Whitewater: The Foster Report
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In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 594(h), the Office of Independent Counsel In re: Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan Association (the OIC) files this summary report on the 1993 death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr.
On July 20, 1993, police and rescue personnel were called to Fort Marcy Park in suburban Northern Virginia They found Mr. Foster lying dead with a gun in his right hand and gunshot residue-like material on that hand. There were no signs of a struggle. There was a gunshot wound through the back of his head and blood under his head and back. The autopsy determined that Mr. Foster's death was caused by a gunshot through the back of his mouth exiting the back of his head. The autopsy revealed no other wounds on Mr. Foster's body.
The police later learned that Mr. Foster had called a family doctor for antidepressant medication the day before his death. He had told his sister four days before his death that he was depressed, and she had given him the names of three psychiatrists. He had written in the days or weeks before his death that he "was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here, ruining people is considered sport."
Two law enforcement investigations the initial United States Park Police investigation and a subsequent investigation conducted under the direction of regulatory Independent Counsel Robert B. Fiske, Jr. concluded that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park. Two inquiries in the Congress of the United States reached the same conclusion. After analysis of the evidence gathered during those investigations, and further investigation including adducing evidence before the federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., the OIC likewise has concluded that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park.
The OIC's conclusion is based on analyses and conclusions of a number of experienced experts and criminal investigators retained by the OIC. They include Dr. Brian D. Blackbourne, a forensic pathologist who is the Medical Examiner for San Diego County, California; Dr. Henry C. Lee, an expert in physical evidence and crime scene reconstruction who is Director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory; Dr. Alan L. Berman, an expert suicidologist who currently is Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology; and several experienced investigators with extensive service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies. These experts and investigators reviewed the evidence gathered during the prior investigations and conducted further investigation as necessary.
Dr. Blackbourne concluded that "Vincent Foster committed suicide on July 20, 1993 in Ft. Marcy Park by placing a .38 caliber revolver in his mouth and pulling the trigger. His death was at his own hand." Dr. Lee reported that "[a]fter careful review of the crime scene photographs, reports, and reexamination of the physical evidence, the data indicate that the death of Mr. Vincent W. Foster, Jr. is consistent with a suicide. The location where Mr. Foster's body was found is consistent with the primary scene," that is, the location where he committed suicide. Dr. Berman stated that "[i]n my opinion and to a 100% degree of medical certainty, the death of Vincent Foster was a suicide. No plausible evidence has been presented to support any other conclusion." OIC investigators concurred, based on investigation and analysis of the evidentiary record, that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park.
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