NEEDHAM, MASS. — A photo accompanying an post in Sunday"s Sun around th killing of one ex-Marine who experiences to be the basis because that the movie "A few Good Men" misidentified the man"s attorney. )) His name is Don Marcari.

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The sunlight regrets the errors.


NEEDHAM, Mass. -- castle are supposedly unrelated flicker of violence, frame the last eight year of David Cox"s life, indigenous the former lines that the Cold war in Cuba come a muddy river bank in suburban Boston.

The many traumatic event of his army tour in Cuba would certainly inspire a movie that left that indignant, his and his comrades" service careers altered to quench Hollywood"s desire because that drama.


But just when Mr. Cox"s life showed up to be coming together, when he to be on the verge of securing his first steady and profitable civilian job, once he had finally chose to sign up with a lawsuit versus the makers of "A couple of Good Men," he mysteriously disappeared Jan. 5.

For practically three months, police tried to find him as his family prayed because that him, even consulting v psychics in futile attempts to contact him.


And then, April 2, a canoeist ~ above the Charles river spotted a single white sneaker that resulted in a exploration in a wooded area.

Under branches ripped from nearby trees place the body of Mr. Cox.


There were 3 bullet wounds in the torso and one wound behind the neck.

"It doesn"t make any kind of sense," claimed Elaine Tinsley, Mr. Cox"s girlfriend. "I desire to uncover out what happened."


So do the police. Lock have couple of clues, no suspects and also no motive in the noticeable execution-style murder.

But overshadowing all is the story that Mr. Cox, a 27-year-old ex-Marine that saw component of his life spread throughout a movie screen and who want to retrieve his great name.


David Cox and also Jay Steeves were finest friends, farming up together in Needham, a city of practiced homes, manicured lawns and also lush parks.

When they graduated from high school in 1985, they made a pact, enlisting in the U.S. Maritime Corps under the "buddy system" that guaranteed they might go through an easy training together on Parris Island, S.C.

The night prior to they left home, they even referred to as a regional radio station and requested your favorite song, Bruce Springsteen"s "Born In The USA."

"The 2 of us constantly said, the points we learned in the maritime Corps, you might never learn in any college," Mr. Steeves said. "He loved the Marines. He love the discipline."

Gung-ho Marine

David Cox, brush-cut strawberry blond hair, blue eyes and also thick muscle spread across his 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame, to be gung-ho naval all the way.


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He was the perfect candidate for among the maritime Corps" tougher assignments, manning the perimeter in ~ the U.S. Marine base in ~ Guantanamo only in Cuba.

It"s a lonely, pressure-filled job at the basic they nickname Gitmo. Hour after hour the Marines top top the safety line stand watch, sometimes much less than 600 yards from Cuban soldiers. It is a frozen standoff in searing heat, a last vestige the the Cold War.

For around six months, Mr. Cox was part of Rifle defense Company, Windward Side, 2nd Platoon, a group of 30 guys who %% lived by a fierce code of honor.

"We to be the most gung-ho that the gung-ho Marines," claimed Christopher Lee Valdez, the platoon leader and Mr. Cox"s ideal friend on the base.

July 1986 was a tough time because that Mr. Cox"s comrades in ~ Gitmo. Follow to interviews and published reports, they had actually a guy they regarded as a malingerer amongst them, Pfc. William Alvarado.

They believed that he had informed around a marine firing shots right into Cuba.


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"Code Red"

One night, when watching a videotape the the movie "Animal House," the other Marines made decision to take it action, call a "Code Red," jargon for a hazing, to teach exclusive Alvarado a lesson.

Ten Marines blindfolded him, stuffed a rag in his mouth, pummeled him and also gave him a haircut.

It to be Mr. Cox who handled the shears and who apparently an initial noticed that exclusive Alvarado"s face was transforming blue.

The incident had gone awry. Exclusive Alvarado"s lung filled with fluid, the spit up blood and passed out.

"We didn"t win him come death," Mr. Valdez said.


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Private Alvarado to be taken off the island because that emergency care in Miami. Eventually, the recovered from the assault.

