- Five years ago, this reporter took a slightly-more-than-cursory
gander at the Vince Foster case and remarked, "It doesn't take a brilliant
professional investigator to define this case, but it takes many to cover
- Indeed, from Day One the facts have shown that medical
examiners and investigators - following a tremendous influx of intimidation
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation - had molded their own "facts"
to mesh with the White House spin. And once again, the American people
- An uncommon cadre of amateur sleuths has proven the deception.
They accuse the Park Police, the FBI and the Office of Independent Counsel
including both Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr of Conspiracy to Obstruct
Justice, and the evidence is stunning. It all adds up to a "Failure
of the Public Trust."
- "Eighty times the Office of Independent Counsel
made specific points," says Washington, D.C., attorney John Clarke,
"and eighty times they lied." His client is Patrick Knowlton,
44, who stopped at Fort Marcy Park on the western side of the Potomac River
for a nature call that sultry July day in 1993, and stepped into history.
- The third player in this unlikely coalition is a professional
magician, who deftly bamboozles his audience with sleight-of-hand card
tricks in order to portray the government's chicanery in the case Hugh
- Their facts and figures do far more than convince a jury
beyond a reasonable doubt. They show murder and cover-up "beyond any
shadow of a doubt." The result of their extensive, indefatigable research
is Failure of the Public Trust, a 510-page documentary (which sometimes
reads more like a spy novel than a legal document) gleaned from the public
record by Clarke in preparation for the Title 42 civil suit on behalf of
his client Patrick Knowlton. Knowlton provided his eyewitness testimony,
Turley did most of the writing and Clarke edited the whole thing. All participated
in the research.
- The Mysterious Stranger
- To explain Patrick Knowlton's stumble into history and
why there is a civil suit against more than 34 known and unknown defendants,
we must go back to that fateful day - the day of Vince Foster's murder,
July 20, 1993. Foster left his White House office at 1:30 p.m., saying,
"I'll be back." He never returned. A few hours later, Patrick
Knowlton, a building contractor having completed a hot day's work, finished
a cold beer with friends and headed out on a two-hour drive toward home.
At 4:30, he wheeled his car into the parking area of Fort Marcy Park, a
quiet haven rumored to be a rendezvous spot for homosexuals and illicit
drug exchanges. Knowlton was unaware of this but knew he could secure a
spot for a brief pause in a secluded shadow on the leafy hillside.
- As he pulled his car into space #3, on his right in #5
was a late model automobile backed into the space. The driver appeared
to be closely observing the front entrance, and Knowlton had an eerie feeling
about him. As Patrick emerged from his car, the feeling was enhanced by
a very menacing look from the stranger, who looked more like he was straight
out of a James Bond movie. Knowlton admits the intimidating demeanor of
this stranger unnerved him.
- To his left was parked an unoccupied mid-1980s brown
Honda sedan with Arkansas license plates. Immediately after Knowlton The
Mysterious Stranger and began to stare at him, menacingly.
- As he started from his car toward the footpath, Patrick
heard the blue-gray sedan's door open. Apprehensive, he walked to the sign
bordering the footpath entrance to the park and feigned to read its historical
information while nonchalantly glancing to his right to see if the man
was approaching. He saw the man leaning on the roof of the driver's side
of the sedan, watching him intently. Patrick then cautiously proceeded
75 feet down the footpath's left fork to the first large tree. This was
in the opposite direction from which Vince Foster's body would soon be
recovered. (Knowlton and Clarke shudder to think what may have happened
if Patrick had randomly chosen to take the direction toward Foster's location.)
- While busily relieving himself, Knowlton heard the man
close his car door, but because the foliage was so dense, he couldn't see
the parking lot and hoped the man was not pursuing him. As he walked back
to the parking lot, he scanned the area with a new sense of awareness,
but did not see the man. He purposefully in order to maintain space until
he learned the man's whereabouts walked directly to the driver's side of
the Honda and then around the back of it, observing and remembering several
items in the back seat. He then was comforted to see that the stranger
was back behind the wheel of his own car but still staring fixedly at him.
