Claim: Bill Clinton has quietly done away with several dozen people who possessed incriminating evidence about him.
Origins: A new version of a lengthy list of deaths associated with Bill Clinton began circulating on the Internet in August 1998. According to it, there have been close to fifty suspicious deaths of colleagues, advisors and citizens who were about to testify against the Clintons, with the unstated implication that Bill Clinton or his henchmen were behind each untimely
We shouldn't have to tell anyone not to believe this claptrap, but we will anyway. In a frenzied media climate where the Chief Executive couldn't boff a White House intern without the whole world finding out every niggling detail of each encounter and demanding his removal from office, are we seriously to believe the same man had been having double handfuls of detractors and former friends murdered with impunity?
Don't be swayed by the number of names listed on screeds like this. Any public figure is bound to have a much wider circle of acquaintance than an ordinary citizen would. Moreover, the acquaintanceship is often one-sided: though many of the people enumerated on this list might properly claim to have "known" Clinton, he wouldn't know or remember having met a great number of them.
"Body count" lists are not a new phenomenon. Lists documenting all the allegedly "suspicious" deaths of persons connected with the assassination of John F. Kennedy have been circulating for decades, and the same techniques used to create and spread the JFK lists have been employed in the Clinton version:
List every dead person with even the most tenuous of connections to your subject. It doesn't matter how these people died, or how tangential they were to your subject's life. The longer the list, the more impressive it looks and the less likely anyone is to challenge it. By the time readers get to the bottom of the list, they'll be too weary to wonder what could possibly be relevant about the death of people such as Bill Clinton's mother's chiropractor.
Play word games. Make sure every death is presented as "mysterious." All accidental deaths are to be labelled "suspicious," even though by definition accidents occur when something unexpected goes wrong. Every self-inflicted death discussed must include the phrase "ruled a suicide" to imply just the opposite. When an autopsy contradicts a "mysterious death" theory, dispute it; when none was performed because none was needed, claim that "no autopsy was allowed." Make liberal use of words such as 'allegedly' and 'supposedly' to dismiss facts you can't support or contradict with hard evidence.
Make sure every inconsistency or unexplained detail you can dredge up is offered as evidence of a conspiracy, no matter how insignificant or pointless it may be. If an obvious suicide is discovered wearing only one shoe, ignore the physical evidence of self-inflicted death and dwell on the missing shoe. You don't have to establish an alternate theory of the death; just keep harping that the missing shoe "can't be explained."
If the data doesn't fit your conclusion, ignore it. You don't have to explain why the people who claimed to have the most damaging goods on Clinton (e.g., Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr), are still walking around unscathed while dozens of bit players have been bumped off. It's inconvenient for you, so don't mention it.
Most important, don't let facts and details stand in your way! If you can pass off a death by pneumonia as a "suicide," do it! If a cause of death contradicts your conspiracy theory, claim it was "never determined." If your chronology of events is impossible, who cares? It's not like anybody is going to check up on this stuff ...
Multiple versions of this "body count" list have been circulating online for nearly two decades now. New victim names are routinely added and old ones taken off, forming an endless variety of permutations. At this point, there is no one "official" list.
But where did all this craziness start? In a 1994 letter to congressional leaders, former Rep. William Dannemeyer listed 24 people with some connection to Clinton who had died "under other than natural circumstances" and called for hearings on the matter.
Dannemeyer's list of "suspicious deaths" was largely taken from one compiled by Linda Thompson, an Indianapolis lawyer who in 1993 quit her year-old general practice to run her American Justice Federation, a for-profit group that promotes pro-gun causes and various conspiracy theories through a shortwave radio program, a computer bulletin board, and sales of its newsletter and videos.
Her list, called "The Clinton Body Count: Coincidence or the Kiss of Death?" then contained the names of 34 people she believed had died suspiciously and who had ties to the Clinton family. Thompson admitted she had "no direct evidence" of Clinton's killing anyone. Indeed, she said the deaths were probably caused by "people trying to control the President" but refused to say who they were. Thompson said her allegations of murder "seem groundless only because the mainstream media haven't done enough digging."
Ah, but they had. If not before she put her list together, at least afterwards. Anyone who continues to state the mainstream media has given these claims short shrift is being disingenuous.
Since 1994, various respected news outlets have been confronted with versions of the "Clinton Body Count" list, run their own investigations of a few of the claims, and found nothing to substantiate what they looked into. Those investigations would culminate in yet another story about an oddball conspiracy rumor.
But conspiracy theories don't die that easily. These "body count" lists and the many specious claims contained therein continue to circulate in cyberspace and beyond: yesterday's newspaper articles are forgotten with the next day's delivery, but e-mail lives forever.
