The Vince Foster Case

101 Peculiarities Surrounding
the Death of Vincent Foster

Richard L. Franklin

Please bear in mind that the purpose of this catalog is rather modest. I merely want to highlight what I see as a large number of gross “peculiarities” surrounding the Foster case. I hope to convey to the reader some sense of the sheer weight of over 100 discrepancies and unanswered questions. Also bear in mind that the number “101” is itself a modest number. As a practical matter, I was forced to omit dozens of striking anomalies.

As you read this long list, consider that Vince Foster’s death was almost immediately labeled a suicide by the U.S. Park Police. Normal procedure in the case of a violent death is to treat it as a homicide until all doubts are resolved. Despite this, a homicide investigation was never launched. Even before the death scene or the body had been inspected, a suicide confirmation process was under way. In her sworn Senate testimony, senior Park Police officer Cheryl Braun said, “We made that determination [of suicide] prior to going up and looking at the body.” From that point on, all police and FBI efforts were directed toward collecting evidence that would support the suicide verdict. No effort has ever been made to seek or collect evidence supporting a possible homicide. Instead of seeing a proper homicide investigation, we have seen Foster’s death become mired in a morass of lies, confusion, and conflicting evidence. Faced with this labyrinth, I knew that any hope of putting together a challenge-proof list of over 100 items was unrealistic. Is it possible there are errors in this catalog? Certainly. Nonetheless, I am confident 90% of these assertions will hold up with time. For any rational person, the weight of 90-plus discrepancies must still remain staggering.

1. The man who discovered the body in Ft. Marcy Park says he was curious about the cause of death and looked closely for a gun. He emphatically says there was no gun in either hand. The FBI put great pressure on this witness to change his testimony. Why? Did he interrupt the staging of a suicide that was only completed after he had left the scene?

2. The powder-burn patterns found on both Foster’s hands apparently came from powder discharged from the front of a gun cylinder. If he had been gripping the handle, his hands would have had stain patterns consistent with powder discharged from the rear of the cylinder.

3. The gun was still in Foster’s hand. It is unusual for a .38 caliber weapon to remain in a person’s hand after discharge. Propelled by its powerful recoil, a .38 normally is thrown a considerable distance, sometimes as much as 15 feet. It is true a spasmodic reflex sometimes freezes the fingers around the gun; however, when the gun was removed from Foster’s hand, his fingers were still flexible, indicating such a reflex never took place.

4. There was no blood or tissue on the gun. Normally, the force of such a powerful explosion within the mouth blows back a large amount of blood and tissue.

5. No fingerprints were found on the exterior of the gun. The FBI claims this was due to a lack of sweat on Foster’s hands. Consider that the temperature that afternoon passed 95 degrees, and the temperature-humidity index reached 103 (this estimates the effect of temperature and moisture on humans, with 65 considered the highest comfortable level). Furthermore, a man about to fire a gun in his mouth is likely to be sweating excessively. If the FBI explanation is scientifically true, one has to conclude it is exceedingly rare to find prints on any weapon.

6. The FBI lab found two fingerprints underneath the removable hand grips. These prints did not belong to Foster. No effort was made to identify these prints through the FBI’s computerized data bank. (The FBI did try to find samples of prints belonging to Foster’s father.)

7. The gun was made up of parts from at least two guns. Consider that professional killers often use guns made from several guns to make them untraceable. These are known as “drop guns.”

8. There is no evidence this gun belonged to Foster. Nor is there any evidence this gun fired the fatal shot.

9. When Lisa Foster went to look for her husband’s silver gun in its normal place, she found a strange gun. No member of the Foster family recognized this gun. Did somebody make a swap? If so, who made the exchange? And for what purpose?

10. The gun in Foster’s hand, as shown in an ABC color photo, is clearly black. Members of Foster’s family all agree Foster’s gun was silver. The FBI showed Foster’s widow a silver gun and told her it was the gun found at the scene. Why did the FBI make this substitution?

11. It remains clouded as to what happened to Foster’s silver gun. We know it could not have been the black gun found in Foster’s hand. Was it the silver gun the FBI showed to Lisa Foster? Does the FBI have any proof this gun belonged to Foster? Is it possible the black gun in the ABC photo was merely a “place-holder” gun planted in Foster’s hand until Foster’s own gun could be retrieved?

12. No matching bullets for the crime-scene gun were found on Foster or at his home. The only bullets found in his home were .22 caliber. This suggests Foster’s silver gun was a .22, not a .38. FBI reports do not identify the caliber of the silver handgun in their possession. Why not?

13. The gun contained two cartridges, one spent and one unspent. They were stamped with a code indicating they were high velocity (extra powerful) rounds. This is inconsistent with the fact there was no pool of blood or large exit wound.

14. The rush to deliver a suicide verdict repeatedly corrupted normal police procedures. The gun was an 80-year-old Army Colt Special. Despite the age of the gun, the Park Police did not test it to see if it would actually fire. Six days after the investigation was closed, they asked the BATF to test the gun. The test results were announced five days later, or a total of 11 days after the case had already been closed.

