Maybe somebody should write a manual for the really stupid criminals. One advice would be: "if you purchase hydrochloric acid in order to make bombs, don't throw that acid in the face of total strangers on the subway right in front of a surveillance camera. This attracts a bit of unnecessary attention, increases the likelihood of being caught, makes for pretty good evidence in the court of law, and besides you'll run out of acid that way."
That's what happened in Rouen on New Year's Eve. Three boys aged 14-15 saw a girl on the subway, tried to harass her a bit but got no response, and threw some hydrochloric acid in her face. This did indeed elicit a bit of a response, even from the police. The response might be up to 7 years of prison, and the conviction is likely, considering that they did it in front of a surveillance camera.
Now it turns out that the acid was meant for tiny little homemade bombs. The kind that make a lot of smoke and throw acid around in the radius of a few meters. Isn't it lovely?
As an aside: how are people like that not afraid of their victims? Or are they? I mean, even I found myself idly wondering whether or not you can construct an enema from materials that would hold acid, and administer it to the offenders, and what the result would be, and I don't even know any of the participants. For all we know the poor girl might have already designed and made such a device and be waiting for them with it. In any case they won't ever be able to be sure.
In any case I wish the boys a really painful accident in their next handling of acid. Hopefully resulting in a Darwin award.
On a related note: in London last week five teenagers raped a 16-year-old girl a poured lye all over her in order to destroy DNA evidence. One of them has already been arrested. The article says "poured caustic soda over her, but it leaves to everyone's imagination where else they must have poured it to remove the DNA evidence from rape.
Ugh. Hope this doesn't become a trend.
Maybe I should invest in a toilet plunger company, for the times when we won't be able to buy any acid, lye, drain cleaner or suchlike anymore.