Disgruntled Ninja Silently Kills 12 Co-Workers

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Vol 35 Issue 35

Exercise Briefly Considered

GERMANTOWN, TN—The notion of aerobic exercise fleetingly crossed the mind of Memphis-area office manager Theodore Sperling Monday. "There was half an hour to kill before Monday Night Football," Sperling said, "and I thought for a few seconds that maybe I should go for a walk around the block." After raising himself from the couch, however, Sperling instead walked to the kitchen for a leftover pork chop from that evening's dinner and returned to the living room, where he briefly channel-surfed before settling on a Game Show Network rerun of Match Game '75.

Doctors Say Pope Will Be Infallible For Another Year At Most

VATICAN CITY— According to papal physicians, 79-year-old Pope John Paul II, the infallible Earthly vicar of Christ, will likely become fallible within the next year. "Though infallible, as are all popes, our beloved John Paul is likely to lose his infallibility somewhere in the 10- to 12-month range," Vatican chief physician Dr. Giovanni Caggiano said Monday. "His eyesight and hearing already show strong signs of fallibility, and his frequent illness suggests a possible waning in his overall metaphysical perfection. Coronary fallibility is a real possibility in the near future."

Area Woman Not About To Miss Ally McBeal For That

ROCHESTER, NY—At approximately 10 p.m. Thursday, 41-year-old Rochester resident Connie Smoller informed her husband Patrick that she isn't about to miss Ally McBeal for that. "For God's sake, this is the classic 'Those Lips, That Hand' episode from last April," Smoller said. "That's the one where John tells Ally that Nelle thinks he's in love with Ally, and then he kisses her. And Nelle gets Barry White to sing at the bar for John's birthday, and then John goes up and dances on the stage and everyone joins him. And if that weren't enough, it's got that whole hilarious thing with Billy and Georgia trying the case where the guy gets fired from his job because of his bad comb-over, and the thing with Richard wanting to break up with Ling because she doesn't want to have sex with him. There's no way I'm missing all of that just to go to your silly 25th high-school reunion."

Congress Discontinues Festival Seating After Insurance-Deregulation-Bill Stampede

WASHINGTON, DC—Reacting to the Sept. 7 stampede in which 18 members of the House of Representatives were trampled to death in a mad dash to get good seats for a debate and vote on insurance-deregulation bill H.R. 1627, Congress announced Monday that it will end its longtime "festival seating" policy. "Regrettably, there is no way to turn back the clock and prevent the senseless loss of these representatives," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert told reporters. "But we can take steps to ensure that horrible tragedies like this never happen again." In the future, Hastert said, congressmen will purchase tickets with preassigned seat numbers and be required to sit in that seat.

Quaking All Over

In the past five weeks, two massive earthquakes have killed thousands in Turkey and Taiwan. What do you think about this sudden spate of pre-millennial natural disasters?

To Hell With Philanthropy

Every autumn, I like to do two things: perform my annual October shitting and contemplate the size of my fortune. And as much as I enjoy the former, I enjoy the latter even more.

Ask A Chat Room

People Connection: Town Square: Twin Cities is a syndicated columnist whose weekly advice column, Ask A Chat Room, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.
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Disgruntled Ninja Silently Kills 12 Co-Workers

SKOKIE, IL—Toshiro Tenchumaru, a 34-year-old ninja and longtime employee at Azuma Copier Corporation in Skokie, stealthily took the lives of 12 co-workers Monday after suffering what investigators theorize was "a breakdown due to job-related stress."

A 1996 photo of Azuma Copier employees, including Tenchumaru (center).

The disgruntled ninja was later captured by police while attempting to flee on foot across telephone lines.

Tenchumaru, who, according to office manager Diane Ellsworth, had been "unusually quiet lately, even for him," was reportedly deeply upset about his worklife.

Following a 9 a.m. staff meeting in which management discussed the possibility of eliminating Tenchumaru's position as Special Secretary For Nocturnal Liquidation, the ninja rose, gave a shallow bow and returned to his shadowy cubicle.

Ellsworth said that shortly thereafter, she and other employees could hear what sounded like a Shinto death-consecration ceremony, as well as "sharpening sounds," coming from Tenchumaru's cubicle.

The first deaths are believed to have occurred just minutes later.

"After the meeting, I was having lunch in the company cafeteria with Eric [Miller], James [von Lustbader] and Frank [Clavell]," office comptroller Timothy Marzano said. "I looked down for a moment to take a bite of my sandwich, and when I looked up, Frank's head had been cut off and placed on his tray, Eric had been sliced in half so neatly that his hair was still in place, and there was blood dripping from the ceiling directly above James' chair." Von Lustbader's dismembered body was later found inside the ceiling.

An office surveillance camera captures one of Tenchumaru's stealthy killings.

Sales supervisor Irene Young, whose cubicle was directly across from Tenchumaru's and who on several occasions had questioned the wisdom of having an office ninja, was the next victim, killed instantly when a single thrust from a razor-sharp ninjato-katana sword pierced her cubicle wall, sheared through her computer monitor, and plunged through her heart.

Tenchumaru then snapped the neck of associate marketing coordinator Donald Brodhagen, shredded the body of office manager Meg Whalen with 18 throwing stars, and used his Butterfly Soul Razor technique to stop the heart of office intern Ian Dallas long enough to drive the intern's nose through his brain with a single punch.

After killing Dallas, Tenchumaru ran along the tops of cubicles to reach the office of senior sales supervisor Leonard Haller, who was hit with eight arrows from Tenchumaru's saisumimen, a whisper-quiet recurved bow of ancient design and unparalleled craftsmanship.

"Tenchumaru's first arrow severed Haller's vocal cords, silencing him without hitting any of the major arteries or veins in the neck and without penetrating deeply enough to touch the spinal column," Skokie Police Department ballistics expert Ken Draper said. "An arrow was then fired into each of the seven henzoitoichi, or major nerve clusters, of Haller's body. Though the hits themselves were not fatal, the excruciating pain killed Haller within 10 seconds."

Four more Azuma employees were later found dead, two of them eviscerated, one garrotted and one impaled upon cunningly folded quarterly report folders. Forensics experts said none of the bodies seemed to indicate that the victims were aware of the ninja's presence at the moment of death.

Tenchumaru was relatively new to America, having been transferred from the Azuma Ninja Clan's mountain headquarters in Japan's Hokkaido Prefecture to Skokie in December 1998. Following the brutal slaying of his Grandmaster at the hands of a rival school, Tenchumaru requested permission to perform the Ritual of Blood Revenge, but was transferred to the Skokie office instead.

Co-workers said that despite Tenchumaru's quiet demeanor, he would occasionally voice dissatisfaction with his work environment.

"He didn't say much. Half the time, I didn't even know he was around," payroll secretary Georgette Billups said. "But when he did talk, it was usually to complain about how hard it was to get a decent cup of tea around the office, or how he shouldn't have to listen to Tim [Marzano] because he wasn't a daimyo warlord, and how the copy machine lacked the beauty and shibumi of hand-brushed calligraphy. But I honestly didn't think it would come to this. I mean, he was basically a shy guy."

Tenchumaru has issued a statement through his lawyer asking that he be allowed to perform ritual seppuku suicide in his cell. He also requested that Senjuro Akechi, master of Myojinsoga-style swordsmanship and CEO of Azumacorp East, be his second in the ceremony.

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