The Death Of Vincent Foster

Accuracy In Media speaks out




The attention of much of the nation has been riveted on 
the trial of O.J. Simpson as his "dream team" of high-
priced lawyers fight tooth and nail to convince a jury 
that O.J. did not kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald

Simpson's lawyers are making heroic efforts to overcome 
an avalanche of evidence pointing to their client's 
guilt. They have left no stone unturned in their effort 
to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors 
and the public. They have challenged the competence and 
integrity of the detectives and charged that their 
investigation was flawed. They have combed California 
for witnesses who might help them undermine the 
prosecution's case. They found a Nobel laureate chemist 
to help them attack the validity of the damning DNA 
findings. No matter how outlandish their arguments, they 
have captured the media's attention.

By contrast, another prominent individual has been 
judged by the authorities and the media to be guilty of 
a killing without the benefit of any defense that has 
been reported by any of the TV networks or national 
newspapers or news magazines. Not a single lawyer was 
engaged to expose the serious flaws in the investigation 
of his case or the hasty rush to judgment based on 
incomplete, flimsy evidence. Even the family and close 
friends of the accused failed to rise to his defense. 
They all meekly accepted the findings of the police 
without closely examining the evidence, much of which 
was not made known to them and to the public until 
nearly a year after the killing.

The accused himself was silent. He was unable to speak 
out in his own defense because he was dead. The failure 
of others to speak out on his behalf is hard to explain. 
He was not the kind of person who would be immediately 
suspect of committing such a crime. He was an upstanding 
citizen with an excellent reputation. He was not a 
nobody. He was a high White House official and a close 
personal friend of the President and the First Lady. His 
name was Vincent W. Foster, Jr. He was accused of 
killing himself.

Suicide is different from murder, to be sure. It is a 
crime that by definition is always punished by death. It 
is also punished by the indelible stain it leaves on the 
reputation of the killer-victim. That punishment is 
particularly severe for a man of high character and 
reputation. He would not want to be remembered as a 
coward who would inflict grievous hurt and hardship on 
his loved and loving wife and children, to escape some 
petty embarrassment. Nor would he want it said that he 
was so cruel that he would desert them without a parting 
word, sentencing them to live tortured by the thought 
that perhaps they were somehow to blame for his death. 

The Rush To Judgment

That punishment was inflicted on Vincent Foster by 
police investigators who jumped to the conclusion that 
he had killed himself because they found a gun in his 
hand and no sign of any struggle. They made and acted on 
that determination before they knew the answers to many 
vital questions, including these:

1. Did Foster own the gun found in his hand?
2. Did that gun fire the bullet that killed him?
3. Were his fingerprints on the gun?
4. Was there any blood on the gun?
5. Was the fatal shot fired where the body was found?
6. Was the spent bullet found there?
7. Were bone fragments from his skull found there?
8. Was any blood splattered on the vegetation?
9. Did gunshot residue show that he had fired the gun?
10. Was the attitude of the body consistent with 
11. Were the spilled blood and blood stains consistent 
with suicide on the spot where the body was found?
12. Had anyone heard the shot?
13. By whom and where was he last seen alive?
14. Was he familiar with this little-known park?
15. Was there any evidence such as dirt or traces of 
vegetation on his shoes, socks and trousers that showed 
he had walked from where his car was parked to where his 
body was found?
16. Did he have a motive for killing himself?
17. Through actions or words had he given anyone the 
impression that he might commit suicide?
18. Did he leave a suicide note?
19. Did he put his affairs in order as if preparing for 
20. What was he doing in the hours before his death?
21. Was there any reason to suspect foul play?
22. Would anyone have had reason to kill him?
23. Was there any reason to think he might have been 
24. Could he have died elsewhere and been moved to the 

The Park Police investigators reached and acted on the 
conclusion that Vincent Foster had killed himself while 
they were still at the crime scene on the night of July 
20, 1993, but they did not officially make this charge 
until August 11. They carried out their investigation 
based on the assumption that it was a suicide. 
Explaining to Senate Banking Committee investigators why 
his investigation of the crime scene had not been more 
careful and thorough, Sgt. John C. Rolla of the U. S. 
Park Police said: "If there's some suspicion, which 
there wasn't then, is not now and never has been, then, 
yes, it would be more of a crime scene." (Banking 
Committee Hearings, p. 436)

