Vince Foster, Tommy Burkett, and Fake News

April 24, 2017 in News by Ken

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It should be clear to anyone with critical thinking ability that “fake news” both in concept and in execution, is a product of the American propaganda apparatus, the largest and most obvious component of which is the so-called “mainstream” press.  Its purpose is to undermine confidence in any information that does not originate with them.  The stratagem is completely consistent with #1 in the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression, “If it’s not reported, if it’s not news, it didn’t happen.”  That is to say, what they want you to believe is that they are the only reliable conduits of news.


Fortunately, their strategy is not working.  Alternative sources of news—including social media—are flourishing, and one of the primary reasons is that the mainstream press simply fails to report important news.  One can hardly find a better example than the December 1, 1991, murder of Marymount college student Tommy Burkett at the Herndon, Virginia, home of his parents, Thomas Burkett, Sr. and Beth George.


Herndon is in suburban Washington, DC.  At the time of Tommy’s obvious murder—ruled a suicide by the police—almost everyone in the area was a subscriber to the extraordinarily influential Washington Post.  At this point I would like you to do a quick Internet search using the terms “Tommy Burkett Washington Post.”


It’s very educational, isn’t it?  What you discover is that The Washington Post has completely blacked out this story.  The Post even ignored it when an episode of NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries laid out the case before a national audience on television on November 11, 1994.


Did The Post ignore the story because it was not important enough?  No, they ignored it because it was too important.  In support of this assertion we present an article written almost a decade ago by Hugh Turley, probably the leading researcher into the 1993 death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr.:


Parallels Between the Deaths of Tommy Burkett and Vince Foster

by Hugh Turley


TOMMY BURKETT has a lot in common with Vincent Foster. BURKETT’S death is not a political left vs right issue. Tommy was killed during the Bush administration and the cover-up spans the Clinton administration. Republicans and Democrats and the entire American press conceal the truth about Tommy Burkett’s murder. *


BURKETT: The authorities said he committed suicide.
FOSTER: The authorities said he committed suicide.


BURKETT: BEFORE looking at the body the chief investigator told Tommy’s mother, “I’ve seen lots of these ‘suicides’ and there is nothing you could have done.”
FOSTER: Lead Park Police investigator Cheryl Braun testified in her Senate deposition, “we made that determination [suicide] prior to going up and looking at the body.”


BURKETT: The authorities said he died from a gunshot to the head.
FOSTER: The authorities said he died from a gunshot to the head.


BURKETT: Not much blood was found at the scene.
FOSTER: Not much blood was found at the scene.


BURKETT: The revolver was found in his hand. No fingerprints were on the gun. (the cylinder was not completely closed)
FOSTER: The revolver was found in his hand. No fingerprints were on the gun.


BURKETT: The body was found neatly sitting in a chair, legs crossed hands on his lap.
FOSTER: The body was found lying perfectly straight, “as if laid out for a coffin” arms and hands at his sides.


BURKETT: The medical examiner was Dr. Donald Haut.
FOSTER: The medical examiner was Dr. Donald Haut.


BURKETT: The autopsy doctor was Dr. James C. Beyer.
FOSTER: The autopsy doctor was Dr. James C. Beyer.


BURKETT: Dr. Beyer changed his story after showing Tommy’s father several autopsy photos. Dr. Beyer said he just took one.
FOSTER: Dr. Beyer changed his story after explaining his x-ray results to Park Police Detective [Peter] Markland. Dr. Beyer said he did not take any.


BURKETT: Tommy had a broken jaw and mangled ear a second autopsy revealed.
FOSTER: Paramedics said they saw an additional wound on Foster’s neck.


BURKETT: A forged note was found that said, “please cremate me.” Dr. Haut’s signature was forged on the death certificate.
FOSTER: A torn forged note appeared in Foster’s briefcase after it was searched twice and found empty. The forgery read in part, “I made mistakes from ignorance.”


BURKETT: Neighbors saw strange men in Tommy’s car outside his home.
FOSTER: Two witnesses at Fort Marcy Park saw unidentified men in and around a brown Honda car at Fort Marcy Park.


BURKETT: An extra car was seen parked outside Tommy Burkett’s home.
FOSTER: An extra brown Honda was seen by numerous witnesses at Fort Marcy Park.


BURKETT: Fairfax County police refuse to discuss Tommy Burkett’s case.
FOSTER: Fairfax County police officer Dave Tipton on duty at the Fairfax hospital morgue the night of Foster’s death has been ordered to remain silent.


BURKETT: Tommy and his neighbor called 911 but the tape somehow got erased.
FOSTER: The maintenance worker who called 911 to report Foster’s death said the 911 transcript does not reflect what he said.


