Darwin Awards III
"Survival of the Fittest"

by Wendy Northcutt

C h a p t e r  
1  S t o r i e s

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 political views.

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

Picking the Winners
Convince the Jury

Faulty Aim Fatal
Chainsaw Insurance
Truck Stop
Antlers Ahoy!
Skeleton Key
A Rocky Roll
Booby Traps Trap Boob
Caveat Emptor

Jet Ski Spree
Risky Reenactment
Return to Trees Fails
Flamingo Gunfight
Tired Ammo
Short Arm of the Law
Familiar Knickers
I Shot the Sheriff
Parole Calling Card
West Virginia Alibi
Copper Clod

Darwin Awards - Honorable Mentions - Personal Accounts

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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.

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