Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Vincent Foster

The Police Arrive

Kyle quickly left the scene and drove to a nearby maintenance area, where he told a worker what he'd found. He didn't give his name or any other information and worried that they would take down his license plate number. Then he drove off, not to be heard from again for eight months. The park personnel in turn alerted the U.S. Park Police, who have jurisdiction over crimes committed on the federally-owned park.

Vincent Foster
Vincent Foster

The body was officially discovered at 6:15 p.m. by U.S. Park Police Officer Kevin Fornshill. The officer responded to the call while stationed at his post at the entrance to the Central Intelligence Agency just down the road. Once at the park, Fornshill joined the search party. Calling out that he'd found the corpse, he stood back to observe. Like Kyle, Fornshill did not see a gun as he observed the body from atop the berm. The gun wasn't discovered until an arriving emergency response worker, while checking for a pulse at the body's carotid artery, spotted a .38-caliber Colt pistol in Foster's right hand, tucked half way under his side amid the dense leaves of his resting place. Investigators observed blood behind the victim's head and gunpowder burns on his hand. The gun had one remaining bullet in it. Initially, the verdict seemed straightforward: suicide. But continued investigation revealed a car, evidently belonging to the dead man, still in the parking lot; inside the car, an investigator found what appeared to be the dead man's identification, identifying him as White House deputy counsel Vince Foster. The subsequent combination of sloppy investigation by the Park Police, White House overzealousness, faulty media reporting and several to-this-day unresolved aspects of the death, together dictated that Vincent Foster would spark much more controversy in death than he had ever managed to generate in life.

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