From the Fringes

For anyone who imagines that knowing something about actual self-defense against swords, whether armed or unarmed, is irrelevant in the modern world, these accounts may give them pause. These absurdities and incidents, the vast majority from just the last few years alone are disturbing, but far from reflecting the whole picture. And what is it with these Samurai Night Fevers?

Fargo, ND. January 2006. A 46-year-old man was charged with attempted murder after attacking a 27-year-old man with a samurai sword after an afternoon altercation in his home. The two reportedly fought over the sword. The young man was by police found bleeding from several wounds including one entirely through his forearm. The older man had a stab wound to his stomach. The younger man was treated and released the older remained in the hospital.  (source:

Knoxville, TN. January, 2006.  A 40-year-old man and his 20-year-old son were charged with aggravated robbery after entering a medical clinics in the afternoon with a “ninja-style sword” and demanding cash. (source:

Coventry, UK. December, 2005. Robbers armed with samurai swords struck at shops threatening and cutting cashiers. In one instance a boy aged 16 working was slightly injured when struck by one of the Samurai-type swords and in another a 16-year old girl was threatened on Christmas Eve. The assailants fled on motor bikes. In a third incident, staff were threatened by a man and a woman, both believed to be carrying bladed weapons, who demanded money. (source: and source:

South Australia. December, 2005. A Christmas night disturbance at a party following an earlier altercation resulted in a youth being stabbed with a samurai sword. The man suffered two minor stabs wounds to the back, and a cut to the shoulder. (source:

Auckland, NZ. December 2005. Three men were given jail sentences over an attack that left a 25-year old man outside his home dead with a sword wound through the eye.  The man took a sword with him when he went to stop a noisy fracas in October last year but was overpowered and violently attacked with his own weapon by three young men. (source:

Sutton, UK. December, 2005. A man was hospitalized for more than a week after being hacked in the head with a samurai sword in an unprovoked assault. The 20-year-old man received a 6-inch wound along the left hand side of his head from a 4-foot blade. The victim was approached by a gang of two men and a woman around midnight while waiting at a bus stop. He was later followed by the three suspects but believed he had lost them when he cut into a park area.  The victim then saw one of the men running towards him with a samurai sword and the attacker swung the sword at him and missed.  The attacker then swung the sword again striking him on the side of the head and causing a deep laceration. The victim reported he then he felt something warm flowing down his head or neck. In fright he then ran to escape and did not realize the seriousness of his injury until he saw the blood after reaching the safety of a relative’s house seven doors away. On the way to the hospital he drifted in and out of consciousness. The victim, who initially had not been expected by doctors to survive, was treated for the inch gash to his head, which had also fractured his skull and eye socket. The blow had cut right through to his skull. An investigating detective said, “it was a horrific attack by any standards with a samurai sword.” The victim was later released from the hospital after almost two weeks of treatment. (Sources:,, and

Suffolk, UK. December, 2005. A Suffolk village post office worker with a ceremonial sword confronted two armed robbers before being hit on the head with the butt of a sawed-off shotgun. While the men were taking money from the post office a male of the staff, in his 60s, entered and confronted the robbers with the sword. After a struggle ensued with the two robbers the man was hit with the butt of the gun and suffered a cut to his head. He was later treated at the scene by a doctor. (source:

Indianapolis, Id. December, 2005.A man attacked a pharmacist with a 4-foot-long sword and was later fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy, authorities said. Alexander Zagovalov, 24, was conscious and talking to deputies when he was taken from the scene Sunday night, but later died. The pharmacist, Josh Bennett, 27, suffered cuts on his hand and face.  Police were called after the attack shortly before 7 p.m. outside a CVS on the city's far north side. A short while later, a Marion County sheriff's deputy confronted a man fitting the suspect's description attempting to break into a nearby apartment, police said. Police said Zagovalov was carrying a 4-foot-long decorative [straight medieval short] sword and was ordered to drop the weapon before he was shot.  "They approached him and ordered him numerous times to drop the sword," said Marion County sheriff's Maj. Dennis May. "At that point, he charged the officers with the sword, so they drew their weapons and fired." Police said Bennett told them he was on a smoke break outside of the pharmacy when Zagovalov walked by and attacked him. Police said Zagovalov also broke into a woman's apartment a few blocks away from the first incident at the Gardens of Greenbrier, an assisted living complex. No one was hurt there. (source:

Sheraden, Pa. December, 2005. Pittsburgh police are investigating a bizarre attack involving a samurai sword, in Sheraden. Police said 51-year-old Steve Dunlap got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend and her brother -- then pulled out a samurai sword and started swinging. The sword cut both the girlfriend and her brother. Police said when Dunlop attempted an overhead chop, the sword got stuck in the ceiling and the victims tried to wrestle it away from him. (source:

Jacksonville, FL. September, 2005. A robber swinging a samurai sword sent condiments flying before fleeing with $32 taken from a frightened lunchtime crowd of patrons at the Mudville Grille restaurant about 11:30 am on a Monday. Witnesses said the man, waving a sword and yelling he was holding up the place, whipped the sword across two tables, clearing the tabletops before slamming his hand on the counter. Several patrons emptied their pockets and the man grabbed the cash and fled in a green minivan. It was later found abandoned with the sword inside. Police said the van and sword were taken earlier in a 2 a.m. residential robbery of two residents. (source:

Liverpool, UK. August, 2005. Two young thugs with a sword murdered another in his home over a petty dispute. After forcing their way in the man was beaten about the head and body with bars and stabbed in the back of the head and upper thigh. After the planned assault the victim staggered from the house to get help but was pursued by his attackers who continued to beat him until he collapsed in the street. When paramedics arrived he told them he had been stabbed with a sword. Police said the man had been struck at least a dozen times. (Source:

North Liberty, Iowa. August 2005. A man faces up to two years prison and a $5000 fine after standing naked in his front yard and then chasing his complaining neighbors with a sword. (Source:

Easton, PA. July, 2005. In a buy gone bad a 49-year old crack cocaine addict and believed paranoid schizophrenic man kills a 19-year old drug dealer with a samurai sword. The victim suffered more than 80 wounds to his body. (source:

Queens Village, NYC. July, 2005. A shotgun and sword-wielding madman wounded two police officers at close range after they caught him at 2 am blasting the head off a 107-year-old statue of St. Anne and the Virgin Mary outside a Queens church. When his sword failed to destroy the icon, he went back to his home to fetch a pump-action shotgun, returned and opened fire. Ranting, "I'm a hustler! I'm a warrior!" the African-American man, age 25, used a sword to lop off the granite statue's arms and blew the head off with a 12-gauge shotgun before ambushing the police from less than 8 feet away. The church’s pastor said the man, "He has a psychological problem with religion." The officers were reported in stable condition fro their wounds. (Source: New York Daily News online)

