View Full Version : The 'Strange' End To Ron Brown's Life

Peter Lemkin
03-29-2009, 07:35 PM
The Bullet Hole

Was Ron Brown Assassinated? Experts Differ on Ron Brown's Head Wound

By Christopher Ruddy
December 3, 1997

A circular hole in the skull of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown could have
been a gunshot wound and certainly should have prompted an autopsy,
according to an Air Force lieutenant colonel and forensic pathologist who
investigated the jet crash in which Brown died.

"Even if you safely assumed accidental plane crash, when you got something
that appears to be a homicide, that should bring everything to a screeching
halt," Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, a doctor and deputy medical examiner with
the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, told the Tribune-Review.

In several interviews, Cogswell repeatedly referred to the wound as "an
apparent gunshot wound." However, he also said, "Whether it's a bullet or
something else, we don't know."

On April 3, 1996, an Air Force jet carrying Brown and 34 others, including
14 business executives on a trade mission to Croatia, crashed into a
mountainside. The Air Force, in a 22-volume report issued in June of 1996,
confirmed its initial judgment that the crash resulted from pilot errors
and faulty navigation equipment.

Cogswell, who has approximately 12 years' experience as a forensic
pathologist, contends evidence that Ron Brown might have been murdered was
ignored. He said the main evidence of possible homicide was a hole found on
the vertex, the very top of the skull. "Essentially ... Brown had a
.45-inch inwardly beveling circular hole in the top of his head, which is
essentially the description of a .45-caliber gunshot wound," Cogswell

The wound, which was documented and photographed in a medical examination
at Dover, Del., was "as close to a perfectly circular hole as you can get"
in the skull, he said. The fact that the hole was "inwardly beveling" -
bigger on the inside of the skull - is also consistent with a gunshot entry
wound. Cogswell also cited as evidence of a possible gunshot an initial
X-ray that suggested small metal fragments inside Brown's head. The
pathologist said the fragments could be what pathologists sometimes call a
"lead snowstorm" pattern from a disintegrating bullet.

Cogswell has made no secret of his questions about the plane crash and
Brown's death. He has laid out the evidence in the case in a slide show he
calls "Mistakes and Failures in Forensic Pathology," which he has presented
at professional conferences and to FBI agents enrolled in homicide training
courses. Cogswell is in charge of training courses at AFIP.

The Brown crash figures prominently in Cogswell's slide program, which also
details some of the more than 100 military and civilian airplane crash
investigations he has been involved with since he joined the Air Force in
1991. In investigating Cogswell's claims, the Tribune-Review has obtained
photographs and X-rays of Brown's body that show the head wound. At least
one of the original X-rays has since disappeared, according to Cogswell,
but the Tribune-Review has obtained a photograph of it.

Cogswell arrived at the crash scene after bodies were removed, so he never
actually examined Brown's corpse. He bases his questions on discussions
with colleagues who did examine the corpse, and on reports, records,
photographs and X-rays. After conducting an external examination of Brown's
body, Air Force Col. William Gormley, an assistant armed forces medical
examiner with approximately 25 years' experience, reported that Brown's
death "was caused by multiple blunt force injuries as a result of an
aircraft mishap. The manner of death is accidental."

Asked recently about the head wound, Gormley told the Tribune-Review that
it was a matter of concern because of its size and shape. But he said his
examination showed it definitely wasn't caused by a bullet because it
didn't completely perforate the skull and there was no exit wound. The
institute's chief forensic scientist, who was present during the
examination, says evidence at the crash site ruled out the possibility of a


The first American military personnel arrived at the jet crash site 12
hours after the disaster occurred. Within days, investigators from the Air
Force, other branches of the military and the National Transportation
Safety Board were on the scene. Dr. Steve Cogswell arrived five days after
the crash.

AFIP, as the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology is often called, is an
interservice unit that deals with such incidents. It typically dispatches a
forensic pathologist to a crash scene to coordinate with its pathologists
back at Dover as they try to determine cause and manner of death for each

This plane crash investigation was different. Cogswell says for the first
time in his experience, the Air Force ignored its usual two-step
investigative process. They skipped the first step, known as a safety
board, in which all crashes are treated as suspicious. During a safety
board, investigators try to determine whether the crash was an accident or
the result of foul play. Instead, the Air Force immediately began the
second phase, an accident investigation, mirroring sentiments of Pentagon
and White House officials who implied the crash was nothing more.

