out  of 15 women went out of the mall on the Pizza and the PSA scam. And all of  them went out of the mall on the baby scam.  Please pass this along to  your friends and family as now that it has been shown on nationwide TV  there  are bound to be copycats of this. The third one, I think, is the  scariest.  You might resist pizza or becoming a commercial  celebrity...but who would be able to resist a frantic father asking for  help  for his child? I'm sure that one would get me.

 A woman was shopping at the Tuttle Mall in  Columbus.  She came out to her car and saw she had a flat. She got her  jack and spare out of the trunk. A man in a business suit same up and  started to help her. When the tire had been replaced, he asked for a ride  to  his car on the opposite side of the mall. Feeling uncomfortable about doing  this, she stalled for a while, but he kept pressing her.  She finally asked why he was on this side of  the mall if his car was on the other.  He claimed he had been talking to friends.  Still uncomfortable, she told  him that she had just remembered something she had forgotten to pick up at  the mall and she left him and went back inside the mall.  She reported the  incident to the mall security and they went out to her car.  The man was  nowhere in sight.

 Opening her trunk, she discovered a briefcase the  man had set inside her trunk while helping her with the tire.  Inside were rope and a butcher knife. And, when she took the tire to be  fixed,  the mechanic informed her that there was nothing wrong with her tire, that  it was flat because the air had been let out of it.

 I was going to send this to the ladies only, but  guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may  want  to pass it on to them, as well.  Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it....better  safe than sorry.

 PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT SORRY! JUST A WARNING TO  ALWAYS BE ALERT  AND USE YOUR HEAD!!!

 

Violent Gang Initiations

This particular story has been seen on the internet as early as 1994 and with various cities listed.  SNOPES has it traced back as a rumor in various cities as far back as 1984.  These kind of urban legends have been told for years, especially among teenagers.  We sort of like them.  However, it's never appropriate to frighten people by telling them as if they are true.  

 

Just think about this silliness.  The guy crawls under the car.  Ok if its a truck, but there isn't much room under most cars.  Then he's supposed to maneuver his way into slashing an ankle to make her fall.  While she's down on the ground screaming her guts out, which more likely than not will attract some attention, he's going to slide out from underneath the car and drag her somewhere (does he have a car there or is he carjacking?)  Let's see, wouldn't it be easier to come up from behind her with a knife or gun and tell her not to scream? 

 

In almost all abductions the woman is either carjacked (the man is not hiding in the car) or attacked prior to getting in the car.  No one could hide in the back of my car.  I guess if you have a big car this might work, but not in small ones.  There's no room to hide.  This is just another type of "killer in the back seat" story.

Original Message

A friend stopped at a pay-at-the-pump gas station to get gas. Once she filled her gas tank after paying at the pump and started to leave the attendant inside came over the speaker. He told her that something happened with her card and that she needed to come inside to pay. The lady was confused because the transaction showed complete and approved.  She told him that and was getting ready to leave but the attendant once again urged her to come in to pay or else.  She proceeded to go inside and started arguing with the attendant about his threat. He told her to calm down and listen carefully: He told her that while she was pumping gas, a guy slipped into the back seat of her car on the other side and he had called the police. She immediately became scared and looked out there in time to see her car door open and the guy slip out.  The report is that the new gang initiation thing is to bring back a woman's body part. One way they are doing this is crawling under girls/women's cars while they're pumping gas or at grocery stores in the night time. Then they are cutting the lady's ankles to disable them in order to kidnap them, kill  and dismember them. The other way is slipping into unattended cars and kidnapping the women to kill and dismember them.  Please pass this on to other women, young and old alike. Be extra careful going to and from your car at night. If at all possible, don't go alone!

This is real!!  The message:

  1. ALWAYS lock your car doors, even if you're gone for just a second.
  2. Check underneath your car when approaching it for re-entry, and check in the back before getting in.
  3. Always be aware of your surroundings and other individuals in your general vicinity, particularly at night!

Thanks, Barbara Baker, Secretary Directorate of Training U.S. Army  Military Police School (573) 563-8043 TELL ANY WOMEN YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS!!!!!!

Louisiana Serial Killer Lures Women With dropped money or babying crying on porch

No one has ever been able to locate the writer of the original story, and it is still unknown whether it was a hoax, but subsequent rewrites certainly are.  It was written during the time that the Louisiana serial killer was still unknown.  Based on nothing more than this story, the mysterious "internal affairs" concludes that the person has encountered a serial killer.  Pretty ridiculous stuff.   In the original, the writer claims that she was "paraded" into Internal Affairs because she worked in a jail.  That's also pretty goofy.  In later versions, the woman calls the cops and then is sent to internal affairs.  Since internal affairs does exactly what the name implies - looks into affairs internal to the police dept. - this makes little sense.

