I don’t think saying “criminals are stupid” is exactly a hot take. Sure, there are exceptions, but they’re usually confined to the bad guys in Hollywood scripts like Oceans 11 and The Italian Job, the ones who plot intricate heists that nobody in the real world could ever actually pull off. I’ve watched enough true crime to know that 99% of criminals eventually screw up; it’s only a matter of time before they end up in the pokey.
Speaking of: does anybody still call jail “the pokey”? Seems very Prohibition-era to me. I bet flappers ended up in the pokey. Today, it’s just half of a hokey dance. Come to think of it, does anybody still do the hokey-pokey? Is that really what it’s all about?
But I digress.
The point is: criminals are dumb. But none so idiotic as the woman on a recent episode of Dateline. Her husband had been stabbed to death by an intruder, according to her account. There were several security cameras on the property, but they had all been removed by the perpetrator. Investigators were stymied, but eventually realized the video footage had been downloaded to her computer’s hard drive. When they took a look at that, here’s what they found:
There’s our poor bereaved widow, disposing of a bloody kitchen knife in the trash. Moments before, she’d tossed a security camera in there, not realizing it was still recording.
I’m no Einstein, but I’m pretty sure I’d have at least turned the damn camera off before getting rid of the evidence. Besides, everybody knows murder weapons belong in bodies of water, not Hefty bags. That’s Criminology 101.
Talk about getting caught red-handed. When detectives arrested her, she had no choice but to confess to killing her hubby.
If I didn’t believe in Karma before, that pretty much sealed the deal.
With a cold weekend on tap, Tara and I didn’t have a whole lot planned. We decided to take a drive to Delavan, a small town about 30 minutes southeast of Fort Atkinson. Tara had passed through once before and been totally charmed, so we decided it would be a great way to kill a few hours.
The drive there was lovely, past snow-covered fields dotted with barns. Typical Wisconsin.
We hadn’t had anything to eat yet and it was already after noon, so our first stop in Delavan was the Waterfront Pub & Grill. Tara ordered a cider, I got a Bloody Mary, and we shared a plate of cheese curds just as it began to snow fast and furiously. It was one of those days where it was snowing one minute, sunny the next. And never warmer than 24º.
After another round and a leisurely lunch, we drove into downtown Delavan. Here’s a fun little fact about the town: Delavan was once known as “the 19th-Century Circus Capital of the World.” Edmund and Jeremiah Mabie, circus proprietors from New York, fell in love with Delavan during a Midwest tour and, after deciding it was the perfect place for their animals to thrive during the winter months, relocated there.
Hold up. The wind chill yesterday was ZERO. How is that a great place to overwinter? I froze my bazongas off just dashing from the car to the pub. Though, I suppose elephants do have thicker skin. In any case, the Mabie Brothers Circus drew others, and by 1858, no fewer than five major circuses were based in town.
That explains all the circus animals and clowns in downtown Delavan. It felt like walking through a box of animal crackers (which should really be called animal cookies, don’tcha think?).
The town also features a cobblestone brick street and plenty of cool shops. We got lost in a three-story antique store for the better part of an hour at one point. There were plenty of interesting items for sale, but Tara and I were more in awe of the ceilings in this place. The building was very old and in need of a lot of work, but the original architecture was stunning.
On the way home, I had Tara drop me off in downtown Fort Atkinson so I could enjoy a nice walk home. I forgot about those pesky winds and wasn’t appropriately dressed for the bitter cold, but it sure was pretty, walking along the riverfront and then through the cozy neighborhoods.
This little taste of winter has been great! Just enough snow to make it picturesque, but not so much that it impedes travel. It was 10º this morning, but will be warming up into the 40s this week, so the snow will be gone in a couple of days.
For a little while, anyway.