Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#REVIEW: Professor Birdsong's 177 Dumbest Criminal Stories: International by Leonard Birdsong

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Professor Birdsong is out with another volume of his Dumbest Criminal stories. And he has done it again! Many of his stories are so funny that they will make you laugh out loud. He has managed to use his expertise and experience in criminal law to bring you 177 more of the most outrageous and dumbest criminal law stories from around the world. This new volume features stories of dumb criminals from China and the Far East, Stories from Around the Indian Ocean basin, Russia and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom and France, as well as stories from Canada and Mexico. There is the story of a Chinese woman accused of killing a shopkeeper by squeezing his scrotum when he asked her not park her motorbike in front of his shop; her grip was so strong that the man went into shock and died. Then there is the story about a South Korean airline passenger who was not allowed to bring a certain liquid on the plane. She drank the liquid in front of airline officials but refused to swallow. When officials made her spit the liquid into a bucket they found she was attempting to sneak dozens of tadpoles on board. In India we learn about the use of “weapons-grade” spice wherein a group of criminals hijacked a train and freed a fellow gang member by throwing locally made chili powder in the face of police chasing them. They got away with it, too. From Australia there was a 20-year-old thief who stole a tanker truck containing 5,811 gallons of milk and led police on a two hour chase. From Poland we learn of a man who sued his ex-wife for a refund on the $8,000 he had spent on her breast implants. From Germany we find that a well-endowed woman allegedly tried to kill her boyfriend by smothering him with her size 38 DD breasts. Then there is the one about the English man arrested for having sex with his girlfriend’s dog. The stories just go on and on; this book covers just about every silly, unlawful citizens from around the in the globe. The stories are all true stories. Full of his witty “Birdsong” commentary the book is sure to deliver some great laughs. Professor Birdsong presents a wide variety of just plain, dumb criminals that make this anthology worth reading and, will, as previously stated, at times, make you laugh out loud.

MY RATING: 3 stars

MY REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I've read two of this author's other books, and they were pretty amusing. It just goes to show you that people are not always the brightest when they are going against the law, and that sometimes people will sue for anything (an example above is the man who sued his ex for the refund of the cost of her breast implants). This time around though, I think the author missed his mark. A few of the stories weren't even criminal, or legal, just plain sad and absurd, like the guy who was in his house for 15 years dead, without anyone realizing. Others weren't quite dumb but pretty well-executed like the chili-powder one from India.
While this was an extremely short and quick read, with some of the stories making me roll my eyes at the idiotic things done by the criminal element of our world, it wasn't as well done as his previous two books I have read.I'm sure the author could have come up with some better stories if given enough time.
The one thing I did like the author did was give a quick background in the legal system of the country he was going to tell the stories from. Although I don't know the different between the types of legal systems, it was nice to have that background to try to put things into context.

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About the author:

Professor Birdsong received his J.D. from the Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Howard University. He teaches law in Orlando, Florida. After graduation from law school he worked four years at the law firm of Baker Hostetler. He then entered into a varied and distinguished career in government service. He served as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department with various postings in Nigeria, Germany and the Bahamas. Professor Birdsong later served as a federal prosecutor. After leaving government service, and before he began teaching, Professor Birdsong was in private law practice in Washington, D.C. Find Pfr Birdsong on his website and on Twitter @Prof_Birdsong  

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