Chicago Tribune (IL) - June 28, 1973
Accused POW found shot dead
Deceased Name: Marine Sgt. Abel Larry Kavanaugh
COMMERCE CITY, Colo., June 27 [AP] -- Marine Sgt. Abel Larry Kavanaugh, 24, was found shot to death today in what police said was an apparent suicide.
Kavanaugh was one of eight former American prisoners of war charged with collaborating with the enemy while a prisoner.
There was no certainty Kavanaugh would have been courtmartialed on the charges, the Pentagon said. Kavanaugh's case, like the other seven, was under preliminary review. The findings would have been turned over to the secretary of the Navy, who would have decided whether to order a formal inquiry.
POLICE SGT. Jack Baldwin said Kavanaugh was found shot in the left temple at the home of his father-in-law. Baldwin said a small handgun was apparently the weapon used.
Kavanaugh had been charged along with other former prisoners held at the plantation prison camp near Hanoi with cooperating with the enemy by the senior POW officer in the camp, Col. Theodore W. Guy of Tucson, Ariz.
Kavanaugh was on a 60-day convalescent leave and was scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton, Cal. for reassignment. He had asked to be discharged from the service.
KAVANAUGH HAD been living at nearby Westminster in an apartment with his daughter Cindy, 5, and his wife Sandra.
He was captured April 24, 1968, while on patrol in South Viet Nam. Kavanaugh had been listed as missing in action for 31/2 years before his family finally learned he was a prisoner.
Guy charged Kavanaugh and the other seven POWs had obtained special privileges by collaborating with the enemy and revealing the activities of other POWs.
Kavanaugh was identified in a radio Hanoi broadcast Nov. 11, 1972, as urging President Nixon to sign the Paris peace agreement. Hanoi identified Kavanaugh March 5, 1972, as one of three POWs who had sent a letter to Viet Nam News Service approving the actions of U. S. antiwar demonstrators.
Sponsored by Ancestry