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Ten Years Later, TWA Families Still in Pain ( TWA 800 - audio links )
1010 WINS ^ | July 14, 2006 | 1010 WINS

Posted on 07/15/2006 1:39:48 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Andy Krukar boarded TWA Flight 800 with a diamond ring in his pocket, planning to place it on his fiancee's finger at the Eiffel Tower during a weekend of romantic dinners and strolls through the streets of Paris. The fiancee, Julie Stuart, was going to follow him to Paris the next day to celebrate their formal engagement.

AUDIO: TWA 800 Series Part One

But Krukar was killed when Flight 800 exploded into a spectacular fireball over the Atlantic Ocean just minutes after taking off from Kennedy Airport — a disaster that claimed the lives of all 230 people on board.

Miraculously though, a Coast Guardsman working at the crash scene found the engagement ring bobbing in the waves in its burgundy jewel box.

Stuart wears the ring every day.

It was 10 years ago when TWA Flight 800 fell from the sky and Stuart lost her husband-to-be. But it doesn't take an anniversary for her to remember that painful summer of 1996 — a look at the glistening diamond ring can bring it all back. For other family members, it's a rainbow, a glass of wine, a precious memory with their loved ones.

AUDIO: TWA 800 Series Part Two

"Time heals you enough so you can move on," said Stuart, 40, of Bridgewater, Conn. And yet, although she is now married with two children, part of her lingers in the past: "I feel Andy is always watching over me."

Joe Lychner of Austin, Texas, lost his wife and two daughters in the disaster. His wife, Pam, a former TWA flight attendant, and 10-year-old Shannon and 8-year-old Katie were going to Paris on vacation. A last-minute business appointment forced him to miss the flight.

"In the early days I wondered if I could go on living without them," Lychner, 48, said. "I kept asking myself, `Why them? Why not me?'"

Lychner is now remarried, and he and his wife have two children, ages 6 and 2.

AUDIO: TWA 800 Series Part Three

While some TWA families have rediscovered happiness, others battle lasting depression. Several couples have divorced — including Ann and Ron Dwyer, of New River, Ariz., who split up after the death of their 11-year-old daughter, Larkyn.

"He couldn't stand me crying everyday," said Ann Dwyer, 54. "When he saw me, he saw Larkyn. The way he survived was to run away."

The Dwyers built the Larkyn Memorial Arena, an 85-acre rodeo and riding facility near their home in honor of Larkyn, a horse lover.

"Larkyn liked to draw rainbows," Dwyer said. "On her birthday, there was the most gorgeous rainbow off our back porch. That's what keeps you going."

AUDIO: TWA 800 Series Part Four

Friends of Janet Christopher, a TWA 800 flight attendant whose husband was a New York FBI agent, still celebrate her Oct. 5 birthday by visiting the gravesite near her Poconos home.

The former flighht attendants, known as "the Ladies of the Poconos," spread a blanket on the grass at her grave, set an honorary place for Janet, and toast a glass of wine to their beloved friend.

LeMerle Brinkley, a former TWA flight attendant who flew the Paris route with Christopher for about 25 years, missed the doomed flight because she had a broken arm. Last year, Brinkley went to the Seine River in Paris and carved Christopher's initials onto a piece of fresh cement that she then plastered to a wall.

"I think about her constantly," Brinkley said. "She was such a sweet person, always laughing."

Aurelie and Walter Becker, from St. Petersburg, Fla., said time marches on, even if you try to stop it.

"We are getting older every year, but our daughter Michele will always be 19," Aurelie Becker said. "She will be forever young."

AUDIO: TWA 800 Series Part Five

Federal investigators determined that TWA 800 was destroyed by a fuel-tank explosion — likely caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the Boeing 747's wiring that ignited the tank's vapors.

But conspiracy theories that the plane was blown up by a terrorist's missile or the U.S. government have persisted over the past decade — even among some family members.

"I grow older and the hate against those who lie only grows," said Michel Breistroff Sr., who lives in France and still believes a missile brought the plane down. "As long as I live, I hope I will get the truth."

Breistroff's son, Michel, had just graduated from Harvard University and was on his way home to Paris to play for a professional hockey team when he was killed. Breistroff and his wife, Audrey, now have four grandchildren. "They bring us joy," he said.

Still, most the families accept the cause as mechanical and find the continued conspiracy speculation painful.

