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A corpse collector, a daring rescue and a KGB plot: past headlines

16 9 1

Grabbing headlines four decades ago this week was news about Indonesian police hunting for a local millionaire who collected corpses as a hobby, and a daring James Bond-style operation carried out by an Australian journalist to sneak his lover out of Laos.

June 4, 1978

• KGB agents allegedly killed former United Nations secretary general Dag Hammarskjold in a faked 1961 plane crash, according to a Penthouse magazine article to be published in August that year.

The article, which quoted a secret CIA report, said the former UN head was assassinated because he had refused to inaugurate a three-man leadership system at the world body. The document claimed a Soviet-designed explosive device had been placed on the aircraft carrying Hammarskjold.

• Argentina, which had just signed a trade agreement with China, planned to use Hong Kong as the centre of its trade thrust into Asia and had already set up a trade commission in the city.

June 5, 1978

• Chinese gangs operating in San Francisco were milking visiting Cantonese opera groups from Hong Kong dry with demands for protection money. The latest victim of the extortion racket was the Chor Fung Ming group, one of the most successful Cantonese........

© South China Morning Post