Gregory Ulas Powell, 79, one of the notorious "Onion Field" murderers, died Sunday at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to the California Department of Corrections. He had prostate cancer.
On March 10, 1963, Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith kidnapped two policemen in Hollywood and drove them to an onion field outside Bakersfield, where they killed officer Ian James Campbell. The other officer, Karl Hettinger, escaped.
Smith and Powell were convicted and given the death penalty, a sentence that was commuted to life in prison after capital punishment was briefly outlawed in California. Powell was denied parole 11 times, most recently in October 2011, when the board denied his request for compassionate release.
Joseph Wambaugh's 1973 bestseller "The Onion Field" details the story.
In 1982, Smith and Powell were scheduled for release, but only Smith got out.
Sylvia Woods, 86, who left the rural bean patches of segregated South Carolina to become one of New York's top restaurateurs as the vivacious "Queen of Soul Food," died July 19 at her home in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
For decades, Woods' restaurant has been a gathering place for scores of black luminaries, including Aretha Franklin, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, James Brown and Denzel Washington. Today, it is a destination for patrons of all races and backgrounds, including far-flung tourists from Japan, Germany and South Africa.
Through it all, Woods held court, dispensing country charm and such dishes as her acclaimed collard greens, candied yams and succulent barbecue ribs.
Her rise in Harlem's dining scene was remarkable considering that she had never been inside a restaurant before moving to the city in the 1930s.