ACQUITTED. JOHN GILLIGAN, Irish crime boss; of ordering the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin; in Dublin. Guerin, who had been investigating Gilligan's dealings, was fatally shot in her car. Despite "grave suspicions" of his guilt, a three-judge panel cleared Gilligan of murder but convicted him on 11 drug counts and gave him a 28-year sentence.
KILLED. FIVE U.S. SERVICEMEN and one New Zealand army officer; during training exercises in northwest Kuwait; when a Navy F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet erroneously dropped unguided, 500-lb. bombs on them. The U.S. has sent a team to uncover why the tragedy occurred.
DIED. JAMES D. ST. CLAIR, 80, trial lawyer who defended President Nixon during the Watergate impeachment proceedings; in Westwood, Mass. In 1954 St. Clair found renown as chief assistant to Joseph Welch, counsel for the U.S. Army during Senator Joseph McCarthy's communist investigation. During his storied career, St. Clair defended Yale chaplain William Sloane Coffin, tried for encouraging draft evasion (the charges were later dropped), and represented the Boston School Committee in its losing struggle against mandatory busing.
DIED. ROBERT LUDLUM, 73, master of plot twists and international intrigue whose 21 novels, including The Bourne Identity and The Matarese Circle, sold more than 290 million copies; of a heart attack; in Naples, Fla. Ludlum's first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, written at 42, became an immediate best seller. He gave up his day job as a theater producer but continued to do the occasional TV commercial voice-over. His novel The Sigma Protocol, completed before his death, is due in bookstores this October.
DIED. HENRY LEE LUCAS, 64, convicted murderer who claimed in 1983 to have killed as many as 600 people; of an apparent heart attack; in a Huntsville, Texas, prison. Lucas was sentenced to death, though he later recanted his confessions. Four days before a scheduled lethal injection, he was granted clemency by then Governor George W. Bush, the only Texas convict ever so spared.
DIED. MORTON DOWNEY JR., 67, raucous, chain-smoking host of the eponymous 1987-89 TV talk show; of lung cancer; in Los Angeles. In the 1970s, Pope Paul VI knighted Downey for humanitarian work with war victims in Nigeria. But he is most remembered as the in-your-face host who bellowed and blew smoke at guests he didn't like.
DIED. S. DILLON RIPLEY, 87, blue-blooded ornithologist and eighth secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who from 1964 to 1984 transformed an assortment of staid displays into a vibrant, far-reaching complex of fun and education; in Washington. In 1968, when the directors wanted to close the museums during the Poor People's March after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, Ripley decided instead to keep them open even later so the marchers could at least go in and use the rest rooms.