January 10, 1987 |
The title of NBC's Sunday night movie, "Mercy or Murder?," refers to the question of motive put before the jury at the nationally publicized trial of 75-year-old Roswell Gilbert, who had admitted killing his wife of 51 years. There is no such ambiguity in the film itself, however: The jurors delivered their verdict; the film makers deliver another. Indeed, viewers who complain about TV movies that waffle on controversial subjects will be heartened at how decisively this one takes a stand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1986 |
Gladys and Jay McFadden started recording their suicide pact on a Wednesday last January, dictating their goodbys into a portable cassette player. Gladys, 61, had suffered from progressive multiple sclerosis since 1976. Jay, 63, had been partially paralyzed and barely able to speak since a 1985 stroke. On the Saturday night of July 18, they divided the sleeping pills they had hoarded, swallowed them and lay down to die. On Sunday they awoke.
November 5, 2004 |
As a U.S. Army patrol rolled into Sadr City one night in August, soldiers received a tip that militants in dump trucks were planting roadside bombs. American troops had been clashing regularly with Al Mahdi militiamen in the restive Baghdad slum. So when Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban of Carson saw an object fall from a garbage truck in the distance, his company took positions around the vehicle and unleashed a barrage of fire from rifles and a 25-millimeter cannon atop a Bradley fighting vehicle.
October 3, 1999 |
The young man opened the spiral notebook and started writing. "I killed and buried my best friend today. . . ." He was at the bottom of a canyon in the Chihuahuan Desert, on a bed of white rocks the size of a helicopter pad. "David had been in pain all night. At around 5 or 6 he turned to me & begged that I put my knife through his chest. I did, & a second time when he wouldn't die. . . ." As he wrote, the Guadalupe Mountains towered above him.
August 18, 1999 |
They were two young men on a cross-country trek. Together they went into the harsh desert of New Mexico's Rattlesnake Canyon. Only one came out alive. The story told by aspiring writer Raffi Kodikian, 25, beside the grave he dug for his friend David Coughlin, 26, was "extremely bizarre," investigators said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 1989 |
In a surprise move, defense attorneys for convicted Night Stalker Richard Ramirez declined to call any witnesses--including the defendant--during the penalty phase of his trial Wednesday, and the case went to the jury after only two hours of final arguments by both sides.