2015 Top Darwin Awards

Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.


# 2.    Zap!titude

(14 January 2015, New Zealand) Finally some rest for Matthew Smith, 26, killed while trying to silence noisy late-night music at the Whangaruru Beachfront Motor Camp in Oakura. Loud teenage tunes blared out from the neighboring caravan for hours, making sleep impossible! Half an hour after midnight our exasperated Darwin Award winner, a sound and lighting technician, set out to sort out the problem with a metal Leatherman tool.


The coroner determined that Mr Smith disconnected the power cord from the caravan, then tried to sever the plug from the cord whilst the other end was still connected to the campground power box. At 3AM he was found dead with the Leatherman tool fused to his hand, along with a half-cut power cord.


Ironically, the rowdy teenagers had battery-powered lamps and speakers so the loss of power was not immediately investigated. The person who found Matthew nearly became another Darwin Award winner, received a nasty shock upon touching the smoking body! This person then went on to unplug the live cord !! from the power box before calling emergency services.


Police were satisfied that there was no foul play. The power authority was satisfied with the condition of the campground power source. A Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor (GFCI or RCD) would have saved Matthew's life, but such are required only at new campsite installations. The coroner recommended RCD's be installed at all New Zealand caravan parks to protect people from harmful electric shocks.


"The reality here is that the disconnection should have been at the power box, not the camper van," said Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Gallagher.

And finally, the Winner is:


# 1.    Case Of The Charred Crook

(16 November 2015, Croatia) Bojan Bešić was a petty criminal who spent much of his life in prisons. A small-time crook with a police dossier as extensive as the literary works of Tolstoy, Bojan's career was marked by persistence rather than success. For example, death letters persistently sent to his ex-girlfriend landed the criminal 'mastermind' in Pula to serve an eight-month sentence, adding to a cumulative 5 years already spent behind bars.


During his incarceration, Bojan's behavior was so 'outstanding' that on a fateful Monday the prison guards locked him in a padded cell in solitary confinement. Little did they suspect that the cool-down time would leave him literally more hot-headed than before. The brilliant prisoner had managed to smuggle a lighter into the rubber room!


Both hands were cuffed behind his back, but that did not prevent our persistent pal from retrieving the lighter and flicking the Bic. Captured on video, at 3:35PM, Bojan strikes the lighter and purposely starts a fire near the door. The video, tactfully edited, shows the euphoria of the moment as the rubber wall begins to ablaze. As he nonchalantly swaggers around his tomb, the fire grows. Suddenly panic sets in as Bojan realizes that suffocation is imminent! What a surprise.


The prison guards were really not expecting the cell to burst into flames, and why would they? They noticed the smoky situation too late to save the prisoner from himself, making The Case Of The Charred Crook the first prisoner death in the history of the country. At 25 years of age, the only excellence Bojan Bešić displayed was in the manner of his demise. We recognize his outstanding effort with the not-coveted Darwin Award. Better luck next time.