15. Medical technician Richard Arthur was one of the first to reach the death scene. Arthur emphatically says he saw an automatic pistol in Foster’s hand. His description of the weapon is very precise and correctly matches the profile of an automatic. He adamantly swears it had a barrel with straight lines as opposed to a tubular shape and a hand grip that was “square in shape.” If his testimony is correct, it suggests an automatic was replaced with a revolver sometime after the
police arrived.

16. Gun powder residue on Foster’s glasses and clothing did not come from the gun found in his hand.

17. Foster’s glasses were found 19 feet from his head at the bottom of the embankment his body was found on. The Park Police have theorized that his glasses “jumped” to the bottom of the slope when the gun went off. High underbrush covered most of the slope. The police explanation suggests his glasses were propelled through 19 feet of this dense growth. Consider that his head would have been slammed backward against the embankment as his glasses flew toward the ditch. What force could have thrust his glasses 19 feet in the opposite direction? No tests were conducted to test this implausible theory. An earlier theory was that he threw his glasses into the ravine prior to killing himself. The presence of gun powder on his glasses refuted this odd explanation.

18. Five homes are located an average of 490 feet from the crime scene, yet nobody in the neighborhood heard a shot. The residence of the Saudi Arabia ambassador is 700 feet from the crime scene. Guards at the residence heard no shot. Presumably the sound of a shot would greatly alarm trained bodyguards. This anomaly is neatly accounted for if (1) a silencer was used, or (2) Foster was shot at another location.

19. The Saudi bodyguards and the neighbors living near the crime scene were not interviewed until months later. This was a gross disregard of police procedure. Evidence trails grow cold quickly, memories fade, people move, and witnesses become recalcitrant.

20. Authorities claim the bullet exited the rear of Foster’s skull. This bullet has never been found. Why not? A bullet smashing through a skull loses most of its force and rarely travels far. Is it because the bullet never exited the rear of Foster’s skull? Bear in mind there is substantial eyewitness testimony indicating no such exit wound existed.

21. Several people who were at the crime scene say there was little or no blood under Foster’s head. A .38 caliber weapon firing a high-velocity slug normally makes a large exit hole and produces a huge pool of blood. Following a fatal shot to the brain, the heart keeps pumping until it runs out of blood. This action can last as long as two minutes, thusly expelling a massive quantity of blood. The lack of blood raises two questions: (1) Did Foster die elsewhere? (2) Was the shot to the head administered after he was dead? A careful consideration of these possibilities was precluded by the frantic rush to support an official suicide verdict.

22. X-rays of Foster’s skull have either vanished or never were taken. Dr. James Beyer, who did the autopsy, has made contradictory statements as to whether he took X-rays. This controversy remains unresolved.

23. Foster’s head was moved after his death and before crime-scene photos were taken. Was this done intentionally? Or was it merely the product of an inept crime-scene investigation? The FBI report indicates the head was moved while the blood was still wet. This claim is intriguing because it suggests the head was moved before investigators arrived.

24. In his written report, paramedic Corey Ashford listed the death as a homicide. Did he do this because he thought it was obviously a homicide? Or was he only following proper police procedure by initially treating a violent death as a homicide?

25. Only a few trickles of dried blood were found on Foster’s face.One of these trickles had run uphill in defiance of gravity. This fact alone should have alerted the Park Police to the possibility Foster’s body had been moved from another location or the body had been tampered with after death.

26. The Army Colt .38 Special has a high sight and a bulky ejector-rod head. These items normally do significant damage to the teeth and mouth when the gun barrel is explosively expelled from the mouth. Foster’s teeth were not chipped, nor was his mouth damaged. The good condition of his mouth has never been explained by the FBI or Park Police. Is it possible a silencer was used? Consider that a silencer is a smooth, round extension that has no sight or ejector rod.

27. No blow-back of blood or tissue was found on the gun, on Foster’s hand, or on his sleeve. Most homicide experts believe this is physically impossible given the power of the Colt .38. How does one account for this discrepancy? A much-discussed theory is that Foster was killed with a .22 caliber pistol. Consider that this small weapon is a favorite of professional killers. There are four good reasons for this: (1) it makes far less noise than a larger weapon; (2) rather than blasting through a person’s head, its less powerful bullet tends to ricochet within the skull, doing lethal brain damage; (3) it does this deadly work without generating a blowout of the brain case, a pool of blood, or splattered brain parts; (4) there is almost no blow-back of atomized blood droplets to mark the assassin’s clothing with DNA.

28. No skull fragments were found at the scene, even though a .38 fired into the mouth normally inflicts severe damage as the slug blows out the back of the brain case. Park Police officer John Rolla observed, “There was no blowout. There weren’t brains running all over the place. . . I initially thought the bullet might still be in his head.” This is consistent with the theory a .22 was used to kill Foster. Why have Rolla’s observations been ignored?

29. All the paramedics who handled Foster’s body said they did not see an exit wound in Foster’s head. Corey Ashford helped lift Foster’s body into a body bag. While doing so, he cradled Foster’s head against his stomach. Ashford’s white shirt remained immaculate following this contact. Nor did he have to wash his hands. He says this is highly unusual in gunshot deaths, which are normally extremely messy.

