Who Shot J.R.?

Jack Russ must have been surprised by his own success. The son of a gas- station operator from Picayune, Miss., he moved to Washington in 1967 and worked as a part-time doorman on Capitol Hill. He rose through the ranks to chief page and in 1983 became sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives. In that capacity Russ helped command a force of 1,265 black- suited police officers and oversaw the security of the 435 members of the House.

The most important part of Russ's $115,092-a-year job was to hand out lawmakers' monthly paychecks and supervise a House bank that adjoined his...

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