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Publication: Dead End
George Lutz, Soraya

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@@@         DEAD END - Friday, May 12, 2006              @@@
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"Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the 
grave. Our birth is nothing but our death begun." Bishop Hall
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Welcome to another edition of Dead End.

Thank you for joining me this week. We remember Lillian 
Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the 
Titanic, who has passed at the age of 99. Asplund was just 
five years old when her family boarded the ship that went 
down in the North Atlantic. We also remember George Lee 
Lutz, Latin singer Soraya, and mystery novelist Herbert 
Burkholz.

Remember you can comment on any part of this issue or read   
comments by visiting: Dead End Blog


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LILLIAN ASPLUND, LAST TITANIC SURVIVOR, DEAD AT 99

The last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in 
1912 has died at the age of 99. Lillian Gertrud Asplund was 
just five years old when the ship went down in the North 
Atlantic after hitting an iceberg. Asplund lost her father 
and three brothers - including a fraternal twin - in the 
disaster. Her mother, Selma, and another brother, Felix, who 
was 3, also survived the sinking on April 15, 1912. Asplund 
was the last Titanic survivor with actual memories of the 
tragedy, however she rarely spoke about the events. The 
Asplund family had boarded the ship in Southampton, England, 
as third-class passengers heading back to Worcester. Selma 
Asplund said the family went to the Titanic's upper deck 
after the ship struck the iceberg. Selma died on the 52nd 
anniversary of the sinking in 1964 at age 91. Felix Asplund 
died on March 1, 1983, at age 73.


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GEORGE LUTZ, OWNER OF AMITYVILLE HOUSE, DEAD AT 59

George Lee Lutz, whose house became known worldwide as "The 
Amityville Horror," died in Las Vegas Wednesday at age 59.
Lutz had been suffering from heart disease, E! Online 
reported. The 1975 28-day stay of the Lutz family at the 
haunted house in Amityville, N.Y., spawned books, films, Web 
sites and endless speculation, E! noted. Lutz bought the 
4,000-square-foot home for only $80,000 a year after six 
former residents of the house had been killed in various 
rooms by the family's eldest son. The Lutzes reported hear-
ing voices, mysteriously unlocking doors and windows and 
green slime dripping from the walls and ceiling. After 
several Hollywood movies and books, they wrote their own 
account in 1997, E! said. Lutz filed suit against MGM for 
its 2005 remake of "The Amityville Horror," saying it 
fabricated and exaggerated the goings on while his family 
lived in the house. He divorced his wife, Kathy, in the 
late 1980s but the couple stayed close and she died of 
emphysema in 2004, E! said.
 

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SORAYA, LATIN SINGER, DEAD AT 37

Latin Grammy winner Soraya, one of the first artists to 
write and record in both English and Spanish, died in 
Florida Wednesday at age 37. The singer, whose mother, aunt 
and grandmother died of breast cancer, was diagnosed with 
the disease in June 2000, Billboard.com reported. She under-
went treatment and won a Grammy three years later for her 
self-titled album, but relapsed at the beginning of this
year. Because of her family history as well as her own 
experience with the disease, Soraya was active with the 
Susan G. Komen Foundation and acted as its spokeswoman, 
Billboard.com said. Although she was one of the most popular 
female Latin and pop and rock performers, Soraya told 
Billboard.com her time was divided between music, life and 
fighting breast cancer. She was awarded Billboard's Spirit 
of Hope Award in 2004 for her efforts to raise breast cancer 
awareness among Hispanics. 


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HERBERT BURKHOLZ, MYSTERY NOVELIST, DEAD AT 73

Mystery novelist and former Food and Drug Administration 
speechwriter Herbert Burkholz has died of lung cancer in 
Maryland at age 73. Among his slate of successful mystery 
novels were 1969's "Sister Bear," 1985's "The Snow Gods" and 
a series that included "The Sensitives" in 1987, "Strange 
Bedfellows" in 1988 and "Brain Damage" in 1992, the Post 
said. One of his non-fiction books, 1994's "The FDA Follies," 
led to a stint as speechwriter for FDA Commissioner David 
A. Kessler. He also wrote a series of spy thrillers with 
Clifford Irving, who became a household name in 1971 for his 
fake autobiography of Howard Hughes that earned him 17 
months in prison. Burkholz also wrote articles for a number 
of magazines and an FDA paper he wrote about the positive 
properties of thalidomide was widely picked up, the newspaper 
said. His survivors include two sons and a granddaughter.


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Notable deaths this week in history...

In 1969, Joan Crawford, who rose from waitress and chorus 
girl to become one of the great movie stars, died of a heart 
attack.

In 1981, Bob Marley, best remembered for bringing mainstream 
cultural acceptance of reggae music outside of Jamaica, died 
at the age of 36.

In 1994, psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson, who profoundly 
reshaped views of human development, died after a brief ill-
ness at age 91.

In 1998, singer/songwriter Eddie Rabbitt, one of the most 
innovative country artists of all time, died at the age of 
56.

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          GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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Question of the Week
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Copyright 2006 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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