The bank robbers’ C-list celebrity masks threw the police off the scent. The breakthrough? Traces of animal hair in a dropped bag.
It was a brilliant ruse in so many ways.
In the first place, the idea of a bank being robbed by a gang disguised as Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Nicole Richie and Tara Reid was so unexpected and somehow hilarious that it completely disarmed all resistance. People just couldn’t believe it was really happening.
The bank tellers handed the money over with an appreciative smile. The bank’s customers smirked as they lay face down on the floor with their hands behind their heads.
Even the police shook their heads in wry disbelief. This was some kind of stunt, right? Justin Bieber was going to step forward with a mike and a camera on him. This was for the new series of Punk’d, right?
Well, the LAPD was not about to fall for this one. They weren’t going to waste their time giving chase only to end up the butt of some TV practical joke.
But no. It turned out it was for real. Bank robbers wearing Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Nicole Richie and Tara Reid masks really had made off with 1.5 million dollars in cash and safe deposit contents of an undisclosed value.
So what? They’d also brightened up everyone’s day.
Naturally, the media went to the celebrities whose identities the robbers had assumed for statements. These were limited to negative comments on the bank robbers’ fashion choices. (Apart from the celebrity masks, the robbers had dressed in orange overalls, very Guantanamo Bay.)
There was certainly some kind of irony at work here. And the fact that it appeared to go completely over the heads of the celebrities portrayed only added to everyone else’s enjoyment of it.
Editorials were written in highbrow newspapers unravelling the cultural semiotics of the incident. There was a suspicion that this was more than just a simple crime. It was some kind of political statement. A critique on celebrity culture, or on consumerism, or the American Way, or the failure of the capitalist system, perhaps? No one quite knew what it signified. Except for the fact that someone had made off with a lot of money.
The gang issued their commands using pre-recorded messages played on cellphones, Stephen Hawking-style artificial voices.
The orange overalls had the effect of disguising their body-shapes. But from their height and stature, some witnesses claimed that the gang members were female.
The first real breakthrough came with the discovery of a bag that one of the gang members had dropped while making their getaway. It was filled with jewels from the safe deposit boxes. But at the bottom of the bag a number of animal hairs were found. Forensic analysis revealed that they were dog hairs, from a mixture of breeds: Pomeranian and Chihuahua.
A slowly dawning realisation came over the detectives investigating the case. Was it really possible? The gang disguised as D-list celebrities Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Nicole Richie and Tara Reid really were the D-list celebrities Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, Nicole Richie and Tara Reid?
It seemed unlikely, given the well-known rift between Paris and Nicole. But perhaps that was all part of the plan?
The dog hairs enabled the police to produce a warrant to search Paris Hilton’s house. They found an orange overall and Paris Hilton mask stuffed at the back of one of her wardrobes.
And so the truth about Paris Hilton was revealed. She was not the vacuous air-headed heiress the world had presumed. But a brilliant criminal mastermind.