The past year provided further confirmation that the capacity for people to commit dastardly, devious, and dimwitted crimes seemingly knows no bounds.
When it comes to strange crimes and capers, easily the most significant story of 2016 was the now-legendary Creepy Clown Panic from this past fall.
What began as a seemingly simple series of clown sightings in South Carolina turned into a national and then international phenomenon as creepy clowns seemingly began appearing everywhere.
The haunting harlequins took hold of the zeitgeist and spawned countless sightings, news stories, and think pieces about what the craze was all about.
Although hysteria over creepy clowns had happened a few times in the past, the events of 2016 were unlike anything seen before and transformed the phenomenon from the stuff of urban legend to a genuine concern.
Another unsettling incident during the year was the case of the ‘Creeper Ghost’ burglar in Chicago who was actually caught on tape during one of his heists in an absolutely haunting piece of footage.
Meanwhile, various police departments around the country had their hands full with mysterious body parts such as severed feet in the Pacific Northwest, fingers in Minnesota, and a human heart in a Ziploc bag in Ohio.
Less gruesome but still mystifying crimes tackled by law enforcement during the year were the case of the Binary Bandits in Philadelphia and a woman inexplicably leaving pizza on patios in St. Louis.
Speaking of just plain strange stories, there was the Indiana man arrested for allegedly mailing dead skunks to his enemies as well as the Michigan man who attempted to pull off the Seinfeld can redemption scheme and wound up in jail.
While vandals were blamed for destroying a beloved rock formation and a zombie Nativity scene, the weirdest act of destruction probably happened when some ne’er-do-wells stole a legendary UFO from a Roswell store and then smashed it.
To prevent future attacks on the saucer, the business in Roswell should consider this booby trap used by a Indiana man to stop people from stealing his Trump signs.
Amidst all of these tales of misbehavior and mayhem, there was also the uplifting story of a group of prison inmates that broke out of their cell … to save a dying guard!
The remarkable act of kindness should serve as evidence that there is still plenty of good in the world even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
And while it’s nearly impossible to predict what might happen with UFOs, Bigfoot, or other paranormal phenomena this year, it’s a certainty that 2017 will feature another incredible array of ‘I can’t believe that is true’ crime.