Vincent Foster death and investigations, The Unanswered Questions in the Foster Case, Christopher Ruddy NewsMax 1999, Mishandling of case by Park Police Special Counsel Robert Fiske Independent Counsel Ken Starr and FBI

Vincent Foster death and investigations, The Unanswered Questions in the Foster Case, Christopher Ruddy NewsMax 1999, Mishandling of case by Park Police Special Counsel Robert Fiske Independent Counsel Ken Starr and FBI


The following article can no longer be found at NewsMax. Apparently their archives only go back to 2007.

Since it was scrubbed it is presented in it’s entirety.

From NewsMax February 8, 1999.


The Unanswered Questions in the Foster Case

Christopher Ruddy

Herein follow some of the critical issues involved in the death of Vincent Foster and subsequent investigations. This memo identifies almost a hundred significant problems with the case. There are dozens of issues that have not been included in this memo.
It has been over two years since the highest ranking federal official in more than 30 years died under very suspicious circumstances.

One doesn’t have to be a conspiracist to ask serious questions about the high number of inconsistencies that challenge whether the death was a suicide or to note the mishandling of the case by the Park Police, Special Counsel Robert Fiske, Independent Counsel Ken Starr, and the FBI.

A Time/CNN poll conducted in July 1995 showed that 20 percent of Americans believe Foster was murdered, and another 45 percent don’t accept the suicide ruling at this point-65 percent of Americans don’t buy the official version. In response to another question, 45 percent said they believe a cover-up took place in the death investigation of Foster.

One need not be a conspiracist to believe that if the original Park Police investigation was mishandled, and that subsequent investigations uncritically reviewed the original investigation, the results of a hundred superficial investigations would come up with the same, possibly faulty, conclusions.

In fact, former FBI Director William Sessions has charged that the investigation into Foster’s death by the Park Police was “compromised from the beginning.”

Critically, the Foster case is about the proper administration of justice and the public’s right to know.

Few of us knew what a decent, stable, conscientious and devoted family man Vincent Foster was, which makes the depression theory even more preposterous.

But a cursory review of the evidence and handling of the case demonstrates that there is much more to the death than the public has been told.

The Circumstances

No suicide note.
Another torn note was found in a briefcase that previously had been searched.
Three handwriting experts, including one from Oxford University, concluded the note was a forgery.
A note which never mentioned suicide and torn into 28 pieces was found almost a week after his death.
No fingerprints were found on the torn note.
No farewell to his family, or final arrangements made for them.
No history of visiting Fort Marcy Park.
Large amount of unaccounted time from when last seen alive until body found five hours later.
The Body

Body so neatly arranged, arms at sides, head straight up, as “if it was ready for the coffin,” according to two paramedics.
Found on steep slope amidst dense brush, unusual surroundings in which to commit suicide.
Little blood loss from a gunshot wound to a living person’s head.
The Gun

In two probes, family couldn’t positively identify the gun as Foster’s.
Two rounds found in gun, no matching bullets at home.
No fingerprints, though gun found in hand.
No visible blood splatter or blow-back on gun.
No one heard the fatal shot.
No gunpowder found on tongue.
Recoil didn’t chip or damage teeth, though barrel said to have been pressed against back of mouth.
Gun remained (unusual) in hand.
Two homicide experts say the gun was “staged” in hand.
Powder burns on both hands indicate neither hand on grip when fired-seven leading experts say firing position “inconsistent” with suicide.
Unless Lisa Foster was unable to distinguish between black and silver, it appears the FBI showed Mrs. Foster a silver gun for identification while falsely telling her it was the gun found with her husband. The gun found in Foster’s hand was black.
Park Police Investigation.