 

Here is the original story, then this new copy.  One can see immediately that it is just a rewrite.  This is not the only rewrite of the original that is currently circulating either. 

Original Message: FIRST VERSION 

Hi friends and family. I know that with all the psychos out there, we still think that something couldn't really happen to us, right? Wrong! As most of you know, I live in Alexandria, but I work in Lafayette where I stay with friends when I'm there.

As you know from America's Most Wanted TV program as well as the news media, there is a serial killer in the Lafayette area. I just want to let you know about an "incident" that happened to me a few weeks ago that could have been deadly.

At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story.

It was approximately 5:15 am in Opelousas, La. I had stayed with a friend there and I was on my way to work. I stopped at the Exxon/Blimpie station to get gas. I got $10 gas and a Diet Coke...I took into the store two $5 bills and one $1 bill. (just enough to get my stuff)

As I pulled away from the store, a man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit area). He was an "approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven, dressed well, etc.) He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid and "always looking for the rapist or killer", I didn't open the window....I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and said "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with a certain amount of money....I knew I didn't drop it. When I told him it wasn't mine......he began hitting the window and door and screaming at me to open my door and that I had dropped the money! At that point, I drove away as fast as I could.

After talking to the Internal Affairs department and describing the man I saw and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and volatile....it was determined that I could have possibly encountered the serial killer myself. At this point, it is unclear as to how he gains access to his victims since there has been no evidence of forced entry into homes, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in the daytime when women are less likely to have their guard up...and what gesture is nicer than returning money to someone that dropped it????? How many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get your money and say thank you....because if the person is kind enough to return something to you...then he can't really be a threat.... can he????

Please be cautious! This might not have been the serial killer...it probably wasn't...but anyone that gets that angry over someone not accepting money from them, can't have honorable intentions.

 

VERSION 2:

TRUE STORY/ This happened in Tallahassee... be careful.  Subject: returning-money   I just wanted to let you know about an "incident" that happened to me a  few weeks ago that could have been deadly. At first, I didn't go to the  police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this  encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about  it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them  my story. It was approximately 5:15 a. m. I had stayed with a friend and  I was on my way to work. I stopped to get gas at the gas station, buying  $10 worth of gas and a Diet Coke. I took into the store two $5 bills and  one $1 bill (just enough for the gas and Coke). As I pulled away from the  store, a man approached my truck from the backside of the store (an unlit area). He was a respectable-looking man (clean cut, clean-shaven, well  dressed, etc.) He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I am very  paranoid and "always looking for
the rapist or killer," I didn't open  the window, and I kept the door locked. I just asked what he wanted. He  raised a $5 bill to my window and said, "You dropped this." Since I knew I had  gone into the store with a certain amount of money, I knew I didn't drop  it. When I told him it was not mine, he began hitting the window and  door and screaming at me to open my door and that I had dropped the money! At  that point, I drove away as fast as I could. After talking to the  Internal Affairs Dept. and describing the man I saw and the way he escalated from  calm and polite to angry and volatile.... it was determined that I could  have possibly encountered a serial killer himself. At this point, it is  unclear as to how he gains access to his victims since there has been no  evidence of forced entry into any homes. Also, he has been attacking in  the daytime when women are less likely to have their guard up... and what  gesture is nicer than returning money to someone who dropped it? How  many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get your money and  say "Thank You" because if a person is kind enough to return something  to you then he can't really be a threat... can he?? Please be cautious!  Anyone who gets that angry over someone not accepting money from them  can't have honorable intentions. Forward this to everyone you know....  Maybe they can be as fortunate as I was! Guys, tell your wives about  this... or your mothers or girlfriends. This is serious.   Peggy Lawson Executive Assistant  Florida Office of Drug Control  Executive Office of the Governor  Plaza Level 04 The Capitol  850.488.9557  Tallahassee, FL 32399

 

"Crying baby" ruse

This message came out in January 2003 and has seen several changes in it's short history.  The earliest versions did not mention the Louisiana serial killer.  The next version had a woman's name from LA.  The next version added the serial killer info.  The next version changed the place to Houston.

 

The crying baby routine message seems to be a hoax.  It has been thoroughly researched and there are no reported cases like this.  While it is certainly possible for a criminal to try such a ruse, it would be pretty stupid.  After all, most people will answer the door, even women alone.  There would be more danger that someone would call the authorities first and more danger of being caught because of being heard (or seen) by someone else.

 

This message came out in January 2003, when authorities were still looking for the Louisiana serial killer.  He's been identified and behind bars since May.  The message claimed that America's Most Wanted included this information on their profile of the serial killer (before identification), but that is not true.