Coventry, UK. July 2005. After a petty argument between two groups of men at a nightclub, a 23-year-old man killed a 33-year-old man with a sharp 18-inch samurai sword. The victim, an athlete, was stabbed in the chest as he tried to make peace between the two groups. The attacker had gone home and retrieved two samurai swords from his collection of three before returning to commit the murder. He waved the shorter blade around his head in a figure of eight before striking.  The victim was killed by a single stab wound that went through his body cavity, completely severing a rib, and piercing his heart. He was dead before he reached a hospital. Authorities stated that between April and August 2005 there was on average one incident a week involving a samurai sword. As a result of such attacks the UK government is looking into a banning the swords.  (Source:

Whitehaven, UK. July, 2005. Police arrested a group of young men from Mirehouse, England, after a man, age 19, was stabbed with a sword. His injuries were not life-threatening and he was not detained in hospital. The sword used has not yet been traced. (Source:

Jacksonville, Florida. July 2005. After taunting over the death of a dog escalated into an argument, a Jacksonville woman said her husband dared her to take a decorative sword above the fireplace to settle things. That resulted in a 53-year old man being stabbed though his right bicep and into his right side. His injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said. According to a police report, the 52 year old wife told officers her husband taunted her when he came home about 7:30 p.m. and learned the family dog had been euthanized earlier in the day. As the argument escalated, the husband told her to "just get the sword bitch," she told police. She lunged at her husband and stuck him. The couple is getting a divorce. (Source:

Orlando, Florida. July 2005. A 25 man killed his 28-year-old girlfriend after an argument in their downtown apartment by stabbing the woman with a large samurai sword and a smaller blade. (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

Reno, NV. May, 2005. A 39-year-old man was arrested Sunday night after he allegedly attacked another man with a samurai sword as a group of small children looked on. According to police, the two argued at an apartment when the assailant struck the man in the head and upper body. The man sustained at least three large lacerations and several small stab wounds. The victim later received several stitches for the non-life threatening wounds.

Nashua, New Hampshire. May, 2005. A man was arrested and charged with criminal threatening and criminal mischief after he threatened another motorist with a two-handed broadsword on the Henri Burque Highway at noon o a Sunday, threatening to “run through” another motorist, and popping a tire with the point of his sword. The incident occurred when the motorist exchanged angry words because the other driver was going too slowly. The then suspect retrieved from his SUV a sword with a two-handed hilt and blade more than 3 feet long. He then pierced one of the other driver’s tires with it and drove off. (Source: Nashua Telegraph Online)

London, UK, March 2005. A man was beheaded in a frenzied and prolonged axe attack in a London street in Belsize Park near the Hampstead Theatre. The attacker was described as tall and thin, smartly-dressed and in his thirties, felled his victim with one blow and then struck repeatedly "as if he was chopping wood" according to witnesses. The assault lasted several minutes. The attacker ignored his victim's screams and the pleas of two women passers-by and workmen. He only stopped when police arrived. He then put down the axe near the body. He was described as looking "emotionless and cool" throughout. Several pedestrians on the morning school run were among those who saw the killing.  Police said the victim was in his sixties and is thought to have lived nearby. A scaffolder working nearby saw a man carrying an axe in one hand above his head as he ran towards his victim. The men were seen to exchange a few words.  Seconds later the axeman struck the first of a series of heavy blows which continued when the victim lay slumped on the pavement in a pool of blood.  The workman said: "It was unremitting. The man with the axe ran at his victim and just laid into him.  "He brought it down on his head and floored him. The victim had tried to defend himself with his arms and I heard him shout something. But it was hopeless.  "Within seconds he was on the floor and his head had been split open. It was horrific." (Source: Evening Standard)

Bahrain, UAE. March 2005. Four sword-wielding masked men ribbed a gas station. After tying up the teller they  smashed glass doors with their swords and stole cash from the register drawer before escaping in a car.

Arlington, TX, February 2005. A student at Arlington Lamar High School brought a sword and injured another student's face early in the morning. The victim was cut on his chin and was sent to a Hospital. He reportedly needed several stitches to the chin. School district superintendent said the attack was random. (Source:

Witpoortjie, Roodepoort. South Africa. January, 2005. A man was arrested after he allegedly attempted to attack a policeman with a ninja sword. An officer was responding to a domestic violence complaint when he was attacked at the complex. He saw a husband brandishing a sword chasing a security guard. The guard managed to escape and the man then slashed his car tires and broke his windscreen. The police eventually managed to arrest the man, who first tried to threaten the officer with the sword. (source:

Rocky Mount, North Carolina. December, 2004. A neighborhood duel between two moms arms with a machete and a sword erupted at a morning bus stop after their two small children had a minor spat. The women, ages 29 and 19 were later released on bond from police custody. One woman came armed with the machete and a person standing by went and retrieved the sword to arm the other. The combatants reportedly faced off and attempted to strike each other until police arrived. A man was also arrested for encouraging and cheering on the fight (Source: Rocky Mountain Telegram).

St. Louis, Missouri. November, 2004. A 36-year old St. Louis County man assaulted his wife’s lover with a sword after he caught her wife sneaking out with him. The three argued in the suburban home before the victim was cut in the head with a sword. The victim suffered severe brain damage and was not expected to survive. The attacker then tried to cover his tracks with a false story to police about a home invasion. He later confessed to police and was arrested. (Source: AP)

Houston, Texas. September, 2004. After four people had a fight in a mobile home park near Old Greens in north Harris County one man was dead and two more were hospitalized in critical condition with several stab wounds from an attack with a "long sword". An 18-year old man ended the 3:00 AM fight when he pulled out the sword and stabbed the other three, killing one. The suspect killed the victim, then went to the victim's trailer and attacked the victim's relatives. One woman was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening wounds. Police caught the attacker before he left the mobile home park. (Source: ABC13 Eyewitness News online).

Bay City, Michigan. August, 2004. A 43-year-old man with a sword was arrested for attacking and nearly severing both hands of a 20-year-old. following a 2 AM street fight involving several men. As the man swung wildly at him the victim threw up his hands to protect his face from the sword which struck both wrists causing severe injuries to his hands. The victim, who has a learning impairment and was not part of the original fight, underwent surgery to reattach both hands in the hopes of repairing bone and severed tendons and nerves. The sword was described as a replica weapon that can be purchased at a flea market. (source: Bay City Times).

