Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Vincent Foster

Suspicions of Conspiracy

Foster's keys
Foster's keys

Problems surfaced right away for investigators attempting to keep the Foster narrative straightforward, as the recollections of several of the emergency response personnel and police investigators clashed as to what they had seen on and around Foster's body. Interviews with the ambulance crew would reveal that some had seen a wound on Foster's neck inconsistent with a bullet shot through his skull. There was a suspicious lack of blood around the body for such a wound. And a suspicious presence of blood on his cheek, as though his head had been moved after his death. The position of his body seemed unnatural — arms and legs out straight, hands at his sides — for someone who had blown his brains out. No one in the park that day heard a gunshot. His car keys were not located until his body was at the morgue, even though a Park Officer went through his pockets at the scene. The other park visitors had varying memories of the color of the cars in the Fort Marcy parking lot, raising the still-unresolved question as to whether Foster's car was even in the lot when the body was initially discovered. Menacing men were reported loitering around the parking lot near the time of his death. Semen was found in Foster's underwear. Blond hairs were found on his clothes, as well as several different colors of carpet fiber. These pieces of evidence were never explained. None of his teeth had been damaged, even though the fatal bullet had evidently been fired into Foster's mouth, and a .38 has quite a kick when fired.

Bernard Nussbaum
Bernard Nussbaum

Above all lay the political element. Foster, among other matters, had handled the filing of three years' worth of back taxes for Bill and Hilary Clinton for their investment in the Whitewater land deal, a money-losing real estate project backed by the Clintons which ultimately spawned a decade's worth of investigation, and various subsidiary investigations ultimately focusing on President Clinton's womanizing leading to his impeachment. Various files pertaining to Whitewater were held in Foster's office, and White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, was soon accused of working with the Clintons to have Foster's office searched only hours after his death. Nussbaum would be investigated by the FBI for obstruction of police search efforts and resign in early in 1994. Based on examination of telephone records, Hillary Clinton was accused of conspiring with her staff to cleanse Foster's office of Whitewater material the night of his death. The controversy over the land deal and Foster's role in it may have contributed to the Republican Party's acquisition of control of Congress in 1994, which in turn gave further impetus to investigations of the Clinton White House.

It was a cornucopia for conspiracy theorists, in other words, and one that would fuel a growth industry of right-wing condemnation of the Clinton administration.

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