The 20 Worst People of 2013: Featuring threesome seekers, cokehead judges, hockey dads from hell and, quite naturally, Wells Fargo

The 20 Worst People of 2013: Featuring threesome seekers, cokehead judges, hockey dads from hell and, quite naturally, Wells Fargo
Kevin Cannon

20. Ron Nielson
Ron Nielson wanted to do something extra scary for the kids on Halloween. He decided it would be totally spooky — not to mention hilarious — to burn a cross at his Palm Bay, Florida, home.

Yet Nielson's uproarious "prank" — his words — went awry when he doused the cross with gas and accidentally set himself aflame, destroying his comedic timing. Medics airlifted him to an Orlando hospital, where he was treated for second-degree burns over half of his body, and doctors struggled to get the punch line.

The 50-year-old is expected to try something more tasteful next year, like hanging an innocent sharecropper from a light pole.

19. Bill Wisth
Bill Wisth is six-foot-six and weighs 350 pounds. He also really likes fish. These salient facts made him a regular at the all-you-can-eat fish fry at Chuck's Place, a family restaurant in Thiensville, Wisconsin.

But his devotion to Chuck's turned tragic one evening last spring. Wisth had already pounded twenty pieces of deep-fried goodness, yet he still hankered for more. A waitress told him they'd run out. She offered to substitute a more expensive fish, but Wisth was rightfully outraged. The restaurant advertised all-you-can-eat, and he could still eat! He left in a huff, refusing to pay his bill.

Vengeance was his when he began picketing Chuck's with a sign reading "False advertising." Wisth was soon hailed as the Nelson Mandela of Thiensville. If his fight proved in vain, Golden Corral might restrict customers to seventeen helpings of cole slaw. The implications were grave.

Yet Wisth's soaring star took a downward trajectory after the media interviewed a waitress. It turns out that Chuck's owner let Wisth run a tab when he couldn't pay for his meals. Worse, on the night in question, he was caught sneaking fish to his dining companion who hadn't ordered the special, a breach of all-you-can-eat etiquette so egregious it was like hitting on your aunt at the after-party for Grandma's funeral.

Wisth was exposed as a mooch and an ingrate. Thiensville soon shifted its allegiance to a more deserving hero: The guy trying to remove the traffic camera on Maple Street.

18. Judge Michael Cook
The first sign that Michael Cook might not be suited for the St. Clair County Circuit Court in southwestern Illinois came last spring. He and fellow judge Joseph Christ were vacationing at the Cook family hunting lodge north of St. Louis when police were summoned.

They arrived to find Christ, a father of six, dead in a bathroom. It seems he failed to read the fine print on a sizeable package of cocaine, which warned that excessive use may piss off your heart, causing it to launch a work stoppage.

Having a dead judge in your bathroom tends to arouse the curiosity of the feds, who started investigating. But that didn't temper Cook's own fondness for powdered happiness. He was later arrested wearing a "Bad Is My Middle Name" T-shirt while leaving the home of drug dealer Sean McGilvery, who told police he sold heroin to Cook "on an almost daily basis." (Cook had dismissed a case against McGilvery two years earlier. No word on whether this entitled him to a house discount.)

The judge resigned and was whisked to treatment in Minnesota. Last month Cook pleaded guilty to heroin and gun charges in exchange for eighteen months behind bars.

17. Ernesto Yañez
Ernesto Yañez was a cop in Port Isabel, Texas, before resigning to pursue a more lucrative profession: burglary. But the former lawman took some unusual lumps during his rookie season.

He and an accomplice burglarized a home in Rio Hondo, Texas, scoring a fine selection of tools. But Yañez accidently left his police-issue pager at the scene. So he called the homeowner at 2 a.m., claiming he'd left the pager behind when he saw someone breaking in while patrolling the area. Fortunately, he'd cracked the case, fingering notorious tool bandit Manuel Manzanares.

