March 27, 1997 |
It was planned as a place of light and graceful ease, but for at least 39 members of an obscure, computer-oriented group called W.W. Higher Source, this gated community in the rolling hills of northern San Diego County somehow became the site of a cybernetic dark night of the soul. "It was rented out to some monks or lamas," Carol Kappan said of the house on Rancho Santa Fe's Colina Norte, where the apparent mass suicide occurred. "I never saw them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1997 |
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.
March 30, 1997 |
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.
April 2, 1997 |
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.
March 27, 1997 |
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.
March 29, 1997 |
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.