Improperly treated death from arrival at scene; police procedure says treat all suicides as homicides first.
Didn’t bother to interview park neighbors or regular visitors.
Failed to take statements from all persons found in park.
Key witness says the representation of her statement in police report was “untrue”.
Didn’t seal Foster’s office, though he died during workday.
Gave away key crime scene evidence, such as his beeper and papers, within hours after the death.
Gun not sent for testing until one week after official ruling of suicide.
Lead investigator had never handled a homicide case before.
Police claimed they conducted metal detector search, yet FBI later found 70 pieces of metal (including 12 modern bullets) in same area of search-even some right on path where body was found.
Police underexposed key 35mm crime scene photos, other Polaroids missing.
Never conducted fiber suction of Foster’s clothing.
Didn’t analyze Foster’s shoes.
Relied on autopsy of Virginia medical examiner, who has been challenged in two suicide rulings-in one case the murderer later confessed.
In violation of their own procedures, no police present at the death scene attended the autopsy.
The Fiske Investigation

Foster’s death investigation was exempted from the grand jury, no one was interviewed under oath (unusual).
Confidential witness who discovered the body stated FBI badgered him to alter his testimony on critical issues.
Patrick Knowlton, a witness who officials said was the first to spot Foster’s Honda in the parking lot, claims the FBI “lied” in his witness statement; they claimed he could not identify a man he saw in the park; he says he can.
Claimed that everyone known to have been in Fort Marcy that evening was interviewed; this is not true. Still not interviewed are an Hispanic-looking man, a dark-haired man, a blonde-haired man, and “volunteers” working on a park trail.
Fiske ignored witness statements of couple in the park who said two men, not Foster, were in and around his car just before body was found; said police misrepresented their statements; Fiske omitted their critical testimony from his report.
Canvass of neighborhood was never conducted by Fiske.
Implied on page 36 that medical examiner saw a large pool of blood under Foster’s body; medical examiner denied this.
Person who found the body asked a park maintenance worker to call 911; Fiske never bothered to have maintenance worker identify this person.
Fiske investigation leaked conclusion of suicide by April 4 to the Wall Street Journal, yet records show no real investigation had taken place, including FBI lab reports or autopsy review.
The body was never exhumed.
Falsely claimed that there was “no evidence” Whitewater was a concern of Foster’s before his death.
Two professionals claimed Fiske’s FBI team never conducted an excavation of about half of a ton of soil where Foster’s body was found-as the FBI claimed in their report.
Evidence uncovered during Starr probe showed that FBI investigation had used distorted copies of original photos for analysis.
Fiske claimed Foster was depressed citing, among other things, Foster’s “obvious” weight loss. Medical records demonstrate Foster actually gained weight while working at the White House.
Fiske failed to include in his report key testimony from White House aide Thomas Castleton that he saw Foster leave his office with a briefcase.
Ignored as many as five witnesses who said they saw a briefcase in Foster’s Honda at Fort Marcy. Suppressed Castleton’s FBI interview statement from Congress.
Failed to follow-up on testimony from a CNN make-up artist who overheard a conversation between Clinton and an aide indicating Clinton knew of the death prior to the time he has claimed. Fiske suppressed the make-up artist’s testimony by not turning it over to Congress.
Missing Evidence

All the 35mm crime scene photos.
Seven Polaroids taken at the scene by Park Police officer; he says other photos don’t match scene he saw.
Other Polaroids taken of blood on ground after body was removed.
No X-rays even though autopsy report and police report state they were taken.
Government claims to have no set of fingerprints for Vincent Foster.
Starr Investigation