Even though he saw none of the usual splatter of blood 
and tissue on the vegetation surrounding Foster's body, 
Rolla had no doubt that Foster had inflicted the wound 
found in his head with the .38 caliber Colt revolver 
found in his hand. No doubts were aroused by the failure 
to find the bullet or the fragments of skull that it 
blew out of Foster's head. Rolla said he "probed" for 
the bullet and the Park Police claimed they searched for 
it with a metal detector the next day, but without 
success. A thorough FBI search eight months later failed 
to find either the bullet or the skull fragments.

With that as a beginning, let us imagine what a lawyer 
like Robert Shapiro or Johnny Cochran or F. Lee Bailey, 
the Simpson "dream team," would do if hired to defend 
Vincent Foster against the charge that he had killed 
himself. Let's call this figment of our imagination 
Johnny Bob Lee, a famous Arkansas defense attorney, and 
pretend that he has argued his case in a court hearing. 
We will assume that the media were as eager to report 
his words as they are those of the Simpson lawyers and 
will summarize what they might have said.


Johnny Bob Lee charged today that the police had no 
evidence to prove that the gunshot that killed Vincent 
W. Foster, Jr. was fired at the spot where his body was 
found. They found no bullet, no skull fragments and no 
splatter of blood and tissue on vegetation surrounding 
Foster's body. (Banking Committee Hearings, p. 2123) The 
hard evidence that Foster shot himself was all missing, 
Johnny Bob declared.

The veteran defense lawyer charged that Park Police had 
not even tested Foster's hands for powder burns to prove 
that he had fired the gun that was found in his hand. He 
said the dark mark on Foster's right index finger that 
they assumed to be a powder burn could have been eye 
shadow for all they knew. He pointed out that the 
autopsy report showed a similar mark on Foster's left 
index finger, and this presented a problem for the 
police which they had simply ignored. Rather than being 
proof that Foster had fired the gun, Lee argued that 
these marks were actually evidence that Foster's death 
was a homicide disguised to look like a suicide.

Lee said gun experts all agreed that if the marks were 
powder burns, they had to come from the gap between the 
cylinder and the barrel of the .38 Colt revolver. For 
both right and left index fingers to have been exposed 
to the gases from that gap, Foster would have had to 
fire the gun while gripping the cylinder with both 
hands. He said that is not only an awkward, unnatural 
way to fire a revolver, it is impossible.

Lee pointed out that even Park Police technician Peter 
Simonello had testified that Foster could not have fired 
the gun while gripping the cylinder with both hands. 
(Banking Committee Hearings, pp. 662-663). The police 
and the FBI had nevertheless cited the powder burns as 
proof that Foster had fired the gun. "Isn't it 
interesting," Lee told the court, "that we have what are 
said to be black powder burns on both index fingers, 
where they shouldn't have been, but none on Foster's 
face, where they should have been. And these Keystone 
cops and our vigilant news media, didn't even find that 
suspicious! They were blinded by the gun in Foster's 

Gun Should Have Aroused Suspicion

Lee said the gun that convinced the police they were 
dealing with a suicide is actually additional evidence 
of a disguised homicide. He said the police found no 
evidence to prove that gun killed Foster. He promised to 
call experts who would testify that the damage done to 
Foster's mouth and skull by the shot fired inside his 
mouth would be more consistent with a smaller caliber 
weapon. They would say that the blast from a weapon that 
powerful would have scorched the inside of his mouth and 
the recoil would have knocked out or chipped some of his 
front teeth. No such damage was found.

Experts would also testify that in the absence of 
cadaveric spasm (instant rigor mortis) the gun should 
have fallen from Foster's hand or been dislodged when it 
struck the ground, Lee said. He argued that the gun in 
Foster's hand should have been cause for suspicion that 
the suicide was faked.

