A manhunt lasting three days and involving more than 800 police officers and FBI agents ended in the early hours of this morning when cartoon sleuth Shaggy took his own life, writes Nigel Eels in Dilton, California.
He had been cornered in the Ghost Train ride of a disused fairground after killing his three teenage friends and a talking dog and going on the run.
Surrounded by SWAT marksmen, Shaggy – alias automotive heir Clayton Dewberry – had threatened to kill himself by holding a packet of Paracetamol to his mouth.
As the stand-off developed, emaciated footballer Paul Gascoigne was helicoptered in with a box of Scoobysnacks and a 4ft sandwich.
He told CBS News: “I just wanted to tell him, ‘Hey, Shaggy – it’s Gazza, you know me!’ But yet again my attempts at negotiation were foiled.”
At 0300 hours EST, Shaggy’s final words were, “Zoiks! Like, I’m sorry Scoob!”. Moments later there came the sound of gunfire, the sizzle of Tasers, and then silence.
FBI Special Agent Barbara Weems told the News Grind: “It would appear the fugitive ended his own life by taking an overdose of barbiturates,” – something which the dead man’s family dispute.
In a statement Shaggy’s brother, automotive heir Royston J Dewberry III, said: “If the cops hadn’t opened fire, there is no way Clayton would be dead. The impact of 539 high-velocity bullets entering his skull clearly caused an involuntary spasm which resulted in him consuming an entire packet of Paracetamol.”
And there was further controversy after a post mortem examination revealed the ill-kempt drop-out was in fact embittered janitor Waylon Brewster in disguise.
Dilton County medical examiner Farlowe Minch said: “I have been conducting autopsies for more than 30 years and I have never come across anything quite as surreal as this.”
* Elsewhere on TNG: “I’m off to see that Libyan bloke now,” Gazza tells bewildered US media