- Of the five things Patrick witnessed at the park and
in the car, the "rust-brown" Honda itself is the most relevant
and became the root of Knowlton's future troubles. It was not Vince Foster's
car! When Foster's body was discovered approximately 70 minutes after Patrick
left the park, the autopsy and other forensic evidence showed Foster had
been dead for much longer than that.
- Win Some, Lose Some
- Knowlton's suit was filed in October of 1996. In July
of 1997, John Clarke learned that Kenneth Starr had issued his 114-page,
double-spaced report, on Vince Foster's death. Under the Independent Counsel
statute, those who are named in the report can submit factual information
and comments, which in the discretion of the court can be attached to that
OIC report. However, Starr attempted to prevent Clarke from attaching anything
because Patrick Knowlton was not specifically mentioned by name but only
as "C-2," the second civilian witness.
- Clarke then went to the Court of Appeals saying that
the mere cryptic mention of Knowlton as "C-2" was sufficient
to satisfy the statute and that his motion of evidence of a cover-up should
be attached to the Starr report. The court ultimately agreed and ordered
the OIC to attach the additional 20 pages of Knowlton's evidence for the
three judge panel to review. Starr then, in a blatant move to prevent Knowlton's
evidence from being heard, personally filed a motion to reconsider a motion
which was immediately and summarily denied. Clarke did not even have to
respond with an argument.
- The hundreds of pages of evidence in the case and Starr's
Interim Report remained secret and under seal until its release on Oct.
14, 1997. Most recently, a 511-page report submitted by Knowlton was unsealed
Sept. 14, 1999. The three judge panel, however, denied Knowlton's request
that his report be attached as an addendum to the Starr Report on the Foster
investigation. The just-released document is a point-by-point analysis
and refutation of Starr's 114-page report.
- However, in the lower court, the trial judge granted
the motion for summary judgment in favor of the multiple government defendants
at the pre-discovery stage of the proceedings. That decision is now also
being reviewed by the Court of Appeals but in the hands of different judges.
Knowlton is prepared to take his suit all the way to the Supreme Court
of the United States.
- More Suspicious Happenings
- Later, Leslie Rutherford, 19, reported an unusual confrontation
as having happened on July 19, the day before the murder. She had been
playing tennis in the afternoon and was walking home on the back road in
the woods behind the park. She noticed a man in a suit and a tie standing
in the woods. Peculiar enough, in a remote part of the woods and 95-degree
heat, but when he saw her approaching, he turned his head in an attempt
to hide his identity, and walked the other way into the brush.
- After learning of the body being found in that area,
Leslie called the Park Police to report what she had seen. They took her
statement over the phone wherein she explained that this was in the northwest
corner of the park. Clarke says that this became a very telling piece during
the Fiske probe when the report was changed to read "...the southeast
corner of the park. "Obviously," he says, "someone was out
there the day before checking out the scene, but nobody ever came to interview
the young lady." Nor is there any mention of this road anywhere in
the 20,000 pages of the public record.
- Foster and HiIIary
- Arkansas State Patrolman L.D. Brown served in Governor
Clinton's security detail in the 1980s. At a weak moment during those days,
he accepted the assignment of going to Mexico to murder Terry Reed (according
to Reed) but had a change of heart while secretly watching Terry and Janis
play with their children in the motel swimming pool. Instead, he returned
to Little Rock without further attempt and later apologized to Terry. Considering
the firsthand information that he harbors, some may wonder how he has survived
the wake of "Arkancides" over the past two decades.
- In his 1999 book, Crossfire, Brown sheds some light on
a motive - if not for the actual murder, at least for Hillary Clinton's
rushing to capture/destroy evidence by sending Maggie Williams into Foster's
White House office only an hour after the body was found.
- From Chapter Five we excerpt this sizzler revolving around
one of the wife-swapping group's nights out on the town, which, according
to Brown, was more ordinary than exceptional, You will see - as even Brown
says - that the scandals of today are a mere continuation of the ones from
- "It would be a night that would demonstrate just
how the 'understanding' worked. It would also serve to confirm in no uncertain
terms who Hillary's 'significant other' was...
