Today's news about a Utah judge ordering a Price woman to cut off her daughter's ponytail is just the latest in a long line of strange stories the Deseret News has uncovered. Check out this list of 10 of our oddest articles from the last two years.
From the story: He wasn't this popular during a short stint in the NFL, but thanks to the creative minds behind the Old Spice commercial, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," Isaiah Mustafa was ranked the sixth sexiest man in Hollywood, according to a recent Fox News poll.
His commercial has spawned several spoofs, including one at BYU that has garnered attention not only on campus but on YouTube, where it has had more than 2 million views.
Ironically, the creator of the Old Spice phenomenon is a BYU graduate.
That's right. As No. 3 in the lineup of eight kids, ad man Jason Bagley says his father was more worried about him achieving success than any other of his siblings. After all, he didn't graduate from BYU until he was 27 years old, with a major in advertising and a minor in English.
Read full story: BYU grad becomes commercial success promoting what a man smells like
From the story: Utah County investigator Jeff Robinson compares Martin MacNeill's life to the movie "Catch Me If You Can," but says the movie "paled in comparison."
MacNeill, the former Utah State Developmental Center clinical director and Pleasant Grove resident, is serving a prison sentence for fraud, forgery and identity theft. But investigators believe he spent a lifetime getting away with other crimes — including murder. And family sources expect a murder charge may be filed against him next month.
"MacNeill's a thespian," said investigator Doug Witney, who has spent nearly three years researching MacNeill and the suspicious death of his wife, Michele. "It appears his whole life was scripted and staged."
Read full story: Martin MacNeill: Was his wife Michele's death accidental or was it murder?
From the story: LAYTON — The shoplifter smashed Gabriel Stewart up against a wall.
It didn't take him long to realize that pressure against his lower back was from a loaded gun held by a desperate man who didn't want to go to jail. The gunman had a firm grip on Stewart's shoulder, telling him and three of his Walmart co-workers, "Don't make me do this."
“Absolutely time stopped,” Stewart told KSL. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Instantly, Shawn Ray and Justin Richins kicked into gear, spinning the gunman around. Lori Poulsen ripped the gun away and secured it. They all held on to the man until police arrived minutes later.
The four Layton Walmart employees felt it was mission accomplished. Police officers told them they had done everything right.
But a week later, all four were fired from their jobs. Walmart said their actions had violated company policy and put their fellow workers and shoppers at risk.
Read full story: 4 Layton Walmart employees fired after disarming gunman caught shoplifting
From the story: BOUNTIFUL — He hit the mother lode, but not once did Josh Ferrin even think of laying claim on the more than $45,000 cash that he found in his garage.
In fact, he gave it all back.
"You can't make plans for money like this that's found in a situation like this," Ferrin said. "It just doesn't feel right to do anything but give it back."
Within an hour of closing on his first home, Josh Ferrin, an artist for the Deseret News, used the keys to take his first official look inside.
While taking it all in, he noticed a tiny scrap of carpet peeking out of a small door in the ceiling of a workshop at the back of the garage. He got a ladder and climbed up to explore the unseen space. It was dark and musty, but Ferrin could see a black metal box sitting there.
It was a heavy metal box — the kind used to haul ammunition during World War II — and it was filled with cash, old stamps, bond certificates and other random memorabilia.
"I immediately closed it, locked it in my truck and called my wife. 'You won't believe what I just found,'" he said. Tara Ferrin immediately knew the couple had to return the money to its rightful owners.
Read full story: Big cash discovery leads to a lesson in honesty for new Bountiful homeowners
From the story: AMERICAN FORK — No matter how cool a teenager's mom and dad might be, few teens get through high school without feeling their parents embarrassed them.
And one teen has his dad to thank for embarrassing him the entire school year — well, 170 days of it.
When the high school's bus routes changed this year, 16-year-old Rain Price soon found out he'd be going right past his house every single morning. Much to his chagrin, he also found out his dad would be standing outside, waving.