Huntsville, Alabama. May, 2004. After refusing repeated demands to drop a sword he was threatening a neighbor and police with, a 45-year old intoxicated man in a mobile home park was critically wounded when a police officer shot him. The police had been called to respond to a domestic dispute in which the man first threatened his wife and neighbor with a handgun. (Source: The Huntsville Times online).

Brisbane, Australia. May, 2004. A man wearing a black balaclava and armed with a sword, escaped after holding up a 7-Eleven at about 12:50 am. The man walked into the store and threatened the store attendant with a sword. Police said the man took cigarettes and demanded money which he passed to an accomplice waiting outside the store before the two fled on foot. (source:

Arendal, Norway. April 2004. A downtown gas station was robbed about 5am by a man dressed as a ninja and armed with a sword and knife. The perpetrator, allegedly of foreign decent, fled on a bicycle. (Source: Norwegian news bureau NTB).

Manchester, England. March 2004. A 25-year-old man who killed an armed robber with a samurai sword was sent to prison for eight years. The man made the attacked after finding four men armed with a gun at his front door. The victim was stabbed four times and died at a hospital. Three men were charged with robbery and firearms possession. (source: The Daily Record).

Berlin, Germany. March 2004. A 22-year-old German man with a history of drug problems was on trial for decapitating his mother with a 45-centimeter samurai blade after a domestic dispute. He called the police and attempted to blame his father for the crime. (source: Reuters).

Calgary, Canada. March 2004. A 19-year old immigrant seriously injured a 16-year-old with a sword during an assault at a recreation center. (source: Calgary Herald).

Central Victoria, Australia. March 2004. During a domestic dispute a 13-year-old boy was subdued by capsicum spray and arrested after he ran at police officers with a samurai sword. (source: The Age).

Melbourne, Australia. Feb 2004. A 21-year-old man had his hand severed by a samurai sword during a gang brawl in the Fitzroy Gardens. The man was one of 15 members of a Fitzroy-based gang who took part in a prearranged gang fight against 50 members of two other gangs. All were armed with samurai swords, machetes, baseball bats and metal poles. The severed hand was later found and reattached in an eight-hour hospital operation. (source: The Age).

Los Angeles, CA. December, 2003. A fight outside a Koreantown bar involving ten persons ended with a 24-year old man being stabbed completely through the upper body with a samurai sword. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment. (source: ABC

Bronx, NY. December, 2003. A 32-year man killed his wife with a samurai sword in their apartment before running into the street naked and screaming "I'm God! I'm immortal, Kill me!"  Police shot the “stocky martial-arts black belt” in the legs when the madman lunged at police. One officer fired 14 shots--bringing down the suspect but also hitting her partner twice. The cop's vest stopped one bullet from hitting his chest, though another slug penetrated his knee. The 24-year old wife had her head repeated hacked with two ceremonial Japanese samurai swords and her left hand severed. One sword was bent on the victim’s head and her neck was nearly sliced through. (Source: New York Daily News online).

Toronto, Canada. November, 2003. An 18 year student was killed by stab wounds from a sword after a youth fight involving some 40 students of two ethnic groups. The brawl involved a variety of weapons, including swords, canes, hammers, baseball bats and chains. Another youth was cut several times and bruised in the head. Police were said to be shocked by the violence of the melee. (Source:

Omaha, NB. October, 2003. At 2 am a man with a 40-inch sword in ninja garb and a tan ball cap robbed a Kwik shop store employee who was working on a store display. After the man demanded the store's money the employee ran outside. The robber then opened the register and took cash before running off. Source: Omaha World Herald.

Honolulu, HA. August, 2003. A 30-year-old homeless man with a 28-inch sword was shot in the pelvis after being confronted by a Maui police officer. The man allegedly lunged at the officer with the weapon. The man was waving a sword in a threatening manner inside a Longs Drugs store and allegedly had attacked a 28-year-old man outside, cutting his head. (Source: Honolulu Advertiser).

Borough of Waltham Forest, northeast London, UK. August, 2003. At 9.00 pm a 19 year old male was standing in the street talking to his friend who was sitting in a vehicle. As he was doing so, a suspect approached the victim and produced a large samurai sword from a casing. He then waved the weapon in the air before using it to attack the victim, striking him across the legs twice, and once on the arm causing severe injury. During the incident, the attacker, a 5ft 9" tall Asian man, 21-22 yrs old, said, "Why do you keep on starting on people?" The victim was taken to hospital where he received some 50 stitches to a very severe leg wound. (source:

Irvine, Calif. June 30, 2003. At 9:30 am a 30-year old man with a samurai sword and wearing a trenchcoat entered a large grocery store where he was formerly employed as a bagger and slashed five people, killing two former co-workers and wounding three customers. The man, a diagnosed schizophrenic, caused 40 to 50 shoppers to flee in panic before eventually being shot dead by police when confronted. An officer fired 6 shots at the man, hitting him once in the chest. His mother described him as a sword collector and fan of the "Highlander"" films and TV shows. (Source: AP)

Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Ireland. June, 2003. A 28-year-old man was stabbed to death with a sword during an argument with his neighbor. The 23 inch sword was thrust through the victim’s body from side to side, penetrated between his ribs and through his chest muscles to within half a centimeter of the skin of the other side of his body. Authorities said the man died almost immediately after the sword “wreaked terrible damage” on his lungs and heart. The 45-year-old assailant claimed he had thrust the sword after the victim came towards him. (source:

Prince George's County, MD. June, 2003. Responding to a caller reporting an armed man, police shot and killed a man stopped while walking along a heavily trafficked road while wearing a cape tied around his neck and two swords on his hips. As they moved closer to him the man refused to stop approaching the officers or surrender the three-foot swords or a pistol (later determined to be a pellet gun) tucked into the belt of his leather biker pants with shin and thigh guards. (Source: Washington Post, June 3, 2003; Page B02).

Monrovia, CA, May 2003. A car thief armed with a gun and driving under the influence, eluded police by running into a private home, where the resident retrieved a samurai sword on display and forced the man outside. He then held the man at sword point until police arrived. (source: & AP).

Bangalore, India. March, 2003. A 22-year-old youth was shot in the thigh by the police when he tried to attack an inspector with a sword in the Peenya station limits in the early pre-dawn. When a trio of young men were cornered by police, the man brandishing a sword rushed towards the officer. He was shot while his accomplices escaped. (source: Times News Network).

Marion, IN, February, 2003. Lawrence Walker, 46 suffered a 3-inch-deep gash to his lower abdomen after his landlord pulled a 3-foot sword and slashed him during a dispute. Police arrested Tim Allen, 44, charged with battery with a deadly weapon resulting in serious injury. The two got into an argument over rent, and Allen pulled a sword and stabbed Walker. "He routinely carries a sword with him," police said. "Apparently he just has a thing for swords." (source: Indianapolis Star).

