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For week ended March 19, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 16Mar00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Doctor Had Cache Of Illegal Weapons, But Nothing Connected To Attack On Business Partner
Sacramento CA Bee (AP) 15Mar00 D2
By Tom Harrigan: Associated Press Writer

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- When police searched the home of the late Larry C. Ford, the LDS Church member and Biofem executive suspected in the attack on his business partner, they did find a cache of 17 illegal weapons, 40 to 50 more legal weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. But the weapons were rusting and hadn't been used for several years, leaving investigators without any connection between the weapons and the attack on Biofem's James Patrick Riley. The weapons did not include the gun used on Riley.

Ford, who committed suicide on March 2nd after it became clear that police suspected him in the attempted murder of Riley, was an obstetrician and AIDS researcher who was leading Biofem, the company he founded with Riley, to a contraceptive that would protect women from sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

The search also discovered some suspicious substances, but they have not yet been identified. Police also searched Biofem's offices, taking away undisclosed "material" for analysis, "Some suspicious substances were removed from the office," said Jim Donckels, supervisor of the FBI's Santa Ana office. "We're not talking about chemicals ... but they (the materials) could be hazardous." Police evacuated Ford's Irvine neighborhood during the search, fearing that the biochemical substances might be lethal or were booby-trapped.

The investigation only leaves more questions in the bizarre case, covered last week by Mormon News [see: Investigators are looking at "financial gain" as the motive behind the attack on Riley, but they have so far been unable to connect Ford to that motive. Ford's lawyer said Tuesday that his late client didn't stand to gain from Riley's killing because Riley's share of the business would revert to his wife. "There's nothing in the investigation that I've done that would suggest that there would be any financial motive that Dr. Ford had," Ford attorney Stephen Klarich said.

But Ford was connected to the alleged getaway driver, Dino D'Saachs, who was a longtime friend and evidently Ford's tax accountant. But D'Saachs has so far refused to cooperate with investigators. And family attorney H. Bryan Card said the family knew about the cannisters Ford hid around the property. "He collected weapons," Card said. "He had a lot of guns. He had muskets, he had M-1s, hunting rifles. He's a big game hunter. His house is filled with buffalo heads, elephant's feet. He went on a lot of safaris." Card described Ford as a law-abiding and deeply religious LDS Church member, "His big vice was he used to sneak diet Coke in the garage," the attorney said.

Meanwhile, Ford's son, Larry C. Ford, Jr., a student at BYU, felt compelled by the statements in the press about his father to try and set the record straight. "Everyone who knows him knows who he really was," Ford Jr. said. "He was the most loving, giving and loyal person - especially towards the poor and his family." He observed that his father was a sort of adopted doctor for two LDS missions in California, and treated the poor for free. He traveled to San Diego to go to the temple once a week, according to Ford Jr.

While his death is puzzling to the family Ford Jr. says that the family thinks it understands his logic, "I don't think it was premeditated. . . . He basically did it out of love because he wanted to protect his family from what was eventually coming." The family believes that a police investigation would have been "two years of hell, and our family would have been dragged through the mud." Rather than put his family through that, Ford decided to end his life.

See also:

Y. student defends dad as loving, giving, loyal
Deseret News 13Mar00 D2
By Brady Snyder: Deseret News staff writer


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