The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 14, 1978 · 1
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 1

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 14, 1978
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THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN OKLAHOMA CITY, OK THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1978 108 PAGES 10c Inquiry Shows' Reformed' Con Man Hasn't Quit Yet By Ira Perry A nationally acclaimed con artist hired (or $500 to tell top Oklahoma City personnel executives tonight how to cut while-collar crime losses by .spotting con men before they begin their swindles apparently has conned the organization himself, an investigation by TheOklahoman shows. Frank William Abagnale Jr. who bills himself as "one.of the world's most-sought con men,' "The Skywayman" and professional impostor apparently is a con man whose only major confidence scheme has been convincing people he was the best of flimflam artists, and, as such, the best man to pay for help in combating crime. Abagnale confesses to an alleged past of fraud, deception and impersonation to bolster a million-dollar business based on his professed knowledge as the king of tricksters, the con man's con man. - Bui "The Great Impostor," says a Louisiana attorney, "is apparently at it again. Frank Abagnale probably knows less about white-collar crime than most well-read 15-year-olds." The Massachusetts bank Abagnale claims lie robbed with the help of the Massachusetts state police after one ruse has never existed. "FBI special-agent-in-charge" John A. Shea, 'The Great Impostor is apparently at it again," said one of several sources contacted to inquire about the background of Abagnale, who is scheduled to speak in the city about confidence games. "Frank Abagnale probably knows less about white-collar crime than most well-read 15-year-olds.' the officer Abagnale claims was responsible for his arrest in Georgia, has never been employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials said. Representatives of an airline Abagnale boasts of bilking for a free four-month trip to Eu rope with eight phony stewardesses while posing as a pilot say they know of Abagnale only because he tried to recruit the girls. There is no record, they say, of any of $2.5 million in bad checks he claims he wrote to pay his female companions. The fifth floor of the Louisiana office building where Abagnale says he worked as an assistant state attorney general without a law degree has never housed thai agency's offices. A federal penitentiary from which Abagnale claims he escaped by convincing a guard that he was an undercover Inspector has no record that Abagnale was ever confined there. Even the New Yort town he claims as a birthplace has no record of any births to families named Abagnale from 19-16 through 1950, two years before and after Abagnale's claimed birth-date. Abagnale's own parole officer indirectly confirms that his claims are either exaggerated or entirely fabricated. State and federal records indicate Abagnale's onlv brushes with the law have been for interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle as a juvenile and for forgery, interstate transportation of stolen documents and escape (not from ihe federal penitentiary ) a few years later. To me, lhat's hardly enough to make him an expert on the types of cri mes he talks about," says former FIJI agent Gene Stewart, now vice president for corporate security at Delta Airlines, "Do you hire a car thief to tell you about mechanics? Of course not. It doesn't make sense, and neither does what this man is doing." Abagnale refused to return telephone calls from inquirers questioning his alleged activities, but. The Oklahoman probe of his claims described in his own advertising brochures indicate the crimes never occurred or have been exaggerated. "Frank W, Alitifinalv Jr.," his slick, copyrighted brochure reads, "was litindanmi: lU-hunuir. imjift-rabh jirmnwd, snwrtir thru a fox mid tlUh as an Irinh Wi irudrr . . . He tins a inilUuiiaim tuicf See I'age 82, Col. 1 Frank Abagnale iu I Craa A 28-year-old Shre- impact demolished the truck cab and knocked WOrKIng TiGG veport, La., man was the train's three engines off the track. A rescue seriously in)ured Wednesday morning when he team worked 45 minutes with a hydraulic back-drove his 18-wheel truck into the side of a moving hoe before they were able lo free Genie Bryant freight train west of Shreveport. The force of the from the wreckage of his truck cab. Swindle Kits State Bank By Jon Chavez BARTLESVIl.LE -Federal charges were filed Wednesday , against a 38-year-old ' man suspected of using a pair of phony checks and a smooth tongue to swindle the Plaza National Bank here out of $50,000. . The. charges of transporting stolen property across state lines were; filed in.Tulsa federal court before U.S. Magistrate Claudine S. Barnes and an arrest warrant was issued. Bond for the suspect, identified, as Stanton Snyder,, was set at $75,000. He was still at largo late Wednesday Bank president Leon Orr said the' man came into the bank Tuesday shortly . after -2 p.m. with two personal checks in the amount of 