Secretary of Defense William Perry told The Associated Press a day after
the crash - before any real investigation was concluded - that it was "a
classic sort of accident that good instrumentation should be able to

Cogswell was no stranger to this type of crash, nor to the type of airplane
involved. The model, a T-43, is the military version of the Boeing 737.
Cogswell had been involved in the investigation of two previous Boeing 737
disasters, including the crash of US air Flight 427 near Pittsburgh. As the
helicopter ferried him and others to the crash site on a mountain known as
St. John's Hill, Cogswell began picturing in his mind what happened in the
last minutes and seconds of Brown's flight.

The crash took place in the vicinity of Croatia's Dubrovnik airport, which
is situated on a ledge of flat land between the Adriatic Sea on one side
and a Balkan mountain range on the other. Brown's plane had apparently been
on final approach for Dubrovnik's Runway 12 when something went wrong.
Clouds and fog rolling in from the Adriatic can completely blanket and hide
the mountain range. Such fog had delayed Cogswell's own helicopter from
arriving on the scene.

Contrary to initial press reports, however, no terrible storm was raging
when the jet crashed. As Cogswell's helicopter got close to the site, the
wreckage of the plane became apparent. The jet had literally run into the
mountain. Apparently, the pilots had been making an instrument approach
through dense cloud cover when the mountain's terrain suddenly appeared.

The Air Force later concluded the plane was 10 degrees off course as a
result of its pilots using improper navigation aids and ground beacons.
Questions about the ground beacons were never fully resolved. According to
the Air Force report, within days of the crash the maintenance chief for
Dubrovnik's airport, Niko Junik, was found dead by gunshot, an apparent

The plane had not slammed nose-first into the mountain. Instead, the right
wing and right engine hit first, followed quickly by the fuselage. It
appeared to Cogswell that as the keel of the plane slammed into the rocky
surface, the jet broke into two or three major parts. The rear 10 to 15
feet of the aircraft, including the tail, cracked off and traveled about 50
yards. It remained almost completely intact.

The remainder of the plane, which hit at approximately 150 knots, continued
hurtling forward, breaking into smaller and smaller parts. By the time
Cogswell arrived, all bodies had been removed and transported back to Dover
Air Force Base. Cogswell had a set of pictures showing the bodies as they
were found, but investigators failed to draw a "body map" pinpointing the
precise location of each corpse.

[Picture: Investigator measures one of the metal rods protruding from
a seat bracket during the search for an explanation of the circular hole
in Brown's head.]

As the on-scene pathologist, Cogswell examined the photos and crash debris,
and developed a fairly good idea of the last moments of the T-43. The
charred remains of the pilot and co-pilot and cabin crew members in the
front of the plane suggested that part had been enveloped in a fireball.

The rest of the plane showed little or no fire damage. As the passenger
compartment came apart, passengers were thrown helter-skelter, some
breaking loose of their seats belts, others flying through the air still
buckled in. Most of the bodies were found intact. The pictures, reviewed by
the Tribune-Review, show that many of the victims were left partially
clothed; Garments had been shorn away as they were raked across the dense
brush and rocky ground.

Brown's body, as one photograph shows, was found amid plane wreckage.
Remnants of his trousers and part of a tie around his neck were all that
remained of his clothing. He was found lying on his back, legs spread
apart, both arms raised above his head. Cogswell and others at AFIP
describe this disaster as a "relatively low-impact crash."

Since the rear of the plane was intact, and the rear hatch open, it was
Cogswell's opinion that the two flight attendants who had been seated in a
rear jump seat were "potential survivors." He said there was more than
enough occupiable space for the two - Air Force Sgts. Shelley Kelly and
Cheryl Turnage - to have lived. Items in the plane would have been thrown
forward and should not have hit them, and the G-forces of deceleration were
relatively low.

In fact, Kelly did survive for several hours and was found alive by
Croatian rescuers. "Depending on who you talked to, Kelly was found near
her seat, on the floor of the plane or outside the plane," Cogswell
recalled. Croatian rescuers said she died while being transported for
medical assistance. Autopsies conducted at Dover indicate Kelly died of a
broken neck, and Turnage of "multiple blunt force injuries."

Upon arriving at the crash site the Monday after it occurred, Cogswell
received a call from Gormley, the pathologist who had examined Brown's body
and several others at Dover the day before. "I talked to Col. Gormley and
he told me there is a .45(-inch) inwardly beveling, perfectly circular hole
in the top of (Brown's) head," Cogswell said.

