It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the weirdest of years.
Around this news-starved time of year, news-gathering sites often turn to roundups of the big news from the previous 12 months.
Er, actually, that's what we're doing here.
Well, that's what we're doing if you replace “big” with “weird.”
That's right, Orange County, here are your top 10 weird stories of 2015*.
*Note: Anything weird that happened in the last days of 2015, before they could be included here, are ineligible because I am not Kreskin.
And away we go …
1. RELATIVE IN THE FRIDGE
The smell coming from the detached garage of a Santa Ana home finally forced the landlord to go inside and investigate earlier this month. Not surprisingly, the odor came from a refrigerator. Surprisingly, the source was Ricarda Reyes-Villalobos' decomposing body. Turns out the 50-year-old died and her relatives put her in the fridge before they moved to Garden Grove—three months before the landlord's grisly discovery. The relatives told police they did not report the death because of their immigration status and that they fully intended to go back and fetch her once they could afford to. See: Couple Says Body in Refrigerator was Their Relative Ricarda Reyes-Villalobos
2. BIZARRE HOSPITAL THIEF RETURNS
Roy Chi Wing Lung, a former internist whose license to practice medicine was revoked by the state years ago, had before this year been busted, jailed and/or imprisoned over the years for trespassing—often while wearing a wig and scrubs—and stealing medical equipment from Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, Orange Coast Memorial in Fountain Valley and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Paroled early from his last case, Lung returned to Orange County and his criminal past in August, when he was arrested for allegedly pulling the same act at Kaiser Permanente's Orange County-Irvine Hospital. See: Everybody Roy Chi Wing Lung Tonight Encore! Bizarre Hospital Thief is Busted Again
3. SLAY THE GAY AWAY
It was revealed in March that Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, an attorney practicing in Huntington Beach, proposed a state ballot initiative he called the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” His initiative, if supported by the voters, would have created laws to re-criminalize homosexuality—as a capital crime, no less. Support gays or their right to exist and you'd be subject to a $1 million fine, 10 years in prison and banishment from the state once you're released, under McLaughlin's measure. Responding to the legal equivalent of a WTF? from California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Sacramento County judge in June quashed the initiative for being “unconstitutional on its face.” See: HB Attorney Matthew Gregory McLaughlin's Proposed Slay Gays Away Initiative is Killed
4. STREAK FREAK
Clarisa Vidrio was minding her own business, trying to drive out of the carport of her Anaheim apartment complex, when totally nude Garrett Smith of Riverside ran toward, jumped at and crashed through the back window of a minivan parked next to her. The Riverside 21-year-old then went all wooly bully on poor Vidrio and her car as she attempted to get the hell out of there. The incident led to Smith's arrest and, thanks to surveillance cameras, one of the strangest videos of the year not featuring Donald Trump. See: Garrett Smith's Naked Anaheim Romp May Have Produced the Most Amazing Video Ever
5. PEE'D OFF JUVIE GUARD
Tamie Marie Bieker was working as a correctional officer at Juvenile Hall in Orange in July 2014 when she rubbed a 14-year-old boy's shoes in urine after he peed in his room. Seven days later, a 17-year-old boy repeatedly asked for permission to use the restroom, but 38-year-old Santa Ana resident Bieker denied each request. The teen could no longer hold it, urinated in his room near the door and, once the piss seeped into the hall, Bieker went to the boy's room, kicked his shoes into the puddle and forced him to put his shoes on. The next month, the guard warned a 13-year-old boy not to pee in his room after he told her he could not hold it any longer because she'd denied his three requests over two hours to use the restroom. After he urinated, Bieker (wearing gloves) picked up the boy's canvas shoes that were in front of his door, turned them over, rubbed the tops of both shoes in the urine, put them back beside the boy's door, and smiled at him. Bieker's co-workers complained, an investigation was launched and she was fired and facing charges that could lock her up for three years. But Bieker was sentenced in October to probation, community service, restitution and a year in a child abuse program. See: No Jail Time for Ex-Juvie Guard Tamie Marie Bieker Who Rubbed Three Boys' Shoes in Piss