150,0C0oach. Orr said the : man stressed to bank employees that he was a close friend of Orr's. Orr said the fabricated friendship "was put on pretty strong by the man." " He said the con man asked for n 550,000 cashier's check, and set up n 5150,000 savings deposit account and a $100,000 checking account with the bank. "He was "probably, able to pull If off by splitting it up in a threo;Way deal.", said Sec I'age 2, Column t Fair to partly cloudy skies and warmer readings are forecast for Oklahoma City today. High will be in the mid-50s. Details, Page 12. Betty Ford Raps Nixon Trips Former first lady Betty Ford says she thinks former President Richard M. Nixon's recent public appearances arc not helping the Republican Party. "It's too soon for him (to speak out)," she tells , members of the Washington Press Club at a luncheon; She also criticizes her former aide's book that reveals many personal aspects about her family. Details, Page 29. Betty Ford Boger Backs Stanley's Payment Oklahoma State University president Dr. Lawrence Roger announces he will recommend to the OSU Board of Regents that the school pay the final two. years of former head football coach Jim Stanley's contract, valued at approximately $71,000. It was an agreement, he says, that, "should not have been signed by either party to begin with." Details, Page 6 3. Inside Features TV Log 82 Women's New... 12-15 298,245 Dally Paid Circulation Morning-Evening Average far Last Week Amusements 78 Business-Oil 79 Classified Ails... 82-91 Comics 92 Editorials Gallup Poll Horoscope Markets Obituaries ..... Public Records.. Sports ....11 ....12 . 7JI-82 . 18-20 . . . .76 . 83-69 Delivery Service 239-7171 Want Alls Z35-67ZZ thor Calls 132-331 1 Entire contents 'copyright 1978, The Oklahoma Publishing Co., Box 25125, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 3125, Vol. 87, No. 313. , Cult Ambush Role Aired GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) A Peoples Temple member charged with five counts of murder In the slayings of Rep. Leo J. Ryan and four other persons has told police he accepts full respon-sihility for the deaths and for injuries to other persons , at the scene, informed sources said Wednesday. "I, . Larry . Lay ton, take full responsibility for all the deaths and injuries that took place at the Port Kaltuma airstrip," the statement begins. "I had begged Bishop Jim Jones' that I be allowed to bring down" the plane that was to carry Ryan and his party back to Georgetown Nov. 18. The content of Layton's statement, which the prosecution said would be introduced later In a preliminary hearing that began Wednesday, was reported by informed sources who declined to bo named. The hearing is to determine If there is enough evidence to bring Lnyton, 32, of San , Francisco, to trial. Another American, Charles Belkman, 43, Indianapolis, Ind., is charged with four counts of murder in the throat-slashing deaths See Page 2, Column 1 Court Soys Oil Role lion Blonder WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Energy Administration, later absorbed by the Energy Department, incorrectly imposed two major pricing regulations on the oil industry, committing what a lower court railed a "colossal $1.3 billion blunder," n federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The appeals court said however that the real impact, if any. would have to be figured out on a company-by-company basis. The court said the regulations were invalid because the FEA gave no advance notice of them, issued conflicting instructions, and tried to apply them retroactively. The Energy Department, which inherited the case, had no immediate comment. The appeals court decision vindicated complaints filed by 15 petroleum companies and upheld previous decisions by District Courts in Delaware and Ohio. When foreign oil producers suddenly quadrupled their crude oil prices in L973-7I. the Federal Energy Office and Its successor the ' Federal Energy Administration issued a series of price-control regulations to slow the impact of petroleum cost Increases on consumers in the United States. Among them were regulations telling oil refiners how they could recover the rising crude oil costs through the prices they charge for their refined products. The policies were withdrawn by FEA later in 1970 because they encouraged refiners to speed up, rather than delay, their cost-recovering price increase. The Appeals Court said FEA estimated that the companies' interpretation of the poli cies would have allowed them to charge consumers some SI. 3 billion more than the agency's Interpretation allowed. But the Court noted an official's further ex planation that demand for petroleum products during that lime was not strong enough to support prices even as high as the allowed price ceilings, meaning that the companies might not have been able to charge off the additional $1.3 billion anyway, so that the dispute over regulations may have had little or no practical impact on consumer prices. OCU Blasts Law School Vote by Bar By Jim Killackey The president of Oklahoma City University blasted the American Bar Association as "dictatorial" Wednesday following disclosure that an ABA re-view body