Fwd: AANEWS for Monday, March 26, 2001

From: Mark Plus (markplus@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 18:18:51 MST

I guess we're not going to be hearing any plausible stories about Madalyn
O'Hair's deathbed "reversion" to superstition. -- MP

>From: owner-aanews@atheists.org
>To: markplus@hotmail.com
>Subject: AANEWS for Monday, March 26, 2001
>Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 18:58:04 -0500
>A M E R I C A N A T H E I S T S
>#900 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3/26/01
> http://www.atheists.org
> http://www.americanatheist.org
> http://www.atheistviewpoint.tv
> ftp.atheists.org/pub/atheists
>"Leading The Way For Atheist Civil Rights
>And The Separation Of Church And State
[snip] **
>Story working:
>AANEWS has learned that media in Austin, Texas is following up on
>reports that evangelist William J. Murray last week obtained the
>remains of his mother, Atheist Madalyn O'Hair; his brother Jon Murray;
>and his daughter, Robin Murray O'Hair following the identification of
>their bodies.
>The three disappeared in September, 1995. Their remains were
>uncovered in January on a remote Texas ranch, and positively
>identified earlier this month. The trio was extorted for money, then
>murdered and dismembered in an Austin, Texas storage locker, and their
>bodies dumped at the remote site in Real County, west of San Antonio,
>Authorities were led to the grave site by David Roland Waters, a
>former office employee of the O'Hairs, who has been identified as the
>ringleader in the kidnap-extortion plot.
>Ever since identification of the three victims, a legal battle has
>been brewing involving William J. Murray, Madalyn O'Hair's estranged
>son who converted to evangelical Christianity, and a family relative
>along with American Atheists, the organization founded by Mrs. O'Hair
>in 1965. Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists, said that she
>had specific instructions regarding the disposition of Mrs. O'Hair's
>Sources have told AANEWS that last week, despite reports of an
>impending court fight and even the possible indictment of David Waters
>on state charges, the remains were obtained by William Murray, who
>then contacted an unidentified funeral home in Austin, Texas. Mrs.
>O'Hair's body was reportedly cremated on Thursday, while the remains
>of Jon Murray and Robin Murray were buried in a cemetery in the same
>There have been concerns that William Murray might conduct a religious
>ceremony if he obtained the bodies.
>Mrs. O'Hair especially feared that upon her death, Christians would
>conduct a religious service and make claims of a "deathbed"
>conversion. A will signed by O'Hair specifically disinherits William
>J. Murray.
>Whether the reported developments of last week were legal may be a
>question for courts to decide. "Madalyn O'Hair was very specific in
>giving instructions for the final disposition of her remains," said
>Ellen Johnson late this afternoon. "We intend to honor her request,
>and make sure that the will is carried out in accordance with the
>William Murray, who leads the Religious Freedom Coalition in
>Washington, D.C., says that he will be in Orlando, Florida to protest
>the upcoming convention of American Atheists. A memorial event for
>the O'Hair family is scheduled for Thursday evening, April 12 prior to
>the convention opening.
>A full report on the O'Hair disappearance and trials of the various
>defendants in the case can be found at
> **

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