- "By this time Vince and Hillary were looking like
they were in the back seat of a '57 Chevy at the drive-in. Hillary was
kissing Vince like I've never seen her kiss Bill, and the same sort of
thing was going on with Bill and Beth. Mike and Lisa [Foster]'s oblivion
to the escalation of the amorous activity left me bewildered. No one seemed
to notice me, except for Vince who would give the occasional furtive glance,
sometimes accentuated by a wink...
- "Hillary Rodham loved Vince Foster, let's put that
issue to rest right here. It has amazed me that the subject has been taboo
in the 'mainstream media.' Especially after he committed suicide, a serious
discussion of motive could not be undertaken until that variable had been
included in any hypothesis."
- But John Clarke, Patrick Knowlton and Hugh Turley are
not speculating with anything. As a matter of fact, they have not even
interviewed any of the players. Their report takes the Senate Banking Committee
in January of 1995, and shoots it to pieces. They have already proved their
case by using only the federal government's release to the public and without
hiring any private investigators.
- "There are over 900 footnotes in our document,"
says Clarke, "all of them relating back to the federal investigative
record...our proof is unassailable."
- Some of the Twisted Evidence
- While space prevents our covering each of the 80 fabricated
points, let us highlight a few. The team's research proved:
- 1. Vince Foster could not have fired the weapon. (What
more is necessary to completely eliminate "suicide?") The gunshot
residue on his hands indicates that he was fighting off an attacker rather
than firing the weapon with his thumb. Remington cartridges were found
in the "official" death weapon but Ball Smokeless powder was
found on his body. Remington has never used this powder in the manufacture
of any of its cartridges.
- 2. Foster could not have driven to the park. His car
keys were not in his pocket at the scene, although they were found on him
at the morgue following a visit from two White House Aides - Craig Livingstone
and William Kennedy.
- 3. There was no wound in the soft palate nor an exit
wound in the back of the head, as the QIC reported. The bullet wound was
actually in Foster's neck. A Teletype report from a field agent to FBI
Director Freeh on 7/21/93 said that the preliminary results showed that
there was "no exit wound."
- 4. In reports from witnesses on the scene, first there
was no gun in Foster's hand, then it was a semi-automatic, and finally
became a World War I Army .38 revolver. Foster did not own this weapon.
Clarke and his team believe the weapon is likely to be a .22-caliber pistol.
- 5. Polaroid photographs vanished, contrary to the Starr
- 6. 35-mm still shots "looked good," according
to the photographer, but the Starr Report said they were "underexposed."
These photos also disappeared.
- 7. Autopsy began well before the scheduled time 10:00
a.m. on 7/21/93, the morning after the body was found. Dr. James Beyer
removed the soft palate and the tongue during this "pre-autopsy"
period, which was the actual evidence that would have shown the bullet
entered the neck instead of through the mouth. Dr. Beyer was assisted by
an unknown pathologist and refused to tell the police who this man was.
Authorities from the scene did not attend the autopsy. There was conflicting
forensic evidence of a bullet trajectory and no official time of death
was ever set.
- 8. Park Police Sgt. Robert Edwards was alone with the
body at the park for approximately 15 minutes and tampered with evidence.
In addition, he was the last person to have possession of the initial photographs
showing the body as it was found.
- 9. The eventual "changing of stories" by almost
every (if not every) witness at the scene according to Mr. Starr's still-secret
- a. Park Police Investigator John Rolla changed his statement
and recalled more blood than originally stated by him.
- b. Park Police Officer Kevin Fornshill changed his deposition
to say that there were "no volunteers," after first reporting
- c. Firefighter Todd Hall changed his statement from hearing
and seeing someone in the woods to saying it "must have been traffic"
on Chain Bridge Road.
- d. John Rolla again changed his deposition statement
from saying he took photos of the back of Foster's head to say he "did
not" take those photographs but only intended to take them.
- e. Rolla also changed his account from his testimony
that he had "emptied the [Foster] pockets" to he "did not
reach into the bottom of the pants pocket."
- f. Fairfax County Officer David Tipton contradicted the
previous testimony by Investigator Rolla, who said Kennedy and Livingstone
were in the room with the Foster body by saying that they only viewed the
body through a glass window. (This is when the Foster keys suddenly appeared
back on his person.)
