Some items from . . .
Caution: some risque content.
Least Convincing Psychic Act: Runner-Up
Eduard Frenkel was one of several self-proclaimed psychic healers operating in Russia during the 1980s. He appeared on the local State-run TV several times with claim of supernatural powers, drawing huge audiences and receiving thousands of letters requesting help.
Frenkel claimed to have successfully used his psychic powers to stop moving vehicles, including bicycles and cars. In October 1989, he decided he was ready for something bigger; he stepped in front of a freight train near the southern city of Astrakhan, according to the train driver, with “his arms raised, his head lowered and his body tensed”.
Associated Press reported that Mr Frenkel died from his injuries.
Least Successful Eulogy
Rolling Stones fans were devastated in July 1969 when the band’s founder member Brian Jones died in a tragic swimming pool accident. But for the Stones, the show had to go on.
During the band’s tour of Denmark shortly afterwards, Mick Jagger, dressed in a white frock, announced on stage, “This one’s for Brian.” Then, after touching a faulty microphone stand, he was hurled backwards by an electric shock, landing on top of Bill Wyman, knocking his bass player unconscious.
Least Successful Display of Impartiality by a Juror
In 1997at Luton Crown Court, Judge Alan Wilkie QC ordered a retrial for a man accused of smuggling crack cocaine. During the original trial, a juror, Shane Smyth, had shouted at the defendant, “Why don’t you plead guilty. You are fucking guilty!”
Least Successful Courtroom Defence
In 1985, Dennis Newton stood trial for entering a convenience store in Oklahoma City, raising a gun to the store manager’s head and demanding money. The prosecuting attorney asked the chief witness, the store manager, if she could identify the culprit. When she pointed to Newton, he stood up an shouted, “Liar . . . I should have blown your fucking head off!” After a few moments of reflection, he added, “ . . . if I’d been the one that was there.”
Newton was jailed for thirty years.
(Back in 2015 I posted an item from the Oxford Times concerning Dian Dors. The link for the Oxford Times article is:
The story also appears in The Mammoth Book of Losers, reprinted below.)
Least Successful Stage Introduction
The actress Diana Dors was a blond bombshell known as “the British Marilyn Monroe”. Her real name was Diana Fluck. The dangers posed by a missed consonant led to a rapid change of name when she was spotted at the age of fourteen by a talent scout at the London Academy of Music and Drama.
When she returned to her home town of Swindon to open a fete in 1950, a local alderman insisted upon introducing her by her real name. He stepped forward and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our very own Miss Diana Clunt . . . “