Law Enforcement: Crime Does Pay
( Excerpts from Chapter 1 )
In this chapter, lawbreakers and law enforcers bump elbows in an informal competition to see who is best suited to lose the fight between good and evil. Inept bunglers from both sides of the law, from con artists to beat cops, from judges to crooks, astonish us with their casual disregard for the "natural laws" of physics.
Darwin Award: Convince the Jury
Confirmed by Darwin
Proof that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer...
16 June 1871 | Clement Vallandigham was a well-known Northern Democrat who campaigned for
states' rights during the Civil War. In 1863 Vallandigham was convicted
of treason for his speeches attacking the administration of President
Lincoln. He was banished to the South, where he continued to voice his
After the war, Vallandingham became a lawyer. In his last appearance in the
courtroom, he represented a client on trial for murder. The accused man's
defense was that the victim had drawn his own gun in a fashion that caused
it to fire, killing himself. To prove the defense argument, Vallandigham
demonstrated the victim's method of drawing a gun--using the loaded
evidence gun as his prop. The firearm went off, and he lost his life--but
proved his case.
Reference: Limits of Dissent (1970), HarpWeek LLC
Darwin Award: Truck Stop
Confirmed by Darwin
31 March 2002, Bangladesh | Six highway robbers who had apparently watched too many gangster movies,
were caught in their own trap when they blocked a bypass with their car at
midnight, in a ploy to garner victims. The driver of an oncoming truck
carrying a cargo of cows was unable to halt his heavy vehicle in time. The
truck rolled right through the blockade, crushing the car and its scheming
occupants. Five dacoits died, and the sixth was critically wounded. A cow
was also killed in the accident.
Reference: The Bangladesh Independent
C h a p t e r 1 S t o r i e s
Darwin Awards - Honorable Mentions - Personal Accounts
Picking the Winners
Convince the Jury
Faulty Aim Fatal
A Rocky Roll
Booby Traps Trap Boob
Jet Ski Spree
Return to Trees Fails
Short Arm of the Law
I Shot the Sheriff
Parole Calling Card
West Virginia Alibi
Chapter Links: Vote on Slush Pile Submissions!
Author Bio Wendy Northcutt holds a degree in molecular biology
from UC Berkeley.
She began writing Darwin Awards
in 1993, and founded the website soon thereafter.