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Who REALLY Runs the World – Secret Societies?

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Secret societies have existed throughout history, but which ones are they in the modern world, and how much influence do they really have?

There is incontrovertible evidence that several influential ‘secret’ societies do exist, but opinions vary enormously on quite what effect they have on the world in general. In fact, many of the so-called ‘secret societies’ are not secret at all; their very existence is well known. What is secret is what they involve themselves in, what their purposes are, what they discuss and what they decide, which is generally not specifically known and is therefore of some concern if not outright fear to those who are not informed about their machinations, and who believe that they may be effected in some way.

Authoritative commentators list three pre-eminent ‘secret’ societies – Bilderbergs, Freemasons, and Skull and Bones – agreeing that they are the most influential.

Bilderbergs


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Bilderbergs was formed most recently, in 1954, and their persistent aim is somewhat utopian – a world with one government, therefore one global trading system, one defence force (against whom?), all regulated financially by one ‘world bank’. However, the original purpose was to counter widespread negative reaction to US influence in Europe following World War Two – almost inevitable as many countries were beholden to the donations distributed through The Marshall Plan, but which inevitably spread to political and military influence – and so to effectively strengthen the Atlantic alliance.

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Bilderbergs is therefore exclusively a European and US society, with attendees at meetings comprising 30% prominent politicians, and the rest from finance, academia, industry, communications and labor. Meetings are held under Chatham House Rules – details of discussions are never disclosed to non-attendees. However, such is the status of the society’s members that the inevitable impression is that their decisions will have an effect on at least political events in the future, and therefore on many other aspects of life.

Bilderbergs is reputed to control the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which influences US international policy, and the US Trilateral Commission (TC) which specifically promotes Bilderbergs agenda, and whose members have included every US Secretary of State since WW2. Recent Bilderbergs meetings have included Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Christine Legarde, Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, George Soros, and David Rockefeller who is also chairman of CFR. With such heavyweight members, it’s small wonder that outsiders are somewhat fearful of the deliberations and subsequent effect of this secretive – if not secret – society.

The Freemasons


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The Freemasons was formed in London in 1717, comprising originally of men supposedly combining just to improve their lot in life, but suspicion of (at least) quasi-religious worship – supposedly of Satan – and occupation or manipulation of powerful positions in government have dogged the organisation almost from their beginning, with some justification.

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Again, the US has been dominated by Freemasons – George Washington was a member, actually a Master Mason, and employed a fellow (French) mason to design his capitol, with the mason’s insignia formed by the pentagram of the city’s plan. Subsequently, several presidents have been members, including Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts and Gerald Ford, as was J. Edgar Hoover when head of the CIA, but several noted artistes too – Ben Franklin, Paul Revere and Francis Scott Key among them. Further, famous personalities who were masons include Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, Oscar Wilde and Mozart, as well as John Wayne and Clark Gable.

Obviously, several realms of society have been infiltrated, which tends to confirm that the suspected objective of the Freemasons is to dominate power at all levels of life. Among many accusations of diabolical freemasonry, the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Princess Diana and Pope John Paul I are a few. Plus manipulating the justice systems of the USA and UK, actually faking the first moon landing (but the others?), and somehow (unexplained) orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.

Suffice to say that secrecy breeds all sorts of suspicions, but usually with foundation and almost always unproven.

Skull and Bones


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Skull and Bones is ironically the most famous ‘secret’ society in the US, founded in 1832 at Yale University by William Russell and Alphonso Taft – father of President Taft and Secretary of War under President Grant. Although seen originally as just a student body, many members would become part of a secretive(!) network of men both powerful and rich, and in particular have included members of the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Ford families – ‘money talks’ – as well as several taking senior posts in the CIA, and becoming members of the previously mentioned influential CFR think tank.

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Many members’ names will be unfamiliar to the general population, but the positions held are significant; they include Pierre Jay, the first chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; John Chafee, US Senator, Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Rhode Island; Winston Lord, CFR Chairman and ambassador to China; Raymond Price, speechwriter for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Bush; US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart; and John Kerry, former US Senator and current Secretary of State.

The Skull and Bones are particularly influential given the size of the group – each year only 15 extra members are admitted, so at any one time there are only about 800 living members.

The Bones’ assets are considerable too, managed by the Russell Trust Association founded in 1856 by William Russell and Daniel Coit Gilman, later the first president of the Carnegie Institution. Included is Deer Island, in the St. Lawrence River, New York.

The names and positions occupied give considerable credence to the suspicion that the Skull and Bones are a significantly influential organisation, outside the control of a supposedly democratic governmental system.

Two other secret societies are worth mentioning, genuinely for their secretiveness, as much as for whether they in fact have much of an influence in the modern world.