Gormley asked Cogswell, as AFIP man at the scene, to figure out what type
of cylindrical object could punch through the skull creating such a wound.
Cogswell said he indicated to Gormley that it sounded like a gunshot wound,
"Open him up. This man needs an autopsy," Cogswell said he told Gormley.
"This whole thing stinks."

Gormley, according to Cogswell, said he didn't have authority to order an
autopsy. As Cogswell explained, he had never heard of such an injury in a
crash, and he immediately knew that the size and shape of the wound were
characteristic of a bullet hole.

Cogswell, sifting through the wreckage, found various cylindrical rods,
bolts and seat brackets. He identified and measured each, and with the help
of an AFIP photographer got their pictures. Cogswell believed each was
either slightly too big or too small to explain the hole in Brown's head.

Cogswell also felt it would be very difficult for any rod or similar item
to pierce the skull then exit, leaving a perfect hole as it did. His
suspicions grew upon his return to the United States when he spoke to AFIP
colleagues who had stayed at Dover. He also reviewed the photographic and
X-ray evidence. "I talked to a few people who were there from our office
and asked them ... if they thought this wound looked like a gunshot wound,
or, `What do you think the hole looked like?' And the uniform response was,
`Yeah, it looked like a gunshot wound.'" he said.


It was Easter weekend, and military personnel began arriving on the
Saturday night after the crash to prepare the base mortuary that is used
especially for mass disasters. Several AFIP personnel present at Dover when
the bodies were examined consented to recent interviews with the

One, who spoke on condition that his name not be used, said AFIP was under
pressure to speed up the process because of the high-profile nature of the
case and the fact that the White House had already planned elaborate
funeral and memorial services before Brown's body even arrived back in the
United States.

AFIP has jurisdiction to conduct autopsies on all military personnel, and
did so on all military victims of this crash. According to Cogswell, it's
good practice to conduct autopsies on all victims in a plane crash. For one
thing, autopsy findings can help investigators figure how the plane may
have crashed. Cogswell also said an autopsy should have been conducted on
Commerce aide Naomi Warbasse because, he contended, the external
examination and X-rays showed no discernible cause of death.

While AFIP can't order autopsies of civilian victims, it usually seeks
authorization from families to do so. In this case, "people were very
reluctant to go ask the families" to conduct autopsies, Gormley told the
Tribune-Review. He said Brown's status as a Cabinet member did not mean
AFIP could order an autopsy. Others disagree, considering what
investigators at Dover discovered.

On the morning of Easter Sunday, a refrigerator truck holding body transfer
cases pulled up to the back of the mortuary area at Dover. The second case
pulled off the truck was tagged "CR0-002-01" - the identifying number of
the body, which translates, "Croatia, second body off the truck." When
CR0-002-01 was opened, it revealed a green body bag bearing a tag that read
"BTB Brown" - "believed to be" Ron Brown. That identification would be
confirmed by fingerprints.

All bodies passed through several stations, including the FBI's fingerprint
station, while at Dover. First, an X-ray machine checked for explosives
that might be attached to or hidden in the body. Second was the fingerprint
station. Another station took dental X-rays for identification and
comparison. Finally, full-body X-rays were taken before the body underwent
external examination or an autopsy.

During external examination, Gormley described Brown's body as the "intact
but partially burned body of a middle-aged black male with curly black
hair, brown eyes, a black mustache and natural dentition." Gormley noted
flash and chemical burns had spotted Brown's body. An X-ray noted a break
in the pelvic bone. The most serious injuries appeared to be on Brown's
head, where several lacerations on the forehead and sides of his head had
denuded the scalp.

At the very top of the cranium, Gormley observed a wide area of denuded
scalp, in the middle of which was a "depressed skull fracture" he described
as a "round, punched-out defect in the outer table of the skull
approximately 0.5 inches in diameter." He also noted that the hole got
wider as it got deeper.

Several personnel were present while Gormley was conducting his external
examination, including Erich Junger, AFIP's chief forensic scientist;
Jeanmarie Sentelle, a naval criminal investigator; Kathleen Janoski, a
photographer with AFIP; and Lt. Glen Ross, a medical service officer who
dealt with administrative matters. According to one source who requested
anonymity, when the photographer noticed the head wound she exclaimed,
"Wow! Look at the hole in Brown's head. It looks like a bullet hole."