30. Dr. Julian Orenstein, the doctor who certified Foster’s death at the morgue, says he did not see any exit wound in Foster’s head. The fact is all the people who initially handled the body say they did not see an exit wound. Consider that none of these people had a vested interest in the operative suicide conclusion.

31. Dr. Donald Haut, the medical examiner who visited the death site, has steadfastly supported the suicide conclusion. He told the FBI he saw an exit wound. He also stated it “was consistent with a low velocity weapon” (jargon for a small gun such as a .22). In other words, it was a small wound with little blood. Later he repeated his comments about a lack of blood to reporter Chris Ruddy. Haut later denied this in an interview with CBS reporter Mike Wallace. Why did Haut change what he had previously said on two separate occasions? Even more puzzling, why would he deny this when he knew Ruddy had tape recorded his comments?

32. A medical technician at the death scene says he saw a small, circular wound on Foster’s neck, just below the jaw line. He says it “looked like a small-caliber entrance wound.” (For reasons stated below, one has to consider the possibility this was an exit wound.)

33. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a respected British reporter, claims he has seen a photo of this wound. He says the wound was on “the right-hand side, about halfway along the jaw and about an inch below the jaw.” He describes it as “a clearly visible wound about the size of a dime… It has the appearance of a small-calibre gunshot wound.” He later said in a radio interview that the “wound on the neck is the origin and source of the blood that comes down the neck and trickles down the collar.”

34. According to Hugh Sprunt, a highly respected Foster researcher, “White House sources… did indicate to the media very shortly after the death that two different guns were involved in the shooting a .22 and one a .38.” Park Police notes of 7/26/93 also mention this, adding that the information came from the FBI.

35. Dr. John Haut signed a document dated July 20, 1993, entitled “Report of Investigation of Medical Examiner.” In the words of Hugh Sprunt, “Page two says ‘Self-inflicted gunshot wound mouth-neck’ and there appears to be an alteration on page one from ‘Perforating gunshot wound mouth-neck’ to ‘Perforating gunshot wound mouth-head.'” It is probably more precise to say whiteout was used on page one to cover what appears to be a four-letter word, possibly “neck.” The word
“head” was typed next to this. Looking at this document, one notes that “head” is slightly higher than the rest of the typing. In other words, the document was removed from the typewriter and later re-inserted to alter it. Why? Consider that a .22 caliber slug fired into the mouth often ricochets and exits through soft locations such as the neck. “Mouth-neck” on a report indicates the gun was discharged in the mouth and the slug exited through the neck.

36. According to the FBI, no “coherent soil” from the park was found on Foster’s shoes. Investigators for the independent Scalise Report had two men walk the trail to the death site wearing shoes similar to Foster’s. In both cases, their shoes picked up microscopic dirt from the trail. CBS reporter Mike Wallace did the same experiment and also picked up dirt. In CBS’ televised report on Foster’s death a report that strongly endorsed the suicide conclusion, Wallace neglected to mention this private test. Why did he and CBS conceal this important fact?

37. A tow truck driver says he was sent to the Ft. Marcy Park to remove a car on the evening of Foster’s death. He says the driver’s window was broken, and there was blood on the dash and seats. No in-depth investigation of this odd story has ever been done by the FBI or Park Police. Did the premature suicide conclusion block another obvious path of investigation?

38. Also consider that hairs and multi-colored carpet fibers were found on Foster’s clothing, including his underwear; yet the seat of Foster’s car was never checked for matching hairs or fibers.

39. More significantly, the floor of Foster’s car trunk was not checked for carpet fibers matching those on his clothing. Is it possible his body was transported in the trunk of his car? Is it possible Foster’s body was wrapped in carpet before being transported to Ft. Marcy Park? Once again, the premature suicide verdict seems to have prevented such obvious hypotheses from being explored.

40. The White House discounted the abundance of carpet fibers on Foster’s clothing, claiming they came from his recently re-carpeted home. This was never substantiated by taking samples of carpet fibers from the Foster home for comparison.

41. If a person dies in a supine position, blood settles to the back of the body where it creates lividity marks. If the body is moved, gravity may pull blood to other parts of the body where it will imprint new marks. It was imperative for the police to strip Foster’s body and check its entire surface for lividity marks before taking it to the morgue. This was never done. As usual, the premature suicide verdict eliminated a vital police procedure. And once again, vital forensic evidence was lost or destroyed.

42. The driver’s seat of Foster’s Honda was pushed forward to a position appropriate for a person about 5′ 8″ tall. Foster was nearly 6′ 5″ tall. It would have been extraordinarily difficult for Foster to have driven his car with the seat in this position. Despite this, authorities have persisted in saying Foster drove his car to Ft. Marcy Park. The possibility somebody else drove Foster’s car has been steadfastly rejected.

43. On the afternoon of Foster’s death, at least four eyewitnesses saw an older-model brown car in the exact spot where Foster’s car would later be found. Foster’s car was a light-gray recent model. It materialized in place of the brown car sometime after 6 p.m. In other words, Foster’s car apparently arrived after his body was found. The tardy arrival of Foster’s car was further confirmed by a detective who felt the hood of the car. It was still warm.

