Headless Barbie Found In Shallow Shoebox Grave

In This Section

Vol 34 Issue 07

Archaeologists Discover Strata Of Welcome Back, Kotter Merchandise

UNIONTOWN, PA—Archaeologists at a dig site in southwestern Pennsylvania have discovered a layer of the Earth's crust consisting entirely of Welcome Back, Kotter merchandise. "The strata we have discovered, located approximately 15 feet beneath the surface, dates to the mid-1970s and consists of items ranging from posters of Sweathog leader Vinnie Barbarino to lunchboxes depicting Arnold Horshack," head archaeologist Adrian Richelieu said. It is the largest such find since 1989, when archaeologists near Albuquerque, NM, discovered a 20-foot-thick layer of T.J. Hooker Trapper Keepers.

Public-Speaking Student To Make Point Of Gesturing

ABILENE, TX—Jonathan Cranland, president of the Eisenhower High School public-speaking club, announced Tuesday that he will gesture for emphasis during Friday's public-speaking district finals. "When I read the Gettysburg Address," Cranland said, "I will lend weight to key passages with dramatic hand flourishes, impressing upon judges and audience members alike the importance of said passages." Cranland added that he is also strongly considering thumping the podium or shaking his fist. "People will see how serious I am if I shake my fist," he said. "If I simultaneously shake my fist and raise my voice, that will be an overwhelming double whammy."

Trinidad And Tobago Issues Commemorative Leonardo DiCaprio Postage Stamp

PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO—The Caribbean nation of Trinidad And Tobago honored actor Leonardo DiCaprio Monday with a special commemorative postage stamp, available for a limited time only. "The government of Trinidad And Tobago wishes to recognize Mr. DiCaprio for his truly 'titanic' performance in the blockbuster film that has passed Star Wars as the all-time box-office champ," Prime Minister Basdeo Panday said. "This attractive stamp, sold in collector's sheets of 27 for just $34.99, is a fitting tribute for such a man." Among the luminaries previously honored by the Trinidad And Tobago Postal Service: John Lennon, Princess Diana and Popeye.

Sing A Happy Tune

My nurse gave me a particularly cleansing enema to-day, and now I feel rather giddy and as light as a soap-bubble. What to do? Hunt pheasant? Dance a jig? I know! Let us sing a gay round!

Keep Smiling!

You know, being a columnist can be tough sometimes. After all, I think I've just about exhausted every last topic worth discussing. Beanie Babies, chocolate, karaoke, cats--you name it, I've talked about it! What more is there?

Making Your Marriage Last

With the divorce rate at 50 percent, lifelong wedded bliss is far from guaranteed for married couples. Here are some tips to help keep the flame of love burning years after that walk down the aisle.

There Will Be An 80-Foot Statue Of Daniel J. Travanti If I Have To Build It Myself

One of the fundamental problems with America today, as a nation and a television audience, is a lack of reverence. We lack reverence for the elderly. We lack reverence for those who served our country in war. And, above all, we lack reverence for Hill Street Blues star Daniel J. Travanti. That is why I swear to you, before God Himself, that there will be an 80-foot statue of Daniel J. Travanti if I have to build it myself.

Fatal Spaz Attack Claims Life Of Area Spaz

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO—Friends and family are remembering Gilbert Wilkinson as a "total spaz" following his fatal spaz attack Tuesday at the Golden Palace Dance & Supper Club in Cape Girardeau. "We were dancing and laughing and just having a very nice time when, out of nowhere, he completely spazzed out," wife Louise Wilkinson said. "His arms were flailing wildly, and he was bouncing all over the place like a complete spaz. Gilbert had had spaz attacks before, but as soon as he started spazzing, I could tell this was the Big One." Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as members of Wilkinson's family, also complete spazzes, stop spazzing out over his death.

Prime-Time 'Toons

From South Park to King Of The Hill to NBC's new Stressed Eric, animated shows are everywhere these days. Why so many cartoons?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Partying

Race Relations

Headless Barbie Found In Shallow Shoebox Grave

MANSFIELD, OH—Residents of this central Ohio town are reeling from Monday's discovery of the severely burned and mutilated body of a Barbie doll, found buried in a shoebox in the backyard of a local residence.

The backyard site where the decapitated Barbie was discovered.

An as-yet-unnamed 8-year-old girl is being held in connection with the grisly crime.

According to the Richland County Coroner's Office, the nude, 11 1/2" doll, identified as a Butterfly Princess Barbie, was exhumed from its shallow grave at approximately 4 p.m. by the suspect's mother. The Barbie was missing its head and left arm, and had suffered extensive burns on its legs and torso. Teeth marks, tentatively identified as human, were also found on the right leg.

Initial forensics reports indicate that the crime likely occurred three to four weeks ago. Police are still searching the backyard and house for the head.

"I'm in total shock," said Annette Dolmer, 36, a neighbor of the unidentified girl. "[She] always seemed so sweet and quiet. She'd often come over and play with my 7-year-old, and she never behaved unusually. Just a nice, average girl. She's the last person you'd ever think could be capable of something so gruesome."

According to Mansfield police, the suspect has a long history of toy abuse. In May 1995, the then-5-year-old slammed a door on her Slinky dog, severing the coiled wire comprising its midsection. In January 1997, the girl poured a jar of plastic beads into her Easy Bake oven, lodging them inextricably in the oven's workings and effectively destroying the miniature baking device.

"Based on the girl's track record of engaging in destructive and aberrant behavior with regard to her toys," said Mansfield police chief Cedric Hudson, "she would have to be considered the prime suspect in this case."

Hudson would not comment on the possibility that the beheading was a "copycat" crime inspired by a much-publicized incident in nearby Ashland this past April, when a Ken doll was found in a toolshed immersed in a hardened block of wax. Two boys, ages 12 and 13, were arrested in connection with the Ken torture and will stand trial in juvenile court next month.

While the girl is regarded as the prime suspect in the Barbie butchering, her brother is also under suspicion. Like his sister, the 10-year-old boy has a history of toy abuse, setting fire to Hot Wheels cars in his driveway on two separate occasions.

"He really seemed to be taking sadistic glee from burning those cars," said neighbor James Brodhagen, 44, who witnessed the Hot Wheels incidents. "I certainly wouldn't put doll dismemberment past a kid like that."

Mattel, manufacturer of the Barbie doll, released an official statement denouncing the crime Monday. "The Mattel Corporation is stunned and saddened by this appaling act of toy abuse," the statement read. "But we must not lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of American girls who own Barbie dolls do so responsibly, cherishing them as the objects of beauty, fantasy and imaginative play that they are."

"I got her one for her birthday last year, thinking she might treat this one better," the suspect's mother told reporters. "By the end of the week, she had lost its shoes, its dress was in tatters, and she'd given it a Mohawk haircut."

"One thing's for sure," the woman added, "that little missy isn't getting another Barbie until she learns to play nice."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More