 

Snopes also interviewed a journalist who had been working on the case and the task force that worked on the killer's capture.  None of them had ever heard of such a thing either in connection with this killer or with any other cases anywhere.  While such a ruse is possible, it would take a good deal of planning on the perp's part and he would take a far greater risk of being caught since the person in the home or a next-door neighbor is just as likely to call authorities before going outside to check.  The easiest thing for a potential rapist to do is to just knock or ring the bell.  Most people will open their doors.

 

Original Message:  

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.

The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.

The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had! ! several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

Please pass this on! and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby. CALL THE POLICE!!

This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted last Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

 

Flashing Headlights

First, this did not come from any police agency.  Snopes dates this back to 1993 in print form and 1997 on the internet.  The tales were fake then and fake now.  Snopes has the best article on it, with a full history of the tale that is now an urban legend.

Original Message:  

POLICE WARNING

One of the officers who works with the D.A.R.E. program has passed along this following warning and has asked that it be shared with all drivers.

This is an extremely serious matter.

It you are driving after dark and see a car without its headlights on DO NOT flash your lights! DO NOT blow your horn or make any signals to the driver of the other car.

There is a new common gang initiation 'game' going on in the streets. New members being initiated into a gang are to drive along the streets without headlights on and until someone notices and flashes their headlights or makes some sort of action to signal the other car, the gang member is required to chase the vehicle and shoot at or into it in order to complete his initiation requirements.

Please share this information with family, friends, and anyone else you can reach. Should you have any questions or information, please call your local police department.

This warning is to be seriously taken. This is NOT a joke. Please forward this on to everyone you know on e-mail and in person. IT COULD SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.

Is there a new carjacking scheme involving putting a flyer on the rear window of a vehicle?

I'm happy to report that this message doesn't come from any law enforcement anywhere where such a case has been reported.  Various versions have it happening in different places and coming from different people in law enforcement.  In fact, in research, no one has ever been able to find any reported cases like this.  I contacted one Sheriff's department that was listed on a version as having sent it.  A Sheriff in the Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff's Department did indeed forward the message, although there had been no reported cases in Montgomery County!  They told me that the Detective forwarded it for safety reasons and that they thought it had actually happened in Chicago (which it had not).  Below I use a bit of logic and reason to detail why this scenario is unlikely:

 

Have you EVER found a flyer on the REAR WINDSHIELD of your car?  I haven't either.  Now why are they always on the front windshield?  Because that's where the wipers are.  They are always put under the wipers in order to keep them from just flying off with any little breeze.  There aren't that many vehicles with rear wipers!

 

The car-jacker jumps out of NOWHERE?  In the time it would take to get out of the car, and remove the offending piece of paper, the car-jacker would have to be very close and watching intensely.  Kind of stupid.  What if the stupid car-jacker chose a complete family?  What if there was more than one person?  The only way to make this work: watch for a single person getting out of a car.  Quickly put the flyer on the REAR window and wait pretty close to the car for them to come back.  Car-jackers need quick and easy.  The time and patience to enact this are incredible.  Car THIEVES would simply steal the car while the person is in the store.

 

Most people park front in and approach the car from the REAR, not the front.  That means that the flyer would be completely visible at the beginning.  If they've been shopping, they are likely to put stuff in the back seat or trunk. 

 

The carjacker would have to hope that as the person got out of the car, they had already put their key in the ignition.  I have a manual transmission and would be far more likely to turn the car off and might or might not remove the key.

 

The scenario is very illogical and no law enforcement agency has been found that has reported anything like this. 

 

I will tell you that carjackers do sometimes watch very carefully.  A friend was on a vacation with her parents.  They made a stop and she and her mother got out and went to see something.  Her father got out of the car and was leaning on the open door, keys in the ignition.  The carjacker pushed him out of the way and got in the car and managed to take off.  This idiot took huge chances doing it this way.  The man was obviously older, but he was a big man.  He held on to the car for a few feet and finally let go.  The thief threw out all of their luggage on his way (leaving a breadcrumb trail to follow) and was stopped at the U.S./Canadian border, which had a good description of him and of the car, as well as the plates.  He was a kid who wanted to go see a girlfriend over the border and was willing to hurt and even to potentially kill in order to do it. 

Original Message:  

Imagine: You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift into REVERSE. Habit! You look into the rear-view window to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper, some sort of advertisement stuck to your rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your vehicle to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view . . . when you reach the back of your car, that is when the car-jackers jump out of nowhere . . . jump into your car and take off your engine was running, your purse is in the car, and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your window later . . . and be thankful that you read this email and that you forwarded it to your friends.

Is your personal information encoded onto hotel card keys that can then be stolen for identity theft?

