The Greenwood Commonwealth from Greenwood, Mississippi on December 25, 1997 · Page 9
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The Greenwood Commonwealth from Greenwood, Mississippi · Page 9

Greenwood, Mississippi
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 25, 1997
Page 9
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Oyrxyean Greenwood Mss , TKjrsday, December 25, 1397 Page 8A Justice checks Kerry donations i LOS ANGELES (AP) Sen. John F. Kerry, an advocate of eam- raign finance reform, received 10,000 in contributions originating from Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung after setting up a meeting for him with federal regulators, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. Kerry, D-Mass, k considered a potential presidential candidate in 2000. He introduced campaign finance legislation and List year refused to accept political action committee contributions. The newspaper reporUd that the Justice Department k investigat ing a $10,000 contribution made to Kry by Chung associates who were then reimbursed by the Cali-fcmia businessman. Kerry, D-Mass., returned all $10,000 "because of the whole furor" surrounding Chung's contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Kerry spokeswoman Tovah Raviu said The DNC also returned $366,000 to Chung. Chung attorney Brian A. Sun says his client "did not knowingly violate any election laws." The Times reported Chung asked Kerry for ibelp arranging a Securities and Exchange Commission meeting fur an associate interested in learning how to clear the way for Chinese companies to get listed on U.S. stock exchanges. ;i Raviu described the request a beuig ix nothing more than a bjur of the SEC. Kerry said in a statement that helping someone get a tour " something we've done for tens of thousands of people from Massachusetts and thousands of people from around the country Chris Uliman, spokesman lor the SEC, said Chung and his associates asked for information that would have been av ailable to anyone. , A ride in tlie desert Crew members from the USS George Washington and Carrier Air Wing One take a camel ride through the desert of Jebet AH, United Arab Emirates, during a ship's short stop on Dec. 17. The crews are part Of th8 fleet serving in the Persian GuH to support the U.N. sanctions against Iraq. Strange happenings puzzle Rhode Island authorities By TERRENCE PETTY Associated Press HOPKINTON, R.I. - On a September morning in the southwestern woods of Rhode Island, as the maples and oaks were changing into their autumn splendor, Greg Siner noticed a stench as he walked by the septic tank of his rambling old Victorian home. Siner shoved aside the heavy cement lid to see if the tank needed to be pumped. T looked in," he says, 'and there was a skull staring up at me." Siner rushed into the house to tell Gardner Young, who bought the home with Siner a year ago. Young called police. Police believe the skeleton in the tank is all that remains of Camilla Lyman, the previous owner of the house, who disappeared a decade ago. They also believe that Lyman. a transvestite millionaire ina breeder of champion spaniels, was murdered. After all, there are easier ways to commit suicide than climbing into a septic tank. What else did investigators find when the siphoned the septic tank? And who do they think killed Lyman? Police, concerned about compromising the investigation, aren't saying. Nor will they confirm rumors that they found cinder blocks wired to the remains. Lyman's disappearance didn't arouse suspicion at first. In fact, there was no official search of Lyman's 40 acres until John Scun-cio, a retired state police detective, took over as Hopkinton police chief a year ago and reopened the long-dormant case. At the same moment that Siner found the skull in the tank, Scuncio was on another part of the 40-acre estate, searching for a body. Lyman, 54 at the time of her disappearance, was the daughter of Arthur T. Lyman, an affluent Bostonian with more than 30 years of public service in Massachusetts, including stints as commissioner of corrections and commissioner of conservation. According to friends and family members, Lyman's father doted on her and she deeply felt his loss after he died of lung cancer in 1968. Sometime after that, Lyman's transformation into a man began. The Brahmin heiress attended national dog shows wearing short hair, a mustache she grew with the help of steroids intended for her does, bolo ties and herringbone jacusts. In her masculine guise, Lyman bore a spooky resemblance to her father. Lyman bought the Hopkinton house in 1984. When she wasn't at dog shows, she had little to do with the outside world. She was cranky to her neighbors. A stockade fence at the front of her property kept out the unwanted. She had even grown distant from her own relatives. "She was cute and perky" in her youth, says Lyman's sister, Mary Margaret Goodale of Boston. "She began to withdraw from us (the family) in the 1970s. I dont know why." A small circle of trusted associates living around Hopkinton took care of Lvman's practical matters. tay idK the ntaress to devote h;rstt& toneroeaogs. One of those associates was George T. CNeil, a fellow dog breeder from nearby North Kingstown, whom Lyman apparently considered her best human friend. CNeil cashed Lyman's checks for her, picked up her mail, had power of attorney over her affairs and was the sole beneficiary in her will, according to testimony at a 1994 probate hearing dealing with Lyman's estate. CNeil didn't inform police about Lyman's disappearance, even though he conceded noticing in July 1987 that she was missing, the probate records show. But (Weil did keep maintaining Lyman's house and taking care of her dogs. Police learned of Lvman's disappearance in December 1988, when her brother filed a missing-persons report with the Hopkinton police. George Weeden, then the local police chief, saw no reason to doubt (Weil's contention that Lyman frequently went off for extended periods without telling anyone. So Weeden chose not to dig up Lyman's property to look for her. Lyman's brother and two sisters, however, were alarmed. They thought their sister loved her dogs too much to leave them for months. In August of 1988, they hired a private investigator to look for her. Six years later, after the search proved futile, the three siblings went to probate court to have Camilla Lyman declared legally dead and to keep an estimated $2 million that had been set aside for her in family trust funds from falling into the wrong hands. In a settlement with the Lyman family, ffNeil got Camilla's Hopkinton property, which was sold to Siner and Young last year, but received no part of the family trust funds. Hopkinton Probate Court Judge Linda Urso declared Lyman legally dead in June 1995. In her written ruling, Urso said that some "disturbing facts surround her absence" and that CWeil's testimony during the proceedings was "not wholly credible." The circumstances surrounding Lvman's disappearance as described by Mr. (Weil are sketchy, and his actions for a long period of Jfcime thereafter,, are unsettling," .L'mo wrote, noting that "he continued to run Lyman's affairs as if nothing had happened." Charles John Allen, the Boston private detective hired by Lyman's siblings, said (Weil told him early in his investigation that Camilla had gone off to Europe for a sex change operation. Allen had informants in Europe's transvestite scene snoop around to see if anyone fitting Lyman's description had had the operation, but no trace of her was found. Allen says he wanted to search Lyman's property but (Weil wouldn't let him. Allen probed Lyman's bank accounts to find out what was happening to interest income from her trust funds that was still being paid out after she disappeared. "It was sort of troubling," says Allen. "There were fairly large amounts of money that couldn't be traced." Allen would not go into details, but said he has given his file on the matter to police. Contacted by telephone, (Weil refused to talk with The Associated Press. Cranston attorney Roberta Ragosta, who also helped manage Lyman's financial affairs, has avoided reporters as well. The Lyman case has been a frustrating one for Allen, whose firm boasts it located all of the 8,000 or so people it has been hired to find over the years all but Camilla Lyman. PRICE BdHSTin E9EALS! 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2WD 4Dr Laredo Trailer Tow Group IV AMFM Radio CassCD 4-Speed Automatic Trans. 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