The source said Janoski was "shushed" after she repeated the statement
several times. Janoski, contacted at AFIP, declined to comment. She
referred all questions to AFIP's press office. Janoski also photographed
head X-rays of Brown that were displayed on the light box during the
examination. Her photos would later become part of Cogswell's slide

He tells his audiences that the frontal head X-ray shows the defect at the
top of the head, and something perhaps more sinister. Inside the left side
of Brown's head, in the area behind his eye socket, "there are multiple
small fragments of white flecks, which are metallic density on X-ray.
That's what we might describe as a `lead snowstorm' from a high-velocity
gunshot wound."

Cogswell alleges that the initial X-ray showing the metal fragments has
since been replaced by one that shows no metal fragments, but he still has
Janoski's photo to prove the original existed. The hole "got our attention
at first," Junger told the Tribune-Review.

The now-retired chief forensic scientist said concern about the wound
quickly dissipated because "we figured out what it was. Again, it was
nothing earth-shattering." Junger said that a "very reasonable explanation"
for the hole was found "when we looked around the aircraft area itself,"
indicating that some piece of the aircraft or its contents had hit Brown's
head and created the wound.


Cogswell, AFIP's man at the crash scene, disputes the idea that any item
found among the debris could explain the hole. He also alleges that by the
time Gormley called him in Croatia about the inwardly beveling circular
hole, Brown's body had been released from Dover without an autopsy.

Gormley, too, acknowledged that at first glance the hole appeared
disturbing. "A perfectly round, nearly round .5-inch hole makes one think,
`Tell me more about this gunshot wound,' right?" he said. He also
acknowledged that no piece of the aircraft was found to explain the hole,
but argued that a metal fastener or rivet probably struck Brown's head. He
said it probably was not a metal rod because the hole "didn't go all the
way through the skull."

Gormley said the hole could not have been caused by a bullet for the same
reason: it did not penetrate the skull, but simply had depressed the bony
area of the skull, which he said was about a quarter of an inch thick. The
hole "didn't go anyplace," he said. "It turned out it didn't have a track."

Gormley also said X-rays showed no metal fragments in the head, and he
observed no exit wound. Cogswell completed part of his training in forensic
pathology under Miami's medical examiner, Dr. Joe Davis, a renowned expert
in gunshot wounds. Davis, now semi-retired, vouched for his former pupil.
"I always found him to be competent," he said, noting that during his
training in Miami Cogswell saw "an awful lot of gunshot wounds."

Cogswell, after reviewing photos and X-rays, came to dispute Gormley's
analysis. Cogswell contends brain matter was visible in the wound. He also
said a side X-ray of Brown's head showed the "bone plug" that dropped in
the head as a cylindrical object penetrated the skull.

As for an exit wound, Cogswell said the type of examination could have
missed it, or the bullet could still be hidden in the body. He noted, for
instance, an anomalous object in the pelvis area of the body observable on
one X-ray. Cogswell and another AFIP staff member allege that Brown's case
file no longer contains any full-head X-rays. They have disappeared. All
that remain are photographs taken of the original X-rays at Dover.

The Tribune-Review obtained copies of those images as well as detailed
photos of Brown's body and the circular wound. All were shown to Dr. Martin
Fackler, former director of the Army's Wound Ballistics Laboratory in San

While acknowledging he is not a pathologist, Fackler said he thought it
"very difficult to see" how something like a rivet could have produced the
head wound. He also said brain matter was visible. "It's round as hell.
That is extremely round," Fackler said with a chuckle. "I'm impressed by
how very, very round that hole is. That's unusual except for a gunshot
wound. It's unusual for anything else."

Fackler said he could not rule it a gunshot without a full autopsy and
better X-rays. He said the supposed metal fragments on the first X-ray were
not conclusive because they were very small, an autopsy had not been
conducted to locate them, and a side X-ray was overexposed, giving little
detail of the head. "They didn't do an autopsy. My God. It's astounding,"
he said.

He also was surprised that the hole was described on Gormley's report as
"approximately .5 inches." Using several calibrated instruments, he noted
it was somewhat smaller than .5 inches, "and a little bit small for a
.45-caliber bullet hole."

Fackler explained that the skull can be slightly "elastic" and bullet holes
can be slightly larger or smaller than the actual bullet caliber. He said
the hole was more consistent with a .40-caliber or 10 mm bullet, like those
widely used by law enforcement agencies.

Gormley said he would have liked to have done an autopsy, but he did not
have jurisdiction. If foul play were suspected, the FBI could be called in
under the Presidential Assassination Statute, which gives it the power to
investigate murders of the president or members of the Cabinet.

