The Most Bizarre Crime Stories Of 2019, From Naked Devils To Decapitations

Published December 29, 2019
Updated November 8, 2023

Was This Grandma Destroying A Burglar The Crime News Story Of The Year?

Willie Murphy

Screengrab from YouTubeEighty-two-year-old bodybuilder Willie Murphy struck the home intruder several times with a table before jumping on him.

Much like the tale of Polyana Viana, another would-be assailant was taken down by someone he least expected – though this time it was an 82-year-old grandmother — and former bodybuilder.

Willie Murphy was enjoying a quiet night at home in Rochester, New York, when a stranger appeared on her doorstep asking for medical assistance. Though she was inclined to help the man, she followed her instincts and called an ambulance from inside while leaving the man on the porch.

Unfortunately, the man didn’t take the rejection lightly and broke in while Murphy was on the phone. To his surprise, Murphy acted fast, grabbing an end table and swinging it at the intruder.

“It was kind of semi-dark, I’m alone, and I’m old, but guess what — I’m tough,” she said.

Willie ended up hitting the invader so hard that the table broke. She wasn’t deterred and continued to hit him over the head with broken bits of the table leg. Then, when he fell to the ground, she jumped on him.

Willie even went so far as to pour baby shampoo on the man’s face and hit him with a broom handle.

“He picked the wrong house to break into,” she told reporters. Once she’d finished with the intruder, Willie attempted to remove him but he was too heavy. So, Murphy waited until police arrived and explained what happened.

Though Murphy ultimately decided not to press charges, we’re sure the mugger’s bruised ego is enough to keep him from trying anything like that again.

Katie Serena
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.
Leah Silverman
A former associate editor for All That's Interesting, Leah Silverman holds a Master's in Fine Arts from Columbia University's Creative Writing Program and her work has appeared in Catapult, Town & Country, Women's Health, and Publishers Weekly.
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Serena, Katie. "The Most Bizarre Crime Stories Of 2019, From Naked Devils To Decapitations.", December 29, 2019, Accessed June 22, 2024.