Several researchers have checked this one out and have found that personal information is NOT encoded on these keys.  Break-The-Chain had this to say:

 

The guest room security and the guest registry systems are separate entities. While your name, address, room number, dates of stay and credit card information are in the guest database, the security system requires none of this. Even in situations where guests can use their key cards to make purchases (in resort gift shops, restaurants, etc.,) the card merely sends a flag to charge the amount to the room number - a direct charge to your credit card does not occur. When you return your card, it is stored until it is re-activated with a new room number, lock code and stay dates.

 

Some versions add info about Doubletree and a reference to "Southern California law enforcement professionals" and are late editions to this message.  One should immediately ask, "what Southern California law enforcement professionals?"  Even later  versions changed "southern" to "Clear Day."  There is no such place.

 

Personal information can be encoded onto the magnetic strips on these card keys, but it's not being put on there by hotels.  As the Hilton chain told Snopes, "To do so, however, would be pointless and would create additional work (and expense).

Original Message:  

For those who travel, or those special ones who use the room for a few hours! - Phil

Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from the a major hotel chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following the information:

Customers (your) name
Customers partial home address
Hotel room number
Check in date and check out date
Customers (your) credit card number and expiration date!


When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase these cards until an employee issues the card to the next hotel guest. It is usually kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!

The bottom line is, keep the cards or destroy them! NEVER leave them behind and NEVER turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card.

Perfume Bandits

While it's true that people in cars and businesses are approached by people about perfume, it is not for the reason described in the latter part of the message. There are companies that actually hire people to sell perfumes from their cars in parking lots and by going into businesses.   I was approached last year by someone doing exactly that. In fact, our local news did a scam expose on this issue last year (2004). 

On July 20, 2004, one of our local Orlando stations carried a story on this operation. 

The "company" hires people supposedly as managers and tells them that within a couple of months, they will be making over $30,000 per year.  They then tell them that in order to start at the bottom, they must sell designer rip off fragrances from their car.  They claim that all managers had to go through this and it will only be required for a couple of weeks.  The "owners" pocket all the money and never once pay the sellers.  They are told to lie about the fragrances and do anything it takes to make a sale.  Some of them will even come into your business.  Had this happen to me back in July of 2003.  A young lady came up to me at my counter and asked what kind of perfume I wore.  Now, I'm behind a counter doing physical labor, so I knew that she was not wanting to find out what I was currently wearing.  I also knew what she was up to.  I told her the truth - that I don't ever wear perfume - and she left.

 

Newest versions of this message (late 2003 & 2004) give a story by anonymous persons of encountering people who claim to be selling perfume out of their car.  The author, always knowing of the original version of this message, assumes that they are robbers, leaves quickly, yet doesn't contact the police.  Many of these may indeed have been true.  However, the original message is based on allegations made by a woman in Alabama from 2000.  It is universally believed that the woman made up the story (see the links below for the full story).  This is the only reported incident even remotely like this.  There are numbers of variations on this message as to where and when it supposedly happened.  

The original message claims that the perfume sample that was sniffed was ether and that the victim was knocked out by one whiff.  One whiff of ether will likely have the exact opposite effect.  It takes a more sustained breathing in of ether fumes in order for it to act as an anesthesia.  In fact, ether used to be used as a stimulant.  One or two quick whiffs acts like a smelling salt. I actually know a woman who's ex-husband tried to knock her out with ether.  He only managed to burn her nose and mouth with it.

Authorities say that they don't even know of anything that could act that fast with only one whiff, that wouldn't also be fatal.  Snopes reports the following:  "Dr. Matthew Barnhill, a toxicologist with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences noted, it's difficult to imagine what substance could have been used to cause someone to pass out so quickly from a single sniff. Any drug or chemical that could immediately knock a victim out merely through his inhaling it (rather than ingesting or injecting it) would have to be quite potent indeed."

Further, it was determined that in the 1999 case, the toxicology tests run on blood and urine samples taken from the supposed victim immediately after the attack did not show the any unusual or abnormal substance in her system.  The victim claimed to have been robbed of her employer's money which she was taking to the bank.  She also claims to have been walking when she came to.  The only substance I know of that could do what she claims is Verset.  However, that would have to be administered intravenously.  If you've ever had it before a surgery, you know that you can indeed follow commands and talk, but not remember any of it. 

If you are ever in such a situation where someone approaches you about buying perfumes or inviting you to smell samples,  there is something you can do.  Ask what company they are selling for.  If you are still suspicious, leave and call the police.  If the person really were a criminal laying in wait for a victim, would it be right to go on your way safely and do nothing to protect the next person, as is done in later versions of the message?  Believing that they just avoided a crime, the person goes and puts out an email instead of calling the cops.

Original Message:  (ORIGINAL VERSION)

TO ALL MY WOMEN FRIENDS PASS IT ALONG TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS!!!

