A case of ketchup
Hitman uses ketchup in fake murder in a bizarre case of love triangle. N all his years in Brazilian law enforcement, police chief Marconi Almino de Lima had never faced a case like this: a sordid tale of love, jealousy, a contract killer and kitchen condiments.
It all began in June when Maria Nilza Simoes, who lives in the small town of Pindobacu, about 400km from Salvador in the northeastern state of Bahia, allegedly sought out a local gun for hire to do away with her husband’s lover.
Carlos Roberto de Jesus, a jobless excon, accepted the mission. For around £350 (RM1,730) he agreed to kill Erenildes Aguiar Araujo, known simply as Lupita.
According to one version, Lupita had been having an affair with Simoes’ partner and Simoes wanted her rival out of the way. The day of the murder was to be June 24.
All was going to plan until the novice hitman located his target. The hit turned out to be a childhood friend. Unable to go through with it, de Jesus grappled for a way out, eventually devising what he apparently thought was an ingenious solution: tomato ketchup.
Armed with two bottles of the sauce, he opened up to his friend, led her into the forest and staged a mockexecution with a mouth gag and a machete. Lupita was doused in tomato ketchup and a photo was taken as proof of death.
“I tore my own top, I stuck the knife in my side,” she told a local newspaper. “He tied me up and threw the ketchup. He took a photo and delivered it to her.”
The photograph – splashed over the front pages of Brazil’s tabloids – shows Lupita’s head tilted backwards, her body smothered with distinctly unrealisticlooking “blood” and a long knife, jammed comically under her armpit.
More comedy than CSI Miami, the photo nevertheless worked. Simoes is said to have been taken in by the image, shown to her on a mobile phone. The fee was paid.
Days later, Simoes was walking in the local market when she saw her contract killer canoodling with Lupita.
Furious, she marched into the local police station and reported him for theft. Her decision triggered the strangest investigation police chief Almino de Lima is ever likely to face.
“In eight years’ service, I have never heard of anything like it – and we hear a lot of stories,” the police chief told the local newspaper.
All three protagonists are now facing charges – Simoes for issuing death threats, Lupita and de Jesus for extortion. De Jesus, the ketchup killer, has reportedly skipped town while Simoes faces public humiliation.
“Did she really not notice that the knife was stuck in the armpit?” Vera Marcia de Araujo, a local shopkeeper, told a local newspaper. “The whole town is laughing in her face.”
Lupita, now a local celebrity nicknamed the “ketchup woman”, seems to have come off best. Recent reports suggested her newfound fame had led to her being touted for a seat in the town hall.
“That’s what people are saying around here, but it’s something I’ll have to think about,” she said. – Guardian News & Media 2011 THE British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is facing a backlash from leading presenters over the advice that they should use “religiously neutral” terms instead of BC or AD because nonChristians could take offence.
Guidance from the broadcaster’s ethics specialists says that the phrases Common Era and Before Common Era should be considered as replacements for Anno Domini and Before Christ.
It says: “As the BBC is committed to impartiality, it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate nonChristians. In line with modern practice, BCE/CE (Before Common Era/Common Era) are used as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD.”
John Humphrys, a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, says he does not see “a problem” with using BC and AD, as the terms
that is the question for bbc. are “clearly understood” by most audiences.
During his Sunday morning political programme on BBC One, Andrew Marr said that he would also continue to use the traditional date descriptions. “I say AD and BC because that’s what I understand,” he told viewers. “I don’t know what the Common Era is. Why is it the Common Era in 20AD and it wasn’t the Common Era in 20BC?”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who presented a BBC documentary on the Romans, describes the plan as “puerile, spineless and absurd”.
In a column for the Telegraph, he urges readers to complain to the corporation’s most senior executives.
The beginning of the Common Era is dated from the same point as the Gregorian Christian calendar, but removes any reference to the birth of Jesus.
Critics says that because the secular terminology still uses the birth of Christ as its reference point, switching to the term Common Era would make little difference.
However, the terms have been gaining acceptance within the BBC, with some programmes using the phrases.
The BBC denies that it is official policy for producers to adopt the “neutral” terms. A spokesman for the corporation says individual programmes are free to choose which terms to use. – © The Daily Telegraph UK 2011