USDOJ/OIG Special Report

The FBI Laboratory: An Investigation into Laboratory Practices
and Alleged Misconduct in Explosives-Related and Other Cases (April,1997)

Table of Contents


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PART ONE: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
 
PART TWO: BACKGROUND TO THE OIG INVESTIGATION
I. The FBI Laboratory
  A. Organization of the Laboratory
  B. The Laboratory's Quality Assurance Plan and Accreditation
  C. The Hiring of Non-Agent Examiners
  D. Changing Legal Standards for Admissibility and Disclosure
II. Whitehurst and His Allegations
III. The OIG Investigation
 
 
PART THREE: ANALYSIS OF PARTICULAR MATTERS


SECTION A: ALLEGATIONS CONCERNING TERRY RUDOLPH
I. Introduction
II. The Psinakis Case
  A. Factual Background
  B. Analysis of Rudolph's Conduct in Psinakis
III. The Laboratory's 1989 Reviews of Rudolph's Casework
  A. Factual Background
  B. Analysis of the 1989 Reviews
IV. The FBI OPR Investigation in 1991-92
V. The 1992 Corby Review
  A. Factual Background
  B. Analysis of the 1992 Corby Review
VI. The 1995 Corby Review
  A. Factual Background
  B. Analysis of Corby's 1995 Review
VII. Conclusion
  A. Rudolph
  B. Management
 
 
SECTION B: THE VANPAC CASE
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of the Whitehurst Allegations
  A. The Alleged Violation of Protocols
  B. The Identification of Red Dot Smokeless Powder
  C. Thurman's Testimony About the Explosives
  D. Claims That Thurman Testified Outside His Expertise
  E. Claims That Martz Misled the Jury About His Qualifications
  F. Claims That Martz Improperly Testified About Smokeless
  Powders Found in the Devices
  G. Claims That Martz Improperly Analyzed Primers
  H. Testimony by Martz About the Search at Moody's House
  I. The Conduct of the Prosecutors
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION C: WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING  
I. Introduction
II. Testimony of SSA David Williams in the Salameh Trial
  A. FBI's Manufacture of Urea Nitrate
  B. Williams' Opinions on Defendants' Capacity to Manufacture
  Urea Nitrate and on the Explosive Used in the Bombing
  C. Williams' Testimony Regarding the Attempt to Modify
  Whitehurst's Dictation
D. Other Allegations
III. Pre-Trial Issues
  A. Specimen Q23
  B. Specimen Q65
  C. Other Matters Involving Williams
  D. Allegation Concerning SSA Haldimann
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION D: THE BUSH ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
  A. The Laboratory Reports
  B. Verbal Reports by Ronay
  C. The Missile Strike
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION E: AVIANCA BOMBING  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
  A. The Crime Scene
  B. The Laboratory Analysis
  C. The AConfessor
  D. The Whitehurst Memorandum
  E. The Trials
III. Analysis
  A. Hahn's Testimony
  B. Whitehurst's Conduct
IV. Conclusion
  A. Hahn
  B. Whitehurst
  C. Kearney
  D. Corby
 
 
SECTION F: ROGER MARTZ'S TESTIMONY IN O.J. SIMPSON CASE  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
  A. The Claim that Martz Committed Perjury by Testifying
  that He Authored the Testing Procedures
  B. The Claim that Martz Misled the Court Concerning the
  FSRU's Validation Study and Other Matters
  C. The Claims That Martz Misled the Defense Concerning
  His Erasure of Digital Data and Improperly Erased Digital Data
  D. Criticism of Martz's Presentation
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION G: OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING  
I. Introduction
II. William's Report
  A. Velocity of Detonation
  B. Identification of the Explosive
  C. Weight of the Explosive
  D. Other Conclusions Concerning the Explosive Device
  E. Bases for Conclusions
  F. Restatement of AE Dictation
  G. Other Allegations
III. Thurman's Review of Williams' Report
  A. Specific Items in the Report
  B. Thurman's Method of Review
IV. Martz's Examination of Evidence
V. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H: OTHER MATTERS
 
