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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Post your random news stories here (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Post your random news stories here
Brad Miller

Posts: 17730
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 03-18-2006 01:43 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
To keep the "random links" thread a little more cleaned up, I'll start.

Spielberg series sued for haircut

A family from the Mescalero Apache tribe is suing the producers of a Steven Spielberg TV series for cutting their daughter's hair for the show.

The family said the hair of Christina Ponce, aged eight, was cut without regard for their tribal customs.

"It's part of our culture not to cut a girl's hair until her Coming of Age ceremony," her father Danny Ponce said.

"The only ones allowed to do that are the parents." His daughter had been acting in mini-series Into the West.

Mr Ponce added that "nobody asked for permission" before a stylist cut Christina's hair. He said he had filed his claim in the US District Court in Albuquerque.

Steven Spielberg
Spielberg has been a leading director for more than 30 years

His legal papers, which seek $250,000 (£142,000) for emotional distress and $75,000 (£43,000) in damages, named Turner Films Inc and the unknown stylist as defendants.

A Turner Films spokeswoman said the company did not comment on pending litigation.

Into the West is executive produced by Spielberg and is based on the novel by Max McCoy.

It explores the expansion of the American West through the eyes of two families - one white, the other native American.

According to legal papers filed by Mr Ponce, Christina responded through her parents last March to an open casting call for work on Into the West.

'Like a boy'

She attended a three-day shoot near Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Her hair was cut by a stylist to "make her look more 'Indian' and like a male Indian child because the movie casting call failed to produce sufficient young male extras of Indian heritage", the papers state.

The Mescalero tradition forbids cutting a girl's hair as she approaches puberty, in preparation for a sacred Coming of Age ceremony that requires her hair to reach her waist.

Mr Ponce said that before it was cut, his daughter's hair fell midway down her back.

"It was cut very short above her ears. She looked like a boy," he said.

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has increased state efforts to attract the film industry there in recent years.

Mr Ponce said that, while he welcomed this, film-makers from outside the state should try to be more culturally sensitive.

"Just because you're wealthy, you don't do something without checking first," he said.

Awwwwwww, if you can't handle showbiz, get the heck out! [Razz] link to BBC

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17730
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 01-17-2007 08:29 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Row over angry, penis-removing doctor



Doctors' unions in Romania have criticised a decision to make a surgeon pay £100,000 in damages after he lost his temper and hacked off a patient's penis during surgery.

Surgeon Naum Ciomu, who had been suffering from stress at the time, had been operating on patient Nelu Radonescu, 36, to correct a testicular malformation when he suddenly lost his temper.

Grabbing a scalpel, he sliced off the penis in front of shocked nursing staff, and then placed it on the operating table where he chopped it into small pieces before storming out of the operating theatre at Bucharest hospital.

A Romanian court has now awarded Radonescu £20,000 costs – to pay for the operation to rebuild his ruined penis using tissue from his arm – as well as 100,000 pounds in damages.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital's insurer, but doctors' unions have criticised the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence suspended.

They said he had been under stress and had lost his temper after he accidentally cut the man's urinary channel and 'overreacted' to the situation. He told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: 'Ciomu's case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.'

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they're doing.

The director of the ophthalmology hospital in Bucharest, Dr Monica Pop (yes, actually her name), agreed saying that doctors would in future avoid any cases where they could end up in court having to pay damages.

She added: 'Doctors in Romanian earn too little to be able to pay amounts like this. As a result it will be entirely fair if they only accept cases where they cannot make mistakes. The only way this can be avoided is if the insurance companies cover all the risk.'

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Emma Tomiak
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 238
From: Carrollton, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted 01-31-2007 11:49 PM      Profile for Emma Tomiak   Author's Homepage   Email Emma Tomiak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boston devices a cartoon publicity ploy

By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON - Several illuminated electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots in Boston threw a scare into the city Wednesday in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable cartoon. Most if not all of the devices depict a character giving the finger.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, was arrested on one felony charge of placing a hoax device and one charge of disorderly conduct, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said later Wednesday. He had been hired to place the devices, she said.

Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in before authorities declared the devices were harmless.

Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc. and parent of Cartoon Network, later said the devices were part of a promotion for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a talking milkshake, a box of fries and a meatball.

Authorities are investigating whether Turner and any other companies should be criminally charged, Coakley said. It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday who might have hired Berdovsky.

"We're not going to let this go without looking at the further roots of how this happened to cause the panic in this city," Coakley said at a news conference.

Those conducting the campaign should have known the devices could cause panic because they were placed in sensitive areas, she said. Turner did not notify officials of the publicity campaign until around 5 p.m., nearly four hours after the first calls came in about the devices, she and others said.

Berdovsky was arrested at 8:15 p.m. at his lawyer's office, Coakley said. His lawyer's name wasn't available, and phone number believed to be Berdovsky's did not accept messages.

Berdovsky planted many of the devices, Coakley said, although he is charged in connection with just one. He is to be arraigned Thursday in state court.

Berdovsky told The Boston Globe earlier Wednesday that he was an artist and installed the devices for an advertising company hired by Turner. He described himself as "a little kind of freaked out," the Globe reported.

The law under which Berdovsky was charged allows the state to pursue restitution. Mayor Thomas Menino said estimated the security scare may have cost the city more than $500,000.

At least 14 of the devices were found, and at least 24 more are still around the city, officials said.

"The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger," Turner said in a statement.

It said the devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Atlanta; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; San Francisco; and Philadelphia.

"We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," the company said. As soon as the company realized the problem, it said, law enforcement officials were told of their locations in all 10 cities.

The marketing firm that put them up, Interference Inc., has been ordered to remove them immediately, said Phil Kent, Turner chairman.

"We apologize to the citizens of Boston that part of a marketing campaign was mistaken for a public danger," Kent said. "We appreciate the gravity of this situation and, like any responsible company would, are putting all necessary resources toward understanding the facts surrounding it as quickly as possible."

Interference Inc. had no immediate comment. A woman who answered the phone at the New York-based firm's offices Wednesday afternoon said the firm's CEO was out of town and would not be able to comment until Thursday.

There were no reports from police Wednesday of residents in the other nine cities spotting similar devices.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke praised Boston authorities for sharing their knowledge quickly with Washington officials and the public.

"Hoaxes are a tremendous burden on local law enforcement and counter-terrorism resources and there's absolutely no place for them in a post-9/11 world," Knocke said.

Authorities said some of the objects looked like circuit boards or had wires hanging from them.

The first device was found at a subway and bus station underneath Interstate 93, forcing the shutdown of the station and the highway.

Later, police said four calls, all around 1 p.m., reported devices at the Boston University Bridge, which spans the Charles River, and at a Boston street corner.

A similar device was found Wednesday evening just north of Fenway Park, police spokesman Eddy Chrispin said.

The scare caused some subway service to be suspended and closed a road.

Wanda Higgins, a 47-year-old Weymouth resident and a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, heard about the threat as she watched television news coverage while preparing to leave work at 4 p.m.

"I saw the bomb squad guys carrying a paper bag with their bare hands," Higgins said. "I knew it couldn't be too serious."

Messages seeking additional comment from the Atlanta-based Cartoon Network were left with several publicists.

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is a cartoon with a cultish following that airs as part of the Adult Swim late-night block of programs for adults on the Cartoon Network. A feature length film based on the show is slated for release March 23.

The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called "mooninites," named Ignignokt and Err — who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.


I am a huge fan of this show. Watching the National Guard guys blow these up...just...perfect.


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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7372
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 02-02-2007 02:58 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: BBC News Online
A claim by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh that he can cure AIDS in three days has been lambasted by a leading South African HIV/Aids specialist.