- g. Dr. James Beyer contradicted his own autopsy report
that reflected X-rays were taken (and the Park Police report of his comments
on the X-ray results) by saying that "the machine was not working."
- h. Paramedic Richard Arthur changed his previous account
that he was "100 percent sure" he saw a semi-automatic pistol
in Mr. Foster's hand to say instead, he "must have been mistaken."
- i. Firefighter Jennifer Wacha amended her account of
never seeing a gun to saying that it was consistent with the one found
at the scene.
- j. Dr. Donald Haut, Investigator Renee Abt, Park Police
Technician Peter Simonello, and Park Police Investigator Christine Hodakievic
all changed their statements to say they saw a pool of blood under Foster's
- FBI Involvement
- Although both OIC reports were the "final analysis,"
John Clarke allows that their failure may be chalked up more to ignorance
(re: Fiske and Starr) than conspiracy. It is his opinion that the FBI was
the real culprit here because the bulk of bogus information was compiled
by its agents. Indeed, the pattern shown above of witnesses changing testimony
to fit the government spin is a glaring signature of FBI footprints in
the sand of an unsolved case.
- "It was an FBI investigation," says Clarke.
"Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr didn't perform the laboratory analysis
or write the reports. They didn't interview the witnesses. It was all in
the hands of the FBI. The first investigation was a joint FBI and Park
Police investigation. The second one under Robert Fiske was an FBI investigation.
Then Kenneth Starr decided to use the FBI to conduct his investigation.
It was FBI all the way straight through. And Congress has never probed
the death, not withstanding what the media have led the people to think.
- "In the 1994 Senate Banking Committee hearings,
they were precluded by their limited jurisdiction from even probing into
the death," Clake continues. "The only thing they could look
into was whether or not there was improper conduct by the White House during
the course of the first investigation. That was it as far as Foster was
- But little did Patrick Knowlton know that his episode
in Fort Marcy Park was only the beginning for him. Some 18 months after
the fact, British reporter Ambrose Evans Pritchard interviewed Knowlton
and informed him that Special Agent Larry Monroe had falsified Knowlton's
story by misreporting to the OIC that he had identified the brown car he
saw at the scene as a "1988 to 1990" year model. This fabrication
would have coincided with Foster's 1989 (silver-gray) Honda, except that
they could not coerce this witness into agreeing to the lie.
- This poses the question: Was the Arkansas Honda temporarily
"planted" in the parking lot long enough to be seen and then
moved in order to further the false scenario that Foster had driven himself
there with a preconceived plan of suicide?
- It was only when Knowlton was subpoenaed to testify before
the grand jury in 1995, where it was known that he would refute the fiction
of Foster's car, that the government harassment began.
- First, he began to notice that whenever he left his apartment,
several plainclothes strangers would approach him from all sides. Some
were well-dressed in suits, others were in casual attire. As both he arid
his lady friend witnessed on numerous occasions (she called it "extremely
unnerving"), agents would approach from the front, staring intently
but never speaking. Then, after getting the couple's attention, one "raised
his wrist to his mouth and spoke into his coat sleeve."
- On another occasion, one stranger confronted Patrick
and reached into a shoulder bag, as if going for a gun. Reporter Christopher
Ruddy also witnessed this type of intimidation when he once went for a
walk with Knowlton.
- From the report: During the course of the two days beginning
the day FBI Agent Bransford served the secret grand jury subpoena, Patrick
suffered the cumulative effect of intimidation by at least 25 men. They
acted in a rapid and coordinated fashion, obviously working in tandem,
employing the same modus operandi of continuously staring and following.
Of the first 25 men, 23 appeared within five minutes of his predecessor,
13 approached before his predecessor had departed...
- Experts tell us that the technique is known to federal
intelligence and investigative agencies, and that its objectives were two
fold: 1) to intimidate and warn Patrick in connection with his grand jury
testimony, and, failing that, 2) to destabilize him and discredit his testimony
before the grand jury.
- As suggested by the experts, Clarke and Knowlton agreed
later that all this activity was performed by some government agency in
order to make Knowlton appear to be delusional and paranoid whenever he
might complain of these events.
