Some poor folks sorting through trash at a Connecticut waste transfer station came across a pair of skulls belonging to an old man and woman on Friday, just in time for Halloween. The heads were found amid books and videos on witchcraft and satanism belonging to a recently deceased man, who was apparently really into the occult. Now cops just have to figure out whether the skulls were procured legally (apparently this is a thing) or if they were acquired via grave-robbing (or worse, Jeffrey Dahmer–ing).
At least one pilot is dead and another seriously injured after Virgin’s commercial spaceship experienced an “in-flight anomaly” on Friday afternoon over Mojave, California. SpaceShipTwo took off attached to its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, and was released at 50,000 feet, where it’s supposed to accelerate, eventually hitting Mach 3.5.
The long-delayed project, courtesy of eccentric billionaire Richard Branson, is supposed to take six passengers and two pilots into space as soon as 2015, but had not been flight-tested in nine months before today.
Philip Banks III, the NYPD chief of department who was set to become first deputy commissioner on Monday, has instead stepped down, according to reports. "He came in and indicated that after careful consideration and discussion with his family he was going to respectfully not accept the promotion and instead submit his resignation," said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton at a press conference this morning. "He was gonna be my right hand man."
"He indicated that it was a personal decision as much as professional," said Bratton of Banks, the highest-ranking black officer at the department, but speculation about the reasons is already rampant.
Even after granting a temporary court order on Thursday that required she stay three feet away from everyone, a Maine judge ruled Friday afternoon that rebel nurse Kaci Hickox cannot be forced into quarantine by the state, because science. Judge Charles LaVerdiere said that because Kaci Hickox is not showing any symptoms of Ebola — she's already tested negative at least twice — she's not infectious and therefore poses no threat to the panicked public.
A suit filed on behalf of two young boys, ages 11 and 13, whose father disappeared in March aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is believed to be the first of its kind. More will surely follow: The still-missing plane vanished with 239 people onboard.
Amar’e Stoudemire, professional fashionista and occasional power forward for the New York Knickerbockers, knows how to live well. So when the NBA’s highest-paid sixth man took to Instagram to share a photo of himself submerged in a tub full of red wine — and told reporters that the wine baths helped improve his circulation — I was curious. Could wine baths help me? Might they stop the crippling charley-horse cramps that plague me at inopportune times? (Like during sex, for example?)
A new study out of Australia takes on misleading headlines and confirms the thing that every online editor knows but hates to acknowledge: Most people either don’t really read past the headline, or, at least, they don’t retain much information from the story besides the headline. The study will be published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
Fugitive survivalist and accused cop killer Eric Frein was finally captured last night in the Pocono Mountains after 48 days evading law enforcement in the woods and, ultimately, an abandoned airplane hangar. Friday morning, he appeared at a local courthouse in Milford, where he was welcomed by locals: "You're lucky we didn't get you during hunting season," one woman reportedly yelled amid the boos.
Good news for Ukraine and its Western neighbors this morning: The European Union has worked some magic to secure a gas deal with Russian giant Gazprom, despite the ongoing tensions between Moscow and Kiev over contested Donbass territories.
"There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter," said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, because it is 2014.