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Anthony "Tony" Kiritsis dead at 72

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Indianapolis, January 28, 2005 (AP) - A man who took a mortgage company executive hostage and paraded him through downtown Indianapolis on live television has died. Anthony "Tony" Kiritsis, 72, was found dead in his home Friday, apparently of complications from diabetes, the Marion County Coroner's office said.

He was taken into custody in February 1977 after abducting and holding for 63 hours a mortgage executive, Richard O. Hall, whom he had blamed for some financial problems.

The case drew wide attention after Kiritsis demanded to speak on live television to publicize his grievances and for several hours was shown parading Hall around, holding a gun wired to the back of Hall's head. Kiritsis finally surrendered peacefully and was acquitted by reason of insanity.

Indiana law was later amended to create a plea of guilty but mentally ill. Kiritsis was committed to Central State Hospital but refused for several years to undergo psychiatric examinations. After he finally agreed to be examined, a judge ruled that the state had failed to prove he was still a danger to society and allowed his release in 1988.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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