The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 4, 1996 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 4, 1996
Page 1
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In the Cards St. Louis and Atlanta take two-game leads in NL playoffs/C1 SPORTS On display Salina painter to have show after years of enjoying others'/D1 ENCORE! • Carved in stone: scary looking gargoyles ward off 'evil spirits' / A7 • Gull War Syndrome: Report says jets pounded nerve gas depot / A3 INSIDE High: 70 Low: 55 A few clouds this morning, then mostly sunny, and mostly clear tonight / B3 WEATHER Salina Journal Classified / C7 :. Comics / B4 ; Deaths /A9 Encore! / D1 Great Plains/B1 Money/A8 Sports/ C1 Viewpoints / B2 , FRIDAY OCTOBER 4, 1996 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents T SALINA MURDERS White's mother: How could he kill? In a telephone interview, jo White says she hasn't heard from son since killings By SHARON MONTAGUE 1 The Salina Journal When Jo White last talked to her son, he had recently attended the funeral of a family friend, Dorothy McKim, 80,1721 Glen Ave., and he was about to start a job as a pizza deliverer in the Jewell County town of Formoso. 1 A month later, the name of her son — Alan White — was splashed across the front of newspapers and broadcast on radio and television as a possible suspect in the bludgeoning murders of McKim, her daughter Carol Abercrombie, 56, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., and her great. grandson Christopher Abercrombie, 5, Greenville, N.C. *'. "We were pretty much blown away," Jo ALAN WHITE White said by telephone from her home in Georgia. "It's a total contradiction of the Alan anybody knows." Alan White's name became public as a possible suspect in the case after police in Lincoln, Neb., filed a court affidavit to search White's pickup, which was abandoned there. The affidavit states that Alan White, 25, formerly of Salina, had been in the McKim house several times. When he was questioned by a Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent, White initially denied being in Salina the day of the murders. He later admitted he was in Salina pawning items for friends, the affidavit said. Jo White, who lived in Salina until about a year ago, said she couldn't believe her son was involved with the murders. She described her son as "a marshmallow, a softie. "If I don't feel good, he's the first one who'll run get me a drink. He's a pushover. If someone's in need, he's there." His grades weren't the best in high school, Jo White said, but after he gradur • Search goes nationwide / Page A9 ated Alan White completed a months-long paramedic course. He never took the state-required board exams, so he didn't work as a paramedic. Later, he made the honor roll at the Salina Area Vocational-Technical School, where he studied heating and cooling. Alan White was a Boy Scout, and when he became too old to be a Scout he became a leader. He was involved in Salina Community Theatre, both on stage and backstage, his mother said. Last year, he had a bit part in the production of "Jesus Christ Superstar." Jo White described her son as intelligent, but not "street smart." She recounted the story of Alan White burglarizing a tavern in Formoso. White stole cash and cigarettes, then walked to his house, leaving a trail of footprints in the snow. Police followed the footprints and arrested him. "That's not a real criminal mentality," Jo White said. "How could he have killed these three people, all alone, and not left evidence? The child walked in the snow." Jo White talked to her son after McKim's funeral, she said, and he didn't mention any plans to leave Formoso. She didn't know he had left until learning from her former Salina pastor that police were looking for him. The only thing that could explain her son's disappearance, Jo White said, is fear. "I think he's scared...," she said. "He has no money. If he came back, he couldn't afford an attorney." She just couldn't imagine her son killing someone, she said. But might he know who committed the murders? "We've had every thought in the world," Jo White said. "Our greatest fear is for his life right now, because we have not heard from him. "I want to see his face. I want to talk to him. A mom can tell when her son is lying." While she waits for her son to surface, Jo White is torn. "Dolores (McKim) was a friend," she said. "Her husband was really a good friend. "We want the murder solved, but'we don't want our son railroaded." Every time her telephone rings at home, Jo White rushes for it, hoping that it's her son. She looks closely at every vagrant she sees on the street, knowing her son has no money and wondering if the vagrant is him; She walks out onto her front porch in the morning, hoping that Alan White is waiting there. When he finally does surface, White said, "I'll hug him, and when I stop crying, I'll slap him for scaring me so bad." Then, she'll tell him to contact the police, to answer their questions, to resolve their concerns. Jo White said she gets through the days ~ of waiting with the support of friends, who have telephoned or sent cards of support. • But ultimately, she finds her peace in ; prayer. :". "They have support groups for victims, for families of victims, for alcoholics, for '. overeaters," she said. "I haven't found one; for mothers of missing children suspected; of a crime. • "I don't know where to go except to our. \ church and our God." .'