Gerry Conlon, whose conviction was overturned after he served 14 years in British prisons for a deadly Irish Republican Army terrorist bombing in the 1970s, and whose ordeal was depicted in the film In the Name of the Father, died Friday at his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was 60.
His family released a statement announcing his death. He had pulmonary fibrosis and suffered a heart attack several weeks ago, according to news reports.
Conlon was 20 when he and three others were charged with the Oct. 5, 1974, bombing of the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford, England, near London. Five people were killed in the blast and dozens more were injured.
The Guildford Four, as the defendants became known, were convicted in 1975 and sentenced to life in prison. They were freed 14 years later when a judge ruled that the police fabricated their confessions and forced the defendants to sign them.
‘Algernon’ author explored the mind
Daniel Keyes, whose fascination with the workings of the mind drove a writing career that produced the classic 1966 novel Flowers for Algernon, died June 15 at his South Florida home of complications from pneumonia, his family said. He was 86.
Flowers for Algernon, which Keyes initially wrote as a short story, goes inside the head of Charlie Gordon, a man with an IQ of 68 who is painfully aware of his mental limits and yearns to be smart.
The novel takes the form of Charlie’s journal entries, which are filled with his spelling and grammatical mistakes until he undergoes an operation that enhances his intelligence, much as it had with Algernon, the lab mouse that had the surgery first. But when Algernon regresses, Charlie realizes that the same fate awaits him.
Flowers for Algernon brought Keyes some of the highest honors in science fiction and inspired a 1980 Broadway musical and a 2000 TV movie. The most famous adaptation was the 1968 movie Charly, which starred Cliff Robertson in an Academy Award-winning performance.
Arranger’s singers staple of 1950s, ’60s
Grammy-winning conductor and arranger Johnny Mann, whose singing group was a staple of recordings and TV shows in the 1950s and ’60s, died Wednesday at his home in Anderson, S.C. He was 85.
Mann had been treated for heart problems in recent years, his daughter, Susie Mann said.
The Johnny Mann Singers were awarded a Grammy in 1968 for their cover version of the hit song Up, Up and Away and in 1962 for the album Great Band With Great Voices.