That suspicion should have been heightened, Lee said, 
when no fingerprints were found on the exposed surfaces 
of the gun. Lee said Foster would have sweated profusely 
if he made the long walk from the parking lot, and his 
prints should have been on the gun if he had handled it. 
But if the gun were planted, Lee said, those doing the 
planting would wipe it clean and try to put Foster's 
prints on it. With a cold corpse, he said that isn't 

 The absence of blood on the gun was additional evidence 
that it was not the gun that killed Foster, Lee said. 
The gun was supposedly fired with the muzzle pressed 
against the soft palate in Foster's mouth, creating a 
bloody mess. How come, Lee asked, the gun came out 
clean? The FBI lab tests found not a trace of blood or 
tissue on the gun. Lee said it was unfortunate that the 
Park Police processed the gun for fingerprints before it 
was tested for blood, because this provided an excuse 
for the tests turning out negative for blood. He said 
that if there was any blood, it should have been easily 
visible, but no one saw any. Lee was sure none would 
have been found if the testing had been done in the 
proper order. He said the FBI found a trace of DNA on 
the gun, but it did not tie the gun to Foster. Its 
origin was unknown, and it was common to 6 percent of 
whites and 8 percent of Hispanics and blacks. (Banking 
Committee Hearings, p. 1919).

Another flaw in the theory that Foster used that gun to 
kill himself is that it was not his gun, Lee said. He 
charged that the Park Police and Fiske created the 
impression that Foster owned that .38 Colt even though 
they had evidence that this was not true. Lee pointed 
out that Foster's widow and his grown children could not 
recall ever seeing that gun. The police had sent a photo 
of the gun to Sharon Bowman, Foster's sister, and had 
gotten back a message via a White House aide that it 
resembled one her father had owned that may have been 
given to her brother Vince. (Banking Committee Hearings, 
p. 2169)

Johnny Bob said Sharon Bowman's son, Lee, who had hunted 
with his grandfather and had used his guns, told the FBI 
that his grandfather owned a revolver that may have been 
.38 caliber, but "he didn't remember the black handle 
and the dark color of the metal." (Banking Committee 
Hearings, p. 1807). Foster's widow said the gun was "not 
the gun she thought it must be a silver six-gun, large 
barrel." (Banking Committee Hearings, p. 2227) Lee said 
that Peter Markland, the Park Police officer who 
interviewed Mrs. Foster, included the "silver six-gun, 
large barrel" remark in his notes but omitted it from 
his report. Lee said this was because the authorities 
did not want it known that the revolver Foster owned was 
silver, not black. 

A gun was found in Foster's home, he said, but it was 
never described in any reports. Lee said it had to be 
the silver gun mentioned by Mrs. Foster. Describing it 
would have ruined the effort to tie the black .38 Colt 
to Foster. He described the Colt as a typical "drop 
gun," an untraceable weapon used to stymie a criminal 
investigation. He said there was no evidence that Foster 
ever owned or even touched that gun while alive. He 
pointed out that the man who found the body was certain 
there was no gun in either hand. The only EMS worker to 
describe the gun said it was a big brown and black 
automatic, not a black revolver. He even drew a picture 
of it. (Banking Committee Hearings, pp. 883, 1564) Lee 
said that if the police didn't tamper with the evidence, 
they certainly let their conclusions shape the way they 
viewed it 


Johnny Bob Lee, continuing his indictment of the Park 
Police and Fiske/FBI investigations of Vincent Foster's 
death today, asserted that evidence presented in 
official reports proved that Foster's body had been 
moved to Fort Marcy Park. Lee said the absence of blood 
and tissue splatter on the vegetation near Foster's body 
was a good indication that he was not shot on the spot 
where the body was found. That, he said, was confirmed 
by the paucity of blood at the crime scene. He pointed 
out that Corey Ashford, who handled the bagging of the 
body, couldn't remember getting blood on his uniform or 
his disposable gloves. (Banking Committee Hearings, p. 
1347) Others had said there was a pool of blood under 
Foster's head, but it was only visible when the head was 
moved. There was some blood on the right shoulder of 
Foster's white shirt, some on his right cheek and jaw, 
and two dried tracks of blood that had flowed from his 
right nostril and the right corner of his mouth over and 
under his right ear to the back of his neck. There was 
also a spot of blood on his shirt in the area of his 
right rib cage. The FBI lab found traces of blood on one 
of his shoes and his belt. (Banking Committee Hearings, 
p. 243)

