Arpaio’s savage lesbians? The Weekly World News gets one right, sort of

By John Dickerson

“Drop-dead-gorgeous Alison Hicks was plunged into a nightmare world of degrading strip searches, savage catfights, sadistically cruel prison matrons and mannish lesbians–who took one look at her slim, athletic body and big breasts and converged on her like voracious army ants.”

So reads the first paragraph in the tabloid Weekly World News' 2003 coverage of Anthem single mom Alison Hicks and her journey into Joe Arpaio’s jails. Click here to read the WWN story.

Sure, the WWN story about going to jail in Maricopa County may not be as credible as the jail-conditions lawsuits now proceeding in federal court against Arpaio. But some may find it more interesting. Also interesting is that Hicks hopes to release a feature film, Backspin, about her traumatic experience in jail, her years as a model/tennis pro and her alleged affair with Johnny Carson.

Mannish lesbians aside, Hicks’ description of Arpaio’s jails does indeed jibe with the handful of calls New Times gets each month from jail inmates. Other claims can be verified too, sort of. Long before Hicks was thrown in the county clink, she was indeed a “Page 5” model for the esteemed WWN tabloid, which bills itself as “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper.”

Hicks also made grocery-checkout stands two years ago today, when the National Enquirer ran a tell-all interview about her alleged affair with Johnny Carson.

But enough with the facts. Let’s get in another sensational WWN quote: “Scared-stiff ‘new fish’ Alison cried all the time–and lust-crazed prison lesbians were only too eager to offer the leggy blonde ‘comfort.’” That’s from the second story in the WWN’s four-part series about Hicks' time in Joe's jail.

WWN readers can indeed be thankful that “the Page 5 girl” made it out of Arpaio’s gulag alive. Other inmates haven't been so fortunate.

As for the overheated claims in the WWN, the ribald movie So I Married an Axe Murderer probably explains the paper best. In the film, Mike Myers' characte doesn't believe the axe murderer exists. His mom, however, is adamant that the fiend does exist, because she read it in the WWN. Myers' character eventually meets the murderer, but not until he tells his mom, “Hey Mom, I find it interesting that you refer to the Weekly World News as, The paper. The [real] paper contains facts.”

To which mom replies, “This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth-highest circulation in the whole wide world. Right? Plenty of facts. ‘Pregnant man gives birth.’ That’s a fact.”

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John Dickerson
Contact: John Dickerson