Outlaw may be pardoned
Billy the Kid, the Wild West outlaw who is reputed to have killed 21 men and whose exploits have been widely chronicled in US popular culture, is under consideration for a pardon. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said on Thursday he was reviewing a pardon petition based on the widespread belief that then-New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace promised the 19th-century gunman a pardon in exchange for his testimony in a murder trial. “As someone who is fascinated with New Mexico’s rich history, I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Billy the Kid and, in particular, the alleged promise of a pardon he was given,” Richardson said in a statement. Richardson is to make a decision by the end of the year. The two-term Democratic governor, who leaves office at the end of the month, asked historians and others to weigh in with their opinions on a Web site dedicated to the issue, www.governor.state.nm.us/btk.php.
Used coffin auctioned off
The simple wooden coffin that was supposed to be John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s final resting place will soon have a new resting place of its own after a mystery bidder bought it at auction for more than US$87,000. The coffin was put on the auction block late last month by a Texas funeral home owner who swapped it with Oswald’s family for a new one when the body was briefly exhumed in 1981. It sold on Thursday evening for US$87,469, which includes a 20 percent buyers’ fee. “Anything connected to the JFK assassination sells for really high,” said Nate D. Sanders of Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Santa Monica. Oswald was arrested for former US president Kennedy’s 1963 death, but was slain two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Funeral home owner Allen Baumgardner had held onto the coffin since Oswald’s body was dug up in 1981 in an effort to put to rest conspiracy theories that he really wasn’t buried in his grave. After the body was identified through dental records, it was returned to Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.
Elderly robber co-opts driver
A 26-year-old Minnesota man thought he was doing a good deed when he gave a 70-year-old woman a ride to a bank, but police say the woman robbed the bank and the man was her unsuspecting getaway driver. The man told the Free Press of Mankato that he thought the woman, who rents an apartment from his mother, was going to the bank to withdraw cash to pay her rent. Instead, employees of the Elysian State Bank reported on Wednesday that an “elderly woman” told the teller she had a gun, demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount. Police stopped the car and took both into custody before determining the woman acted alone. She is in jail, pending charges.
Police nab top funk rappers
Five leading funk rappers have been arrested in Rio de Janeiro as part of a police crackdown on music they say pays tribute to drug gangs and encourages violence. On Tuesday night, MC Galo, a veteran Rio funk MC, was arrested at a police roadblock as he left the Cruzada Sao Sebastiao, a rundown housing estate in the beachside neighborhood of Leblon. On Thursday, four more rappers were arrested after a year-long investigation into alleged ties to traffickers from the Red Command drug faction in the Complexo do Alemao shantytown.