Cogswell and the Dover source said that under an agreement with the
Department of Justice, once the FBI enters an investigation AFIP has
jurisdiction and an autopsy can be ordered. If the wound was caused by a
gunshot, Cogswell has no theory as to how it happened, whether the shot was
fired before or after the crash, or whether it played any role in the crash

Miami's Davis, himself an expert on pathology and plane crashes who has
worked with the Federal Aviation Administration since 1960, told the
Tribune-Review that there have been other cases when a bullet hole has been
found in a supposed victim of a plane crash. In one instance several years
ago, he said, a deranged flight attendant smuggled a gun aboard a civilian
plane and killed the crew, causing the crash.

Davis said anytime a possible gunshot wound is found on a crash victim
"that in itself raises all sorts of alarms." "No way can you say it's a
simple accident. It's considered very suspicious," Davis said.

Cogswell said suspicion should have been aroused in this case. "You can't
ignore who this person is," he added. "You can't ignore the controversy
surrounding him. To stack up the coincidences: one of 36 people has got a
hole; the hole is in their head; the hole is dead center in the top of
their head; and it just happens to be the most important person on that
airplane from a political point of view. That's a whole of reason to
investigate it."

At the time of Brown's death, Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson was
seeking to determine whether Brown had engaged in several sham financial
transactions with longtime business partner Nolanda Hill shortly before he
became secretary of commerce.

On March 19, just weeks before Brown's sudden death, Pearson obtained
subpoenas that showed his probe had widened to include Brown's ties to
possibly illicit fund-raising activities involving the Democratic National
Committee and a DNC-affiliated group called the Asian Pacific Advisory
Council. Pearson's investigation was closed soon after Brown's plane
crashed. Unfinished matters, including the investigation of Hill and
Brown's son Michael, were turned over to the Justice Department.


Black leaders have questions in Brown death

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
December 19, 1997
By The Tribune-Review

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and NAACP President
Kweisi Mfume want to know more about the death of Commerce Secretary
Ron Brown.

Prompted by what she calls a "firestorm of inquiries" from constituents,
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of Los Angeles wants official confirmation
regarding the cause of Brown's death in the wake of Tribune-Review
articles on the matter. "She's gotten a number of calls into her office after
the articles ran. I'm not sure how many, but people want to know more,"
said Marcella Howell, Waters' press secretary.

Waters on Dec. 12 wrote letters to President Clinton, Attorney General
Janet Reno and Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
concerning questions about Brown's death raised by investigative reporter
Christopher Ruddy.

Ruddy's articles center on a small circular wound in Brown's skull. As
Ruddy documented, first one and then two other forensic pathologists said
the wound was suggestive of a gunshot.

They contend its discovery should have prompted an autopsy.

Waters asked Shelton for a briefing on Brown's death for herself and other
members of the Congressional Black Caucus. She also asked Reno to
"evaluate the issues ... and make a determination of whether an investigation
into the allegations is warranted."

In her letter to the president, Waters simply brought the matter to Clinton's

Howell said Waters had not received any responses to her letters as of

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Mfume raised similar concerns
in letters to Clinton, Reno and Shelton. "The NAACP is very concerned about
the ramifications of these allegations and left unanswered and unresolved,
they raise serious questions," Mfume wrote to Reno. He also asked whether
the Justice Department is investigating the matter. "These allegations require
an explanation," Mfume wrote.

From Shelton, the black leader requested a briefing on a Pentagon
investigation of the allegations. "It's clear to me that this issue should not
be allowed to fester," Mfume wrote.

Brown and 34 others on a trade mission to the Balkans perished when their
U.S. Air Force Boeing 737 crashed into a mountain near Croatia's Dubrovnik
airport on April 3, 1996. The Air Force determined the crash was an accident.
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology X-rayed and examined Brown's body
at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, but no autopsy was performed. AFIP
stands by its initial conclusion that Brown died from injuries received in the
crash and that the wound wasn't a gunshot.

"The bottom line is people want to know more. They should have done an
autopsy," said Joe Madison, host of a syndicated black talk-radio show that
originates from WRC-AM 980 in Silver Springs, Md.

Madison said he has read Ruddy's articles on the air because they were not
picked up by major newspapers around the country. "We're getting a lot of
calls. There are a lot of questions," he said. "Most people are not naive. This
has caused them to take a second look."

Two AFIP forensic pathologists - Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell and Army
Lt. Col David Hause - said the hole on the top of Brown's head resembled a
gunshot wound from a .45-caliber weapon. Their opinions have been backed
by nationally renowned forensic pathologist, Allegheny County Coroner
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, who also told Ruddy that an autopsy was needed.

