CHILLING SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SETH RICH MURDER AND ‘CLINTON BODY COUNT’ VICTIMS
The unsolved case of Democratic National Committee data analyst Seth Rich’s death shares some eerie similarities with many mysterious deaths of individuals linked to former President Bill Clinton and twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Just as in the Rich case, several of the people who died mysterious deaths were shot spontaneously and in public places, sometimes from behind, sometimes by unknown assailants and often just before they were set to release incriminating evidence concerning the Clintons’ activities. In most cases, there were no signs of theft at the crime scenes. And while some of the deaths were ruled suicides, other cases remain a mystery.
Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee as a data analyst and reportedly sent more than 44,000 DNC emails to WikiLeaks, including 17,761 attachments, from January 2015 through the end of May 2016. As WND reported, the DNC staffer was reported to have been in contact with WikiLeaks Director Gavin MacFadyen, who died just 17 days before the election of lung cancer.
Rich was mysteriously shot and killed July 10, 2016. As WND reported, Rich was murdered near his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C. He was shot in the back with a handgun at 4:18 a.m. while he walked home, and nothing was taken from him. Rich, who called several people as he later walked home, was talking on the phone with his girlfriend, Kelsey Murka, when he was accosted a block from his house. He was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead at 5:57 a.m.
“If it was a robbery it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his money, he still has his credit cards, still had his phone, so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life,” said Rich’s father, Joel, shortly after the bizarre murder.
On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials.
Those leaked emails revealed, among other things, that the DNC tried to tip the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and prevent Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders from becoming the party’s nominee. The leaks were cited by some Democrats as one explanation for Clinton’s election loss. Many accused the Russians of “hacking” and turning the tide for then-GOP candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
In one email released by WikiLeaks, Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said he’d like to “make an example” out of the person who leaked the emails.
“I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it,” Podesta wrote on Feb. 22, 2015, according to WikiLeaks.
Only days after Rich’s murder, Hillary Clinton cited the DNC staffer’s death in her speech advocating for more gun control.
“From Sandy Hook to Orlando to Dallas, and so many other places, these tragedies tear at our soul,” Clinton said in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on July 12. “And so do the incidents that don’t even dominate the headlines. Just this past Sunday, a young man, Seth Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee to expand voting rights, was shot and killed in his neighborhood in Washington. He was just 27 years old. … Surely we can agree that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America.”
The Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch told WND Tuesday it is “actively investigating Mr. Rich’s murder” and is working with the family to bring closure to the case.
“We do not have any evidence to suggest that Mr. Rich’s employment was a factor in his death,” a spokesperson said.
Through a spokesman Tuesday, Rich’s family blasted media reports indicating the man’s death may have been linked to his position at the DNC and his contact with WikiLeaks.
“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers,” the family said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Still, the bizarre shooting of Rich shares some similarities with other murders listed in WND’s exclusive report, “‘Clinton death list’: 33 spine-tingling cases.” Many of the individuals included in the list were shot to death, though some of the deaths were ruled to be suicides. Others were killed in plane crashes, car wrecks and freak accidents.
Vince Foster: Fatal gunshot to the head
Vince Foster was deputy White House counsel and Hillary’s friend and law partner who had connections to the Clintons’ Travelgate and Whitewater scandals. In 1993, Foster was found dead in a park with a fatal gunshot wound to his mouth. As WND reported, his suicide was the subject of much speculation and three official investigations.
Investigations by the U.S. Park Police, the Department of Justice, the FBI, Congress, Independent Counsel Robert B. Fiske and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr concluded Foster’s death was a suicide. However, as WND reported in 2003, one of Starr’s key investigators challenged the official line, insisting the probe’s result was predetermined, only a few plotters were required to engineer the result, the crime scene was altered and that major newspaper editors killed stories by reporters pursuing the truth. The Washington Post reported that federal investigators were not allowed to enter Foster’s office after his death, but “White House aides enter[ed] Foster’s office shortly after his death, giving rise to speculation that files were removed from his office.”
In his 2005 book “The Truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, And How Far She’ll Go to Become President,” Edward Klein wrote of Hillary’s involvement in the effort to remove Foster’s files:
The night of [Foster’s] death, Hillary launched one of the most shameful – and illegal – cover-ups of her entire career.
