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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:00 am

Forget Hollywood — the true story of the fabled relic, and its owners, is weirder than fiction

Untitled Document Do you feel the love?” asks Bill Homann. He is sitting in an easy chair in the living room of his modest suburban tract home in Valparaiso,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:00 am

A reincarnated Union general’s search for the lost crystal skull of Peru

Untitled Document “You have to understand, I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” says Joshua “Illinois” Shapiro, “and for 25 years there were no
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 12:00 am

James Earl Ray had ties to Chicago mob, says his book-promoting brother

Untitled Document The last time John Larry Ray visited New York City was in 1965. He was between jobs, collecting unemployment benefits. While there, he remembers, Ma
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 12:00 am

More than a love of writing drove the strange colony in Marshall, Ill.

Untitled Document The contents of 77 boxes shelved in the special-collections department of the Brookens Library at the University of Illinois at Springfield tell a l
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 12:00 am

English teacher keeps James Jones’ legacy alive in Robinson

Untitled Document Helen Howe’s audience on this bone-chillingly cold day is an English class of about two-dozen seniors sequestered in the library of Robinson High School i
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 12:00 am

UIS home to unique collection of writers’ colony documents

Untitled Document When Thomas J. Wood began working at then-Sangamon State University, in late 1986, the files of Lowney Handy, James Jones’ mentor, were still
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 12:00 am

Music speaks of freedom and unbridled transcendental love

Untitled Document I play guitar — or, at least, I like to think I do — but I never have learned any Christmas carols, though I’ve attempted to fingerpick “
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 12:00 am

After years of fighting the feds, James Earl Ray’s brother banks on a new book to settle his account

John Larry Ray has been pitching this story for nearly a decade — but until now few have been willing to listen. On March 30, 1998, Ray says, less than a month before his brother died, he wrote
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 12:00 am

John Larry Ray marks time in Quincy, still trying to set the record straight

Untitled Document The lone robber entered the Farmers Bank of Liberty at 9:10 a.m. on Friday May 30, 1980. He didn’t bark any demands, and he didn’t
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007 12:00 am

Singer-songwriter Wil Maring finds her place in rural Illinois

Untitled Document It’s a languid August evening in Cobden, a former stop on the old Illinois Central line about 10 miles south of Carbondale. At one time, the surrounding o


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