- A group of concerned citizens including myself have undertaken
to resist the media's failure to inform us about important events occurring
in our country. Please read this report and circulate it widely to others.
Report from Washington A summary of a telephone conference with Chief Petty
Officer Kathleen Janoski USN conducted by a group of concerned citizens.
- On Wednesday, October 28, 1998, a group of citizens from
various parts of the country talked with Kathleen Janoski. CPO Janoski
was the Chief of the Forensic Photography Division at the Office of the
Armed Forces Medical Examiner in the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
("AFIP") and is a 22-year veteran of the Navy. The subject of
the discussion was the hole in Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown's skull
that looked like a bullet hole.
- On April 3, 1996, while transporting Mr. Brown and 34
others, an Air Force CT-43 executive transport crashed near Dubrovnik,
Croatia. Thirty-three of the bodies, including Ron Brown's, were flown
to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where they were examined by AFIP personnel.
At the time of the crash, Mr. Brown was under investigation by the Office
of Independent Counsel (Mr. Daniel Pearson was the Special Prosecutor)
and was under subpoena to produce documents concerning the sale of seats
on trade missions in a civil law suit by Judicial Watch. The official determination
of the cause of Mr. Brown's death was blunt force trauma.
- On November 24, 1997, shortly after the Air Force released
a voluminous report of its investigation of the crash, an article concerning
the report was published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. On December
3, another article included statements by one of the pathologists on the
AFIP team, Lt. Colonel Steven Cogswell (USAF), that there was a perfectly
round hole, inward-beveled, in Mr. Brown's skull that looked like a bullet
hole. However, no autopsy was performed.
- On December 5, Cogswell was put under a gag order. At
about that time, he was escorted to his home by military police who seized
all case materials on the Brown case.
- On December 9, Lt. Colonel David Hause (U.S. Army) another
AFIP pathologist and a leading expert on gun shot wounds, confirmed Cogswell's
statements. The gag order was broadened to include all AFIP personnel.
- On January 8, 1998, the Department of Justice reported
that it had looked into the matter and saw no reason to launch an investigation.
No one from DOJ talked to Cogswell or Hause.
- On January 9, the Washington Post reported that the AFIP
had convened a review panel of all its pathologists that had unanimously
concluded that Brown died of blunt force trauma and that the hole was not
a gunshot wound. But Cogswell says he refused to participate in the review
and that the only pathologists with expertise in bullet wounds dissented
(I.e., himself, Hause & Major Thomas Parsons of the USAF).
- Shortly after the Post article, Major Parsons came forth
to indicate his dissent to the so-called "unanimous" board conclusion.
- On January 13, a fourth member of the AFIP team, Chief
Petty Officer Janoski, came forth to confirm the account of the skull hole.
She further indicated that she had been told by Jeanmarie Sentelle, a Special
Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, that x-rays of Brown's
skull had been destroyed after the "lead snowstorm" was discovered.
According to Sentelle, a "lead snowstorm" on x-rays is caused
by bullet fragments when a bullet disintegrates upon impact.
- Also on January 13, Cogswell, Parsons, Janoski and Larry
Klayman of Judicial Watch met with Congressman John Conyers, a member of
the Congressional Black Caucus. The Caucus is composed of 30 Congressmen,
- Democrats. The Caucus called for a Congressional investigation
and was supported by the NAACP, the Nation of Islam and Dick Gregory.
- On February 12, a Petition to Order Continuation of the
Independent Counsel's Investigation into Matters Related to Former Secretary
of Commerce Ronald H. Brown was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia. The NAACP and Dick Gregory filed documents in
support of the petition. Apparently the court declined to decide the matter
and referred it to Mr. Pearson for action. Apparently no action has been
- Although the mainstream media was eerily silent about
most of the developments outlined here, Black Entertainment Television
and Christian Broadcasting Network and a few others provided some coverage.
Talk radio has provided coverage of the matter. Unfortunately most people
know nothing about the hole in the skull.
- A collection of articles appear at:
- The Account of CPO Kathleen Janoski
- Janoski's duties included photographing the bodies from
head to toe. Beginning at the head of Ron Brown, she saw a perfectly round
hole in his skull. She said something to the effect "Wow. That looks
like a bullet hole." She immediately was "shushed" by Colonel
William Gormley, the AFIP pathologist examining Brown's body. She repeated
her statement and was again "shushed." Hearing her comment, others
in the room came to Brown's body and looked at the hole. The hole was viewed
by Hause, Gormley, Commander Edward Kilbane (USN) - all pathologists -
and Lt. Colonel Craig Mallak who was doing his residency in pathology.
There may have been other personnel in the room who saw the hole as well.
Janoski's photo of the apparent bullet hole can be viewed on the Internet
- On the light box at the morgue were x-rays of Brown's
skull which were photographed by Janoski. Ironically, her purpose in photographing
the x-rays was to test the light meter in her camera rather than record
evidence. The photos of the x-rays became critically important when the
x-rays apparently disappeared. The Brown files contain 15 x-rays of other
parts of the body and the file cover indicates that there are 15 x-rays,
indicating that the file is intended to support the conclusion that no
skull x-rays were taken.
- While photographing Brown's body, Janoski was urged to
hurry by Bob Veasey, AFIP investigator working with Colonel William Gormley,
referring to "White House pressure."
- On the Friday following the crash but before the bodies
had arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Kilbane, the team leader, attended
a meeting at the West wing of the White House (where the Oval Office is
located). On Saturday, a memorial service was held for Brown. President
Clinton spoke. On Sunday (Easter) the bodies were examined by the AFIP
- Cogswell did not view the hole in the skull as he was
dispatched to the crash site in Croatia soon after the bodies arrived at
Dover. While in Croatia, he was called by Gormley who asked that he check
the wreckage to see what might have caused the hole that he described to
Cogswell. Cogswell responded to Gormley that, as described, it sounded
like a bullet hole. Cogswell checked the wreckage and photos were taken
of objects that might have caused such an injury but nothing was found
that could have been the cause of the hole. Gormley's call to Cogwell came
after Brown's body had been embalmed and released for burial.
- Gormley initially stated that the wound was not a bullet
hole because it did not penetrate the skull and because the brain was not
visible. Later he reversed himself saying that the skull was penetrated
and that Brown's brain was visible. He also confessed that no autopsy was
ever requested "[b] ased on discussions at the highest level from
in Commerce, at the Joint [Chief of Staff] and the [Department of Defense],
the White House ?"