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He Has a Lifetime to Watch Television

Newsmakers

August 26, 1986|ANN HEROLD

--He's a fan of "Dynasty" and "Dallas" and his favorite book is "War and Peace." He even dabbles a bit in writing, but Rudolf Hess, the 92-year-old former deputy of Adolf Hitler, isn't allowed to keep the jottings, the West German newspaper Bild reported. The sole inmate of Spandau Prison in West Berlin, Hess passes time watching the American nighttime soap operas and soccer matches, but is not allowed to view political broadcasts or newscasts, according to the newspaper. Bild has published recent photographs of Hess, who was sentenced to life in prison in October, 1946, for war crimes. One photograph showed Hess, who appeared in good shape for his age, reclining in a leather chair, a pillow behind his back, watching television in a room next to his cell. "He is allowed to keep a diary, but historians never will see it," Bild said. "As soon as he has filled three volumes they are taken from him and burned." Hess, once a skilled pilot, has read all the books on space in the prison library, the newspaper said. Prison rules forbid taking photographs, and the 1.5-million-circulation newspaper did not disclose how they were taken.

--Human laws have little jurisdiction over the vagaries of nature, a judge appeared to rule in the case of a bird that ruined the carpet of a rented house. The bird had dived kamikaze-style through a chimney, scattering embers from a fire and landing dead in the living room of the home rented by Robert and Cathy Gessler in Columbus, Ohio. When the Gesslers decided to move, they were told by the home's owner, Virginia Tilton, that she was withholding their $425 security deposit because of the damage to the carpet. But Franklin County Municipal Judge Donna Bowman ruled that the landlord could not withhold the deposit and even chided Tilton. "Such damage was not the fault of plaintiffs and could be related to the defendant's failure to put a screen over the opening of the chimney," Bowman said.

--His four children go by the names Ahmet Rodan, Dweezil, Diva and Moon Unit, and he is certainly one of the more colorful characters in rock 'n' roll. But get fiscal and Frank Zappa is downright staid. According to Money magazine, Zappa and his wife, Gail, have a portfolio of bonds and stocks worth about $150,000 and an annual return of 20%. "Even during the '60s, when everyone was hippie and trippy . . . I always called myself a businessman," Zappa said. "I try to be prudent and realistic, but that doesn't mean I want to be a pillar of the community." Gail does the investment research, and their stocks include General Electric. They are considering Sony stock, partly because Zappa likes the company's quality. "I'm in favor of things that work," he says. "That includes certain traditional values, which makes me a conservative in the right way."

--Jurgen (King of Snakes) Hergert not only likes snakes, he lived in close quarters for weeks with several of the more feared varieties. Hergert ended 100 days of confinement with 24 poisonous snakes with a new world record and no snakebites. He left the 13-by-20-foot glass cage at the zoo in Gulf Breeze, Fla., only after shattering his old record of 90 days in a snake-filled cage at his farm near Schladen, West Germany. Hergert, 44, lost nine pounds and suffered a kidney ailment during the 2,400 hours he lived with vipers, cobras, rattlesnakes and mambas.

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