Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 7 News List

`Tookie' Williams' ashes to be scattered in South Africa

DPA , SAN FRANCISCO

The ashes of convicted murderer and founder of the Crips gang Stanley "Tookie" Williams will be scattered in South Africa after a large and public funeral planned for early next week in Los Angeles, the co-author of his anti-gang books said on Tuesday.

Barbara Becnel told the San Francisco Chronicle that Williams, who was executed early on Tues-day, wanted his ashes to be scattered in Africa.

"He wanted to return to his ancestral home," Becnel said. "We chose South Africa because I know some members of the Mandela family."

Becnel said the body will be transported to Los Angeles for a memorial service that will probably be held next Tuesday.

A site has not been picked, "but it will be a large venue that can hold more than 16,000 people," Becnel said.

Confirmed speakers include the rapper Snoop Dogg, NAACP President Bruce Gordon and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, she said.

After the funeral, close friends will travel to South Africa for another ceremony and spreading of his ashes, she said.

"Knowing Stan, he probably wanted to go back to his origin, where we came from as a people," said his ex-wife, Bonnie Williams Taylor.

"I respect that," she said.

Williams, 51, was executed on Tuesday after US courts and California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneg-ger refused to grant clemency.

The founder of the notorious Crips gang in 1971, Williams was convicted of four 1979 murders and sentenced to death in 1981.

He always protested his innocence and during his later years in jail he became an active anti-gang and anti-violence campaigner. His childrens' books led to his nom-ination for the Nobel Prize and his case became a cause celebre.

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