.; t MEDIA KSN wants TV station in Salina FREEWAY CHASE , By DAN ENGLAND : The Salina Journal I« An application to develop Sali! fta's first television station has ! been filed with the Federal Com; munications Commission by a ' large media enterprise. ^ The Salina station would be a satellite of the Kansas State Net- jvork, a web of NBC affiliates headquartered at KSNW in Wichita and owned by Lee Enterprises, t *based in Davenport, Iowa. KSNT ;1ui Topeka and three satellite sta- ; tieus in Great Bend, Garden City -aSd Oberlin make up the rest of *£fle network. • '"The station wouldn't be operational here until January 1998 at ; the earliest, said Al Buch, general manager of the Kansas State Net- ''work. But it would feature local ,,news, which hasn't been here .since the Salina cable network stopped its local news broadcasts a decade ago. The channel would be located .on Salina cable 34. MTV would be have to be moved by Salina's cable 'provider, TCI of Salina, because of t FCC rules, Buch said. The channel „ would be the only one in the Salina ,,area to be broadcast over the air. <Buch didn't know how far the sig- "nal would reach, but he said residents of the north-central Kansas .region should be able to pick it'up. ,'.', Current plans are for the local news to be provided by the Topeka and Wichita staffs, although Buch ,said it was possible that a Salina r ,staff could be hired. , Buch thinks the FCC won't make its decision on the application for at least six months and !,construction on the $5 million project would take at least a year. ; Lee Enterprises, a 106-year-old company, owns nine stations worldwide and several satellite . networks. It also owns 38 weekly newspapers and 19 dailies, including The Lincoln Journal-Star. "Bach said north-central Kansas ,,was underserved in the TV mar- '; "It's a big, black hole," he said. ''Salina certainly has the population to support its own TV sta- tibn." Gerald Cook, president of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, said he thought that it was '"pretty good" that Salina might ;,get;its own station. '? r 'i know that there are stations jh some smaller markets that do -pretty well," Cook said. "So maybe 'It's time we got one, huh?" The Associated Press Seven-year-old Krlstlna Jacobson escapes unharmed from the rolled vehicle after her kidnapper was killed by police sharpshooters Thursday near Metz Hill, Oregon. an Girl escapes unharmed after man takes her on 100-mile terror ride By The Associated Press YONCALLA, Ore. — A man kidnapped a 7-year-old girl and took her through 100 miles of terror Thursday, holding a gun to her head and shooting at motorists before he was killed by a police sharpshooter. Kristina Jacobson, abducted 3Va hours earlier from her babysitter's house in Salem, ran from the car as police closed in. The slain gunman was not immediately identified. "He had this little silver gun he put up on my head," Kristina said. "He said if I don't behave, he will put me in the trunk or shoot me." "I was crying and asking him lots of questions. 'Where are you going to drop me off? When are you going to drop me off?" The chase ended after the blue Pontiac the man stole ran over spikes set by police, veered into the median and eventually flipped over. The man negotiated with police for about an hour while sitting in the overturned car and holding a gun to the girl, until a sharpshooter killed him with one shot to the head. "They could see that the gun was to the child's head," said Lt. Gregg Hastings. "They were believing the child was going to end up being shot by this person." Kristina, who had requested police bring her Skittles during the negotia- tions, happily ate the candy as she recovered in a hospital with only a few metal fragments in her knee from the crash. She said she was grateful to the sharpshooter. "I wish he would come in the room so I can thank him," she said. She said she managed to put a seat belt on, just as her mother taught her, even though her hands were taped. "I have to, just in case we get in a crash and that's what happened," she said. Kristina said she used her Bambi book to smash a window and escape because she didn't want the kidnapper's blood to get on her sun dress. "She's obviously stronger than me," said her mother, Shanna Jacobson. The ordeal began Thursday morning when the man showed up 'at the home of Kristina's babysitter, pretending to be looking for a dog, Salem police Lt. Roger Vinyard said. Babysitter Chantiell Thomas, 25, opened the door and the man barged in. He hit Thomas and took the girl, leaving three other children behind, Vinyard said. The man stole Thomas' car and headed south at speeds up to 110 mph, pursued by Oregon State Police cars and an airplane. He shot at several vehicles, hitting a 20-year-old woman in the neck and injuring a 7-month-old girl cut by glass fragments. Both were treated and released. T NATIONAL MONUMENT Congress creates park on Z-Bar By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The long effort to establish a national tall- grass prairie preserve at the Z- Bar Ranch in Kansas was just a presidential signature away from reality after Congress passed a bill creating it Thursday. "It's going to be a very special part of Kansas," said Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., who fought to pass the measure as the last major piece of legislation in her 18-year Senate career. "It is an accomplishment that was a long time in the making and one that I am quite proud of," said Kassebaum, who is retiring this year. The measure establishing the tallgrass park in Chase County, 4 Piles of pork pass in final days of 104th Congress / Page A4 • Nicodemus named national historic site / Page B1 Kan., was included in a huge federal parks bill affecting 113 sites in 41 states. It had been held up for weeks because of a stalemate between the administration and Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, over logging in the Tongass Na- tiona.1 Forest.. Murkowski. chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said after reaching a compromise on the logging issue that President Clinton would sign the bill into law. The bill passed the Senate on a voice vote. "It is undoubtedly the most important environmental bill to come before the Congress since I've been here," he said. For Kansas, passage of the bill will mean recognition at the Z- Bar — which includes a 19th-cen- tury limestone house and barn on its 10,984 acres in the Flint Hills — of the state's frontier heritage and the importance of cattle ranching in its history. The Tallgrass Prairie Preservation Act, however, is only the latest of many attempts to create the park. Previous efforts over the past decade failed because of opposition from private landowners and farm groups to federal ownership of so much land. The Associated Prew Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi (left) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota bid farewell Thursday on Capitol Hill after making a ceremonial phone call to President Clinton to announce that this session of Congress had concluded. -.^--;,l

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