I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3:30pm in the Wal-Mart
parking lot at Forest Drive, by two males, asking what kind of perfume I
was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous scent
they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable rate. I probably would
have agreed had I not received an email some weeks ago, warning of a
"wanna smell this neat perfume?" scam. The men continued to stand
between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I
stopped a lady going toward them, pointed at them, and told her about
how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at the malls or in parking lots, and asking you to SNIFF PERFUME that they are selling at a cheap price. THIS IS NOT PERFUME -- IT IS ETHER! When you sniff it, you'll pass out. And they'll take your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the "perfume". But thanks to the generosity of an emailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me. I wanted to do the same for you.
PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS, AND PLEASE BE ALERT, AND AWARE!

 

OPENING SECTIONS TO NEWER VERSIONS (note how no one ever calls the police!)

Subject: Scary!! Please read!! I was pumping gas at the Texaco station at Merle Hay and Douglas approximately a week and a half ago and a young girl walked up to me and asked if I'd like to sample some perfume scents. She said that they had all the latest fragrances. I looked over at her car which was a turquoise sub-compact and her boyfriend (?) was rooting through the trunk. I declined, saying that I had to get back to work. She said again that they had all the latest scents and it wouldn't take long. I again declined and went inside to pay for my gas. She said, "Thanks anyway", and went back to her car. When I pulled out, the two were just sitting there in the car. She smiled and waved. I thought it was an odd thing at the time, but the note below really brings it home that it could have been part of this indeed frightening scenario. I don't know WHAT they had in mind, but I can verify that this happened to me here in Des Moines.
 

Please be careful, ladies. I think I may have gotten lucky.  I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at malls in or parking lots and asking you to sniff perfume they are selling at a cheap price. This isn't really perfume but Ether, and you will pass out and they take your wallet and all your valuables. 
 

This is not a prank e-mail, this is true because I was stopped in Governors Square parking lot today. A maroon car pulled up to me with two females. The female on the passenger side rolled down the window and asked me if I would be interested in sniffing some perfume they were selling. I remembered the e-mail I just received yesterday, and said no. She asked me a second time, kept on walking said no once again and they pulled off. If it weren't for the e-mail, I very well may have done it. Please pass this on to all your friends and tell them to beware. 
 

My husband and I were at the Shell station in Morgan and was approached by a young girl with a back pack on her back. She asked if we would be interested in buying some cheap perfume. Since it was a Saturday night and by liquor stores, we were leery of her approaching us in the first place. We told her that we were not interested and she persisted that we at least smell it.

We again told her that we weren't interested and she walked away. It was really odd that she would be out soliciting at a gas station selling perfume. So, I don't know if it was the same deal, but I definitely wouldn't smell anything someone was selling!

There have been multiple locations in Little Rock where 2 people will ask you to smell perfume they are selling cheap. Instead of it being perfume, it's "ETHER"! So they knock you out & take all they can get. BEWARE! BE CAREFUL!! Continue reading if you want examples of places this has happened in

We were in the parking lot of the Dixie Cafe in West Little Rock. Fortunately, my brother came out of the restaurant just as the guy was asking us if we wanting to sample some perfume....he told the guy we were not interested and did not have time!!! BE CAREFUL!

I just wanted to pass along that I was approached yesterday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot at Forest Drive by 2 males asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. I didn't stop to answer them and kept walking toward the store. At the same time I remembered this email. The men continued to stand between parked cars-I guess to wait on someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going toward them, pointed at them, and told her what they might ask and NOT to let them get near her. hen that happened, the men and a lady (I don't know where she came from!) started walking the other way toward their car parked in far corner of the parking lot.

I want to let you know what happened to me yesterday while filling my car with gas. I was as the Amoco station in St. Charles getting gas when a young man (21-25 yrs) came up to me and asked how I was, if I had just gotten off work, and where I worked. I gave him the cold shoulder because it was actually chilly out there in the wind. Then he asked me if I wanted to smell some perfume. Bingo! The red flag went up. I said no, and when he persisted, I told him that I was late for an appointment and that people were expecting me to show up any minute. And when I said no, I pointed the gas nozzle directly at him. He must have seen the anger growing in my face because he then left. However, I did not let him out of my sight as I filled the tank. He walked over to the A&W where two other strangers were standing. One was Oriental and the other was black. All three of them were carrying duffle bag, computer case- type bags. Then while I was filling up with gas, another customer came and then the Oriental walked up to him and asked this guy if he wanted to smell perfume. I still kept all three in my view at all times. Then I left and went directly to the city police and told them what I saw. In addition to being angry that someone was out to get my hard-earned money, I had to face a police officer who gave me the impression that I was talking to Gomer Pyle. Had it not been for an e-mail that I received from a good friend of mine two months ago talking about the scam of perfume perpetrators, I wouldn't have known about the potential of being ripped off or perhaps hurt.

