The sanctity of the complimentary breakfast buffet, a privilege only afforded to hotel guests, is being threatened by a thief on the loose in Dalton, Georgia. The so-called "breakfast bandit" has been spotted helping himself to the spreads at multiple local hotels, Thrillist reports—and police fear he's still hungry.
According to a statement from the Dalton Police Department, their primary suspect is "a Caucasian male with a thick dark beard and wearing a ball cap." After waltzing into a Holiday Inn Express without checking in the morning of August 25, the man began his freeloading spree with a stop at the breakfast bar. It's unclear whether he indulged in waffles, breakfast sausages, instant scrambled eggs, or some combination of the above, but a police spokesperson told Thrillist that whatever he ate, "he definitely ate a lot of it."
The culprit was in no rush to flee the scene of the crime following his meal. Instead, he explored the rest of the hotel illegally, and when a staff member confronted him about meandering through the halls, he reportedly said, "I am just checking to see how easy it is to get into hotels and get free stuff."
He struck again the next day at the Quality Inn next door. This time, he snuck into a hotel room while it was being cleaned and stuck around for over an hour. He returned the following day looking to pick up an item he had left in the room, but when the hotel staff told him they were contacting the police, he quickly vacated the site. In addition to leaving the hotels with a full stomach, he also made off with towels and silverware from the buffets. Police suspect that he was also involved in other recent budget hotel thefts in the area.
The police have posted a surveillance image of the suspect captured at one of the hotels and are asking citizens to get in touch with any information they have. In the meantime, anyone passing through the Dalton area should keep an extra close eye on their hotel pancakes.
You go about your day trying to be a good citizen, but you have no idea how many laws you're probably breaking. Maybe you're throwing snowballs, yelling at an umpire, or using high-tech equipment to make sure your shoes fit right. You know, everyday stuff.
Just to be safe, check out this list of 46 weird laws so you know what not to do.
1. Vermont banned banning clotheslines.
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You read that right. In 2009, Vermont made it illegal for groups like neighborhood associations to ban clotheslines.
2. You can't throw rocks at trains in Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin has a law that you cannot "propel any stone, brick, or other missile at any railroad train." I think this means that you can technically drop a brick onto a railroad train, but no one's ever tested it.
Blasphemy laws used to be very common in the United States, but there are still some in existence, including in Michigan, where cursing God is a G**-d*** misdemeanor.
5. Dogs can't hunt big game mammals in California.
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Allowing dogs to pursue big game [PDF] mammals, such as bears or bobcats, is illegal in California. We were surprised to learn that this was an issue, because our office dog runs away from squirrels - although to be fair, they are larger than her.
6. Don't bite while boxing in Utah.
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Bad news for Damon Salvatore and Mike Tyson, boxing in Utah cannot feature any biting.
7. Swearing at sports events is illegal in Massachusetts.
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If you're over 16, it's against to law to swear at players or officials during sporting events in Massachusetts, so I guess at the end of every Red Sox game, 37,000 people are taken into custody.
8. You can't use a false name at a hotel in New Hampshire.
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In New Hampshire, it is illegal to check into a hotel using a false name.
9. Pretending to be a religious figure is illegal in Alabama.
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And speaking of false identities, at public places in Alabama, you cannot pretend to be a minister, nun, priest, or rabbi if you aren't one, thereby making productions of The Sound of Music technically illegal. Unless the nuns are played by nuns, that is.
10. You couldn't throw snowballs in Severance, Colorado until 2019.
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This one isn't technically still on the books, but it juuuuuuuuust got changed. Thanks to a precocious 9-year-old boy, it's finally legal to throw snow balls in a Colorado town known for its snow.
11. You have to believe in something in order to hold public office in Texas.
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In Texas, officials aren't allowed to be, "excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being." So, if someone doesn't believe in a Supreme Being...exclude away?
12. Bingo games can't last more than five hours in North Carolina.
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That's great news if, like me, you find Bingo boring after four minutes.
13. You can't sniff glue with the intent to get high from it in Indiana.
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In Indiana, you're not allowed to sniff toxic vapors of any kind (including glue) with, "intent to cause a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulling of the senses." So if you're doing it for other reasons, that's fine.
14. Adultery is still a crime in New York.
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Spitzer. Giuliani. Weiner. Paterson. FDR. They all did something punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
15. Biting someone's arm off is illegal in Rhode Island.
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Rhode Island has a law against biting off the limbs of another person. It's a shame you have to legislate things like that, but I, you know, guess it will be good for when the zombies come...
16. Teachers can't talk to students about hand-holding in Tennessee.
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The Gateway Sexual Behavior Law in Tennessee prevents teachers from discussing anything that might be considered a "gateway" to sex. That includes kissing and hand-holding.
17. You can't sell your eyes in Texas.
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When they sang, "The eyes of Texas are upon you," they meant that the state already has a pair and doesn't need to buy yours. It's not just eyes, either. It's illegal to sell any of your bodily organs.