A 2007 version of the "Clinton Body Count" list was headed with this entry:
James McDougal - Clinton's convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.
James McDougal, a key witness for Whitewater prosecutors when the investigation centered on an Arkansas land deal in which the president and McDougal were involved, had a pre-existing heart condition and died of a heart attack on 8 March 1998 while in solitary confinement at the Federal Medical Center prison in Fort Worth. The ailing McDougal had been placed in solitary as punishment for failing to provide a urine sample for a drug test. On the day before his death and while still in his regular cell (where he had access to his heart medications), he had complained of dizziness, and while being processed for isolation he threw up. However, once in isolation, he did not ask for his medicines and appeared to guards "alert, well-oriented and absent any visible signs of distress" right up until his death. An investigation into the circumstances of his demise did not find evidence of foul play.
(The McDougal entry was not part of the "Clinton Body Count" list as it circulated in 1998.)
1. Mary Mohane - former White House intern gunned down in a coffee shop. Nothing was taken. It was suspected that she was about to testify about sexual harassment at the White House.
Former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney, 25, manager of a Georgetown Starbucks, was killed along with two co-workers (Emory Allen Evans, 25, and Aaron David Goodrich, 18) on 6 July 1997 during a robbery of the shop. In March 1999, Carl Derek Havord Cooper (29) of Washington was arrested and charged with these murders.
Yes, it is unusual that three employees were killed in the course of a robbery during which nothing was taken. According to Cooper's 26 April 2000 guilty plea (he received life with no hope of parole), he went to the Starbucks to rob the place, figuring the receipts from the July 4 weekend would make for a fat take. He came in after closing, waved a .38, and ordered all three Starbucks employees into the back room. Once there, Mahoney made a run for it after Cooper fired a warning shot into the ceiling. She was ordered back to the room, but then went for the gun. Cooper shot her, then afterwards shot the other two employees. He left empty-handed, afraid the shots had attracted police attention. As regrettable as these three deaths were, this was nothing but a case of a robbery gone wrong.
And, right away, we have come to the first big lie of the "Clinton Body Count" list: Any unexplained death can automatically be attributed to President Clinton by inventing a connection between him and the victim. Mary Mahoney did once work as an intern at the White House, but so have hundreds of other people who are all still alive. There is no credible reason why, of all the interns who have served in the Clinton White House, Mahoney alone would be the target of a Clinton-directed killing. (Contrary to public perception, very few interns work in the West Wing of the White House or have any contact with the President. The closest most interns get to the chief executive is a single brief handshake or group photo.)
The putative reason offered for Mahoney's slaying, that she was about to testify about sexual harrassment in the White House, was a lie. This absurd justification apparently sprang from a hint dropped by Mike Isikoff of Newsweek just before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke that a "former White House staffer" with the initial "M" was about to talk about her affair with Clinton. We all know now, of course, that the "staffer" referred to was Monica Lewinsky, not Mary Mahoney. The conspiracy buffs maintained that White House hit men rushed out, willy-nilly, and gunned down the first female ex-intern they could find whose name began with "M."
2. Vincent Foster - former White House Counsel, found dead of a gunshot wound to the head and ruled a suicide. He had significant knowledge of the Clintons' financial affairs and was a business partner with Hillary. If the Clintons are guilty of the crimes they are accused of by Larry, Vincent Foster would have detailed knowledge of those crimes.
This laundry list of deaths always refers to someone taking his life as "ruled a suicide," thus implying another conclusion of equal likelihood was capriciously dismissed by someone who had the power to do so. From here on, read "ruled a suicide" as "an investigation was carried out, arriving at this as the only reasonable conclusion."
White House deputy counsel Vince Foster committed suicide on the night of 20 July 1993 by shooting himself once in the head, a day after he contacted his doctor about his depression. A note in the form of a draft resignation letter was found in the bottom of his briefcase a week after his death. (Note that this letter was not, as is often claimed, a "suicide note"; it was Foster's outline for a letter of resignation.) Foster cited negative Wall Street Journal editorials about him, as well as the much-criticized role of the counsel's office in the controversial firing of seven White House travel office workers.
On 10 October 1997, special prosecutor Kenneth Starr released his report on the investigation into Foster's death, the third such investigation (after ones conducted by the coroner and Starr's predecessor, Robert B. Fiske) of the matter. The 114-page summary of a three-year investigation concluded that Foster shot himself with the pistol discovered in his right hand. There was no sign of a struggle, nor any evidence he'd been drugged or intoxicated or that his body had been moved.
