Saturday, January 08, 2005

and for my next trick...

Jeffrey Allen Manchester's lateral thinking skills should have made him a screenwriter, or perhaps (in these days of truth being way stranger than fiction) a politician. Unfortunately he's not going to get too many more opportunities to exercise those skills, given that he's going to be in prison for the rest of his life. It's too bad he wasn't so resourceful before he got into trouble.

Last June, while serving a 45 year sentence for robbery, Manchester escaped from his correctional institution by clinging to the bottom of a truck. He's spent the months since then living in a vacant storefront. He survived by making periodic forays into neighboring stores, including the We B Toys next door, whose water supply he tapped into. And ever cautious, he installed a smoke detector in his living space... wouldn't want to expose himself to the risk of fire while he's busy hiding from The Man.

He'd probably still be on the lam, but it seems his diet of stolen baby food was hell on his teeth, so he went to the dentist to get some dental work done. Dental records being a useful tool for law enforcement, he did the obvious thing and burned the dentist's office to the ground. Then to celebrate he crawled through the secret passageway from his abandoned storefront to the toy store next door and held the place up, apparently having grown tired of playing basketball with the mini-hoop he'd previously stolen from the same store.

This guy's escapades read like the plot line of a Scooby Doo cartoon... they don't say exactly how he was caught, but I strongly suspect that while the bust was being made the Mystery Machine was parked outside. Sources say that a stoner with a dog was spotted getting nachos at a nearby 7-11. Jinkies.