has approved a recommendation withdrawing accreditation from the OCU law school. "The A ISA accreditation committee has no business telling us what kind of facilities we should have," OCU President Dr. Dolphus Whit ten said. "The ABA has bo-come a very dictatorial professional organization and they are moving into areas of higher education that are foreign to them," OCU's chief administrator said. While conceding the OCU law school needs new facilities. Dr. Whit-ten said Ihe ABA shouldn't be "holding our feet lo the fire." He said ABA officials "are not easy to work with." The ABA's Legal Education Council has upheld n recommendation from an association accreditation team which Sri; I'ago 2, Column 3 Clouds Hide City's Skies Cloudy skies offered Wednesday offered Oklahoma City residents little more than an occasional peek at the sun. Temperatures were rool, winds were from the north-northwest at 5 to 10 mph and high was 16. Warmer readings are forecast for today, with a high in the mitl-SOs. Winds will be southerly at 5 to 10 mph under fair to partly cloudy skies. Carol Charming in husband's parka after blaze. Carol Channing Escapes Blaze BALTIMORE (AP) - Cnrol Channing and 200 other guests had fled the Lord Baltimore Hotel once early Wednesday because of a fire. When a second blav.e erupted seven hours later and trapped her In her room, the actress said, she began to worry about dying. "My husband and I were- In the room because we couldn't get down the hallway from the smoke," said Miss Channing, best known for her role as the irrepressible matchmaker Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" "I thought, -It is a slow death,' and then that we'll have to hold hands and jump out the window. Things like that go through your mind." Only two minor injuries both smoke inhalation crises were reported from the fires in the 1 7-story Lord Ba Itimore. The first fire occurred about 1:30 a.m. In a stor-sci? I'age 2, Column I Horn Jailed in Drowning I Of Child, 2 By Dan MunU'y A 2-year-old boy drowned to death in a northwest. Oklahoma' City apartment where he apparently had been left alone amid filth and clutter, police said. Officers arrested his 22-year-old mother on a complaint of manslaughter. She was released on $5,000. bond. Steven Edwin Major, son of Kathleen Howard. 2-M 1 N Sterling, was dead on arrival at Deaconess Hospital, officials said. Officer l.orone F'ai'fis said ihe child was found in the living room of the apartment. Trash was strewn about the apartment, she said, and human and canine feces littered; the floor. Preliminary examinations by the medical examiner indicated the boy had suffered a blow to the head, police said. Investigators said an autopsy would be performed. The child drowned in the bathtub or water cascading from the overflowing tub, off i- cerssnid. Officer Farris said. Mrs. Howard told police she had put the children down for a nap and awoke to find the chiltl in the bathroom. However, Mrs, daughter, Julie, told police she and ht't' moi her left the hoy alone. City Officials in Air After Vote Jim Cook Sees Impact on Jobs, Services By Lynn Hamilton Oklahoma City government will be In a "holding pattern" until next spring while city administrators try to define the ox-act message included In Tuesday's overwhelming defeat of a $122 million bond issue package. City Manager Jim Cook said Wednesday. Cook predicted the defeat will have an impact on the Oklahoma City employ-mcnrplciure in a few months and reduce city services In coming years. Many of the 14 propositions were defeated by 2-L margins, with several sustaining even worse dereat. Election officials said about 10,000 persons voted Tuesday, although the Oklahoma County Election Board has not announced a final, officii count. "We have to evaluate what happened and see what it means," Cook said. "Did we have voters who voted no because the national mood Is negative, or do we have a real statement of opposition to property taxes, or were people opposed to the projects? "U appears to me that we are in tt holding pattern for any major decisions for the city for a few months," Cook said. Ho said it will be up to the City Council to "decide where it wanls to go from rttrc." The council will likely face tough decisions of which projects to build and whether to cut hack city services in order to provide the projects, he said. The exact mossage included In Tuesday's vote will likely not be determined until next sJ?'mg, when Mayor Pnlience Lntting and four councilmon's terms end. "Council members are going to have to go out in the community and see what the voters meant," Cook said. Cook said it will he up to those who are on the council after the elections to establish a spending policy. Expressing the generally disappointed and pessimistic mood pervading city hall Wednesday, Cook said, "This was a very negative stance taken Tuesday, and it's going lo have lo be considered in that Hfiht." Conk said city officials obviously were unable to convince city voters of the im-penance of the issues. "This greatly concerns me. If the people .have changed their minds and don't Sen Page , Column fi S,

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