News Briefs

Man Killed For Giving Girlfriend A Snail Instead Of Engagement Ring

GILA BEND, Arizona – Hiram Trask and Emma Baldoon were high school sweethearts, and had lived together unmarried, as a couple for the last 18 years.

Each year, everyone in their town, especially Emma, expected Hiram to pop the question, but every year he had another excuse why he couldn’t.

This year was supposed to be different.   He had made a promise.

So when Hiram told her he had something special for her this past Valentine’s Day, it wasn’t unreasonable of Emma to have expected a ring.

Now she’s facing life in prison because of what he actually gave her, … a tiny snail.

Valentine’s Day evening, they met for a romantic dinner at Del Giorno’s, the fanciest restaurant in Gila Bend.

Hiram was dressed in a tuxedo, and ordered a bottle of Gila Bend’s finest, Red Rock Champagne, $74. a bottle.

Everyone assumed this was the moment they had all been waiting for.

They ate and drank their way through 5 courses, and two bottles of Red Rock, but when the dessert finally came, instead of a ring box, Hiram pulled out a little glass vial and instead of a ring, presented Emma with a tiny snail.

Thinking it was some kind of a joke, Baldoon tapped the snail out of the vial onto the table, and said to Hiram, “ What the hell is this?”

Trask explained that he had gotten her this snail as a token of his affection. He had read about this custom in an obscure magazine, which said that in a certain tribe in the Fiji Islands, the man gave the woman he loved a small snail to prove his affection.”

Enraged and embarrassed, Baldoon flicked the snail onto the floor, slightly cracking it’s shell, and Hiram got hysterical.

He was screaming and crying, “ My snail. Look what you did to my snail.”

As he lay on the floor of the restaurant, cradling the tiny snail, Emma realized he wasn’t kidding.

At that point, witnesses say, she climbed onto his back, lifted his head back by his hair, and slit his throat with a butter knife. Then she jumped up and down on the snail screaming at the top of her lungs, “ Eighteen years! Eighteen years I waited for a stinkin’ lousy snail.”

When the police came, she didn’t resist. As they took her off to jail, all she said was “ I would have been happy with just a plain ring, and a couple of kids. Why did he have to bring me that snail? ”