"I'm astonished. The danger of a president standing up [to say this] is shocking," Jerry Coovadia told the BBC.

Mr Jammeh said last month he had begun treating 10 patients on Thursdays with secret medicinal herb ingredients.

His health minister backs his claims, saying in trials so far patients had gained weight and physically improved.

"A response within three to 10 days and a three-day course is almost inconceivable for a disease like HIV/Aids," said Prof Coovadia, who heads the HIV research team at the University of KwaZulu Natal and is a member of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign.

He said that science was many years away from finding a cure "so the fact that someone announces a cure like this is exceedingly difficult to accept".

President Jammeh, who says he can also cure asthma, made his announcement to a gathering of foreign diplomats last month.

"I can treat asthma and HIV/Aids... Within three days the person should be tested again and I can tell you that he/she will be negative," he said in a statement.

"I am not a witch doctor and in fact you cannot have a witch doctor. You are either a witch or a doctor." Gambian Health Minister Tamsir Mbow says the herbal medicines are taken orally and applied to the body.

"We cannot actually tell you the type of herbs we are using presently, it will be known to the whole world later on," Dr Mbow told the BBC.

One of the patients currently undergoing the treatment is Gambian university lecturer Ousman Sowe. "I've noticed I've increased weight substantially over the last 10 days. I am no longer suffering from constipation, but we have yet to receive result of the tests," he told the BBC. "I have 100% confidence in the president and I'm taking the medication with all confidence."

But Mr Coovadia said it was tragic that The Gambia had a "political environment that allows a minister of health and a president to violate every foundation of science and public health. The entire exercise is circumscribed by secrecy - that's not how science works," he said.

It would be impossible to measure the negative impact of Mr Jammeh's claims, but it could lead to risky sexual behaviour, instead of following preventative advice, he said.

The World Health Organisation told the BBC it did not wish to comment on the issue at this stage.

Last year, South Africa's health minister came in for severe criticism for promoting a diet of garlic and beetroot to those with HIV, while not rolling out the anti-retroviral drugs which are the only recognised treatment. South Africa has now reversed its controversial advice.

So all those drug companies that have invested bazillions in developing anti-retroviral drugs and wotnot might just as well have blown the money at Las Vegas ... and he can cure asthma as well - cool!

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 02-02-2007 06:48 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
Chewbacca Arrested in Hollywood

Print Story and Video LINK

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3059
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 02-03-2007 04:00 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Woman dies after drinking water.

Full story on the BBC web page

"A Californian woman has died after taking part in a water-drinking contest, but why is too much water dangerous?

We are regularly advised to drink more water: it clears skin, reduces tiredness and aids concentration.

But the death of a woman in the US after taking part in a water-drinking contest shows you can have too much of a good thing.

Jennifer Strange had taken part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" game, which promised the winner a Nintendo Wii. Afterwards she reportedly said her head was hurting and went home, where she was later found dead. Initial tests have shown her death is consistent with water intoxication."

Stupid, and sad.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17730
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 02-07-2007 03:25 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok so this news story is apparently a few years old, but how can you not read it and laugh?

Family of faggot fans fly the flag

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7372
From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 03-02-2007 11:51 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Herewith some good old Yorkshire plain speaking...

quote: BBC News Online
Hecklers urge on car park jumper

Police have condemned hecklers who urged a man to "get on with it" as he threatened to jump off the top of a multi-storey car park.

A crowd gathered as the 21-year-old was perched on the eight-storey building in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, while officers tried to calm him down.

But some onlookers started shouting at the man, urging him to jump.

Trained negotiators later arrived at the scene near the town centre and persuaded the man to come down. He was later reunited with his family and given counselling.

South Yorkshire Police said about 50 people had gathered at the scene in John Street on 22 February and about half a dozen started telling the man to jump. PC Mark Dyson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "It was incredibly frustrating to see this happening when we were just trying to help the guy.