18. Dance halls can't be close to cemeteries in South Carolina.
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In South Carolina, dance halls are not allowed to be within a quarter-mile of a rural church or cemetery.
19. They also can't be open on Sundays.
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South Carolina also requires their dance halls to be closed on Sundays. It's almost like they don't like dancing.
20. Florida passed a law in 1974 allowing the state to ban alcohol sales during hurricanes.
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As a matter of public safety, the state wanted to curb people's ability to throw "hurricane parties," which are apparently a thing in Florida.
21. Utah doesn't have happy hour.
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It's illegal to discount booze or do anything that might promote overindulgence, so Happy Hour is right out.
22. You can't use X-rays for shoe fittings in Washington.
33. People with sexually transmitted diseases can't get married in Nebraska.
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The law says, "No person who is afflicted with a venereal disease shall marry in this state." As you're probably guessing, that's a tough one to enforce, so if you get a marriage license without being detected, the marriage license still counts.
34. Every tanning bed in Iowa needs a warning sign.
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The hazards of using tanning beds must be posted conspicuously next to every single tanning bed.
35. Doors to public buildings in Florida must open outward.
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Which makes sense. If you're running away from an alligator in the library, you don't want to have to stop to pull a door open.
36. Reno, Nevada, doesn't allow people to lie down on sidewalks.
38. You also can't throw your urine out of your car there.
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Oregon also has a law preventing improper disposal of human waste while you're on the road, so if you're traveling with containers of urine through Oregon, don't toss them out.
39. It's illegal to play dominoes in Alabama on a sunday.
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You also aren't supposed to hunt, shoot, play cards, or race that day. You also can't promote or engage in a bear wrestling match (any day).
40. Do not molest butterflies in Pacific Grove, California.
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When the monarch butterflies make their annual pilgrimage to town, give them a wide berth. Look with your eyes, not with your hands, people.
41. Emergency medical technicians aren't allowed to help dogs in Massachusetts.
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A bill was put forward in 2019 to allow them to treat police dogs who are injured in the line of duty.
42. You can't sell dog hair in Delaware.
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You can't "recklessly" sell cat hair, either, nor "any product made in whole or in part" by your furry friends' fur.
43. Farmers can't sell pickles to customers at farmers' markets in Connecticut.
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It's a myth that a pickle has to bounce to be legally a pickle, but it's not a myth that you can't sell a pickle (bouncing or otherwise) if you're a farmer in Connecticut. Salsa, too. Anything with a pH value at 4.6 or below is forbidden, but there's a bill trying to change that.
44. You can't screech your tires in Derby, Kansas.
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According to code 10.04.200, you can be fined $500 for your tire noise, so drive politely out there.
45. You can't wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a crime in New Jersey.
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If you're planning to rob a bank, you'll get in double trouble if you're wearing bullet-resistant gear during the stick-up.
46. It's illegal to be drunk on a train in Michigan.
Bob Dylan performs a concert at the Warfield in San Francisco, California, in 1979.
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The phrase “ripped from the headlines” doesn’t just apply to Law & Order episodes and Lifetime movies. Songwriters throughout the history of popular music have drawn inspiration from real-life tales of murder and mayhem to craft their tunes. From old-timey folk ballads to modern-day trap bangers, true crime songs shock and excite us while forcing us to consider the darkness lurking all around. Here are 14 of the best examples.
1. “Nebraska” // Bruce Springsteen
In January 1958, a 19-year-old Nebraska teenager named Charles Starkweather went on an interstate killing spree that left 11 people dead. Along for the ride was his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, whose role in the slayings remains a point of debate. On the title track of his 1982 album Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen sings from the perspective of Starkweather on the electric chair, offering a chilling explanation for his crimes: “Well, sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.”
2. “Georgia Lee” // Tom Waits
“Why wasn’t god watching?” asks Tom Waits in this 1999 ballad about Georgia Lee Moses, a 12-year-old black girl who was abducted and murdered in Petaluma, California, in 1997. Moses was a middle school dropout from a troubled home, and barely anyone noticed when she went missing. “Georgia Lee did not get any real attention,” Waits told LA Weekly in 1999. “And I wanted to write a song about it.”
3. “Annie Christian” // Prince
Over disorienting synths and a clipped beat, Prince references a handful of true crimes in this 1981 parable about evil in society, which was included on his Controversy album. The titular character—whose name is a play on “antichrist”—is apparently responsible for a string of child murders in Atlanta, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, the killing of John Lennon, and even the high-level government corruption unearthed by the FBI’s Abscam investigation.
4. “Stagger Lee” // Lloyd Price
On December 25, 1895, William “Billy” Lyons and his buddy “Stack” Lee Sheldon were knocking back drinks in a St. Louis bar. They began arguing about politics, and Billy snatched the white Stetson off Stack’s head. When Billy refused to give the hat back, Stack shot him dead. The murder made Stack (alternately known as “Stagolee,” “Stack-O-Lee,” “Stack O’Lee,” and “Stagger Lee”) an American folk antihero. He’s been immortalized in hundreds of songs by artists ranging from Ma Rainey to Nick Cave. R&B singer Lloyd Price reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with 1959’s “Stagger Lee,” the most famous telling of this timeless story.