If Foster had been murdered or if unanswered questions about his death remained, Starr would have been the last person to want to conclude the investigation prematurely. Or are we to believe Kenneth Starr is part of the cover-up, too? And if we buy into this conspiracy theory, what are we expected to believe? That a group of professional killers capable of furtively carrying out dozens of murders all over the world shot Vince Foster, then clumsily dumped him in a park (after he had bled out), planted a gun he didn't own in his hand (without bothering to press his fingerprints onto it), amateurishly forged a suicide note (in several different handwritings), then expected the nation would believe his death was a suicide?
3. C. Victor Raiser, II - former National Finance Co-Chairman of Clinton for President, and Montgomery Raiser, his son. Both died in a suspicious private plane crash in Alaska. No cause determined. Raiser was considered to be a major player on the Clinton team.
All plane crashes are "suspicious," because airplanes are supposed to stay in the air, and when they don't it's because something went terribly wrong. Pilot error and mechanical failure are by far the most common causes underlying any crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates every downed plane in the U.S., and though they might not always pin down the exact cause of a crash, they're generally pretty good about ruling out the use of explosives or mechanical tampering. If the NTSB doesn't find evidence of tampering or explosives, then that's not what downed the plane, and we're left with pilot error and mechanical failure as our choices.
Raiser, his son, and three others died in a plane crash in Alaska on 30 July 1992 during a fishing trip. The pilot and another passenger survived and were hospitalized with severe burns. While the "body count" list claims "no cause determined," the NTSB reported otherwise: pilot error in a small plane flying in mountainous terrain during low visibility conditions led to the crash.
4. Paul Tully - DNC Political Director, was found dead in a Little Rock hotel room. No cause was ever determined and no autopsy was allowed. Tully was a key member of the damage control squad and came up with some of the Clinton strategies.
Paul Tully died on 24 September 1992. Problem is, there wasn't anything the least bit unusual about his death, so whoever cooked up this list had to lie and claim that "no cause was ever determined" and "no autopsy was allowed." However, an autopsy was performed, and Tully's cause of death was determined: a massive heart attack. (Not a surprising demise, given that Tully was extremely overweight, a heavy drinker, and a chain smoker.) According to Steve Nawojczyk, the Pulaski County coroner, "An autopsy by the Arkansas medical examiner's office discovered advanced coronary artery disease." He added that investigators found no evidence of external trauma to the body.
Note again that the conspiracy buffs offer no putative reason for Tully's "killing," yet would have us believe that Clinton ordered his chief strategist rubbed out while the most important election of his career was a little over a month away.
5. Ed Willey - Clinton fund raiser. Found in the woods in Virginia with a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide.
Ed Willey was a former Virginia state senator and a lawyer; his wife Kathleen was active in Democratic state politics, worked as a volunteer (including some fund-raising efforts) on behalf of the Clinton campaign in Virginia in 1992, and later served as a volunteer in the White House Social Office. Ed Willey's death was as clear cut a case of suicide as one is likely to find: he was a desperate, unstable man who (along with his wife) spent money lavishly, stole $275,000 of a client's money, and was about half a million dollars in debt to the IRS. He took his own life on 29 November 1993, leaving behind a suicide note found by his wife reading: "Saying I'm sorry doesn't begin to explain. I hope one day you will forgive me."
At the same time as Willey was killing himself, his wife was allegedly being groped by Bill Clinton. She said she'd gone to the Chief Executive looking for a job to help her family out of its financial crisis and found herself fending off his advances. Clinton admitted to the meeting but denied her version of what took place. Kathleen Willey testified in Paula Jones' sexual harrassment suit against Clinton, but she never claimed that Clinton had her husband killed.
6. Hershell Friday - Clinton fund-raiser. His plane exploded.
Herschel Friday, an Arkansas lawyer who had been on the Clinton presidential campaign finance committee, died in a airplane accident on 1 March 1994. His plane did not "explode"; this accident was another case of pilot error that occurred when the 73-year-old Friday, at the plane's controls, crashed it during an attempted landing on a poorly-lighted private airfield at dusk on a dark and drizzly day.
7. Jerry Parks - former security team member for Governor Clinton. Prior to his death he had compiled an extensive file on Clinton's activities. His family had reported being followed and his home broken into just before being gunned down at a deserted intersection.
On 26 September 1993, Luther (Jerry) Parks was hit with ten bullets from a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun as he left a Mexican restaurant at the edge of Little Rock. His murder remains unsolved.
Parks' security company guarded Clinton's campaign headquarters in 1992. Parks' son, Gary, asserted in Circle of Power and The Clinton Chronicles (both video products of Linda Thompson's American Justice Federation) that his father collected a secret file of Clinton's indiscretions, and that his father was using the file to try to blackmail the Clinton campaign. (He also claimed that Vince Foster knew of the file's existence.) Despite these allegations, the younger Parks never produced the mysterious file, and Clyde Steelman, a homicide sergeant with the Little Rock police force, dismissed Gary Parks' theories of his father's death as "unsubstantiated, nothing to grasp." A far more likely suspect in the murder was Jerry Parks' former partner, with whom Parks had quarreled bitterly.