She sent two of her most trusted White House loyalists – Maggie Williams, the First Lady’s chief of staff, and Patsy Thomasson, who was in charge of White House administration – into Foster’s office to retrieve embarrassing and incriminating documents related to Whitewater and Hillary’s other personal affairs. While White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum barred investigators from entering Foster’s office, Maggie Williams, Patsy Thomasson, and Craig Livingston, Hillary’s director of White House security, removed armloads of files and loose-leaf binders.
In addition, a White House staffer allegedly tampered with the titles of several memos and removed the first lady’s initials in an effort to erase her role in improper behavior.
As WND reported in February 2016, recently discovered evidence unearthed from boxes stored deep in the National Archives lend credence to theories about foul play and cover-up that have been hinted at by at least three books and countless articles.
The newest piece to the puzzle was uncovered by two citizen researchers, one of whom was a witness involved in the case from the beginning. What had only been suspicions about missing death-scene photographs are now listed as facts in public documents.
The smoking-gun information comes from two documents: a two-page letter of resignation and a 31-page memo both written by Starr’s lead prosecutor, Miguel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez refers in his letter to photographs showing a wound on Foster’s neck – a wound that did not exist according to accounts in Starr’s official government report.
The obvious questions: How could a suicide victim be found with two wounds – a .38-caliber gunshot into the mouth that exited through his head and another wound on the right side of his neck that one of the paramedics described as a small-caliber bullet hole? And why would the government investigators go to great lengths to cover it up?
Jerry Luther Parks: Shot in chest by mysterious gunman
Two months after Foster died, Jerry Luther Parks – who had been head of security for Bill Clinton’s headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 1992 presidential campaign and gubernatorial years – was shot through the rear window of his car with a semiautomatic handgun.
As WND reported, Jerry Luther Parks was reportedly watching a news bulletin on the death of Foster when he turned from the television and muttered, “I’m a dead man.”
His son, Gary, was with him in the room. It was July 21, 1993. Foster had just been found dead in Fort Marcy Park, about seven miles from the White House, across the Potomac River in Virginia. Foster had been shot through the head, said the bulletin, an apparent suicide.
British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard interviewed the Parks family extensively. In “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton,” he reported that Parks was a nervous wreck for the next two months. He packed a gun and drove evasively to shake off any possible pursuers. At one point, Parks told his family that Bill Clinton was “cleaning house” and that he was “next on the list.”
On Sept. 23, 1993, as Parks was driving to his suburban Little Rock home along the Chenal Parkway, a white Chevrolet Caprice with two men inside drove alongside and peppered Parks’ car with semiautomatic gunfire. Parks’ car ground to a halt. A man emerged from the white Chevy, fired two rounds into Parks’ chest with a 9-mm pistol, then sped off.
Several witnesses watched the murder. The killers were never found. As with so many other “Arkancides” – the name given to the long list of suspicious deaths among Arkansas associates of the Clintons – Big Media ignored the event.
One of the last people to see Foster alive was Linda Tripp, who then worked as a secretary for Foster’s boss, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum. Tripp testified before Kenneth Starr’s grand jury on July 28, 1998, that the reason she had leaked Monica Lewinsky’s story to Michael Isikoff at Newsweek was that Tripp hoped the spotlight of national publicity might protect her from physical harm.
Linda Tripp in the 1990s
“I am afraid of this administration,” Tripp told the grand jury.
She continued: “I have what I consider to be well-founded fears of what they are capable of … I had reasons to believe that the Vince Foster tragedy was not depicted accurately under oath by members of the administration … I knew based on personal knowledge, personal observations, that they were lying under oath. So it became very fearful to me that I had information even back then that was dangerous.”
A juror asked, “But do you have any examples of violence being done by the administration to people who were a threat to them?”
Tripp named Jerry Parks: “[T]he behavior in the West Wing with senior staff to the president during the time the Jerry Parks [murder report] came over the fax frightened me. He had been killed,” she said.
The “flurry of activity,” the closed-door meetings and the “hush-hush” atmosphere in the White House all struck her as ominous and frightening.
“Maybe you had to be there,” said Tripp.
“[The news of Parks’ death] was something they wanted to get out in front of. There was talk that this would be another body to add to the list of 40 bodies or something that were associated with the Clinton administration. At that time, I didn’t know what that meant. I have since come to see such a list.”
