Clipped From Wellsville Daily Reporter
FBI Foils Extortion Scheme GARY, Ind. (AP) — The FBI said today there has been an unsuccessful attempt to extort $30,000 from publisher Walter T. Ridder. A former employe of Ridder's newspaper was critically wounded Thursday night during a gunfight in the course of a "payoff." The FBI said the effort to extort extort the money from Ridder, publisher of the Gary Post, Tribune, had been made under threat of a bomb allegedly placed in the press room of the newspaper offices. No bomb was found, authorities said. A letter received Wednesday by 54-year-old Ridder, who also is vice president of Ridder Publications, Publications, Inc., said that a bomb had been planted in the newspaper's newspaper's press room and warned that if the bomb was found, the two children of associate publisher publisher C. Darrow Tulley would be shot by a sniper. The FBI said the man shot during the gunfight was John E. Ward, 57, of Gary. He was taken to a hospital where he was reported in critical condition condition with a chest wound. No one else was hurt. The FBI said Ward was charged under federal extortion laws. Ward was discharged by the newspaper about two years ago after he worked for several years in charge of maintenance. maintenance. Tully said Ward had been discharged after psychiatric psychiatric treatment paid for by the company. Authorities said Ridder received received a telephone call Thursday Thursday instructing him to place'an advertisement in the newspaper's newspaper's afternoon editions if he decided to pay the $30,000 in cash as the letter asked. The ad was published as the caller had asked and said: "We have the money the job is yours." Tully said Ridder then received received a telephone call about 9 p.m. Thursday telling him to take the money and walk alone down a railroad track on the east side of Gary. The FBI said that instead, an agent carrying a package filled with newspapers walked down the dark track about an hour later and was met by Ward, who fired a shotgun at the agent. Other agents nearby joined in the gunfight and wounded Ward. Ridder could not be reached for comment immediately. Tully Tully said the publisher was "exhausted." "exhausted." Tully, 40, who has been associate associate publisher of the Post Tribune Tribune since 1966, has two children, children, a 19-year-old daughter who works at the newspaper library library and a 15-year-old son.