Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Astronaut charged with attempted murder


I've been reading about this story all day. And re-reading. It's so compelling to me and I'm not even sure why. This has to be some type of movie or something.

Anyway, here's the scoop. This Woman....

...used to be an astronaut. She was arrested yesterday for the attempted murder of a fellow pilot and love rival.

The story goes something like this: Mrs. Nowak, pictured above, mother of three, wanted to be involved with another man, a fellow astronaut: Commander Oefelein. But she found out that he might be involved with an Air Force Captain named Colleen Shipman. She finds out that Shipman is going to be flying into Orlando, FL.

What does Mrs. Nowak do when she finds out the itinerary of the rival of her affections? She drives 900 miles non-stop, wearing a diaper so as not to slow herself down (apparently, Astronauts are accustomed to this practice as they are required to wear diapers on launch and re-entry). Once in Orlando, Mrs. Nowak checks into a Hotel with a fake name and address, paying cash. where she dons a disguise, a trenchcoat and a wig.

Then, she follows Colleen Shipman from the airport, onto her shuttle-bus and to her car, where she tries subdue her using pepper spray. Fortunately for Shipman, she was able to drive to the attended booth in the parking lot and the police were summoned. Upon realizing this, Nowak tried discarding a black duffel bag. In the duffel bag was a new steel mallet, a four-inch blade, a realistic looking BB gun, rubber tubing, garbage bags, $600 cash and latex gloves.

The police caught her and booked her for attempted murder. In fact, in the police report, the arresting officer says quite plainly that murder was the intent. I think she was planning on taking things a step further. I think she was going to smash Shipmans bones up and chop her into tiny pieces.

This is Nowak's mug shot:What a fall from grace.

I think the thing that compels me most about this story is that Astronauts are the last American heroes. Soldiers have been heroes since the country's founding. Then cowboys. Then Astronauts came onto the scene. And this is just the most bizarre, out of character thing for someone as educated and brilliant as an astronaut is supposed to be.

That's probably the funniest thing on the police report. How often does a cop have to file a report where the occupation is "NASA Astronaut"?

God, this is weird.

And strangely compelling....


Anonymous said...

She is out on $10000 bond. Astronauts are always a flight risk.

Simon said...

I love this story. It's so domestic, which completely undermines the whole super-tech austronaut image. Love it.

Anonymous said...

I just had to see the picture of this lady, she reminds me of someone I know , no kidding !!!!