After the murder, Gary Parks told a staffer of the New York Observer his father and Vince Foster had investigated Clinton’s affairs at Hillary’s request.
“He said that Vince Foster had called up his father, who was working as a private investigator, to look into Clinton’s romantic life in about 1980, after Bill Clinton had lost the governor’s office following his first term. Parks said Hillary wanted a divorce. It looked like maybe the juggernaut she’d believed in, and married, was over. Clinton had by then lost two big races and won two. Till the Comeback Kid – boy is Bill Clinton gutsy – won back the governorship in 1982. But in the early 80s, Parks said, Hillary asked her law partner Vince Foster to prepare a divorce case and Foster called Parks, who compiled a dossier of women’s statements. Parks said that Hillary later decided against a divorce, but that his father held on to the dossier. Then in 1993, Parks said, after Vince Foster went to Washington, he demanded the return of the file, and even called Jerry Parks in the days before his, Foster’s, death, to demand it. And that two months later his father was murdered, because, Parks said, he had held out on returning the file. (The L.R. police never solved his father’s murder, not when I was looking into it a few years afterward.)”
John Hillyer: Mysterious timing of death
NBC cameraman John Hillyer had been working on an investigation of a drug-smuggling operation in Mena, Arkansas, while Clinton was the state’s governor. He also helped with a 30-minute video called “Circle of Power” and “The Clinton Chronicles.”
As WND reported, video journalist Pat Matrisciana (producer of “The Clinton Chronicles”) began working on the film project in the early 1990s, he didn’t realize what he and his cameraman were getting into.
“I had been contacted by a man named John Hillyer, an NBC cameraman who wanted to tell the real story about what was happening in Arkansas,” he said.
When Matrisciana and Hillyer arrived in Arkansas and began interviewing people for the video, the criminality and intrigue were far worse than they had imagined.
“It was like going into some sort of banana republic that was run by a dictatorship,” he said. “We were followed on a regular basis.”
Matrisciana set up a “safe house” in an apartment complex in Little Rock where he and other journalists and investigators would meet to discuss stories of drug trafficking in Mena, the murder of two teenage boys there and whether or not Bill Clinton was involved in any of those activities.
Hillyer and Matrisciana developed a friendship with Gary Parks, the son of Jerry Luther Parks, a former security chief of Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to Matrisciana, Jerry Parks had been hired several years earlier by Foster on behalf of Hillary Clinton to put Bill Clinton under constant surveillance. Gary would go on surveillance stakeouts with his father as Jerry gathered photographic evidence of Clinton visiting with prostitutes, Gennifer Flowers and other women.
When Foster’s body was found in Fort Marcy Park, Jerry became paranoid that he might also be targeted for murder. He was right. When Jerry was assassinated in his car in September 1993, Gary and Jerry’s widow believed it was related to his surveillance of Clinton.
Gary Parks regularly stayed at the safe house, but was awakened one night when the door was kicked open by would-be assassins. When he quickly loaded his M-1 carbine, the sound of the bullet being chambered scared off the killers and they fled into the parking lot. Gary went to the window and thought he recognized one of the men as a member of the Gov. Clinton’s security staff.
On another occasion, when Matrisciana and others were preparing for a radio talk show at the safe house, an investigator scanned the apartment for “bugs” and discovered eight of them.
During the course of their investigation, Matrisciana and Hillyer discovered a trail of unsolved murders of people who knew details about the teens’ deaths. Others who died mysteriously had inside information on drug ties to the political establishment in Arkansas. On one occasion, Hillyer was planning to conduct an interview with a former official of the Democratic National Committee, but the man never showed up for the interview. Hillyer learned the next day that the man, C. Victor Raiser II, and his son, Montgomery Raiser, had died in a plane crash.
Matrisciana and Hillyer were also going to interview a hermit who lived in the mountains near where the teens had been killed. Two days before the scheduled interview, the hermit died.
Hillyer started to fear for his own life, telling Matrisciana that he thought they would kill him by making it look like he had a heart attack. After the film was completed, Hillyer went on to other projects and ended up living in Atlanta. In 1996, Matrisciana received a phone call from Hillyer. John told him he had uncovered new information that needed to be put on video, but that they couldn’t talk on an unsecured phone. They planned on meeting to discuss the new information, but Hillyer died of a heart attack three days later, on Nov. 29, 1996.