 Lee said the paucity of blood and the absence of 
splatter indicated that the shooting and most of the 
bleeding occurred elsewhere. That was where the missing 
bullet, bone fragments and splatter might have been 
found had the case been investigated as a homicide 
promptly and vigorously. Lee said  evidence that the 
body was moved was found in an FBI lab report dated May 
9, 1994, which said that the blood on Foster's right 
shoulder and on his right cheek and jaw showed that at 
some point, his face had rested on his shoulder. Blood 
from his mouth and nose soaked the shoulder of his 
shirt, and this left what is called a transfer stain on 
his cheek and jaw. Lee quoted the report as saying: "The 
available photographs depict the victim's head not in 
contact with the shirt and therefore indicate that the 
head moved or was moved after being in contact with the 
shoulder. The specific manner of this movement is not 
known." (Banking Committee Hearings, p. 242) 

Lee rejected the explanation for the movement of the 
head given in the Fiske Report that one of the early 
observers on the scene moved it. He said there was no 
evidence to support this. Everyone who saw the body at 
the crime scene said the head was face-up and denied 
that they moved the head or saw anyone move it.

 Lee also dismissed the contention by Fiske and his team 
that if the small amount of blood found on Foster's 
clothing and skin was proof that the body had not been 
moved. They claimed that moving the body would have 
caused more spillage of blood. (Banking Committee 
Hearings, p. 226) But Lee said that experts agreed that 
such spillage could be minimized by using bandages. Lee 
said that the altered position of the head, combined 
with the evidence that the shot had not been fired in 
Fort Marcy Park, proved that the body was moved. He 
pointed out that that could explain the blood found on 
the lower part of Foster's shirt, his belt and one shoe, 
stains that did not fit the suicide-in-the-park 

Lee said the movement of the body also explained why it 
was laid out as if in a coffin, as one of the EMS 
personnel described it, head up, arms at his sides, and 
legs extended. " Laid out' is the right word," he said. 
"Foster did not fall in that position. He didn't sit on 
that steep, dirt slope in his shiny dress shoes and his 
neat pin-striped pants, blow out his brains and then 
extend his legs and drop his arms to his sides. He was 
carried to that spot and gently laid out with a gun in 
his hand. That is why his shoes and pants were not in 
the least bit soiled by the long walk up the dusty path 
from the parking lot. Fiske's pathologists said this 
laid out' position was just what was to be expected if 
Foster sat down on the hill and shot himself. (Banking 
Committee Hearings, p. 54) They and those who planted 
the gun forgot one thing. If Foster's right thumb was 
inextricably trapped in the trigger guard, gravity alone 
would not have determined where the right arm fell. The 
gun's powerful recoil would have forced his lifeless 
hand away from his body, and his right arm would have 
been found at least partially extended to the side."


 "Nothing about this case is more absurd, "Johnny Bob 
Lee declared, "than the sudden discovery a week after 
Vince Foster's death that he was suicidally depressed." 
He pointed out that none of Foster's family, close 
friends or co-workers, including the President, could 
think of any reason why he would have committed suicide 
when they were first questioned. All said that he was 
behaving normally. 

Lee noted that when White House press secretary Dee Dee 
Myers first said at a press briefing a week after 
Foster's death that he had been "having a rough time," 
reporters protested that this contradicted all that they 
had been told previously. Lee recalled that Myers backed 
down saying, "There was absolutely no reason to think 
that Vince was despondent. Nobody believed that." She 
then agreed with a reporter who said that Foster 
certainly wouldn't kill himself over the White House 
travel office scandal and over the Wall Street Journal's 
complaining that it couldn't get a picture of him. Myers 
said, "I would certainly never intimate that he would. 
There's no way we'll ever know why. 

