The week at a glance...United States

United States

Olympia, Wash.

D.B. Cooper still missing: Forty years after a hijacker calling himself D.B. Cooper parachuted from a Boeing 727 and vanished with $200,000 in cash, the FBI is investigating a new tip provided by a woman who believes the folk-hero legend was her uncle. Marla Wynn Cooper, 48, of Oklahoma City told the agency that the hijacker was Lynn Doyle Cooper, a logger and Korean War veteran who died in 1999. She claims to have heard Cooper discussing the hijacking with her father, and then returning with injuries suffered during his parachute jump into the wilderness. The FBI, however, said DNA evidence from Lynn Doyle Cooper failed to match that found on a tie the hijacker left on the plane. But because it’s unclear whether the DNA on the tie is the hijacker’s, the FBI said, it would continue to investigate Cooper’s tip.

San Angelo, Texas

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Polygamist sentenced to life: Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader of a Mormon sect, was sentenced to life in prison this week for sexually assaulting two underage followers. The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was convicted of fathering a child with a 15-year-old and sexually abusing a 12-year-old. The Texas jury, which listened to audiotapes on which Jeffs could be heard instructing his harem of a dozen young wives on how to please him sexually, took less than half an hour to deliberate on the 55-year-old’s sentence. Jeffs fired seven attorneys before deciding to represent himself, and earlier threatened the courtroom with a “whirlwind of judgment” if God’s “humble servant” was not set free. Seven other members of the church, which is a radical offshoot of the Mormon faith, were convicted of crimes including sexual assault and bigamy and received prison sentences of between six and 75 years.

Shreveport, La.

Pedophile ring busted: The Justice Department brought down an international pedophile ring this week, charging 72 people with promoting and encouraging the sexual abuse of children. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano revealed that the two-year Operation Delego had resulted in 52 arrests so far, with 20 of the indicted still at large. The sting centered on “Dreamboard,” a members-only online chatroom where pedophiles traded homemade child pornography and boasted of their abuses. Members who proved they had molested children under the age of 12 were afforded “Super VIP” status within the community. “Dreamboard was a living horror,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. Thirteen of those charged have pleaded guilty in federal court; four have received prison sentences of between 20 and 30 years.

Springdale, Ark.

Tainted turkey recall: Federal authorities last week ordered the recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey processed at a Cargill plant in Arkansas. The third-largest meat recall in U.S. history came after the turkey was linked to a dangerous form of salmonella that killed one person in Sacramento and sickened at least 79 others in 26 states. As early as last year, Department of Agriculture inspectors had found evidence at the Cargill plant of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella, which also turned up in April in retail stores. But because salmonella isn’t categorized as an adulterant, authorities can’t order a recall until they establish a positive link with actual illnesses or deaths. “We have constraints when it comes to salmonella,” said Elisabeth Hagen, the USDA undersecretary of food safety. Cargill has suspended turkey processing at the Arkansas plant. “We are truly sorry,” said an officer of the company.

Copley, Ohio

Seven dead in rampage: A gunman killed seven people during a shooting rampage in Ohio last week. Michael Hance’s killing spree was sparked by a family dispute over the ownership of his home, but he also took revenge on neighbors with whom he had fallen out. The unemployed 51-year-old shot dead his girlfriend’s brother, Craig Dieter, and gunned down his girlfriend’s 11-year-old nephew, after cornering him in the basement of a nearby house and ordering out neighbors who attempted to protect him. Hance also killed a neighbor who had recently complained to him about the state of his yard, along with her husband, their son, his 16-year-old daughter, and an unidentified friend of hers. He also shot and wounded his girlfriend, Becky Dieter. Hance, who had no criminal record before the shootings, was then killed in a shoot-out with local police.

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