RETIRING. CAL RIPKEN, 40, Baltimore Orioles infielder who chased down Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" record of 2,130 consecutive games played, setting a new record of 2,632 before voluntarily ending his streak on Sept. 20, 1998; in Baltimore, Md. After 20 years of modest and steady service, Ripken, now batting .209, will bow out at the end of the season.
RELEASED. ROBERT THOMPSON and JON VENABLES, both 18, having served eight years in a children's unit for torturing and killing two-year-old James Bulger in 1993; in London. Their shocking crime--at age 10, the two youths lured James from a shopping center and laid him on railway tracks where a train cut him in half--prompted a nationwide debate over whether they should be paroled. They will be given new identities.
SENTENCED. LORI BERENSON, 31, American citizen convicted on charges of colluding with guerrillas to take the Peruvian Congress hostage; to 20 years in prison; in Lima, Peru. The M.I.T. dropout, sentenced to life in prison in 1996, sought and received a new trial. After the verdict, she defiantly told the court, "I consider this an unjust sentence."
DECLARED DEAD. ETAN PATZ, who, when he was six years old, vanished on his way to school on May 25, 1979, and, with subsequent photos on milk cartons and posters, fueled a nationwide movement to recover missing children; in New York City. Etan's parents plan to bring a wrongful-death suit against the man believed to be their son's killer.
DIED. CARROLL O'CONNOR, 76, Shakespeare-schooled actor who left an enduring mark on TV history as the coarse but lovable working-class bigot Archie Bunker on Norman Lear's All in the Family (1971-79); of a heart attack; in Culver City, Calif. O'Connor won four Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Archie; he won another for his role as a liberal-minded Southern cop on the NBC drama In the Heat of the Night (1988-94). In his later years, after his drug- and alcohol-addicted son Hugh committed suicide in 1995, O'Connor became an outspoken antidrug crusader (see below).
DIED. DONALD J. CRAM, 82, UCLA professor and researcher who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for synthesizing molecules that mimicked the way enzymes work in the body, and were later used in sensors and electrodes; of cancer; in Palm Desert, Calif.
DIED. JOHN LEE HOOKER, 83, Mississippi Delta bluesman whose impassioned, resonant voice and urgent electric-guitar riffs influenced modern rock 'n' roll and inspired such musicians as Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton; in Los Altos, Calif. The son of a sharecropper and one of 11 children, Hooker ran away from home at 14 to make music in Memphis, Tenn., and didn't stop until 1997--more than 100 albums later. In 1989 Hooker won his first of four Grammy Awards for a version of his 1951 million-selling single, I'm in the Mood, which he rerecorded with Bonnie Raitt. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at last year's Grammys.