Madison said their findings point to the need for a more extensive probe.
"First, there should be an independent hearing to find out if the AFIP made a
mistake by not autopsying the body and to determine whether there should
be an exhumation and autopsy," Madison said.

He said it's too early to focus on a possible motive for a shooting - if there
was one. "If it's not a gunshot wound, then the case is closed. If it is, then
you look at motive," said Madison. "If it is a bullet wound, we're all going to
be busy."

In addition to believing the military made a mistake, there are those who
speculate that race is a factor in the controversy. Alan Keyes, 1996
presidential candidate and former ambassador to the United Nations, last
week called on Congress to launch an immediate investigation into Brown's
death. In an appeal to congressional leaders, he said it's "essential that the
Congress act to ensure that the truth be known and that the suspicion of foul
play be dealt with honestly."

Keyes, who is black, cautioned that the "appearance of indifference" could
spark a "growing national atmosphere of distrust and aggravate racial
misunderstanding. "The perception that a possible assassination of a cabinet
officer does not merit the vigorous attention of Congress because that cabinet
officer is black reinforces lingering suspicions ... that even at the highest
levels, black life is cheap in America," wrote Keyes, who served as assistant
secretary of state during the Reagan Administration.

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, on Dec. 16 published in his
national daily newspaper, The Final Call, an article questioning whether Brown
was murdered.

In the piece, black activist Dick Gregory stated that he "always felt that Ron
Brown's death was murder."

Gregory also chastised "major white newspapers" for failing to pick up Ruddy's
story. He said it is a prime example of their "ability to hide the truth." A
spokeswoman for Gregory said he was out of the country and unavailable for
comment until next week. Farrakhan is traveling in Libya.


For Immediate Release

Contact: 508-746-7427

Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Arrested Protesting Ron Brown
Death Cover-up

Civil Rights activist Dick Gregory was arrested today, Christmas
Eve, during a protest he led with Washington community activists
and other friends outside the main entrance to the Armed Forces
Institute Of Pathology's (AFIP) main office at Walter Reed Army
Medical Center.

Gregory, who led the protest and prayer vigil, put yellow crime
scene tape around a building at the entranceway to Walter Reed.

"These people engaged in a crime," Gregory said, "There was
evidence that Ron Brown was murdered and they decided to not do
an autopsy and destroy his head X-rays."

Gregory was arrested by District of Columbia police. Gregory
vowed he would not pay any bail and would spend Christmas in jail
conducting a fast "until I am brought before a judge and can make
my complaints against the military public once again."

"We are not going to allow this to pass," vowed Dick Gregory.
"There is very strong evidence the AFIP found a gunshot wound on
Brown's head and decided to cover-up this evidence."

Two Armed Forces deputy medical examiners, Air Force Lt. Colonel
Steve Cogswell and Army Lt. Col David Hause have stated that
military personnel who examined Brown's body discovered at the
very top of Brown's head a perfectly circular .45 inch hole which
was consistent with a gunshot. No autopsy was conducted on Brown,
and all of the original head X-rays of Brown are now missing from
Brown's case file at AFIP.

Both Cogswell and Hause are ranking military officers, both are
experienced doctors trained in pathology, and both have
experience in dealing with plane crashes and gunshots.

Cogswell has alleged that the original X-ray of Brown's head
showed metal fragments in Brown's brain consistent with a
disintegrating bullet. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has
published this X-ray as well as other photos of the wound itself.

The Tribune-Review has also reported that Dr. Cyril Wecht, a
forensic pathologist of world renown, reviewed the evidence in
the Brown case and concluded that there was "more than enough"
evidence Brown was assassinated and that an autopsy and FBI
investigation should have been conducted.

"Ron Brown was the highest ranking African American in the U.S.
government and now we learn that he may have been murdered and
a cover-up took place of his death," Gregory said.

"Millions of African Americans are outraged that the government
would do this. We are also shocked that the officers who came
forward to speak the truth have had their movements restricted,
one officer likened this action to 'house arrest.' They have also
been gagged from speaking to the press."

The NAACP and the Black Congressional Caucus have written to the
White House and Janet Reno demanding an investigation.

Gregory said the purpose of the Christmas Eve protest was to lay
the blame where it belongs, on the AFIP for not doing its job,
and on its chief, Col. Michael Dickerson. Gregory is calling for
an independent investigation of Brown's death, the AFIP and Col.
Dickerson's handling of this matter.

Gregory said he will continue other acts of disobedience to draw
public attention to this cover-up.


