1. In Los Angeles, Ani Saduki, 33, and his brother decided to remove a bees' nest from a shed on their property with the aid of a 'pineapple' (an illegal firecracker), which is the explosive equivalent of half a stick of dynamite. They ignited the fuse and retreated to watch from inside their home, behind a window just 3 m away from the hive. The concussion of the explosion shattered the window inwards, seriously lacerating Ani. Deciding Ani needed stitches, the two brothers headed off to a nearby hospital. While walking towards their car, Ani was stung three times by the surviving bees. Unbeknownst to either brother, Ani was allergic to bee venom and died of suffocation en route to the hospital.
2, Derrick L. Richards, 28, was charged in Minneapolis with third-degree murder for his involvement in the death of his beloved cousin Kenneth E. Richards. According to police, Derrick suggested a game of Russian roulette and put a semiautomatic pistol - instead of the more traditional revolver to Ken's head and fired.
3. In Phillipsburg, New Jersey, an unidentified 29-year-old male choked to death on sequined panties he had orally removed from an exotic dancer at a local establishment. 'I didn't think he was going to eat it,' the dancer identified only as Ginger said, adding, 'He was really drunk.'
4. In Moscow, a drunken security man asked a colleague at the bank they were guarding to stab his bulletproof vest to see if it would protect him against a knife attack. It didn't and the 25 year-old guard died of a heart wound. (It's good to see the Russians getting into the spirit of the Darwin Awards.)
5. In France, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied the other end of the rope to a large rock. He drank some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the pistol. The bullet missed him completely and cut through the rope above him. Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea. The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a fisherman and was taken to hospital, where he died of hypothermia.
6. A Renton, Washington, man tried to commit a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as he had no previous record of violent crime and made terminally stupid choices. The target was H. & J. Leather & Firearms - yes - a gun shop. The shop was full of customers in a state where a substantial portion of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter having coffee before reporting for duty. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing the robber from the gene pool. Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire. No one else was hurt.
The 1999 Darwin Award Winner is telephone relay company night watchman Edward Baker, 31, of Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. He was killed early Christmas morning by excessive microwave radiation exposure. He was apparently attempting to keep warm next to a telecommunications feed horn. Baker had been suspended on a safety violation once last year, according to Northern Manitoba Signal Relay spokesperson Tanya Cooke. She noted that Baker's earlier infraction was for defeating a safety shut-off switch and entering a restricted maintenance catwalk in order to stand in front of the microwave dish. He had told co-workers that it was the only way he could stay warm during his 12-hour shift at the station where winter temperatures often dip to 40 degrees below freezing. Microwaves can heat water molecules within human tissue in the same way they heat food in microwave ovens.
For his Christmas shift, Baker reputedly brought a 12-pack of beer and a plastic lawn chair, which he positioned directly in line with the strongest microwave beam. Baker had not been told about a 10-fold boost in microwave power planned that night to handle the anticipated increase in holiday long distance calling traffic. Baker's body was discovered by the daytime watchman, John Burns, who was greeted by an odor he mistook for a Christmas roast that he thought Baker must have prepared as a surprise. Burns also reported to company officials that Baker's unfinished beers had exploded.