44. At least four witnesses saw a briefcase lying on the front seat of Foster’s Honda after the police had arrived. Medical technician George Gonzalez described it as “a black briefcase-attach, case.” This briefcase has vanished. The contents of the briefcase might have shed light on what Foster was doing just prior to his death. Many items of evidence were immediately turned over to the White House. Was Foster’s briefcase among these items?

45. Foster’s pager was found at the scene. Somebody had apparently erased its memory. The Park Police turned it over to the White House within hours of finding it. It is blatantly illegal to give away key evidence, especially to associates of the victim. Coworkers of murder victims are pro forma suspects in homicide investigations. Any officer turning over physical evidence to potential suspects would normally face serious charges. Instead, praise and promotions were heaped on the Park Police by a grateful White House. Cheryl Braun, for example, was promoted to sergeant.

46. All the crime-scene photos taken with a 35 millimeter camera were “overexposed” or have vanished. Furthermore, most of the Polaroid photos of the crime scene have vanished or are blurred. This includes shots of Foster’s back taken by officer John Rolla. Rolla’s photos presumably would have confirmed (or refuted) the lack of a blood pool and a large exit wound, anomalies mentioned by several witnesses.

47. Miquel Rodriguez, an early member of the independent counsel’s office, was suspicious of the “original” Polaroid of Foster’s neck. His FBI staff repeatedly told him it was the original, and that was all they had. With the help of an accomplice, Rodriguez uncovered a hidden file of photos containing the actual original. He took the original and the blurred copy to outside photographic experts who determined that somebody had taken a photo of the original and then altered it to hide what appeared to be a small-caliber neck wound.

48. Mark Tuohey was head of the Office of Independent Counsel in Washington. He took Rodriguez aside and warned him he was not to challenge the findings of the Fiske Report. In other words, Rodriguez was given explicit orders not to challenge the suicide verdict.

49. Rodriguez told Kenneth Starr he wanted to summon FBI agents before the grand jury to compel sworn testimony concerning their handling of evidence. He also wanted to bring in private experts to evaluate evidence. Starr refused both requests and told him to wrap up the investigation as quickly as possible. When Rodriguez balked,Starr forced him to hand in his resignation.

50. Shortly thereafter, Starr dismissed the grand jury that had been getting information from Rodriguez and formed a new one. The new jury was not made privy to the thousands of pages of facts that Rodriguez had presented to the previous jury.

52. James Beyer, the deputy medical examiner, did the autopsy. At the time, Beyer was under considerable public suspicion for having previously labeled two obvious homicides as suicides. Since Foster’s body was found in Ft. Marcy Park, the autopsy fell under Dr. Beyer’s jurisdiction. Those who wanted a quick suicide verdict could not have hoped for a more compliant medical examiner than Dr. Beyer. If finding the body in Ft Marcy Park was a coincidence, it surely was a
convenient coincidence.

53. The X-rays are missing. Dr. Beyer told a Park Police investigator X-rays had not revealed any bullet fragments in Foster’s head. He later claimed he never took X-rays. Which statement is true? More tothe point, which is false?

54. Contrary to reports in the media, nothing that could plausibly pass for a suicide note was found. The note found by Bernie Nussbaum’s aide looks more like a list of reasons for returning to Arkansas, something Foster had been seriously contemplating. In fact, his wife says she had encouraged him to write such a list.

55. This alleged “suicide” note had been torn into 28 pieces. All but one of the pieces were found in one of Foster’s briefcases. This happened after the briefcase already had been searched twice by Bernie Nussbaum in the presence of Park Police. The missing piece was from the lower right-hand corner, the precise spot where Foster’s signature would presumably have appeared. Consider these facts: (1) a person’s signature is the most difficult item to forge; (2) forged suicide notes are often torn up in an effort to make it more difficult to verify the handwriting; (3) homicide experts believe a late-appearing suicide note must always be viewed with suspicion.

56. No fingerprints were found on the note despite the fact Foster allegedly had torn it into 28 pieces. Only Bernie Nussbaum’s palm print was found. Why would Foster wear gloves to tear up this list? And why would he tear it up in the first place? And what was Bernie Nussbaum doing handling critical evidence? Why did it take a week for the note to surface? How could Nussbaum have missed seeing the 27
pieces after having searched the briefcase twice?

57. Three handwriting experts independently concluded the note is a forgery. One of the experts, Reginald Alton of Oxford University, is arguably the most eminent handwriting expert in the world. He judged the forgery to be the clumsy work of an amateur.

58. When these experts held a press conference to announce their findings, the forum was almost completely boycotted by the mainstream media. These findings were a stunning development with dramatic implications. Why was this story almost totally ignored by the American media?

59. The handwriting “expert” for the Park Police had previously declared the note authentic. This “expert” has had no training in handwriting analysis and only does it as a hobby. Furthermore, he used only one sample of Foster’s handwriting, a clearly inadequate exemplar to work from. Trained experts prefer 20 to 30 exemplars, with 10 being a bare minimum.