6. LEAFBLOWER: THE MOVIE
A teen with a leafblower and some pals sneaked through an emergency exit at Edwards Big Newport 6, fired up the engine in the darkness of a theater and scared the beejesus out of moviegoers watching the Fatal Attractionesque thriller The Gift the night of Aug. 8. There have been so many mass shootings and other acts of terrorism in this country since then, so you may not remember that the theater prank was pulled three days after police killed a gunman at a movie theater in a Nashville, Tenn., suburb and a couple weeks after two people were killed and nine were injured when a gunman opened fire in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. In Newport Beach, parents quickly turned their kids in, and 18-year-old Colin Hunter Davis was arraigned in November on misdemeanor counts of participating in a rout and unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace, and trespassing to injure property. See: Colin Hunter Davis Could Get Seat in Jail if Convicted of Leafblower Incident in Moviehouse
7. MORE “MAYHEM” MILLER MAYHEM
Click here for our complete Jason “Mayhem” Miller archives, and you'll see several of the ways he alone has justified any added manpower requests for Orange County sheriff's deputies who work the South County beat. The ex-MMA fighter's booking photos are becoming legendary (up to and including the one with the Aladdin genie look above). The Mission Viejo resident's most recent brush with the law (that we know of … heh-heh) came in October, when he allegedly struggled with deputies for eight minutes real, real early in the morning before he was taken down with a taser device. That was before Miller is claimed to have yelled and thrown a ceramic tile at deputies and threatened them with a large fire extinguisher and metal pole as he retreated toward the backyard. Needless to say, he was arrested yet again. See: Tased and Confused: The Hard Fall of Jason “Mayhem” Miller Adds Another Chapter
8. DUCK DYNASTY ROBBER
Holy whiskers, a dude from Duck Dynasty tried to rob a Mission Viejo bank one September morning! Deputies were sent to a Wells Fargo branch due to a bank robbery in progress, where a man in a blue skull cap, sunglasses and fake gray beard pushed a message on lined yellow note paper against the teller window informing that the bank was being robbed. As deputies arrived, a witness who had followed the robber out of the bank alerted them that the baddie had gotten behind the wheel of a nearby white Ford pick-up truck, which was stopped. The driver, who was taken into custody without incident or injury, was identified as Raymond Edward Feiner. The 58-year-old San Clemente resident copped to robbery charges in November and got a year in jail. See: Duck Dynasty Dude Tries to Rob Mission Viejo Bank!
9. ME TARZAN, YOU ZOOKEEPER
Police called to Santa Ana Zoo one morning in August confronted a shirtless man covered in mud and climbing trees. Claiming to be Tarzan, he had made his way into a bird exhibit and was trying to enter a monkey display when he fled from cops, but was captured shortly after that. Transient John William Rodenborn was allegedly blazing on meth, but that's not the worst of it. The 37-year-old was later tied to an iPhone theft from a Costa Mesa business and the armed robbery of a Chevron gas station. The Orange County District Attorney's office has slapped him with charges that could send him to prison for nearly a decade. See: Santa Ana Zoo “Tarzan” John W. Rodenborn Faces Long Prison Stretch for 2 Serious Crimes
10. DRIVING THAT TRAIN, GLOCK AND COCAINE
A fanny pack with a loaded Glock 20 handgun and .45 grams of cocaine that was accidentally left in an Anaheim hotel room in June was linked to a San Francisco juvenile corrections officer who was on a family vacation to Disneyland. Robert Dandrea Minor now could find himself on the other side of adult corrections officers, inside a prison cell for four years as the 51-year-old resident of Hercules was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with a firearm. (Possession of a fanny pack is merely a crime of fashion.) The San Francisco Probation Department employee has a Fullerton court hearing scheduled in March. See: San Francisco Corrections Officer Left Glock and Cocaine Behind on Family Disneyland Trip: DA