8. John Wilson - former Washington D.C. council member. Had ties to Whitewater. Died of a very suspicious hanging suicide.
John Wilson was the chairman of the District of Columbia Council, and his suicide was far from "very suspicious": Wilson had a long history of depression, was wrestling with marital problems, and had tried to kill himself on at least four other occasions. He finally succeeded on 19 May 1993. Upon his death, Wilson's wife said, "[His] depression was an inherited problem; that he was able to contribute so much over the years in the face of his disability was a miracle." Police said that he did not leave a note and that there were no signs of foul play.
Wilson had absolutely nothing in common with Clinton other than that they worked in the same city (i.e., Washington, D.C.). The claim that Wilson had anything to do with the Whitewater real estate controversy is laughable.
9. Kathy Ferguson - former wife of Arkansas State Trooper Danny Ferguson, the co-defendant with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Found dead in her living room of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Interestingly, her packed suitcases seemed to indicate she was about to go somewhere.
Kathy Ferguson killed herself with a gunshot to the right temple on 11 May 1994 at the home of her boyfriend, Bill Shelton. Their relationship had fallen on hard times, with each accusing the other of having been unfaithful. Ferguson left behind a suicide note that read: "I can't stay here any longer. Things will never be the same for us. I can't take that." Close by was another note from Shelton questioning her relationship with another man, which Ferguson's daughter said her mother had been upset over.
We found no mention of packed suitcases in any of the reports about Ferguson's death, but even if there were, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising. Is it so unusual that a woman might be thinking of moving out of the house of a boyfriend who had quarreled with her and challenged her fidelity?
10. Bill Shelton - Arkansas state trooper and fiance of Kathy Ferguson. Allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself at her grave.
Shelton killed himself over Kathy Ferguson's grave on 12 June 1994, leaving a suicide note that was found beside his body. Just a month earlier he had quarreled with his girlfriend, accused her of cheating on him, and driven her to suicide. There was nothing mysterious about his death or his reasons for taking his life. And if the idea that the ex-wife of an Arkansas state trooper constitutes a Clinton "connection" weren't absurd enough, we're now offered the boyfriend of an ex-wife of an Arkansas state trooper.
11. Gandy Baugh - attorney for Dan Lasater in a financial misconduct case. Supposedly jumped out the window of a tall building to commit suicide.
News accounts stated that Gandy Baugh died "at home" on 8 January 1994 without specifying the causes. "Died at home" is a euphemism often employed in news articles and obituaries to avoid a direct mention of suicide, but we haven't found any definitive information about how Baugh died.
12. Dr. Donald Rogers - dentist. Killed in a suspicious plane crash on his way to an interview with reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard to reveal information about Clinton.
On 3 March 1994, the Cessna plane carrying a pilot, dentist, Donald Rogers, and two other passengers crashed. The pilot had earlier radioed in that he was experiencing electrical trouble and then lost radio contact. The NTSB's investigation of the crash found nothing "mysterious" about it: the plane's left generator had severely overheated and shut down, leaving the plane without electrical systems; the plane went down far off its planned route, and the pilot was good and lost at the time of the crash.
No amount of digging has disclosed why a dentist would have such revelatory information about the President of the United States that a plane crash would be arranged to bump him off.
13. Stanley Huggins - lawyer investigating Madison Guaranty. Suicide. His extensive report has never been released.
How anyone can confuse dying of pneumonia with suicide is beyond us. Huggins died on 23 June 1994, and according Dr. Richard Callery, Delaware's top medical examiner, viral myocarditis and bronchial pneumonia killed Huggins. Lt. Joel Ivory of the University of Delaware police said his exhaustive investigation of Huggins's death turned up "no sign at all of foul play."
14. Florence Martin - Accountant for the CIA and had information on the Barry Seal case. Three gunshot wounds to the head.
On 23 October 1994, 69-year-old Florence Martin of Mabelle, Texas (40 miles from Wichita Falls), was murdered in her home by three gunshots to the head through a pillow. She wasn't an accountant for the CIA, though: She worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store in nearby Seymour and had lived in that area for decades.
In 2012, Jack Wesley Melton was charged with Martin's murder. DNA found at the scene was matched to him, leading to his arrest.
15. Suzane Coleman - reportedly had an affair with Clinton. Was seven months pregnant at the time she was found dead of a gun shot wound to the back of the head, ruled suicide.
