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Seven Days: True Confessions (New York Daily News) ...In 1997, Laughlin learned she had a brain tumor.... - Jul 29 6:37 AM ET


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Website: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/krnewyork/20010729/lo/seven_days_true_confessions_1.html

Posted on: 07/29/2001

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Sunday July 29 06:37 AM EDT "Seven Days: True Confessions"

Seven Days: True Confessions

By THOMAS HACKETT

Thirteen years ago, Jose Morales could have saved himself years behind bars if he had pleaded guilty to a charge of "reckless endangerment" in the death of Jose Rivera.

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But Morales, who was 17 at the time, refused the offer, and instead served most of a 15-year sentence. Morales was released last week after a Catholic priest exonerated him of any responsibility by testifying that another youth had privately confessed to killing Rivera in 1987. U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin agreed that, with the Rev. Joseph Towle's testimony, the case against Morales and co-defendant Ruben Montalvo was "incredibly thin."

Towle had been reluctant to come forward, but after "lots of prayer" the Jesuit priest concluded that Jesus Fornes, who himself was killed in 1997, would have wanted him to disclose his confession. "I was repeating, not revealing, what Jesus Fornes had stated," Towle said. "It was the most redeeming moment in this boy's life."

What's the Problem?

For Patrick Ewing, it was just another free ride. The former Knick and father of three testified that he was a regular at Atlanta's Gold Club strip joint, where nude dancers were instructed to perform lewd acts for him and on him. Defense attorneys for club owner Steven Kaplan — charged with racketeering, money-laundering and prostitution — saw nothing remarkable in Ewing's extracurricular activities. "That kind of thing happens all the time," said Donald Samuel.

Not Likely

Never mind pregnant chads and discarded Palm Beach ballots. Almost seven months after the Supreme Court effectively decided the presidential election in the Florida vote-count fiasco, the Oregon Democratic Party called for the impeachment of the five justices who voted to stop the Florida recount. The resolution — asking for "the immediate investigation of the behavior" of Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, O'Connor, Thomas and Kennedy — would have to be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Taking Care of Business

Irene Smith badly needed to take a bathroom break, but the St. Louis alderwoman wasn't about to yield the floor and allow a vote in a heated City Hall redistricting debate. When Smith could hold out no longer, she urinated into a trash can as aides surrounded her with a sheet. Police later cited her for lewd conduct. "What I did behind that tablecloth is my business," said Smith. The board called it a night without voting.

Lovett

Spec. Richard Lovett, the poster boy for the new "Army of One" recruiting campaign, withdrew from the punishing 24-day training course for the Special Forces. "I am my own force," the combat engineer intones in the ads. "I'll be the first to tell you, the might of the U.S. Army does not lie in numbers. It lies in me." Good thing it also lies in some mighty heavy firepower.

Arsenic and Old Waste

For five years, Kathi Laughlin's little girls ran through sprinklers, planted flowers and played in the dirt in their Washington, D.C., backyard. Today, as EPA officials explain to a House committee why the agency withheld its findings of high arsenic levels in the soil, Army chemical workers wear protective moonsuits as they dig up dozens of World War I-era chemical munitions at 4825 Glenbrook Road. "I have nightmares about it," Laughlin said. That's not all she has. In 1997, Laughlin learned she had a brain tumor.

Thinking Inside the Box

Attempting to plagiarize the genius of nature, biologists and naval engineers are studying the locomotive abilities of the box fish as they design a new and improved submarine. Because its scales are fused together, the box fish has a rigid exoskeletal shell, like an insect. Scientists hope to understand how something so awkwardly inflexible can nevertheless turn on a dime.

Batting Cleanup

It's been called the Holy Grail of American sports — a 34 1/2-inch, 40-ounce stick of taped-up hickory. Until he was banned from baseball for throwing the 1919 World Series, Shoeless Joe Jackson used the bat for much of his 13-year career. Although Jackson never made more than $8,000 a year playing for the White Sox, "Black Betsy" could earn several hundred times that in an eBay auction. Bidding started Friday at $500,000, raising the possibility that the bat could become the most expensive item of sports memorabilia ever.

Say What?

"It was an artistic statement. I go to the desert a lot. It's free open space, and people run around naked for days. That's the kind of person I am." Jerri Manthey, "Survivor II" cast member, in a 10-page Playboy nude pictorial

"Miss Cleo should have seen this coming. It doesn't take a crystal ball to realize that ripping off consumers isn't without consequences." Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon publicly scolding the TV psychic for alleged consumer fraud

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe ... and I believe what I believe is right." President Bush (news - web sites), on globalization and free trade

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