January 9, 1973 – A siege ends and a ceasefire stalls. The three-day long sniper drama at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel in Downtown New Orleans came to an end. The sniper was shot dead, but not after killing some ten others, including four police in the process. Questions arose as to whether or not the shooter, Mark Essex was acting alone or with an accomplice as he went on a killing spree. Shots echoed throughout downtown New Orleans as the drama unfolded, involving practically the whole of the NOPD in an effort to bring the shootings to an end. If Essex did have an accomplice, then he got away. Police retrieved the sniper’s rifle, the murder weapon used in taking down the first victim, a Police Cadet on New Years eve. But on this morning the 50 block area which was cordoned off the previous few days was lifted and it was a return to business as usual. Even the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge was partially opened – guests who were evacuated during the standoff were allowed to return to get their belongings or to check out. The restrictions were lifted because it was felt the danger of more shootings if there was another sniper were remote. And now the debate turned to ask if there really was a second sniper. It seemed difficult for many to believe that just one person could have done so much damage and taken so many lives on his own, but it was equally difficult for many to believe that an accomplice could escape with hundreds of police crammed into the hotel, staging room-to-room searches. All that was left were the questions and the aftermath.
In other news – the Paris Peace talks hit a snag. Henry Kissinger from the White House and Le Duc Tho from North Vietnam held their second meeting in a week. No one knew what exactly was being said, but there were indications that there were three basic issues still unresolved; the question over whether there was to be one Vietnam or two Vietnams, the terms for Prisoner return and the size of the International Peacekeeping Force. Some six hours of discussions ended and according to French news sources, a number of problems remained. One of those was South Vietnam’s insistence that it was a separate nation and Hanoi’s insistence that it was all one nation. Still, other concessions were being worked out. It was a slow process with no clear end in sight.
And that’s just a sample of what went on, this January 9, 1973 as reported by NBC News.