Around Juneau

Posted: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Firefighters discover arsenal, skulls

SPOTSWOOD, N.J. -- Firefighters extinguishing a blaze at the home of a retired radiologist discovered a cache of rocket launchers, grenades, assault rifles and two human skulls, authorities said.

In addition, Nazi flags and more than 10,000 bullets also were allegedly found at Richard E. Schaefle's home.

Schaefle, 54, who earned a Bronze Star for his service in the Air Force in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, was charged Monday with 10 counts of unlawful possession of illegal machine guns and jailed on $750,000 bail.

"Everywhere you stepped, you were stepping on either a weapon or ammunition," Spotswood Police Chief John Oliver said.

One of the skulls came from a hospital where Schaefle was a radiologist and another from an auction, assistant Middlesex County prosecutor Michael Weiss said.

Schaefle's attorney, A. Kenneth Weiner, said his client was just a collector and had fired only one -- a registered Colt .44 -- at a range twice.

"Police don't consider him a Rambo type," Weiner said. "But they feel he needs psychiatric help and I agree with that."

John Lennon's killer denied parole

ATTICA, N.Y. -- Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon to death 20 years ago, was denied parole today in his first attempt to gain release from prison.

Chapman was interviewed for 50 minutes this morning at the maximum-security Attica state prison by three parole board members, said Tom Grant, a spokesman for the state Division of Parole.

About four hours later, Chapman was given the board's one-page determination beginning with the words "parole is denied."

The board called Chapman's killing of Lennon "calculated and unprovoked." In addition to being one of the most famous musicians in the world, Lennon was also a "husband and a father of two young children," the board said.

"Your most vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged," the parole board said. "During your parole hearing, this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety."

Chapman, 45, is serving 20 years to life in Attica for slaying Lennon outside the rock star's Manhattan apartment in 1980. He will probably be held for two more years before he gets another hearing.

The odds are strongly against Chapman's release now or ever, said inmate advocate Robert Gangi of the Correctional Association of New York.

Gangi said those who committed violent crimes in New York are almost never granted release on their initial parole hearing. The notoriety of Chapman's crime just worsens his chances, he said.

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