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Obituaries

John H. Carpenter; Acquitted in Actor Bob Crane's Death

September 11, 1998

John Henry Carpenter, 70, who was acquitted of charges that he killed "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane. Carpenter was arrested in Carson in June 1992 for the 1978 slaying of Crane, his longtime friend. The actor had been bludgeoned to death in bed in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 49. He was best known for playing Col. Robert Hogan in the comedy television series about World War II Allied prisoners in a German POW camp. Carpenter, who had been with Crane the night before the slaying, was acquitted by a jury after an eight-week trial in Arizona four years ago. A former electronic equipment dealer, Carpenter was featured on several television programs about the unsolved murder and lost everything. His wife, Diane, blamed the trial and media attention for Carpenter's death. On Friday in Torrance.

Djibril Diop Mambety; Groundbreaking African Filmmaker

Djibril Diop Mambety, 53, major African filmmaker who won international attention with his "The Voyage of the Hyena." Born in a village outside Dakar in what is now Senegal, Mambety acted for three years with the Daniel Sorano National Theatre in Dakar. Expelled for lack of discipline, he decided to try film despite a lack of formal training in that medium. He made two shorts, "Contras' City" in 1969 and "Badou Boy" in 1970, and then in 1973 "Touki Bouki (The Voyage of the Hyena)." That film's fast-paced style and content, about two antiheroes who ride a motorcycle adorned with cattle horns and plot ways to escape to France, were a radical departure from African films of that time. Mambety later won notice for adapting Frederich Durrenmatt's satirical play "The Visit" for the screen. It premiered at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. He was also known for a series of shorts, "Tales of Little People." On July 23 in Paris of lung cancer, but not revealed in Los Angeles until this week.

The Rev. M. Francis Meskill; Pastor of L.A.'s St. Basil

The Rev. M. Francis "Frank" Meskill, 63, pastor of St. Basil Catholic Church in Los Angeles' Mid-Wilshire area. A native of Abbyfeale, County Limerick, Ireland, Meskill was educated at Waterpark College and Mt. Melleray Seminary in Waterford, Ireland, and St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. He was ordained a priest in Los Angeles in 1958. He worked at the St. Philip the Apostle Church in Pasadena, St. Joseph Church in La Puente and St. Anthony and St. Matthew churches in Long Beach and then taught and served as principal of St. Anthony Girls High School in Long Beach. In the 1970s, Meskill served as chaplain at the Newman Center for Claremont Colleges and was associate pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Claremont. He assumed the pastorate of St. Basil in Los Angeles in 1985. On Saturday in Los Angeles of a sudden illness.

Juan Metzger; Father of Fruit-at-Bottom Yogurt

Juan Metzger, 79, former Dannon Co. executive credited with putting fruit in yogurt. Metzger was the son of Joe Metzger, who co-founded Dannon in New York's Bronx in 1942. Juan Metzger became president of the yogurt manufacturer in 1959 and chairman in 1965. He suggested putting fruit at the bottom of yogurt containers to improve the taste of the dairy product. The first flavor was strawberry. Metzger retired in 1981. On Sunday in New York of complications from a stroke.

Rabbi Norman B. Mirsky; Author, Hebrew Scholar

Rabbi Norman B. Mirsky, 61, author, scholar and educator at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He had taught at the institution since 1967, first in Cincinnati and after 1976 in Los Angeles. An expert in the American Jewish experience as reflected in literature, he taught sermon-writing, human relations, Jewish literature and history, contemporary Jewish studies and sociology. He was well known for his books, which include "Unorthodox Judaism" and "Life on the Wire." Born in Toledo, Ohio, Mirsky earned his degrees at the University of Michigan and Brandeis University and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He had been faculty chairman at the institution and vice president of the Labor Zionist Alliance. Mirsky also served as scholar-in-residence at Temple Isaiah in West Los Angeles and had taught sociology at Tufts University. On Sept. 3 in Los Angeles of natural causes.

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