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"Irishman's" Wife Not Brightest Emerald on The Isle


Now for an update on a criminal destined for the BW True Crime hall of fame: Last week, we reported about Joshuah Shelley, 32, a California transplant to Utah who convinced his three Provo, Utah, roommates that: 1) he was Irish; 2) he was a professional BMX racer; 3) he had just finished serving a Mormon mission in Canada; and 4) his mother would wire his first month's rent money from Ireland in just a few days. Sound suspect? Well, it worked on the Momos just long enough for Shelley to steal everything worth any value in their apartment, as well one of the dudes' Mormon "garments" to boot, early last month.

It turns out that Provo boys aren't the only gullidopes in the West. Shelley's ex-wife, Cindy Laugesen of Campbell, California, gave the Provo Daily Herald an exclusive interview just before her former hubby's arrest in Pocatello on July 12. Laugesen explained that Shelley pulled off his Irish bit for two whole years around her, and she only found out the truth when Shelley's mother called up the couple's house unexpectedly. Shelley had told Laugesen that his mother--in Ireland--was dead.

"How many of us have been to Ireland and can tell a true Irish accent? It's an accent, but it's almost a cross between Irish and Australian," Laugesen told the paper. She added that after having heard real Irish accents, she now knows better, but she maintains that Shelley nonetheless put on a compelling show. "He actually convinced his defense attorney in Colorado that he was Irish," she said. "And they were going to deport him."