At the time of Susan Coleman's suicide, Bill Clinton was her law professor. In 1992 an overzealous supporter of George Bush hired investigators to probe this girl's 1977 suicide, and they found no evidence that the two had an affair. It was an old rumor and a baseless one, and even a determined attempt at muckraking turned up nothing to substantiate it.
16. Paula Grober - Clinton's interpreter for the deaf. Traveled with Clinton from 1978 until her death in 1992 in a one-car accident. There were no witnesses.
The accident that killed Paula Gober took place during the afternoon of 7 December 1992. Her car overturned at a curve in the highway, throwing her 33 feet from the vehicle. No one witnessed the accident. And no one provided any explanation for what secrets about Clinton an interpreter might possess that would merit her murder.
17. Paul Wilcher - attorney investigating corruption. He had investigated federal elections, drug and gun smuggling through Mena, the Waco incident, and had just delivered a lengthy report to Janet Reno. He died in his home of unknown causes.
Wilcher's partially decomposed body was found seated on the toilet in his Washington, D.C., home on 22 June 1993, and his death was attributed to natural causes. According to the Washington Times, Wilcher "was investigating the theory of an 'October Surprise' conspiracy during the 1980 federal election campaign. He had been interviewing an inmate who claimed to have piloted George Bush to Paris so he could secretly seek to delay the release of 52 American hostages in Iran." President Clinton, just a year into his first term, would hardly be likely to give up a key political advantage by bumping off someone who was supposedly about to dig up some major dirt on the Republican party
18. Jon Parnell Walker - RTC investigator who mysteriously fell to his death from an apartment balcony.
We have found no information about this man, not a report of his death nor of his being an Resolution Trust Corporation investigator. Various versions of this list state that his death took place on 15 August 1993 at the Lincoln Towers in Arlington, Virginia, but we've found no documentation of that.
19. Ron Brown - former DNS Chairman, Commerce Secretary. Reported to have died in a plane crash, but new evidence reveals he may have been shot in the head. He was being investigated by a special investigator and was about to be indicted with 54 others. He spoke publicly of his willingness to "make a deal" with the prosecutors to save himself a few days before the fatal trip. He was not supposed to be on the flight but was asked to go at the last minute. (This count does not include the other business leaders and other passengers who died on this government-sponsored trade mission.)
What "new evidence"? Ron Brown and 34 others were killed in a plane crash in Croatia on 3 April 1996. The plane slammed into a mountain while on landing approach. There were no survivors.
A lot has been made of an x-ray of Brown's skull showing what looks like a round entry wound.
Closer examination of Brown's skull by military officials revealed no bullet, no bone fragments, no metal fragments and, even more telling, no exit wound.
Simply imagining a scenario under which Ron Brown could have been shot takes one into the realm of the absurd. Was he shot in the head during the flight, in full view of thirty-four other witnesses? (If so, how did the shooters get off the plane?) Did the killers shoot him before the flight, then bundle his body into a seat (just like Weekend at Bernie's) and hope nobody noticed the gaping hole in his head? Or did Croatian commandos fortuitously appear on the scene to scale a mountain and pump a bullet into the head of an already-dead plane crash victim?
An exhaustive Air Force investigation of the crash found that pilot error was to blame:
The aircrew made errors while planning and executing the mishap flight, which, when combined, were a cause of the mishap. During mission planning, the crew's review of the Dubrovnik approach failed to determine that it required two automatic direction finders, or ADFs, and that it could not be flown with the single ADF onboard their aircraft. Additionally, the crew improperly flight planned their route which added 15 minutes to their flight time. The pilots rushed their approach and did not properly configure the aircraft for landing prior to commencing the final segment of the approach. They crossed the final approach fix flying at 80 knots above final approach speed, and without clearance from the tower.
As a result of the rushed approach, the late configuration, and a radio call from a pilot on the ground, the crew was distracted from adequately monitoring the final approach. The pilots flew a course 9 degrees left of the correct course. They also failed to identify the missed approach point and to execute a timely missed approach.
20. Barbara Wise - Commerce Department secretary. Worked with Ron Brown and John Huang and had extensive knowledge of their activities. Found dead in her locked office the day after Thanksgiving. It was ruled a suicide. Interestingly, she was found partially clothed, bruised, and in a pool of blood.
There was no pool of blood, and Barbara Wise's death was never ruled a suicide by anyone. She was discovered in her Commerce Department office on 29 November 1996 after having last been seen alive on 27 November 1996, the day before Thanksgiving. A thorough investigation uncovered no evidence of foul play or suicide. Wise had a history of frequent and severe health problems, including liver ailments, and her death was attributed to natural causes.
21. Charles Meissner - Assistant Secretary of Commerce. John Huang was given a special security clearance by Meissner. Shortly thereafter, he died in the crash of a small plane.
