Richard F. Stolz, 86, a career intelligence officer who was called out of retirement in 1987 to run the CIA's spying operations and cleanse its image after the Iran-contra scandal, died on June 9 in Williamsburg, Va. The cause was complications from a fall at his home.
The Iran-contra scandal, exposed in 1986, involved the sale of weapons to Iran by the U.S. government in exchange for U.S. hostages, and the use of the proceeds to help the right-wing contras who were fighting the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The whole operation, which involved the CIA, was illegal: There was an arms embargo against Iran, and Congress had banned aid to the contras.
Stolz, who had retired in 1981 after 30 years at the CIA, came back and replaced Clair E. George, who had been forced to resign as head of covert operations. Suspecting that Congress would want to cut defense and intelligence spending, Stolz helped plan for the agency's future. He broadened the focus of the directorate of operations, as his section was known, to include counterterrorism and the international drug trade.
Henry Hill, 69, a soldier in New York's Luchese organized crime family whose decision to turn federal informer, and subsequent itinerant life in and out of the federal witness protection program, inspired Martin Scorsese's acclaimed film "Goodfellas," died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He had lived openly in Topanga, Calif., in recent years. He had previously lived -- far less openly -- in Seattle; Cincinnati; Omaha; Butte, Mont.; and Independence, Ky., among many other places, as well as in the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa.
A native New Yorker of half-Irish, half-Sicilian parentage, Hill was involved with the Luchese family, considered the most powerful of the city's original five Mafia families, from his youth in the 1950s until 1980.
That year, arrested on drug-trafficking charges and facing the prospect of a long prison term, to say nothing of possible execution by his former bosses, Hill became a government witness against his past associates. His testimony in multiple trials helped send dozens of people to prison.