- The Peugeot Incident
- More than a year prior to the emotional harassment, Knowlton
had his property intentionally destroyed by a government operative. One
evening Patrick and his lady friend were entertaining an out-of-town couple
who wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial. Patrick took them for a ride there
in his antique, refurbished 1975 Peugeot - his "pride and joy"
and virtually his only asset. En route, they noticed a car with three men
trailing dangerously close behind them.
- When Patrick arrived at the area of the Memorial and
pulled forward of a parallel-parking place in preparation to back in, the
car behind swiped the space before he could take it. Patrick pulled forward
and took another just a few spaces up. Angry upon emerging, he aired his
displeasure to the driver, who only responded with an obscene gesture.
The group of four walked across the street to the Vietnam Memorial site.
- When they were out of sight, the driver of the other
car got out with a tire tool, walked forward and began to bash out the
taillights of the Peugeot. Then he walked to the front and worked over
the headlights, grill work and radiator - to a he total tune of $3,700
in damage. Fortuitously, a limo driver was parked nearby, witnessed the
whole episode, took down the Illinois license plate number, and gave it
to the Park Police and Patrick upon his return. Following his report that
night, the Park Police said after a week that they were "unable to
locate" the car or the owner.
- It is important to note that the street incident took
place more than a year before the aforementioned intimidation attempts
but, by a strange coincidence, the night before Knowlton was scheduled
to appear for his second interview with FBI Special Agent Monroe. In the
suit, Plaintiff avers that this "was to cause Plaintiff to be in a
deteriorated emotional state while being interviewed by Monroe. The conspirators
sought to make Plaintiff more vulnerable to being manipulated by Monroe's
haranguing to obtain from Plaintiff the sought-after admission that the
Arkansas Honda [which] Plaintiff saw in the park could have been Mr. Foster's
1989 year model Honda." A year later, when Knowlton was preparing
his suit, a private detective discovered in only one day that the car was
registered to Scott Jeffrey Bickett, an individual employed by the Department
of Defense and holding "Active SCI" (Sensitive Compartmented
Information) security clearance - a top U.S. government clearance. "Upon
information and belief (the suit says), Bickett has been briefed at FBI
Headquarters, has served at the direction of FBI personnel, and was so
serving when he committed the acts cited above." Bickett later confessed
to the Park Police, but the Office of the U.S. Attorney refused to prosecute
- The Grand Jury
- Patrick Knowlton's treatment by the prosecutors during
his grand jury testimony could be graded as "very poor." They
kept referring to his "alleged" harassment and spent very little
time on the facts of the case. However, they spent much more time asking
about his contacts with Capitol Hill and reporters, insinuating a number
of times that he was a homosexual and was in Fort Marcy Park that day for
reason of a liaison with another. Once they even asked if the Prosecutors
stranger in the park had pointed a gun at him, passed him a note or "touched
your insinuated during genitals." Patrick was outraged and asked for
- Based upon the demeanor of the prosecutors, the questioning
and the fact that one of the prosecutors sat behind him, Patrick believes
that the OIC was in no way seeking the truth but rather trying to rattle
and discredit him before the grand jury.
- The Knowlton civil suit is very important. The facts
of harassment are telling. It begs that a mystery by solved. Why did several
unknown persons commit multiple crimes in order to obstruct the investigation
into the death of Vincent Foster? And why are these people allowed to remain
- No less than 84 personalized letters to members of Congress
- those committee members having jurisdiction over the matter - were hand-delivered
in July of 1996, informing them of the obstruction of justice in this case.
There has been no response. A previous letter had been delivered to all
535 members of both houses and produced but seven responses. All were vague
and came to no fruition.
- The answers to these and other questions boil down to
the basics: The #1 priority of all bureaucrats, elected and appointed,
is to remain in their positions. Pass the buck. Stonewall. Live for the
next check and survive until retirement. Protect those who can protect
you and chop off the heads of those who won't. And if the kitchen gets
too hot, douse the flames of public indignation with as few repercussions
- Witness the recent cases at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma
City and the phony impeachment proceedings. The murder of Vince Foster
is just one more to be added to that long and ever-expanding list.
- "The men the American people admire most extravagantly
are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who
try to tell them the truth." H.L. Mencken