Archive for March 15th, 2011


By Tim Scuttlebutt for the New York Times
Published March 16, 2011

COLORADO – In what local law enforcement officials are calling “The most bizarre apparent suicide in the state’s history – and we’ve had some Jim-dandy weirdo deaths in these parts,” a woman was killed while spelunking naked in the state’s largest bat cave.

The cave, a former iron-ore mine located in the San Luis Valley, is home to more than 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats.   Due to dangerous hazards common in abandoned mines, and because it is a protected habitat for bats, civilians are not allowed to approach the cave beyond the designated viewing area.

According to witnesses, before dusk on March 15, an unidentified woman stripped off her clothes and ran from the viewing area into the cave.

“She looked normal to us,” said Marvin Muggs, 52.  “Me and the wife saw her just ahead of us, hiking up from the trailhead.  Nice figure of a woman, I thought.  Normal face.  But then when we got to the spot where everyone’s supposed to stop – well, she didn’t.”

“It’s like she went bat-shit crazy,” said Betty Muggs, 50. “Suddenly she ripped off all her clothes and started screaming, ‘I’m free!’ and ‘No more crappy job!  No more relatives from hell! I’m going to fly away!’ Course she didn’t fly, she ran.”

“Hell bent for leather straight into the cave,” Mr. Muggs added. “And she also screamed something about no more rejection letters from agents or publishers.”

Officials report that the trail guide was about to pursue the woman when the bats began flying out of the cave.

“Let me tell you,” said wildlife biologist Fred Lemur, “when a quarter of a million bats are shooting out of a dark and evil-looking hole, you stay the heck out of their way and pray one of those rabid little suckers doesn’t take a nip at you.”

The column of bats during the out-flight continued for nearly an hour.  By the time rescue volunteers were able to enter the cave, there was no sign of the woman.

“We followed her footprints in the guano,” said Costilla County Sheriff Bob Bigschott.    “Damn stuff came up to our knees.  But I’m sorry to say it led straight to a mineshaft.   At first we thought maybe she survived the fall.  We even heard what sounded like a maniacal laugh.   But then it got dead quiet.   Like she just, you know.”  He drew his finger across his throat to imply suicide.

The name of the woman has been withheld pending notification of relatives.