Okotoks, Alberta, Canada. January, 2003. On the Tsuu T'ina Nation Indian reservation a man was struck by a long Japanese sword during an attack outside a bar. The man was cut in the chest and later taken away by ambulance. The wound required stitches and was not life threatening. (Source:

Tayside, UK. December, 2002. Following information that a well-known criminal may be inside, constables a house in Dundee. A man appearing to be in possession of a firearm as well as a Samurai sword opened the windows to shout threats of violence. He then fled the house and, as a constable attempted to block his path, the man unsheathed the sword swinging it at the constable attempting to strike him across the chest. The officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, then pursued the man on foot for some distance until colleagues came to his assistance and the man was apprehended. (source:

Wilkinsburg, Pa., Nov. 2002. A 21-year-old woman lost half her hand to a samurai sword after her domestic partner assaulted her. She suffered cuts to body and head yet was able to run from her attacker and flee into the street. Her hand was severed between the fingers and through the palm. The assailant claimed to be a samurai warrior and slashed the woman (5-months pregnant at the time) after she spit on him during an argument mocking his fighting ability. The man, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced in July 2003 to 5-10 years for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after the woman refused to testify against him -and plans to marry him in prison. After the attack a large portion of her right hand, left thumb and two fingers on her left hand had to be surgically reattached. She also had cuts to her scalp, chest, arms, and legs. (source: AP /

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nov. 2002. A sword-wielding man who was shot three times in front of his home by a Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy (twice in the arms and once in the lower abdomen with a 45-caliber handgun) after he charged toward officers in a threatening manner with a nearly 3-foot samurai sword. (source: Santa Fe New Mexican).

Toledo, OH. Nov. 2002. Acting in self-defense, three police officers shot a man six times for charging them with a three-foot sword during a domestic dispute with his mother. (source:

Sayreville, NJ. Sep. 2002. A 21-year-old man was arrested after a 25-year-old East Brunswick man came into police headquarters at 5:45 a.m. and reported he was assaulted that morning with a samurai sword while visiting the other man's home. According to police, the two men had an ongoing dispute over the sale of a car. The victim told police he was struck twice with the sword, once on the leg and the second on the hand. The victim was treated at police headquarters but refused to be transported to the hospital. (source: suburban.gmnews).

Edmonton, Alberta. Sep. 2002. A crudely disguised man wielding a samurai sword burst into a Canadian Jehovah's Witness church and tried to rob 65 congregation members before he was foiled by one who used his cell phone to alert police. Police responded quickly and arrested the man after convincing him to drop the two-foot long blade. Edmonton police officers at the scene also recovered a soup ladle and a medieval-style mace from the suspect, apparently in his early 30s, who was dressed in a trench coat, sunglasses, rubber gloves and ---a mask fashioned out of banana peels. (source: Reuters).

St. Paul, Minn. Sep. 2002. Police shot and killed a 19-year-old, 6'6" man after he attacked an officer with a samurai-style sword while being handcuffed. The officer, a 15-year veteran, was stabbed at least twice with the sword and suffered cuts on the biceps and a punctured lung. His wounds were not considered life threatening. The suspect died from multiple gunshot wounds from two other officers.

Palm Bay, Florida, March 2002. Police officers shot and killed a man who was armed with a sword at the Palm Bay Club Apartments. Robert George Frazier was hit twice in the chest as he approached an officer with a 3-foot-long Samurai sword. (Florida Today, March 2002).

Gainesville, Florida. March 2002. Following a high-speed chase and intoxicated 19-year-old man was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy after he advanced on the deputy wielding a samurai sword and repeatedly slashed at him. (source: Naples Daily News).

Augusta, GA. March 2002. A 47-year-old man robbed a man using a replica of a Japanese sword. According to the police report, the assailant walked up to the victim man, punched him in the face and demanded he pay money owed to him. When the man refused, the perpetrator struck him twice with the 36-inch blade of the sword, causing minor injuries, police said. (

Edgewood, Fl. Jan. 2002. An 18-year old man slashed a sword collector at a party. A sheriff's deputy called at 3 am to investigate rowdiness at an apartment complex discovered the victim in a front room on his hands and knees, blood everywhere, huge lacerations on his left forearm that exposed the bone, and the left side of his face completely peeled off and hanging down. The victim had threatened his attacker with a sword and the teen grabbed another one in defense. (source:

Loudon County, Virginia, Jan. 2002. A prominent DNA scientist was brutally murdered by three "goth" teen losers using a samurai sword. The victim suffered several cuts and 30 stab wounds as well as having an "x' carved into the back of his neck in the ritualistic killing. The man's 19-year-old college student daughter, who reveled in medieval fantasy, was charged with arranging with her friends the assassination of her father. The 19-year old attacker, a diagnosed schizophrenic obsessed with witches and the occult, had a history of mental illness. (source: Washington Post)

Long Island, NY. April 2002. Suffolk County Police are investigating the death of a 33-year-old man who was killed by an acquaintance on April 4, in Wyandanch.  At about 8 p.m. the man arrived at the home of Donald Platt, 42, who reportedly met him at the door carrying a samurai sword.  Police allege Platt struck the victim, with the sword he had concealed behind his leg, in the head and chest with the sword causing fatal injuries.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim, there to collect on a drug debt, was cut across the right side of the head and then the left side of the chest and died on the spot. A witness to the assault stated, “I heard the cracking noise when the sword hit his face.” Platt slashed a 3 &1/2-foot samurai sword blade he had concealed behind his left leg down on Burkes, cutting him on the right side of his head, then striking him across the chest. Burke had come to Platt's to collect money for crack cocaine debts. He collapsed in the front yard and died. Other relatives screamed at him, she said. "But he didn't stop. He kept on swinging. He just snapped." Platt later surrendered to police officers who responded. When the victim arrived Platt jerked up from his chair and went for the sword he kept in a corner in his bedroom, according to his wife, who said, "I was screaming at him not to go out there, but he didn't listen."  (source: NY Times & AP).

Poplar Bluff, Mo. May 2002. A southeast Missouri man was injured after a sword-wielding assailant knocked on his door in the early morning and, claiming to be Satan, took out a 2 and half-foot long sword and began stabbing him. The victim suffered a deep cut at the base of his right thumb and minor cuts to his right side, right shin and left hand. He was treated at a hospital and released. (AP).

Pahrump Valley, Nevada. May 2002. A 15-year-old high school student with a samurai sword hijacked a school bus and lead police on a high-speed chase down highway 178. (source: Las Vegas Review-Journal).