There was one small problem with this diversionary tactic: Manzanares didn't appreciate being ratted out, especially since he was Yañez's accomplice. So he in turn ratted out Yañez, allowing police to solve the burglary without lifting a doughnut.

Yañez's burglary business is now for sale, though it has yet to find an interested buyer.

16. Alyssa Pack
Alyssa Pack was spending a delightful afternoon at Twin Hills Park in Crestview, Florida, with a young child and an unidentified man, enjoying the natural splendor. On this day, however, said nature included a trio of geese. They kept following Pack around, perhaps trying to mooch some bread crumbs because they hadn't taken personal responsibility and gotten jobs.

Pack thought it a teachable moment. She taunted the geese by saying, "I'll beat you so hard you won't even know it." Her friend filmed the scene on his cell phone.

As you might expect from unemployed waterfowl, the geese didn't speak English. So Pack resorted to the international language of kicking them in the head as the young child laughed in the background.

"Did you get me kicking?" she asked her cameraman, dancing before her adversaries like Manny Pacquiao. "I have now kicked all three of these geese in the face."

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JamesMadison topcommenter

"The Bush Doctrine ... was used by President George W. Bush to justify the Iraq War." Wrong. It was first used to describe some withdrawals of treaties signed by Clinton and never passed by the Senate. Then it was more commonly used in the Afghanistan War, not the Iraqi War. Bush with the consent of Congress, including Mr. Clinton's wife, decided that harboring terrorists justified the elimination of the Taliban from power and control of that nation. As to the Iraqi War, Bush accepted Saddam's own words that he was violating the peace agreement from the Gulf War by having WMD. It did not matter whether he did or not. Saddam said he did, and we did know Saddam used such weapons against the Kurds. Bush was enforcing the UN treaty against the Iraqi dictator.

If the author would spend a half minute researching his political agenda, stupidity in blatant errors might be avoided or more properly focused. By all means slam Bush for how he and Congress decided to defend America. Honorable people can disagree on that. Dishonorable people make sh¡t up.

JamesMadison topcommenter

"Though detectives say he attempted to extort fourteen women, he was allowed to plead guilty to one count of stalking, for which he'll spend at least two years in the slam."

Plea bargains like this are just wrong. Fourteen years is more deserving. Stop being so soft on criminals! Yes, it costs money to go to trial, and yes, you may lose. BUT justice demands you try to get these people off the streets for a long time lest they find more and better ways of harassing innocent people.

I do wonder the political agenda of the author in bringing out this criminal's party affiliation.  Is it because members of the GOP are unusual to commit such crimes? And that had he been a Clinton-Obama loyalist we would have expected such behavior?

JamesMadison topcommenter

Texas refusing to allowing gay divorce is quite understandable. They do not believe the couple was married. They do not recognize the union, therefore no divorce. Keep those divorces out of the Texas legal system. Why should Texans pay for a divorce court's time in dealing with gay divorce if there is no gay marriage? Plus, by not allowing the divorce, these two men cannot legally get married to others should they make another trip to New England. It is not like two people who filed for divorce and thought it was done are going to stay living together.

It is a shame the author's hate of those opposed to gay marriage clouds any rational thought.


waded through 5 pages to get to number one....anxiously anticipating...will it be nicastro, or herschend or sinquefield.....after all, we are considering destruction of childrens' lives, among other things....what a let down.

JamesMadison topcommenter

"She was paid $18,000 in exchange for her resignation." Things have gotten rotten to the point we pay people for their bad behavior. Sure firing her outright might have resulted in legal bills over $18G, but if fairness was part of justice, legal fees would be paid by the losing side. Plus, the school should be able to recoup the legal fees from her pension fund. We have to stop rewarding criminal behavior.

George Culp
George Culp

Should have added my sister in law!!

Brenda McBride Watson
Brenda McBride Watson

I loved all the unnecessary flowery descriptions, in fact they were my favorite. Good work

Natasha Mayton
Natasha Mayton

This was funny. But, hard up read because of all the unnecessary, flowery descriptions.

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