LABOR: Torch Without Song

In St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital at Pontiac, Mich., a receptionist glanced up one night last week to see "a zombie" stagger hunched and stiff-legged through the main door. The man wore shoes, socks, and a checked cotton bathrobe; his body was charred, his eyes swollen, his mouth puffy. "Can you get me to the emergency room?" he groaned. As doctors gave him blood and plasma but no hope, the man insisted he was "John Doe from Washington," would say no more.

Fingerprints quickly fingered "Doe" as Frank Henry Kierdorf, 56, bull-voiced business agent...

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