Disturbing Trend of the Day: Late-Night Shoelace Crimes


Shoelaces, typically unremarkable and practical, have entered our consciousness in phenomenal and horrifying ways this week. First, the auto-lacing shoe video wowed and hypnotized us for about five full minutes, and now the power of the shoelace is being harnessed for criminal activities, causing two deaths in two days.

A homeless couple allegedly strangled a man to death with a sneaker lace and stole his wallet early Wednesday morning in Astoria Park, according to the Daily News. Prosecutors said Thomas Donovan, 31, and girlfriend Kelly Harnett, 28, implicated each other in the “predawn slaying.” So, at least one of them is a liar as well as a murderer — and it all started with a shoelace.

In the second shoelace crime reported in today’s Daily News, the perp is also the victim. Early Thursday morning (5:30 a.m.), Steven Wright was locked out of his girlfriend’s 13th-floor Harlem apartment. Neighbors said they had been fighting earlier. In an apparent attempt to enter her top-floor window, Wright went to the roof, tied shoelaces and a belt to a pipe, and tried to inch his way down. His rigged shoelace-ladder gave out and Wright plummeted 11 floors, landing on the second-floor patio and dying from the impact.

This tragedy is awful, but, really, what a terrible idea. Shoelaces are useful and all, but they’ve never been known to support the weight of a human.

Most of us have had at least a few dubious “early-morning” ideas, especially on weekends, but it’s rare for one to end so tragically. Shit gets serious when shoelaces are involved. Heed the warnings of these two cases: Don’t take the wily strings out of your shoe’s eyelets after 3 a.m.