Vol. T e ihgn-D l LXXXIX, No. 19-S
L ) Saturday, May 26, 1979
e M cigan aily Sixteen Pages
Ann Arbor, Michigan Ten Cents
Jet crashes in Chicago
From AP and UPI
CHICAGO-An American Airlines
wide-bodied jet loaded with 272
Memorial Day weekend travelers
crashed nose first and broke apart into
flames yesterday just after takeoff
from O'Hare International Airport.
Authorities said all aboard were killed
in the worst air disaster in U.S. history.
Seconds before the Los Angeles-
bound DC-10 jetliner crashed, one of its
three engines fell off and landed on the
runway, said Chicago Fire Com-
missioner Richard Albrecht. He said
the plane hit nose first about a half-mile
from the runway in an abandoned air-
field in Elk Grove Township.
THE DEATH toll was set by
American Airlines at 272-259
passengers, three crew members and
10 flight attendants.
"There were just pieces of bodies,
nothing that looked alive," said a priest
who rushed to the crash. "The destruc-
tion was so complete I'm sure they
never knew what happened."
Police and firefighters worked
through the night under floodlights
searching for bodies in the fragmented
wreckage. They said their job would not
be finished by daybreak.
THE GROUND near O'Hare Inter-
national Airport was littered with a
grisly mixture of severed limbs,
twisted bits of debris, books and airline
brochures. Acting Police Superinten-
dent Samuel Nolan said officerswere
dealing with "bodies and parts of
"We don't know where the bodies
are,"' he said. "We're looking and
trying to remove as much as we
Body bags were placed in rows
aboard trucks for transport to a
makeshift morgue at the airport. An
See JET, Page 13
A PORTION OF AN American Airlines DC-10 engine lies amidst burned wreckage caused by the crash yesterday at Chicago's
O'Hare International airport. The incident was the third major crash in O'Hare's history, and the worst in U.S. history.
A TTORNEYS PREDICT MORE:
From AP and UPI
RAIFORD, Fla. - A black-hooded
executioner sent three 2,500-volt jolts of
electricity surging into the body of con-
victed killer John Spenkelink yesterday
in a milestone execution which some
lawyers predict will once again open
the floodgates to such killings in
Spenkelink, a 30-year-old California
drifter who rejected plea bargaining in
his case because he was convinced he
had killed in self-defense, went calmly
to his death.
WITH A black hood draped over his
head and firmly strapped to the big oak
electric chair which Raiford Prison in-
mates call "Old Sparky," Spenkelink
was hit by the first two-minute jolt of
electricity at 10:12 a.m. Two more
surges quickly followed, and the sallow-
faced Spenkelink went limp in the
A sickening odor of burned flesh waf-
ted from execution chamber, and
Spenkelink was pronounced dead by the
prison doctor at 10:18 a.m.
When the hood over Spenkelink's
head was lifted, his face, jaw and
cheeks appeared to be burned black.
SPENKELINK WAS the first person
to be executed in the United States sin-
ce Gary Gilmore was put to death
before a Utah'firing squad in 1977, and
the first to be executed against his will
since Luis Monge went to the gas
chamber in Colorado in 1967.
Protests erupted immediately from
within the prison and all the way to the
Supreme Court building in Washington.
Inside the prison, inmates pounded on
the bars and screamed, and across
from the penitentiary in a cow pasture
another 100 protesters pounded on oil
drums with sticks and shouted "pig,"
and "killer pigs" at the highway
patrolmen who were keeping watch
over the scene.
"YOU WOULDN'T kill a dog like
that," shrieked Darlene Downs, whose
ex-husband, Ernest Downs, has been on
theFlorida death rowfor a year.
Thirteen protesters were arrested
outside the Supreme Court in
Washington after the high court refused
for a final time to stay the execution,
and in Tallahassee about 100 demon-
strators pounded with such force on the
See SPENKELINK, Page 11
Republicans win city
council budIget battle
asa result of the tax reduction.
BY JOHN GOYER COUNCIL ALSO raised water and
After five hours of bitter exchanges sewage rates 18 per cent and 12 per cent
between Democratic and Republican respectively. The rate hike will add
council members, the Ann Arbor City about $17 to the average homeowners'
Council Wednesday night passed a $43.8 utilities bill next year.
million 1979-80 city budget which in- The budget also gives all city em-
cludes a half-mil reduction in property ployees a six per cent raise, but em-
taxes. ployees are expected to ask for a
The half mil property tax cut greater increase in contract
represents a seven per cent reduction negotiations this summer.
on property tax bills. A homeowner As a result of the reduction in taxes,
paying taxes on a house with an
assessed value of $30,000 will save $15 See REPUBLICANS, Page 14