Queensland, Australia. July 2002. One police officer was left seriously injured, a further eight in shock and five police vehicles badly damaged when a Samurai-sword wielding thug went on the rampage. After an eight hour stand-off a 34-year-old man had slashed two officers, nearly severing part of the hand of one, while another suffered cuts to his arm, before being shot dead. Officers tried to disarm the man using capsicum spray, shields, a police dog and special ammunition called "bean bag rounds", designed to hit the body without exploding. Despite being hit by a number of rounds, the sword-wielding man kept up his attack and was finally shot dead. (source:

Hempfield, PA. Jan. 2002. A 35 year old woman was arrested after swinging a samurai sword at officers serving her with an arrest warrant and then fleeing to a day care center nearby with the weapon still in hand. (source:

London, April 2002. A 38-year-old man seen carrying a handgun and Samurai sword near the home of actress Penelope Keith was shot with a plastic bullet by police and arrested after he refused to put down his weapons and threatened to harm anyone who approached him. (AP)

Clintonville, OH. May 17, 2002. A well-known female impersonator and former Miss gay Ohio died after an estranged acquaintance dressed in black and wearing a mask intruded into his apartment and stabbed him several times with a samurai sword. A roommate was also injured by stabs when he tried to intervene. (source:

Newcastle, Australia. May 2002. Police hunted for a man who held up the Newcastle RSL Club with a samurai sword before escaping with a sum of cash. (source: Newcastle Herald).

Hampshire, England. June 2002. A mentally disturbed 27 year-old man decapitated his 25-year-old friend with a samurai sword and scattered his body parts all over a residential neighborhood. Officials in England determined that the victim was killed by a blow to the head and then dismembered. (source:

Yoshida, Ehime, Japan. July 2002. A human skull and thighbone that appears to have been cut off with a sword were found on a beach, police said. A man walking his dog found the skull and alerted them to its presence. Officers did a sweeping search of the beach and discovered the thighbone. One end of the thighbone had been cleanly cut, leading officers to believe it had been severed by a sword. (Mainichi Daily News, Mainichi Shimbun, July 11, 2002).

Middlesex, NJ, Jul. 2002. A deranged high school wrestler and drug abuser fatally stabbed his 55-year-old father with a decorative 2-foot samurai sword he kept in his bedroom. He stabbed the victim in the chest while he slept.

Green Bay, WI. Oct. 2002. After an argument at her home, a 35 year-old man assaulted the boyfriend of his would be girlfriend with a 3-foot samurai sword, slicing off the man's thumb at the base and lacerating his arm to the bone. The victim had raised his arm to defend himself against the blade coming down at his head. In addition to aggravated assault charges, the assailant faces a misdemeanor charge of bail jumping because he was on bail from an unrelated charge of lewd and lascivious conduct at the time of the sword attack.

Hertfordshire, UK. December, 2001. A 23-year-old man was murdered outside a club by a deranged British African in an apparent racial attack. The victim was beaten and stabbed repeatedly with a samurai sword. He died of his wounds the next day.

Westside, Jacksonville, Florida. September, 2001. Police responded to a domestic dispute where they found a man waving a five-foot sword and chasing two women after dispute where the man purposely rammed his truck into one of the women's cars. The two women then ran into the house of one's sister and locked themselves inside. The deranged man he then kicked the door down and entered the home, grabbed a large sword and proceeded to chase the two women out of the house. The two women then ran to a neighbor's house where they called police. Police eventually managed to subdue the sword wielding man and arrest him. (Source: First Coast News).

Sydney, Australia. March 2001. A 19-year-old 'skinhead' was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for striking another 19-year-old with a Samurai sword, leaving him permanently disabled. The attacker and other skinheads came into the Strathpine Gardens Park, on Brisbane's far northside, where the victim was with a large group of friends. Reportedly the skinheads made racist remarks to an Aboriginal in the group and then the drunken attacker began swinging the sword around. He deliberately licked the sword and cut his tongue, smearing the blood on his hand and holding it aloft like a trophy. He then began swinging the sword at some girls in the other group and at the victim, who seeing that he was dangerous and would possibly hurt the girls, decided to take action. He lunged at the skinhead as he took a wide swing with the sword. The attacker next swiped four times at the victim, wounding him in the arm and leg. He was left with a disabled and wasted leg, is in permanent pain and now depends on a walking stick. He also sustained permanent damage to his left hand. (source: AAP).

Laredo, Ca. October, 2001. A Hispanic gang fight ensued after party crashers fought with rivals. During the fight an 18-year old man drew a sword cane and slashed to the bone the forearm of another 18-year old. (Source:

Melbourne Australia, May 2001. In a clash between 11 drunken youths, most former students from a top private school, a 19-year-old man's arm was almost severed with a samurai sword wielded by another 19 year old. He was struck five times with the sword leaving his left arm hanging by the skin and tendons, and his lung punctured. (source: and

Parkland, WA. June 2001. With a samurai sword gripped firmly in two hands, police say Herbert Roland took a batter's stance, cocked back the 2 1/2-foot blade and prepared to swing at the sheriff's officer standing 4 feet away. Three bullets fired from the officer's .45-caliber sidearm disagreed with the attempt and the 56-year-old former Marine, died at the scene. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

Malabon City, Philippines. June 2001. When he resisted robbery, a 39-year-old Indian businessman is killed by thug, David Donceras, wielding a samurai sword. The victim suffered severe cuts to the chest, left, arm, left eyebrow, and right palm where he grabbed his assailant sword according to witnesses. The victim died en route to the hospital. (source:

Liverpool, UK. July 2001. A 37-year-old schizophrenic man wearing pajamas was shot dead by police while wielding a samurai sword and running amok through a crowd. After he refused to drop the blade he was waving at them. (source: The Guardian).

Toronto, Canada. Apr. 2001. Nine banana-sized rubber bullets fired from a high-powered gun and five cans of pepper spray were not enough to subdue a Toronto area man who confronted police with a samurai sword and began swinging it wildly. Officers were able to arrest him only when he dropped the weapon, apparently having tired himself out. "He could have been shot if the tactical unit didn't get there that fast," said a spokesman for the police. Police did not know what kept 30-year-old Ucal Ray Lauzon going, allowing him to withstand being hit by nine, six-inch rounds from an Arwen anti-riot gun and blasts of highly concentrated cayenne pepper. The perpetrator stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 130 pounds. He suffered what police described as minor bruising and declined treatment at a hospital. The incident began when the suspect got into an argument with an associate. The dispute ended when he removed the samurai sword, which had a 40-inch blade, from the wall and allegedly began threatening his friend with it. When he left the apartment on a bicycle, his friend called police. An officer on patrol spotted him and when he approached him, he allegedly began swinging the sword in a threatening way. When the officer pulled out his handgun, he fled on his bicycle. He was eventually apprehended a second time by specially trained and heavily armed members of the Peel police tactical unit a short distance away. (source: National Post).