Rapists Pose As Police, Lure Female Victims Into Traffic Stops, But Calling # 77 (or # 677) On Cells Phones Gets Emergency Help - FALSE

It is unknown whether the story included in the message is true (not enough info for research), but the warning certainly is true.  There have been a number of validated incidents of this kind.  However, there are known incidents of real police doing the same thing and even one of an officer murdering the rape victim. 

Women driving alone should stop in a safe place if possible.  One of the articles said not to pull over if the car is unmarked, which is good advice, but considering that police officers have also been guilty of this, it may not be a good idea to pull over even for a marked car. If they are real police, they will continue to follow you until you can get to safety. The best bet is to stop at a well-lit place where there are people around (like a convenience store or fast-food place).  If one is on the road and there is nothing nearby, call an emergency number (listed below for cell phones). 

HOWEVER, only ONE state (Maryland) uses # 77 for cell phone emergencies.  Newer versions of the message have the number as # 677, which is someone's botched version of the original. A few states use * 77.  Most states use 911. No state in the U.S. uses *677. Here is a link that gives a list of  numbers used in each state.  I would hate to think of someone in trouble on the road who depended on an unverified email message for their emergency information.  Here are two places you can go to find out what number YOUR state uses for cell emergencies:

 

http://www.shopoakpark.com/info-cellnumbers.html

http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/2003_n_before/emergency_cell.htm

 

Apparently, Ontario, Canada DOES use *677.

If a woman alone does not have a cell phone and is suspicious, it's a hard call to make.  A few years back, a woman traveling through Florida was on a lonely stretch of highway.  A highway patrolman signaled to pull her over, but, after hearing a warning similar to the email message, she did not.  She waited until she was at least in a lit area.  The highway patrolman literally yanked her out of the car (with her seat belt still on) at gunpoint.  This was all caught on the officer's dashboard video tape.  He roughed her up pretty well. 

I guess the lesson to be learned is to make sure to have a charged up cell-phone while on the road and to know the state's emergency number to call.  Putting a list of state numbers in the glove box might be advisable.

Original Message:  

This is an actual true story and not one of those Internet stories that are passed on and on. This actually happened to one of my dearest new friend's daughter. Her daughter, Lauren, is 19 yrs. old and a sophomore in college. This happened to her over the Christmas/New Year's holiday break.

It was the Saturday before New Year's and it was about 1 pm in the afternoon. Lauren was driving from here (Winchester, Va.) to visit a friend in Warrenton. For those of you who are familiar with the area, she was taking Rt. 50 East towards Middleburg and then was going to cut over to I-66 via Rt. 17. Those of you who aren't familiar with this area, Rt. 50 East is a main road (55 mph and two lanes each side with a big median separating East/West lanes), but is somewhat secluded, known for it's big horse farms and beautiful country estates.

Lauren was actually following behind a state police car shortly after she left Winchester and was going just over 65 mph since she was following behind him. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. My friend and her husband have 4 children (high school and college age) and have always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather wait until they get to a gas station, etc. So Lauren actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called #77 on her cell phone to tell the dispatcher that she would not pull over right away.

She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there were 2 police cars, one unmarked behind her and one marked in front of her. The dispatcher checked to confirm that there were 2 police cars where she was. There wasn't and she was connected to the policeman in front of her. He told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back-up already on the way.

Ten minutes later, 4 police cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground ... the man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes. Thank God Lauren listened to her parents! She was shaken up, but fine.

I never knew that bit of advice, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should NEVER pull over for an unmarked car in a secluded area. In fact, even a marked car after dark should follow you to a populated area. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a "safe" place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call #77 like Lauren did.

I am so thankful that my friend was sitting at our book club meeting telling us this scary story, rather than us at her house consoling her had something tragic occurred!

Be safe and pass this on to your friends. Awareness is everything!

Are rapists combining date-rape drugs with a drug called Progesterex that will produce complete sterility?

Thankfully, no.  There is no such drug called Progesterex and no known drug that will sterilize horses or any other large mammal (which is what most versions claim this drug was created to do).  Various versions have this happening all over the world.  The first internet versions were spotted in 1999.

 

One would have to question why, if such a drug existed, a rapist would go to the time and expense of purchasing and using it.  Perhaps a crazed man who hated women and children and wants to make sure that any woman he rapes never has a child again?  Your typical rapist would simply not be thinking about babies at all.  Rape is a crime of power, aggression and dominance.

 

Whatever childish fantasy conceived of this idea believes that rapists are identified by the woman having a child by them and needing a paternity test to prove this out.   Most rapists are caught because they leave their DNA behind, not in the form of a child, but in their semen.  The writer hasn't been keeping up with technology.  Even a tiny blot left on an article of clothing can still contain DNA years later.