"When he did it the first day, I was in shock," Rain said. "It's my first day of my sophomore year."
The embarrassment was a thrill for his father.
The second day of school, there he was again, only this time Dale Price was wearing a San Diego Chargers helmet and jersey. Day three, it was an Anakin Skywalker helmet, and the next day, swim trunks and a snorkel mask.
Read full story: Teen's dad spends school year waving at bus, embarrassing son
From the story: VERNAL — A Vernal man has been charged with disorderly conduct after police say he caused alarm when he paid for a disputed medical bill in pennies.
On May 27, Jason West went to Basin Clinic prepared to dispute an outstanding bill, according to Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell. West, 38, apparently did not believe he owed the clinic the $25 it said he did.
“After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they count it,” Campbell said. “The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor.”
The incident upset clinic staff, said Campbell, adding that West's behavior served "no legitimate purpose."
Read full story: Police cite Vernal man accused of paying bill with 2,500 pennies
From the story: REXBURG, Idaho — They slithered behind the walls at night and released foul-smelling musk into the drinking water. And they were so numerous that Ben Sessions once killed 42 in a single day.
Shortly after buying their dream home, Sessions and his wife discovered it was infested with thousands of garter snakes. For the next three months, their growing family lived as if in a horror movie. More than a year after they abandoned the property, the home briefly went back on the market, and they fear it could someday attract another unsuspecting buyer.
The five-bedroom house stands on nearly two pastoral acres in rural Idaho, about 125 miles southwest of Yellowstone National Park. Priced at less than $180,000, it seemed like a steal.
But the young couple soon learned they would be sharing the home with reptiles at least two feet long that had crawled into seemingly every crevice.
Read full story: Idaho couple's dream home was infested with snakes
From the story: As he approached the helicopter to leave I had a strong impression that I needed to give Prince Charles the book in my back pocket. I thought to myself, “How could I accomplish this?" He had already moved on and you’re not allowed to step out of line until Prince Charles has exited. So I wondered how to grab his attention without being disrespectful.
I did the first thing that came naturally to me. I waved my hands in the air, screamed for Prince Charles, and stepped out of line. I did it. I had broken three rules. I realized what I had done and stepped back in line, putting my head down in embarrassment.
With my head still down in shame, two large feet appeared in front of me. I looked up and to my surprise I saw Prince Charles. Gathering my composure, I said, “On behalf of my church I would like to give you a gift.”
Read full story: Prince Charles and the Book of Mormon
From the story: TOOELE — Ema Parker would rather not be in the spotlight.
And all the hemming and hawing over her hemline, the 14-year-old says, has been embarrassing.
"It's shocking that I would get cornered for this, separated out from other people," Ema said Thursday outside Tooele Junior High School.
Last week, Ema was called into the office by principal Larry Abraham over the length of her skirt, which she was told was a half-inch too short. The school's dress code requires that material reach 2 inches above the top of the knee.
Ema said she was surprised by the reprimand because she believes the skirt meets the dress code, and "other people were dressed more inappropriately that day."
Read full story: Is this dress too short? Tooele teen gets national attention over dress-code drama
From the story: PRICE — The mother of a 13-year-old girl says she has filed a formal complaint against a juvenile court judge who told her he'd cut her daughter's sentence if she cut off the girl's ponytail in his courtroom.
"She definitely needed to be punished for what had happened," Valerie Bruno told the Deseret News. "But I never dreamt it would be that much of a punishment."
Bruno's daughter, Kaytlen Lopan, was referred to 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen's court in March for an allegation of assault. Lopan and a friend endeared themselves to a 3-year-old girl at McDonald's in Price and then used scissors to cut several inches of hair from the little girl's head, according to Price police.
"It was beautiful, it was long, it had natural curl, and now it's cut up to here," said the victim's mother, Mindy Moss, gesturing to her jawline.
Read full story: Eye for an eye, hair for hair? Judge orders Price woman to cut off daughter's ponytail in court