BURKETT: Tommy’s clothes vanished from police custody and never were returned to his parents.
FOSTER: Crime scene photos of Foster’s death vanished from police custody with no investigation or explanation.


BURKETT: Paramedics tell a different story from police about how Tommy died.
FOSTER: Paramedics saw missing evidence including a brown Honda.


BURKETT: Police made no effort to determine whose blood (not Tommy’s) was on the walls of other rooms of Tommy Burkett’s home.
FOSTER: Police and FBI agents made no effort to determine the source of hair and fiber evidence found on Foster’s clothes.


BURKETT: Neighbors of the Burkett family were not questioned by police about what the saw or heard.
FOSTER: Police did not question neighbors around Fort Marcy park to ask what they saw or heard.


BURKETT: Tommy had been doing undercover work for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
FOSTER: Foster had been known to visit Mena airport with Jerry Parks. After Jerry Parks was gunned down gangland style his widow said he once returned from Mena with his car trunk jammed full of $100 bills. Mena has been alleged to have been used to smuggle drugs.


BURKETT: Local county police determined it was a suicide in minutes and FBI agents (including Robert Bryant) covered up the cover-up.
FOSTER: Local Park Police determined it was a suicide in minutes and FBI agents (including Robert Bryant) covered up the cover-up.


BURKETT: Tommy’s wallet was missing from his body. It later somehow appeared at his college.
FOSTER: Foster’s home and office keys were missing from his body. They somehow later appeared at the morgue.


BURKETT: The media hid the true facts about Tommy’s death from the public. His death was not even reported for 18 months.
FOSTER: The media hid the true facts about Foster’s death from the public. Only the official government version of events is presented.


BURKETT: Citizens and witnesses have protested the cover-up of Tommy’s death.
FOSTER: Citizens and a witness Patrick Knowlton have protested the cover-up of Foster’s death.


BURKETT: The FBI told Tommy’s parents and they have a 1800 page secret report that no one can see.
FOSTER: Ken Starr has concluded Foster’s death was a suicide and 20 pages of his report are concealed from the public by the press. Footnotes supporting Starr’s report are not available.


December 7, 1997
Burketts WWW Page


An anonymous article found on Conspiracy Nation, from which I have taken the following excerpt, provides as good a thumbnail description of the Burkett case as one can find anywhere.  It’s only inaccuracy that I have noticed is that the writer, in a portion of the article not quoted here, seems to believe that Burkett’s death occurred after Foster’s did:

Despite the FBI’s conclusion, the Burketts themselves have accumulated evidence pointing to murder. The autopsy performed for the couple by the former medical examiner for Syracuse, N.Y., showed results quite different from that done by Dr. Beyer.

Dr. Beyer’s autopsy had noted a quarter-inch by half-inch hole in the back of Tommy’s neck, just above the collar, and offered it as the “exit wound” for the .357 magnum bullet which supposedly killed Tommy. Every forensics expert consulted by the Burketts refuted this as impossibly small and clean.

Interestingly, the bullet thought to have caused this wound was not only embedded in the wallboard in FRONT of Tommy’s body, out of position for the proposed scenario, but was left in place by the police and FBI. No ballistics tests were ever performed on this bullet. Additionally, there was no gunpowder residue in Tommy’s mouth, the supposed entry location for the lethal bullet.

The second autopsy also noted that Tommy Burkett’s ear had suffered trauma, indicating that he may have been beaten. And, as Thomas Burkett had suspected, his son’s lower jaw was fractured. This injury, along with the scratches on his chest, is inconsistent with suicide.

The first autopsy, conducted by Beyer reported no such findings. The second autopsy also discovered Tommy Burkett’s lungs had never been dissected, despite Dr. Beyer’s claim in his report that he had performed that operation.

Please notice, dear reader, that the Burkett parents were able to get done what a recent fake news story says Rep. Trey Gowdy was able to order a federal judge to get done, to exhume the body and to have a second autopsy performed.  They found what the fake news story is telling us the “second Foster autopsy” found, that is, that the first autopsy, conducted by Dr. James Beyer in each case, was fraudulent.


But what if the story had been true?  What if, say, Foster’s sister Sheila Anthony had suddenly developed some scruples and had summoned up the courage to follow in the Burkett parents’ footsteps and to exhume the body and have a second autopsy done, instead of just repeating her absurd, “how dare you?” cry?  You can be certain that the second autopsy would reveal what witnesses at Fort Marcy Park saw, a small bullet entrance wound in Foster’s neck, and it would also show that there was no gaping exit wound in Foster’s head, as shown in the corrupt Beyer’s autopsy diagram.


