This was a vintage news week -- all the good stuff was midcentury modern, and time travelers browsing the headlines must have been terribly confused.
In just one day last week, there were stories involving Lee Harvey Oswald, Natalie Wood and Jimmy Hoffa, proving the age-old axiom, "Everything old has a new conspiracy theory about it again."
Sure, there were brief interruptions with current conundrums -- bizarre-o stuff about Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame player who allegedly had an allegedly dead alleged girlfriend, which is assuredly weird and makes Clint Eastwood's empty-chair stunt at the Republican convention last fall seem, well, sane. And of course there's the Lance Armstrong thing, but that's more of a "How could he do this to us?" kind of mystery.
Still, nothing beats the classic riddles wrapped in secrets inside enigmas and often turned into major motion pictures about the Oswald/Wood/Hoffa stuff. I'm calling it The Oswooffa Triangle. OK, maybe they're not related other than being in 2013 news -- or are they? -- but at least they're way more fun to read about than a celebrity-for-no-reason sporting a "baby bump." (Amazingly, anything mentioning the aforementioned unmentionable person manages to garner the most hits on our newspaper's website. Stop it, people! Stop encouraging her, or she will never go away, like when you keep picking at an annoying scab.)
The city finally demolished the dilapidated, 10-unit, two story apartment complex on Elsbeth Street after a long dispute with the property owner. A cluster of history buffs looked on in dismay, especially ones who had included the site as part of their JFK tours. Some collected bricks as souvenirs or perhaps as potential eBay merchandise.
"People sell this crap for money. I'm doing it out of a weird kitschy interest," Tom Sclar, one of the tour givers, told the AP. Another man, Jose Sorola, had purchased one of the apartment windows before the demolition for $125 in order to eventually build a "traveling wall" around it for historic display.
Oswald "is a part of Dallas history," Sorola was quoted as saying. "Maybe for the wrong reason, but he's still a part of history."
True. And now his window is a part of, um, weird kitschy interest?
Three decades after her mysterious death, there's a newly released coroner's report on Hollywood star Natalie Wood. As the original story goes, she and her husband, actor Robert Wagner, were partying on their yacht with friend Christopher Walken during Thanksgiving weekend 1981. They were out near Catalina Island when the 43-year-old Wood -- who was terrified of the sea -- somehow ended up in the water and drowned.
The latest report in this still-open investigation says some of the bruises found on her body may have occurred before she drowned. But, well, it's all inconclusive. And even more mysterious, the latest article says: "Officials attempted to test some items taken during the investigation into Wood's death ..., but they could not be located." What? Evidence "could not be located?" Mmm, conspiralicious!
Yet another guy has come forward who says he knows where the former Teamsters president is buried. Didn't that just happen in September? And also in 2006 when authorities dug up a horse farm? And in 2004 when they searched a home? And in 2003 when they checked a backyard pool? No wonder most of Detroit is vacant these days. The cops keep digging it up.
Anyway, Jimmy Hoffa is now supposedly in a field in the suburbs, says Tony Zerilli, a one-time Mafia captain, now 85, who was in prison when Hoffa disappeared in 1975, but who says he was in the loop on the final resting place. Of course the fact that Zerilli is reportedly promoting an upcoming book titled "Hoffa Found" has absolutely nothing to do with all this.
Fun fact: Jimmy Hoffa's middle name is "Riddle." Apropos, no?
Indeed, these are all no doubt conspiracies wrapped in intrigue and rolled in mystery and stuffed inside some guy's crawlspace. It's a turducken of conspiracies! And even half a century later, we still can't get enough.
Contact Angela Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @giveemhill.