50 years ago — A sullen and bitter Billy Cook, 23, began serving a 300-year prison sentence on Alcatraz Island for the killing of a family of five. In Imperial County, District Attorney Don C. Bitler was still awaiting a federal OK to transfer Cook here to stand a trial for the desert murder of a Seattle salesman.
40 years ago — Clay Williams, caretaker of Wiest Lake in Brawley, reported the theft of a battery and gas tank from the county patrol boat. An attempt was made to loosen the motor and controls as well, said Williams.
30 years ago — County officials met in a two-hour secret meeting to allow geothermal developers to obtain drilling, production and geothermal permits in one step. The five-paragraph policy, the third to be sent to the Planning Commission for recommendation for the Board of Supervisors, would permit development to begin at once.