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END PAGES
DECEMBER 7, 1998 VOL. 152 NO. 22


Milestones

By HANNAH BEECH

ON TRIAL. ANATOLY ONOPRIENKO, 39, self-confessed Ukrainian serial killer, who blamed "dark forces" for the prolific murder spree that claimed the lives of at least 52 people from 1989 to 1996; in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Onoprienko confessed to the slayings last year, when he described in shocking detail how he felt while gunning down entire families and watching "as an animal would stare at a sheep." The trial was delayed until Ukraine's cash-strapped government could raise the money to transport 400 witnesses to Zhytomyr for the trial.

ACQUITTED. SUSAN MCDOUGAL, 44 besieged friend of U.S. President Bill Clinton and partner in the ill-fated Whitewater real-estate deal, of embezzling $50,000 from conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife; by the Superior Court in Santa Monica, California. McDougal, who was convicted in 1996 for obtaining a fraudulent loan, is also facing criminal contempt and obstruction of justice charges for refusing to answer questions from independent counsel Kenneth Starr. She claims the embezzlement charges were fabricated by political foes intent on pressuring her to testify in the Whitewater case.

ATTACKED. IZZAT IBRAHIM, trusted deputy to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, by unknown assailants who lobbed two hand grenades into a crowd where Ibrahim was mingling; in Kerbalaa, Iraq. The assassination attempt was the first against a high-level Iraqi official since gunmen nearly killed Saddam's son and heir apparent, Uday, in late 1996. Perhaps heartened by the attack, Iraq's disparate opposition groups asked the U.S. and Britain last week to help them unite in an effort to topple Saddam.

SENTENCED. ROBERT LATIMER, 45, Saskatchewan farmer who triggered a right-to-die controversy in Canada in 1993 by ending the life of his severely disabled 12-year-old daughter, to at least 10 years' imprisonment before being eligible for parole, reversing a lower court's two-year sentence; by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals. The constant suffering of daughter Tracy, who had an excruciating but not terminal case of cerebral palsy, led Latimer to commit what he termed a "mercy killing." Advocates of the handicapped had argued that the previous light sentence debased the lives of disabled people.

SURRENDERED. TASLIMA NASRIN, 36, polemical Bangladeshi writer, to face 1994 charges of blasphemy against the Koran; to a court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which granted her bail. In September the ardent feminist secretly returned from four years of self-exile in Europe to visit her ill mother. But she was forced into hiding by Muslim extremists, who publicly called for her hanging and offered a $2,000 reward to anyone who would deliver her to the police.

ARRESTED. FRANCESCO FORLEO, 57, Milan's police chief and former two-term parliamentarian, for allegedly gunning down deliberately an unarmed suspected smuggler during a 1995 helicopter chase; in Rome. Forleo, a former police prefect in the southern port city of Brindisi, is accused of shooting Vito Ferrarese, and then planting a rifle in his boat in order to hush up police involvement in an illegal-immigrant smuggling ring.


Time Capsule

The videotape on American TV of DR. JACK KEVORKIAN giving a lethal injection was the most stunning scene yet in his crusade for the right to die, which began in 1990 when he helped an Alzheimer's victim commit suicide.

"In a rusting old van in a public campground . . . Janet Adkins faced death last week. It took the form of an odd-looking contraption made mostly of three dripping bottles, the invention of a Detroit doctor named Jack Kevorkian. As Adkins settled down on a small cot . . . Kevorkian . . . hooked her up to a monitor, slid an intravenous needle into her arm and started a harmless saline solution flowing through the tube. Then he sat back and watched the monitor as she pushed a big red button at the base of the machine. . . Within five minutes Janet Adkins . . . was dead of heart stoppage. The premiere performance of Kevorkian's suicide machine . . . blew open the debate over the boundaries of mercy killing."

--TIME, June 19, 1990



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