5. “1913 Massacre” // Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie penned this plaintive 1941 folk ballad about the “Italian Hall Disaster” of 1913, which took place at a Christmas party for striking miners and their families in Calumet, Michigan. Someone yelled “Fire!” in the crowded hall, and the resulting stampede killed 73 people, most of them children. It’s unknown who gave the false fire call, but many people—Guthrie included—believe it was an anti-union operative looking to spoil the party.
6. “Suffer Little Children” // The Smiths
Growing up in Manchester, England, in the ‘60s, Steven Patrick Morrissey was haunted by the “Moors Murders,” a gruesome series of child murders perpetrated by couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Morrissey name-checks three of the five victims in “Suffer Little Children,” a song about the case featured on the 1984 self-titled debut album by his band The Smiths. Morrissey’s lyrics created a great deal of controversy, but the singer claimed he meant no harm. He even became friendly with Ann West, mother of Lesley Ann Downey, one of the slain children.
7. “Darkness” // Eminem
Depending on your point of view, Eminem either denounces or glorifies gun violence on 2020’s instantly controversial “Darkness.” Eminem raps this novelistic song from the perspective of Stephen Paddock, the mass shooter who killed 58 people at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, before reportedly turning the gun on himself. “You’ll never find a motive, truth is I have no idea,” Em raps. “I am just as stumped, no signs of mental illness.” The music video ends with a message urging fans to vote and help change America’s gun laws.
8. “Brenda’s Got a Baby” // 2Pac
2Pac was moved to write this harrowing 1991 hip-hop classic after reading a newspaper article about a 12-year-old Brooklyn girl who threw her newborn baby into a trash compactor. (Miraculously, the child survived.) In a 1997 interview with The New Yorker, Pac said he considered the song a political statement about poverty, child abuse, drugs, and other issues. “It talked about how the innocent are the ones that get hurt,” he said.
9. “Deep Red Bells” // Neko Case
“He led you to this hiding place,” sings Neko Case to open this 2002 country-noir stunner. The “you,” she explained to The New York Times Magazine in 2009, is one of the young women killed by Gary Ridgway, a.k.a. the “Green River Killer,” throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Ridgway is said to have murdered at least 49 women, many of them prostitutes and runaways. Case—who grew up in Tacoma, Washington, before Ridgway was apprehended—carried a knife with her to school.
10. “Son of Sam” // Dead Boys
For a yearlong stretch beginning in July 1976, New Yorkers lived in fear of the "Son of Sam," a mysterious figure who murdered six people with a .44 caliber revolver and taunted police with handwritten letters. In August 1977, police apprehended the killer, David Berkowitz, who claimed he was given the murderous orders by his neighbor’s dog. (Berkowitz later admitted that story was bogus.) Cleveland-born, New York City-based punk rockers Dead Boys seem to accept Berkowitz's initial explanation for the slayings on their 1978 tune “Son of Sam,” painting the infamous serial killer as a helpless slave (in his own mind, anyway) to demonic forces.
11. “I Don’t Like Mondays” // The Boomtown Rats
On the morning of Monday, January 29, 1979, a 16-year-old San Diego girl named Brenda Ann Spencer opened fire on Grover Cleveland Elementary School, which was located right across the street from her house. She killed two people and injured nine others, eight of them children. Asked why she did it, Spencer told a reporter, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” Upon hearing this, The Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof—the Live Aid guy—dashed off “I Don’t Like Mondays,” a mournful response to the senselessness of it all. The song reached #1 on the U.K. charts.
12. “Wildside” // Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg followed his 1991 chart-topper “Good Vibrations” with “Wildside,” a series of musical vignettes about the sorry state of the nation. He references two real-life crimes that shook his hometown of Boston. First, the murder of a pregnant woman named Carol Stuart by her husband, Charles, who blamed the killing on a fictitious black man in hopes of pocketing the insurance money. Next, the tragic death of 12-year-old Tiffany Moore, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
13. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” // Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens’s 2005 concept album Illinoise references many famous figures from the Prairie State, including serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr., who murdered at least 33 boys and young men in the ‘70s. What’s interesting—and a little unsettling—is how tenderly Stevens sings of the man known as the “Killer Clown.” “I felt insurmountable empathy not with his behavior but with his nature, and there was nothing I could do to get around confessing that, however horrifying that sounds,” Stevens said in a 2005 interview.
14. “Hurricane” // Bob Dylan
In the court of public opinion, Bob Dylan’s epic 1975 song “Hurricane” went a long way toward clearing Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, an African American boxer convicted of killing three white people in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966. Carter always maintained his innocence, and Dylan’s song blames the racist criminal justice system for jailing a man who “coulda been the champion of the world.” After being released in 1976 and then convicted again in a second trial, Carter was finally freed in 1985, when a federal judge ruled that the prosecution had based its case on “racism rather than reason and concealment rather than disclosure.”