But the Marines in ~ Gitmo would additionally suffer wounds.

The commanding officer, Col. Sam Adams, to be shipped out.

Seven that the attackers embraced "other than honorable" discharges. And also of those, only Mr. Valdez would get his discharge upgraded come honorable.

Three males stood their ground, refusing the Corps" sell of a military plea bargain. They would take their opportunities in a full-blown court martial.

Would hit Corps


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Mr. Cox was prepared to fight the Corps he believed in.

The very first time Don Marcari met Mr. Cox was in the brig in ~ Gitmo.

Mr. Marcari was a navy attorney prepare to take it his very first case to trial. And Mr. Cox was his client.

"I had actually on my little white uniform and also stuck out at Guantanamo Bay," Mr. Marcari said. "I"m going with this brig, and also here I view this kid standing at attention. I provided him a little wink and he provided me a smile, and I guess he knew climate that i wasn"t that bad a guy."

By transforming down the deal for one "other 보다 honorable discharge," Mr. Cox confronted a basic court-martial and also a potential 20-year sentence at Leavenworth. So Mr. Marcari wanted to be sure his client understood the stakes.

Mr. Marcari recalled, "David told me, "I have nothing else. All I want to it is in is a Marine." ns said, "David, you can take this deal and also go home." and also he again said, "No, I want to be a Marine." "


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So lawyer and client fought the Marines. And also they obtained the finest victory they might in a four-day court-martial at Guantanamo.

Mr. Cox was discovered not guilty that aggravated battery but guilty of straightforward assault, a misdemeanor that lugged a 30-day jail sentence. But due to the fact that he had already served 38 job in the brig, the sentence was waived.

And Mr. Cox was complimentary to resume his marine career, serving out the final two years in places as diverse as south Korea, Panama and North Carolina.

When he was discharged in 1989, Mr. Cox organized the location of corporal.

He had actually served his country. And now, the blemish the his career seemingly behind him, he prepared to return residence to clear up down, to uncover work, to start a career.

"Back to square one"


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"The kids who had gone come college to be going on to $60,000-a-year jobs," Mr. Steeves said. "And we were ago to square one. You don"t have actually a ability for the civilian world. David to be a enlightenment sniper. However that pipeline you nothing."

Steven Cox remembers his younger brother David this way:

"He was warm-hearted. Compassionate. Outgoing. The type of guy who would yell in ~ a baseball game. But additionally the kind of man who damaged down and also cried because that two hrs the day Reggie Lewis died.

"And my brother also worked hard," Steven Cox said.

David Cox constantly had one type of project or another.

He hauled trash, pumped gas, operated with Mr. Steeves in a home advancement business, functioned a year because that a rug shampoo company, to visit bartender school, even received a two-year paralegal degree.


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But Steven Cox additionally said this around his brother: "In his heart, he stayed a Marine."

His friends and family say that David Cox was no embittered through his naval experience. Talk of the court-martial died down long before he returned home. It was forgotten, even.

And then, "A few Good Men," a play composed by Aaron Sorkin that opened on Broadway in 1989 and ran for 14 months, to be turned right into a movie that was released in the winter that 1992-1993.

D8 "That"s as soon as all hell damaged loose," Steven Cox said.

Life top top screen

They clasped hand in the darkness of the movie theater. They whispered. And also they watched.


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As the story of two Marines facing a court-martial unravelled in the movie "A few Good Men," Elaine Tinsley remembers David Cox fidgeting in his seat.

In the movie, there to be an inadvertently murder, a tight tiny cast of personalities led by Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and also Demi Moore and also dishonorable discharges because that the 2 fictional Marines, Harold Dawson and Loudon Downey.

But in actual life, the life Mr. Cox led, nobody died, and no one was dishonorably discharged.

"For me, it was simply a movie," Ms. Tinsley said. "But for him, it was his life. He went through that."

Mr. Cox was reportedly outraged. He gave a February 1993 interview with a neighborhood newspaper, the Natick Bulletin, in which the said, "If i hadn"t recognized the truth, it probably would"ve to be the best movie I"ve ever seen in mine life."

