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Investigator Taking Fresh Look at Family’s Mysterious Death

June 3, 1995

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A man rumored to have spied in the Middle East for Western powers found poisoned in the desert. His wife and their three children shot in their beds.

They all died 2 1/2 years ago, and investigators still have no solution, no suspect.

Hoping to finally find a lead, the sheriff’s department has hired a retired detective to take a new look at the case.

Timothy O. Carroll, a 30-year veteran who retired on March 31, took over the case Friday.

``We want to get this thing out of our hair once and for all,″ department spokesman Sgt. Ron Reina said. ``They want to get a fresh set of eyes on it.″

Ian Stuart Spiro, 46, a self-described commodities broker, was found slumped over the wheel of his truck in the desert east of San Diego in 1992. While investigators said he died of cyanide poisoning, autopsy reports were sealed by court order.

For three days, he’d been a suspect in the slaying of his wife and children.

Gail Spiro, 41, Sara, 16, Adam 14, and Dina, 11, were found dead in their beds in their luxurious rental house in Rancho Santa Fe, north of San Diego. All had been shot in the head.

At first, investigators considered it a murder-suicide sparked by the family’s financial problems.

They later investigated claims that Spiro had worked for British intelligence and the CIA and that his family may have been killed in retaliation for his reported involvement in Middle Eastern espionage, weapons deals, and attempts to free Western hostages in Lebanon.

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