Charles Meissner died in the same plane crash that took the life of Ron Brown, the one in Croatia on 3 April 1996. Fourteen Commerce Department staffers died in that crash, Meissner and Brown among them.
We're now entering an long segment of the list wherein a number of deaths are tied to those of Don Henry and Kevin Ives, who were supposedly linked to Bill Clinton. All of this linkage is one big canard: Henry and Ives had nothing to do with Clinton; they were two young men who foolishly ripped off drugs from a dealer and were beaten to death in revenge. With no link between Clinton and Henry or Ives, the following eight entries collapse like a house of cards.
22 & 23. Kevin Ives and Don Henry - seventeen-year-old boys who apparently saw something related to drugs in Mena by accident late at night. Officially ruled an accidental death on the train tracks, but evidence shows they died before being placed on the tracks - one of a crushed skull and the other of a knife wound in the back.
Henry and Ives were run over by a train on 23 Aug 1987. Dr. Fahmy Malak, Arkansas' former state medical examiner, ruled the deaths accidental, saying the teens fell asleep on the tracks after smoking marijuana. A 1988 Saline County grand jury determined the boys were murdered and their bodies afterwards laid on the tracks, but no other conclusions were reached and no indictments were returned.
A number of Malak's determinations had been challenged and overturned during his career. He certainly wasn't always a conscientious medical examiner, and his Ives and Henry rulings were only two of many such he botched.
Getting back to the real meat of who killed the boys, we find nothing that ties Ives and Henry to Clinton. Though various of these lists will claim the boys accidentally stumbled onto a "protected" drug drop and were killed for it, there's no reason to believe even that. In a 25 May 1990 hearing before U.S. Magistrate Henry Jones Jr., Katherine Brightop said her ex-boyfriend Paul William Criswell told her he and three other men were involved in the teenagers' deaths. Brightop said Criswell told her the boys tried to steal cocaine from Callaway's home and they were caught and beaten to death before their bodies were placed on the tracks.
24. Keith Koney - had information on the Ives and Henry deaths. Died in a motorcycle accident with reports of a high-speed car chased involved.
19-year-old Keith Coney died on 17 May 1988 when the motorcycle he was driving struck the back of a tractor-trailer. He was riding a motorcycle he'd stolen the day before. There were no reports of a high-speed car chase.
25. Keith McKaskle - had information on the Ives and Henry deaths. Stabbed to death.
In August 1989, Ronald Shane Smith was sentenced to ten years for the 10 November 1988 murder of Keith McKaskle. McKaskle had earlier expressed fears for his life, linking them to his knowing something about "the railroad track thing". Smith may have been paid to kill McKaskle, as a prison inmate said he had been approached and offered $4,000 to kill McKaskle himself.
26. Gregory Collins - had information on the Ives and Henry deaths. Gunshot wound to the head.
Greg Collins (25) of Bryant, Arkansas, was found shot in woods near Rosston on 2 December 1989. If he truly knew something about drug-related murders, that's reason enough for him to have been killed without any connection to Bill Clinton.
27. Jeff Rhodes - had information on the Ives and Henry and McKaskle deaths. Tortured, mutilated, shot, body burned in a dumpster.
In July 1989 Frank Pilcher was arrested for the April 1989 murder of Jeffrey Rhodes. Rhodes had earlier told his father he feared for his life because he'd witnessed a narcotics transaction.
Rhodes was last seen alive on April 3. His body was discovered in a dumpster on April 19. He'd been shot twice in the head and his body was badly burned. The body was likely burned in an effort to destroy forensic evidence that would led investigators to the murderer.
28. James Milam - had information on the Ives and Henry deaths. He was decapitated. The coroner ruled death due to natural causes.
This is my favorite entry. Remember that Arkansas medical examiner, the one I said wasn't always the most conscientious investigator on God's green earth? Yep, we're about to see him again. Fahmy Malak listed James Milam's cause of death as a perforated ulcer, adding that Milam's small dog afterwards ate the dead man's head, accounting for Milam's headless condition.
Milam's daughter-in-law insists Milam was murdered. She claims Malak showed her photographs of the headless corpse, and the neck was cut clean. The Milam family has not attempted to legally challenge the ruling because of the expense, so we'll never know which way the cat jumps, ulcer or murder.
Whatever killed him, Milam died three months before the Ives and Henry murders. What are we supposed to believe here, that Clinton conspirators knocked off someone who "had information on the Ives and Henry deaths" three months before Ives and Henry actually died? Wow, talk about a preemptive strike!
29. Jordan Kettleson - had information on the Ives and Henry deaths. Found shot in the front seat of his pick up truck.
21-year-old Jordan Ketelsen died on 25 June 1990.
