Elliott Jaques


Elliott Jaques, 86, a psychoanalyst and management consultant whose studies led to controversial ideas about work and theories about midlife crisis, died March 8 in Gloucester, Mass. He had a heart ailment.

In the early 1960s, he began to study the careers of artistic geniuses such as Dante and Gauguin. This focus led to his discovery of a common pattern of midlife turmoil, which he described in "Death and the Midlife Crisis," published in 1965 in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.

In his investigations on the workplace, Dr. Jaques came to believe that any job falls into one of seven categories or levels, and that at each level of the hierarchy the time span needed to complete the work should increase along with the pay.

Dennis Williams

Former Convict

Dennis Williams, 46, a former death row inmate and one of four men whose exoneration became a rallying point for Illinois death penalty opponents, died March 20 at his home in Flossmoor, Ill. The cause of death is under investigation.

He spent 18 years in prison for the 1978 deaths of a couple before a Northwestern University professor and his class helped win his release and those of three other inmates in 1996 after learning that a state witness had lied. Illinois Gov. George Ryan mentioned their case when he commuted the sentences of every inmate on death row in January.

The four men won a $36 million settlement from Cook County in 1999 after they filed suit claiming that the sheriff's officers who investigated the 1978 killing were racists who hid evidence that would have helped the defense while ignoring leads pointing to the real killers.

Webster 'Little Eagle' Custalow

Indian Chief

Webster "Little Eagle" Custalow, 90, chief of the Mattaponi Indian tribe who made his living by fishing, farming and operating a hauling company, died March 21 in King William, Va. The cause of death was not reported.

Chief Custalow, who was elected to lead the Mattaponi tribe in 1977, began efforts to reclaim land for the tribe's reservation in King William County. Family members say the tribe is close to completing a deal that would expand the 150-acre reservation.

The Mattaponi are one of eight state-recognized Indian tribes in Virginia and were one of the original tribes of the Powhatan Nation. The reservation, which was once thousands of acres, is one of the nation's oldest.

Laura Rothenberg

Cystic Fibrosis Victim

Laura Rothenberg, 22, who recorded an audio diary for National Public Radio about her struggle with cystic fibrosis, died March 20 at her home in New York. She died as the result of her body's rejection of a lung transplant.

She recorded "My So-Called Lungs" to chronicle her daily life with the genetic disease that causes mucus to build up in the organs. The diary was broadcast on NPR's "All Things Considered" in August.

Ms. Rothenberg was the author of a memoir, "Breathing for a Living," scheduled for publication in July by Hyperion.

Melvin Bradley

Mule Expert

Melvin Bradley, 83, the man who was said to have known more about the long-eared, broad-backed Missouri mule than probably anybody else, died March 14 in a hospital in Columbia, Mo. The cause of death was not reported.

Dr. Bradley, a University of Missouri professor of animal science from 1948 to 1990, always maintained that the old expression "stubborn as a mule" was not well founded.

"We call mules stubborn for their wisdom," Bradley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1994, when he published his two-volume, 600-page book "The Missouri Mule: His Origin and Times." He added, "If we try to hurry them through any object of fear, they may not budge until they know it's harmless."

Vasilios Choulos

California Lawyer

Vasilios Choulos, 75, a California trial lawyer and onetime legal partner of Melvin Belli who rose to national prominence defending such counterculture icons as Lenny Bruce, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Timothy Leary, died March 17 in San Francisco. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Choulos was a member of the defense team for Jack Ruby, the Texas nightclub owner who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy's accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in 1963.

Mr. Choulos was perhaps best known for organizing a brazen scheme to rescue an accused drug dealer, Joel David Kaplan, from a Mexican prison in 1971. The so-called "10-second jailbreak" became the basis for the 1975 Charles Bronson film "Breakout."

William C. Adams

Oil Industry Spokesman

William C. Adams, 62, who was a prominent oil industry spokesman as head of the Washington public affairs office of Standard Oil of Indiana from 1973 to 1979, died March 13 at his home in Plantation, Fla., after a heart attack.

After leaving Washington, he served as a national media spokesman for Phillips Petroleum in Oklahoma and Imperial Chemical Industries in Delaware. For the last 13 years, he had been an associate professor of public relations at the Florida International University journalism school.