Did someone get to Hillyer? Matrisciana doesn’t know. Were the hermit and DNC official killed for what they knew? Or were these simply coincidences? Again, Matriciana said he doesn’t know, but he did think the deaths were unusual, considering the number of other people who have died under mysterious circumstances in Arkansas.
Mary Caitrin Mahoney: Shot 5 times, once in back of head
Mary Caitrin Mahoney was a former White House intern up until 1995. She then was a night manager of a Starbucks and became friends with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who frequented the cafe.
Mahoney was killed on July 6, 1997, at the coffee store during a shooting that was described as a robbery, though – just as in the Rich murder case – nothing was taken.
Mahoney’s co-workers, Emory Allen Evans and Aaron David Goodrich. A man named Carl Derek Havord Cooper was arrested and charged with their murders in March 1999. Cooper pleaded guilty and said he went to Starbucks to rob the store after it had closed. He said he ordered Mahoney, Evans and Goodrich to the back of the store, but he claimed Mahoney attempted to grab his gun. Cooper said that’s when he shot her and the other two employees and then made his escape, fearing the gunfire would alert authorities. Goodrich made the confession after a 54-hour interrogation. He later recanted, but was found guilty.
Mahoney was shot five times, once in the back of the head, with the key to the safe in her hand. The safe, which held $10,000, wasn’t touched. Despite the Starbucks’ location in a densely populated neighborhood, no one reported hearing gunfire, sparking speculation that the gunman used a silencer.
The murders took place during pre-trail media coverage of Paula Jones’ lawsuit against Bill Clinton for sexual harassment.
During his trial, the Washington Post reported Cooper told FBI agents, “I swear on my father’s grave and my son’s life that I didn’t do Starbucks.”
Eric Butera: Beaten to death
Eric Butera was an informant who had information about the murder of Mahoney. He was told to help police with an undercover drug buy, during which he was beaten to death on Dec. 4, 1997.
Charles Wilbourne Miller: Gunshot wound to head in a shallow pit
In one case from Nov. 17, 1999, Charles Wilbourne Miller, vice president and board member for Alltel, the company that created the White House’s “Big Brother” computer system, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a shallow pit about 300 yards from his ranch house near Little Rock, Arkansas.
As WND reported, an Arkansas medical examiner concluded Miller, 63, committed “suicide.” Police found a .410 gauge shotgun near Miller’s body and a Ruger .357-caliber revolver submerged in water. Investigators concluded the Ruger was the weapon used by Miller to kill himself. Yet, two rounds in the handgun’s cylinder had been spent.
How could a suicide victim use two weapons or even fire two shots to kill himself?
Miller was no ordinary citizen of Arkansas. He had long served as executive vice president and member of the board of directors for Alltel and was deeply involved in his own software engineering company until the day he died. Alltel was the successor to Jackson Stephens’ Systematics, that company that provided the software for the White House’s “Big Brother” database behind the Clinton administration’s plan to develop the secret computer “Clipper” chip to bug every phone, fax and email transmission in America. There was at least one other high-profile “suicide” among the inner circle involved with the project – Vince Foster.
Kathy Ferguson & Bill Shelton: 2 suicides?
On May 10, 1994, Kathy Ferguson was reported to have died from a suicide in which she shot herself in the head, though her packed bags were found next to her body, possibly indicating she planned to leave her home. Ferguson was the ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, who had been a co-defendant, along with Clinton, in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Danny Ferguson had escorted Paula Jones to Clinton’s hotel room. Kathy Ferguson was a corroborating witness for Paula Jones.
Bill Shelton was the fiance of Kathy Ferguson, and he questioned whether Ferguson had actually committed suicide.
Shelton, too, was reported to have committed suicide with a gun at Ferguson’s grave site.
Ed Willey: Gunshot wound to the mouth
In her book alleging a campaign of slander and intimidation orchestrated chiefly by Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Willey pointed a finger of suspicion at the former first couple for the death of her husband, Ed Willey, who was believed to have killed himself on Nov. 29, 1993.
Kathleen Willey, who said she was groped by President Clinton in the White House, acknowledged in an interview with WND in November 2007 that she stood by the speculation she posed about her husband’s demise in “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.”
