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Cops Probe Doctor's Murder

Investigators announced an FBI-funded $100,000 reward on Monday for information leading to the arrest of the sniper who shot Dr. Barnett Slepian, the same day the abortion provider was buried. CBS News Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman reports.

Hundreds of family, colleagues and patients attended the burial, several with children in tow. There was a heavy police presence as well.

"This is what he was about right here -- children," one man said. "This is what he should be remembered for, not abortions."

Three days after he was killed, the hunt for the murderer of Dr. Slepian has become an international investigation.


The doctor died in the kitchen of his home in Amherst, N.Y., with his four young boys around him -- a single shot from a sniper hiding in the back garden.

On Monday, local police revealed the murder came just hours after Dr. Slepian's.

Hours before the 52-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist was killed by a high-powered rifle shot through his kitchen window on Friday night, his wife faxed local police a warning from the National Abortion Federation, a group of abortion providers, warning of possible violence.

"We received the fax at 4 p.m. I believe it was 4 o'clock in the evening, it was in the afternoon. We did not take action," said Amherst Police Chief John Askey.

Mrs. Slepian did not request police protection and no action was taken, Askey said. Canadian and American authorities had issued safety tips to doctors Oct. 20, because four earlier sniper attacks on abortion providers in the past four years all took place within weeks of Nov. 11, Veteran's Day, known as Remembrance Day in Canada.

The crimes began in 1994 with a shooting in Canada, in which a doctor wounded at home. There were two more shootings in Canada and one in Rochester, N.Y. Dr. Slepian was the first to have been killed.

Police said Monday ballistics tests on the bullet that killed Dr. Barnett Slepian are not yet complete. But senior FBI sources have told CBS News that they already believe all five shootings are linked.

As one of the few obstetricians in Western New York performing abortions, Dr. Slepian was often the focus of death threats.

"I am not afraid of them," he said in a 1994 interview with CBS News Affiliate WIVB-TV in Buffalo. "I am not afraid of the violence, but I fear for my family and for my children. I think of hat, if I weren't around, they would go through."

There is now a joint American and Canadian task force investigating his murder and the other shootings. Authorities are searching for a suspect who could be on either side of the border.

A letter from President and Mrs. Clinton, read at the private funeral, said: "Violence in our society hurts al but few have had to endure its effects so personally."

Police were pursuing tips that included the sighting of a white car in the area, and another car with Canadian license plates, Askey said.

"We're not leaving any stone unturned...We want to get to the bottom of this," said FBI spokesman Bernard Tolbert.

While many people across the country expressed outrage at Dr. Slepian's death, one anti-abortion activist, Neal Horsely, was able to cross another name off his list.

Horsely runs a web site whose address pinpoints his position on abortion: www.christiangallery.com/atrocity/aborts.html

"Those who shed blood will have their own blood shed," he told CBS News Correspondent Richard Schlesinger.

He keeps a list of providers he calls butchers. While some anti-abortion activists, like Horsely, feel that Slepian's death is justified, groups on both sides of the issue have decried the murder.

Kate Michelman of the National Abortion Rights Action League called the killing "a tragedy for his family, his colleagues, his friends, but it's a tragedy for the women patients that he served."

Charmaine Yoest of the Family Research Council, which opposes abortions, said "We have come out and unequivocally condemned this action and all other violence connected with abortion. That's why we're pro-life. We believe abortion itself is violent."

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