Digesting Diamonds


An alleged diamond thief with the intestinal fortitude to hang onto the evidence finally well .. released it in Windsor this past weekend. Of course, follow the news and you'll know that ingesting the evidence is nothing new - from gems ... to memory chips ... to drugs. But the practice of Digesting Diamonds is even more common at actual diamond mines with organized crime on one end and increasingly sophisticated mine security at the other.

Part Three of The Current

Digesting Diamonds - Precision Jewellers

We started this segment with a scene from the 1996 Woody Allen movie, Everyone Says I Love You. The idea that she may have accidentally swallowed a diamond ring sure worried Drew Barrymore's character in that film, but some people evidently do swallow diamonds deliberately ... although it is usually a ploy to steal the precious gems.

Last year, a Chicago repairman pleaded guilty to swallowing a diamond ring he found in a house he was working on. A month after that, a Spanish man was charged with stealing a diamond pendant from a vacationing British tourist by throwing it down the hatch.

Well, Canada now has its own notorious gem gulper. A 52-year-old man is scheduled to appear in a Toronto court today, facing charges of theft after he allegedly swallowed a $20,000 diamond on May 10th at Precision Jewellers ... a shop in Windsor, Ontario. Police kept a vigil for nine days, waiting for him to pass the diamond in jail and they say he obliged and produced the evidence this past weekend.

Liz Dick is the Precision Jewellers employee who noticed and nabbed the alleged thief. We reached her in Windsor, Ontario.

Digesting Diamonds - Windsor Police

Well, rarely in the history of Windsor have the bowel movements of a private citizen been watched as closely as those of Richard Mackenzie Matthews. To give us an update on where things sit today, we were joined by Windsor Police Deputy Chief Jerome Brannagan.

Digesting Diamonds - Journalist/Author

Well, according to our next guest, if you look into the eyes of a worker in a diamond mine, there's a chance you're looking at someone who's swallowed one of the gems.

Matthew Hart is a journalist and author of several books including Diamond: The History of a Cold Blooded Love Affair. He lives in New York City, where he's working on his next book -- about gold.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

Last Word - Quebec Protest Mail & Student Power

And likely dominating the news once again tonight will be the ongoing student protests in Quebec. A big demonstration is planned for later today in Montreal, marking 100 days since the protests against proposed tuition hikes began. And a number of you have been weighing in on our coverage on The Current in recent days. We took this chance to read some of your thoughts on this issue from our inbox.

As we mentioned earlier, we will be coming to you live from Montreal tomorrow morning with a full-length special edition of The Current looking at the latest developments in the ongoing student protests and their impact on Quebec society and politics.

And today, we wanted to end the program with a reminder that it's not the first time student activism has been on Canadians' minds. In May, 1968 the student protest movement in Paris mushroomed into a general strike that brought France to a standstill and laid siege to the government of Charles de Gaulle.

The following October, the CBC Radio program, It's Debatable, convened a panel consisting of a high school principal and two high school students to thrash out the following question ... Student power: What is it, and is it good for society? Host Elwy Yost and his panel got the last word.

Other segments from today's show:

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