Promised to review Fiske probe, but put the same FBI agents in charge of reviewing their own work.
Lead prosecutor of Foster case, Miquel Rodriguez, resigned after being thwarted in conducting full probe.
Rodriguez was told to conclude case at early stage of the investigation.
Rodriguez was denied the right to bring experts outside the FBI to explore inconsistencies.
Witnesses were allowed to review evidence before testifying.
Took more than nine months to conduct a canvass of neighbors around park.
Starr summons three witnesses before grand jury after London Telegraph reported he had never interviewed them-though Starr’s investigation was over a year old and published reports said he was ready to close case.
Allows grand jury begun under Fiske, where key evidence was presented by Rodriguez, to expire and replaces it with new grand jury; he was allowed under law to keep grand jury for another year.
Photographic evidence of a wound or trauma to Foster’s neck has been ignored.
FBI agents refused to draw map of Fort Marcy Park; grand jury proceedings took place without use of map.
Testimony of four witnesses and photographic evidence that a briefcase was in Foster’s car have been ignored.
Evidence that the gun in Foster’s hand was moved or switched has been ignored.
Evidence that Park Police were not truthful in previous testimony of finding men in orange vests in the park, as well as other park visitors, has been ignored.
Evidence that White House knew of death earlier than stated has been ignored.
Has regularly, and unusually, failed to challenge claims of attorney-client privilege by several Clinton aides-including former counsel William Kennedy.
Two Arkansas State troopers claim Starr’s investigator attempted to have them change their testimony as to when they were notified of Foster’s death.
Investigators used unusual tactics and false pretenses in an attempt to undermine the credibility of witness Knowlton.
Starr’s investigators were able to get a couple who told the FBI under Fiske they saw two men in and around Foster’s Honda, to change their stories. The couple now say they saw no one around the Honda.
Starr hired O. J. Simpson defense expert Henry Lee to help close.
Starr hired Dr. Brian Blackbourne, the San Diego Medical Examiner, to help close the case. Blackbourne is a former deputy and close friend of the lead pathologist who ruled on the case for Fiske.
Starr’s Washington deputy, Mark Tuohey, quit Starr’s office to join the Washington law firm that represents the Rose firm before Starr’s very own firm.
Movement of the Body

Medical examiner said there was little blood under the body.
Medical examiner also said blood had matted or congealed on back of head, indicating possible covering of wound.
FBI blood analysis noted only blood drainage from head, not excessive bleeding-one indication gunshot may not have been cause of death.
Though bullet exited top of back of head while in sitting position, no blood tissue or splatter was seen above head.
FBI analysis found not a trace of soil on shoes or clothing, though Foster allegedly walked nearly 750 feet through park and sat down on dirt path.
FBI report omitted any mention of grass stains that should have been apparent on Foster’s shoes.
FBI analysis found mica particles on clothing, consistent with body having been moved and placed on dense foliage.
Neat arrangement of body unusual for violent death.
Blood tracks indicated Foster’s head moved as many as four times after instant death.
Eyeglasses found 19 feet downslope from Foster’s head, a physically impossible result of the claimed gunshot.
FBI found carpet fibers all over Foster’s clothing and underwear, indicating body may have come into contact with one or more carpets before delivery to park.
Fired bullet never found, despite exhaustive searches.
Foster’s car keys not found in his pockets at Fort Marcy.
Location of Body

Evidence indicates the Park Police misrepresented the location of the body’s discovery at the park:
Fairfax County paramedic Gonzalez told reporter Ruddy that the body was lying on a slope well past the first cannon. The police report gives another location: directly in front of a second cannon a few hundred feet away.
A Park Police officer told Ruddy the body was by the first cannon area.
Gonzalez and the police officer were unaware of the second cannon hidden deep in the park.
Polaroids that depict heavy vegetation around the body don’t match the second cannon site, where the ground is visible.
Second cannon site has been a dirt path for over two decades; a Gannett news report stated that the pathway was a dirt one the day after the death. Yet not a trace of soil was found on Foster’s shoes or clothing.
Tests conducted by two police experts found significant soil deposits on shoes and clothing of a test model at second cannon site.
Experts note that a leaf identified as magnolia acuminata in ABC News Polaroid is commonly found by first cannon site; no such leaf was found by second cannon site.
Doctor Haut’s FBI statement indicates cannon was 10-20 yards behind body, which is consistent with Gonzalez’s and police officer’s account of first cannon site.
Haut sketched a map of body near first cannon site; map is similar to one drawn by Gonzalez.
Fairfax EMT worker Kory Ashford told Ruddy he could not remember cannon’s location in park. Later, Ashford draws detailed map for the FBI depicting two cannons.
Park regular Robert Reeves and maintenance supervisor Ty Brown said the body was found near the first cannon.
Maintenance worker who called 911 disputes transcript of call, which has him locating body near the last cannon”; he said he only knew of one cannon.”


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