ILLINOIS: The Case of the Jailhouse Cat

When slim, 29-year-old ex-Convict Leland Ferre was locked up in the little county jail at Monticello, Ill. (pop. 2,612) last March, Sheriff Jason Ripperdam couldn't help feeling sorry for him. Ferre had been indicted for burglarizing a filling station, two stores and a couple of houses. But a chest infection had left him looking sickly. On-top of that, he was a local boy. When a doctor advised that Ferre be given "as much freedom as possible," the sheriff felt it his neighborly duty to agree.

Early last month, while taking his exercise, Ferre...

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