Archive for Wednesday, June 18, 2003


June 18, 2003



Window mark thought to resemble Virgin Mary

A piece of clouded glass in a hospital window that many say holds the image of a robed Madonna, her head bowed, is drawing thousands of religious faithful and other visitors.

At least five years have passed since a seal broke in the third-floor window at Milton Hospital in Milton, turning the glass a blotchy white. But last week the murky patches began taking a form, shown above, that looks like the Madonna.

"It seems like every day it gets clearer," said Sharon McGarty, an administrator in an office across the hall. "It used to look like just a dirty window."

News of the image has attracted more than 25,000 people to the hospital's nondescript brick wall, turning it into a religious shrine.


Cab driver arrested in serial slayings

A cab driver accused of stalking Jacksonville's streets on a seven-week serial killing spree was arrested Tuesday.

Paul Durousseau, 30, was charged with murder in five Jacksonville slayings between December and February, and he also is suspected of a 1997 Georgia killing. Two of the victims were pregnant, and some were his passengers.

Authorities said DNA evidence, fiber analysis and cell phone calls linked Durousseau to the slayings.


Grenade-deaths suspect feared harm to Muslims

A U.S. soldier accused in a deadly grenade attack on his comrades in Kuwait said he did it because he believed American troops were going to rape and kill Muslims, an investigator testified Tuesday.

Staff Sgt. David Maier, an agent with the Criminal Investigation Division, testified at a Fort Knox hearing convened to determine whether Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar should be court-martialed.

Akbar, a 32-year-old Muslim, is accused of killing two officers and wounding 14 in the March 23 attack on a group of tents.


Suspect sentenced for '66 racial slaying

A reputed Klansman was sentenced to life without parole Tuesday in the 1966 slaying of a black sharecropper who was shot in what prosecutors say was a plot to lure the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Mississippi to be assassinated.

Ernest Avants, a 72-year-old stroke victim who suffers from congestive heart failure, was convicted in January. But because of his health, he was sentenced at a federal prison hospital in Fort Worth.

U.S. District Judge William Barbour said he imposed the maximum because Avants showed no remorse.

Prosecutors said Avants and two white companions offered 67-year-old Chester White $2 and a soda to help them with a chore. White, who had no connection to the civil rights movement, was driven to a national forest and shot to death.

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