NEW YORK -- Beaches of Alaska's Prince William Sound, marred after the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, are recovering and should become a healthy biological community within three to five years, according to three scientists who were hired by Exxon Corp. and surveyed the beaches in April.

The three said they found new plant and animal growth. "The recovery is already well underway on most of the shores that we saw," said Jenifer Baker, a biological consultant who works on oil-pollution problems for corporations and conservation groups.

The scientists said that much of the cleanup is occurring naturally from strong wave action and that long-term effects from the spill are unlikely.

Alaska state officials and environmentalists have sharply criticized Exxon, saying it failed to commit itself adequately to cleaning up the 10.9 million gallons of heavy crude oil spilled by its tanker in March 1989. Landlord Accused of Killing Tenants BOSTON -- Walter Early, 69, a retired Boston police officer, and his son, Robert, 44, were killed, and two other family members were wounded by a landlord wielding a gun and axe and apparently frustrated by his failed attempts to evict them, police said.

Police arrested Nicola Colafella, 53, and said he recently lost a housing court suit to evict the family from the rent-controlled apartment it had occupied for 20 years. They said that he was found on the street covered with blood and that he had confessed to the attack.

Early's wife, Catherine, was recovering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder, and his other son, Thomas, received a gunshot wound to the groin and an axe wound to the head.

Colafella lived downstairs from the Earlys in the Mission Hill building that he had owned for five years.