 But, Lee pointed out, in the absence of any better 
explanation, the Wall Street Journal/travel office 
induced depression soon became accepted as the reason 
for Foster's alleged suicide. It was incorporated in the 
Fiske Report in June 1994, and has gone unchallenged by 
the news media. (Banking Committee Hearings, pp. 186-

Lee said it was sad that so many people accepted this, 
most of all his friends and family. "Vince Foster was a 
man of strong character and a tough minded lawyer," Lee 
declared. "It is ludicrous to think that such trifles 
would cause him to take his life and abandon his loved 
ones. I propose to take the testimony of all the co-
workers and friends who said they had seen no evidence 
of any altered behavior or depression, ranging from his 
secretary to the President and First Lady. But let me 
cite one who is already on the record, Linda Tripp, the 
executive assistant he asked to bring him a hamburger 
for lunch from the White House cafeteria. Tripp said she 
was surprised to find that he had sent an intern to see 
what was taking her so long. She said she hadn't been 
gone very long and that he must have been in a rush. He 
left the office right after finishing the hamburger. In 
a rush to commit suicide? The man eats his hamburger 
while reading a newspaper and leaves, saying, I'll be 
back.' Was he rushing off to kill himself? Incredible! 
(Banking Committee Hearings, p. 1534)

 "Experts will tell you that the activities and behavior 
of Vince Foster prior to his death are definitely not 
those of a despondent and suicidal man. He had just 
returned from a pleasant weekend with his wife and 
friends on the Maryland eastern shore. His sister Sharon 
was arriving from Arkansas for a visit that night, and 
he planned to take her to lunch at the White House. A 
lawyer friend was flying in from Denver to see him the 
next day, and he had an appointment with the President 
the day after. Nothing devastating had happened and no 
impending catastrophe loomed before him. He was not 
mentally imbalanced and there is no way that he would 
forsake those he loved most without even saying good-bye 
or leaving a note of explanation simply because he was 
having a little trouble sleeping. Vince Foster did not 
rush from his office with the intention of killing 
himself. He had neither a motive nor the means to do 


Johnny Bob Lee, the Arkansas attorney who took on the 
unusual task of defending Vincent W. Foster, Jr. against 
the government's charge that he killed himself, wound up 
his defense today, claiming that he had proved that 
Foster did not commit suicide in Fort Marcy Park by 
shooting himself in the mouth with a .38 Colt revolver 
that was found in his hand. Stressing that there was 
nothing to connect that gun to Foster, Lee said that the 
former White House Deputy Counselor had neither the 
means nor the motive to kill himself that afternoon. 

Lee said that in showing that Foster did not commit 
suicide and that his body was moved to the spot where it 
was found, he had accomplished all that he set out to 
do. It was the duty of the government, not him, to find 
out how, why and at whose hand Vince Foster died. That, 
he said, was a duty that the Park Police, the FBI, and 
Robert Fiske, the former independent counsel, had all 
ducked, choosing to ignore all the evidence that pointed 
to Foster's innocence in order to avoid the difficult 
task of finding the truth. He charged that they were 
abetted in this by virtually all the news media. They 
had eagerly accepted a motive for Foster's suicide that 
they had once agreed was absurd. They had ridiculed as 
wild conspiracy theorists the few journalists who had 
the integrity and courage to dig up the evidence and 
expose it to public view. The great New York Times had 
refused to report even the unanswered questions about 
Foster's death, saying it feared it would only discover 
more unanswered questions. 

 Lee said he hoped that independent counsel Kenneth 
Starr would focus on trying to answer the question, "Who 
killed Vincent Foster?" He said he himself had no idea 
who it was or why they did it, but he hoped that 
Foster's real friends would now come forward and give 
Kenneth Starr their full cooperation in his efforts to 
find the answer to that question. He asked the news 
media "to take off their blinders" and join in the 
search for those responsible for Foster's death 



Simpson's lawyers to win the acquittal of their client. 
It occurred to me that it would be interesting to see a 
clever lawyer mount a similar defense of Vincent W. 
Foster, Jr. Not knowing any lawyers willing to do that, 
I created one and named him Johnny Bob Lee, using the 
first names of Simpson's attorneys, and put myself in 
his shoes. I made extensive use of the two-volume 
collection of documents relating to the investigation of 
Foster's death published by the Senate Banking Committee 
under the title "Hearings Relating to Madison Guaranty 
S&L and the Whitewater Development Corporation 
Washington, D.C. Phase." In performing this exercise, I 
was driven to a conclusion that I had previously refused 
to draw that Vincent Foster did not take his own life. 
That is what the evidence tells me. I think you will 

