Top ten Strange But True stories of the decade in Colorado
Moby dicked: It was bad news for the nose at Burlington High School on November 6, when a fishy smell wafted through the vents. A janitor investigated and discovered that vandals had stuffed parts of a decomposing sixteen-ton whale under some ceiling tiles, then dumped the remaining Free Willy fragments in the garbage. (The whale had been on display in a trailer outside of town.) School officials allowed students to go home if they couldn't stomach the odiferous orca, and by that afternoon, only about forty of the 240 students remained. Not surprisingly, Burlington has since seen no upsurge in marine-biology majors.
In January, a thirteen-year-old boy was arrested in connection with a string of break-ins that caused $250,000 in damage to businesses in southeast Denver. At the American Oil & Gas Building on Hampden Avenue, according to police, the young vandal had spilled cognac, smeared blood and left a scrawled message that read, "She's cute and sexy as hell. I want her tomorrow by 8 p.m. or everybody will die." The cute, sexy girl was not identified. Two weeks earlier, a prowler had broken into the same building and spent 22 minutes surfing porn sites on a company computer.
Jesus Wept: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs demands that a large stained-glass window that adorns the walls of the Church nightclub -- which is housed in an old church building on Lincoln Street -- be covered for Diamonds and Furs, the rap star's VIP party during the NBA All-Star Weekend in February. The window depicts Jesus Christ with his disciples. As for Diddy's flock, they're largely ignored: Combs spends about an hour in the club's balcony, occasionally waving to fans below, before splitting.