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Explosives Removed From Docs Home

March 12, 2000

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) _ Authorities on Saturday removed the last of 27 canisters packed with plastic explosives and other hazardous materials from the home of doctor suspected in an assassination attempt on his business partner.

As soon as health inspectors cleared the home of Dr. Larry Ford, who killed himself March 2 as police sought to question him, 250 residents of 52 nearby homes were allowed to return home, ending a four-day evacuation.

``We’re just ready to go home,″ said resident Karen Crellin, who was evacuated with her husband and their two young sons.

Ford, 49, shot himself to death a day after police searched his home as part of the investigation into the wounding of James Patrick Riley.

Riley is chief of Biofem Pharmaceutical Inc., a biomedical company formed to market female suppositories to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. He was shot in the cheek by a masked gunman Feb. 28 outside the company’s Irvine headquarters, but survived. The gunman has not been arrested.

Ford’s widow, Diane, told the Orange County Register in Sunday’s editions that her husband was a ``kind, compassionate gentleman.″

He ``would never do anything to harm the community. He would never hurt anybody,″ she said. Ford was buried in Provo, Utah, on Friday.

The case has also shocked the couple’s three college-age children.

``Our family is so ... boring,″ Larry Ford Jr., 24, told the newspaper. ``There is no dysfunction. No aberrant children. No big drama at our house.″

Authorities have charged the alleged getaway driver, Dino D’Saachs, 56, of Altadena, with conspiracy to commit murder.

On Friday, D’Saachs described his longtime friend Ford as a caring man.

``He told me once he could never be a pediatrician because it would hurt him too much to see a child cry,″ D’Saachs told the Register in a jailhouse interview.

After Ford’s death, a police search uncovered 21 canisters buried beneath a false floor at his home. They contained firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, including machine gun rounds.

Six more canisters were found under a concrete slab on the side of the house, beneath pool chemicals and trash cans. All have been given to the FBI, authorities said.

Attorneys for Ford told the Register and the Los Angeles Times that the infectious disease specialist had gathered intelligence on biological matters for the federal government. The South African Embassy in Washington is investigating reports that Ford advised the South African Defense Force on chemical and biological weapons.

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