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December 02, 1980 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-02

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, December 2, 1980-Page 5
WIFE CLAIMS HE DIED IN 1970

'Dead' man burns in fire

NASHVILLE, Ind. (AP)-For 10
years, Geneva Roberts tried in vain to
convince insurance companies that her
husband had died in a fire in the family
garage. Now a fire-that may have been
arson has claimed her life, and
authorities said yesterday that a man
who died with her is believed to be her
h/.:>:long-missing husband.
Dr. John Pless, a forensics
.. pathologist for Monroe County, said
early indications were that the body of
Clarence Roberts, missing 10 years as
his wife tried to claim $1.2 million in in-
surance, was found with the body of his
wife in the charred rubble of her fire-
gutted house.
"We don't have positive identification
on the male as being Clarence Rober-
ts," said Pless, who performed an
autopsy on each body at Bloomington
Hospital. "Preliminarily, we are
working on the assumption that the
male body is that of Clarence Roberts."
Mrs. Roberts was positively iden-
tified yesterday, Pless said.
Calling it "a notorious case," Pless
AP Photon said there was evidence of alcohol in
tal bed after she was found in a coffin-like chest near Salerno, Italy. She may the body fluids of both victims, but he
abandoned, police officials said. did not say how much. "Alcohol ap-
pears to have been a factor," he said,
declining to elaborate.
A fire destroyed the Roberts' garage
structure shakenffr-lceelibesbd nie
strutu reshaenfie-backeedNov. 18, 1970, and authorities found a
Mrs. Roberts tried to collect $1.2
million, but insurance companies
balked, saying there was no proof that
the body was that of Roberts. Medical
ran earthquake Th od=evrwa=detfid
ton ea uakeexperts agreed that the bone structures
of Roberts and the body did not match.
The body never was identified.
ir government is resigned because of the criticism of relief methods, but was Pless made yesterday's identification
e earthquake that persuaded to stay in office by Premier Arnaldo Forland. As based on X-rays and dental records.
000 homeless. soon as the popular applause died down for Pertini's demand The two most recent victims died of
politicized, it took that "whoever has not done his duty should be punished," the smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide
uake for the first president was ridiculed by some Christian Democrats as "a poisoning in the weekend fire.
vain prima donna" who overstepped his authority as a Authorities said a flammable liquid had
Socialist who won ceremonial head of state. been spread throughout the dwelling
harshly criticized Then the powerful Communist Party, seizing on and .said they were investigating the
o quake survivors dissatisfaction at quake relief, called for the Christian possibility of arson.
Democrats to disband the four-party government coalition. It "There -is no evidence of wounds on
w to Pompeii, the suggested the Socialists, the Communists and "honest" either body," said the deputy coroner.
uption of Mount Christian Democrats should form a new alliance. He said he could not tell if either person

tried to escape and declined to
speculate on the possibility of a double
suicide.
Mrs. Roberts' body was face up on a
couch; the body of the man was in the
doorway leading to the bathroom.
Brown County Sheriff Rex Kritzer
said the Roberts' house had been under
surveillance for some time. "We had
reason to believe someone was living
there," Kritzer said. "We kind of
thought that it might be Clarence. But
we didn't have proof."
Kritzer said he tried to check the
house several times but was unable to
catch anyone at home except Mrs.
Roberts.
"People living right close to them

never did see this man," he said.
Other detectives said Mrs. Roberts, a
59-year-old diabetic, was described by
neighbors as a recluse who allowed no
one in her home except her four sons.
None of them could be reached im-
mediately for comment on the latest
developments.
Insurance companies contended
there were many reasons for Roberts to
fake his death. Once a successful
businessman, Roberts had over-
extended himself and was "facing'a
financial crisis," J.D. Ackman, general
counsel for Wabash Life Insurance Co.
said Sunday. At the time of the 1970 fire,
Roberts was more than $200,000 in debt.

CHNUK6IH P6RTY
MUSIC, DANCE & SONG
Israeli Song Festival

CATERINA VERA, 79, rests in a hospit
have been mistaken for dead or merely a
Political
af ter Ital
ROME (AP) - Italy's 40th postwa
teetering in the political aftershocks of th
killed an estimated 3,000 and left some 265,0
In a country where nearly everything is
only two days after the Nov. 23 earthqu
tremors to hit the Italian government.
PRESIDENT SANDRO PERTINI, a S
the hearts of millions with his bluntness,
the inefficiency of rescue efforts and aid t
in devastated southern Italy.
The Nov. 23 quake dealt a serious blo
bustling Roman city buried by the er

Ev N
r'f '

980

Oil

x'

LI

/

I *

A4 A

Vesuvius in A.D. 79. It was the first natural disaster to strike THE COMMUNIST proposal was reje
the ancient city since it was excavated in the 18th century.] propaganda" by the Socialists and as a prescript
Major damage was reported to Pompeii's Via dell'Ab- "coalition of useful idiots" by the Social Democrats.
bondanza, the Stabian Baths and near the Lupanare brothel. Over the weekend, a private letter from P
ALTHOUGH THE government said nobody was being Socialist Party Secretary Bettino Craxi was leak
forced to move, many evacuees vented their frustration and press - an apparent maneuver to embarass Pertini,
anger at the relief officials who showed up with convoys of sought to portray himself as above the political fray.
buses. .Although the letter itself did not contain any revs
The freezing weather, which set in after days of icy wind, whoever leaked it attempted to prove that Pertini
rain and snow, sparked bitter complaints from residents in beyond his constitutional authority to meddle in
tent camps. Health officials said the cold, while helping their politics.
drive to contain ;the threat of epidemic disease, is causing BOTH THE 84-year-old president and Craxi
pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. denounced the leak. The Socialists, noting that the l
In Washington, President Carter called the quake the telephoned to Craxi, even suggested that the Secret
worst natural disaster to strike Western Europe in half a cen- reportedly controlled by the Christian Democrats,
tury and urged Congress to appropriate as much as $5 million the content of the letter by tapping Craxi's phone.
to relieve the "incalculable suffering" of the victims. "Similar bugging cases have caused the resign
THE HOUSE VOTED yesterday to appropriate $5 the president of the United States," said Oscar
million to aid the earthquake victims. leader of the small Republican Party in parliam
The Christian Democratic government fired Attilio del called for an investigation of the leak.
Befalo, its representative in Avellino, the province hit har- Forland's Christian Democrats, along with So
dest by the quake. Interior Minister Virginio Rogner, Social Democrats and Republicans have held tog
40th postwar government for the past month and a ha

cted as
ion for a
ertini to
ed to the
, who has
velations,
was going
partisan
angrily
etter was
Service,
obtained
nation of
Mammi,
rent. He
ocialists,
ether the
alf.

Connecticut based manufac-
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for on campus sales. Flexible
hours, high commission rate.
Product is a newly developed heat-
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RACK RM GAUDITORIUM
All Seats Reserved $6.(Students $4)
Sponsored by
Hillel, AEPI, AEPhi, SAM, SDT, ZBY
Tickets A vailable A t Hillel (1429 HillSt.),
Schoolkids Records (523 E. Liberty), And At The Door.
FREE PERTY AIFTER THlE CONCERT
Tickets are also available at Schoolkids' Records and at the door.

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