Louisville, KT. Apr. 2001. A man was shot by a police officer during a gathering at secluded wooded bonfire after refusing to put down a "samurai-style" sword as he advanced toward the officer who arrived to investigate the gathering. (Louisville, Courier-Journal News).

Sturgeon Bay, WI. Dec. 2001. A Christmas Eve argument over the politics of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks ended with a 40-year-old man fatally skewering his friend with a 38-inch samurai sword. The man was found conscious in a pool of blood and Police found the sword, with blood covering 14 inches of the blade. Rescuers found a stab wound to the man's chest and what appeared to be an exit wound near his shoulder blade, he died a short time later at the hospital. (source: Green Bay Press Gazette).

Los Angeles, Dec. 2000. A man threatened and then sexual assaulted a female Korean college student with a samurai sword in a parking lot, leaving behind the weapon and his jacket. He was later apprehended and convicted.

Orangeville, CA. Nov. 2000. A sheriff deputy is forced to shoot a 21-year-old man wielding a samurai sword. The disturbed individual stood in the middle of the snowy road flexing his muscles and licking the sword until he tried to break into nearby homes and was stopped with lethal force. (source: WKOVR Sacramento).

Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai. October, 2000. A motorist lost a thumb and is in intensive care after being attacked by sword-wielding drivers during a violent episode of highway road rage. The victim's thumb was severed and he suffered a one-centimetre deep head wound following the attack by two drivers who were angry at being overtaken. they forced him to stop, got out of their vehicle and started shouting at him. The victim tried to explain his actions, but they refused to listen. Grabbing a sword from their car, one of them went for his throat. In a reflex action, the victim tried to ward off the blow and his thumb was severed. The other driver then took the sword and hit him on the head, causing a one-centimetre deep gash and knocking him unconscious. Passersby who had stopped to watch called the police. The victim was rushed to hospital by ambulance and the two drivers were arrested. (Source:Gulf News).

Nigata (Kyodo) Japan, Sep. 2000. Upset about tax collectors, a construction worker attacked three people with an illegal samurai sword, injuring two in the hands and wounding one with stabs and cuts to the stomach and back of the head. The last victim who later died. (Japan Times, Sept. 4, 2001).

Cheltenham, England, Jan. 2000. A deranged man with a samurai sword attacked a British Member of Parliament, slashing his arm and then stabbing him through the body, killing him, before attacking his assistant who ran to the defense. The second man suffered severe lacerations. (source: AP)

London, Nov. 1999. A deranged naked man entered the small parish church of St Winifred's in the South East of England during Mass and began attacking the parishioners. He slashed and stabbed his way through the congregation, injuring eleven before being tackled near the altar. The most seriously inured, a 55-year-old man, had a severed thumb and finger and facial cuts.

New York, June 1999. A city council aide is charged with assault for slashing his brother with a samurai sword. The victim received a cut to the neck, was treated and released. (source: NY Times).

Hasting, Nebraska. Jul. 1999. A 24-year-old man accused of slashing another man with a sword and then shooting him to death was charged Monday with 1st-degree murder. He also struck his ex-girlfriend in the back of the head with the sword who suffered a number of slashing wounds as well. Neighbors said Decker, who stands 6 feet, 10 inches and weighs more than 300 pounds, was seen waving a waist-high sword around at the victim's house. He was later apprehended without incident.

Honolulu, Mar. 1998. A 15-year-old Pearl City girl was placed in critical condition after suffering multiple wounds when she was slashed with a "ninja sword" by her 16-year-old Japanese American ex-boyfriend. Her arm was severely wounded. (AP)

Winchester, VA. July 1988. Police Lt. Lenny Millholland entered the Winchester apartment of a disturbed man. The man was trying to set his apartment on fire for unknown reasons, and efforts to bring him out had been unsuccessful. Millholland entered the apartment with his police dog, Apollo. "I could hear him chanting in the back. I told him who I was and ordered him to come out," said Millholland. When the man finally appeared, he was carrying a samurai sword. "...I'll kill you and the dog," he told Millholland. Millholland said the man told the court Jesus told him to kill Millholland and his dog. The officer then had no choice but to release the dog. After being stabbed twice the dog relented, going to hide in a corner. Millholland went for the man, and was stabbed six times. The officer recovered but the dog was paralyzed. The man was arrested and spent eight years in jail and is now free.

New York City. July 1986. Juan Gonzales, a deranged illegal alien from Cuba, suddenly attacked commuters with a samurai sword on the Staten Island ferry, wounding 9 and killing 2. He has since been released from an institution and is still in the US. (source: NY Times).

King County, Washington. Mar. 1984. An evicted tenant stabs King County Police Detective Michael L. Raburn to death with a samurai sword. Detective Raburn was assigned to civil division and was in the process of evicting a renter when the occupant of the apartment attacked him with a sword. He died instantly. The officer's murder was followed by a 17 hour-standoff. It ended when officers shot the attacker 21 times. (source:

Bizarre But True:

And now something from the lighter side of the fring world of swords & lunatics.

Which end do I use, again?
Wichita, Kansas. August, 2003. A 36-year old man sustained serious injuries when he was accidentally stabbed in the chest while he and a friend were playing with a sword outside a home. The owner went inside his home to get a sword and carried it outside to show his friend. The friend grabbed onto the pointed end of the blade and began pulling. The other man then let go and the sword poked him in the chest. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in critical condition. (source:

There was an old woman who lived with a sword…
November, 2004. Using a pre-World War I officer's dress sword an 80-year old widow in Dorset, England, fended off two teenage burglars. After the two large young men entered her home she was pushed to the ground by one while the other ransacked her apartment. She grabbed the sword off the wall and pointed at them threatening them until they fled. (source: BCC News

Should have bought American.
Kuwait, Dec. 2002. (Reuters) - A drunken man wielding a ceremonial sword stormed up to the gates of the U.S. embassy in Kuwait and shouted abuse before being restrained by guards and arrested. The spokesman said the unidentified man drove up to the embassy in the morning and began waving the sword before flinging it on the ground, at which point it broke.

