Comics net US$3.5 million
The bulk of a man’s childhood comic book collection, which included many of the most prized issues ever published, has sold for about US$3.5 million. Lon Allen, managing director of comics for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, says Billy Wright’s 1939 copy of Detective Comics No. 27 that features the debut of Batman got the top bid at the New York City auction on Wednesday. It sold for about US$523,000, including a buyer’s premium. Action Comics No. 1, a 1938 issue featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for about US$299,000. And Batman No. 1 from 1940 sold for about US$275,000. Wright died in 1994. Relatives found the 345 well-preserved comics he bought as a child while cleaning out his wife’s Virginia home following her death in February last year.
Gang ‘dissolved bodies’
A prosecutor has told a San Diego, California, jury that two alleged members of a Mexican drug gang dissolved their victims’ corpses in vats of acid. Mark Amador told jurors in his opening statement on Wednesday that the defendants belonged to a Mexican gang that broke away from a Tijuana cartel and brought its brutal methods of murder and kidnapping to the San Diego area around 2002. Jose Olivera Beritan and David Valencia are charged with murder in the deaths of two men whose corpses were dissolved in 208-liter barrels of propane-heated liquid inside a San Diego home.
Terrorist faces new charges
A man convicted in a homegrown terrorism plot faces new charges of trying to hire a hit man to behead three witnesses who testified against him. Hysen Sherifi of North Carolina was indicted on nine counts on Tuesday, accused of plotting with his younger brother and a female friend to pay a hit man to carry out the killings. Court records say an FBI informant accepted US$5,000 in payment and provided faked photos appearing to show a beheaded corpse as confirmation of the killing.
Train ‘drags drunk to death’
Authorities in New York are investigating the death of a passenger apparently dragged by a train after being kicked off for drunkenness. Police told local media that 44-year-old Troy Patrick Zabawczuk got off the Chicago-bound train for unknown reasons after it arrived at the Rochester station late on Tuesday. They say the conductor refused to let him back on because he had disturbed other passengers. Police say Zabawczuk was apparently intoxicated. They believe he tried to jump back on as the train left the station and was dragged a short distance.
The cousin of a Saudi Arabian teenager indicted on charges of interfering with a flight crew says his relative suffers from schizophrenia, was flying home to see his sick mother and had not taken his medication for three weeks. Authorities allege 19-year-old Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan swung his fist at a flight attendant, tried to hit passengers and mentioned Osama bin Laden during a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Houston. Fahad Alsubaie told the Medford Mail Tribune he was the person escorted off the plane with Abunayyan. The 21-year-old cousin says the disruption began when a flight attendant confronted the two for sitting together, because Alsubaie was in the wrong seat. The cousin says he was trying to sit with Abunayyan “just to make sure he was safe.”