News of the Night 4/09/99

Cover Story:
Sunday, March 27: Seven police were injured and two were killed while investigating what appears to be a frightening new cult in north Austin.

Saturday police responded to a 911 call reporting gunfire and reckless driving at a ranch on north 2222. The officers arrived 40 minutes late, finding several bodies and at least ten dead animals. The main building on the ranch grounds was on fire. A large shed which apparently contained explosives was found empty, and tire marks at the compound indicate that dozens of vehicles had recently left the area.

The police officers were injured while investigating the ranch Sunday morning, when they accidently triggered a number of armed traps and explosive devices. Sources within the police departent say this group may be responsible for Austin's recent terrorism. At least 50 people were apparently living in the compound. Eight bodies were found at the scene Sunday, and the empty explosive storage shed indicates that the cult members are still alive.

Police report the presence of many guns and religious symbols in the compound, and FBI agents confiscated the bodies of the animals found there. The animals, Saint Bernards, were scheduled to be cremated, but were set aside when an animal shelter employee noticed severe blood loss in one of the dogs. The FBI refused to comment on whether the cult may have been involved in recent blood bank robberies.

Police have ruled out an internal conflict in the compound's destruction. Investigators found several clues which they say make it clear the ranch was attacked by a second group. Police have refused to comment further on what the attackers left behind that seperates them from the compound residents. Sheriff John Bobsley was quoted as saying, "Whether it was vigilantism or gang warfare, theyr'e local, and if they're still here, we'll find them."

Flea Market Disaster and other fires:
A substantial portion of the Austin Country Flea Mart, "Austin's largest flea market," was destroyed in a  fire Sunday, March 28. Two people were injured when one of the flea market's featured exhibits, a two-headed cow, became panicked by the fire and broke free from her corral, goring several by-standers. The cow was killed to protect the rest of the people. The fire was traced back to an overturned sausage-vender cart.

Nearby Manor town was also ravaged by fire. The Lion's Club somehow caught fire, and the blaze spread throughout much of the town. Police have not yet identified the source of the blaze.

Following the child pornography scandal with the previous District Attourney, a new contestant, Republican Thomas Freeley, has thrown his hat into the ring for the next election. This former unknown is becoming a strong contender for the office.

News of the Weird:
In an unusual display of migratory behavior, lobsters in both the Westlake Randall's and the Westlake Albertson's grocery stores broke free from their bonds Monday, March 29, and escaped to freedom, or at least to the floor. The creatures were captured, but many were rendered unsellable.

Police Blotter:
A southeast liquor store was robbed Saturday, April 3. Two bystanders apparently tried to assist police in arresting the perpetrators by dropping stink bombs, but they quickly left the store, and have not been ruled out as accomplices. A U-haul was seen leaving the crime. In a highly related event, several assaults at a beach took place with a similer U-Haul truck nearby, and the descriptions of the renter of said truck correspond closely with those seen on the liquor store security monitors...This should be an easy arrest.

Jacob Williamson 9802-157, ADST Propaganda
With Thanks to Stephen Taft