"There may be entertainment value but each time there's a show on conspiracies their healing wounds are ripped apart," said John Seaman, head of the Families of TWA Flight 800 Association.

Tom Corrigan, a former NYPD detective and the lead investigator on the TWA Flight 800 case, has no doubt the crash was an accident.

"We thought this was terrorism," Corrigan said. "We all believed it was a bomb or missile, but after a thorough investigation we found absolutely no evidence."

Corrigan, who is retired from the NYPD, said investigators ran every conspiracy theory to death but could find no credence in them. He noted that 1 million plane pieces brought up from 120 feet below the ocean were analyzed and no evidence of a crime was found.

Ken Maxwell, an FBI agent who supervised the wreckage analysis, called the investigation "the most exhaustive in FBI history." At the same time, Maxwell is frustrated that they were unable to find more than just a probable cause.

To mark the 10th anniversary, hundreds of family members will gather Monday at Smith Point County Park, the closest point on land to the crash site, to honor their lost loved ones at a memorial dedicated for the victims.

One of the fallen was Rance Hettler, a 6-foot-3 track star at Pennsylvania's Montoursville High School, which lost 16 students on TWA 800.

He planned to attend Northeastern University's School of Criminal Justice upon his return from Paris. He wanted to be an FBI agent.

Soon after Hettler's body was recovered by Navy divers, the FBI made Rance an honorary FBI agent, presenting his parents, Jackie and Gary Hettler, with an FBI baseball cap at a small ceremony at bureau headquarters. They put it in their son's coffin.

Ten years for Jackie Hettler has done little to ease the pain.

"I still have a big hole in my heart that will never be filled," she said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: Connecticut; US: Florida; US: New York; US: Pennsylvania; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: anniversary; fbi; jfkairport; longisland; moriches; ntsb; planecrash; twa800; twaflight800
Prayers for all those affected by the horrible tragedy of TWA flight 800, ten years ago, whatever its real cause.

The original story contains links to mp3s, if they don't work for you on this post.

1 posted on 07/15/2006 1:39:51 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: LurkedLongEnough

What the hail was the real cause?


2 posted on 07/15/2006 2:01:00 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys-Reagan and Bush)
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To: LurkedLongEnough

FOX just announced they'll do a story on it at 6 ET.

Yes, prayers for the families of those on Flight 800 whatever the cause of the disaster.


3 posted on 07/15/2006 2:01:29 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
"We thought this was terrorism," Corrigan said. "We all believed it was a bomb or missile, but after a thorough investigation we found absolutely no evidence."

Unfortunately that isn't going to deter the conspiracy fans.

4 posted on 07/15/2006 2:06:38 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

Prayers for the family of Dan Gabor, who was in his early 20s when he died. A classmate of mine and a good friend of my brother's. So young. . .


5 posted on 07/15/2006 2:18:20 PM PDT by olivia3boys
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To: LurkedLongEnough

Reading the person details, I can't help but wonder how all of these personal details were linked to victims/survivors in such a short period of time.
How in the work did the ring get traced back to the woman?
How did the FBI know the high school kid wanted to be an agent?


6 posted on 07/15/2006 2:27:49 PM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: Non-Sequitur
I am sure before all of the commemorations are complete, Bush's name will be dragged through mud somehow.
7 posted on 07/15/2006 2:28:51 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Non-Sequitur

If only the Ft. Marcy park police would have investigated Flt. 800; then we would have known what really happened.


8 posted on 07/15/2006 2:39:47 PM PDT by GBA
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To: Non-Sequitur

I recall a news report of the failure by a respectable laboratory to explode fuel tank vapors unless they were enriched by propane.


9 posted on 07/15/2006 2:52:50 PM PDT by dr huer
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To: dr huer

Then they were incompetent. Jet fuel vapor will blow up in your face if exposed to an ignition source.


10 posted on 07/15/2006 2:54:25 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Free Republic is Currently Suffering a Pandemic of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
TWA 800, if you hear center ident...

Right click, Save As

11 posted on 07/15/2006 3:00:25 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Free Republic is Currently Suffering a Pandemic of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”)
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To: COEXERJ145

TWA 800, if you hear center ident...

Thanks, that was the first-known beginning of it all. Spooky sounds and all.


12 posted on 07/15/2006 3:20:39 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: Non-Sequitur

The CIA video of the plane rising 1500 feet after the nose was gone is the biggest reason to disregard the official version of the event, tinfoil isn't needed to see that.