60. When Foster’s wallet was found on the seat of his car, it contained a note with the names and phone numbers of three psychiatrists. When they were contacted, they said they did not know Foster and had never talked to him. Miquel Rodriguez and others in the Office of the Independent Counsel noted that the numbers jotted down on the note were visibly different from the way Foster wrote numbers.

61. The Park Police Department was immediately assigned to the investigation. Normally an investigation into the violent death of one of the highest officers of the federal government is handled by the FBI.

62. However, it now seems clear the entire time the Park Police worked on the case, the FBI was secretly involved. Did the WhiteHouse direct this subterfuge? If so, for what purpose?

63. The White House fired William Sessions, the head of the FBI, the day before Foster’s body was found. He was fired on charges of misusing minor perks. It was the first time in history a president had fired a head of the FBI. Sessions would later declare his firing had “seriously compromised” the Foster investigation.

64. The Park Police lead investigator assigned to the case had never handled a homicide case. Once again, the premature suicide conclusion compromised the investigation by directing it away from a homicide investigation. Was it the lead investigator’s job to rubber stamp a preordained suicide verdict?

65. The White House did not comply with police requests that Vince Foster’s office be immediately sealed following his death.

66. Later that night, police officers would passively sit outside Foster’s office, while White House aides freely went in and out. Since Foster’s office was technically part of a crime scene, this was a gross violation of police procedures.

67. White House aides were seen ransacking Foster’s office. A Secret Service agent saw Maggie Williams moving Foster’s files to her office. No efforts were made by the Park Police to recover this potential evidence. Why was this criminal interference with a police investigation tolerated?

68. Foster’s administrative assistant, Deborah Gorham, has testified that Foster’s file index, the document listing everything contained in his files, has vanished. Several other documents and letters, known by Gorham to have been in Foster’s safe, have also vanished.

69. Ms. Gorham testified that Bernie Nussbaum demanded the combination to Foster’s safe after he learned of Foster’s death. Technically, Foster’s safe was part of a crime scene. It is possible it contained critical evidence.

70. It is not known whether Foster’s appointment book was in his briefcase or his office. In any case, it has vanished. It would be considered important evidence in a homicide investigation. This is especially true in the case of Foster, whose whereabouts for the five hours preceding his death are unknown. Unaccountably, the disappearance of the appointment book has been ignored. As usual, the premature suicide conclusion insulated the investigation from a striking anomaly.

71. At the crime scene, Park Police officer John Rolla searched Foster’s pockets for personal effects. Officers Cheryl Braun and Christine Hodakievic watched while Rolla carefully searched Foster’s front and back pockets. Rolla found nothing. Foster’s wallet and credit cards were found in his Honda, but his car keys were missing. One of the most remarkable aspects of the crime-scene investigation is that the absence of the car keys never dampened the operative suicide conclusion.

72. Later that evening, Braun and Rolla went to the morgue to search Foster’s pockets a second time. Presumably they were ordered to so. Upon arriving, Braun immediately found two key rings in Foster’s right front pocket. One ring had four keys. How did Rolla miss them the first time? Two key rings with six keys inside a front pocket should have presented a bulky outline. Even a simple police “pat down” should have been enough to discover the keys. Who ordered Braun and Rolla to
the morgue to look for the keys a second time? Why was this order given?

73. Foster was easily identified using the photos on his White House pass and his driver’s license. The White House was then notified. White House aide Craig Livingstone was ordered to the morgue to “identify” the body. He called special counsel William Kennedy and asked him to meet him at the morgue. The reason for this rush to the morgue remains murky. The body had already been positively identified and two officers had already been dispatched to notify the Foster family. Kennedy was waiting at the morgue when Craig Livingstone arrived. Why couldn’t Kennedy do the identification alone? What was Livingstone expected to bring to the “identification”?

74. What transpired at the morgue is unclear. Livingstone and Kennedy must have asked for access to the body. It seems probable the two men did gain physical access, possibly an illegal act. Since civilian access to the body during a police investigation would have been improper, morgue supervisor Christina Tea must have balked. Did she call the Park Police commanding officer for an okay?. What would the commanding officer do in such a situation? Call the White House? Normally, family and friends must view a body from behind a glass window in a separate room. This regulation apparently was bypassed by Livingstone and Kennedy. Why couldn’t they have made the “identification” in the usual manner?

75. The chronology of activities is noteworthy. Shortly after Kennedy and Livingstone left the morgue, officers Rolla and Braun arrived and found the missing car keys. Bear in mind that Foster’s car keys were essential to the suicide hypothesis. When the keys suddenly appeared, the suicide verdict was rescued from a serious, if not fatal, discrepancy. Some observers have referred to this as the “magic keys” incident.

76. There are good reasons to doubt the White House claim it did not learn of Foster’s death until 8.30 p.m. At about 6.15 p.m., White House aide Helen Dickey called the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas, to tell the governor Foster had killed himself. The call was received by trooper Roger Perry. He has said in a sworn affidavit (which subjects him to perjury charges) that he received the call about 6.15 p.m. Washington time. He states Ms. Dickey was crying. She told him Foster had shot himself in the White House parking lot. Perry says he promptly called several people to tell them the news. Among them was trooper Larry Patterson and former state police commander Lynn Davis. Both these men have signed affidavits attesting to these calls. Time estimates vary, but all three men agree the calls took place during rush-hour traffic in Little Rock. As a final note, consider that Ken Starr has never interviewed Helen Dickey.

