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The context for this is it was a spoof of 'just foiled in time' post-Columbine school 'Matrix' and 'Basketball Diaries'-style rampage news stories that were very prevalent at the time of it's writing, and how they were often said to be inspired by movies in popular culture.

Oz Campage Members
NCN Photo: Bruce Matthias (far left) was the black-clad alleged ringleader of the 'Lolipop Guild' stopped moments before their 'WOZ Campage'

 TOPEKA, KANSAS - Four teenagers with a fixation on the perennial classic film The Wizard of Oz have been arrested with an arsenal of props, that police say the group was about to use to 'dazzle and delight' "as many people as possible."

Police have revealed the suspects were captured wearing a variety of disguises, including an all black wicked witch costume, a 'tin man' costume and even a pink faerie costumes. The costumes are said to represent characters in the 1939 MGM musical which has delighted generations.

A motorist they tried to hijack said: "These guys were ready to make spectacles of themselves."

The four, reportedly members of the Lehigh Drama Club, aged 18, 15 and 14 and 16, had been planning to carry out multiple musical numbers including Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead and We're Off to See the Wizard in and around the midtown area since early this year, according to Topeka Police Chief, David T. Royce.

Bruce Matthias, 18, was among those arrested. The others were not named, since they are still juveniles. Police say. Matthias imagined an almost supernatural aura around himself, sometimes referring to himself as "The Wicked Witch... of the West".

Police say the 'Lollipop Guild', as they have come to be known, were planning to randomly perform and 'camp it up' in the streets, but that the plot was uncovered as the they set out armed with oil cans, broomsticks, picnic baskets, wands, and a pair of ruby slippers.

Topeka Police Chief, David T. Royce said the four were about to start the non-Halloween scheduled displays on the day Buddy Ebsen died. Ebsen, as any fan, or 'fanatic', of the film knows, was originally slated to play 'The Tin Man' before a reaction with the greasepaint necessary to play the role landed the part in the lap of Jack Haley.

Police discovered in a plan known as 'Helter Dorothy' the group wanted to ignite a 'camp war' with a similar group across town that apparently likes the movie 'Sunset Boulevard'.

"Yeah they kind of had that 'OZ' thing going on," Dickie Steemans, 16, of Topeka said of the suspects. "They would wear black witches costumes and silver face paint and slick their hair back. They would even watch the HBO series OZ even though what that had to do with the movie I don't know. They even were into Australian films! I mean, they were NUTS!"

Topeka Police Chief, David T. Royce said, "These individuals were planning on skipping around and singing and dancing with some ho ho ho's and some tee-hee-hee's and a couple of tra-la-la's to as many people as possible in a short time and creating widespread embarrassment," he said.

The group of suspects has been charged with attempted camp, intention to disturb the peace, poor taste, attempted carjacking and weapons offenses including carrying a concealed wand.

Bruce Matthias, who is accused of waving the business end of a broom (albeit unlit) and saying "how bout a little FIRE scarecrow?" to the officer who arrested him, was also charged with aggravated assault. Prosecutor Vince Santini said the weapon seized belonged to Bruce Matthias' father and was legal.

This was the third such movie-related rampage in recent months since Gone with the Wind fanatics tried to torch Atlanta last Spring.

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