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Franklin Co. writer to be featured on TV show

December 23, 1998|By DON AINES

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, a world-famous psychic and a Franklin County murder case will be the subject of a segment tonight on the Sci-Fi Channel's "Sightings."

The segment focuses on psychic Dorothy Allison and the 1976 kidnapping and murder of Deborah Sue Kline of Waynesboro, Pa. One of those who worked closely with Allison on the case was Robert V. Cox.

Now retired, Cox won a 1967 Pulitzer for his reporting on the manhunt for a kidnapper who killed an FBI agent in Shade Gap, Pa.

"We taped it a year ago," Cox, 71, said Tuesday from his Fayetteville home. He never heard back from the producers about an air date, and "I figured that was the end of that."

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He didn't know it wold air at 9 p.m. until earlier this week when relatives in Lancaster County saw him in a commerical for "Sightings," which features stories about aliens, ghosts, psychics and other supernatural phenomenon.

Cox, Allison and retired Pennsylvania State Trooper Paul Weachter were interviewed at Weachter's home. The crew also did exterior shots near where Kline's body was found months after the murder.

He won the Pulitzer Prize while working for the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, Pa., but was working for the Record Herald in Waynesboro at the time of the Kline case. Fellow reporter Kenneth L. Peiffer Jr., now the county coroner, contacted Allison at the request of Kline's family, Cox said.

According to Cox, the first telephone call to the Nutley, N.J., woman yielded information that proved to be true.

"Don't tell them, but their daughter's dead," Allison said. She also said one of the killers was named Ronald and the other's first name was Richard or Robert.

Allison also said there were "double letters" in one of their names and at the place where the body would be found. Cox said he was skeptical at the time.

Ronald Henninger and Richard Dodson were eventually convicted of the murder and are serving life sentences. Kline's body was found near Fannettsburg, Pa. Allison's insights may not have solved the case, but made the skeptic a believer.

"After it was all over, it all came together like a book," Cox said. Cox and Peiffer wrote a book about the case, "Missing Person," published in 1979.

"It's a scary gift," he said of Allison's apparent psychic abilities.

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