Asked if she suspected her husband Ed, a lawyer and son of a prominent Virginia lawmaker, was murdered, Willey replied, “Most definitely.”
Did she believe the Clintons were involved?
“I do have suspicions,” Willey said, “yes.”
It was Ed Willey’s dire financial straits that prompted Kathleen, then a White House volunteer, to seek a meeting with President Clinton in the Oval Office to plead for a paying job and any other help the commander-in-chief could give.
But Willey alleges the Nov. 29, 1993, meeting ended abruptly when the president cornered her in a private passageway and sexually assaulted her.
At the time of that meeting, Clinton and Willey were unaware that Ed Willey was lying dead of a gunshot wound to his mouth in the woods near his car, parked on a hunting path in rural King and Queen County, Virginia.
Kathleen Willey became known in the summer of 1997 after lawyers for Clinton accuser Paula Jones gave her name to a national magazine reporter. She was scheduled to become one of only three witnesses in the Clinton impeachment trial until some members of the House and Senate refused to allow her to testify.
In the book, Willey recounts numerous incidents she believes were designed to terrorize her into silence, with the latest taking place in September, just as the book was in its final stages.
As WND reported, Willey said she was the target of an unusual house burglary over the Labor Day weekend for which she blames the Clintons. While asleep upstairs in her Virginia home, she said, a copy of a manuscript for “Target” was stolen.
Willey told WND the break-in at her house reminded her of the widely reported incident more than a decade ago in which she claimed she was threatened near her present Richmond-area home by a “jogger” just two days before she was to testify against President Clinton in the Jones case.
She contends elements of the autopsy report of her husband’s death are inconsistent with suicide, pointing to similarities to the death of White House aide Vince Foster, also believed to have killed himself.
“I’ve seen too much evidence regarding other people who have been involved with the Clintons,” she told WND.
Facing a deadline to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars he owed to “bad people” who threatened him, Ed Willey had an apparent motive for suicide, and five notes to loved ones were discovered by his secretary.
But Kathleen Willey wrote that “she could never understand how he could leave us,” noting that while the letters are in his writing, “I also know that anyone would write anything at gunpoint.”
What motive could anyone have to murder him?
Willey wrote that after her husband’s death, her friend Carole in Colorado told her something she had not known. Ed had confided to Carole’s husband that he had taken a briefcase full of cash to Little Rock, Ark., during the presidential campaign.
Willey said she was shocked but acknowledged her husband could have done it. Later she found a reference on a blog that explored illegal fundraising activities by the Clintons and noted Ed Willey was known for “handling large briefcases full of cash” as part of the 1992 presidential campaign.
She speculated: “I have no idea how anyone other than the Clintons would know that Ed might have carried cash in briefcases. So why would he be killed? Because he was carrying illegal money? That’s probably not enough reason. But what if, in his desperation, Ed had ‘illegally borrowed’ from the campaign?”
In the book, Willey says she goes back and forth in her mind on what happened to her husband, and “as I do, the possibility lingers, logical or not, that Ed was murdered.”
Susan Coleman: Gunshot wound to back of head
Susan Coleman, who was pregnant at the time of her death on Feb. 15, 1977, was rumored to have had an affair with Clinton while he was still Arkansas attorney general. Clinton had been Coleman’s law professor at the university of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Though Coleman died of a gunshot wound to the back of her head, her death was ruled a suicide.
More DNC-linked deaths in 2016
Around the time of Rich’s murder, other individuals linked to the DNC died, though their deaths were determined to be accidental or due to natural causes.
As WND reported, Joe Montano, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee before Debbie Wasserman Schultz and was an aide to Hillary’s running-mate, Tim Kaine, reportedly died of a heart attack on Aug. 1, 2016, after the WikiLeaks DNC email dump. Montano was only 47.
In yet another DNC-related death, this one less than a month after Rich was murdered, attorney Shawn Lucas, 38, was found dead in his bathroom.
On July 3, 2016, Lucas helped serve the DNC with a lawsuit claiming then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton.”
Attorney Shawn Lucas
The complaint was served before Wasserman Schultz resigned amid the WikiLeaks email scandal on July 24.
