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Mentally Disturbed High Schooler Charged Admits Murdering Olympic Skier

Apr. 14, 1963 - A mentally disturbed high school boy who Utah authorities said tried to strangle a 15-year-old Salt Lake City girl less than two years ago faced murder prosecution in Reno, Nev., today for the admitted rape-killing of former Olympic skier Sonja McCaskie. The midnight strangling and subsequent sexual attack and dismemberment of Miss McCaskie in her Reno apartment 10 days ago was cleared up by the finding of evidence which authorities asserted might send Thomas Lee Bean, 18, to the Nevada gas chamber. Probation Officer James Armantrout of Salt Lake City unearthed the record showing that Bean, then only 16, had entered the sleeping porch of a Salt Lake City neighbor and placed his hands around the throat of a sleeping 15-year-old girl. “She woke, dug her nails into him, and fled,” Armantrout said his files showed. Reno Police chief Elmer A. Briscoe said today: “I am thankful we caught him when we did. He would have killed again.” Briscoe said young Bean had dropped the almost boastful air he affected yesterday when he cheerfully re-enacted the grisly slaying of Miss McCaskie, a mother of three. “He seems to be aware for the first time of the true nature of the crime,” a guard observed. “He sits very quiet in his cell just staring at the bars.”


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