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The Odd Truth, May 4, 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.

Splish Splash

HENDERSON, Texas - A Texas man is accused of turning a nice bubble bath into anything but.

He's charged with attempted murder after he allegedly tried to electrocute his wife. William Wolfe's wife told police in Henderson that he prepared a bubble bath for her, complete with candles and music.

According the arrest affidavit, her husband tossed a radio at the suds after she settled into the bathtub, but she caught it before it hit the water.

The affidavit says she later discovered that her husband had checked Web sites dealing with bathtub electrocution. It also says Wolfe bought a life insurance policy on his wife five months ago.

2 Killed In Bee Attack

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Firefighters recovered the bodies of two men on Monday who had been killed in a rare bee attack.

They were among a group of nine people who were hiking Sunday in the Serra Do Caraca state park about 400 miles west of Rio de Janeiro when they were attacked by a swarm of bees, said Sgt. Wellington Horta of the Minas Gerais fire department.

Initially, firefighters believed the men were lost in the woods, but on Monday they found the bodies of the two, 26 and 31 years old, at the bottom of a waterfall.

"Their bodies were full of bee stings which suggests they died from the bee attack and didn't drown, but we'll only know after an autopsy can be conducted," said Horta, by telephone from Belo Horizonte, the state capital.

The bees also attacked rescue workers, slowing down the recovery of the bodies. Beekeepers eventually had to be called in to complete the operation.

According to Horta, the area is known to have a lot of bees but such attacks are rare. Firefighters do not know what set off the attack.

Military Warns Against 'THC' Lotion

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - The military is warning against using lotions sold by some tanning salons because they contain tiny amounts of THC - marijuana's main active chemical.

Although there's a statistically small chance of testing positive for THC from a lotion, it's "simply not worth the risk," according to the April 23 Mach Meter, Cannon Air Force Base's newspaper.

Cannon officials say lotions could be applied over a cut or scrape, allowing a chance of absorption under certain circumstances, the article said.

The article said a hemp-based lotion also could attract the attention of the base's drug-sniffing dogs, which in turn could attract attention from supervisors and base prosecutors.

"While the lotion was not used with intent to break any laws and is not illegal, the fact that a military working dog alerts on your car or your person creates a perception that nobody wants," the article warns.

Coaches Present 'Crybaby Award'

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. - The coaches of a middle school basketball team who humiliated one of their players by giving him a "crybaby award" will likely face disciplinary action from district officials.

The 13-year-old boy's coach called him just before last month's team banquet and told him to make sure he attended because he was getting a special trophy, the boy's father said.

At the event, the boy watched as all of his Pleasantville Middle School teammates received trophies or certificates.

He was then called up to receive his award, and a coach told the crowd that the boy was being honored because "he begged to get in the game, and all he did was whine."

The trophy had a silver figure of a baby atop a pedestal engraved with the boy's name, which was spelled incorrectly. Family members said the teen - an honor roll student - was so embarrassed that he stayed home from school on the following Monday.

Edwin Coyle, superintendent of the Atlantic County district, said he would recommend that the unidentified coaches receive some type of punishment. He planned to address the matter at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

"I was very upset and dismayed that our coaches would take an opportunity to belittle or lessen the self-esteem of our athletes," Coyle said.

Mythical Lake Monster Makes Endangered Species List

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Government officials in Sweden want to know why a mythical monster is on the nation's endangered species list. Legend has it that a giant serpent, similar to the Loch Ness Monster, lives in Sweden's fifth largest lake. The creature was placed on the endangered list by a provincial environment court. The listing came to light when a businessman applied for a permit to collect and hatch monster eggs. Parliamentary officials say the application was probably a joke, but was turned down because the lake monster has been a protected species since 1986. The investigation will determine just how the monster was placed on the endangered species list and whether it belongs there.

'Passion' Confessor Pleads Innocent After All

RICHMOND, Texas - A man who police said made his girlfriend's slaying appear to be a suicide, but then confessed after seeing "The Passion of the Christ," pleaded innocent to murder Monday.

Dan Leach II entered the plea to avoid waiving his rights, his lawyer, Ralph Gonzalez, said.

The plea surprised the family of 19-year-old Ashley Nicole Wilson, who was found dead Jan. 15 in her apartment near Richmond, southwest of Houston.

"He has admitted his guilt," said the woman's father, Dan Wilson. "That's what's upsetting to us as a family."

Police said Leach came to them in early March and confessed to killing Wilson and making it look like a suicide. Coroners originally ruled Wilson's hanging a suicide.

Authorities said Leach told them he was inspired to come forward after watching Mel Gibson's cinematic depiction of the last hours of Jesus.

Leach faces up to life in prison if convicted. A trial is set for August.

Murder Most Fowl

MURPHY, Ore. - Looks like Speckles, Oregon's most famous chicken, was the victim of some fowl play.

Speckles, the longtime mascot of a Southern Oregon supermarket, first made headlines in March, when a local man allegedly tried to kidnap the chicken, saying he thought the animal was being mistreated.

Nicholas Gombos has since been charged with third-degree theft and interfering with police.

As for Speckles, the chicken was found dead on the sidewalk in front of Ray's Food Place in Murphy over the weekend. A $500 reward has been offered for any information leading to the capture of the chicken's assailant.

"We believe, because everything was publicized, that a malicious person probably just came down here and killed her in the middle of the night" by wringing the bird's neck, said Nate McCully, manager of the supermarket. "The community is real upset about it."

Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said he will send a deputy to investigate the chicken's death.

Sheriff's Deputy Robbed Picking Up Prostitute

MILWAUKEE - A sheriff's deputy was suspended after allegedly soliciting a prostitute while off duty and being robbed and shoved into the trunk of his own his car.

The 32-year-old man, assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, was allegedly soliciting a prostitute at about 3 a.m. Sunday when several people robbed him and locked him in his car's trunk, according to a sheriff's department news release.

An anonymous caller contacted police telling them where they could find the deputy, the release said. He was discovered about 6 a.m. Sunday.

The deputy, who had been with the department since 2001, was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and obstructing an officer. He was suspended with pay.

"I am disgusted that this officer would betray his family, the public trust, our organization and himself," Sheriff David Clarke Jr. said in a statement.

Police were investigating. The sheriff's department is also conducting an internal investigation.

Police were still looking Monday for the robbery suspects.