investigation last January using a grand jury, it 
appeared that he, unlike his predecessor, Robert Fiske, 
was determined to learn the truth. But on Feb. 22, The 
Wall Street Journal ran a page-one story by Ellen 
Pollock and Viveca Novak saying that little was likely 
to come of Starr's Whitewater investigation. It said 
that anyone counting on Starr's finding "a solution to 
the mystery of a top White House official's death was it 
really suicide or was it murder? is destined to be 
disappointed." On March 23, the Journal ran another 
front-page story by Ellen Pollock trashing the handful 
of people who have been pointing out the serious flaws 
in the Foster investigations. She named Chris Ruddy, 
whose stories for the New York Post beginning in January 
1994 reopened the Foster case; Joe Farah, whose Western 
Journalism Center has been buying space in national 
newspapers to reprint Ruddy's stories from the 
Pittsburgh Tribune Review; James Davidson, publisher of 
Strategic Investment newsletter; and Pat Matriciana of 
Jeremiah Films. Davidson and Matriciana have each 
produced excellent videos on the Foster case. Pollock 
sought to leave the impression that these are all 
"conspiracy buffs" who are spreading wild rumors about 
the Foster case to sell videos and rake in 
contributions. My letter responding to Pollock appeared 
in the Journal on April 11, together with letters from 
Davidson, Farah and Gary D. Martin.

ABOUT the serious flaws in the Foster investigations. 
She accepts the Fiske report as gospel. Her answer to 
all my efforts to get her answers to the big unanswered 
questions was, "I don't want to argue any point with 
you. I'm not going to." I saw that she was being used by 
someone who hoped to discredit any investigation, much 
as she had been used a year earlier to discredit Chris 
Ruddy's stories. She had a story in The Wall Street 
Journal on April 4, 1994 saying that Robert Fiske would 
issue his report before the end of April and would 
confirm that Foster committed suicide. That was one of 
the leaks that prompted the New York Post to halt 
Ruddy's aggressive reporting on the Foster case. Ruddy 
recently showed that when that story ran, Fiske's 
investigation was still in its preliminary stage. He had 
not yet interviewed the most important witnesses in the 
case and the FBI lab had not reported on its findings.

who reported on April 6 that Miguel Rodriguez, the 
prosecutor in charge of the grand jury investigation of 
the Foster case had resigned in March. Ruddy's sources 
said Rodriguez left "because he believed the grand jury 
process was being thwarted by his superior." That would 
be Mark H. Tuohey, III, a Democratic activist said to be 
close to Associate Attorney General Jaimie Gorelick. 
Rodriguez was said to be upset by interference in the 
choice of witnesses and delays in quizzing them. In 
three months, only a dozen witnesses have  been 
questioned, and some key people have yet to be summoned. 
Ruddy quoted Thomas Scorza, a former federal prosecutor 
and a professor of legal ethics, as saying that he would 
have resigned under the circumstances described, but he 
would have made a public stink about it. Rodriguez has 
not made a stink. A former colleague of Starr's 
commented that Starr is a fine man but he suffers from a 
desire to please everyone. It appears in this case that 
he decided to please Mark Tuohey and sacrifice Miguel 
Rodriguez, whose determined efforts to learn the truth 
were making some people in Washington very nervous.

found. Ruddy's story on Rodriguez's resignation cites 
three important advances: 1. Photographic evidence not 
previously available to the investigators; 2. Strong 
evidence that the gun in Foster's hand had been moved or 
switched; 3. Development of a clear theory that the body 
was moved  No. 1 suggests good prints have been obtained 
from the underexposed Park Police negatives. No. 2 
suggests the prosecutors have reason to believe that the 
police may have substituted the .38 Colt revolver for 
the large caliber automatic that paramedic Richard 
Arthur said he saw under Foster's hand. This helps 
explain why Rodriguez subjected the police to such rough 
grilling. Ruddy and The Sunday Telegraph have reported 
other Park Police cases that raised doubts about their 
honesty and their competence.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO: Miguel Rodriguez's resignation is 
disturbing. It suggests that Starr has decided not to 
play hardball. He will get no heat from the media for 
that. I fear the worst unless more is done to bring the 
facts in this AIM Report to the attention of the public. 
I suggest that we buy space in key papers to print this 
report or portions of it. If you agree, please fill out 
and return the coupon below. Also send the enclosed card 
or a letter to Kenneth Starr 

