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Two held in Curious George co-author’s death

Florida police say men confessed to murder, robbery
In this photo provided by Universal Pictures, Ted, The Man with the Yellow Hat (voiced by WILL FERRELL), backs away with George after George's finger-painting escapades in 'Curious George.'AP
/ Source: Reuters

Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Alan J. Shalleck, 76, who co-wrote “Curious George” books and helped bring the very curious little monkey to television.

Rex Spears Ditto, 29, and Vincent Puglisi, 54, were arrested shortly before midnight on Wednesday and confessed to a home invasion, murder and robbery of Shalleck, Sgt. Gladys Cannon of the Boynton Beach police said Thursday.

Shalleck’s bloodied body under a pile of plastic garbage bags in a driveway at Royal Manor Estates by a maintenance supervisor who went to haul away what appeared to be a pile of trash, police said.

The body may have been in the driveway for more than a day. Crime scene investigators found stab wounds and, once inside the home, several pools of blood leading to the master bathroom which was splattered with blood. Investigators found several knives and broken glass in the house.

Ditto and Puglisi made full confessions, according to Cannon, who said the men robbed Shalleck of jewelry and money from his checking account. Charges include first-degree murder, armed home invasion, aggravated battery of a person 65 years or older, and dealing in stolen property.

Shalleck began his collaboration with “Curious George” co-creator Margaret Rey nearly three decades ago, helping write sequels to the stories Rey originally produced with her late husband H.A. Rey and bringing the monkey to television.

Shalleck’s death came just days before a debuts in movie theaters on Friday.