78. That evening, at 8.30 p.m., Bill Clinton was waiting to be interviewed by Larry King. As Clinton was being prepared in the White House by a makeup artist, he chatted with Mack McLarty. According to the makeup artist, a male aide entered the room and told Clinton, “They found a note in Foster’s office.” This seems to contradict Clinton’s claim he was not told about Foster’s death until after his 9 p.m. interview with Larry King. Robert Fiske deposed the makeup artist, but her sworn statement was not included in the Fiske Report, one of many peculiar gaps in his porous report.

79. Patrick Knowlton drove into the parking lot at Ft. Marcy Park on July 20, 1993, the day of Foster’s death. He was looking for a place to relieve himself. As he was about to leave his car, he saw a dark-skinned “Hispanic-looking” man who glared at him. Knowlton says the man stared at him with such ferocity he felt intimidated and hid his wallet under his seat. He says he had an odd feeling the man was warning him to stay away. After Foster’s death was announced, Knowlton reported this to the Park Police. In the spring of 1994, an FBI agent finally interviewed Knowlton, nearly one year after Foster’s death. The agent later wrote a report quoting Knowlton as saying he would be unable to identify the man he had seen. Knowlton says this report was false. On the contrary, he had told the agent he remembered the man’s face extremely well and was confident he could identify him. Why did the FBI lie about Knowlton’s statement? Why wasn’t Knowlton invited to look at police photos?

80. Knowlton would later describe the man to a sketch artist for the London Telegraph. This sketch was published in England, but the FBI unaccountably ignored this key evidence. Instead, the FBI launched a campaign of harassment and intimidation of Knowlton. Teams of agents harassed him 24 hours a day. He was followed constantly. Agents on the street used threatening gestures. Cars filled with four agents followed him. His phone rang in the middle of the night. Agents knocked on his door at 3 a.m. A journalist, a private investigator, and many of Knowlton’s friends have witnessed this harassment. Knowlton is currently suing the FBI. Why has the FBI gone to such great lengths to intimidate Knowlton?

81. The Fiske Report makes no mention of Patrick Knowlton. Kenneth Starr refused to interview him until the artist’s sketch appeared in the London Telegraph. When Knowlton was brought before the grand jury, Starr’s prosecutor grilled him with great hostility, treating him as though he were a liar and a charlatan. (Note: The Fiske Report is riddled with lies and omissions. The following ten items (82-91) are examples of this malfeasance.)

82. The Fiske Report says, “Experienced FBI Laboratory Technicians in Washington performed extensive analyses of the physical evidence identified during the investigation.” Not true. The FBI never did any analysis of the hair and fiber evidence.

83. The Fiske Report says, “In addition to conducting interviews, this Office examined documentary and photographic evidence including… documents removed from Foster’s office at the White House and turned over to either the Clinton’s private attorney or the Foster family attorney.” This is ingenuous. For all we know, he may have seen only a handful of innocuous documents. Furthermore, he makes no reference to the documents that were placed in the private living quarters of Hillary Clinton.

84. The Fiske Report says, “The only vehicular entrance [to Ft. Marcy Park] is from the Parkway.” Not true. Fiske unaccountably tries to gloss over the existence of a back road. This road comes 300 feet closer to the body site than the lot where Foster’s Honda was parked. If Foster’s body had been transported to the park, the killers would probably have used this back road because of its privacy and proximity.

85. Besides ignoring this back road, Fiske pays little heed to the condition of the ground leading to Foster’s body. The relatively steep slope (about 45 degrees) drops down to a ditch. As described by a witness, the underbrush from the body down to the ditch and up the other side of the ditch had been trampled down. Foster could not have flattened this amount of underbrush without climbing up and down the slope several times. In other words, the swath looked like it had been created by several people climbing the slope. This trampled path led toward the old road that Fiske has not acknowledged. Once again, the operative suicide verdict precluded a reasonable theory: namely that Foster’s body had been brought in via the old road and carried over this trampled path by several men.

86. Fiske interviewed a couple that had been in the parking lot. His report states, “Neither individual heard a gunshot while in the Park or observed anything unusual.” This contradicts what the woman told the Park Police. She told officers she had noticed two men hovering around a Honda with its hood up. Was this Foster’s car? How can this be dismissed as not being “unusual”?

87. The Fiske Report only briefly refers to Foster’s car keys, saying, “The keys to the car were located in Foster’s pants pocket.” This is clearly misleading.

88. The Fiske Report tried to make a case for Foster being deeply depressed before his suicide. Fiske says, “Although no one noticed a loss of appetite, it was obvious to many that he had lost weight.” There is no basis for this claim. Based on Foster’s medical records, Foster actually gained six pounds during the time frame in question. Fiske saw these medical records. Why did he invent a weight loss?

89. In order to promote the suicide conclusion, Fiske and others have argued Foster was deeply depressed. This runs contrary to statements by all of Foster’s friends and professional associates. None detected any signs of depression, and they were all stunned by his suicide. Fiske brazenly altered or twisted the statements of all those
witnesses who said they saw no signs of depression in Foster.