The Rosicrucian Order


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The Rosicrucian Order was founded in modern times in 1607, supposedly to inform more people of esoteric (little known) and largely mystical knowledge, but its roots are far back in Egyptian antiquity, re-appearing during the time of Charlemagne around 800 AD. It remains the domain of (supposedly) educated philosophers of many genre, but in the 17th and 18th centuries, their manifestos promoted the existence of a secret society of sages and alchemists whose objective was to transform the political, intellectual, scientific and religious basis of the (then) civilised world.

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Various groups exist in the modern world – Christian, Freemasonic and Initiatory – each with a similar objective of enlightening the world to the aforementioned mystical teachings of ancient history, even though secrecy is their by-word. Their influence today is assessed as peripheral at best.

The Illuminati


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The Illuminati was founded in Bavaria in 1776, unusually to counter (religious) superstition despite the founder being a Jesuit, Adam Weishaupt – although the order itself being somewhat radical – and its influence over public life, plus abuses of political power; in those days, the two were often linked, and some would argue that is still the case, for example given the financial strength of the Vatican and the number of catholics in positions of political power around the world.

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It’s unclear whether the organisation continues to exist – or has been reborn – as there is no concrete evidence that the Illuminati has any influence in the modern world, although several powerful people and/or celebrities are suspected of being members, including Bono, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Michael Jackson. Their alleged effect is that world events and the media are being manipulated, with the objective of forming a One World Government based on humanist, but atheist principles. Although previously mentioned personalities are certainly philanthropists, running any world order would appear to be outside their capabilities.

Finally, there is a strong suspicion(!) that ‘secret societies’ exist partly because they are exactly that, and the rest of the population has a continuing fascination with such organisations, imagined or not. There is no doubt that membership of one or two of them – with constituents of like mind – are able to influence world events, but that would be so anyway because of their public offices, but the consequences of their discussions and subsequent determinations are hardly ‘secret’ – just look at the world around you today!

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications. At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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Stars And Their (Surprising) Cars – Net Worth To Be Spent on…What?

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You will have seen star actors stepping out of their chosen luxurious limousines when arriving at the Oscars ceremony, or premiere of their latest big budget film; other celebrities too, showing off their latest automobile acquisition – seemingly the more expensive and/or rarer the better – an on-going parade of how to spend your (sometimes not so) hard-earned net worth.

While many celebrities clearly enjoy the ostentatiousness of these show-off opportunities, others have far simpler tastes, often indulging in much simpler, cheaper and more fun-loving machines, so to speak, as opposed to those which you may well hesitate to take out onto public roads, or those which you can only get the best out of on a closed track – unless you want to risk the wrath of the law!

Following is a selection of celebrities who prefer to have at least one far more modest vehicle in their garage – admittedly some alongside a luxury model or two – but just maybe a case of transport for all occasions? See what you think…

Steve Ballmer – Ford Fusion Hybrid – $35,000


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By far and away the richest single person on this list with more than $20 billion in the bank, what sort of vehicle(s) would you expect to see this person driving? Well, perhaps Steve is ahead of the field, as befits the ex-CEO of Microsoft (and owner of the LA Clippers of the NBA). The Hybrid is possibly associated more with town driving for the moment, but living close to Seattle, Steve probably has the best of both worlds, with the Rockies not too far out of town, and he is certainly still at the forefront of technology, and care for the environment.

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Leonardo DiCaprio – Toyota Prius – $20,000


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Leonardo Di Caprio – Toyota Prius3

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Despite the fact that his net worth is now close to $300 million, latest Oscar winner Leonardo is apparently another environmentalist, also prefering the quiet option of a hybrid car when moving around southern California, perhaps unsurprising after the lengthy, hectic, noisy schedule involved with his latest (Oscar-winning) film hit “The Revenant”. As with other celebrities, he may well prefer the relative anonymity of the car too – a little privacy is surely allowed, given that such stars are often thought of as public property.

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Justin Timberlake – Volkswagen Jetta – $16,000


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Justin Timberlake – Volkswagen Jetta7

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Another acting and singing star who seemingly prefers to go unnoticed when not on stage or screen, Justin could also afford something rather more ostentatious as his means of transport, as he has now racked-up a net worth of close to $200 million. However, this modest vehicle apparently gives him some relief from both paparazzi and adoring fans when not engaged on ‘official’ business, around his home town of Memphis or southern California where he now resides.

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Britney Spears – Mini-Cooper convertible – $25,000


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Britney Spears – Mini-Cooper convertible

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Actually, this relatively petite car somehow suits its relatively petite owner, far more so than those gross Mercedes G55 and Maserati Gran Tourismo vehicles she also owns. (Jealous? Nah!) Well, with a fortune approaching $200 million, the singing superstar can do pretty much as she pleases when selecting which car to drive today, but not forgetting her consistent philanthropic endeavours stretching back over more than 15 years. Maybe she deserves a luxury or two, doesn’t she?

