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Alton Telegraph: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 30, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  Good Morning  Area/Illinois   ......A3-9  Bulletin Board........A7  Business............DI  Classifieds...........Cl  Comics..............D5  Editorial.............A4  Horoscope...........D5  Ann Landers.........C2  Nation/world.........A8  Obituaries...........A5  Behnen, Coombes, Clore, Duncan, Gaskill, Halford, Jones, Johnson, Krause, Loyet, Mashburn, T. Masterson, VV. Masterson, Mennemeier, Ramage,  Smith, Vahl  Scoreboard..........B2  Stocks..............D2  Television............C2  Weather..............D6  Couple found dead in home  Deaths apparent murder-suicide  Tho Madprcnnc WPrP Ii vine* a  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  COTTAGE HILLS - Detectives from the Madison County Sheriffs Department are investigating the apparent murder-suicide of a Cottage Hills man and his estranged wife, whose bodies were found at the family home by their son during the weekend.  Tina S. Masterson, 41, and William R. “Bill” Masterson, 48, both were found shot to death in a bedroom of their home Sunday afternoon.  “The couple had been separated and had been in the process of a reconciliation,” a detective said. “A preliminary investigation would indicate that this is a possible homicide-sui-cide.”  u rphe couple had I been separated and had been in the process of a reconciliation.”  Madison County detective  on circumstances surrounding deaths  Officials with the Madison County Coroner’s Office conducted autopsies Monday afternoon and evening. Further details will be released after the autopsies are completed, authorities said.  The Mastersons were living at HIO East Drive, Cottage Hills, when the deaths occurred.  Their son, Corey S. Masterson, 17, forced his way into the home after he received a telephone call from a sister who said that the mother had failed to show up at work Sunday in Bethalto. Tina Masterson worked at Geno’s 140 Club.  The son entered the home and found the bodies in the bedroom. He called the Madison County Sheriffs Department immediately.  The investigation is continuing, authorities said.  Visitation for Tina Masterson will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, at Elias-Smith Funeral Home in Bethalto, where services will be at ll a.m. Thursday with the Rev. Dick Murray officiating.  Tne leiegrapn/iviAnuie m. u«nrir.o  Crime scene tape still was up Monday at 1110 East Drive in Cottage Hills, the home of William and Tina Masterson, who were found shot to death. Investigators believe the deaths resulted from a murder-suicide.  Above, Chief Bob Rawson of the QEM Volunteer Fire Department looks Monday at the damage to the Loading Dock Bar and Restaurant in Grafton, which was gutted by fire late Sunday evening. Right, Chief Warrant Officer Bill Perkins, a marine safety officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, videotapes the damage.  Several police officers suspends during probe  Suspensions result of citizens’ complaints  By KERRY SMITH  Telegraph staff writer  EAST ALTON - Several members of the East Alton Police Department were suspended last week in connection with an Illinois State Police investigation, authorities confirmed Monday, but one since has returned to work.  Although East Alton Police Chief Richard Brown would not disclose the names of the officers who were suspended, he did report that the suspensions came as a result of citizens’ complaints concerning a Nov. ll incident.  “So far, there have been no conclusions reached by the Illinois State Police, the agency that is handling the investigation," Brown said Monday. “I won’t deny that I  have suspended some of our officers. My goal is to assure the integrity of this investigation, as well as the integrity of these officers.”  Sgt. Robyn Blaha of the State Police District ll in Collinsville said the investigation could wrap up as soon as the end of this week.  “We’ve been asked by the East Alton Police Department and the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office to take on this case,” Blaha said. “I am not able to comment on any specifics until the investigation has concluded, but we’re optimistic it won’t take much longer.”  Sources have told The Telegraph that the crux of the investigation involves four East Alton police officers, all  ■ See PROBE, Page A9  Fallen car crushes man to death  Victim probably killed instantly, authorities say  «TJis grandfather thought everything was ilfine and Walls was back at work on his  By KERRY SMITH  Telegraph staff writer  WOOD RIVER - The body of a 25-year-old man was found Monday morning beneath the car he had been working on, which fell on him overnight.  Madison County Chief Deputy Coroner Ralph Baahlmann Jr. said Wood River resident William J. Walls Jr. of the 200 block of Elbe Street was probably killed nearly instantly as he worked beneath his compact car to change the oil Sunday night.  Walls’ grandfather found him beneath the automobile about 9 a m. Monday, police said. They said he cranked the car up and off of the young man, but Walls already was deceased.  “Mr. Walls lived with his grandparents at the time of the incident,” said Detective Otis Steward of the Wood River  car.”  Detective Otis Steward  Wood River Police Department  Police Department.  “The last time his grandparents saw him alive was at about IO p.m. Sunday. They went to bed and said their grandson was still in the process of working on his vehicle.”  Steward said Walls had been working on his car most of the day Sunday.  At about 8:30 a m. Monday, Walls’ grandfather said Walls’ legs were visible from underneath the Honda Civic, and the younger man still was lying on the wheeled repairman’s cart  commonly used by mechanics during maintenance or repair of vehicles.  “His grandfather thought everything was fine and Walls was back at work on his car,” Steward said. “But at 9:16 a m., we got the emergency call that Walls had definitely been pinned down by his car.”  Baahlmann said time of death was between 10:30 p.m. and midnight Sunday.  “The cause of death was traumatic asphyxiation due to chest    compression,  Baahlmann said.  t  THE TGLGGRA  Swoosh  Southwestern upends EA-WR  Page Bl  0 Christmas tree:  Retailers stock up on different varieties  PageCl  Vol. 164, No. 319 - 50 cents  * 0 Christmas trei  IIC  Tho outlook Mostly sunny skies and cooler High 46; Low 27  PageD6  Tuesday, November 30, 1999  Tasty tr«ats Swiss Farms serves up famous fudge  Page DI   www.thetelegraph.com   Fire destroys  popular restaurant  By THOMAS WRAUSMANN  Telegraph staff writer  GRAFTON - A fire that gutted the Loading Dock Bar and Restaurant late Sunday was labeled “suspicious” by authorities Monday.  The popular Grafton establishment, which features scenic outdoor seating along  the Mississippi River, has been closed temporarily for the colder months since last October. The owners planned to open the restaurant again in the spring, and no one from the business was supposed to be there, authorities said.  Officials from the Quarry-  ■ See FIRE, Page A9  TRUCKLO CARPET  5 AUE!  DISCOUNT CARPET, INC.  347S HUMBERT RD AITON  465  2621  ' ' ' '   

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