Guess he never saw 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'?
Spring Hill, Fla. Mar. 2002. An argument between two handicapped men over a hospital parking space escalated when one man whipped out a sword, prompting the other to pull out a gun. Lee Damron, 48, was arrested for aggravated assault on March 13 for his bizarre and menacing behavior, authorities said. Eyewitnesses in the crowded parking lot of Oak Hill Hospital told police that at about 3 p.m., Damron pulled near a disabled parking space, which was partially blocked by another car. Richard Cavalier, 59, the driver of the other car, had an appointment and had partly pulled into the space so that he and his wife could get his wheelchair out. Cavalier indicated to Damron that he planned to park in the spot, but Damron kept honking and eventually took the spot anyway. Profanities were exchanged, followed by Damron stepping out of the car, holding onto a black cane with a golden snake head. Bystanders looked on with amazement as Damron then unsheathed a sword from the cane and proceeded to approach Cavalier. Cavalier immediately pulled out a 9mm handgun from the car and raised it slowly. Damron turned and ran through the hospital's sliding doors. Police were called, and Damron was arrested minutes later. Cavalier was not charged because he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, authorities said. (

"Calling Duncan McCloud…"
Tokyo. April 2002. Police officers arrested a suspect after witnessing an assault with a samurai sword via a surveillance video camera system mounted in the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. A 26-year-old man from Greece attacked a 34-year-old French national with a samurai sword around 5:20 a.m. The victim sustained injuries to his head and shoulder. (source: The Japan Times).

It Takes a Thief...or justice is blind
A thief died trying to flee an art museum in Bonn, Germany. Peter Grüber panicked after being surprised by a security guard at the Klausmann Museum of Art and when he raced around a corner, impaled himself upon a 4ft-long sword held by a statue of a blindfolded soldier. The exhibit is called "The Weapon of Justice". (Guardian, 29 June 2000).

If at first you don't succeed
The body of Amarsinh Mavji, 40, was found in a temple in Gadhula village in the Bhavnagar district of Rajkot. The police claimed he was a victim of 'Kamal puja,' in which a person's head is chopped off to appease the goddess. Members of the Vaghri community had allegedly gathered at the temple to seek forgiveness of sins committed during the past year. As part of the ritual, Amarsinh chopped off his own head with a sword. Exactly how he managed to do this is not explained. (Times of India, 10 Mar 2000).

Those who live by the sword…get shot by those who don't
When ne'er-do-well Joey Wayne Fuller, 21, armed himself with a sword and a flashlight and then broke into a Lebanon, Alabama, woman's home, he was unaware he was about to come face-to-face with the homeowner-and his Maker. After Fuller repeatedly stabbed the resident, she fired two shots, striking him once in the stomach. Fuller and his accomplice, waiting in a car outside, continued the assault by attempting to run down the fleeing woman who let two more shots ring out. Police later found Fuller dead in the lookout's vehicle. (Sand Mountain Reporter, Albertville, AL, 9/21/99)

Stopped by the sword
A 49-year-old Marion, IL, resident found his cane came in handy Tuesday night as he used the sword concealed inside it to ward off a man who entered his home. "Nobody has any right to walk right into a man's house like that," said Larry Scott. According to police reports, Scott was surfing the Internet at about 9:30 p.m. when Ray, walked through the front door of his house. When Scott demanded that Ray leave, Ray refused. So Scott reached for his sword. "That's when I pulled that out and started inching my way toward him," Scott said. He told police he continued to brandish the sword at Ray until he finally left the house. Scott said he was lucky to have the cane nearby during the incident. "I thought he was going to attack me," he said. "With things as they are these days, you just don't know anymore." Marion police arrested Tywana Ray, 21, a short time later after Scott shooed him from his house and alerted police. (Indianapolis Chronicle-Tribune, Thursday, April 4, 2002).

"Can't I just shoot him?"
Welfleet, Mass. Jul. 2001. A man sharpening his sword on his front porch threatened police officer, swinging the two-foot weapon over his head until the office pepper sprayed him and grabbed the sword. (source:

"You Go Girl!"
Largo, Fl, July 2000. A female police officer went after a man wielding a samurai sword with pepper spray and attempted to kick the sword from his hand. Failing to dislodge it, she grabbed it and disarmed him. (St. Petersburg Times, July 10, 2000).

"He Hates these Cans!"
Bromont, Canada. Nov. 1996. A masked man with a samurai sword and speaking French entered an Esso gas station at night and forced the cashier to hand over money. The hysterical robber was yelling and screaming and waving the sword around tearing apart the inside of the gas station. He used his sword to knock out the security camera. (source:

"More cans!"
Lakewood, OH. Aug. 2002. A disturbed newlywed man was holed up in an apartment threatening his wife and smashing things …with a samurai sword, until a SWAT team arrived and the man fled. He was later captured and is undergoing psychiatric examination. (source:

Gandhi's Heirs -- not
London. Oct. 2002. Hindu Navratri celebrations in aming the Idian population in London ended on a bloody note following a series of violent confrontations between youth of Indian descent and gangs of Pakistani origin people. A youth was injured when set upon by a youngster described as a Pakistani who reportedly attacked him with a sword. The victim was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. He had suffered deep cuts on his head, neck and hands from the sword attack. The injured man was hacked when he appealed for calm between the Indian and Pakistani youths who were trying to gatecrash the event. He was reportedly cornered and set upon by about 20 youths. Terrified guests called the police, but the gang fled before police arrived. (AP)

"Ok, everybody now, on the count of three…"
Cincinnati, OH. Dec. 1996. When a man is reported to be wielding a a Civil War sword in a neighborhood, police race to the scene. Several cruisers and a sizable contingent of heavily-armed, highly-trained law enforcement personnel surround the man and secure the area. For the better part of an hour, officers are held at bay. They then declare the man a threat to public safety and four officers fire, all hitting their target. The suspect was later admitted to the hospital in serious condition. A police review exonerated the four officers who wounded the man.

"Bud light?… I thought you said sword fight?"
St. Petersburg, FL. Feb. 2002. A 46-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach with a swordfish bill as he was striking another patron repeatedly in the head with a beer bottle during a bar fight. (source: St. Pete Times).

"Go ahead….make my day"
Akron, OH. Mar. 2002. A would-be robber nearly got himself killed by a convenience store owner with a samurai sword, police say. A 42-year-old U.S. Postal Service worker was charged with kidnapping and aggravated robbery after the incident at Portage Service and Beverage store. He entered the store while wielding a broken bottle, grabbed the 6-year-old son of the Korean proprietor, Chang Lee, 39, and threatened to harm the child unless he was given money from the cash register. But Lee reacted swiftly, pulling a long sword he conceals behind the counter and pressing it to the mailman's chest. The man fled without cash or injury. Lee followed him, shouting and swinging his samurai sword. (source: Plain Dealer Reporter)

"Ok, I'll try this one instead…"
Crystal River, FL, Sep. 2000. A man entered Crazy Dave's pawnshop to pick up a purchased handgun, but after a disagreement over the purchase, ended up at the front counter stabbing the owner in the midsection with a three-foot ninja sword. The victim, wounded, retreated to the rear of the sword, retrieved a handgun and shot several times, eventually hitting his attacker in the head. The victim recovered. (St. Petersburg Times, published September 27, 2000).