 SECTION H1: YU KIKUMURA  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
  A. The Claim that Thurman Misled the Jury or Deprived
  Kikumura of a Fair Trial
  B. The Claim that Thurman Improperly Failed to Disclose
  Aspects of His Education or Training
  C. Claims that Thurman Improperly Testified Outside His
  Expertise
  D. Claims that Thurman Improperly Testified about the Possible
  Use of Other Materials in Explosive Devices
  E. Other Aspects of Thurman's Testimony
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H2: NORFOLK TANK FARMS
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H3: MELISSA BRANNEN  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H4: PAOLO BORSELLINO  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H5: GINO NEGRETTI  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H6: CONLON CASE  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H7: JUDGE JOHN SHAW  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H8: GHOST SHADOW GANG  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H9: THE UNABOM ARTICLE  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Discussion
  A. Publication of the Article
  B. The Allegation that Mohnal and Ronay Rebuffed Burmeister
  C. The Laboratory's 1995 Response to Burmeister's Concerns
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H10: THURMAN'S ALLEGED ALTERATION OF DICTATION  
I. Introduction
II. Alteration of Whitehurst's Dictation
  A. Background
  B. Analysis
III. Burmeister's Allegation
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H11: HIGGINS' ALLEGED ALTERATION OF DICTATION  
I. Introduction
II. Factual Background
III. Analysis of Laboratory Reports
  A. Category One
  B. Category Two
  C. Category Three
  D. The Remaining 21 Laboratory Reports
IV. Conclusion
SECTION H11: CHART
 
 
SECTION H12: TOBIN ALLEGATIONS  
I. Introduction
II. The Reporting of Metals-Related Examinations
  A. Improper Wire Gauging
  B. The La Familia Case
  C. The Peter Mauchlin Case
III. Alcee Hastings Matter
  A. The Background to the Investigating Committee Proceedings
  B. Malone's Testimony before the Investi's Testimony
  D. Analysis
IV. Conclusion
 
 
SECTION H13: GEORGE TREPAL  

 

PART FOUR: WHITEHURST'S ALLEGATIONS OF RETALIATION  
I. Introduction
II. Analysis of Whitehurst's Allegations
  A. The Claim that the FBI Improperly Punished Whitehurst for
  His Conduct in the Psinakis Case
  B. The Claim that the FBI Ignored and Covered Up
  Whitehurst's Allegations Concerning Software Theft and Assault
  C. Referral for Psychiatric Examination and Counseling
  D. The Claim that the FBI Improperly Investigated Whitehurst
  for Disclosure of Confidential Information
  E. The Claim that the FBI Improperly Disclosed Henthorn
  Material Concerning Whitehurst
  F. The Claim that the FBI Punished Whitehurst by Reassigning
  Him to the Paints and Polymers Program
  G. Other Evidence of Retaliatory Intent
III. Conclusion
 
 
PART FIVE: FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING INDIVIDUALS  
I. Individuals Central to Whitehurst's Allegations or Whose Conduct
is Criticized in this Report
  A. Terry Rudolph
  B. Roger Martz
  C. J. Thomas Thurman
  D. David Williams
  E. Richard Hahn
  F. Robert Heckman
  G. Wallace Higgins
  H. Alan R. Jordan
  I. Michael Malone
  J. J. Christopher Ronay
  K. Robert Webb
II. Laboratory Management
  A. Charles Calfee
  B. Kenneth Nimmich
  C. James Kearney
  D. John Hicks
  E. Alan T. Robillard
III. Other Individuals
  A. Roger Asbury
  B. Edward Bender
  C. Louis J. Freeh
  D. Donald Haldimann
  E. Ronald Kelly
  F. Lynn Lasswell
  G. Richard Laycock
  H. Thomas Mohnal
  I. Bruce McCord
  J. Mark Olson
  K. Howard Shapiro
IV. FBI OPR and FBI OGC
V. Frederic Whitehurst
 
 
PART SIX: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENHANCING QUALITY IN THE LABORATORY  
I. ASCLD/LAB Accreditation and External Review
II. Restructuring the Explosives Unit
III. Principal and Auxiliary Examiners
IV. Report Preparation
V. Adequate Peer Review
VI. Case Documentation
VII. Record Retention
VIII. Examiner Training and Qualification
IX. Examiner Testimony
X. Protocols
XI. Evidence Handling
XII. The Role of Management
 
 
PART SEVEN: SUMMARY OF OIG RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FBI LABORATORY  
I. ASCLD/LAB Accreditation and External Review
II. Restructuring the Explosives Unit
III. Principal and Auxiliary Examiners
IV. Report Preparation
V. Adequate Peer Review
VI. Case Documentation
VII. Record Retention
VIII. Examiner Training and Qualification
IX. Examiner Testimony
X. Protocols
XI. Evidence Handling
XII. The Role of Management
 
 
PART EIGHT: CONCLUSION
 
 
 
The following items are not available in this hypertext version:
 
ATTACHMENT A - Glossary
 
ATTACHMENT B - 1996 and 1997 FBI Laboratory Division Organizational Charts
 
ATTACHMENT C - A Primer on Explosives and Velocity of Detonation
 

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