Less than one month after he helped serve the lawsuit, Lucas’ girlfriend found him dead in his bathroom. Lucas reportedly died of polypharmacy overdose, which is an overdose caused by a lethal combination of drugs. According to Heavy, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of Washington, D.C., said in November 2016 that Lucas’ death was accidental and was caused by the “combined adverse effects of fentanyl [a synthetic opioid pain medication], cyclobenzaprine [a muscle relaxant], and mitragynine [better known as kraton].”
Other mysterious deaths of Clinton friends and associates
Former U.N. official John Ashe with Hillary Clinton
On June 22, 2016, former United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe was found dead in His New York home, and the cause of death was reported as a heart attack, as WND reported. But the local Dobbs Ferry police said “his throat had been crushed, presumably by a barbell he dropped while pumping iron.”
“The death by barbell of disgraced U.N. official John Ashe could become a bigger obsession for conspiracy theorists than Vince Foster’s 1993 suicide,” the report by Richard Johnson said.
It’s because Ashe was scheduled to testify in just days with Chinese businessman and co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who was accused of smuggling $4.5 million into the U.S. and lying that it was to buy casino chips and more.
The New York Post said Ng earlier was identified in a 1998 Senate document “as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration.”
“One source told me,” Johnson wrote, “‘During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed.”
“Could this be Hillary Clinton silencing people who ‘know too much?’” questioned Kosar in the Political Insider. “We know there are at least 46 people from Clinton world who have died under mysterious circumstances. While some are certainly a coincidence, it is very clear that being deeply connected into the Clinton political world can be hazardous to your health.
“In this case, no definite evidence exists that it was murder and Ashe’s own lawyer disagrees with the theory. However, with Hillary Clinton’s track record, it’s definitely worth further investigation.”
The Post said Ashe formerly was the head of the U.N. General Assembly and was facing criminal charges in a federal bribery case.
He was from the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, and was accused of taking kickbacks in exchange for promises for real-estate deals and more, the report said.
Charles Ruff, 61, an influential lawyer in Washington, D.C., who defended Clinton during his Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment trial, reportedly died “after an accident at his Washington home” on Nov. 20, 2000. One report said he was found unconscious outside his shower. Other reports indicated he had a heart attack.
The London Guardian reported:
Ruff’s initial involvement with the Clinton White House came from defending one of Hillary Clinton’s principal assistants, Ira Magaziner, who helped to prepare her ill-fated healthcare plan. Magaziner was accused of perjury, but in a complex presentation to the US attorney’s office in Washington, Ruff managed to shift the blame to some unspecified White House officials and Magaziner was never charged.
It was against this background that Ruff became President Clinton’s fifth White House counsel within four years. As the ripples of the Whitewater affair widened and allegations about the president’s sexual behaviour proliferated, insiders joked that Clinton needed a lawyer smart enough to do the job and dumb enough to take it. Ruff defended his recruitment with the comment: “When the president of the United States asks you to do something, you don’t say, ‘Let me think about it.’ You say, ‘How can I help you, Mr President?’”
On April 28, 2000, Carlos Ghigliotti, a key figure in the Waco congressional investigation, was found mysteriously dead in his home outside Washington, D.C. His badly decomposed body was found sitting at his desk in his office in Laurel, Maryland. Police said there was no evidence of forced entry into his office.
Carlos Ghigliotti, a key figure in the Waco congressional investigation, was found mysteriously dead in his home outside Washington, D.C.
Ghigliotti, 42, a respected expert in the field of thermal imaging, had been retained by the House Government Reform Committee to analyze surveillance film footage taken by means of Forward-Looking Infrared, or FLIR, during the siege and final inferno of Mt. Carmel, the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas. The FLIR footage, which was filmed by FBI aircraft circling two miles above the site, was critical to the case. For years, debate had raged over claims that on April 19, 1993, government agents fired automatic weapons upon Davidians trying to escape as flames engulfed their home. Seventeen children and 62 adults were killed. Ghigliotti had reportedly uncovered additional evidence contradicting government protests of innocence.
Ghigliotti’s friend, attorney David T. Hardy, told WND, “I think he may have known too much. Carlos told me he had discovered things that were much, much worse than anything that had come out yet.”
Johnny Lawhorn Jr.
Johnny Lawhorn Jr., a mechanic, reportedly discovered a large check from Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan made out to Bill Clinton. The check was said to have been found in a car at his repair shop. He was later killed in a car accident on March 29, 1998.