"Behold, the flannel knight!"
Shelby, NC. Sep. 2002. State police tried to pull over a man driving a tractor because it was missing a headlight and did not have any taillights, the driver refused to stop and after a two-mile chase (reaching speeds up to 25 mph), the suspect ran into a mobile home, then emerged threatening officers with a 21-inch samurai sword. Officers used tear gas to subdue the suspect. (source: Odd News).

Must be all the coffee…
Seattle, WA. Feb. 2002. After a brief vehicle pursuit for speeding and an illegal turn, a suspect driver gets out waves around a sword and runs away from police. During the foot chase through several yards, he's cornered and begins to brandish a sword at officers. After two taser attempts miss from lack of range, the man ignores orders to drop his weapon. When he raises his sword and moves towards them, four officers shoot him. He dies as a result of his wounds. (source: Seattle Press).

Yep, got to be the coffee…
Seattle, WA. Feb. 2002. Following a wild foot chase in the University District, police fatally shoot a homeless man who lunged at them with a wakizashi short sword after a taser blast fails to stop him. (source: Seattle Times).

"Dude, you're getting a sword!"
Pueblo Pintado, NM. March 2002. A 29-year-old man was in stable, but painful, condition at the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque where he was taken after a sword-stabbing fight. The victim answered his door around 9:45 p.m. to find his 19-year old attacker demanding to know why he was driving by his house, according to the Crownpoint Law Enforcement District report. He was armed with a sword and the two men struggled as the victim tried to take the weapon, but got stabbed three times in the effort.

Swords Don't Kill People…People do
North Platte, Nebraska. July 2001. A drunken 43-year-old man was charged with stabbing another man after the pair had an argument over a dog. The two quarreled over who owned the animal and the attacker drew a sword from his vehicle and threatened to strike the dog before assaulting the man. The victim, 33, was stabbed several times in his upper body and was admitted to the hospital. He also suffered cuts on his arms and several bruises from the attack. A police spokesman said the attacker was arrested.

You want fries with that?…
Tucson, Arizona, Feb. 1999. A Univserity of Arizona student was stabbed in the abdomen early Saturday morning with a 36-inch sword after an argument with another customer at a campus-area Jack in the Box. A Jack in the Box employee, 33, was also injured while trying to diffuse the altercation, suffering a stab wound to the abdomen and the hand at 2 a.m. inside the restaurant. The injuries were non-life threatening. According to the witnesses, the suspect was ranting and raving about something unintelligible. People started running and screaming. The suspect was believed to be under the influence of alcohol. At some point, several witnesses and employees were able to get the weapon away from him, said witnesses.

Don't touch that dial…
Oakland, CA. Dec. 1997. A WXOU radio station employee was arrested for assaulting another station employee in the station with a 20-inch sword cane. The victim defended himself by blocking the thrust and suffered multiple puncture wounds to the hand. A third person intervened and shoved the attacker through a glass display case while the victim through a trash can lid at his attacker before fleeing. All total, eight people were involved in the scuffle. (source:

Here's a good tip
Rib Mountain, WI. Aug. 2000. A 21-year old man wearing a hood and brandishing a stainless steel samurai sword burst into the small town Aldi grocery store, knocking over a rack of cookies, scattering them, and then ordering the cashier to hand over her money. He banged his sword on the counter causing the tip to bend. A shopper picked up a can of fruit cocktail and threw it at the robber but missed him. The sword bandit fled with his bent tipped weapon and next forced the keys from a motorist leaving a car. Police quickly apprehended the man who admitted he had acquired his robbery techniques from watching movies. (source: Daily Athenaeum interactive).

"Try the local renn faire"
Albuquerque, NM. Sep. 1999. A 49-year-old former businesswoman and clothing designer, Linda Henning, believer in both extraterrestrial oddities and radical conspiracy theories, claimed she was responsible for fending off queens from other planets by engaging them in swordplay. A witness in her murder trial claimed Henning showed her a 38-inch single ninja sword, hidden in a hole in her garage ceiling and that she asked him "Do you know where I can take classes?" "This is what I have to fight my battles with," Henning told another witnessed as she brandished the sword. The single edged sword had been purchased by Henning's boyfriend hours before his estranged wife, Girly Hossencofft, was presumably killed by Henning. Her body has never been found. Henning claimed she had a secret formula for cell regeneration that FBI agents were seeking, kept on three gold disks that she hidden in a Hershey's Kisses tin. Henning is charged with 20 counts, including first-degree murder and kidnapping. One witnessed testified Henning told her the missing woman had been kidnapped and killed, and her 3-year-old son had been kidnapped, killed and beheaded, the boy's head had being cryogenically frozen and shipped to Malta for study. (Source:

"There can only be one…moron"
Seattle, WA. May 1997. A mentally deranged man in a black leather jacket, black jeans, and sunglasses, strode down a busy downtown Seattle street wielding a newly-purchased Samurai sword. He waved the sword at anyone who approached him. The man, who had "been trained in martial arts", was semi-circled off against the wall of a Greek restaurant by police cars in order to contain him. With just a sword he held off reluctant Seattle police officers for nearly 11 hours. A short time after the incident began, the SWAT team was brought in when the man seemed impervious to repeated attempts by Seattle officers to have him give up his sword. After he tried running at police cars the SWAT team fired at him a series of non-lethal weapons, including: rubber and wooden bullets, beanbag shots, tear gas and styrofoam pellets. None had any effect. When it got colder, he was showered with water and a large fan blew cold air at him to keep him cold and wet. On several occasions, he laid down, or turned to the wall and urinated. But SWAT members resisted rushing him, fearing his sensitivity would be heightened, increasing the likelihood of lethal use of force. After night fell, several bright lights were shined directly on his eyes to obscure his view of officers positioning themselves to subdue him. At 9:45 PM, fire hoses were directed at him at full force, and knocked him down. Police commanders also sprayed tear gas. Finally at 10:00 PM, the SWAT ladder team, along with an officer with a "pike pole", rushed in to force him against the wall. Using the end of the ladder to force him down on to the sidewalk and against the wall, the pike pole was used to maneuver the sword. The would-be swordsman still refused to let the sword go, but an officer successfully pried his fingers from the handle. The "swordsman", a confirmed paranoid schizophrenic, had been institutionalized for ten years prior to the incident but was just released six months earlier. [---if only they had some armor!]


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