Almighty Defence

So what are the ingredients behind a truly great court case?

I’ve always felt there are three principal rules

  1. A dead body
  2. A ludicrous defense
  3. A barking mad defendant

The recent trial of Alan Bushey, a 50 year old “clergyman” from Wisconsin, appeared have all three after the prosecution alleged that Bushey hid the dead body of one of his followers for 65 days in order to continue collecting her annuities.

In an intriguing twist on the usual “God told me to do it” defense, Bushey claimed he kept the decomposing body of the 90 year old Magdeline Middlesworth in his landlady’s toilet because he thought God would “do it” instead.

As his lawyer explained…

“A miracle like that is part of the Christian faith. He truly believed she would come back from the dead”.

Sadly, God failed to deliver and Bushey has been convicted of “hiding a corpse” and sentenced to two years in prison.

Having copped a plea of “no contest” to the corpse hiding charges, twin counts of “causing mental harm to a child” were dropped. Disappointingly that means we won’t get to hear more about how Bushey told the landlady’s two children that the reason the body was decomposing was that they “weren’t praying hard enough.”

Mummy? It smells like Jesus

Mummy? It smells like Jesus

So let’s take a look back at our 3 components…

  1. Dead body – Check
  2. Ludicrous defense – Check
  3. Barking mad defendant – Er… hang on…

Turns out Bushey was defrocked by his church, the Orthodox Catholic Church of Russia in the Americas, back in 1998 and the judge in the case has subsequently labelled him a con man. He also ordered Bushey to serve three years on extended supervision with the condition that he “not work* as a clergyman” during that time. Sadly it looks like the Reverend Bushey is not as bonkers as the rules require.

We’ll continue to scan the legal pages in the hope our trio of ingredients show up soon


Dr T

*How much work does the leader of a cult actually have to do? Mooching off your congregation surely isn’t a profession…?


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