                       AIM Column -- October 11, 1995
By Reed Irvine and Joe Goulden

   On October 8, as the FBI was heading into its fifth week of an
   exhaustive search for the bullet that killed former White House Deputy
   Counsel Vince Foster, "60 Minutes" aired a vicious attack on
   Christopher Ruddy, the reporter who forced the reopening of the Foster
   investigation in January 1994, six months after the White House
   thought it had buried the case for good.
   Ignoring the fact that FBI agents were literally making a shambles of
   Fort Marcy Park in their inch-by-inch search for the missing bullet,
   Mike Wallace claimed his own investigation found that there are no
   valid grounds for questioning the theory that Foster committed suicide
   in the park.
   Wallace acknowledged that some sloppy police work had enabled Ruddy
   "to raise all sorts of questions about Foster's death." He said,
   "We've dealt with the most important ones. We've examined the others."
   His program ended with a declaration that the evidence supported only
   one conclusion: Foster committed suicide in the park.
   Wallace's claim that he had dealt with the most important questions
   raised about Foster's death was false. There are a number of questions
   for which there are no answers that are consistent with the
   suicide-in-the-park theory. Wallace ignored all of them. He discussed
   only three questions that he thought could be answered easily or
   dismissed, claiming he had examined all the others.
   One was why the gun was found in Foster's right hand even though The
   Boston Globe reported that he was lefthanded. That was never an
   important issue because, as the police suggested, he could have
   gripped the gun with his left hand and pulled the trigger with his
   right thumb, which was found caught in the trigger guard. Since a
   family member finally disclosed last spring that Foster was actually
   righthanded, Wallace knew that this long-dead question could be
   attacked without fear of contradiction.
   Wallace ridiculed a suggestion that carpet fibers found on most of
   Foster's clothes may have come from his body having been rolled up in
   a carpet and moved. Many people have criticized the investigators for
   not trying to find out where the carpet fibers came from, but few, if
   any, have seriously suggested that the body was rolled up in a carpet.
   "60 Minutes" suggested the carpet fibers were from Foster's home and
   that they got on every piece of his clothing because they were all put
   in the same bag. That may or may not be true, but the carpet fibers
   are important only because they might have revealed where Foster spent
   his last hours if their origin had been discovered.
   The only question Wallace addressed that is relevant to the ongoing
   debate over Foster's death is the claim that the small amount of blood
   observed at the scene is one of several indicators that he did not die
   in the park. The fact that there was little blood was noted by the
   medical technicians who found the body. One of them, Sgt. George
   Gonzalez, told the FBI that "there was not much blood at the scene for
   the manner in which the victim died." Corey Ashford, who lifted the
   body by the shoulders, cradling the head, said he "did not recall
   seeing any blood and did not recall getting any on his uniform or his
   disposable gloves."
   "60 Minutes" ignored them, focusing on Dr. Donald Haut, the part-time
   county medical examiner who approved the removal of the body. Chris
   Ruddy has Haut on tape saying, "There was not a hell of a lot of blood
   on the ground." Wallace asked Haut if he told Ruddy "there was an
   unusual lack of blood at the scene." He said, "No," saying that there
   was "plenty of blood" for Foster to have died there, creating the
   illusion that Ruddy had misquoted him.
   But Dr. Haut told the FBI that the amount of blood was small and that
   he didn't recall seeing blood on Foster's shirt or face or any blood
   on the vegetation around the body. Dr. Haut concluded from this that a
   low velocity bullet had been used, but the spent cartridge case in the
   gun in Foster's hand was stamped "HV," meaning high velocity.
   Mike Wallace didn't mention all this because the small amount of
   blood, together with the absence of skull fragments, brain tissue and
   blood spatter and the fatal bullet, means there is no forensic
   evidence to prove that Foster shot himself in the park. That is why
   the FBI has spent a month looking for the missing bullet.
   We asked Wallace in a phone conversation to cite one piece of forensic
   evidence that supported the suicide-in-the-park theory. He ducked and
   dodged. After we asked the question literally ten times, he said,
   "I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll put it on paper." When we reminded
   him of that promise the next day, he asked, "What do you mean by
   forensic evidence?"
   This is one of the country's best investigative reporters? As Mike
   himself might say, "Give us a break!"

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