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Parents Of Student Slain By Drug Cult Meet With Bush, Bennett

August 15, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The parents of a Texas college student killed in a ritual slaying by members of a drug cult told President Bush today that for every drug user there are victims and suffering.

Jim and Helen Kilroy were among about a dozen people meeting with Bush and national drug policy director William J. Bennett as the administration prepares its first comprehensive strategy for fighting drugs, due out Sept. 5.

The Kilroys said Bush was ″very sensitive″ to what happened to their son, who disappeared in the Mexican border town of Matamoros while in spring break.

His body was later found in a mass grave on a ranch outside the city, and had been dismembered by the drug cult, which believed that human sacrifices would protect their illegal activities.

Bennett said the nation suffered with the Kilroys a couple of months ago, ″but since that time the Kilroys have taken their pain and their tragedy and turned it into a ... very good effort.″

The Santa Fe, Texas, couple have founded the Mark Kilroy Foundation, which Kilroy said emphasizes education against the use of illegal drugs, and that the use of drugs causes much suffering.

″The government has to enforce the laws because right now people sell drugs, use drugs at will. I think that has to be at all levels, local state and federal,″ he said after the White House meeting.

″That’s the one thing we said to President Bush, there is a need for enforcement,″ Kilroy said.

″I believe the drug dealers know exactly what they’re doing and that they should be punished,″ Mrs. Kilroy said.

Mrs. Kilroy said even casual drug use has terrible effects.

″There is so much suffering we definitely should make every effort possible to see an end to it in our generation,″ Kilroy said.

Mrs. Kilroy said Bush and Bennett did not issue any specific recommendations for fighting drugs, but she is satisfied the administration is ″moving in the right direction″ and praised Bush and Bennett for asking others about what can be done.

″I think the federal government will do its part, but that all of us are going to have to do our part too. It’s going to take the entire nation, everyone doing their part to rid our country of this terrible crisis,″ Mrs. Kilroy said.

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