Nation: Synanon Sequel

Dederich pleads no contest

On an October afternoon in 1978, Lawyer Paul Morantz reached into the mailbox of his Los Angeles home and suddenly felt a sharp pain. He pulled back his hand—and with it a 4½-ft. diamond-back rattlesnake, its fangs embedded near his thumb. A tourniquet applied by a quick-thinking neighbor saved the lawyer's life.

Arrested were Charles (Chuck) Dederich, 67, founder of the Synanon Foundation, and two of his "Imperial Marines," Lance Kenton, 22 (son of Bandleader Stan Kenton), and Joseph Musico, 30. Three weeks before the snake attack, Morantz had won a $300,000 judgment against the controversial drug rehabilitation...

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