30. Dr. Stanley Heard - Chair, National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee. He personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather, and brother. His personal small plane developed problems so he rented another. Fire broke out in flight and he crashed.
Stanley Heard and Stephen Dickson died on 10 September 1993, when their Piper Turbo Lance II caught fire shortly after takeoff from Dulles airport and crashed. They'd attended a briefing that morning on the Clinton administration's health care plan. Dickson's plane had developed mechanical problems on the way to Washington the week before, so Dickson and Heard rented the Cherokee in St. Louis to make the trip. They rented a badly maintained plane, and it cost them their lives.
Here is what the NTSB had to say about this crash.
I've found nothing on the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory that Heard supposedly chaired.
31. Steve Dickson - attorney for Heard. Died in same plane crash.
Dickson attended the same briefing Heard did. I do not know if he was there as Heard's lawyer or for independent reasons.
32. John Hillier - video journalist and investigator. He helped to produce the documentaries "Circle of Power," and "The Clinton Chronicles." He mysteriously died in a dentist's chair for no apparent reason.
Again, I can find no record of this man's death or of his work. There have been a few dental chair deaths, but I find nothing on his.
33. Maj. Gen. William Robertson
34. Col. William Densberger
35. Col. Robert Kelly
36. Spec. Gary Rhodes
37. Steve Willis
38. Robert Williams
39. Conway LeBleu
40. Todd McKeehan
41. Sgt. Brian Haney
42. Sgt. Tim Sabel
43. Maj.William Barkley
44. Capt. Scott Reynolds
* all former Clinton bodyguards who are dead.
Steve Willis, Robert Williams, Todd McKeehan, and Conway LeBleu were Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents killed during the Waco confrontation on 28 February 1993.
Brian Haney, Timothy Sabel, William Barkley, and Scott Reynolds died in a helicopter crash on 19 May 1993. These four were members of Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the unit responsible for transporting the President. They died when the Blackhawk helicopter they had taken out for a maintenance-evaluation flight crashed. There was no evidence of sabotage. Clinton had set foot in the aircraft on only one occasion, two months earlier, when he traveled from the White House to the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Jarrett Robertson, William Densberger, Robert Kelly, and Gary Rhodes died in a helicopter crash in Wiesbaden, Germany on 23 February 1993.
45. Gary Johnson - former attorney for Larry Nichols, severely beaten and left for dead.
Again, I can find nothing on this incident or even this man's life.
46. Dennis Patrick - had millions of dollars laundered through his account at Lasater & Co. without his knowledge. There have been several attempts on his life, all unsuccessful.
It's hard to know what to say about this one. Though I find credible reference to Patrick's life having been in danger a few times, I'm unable to trace back to news reports on the original incidents. Without seeing them, I'm not confident in stating an opinion on whether or not those attempts took place.
Patrick was a client of Lasater, albeit a reluctant one. He was asked to open an account there, he refused, one was opened for him anyway, and he was handed "profits" from one transaction for his part in allowing whatever was going on to take place. Again, someone who got involved with drug dealers ended up in trouble. In this case, an otherwise upstanding man took money he knew to be dirty to keep quiet about what his account was being used for. If he's now being chased by drug dealers who don't want the details of the transactions to come to light, is that all that surprising?
47. L.J. Davis - reporter. While investigating the Clinton scandals he was attacked in his hotel room and his notes were taken. He survived.
Davis said he had awakened in his hotel room with a big bump on his head. He soon admitted having drunk at least four martinis that night. No pages were missing from his notebook, and he had no idea how he ended up on the floor. "I certainly wasn't about to conclude that somebody cracked me on the head," Davis said at the time.
48. Larry Nichols - former marketing director of ADFA. Responsible for bringing forth more evidence and witnesses on Clinton corruption than any other source. Very public about his claims against Clinton. He has suffered six beatings, arrest on trumped up charges, and a near arrest.
In 1988 Larry Nichols, then a marketing director for the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, was fired from his job for making hundreds of calls to the Nicaraguan contras from his office. In 1990 he filed a lawsuit against Clinton claiming the then-Governor of Arkansas and others made him the scapegoat in a misappropriation-of-funds charge that cost him his job. In that suit he also tossed in claims of extramarital affairs, naming five women Clinton was supposed to have chased across the sheets. Nichols withdrew his lawsuit in 1992 and issued a round of apologies to everyone involved. He admitted what he'd said had been an attempt to destroy the Governor by innuendo.
Nichols has since changed his tune yet again, and has returned to making allegations against Clinton, always being careful to stop just short of asserting Clinton is involved in various murders and other crimes Nichols points to as "suspicious."