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Conan O’Brien – Ford Taurus SHO – $24,000


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Ford Taurus SHO

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This host of comedy talk shows still drives the love of his life – well, one of them anyway. Really, this is a special model, sporting a Yamaha 3-litre V6 turbocharged engine producing over 220bhp, which Conan has reputedly owned for more than 20 years, long before his face became well known on evening TV around the US, and now around the world. Well, he does have a rather warped sense of humour, but he can afford to smile with a net worth of over $75 million.

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Clint Eastwood – GMC Typhoon – $30,000


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Clint Eastwood – GMC Typhoon5

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Another wolf-in-sheeps-clothing is driven by ‘Dirty” Harry Callaghan, AKA Clint Eastwood, one of the most recognisable stars of TV and the big screen with a career spanning six decades, which has brought him a deserved fortune of close to $400 million. Yes, this beast of the road also hides a 4.3-litre V6 turbocharged 280bhp under the hood – ready for the chase, or a getaway?

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LeBron James – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – $26,000


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LeBron James – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited99

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Another very well-paid, rich star with a stable of cars at home, LeBron can certainly afford whatever he wants, and has – Ferrari, Maybach, Hummer, Bentley, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce – yet here he is, in a rather run-of-the-mill Wrangler. Seems that he doesn’t just have fun on the basketball court – if ‘fun’ is the right word for an athlete who needs to live up to his reputation of being one of THE highest paid in sport, including from endorsements. How much? A cool $42 million for seasons 2014-16 alone – enough for another Jeep, maybe?

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Daniel Radcliffe – Fiat Punto – $18,000


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Daniel Radcliffe – Fiat Punto

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AKA Harry Potter, this is allegedly the first car the British star purchased, a big difference to that which most young drivers aspire to when they finally get their licence. Well, he has only just made his first $100 million, so there’s still plenty of time, and many options to chose from. Maybe one of those ‘driverless’ cars? Now, what would Harry Potter drive in the real world…?

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Colin Farrell – Ford Bronco – $40,000


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Ford Bronco

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Despite driving a myriad of vehicles during his film roles, Colin apparently isn’t too particular about what he drives privately, although he could certainly afford something a little more up-market if he chose, with a net worth of $30 million. Still, the award-winning Irishman is perhaps true to his roots, going for practicality over looks, but with a strong and reliable V8 on board.

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Mel Gibson – Toyota Cressida – $10,000


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Mel Gibson – Toyota Cressida

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Maybe this popular star of the “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” series of films among many others is really trying to get around incognito? This vehicle in fact looks like a left-over refugee from one of those franchises, but perhaps it’s all he could afford after that messy expensive divorce settlement? Actually, this model sports a 200hp 3-litre V6 as its power pack, so maybe just enough to keep out of trouble? (PS – his net worth is still north of $400 million!)

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Tom Hanks – Scion Xb – $55,000


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Tom Hanks – Scion Xb88

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The super- much-respected movie star seems to have been around forever, but has yet to reach 60. However, having amassed net worth approaching $400 million, he too could indulge in a Ferrari or… or… However, he prefers this modified, electric-engined model to get around Los Angeles anyway. Come to think of it, it doesn’t look much smaller than a Hummer… beware, traffic!

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Jennifer Lawrence – Volkswagen Eos – $35,000


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Jennifer Lawrence – Volkswagen Eos3

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From starring in “Winter’s Bone” to “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and several other films drawing considerable praise, this rising actress with a net worth estimated at over $60 million could afford … well, whatever she wants, and she has, albeit a rather more modest means of transportation than many of her genre. Still, this 2-litre turbo-charged machine obviously provides adequate fun for this young lady.

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Jay Leno – GMC Syclone – $26,000


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Jay Leno – GMC Syclone

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Alright, so what if he is reputed to own a collection of more than 250 cars, this one is a little more modest, isn’t it? Well, looks can deceive, because actually less than 3,000 of this ‘special’ were produced, meaning that with a 4.3 litre V6 turbo-charged motor under the hood, Jay can get to wherever he’s going almost as quickly as he could driving his McLaren MP4-12, and with less attention, certainly on the open road. Now, which one will I buy… I mean drive today…? Now folks, I have to spend my $350 million net worth somehow!

