Four Dead In Unimpressive Group Suicide

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Vol 31 Issue 14

Love For Jesus Inspires Honk

SALT LAKE CITY—Spurred on by an automotive decal, or "bumper sticker," an area woman's love for Jesus Christ was manifested in honk form Monday. "I do love Jesus," explained Millicent Walters. "Therefore, at the behest of the sticker, I honked." Witnesses described the sticker as one which urged Jesus-loving motorists to sound their automobile horns. The specific purpose of the honking was not clear.

Shirtless Lifeguard Investigates Paranormal Phenomena

MALIBU, CA—In a remarkable display of dedication to human safety, area lifeguard Mitch Buchannon has sacrificed all possible leisure time to jointly pursue beach safety by day and paranormal investigation by night. "The world faces countless dangers, from strong tides to para-dimensional soul catchers," Buchannon said. "It is up to all of us to make a difference in whatever way we can. My way is to work as both a lifeguard and a paranormal investigator." Buchannon says that he draws inspiration from his mother, a longtime legal secretary who recently began investigating UFO-conspiracy government cover-ups in the evenings.

'Everything's $10,000' Chain Goes Out Of Business

WHEELING, WV—Citing "phenomenally poor sales," the retail chain Everything's $10,000 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday. "When we started, we were all really excited about the concept," the chain's CEO, Carl Rasmussen, said. "You could walk in the store, plunk down 10 grand and walk out with anything you saw on the shelves. We carried everything from pillowcases to staplers to toy rifles for the kids. Unfortunately, the public just never seemed to respond." When pressed for the reasons for the chain's failure, Rasmussen was unsure: "It's hard to say. Perhaps we didn't do a good enough job marketing ourselves." Rasmussen said he would eventually like to open a "more upscale shop, perhaps in the five to seven million dollar range," to fill the space housing Everything's $10,000, located in the Wheeling Plaza strip mall between Pat's Laundromat and Arby's.

CIA To Shift Focus To Greeting Cards

WASHINGTON, DC—After decades devoted to toppling Third World regimes and pumping crack into America's inner cities, CIA Director Robert Gates announced Monday that the agency will phase out covert paramilitary operations to focus exclusively on the production a new line of greeting cards. "Around the time we neutralized Vince Foster, we began to have doubts about whether this is what we really want to do," Gates said. "After last month's top-secret burial of toxic waste in Honduras, I just thought, 'You know what? There's a lot more to life than this.' That 'more,' for us, is the spreading of happy wishes to people on days that are special to them." The CIA's first card is expected to feature a cute bunny with birthday wishes for a special boy who is three today.

Computer Countdown To '00

There is widespread fear among computer experts that the turn of the millennium will create vast problems, as computers across the world—programmed with only the last two digits of a year—will mistake 2000 for 1900. What do you think?

Ask A Morally Weak Preacher

Father Paul Byrne is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Morally Weak Preacher, appears in over 250 newspapers nationwide.

Oh, I So Nervous!

Ooh hoo! Ooh hoo! Ooh hoo! I so nervous, I never ever wrote a goose column in a newspaper before! I am nervous! Ooh hoo! Ooh hoo!

Where Are My Prosthetic Ears?

Nurse! Turn this room inside out! No one in this estate will eat their bread and gruel until my prosthetic ears are found! I just saw the things not one, maybe two hours ago! Where in the name of the Apostles could they be?
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

Four Dead In Unimpressive Group Suicide

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Leading movie producers are reacting with disinterest following Monday's discovery of the bodies of four cult members in Plano, TX.

A team of bored coroners disposes of the bodies of four ritual suicide victims. Hollywood remains uninterested in filming the story.

The four victims, identified by police as members of a minor, unimportant death cult known as "Magic Shine," were discovered by a janitor at approximately 8 a.m. in the basement of their Plano-area church. They had covered their heads with plastic bags after each received a lethal overdose of a common non-prescription pain medication, dying in a boring, non-attention-grabbing fashion, forensic authorities determined.

The story of the cult members' suicide is not expected to generate interest on the part of deal-making agents.

"I'm sorry," said Lawrence Rudnick of Paramount Pictures. "I just don't see the movie."

Uncharismatic cult leader Ron Roenicke, who said in a suicide note that "the time has come to ride the laughing purple turtle to mysteriosoville," was only able to persuade three people to follow him to the next realm, leading to allegations of incompetence on his part. Additionally, none of the deceased were children, further dooming the cult's box-office prospects.

"No aliens, no comet, just four wackos who take a fistful of headache pills and then lay down?" Gramercy Pictures vice-president Dennis Carpenter said. "Where's the picture? They at least could have taken some sort of interesting poison, like Carbodium-54, which causes horrific convulsions and bleeding from the mouth, ears and anus."

Tri-Star Pictures CEO Don Silver agreed. "The pill thing: It's too slow. If I have to sit and watch somebody sleep to death, I'm going to end up sleeping to death, and so are the viewers. This was a clear case of too much ambition, not enough talent."

Families of victims were contacted, and each tearfully recounted its stories on local news outlets. A candlelight vigil has been planned for Friday for the victims' friends and loved ones to express their sorrow and rage. Hollywood, however, isn't buying any of it.

"Maybe this would play big back in the sticks, but here in Tinseltown we expect a little more out of a death cult," Silver said. "We have standards. Showmanship. Danger. Drama. Frankly, I don't even see this as a made-for-TV movie, much less a full-blown big-screen project."

The four victims of the recent Magic Shine cult suicide. Tragically, none of them have quite the right look, Hollywood producers say.

Though the suicide has failed to generate Hollywood interest, top studio executives stress that they are still interested in future, more substantial group suicides.

"If a real good one comes down the pike, I could be proven wrong. If the money's there, I'll green-light the project," said Paramount Television's Ed MacAlester. "Obviously, if 40 or 50 nutcases take themselves out with, say, a bomb that kills a whole bunch of pregnant women, well, we're not going to pass on an opportunity like that."

But now that the funerals are over and the sad story of Magic Shine has come to an end, what lessons have been learned that can prevent such tragedies in the future? Universal Pictures head of development David Mankoff offered the following tips.

"Number one: Secure representation before you down the Kool-Aid. You can only commit group suicide once, so make sure you have a top-notch agent on your side before you take your one big shot."

"Number two: Take at least 30 people with you. If you haven't got that many followers willing to die at your command, it may not even be worth it."

"Number three: Die painfully, or at least in a scary-looking way."

"Number four: Make sure that at least a few children die with you. That was the main problem with Heaven's Gate: no kids. Why do you think everybody went so Waco-crazy a while back? All over the TV, it was the same thing—the children this, the children that. That's what you call free word-of-mouth publicity, and believe me, it's worth more than gold."

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