1. Archive

Killer of five UF students loses another appeal

GAINESVILLE - Danny Harold Rolling, who pleaded guilty to the grisly slayings of five University of Florida students in 1990, has lost his latest court appeal.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta disagreed with Rolling's claim that his defense attorneys deprived him of effective counsel for delaying filing a motion to have the penalty phase of his trial moved from Gainesville.

The court's ruling Thursday affirmed a Florida Supreme Court ruling denying Rolling's appeal.

Rolling, 51, pleaded guilty to the murders in 1994 and, after a penalty phase, a jury recommended 12-0 that he receive five death sentences. Circuit Judge Stan Morris sentenced Rolling to death for the five killings and life in prison for three sexual batteries and armed burglaries.

Rolling, a Shreveport, La., drifter, killed four women and one man in their off-campus apartments in August and September 1990 and mutilated some of the bodies.

Two arrested in "Curious George' filmmaker's killing

BOYNTON BEACH - Two men have surrendered and confessed to killing Alan Shalleck, who collaborated with the co-creator of Curious George to bring the mischievous monkey to television and a series of book sequels, police said Thursday.

Rex Spears Ditto, 29, of Pembroke Pines, and Vincent J. Puglisi, 54, of Oakland Park, were arrested late Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder, armed home invasion, aggravated battery and dealing in stolen property, Boynton Beach police said.

"They came in . . . and confessed to robbing and murdering this guy," Sgt. Gladys Cannon said.

Both men were being held in the Palm Beach County jail.

A maintenance worker on Tuesday found the bloodied body of Shalleck, 76, covered in garbage bags in the driveway of his home. He had received several stab wounds, Cannon said..

Ditto and Puglisi allegedly stole jewelry from Shalleck and pilfered his checking account.

Cannon said Ditto and Puglisi were acquaintances of Shalleck. She declined to provide further details.

Frank Grey, renowned as elusive WWII POW, dies

JACKSONVILLE BEACH - Frank Grey, who was put in the infamous Stalag 17 by the Germans in World War II and became known as the "Grey Ghost" for his ability to avoid detection and escape, has died, his family said.

Mr. Grey, 90, who died Sunday of heart failure, served 20 years in the Air Force and was a veteran of the Korean War as well.

"He was quite an amazing man," said his grandson, Tim Grey of Naples.

Mr. Grey was a tail gunner on a B-17 when his plane was shot down during World War II. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart and the POW Medal. He later served on a B-29 crew, taking part in 57 bombing missions over North Korea.

His exploits at Stalag 17 were detailed in a 2004 book, The Flame Keepers by Ned Handy.

According to the book, Mr. Grey immediately hid among 4,000 POWs when he arrived at Stalag 17. German guards and the Gestapo couldn't find him in three days of searching and were convinced that he had escaped.

He sneaked into an adjoining Russian POW compound, from which he would escape and make his way back to England, according to the book. He became known as the "Grey Ghost."

The longtime resident of Jacksonville Beach was born in Welch, W.Va. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Homeless man in critical condition after beating

RIVIERA BEACH - A homeless man was in critical condition Thursday after being severely beaten by three young men or teenagers at a convenience store pay phone, police said.

Thomas Kotowski, 36, was found bloody and nearly unconscious Tuesday night outside the H&M Discount Beverage Store, Riviera Beach police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said.

Authorities were looking for suspects.

The attack follows the Jan. 12 beating death of a homeless man and attacks on two others in the Fort Lauderdale area. Three teenagers have been indicted on charges of murder and attempted murder.

in 2004