Surely you know what the reaction of the mainstream press, led by The Washington Post, would have been to that turn of events, don’t you?  As the newly coined slang would have it, “crickets.”  Yes, all you would hear from them would be silence (or the background noise of a summer night).  It would be similar to the silence you have heard from them about the efforts through the years of the Martin Luther King, Jr., family to clear the name of James Earl Ray as the civil rights leader’s assassin.  What, you didn’t know about that?  The Post can give the shameless Sheila Anthony a guest column as long as she’s singing the ridiculous “suffered enough” song, but you can bet you’ll never see a column in that newspaper from Dexter King on the subject of his father’s assassination.


The Post Has No Excuse


For anyone who might be living in the sort of fantasy world in which they might believe that the outrageous Burkett case simply somehow managed to escape the attention of The Washington Post all these years, I offer this passage from my article, “Double Agent Ruddy Reaching for Media Pinnacle”:


I drove [Christopher] Ruddy to the Burketts’ home for him to interview them.  I was present when they told him that they had discovered that Tommy had been busted for marijuana and had had the charges dropped in exchange for working as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  They had found many indications that Tommy had been beaten to death because of what he had learned and reported in his informant role.  They also told him of their attempts to get coverage of their story in the news.  They had talked to several reporters who had shown interest, but nothing ever got printed.  Then they had their phone system screened by a professional and found that they were being bugged.  After that they called a reporter for the local free weekly, the Chantilly Times, from a pay phone.  I had first read their amazing story there. **  I was primarily an observer at the interview, but I distinctly remember that it was I and not Ruddy who broached the subject of The Washington Post.  The Burketts had not volunteered it, so I asked them “What about The Post?”


I can’t recall the reporter’s name, but one did come and interview them after they had found out about their phone bug and he responded excitedly to their story.  His editor killed the story, though, and to this day The Post, the same newspaper that has done more than any other to sell the Foster suicide line to the public, has not reported anything about the Burkett death.  Afterwards, on March 8, 1994, Ruddy had an article in the New York Post entitled “Foster Coroner Has Been Dead Wrong on Suicide Before.”  It is about the [Timothy] Easley and Burkett cases, but there’s not a peep about the DEA or the phone bugging or The Post’s news suppression.  Mainly, Dr. Beyer and the Fairfax County police come across as incompetent in Ruddy’s account.  One gets the same impression from his Appendix IV, “Case Histories of Dr. James Beyer” in his 1997 book, The Strange Death of Vincent FosterThe general corruption of the government beyond the Foster case and the role of the press as accomplices were apparently off limits.


The Burketts had formed an organization called Parents against Corruption and Cover-up and for five years they had a function on a summer Saturday on the Washington Mall in which speeches were made by family members and a huge quilt was spread out with individual squares provided by each of the family members.  I met the family members of Kenneth Trentadue, whose suspicious death in prison is likely connected to the Oklahoma City bombing cover-up, at more than one of the quilt days.


Quilt Day on the Mall could have been a veritable gold mine for any curious reporter, but I never saw any reporting on it anywhere, except in virtually hidden corners of the Internet, certainly not in The Washington Post.  I can’t help but think of that fact each time I look at the new slogan that the newspaper has affixed to its masthead, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”


These are the folks who would want you to believe that what I am telling you about the Burketts’ annual quilt day must just be “fake news” because, after all, it’s not coming to you through the established press with all of its “high professional standards.”


Pathetic “Debunkers”


The irony of The Post’s new masthead slogan is matched by the irony of the reporting from the designated debunkers of the fake news about Vince Foster being exhumed.  Punditfact, while exposing the phony news report, has this phony news of its own, ”Foster, who was deputy counsel to President Bill Clinton and a former Arkansas law colleague of Hillary Clinton, committed suicide in 1993 at age 48, after suffering from depression.”  Its link is to—wouldn’t you know—The Washington Post and its report on the report of Special Counsel Robert Fiske whose suicide conclusion was utterly dependent upon the corrupt autopsy performed by the corrupt Doctor James C. Beyer.


Snopes, for its part, is little better. “Foster took his own life on 20 July 1993,” they say with absolute certitude, “and the circumstances surrounding his death in part formed the basis of long-circulating conspiracy theories that Clinton associates were often found dead under mysterious circumstances. Foster’s death was ruled a suicide in multiple investigations.”


Its first link is to its own deeply flawed debunking of Clinton body count list.  Its second link is to a May 2015, 2016, article by Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post.  We have come full circle.


* Similar bipartisanship in criminality was exhibited in the Foster case.  President George W. Bush made federal judges of Brett Kavanaugh and John Bates, two of Kenneth Starr’s top aides in the “investigation” of Foster’s death.


** Read more about the reporting of the Chantilly Times, including Beth George’s long letter published in that newspaper in my article, “News Suppression in Action.”   


David Martin

April 20, 2017