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Report on Williams' treatment created new interest

8/14/2003

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Investigators are examining whether a note
stating baseball slugger Ted Williams wanted to be frozen after his
death was forged, and if it so, whether a crime was committed, a
prosecutor said Wednesday.

The inquiry is the result of a criminal complaint made last year
by the husband of Williams' eldest daughter and renewed after
Sports Illustrated reported new details on the state of Williams'
body.

The grease-stained note is signed by Williams, his son, John
Henry Williams, and his daughter, Claudia Williams. Its origin is
being examined by the State Attorney's Office that covers Citrus
County, where Williams lived, said Ric Ridgway, chief assistant
state attorney in Ocala.

His office will decide whether to do nothing or pursue a full
criminal investigation.

"I'm trying to clarify what the allegation was, if the note was
signed the way the note was presented it was signed, and how the
note was used," Ridgway said.

Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell challenged the decision to send her
father's body to an Arizona cryonics company where it was frozen
after his July 5, 2002, death, claiming the slugger's 1996 will
made clear he wanted to be cremated and his ashes scattered off the
Florida coast.

After running out of money to pay her legal bills, she dropped
the challenge in December and reached a settlement with her
siblings.

Her husband, Mark Ferrell, said Wednesday that affidavits have
been presented to investigators from two of Ted Williams'
caretakers who claim Claudia Williams wasn't at the hospital on
Nov. 2, 2000, the day the note is dated, and that she didn't know
her father was hospitalized until a couple of days later.

"I think the witnesses we have and the documentation we have
can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt ... that the note is a
complete fraud," Ferrell said.

Ridgway said even if it's determined the note was forged, it
doesn't necessarily mean a crime was committed since the law is
very specific about what documents must be forged for the act to be
criminal.

John Henry Williams' attorney has said his client left the note
for an extended period of time in some files in his car trunk,
where it was stained by oil or grease. Neither he nor his attorney,
Eric Abel, returned phone messages Wednesday.

Claudia Williams has an unlisted number and could not be reached
for comment.

Sports Illustrated reported this week that Ted Williams was
decapitated by surgeons at the cryonics company where his body is
suspended in liquid nitrogen, and several samples of his DNA are
missing.

The magazine's report, appearing in the issue that hit
newsstands Wednesday, is based on internal documents, e-mails,
photographs and tape recordings supplied by a former employee of
Alcor Life Extension Foundation.