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Two Men Arrested in Curious George Writer’s Murder

National news outlets are reporting that police have arrested two men in connection with the murder this week of CURIOUS GEORGE collaborator Alan J. Shalleck.

Rex Ditto, 29, and Vincent Puglisi, 54, were arrested shortly before midnight on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, and were later charged with murder.

A lawn-maintenance man found Shallecks body in his driveway Tuesday morning, covered with black trash bags. The body had been lying there for more than a day.

Boynton Beach Police Maj. Wendy Unger said Shalleck died during a struggle with his attackers.

There were obvious stab wounds, she said.

Investigators found blood throughout Shalleck's trailer home, mainly in the master bedroom. A trail of blood led from the bedroom to the driveway where Shalleck's body was discovered.

Police said they recovered several knives and broken glass from the house, but found now signs of forced entry. Apparently, Shalleck knew his alleged killers, having met them through a gay sex directory.

The two men subsequently confessed to the killing. They had stolen Shalleck's jewelry and were able to secure funds from his checking account.

Both men are being charged with first-degree murder, armed home invasion, aggravated battery of a person 65 or older and dealing in stolen property.

Shalleck never gained great fame or wealth for his co-editing of more than 28 CURIOUS GEORGE books or for helping to write and direct 104 film shorts featuring the mischievous monkey and the Man in the Yellow Hat.

Shalleck, a divorced father of two sons, was living off his Social Security check, friends told the PALM BEACH POST. At the time of his death, Shalleck had been working at a local Borders Books and Music store in West Palm Beach to supplement his income.

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Rick DeMott
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