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Family Values

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Wealthy advertising executive Robert Schwartz died in 1997 and left a sizable estate, including a special "Party Trust" for his relatives, but with one condition: They must all celebrate Schwartz's birthday every August for at least 10 years at a posh party in Naples, Fla., with all expenses paid, and people missing two straight, or two in five years, would forfeit their inheritances. The Naples Daily News reported in September that each adult relative would receive up to $2,500 per party attended, and a final Party Trust accounting is now in the hands of a judge.

David Norris never knew his father, who left home when Norris was 5 months old. Now 22, Norris is serving a minimum-12-year sentence for killing a man after an earlier rape conviction and is housed in Peterhead prison, which is the primary lockup for Scotland's sex criminals. Soon after arrival, according to a Scottish Daily Record report, Norris ran into David Gilles, 39, serving life for the kidnapping and sexual torture of a young woman, and realized that Gilles is his dad.

Michelle Cossey pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment in September in Norristown, Pa., admitting that she had bought her son Dillon, 14, a rifle and gunpowder (which prosecutors say Dillon was planning to use in a Columbine-style attack on former classmates at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School). Michelle said she had no idea of his plans, but only wanted to help boost Dillon's "self-esteem," since he is severely overweight and had left school after the seventh-grade because of bullying.

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