Slice of life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2005, 12:00am

Excerpts from the South China Morning Post this week in 1972

In a daring pre-dawn raid on the Olympic Games village in Munich, a five-man Arab squad shot dead two Israeli athletes, wounded several others and captured more than 20.

Hundreds of Bavarian policemen and army snipers moved into the village as the Arabs held 13 members of the Israeli team to the Games.

The hostage takers demanded the release of 200 Palestinian guerillas being held in Israel and an aircraft at Munich airport for their escape. They threatened to shoot two hostages an hour, if their demands were not met.

A total of 11 Israelis died. Nine of the deaths were a direct result of a gun battle, which erupted in an airfield from which the Israelis and their captors were supposedly bound for a flight abroad.

Their captors tossed hand grenades into the helicopter in which they were sitting, bound and gagged.

Five terrorists were cut down in a hail of gunfire and a West German policemen and pilot were also killed. Two of the Arabs were captured.

The Black September guerilla group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it took the hostages to force Israeli authorities to be 'more humane' towards Palestinians under their control.

In the competitions proper, Mark Spitz, 22, of the United States won seven gold medals in the pool.

His record-breaking feat comprised four individual gold medals (the 100 and 200 metres freestyle and the 100 and 200 metres butterfly) and three relay titles - an achievement unequalled by a single athlete in one Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee's executive board banned two American track stars, Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett, from all future Olympic competition because of their behaviour on the victory stand. Matthews won the gold medal and Collett the silver in the men's 400m. They did not stand to attention during the playing of the American anthem. The crowd jeered and whistled as the pair stood at ease and talked through it.

Wong Tai Sin resettlement estate residents joined forces to fight a gang of young thugs who established a reign of terror in the huge, densely populated housing area.

The residents, who were plagued by hoodlums invading their homes and stealing everything of value, resorted to meeting violence with force of their own.

Posters calling on residents to hit back with bamboo rods and iron bars went up after a series of meetings at which they decided to take the law into their own hands to protect their lives and property and break the reign of terror.

A woman was hacked to death with a chopper and her seven-year-old son seriously injured in their Kwun Tong home, in the third murder in the New Territories in less than 24 hours.

The woman's husband found her lying on the floor with chop wounds to her head and neck when he returned from work. The factory worker also found his son unconscious and suffering from chop wounds. The child was seriously wounded.

The murder was the second in the area in less than 18 hours. In the other murder, a young man was found stabbed to death near the Lau Fau Shan Road roundabout in the New Territories.

The regimental commander of the Black Watch Regiment warned 10 soldiers' wives that they would be sent back to Britain, unless their pattern of 'immoral' behaviour was stopped.

An army spokesman characterised the behaviour involved as 'all sorts of silly little things'.

One of the wives gave up her job in a bar after being interview by Colonel Bob Tweedy. Another was living with another man while her husband was based in Australia.

A third wrote to her husband - who had been sent to Australia on a course - threatening to kill herself and their children unless he returned to Hong Kong immediately.