 

As Snopes says, "Were a rapist intent upon concealing his identity, a condom would serve him far better than any mythical sterilization drug."  It would certainly cost less and be easy to get a condom.  Certainly men do use what are termed as "date rape" drugs in order to put a woman out in la la land, but what advantage would a sterilization drug have for them?

 

Original Message:  

There is a new drug that has been out for less than a year, Progesterex, that is a essentially a small sterilization pill. The drug is now being used by rapists at parties to rape AND sterilize their victims. My best friend's mom works at a pharmacy and she said the drug is available exclusively to veterinarians to sterilize large animals. But I have heard from several of my friends that are still in grad school up north that at frat parties at their schools (Columbia and Penn State) the drug is being used with Rohypnol (roofies), the date rape drug. With Rohypnol, all they have to do is drop it into their drink. The girl can't remember a thing the next morning of what happened the night before. Well now Rohypnol is not being used alone. Progesterex, which dissolves in drinks (alcohol or soda) just as easily, is being used with it so that the woman doesn't conceive from the rape and the rapist doesn't have to worry about having a paternity test identifying him months later. But the drug's affects AREN'T TEMPORARY. Progesterex was designed to sterilize horses. Any woman that takes it WILL NOT HAVE CHILDREN EVER IN HER LIFE. All guys have to do to get this drug is just know someone, like a friend, who is in the Vet school of any university. It's that easy, and Progesterex is about to break out big on campuses everywhere. Believe it or not, there is even a site on the internet for the drug telling people how to use it. It's at http://members.theglobe.com/sinister101/index.htm. For more information about "Roofies" go to http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0884.html. Please! Forward this to everyone you know, especially girls who might be headed to college or live in college towns.

Some really bad anti-rape advice

I guess I'd better show the original first, then deal with why this information is not accurate.

Original Message:  

This was forwarded to me from a friend and I thought I would pass it on to you, perhaps you can pass it on as I think it is something we should all think about.

Hi, girls! I just finished taking the most amazing self-defense class, sponsored by Shandwick, and I wanted to share some really valuable info with you before it goes out of my head.

The guy who taught the class has a female friend who was attacked last year in a car park one night after work and taken to an abandoned house and raped. He started a women's group and began teaching these classes soon after.

This guy is a black belt in karate and trains twice a year with Steven Segall. He and the others in this group interviewed a bunch of rapists and date rapists in prison on what they look for and here's some interesting facts:

The #1 thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. The #1 outfit they look for is overalls because many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing and on overalls the straps can be easily cut.

They also look for women on their mobile, searching through their bag or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m. The number one place women are abducted from/attacked at is grocery store car parks. Number two is office car parks/garages. Number three is public rest rooms.

The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught. Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time consuming. These men said they will not pick on women who are carrying umbrellas or other similar objects that can be used from a distance. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get very close to the attacker for them to be effective as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

Several defense mechanisms he taught us are:

* If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk such as " I can't believe it is so cold out here; we're in for a bad winter." Now you've seen their face and you could identify them in a lineup, so you've lost appeal as a potential target.

* If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell, " Stop or Stay back!" Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

* If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yelling, "I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY" and holding it out in front of you will be a deterrent.

* If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength, but you can by outsmarting them. If they grab your wrist, pull your wrist back so your hand is in waving position (palm facing forward) and twist it toward yourself and pull your arm away. It is hard to hold onto wrist bones that are moving in this way. If he stumbles toward you and you stumble back, you can use that momentum to bring the same hand out and backhand him with your knuckles in the forehead, nose or teeth.
 

* If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker HARD, either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh. One of his students told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands - the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it. It hurts.

* After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you hit a guy's testicles it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger him more, but according to the interview with these prisoners, is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.

* When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

Of course the things we always hear still apply. * Always be aware of your surroundings. * Take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

Please forward this to any woman you know; it's simple stuff that could save her life...

OK, if you don't already see the idiocy of some of these statements, let me help point them out.  I didn't have to read any articles to know some of this stuff was ridiculously false, but actual interviews and statistics helped.  I knew the hairstyles and clothing thing was absolutely bosh on a first reading. 

 

This has been debunked as trash for a few years now.  Anyone who has ever watched or listened to genuine rapists talk about their crime will know immediately that the only quality a rapist is looking for is opportunity and vulnerability.  They could care less about age, hairstyle or clothing.  There is absolutely NO commonality between rape victims except the two items I just mentioned.  Law enforcement officials have debunked this idea.  I have never, ever heard of a rapist who carried around scissors to cut off victims clothing.  If they are using a knife as their weapon of choice, they might use it.  In many rapes they'll just have the victims remove the clothing items.  Have you ever tried cutting denim?  It doesn't cut easily.  So why would rapists look for women with overalls on?  Why would they cut overalls at all?  If they want easily removable clothing they would look for dresses and skirts, not a garment like overalls. 

