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NEWS
March 27, 1997 | TONY PERRY and MICHAEL GRANBERRY and ANNE-MARIE O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Police found the bodies of 39 young men, apparently cult members who believed they were sent to Earth as angels, lying dead on their backs Wednesday in a luxurious home here--victims of what authorities said appeared to be a mass suicide. The group they belonged to, called W.W. Higher Source, practiced celibacy and abstained from smoking and drinking, said Milt Silverman Jr., an attorney for the owner of the home where the men died.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1997 | From Associated Press
A group of former Heaven's Gate members has planned a public showing of a 70-minute tape featuring the cult's late leader, Marshall Applewhite. "We've been feeling like we're not doing a good enough job of making our information available to people," said Chuck Humphrey, a spokesman for the group calling itself the Away Team.
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NEWS
March 28, 1997 | STEPHANIE SIMON and NICK ANDERSON and TONY PERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The 39 men and women who died in an apparent mass suicide here left behind mystical computer postings and matter-of-fact videos explaining that they were eager to graduate from their human shells and ascend into heaven on an alien spaceship--and to speed their way, they planned to whip up puddings tainted with coma-inducing sedatives. Authorities investigating the case said Thursday that the victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 72, meticulously planned their deaths.
NEWS
May 11, 1997 | ALAN ABRAHAMSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For sale: The exclusive ramblings of Bo and Peep. Coming soon, maybe, to a video store near you. Filmed in 1976 when he still had a full head of hair and she was very much alive, the tape that the leaders of the Heaven's Gate cult called their "last statement" surfaced recently in an Oklahoma video vault.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1997 | STEPHANIE SIMON and JOHN GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Beverly Hills businessman Nick Matzorkis, who grabbed the national spotlight earlier this month for helping to discover the bodies of Heaven's Gate cult members, has been jailed for an alleged probation violation. Matzorkis, 34, is on probation for a 1989 auto theft outside Cleveland. He pleaded no contest to the theft, was sentenced to probation and received court permission to move to California, according to his attorney, Donald Etra.
NEWS
March 30, 1997 | MARIA L. La GANGA and TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
They were so smart, say their survivors in pain and in puzzlement. So smart. Way too smart to die like this. They were computer whizzes, musicians, a National Merit Scholarship winner, a former Republican candidate for state office, a jewelry store owner who was frightened of death, the daughter of a real estate agent, a father of six. "He was so smart," said Betsy Schultz, a family friend of John M. Craig, a.k.a.
NEWS
April 2, 1997 | STEPHANIE SIMON and LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
One version features the reptilians and the orbs duking it out for control of Pluto. Another has a lucky few humans morphing into bald, dome-headed aliens as they drift off into cosmic bliss. Then there's the psychological drama approach: A youngish set designer, a film biz type, responds to an ad in the L.A.
NEWS
March 27, 1997 | TERENCE MONMANEY and LARRY B. STAMMER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Mystery shrouded the deaths, but there were also telling signs. The dozens of young men were dressed in black slacks, lying on their backs throughout the hillside mansion, neither trauma nor blood nor struggle in evidence. Whether the 39 people found in a Rancho Santa Fe house died in an orchestrated suicide or fell prey to mass murder wasn't clear late Wednesday. But the victims, said by the homeowner's attorney to belong to an extreme religious group calling itself the W.W.
NEWS
March 29, 1997 | KENNETH R. WEISS and DUKE HELFAND, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
In New York, cult expert Marcia Rudin got more calls than she could possibly answer, forcing her to turn away anxious parents whose children had slipped deep into mysterious sects. In Los Angeles, Debbie Pine dashed from one television interview to another, laying out the warning signs of cult affiliation for a suddenly attentive public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 1997
The name was just too close for at least one woman, apparently jittery over last week's mass suicide by the Heaven's Gate cult in Rancho Santa Fe. When a flier showed up on the windshield of her car while she was shopping at a Ralphs market in Burbank, she called the police. "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames," it proclaimed.
NEWS
May 8, 1997 | TONY PERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As the condition of a former Heaven's Gate member who attempted suicide improved Wednesday, cult and suicide experts warned that other former cult members might be tempted to follow the 40 cultists who have killed themselves.
NEWS
May 7, 1997 | TONY PERRY and STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
One former member of the Heaven's Gate cult was found dead Tuesday and another was near death in an apparent double suicide attempt in a motel just miles from the Rancho Santa Fe mansion where 39 members of the cult ended their lives in March. Like the cultists who died in the mass suicide, the two men found in the room at the Holiday Inn Express had sent upbeat tapes to friends and family members happily expressing their wish to join the other cultists in the "next level," officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1997 | STEPHANIE SIMON and JOHN GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Beverly Hills businessman Nick Matzorkis, who grabbed the national spotlight earlier this month for helping to discover the bodies of Heaven's Gate cult members, has been jailed for an alleged probation violation. Matzorkis, 34, is on probation for a 1989 auto theft outside Cleveland. He pleaded no contest to the theft, was sentenced to probation and received court permission to move to California, according to his attorney, Donald Etra.
NEWS
April 16, 1997 | Associated Press
A former Heaven's Gate member and San Diego County are disputing ownership of the suicide cult's World Wide Web design business, which may be worth $1 million despite all its employees being dead. The county plans to auction off the cult's belongings and give the proceeds to surviving family members, said Susan Jamme, the county's deputy public administrator in charge of the case.
NEWS
April 4, 1997 | GREG BRAXTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Heaven's Gate: The Movie" may soon be coming to the small screen. Reversing its previous stance, ABC said Thursday that it has signed a deal with the Kushner-Locke Co. and InterAct Entertainment Inc. to produce a TV movie focusing on the Heaven's Gate cult and the 39 members who committed suicide last week in Rancho Santa Fe. The proposed film would center on the account of Richard Ford, the lone survivor of Heaven's Gate who left the cult four weeks before the members killed themselves.
NEWS
April 4, 1997 | TERENCE MONMANEY, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
In those now-familiar sun-washed video farewells, the members of Heaven's Gate said they had made up their own minds. Even the parents of one young man found among the purple-shrouded dead tried to reassure us about what happened in Rancho Santa Fe, issuing a statement saying "he was happy, healthy and acting under his own volition."
NEWS
April 3, 1997 | TONY PERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even as they prepared to commit suicide because life in this world was no longer bearable, members of the Heaven's Gate cult enjoyed some earthly pleasures: Gambling in Las Vegas, visiting Sea World, Mexico and San Diego's Wild Animal Park, and taking a bus trip through scenic parts of Northern California and southern Oregon. In Las Vegas, the cultists visited the Stratosphere Hotel amusement park in late February and won more than $20 at the slot machines.
NEWS
April 3, 1997 | Associated Press
The company that insured the 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult against abduction by aliens said it stopped writing alien-related policies after the group's mass suicide. The cult members paid $1,000 on Oct. 10 for a policy that covered up to 50 members and would pay out $1 million a person for abduction, impregnation or death caused by aliens.
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