"It might have been a bit easier to understand if it was teenagers messing about but these were adults shouting things like 'jump' and 'get on with it'. When you've also got people shouting things like this out of vans driving past it's terrible really. What would these people have thought if it was one of their relatives up there?"

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Edwin Sheldon
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Mobile, AL, USA
Registered: Sep 2006

 - posted 03-02-2007 02:59 PM      Profile for Edwin Sheldon   Email Edwin Sheldon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mr. Miller, you did not quote the full text of the article to maintain the archive! [Eek!]

Family of faggot fans fly the flag

A West Midlands family is playing a central role in the quest to raise the profile of a forgotten British dish - faggots.

The Doody family from Wolverhampton has been crowned The Faggot Family in a national competition, and to kick off their reign they will launch National Faggot Week.

The family will be touring the country extolling the virtues of the dish, which is best-known for its links with the Black Country.

The Doody family were chosen to front the campaign after impressing judges at the Savoy Hotel in London in November.

They displayed their fanaticism for the delicacy during quizzes, role-plays and mock commercials.

"The nation knows that the Cornish pasty, Yorkshire pudding, haggis and fish and chips are great British dishes, but all too often the faggot is left off that list," said Janet Doody.

Her husband Fred added: "It's unfair because faggots were a British delicacy long before any of the others.

"The great British faggot is full of flavour and a great belly warmer at this time of year."

The family, including Lewis, 13, and Grace, 7, eat faggots twice a week, with mashed potato and mushy peas, and will be launching the awareness campaign on Tuesday at Liverpool University, followed by visits this week to Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham.

The competition was organised by faggot producer Mr Brain's Faggots.

So many faggots in that article!

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5437
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 03-03-2007 10:37 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"The great British faggot is full of flavour and a great belly warmer at this time of year."

Love it.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 03-03-2007 10:17 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They sort of sound like hot dogs, by composition.


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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5437
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 03-04-2007 02:36 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brains? Eeeeeooooowwww....

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

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From: New York City & Newport, RI
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 - posted 03-23-2007 09:55 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
by Marlowe Hood
Thu Mar 22, 11:53 AM ET

PARIS (AFP) - France became the first country to open its files on UFOs Thursday when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings spanning five decades.

The online archives, which will be updated as new cases are reported, catalogues in minute detail cases ranging from the easily dismissed to a handful that continue to perplex even hard-nosed scientists.

"It is a world first," said Jacques Patenet, the aeronautical engineer who heads the office for the study of "non-identified aerospatial phenomena."

Known as OVNIs in French, UFOs have always generated intense interest along with countless conspiracy theories about secretive government cover-ups of findings deemed too sensitive or alarming for public consumption.

"Cases such as the lady who reported seeing an object that looked like a flying roll of toilet paper" are clearly not worth investigating, said Patenet.

But many others involving multiple sightings -- in at least one case involving thousands of people across France -- and evidence such as burn marks and radar trackings showing flight patterns or accelerations that defy the laws of physics are taken very seriously.

A phalanx of beefy security guards formed a barrier in front of the space agency (CNES) headquarters where the announcement was made, "to screen out uninvited UFOlogists," an official explained.

Of the 1,600 cases registered since 1954, nearly 25 percent are classified as "type D", meaning that "despite good or very good data and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we can't explain," Patenet said.

On January 8, 1981 outside the town of Trans-en-Provence in southern France, for example, a man working in a field reported hearing a strange whistling sound and seeing a saucer-like object about 2.5 meters (eight feet) in diameter land in his field about 50 meters (yards) away.

A dull-zinc grey, the saucer took off, he told police, almost immediately, leaving burn marks. Investigators took photos, and then collected and analyzed samples, and to this day no satisfactory explanation has been made.

The nearly 1,000 witness who said they saw flashing lights in the sky on November 5, 1990, by contrast, had simply seen a rocket fragment falling back into earth's atmosphere.

