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Zombie Burger’s Debbie is back in one piece, following the return of her stolen body parts


Debbie (l) and Harry at Iowa City’s Zombie Burger + Shake Lab’before the crime. — photo courtesy of Doug Tobin

Debbie the zombie is whole again. The top half of Debbie, one of the two zombie mannequin mascots at Zombie Burger + Shake Lab in downtown Iowa City, was stolen on Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 7, by four guys who appeared to have been drinking before stopping at Zombie Burger for a meal. It was returned on Friday night, but not by the thieves.

“Two guys brought her in,” said Doug Tobin, the manager of Zombie Burger. “They said friends of theirs showed up at their house with Debbie last Saturday. Apparently, their friends were highly intoxicated, and they just left Debbie there.”

“The two guys had no idea what it was, until Thursday when they got tagged on one of the stories about Debbie.”

The half-a-zombie’s temporary custodians didn’t give the names of their drunken buddies when they returned upper Debbie, and they weren’t asked to. If Zombie Burger had wanted to track down the thieves or press charges, it could have. Security cameras had recorded everything the four did in the restaurant. Plus, one of them paid for his meal with a credit card. Instead Zombie Burger adopted a “no questions asked” policy about Debbie’s return, and even offered a reward.

Debbie’s deliverers received that reward: a $100 Zombie Burger gift card, and Zombie Burger t-shirts.

Tobin said his staff is glad to have their mascot back in one piece, and has taken steps to ensure Debbie remains that way. “One of my team member made some modifications to the way her upper and lower parts are attached, so you just can’t pull her apart anymore.”

Tobin also said everyone at Zombie Burger took note of the date of Debbie’s return.

“Friday the 13th. In October. It just seems kind of appropriate,” Tobin said. “I mean she’s a zombie, so maybe you can’t say the stars were aligned just right, but maybe the underworld was.”


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