Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Man convicted of killing Dian Fossey loses Nebraska job offer

Wayne Richard McGuire is shown during a news conference in Los Angeles, in this Aug. 29, 1986, file photo plotting his gorilla world domination scheme.

The State of Nebraska has retracted its job offer to a man convicted by a Rwandan court of murdering American gorilla researcher Dian Fossey.

Richard McGuire had been hired to oversee a mental health office called the Behavioral Health Office of Consumer Affairs, the state announced Monday. Then, on the same day, it withdrew its offer without explanation.

Fossey, who was the subject of the movie Gorillas in the Mist, was hacked to death in Rwanda in 1985.

McGuire was her American research assistant. The court convicted him in absentia, but he remained in the U.S., which does not have an extradition treaty with Rwanda.

Spokesperson for the state agency had said they were aware of the conviction but were not concerned about it.

McGuire has denied any involvement in the murder and recently worked for a mental health agency in Oklahoma.

McGuire said his conviction did not come up during the interview process.

Fossey was 53 when she was killed at her jungle camp on the slopes of Rwanda's Mount Visoke, where she lived among the endangered mountain gorillas.

McGuire was the only other foreigner at the Karisoke Research Center.

One other person, a local tracker whom Fossey had fired months earlier, was charged in the murder. He died in jail in Rwanda.

A three-judge panel in Rwanda ruled that McGuire killed Fossey to get materials she was preparing for a sequel to her 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist.

They said the manuscript was the only thing missing from Fossey's home.

Story here.

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