Since his dismissal from the AFDA, Nichols has made a career of peddling anti-Clinton books and tapes to the lunatic fringe. Take anything claimed about or by this man with a huge grain of salt.
Now, ask yourself: how many people with whom you were acquainted have died mysteriously or violently in the past 10 years.
The bottom line on this piece of e-lore? It's a badly worked laundry list dressed up to appear significant. The promised damning connections to the Chief Executive are missing, with innuendo misinformation offered up in their place. Nothing ties Clinton to any of these deaths, something this list (and others of its ilk) conveniently glosses over. What evidence is offered that would compel a rational person to believe there was Clinton involvement in any of these deaths?
Clinton was acquainted with some people who died — that's about all one can make of this list. Indeed, that's far more than can be made of a number of the entries, specifically, that of Ives and Henry and all those supposedly tied to theirs.
Though it's clear from digging through numerous newspaper articles there is a thriving and dangerous drug culture in Little Rock, how or why this should be connected to Bill Clinton is left unanswered. Regrettably, Little Rock is akin to numerous other large cities: it has its share of drug dealers, murders, and violence. It also has one very famous citizen. And that's about as much of a connection as anyone can make.
Whereas a typical private citizen has a much smaller circle of acquaintance, those in public office come into contact with a great many people over the course of their careers. It is therefore not unusual to find at least a few accidental deaths, homicides, and suicides among any politician's list of contacts. (For example, a "body count" list exists for George Bush.)
A number of suicides are enumerated in this list. Suicide is far from an unusual mode of demise. It claims 32,000 lives in the U.S. every year, and it's the 9th leading cause of death. It is indeed a rare person who does not know someone who died by his own hand.
Deaths by airplane crash account for a number of entries on the list. Again, this is not all that surprising. Every year many small planes crash in the United States, and some of those crashes result in fatalities. As mentioned above, the National Transportation Safety Board investigates every one of them, to determine both the cause of the accident as well as to gather data that will help prevent future tragedies. The agency does a thorough job of looking into the circumstances surrounding each downed plane. To describe any of the plane crash deaths on this list as "suspicious" is to suggest the NTSB was part of a coverup.
There have been a couple of unsolved murders (Jerry Parks, Kevin Ives, and Don Henry), but there have also been deaths by natural causes that have been tossed into the mix willy-nilly simply to boost the body count. (Like I said earlier, how can anyone claim a death by pneumonia was a suicide?) All the best lies make sure to mix a bit of truth in with them, and the few genuinely unsolved murders work to cloak the many less credible claims in an aura of plausibility. Don't be overly bemused by them — study each entry on its own merits.
One final question to ask yourself before falling for any Clinton Body Count list: If the Chief Executive was having people bumped off left, right, and center, why aren't Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp on this list? At the time of Mary Mahoney's death — a death this list hints was ordered by Clinton — neither Tripp nor Lewinsky were the high-profile household names they now are; they were complete unknowns. It would be another six months before information about them would explode into the news. If the President were in the habit of having those dangerous to his presidency put in the ground, why didn't he order these deaths?
Barbara "let's get back to Clinton's bawdy count, okay?" Mikkelson
Last updated: 12 April 2015
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The Boston Globe. 25 September 1992 (p. 75).
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Rocky Mountain News. 12 August 1994 (p. A40).
Horowitz, Sari and John W. Fountain. "Coffee Shop a Fateful Stop on Three Career Paths."
The Washington Post. 13 July 1997 (p. A1).
McKelway, Deroy. "Life Often Lonely Fight for Willey."
The Richmond Times Dispatch. 22 March 1998 (p. A1).
Miller, Bill. "Cooper Sentenced to Life for Starbucks Slayings."
The Washington Post. 26 April 2000 (p. B1).
Murdock, Deroy. " Are Deaths, Beatings and Break-Ins Linked to Arkansas S&L Scandal?"
The Dallas Morning News. 3 April 1994 (p. J6).
Murray, Frank. "Conspiracy Theory Widens to Murder in Whitewater Case."
The [London] Times. 14 March 1994 (Overseas News).
Piore, Adam. "Ex-Interns from N.J. Say President Is Seldom Seen."
The [Bergen County] Record. 29 January 1998.
Walker, Martin. "Conspiracy Theorists Let Imagination Run Riot Over Whitewater Scandal."
The Guardian. 24 March 1994 (p. 16).
Wynar, Roahn. "Clinton Body Count Death List a Hoax."
Daily Texan. 21 October 1998.
Associated Press. "Report: McDougal Never Seen By Doctors Just Before Prison Death."
13 September 1998.
The New York Times. "Victor Raiser, 52, Financial Aide In Clinton Presidential Campaign."
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
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