13 posted on 07/15/2006 3:21:31 PM PDT by X-FID (LOL (Land Of Legislation))
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To: LurkedLongEnough

That's why I posted it. Most people get too caught up in the conspiracy theories and totally forget that it wasn't just a 747 lost that day but a plane full of passengers.


14 posted on 07/15/2006 3:21:47 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Free Republic is Currently Suffering a Pandemic of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”)
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To: Non-Sequitur
See any cars blow up on I-70 in the last ten years N-S?
{They all have live circuits in the gas tanks.}

Hoping you're staying cool during these dog days of summer.

15 posted on 07/15/2006 4:26:27 PM PDT by labette (Student of Murphy's Law)
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To: labette
See any cars blow up on I-70 in the last ten years N-S?

Have you seen many 767s tear themselves apart in mid-air because their reverse thrusters unexpectedly deployed? That happened to a Lauda Air 767 in southeast Asia back in 1991. Didn't happen before, and it hasn't happened since because a correction to the problem was found. How about MD-11s crashing because an electrical fault in the onboard entertainment system caused a fire instead of tripping a circuit breaker? That caused the crash of the SwissAir plane off of Nova Scotia in 1998. Didn't cause the crash of an MD-11 before and it hasn't since because a correction to the problem was found. How about cargo doors blowing off? Engine bolts failing? Rudders falling off? A lot of airline disasters happen once, because causes are identified and corrections made. The fact that 747s aren't blowing up on a daily basis, while perhaps a source of wonder to you, isn't surprising at all to me.

Unless, of course, you believe that the Lauda and Swissair and Turkish Air and the TWA flights were all shot down as well.

16 posted on 07/15/2006 4:56:06 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
OK

Now, How many hundreds of witnesses reported missiles in the incidents you cited?

Did the CIA also make informative videos propaganda for these events?

17 posted on 07/15/2006 5:23:26 PM PDT by labette (Student of Murphy's Law)
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To: labette
Now, How many hundreds of witnesses reported missiles in the incidents you cited?

And how many different accounts did they give? Different directions, different colors, different launch points? Ask any police officer and he'll tell you that quite often the least reliable evidence in a case is an eyewitness.

18 posted on 07/15/2006 5:29:03 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: LurkedLongEnough

CNN special on TWA800 is on NOW.
And will be rebroadcast tonight at 11PM and tomorrow (Sunday 7-16-06)
at 7PM and 11PM.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1666395/posts


19 posted on 07/15/2006 5:33:45 PM PDT by VOA
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To: LurkedLongEnough

here's a link to the website for the CNN special on TWA800:
http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/presents/index.twa.html


20 posted on 07/15/2006 5:35:07 PM PDT by VOA
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To: mtbopfuyn

"FOX just announced they'll do a story on it at 6 ET. "

Hmmm...maybe you mean CNN?
If FOX is running anything on TWA800 now...they are doing a heck of a job
of "counter-broadcasting"!
See posts 19 and 20 for info on the CNN special


21 posted on 07/15/2006 5:37:52 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Non-Sequitur
"Ask any police officer and he'll tell you that quite often the least reliable evidence in a case is an eyewitness."

I don't know that, but I have heard it said.

If the witnesses agreed one hundred per cent, I would consider that unreliable {i.e. - collusion / prearranged statements } I could very well see a crowd of people giving varying statements concerning your typical auto accident. Grey car or brown car? Taurus or Camry? Eastbound or Northbound? etc. If the majority claimed a missile hit Grandma's Oldsmobile, The policeman had better realize THAT is an attention getter that will stick in their memory.

22 posted on 07/15/2006 5:51:25 PM PDT by labette (Student of Murphy's Law)
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To: LurkedLongEnough

Of course the BJ administration would never lie to us about a terrorist attack. Steponallofus even said it was an attack on his show before he caught himself.

Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters


23 posted on 07/15/2006 5:55:42 PM PDT by bray (Jeb '08, just to watch their Heads Explode!)
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To: bray

The house of Bill would have had to do something if a missle shot down TWA Flt. 800 and there's no way Billy was going to do anything but turn and look away.


24 posted on 07/15/2006 7:25:37 PM PDT by GBA
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To: COEXERJ145

Incredible.


25 posted on 07/16/2006 6:22:16 AM PDT by mel
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