90. Many depositions are conspicuous by their absence. For example: Fiske did not depose Maggie Williams, who was seen carrying boxes of documents from Foster’s office. He did not depose Helen Dickey, who made a 6.15 p.m. call to Little Rock to report that Foster had been found dead in the White House parking lot. Fiske did not depose Craig Livingstone to determine why it was necessary for him to drive to the morgue to join Kennedy for an alleged “identification.” And so forth.

91. The Fiske Report gives the impression that thorough forensic work was done in the original investigation. Some idea of how thorough this work was comes through in Dr. Beyer’s deposition. Consider the following questions and Beyer’s answers: Q: I would assume that most autopsies would be pretty standard but wonder if there is a way to determine if the autopsy on VF was SOP. You used the expression concerning the gunpowder on both hands, that it was interpreted “grossly” as gunpowder.A: “Grossly” noted the appearance of gunpowder. Q: But you didn’t make any more specific identification than that? A: No, sir. Q: Doctor, is it your testimony that your office would not make a determination as to, or make an analysis as to time of death absent a specific request from law enforcement personnel? A: If they wanted assistance, we would furnish it to them. In this particular case, I have no record that it was asked. Q: Did you have the fingernails scraped for debris? A: They didn’t ask for that examination to be done.

92. Beyer’s testimony that the autopsy was “standard” is simply false. When autopsies are done at the request of the police, it is standard procedure for the police department to have investigators present to serve as witnesses and to answer any questions the medical examiner may have. Under White House pressure, Beyer circumvented this by suddenly moving the autopsy up 24 hours. This enabled him to work on the body for an undetermined amount of time with no witnesses present. By the time police investigators arrived, Beyer had removed Foster’s soft palate and tongue and had driven a metal rod throughFoster’s skull to “illustrate” the official “exit wound.” A mysterious “assistant” had been working with Beyer. Beyer refused to identify this assistant to the police. As a final thought, consider that all those who originally handled the body never saw an exit wound in the back of Foster’s skull.

93. Sundry contradictions are found in the medical reports. Dr. Anh Hyunh, who did the blood toxicology, stated in the official repor tthat no Trazodone (an antidepressant) or Valium-derivatives were found in Foster’s blood. Subsequently, the FBI did a report for the Senate Whitewater Committee in which it was stated that Trazodone and Valium-derivatives had been found in Foster’s blood. This would help confirm Fiske’s claims that Foster was depressed, but it directly contradicts the report of Dr. Hyunh, the official toxicologist. Did the FBI falsify evidence to support the depression thesis? We now know from testimony by Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, formerly of the FBI labs, that the labs have a history of tampering with evidence.

94. The FBI reports that have been made available have been drastically censored. Large sections are entirely blacked out. In many cases, one asks why. For example, when Foster’s body was rolled, Officer John Rolla made an observation that was noted in the original report. His remark has been blacked out. Why did the FBI feel it was necessary to delete this? Better yet, why censor any forensic details from a report on a simple suicide?

95. According to Foster’s secretary, approximately six hours before his death, Foster mailed a letter to his mother. He has often been described as a “southern gentleman” with extremely genteel manners. He was especially courtly toward women. He seemingly had a healthy relationship with his mother. Despite this, his letter to his mother, sent only hours before he allegedly killed himself, does not contain a single expression of feeling. There is no hint whatsoever this would
be his last communication with his mother.

96. There is much in Foster’s behavior during the days preceding his death that indicates he had no intention of killing himself. Only days before his death, he called James Lyons, a friend and trusted advisor in Denver. He told Lyons he needed him in Washington. They made plans for Lyons to fly to Washington on Wednesday, July 21 (the day after Foster allegedly killed himself). Foster called Lyons again on Sunday
to confirm their Wednesday appointment. It seems clear Foster was planning on meeting Lyons. It also seems highly unlikely he intended to kill himself the day before the arrival of his friend.

97. All indications are that Foster deeply cared for his sister Sharon Bowman. Sharon still lived in Arkansas. She traveled 1,000 miles to Washington to visit her brother, only to arrive the day of her brother’s death. Consider that Vince had talked to Sharon and promised her an exciting personal tour of and lunch at the White House. It seems apparent he was looking forward to seeing his sister. Yet he supposedly killed himself on the day of her arrival. Such an incredibly cruel way to miss his date with Sharon is not consistent with the affection Foster felt for her.

98. For four years, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph relentlessly pursued the countless discrepancies of the Foster case. During his investigations, his Washington apartment was broken into, and his four computers were taken. Was this primarily to steal his hard drives? His car was later broken into and his briefcase was taken.

99. The late Jerry Parks owned a detective agency in Little Rock. According to Jane Parks, his widow, he had often done mysterious jobs for Vince Foster. She says that shortly before he died, Foster telephoned Jerry. She overheard Jerry’s half of the conversation. She says her husband became highly agitated. He begged Foster not to do something Foster was intent on doing. After Foster died, Jerry became extremely fearful and started carrying a gun. He was gunned down gangland style within a month of Foster’s death. According to Jane, shortly thereafter, teams of FBI agents ransacked the Parks’ house. They removed all office files, film negatives, tape recordings, and loppy disks. Jane says these searches happened repeatedly. Apparently, none of the searches or confiscations was legal.

