Surely one of the more bizarre stories you’ll read this week: Glendon Scott Crawford, a 49-year-old employee of General Electric living in Galway, NY, had a plot to build a device that would kill people in their sleep using high-radiation X-rays. Crawford called it “Hiroshima on a light switch,” and he intended to use it to kill Muslims. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling Klansmen.

Crawford, who had an accomplice in 54-year-old engineer Eric J. Feight, had everything he needed to build the x-ray gun–except funding. For that, he went to a friendly North Carolina neighborhood chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as a local synagogue (where he “announced his intention to build a weapon that could help Israel kill its enemies while they slept,” according to the Times).

Both groups turned Crawford over to the authorities, and he was arrested this week. Apparently, the thing really could have worked. “From our investigation, the device — and there are a number of components that needed to be put together,” said John Duncan, a prosecutor, “Would have been capable of emitting X-ray radiation that would have caused death.”

(Photo: Michael Connell/Flickr)