 

Women who have been raped come in all ages, sizes, shapes, colors and hairstyles.  Women are chosen for convenience and by their vulnerability (as I mentioned before).

 

Snopes interviewed Denver Police Sgt. John Burbach about when most rapes occur: most rapes occur in the evening hours and into early morning, ending before dawn, not "between 5 and 8:30 a.m." as claimed in the e-mail. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice fully support him in this claim: The DOJ says "Approximately two-thirds of rapes/sexual assaults occurred at night -- 6 p.m. to 6 a.m."

 

Further, they interviewed Kathie Kramer, public relations coordinator at the Denver Rape Assistance and Awareness Program.  She said that as far as location is concerned, isolation is the key. 

 

The figure is given that only about 2% of rapes involve a weapon.  Even as far back as 1995, the DOJ said that it was about 30%.  This nimrod then goes on to state that fighting back will discourage the poor rapist.  It's exactly what some (but not all of them) want. 

 

This presents an inaccurate portrait of what rape is really about.  Rape is a crime, not of passion, but of dominance, power, control and more often than not, rage. 

 

So, where did all this faldera come from?  An advertising agency writer in St. Louis took a class and claimed to have learned it there.  The man giving the class was one David Portnoy. 

 

No woman is ever 100% safe.  When out alone, always be aware of your surroundings.  If you are ever in a rape situation, you'll have to judge that particular situation as it happens.  Sometimes the rapist can be talked out of it, sometimes they can be fought off, sometimes they can be discouraged, but there is no one answer.  You can end up dead by taking a one size fits all approach.  So, the upshot is to read up on what precautions you can take. 

Two child killers in the U.K. (who were 10 years old when they killed a toddler) are to be released from prison without their names ever having been revealed to the public.  Will it help to protest this?

I'm afraid this message is REALLY old news.  Here is what happened:

The issue detailed in this message about the now adult boys who killed a toddler began in 2001.  They were freed with their new identities in 2001, so no amount of protest would be helpful two years after the fact.  This particular message came out just after the Butler-Sloss decision.

 

The actual incident was covered quite a bit by the media at the time (1993) and I remember it well.  The boys were 10 and the toddler they killed was 3.  The boys were tried as juveniles, not as adults.  That meant that when they turned 18, they would be freed and their records would likely be sealed.  We do the same in the United States when children are tried as juveniles.  Their defense was that they had just seen one of the "Chucky" movies and wanted to re-enact the killing of the doll.  They did not push the batteries up his anus, but put them in his mouth.  They claimed that they did this because they believed it would revive the child.  Whether or not it was true, the prosecution seemed to believe it to some extent.  There are certainly children who cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.  The prosecution found it believable enough that they were tried as juveniles.

 

The rational given for protecting their identities was that if their identities were known, their lives would be worth very little.  There was genuine fear for their lives.  If one buys the original defense, there was certainly an onus on the court system to offer some protection to them.  If they really were mixed up children who, at the time, were unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, then Lady Butler-Sloss's ruling makes perfect sense.  At the time, many decried her decision.  That was OK shortly after the decision, but not years later.

 

One last note:  This happened in the U.K., not in the United States.  I don't know how much attention foreign protests hold in cases like this.  American's aren't usually too happy with foreign meddling in our judicial system.  I'll bet U.K. citizens feel the same way.

 

Original Message:  

On February 12, 1993 a small boy who was to turn three on March was taken from a shopping mall in Liverpool by two 10 year old boys.

Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second and Jon Venables took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson. They took Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the way stopping every now and again to torture the poor little boy who as crying constantly for his mommy. Finally they stopped at a railway track where they brutally kicked him and threw stones at him and rubbed paint in his eyes and pushed batteries up his anus. They then left his beaten small body on the tracks so a train could run him over to hide the mess they had created.

These two boys, even being boys understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to make it look like an accident.

This week Lady Justice Butler-Sloss has awarded the two boys anonymity for the rest of their lives when they leave custody with new identities. We cannot let this happen. They will also leave early this year only serving just over half of their sentence. One paper even stated that Robert may go on to University. They are getting away with their crime. They need to pay, and we have to do something to make them pay for their horrific crime. They took Jamie's life violently away, and in return they get a new life.

Please add your name and location to the list and forward to friends and family. Please copy this email instead of forwarding so we do not get at the beginning of sentences.

If you are the 200th person to sign please forward this email to - cust.ser.cs@gtnet.gov.uk <mailto:cust.ser.cs@gtnet.gov.uk> attentioning it to Lady Justice Butler-Sloss.

 

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