Al Sharpton Joins Black Caucus and NAACP in Questioning Commerce
Secretary's Death:
Charges government investigation wasn't serious
WLIB Radio
Host Gary Byrd
December 23, 1997

Comments made on WLIB Radio - The Voice of Black New York, on December
23, 1997 at 11:22 AM. Sharpton was the guest of WLIB host Gary Byrd.

A note in relationship to something that has not yet become a legal
case but actually does seem to show great signs of cover-up -- is
the story that came out concerning Ron Brown and the issue of the
gunshot wound. We've been talking about this with a reporter from
the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. What are your thoughts about that
story as this information comes in?

Well, I think the first thing that one must say is that, clearly,
if there is evidence that showed differences to what was publicly
reported, why was that evidence overlooked or stifled? So before
one even gets to a conclusion, one must question the premise for
why we were given all these other explanations. There was bad
weather? Now we find that the weather wasn't bad. And why was the
autopsy handled the way it was? (That is, not at all.)

The missing X-rays.

That's correct. So clearly it raises serious questions. Here is a
cabinet member, sent there by the powers of the United States, and
his death is treated in this manner. And then people wonder why I
and others respond as they do for a normal citizen whose been
marginalized by society? I think it really speaks to the type of
reign of suspicion that surrounds all of these processes, including
someone who has reached the status of a Ron Brown, but clearly was
treated no differently than a lot of other people in terms of the
seriousness they took in trying to deal with his cause of death.
And what really may - or may not - have happened at the time of his

Dawn Meredith
07-31-2009, 12:04 PM
Peter (or anyone) Do you have an opinion on who shot Brown and why?
Erick thinks it was Clinton but I have not researched it myself.
God there are just so many murders to look into....especially the plane crash variety. DIck Gregory- great guy, still out there trying to achieve justice, right now in the Michael Jackson surreal saga.


Peter Lemkin
07-31-2009, 05:43 PM
The better die young, and un-natural deaths.....Clinton might have had reasons, the CIA also......Clinton was in the CIA's pocket...the details are not known - only that the 'official' story is false, as in all political assassinations.

Phil Dragoo
08-03-2009, 08:32 AM
There's no statute of limitations on murder. Surely Brown was murdered.

The photo of the round hole in his head is graphic and compelling. As is the tale of the stolen aircraft beacon and the "suicide" of the responsible party.

Ruddy's work on the Brown suspicious death parallels that which he did on Foster.

I have here his The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation, Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 1997. And witnessed the CBS 60 Minute hatchet job on Ruddy--using 300-400 edits of two days of interviews--plus Gerald Posner.

What an interesting and busy agent is Gerald Posner. Guardian of the Magic Bullet and Defender of the Warren Commission. Then chortling over the "death by natural causes" of Carlos Ghigliotti, FLIR analyst who was demonstrating 200 shots fired into the Davidian compound the day Clark's armor sprayed flammable CS gas into a kerosene-lit environment.

Dick Gregory coauthored (with Mark Lane) Code Name "Zorro": The Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. And who raced to ridicule the innocence of Ray? Dan Moldea.

What a useful agent is Dan Moldea: "proving" the innocence of Cesar with polygraphs--how then could Aldrich Ames pass a polygraph?

Ron Brown is said to have told his lover Nolanda that he was "tired of being Hillary's errand boy". Hillary was sufficient to cause Web Hubbell to "roll over one more time"--and wife Suzi was "afraid of Marsha [Scott]" who had the last (closed-door) word with Vince before his "depression".

Allan J. Favish has been laboring for years to obtain the release of the Foster crime scene polaroids (http://www.allanfavish.com/foster.htm).

Ron Brown was privy to transfers of funds from Chinese officials. The phenomenon had reached the point at which a restaurant owner (Charlie Yah Lin Trie) could, on behalf of Beijing donors, make a veiled threat on "Dear President" which led to the removal of the two U.S. carriers from the Taiwan Strait.

With Ron Brown slated to testify with an attitude of settling accounts, his plane ran into a mountain.

While "Charlie" Trie virtually danced down the hall having been acquitted at trial, according to two House counsels I spoke with on a conference call.

Dawn Meredith
09-04-2009, 06:33 PM
Phil, could you eleberate more on the "dear President" veiled threat? Brown's death raises many suspicions. Why was Clinton so quick to have the burial? Why no autopsey? I read that Bown had told Clinton that if Brown went down he wass taking Bill with him.
Posner seems to be all over every case out there. He never ages either. Saw him on tv recently; must be that pact with the devil. His true boss.