On March 8, 1998, James McDougal, a former business partner of the Clintons and the “brains behind the Whitewater Development Corp.,” reportedly died of cardiac arrest in a federal prison hospital at the age of 58. He had been cooperating with independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the Whitewater investigation. “His death appears to reduce the legal risks to President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was a clear setback to Starr and his prosecutors, who huddled in their offices last night after McDougal’s death was announced,” the Baltimore Sun reported the day after McDougal died.
The Whitewater investigation began in 1994 with accusations of impropriety against the Clintons and others concerning improper campaign contributions, political and financial favors, and tax benefits. Its initial subject was a failed Arkansas real-estate venture involving the Clintons in the 1980s that was linked to the collapse of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, a Little Rock savings bank run by McDougal and his wife, Susan. James and Susan McDougal went to prison for fraud (James died while serving his sentence), as did former Arkansas Gov. Jim Tucker and municipal judges David Hale and Eugene Fitzhugh.
Hale had claimed Bill Clinton insisted that he acquire a fraudulent $300,000 government-backed loan in 1986.
After McDougal was convicted in 1996, he was prepared to testify that Clinton was lying and Hale was telling the truth.
“I just got sick and tired of lying for the fellow,” he said in a 1997 TV interview. “Yes, I was trying to protect him.”
The Sun reported, “McDougal told prosecutors that he steered Madison legal business to Hillary Clinton’s Rose Law Firm at the Clintons’ request. Mrs. Clinton has denied that assertion. In an interview on ‘Larry King Live,’ McDougal said that if the first lady told the grand jury the same story she told the public, ‘then she has perjured herself.’”
As WND reported, in a little-publicized, little-noticed state government regulatory hearing in Oklahoma, Hillary Clinton, former White House Chief of Staff Thomas F. “Mac” McLarty III, the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and a convicted Clinton fundraiser were linked by witnesses to a scandal involving massive overcharges in natural gas prices, money laundering and more.
Nolanda Butler Hill, a former business partner of Brown, testified before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission that Clinton, Brown and McLarty were all up to their eyeballs in a scam designed to bilk consumers out of $35 million to $65 million in overcharges. The commission suspected at least one supplier, Dynamic Energy Resources, charged far more than market prices.
Dynamic Energy Resources was started by Nora and Gene Kung Ho Lum, who had no prior experience in the oil and gas business. But they were politically connected. The Lums, associates of John Huang and James Riady, would later be sentenced to prison and fined for illegal campaign contributions to President Clinton as well as tax evasion.
To get their feet wet in the gas business, however, the Lums called on Stuart Price, a Democrat congressional candidate for Oklahoma’s first district and himself a Clinton fundraiser. Price, too, was well connected. His wife’s uncle was Sen. George Mitchell, then majority leader of the U.S. Senate. But to cover all the bases, the Lums also cut in Michael Brown, son of the Democratic National Committee president and later Commerce secretary, for 5 percent of the deal.
Helen Yee was placed on the board. Her daughter, Melinda Yee, was Ron Brown’s personal assistant at Commerce. The younger Yee had handled arrangements for foreign-trade missions involving Democratic Party contributors. Yee had also worked for the Lums during the 1992 presidential campaign. The Lums’ daughter, Trisha, had worked for Ron Brown at Commerce.
“In other words,” as WND CEO and Editor Joseph Farah explained in 2001, “this was a real inside job. It wasn’t so much a matter of what you knew at Dynamic Energy Resources, but who you knew.”
On Oct. 2, 1992, Commissioner Bob Anthony announced that he had been assisting the FBI in uncovering corruption inside the regulatory agency. ARKLA (Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co.) lobbyist William Anderson and Commissioner Bob Hopkins were later convicted in a bribery case. There were allegations against other utility executives, but the Clinton Justice Department reportedly passed on prosecution. Anthony said he received covert payments from top executives at ARKLA when it had multimillion-dollar rate cases before the commission. The chairman of ARKLA was none other than Mac McLarty.
And that’s where Hill’s January testimony comes in.
“I learned several years ago, through my association with the late Ronald H. Brown, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and secretary of Commerce, about the involvement of a highly placed Clinton administration official, Mac McLarty, in what became an egregious financial transaction centered around the supplying of gas to ONG,” she said.
