The best of the tabloids in 2008

A threat from Talking Elmo, and more

A threat from Talking Elmo

A Florida family said their toddler’s Talking Elmo doll had an abrupt personality change and started threatening to kill him. Melissa Bowman says the cuddly Sesame Street character used to sing songs and talk about colors, to the delight of her 2-year-old son, James. After its batteries died and were changed, however, the doll would only say “Kill James,” in a sinister cadence. “It’s not something that you would think would ever come out of a toy,” his mom said.

Missing woman found mummified in front of TV

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A Croatian woman who went missing 42 years ago has been found dead, sitting in front of the television in her own apartment. Neighbors of Hedviga Golik reported her missing in 1966, but police only recently broke down the door of her apartment and found her mummified corpse in an armchair before a vintage black-and-white television set. “So far we have no idea how it is possible that someone officially reported missing so long ago was not found before,” said a police spokesman.

Boyfriend sleeps while baby is conceived

A Canadian man insists that he should not pay child support on the grounds that he was asleep when he and his ex-girlfriend conceived a baby. The unnamed man told a court that he was visiting the woman in 2006 when he awoke in the middle of the night to find her having sex with him. He said he demanded that she “cease and desist,” but nine months later she gave birth, allegedly causing the father serious “mental distress.”

Naked man rescued from portapotty

Pennsylvania firefighters in biohazard suits had to use soap and a saw to remove a naked man stuck in a portapotty. Shannon Hunter, 31, was “wedged in tight,” said Deputy Fire Commissioner Chris Miller, “so we systematically had to cut pieces of the toilet away.” Asked to explain his predicament, Hunter would say only that he’d “needed to use the bathroom” after having seven beers at a nearby bar. “When I asked him why he was naked,” said Miller, “he just shrugged his shoulders.”

Prisoner mails himself out of jail

Police in Germany were hunting an escaped prisoner who mailed himself out of jail. Hans Lang, 42, serving time for drug offenses, appears to have hidden himself inside a large Federal Express package of dirty sheets that was picked up for delivery. Once clear of the prison grounds, Lang exited the box, picked the lock on the door of the delivery truck, and disappeared into some woods near Düsseldorf.

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