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Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015

Local story received a lot of national attention

Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010, at 2:41 PM

"He knew what to do with a million dollars ..."

That was one of the lines used to advertise the 1994 Walt Disney movie, "Blank Check."

It's been suggested by more than one online blogger that perhaps the man who allegedly tried to cash a forged one million dollar check at the drive-through of a Greene County bank was inspired by the old Disney movie.

"Blank Check" was not a blockbuster movie -- not even close.

The movie was about a 12-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle one day when a convicted money launderer, driving a car, nearly kills the boy by running over his bike. For a quick settlement, the crook gives the boy a check. Mistakenly, it was a blank check which the kid makes out for a million dollars then manages to convince a bank to cash it. So the kid then lives the high life with lots of adventures while a bunch of gangsters, and the FBI, are after him to get the money back.

The news story about the Greene County incident was first written by some reporter at the Greene County Daily World, then appeared on the gcdailyworld.com website one evening and in the paper the next day.

From that day, it "went viral" meaning one person posted a link to it, then another and another and another. And the story on gcdailyworld.com got visitor after visitor from all over everywhere.

The story ended the month of July with a record number of hits -- almost five times more than the next most popular story that month.

Besides making the news in other area newspapers and in area television and radio news spots, we've heard a rumor that it was on the Jay Leno show -- don't know about that, but it apparently did get a mention on several other national network or cable shows.

ABC news did call the office one night -- said the story was probably going to air on "Good Morning America." And another person reported it was on CNN.

Looking at the "Justice" tab on CNN online, I did end up at a post about Greene County's incident located on the "Dumb Blog" of "truTV." It's billed as a "Daily Digest of the Dumbest Stuff People Do."

Here's a link: http://blog.trutv.com/dumb_as_a_blog/201...

On this site, readers vote for the dumbest criminal of the week and the Greene County suspect made the list of the top five for one week in July.

(Remember none of these people listed on the site have actually been convicted.)

For that particular week, Justin C. Johnson was voted into second place, beating out a guy in Florida who allegedly tried to trade drugs for a Big Mac because he didn't have enough money to pay his bill.

The winner of the week was a guy, also from Florida, who allegedly pistol-whipped somebody in an incident that was caught on video surveillance.

Police had no idea who the suspect was, but when the video appeared on television in a segment about unsolved crimes, the perpetrator called police and asked why his picture was on TV, effectively turning himself in.

Sometimes, you just can't win.

Anna is a staff writer at the Greene County Daily World and can be reached by calling 847-4487 or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us .

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Anna Rochelle is editor of the Greene County Daily World and can be reached on Facebook or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us.