Hill recalled a spring 1993 meeting with Brown and first lady Hillary Clinton in which she “acknowledged his efforts toward resolution of Mac McLarty’s problem in Oklahoma.” Hill said she warned Brown off any involvement. But Brown told her “it was critically important for him to help Mr. McLarty in any way he could, as he, Secretary Brown, remained an outsider as regarded what he called the ‘Arkansas Mafia.’”
Brown later died in a plane crash in Croatia. A cylindrical hole in his head, the size of a .45-caliber round, was never explained. No autopsy was performed.
Ron Miller, a principal in GAGE Corp., another utility, began cooperating with the FBI shortly after Anthony announced his role with the agency, vowing, according to sources, to “vigorously pursue those who directed the conduct of Mr. Anderson.” After selling his company, Miller also helped news reporters and other government authorities – including investigators with the Government Reform and Oversight Committee – to nail the Lums.
Miller turned over to the FBI on Aug. 5, 1997, 165 tape-recordings of conversations he had with the Lums and their associates. He was interviewed by the congressional committee staff Aug. 12. On Sept. 2, the committee subpoenaed documents from Miller concerning Brown, the Lums and Dynamic Energy Resources.
Three days later, the committee deposed McLarty. He denied knowing the Lums, and questions about ARKLA and its convicted lobbyist were largely diverted by his attorneys. Seven days later, PBS “Frontline” broadcast interviews with Miller and Anthony. The congressional committee was set to begin formal proceedings Oct. 8.
But on Oct. 3, Miller, 58, was admitted to the hospital with an unknown illness. He died nine days later on Oct. 12, 1997. The cause is still unknown.
Before his death, Miller told a few people he feared for his life. In a police report in January 1997, he identified Don Sweatman as the man who told him: “You hadn’t been shot at yet.” And who was Sweatman? He was associated with the Lums, often dropped Ron Brown’s name and, according to others, sometimes identified himself as “Bill Clinton’s personal representative.”
Miller’s death is still a mystery.
On April 3, 1996, Ron Brown, who had served as U.S. secretary of commerce, was killed in a plane crash after Hillary Clinton dispatched him on a dubious mission to a war-torn corner of the world, as WND reported. Brown and 34 others died when their Air Force plane crashed into a Croatian mountainside. Brown’s flight left the Tuzla airport in Bosnia, a Muslim country where some were hostile to the American presence there.
“To protect his son Michael from prison, Ron Brown threatened to expose the White House’s yet unrevealed Asian fundraising scheme, in which Brown had played a major role,” wrote WND contributor and investigative writer Jack Cashill. “Just weeks before his death, Brown started going to church for the first time in ages. He was scared for his life and that of his confidante, Nolanda Hill.”
Bill Clinton and Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
Cashill noted that the Croatian government suddenly insisted on a Dubrovnik stop, a two-mile deviation from the flight path that the Air Force said was “inexplicable.”
“For the first time ever on friendly soil, the White House ordered the Air Force to skip the ‘safety’ phase of the investigation and move directly to the ‘accident’ phase,” Cashill wrote. “There would be no consideration other than accident, even though the airport was near the Bosnian border and in a potential hot fire zone.
“Three days after the crash and two days before his scheduled interview by the Air Force, the Croatian responsible for the airport’s navigation system was found dead with a bullet hole in his chest,” Cashill continued. “A day later, every pathologist who viewed Brown’s body back in America concluded that his head wound, at the very least, looked like a bullet hole.”
There would be no autopsy. No forensic testing. No search for an exit wound. Head X-rays were destroyed, or “lost.”
“The three Armed Forces pathologists and the forensic photographer who blew the whistle on this case had their careers destroyed,” Cashill wrote. “… [T]he Armed Forces Institute of Pathology brass assured the public that Brown dies of ‘multiple blunt force injuries to the head.’ He was the only one of the 35 victims to have a reported head wound.”
Jon Parnell Walker
Jon Parnell Walker fell to his death from the top of the Lincoln Towers building in Arlington, Virginia, on Aug. 15, 1993.
On July 10, 1994, Connecticut’s The Day newspaper reported, “In March 1992, Walker, and investigator for the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), had contacted the Kansas City RTC regional office for information concerning possible ties between Whitewater Development, Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan [above] and the Clintons.”