Father Listed as Suspect in Four Slayings

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Ian Stuart Spiro, a 46-year-old commodities dealer, was officially listed Saturday as a suspect in the murders of his wife and three children, who were killed as they lay sleeping in their Rancho Santa Fe home last week.

Sheriff’s deputies warned that Spiro, a British national, might be armed, and that he might have altered his appearance by not shaving for a few days. They asked that anyone who has seen the family’s white 1992 Ford Explorer XLT with the California license plate 2ZLA116 call detectives immediately.

Until now, deputies were reluctant to describe Spiro as a suspect, believing he might also be a victim of the attack. But on Saturday afternoon, two days after the bodies were found and five or six days after the four victims were shot, Spiro was described as a suspect in the killings.

Sheriff’s homicide Lt. John Tenwolde said Saturday that detectives were expanding their search nationwide.


Deputies Thursday found the bodies of Spiro’s wife, Gail, 41, and their children, Sara, 16, Adam, 14, and Dina, 11. All were wearing bedclothes.

Ian Spiro is described as 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, with graying black hair, hazel eyes and a droopy mustache.

Meanwhile, officials said they are investigating reports published Saturday in the Oceanside Blade-Citizen that Spiro may have been linked to the Lebanese hostage crisis, Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, and former Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite, who was taken hostage in 1987 and held for more than four years by Shiite Muslim zealots.

The newspaper quoted Cornelius Coughlin, a reporter for the Sunday Telegraph in London who alleged in his recently published book, “Hostage,” that Spiro was a CIA and British spy, according to the Blade-Citizen.