100. According to Secret Service logs, at 7 p.m. the day of Foster’s death, an entry alarm went off in Foster’s office. To my knowledge, this has never been explained or even referred to in official reports on Foster’s death. According to Secret Service logs, at 7.10 p.m. that evening, a group listed as “MIG” logged into the White House. Aide Patsy Thomasson arrived at the same time. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes MIG stands for Maintenance and Installation Group, a group of experts who handle such things as safes and surveillance equipment. MIG and Patsy Thomasson left together. No official explanation has ever been given to account for these comings and goings. Patsy Thomasson was one of the White House aides who reportedly searched Foster’s office. Did MIG assist her by opening Foster’s safe? Did MIG disable the entry alarm?

101. To my knowledge the following story has never been investigated. Debra von Trapp was a member of George Bush’s staff during his presidency. She served as a computer surveillance expert. She worked with a team that has been described as Bush’s “plumbers unit.” In this capacity, she often worked with an FBI agent. According to von Trapp, [this agent] sounded drunk and extremely excited when he called her California home from Washington, D.C., at 11 p.m., July 20, 1993 (the day of Foster’s death). She says she records all phone conversations. This is a partial transcript of her alleged exchange with [the agent].

AGENT: “We did him! We did him!”
DT: “Did who?”
AGENT: “Vince Foster.”
DT “What do you mean?”
AGENT: “We did him!”
DT: “Well, where did you do him?”
AGENT: “Well, we did him somewhere else, but we dumped him in a queer
park to send Clinton and his queer wife a message!”

Although von Trapp wrote a long letter to Kenneth Starr detailing this and other allegations, to my knowledge, he never deposed her or [the agent]. Nor did he request the tape recordings of the alleged phone conversation. Nor did he check the phone company records to verify the phone call. Why not? Some Fostergate researchers suspect Ms. von Trapp is a disinformation agent trying to cloud the debate. I spent several hours interviewing Ms. von Trapp and did not hear anything that would support those suspicions. My strongest impression was that she was genuinely frightened. In any case, whatever one concludes about her credibility, it remains rather odd that she has never been deposed before a grand jury.

In the original of this report I did not include an item that now looms more significant. The Clintons had ordered that one of the White House offices be completely recarpeted shortly before the death of Vince Foster. The day following his death, a crew of workmen arrived at the White House and completely ripped up and removed what was a nearly brand new carpet. They hastily piled the carpeting into a van and quickly left. The final destination of that carpet and why it was so hastily removed during the chaos and trauma following the death of Foster are mysteries I’ve never been able to solve.

However, it strikes me as entirely possible this carpeting was evidence of a crime committed within the White House. Was the carpet bloodstained? Did it contain other forensic clues? In short, is it possible Vince Foster was actually murdered within the White House. The fact that two key videotapes, which would have shown Foster leaving the White House on the day of his death, are both missing. What did they show? Is it possible the tapes showed a large, bulky object being hastily removed and placed in the trunk of a vehicle?

I did not include these speculations in my original list of 101 precisely because they are just that — speculations. I’m tacking them on well after my first publishing of this report. I still have no clear answers as to where Foster was murdered. I do, however, now lean toward the possibility he was killed in the White House. . . .

This list is tentative and remains open to corrections and debate. I can be contacted at:

2 responses

  1. I recently stumbled across this case, I have been looking into agent monroe, all i found was ”monroe died an untimely death in 1999” odd.

  2. I am deeply grateful to Richard L. Franklin for this article and to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for his expression of the same quandary and interview of me. Where did the recording go after I sent it to Ken Starr? I was directly threatened when I sent a set of evidence in. I was called by the very person in charge of the investigation (not Starr) and told that it “would never see the light of day”. The landline records confirmed the call from the FBI agent. The Senate investigation showed entry of one of the MIG team members (actually named on the record) about two hours before the call to me. He had stood in my living room for a meeting and is in the private sector out of Washington state today.

    He was in Foster’s office dropping the hard drive on the floor repeatedly to try to destroy it. I advised that would not work during the call and stated that he needed to run a large magnet around it, preferably after he opened the cover. My last act with the MIG Team.

    My image of this country and the administration was never the same after I understood that they planned and enjoyed killing a White House lawyer.

    I clearly understood the capacity of those in D.C. when Casey was murdered. Just never thought the Clintons were capable of such a brazen act inside the WH.

    The investigation into Foster’s death should be taught in every evidence class in American colleges. It was a conspiracy and farce akin to a Keystone Cops skit.

    Following that event the FBI and local police surrounded my house and demanded that I come to the door. I sat in my upstairs office and watched them on a surveillance camera while they shouted at the house for two hours.

    I finally answered the phone call from FBI in my yard and asked one question: Do you have a warrant? The answer was “No”. My response was to ask them to get off of my lawn and to stop disturbing my neighbors. They left. They cannot undo what happened or the evidence.

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