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Thomas J. Cavanagh Jr.

August 3, 1996

MARGATE, Fla. (AP) _ Thomas J. Cavanagh Jr., the New York detective who inspired the TV series ``Kojak,″ died Friday. He was 82.

Cavanagh was nicknamed ``The Velvet Whip″ for his ability to extract a confession.

Like the fictional detective, Cavanagh was powerfully built but gentle, a natty dresser who sometimes bucked his bosses. His office in Manhattan’s 23rd Precinct was used to film the TV series starring Telly Savalas. Unlike Savalas, Cavanagh was not bald.

A 1973 TV movie, ``The Marcus-Nelson Murders,″ introducing Savalas as Kojak, was based on a 1963 case solved by Cavanagh’s detective team.

A man who was found carrying a picture of a woman who resembled one of the victims was interrogated, and confessed to both murders. But Cavanagh didn’t buy it. His detectives eventually tracked down the woman in the picture, still very much alive, and the police case fell apart.

Cavanaugh later obtained the confession from the real killer, who was convicted and remains in jail.

The possibility that the wrong man could have been executed led New York to abandon the death penalty in 1965. The case also was cited in the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision, requiring police to warn people of their rights when arrested.

Cavanagh retired in 1976 after 36 years as a police officer.

Michel Debre

LOIRE VALLEY, France (AP) _ Michel Debre, a former Prime Minister of France known as the father the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, died Friday. He was 87.

Debre served as Charles de Gaulle’s first prime minister from 1959-62, and later held the Cabinet portfolios of economy, foreign affairs and defense.

Debre was a member of Parliament seven times from 1963. He resigned his last elected position as a member of the regional assembly of Indre-et-Loire at the age of 80.

In 1981 he ran against Jacques Chirac for the conservative nomination for president, but garnered only 1.6 percent of the primary vote.

Though a conservative, he described himself as ``not a liberal, not a socialist, not a nationalist, not a globalist, not a Keynesian, a Rooseveltian nor a Reaganite.″

Robert Fehlman

CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Robert Fehlman, a former general manager of radio station WHBC, died after a brief illness Friday. He was 82.

Fehlman, a former president of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, was general manager of the Canton station from 1945 to 1960, then moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he ran WPDQ from 1960-1963.

Survivors include, a son and a daughter, his wife, Ann, preceded him in death in 1989.

Philip Jerry

NEW YORK (AP) _ Philip Jerry, a leading dancer and choreographer with the Joffrey Ballet, died on Friday of AIDS. He was 41.

The cause was AIDS, said Patrick Corbin, Jerry’s companion of nine years.

Jerry’s best known choreography included ``Hexameron,″ for the Joffrey, in which he presented formal classical ballet in an updated way that flattered the company’s young dancers. He was also renowned for his choreography of ``Our Town″ for the American Repertory Ballet.

Born in Elmira, N.Y., Jerry joined the Joffrey II dance company at age 16 and three years later was named to the senior troupe. He danced with the Joffrey for 13 years, and also performed on the Broadway revival of ``The Most Happy Fella″ and in ``Dangerous Games.″

Jerry also taught ballet at Princeton and was ballet master of the American Repertory Ballet.

Michael M. Rea

WASHINGTON, Conn. (AP) _ Michael M. Rea, an art collector and publisher who created an award that honored such authors as Eudora Welty and Joyce Carol Oates, died at his home Wednesday. He was 69.

He collected American short stories and founded the annual $30,000 Rea Award in 1986 to honor living American short story authors. Other recipients included Robert Coover, Richard Ford and Tobias Wolff.

Rea also had careers in advertising, public relations and broadcasting. He owned radio stations in Harrisburg and State College, Pa., before retiring in 1983.

Rea was a trustee of several art foundations and museums, including the Guggenheim Foundation

Michael Wilson

NEW YORK (AP) _ Michael Wilson, a sideshow performer who fascinated Coney Island audiences with his tattoo-covered body _ and the occasional nail through his tongue _ was found dead Wednesday in his apartment. He was 44.

Wilson was known as the Tattoo Man for the circular swirls, starbursts, and skull and daggers covering 90 percent of his body. Most were of his own creation.

Wilson _ tall, bald and covered in blue, black red and green art _ moved from San Francisco in 1986 because he could not find a tattoo artist who would ink his face. He worked on and off at the Coney Island USA sideshow for the past 10 years.

Dressed in a tuxedo, gloves and hood, Wilson slowly stripped down to undershorts. He also worked the bed of nails, encouraging the largest members in the audience to stand on top of him.

One of Wilson’s favorite acts was illusion, hammering nails through his tongue, which had already been pierced.

He also appeared recently in a few music videos and modeling layouts.

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