The Mystery of the Binghamton Vaseline Man
Room 205 at Motel 6 in the Town of Chenango. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]
Twelve years have passed since a man slathered Vaseline on every surface of Room 205 at a Motel 6 near Binghamton. When police found him at another nearby motel, he was "smeared from head to foot" with the petroleum jelly. The story made news around the world.
The manager of the Motel 6 on Upper Front Street in the Town of Chenango reported the unusual case of criminal mischief to the sheriff's office on May 9, 2004.
Mary Jason told Deputy Kevin Smith that everything in a room that had been occupied by a 44-year-old Virginia man was covered with Vaseline. Mattresses, the television set, the carpet and everything else had been coated with the stuff.
A sheriff's department sergeant at the time described the case as "kind of odd." But he noted the guy had done the same thing at another local motel in the past.
When the suspect answered a phone call from WNBF News, he responded with an expletive to make it clear he was not interested in discussing the matter. Then he hung up.
Seven months later, when the "Vaseline Vandal" appeared in Broome County court, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count. He was ordered to pay a $3,886 fine and sentenced to three years probation.
The judge did not seek an explanation for what happened in Room 205 and one was not offered.
The Vaseline caper made the monologue on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A Washington Post columnist tried to track down the mysterious motel guest but had no success.
The shocking story also was featured on cable television's Adult Swim. View that animated interpretation HERE.
Broome County Sheriff David Harder on Friday recalled the bizarre case of the man with the Vaseline. Harder, who has worked for the sheriff's office for more than 50 years, conceded it was "a little unusual."
Deputy Kevin Smith will discuss the strangest case he's handled Monday morning on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program.
It happened here at Motel 6 at 1012 Upper Front Street in the Town of Chenango. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.