Pardoned Turkeys: Where Are They Now?
As with many rehabilitation programs, the Presidential Turkey Pardon has not been without its share of controversy. And while I’m all for granting absolution as a pre-Thanksgiving gesture of goodwill, I can’t help but wonder what happens when these maleficent Meleagris gallopavo are back on the streets (Or farms. Whatever.) I hate to say it, but guilty turkeys are guilty for a reason.
So, in the interest of public safety, I decided to do some digging on these born-again Tom and Tina Turkeys. Did they stick to the straight-and-narrow after their fifteen minutes of fame? Or did they descend back to the crime-ridden depths from whence they flapped?
Crime: Grand larceny
Year pardoned: 2004
Status: Stared at sky during rainstorm. Deceased (drowning).
Year Pardoned: 2002
Status: Accepted position as mascot for Wild Turkey, December 2002. Fired February 2003 after failing sobriety test en route to a promotional event. Police report details that suspect was “unable to recite the alphabet forwards, let alone backwards, and bristled feathers aggressively when asked to walk in a straight line.” Current whereabouts unknown.
Year Pardoned: 2006
Status: Listed as registrar of “modeling” website HotWattles.com, now defunct.
Crime: Money laundering
Year Pardoned: 2005
Status: Entered into Witness Proturktion. Mistakenly killed and served, 2006.
Crime: Drug trafficking
Year Pardoned: 2008
Status: Arrested May 2009 for possession of adulterated maize. Emigrated to Turkmenistan and claimed asylum. Currently resisting extradition to U.S.
Crime: Conspiracy to commit murder
Year Pardoned: 2012
Status: Disappeared from public record after January 2013. Possibly assumed alias of “Gobbles,” the charismatic leader of avian suicide cult Turk Side of the Moon responsible for 34 deaths related to improperly-cooked stuffing. Considered “armed and delicious.”
Crime: Public nudity
Year Pardoned: 2003
Status: Appeared pantless on national television. Tarred and feathered.
BLAIR THORNBURGH is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in medieval studies and delivered a pretty good commencement speech. She lives in Philadelphia.