Mr. Cox said he was struck by the similarities between the occasions of his life and also the movie.


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The fictional setting was Guantanamo Bay.

The victim"s name in the movie is william Santiago, who, choose the real-life william Alvarado, wrote a letter to officials come complain that illegal firing right into Cuban territory.

Following orders

And, together in Mr. Cox"s court martial, the key element that the defense was that the Marines were adhering to implied order from their superiors.

"Mostly, he didn"t like the result -- the the 2 Marines to be relieved of duty and also dishonorably discharged," Steven Cox said. "The totality thing ended up rotten in the end."

A spokesman for lock Rock Entertainment, a Beverly Hills-based firm co-owned by the film"s director, rob Reiner, decreased to comment.


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Repeated attempts to reach Mr. Sorkin"s California-based agent additionally were unsuccessful.

"David want to check out fairness," Steven Cox added. "He felt castle were going to do millions v this movie, a movie the was based on some the his experiences. David and also some of the other men said, "Jeez, this is an invasion of privacy. And also then, lock portray united state as killers." "

David Cox to be mad, every right.

Mad enough to sue.

Mad sufficient to call his former attorney, Mr. Marcari, now in private exercise in Virginia Beach, Va., the pair creating the very first chapter that a planned book that would set the document straight.

E9 yet Mr. Cox never acquired a possibility to complete his plans.


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Something to be wrong

Elaine Tinsley arrived in the apartment she common with David Cox in Natick in ~ 5:30 p.m. Jan. 5.

She knew something to be terribly wrong because the pets rabbit called Lenny the he offered her on her 21st birthday was hopping wildly in the kitchen.

A few glasses to be tipped over, and David Cox"s 1988 Ford truck to be still parked in the driveway.

There to be no sign of David.

Frantically, she started to call family and also friends to see where that was. No one knew. The following day, she filed a missing person report with the Natick police.


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"It wasn"t choose David simply to leaving without telling anyone," she said.

Days turned to weeks, turned to months, and also still no authorize of David.

Nothing added up.

For the an initial time in his life, he to be poised come embark on a profession. Throughout the Christmas season he worked part-time together a driver for joined Parcel Service. On the day of his disappearance, Mr. Cox"s supervisor called to tell the he had actually been hired full-time.

After much deliberation, Mr. Cox called his girlfriend that he was all set to join a suit against those that made "A couple of Good Men." yet he had actually yet to carry out so once he disappeared.

Movie maker sued


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Five of his other Marines, consisting of Mr. Valdez, had actually filed fit in commonwealth District Court in Houston against Castle absent Entertainment and also others, for, amongst other things, invasion of privacy, polite conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiffs say the filmmakers "stole actual life story, readjusted a few names and passed it off as their own creation."

But for now, the Cox household has put aside all thoughts the pending litigation.

During the an initial thaw that a brand-new England spring, Mr. Cox"s decomposed corpse was discovered along the riverbank close to Medfield, 17 mile southwest of Boston.

L Investigators room piecing with each other what couple of clues castle have.

Three 9 mm shell casings.


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The camouflage jacket, dungarees and also sneakers Mr. Cox wore.

And the site itself, remote, a half-mile indigenous the nearest road, however strategically located in between two total clubs.

Four shots fired, even in the center of the day, would certainly elicit small surprise.

"We"re really starting from floor zero," stated Peter Casey, the assistant ar attorney for Norfolk County, where Medfield is located.

Mr. Casey said "there is no indication," the the murder was tied come drugs, come Mr. Cox"s popular passion for gambling at gyeongju tracks and with neighborhood bookmakers, or to the litigation over "A few Good Men."

"He was well thought of," Mr. Casey said. "He appears to have been a pretty great guy."


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The search for an ex-Marine"s murderer continues.

And a family members grieves.

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During the months that he was missing, David"s family and also his girl friend consulted through psychics.

"They claimed that that was surrounded by water and that he remained in a warm and also safe place," Steven Cox said. "But my brother wasn"t warm. And my brothers wasn"t safe."

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