Profiles of cult members

CNN/March 28, 1997

(AP) -- Here are brief profiles of some of the members of the Heaven's Gate cult who committed suicide near San Diego:

Margaret June Bull

Bull, 53, joined the cult in the mid-1970s after teaching English in Spain for a few years, according to her brother, John Bull of Ellensburg, Washington.

Bull graduated from Ellensburg High School and earned an English degree from the University of Washington. She returned home when her mother died three years ago. At the time, she told relatives that cult members were self-supporting, drove expensive cars, lived communally, moved frequently and were celibate, her brother said.

She was found with a New Mexico driver's license.


At 72, Leonard was the oldest among the dead. She left her Iowa home in the early 1970s, according to her son-in-law, Angelo Bellizzi of Seattle.

Leonard grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and raised two daughters and a son there with her late husband. Bellizzi said Leonard "was always groping and looking for something that interested her."

In the early 1970s, she moved to Colorado, where she met members of the UFO cult, he said. A few years later, she joined the group in San Francisco.


McCurdy-Hill, 39, learned about the cult over the Internet and left her five children in Cincinnati last September to join the group, the family's minister said.

She had been a postal worker for 10 years, sorting magazines and operating a mail machine at the main processing center in Cincinnati, said Bonni Maines, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman.

McCurdy-Hill quit in August, citing "circumstances beyond my control." Her mother-in-law said she and her husband came to the family and said the cult leader had told them to leave their children behind.

The three boys and two girls, ranging in age from 7 months to 19, are now being cared for by family members. Her husband moved with her to join the cult but later returned to the East, and the family said his whereabouts weren't known.


Moore, 40, grew up in Los Gatos, California, near San Jose. He hooked up with the cult in the mid-1970s and had contacted his family only twice since then, said his mother, Nancie Brown.

Brown described her son as an emotional, often angry, teen-ager who attended his first cult meeting in a neighborhood park at the age of 19.

After the cult moved to San Diego County, Moore and two female cult members worked as free-lance employees for Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, an employee there said.


Nichols, 59, who was found with an Arizona driver's license, was the brother of actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original "Star Trek" television series.

The two were "not in close touch," said her manager, Jim Meecham. "She did see him just a few years ago."

He said the actress, who has recently promoted a line of telephone psychics, was shocked.

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