It is not every day that we hear of people being attacked, injured, or even killed due to mistaken identity. If there’s one thing most can agree on, it’s that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Here is a collection of, what I would consider to be, some of the strangest of the strange cases of mistaken identity.

Officer Undead
Brandon Duke of Longmont, CO must have thought it would be a good idea to have a horror movie marathon before taking a leisurely stroll on the night of May 8th, 2010. Reports claim that an officer attempted to apprehend Brandon on an outstanding warrant. Brandon fled the scene and in the process shot the officer – as what he described as a “warning shot” – because he believed the officer was a zombie. It should come as no surprise that Brandon later plead not guilty to first degree attempted murder, among myriad other charges, due to reason of insanity.

Monsters and Robots
In a similar case, officers in Texas were called to the scene when witnesses reported a man in the street screaming about “demons and robots”. The man, Charles Cline, then accused the police of being inhuman demons. Unable to calm the man down, the sergeant was called to apprehend him. Cline then punched the sergeant, insisting he was the devil. Eventually the police were able to take Charles into custody, transporting him to a local hospital for medical clearance, in order to book him in at El Paso County Jail.

Ricin Letters
One story that you may have missed was the mysterious ricin containing letters, sent to President Barack Obama and several other national leaders, just days after the Boston Marathon bombings. Originally believed to have been sent by Paul Kevin Curitis – an Elvis impersonator and conspiracy blogger. Curitis was convinced that the government was out to ruin his reputation due to his alleged discovery of a black market organ operation that he thought was orchestrated by a number of public officials. He was later found to be wrongly accused and acquitted. Later, Everett Dutschke was arrested and found guilty of sending the ricin laced letters. It is unknown whether or not Dutschke was a fan of the King.

Not so Lucki
When Tomas-George arrived
in Denver, CO for a conference, being assaulted on the street by a stranger was probably the last thing on her mind. While standing outside of a local hotel, Christopher Lucki walked up to Tomas-George and met her with a severe blow to the head before running off. Several witnesses followed Lucki and, with phones in hand, recorded the conversations. Lucki claimed that Tomas-George was a terrorist and had been stalking him for 145 days. Ironically enough, the woman Lucki had assaulted was in town for an anti-discrimination conference and is a commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Lucki is currently being tried for committing hate crimes.

The Ghost of Hammersmith
This final story took place in Hammersmith, England. In 1804 a local rumor had spread that people had sighted, and had even been attacked, by the ghost of a man that had committed suicide. Panic had taken over the town to the point that extra patrolmen were sent to scout the areas of the ghost sightings in order put the townsfolk’s mind at ease. One night Francis Smith was out on his patrol duty when he encountered an all white figure. Smith quickly shot the apparition, only to find that he had actually shot a man named Tomas Millwood. Millwood had been working as a plasterer and it was not the first time he had been mistaken for a ghost, due to his all white uniform. Feverish debate was sparked during the court proceedings on whether or not Smith should be convicted since he believed Milwood was a ghost. Ultimately the judge determined that murder does not have to require malice, and Francis Smith was found guilty. In a final twist, ripped straight from the script of a Scooby Doo episode, it was revealed that the “ghost” was actually an elderly shoemaker named John Graham. John Graham had been dressing up as a ghost in order to play a prank on an apprentice, who had been scaring his children with ghost stories.