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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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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.
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NEWS
March 5, 1993 | KATHERINE B. LOWRIE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Set in a glorious profusion of eucalyptus, this lush community just inland from Del Mar is entangled in the drama of a whodunit that has captured the imaginations of those who live, work and visit here. Everyone, it seems, has solved the mystery of the guilt or innocence of Ian Stuart Spiro.
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
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
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.
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
April 1, 1997 | TONY PERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Investigators probing the mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe are convinced that the 39 dead constituted the entire Heaven's Gate cult and that the organization had no splinter groups or links to other cults, authorities said Monday. San Diego County Sheriff's Department homicide investigator Lt.
NEWS
April 1, 1997 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Employees of a local computer company were stunned to learn that at least two people who once worked beside them were Heaven's Gate cult members who perished in last week's mass suicide. The cult members had car-pooled daily to Subscriber Computing Inc., garbed in baggy pants and shirts buttoned to the neck, former employee Charles Gardner, 42, said Monday. He said that when he saw the names of Susan Elizabeth Nora Paup, 54, and Margaret Ella Richter, 46, in the newspaper, "my jaw just dropped."
NEWS
March 30, 1997 | LARRY B. STAMMER, TIMES RELIGION WRITER
With the lighting of paschal candles and the ancient proclamation "He is risen!" Christians throughout the world today celebrate the central tenet of their faith--the resurrection of a Jewish holy man they call the Son of God. But as millions of the faithful observe the holiest day of their liturgical year, the Easter stories come against a backdrop of hopelessness--or misplaced hope--made grotesquely real by the mass suicide of 39 members of a cult in Rancho Santa Fe.
NEWS
March 30, 1997 | DAVID FERRELL and JESSE KATZ and NICHOLAS RICCARDI, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Befitting the space alien he claimed to be, Marshall Applewhite never really succeeded here on Earth, never made the desired inroads in human society. His message was aimed at the fringe, but it seemed a bit too far out for most, almost a caricature of wacky California thought. A redeemer descended from the "Next Level," he was locked in decades of spiritual war with rival space aliens.
NEWS
March 29, 1997 | DAVID COLKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
First came shock, then the finger-pointing. On the Internet, where Heaven's Gate members maintained an extensive World Wide Web site and sent out large chunks of their philosophy to message groups, the reaction to the mass suicide began with sympathy and empathy. "It is terribly sad. People are searching for peace," wrote a regular on the message group known as alt.support.depression. "Who better than us know that feeling too well?" But it wasn't long before the digital fur was flying.
NEWS
February 5, 1989
Rancho Santa Fe, an exclusive residential community in central San Diego County, has been designated as a California historical landmark. The designation by the California Office of Historic Preservation, while prestigious, is mostly symbolic, officials of the unincorporated community said.
NEWS
March 29, 1997 | JOHN M. GLIONNA and ALAN ABRAHAMSON and TONY PERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Grieving families around the nation began Friday to plan funerals for relatives they had long ago lost to the Heaven's Gate cult, which promised disciples they could evolve into extraterrestrials by severing all links to modern society and human desires.
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