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News Briefs

Game of Dare Ends as Detective Arrests Heir to Fortune

Los Angeles Times
FRESNO, Calif.

Dana Ewell was a rich kid with the ultimate alibi.

On Easter Sunday 1992, as a gunman executed his father, mother and sister inside their adobe ranch house, he was 200 miles away, spending the holiday with his girlfriend and her FBI agent father.

The 21-year-old Ewell, only surviving heir to an $8 million fortune, offered a $50,000 reward for the killer's capture. He vowed to make his father proud by taking over the family farms and airplane dealership.

Fresno County Sheriff's Detective John Souza didn't buy the aggrieved son demeanor. He believed that the college student with high-roller tastes and a reported 180 IQ had masterminded the sensational triple murder, and Ewell was publicly named as the prime suspect.

So began a three-year game of dare between the wealthy, cocky Ewell and the local detective who shadowed him and his cohorts around the state in a hunt for elusive evidence. Souza finally arrested Ewell, now 23, this month on three counts of first-degree murder.

The charges against Ewell in connection with the deaths of his father, Dale, 59, mother, Glee, 57, and sister, Tiffany, 24, could carry the death penalty. The suspected motive: the millions he stood to gain from the estate of his parents.

Three of Ewell's friends from the Los Angeles area have been arrested as accomplices in the murders.

Buchanan Enters Race, Vows To Defend Workers, Values

Los Angeles Times

Staking a claim to leadership of the conservative rebellion he sparked by challenging George Bush four years ago, Pat Buchanan on Monday formally announced his entrance into the fast-growing field for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination.

A crowd of about 200 supporters in a downtown auditorium shouted "Go Pat, Go!" as the 56-year-old columnist and television commentator expounded on the major nationalist and populist themes of his 1992 campaign, only with a different emphasis.

When he used the phrase "America First" in 1992, he mainly meant re-establishing U.S. primacy in world affairs. Here on Monday, Buchanan stressed the threat to American workers from unfair competition abroad while condemning the Clinton administration for failing to protect their interests.

"Our people (are) not realizing the fruit of their labor," he declared, because "we have a government that is too busy taking phone calls from lobbyists for foreign countries and the corporate contributors of the Fortune 500."

Few Republicans believe Buchanan's new candidacy will have the impact of his 1992 insurgency, when as the only consequential challenger to Bush he got 37 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and damaged the president's prestige. In the current field many believe his main impact will be to draw votes away from Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, viewed as the leading conservative in the race.