Patenet's answer to questions about evidence of life beyond Earth was sure to inflame the suspicions of those convinced the government is holding back: "We do not have the least proof that extra-terrestrials are behind the unexplained phenomena."

But then he added: "Nor do we have the least proof that they aren't."

The CNES fields between 50 and 100 UFO reports ever year, usually written up by police. Of these, 10 percent are the object of on-site investigations, Patenet said.

Other countries collect data more or less systematically about unidentified flying objects, notably in Britain and in the United States, where information can be requested on a case-by-case basis under the Freedom of Information Act.

"But we decided to do it the other way around and made everything available to the public," Patenet said.

The aim was to make it easier for scientists and other UFO buffs to access the data for research.

The website itself -- which crashed host servers hours after it was unveiled due to heavy traffic -- is extremely well organized and complete, even including scanned copies of police reports.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 03-24-2007 10:19 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm.... sounds like the effect of a little too much cheap Cognac if you ask me!

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17730
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 03-27-2007 01:07 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Neighbors react to alleged slay-grilling


By MONICA RHOR, Associated Press Writer Sun Mar 25, 6:16 PM ET

HOUSTON - For at least two days, neighbors at a city apartment complex noticed an acrid aroma, black smoke and leaping flames coming from two barbecue grills on the balcony of a second-floor apartment.

What, neighbors at the Red Oak Place apartments wondered, was going on in the unit where 27-year-old Timothy Wayne Shepherd lived? What was he burning at all hours, for days at a time? The answer turned their stomachs.

According to law enforcement officials, Shepherd dismembered, and then burned the body of his former girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, a 19-year-old Texas A&M University student. Nothing remains of Stewart's body, Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas said at a press conference Saturday.

"I just don't know what to think about it," said Louis Evans, whose balcony faces Shepherd's in the quiet tree-lined enclave in northern Houston. "I thought he was a nice normal person. I guess you never know what your neighbors are doing."

Authorities said Shepherd has confessed to strangling and dismembering Stewart, a college freshman who was home on spring break, because he was angry that she had started a new relationship.

Officials first thought Shepherd had disposed of her remains in a large commercial trash bin that had since been emptied, launching an intense debate in the area about whether the Sheriff's Department should conduct a massive and expensive search of area landfills for Stewart's remains.

Stewart was last seen March 15 and was reported missing March 19. The next day the Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide division launched its investigation.

On March 16, neighbors said they first noticed the unusual activity — and the unpleasant odor — on Shepherd's balcony.

"The smell was awful," said Evans, who also became alarmed after seeing a blaze shoot out from the grills. "I was wondering: What is he burning? Not cooking, but burning. There is a difference."

At times, Evans said, the flames from the grills leapt dangerously close to the roof of the balcony. Evans says he called 911, but when firefighters arrived, the flames had calmed and Shepherd assured them everything was under control.

A leasing agent at the apartment complex also noticed the thick dark smoke and the intense flames and asked Shepherd what he was doing, Evans said. Another neighbor, 18-year-old James Hebert, told The Houston Chronicle that he often cooked out with Shepherd, and even left his grill at Shepherd's apartment. When he wasn't invited over, he asked his neighbor what was going on. Shepherd replied that he was cooking for a wedding, the newspaper said.

Dionne Whitaker, 31, who lives in the complex, said she saw Shepherd carry the grill and smoker to a garbage bin a day or so later, the newspaper said.

Human remains generally require extremely high temperatures to destroy, and authorities have not said how it is possible that Stewart's remains could be completely burned on a patio grill.

"This certainly turned out to be one of the most heinous crimes I've ever seen in my 38 years (in law enforcement)," Thomas, the sheriff, said Saturday.

Shepherd, who is charged with murder, is being held on $250,000 bond in the Harris County Jail. Telephone message left with his attorney, Chip Lewis, were not immediately returned. On Sunday, the door to Shepherd's apartment was covered with plywood boards.

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