Peter Lemkin
09-04-2009, 06:49 PM
The good and the better die young - often assassinated. The evil and greedy live on and on and on in person, their families or their corporations.....[and other evil entities/agencies].

Myra Bronstein
09-04-2009, 10:39 PM
There's no statute of limitations on murder. Surely Brown was murdered.

The photo of the round hole in his head is graphic and compelling. As is the tale of the stolen aircraft beacon and the "suicide" of the responsible party.

Where can this compelling photo be seen Phil? The only pix I can find on the web are terrible quality making it impossible to reach any conclusions.

Phil Dragoo
10-13-2009, 02:25 AM
Dawn, Charlie Yah Lin Trie wrote his friend Bill Clinton a "Dear President" letter fraught with implications--namely, that Clinton ought not have a two-carrier posture in the Strait as it was perceived as insult to his PRC donors.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear President,

Regarding the current situation in the Taiwan Straight Crisis and also the
U.S. aircraft carriers and cruisers involvement, I would like to propose
some important points to you in order not to endanger the U.S. interest
based on the following:

1. Any negative outcomes of the U.S. decision in the China Issue will your
administration position especially in the campaign year.

2. Why U.S. has to sent the aircraft carriers and cruisers to give China a
possible excuse of foreign intervention and hence launch a real war? And, if
the U.S. recognizes, "one China" policy, don't such conduct will cause a
conflict for "intervening China's internal affairs?" Therefore, won't the
recent inconsistent talks by the captains and some government officials in
the mass media cause problems for the U.S. policy of not interference of
China's internal affairs?

3. With the Chinese background and the recent six years business experiences
in China and Taiwan, I think the U.S. senators and Congressmen do not fully
know that most Chinese don't expect the intervention from the U.S.

4. Before last June, there is no conflict between the common goal of
economic growth and cooperation of China and Taiwan, Li's visit [Taiwan
President Lee Teng-Hui's visit to his alma mater, Cornell University] is the
direct cause of the crisis.

5. Has the U.S. government considered if China starts to occupy the two
small outer islands [Wu Chiu and Ma Tzu], will the U.S. proclaim war against
China? or just withdraw its ships?

6. The complication of China's internal problems of military challenges to
the Jiang Tze-Ming administration, together with other possible independence
movements from Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xin-Jiang and the returning of Hong
Kong issue, the bluff to Taiwan Independence issue, Will U.S. be involved in
such complicated internal matter by showing up the military ships at present

7. Once the hard parties of the Chinese military inclined to grasp U.S.
involvement as foreign intervention, is U.S. ready to face such challenge?

8. It is highly possible for China to launch real war, based on its past
behavior in sino-vietnam war and then Bao-Tao war with Russia.

I hope the president will carefully consider these issues and make the
decisions that are beneficial to the U.S./China and Taiwan altogether.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Y.L. Trie

I spoke on conference call with two House counsels regarding Trie's behavior after acquittal. He didn't actually dance in the hall outside the courtroom; it was more subdued than a moon walk, but was evocative.

Ron Brown was first tasked in the Long Beach/COSCO matter. Later found himself headed for the shredder; Clinton advised it was beyond his control. Brown told Nolanda Hill he would not go quietly. Then a beacon went missing from a base whose commander committed suicide. Brown died but Shelley Kelly survived--but not to see the sun set:

Crash site, 7:20 P.M.: Four hours and 20 minutes after the crash, the first Croatian Special Forces search party arrives on the scene and finds only Ms. Kelly surviving. They call for a helicopter to evacuate her to the hospital. When it arrives, she is able to get aboard without assistance from the medics. But Kelly never completes the short hop. She dies enroute. According to multiple reports given to journalist/editor Joe L. Jordan, an autopsy later reveals a neat three-inch incision over her main femoral artery. It also shows that the incision came at least three hours after all her other cuts and bruises

The higher-resolution color photo of the top of Brown's skull showing the perfectly round hole with tissue pressing out has been completely scrubbed. Numerous witnesses remarked it appeared to be a bullet hole.

The lead shower on the x-rays was explained away as a film anomaly; and, the original x-rays went the way of the posted photos, down the memory hole.

Barbara Alice Wise was found in a locked Commerce office half naked and bruised above the waste. This coincided with a Clinton trip back from vacation "to retrieve poetry". Surely nothing to see here.

And Number Three was John Huang who was across the street at Stephens faxing to Lippo partner ChinaResources.

Brown's plane; Colby's canoe. April the cruelest month.