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Pope Francis – Renault 4 – donated


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Pope Francis – Renault 4 666

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Yes, really! His Eminence is supposed to use what has come to be called ‘The Popemobile’, certainly on formal, crowded – one could say potentially dangerous – occasions, but then, without those flowing white robes and other regalia, who could possibly think that the person driving this modest car is actually the head of the Catholic church? Come to think of it, this is much more his style, confirming his persona of casual friendliness and humility, and allowing him to mix freely with his flock! As at least nominal controller of probably the richest entity in the world, the Pope could reasonably afford something a little more luxurious, but somehow this fits him well enough – after all, he is a parish priest, although his official title is Bishop of Rome.

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Richest Women in the World – Net Worth

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Ladies, rejoice! Well, take heart anyway. Most of you (and most men as well) are unlikely to ever reach the giddy heights of financial independence associated with becoming a billionaire, but the percentage of women reaching that target measured against men is increasing annually, and they are spread around the world, not only in the largest economies of the USA and China (yes, several ladies, independent too, are located in China.)

richest women 4451

Sadly (perhaps!?) none of the richest 20 women are actually self-made: they have inherited at least a large part of their wealth, which is not to say that they haven’t built on it. Of course, women live on average 5% longer lives than men world-wide, so it’s not surprising that male partners leave a large part of their wealth to their female partner, and of course in many cases to female offspring. Regardless, the number of self-made female billionaires* is also on the rise, although currently to a much lesser extent than women with largely inherited wealth, which is also probably unsurprising given that until the current generation, the attitude in most, including western cultures was that ‘the woman’s place is in the home’. The richest self-made woman in the world ranks 22nd.

Latest figures published by authoritative sources in late 2015 show a more than 15% percent rise in women billionaires in a year, now at 197 up from 172 in 2014, of 1826 and of 1748 total billionaires respectively, so currently 11% of the total number, up over 1% in a year. These numbers and percentages regarding women seem sure to rise, as more women, and therefore their ideas about many aspects of so many varying businesses attract a growing number of female clients – not forgetting that women have a greater say now within the household, and women themselves have far more disposable income now than, say, 30 years ago.

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The following list is of the richest 20 women in the world, including nationality, source of wealth and marital status which sadly often reflects family losses. Total wealth can vary considerably from day-to-day given the volatility of share markets around the world, in which a great deal of wealth is literally invested or company values estimated, so do not be surprised if the net worth of some individuals is different when you read the article from when it was compiled in early 2016.

# Personality Age Net Worth Source of wealth Nationality Marital status
20 Milane Frantz 45 $6 billion Enterprise Products – from father Dan L. Duncand d. 2010 American Married
19 Randa Duncan Williams 53 $6 billion Enterprise Products – from father Dan L. Duncand d. 2010 American Married
18 Dannine Avara 41 $6 billion Enterprise Products – from father Dan L. Duncand d. 2010 American Married
17 Pansy Ho 53 $6.5 billion Shun Tak Holdings – from father Stanley Ho in 2015 Hong Kong Chinese Divorced
16 Huiyan Yang 34 $7 billion Country Garden Holding RE – transferred from father Yeung Kwok Keung in 2007 Chinese Married
15 Margarita Louis-Dreyfus 53 $8 billion Louis Dreyfus – from husband Robert Louis-Dreyfus d. 2009 Russian-Swiss Widowed
14 Antonia Johnson 72 $8 billion Johnson Group – from father Axel Johnson d. 1988 Swedish-American Single
13 Elaine Marshall 70 $9 billion Koch Industries – from husband E. Pierce Marshall d. 2006 American Divorced
12 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken 61 $11 billion Heineken – from father Freddy Heineken d. 2002 Italian Married
11 Miuccia Prada 66 $11 billion Prada – from grandfather Mario Prada in 1978 Italian Married
10 Gina Rinehart 62 $12 billion Resource shares – from father Lang Hancock d. 1992 Australian Divorced
9 Johanna Quandt 89 $13 billion BMW shares – from husband Herbert Quandt d. 1982 German Widowed
8 Laurene Powell Jobs 52 $14 billion Largest Apple shareholder – from husband Steve Jobs d. 2011 American Widowed
7 Ann Cox Chambers 96 $15 billion Owner Cox Enterprises – from father James M. Cox d. 1957 American Married
6 Abigail Johnson 54 $17 billion Fidelity: replaced father (owner) as CEO in 2014 American Married
5 Susanne Klatten 53 $18 billion BMW, Altana shares – from father Herbert Quandt d. 1982 German Married
4 Jacqueline Mars 76 $20 billion Mars shares – from father Forest Mars Sr. d. 1999 American Divorced
3 Alice Walton 66 $36 billion Wal Mart shares – from father Sam Walton d. 1992 American Divorced
2 Liliane Bettencourt 93 $37 billion L’Oreal shares – from husband Andre Bettencourt d. 2007 French Widowed
1 Christy Walton 60 $39 billion Wal Mart and First Solar shares – from husband John Walton killed 2005 American Widowed
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