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The Odd Truth, April 30, 2004

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The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Brian Bernbaum.

Barrel-Chested Bride

SEATTLE - Larry Star didn't find wedded bliss with his bride, but he did find fame and a modest fortune by donning his ex's gown.

The tattooed, barrel-chested Star hoped to woo buyers by slipping into the sleeveless white frock in a series of photos for the online auction site, eBay. He was just hoping to scrape together enough cash for some beer and baseball tickets.

He now has enough for champagne and club seats, after the winning bid of $3,850 was announced Wednesday.

The 42-year-old "computer geek by day, guitar player by night," has garnered national attention for his ad for the dress he describes as "a $1,200 shower curtain," and says he's received five marriage proposals.

Not that he plans on getting remarried any time soon.

"For my next wedding, I will be wearing a hairy, flesh-toned ensemble, because I will be buck naked with a toe tag lying on a slab in the morgue, because I would have killed myself," the New York City native writes on the site.

He says he spent five miserable years married to a woman with "Texas cheerleader hair" whose "drunken sot of an ex-father-in-law" never paid him back for the dress.

Naked Man Hijacks School Bus

DORAVILLE, Ga. - A naked man hijacked a school bus to flee from police after he crashed his vehicle into the bus, police said.

The man, who had not been identified by police as of Thursday, stole the bus as officers arrived at the accident scene, police said. He made a U-turn and led officers on a slow-speed chase into oncoming traffic, said police Capt. C.D. Atkinson.

Two truck drivers - driving a concrete pumper truck and a tractor trailer - eventually blocked the bus' path, according to a police report.

"They cornered him, pinned him up against the retaining wall," Atkinson said.

The driver was naked when police arrested him. He had suffered a few scrapes and was taken to a hospital for treatment and a mental evaluation.

Atkinson said charges are pending. Police Chief John King said the man spat at emergency medical technicians, which could warrant charges if he has any communicable diseases.

The bus driver had not yet picked up the children to take them to private Atlanta International School.

Suitcase Stowaway

HONG KONG - A Hong Kong man was arrested after allegedly hiding his 12-year-old son in a suitcase stowed on a bus - hoping the child could climb out in the luggage compartment to steal from other bags, a newspaper said Friday.

The Wen Wei Po newspaper reported that the man was caught Tuesday at a checkpoint in the Chinese border city of Shenzhen after police noticed he was acting strangely.

Mainland authorities opened the suitcase and found the boy along with a flashlight, a screwdriver and a mobile phone. News reports did not identify the man or say what authorities did with the boy.

Woman Drives Dead Mother Cross Country

PALM COAST, Fla. - Authorities in two states are trying to determine why a woman may have driven with her mother's decaying body as a passenger from their Oklahoma home to Florida -- by way of North Carolina and Texas -- and then left the body in the car in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Flagler County sheriff's deputies found Melba Doshier's body Tuesday in the car parked at a Wal-Mart in Palm Coast after shoppers reported a bad smell coming from the vehicle.

The St. Johns County medical examiner on Wednesday said she died of natural causes at least five days before she was found.

Doshier's daughter Alicia, who officials said is in her mid-30s, has been questioned and hospitalized for psychiatric observation.

She was found in the store Tuesday, 13 hours after security cameras spotted her parking the car and entering the store at about midnight Monday.

Detectives say the mother and daughter lived in Covington, Okla., about 75 miles north of Oklahoma City. They were evicted from their home and left Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago in a car registered in the name of Alicia and Melba Doshier, the sheriff's office said.

Amy Grantz, a Covington resident, said Alicia's father was a high school science teacher. She said after the father died, Alicia and Melba liked to travel across the country.

"They've lived here forever," Grantz said. "You don't see them out and about a lot."

Receipts in the car indicated the daughter drove through Texas and North Carolina before reaching Florida, O'Brien said. The woman said she talked to the body during the trip, he said.

Inconsiderate Cell Phone Bank Robber

DACULA, Ga. - The FBI is looking for a chatty bank robber who talked on his cell phone throughout a bank robbery.

One of the surveillance cameras in the bank recorded the Monday robbery, and federal investigators have a good description of the man, FBI spokesman Steve Lazarus said.

"Right now, we are not too concerned about who he was talking to," Lazarus said. "After he is caught we definitely would subpoena his cell phone records to find out who he was talking to."

The man entered a Regions Bank about 10:30 a.m. Monday, approached a teller, brandished a handgun and demanded money. The suspect then demanded money from a second teller.

Witnesses saw the man walk into a wooded area and into a nearby subdivision.

The man is described as a 5-foot-8 white man, 30 to 35. He has dark hair and a medium build. On the day of the robbery, he was wearing a gray sweat suit, white baseball cap, dark sunglasses and he appeared to be engaged in a cell phone conversation.

Oral Sex Defense

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - A woman charged with manslaughter in the 1999 highway death of her boyfriend was acquitted Thursday. Her attorney had argued that she couldn't have been behind the wheel because she had been performing a sex act on the driver at the time.

The jury deliberated about 50 minutes before finding Heather Specyalski, 33, not guilty. She had been charged with driving Neil Esposito's Mercedes-Benz convertible when it veered off the road and hit several trees, killing him.

The defense said Esposito, a Connecticut businessman, had been driving, and that Specyalski was performing oral sex on him at the time. Paramedics testified his pants were down at the crash scene.

"It's finally over," Specyalski told the Hartford Courant. "There is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have my whole life in front of me and I just want to get back to being a mom."

Specyalski would have faced up to 25 years if convicted on charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle and misconduct with a motor vehicle.

State police initially concluded Esposito, 44, was driving at up to 120 mph when his leased Mercedes went out of control Oct. 30, 1999, and crashed. They closed the case.

Taking The Buzz Out Of School Lunch

SHARYLAND, Texas - Sharyland school officials have taken the buzz out of sharing home-baked snacks with classmates.

Students in the Sharyland Independent School District can't share their sack lunches or any other food from home with others without school permission after a student was arrested for giving marijuana-laced brownies to friends.

"We do not permit a parent (or anyone else) to bring in food for students other than their own children without getting permission from the building administration," district Superintendent Sandra Reed said in a letter to parents Wednesday.

The letter did not specifically mention the brownies but talked of safety, fairness and consistency as well as the state's guidelines for Foods of Minimum Nutritional Value.

Mission police charged the 17-year-old student with felony delivery of marijuana following the incident last week. He allegedly shared the brownies with five students, one of whom got sick and was treated by the school nurse.

Some students said they were upset about the ban, as they like to bring treats for their friends as the school year ends.